Chris Dodd Is Putting His Foot Down on TARP. Kinda

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Chris Dodd must have woken up this morning and finally realized he is the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. He announced today that he is blocking the release of any further TARP funds ($350 billion remains in federal coffers) until the limits on executive pay and the help for struggling homeowners that were promised around the time of TARP’s passage are made into a reality. (A rough paraphrase of Hank Paulson from October 2008: “Yeah, yeah, whatever you say. No golden parachutes. Money for families in foreclosure. Fine. Just please give us the damn money.”)

Dodd’s a little late to this party. After all, half the TARP funds have been distributed and it’s not clear that any oversight was used, any limitation on executive pay was enacted, or any help has trickled down to the folks who are actually losing their homes. And, to be honest, he’s a little weak in the spine. Barney Frank, Dodd’s equivalent in the House, is standing behind legislation that would improve the bailout program while Dodd is reportedly ready to let the process move forward unchanged following a stern letter to the Obama people. Presumably Dodd would hold a press conference and say that the transition office has given him all the assurances he needs. Which is ridiculous, of course, because Paulson snowed him in exactly the same way.

By the way, is TARP working for you? It’s working for us.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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