Recently DC Bureau Chief David Corn and blogger Kevin Drum have had to wear a lot of makeup—that’s what happens when you’re on three different TV shows in the course of two days. If you haven’t had a chance to see all the clips yet, the links are below in bold.
On Friday, the two sat down with PBS’ Bill Moyers for an insightful hour-long conversation about the unrepentant and unreformed financial industry. Moyers began his show by detailing how completely Wall Street has recovered since bankers like Goldman Sach’s CEO Lloyd Blankfein, the Financial Times‘ Person of the Year, nearly destroyed the global economy. “How do the bankers pick our pockets so thoroughly with barely a pang of guilt or punishment?” he asked. “You will find some answers in this current edition of Mother Jones magazine, one of the best sources of investigative journalism around today.”
Moyers went on to point out that MoJo and, surprisingly enough, the Wall Street Journal are both skeptical of the administration’s efforts to reform derivatives trading. They discussed the House Committee on Financial Services, which David pointed out “is called a money committee…because if you serve on that committee, you have access to a lot of money. Campaign cash.” The first half hour concluded with talk about the lack of outrage over the infamous carried interest rule that allows hedgefund millionaires to pay income tax rates lower than those of their secretaries. “We should lay some of the blame,” Kevin suggested, on “the media…People don’t see it enough to get angry about it.”
In the second half of Bill Moyers Journal, Kevin said that part of the reason real financial reform hasn’t occurred is because “the bailout last year succeeded in a way, too well” and now people think “we can go back to business as usual.” After a lost decade in which new jobs were not created and median wages did not increase, Moyers asked what the two made of the much discussed new article in Forbes by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) bashing Wall Street. “Well, the Democrats have to worry,” David replied. “There is an opening here for the Republicans.” Kevin concluded by offering Obama a suggestion from FDR’s playbook: “If there’s any one issue where…a real show that he was going to take these guys on could bring the country together, it very well might be taking on Wall Street.” Better late, than never!
Friday also saw David making an appearance on Countdown With Keith Olbermann. Guest host Lawrence O’Donnell was uneasy with the implications of a bold New York Times Magazine article encouraging “strategic defaults” for underwater homeowners—Americans whose mortgages are now worth less than the price they agreed to pay during the housing bubble. “The system is still pretty rigged against homeowners,” David responded. If homeowners begin thinking dispassionately about debt like businesses, “banks and the service companies will get the message…that they’d better start changing some terms and try to work this out so that they take some of the losses that they in part are responsible for.”
Finally, be sure to watch the clip from Thursday of David on the Rachel Maddow Show discussing the GOP’s politicization of the attempted terrorist attack on Christmas day. Maddow began by reading a representative sample of the press releases from Republicans in response to Obama’s recent speech on national security. The GOP used the occasion to malign Obama on everything from health care reform to Ft. Hood to his alleged “pre-9/11 mentality.” David dismissed the petty Republican criticisms by saying, “They can keep making these rhetorical points because maybe they play on some old prejudices about Democrats being weak on national security. But they have no basis in fact.”