The bankers are coming

They’re trying to take over the Senate:

The banks are starting to rally their support for the Senate. The American Bankers Association are going to start funding super-PACs anonymously in an effort to help the Republicans take back the Senate and they can rid of the pesky financial regulations holding them back.

The board of the ABA will vote on whether or not they’re going to form a non-profit that will help funnel their money anonymously to super-PACs supporting between six and 12 Republican candidates looking for senate seats, Bloomberg’s Robert Schmidt and Phil Mattingly report.

Though, it’s because of campaign finance laws weakening that they’re able to fund their little friends. Otherwise, they’d have to list their names on donor sheets, and they don’t want that, as Schmidt and Mattingly explain:

The financial industry has so far kept a low profile in the 2012 campaign, in part because banks remain targets for both political parties for their role in the 2008 financial crisis. While Wall Street banks and their employees have given millions to presidential and congressional campaigns, some of the largest banks have stayed away from overt political activities like funding the parties’ conventions.”

With their mask of protection, it’s off into the night they go. But they know the mask could be ripped off by a new law at any moment. “Today, we’re OK; tomorrow, I don’t know,” Dawn Causey, the ABA’s general counsel, said during a conference call. “There is a risk.”

Update on Ohio voter suppression efforts

It’s a presidential election year, so Ohio Republicans are up to their usual dirty tricks. Whether the feds will stop them from stealing the election this year is still up in the air:

Judge Peter Economus has set a hearing for September 13 to address Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s refusal to comply with the court’s ruling that the state must allow early voting on the three days leading up to the general election. Economus released a terse order Wednesday afternoon: “The Court ORDERS that Defendant Secretary of State Jon Husted personally attend the hearing.” The Obama campaign filed a motion earlier Wednesday asking the court to make Husted give way.

Warren vs. Wall Street CEOs

There is an astounding disconnect between Elizabeth Warren and the man for whom she gave her excellent speech at last night’s pep rally:

“People feel like the system is rigged against them,” Warren said. “And here’s the painful part: they’re right. The system is rigged. Look around. Oil companies guzzle down billions in subsidies. Billionaires pay lower tax rates than their secretaries. Wall Street CEOs — the same ones who wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs — still strut around Congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.

“Anyone here have a problem with that?”

Warren sounds like a Democrat. Expect the big chief to totally muffle her themes when he speaks tonight. I’m picturing Obama buddy Tim Geithner’s reaction as she spoke… He is not applauding.

Economic inequality = political inequality

Worth repeating from Joseph Stiglitz’s recent piece about Mitt Romney, tax cheat:

Those at the top include a disproportionate number of monopolists who increase their income by restricting production and engaging in anti-competitive practices; CEOs who exploit deficiencies in corporate-governance laws to grab a larger share of corporate revenues for themselves (leaving less for workers); and bankers who have engaged in predatory lending and abusive credit-card practices (often targeting poor and middle-class households). It is perhaps no accident that rent-seeking and inequality have increased as top tax rates have fallen, regulations have been eviscerated, and enforcement of existing rules has been weakened: the opportunity and returns from rent-seeking have increased.

Today, a deficiency of aggregate demand afflicts almost all advanced countries, leading to high unemployment, lower wages, greater inequality, and – coming full, vicious circle – constrained consumption. There is now a growing recognition of the link between inequality and economic instability and weakness.

There is another vicious circle: economic inequality translates into political inequality, which in turn reinforces the former, including through a tax system that allows people like Romney – who insists that he has been subject to an income-tax rate of “at least 13%” for the last 10 years – not to pay their fair share. The resulting economic inequality – a result of politics as much as market forces – contributes to today’s overall economic weakness.

Big Dawg

Bill Clinton talked for maybe an hour without a teleprompter – and the crowd loved it. Here’s the transcript.

Mistakes? He plugged Simpson-Bowles. No, I don’t think so.
Also pushed the fairy tale that people are out of work because they’re not retrained for high-tech jobs.
But really, other than that, a tour de force!

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