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Previously publishedhere.

Aside from racism, the most important source of political power for the far right in the United States is apathy and despair. The same political forces that murdered people for registering to vote in Mississippi just a few decades back and that are still desperately working on voter suppression tactics today also work hard to convince "the wrong kind of voters" that there is no purpose in voting, it's all a fraud, voting doesn't change anything - only suckers turn out to vote, both parties are the same crooks. That's the message that people like Matt Taibbi, knowingly or not, sell to the public often with grossly deceptive arguments. In his latest article, Taibbi makes the argument that the Democrats followed the same "financial bailout" policies as Republicans of rewarding the connected Wall Street banks and neglecting Main Street.  Since the facts don't support this argument, he displays an awesome set of rhetorical tricks. Consider how he misrepresents the Democrats Small Business Lending Fund:

Moreover, instead of using the bailout money as promised – to jump-start the economy – Wall Street used the funds to make the economy more dangerous. [...]

Other banks found more creative uses for bailout money. In October 2010, Obama signed a new bailout bill creating a program called the Small Business Lending Fund, in which firms with fewer than $10 billion in assets could apply to share in a pool of $4 billion in public money. As it turned out, however, about a third of the 332 companies that took part in the program used at least some of the money to repay their original TARP loans. Small banks that still owed TARP money essentially took out cheaper loans from the government to repay their more expensive TARP loans – a move that conveniently exempted them from the limits on executive bonuses mandated by the bailout.


The Small Business Lending fund was part of a jobs act sponsored by Barney Frank and a number of the most progressive Democrats in Congress to  provide low cost loans to small banks and community investment funds for the purpose of making loans to small business. For example, one of the recipients of SBLF funds is the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises which has doubled its small business lending since getting money from the SBLF.  Here's an interesting note from them on green housing for poor people. Another recipient was the Chicago basedIFF which builds low income housing. The micro-finance Opportunity Fund of Northern California also got some SBLF money.
And a substantial majority of SBLF participants — more than 60 percent— have now increased their small business lending by 10 percent or more. In dollars, community bank participants increased their small business lending by $3.4 billion and CDLFs increased their small business lending by $86.8 million. [Treasury
It's certainly possible that some of the small banks that got this money used it for executive bonuses or worse - just like people sometimes cheat on Federal programs for disaster recovery or to feed the poor.  And, of course, the right always argue that we should punish poor people or victims of hurricanes because someone has cheated. But consider how Taibbi has presented this program as a hoax and a fraud and how he has placed it in a context so that he can give the impression it was used to bail out Wall Street. The Taibbi method is to take a kernel of truth and then use it to sell his main proposition: Democrats suck, there is no point in voting, they are all crooks.
Using small-business funds to pay down their own debts, parking huge amounts of cash at the Fed in the midst of a stalled economy – it's all just evidence of what most Americans know instinctively: that the bailouts didn't result in much new business lending.
The truth is that much of the bailout money was misdirected - especially the first tranche of $350 billion that Hank Paulson and GW Bush handed out to their friends on Wall Street. But there was a stark difference when the Democrats came into office in 2009 and that difference has been very important in the lives of millions of people.  The most glaring example of that is the use of bailout money by Treasury Secretary Geithner to rescue the auto companies and save millions of jobs. Taibbi's article never mentions this - the biggest use of TARP funds by the Obama administration is not mentioned even once. The resolution mechanism of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill is also left unmentioned by Taibbi.  This bill allows the government "resolve" failures in huge non-bank financial companies like AIG or CitiGroup (which owns Citibank and other non-bank businesses) the way the FDIC resolves failing banks. That is, the government can step in and wind the business down in an orderly manner, making shareholders and bondholders bear the cost of business failure. The government now, thanks to the Democrats, can even "claw back" five years worth of salary and bonus from the executives of such companies. This legal method was not available in 2007/2008. Taibbi's readers will not learn about this because - well because Democrats suck and are the same as Republicans, you know.
Hey, the Democrats suck, all politicians are the same, there is no point in voting - let's let the mobilized far right, the evangelical right, the Tea Party dominate electoral politics because it doesn't make any difference! That's the message that makes David Koch happy. We should be arguing for expansion of programs like the SBLF and for more public funding to direct investment away from Wall Street's casino economy. We should be trying to win the House back for Democrats so that people like Darryl Issa and John Boehner are not able to protect their Wall Street sponsors from market forces. We should be pushing for expansion of co-op business, for fairer taxes that don't penalize work, for a democratized economy that is closer to Thomas Jefferson's ideal than to the Tea Party theory that working people should grovel to the rich. But we can't do any of that if we allow people like Taibbi to succeed in their campaign of witless and deceptive indignation.

If you liked or hated this, you will like or hate these:
A Modest Proposal for Free Market Banking Reform

The Mysterious Capture of Left Economics by the John Birch Society

The Fundamental Economics Issue

7:04 PM PT: update

Originally posted to citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:07 AM PST.

Also republished by The Yes We Can Pragmatists.

Poll

President Obama dissapoints me most because

2%1 votes
5%2 votes
5%2 votes
17%6 votes
8%3 votes
0%0 votes
20%7 votes
38%13 votes

| 34 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh, look. Flamebait. That's new. (30+ / 0-)

    Never seen that around here before.

    Nuh-uh.

    "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

    by JesseCW on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:16:18 AM PST

  •  y'forgot pie (9+ / 0-)

    again.

    Get out there and get peace, think peace, live peace, and breathe peace, and you'll get it as soon as you like.” ~ John Lennon

    by Lady Libertine on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:24:36 AM PST

  •  Oh. Please. (9+ / 0-)

    Racism? Give me a break with the "everyone opposed to Obama for any reason whatever is a racist" bullshit.

    •  Guilty conscience? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness, SilentBrook

      I didn't mention race once in this post and the main Democrat mentioned is Barney Frank.

      favorite band: twisted gloating

      by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:26:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  You mentioned it in the first sentence n/t (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        S F Hippie, renzo capetti
      •  Well You Said This: (4+ / 0-)
        Aside from racism, the most important source of political power for the far right in the United States is apathy and despair.
        You were talking about the far right though... perhaps "Chitown Kev" is a far right republican and is offended?  Or he's merely pointing out that racism doesn't empower the Republicans at all?  Or that Republicans aren't racist?

        Dunno.  Those all sound like really stupid explanations to me.

        Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

        by TooFolkGR on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:30:44 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It's interesting how many political commissars (0+ / 0-)

          are around on a workday morning tho.

          favorite band: twisted gloating

          by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:48:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  And, of course, when all else fails... (13+ / 0-)

            ...the red-baiting.

            Too bad. I happen to agree that apathy and despair is a key ingredient of the effort to persuade people that voting doesn't matter. Couldn't agree with you more.

            Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:25:44 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  political commissars are not a communist (0+ / 0-)

              monopoly. However people who claim to be "on the left" and who insist on trying to control what others say are good candidates for the label.

              I spent enough time in Communist countries in the good old days to recognize the type.

              favorite band: twisted gloating

              by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:31:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your use of the term "commissar" is ... (12+ / 0-)

                ...perfectly clear. It's not the first time we've had this discussion. And the hilarious part of your defense of this slur is that the commissars were part of the party and the government in power telling people what they should do, say and think, not the dissenters.

                I think you make a reasonable case that Taibbi should have included material he left out of his RS piece to better let people make up their own mind about whether what happened was a good thing or not. But the flaming — anybody's flaming — dilutes persuasiveness.

                Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

                by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:52:06 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  actually that's not true (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  FrankAletha

                  the commissars had a terrible affect on Communist and Left parties that were not in power as well-  as anyone who ever was unfortunate enough to spend time with PL or Spartacus Youth League members knows only too well.  Sectarianism, the hobby of the socialist left, involves endless dispute about what can or cannot be thought. The presumption that one has the key to correct political position and that people who do not fall into line must be suppressed does not require the political power of the state.  

                  I have found that in this forum, as long as I disagree with the "progressive" line, I will be assaulted as a neoliberal, centrist, DLC fanboy, etc. etc. , no matter how I phrase things. There is no disagreement with Taibbi or Greeenwald or BobSwern or other shining lights of the Progressive Line, only deviationism.

                  favorite band: twisted gloating

                  by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:04:15 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

            •  I can agree with that, MB (4+ / 0-)

              But it's quite another thing to ascribe that motivation to Taibbi.

              If taibbi is wrong, refute him on the facts and leave it at that.

              citizen k has gone so far as to ascribe motice; I mean, it's not as if apathy and despair isn't already within the body politic but Taibbi isn't causing it.

              •  i don't think Taibbi WANTS to cause apathy (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                elmo

                I think he wants to sell his stories and the "they are all crooks" story is easy to sell.

                favorite band: twisted gloating

                by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:52:52 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  That's his schtick (0+ / 0-)

                  so all that's necessary, it seems to me, is to annex "all of the facts" to the story,

                  But every politician (and most political commentators(including those here at Kos) does that).

                •  That's a naive point of view. (6+ / 0-)

                  This website is populated by people who are passionate about politics. There's the newly active and the old vets, and everybody in between. It's a reliable bet that virtually all of us (minus the usual contingent of pass-through trolls and troublemakers) vote, every chance we get. We don't all agree on any politician or policy or even about what needs doing from the bottom up in all aspects of our political system. The nature of the political beast.

                  The attempts by some diarists to command subjects and issues on this website, and police the opinions that members are allowed to have/voice is... a pointless waste of time and energy by overgrown children. A majority of us have little patience for temper tantrums, no matter how much kicking and screaming and breath-holding accompanies them.

                  Nobody paying enough attention to keep track of news and analysis of this country's financial and political predicaments is going to stop voting because they find out the good guys and bad guys are largely interchangeable depending on what issue is highlighted and what day of the week it happens to be. It has always been thus. Critical thinkers are a dime a dozen on this website. We really don't need any hall monitors trying to force our thoughts and opinions into line.

                •  Bingo! (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  renzo capetti

                  That has the ring of truth to it.

  •  Didn't you or someone post this yesterday? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW, slinkerwink, melfunction

    "I'm not scared of anyone or anything, Angie. Isn't that the way life should be?" Jack Hawksmoor

    by skyounkin on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:30:32 AM PST

  •  A lesson to learn here. (5+ / 0-)

    If you don't really have anything of substance to contribute in the comments, why bother posting at all?  I would like to read some serious, substantive discussion on the merits of this diary instead of wasting time attacking the poster.

    I can only ask.

    •   they do have something of substance to contribute (0+ / 0-)

      which is the message that deviation from the party line will not be tolerated.

      favorite band: twisted gloating

      by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:01:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  i read that taibbi piece and this bit (0+ / 0-)

      i didn't get that taibbi was being mean to obama in the article.  and especially don't get from this piece what the thesis is. and considering it's round two, kind of funny.

      if it's any help to citizen k, i don't think O cares too much if taibbi states some painful truths, stirs up the electorate,  and those votes go his way anyhow. i'm impressed with o's long game.

      but i also think Glenzilla, taibbi, spitzer, digby are jems in this country.  & also think that these people and O are playing checkers, not chess, or 11 dimensional chess.  a few pretty simple head fakes.

      what lincoln said http://cleantechnica.com/2012/10/10/abraham-lincoln-was-on-to-wind-power-long-before-the-rest/

      by rasfrome on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:23:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The fact that important information (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, SilentBrook, FrankAletha

    that put Obama in a favorable light was not included in Taibbi's article, makes his article suspicious, to say the leasts.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by cyeko on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 09:58:58 AM PST

  •  Same shit, different day. (8+ / 0-)

    Some people are absent a thing called "shame." Other people think they are so smart they can easily misdirect others by focusing on a small part of a picture instead of the whole thing. Some people are unable to assess their own track record to see if they are constantly wrong; nor to fix their wrong assumptions.

    Manipulators have these troubles.

    Most people aren't that morally moribund; nor that stupid; nor so intellectually dishonest they can't change in the face of reality.

    Even back in 2009, when people had worked out that along with TARP, the Fed had pumped in (without telling Congress or the Public) somewhere between $14TR and $20TR to the banks, you were out there saying oh no, never happened, and you are shit for saying it happened.

    Of course we know who told the truth, and who was talking out of their ass.
    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/...

    PS: just noticed your lunatic signature. Nice of you to illustrate your core character that way.


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:03:12 AM PST

  •  There are all kinds of long cons. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic

    But we both know that,so I won't bore you with enumerating them.
    I look forward to reading your diary(ies) on public banking,State GRAs,co-ops,wage floors and any other topic without the flame baiting.

    "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

    by tardis10 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:07:28 AM PST

    •  to me it is interesting that a law (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Onomastic, SilentBrook, elmo

      which has directed some money at micro-finance and non-profit organizations that offer poor people alternative mortgages was presented as a scam for paying banker bonuses - and that people are ok with that.

      favorite band: twisted gloating

      by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:16:37 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  The accomplishments of (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        citizen k, Onomastic, SilentBrook

        the bailouts & subsequent legislation are a very mixed bag,to be sure. I'd guess the foci on the parts of it that did not work toward justice (yes,that is a short-cut word) is fallout from 30+ years of growing income inequality as well as the byzantine nature of legislation.
         Your point,that the bailouts included some money for good and useful things,is not best made in this sort of diary,IMO. Since I'm also of the opinion that these good things need championed,I hope you choose to use your voice to do so.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:47:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Also, remember Taibbi's whackdoodle critique (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    citizen k, Onomastic, emelyn, SilentBrook

    of the JOBS Act signed by Obama.

    http://www.rollingstone.com/...

    An act that REMOVES power from Wall Street investment banks via crowdsourcing.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:13:22 AM PST

  •  This post is just plain DISGUSTING... (6+ / 0-)

    ...conflating Taibbi's position with racism...the left's views on the economy with the John Birch Society. I think Markos should read this post, frankly. This is waaaay over the top.

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:22:41 AM PST

    •  the question with you always is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueness, SilentBrook

      whether you genuinely don't know anything at all or whether you are deliberately obtuse. It's not a very interesting question though.

      For the record, I did not conflate Taibbi's position with racism as anyone with basic reading skills can readily confirm. What I did was say that his argument is based on lying and the first example I provide is that of Barney Frank's Small Business Fund, which Taibbi deceptively presents as a subsidy of Wall Street.

      favorite band: twisted gloating

      by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 10:27:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get it (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, Chitown Kev, angel d

      Why even bring this here? I mean this might float at the spew and we all know what floats, but this type of hyperbolic  opinion pieces will never fly around here. I almost feel bad for him consistently being shown to be wrong, but just almost.

      There are no sacred cows.

      by LaEscapee on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:01:07 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's not what is says, bob (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hedwig, FG

      Taibbi does use exaggeration and hyperbole and awfully sketchy facts in his writing. I suspect he's trying to be Hunter Thompson but not quite succeeding.

      You might want to read him just a bit more critically, given that you're a financial expert and all.

      We are often so identified with whatever thoughts we may be having that we don’t realize the thoughts are a commentary on reality, and not reality itself. -- Gangaji

      by Mnemosyne on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:01:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Sad... (8+ / 0-)

        ...since I have repeatedly gone out of my way to inform readers that I'm not (an "expert").  So, clap louder! Maybe you should read the many pieces Taibbi has done which support his commentary in his most recent piece. And/or, try doing a little research on your own.

        The diarist's commentary (in whose diary we're now commenting) has been shown to be quite misleading and deceptive, time and time and time again. Perhaps more than any other member of this community, he uses ad homs to rebut very poorly-sourced pseudo-annotations. His links to "krebscycle," both in this post and in his last post (which comprise 90% of his excuse for "facts"), are not fact-based, but merely links to another's, off-base, unannotated commentary, to boot.

        Even attempting to compare this diarist's writing to Taibbi (who has won a slew of national awards for his investigative work and commentary), as if there's any semblance of legitimacy to the comparison, is nothing short of a sad joke, especially when taken in context with the number of members of this "reality-based" community that encourage this diarist's "work" (in whose blog we're commenting now) and is yet just another example of the serious dumbing-down and institutionalized bashing of the left of many "centrists" here, too; regrettably.

        It's funny that there was a time, not all that long ago, when I considered myself to a moderate Democrat. (It's really a lot about historical context, IMHO.)

        To even refer to this diarist's posts as "fact-based" is, in and of itself, propaganda, often to the extreme. (See my sentence about "institutionalized left-bashing," above.)

        So, don't let the facts get in the way of your commentary. And, write on.

        "We're all entitled to our own opinions. We're not entitled to our own facts." (Paraphrasing a
        well-known quote.)

        Take care.

        "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

        by bobswern on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:38:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  The other details Taibbi (6+ / 0-)

    failed to mention:

    1) If community banks used SBLF funds to pay down their TARP loans, they would still pay the same interest rates (5%) until they increased their small business lending.
    2) While banks had 5 years to pay their TARP loans before their interest rates increased from 5% to 9%, those who take SBLF funds without increasing small business lending will see an increase in their interest rates from 5% to 7.5% after the first 2 years. All banks who take out SBLF loans will have the interest rate on any outstanding debt go to 9% after 4.5 years. source
    3) "TARP recipients who replace CPP with SBLF funds will be subject to an added 2% quarterly lending incentive fee if the bank’s small business lending has not increased in the 8th quarter after SBLF funding is received." source

  •  taibbi wrote a huge expose with extensive evidence (9+ / 0-)

    on how the government colludes with the bankers.  he decribes in detail the mechanisms and the threat, both to our economy and our democracy.

    he gives facts which you have not disproved or challenged.

    this article is one of a series taibbi has written on the subject of how the financial oligarchy has taken power and replaced democratic (small d) government in the united states.

    its an astounding read.  i encourage everyone to read the entire series of taibbi blogs over the last year or so.

    what he describes goes way beyond Democrat vs Republican, it goes right to the heart of who rules America.

    •  I don't get how you can write such stuff (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      emelyn, shrike

      Taibbi presents the SBLF as a scam that allows Wall Street bankers to pay back TARP money with cheaper money. On inspection, that turns out to be a gross lie. In fact the SBLF has funded small banks to make small business loans and even has funded non-profit finance groups who assist the poor. So his story is a lie. And yet you persist in believing him to be presenting the gospel truth. Why is that?

      favorite band: twisted gloating

      by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 11:31:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  where is the lie in what he wrote? (6+ / 0-)

        And please be specific, what statement in this is a lie?

        From Taibbi article re: SBLF...

        Other banks found more creative uses for bailout money. In October 2010, Obama signed a new bailout bill creating a program called the Small Business Lending Fund, in which firms with fewer than $10 billion in assets could apply to share in a pool of $4 billion in public money.

        As it turned out, however, about a third of the 332 companies that took part in the program used at least some of the money to repay their original TARP loans.

        Small banks that still owed TARP money essentially took out cheaper loans from the government to repay their more expensive TARP loans – a move that conveniently exempted them from the limits on executive bonuses mandated by the bailout.

        All told, studies show, $2.2 billion of the $4 billion ended up being spent not on small-business loans, but on TARP repayment.

         "It's a bit of a shell game," admitted John Schmidt, chief operating officer of Iowa-based Heartland Financial, which took $81.7 million from the SBLF and used every penny of it to repay TARP.

        •  here's the lie (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dmd76, elmo
          Small banks that still owed TARP money essentially took out cheaper loans from the government to repay their more expensive TARP loans – a move that conveniently exempted them from the limits on executive bonuses mandated by the bailout.
          This is like saying "people who take food stamps use the money to finance their drug gangs".

          Not only was the SBLF money NOT cheaper for banks that do not increase small business loans, but it has been used by all sorts of excellent organizations for great purposes.

          The bigger lie is that this is Taibbi's main example of how, supposedly, banks used other Federal money to pay back TARP.

          I'm embarrassed for the people whose need to embrace Taibbi's factesque crap outweighs any interest in truth.

          favorite band: twisted gloating

          by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:29:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Did you seriously just argue that more than half (6+ / 0-)

            of all food stamps "dollars" are used to buy drugs?

            All told, studies show, $2.2 billion of the $4 billion ended up being spent not on small-business loans, but on TARP repayment.
            This isn't some minor fraud around the edges.  This is more than half the damned money.

            If you can refute this claim, you should.

            If you can't, you've got nothing.

            "Furthermore, if you think this would be the very very last cut ever if we let it happen, you are a very confused little rabbit." cai

            by JesseCW on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:52:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Your understanding of banking is up to BobSwern's (0+ / 0-)

              level.

              The goal of the program is to increase credit availability to small business and to boost small community banks and agencies. This goal is not incompatible with paying off TARP loans, in fact that's a reasonable action.  Because, as noted above and easily verified the interest rate only goes down if the rate of small business lending increases.

                 For community banks, the SBLF is structured to encourage small business lending through a dividend or interest rate incentive structure. The initial rate payable on SBLF capital is, at most, five percent,3 and the rate falls to one percent if a bank’s small business lending increases by ten percent or more. Banks that increase their lending by less than ten percent pay rates between two percent and four percent. If a bank’s lending does not increase in the first two years, however, the rate increases to seven percent, and after 4.5 years total, the rate for all banks increases to nine percent (if the bank has not already repaid the SBLF funding).
                  For CDLFs, the SBLF is structured to encourage small business lending through access to low-cost capital. These non-profit loan funds play a critical role in distressed communities across the country that lack access to mainstream financial services. CDLFs engage in activities ranging from offering microloans to entrepreneurs, providing mezzanine debt to growing small businesses, and financing community facilities like charter schools and health clinics.
              I understand why Republicans hate this program.

              favorite band: twisted gloating

              by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:06:47 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  au contraire (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Joieau, melfunction, Aspe4

            TheStreet.com reports differently than you... they confirm Taibbi.

            Small Business Loans Getting TARP Jolt

            NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- If you are a bank and still haven't repaid government bailout money, Uncle Sam has a deal for you.

            (snip... recommend you read the article yourself... very interesting take from a business POV on using SBLF to pay off TARP with examples of banks doing it...)

            SNL Financial in May identified 53 banks that said they were applying for SBLF, also commented at that time that "applying banks [continued] to indicate that the fund will mostly be used as a mechanism to refinance TARP."

            The Street says
            •  Right, because TheStreet really approves (0+ / 0-)

              of micro-lending to poor people or of small community banks.  And it's terrible that small community banks should pay lower rates than giant commercial banks if they boost small business loans.

              Brilliant.

              favorite band: twisted gloating

              by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:02:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Your desperation to conclude that Taibbi was not (0+ / 0-)

                conning you is sad.

                favorite band: twisted gloating

                by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:15:50 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  i dont think you understood my point... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                melfunction, Aspe4

                which is that banks are using the program to pay off tarp loans, and that is a big driver for participation by many of them, just as taibbi said and as documented by the street article as well as a zillion other business media, wsj, etc. if you care to google it go ahead.

                i dont think any of these take a position on microlending or anything else unless it can turn them a profit on a stock trade or investment, and so?.. does that mean they are lying?

                •  you are evading the core point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  dmd76

                  Taibbi's argument is that SBLF was a scam to allow banks to avoid even the limited obligations of TARP. He specifically ties it to the failure of the bailout to produce more lending. But SBLF is an apparently successful program that has nothing to do with Wall Street, but helps community banks and community lenders. The program has boosted lending by a majority of its recipients and has clearly funded some excellent projects. I think that even if some of the SBLF money was wasted, getting funding to organizations like the Appalachian group or the micro-lending firm or to small community banks that have boosted small business lending was not only a good thing, but evidence of the difference between the GOP and the Democratic responses to the financial crisis.  It's irrelevant whether some banks used the money to pay TARP loans back - 60% increased their small business lending. And  certainly nobody who knows of this program only from Taibbi will have that impression - instead they will think that its just another ripoff from a corrupt government.

                  Many people who read Taibbi's article - as you can see in the discussion of the previous diary - got the impression that the repayments of TARP were from money provided by other government programs. And this SBLF is the lynchpin of Taibbi's argument for that point. He puts it out there and then writes:

                  Using small-business funds to pay down their own debts, parking huge amounts of cash at the Fed in the midst of a stalled economy – it's all just evidence of what most Americans know instinctively: that the bailouts didn't result in much new business lending

                  If anything, the bailouts actually hindered lending, as banks became more like house pets that grow fat and lazy on two guaranteed meals a day than wild animals that have to go out into the jungle and hunt for opportunities in order to eat.

                  But actually, the SBLF HAS increased small business lending and it did not go to wall street at all.

                  favorite band: twisted gloating

                  by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:13:42 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's even better (0+ / 0-)

                    From the most recent SBLF Use of Funds Report (released today):

                    • In total, SBLF participants have increased their small business lending by over $7.4 billion over a $36.5 billion baseline, and by $740 million over the prior quarter.
                    • Increases in small business lending are widespread across SBLF participants, with 89 percent of participants having increased their small business lending over baseline levels.
                    • Over three-quarters of SBLF participants (78 percent) have increased their small business lending by 10 percent or more.
                    Also,
                    • SBLF banks that refinanced CPP funding have increased business lending by a median of 17.2 percent since their initial receipt of CPP funding from Treasury versus a 14.0 percent increase for the peer group and a 6.6 percent increase for the comparison group over the same period.
                    source
                    •  Forgot to include this (0+ / 0-)
                      • SBLF banks have increased business loans outstanding by a median of 32.2 percent over baseline levels, versus a 5.7 percent median increase for the representative peer group and a 2.1 percent median increase for the broader comparison group.
                      Same source. The representative peer group and broader comparison group are defined in the document.
            •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

              I'll reiterate my comment from above:

              If all a bank does is pay back it's TARP loan with money from an SBLF loan, it will be have to pay back the SBLF loan at exactly the same interest rate as the original TARP loan, and if they don't pay back this new SBLF loan within 2 years, their interest rate goes up quicker and higher than it would have under the TARP loan. The SBLF loans only become "cheaper" than the TARP loan when the bank increases the amount of lending it does to small businesses. This is a program that provides an incentive for community banks to lend to small businesses that was not present in TARP. By paying back a TARP loan with an SBLF loan, a bank is committing itself to increasing the amount of small business lending it does (provided it isn't run by morons). This is not a bad thing.

              sources: 1 2

              •  nope (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                melfunction

                the way it works is that the bank will pay 5% down to 1% depending on % increase of loans between what was the average from june 2009 to june 2010 and from when they take the government money.  

                for 2.5 years the price of sblf money is guarranteed not to go above tarp, i.e. 5% and can go down as far as 1% if they loan 10% more than what they did in 2009.

                after that the cost could go higher if they dont make loans, but they can also return the sblf money with no prepayment penalty.

                and with the sblf money they have no restrictions on executive bonuses that come with tarp.

                •  In other words, (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  citizen k

                  exactly what I said. SBLF loans incentivized increased lending to small businesses by decreasing the dividend rate to be paid as banks increased lending to small business (a rate which is calculated quarterly and not just "when they take the government money").
                  In addition,

                  Institutions that are refinancing CPP investments must
                  increase their small business lending to receive an economic benefit from refinancing. If at the beginning of the tenth full calendar quarter after the date on which a bank receives SBLF funding, the bank’s Qualified Small Business Lending as reported in the ninth quarter has not increased relative to its baseline amount, then the bank will be required to pay, at the beginning of the fifth anniversary of the CPP investment, a repayment incentive fee equal to 2% per year on the total amount of outstanding SBLF funding
                  source

                  This incentive to increase loans to small businesses was not in TARP. What exactly are you saying "nope" to?

                  •  apparently some people have an ideological (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dmd76

                    requirement to conclude that (a) Taibbi is always right and (b) the Democrats are corrupt Wall Street captives. Evidence to the contrary is dismissed.

                    favorite band: twisted gloating

                    by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:36:26 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  yeah oh boy.. increased as compared to 2009 (0+ / 0-)

                    and the money is basically free if they do just 10% better than a rock bottom comparison, and oh yeah... the executive bonus...

                    and this is the best you got to dispute taibbi?

                    •  SBLF (0+ / 0-)

                      was created as part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, signed into law in September, 2010. The deadline for applying for an SBLF loan was originally March 31, 2011, and was later extended until May 16, 2011. The established baseline was the quarterly average of loans made to small businesses in the four quarters ending on June 30, 2010. Given those parameters, what do you think would have been a fair baseline? Would a baseline period ending on December 31, 2010 have made the program worthwhile in your eyes?  

                      As for the executive bonuses, are you seriously claiming that a significant portion of the SBLF funds were used to pay bonuses? That banks chose to refinance their TARP loans just so that they could pay their executives higher bonuses? What figures do you have to back your innuendo? Were the bonuses paid at banks that took SBLF funds higher than at comparable banks who didn't?

                      If you want to see how well SBLF has worked, here's the latest Use of Funds Report, released today.  

          •  Yo. Please provide (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            melfunction

            the evidence that "about a third" of companies who took part in the program didn't use the money to make TARP payments, and/or that 2.2 billion of the program's 4 billion budget didn't get cycled to TARP.

            Thanks.

    •  Exactly right. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melfunction, TracieLynn, Aspe4

      Neil Barofsky's book, Bailout, is in accord.  I am a third of the way into Sheila Bair's "Bull By The Horns," and it is the same. Yves Smith and Bill Black have been writing about these issues at New Economic Perspectives and Naked Capitalism. Also Gretchen Morgensen at NYT. All tell pieces of a coherent story, and Taibbi's incredible reporting is of a piece with them.

      This diary is pure flame bait and I am not going to get into the merits with the diarist.

  •  Another Point of View (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, PhilK, melfunction, TracieLynn, Aspe4
    Aside from racism, the most important source of political power for the far right in the United States is apathy and despair. The same political forces that murdered people for registering to vote in Mississippi just a few decades back and that are still desperately working on voter suppression tactics today also work hard to convince "the wrong kind of voters" that there is no purpose in voting, it's all a fraud, voting doesn't change anything - only suckers turn out to vote, both parties are the same crooks. That's the message that people like Matt Taibbi, knowingly or not, sell to the public often with grossly deceptive arguments.
    You do not appear to think much of the voters in question if you believe that so many are so shallow as to be deterred by whatever Taibbi may write. For one thing, not many of the easily discouraged will be reading Rolling Stone, or rollingstone.com, perhaps you should check the reader demographics of those. My take is that those being discouraged are those on the right (see drop in Fox News Channel viewership right after the election), and it's not by Mr. Taibbi.
    The Taibbi method is to take a kernel of truth and then use it to sell his main proposition: Democrats suck, there is no point in voting, they are all crooks.
    His main proposition, from all of the articles that I've read by him (most all of them, since I've been reading Rolling Stone since its inception) is that the world inside the Beltway is complicated, purposely so, and readily subject to corruption, and that Democrats get caught up in that greed stew at times also.
    Taibbi's readers will not learn about this because - well because Democrats suck and are the same as Republicans, you know.
    Hey, the Democrats suck, all politicians are the same, there is no point in voting - let's let the mobilized far right, the evangelical right, the Tea Party dominate electoral politics because it doesn't make any difference!
    I've never received that message from reading what Taibbi writes, are you projecting what you think of voters or, more particularly (scary part here), Democratic voters?

    The main theme that I find offensive is your attacks on Taibbi's intentions and motivations imply that you are oh so wise, oh so able to read the minds of others based on what they write. Of course, I'm doing the same to you, but you're the current gander in this thread.

    My take is that you are either pushing a hidden agenda, or are wishfully projecting what some Dem voters may think: life is hard, just let me have my Barcalounger and a beer, and I'll leave the politics and voting to someone else.

    If you wrote with some maturity, it might help your cause. Are you trying to turn the Taibbi crowd by adapting his style? That's a loser, as it's only a pale imitation.
    I say, quit while you are behind, and nuke this post and start again...

    "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

    by paz3 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:30:18 PM PST

    •  I have to say that condescending advice (0+ / 0-)

      seems to be a speciality around here.  Must reflect the demographics of the site.

      favorite band: twisted gloating

      by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 12:35:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ad hominem (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melfunction

        im disappointed in you and other commenters pro and con your post because it could have been a good debate if it didnt sink to boring level of ad hominen tit for tat.

        i disagree with your diary but i'll give you an honest debate and reasons why.  We both may not change our position but we do learn quite a bit in the process, otherwise why bother.

      •  Demographics? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kbman, melfunction, Aspe4
        I have to say that condescending advice
        seems to be a specialty around here.  Must reflect the demographics of the site.
        That's a real winner of a comeback. However, please consider the source when defending a condescending and mean-spirited blog post.

        My demographics: been voting since 1964, been a Democrat since 1970, never missed a Congressional or Presidential election since 1964, 71 years of age, retired, on Social Security and Medicare, worked for non-profit charities for 25 years before retirement, married, two kids, 5 grandkids, son is a successful entrepeneur, daughter is a science writer (Master's in conservation biology), church member, own own home, have mortgage, small business partner, Christian humanist, live in Oregon.

        Thomas Finlay
        Deer Island, Oregon 97054

        Enough demographics for you? Am I worthy? (Don't really think so, based on your rhetoric.)

        Who are you?

        I support the President, but not blindly, and I think that Taibbi is doing us all a favor by writing as he does, whether he's on point all the time or not.

        "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

        by paz3 on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:42:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  i don't care (0+ / 0-)

          you gave me a lot of tedious advice about how to express my opinions and didn't want to discuss post substance. If you want to talk about what I wrote, I'm happy to engage.

          favorite band: twisted gloating

          by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 03:59:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            No more discussion until you reveal yourself.

            Who are you?

            Why do you hide behind poster anonymity?

            We all know who Matt Taibbi is, and where he works. We all know who Markos is, and where he works?

            Who are you?

            Oh, another request: why don't you attempt to engage Taibbi himself, present your points, get a response?

            Otherwise, you merely have the identity of an anonymous Internet poster, like myself, and the rep. of a troll who provides nothing of who you are, and thus what your pre-disposition is.

            And, yes, you don't care, and that's why you are an impediment to discussion (and probably why you hide).

            "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

            by paz3 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 08:17:01 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Taibbi is just his current obsession (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PhilK, S F Hippie, TracieLynn, Aspe4

      in the past it has been Glenn Greenwald, Paul Krugman, and others who dared to speak out against actions and policies of the administration. It would serve this site well for citizen k to confine his crap to The People's View. I agree fully with the commenter above who described citizen k as being poison to this site. Every single citizen k diary is instigation to a pie fight. He should be sent packing with the rest of The People's View crew who were banished in the Great Purge.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 01:27:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree that (3+ / 0-)

        [almost] "[e]very single citizen k diary is instigation to a pie fight."  And most of his theses are crap.  MB is right about the red baiting.  Now Taibbi is not sacrosanct in my view, but his crtique of Taibbi geets lost in all the other stuff he brings.  

        That all said, I disagree with this:

        It would serve this site well for citizen k to confine his crap to The People's View.
        He has the right to post here so long as he obeys the rules, and as far as I can see, he has.  I doubt I have ever agreed with him, but he has apoint of view and it is part of the mix that is the Democratic Party, even if it is misguided.  

        Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

        by TomP on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 02:25:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Those who were purged were known for coming (0+ / 0-)

          here simply to stir up shit. That seems to be the only reason that citizen k shows up as well.

          Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

          by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:24:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It's hilarious that you constantly recommend (0+ / 0-)

            The Authoritarians while being so deeply disturbed that people who disagree with you are permitted to express their opinions.

            favorite band: twisted gloating

            by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 04:37:54 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  And it's typical for you to make judgements (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TracieLynn

              such as this based on misperception.  Your behavior on this site is a perfect example of what Dr. Bob characterizes as Right Wing Authoritarianism. Your attacks on anyone who dares to publicly criticize the president, your attempts to push a conformity of thought based on what the powers that be proclaim to be so - these are the hallmarks of the authoritarian follower.

              My complaint with you is not your disagreement, it is your behavior. There is a difference. You are welcome to believe whatever you wish. You are welcome to express those opinions as well. What you're not welcome to do is repeatedly twist meanings, twist people's words, selectively quote, and generally use disingenuous rhetorical devices to provoke fights at this site. You are very clever with words. You also use them dishonestly. This is also typical Right Wing Authoritarian  behavior. The ends justify the means, defending the status quo trumps honesty.

              You're not welcome to play enforcer of orthodoxy any more than I or any other member of this site. But that's what you consistently attempt to do, shout down and demean progressives and liberals while proclaiming that your political "pragmatism" is superior. Of course, for the past several years, pragmatism has been code for Democrats pre-compromising their positions, and then giving away more in the subsequent "negotiations" after which people like you crow about what an incredible victory the president has won. Meh.

              You might wish to actually consider READING The Authoritarians. It might open your eyes.

              Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

              by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:02:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Were it not for the fact (0+ / 0-)

                that citizen k is correct about this issue, you would have a point. The people who are being dishonest here are Mr. Taibbi and his defenders. If you care to read them, I've posted multiple links in the comments to this post that show that, rather than being a scam that permitted community banks to lower their TARP payments, as Mr. Taibbi would have us believe, SBLF was designed to provide an incentive for those banks to lend to small businesses. They used the SBLF funds to pay back their TARP loans because the program includes specific measures to allow for it. Those small banks that took SBLF loans have increased the amount they lend to small businesses by significant amounts relative to banks that didn't, regardless of whether they used the SBLF money to pay back TARP loans or not.

                source

                •  Do you even read what you write? (0+ / 0-)

                  " rather than being a scam that permitted community banks to lower their TARP payments,"

                  "They used the SBLF funds to pay back their TARP loans because the program includes specific measures to allow for it."

                  So, the program was structured to allow banks to use funds that were claimed to be for small businesses to actually use those funds to repay TARP loans INSTEAD OF loaning that money to small businesses ... Isn't that essentially what Taibbi claimed?

                  All told, studies show, $2.2 billion of the $4 billion ended up being spent not on small-business loans, but on TARP repayment. "It's a bit of a shell game," admitted John Schmidt, chief operating officer of Iowa-based Heartland Financial, which took $81.7 million from the SBLF and used every penny of it to repay TARP.
                  The fact that some of those banks also made some loans to small businesses does not change this. It is another example of the banks being given perks in the guise of helping ordinary Americans - again, the point that Taibbi was raising. Yet citizen k's diary here would have us celebrate the whopping $1.8 B in loans as being an example of extreme largesse to the public when it was, in reality, table scraps in comparison to the $700 B bailout, and paltry in comparison to the $1.4 T the banks are sitting on.

                  There used to be a time when banks were actually in the business of loaning money. They didn't need "incentives" to do their business, it was how they made their money. Now making loans is considered a burden? This is just another example of how the financial industry has gained inappropriate power in our economy and society. Another of Taibbi's points.

                  As far as your "source" it is the government publication about this program - all 32 pages of it. If you have a specific point you'd like to raise from this publication, please provide the relevant section. Just throwing out the link for the PDF is similar to citizen k's methods - giving the impression of backing up your argument while not really doing so. It is akin to being in an argument over a constitutional issue and giving a link to the constitution as your proof.

                  Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                  by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 06:37:57 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  so (0+ / 0-)

                    providing a source for my claims is bad now?

                    I'll spell it out as clearly as I can:

                    1. Banks were not making many loans, especially to small businesses, in 2010. Regardless of how you or I feel banks should do their job, they weren't lending money to small businesses. That was part of the reality we all lived in. Here's a link to remind you.

                    2. To encourage banks to loan to small businesses, a program was set up to provide incentives for banks to make those loans. Namely, if banks raised the level of loans they made relative to a baseline (quarterly avg of loans made during the year ending on June 30,2010), the interest they paid on SBLF loans would go down to as little as 1%. If they didn't, the interest would remain at 5%. The SBLF loans were not meant to be used only for small business loans. That's a misunderstanding on your part, probably because you unquestioningly accepted Mr. Taibbi's word on the matter.

                    3. Community banks could refinance their TARP loan with a SBLF loan. Any such bank that didn't increase their small business lending would pay the same interest as they were paying on their TARP loan for 9 quarters. If at that time, they still hadn't increased their small business lending, the interest that they paid would go up and they would be charged a 2% annual fee on top of that. Again, this was done to encourage those banks to lend to small businesses, something they were not doing at the time.

                    The program has been largely successful in meeting its stated goals. You can read the Overview (p.1) and Background (p.2) of that onerous 32 page! document to see the figures backing my claim. Those banks that took SBLF loans have increased their lending to small businesses by significantly greater percentages than those that did not. In particular,

                    •  SBLF banks that refinanced CPP funding have increased business lending by a median of 27.2 percent since their initial receipt of CPP funding from Treasury versus a 14.0 percent increase for the peer group and a 6.6 percent increase for the comparison group over the same period.

                    CPP = Capital Purchase Program, part of TARP

                    I found this on page 1 of the source I linked to.  Remind me, what sources did Mr.Taibbi provide?

                    •  Why call it the Small Business Lending Fund (0+ / 0-)

                      if it's purpose was actually to enable small banks to repay their TARP obligations? When more than half the funds end up being used in this manner, it makes the program appear to be a case of bait and switch. And again, the point of Taibbi's article was that the bank bailout was far more of a giveaway to the banks than has been admitted to the public. Throughout these comments, citizen k has made a big deal about this whopping $1.8 Billion, as though that were some hugely significant figure that shows that Taibbi is wrong and/or lying about the bailout. "Look! There was a kernel of corn in this pile of shit!" Here is what Taibbi wrote:

                      Using small-business funds to pay down their own debts, parking huge amounts of cash at the Fed in the midst of a stalled economy – it's all just evidence of what most Americans know instinctively: that the bailouts didn't result in much new business lending. If anything, the bailouts actually hindered lending, as banks became more like house pets that grow fat and lazy on two guaranteed meals a day than wild animals that have to go out into the jungle and hunt for opportunities in order to eat. The Fed's own analysis bears this out: In the first three months of the bailout, as taxpayer billions poured in, TARP recipients slowed down lending at a rate more than double that of banks that didn't receive TARP funds.
                      Yes, there was SOME lending, and some of the money in this program did actually go to small businesses. But that doesn't mean that the program wasn't used as a cover to transfer even more money to the banks than what was loaned. You may feel this is appropriate, I do not.

                      And yes, I'm reluctant to wade into the government report.  I don't see much point in reading that the administrator of the program thinks that it went just great. So yes, at some point I choose to rely on people who have researched the topic. Taibbi has been following this story for quite some time, and has revealed information that had previously remained hidden. His take on things is also not all that different from others who have looked into Wall Street and the banking industry since 2008. Meanwhile, given his track record, citizen k is among the last people I would choose as an authority on anything. He has posted a long string of diaries over the past few years which could be given the collective title, "Liberals and Progressives Suck". For some reason he seems to have much more of a problem with those on the left than with those on the right.

                      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

                      by kbman on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:38:08 PM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  it did increase small business lending (0+ / 0-)

                        which is why they called it the small business lending fund.

                        favorite band: twisted gloating

                        by citizen k on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:50:56 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  OK (0+ / 0-)

                        so,
                        1) You find the name misleading. Sure, I'll give you that. They could have called it Small Business Lending Encouragement Fund and saved Taibbi and the rest of us all of this confusion.
                        2) Matt Taibbi's article brought up the SBLF. He used it as evidence for his position. He also used the "Fed's own analysis" to bolster his point (apparently Mr. Taibbi has a higher opinion of government reports than you do). It wasn't citizen k who focused on it.
                        3) You accuse citizen k of being an "enforcer of orthodoxy," yet when presented with data that contradicts your position, you simply refuse to consider it. You just don't see the point in reading it. I submit you and the rest of the people here that ignore the content of the diary and simply attack citizen k have your own orthodoxy you enforce.

              •  apparently you regard my few diaries on this (0+ / 0-)

                absurd blog to be "enforcement of orthodoxy", while the vitriolic responses, none of which ever honestly address the issues I discuss are perhaps free-spirited thinking.

                Good lord.

                favorite band: twisted gloating

                by citizen k on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 05:35:31 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. n/t (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          TomP

          Don't tell me what you believe, show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe.

          by Meteor Blades on Mon Jan 07, 2013 at 08:02:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Condescending? (0+ / 0-)

    Look, citizen k (and again, who are you?), you may or may not have substance in your accusatory posts, but you are really pissing in the wind when you talk down so readily to others from the start, and make these barely restrained ad hom attacks on others. This is why you have little credibility here:

    we can't do any of that if we allow people like Taibbi to succeed in their campaign of witless and deceptive indignation.

    a large number of you seem to want to be conned. So I guess it's consensual.

    And another contentless whine from you. How shocking.

    guilty conscience, or maybe just kneejerk defensiveness. Or maybe you are a right wing Republican?

    It's interesting how many political commissars are around on a workday morning tho.

    [I'm retired, fella]

    they do have something of substance to contribute which is the message that deviation from the party line will not be tolerated.

    the question with you always is whether you genuinely don't know anything at all or whether you are deliberately obtuse.

    I'm embarrassed for the people whose need to embrace Taibbi's factesque crap outweighs any interest in truth.

    Your desperation to conclude that Taibbi was not conning you is sad.

    I have to say that condescending advice seems to be a specialty around here. Must reflect the demographics of the site.

    [LOL! Proof of the projection in your dialogue]

    you gave me a lot of tedious advice about how to express my opinions my few diaries on this absurd blog

    your reading comprehension is poor

    dissenting from the crabbed and fact-free whining here

    Very sophomoric, and you essentially render yourself impotent to advance an argument because of your thinly veiled sense of superiority.

    If you have a genuine concern that your side be heard, then you may find it far more effective to act as if you were talking to actual human beings sitting around a table, rather than hiding behind Internet anonymity and sniping.

    OK, there's a benchmark for you to aspire to, unless you truly are an authoritarian follower-type, and can't escape that frightening reality. I don't think that you are, but you act as one.

    Who are you?

    "We will find fulfillment not in the goods that we have, but in the good we can do for each other." ~ RFK

    by paz3 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:26:24 AM PST

  •  Matt Taibbi or citizen k? (0+ / 0-)

    Let's see here ....

    Matt Taibbi:

    1. A paid investigative journalist working for a major publication.
    2. A successful author, with even President Obama himself reading Griftopia, Taibbi's latest.
    3. Has appeared on virtually every major network and TV show, offering informed and educated opinion.
    4. His works have forced responses from his targets, Goldman Sachs included, and stirred debate worldwide.

    citizen k:

    1. An anonymous blogger whose real name is unknown.
    2. Publishes content in the diaries section of someone else's blog.
    3. Produces no facts whatsoever, just diatribe.
    4. Accuses those who don't like Obama of being racists.

    The evidence on that last one? "Matt Taibbi demonstrated that he knows nothing about finance and everything about producing incoherent indignation ... against that "Dreadful Black Man who Betrayed Progressivism""

    Yep, that last quote is from citizen k. A tired meme that unnamed Democrat loyalists love to hurl around. "Taibbi hates Obama because he's a black man!". It's easy to accuse others of racism when you anonymously hide behind a screen name, a handle. It's the coward's way.

    Of course, all this adds up as we would expect it to. Taibbi is published, paid, respected, factual, accountable. citizen k? A no name, no facts, no relevance person --relegated to the diaries on another person's blog.

    As noted, this adds up. There's a natural order that can never be altered. citizen k is where he should be, and there's where he will remain.

    (As to the attacks on Taibbi in the original post: There's nothing to reply to, no facts, because citizen k -- as usual -- provides nothing of relevance. There's no "there" there. Just raging at those who would dare question Dear Leader. It's all so 2010.)

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