It's a conversation, Barney, not a soliloquy . . .
Discussing the regulation of executive pay with CNBC's Mark Haines today, the testy liberal Dem from Massachusetts was affronted when Haines tried to get in a word edgewise.
Before long, Barney announced that the interview was over, and ripped off his earpiece. Unruffled, Haines got off a good last line: "Fine, goodbye sir. We'll manage without you." [Hat tip reader Chuck S.]
And to think we were "only" worried about having a known Tax Cheat overseeing everyone's taxes.
With Barney Frank's help, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner is trying to expand his power (and by inference that of his Dear Leader boss) well beyond that. The "Pay for Performance Act," which has already gotten out of committee, would give him veto power over salaries at every company into which the government has inserted its intrusive claws.
Besides the utter outrageousness of the news itself, the story leads to the question of how the establishment media will handle it. Whitewash it? Minimize its significance? Ignore it? Given the fact that the news is over a week old, I vote for a continuation of Door Number Three.
At the top of Wednesday’s CBS Early Show, co-host Maggie Rodriguez interviewed Democratic Congressman Barney Frank about upcoming hearings on bonuses AIG gave to top executives after receiving government bailout money: "And who in the government didn't vet this company well enough before it gave the money to address the issue of bonuses...So who's responsible here in government? You said the Federal Reserve did this." Frank replied: "In September, Mr. Bernanke, as the head of the Federal Reserve, came to us and said 'we think we have a terrible problem here, we are going to provide $85 billion to AIG. That's -- that was the decision it wasn't anything that Congress had any say over."
Rodriguez did not challenge Frank’s assertion that the Democratic Congress was not involved, failing to ask the Massachusetts Congressman about the role his Senate colleague, Connecticut Democrat Chris Dodd, played in allowing AIG executives to keep their bonus money. On Tuesday, Fox Business reported: "While the Senate was constructing the $787 billion stimulus last month, Dodd added an executive-compensation restriction to the bill. The provision, now called ‘the Dodd Amendment’ by the Obama Administration provides an 'exception for contractually obligated bonuses agreed on before Feb. 11, 2009' -- which exempts the very AIG bonuses Dodd and others are now seeking to tax."
Barney Frank was allowed, by NBC's Meredith Vieira, to go on a tear against AIG for wasting bailout money on corporate bonuses, on Monday's "Today" show, yet Vieira never once interrupted Frank to point out his own wasteful stimulus spending on earmarks going to Frank's home district, including $1 million for scallop research. Vieira also didn't interject when Frank blamed the Bush administration for failed economic oversight, even though it was Frank who blocked reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, something former Vice President Dick Cheney brought up on this Sunday's "State of the Union," on CNN.
Vieira never asked a challenging question throughout the whole interview, instead choosing to let Frank rant: "The time has come for the federal government to put some people in charge...When we were asked by the Bush administration and the Federal Reserve last fall, to do these things, they resisted some of the conditions we wanted to put on."
The following is a complete transcript of the interview with Frank as it was aired on the March 16, "Today" show:
The Treasury Department oversees the Internal Revenue Service. But if the Secretary of the Treasury - or any other political appointee being considered for the Treasury Department - didn't pay his income payroll taxes, it doesn't matter. That's the message from House Banking Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., and he blamed the fourth estate for acting like it does matter.
"I think it's a problem, although I will say this - for the media to blame that entirely on the Senate seems to me a little bit self serving," Frank said. "I mean, the media is the problem here, in part. It is the over-focus on part of people in the media to relatively minor infractions that causes this. I guarantee you my colleagues would not on their own be doing this. So I do think we are in a culture now where a lack of perfection exacts too strong a toll, but that's the politicians reacting to the media."
A prominent Democrat made news on MSNBC Feb. 11 with his guarantee of new financial industry regulations "comparable" to FDR's New Deal.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., appeared on MSNBC's "Rachel Maddow Show" Feb. 11 and told the MSNBC and Air America host that things should be done to limit what financial services can do, specifically when it comes to compensation.
"There's no question about it for the future," Frank said. "Look, there's a problem with the American system and we as liberals should be honoring this. The principle that you don't go back and do things retroactively is a very important liberal principle."
Frank "guaranteed" there would be new regulations forthcoming.
While most people might be offended by Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) saying bonuses are like bribes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.) was so enamored with such talk that she actually posted a video of the Massachusetts Congressman's disgusting remarks at YouTube.
As NewsBusters previously reported, during Wednesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing, Frank chastised the CEOs in attendance for having the gall to receive bonuses:
Why do you need to be bribed to have your interests aligned with the people who are paying your salary?
Pelosi obviously wasn't offended by Frank's comments, for she posted a video of his remarks -- in her own name, mind you! -- at YouTube (video embedded below the fold):
Capitalism Derangement Syndrome was on full display during Wednesday's House Financial Services Committee hearing when Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) accused the financial industry executives present of needing to be bribed with bonuses to do their jobs.
That's right: a bonus is now the equivalent of a bribe as far as Frank is concerned.
Given the beating capitalism and the free market have been getting from the press on a daily basis since the financial crisis began in September, it seems a metaphysical certitude that Frank's rant to the CEO's of America's leading financial institutions will get a lot of play in the next 24 hours:
"Good Morning America" news anchor Chris Cuomo on Tuesday actually challenged liberal House member Barney Frank over how Congress has spent the bailout money. At one point, after the host implored Frank to think of the American taxpayers, the irritated congressman commanded, "I'm sorry, sir, but- I'm sorry, if you keep interrupting we cannot have a coherent conversation." Frank would later rage over Cuomo's "distortions."
The ABC News anchor kicked off the interview by observing, "You Democrats say you're gung ho, talking numbers in this stimulus plan." He then skeptically queried, "But, in light of all the spending that's been done already with the questionable results, what gives you the confidence that you can pass this?" Now, it should be pointed out that Cuomo often seemed to be pressing the Democratic congressman from the left. Regarding those Americans who took out loans for more than they could pay back, he asked, "Why didn't you look out for the little guy and make sure that first package, instead of $270 billion to financial institutions, went to the people holding those mortgages?" The host continued, "Went to the working men and women? Why didn't you do that first?"
Does Barney Frank think incest is worse than pedophilia? The question arises because, chatting with Andrea Mitchell this afternoon, here's how Frank reiterated his opposition to Barack Obama having granted Rick Warren the honor of pronouncing the invocation at the inauguration.
BARNEY FRANK: I think Rick Warren's comments comparing same-sex relationships to incest is deeply offensive, wildly inaccurate and very socially disruptive.
In a softball profile of the liberal Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank on Sunday’s CBS 60 Minutes, anchor Lesley Stahl led with: "Barney Frank has been called the smartest guy in Congress, which is lucky for us, since he works on some of the thorniest issues around. The 14-term, 68-year-old Harvard-educated Democratic congressman from Massachusetts is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, which means his portfolio includes banks, housing, and now the auto industry. " Stahl later added: "...even the most hardened Republicans give him good reviews." Stahl never named any of those "hardened Republicans."
Stahl did offer some critical descriptions of Frank: "There are many ways to describe Barney Frank. I wanted to read you a sampling of descriptions of you. They almost -- they kind of come in couplets. We have, ‘impatient and anti-social,’ ‘sharp-tongued and downright mean.’" However, she soon followed up with positive testimonials of Frank’s non-ideological pragmatism:
Listen to what the financial community says. Here's Henry Paulson on Barney Frank: ‘He’s a market savvy pragmatist who looks for areas of agreement because he wants to get things done.’ Here’s a guy from JP Morgan Chase, he said, ‘He hasn't veered off into Crazyland,’ meaning liberalism. I've heard someone describe you this way: ‘You're liberal on social issues; you're a pragmatist on economic issues.’"
Near the end of the story, Stahl observed: "True to form, he's an equal-opportunity curmudgeon, also criticizing Barack Obama for not being assertive enough on the credit crisis." Frank explained: "Senator Obama has said we only have one president at a time. Well, that overstates the number of presidents we have at this time. We don't appear to have any." Apparently, saying that having President Bush is like not having a president is somehow critical of Barack Obama.
Barney Frank favors bailing out the Detroit automakers over letting them go into bankruptcy. Chief among his concerns is that bankruptcy might "bust" the unions. You know, those organizations whose contract demands have put Detroit on the brink of extinction.
The Massachusetts Dem, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was interviewed by Maggie Rodriguez on today's Early Show. He appeared alongside Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Al.), ranking Republican on the Senate Banking Committee, who favors letting the automakers reorganize under Chapter 11.
Can I have permission to utter the S-word ("socialism")?
Ken Thomas's Associated Press report today (link is dynamic, subject to change, and will probably be gone in a week) on auto industry bailout ideas emanating from Washington includes these items, all of which expand soc- ... soc- ... socialism:
Legislation proposed by Barney Frank involves the government taking ownership stakes in the companies.
Lawmakers want to use funds that were meant only for the financial sector bailout.
A note that the current bailout is over and above the $25 billion in government-guaranteed loans that has already been approved for "development of fuel-efficient vehicles."
News that auto industry suppliers want in on the bailout action
The United Auto Workers wants a separate $25 billion "to help cover future health care obligations for retirees and their dependents."
Just a few minutes after labeling Rush Limbaugh a "terrorist," Joy Behar scolded Bill O’Reilly for calling Obama a "communist." O’Reilly appeared on the October 22 edition of "The View" to promote his new book, but the segment began about the upcoming presidential election. When the Fox News host jokingly called Barack Obama a communist, Joy Behar preached "let’s stop name calling today" and "you know what a red flag that raises."
Throughout Bill O’Reilly’s two segments, Behar, "The View’s" most reliable leftist, sparred with O’Reilly. Behar said Keith Olbermann, whom O’Reilly never mentions by name, "hates" him. Bill simply brushed it off joking "they’re all jealous." Bill O’Reilly, accused Behar of drinking Obama’s "Kool-Aid." Behar retorted "you drank the Kool-Aid on George Bush for eight years." O’Reilly flatly denied it.
When at the beginning of the current financial mess John McCain declared that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong," he was roundly lambasted by the MSM, while the Obama campaign called his statement "an enormous mistake."
So, should we expect the liberal media and the Obama campaign to go after Barney Frank . . . now that he has said something remarkably similar? Discussing the markets with Maria Bartiromo on CNBC this afternoon, Frank declared: "I think it's clear that the fundamentals are better than the psychology."
The Media Research Center's Director of Communications and NewsBusters.org Contributing Editor Seton Motley appeared on Friday afternoon on the Fox News Channel's American Election HQ to discuss how Bill O'Reilly handled his interview of Rep. Barney Frank, as well as how ABC's The View routinely abuses Gov. Sarah Palin.
Motley expressed thanks and gratitude that FINALLY someone in the media was asking Rep. Frank about his extensive history of blockading, stonewalling and grandstanding against attempts to reform Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, O'Reilly's righteously indignant questioning notwithstanding.
Motley also cautioned that "there is no diving in The View's thought pool," and pointed out that their panel make-up is biased in typical media fashion: three liberals and one conservative.
NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last evening amazingly blamed Democrats for the current financial crisis, and accurately informed viewers that the Bush administration warned about the looming calamity many years ago.
In addition, much like a report Matthew Sheffield and I did for the Capital Research Center last month, "SNL" exposed the money behind far-leftwing causes and entities in a stunningly accurate fashion, including chiding hyper-partisan billionaire George Soros as being the owner of the Democratic Party.
Here are some of the highlights (video embedded right):
If a Bush-bashing, Republican-hating nincompoop like Alec Baldwin understands that Democrats are responsible for the current financial crisis, and is willing to say so on national television, why can't America's so-called "real" journalists?
Although it seems unlikely that Baldwin watches "The Factor," it is awfully coincidental that roughly 24 hours after Fox News's Bill O'Reilly tore Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) apart for his role in propping up Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the typically inept Baldwin, appearing on HBO's "Real Time," not only pointed fingers at Frank for the current crisis, but also blamed former President Clinton and fellow Democrats.
Maybe more delicious, this came moments after comedian Garry Shandling blamed it all on -- wait for it -- George W. Bush (video embedded right, h/t American Thinker's Marc Sheppard):
Finally, someone in the media accurately accused and challenged a member of Congress over his involvement and complicity in the current financial crisis.
As press member after press member has allowed Democrats to shamefully and erroneously blame the current crisis on George W. Bush, virtually nobody other than folks at Fox News has been willing to examine the role elected officials on the left side of the aisle have been playing for more than a decade in blocking tighter regulation on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
That changed Thursday when Fox's Bill O'Reilly absolutely tore Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) apart concerning his involvement in the current fiasco (video embedded right):
As one who's been critical of CNN's Lou Dobbs a time or two, I was glad to see him and correspondents Louise Schiavone and Kitty Pilgrim perform a valuable public service on Friday's edition of Lou Dobbs Tonight. They detailed political contributions made by finance, insurance and real estate firms to four members of Congress taking lead roles in crafting the Wall Street bailout:
DOBBS: Just four members of Congress will lead the negotiations of what President Bush and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid want to be the largest government bailout in history. Democrats, Senator Dodd, Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Congressman Frank, Chairman, House Financial Services Committee. Republicans Senator Judd Gregg, ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, Congressman Roy Blunt, House Minority Whip.
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank appeared as a guest on the September 24 "Lou Dobbs Tonight". Just minutes before interviewing the Massachusetts Democrat, Dobbs featured a report from CNN correspondent Louise Schiavone on political contributions made by mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Schiavone stated Frank has received more than $42,000. His party's standard bearer, Barack Obama, has gotten over $126,000.
Yet Dobbs didn't even question Frank about taking those contributions from two of the major institutions involved in the present financial crisis. Or perhaps he could have asked Frank about what he told the New York Times in 2003:
"These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.''
John McCain got involved in the bailout negotiations after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Sen. Lindsey Graham yesterday that the bailout plan would fail unless McCain came in and brought balky Republicans aboard. That's what Bob Schieffer reported on this morning's Early Show. Schieffer's account stands in stark contrast with the allegation by Dems like Barney Frank and their MSM cohorts that McCain's moves of yesterday were nothing more than a political "stunt."
Here was Schieffer speaking with the Early Show's Maggie Rodriguez at 7:05 AM EDT today:
BOB SCHIEFFER: I am told, Maggie, that the way McCain got involved in this in the first place, the Treasury Secretary was briefing Republicans in the House yesterday, the Republican conference, asked how many were ready to support the bailout plan. Only four of them held up their hands. Paulson then called, according to my sources, Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close to John McCain, and told him: you've got to get the people in the McCain campaign, you've got to convince John McCain to give these Republicans some political cover. If you don't do that, this whole bailout plan is going to fail. So that's how, McCain, apparently, became involved.
The political correctness of the New York Times oozed between the lines of a front-page article Tuesday on Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), a "master of the one-liner, a self-described ‘left-handed gay Jew.’" The headline was "A Liberal Wit Builds Bridges To the G.O.P.," and reporter David M. Herszenhorn celebrated the "trademark wit" that compared conservatives’ lack of enthusiasm for government intervention to his lack of enthusiasm for the Miss America pageant.
In a sidebar headlined "A Way With Words," the Times celebrates Frank’s wit in lobbying for the gay agenda, like a 2006 quote that "same-sex marriage is the V-8 juice of America," mocking the opposition of the religious right as if straight married men would greet the court-mandated legalization of "gay marriage" in Massachusetts with the declaration "Wow, I could have married a guy."
CNN correspondent Carol Costello, in a report on Monday’s "The Situation Room," tried to put the Eliot Spitzer scandal into a better light by focusing entirely on past Republican scandals, and only mentioned two examples of Democrats caught in scandal -- Bill Clinton and Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank -- in passing.
Other than Idaho Senator Larry Craig, Costello brought up Republicans who had been accused of misbehavior by pornographer Larry Flynt. She only mentioned Spitzer at the very beginning of her report, and then immediately went to her first example, Louisiana Senator David Vitter. "Maybe Larry Flynt would say of Eliot Spitzer, there will soon be one less known hypocrite in government. That's how he described Louisiana Senator David Vitter. Flynt accused him of having been a client of the alleged D.C. madam, Deborah Palfrey, after the senator's number was discovered in her phone records."
Costello then turned back the clock ten years, and instead of focusing on Bill Clinton and the Monica Lewinsky affair, she brought up the Republicans that had been caught by Flynt.
Just last fall, as the networks exploded with coverage of Mark Foley's creepy instant messaging, we noted the networks (like ABC) had a very different way of covering Republican sex scandals -- especially the gay-themed ones -- than they did for Democrats. The best example is Barney Frank.
Notice how the networks define hypocrisy, and how liberals never seem to qualify. Frank was a lawmaker with a male-prostitution ring in his house, not to mention a lawmaker who kept getting the pimp's parking tickets waved off. Notice how they all mention "the voters" will decide, instead of going searching for legislators and party activists to underline his need to resign.
The people who manufacture the news in America are very persistent at writing the narrative exactly as it helps liberalism emerge victorious. On ethical scandals, they're very good at making sure Republicans force theirs to resign, and they're also very good at keeping Democrats shamelessly in power.
On tonight's Hardball, Mike Barnicle, substitute-hosting for Chris Matthews, used the tragedy of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis to call for bigger government and wondered, "Does this help the Democrats?" All throughout tonight's show, Barnicle repeatedly pressed his guests to call for an increase in the size of government and at one point even demanded: "Government's gotta get bigger!"
First up Barnicle asked the liberal Barney Frank where he would find the money to pay for bridge repair. After Frank responded that he would "end the war in Iraq" and raise taxes to improve America's infrastructure, Barnicle took the Congressman's cue to advance the tax hike/big government theme for the entirety of the show.
The following are just some of the exchanges as they occured on the August 2, edition of MSNBC's Hardball: