CNN’s Soledad O’Brien confronts director of Citizens United’s anti-Obama film

Soledad O'Brien screenshot

The movie is based on a book by Dinesh D’Suza called The Roots of Obama’s Rage.  It was debunked by several news organizations including Media Matters.

The director Steve Bannon, who was interviewed by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien, feels no obligation to correct any of the dis-information associated with the movie.

The Raw Story

CNN host Soledad O’Brien on Monday questioned Steve Bannon of over falsehoods in his new movie The Hope and The Change.

The film, a project of the conservative group Citizens United, highlights 40 Democrats and Independents who voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 but no longer support him. One person in the film complains that taxes have gone up, while another complains about the bank bailout. However, tax rates have actually gone down and the bank bailout occurred under President Bush.

“Voters can be low information voters,” Bannon said. “They can be mid-information voters. We went and took a pool of voters, right, who voted for President Obama who are active in the voter pool, registered voters who are likely to vote. Some said they are not going to vote because they may not vote for President Obama. But we got their feelings. And some of them had information that’s not absolutely perfect. I mean, a lot of them don’t know a lot about Obamacare.”

“It sounds like it doesn’t matter to you if the information of the voter is accurate,” O’Brien replied.

“No, it matters but when they’re talking about their own personal beliefs, some of that is in there, absolutely,” Bannon said in defense.

“But taxes going up isn’t a personal belief, it’s a fact, right?” O’Brien shot back.

“It was a belief of hers,” Bannon answered.

Watch video on CNN.

Fortune Magazine: Surprise! The big bad bailout is paying off…

While at the doctor’s office today, I was thumbing through a July issue of Fortune Magazine. An article entitled Surprise! The big bad bailout is paying off caught my eye.  When I started reading the article, I couldn’t wait to get home to look up the article online.

I’m one of those that felt the bailout didn’t do anything for homeowners who were losing their homes.  The bailout should have been bigger.   That’s my biggest issue with the bailout.

However, a frequent meme on the right that the bailout was a disaster and failed miserably is false.

Here’s Fortune’s analysis:

CNN Money

The U.S. government’s often maligned $14 trillion intervention not only staved off global collapse – but is making money.

The bailout of the financial system is roughly as popular as Wall Street bonuses, the federal budget deficit, or LeBron James in a Cleveland sports bar. You hear over and over that the bailout was a disaster, it cost taxpayers a fortune, we didn’t really need it, it didn’t work, it was a failure. It has become politically toxic, which inhibits reasoned public discussion about it.

But you know what? The bailout, by the numbers, clearly did work. Not only did it forestall a worldwide financial meltdown, but a Fortune analysis shows that U.S. taxpayers are coming out ahead on it — by at least $40 billion, and possibly by as much as $100 billion eventually. This is our count for the entire bailout, not just the 3% represented by the massively unpopular Troubled Asset Relief Program. Yes, that’s right — TARP is only about 3% of the bailout, even though it gets about 97% of the attention.

A key reason for the rescue’s profitability is that the Federal Reserve System has already turned over more than $100 billion of bailout-related income to the Treasury, and is on track to turn over $85 billion more this year and next. That’s not something most people include in their math. On the negative side, we’re including what may be the first overall cost calculation of a special tax break that’s worth tens of billions of dollars to four big bailout recipients. And, of course, we’ve analyzed reports from the Congressional Budget Office, the Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., and other sources.

Read more here… 

Related articles

Debt Madness Was Always About Killing Social Security

Robert Scheer – Truthdig

This phony debt crisis has now passed through the looking glass into the realm where madness reigns. What should have been an uneventful moment in which lawmakers make good on the nation’s contractual obligations has instead been seized upon by Republican hypocrites as a moment to settle ideological scores that have nothing to do with the debt.

Hypocrites, because their radical free market ideology, and the resulting total deregulation of the financial markets, is what caused the debt to spiral out of control this last decade. That and the wars George W. Bush launched but didn’t have the integrity to responsibly finance. The consequence was a banking bubble and crash leading to a 50 percent run-up of the debt that has nothing to do with the “entitlements” that those same Republicans have always wanted to destroy.

Even Barack Obama has put cuts in those programs into play, warning ominously that a failure to lift the debt ceiling could cause the government to stop sending out Social Security checks. Why, when the Social Security trust fund is fully funded for the next quarter-century and is owed money by the U.S. Treasury rather than the other way around? Why would we pay foreign creditors before American seniors?  The answer, offered as conventional wisdom by leaders of both parties, is that we cannot endanger our credit by failing to back our bonds, even though the Republicans have aroused the alarm of the main U.S. credit rating agencies by their brinkmanship on the debt.

Continue reading here…

Related articles

Under Obama $700B TARP to cost less than $70B

You won’t hear about this on Fox news or on the right-wing blogs…

TARP bill likely to be fraction of initial forecast – Investment News

Solid returns on investments means taxpayers will be stuck for $70B — not $700B; ‘most useful federal program that has ever been despised by public’

Bailed-out banks, insurers, and automakers are a sore spot for millions of Americans hit hard by the financial crisis. Candidates running in November, especially those waving the Tea Party banner, are using “no more bailouts” as their mantra to attract voters. Yet there’s a disconnect between the political rhetoric and the facts on the ground.

The U.S. Treasury Department’s investments in banks through the Troubled Asset Relief Program have done surprisingly well, Bloomberg Businessweek reports in its Oct. 4 issue. Lower-than- expected losses on auto and insurance company rescues, as well as the financial markets’ return to strength, mean the $700 billion rescue plan launched in October 2008 will cost less than one-tenth its initial price tag.

“The TARP may well be the best and most useful federal program that has ever been despised by the public,” says Douglas J. Elliott, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and a former JPMorgan Chase managing director.

The Treasury Department
Image by afagen via Flickr



As Treasury gets ready to shut down the spending phase of the TARP program on Oct. 3, it now expects to turn a $16 billion profit on the $250 billion it plowed into banks in 2008 and 2009. And TARP’s final price tag is expected to be about $50 billion, according to an Obama Administration official.

Read more…

Arianna: Special Interest Groups Are Buying Public Policy

It’s time for the country to be alarmed at what’s happening.   Corporations are buying candidates, election and formulating public policy.  This is NOT a democratic process.  This is Oligarchy at it’s best.   As it stands now, the richest 2% of our population owns more than 80% of the entire wealth in this country.  Therein lies the problem.

Thank the Supreme Court of the United States for giving them that power in the Citizens United case.

Huffington Post

On a recent episode of CBS News’ “Washington Unplugged,” Arianna joined a roundtable hosted by Bob Schieffer to discuss the state of the American economy. Slate’s John Dickerson and The Atlantic‘s Marc Ambinder were also on the panel.

Arianna made some powerful accusations about the folks in Washington:

“Right now powerful public special interest groups are buying public policy. We saw what happened with the bailout– yes, we had to bail out Wall Street but did we have to do it the way we did? Without conditions or strings attached? With Goldman Sachs getting 100 cents to the dollar?” she said.

“I have friends who sleep with a copy of Ayn Rand’s ‘Fountainhead’ under their pillows who are really upset about this. This is not a left-right debate…. Everybody, even the richest Americans, should want a thriving middle class.”

Giving New Meaning To Red States–Meet the REAL Welfare Queens, The Republican Party

Crooks & Liars – Nicole Belle

So I see this video of Utah GOP Senate candidate Mike Lee telling the Salt Lake Tribune that he basically believes the taxpayers should be on the hook for cleaning up the BP oil spill. What can you say to this weird but consistently Republican attitude that the free market means never having to pay when you’ve f&%#ed up? Think Progress has the whole exchange.

But then I read this article about the dire economic condition of my home state. You know, the eighth largest economy in the whole world. And we’re bankrupt.

It’s a story that’s being repeated all across California – and throughout the United States – as cash-strapped state and local governments grapple with collapsed tax revenues and swelling budget gaps. Mass layoffs, slashed health and welfare services, closed parks, crumbling superhighways and ever-larger public school class sizes are all part of the new normal.

California’s fiscal hole is now so large that the state would have to liberate 168,000 prison inmates and permanently shutter 240 university and community college campuses to balance its budget in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

Think of California as Greece on the Pacific: bankrupt and desperately needing a bailout.

Another flipping bailout. And then it hit me. You know who the ultimate Welfare Queens are? They’re not those fictional mamas living high on the hog and driving Cadillacs as Ronnie Raygun insisted and Sharron Angle sneers at.

The true Welfare Queens are the Republican Party.

They don’t worry about income, fetishizing tax cuts beyond all reason, yet they spend like drunken sailors. Then when they find themselves (and the state or country) completely destitute and hurting, do they consider raising taxes to pay for their rampant spending? Of course not. They want to be bailed out.

California actually institutionalized this kind of Welfare Queen attitude, thanks to Republicans like Howard Jarvis‘s Prop 13 and the California Consititution’s requirement that any budget item or proposed tax increase must get a near impossible 2/3 vote of the entire state legislature. So now there’s literally no way to get the tax increases other than the Governor holding his hand out to the Feds.

So the next time you see overly-entitled Republicans saying that the taxpayers should be bailing them out, call them what they are: Welfare Queens

General Motors Repays $4.7 Billion Bailout Loans Five Years Early

This is good news for taxpayers, Obama and Congress and definitely good news for General Motors.

Daily Finance:

General Motors is paying its bailout loans back in full and ahead of schedule.

“Today, General Motors is announcing that it has made a payment of $5.8 billion to the U.S. Treasury and Export Development Canada. We’re paying back — in full, with interest, years ahead of schedule — loans made to help fund the new GM,” CEO Edward Whitacre announced in an opinion piece in the The Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. is owed a payment of $4.7 billion and Canada $1.1 billion, when accounting for exchange rates, as part of GM’s bailout package, according to a Reuters report.

Taxpayers and the government are now waiting for the next GM payout, which will come when the company launches an IPO and the U.S. can extract itself from ownership in the slimmed down auto giant and its $50 billion bailout.

Ownership stakes in GM were doled out following the company’s bankruptcy last year, in which the automaker executed an amazingly quick turnaround in 40 days, exiting bankruptcy in July. The bailout package gave the U.S. Treasury a 60.8% percent stake in the now privately held GM, and Export Development Canada an 11.7% stake.

Tell D.C. the News — at the CEO’s Expense

Whitacre will head to Washington, D.C., today on a private jet to share the good news– but this time, taxpayers won’t have as much to complain about.

GM’s CEO will personally foot the cost of the private jet himself, avoiding the fallout that struck the automaker two years ago when former CEO Richard Wagoner was ferried via corporate jet to Washington, where he and fellow automaker bigwigs begged Congress for bailout money, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

Whitacre is apparently shunning the commercial aircraft route and its time-consuming security checkpoints as he jets to a factory in Kansas to announce the bailout repayments before heading to Washington to update Congress, the Journal reports.