TheDC Morning: After battering bankers, Obama tries to woo back Wall Street
1.) Ex-Bushie compares GOP to al Qaeda— “The people who are threatening not to pass the debt ceiling are our version of al Qaeda terrorists. Really,” said former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “They’re really putting our whole society at risk by threatening to round up 50 percent of the members of the Congress, who are loony, who would put our credit at risk,” said O’Neill, who served as secretary during Bush’s first term. He added that the “whole conversation” about whether to take on even more potentially crippling debt “is irresponsible.”
2.) GOP voters contemplate rolling Christie into presidential race, kicking and sweating — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie leads the pack in a new Daily Caller/ConservativeHome GOP primary tracking poll. That’s right: We included Christie in the mix, even though he has said, with as much polity and using as many synonyms as a resident of New Jersey is capable of mustering, that he’s not going to run for president. OK. Fine. Great. The fact remains that, when respondents were allowed to choose whoever they want, they chose Christie, followed by Donald Trump, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann. Perhaps after seeing who’s trailing him, Christie will reconsider.
3.) Former spook warns incoming CIA director Gen. Petraeus to watch his step — Gen. David H. Petraeus isn’t likely to face congressional resistance on his way into the CIA, reports the Washington Post. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, praised Petraeus in a statement yesterday in which she said that she “look[s] forward to hearing his vision for the CIA,” and people on the Hill expect him to make it through the confirmation process in a timely manner, and unscathed. This does not mean the general faces no resistance. According to WaPo, “Petraeus’s nomination triggered some grumbling among CIA veterans opposed to putting a career military officer in charge of an agency with a long tradition of civilian leadership.” One former CIA official lit into Petraeus. “Are they going to have a civilian intelligence service or is it going to be a giant counterterrorism center?” The official asked. He then proffered a warning: “If you look like you’re coming in to fix us and show us how to do things, the antibodies start rejecting the transplant.” Bureaucratic arrogance FTW.
4.) Bernanke will try for a third time to heal the American economy — Fed Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke “oversaw a tweaking of wording in the Fed’s post-meeting statement that had trading floors buzzing,” reports CNBC’s NetNet blog. “The statement, which preceded the chairman’s first-ever news conference following a Fed Open Markets Committee meeting, simply stated that the group will ‘regularly review the size and composition of its securities holdings in light of incoming information and is prepared to adjust those holdings as needed to best foster maximum employment and price stability.'” Apparently this is code for selling “the $1.365 trillion in accumulated toxic junk on its books” and using that money to buy blow and/or government securities.
5.) Massachusetts Dems smack down public sector unions — “House lawmakers voted overwhelmingly last night to strip police officers, teachers, and other municiple employees of most of their rights to bargain over health care, saying the change would save millions of dollars for financially strapped cities and towns,” reports the Boston Globe. “The 111-to-42 vote followed tougher measures to broadly eliminate collective bargaining rights for public employees in Ohio, Wisconsin, and other states. But unlike those efforts, the push in Massachusetts was led by Democrats who have traditionally stood with labor to oppose any reduction in workers’ rights.” The netroots haven’t said much about Massachusetts, because it is too busy trying to prove that Scott Walker is Hitler.
6.) After battering bankers, Obama tries to woo back Wall Street — Pres. Obama has said some harsh things about the financial industry since becoming president. Now it’s time to get reelected, and one can’t do that without a billion-dollar war chest, which is why Obama spent last night in New York, pretending to like the financiers who paid “up to $35,8000 a plate” to listen to the president pontificate, reports the NYT. “Democrats are hoping that Mr. Obama can make peace, somewhat at least, with Wall Street, where financiers have expressed increased alienation with the party.” Enter Jon Corzine, former CEO Of Goldman Sachs (and former governor of New Jersey), whose casa served as a reconciliation spot. After Corzine’s, Obama headed to the Waldorf-Astoria, where he schmoozed with more rich people. Eventually, Obama hung out with some of the trendy young poor people who turned out in droves to get him elected in 2008. The evening netted Obama’s campaign between $2 million and $3 million.
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