Latest Posts

Chris Dodd
  • Linda McMahon KO'd

    In the race to fill Chris Dodd's Senate seat in Connecticut, ABC News is projecting Democrat Richard Blumenthal will win over former World Wrestling Entertainment CEO and current Triple H's mother-in-law Linda McMahon, who famously donated $50 million dollars of her own money to her campaign.

    Projections are all well and good of course, but it's important to remember that the night is not yet over, and there's still plenty of time for Hacksaw Jim Duggan to appear out of nowhere and knock Blumenthal out of the race with a two-by-four.

    There also remains the possibility that right before the race is officially called, when the vote-counter comes out and does the thing where he lifts McMahon's hand up and lets it fall to the mat, that on the third drop, her arm will remain raised and she will regain her strength and make a surprising and swift comeback.

    Of course, if you ask me, this entire race is fake. They planned out who would win and lose months ago and rehearsed the whole thing.

    Tags: Chris Dodd, Connecticut, Linda McMahon, Liveblog, Richard Blumenthal, Senate, Wrestling
  • Democrats Somehow Manage to Pull Off Financial Reform(ish) Legislation

    Big news! Financial reform has somehow passed the Senate despite the fact that the Democrats' lack of a super-ultra-quantum-majority…

    The vote was 60 to 38, with just three centrist Republicans from the Northeast joining with the Democrats in voting to advance the legislation. One Democrat, Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, voted against the bill, saying it was still not tough enough. Senator Michael D. Crapo, Republican of Idaho, did not vote, and one seat — which was held by Senator Robert C. Byrd, who died last month — is vacant…

    The bill would create a council of high-level federal officials, led by the Treasury secretary, to try to detect, and perhaps prevent, systemic dangers to the financial system, and it would give the government new authority to seize and shut down failing financial institutions, by liquidating assets and forcing shareholders and creditors to take losses.

    Sounds promising, I think, based upon the minutes and minutes I've spent kind of thinking about it. But will it work?

    "We won’t know the full results of what we have done until the very institutions we have created, the regulations we have suggested and provided for are actually tested," [Sen. Chris Dodd, banking committee chair and main author of the bill] said in a floor speech. "We can’t legislate wisdom or passion. We can't legislate competency. All we can do is create the structures and hope that good people will be appointed who will attract other good people — people who will make careers and listen and see to it that never again do we go through what we have gone through."

    So, won't know if this bill is even worth anything until after we get hit with another huge financial crisis that threatens the very fabric of our national cohesion? I'm simply on pins and needles waiting to find out!

    Tags: Banks, Chris Dodd, Economy, Financial Reform, Robert Byrd, Russ Feingold, Senate, Wall Street
  • Castrated Wall Street Bill Passes Committee, Sent to Languish in House and Senate

    Early this morning — following an epic 20-hour arm-wrestling match between progressive legislators and legislators who were being paid by banks to oppose reform — some kind of agreement of some kind was reached by Congressional negotiators shaping the tumultuous Wall Street bill

    Wall Street won a number of battles, but broadly speaking the conference committee strengthened the legislation in some ways, weakened it in others, and for the most part the final bill pretty closely resembles the legislation that passed the Senate this spring.

    Big banks won one big fight yesterday, which will allow banks to continue investing a significant amount of equity in hedge funds. But that was in the context of a greater battle over whether banks should be allowed to make speculative trades with their capital… and they lost that one.

    The more dramatic tussle was over a provision, authored by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), meant to force big financial firms to spin off their derivative trading desks into separate affiliates that do not enjoy federal protections. The haggling over that provision dragged on past midnight. Wall Street largely lost, having pushed hard for months to get it scrapped entirely. However, big firms will retain the ability to trade derivatives in house for the purposes of hedging their own risk…

    Now the legislation goes back to each chamber for a final vote. Bank-friendly House Dems will have to support the bill for it to pass. In the Senate it will likely be held to a 60-vote threshold. With two Democrats continuing to oppose the bill from the left, Dodd and Majority Leader Harry Reid will have to woo the same Republicans who supported the bill the first time around, with little to no margin for error.

    Does that mean anything to anyone? Sounds kind of good and kind of bad, doesn't it? I definitely liked the part where it said, "force big financial firms to spin off their derivative trading desks into separate affiliates that do not enjoy federal protections," I think. That's a thing that I should think is a good thing to do, right?

    But I think that I am very angry about the "big firms will retain the ability to trade derivatives in house for the purposes of hedging their own risk" part? All I know for certain is that I am maybe very conflicted.

    Tags: Blanche Lincoln, Chris Dodd, Economy, Harry Reid, House of Representatives, Money, Senate, Wall Street
  • Make-Believe Vietnam Vet Still Beating Real-Life Professional Wrestling Mogul in Connecticut Senate Race

    A new poll in Connecticut seems to show that voters there are not concerned with a candidate pretending to serve in a war that he never served in, just so long as he's not the former CEO of the largest professional wrestling league in the world who fires employees by kicking them in the dick on national television.

    Because, hey, every state has its limits

    [A] new poll from Quinnipiac University shows [Richard] Blumenthal is still dominating the race for Senate in the wake of a brutal New York Times story that accused him of lying about his military record.

    The poll, one of the most respected in Connecticut politics, shows Blumenthal ahead of likely Republican nominee Linda McMahon by a whopping 25 points. He leads the race by a margin of 56-31. That's down somewhat from the astronomical 61-28 lead Blumenthal had in the March Q poll, but — as they say in the business — anything over 20 is a good day.

    Tell that to my Spanish-American war buddies who died over there in Iwo Jima fighting for the liberation of Catalonia. You think they'd say anything over 20 is a good day? Ha! They ate the number 20 for breakfast. And they were thankful for it!

    Think about that.

    Tags: Chris Dodd, Connecticut, Linda McMahon, Military, Polls, Richard Blumenthal, Senate, Vietnam, Wrestling
  • Senate Unanimously Votes to Taunt the Mysterious Demon-Beast That Is the Federal Reserve

    Contrary to conventional wisdom, there seems to be something on which all U.S. senators can agree: Fuck the Federal Reserve!

    Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) Audit the Fed amendment to Sen. Chris Dodd’s (D-Conn.) financial regulatory reform bill just passed the Senate in a bipartisan landslide, 96-0 — with every Senator present on board with the populist amendment. The Sanders amendment requires the Government Accountability Office to audit most of the Federal Reserve’s books since Sept. 2008 by Dec. 2010.

    Speaking just before the vote, Sanders said that people now "recognize the immense power of the Fed, and people are demanding transparency of the Fed."… He also promised: "This is not the end. This is the beginning. We are beginning to lift the veil of secrecy on what is perhaps the most important agency in the United States government."

    Unfortunately, I've seen the last reel of this movie before. After devouring Sanders whole, the monstrous, gelatinous banking system smashes its way across the country while an embittered, frizzy-haired Ron Paul laments that the government should have listened to him all along. When will senators learn to stop seeking to understand the un-understandable?

    On the plus side, though, we do get to see Chris Dodd's boobs.

    Tags: Bernie Sanders, Chris Dodd, Federal Reserve, Money, Senate