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Claire McCaskill
  • Jon Stewart on the Senate's Goldman Sachs Hearing

    As Jon Stewart pointed out on last night's Daily Show, one of the primary figures in the Goldman Sachs fraud case is named Fabrice Tourre and goes by the nickname "Fabulous Fab." You know, I don't think we're going to get any real substantial financial reform anytime soon; I'm not that naïve. But can we all at least agree to make some sort of edict that if a guy is named Fabrice and he works in the upper echelons of a financial juggernaut, his self-assigned nickname has to be "Prudent Fab" or "Level-Headed Fab" or at least "Slightly Above Average, But I Really Don't Like to Toot My Own Horn Fab"?

    Stephen Colbert's take can be found below.

    The Daily Show and Colbert Report air Monday through Thursday starting at 11pm / 10c.

    For quick summaries of recent episodes, be sure to visit Intel's Daily Show in :60 Seconds page.

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    Tags: Carl Levin, Claire McCaskill, Fabrice Tourre, Goldman Sachs, Jon Stewart, Jon Tester, Lloyd Blankfein, Senate, The Daily Show, Video
  • The Massive Goldman Sachs Senate Hearing, Recapped (Caution: PG-13)

    Carl Levin (D-MI): We are gathered here today because you are the worst people on earth, and also because a little grandstanding never hurts going in to a midterm election. I will begin. You are the worst people on earth.

    Susan Collins (R-ME): There is an R after my name, so even though I agree with Carl, I will use gentler words like "unseemly" and "unsettling." You boys are cads.

    Claire McCaskill (D-MO): If it's all right with everyone, I'd like to make the first of many gambling analogies. John Ensign specifically asked us to do a lot of those, I'm not sure why.

    Fabrice "Fab Fab" Tourre, former VP, Goldman: My lawyers have instructed me to be as bland and evasive as possible. I will say that this week has been a a real bummer.

    Carl Levin: Now I'm going to read some emails aloud. You sold clients securities that you were shorting. How did you guys get comfortable with the source of these securities? How did you guys get comfortable-

    Daniel Sparks, former head of mortgages, Goldman: I don't- we don't-

    Carl Levin: How did you guys get comfortable with that?

    Daniel Sparks: I'm not sure what you're-

    Carl Levin: Yes you are, you're just being bland and evasive. Never mind, I have a new phrase I want to repeat. "Crap pools." This was in a Goldman email. Crap pools. Crap pools? Crap pools! Do you recollect that?

    Daniel Sparks: Um, I- what page is that- hmm. So much paper. I can't find it.

    Carl Levin: Moving right along. "Shitty deal." That's from another email. I can cuss all I want, on TV, this is great. Shitty deal. Shitty deal.

    Susan Collins: I want to ask a lofty ethical-sounding question that has zero relevance in the context of how Wall Street actually works. Do you have a duty to act in the best interests of your clients? I want to know so I can help defeat regulatory reform that might impose such a duty.

    Daniel Sparks: We, uh, we want to do well.

    Joshua Birnbaum, former MD, structured products, Goldman: I'll be the guy who says yes, we do.

    Fab Fab: We're a market-maker. We provide liquidity. I can say other finance words too.

    Susan Collins: I am going to ask you a lengthy but specific question, Fab. All you need to do is answer it.

    Fab Fab: Okay. You mentioned an email? Which email is that? I don't have that in front of me.

    Susan Collins: This is from your email on the 26th, at the bottom of the page.

    Fab Fab: Oh, I- no, I do have it. Can you repeat your lengthy but specific question? Slowly, this time. Maybe pause for a minute or two between each sentence.

    Susan Collins: You little fucker.

    Carl Levin: Fucker! Fucker! Fucker!

    Claire McCaskill: Shitty deal! Shitty deal! Sorry, mom.

    Tom Coburn (R-OK): Just sticking my head in to say I think y'all should be able to short whatever you want. High-five, boys. Make the checks out to Coburn for Senate.

    John Ensign (R-NV): I'm on! Knock knock.

    Everybody: Who's there?

    John Ensign: Nevada. I can't help but notice that you're comparing Wall Street to Las Vegas. What's up with that? In Vegas you know the odds. On Wall Street they manipulate the odds while you're playing. Thank you, you've been great.

    David Viniar, CFO, Goldman: That's a tough act to follow.

    Carl Levin: Tell me about your big short, David. Your big short on the housing market.

    David Viniar: Well, big short and big long.

    Carl Levin: Big short.

    David Viniar: Big long.

    Carl Levin: Crap pools. Shitty deals.

    David Viniar: That's very unfortunate to have on email.

    Everyone: Gotcha!

    David Viniar: I just meant I don't like the swear words. So many swear words.

    Carl Levin: Hiiiiii, Lloyd.

    Lloyd Blankfein, CEO, Goldman: Hi Carl.

    Carl Levin: I am going to talk about how you created and sold investments that you were betting against. Admit you did that.

    Lloyd Blankfein: I am going to talk about Goldman's role as a market-maker, which means we simply provide a mechanism for people to buy and sell assets that have been created. This will ensure that I avoid your question. It will also ensure that you avoid my answer. We live in different contexts.

    Carl Levin: Put it in a human context.

    Lloyd Blankfein: Are you kidding? Why do you think I went into i-banking?

    John McCain: My friends, what is a synthetic CDO? How come no one has asked that, ever?

    Carl Levin: Oh shitty deals, you guys, I forgot to mention AIG! Lloyd, AIG. You took taxpayer money from AIG. Admit you did that.

    Lloyd Blankfein: AIG paid us what they owed us.

    Carl Levin: With bailout money that came from taxpayers' pockets.

    Lloyd Blankfein: We weren't the ones who passed bailout legislation.

    Carl Levin: I wouldn't put it past you.

    Lloyd Blankfein: I- oh, never mind.

    Carl Levin: It's been almost eleven hours. Everyone's welcome to leave at this point. Not you, Lloyd. I want to see you in the cloakroom. I'm not done with you yet. Shitty deals. Crap pools.

    Lloyd Blankfein: You are absolutely adorable.


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    Tags: Banks, Carl Levin, Claire McCaskill, Economy, Fabrice Tourre, Goldman Sachs, John Ensign, John McCain, Lloyd Blankfein, Susan Collins, Tom Coburn
  • Man on Poster Violence On Rise at Town Hall Meetings

    Wow! This guy really hates posters! Don't anyone unfurl any posters near him!

    Maybe I'm being unfair. I suppose that it might be that he doesn't hate posters so much as he hates posters of Rosa Parks.

    I'll bet you that his father was killed by a poster of Rosa Parks. If his father was killed by a poster of Rosa Parks, then we shouldn't make fun of him. We should be understanding and not unfurl posters of Rosa Parks at town hall meetings being held by Sen. Claire McCaskill.

    That was super not cool, lady who unfurled poster of Rosa Parks at town hall meeting being held by Sen. Claire McCaskill. Why must you hate?

    Tags: Claire McCaskill, Health Care, Missouri, Protesters
  • Stephen Colbert Is a Hero in Washington D.C.

    If Washington D.C. does end up getting its precious voting representative in Congress, residents of the City by the Swamp may have none other than Stephen Colbert to thank for making it happen, according to the much-beaten-upon Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton

    And if that doesn't convince you of Colbert's star-status on the Hill, Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill was Tweeting about him just last night…

    Colbert last night…picky picky picky.He doesn't realize that when the Pres speaks for 9 min it seems like 30 sec. Mom loved her face time.

    And Tweeting, as we all know, is like the highest form of flattery.

    Tags: Claire McCaskill, Eleanor Holmes Norton, House of Representatives, Missouri, Senate, Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Washington DC
  • You Gotta Fight for Your Right-Wing Party: Susan Collins Cuts School from Stimulus

    A bipartisan group of Senators now claims to have sliced $100 billion from the stimulus package, which means maybe — just maybe — a few Republicans will change their minds, agree to pass this thing, and let everyone go home before midnight tonight.

    But the GOP's still angrier'n a wet cat…

    Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who is also part of the bipartisan group, said Republican resistance continued to center on the cost and the precedent of Obama's stimulus plan.

    Some Republicans are against the notion of having the federal government take on responsibilities that historically have been handled by the states, she said.

    Yeah! States' rights! Unless too many states start letting the gayfolk get married.

    Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican and the other bipartisan team leader, circulated a roster proposing $88 billion worth of net cuts from the measure. She proposed eliminating money in the bill for K-12 education while boosting funding for Pentagon operations, facilities and procurement by $13 billion.

    Of course she did, because as we explained earlier, "spending" and "pork" are synonyms, unless you introduce the magic qualifier "Pentagon."

    Kudos to Senator Collins for her quick thinking! If all goes well, this stimulus package will help set the stage for a bold and robust new American economy, one in which illiterate defense employees who can't do basic math have access to a gazillion rocket launchers.

    Tags: Claire McCaskill, Economy, Education, Pentagon, Senate, Stimulus, Susan Collins