Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone has a piece (“The Continual Screwing of Jefferson County, Alabama“) that picks up on a Bloomberg News story from last week (“Bachus Comforts Wall Street While Assailing Dodd-Frank to Voters Back Home“). Neither portrays U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R – Vestavia Hills), the House Financial Services Committee Chairman, particularly positively.
In the Bloomberg story, Bachus defends his pushback against regulatory overhauls, saying, “Jefferson County’s problem is a debt problem and a criminal problem. It was criminal behavior then, it is criminal behavior now.”
I am trying to understand how one can say that there is a problem with the bribes and corruption that got Jefferson County into unregulated swaps without saying there is also a problem with the unregulated swaps themselves. If those unregulated swaps are a perfectly fine way to do business, did JPMorgan (Bachus’ biggest contributor since 1992) agree to cancel them for Jefferson County, forfeiting over $647 million in fees in the process, simply out of the kindness of their hearts?
Thanks to reader K.
Why is U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus (R) introducing legislation to delay the regulation of derivatives for two years?
After his home county’s disastrous dealings with derivatives (specifically in the form of interest rate swaps), Jefferson County is now preparing for the possibility of the largest municipal bankruptcy in history.
Somewhat related: Bloomberg News has sued for the release of documents detailing the role of derivatives in financial problems in both Greece and the city of Cassino, Italy.
U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus picks up criticism from the right after saying that Sarah Palin cost Republicans the U.S. Senate.
Associated Press reported that Bachus spokesman Tim Johnson said the remarks were taken out of context though I can’t quite figure how any other context mitigates his comments.
Might it cost Bachus the chairmanship of the House Committee on Financial Services? Once considered a leading candidate for the role, he now has a challenger in Californian Ed Royce who is backed by – of course – Sarah Palin.
Every Republican in the state House of Representatives this week received the email below from U.S. Congressman Spencer Bachus.
There is a follow-up quiz. Does the email represent:
A) A largely unprecedented effort by a U.S. Congressman to insert himself in the organization of one of our state legislative chambers,
B) the gusto with which Mike Hubbard will reach for the brass ring, i.e. the Speaker role,
C) Spencer Bachus’s efforts to become a GOP player and raise his profile in statewide politics,
D) the assumption that opposing Hubbard means opposing the GOP and siding with Democrats, or
E) a large blow to DeMarco’s Speaker hopes coming from DeMarco’s own Congressman?
Dear Representative [Insert Name],
Last night Alabama Republicans achieved a long elusive legislative majority in both the state House and Senate. More than anything, to build on this mandate by the voters of Alabama to address ethics reform, fiscal responsibility, and educational excellence, unity is required.
Not surprisingly, those who have long opposed our efforts of meaningful reform have been mobilizing for months to dilute and restrain the success that our constituents demand. They wish to divide and conquer our ranks. Foremost in their plans is to deny the Speakership to Mike Hubbard. I would caution any Republican not to join their effort or to associate themselves publicly or privately with this blatant effort by those who could not beat us at the ballot box.
The results of the election last night ought to be a clear message to anyone wishing to give lukewarm allegiance to our principles or to support the efforts of the good ole’ boy system in Alabama.
Joining with Democrats to compromise our united effort may advance one’s own immediate political fortunes but I can assure you that, as with those moderate democrats who thought they could partner with the Obama administration, voters will be waiting with a day of reckoning.
Please remember the clear message we received from Alabama’s voters and support Mike Hubbard for Speaker.
As you saw in the papers last night or this AM, AEA has admitted they were part of the Conservative Coalition of Alabama which ran the anti-Byrne ads in the GOP run-off. From the IRS, here is a copy of their filing as a 527 organization. Looks like Alabama elections will become even more opaque.
Auburn’s Center for Demographic Research has released the 2010 Health Data Sheet . Infant mortality, particularly among Blacks is high, social disease incidence is very high and the rural population is shrinking. However, these problems don’t appear to be recognized other than by dreamers and bureaucrats, so change is always around the next bend.
Politico, reports on a possible plot replace Spencer Bachus on the House Finance Committee. Some say he has not been forceful in dealing Barney Frank, the committee chairman and will be unable to stand up for the party if it wins a majority. May want to remember he is unopposed for re-election.
If you’ve been following the trial of Autauga County Coroner, Billy Brown, you might find what Deb Murphree has to say on her blog interesting.
On the the subject of local blogs and local politics, Cherokee Ethics/Leighton Memories is interesting at Shoalanda Speaks. Leighton memories, sorta reminds me of the high school thug/small time pusher who 25 years later was a police captain.
Lastly, would recommend Brant Ayer’s column, Fair and Accurate, in the Cleburne News (which at times runs some interesting op-eds and letters from places near and far) for a review of what journalism and is not as applied to night-time news.