We thought we’d sum up the "highlights" of the recent Bloomberg/Washington Post Republican Debate held at Dartmouth
on Tuesday. Most of the discussion was just rehash of the same-old same-old. And considering this was a "kitchen table" style
debate, no wonder families in America don’t eat dinner together anymore.
The scene was like a sad horror movie. Mom
was seeing Beelzabub in her mash potatoes, Dad was bailing coffee out one mug and into another while mumbling, "WTF am I doing?",
the neighbor was rigging the pepper shaker to dump open with a bunch of microscopic nines, and no one was paying attention
Oh well. In no particular order, here are the Top Ten Moments from the Dartmouth Republican Debate:
- Michele Bachmann – Federal government pushed subprime loans on the monster-sized “too big to fail”
banks with threats of preventing them from consuming other banks.
BACHMANN: It was the federal government that pushed the subprime loans. It was the federal government that pushed the Community
Reinvestment Act. It was Congressman Barney Frank and also Senator Chris Dodd that continued to push government-directed
- Newt Gingrich – Draws a distinction between good and evil in the Occupy Wall Street Movement
GINGRICH: Let me draw a distinction. … I think the people who are protesting in Wall Street break into two groups: one is left-wing
agitators who would be happy to show up next week on any other topic, and the other is sincere middle-class people
who frankly are very close to the Tea Party people who care. And actually…you can tell which are which. The people
who are decent, responsible citizens pick up after themselves. The people who are just out there as activists trash
the place and walk off and are proud of having trashed it, so let’s draw that distinction.
- Newt Gingrich – Forget arresting anybody on Wall Street that fraudulently made gazillions of dollars
off the housing bubble, the derivatives market, and the massive deregulation of the financial industry! No, let’s
jail the two congressmen who submitted a bill to congress to regulate Wall Street that was passed yet has since been
GINGRICH: And if you want to put people in jail—I want to second what Michele said—you ought to start with Barney Frank and
Chris Dodd and let’s look at the politicians who created the environment, the politicians who profited from the environment,
and the politicians who put this country in trouble.
- Mitt Romney – Bailouts are never a good idea, except when they are.
ROMNEY: You don’t want to bail out anybody. The idea of trying to bailout an institution to protect the shareholders or to
protect certain interest groups, that’s a terrible idea. And that shouldn’t happen.
You do want to make sure that we don’t lose the country and we don’t lose our financial system and we don’t lose
American jobs and that all the banks don’t go under. So you have to take action very carefully to make sure that you
preserve our currency and preserve our financial system.
But bailouts? Of individual institutions? No one has interested in that I don’t think.
- Michele Bachmann – I see Satan everywhere!
BACHMANN: When you take the 9-9-9 plan and you turn it upside down, I think the devil’s in the details.
- Ron Paul – Mr. Cain, are you a homer for the FED or what?
PAUL: Mr. Cain, in the past you have been rather critical of any of us who would want to audit the Fed. You have
said … we were ignorant and … there was no need for an audit anyway, because if you had one, you’re not going to find
out anything, because everybody knows everything about the Fed.
But now that we have found and we have gotten an audit, we have found out an awful lot on how special businesses
get bailed out — Wall Street, the banks, and special companies, foreign governments. And you said that you advise
those of us who were concerned, and you belittled — you say call up the Federal Reserve and just ask them. … Do
you still stick by this, that that this is frivolous, or do you think it’s very important? Sixty-four percent of the
American people want a full audit of the Fed on a regular basis.
CAIN: You have misquoted me. I did not call you or any of your people ignorant. I don’t know where that came from.
You’ve gotta be careful of the stuff you get off the Internet.
“I think a lot of people are calling for the this audit of the federal reserve because they don’t know enough
about it.” – Herman Cain, Neal Boortz Radio Show, Dec. 2010
Ignorant: [ig-ner-uhnt] adj. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact
- Herman Cain – Our government has three branches and I will rule one of them eternally with my Third Deterrent!
- Ron Paul – (Listening to Herman Cain praising Alan Greenspan) I’m losing to this guy?
CAIN: The way Alan Greenspan oversaw the FED and the way he coordinated with, (Paul shakes head and grins)
the way he coordinated with all of the Federal Reserve banks, I think that it worked fine back in the early 1990s.
PAUL: (moments later) Spoken like a true insider. No, Alan Greenspan was a disaster.**
- Michele Bachmann – The reason Bank of America is being an asshole and shifting their unfair and anti-competitive
fee obligation from merchants to customers is because of Dodd-Frank.
BACHMANN: The Dodd-Frank bill is the Jobs and Housing Destruction Act … and by the way, that’s why we see the new $5 debit
card that people are paying every month that they’re upset about. Because of Dodd-Frank. And that was insider dealing
because Senator Durbin had former staffers that came to lobby him on behalf of retailers.
- Herman Cain – My “If you’re not rich blame yourself” comment was only for the Occupy Wall Street
protesters. Not the 14 million unemployed Americans. Obviously those OWS protesters have initiative and entrepreneurial
skills like me and could easily get rich.
CAIN: That response was directed at the people that are protesting on Wall Street. Not that 14 million people who are out
of work through no reason of their own other than this economy is not growing … It was specifically directed at the
people who are protesting on Wall Street.
“We don’t need to waste money with another commission, or an audit that’s not necessary, because, folks, we’ve
gotta lot of other problems we need to worry about.” – Herman Cain, Neal Boortz Radio Show, Dec. 2010
CAIN: The third deterrent is that I will be president and I won’t sign anything that raises the 999.
MUMBLER (maybe Rick Santorum?): You not going to be president forever.
The winner of the debate? Of course, it was Ron Paul. But it was Herman Cain. … Somehow.
*"But investment banks loved what the government was doing and encouraged it. Worldwide savings were soaring, and international investors were hungry for a safe place to park their money." – Politifact
**Even Alan Greenspan thought Alan Greenspan was a disaster. Speaking to members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Greenspan said, "You know, that’s precisely the reason I was shocked, because I have been going for 40 years or more with very considerable evidence that [my ideology] was working exceptionally well. … I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interests of organizations, specifically banks and others, were such as that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders and their equity in the firms." – NYTimes.com
*** The move is partly prompted by a new federal regulation, starting Oct. 1, that will begin limiting the cut banks can take from merchants at the point of sale. Bank of America is expecting the new lower rate to reduce the revenue that those merchant fees currently bring to the bank. In 2009, those fees amounted to $19 billion in revenue.
So in other words, Bank of America is shifting a part of the fee obligation from merchants to customers.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D) of Illinois responded bluntly to Bank of America’s announcement: "After years of raking in excess profits off an unfair and anti-competitive interchange system, Bank of America is trying to find new ways to pad their profits by sticking it to its customers," Senator Durbin said Thursday. "It’s overt, unfair and I hope their customers have the final say." – CSMonitor