July 28, 2005


Why are the Dems caving in on Cox? (Jamie Court, July 25, 2005, LA Times)

In a better world, next week's Senate confirmation hearings on the nomination of Rep. Christopher Cox (R-Newport Beach) to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission would be the Democratic Party's finest hour. The hearings offer a perfect opportunity to decry Wall Street's looting of Main Street and to put the GOP on trial for creating the conditions under which corporate criminals flourished.

Instead, Democrats have been eerily silent on Cox, a right-wing Republican who wrote a 1995 law making it harder for investors to take corporate swindlers to court. Cox's Private Securities Litigation Reform Act, which became law over President Clinton's veto, has been blamed for allowing some of the nation's worst financial scandals — including those at Enron and WorldCom — to proceed unchecked. The law let corporate executives off the hook for exactly the kind of utterly misleading statements Enron Chief Executive Kenneth Lay made to keep his company's stock price artificially high.

Indeed, Cox — who President Bush has tapped as the best possible choice to be Wall Street's top cop — is the poster child for how laissez faire, country club Republicanism took trillions out of the pockets of Americans. If the Democratic Party can't find it within itself to stand against putting Americans' life savings in Cox's hands, the party doesn't stand for anything.

Senate panel approves 3 SEC nominations (MARTIN CRUTSINGER, July 28, 2005, AP)
The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday approved President Bush's nomination of Rep. Christopher Cox to be the new chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The committee also endorsed the nominations of Roel Campos and Annette Nazareth to fill two Democratic positions on the five-member SEC.

All three officials were approved by unanimous voice votes, clearing the way for them to be taken up by the full Senate before it adjourns this week for a monthlong recess.

The banking panel also approved by voice vote Bush's nominations of John Dugan to be the new comptroller of the currency, succeeding John Hawke, and John Reich to be director of the Office of Thrift Supervision, succeeding James Gilleran. Both the Office of the Comptroller and the Office of Thrift Supervision are financial regulatory divisions under the Treasury Department.

House approves massive energy bill (H. JOSEF HEBERT, July 27, 2005, AP)
The White House said Bush, who had challenged Congress to end four years of stalemate over energy legislation, looked forward to signing the legislation. The president has acknowledged the measure will have little impact on oil or gasoline prices.

White House press secretary Scott McClellan said the legislation would address root causes of high energy prices, but "we didn't get into this overnight and we're not going to get out of it overnight."

The bill passed the House by a vote of 275-156 and was expected to be approved by the Senate, which was to begin considering the legislation Thursday night, with a vote on Friday.

"This bill is going to go through lickety-split," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., though he denounced it as a collection of giveaways to cash-rich energy companies that would fail to curb the nation's thirst for imported oil. [...]

"This bill is packed with royalty relief, tax breaks, loan guarantees for the wealthiest energy companies in America even as they are reporting the largest quarterly profits of any corporation in the history of the United States," complained Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 28, 2005 7:53 PM

The truth of the matter is that Wall Street was always Democrat territory. They invented it in the 1930s with the Glass-Stegal Act. The purpose, and effect, of the securities acts has been to push the costs and liabilities of maintaining the Customers' Yachts off from Wall Street on to the industrial corporations on Main Street. Wall Street has been in turn dominated by Democrats, John Corzine and Bob Rubin are not freaks of nature. Only after the San Francisco Democrats took over the Democrat party and turned it into an anti-American Socialist party did there come to be a large number of Republicans on Wall Street. When the San Francisco Democrats took over they drove out the Kennedy (Jack) Democrats -- who are the ancestors of the neo-cons. Jack Kennedy's dad Joe was a wall streeter and the first chairman of the SEC. Teddy is just a drunken bum.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at July 29, 2005 12:27 AM

Democrats, and even a great many Rpublicans, still don't get the tortoise and the hare strategy the administration has been using. Stay low-key and out of the limelight (the better to avoid giving your foes in the media any sound bites by mistake), but keep plugging away at your agenda with your congressional majority and in the end you win most of what you want, because while the Democrats make be able to make one or two things into a "crisis" that allows them to spin public opinion, they can't do it on every issue without boring the public to death and/or wearing them down with too many cries of wolf. (Some GOP people and conservative media types, on the other hand, think if everything isn't passed by next Tuesday, the administration is a failure, or worse, secretly against their causes).

Posted by: John at July 29, 2005 7:26 AM


Hmmm, as David's citation of the party count in the commment section points out, the Democrats had significant Congressional majorities in 1995 when the bill was enacted over Clinton's veto.

Posted by: Rick T. at July 29, 2005 9:20 AM

John, Clinton did just what you say above to wear the public out.

Nothing stuck because there were so many scandals, so many lies, so many improprieties, so many deaths, so many people sent to jail, so much of so many things that the public just couldn't absorb anymore and started to turn on the accusers rather than the perps.

Of course the msm helped, but even without them, there was public burn out on the Clinton escapades.

Posted by: erp at July 29, 2005 7:48 PM