Romney going “Palin” with the lamestream media

Because Mitt interacts so naturally with the unwashed masses, this should surprise no one:

“Romney campaign and Secret Service attempted to keep press off ropeline so no q’s to candidate on Bain,” tweeted CNN’s Jim Acosta.

The AP’s Kasie Hunt tweeted that “campaign staff and volunteers trying to physically prevent reporters from approaching the rope line to ask questions of Romney.”

“Romney campaign aide trying to block reporters from rope line now,” tweeted The New York Times’ Michael Barbaro. “Reporters refuse to leave.”

“This was an error on the part of the campaign staff and volunteers,” Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told The Huffington Post. “We have reminded them that press is allowed on the rope line to record the governor’s interactions with voters.”

The error, if I’d have to take a guess, was that staff and volunteers weren’t covert enough with getting the reporters off the rope line. Next time maybe they won’t be so explicit.

Sure, JP Morgan lost $3 billion but Romney says that’s “the way America works”

“I would not rush to pass new legislation or new regulation. This is, in the normal course of business, a large loss but certainly not one which is crippling or threatening to the institution. This was not a loss to the taxpayers of America; this was a loss to shareholders and owners of JPMorgan and that’s the way America works. The $2 billion JPMorgan lost, someone else gained.” Mitt Romney, during a Wednesday interview with Hot Air blogger Ed Morrissey, discussing JPMorgan’s $3 billion loss (it’s no longer ‘just’ $2 billion)

It’s too bad that Mitt Romney, as a presidential candidate, doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Further as Matt Taibbi asks, are these places still banks or are they now casinos?

If you’re wondering why you should care if some idiot trader (who apparently has been making $100 million a year at Chase, a company that has been the recipient of at least $390 billion in emergency Fed loans) loses $2 billion for Jamie Dimon, here’s why: because J.P. Morgan Chase is a federally-insured depository institution that has been and will continue to be the recipient of massive amounts of public assistance. If the bank fails, someone will reach into your pocket to pay for the cleanup. So when they gamble like drunken sailors, it’s everyone’s problem.

Activity like this is exactly what the Volcker rule, which effectively banned risky proprietary trading by federally insured institutions, was designed to prevent. It will be argued that this trade was a technically a hedge, and therefore exempt from the Volcker rule. …Hedge or no hedge, we don’t want big, federally-insured, too-big-to-fail banks making giant nuclear-powered derivatives bets.

[...] If J.P. Morgan Chase wants to act like a crazed cowboy hedge fund and make wild exacta bets on the derivatives market, they should be welcome to do so. But they shouldn’t get to do it with cheap cash from the Fed’s discount window, and they shouldn’t get to do it with money from the federally-insured bank accounts of teachers, firemen and other such real people. It’s a simple concept: you either get to be a bank, or you get to be a casino. But you can’t be both. If we don’t have rules to enforce that concept, we ought to get some.

University of Maryland professor and former regulator Michael Greenberger argues that if Dodd-Frank had been in effect:

As the trades lost value, margin would have been called for on a regular and systematic basis. (The losses would never have reached $ 2B without much earlier and corresponding regular calls for margin.) The losing nature of the trades would have been transparent to market observers and regulators for quite some time and the losses would not have piled up opaquely. It is almost certain that, at the very least, the Fed (not wanting to exacerbate its reputation for throwing taxpayer money at TBTF problems), would have backed JPM off these trades long ago.
Continue reading…

Morning Bunker Report: Thursday 5.17.2012

WHAT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY STANDS FOR TODAY—————————–—

Mitt Romney refuses to say George W’s name after he endorsed him in an elevator –. “I’m for Mitt Romney,” Bush had blurted out to ABC News on Tuesday as the doors of the elevator closed on him in Washington, DC where he was giving a speech on human rights. Speaking to a crowd of supporters in St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday, Romney would only refer to Bush as President Barack Obama’s “predecessor.” — Raw Story

At a fundraiser, Mitt Romney attacks Obama for ‘dividing America’ and then complains that the discussion has gotten ‘way too vicious.‘ “If I’m fortunate enough to become president, I will not do what this president is doing,” Romney said. “I don’t care what the circumstance is. I am not going to divide America and spend my time attacking any one group of Americans… It’s gotten way too hot, way too vicious, frankly, on both sides of the aisle.” Romney also took the opportunity to praise the business leaders in the room. “I know that you get the impression that government doesn’t like you,” he said. “I love you, all right? I love what you do. I want to see entrepreneurs and innovators. I want to see more success. My ambition is to see more and more people able to enjoy the extraordinary benefits of America as you have.” According to the pool, the fundraiser brought in $2.3 million for Romney. — Buzzfeed

graph: Mother Jones

Romney Fund-raising Event Hosted at Home of Morning-After Pill Executive – And Planned Parenthood is pissed. “Mitt Romney can’t have it both ways,” the president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund wrote in a statement. “The record is clear: Mitt Romney has vowed to restrict access to birth control, including emergency contraception, and undermine millions of women’s access to family planning.” Romney supporters spent $50,000-a-plate for a dinner hosted at the home of Phil Frost, chairman of Teva Pharmaceuticals, which makes the morning-after pill Plan B One-Step. – Daily Intel

Mitt Romney’s Debt Speech Ignores Key Facts – ROMNEY: “America counted on President Obama to rescue the economy, tame the deficit and help create jobs. Instead, he bailed out the public sector, gave billions of your dollars to the companies of his friends, and added almost as much debt as all the prior presidents combined.” THE FACTS. Hardly. Presidents from George Washington through George W. Bush ran the national debt up to $10.62 trillion, the amount it was on the day Obama took office. Today, it is $15.67 trillion, according to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Public Debt. So it has gone up by $5.05 trillion under Obama. That’s roughly half of the amount amassed by all the other presidents combined. In short, the debt has gone up by about half under Obama. Under Ronald Reagan, it tripled. — HuffPo

  • Spending, Taxes, Deficit are All Lower Today — In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP. Here’s another interesting fact. Taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent. One last nugget. The deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent. — Think Progress

PRESIDENT OBAMA / DEMOCRATS————————————————————

Biden in Ohio: Romney Economics and what the wealthy call “envy” – Vice President Joe Biden brought the Obama campaign’s Bain Capital offensive to Ohio on Wednesday. [...] While workers lost jobs, health care and saw pensions dwindle, Romney and his partners “walked away with at least $12 million on compensation.” “Romney made sure the guys on top got to play by a separate set of rules. He ran up massive debts, and the middle class lost. And folks, he thinks that experience is going to help our economy?” he said. [...] Republicans have accused Obama of antagonizing business, and said the attack on Bain Capital is class warfare. Biden bristled at the contention in his remarks. “I resent the fact they think we’re talking about envy. That it’s job envy, wealth envy. That we don’t dream,” Biden said, his voice booming through the cavernous facility. “My mother and father dreamed as much as any rich guy dreams. They don’t get it! They don’t get who we are!” – latimes.com

graph: Mother Jones

  • The vice president argued for a populist vision — “Obama economics” — that “believes everyone deserves a fair shot, a fair shake, and everybody should play by the same rules.” “Then there’s the Romney philosophy,” he said. “The Romney economics which says as long as the government helps the guys at the top to do well, workers and small business communities, they can fend for themselves but the country will be OK if the big guy is doing well.” For the first time, Biden directly and publicly critiqued Romney’s business record at Bain Capital, claiming it illustrates a worrisome approach to running the U.S. economy. “By the way, Romney raised this. We didn’t raise this. He says it’s his business experience. So let’s take a hard look at that business experience,” Biden said. “In the 1990s there was a steel mill in Kansas City, Mo. It had been in business since 1888. When Romney and his partners bought that company, eight years later that company was in bankruptcy.” – KGO 810 San Francisco

Senate rejects budgets by Obama, Republicans — The Senate voted 99-0 against Obama’s $3.8 trillion budget request, with Democrats stressing that the vote was unnecessary because lawmakers wrote spending caps into a deal agreed last summer to raise the nation’s debt ceiling. In March, the House of Representatives rejected Obama’s budget proposal in a 414-0 vote. […] An alternative Republican plan put forward this year by Representative Paul Ryan, the House Budget Committee chairman, called for balancing the budget over three decades in part by deeply cutting some social safety services and reforming entitlement programs like Medicare. The Ryan plan, too, failed to win enough votes to advance in the Senate, after passing the House one month ago. Democratic Senator Carl Levin said the Ryan plan “does not address what budget experts of all ideological stripes tell us we must address: the need for additional revenues.” Democrats have argued that there has been gridlock over a budget deal because Republicans refuse to accept higher taxes for millionaires along with spending cuts. “Rather than restore revenue, this budget is premised on the notion that high-income earners haven’t gotten enough in tax cuts,” Levin said. — Raw Story

Obama warns opponents over debt ceiling showdown — Obama hosted House Speaker John Boehner and other top lawmakers for a White House lunch where much of the discussion focused on the mounting pressure over how to unclog a fiscal logjam at year’s end, including expiring tax provisions, a looming debt ceiling, and automatic military cuts. The president demanded a “serious bipartisan approach” to avoid a repeat of last year’s crisis which pushed the country to the edge of default and led to its first-ever credit downgrade. “The president made clear… that we’re not going to recreate the debt ceiling debacle of last August,” when Republican-led congressional gridlock nearly shut down the federal government, Obama’s spokesman Jay Carney said. […] Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who attended the lunch, [said] any discussion of it would be “premature” until after the sequester takes effect or Congress takes measures to avoid it. – AFP

  • According to Tim Geithner, we won’t hit the debt ceiling until a few months into 2013. By that time, either the Bush tax cuts will have already expired and the automatic spending cuts will have already begun or the parties will have come to some big fiscal deal and the debt ceiling will have been raised along the way. — Ezra Klein

Fox News contributor Monica Crowley called the president of the United States “bigoted” for his suggestion that a name like “Barack Hussein Obama” made winning elections more challenging. [...] Conservative websites like Hot Air immediately accused the current White House resident of trying to “smear” presumptive Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s supporters as racist.  [...] “It’s not fair!” Crowley said of the president’s comments. “What he meant was, I’m going to have a tough time because I have this funny name — this is the line he used in 2008 — because of my race, because of my ethnicity, because of my name. This is a man who won in 2008 with 53 percent of the vote. It was not a tight election. And to suggest the American people are somehow opposing him because of his race or his name is insulting to the American people and, quite frankly, Megyn, I think, bigoted in its own right.” – Raw Story