Thursday, January 5, 2012

President Obama finally Stands Up To The Republicans and protects new Consumer Agency


YES YES YES YES...YES! Like many people throughout the country I've been waiting three years for the President to FINALLY show some guts and real political independence and stand up to the truly crazed thugs in the Republican/Tea Party who have been relentlessly pushing him around and defeating nearly every single proposal his administration has put forward since he took office (and thoroughly kicking his often far too timid political ass in the process!). And while I fully realize that Obama is no doubt being assertive now simply because he wants to get re-elected this year (and thus clearly realizes that defying the brazen opposition of the notorious crypto-fascist rightwingers who dominate the Republican Party is a very necessary move if he wants the liberal/progressive base of the Democratic Party to enthusiastically come out in large numbers and electorally support him) I'll take it for now and give credit where it is due because it is ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE that whoever becomes the Republican nominee this year MUST BE DEFEATED NO MATTER WHAT. Anything less than that will be a major castastrophe for this society on every conceivable level imaginabl and we must not become so cynical, fatalistic, and smugly indifferent to this fact despite the obvious limitations, inadequacies, and weaknesses of the President and his agenda up to this point. Today's decision by Obama was a definite step in the right direction for once and it will be absolutely crucial from this point on that he continue to FIGHT and fiercely oppose/defeat the right's agenda. Needless to say it will be even more important for the rest of us to do the same...


JANUARY 4, 2012

Defying Republicans, Obama to Name Cordray as Consumer Agency Chief
New York Times

Philip Scott Andrews/The New York Times
Testifying before Congress in September, Mr. Cordray said he would make judicious use of lawsuits to enforce financial regulations.

President Obama will challenge Senate Republican foes of the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau by naming Richard Cordray as its director while Congress is out of town, according to a senior administration official.

That would allow the agency to establish new regulations over financial institutions, putting into effect elements of the financial regulatory overhaul that was one of the administration’s main achievements in Congress.

Mr. Obama’s exercise of constitutional powers to name top officials without Senate confirmation while Congress is in recess is a stiff challenge to Republicans, who have attempted to block the maneuver by holding “pro forma” sessions over the holidays.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, objected strenuously, saying Mr. Obama was overstepping the bounds of his executive power and leaving the agency open to legal challenges.

“Although the Senate is not in recess, President Obama, in an unprecedented move, has arrogantly circumvented the American people,” he said. This recess appointment represents a sharp departure from a long-standing precedent that has limited the President to recess appointments only when the Senate is in a recess of 10 days or longer. Breaking from this precedent lands this appointee in uncertain legal territory, threatens the confirmation process and fundamentally endangers the Congress’s role in providing a check on the excesses of the executive branch.

“The president is committed to seeing Richard Cordray as head of the consumer bureau,” a senior administration official said. “We believe this appointment is fully within his legal rights.”

Senator Tim Johnson, a Democrat of South Dakota who is chairman of the Banking Committee, praised the move.

“Mr. Cordray is eminently qualified for the job, as even my Senate Republican colleagues have acknowledged,” he said. “It’s disappointing that Senate Republicans denied him an up-or-down vote, especially when it’s clear he had the support of a majority of the Senate.”

Mr. Cordray boarded Marine One with Mr. Obama on Wednesday for the short flight to Andrews Air Force Base, where he is to accompany the president to his hometown of Cleveland for the announcement. The president is expected to deliver remarks on the economy at a high school in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights.

The move came hours after the conclusion of the Iowa caucuses, and was sure to turn attention away from the Republican Party and back to the president.

In December, Mr. Cordray’s nomination was rejected after Democrats failed to achieve the 60 votes they needed to move his nomination forward.

The power struggle between the financial sector and its check-cashing, card-carrying customers has developed into one of the fault lines along which the political parties are playing out their own rivalries as the election year arrives.

Mr. Cordray is a former attorney general of Ohio noted for his aggressive investigations of mortgage foreclosure practices. Currently in charge of enforcement at the consumer agency, he was nominated in July to lead it.

Previous opposition from Republicans led to the withdrawal of Elizabeth Warren from consideration for the post. She is a Harvard law professor who was the driving force behind the agency’s creation and is now a Democratic candidate for the United States Senate in Massachusetts.