In the news this morning:
* Take this health reform quiz and see how you score!
* While most Americans were celebrating the birth of a nation of patriots, the Republican nominee for president, who made much of his fortune sending American prosperity abroad and sheltering much of his wealth in offshore tax shelters, and Republican leaders in Washington, who would make the practice of firing teachers and police the policy of the state, eagerly awaited a jobs report they fervently hope will be bad for America. (see below)
Mitt Romney is in trouble. The American people do not like him or trust him. They intuitively sense that he’s not on their side. They are right. He is not. And it shows.
While the stampeding herd of the media were dramatically overstating the problems of the president, informing the nation about celebrity divorces rather than demanding that the Republican nominee stop hiding his tax returns for reasons that are obvious, Romney was failing to win the trust of the nation.
In the latest big lie of the far right, while the president was honoring American heroes at home on the Fourth of July, the right invented the fiction that the president was campaigning in France. Since the answer to the big lie is the big truth:
It is time to talk of patriotism and partisanship and a Republican Party that has lost its heart, its soul and its way. Ronald Reagan would be embarrassed by Republicans today. William F. Buckley would be angry and ashamed. The party of Reaganite optimism is now the party that hopes America fails and blames Americans first.
The Republican Party is now led by a man who insults his own father, a great man who believed the people have a right to know about those who would lead them. George Romney disclosed many years of his tax returns because he was proud of what he did, unlike Mitt Romney, who is not.
Mitt Romney says George Romney was wrong. The American people believe George Romney was right.
Never in the history of the republic has any great party been so passionately hopeful that America would fail as Republicans are today.
Never in the history of the nation has any great party dreaded good news for America the way Republicans do today.
Never in the history of America has any great party so callously and falsely blamed Americans who are jobless for being jobless, blamed Americans who are poor for being poor, blamed Americans who are hungry for being hungry or blamed Americans who are hurting for their hurt as Republicans do today.
Never in the history of the Congress has any leader done what the Republican Senate leader did, boasting that his great dream for America was not putting Americans to work, but politically destroying the president.
While then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) passed job-creating legislation in the Democratic House, Senate Republicans abused the filibuster even more than the bigot senators of the old segregated South in their drive to make America fail. Senate Republicans destroy America's hope for jobs with the same ferocity of their leader's hyper-partisan ambition to destroy the president.
Never in the history of the nation has any great party been led by a man who praises his own wealth with such conceit and claims this as his qualification for the presidency. Even leading Republicans have called him a vulture.
The party of Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt is now the party of “no” that hopes America fails and blames Americans first.
* The jobs report for June was released today. "The economy added 80,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department reported Friday, after a revised increase of 77,000 in May. The unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent." Still slower than what the economy needs to recover, but not the devastating news hoped for by those on the right.
In Britain, the investigations into Barclays Bank manipulating the benchmark Libor rate have begun in earnest. Parliament approved an official inquiryinto the Libor scandal, though only at the Parliamentary level rather than an independent investigation. This came after a shouting match between the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, and the shadow chancellor, Labour’s Ed Balls. Outside of Parliament, the Serious Fraud Office announced their own criminal investigations. So we’re on the road to seeing criminal prosecutions come out of the rate-rigging scandal.
Remember that Barclays is only bearing the full weight of scrutiny right now because they decided to cooperate with a Justice Department investigation. At least 12 and as many as 16 other banks are under scrutiny in the scandal, and that includes just about every major financial institution. The fallout from that DoJ investigation is that the Libor will get calculated in a new fashion:
Under the terms of the pact with the US’ Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Barclays agreed to a six-pronged plan to “encourage” benchmark publishers, such as the British Bankers’ Association, to improve the rate-setting process by increasing transparency and creating rigorous methodologies to determine submissions.
The pact is unusual because it requires Barclays to not only beef up its internal compliance systems but to take on a role as an advocate for increased oversight for the industry.
“We’re going to use every tool we can, whether it’s enforcement tools or rule-writing tools to try to benefit the American public and make sure markets are clean of fraud and manipulation,” said Gary Gensler, chairman of the CFTC.
Martin Wheatley, the UK regulator who has been asked by the UK government to lead a review of the legal framework for Libor and other rates, said his group would consider the CFTC’s demands. The BBA is conducting its own review and a person familiar with the progress said the settlement demands were “quite sensible” and could provide a template for reform.
It would certainly represent progress for the settlement to contain new standards to prevent future rate manipulation, but it would be harder to hold to them without some accountability for those who manipulated the rates. That’s why calls to purge the entire Barclay's board, which is simultaneously tied up with just about every other multinational corporate board, seem more appropriate.
"Jesse Jackson, Jr. is passing a bill around to increase the minimum wage to 10 bucks an hour," the man tells Young in a video obtained by FLDemocracy. "Do you support that?"
"Probably not," Young replies.
"Ten bucks, that would give us a living wage," the constituent points out.
"How about getting a job?" Young snaps.
"I do have one, $8.50 an hour," the man insists.
"Why do you want that benefit?" Young grumbles. "Get a job."
"I do have a job, but it's not enough to get by on," the man explains as Young turns away.