It's about our community and our spirituality!

Protecting Government From Government

A lot of people either have first hand experience with financial institutions that run roughshod over consumers or knows somebody who has suffered the experience.  Banks are developing a reputation for fees on top of fees for the privilege to dole our money back to us.  The economic crisis has become synonymous with home mortgage lenders cutting corners and not following procedures to immorally, and often illegally, kick people out of their homes.  Payday lenders and automobile title lenders that have become so pervasive within the black community charge exorbitant rates and charges that will turn the promise of a short term loan into an overwhelming long term deal with financial parasites.  And these days more than ever consumers need protection from these institutions that are using the state of our economic troubles against us for profit.

To help correct this condition, the Congress of the United States founded the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act which President Barack Obama signed into law on July 21, 2010.  But since then, conservative politicians have relentlessly blocked any attempt to get this government agency up to operating speed.  Republicans refused to accept the fact that the existence of this agency was permitted by law.  To circumvent its function, they refused to approve Mr. Obama’s nominee to run the agency.  Mr. Obama’s initial choice to run the agency was bankruptcy law expert Elizabeth Warren, who championed the concept of the agency, could not win the support of the Republicans who, although they are the minority in the Senate, had enough seats to block her appointment.  The same was true for the alternate in waiting, Mr. Richard Cordray, who has been waiting for confirmation since July 17, 2011.

That changed yesterday.  Yesterday, for all intensive purposes, the unstoppable force managed to bypass the unmovable object.  Mr. Obama appointed Mr. Cordray to the position that has been waiting to be filled for nearly a year and a half while the Senate was out for the holiday season.  The day after conservatives were in the news for the caucus selection of Mitt Romney with Rick Santorum placing a close second, Mr. Obama steals a bit of their thunder to announce Mr. Cordray’s recess appointment.  It looks like the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will soon be up to full speed, finally!

But the Republicans are crying foul and are promising a legal challenge.  It is the contention of the conservatives that the Senate was not in recess having had a session on Tuesday.  Although no business was conducted, the fact that at least one Senator was there to say that the Senate was open for business meant that there was no recess of the Senate and the President was obligated to wait at least three days before he could use his recess appointment option.  The White House counters that Tuesday’s session was not in fact a meeting of the Senate and that in practical terms the Senate is indeed in recess.  However, the Republicans are salivating at the thought of a legal challenge to keep the agency as ineffective as possible.

And so, this is the latest event to show how conservatives want to protect people, and by people I mean the big corporations with deep pockets to influence politics that so many conservatives think are people.  It’s painfully apparent that conservatives could not care any less if flesh and blood people have some kind of protection from corporations.  Conservative politicians actually claim to believe that the current design of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might be too powerful and might be too unfair to corporations who would be too helpless against the onslaught of overwhelming regulations.  So their solution is to not do anything and let the status quo of corporate institutions raping consumers continue.  It is another example of how Republicans are using all of their resources to keep people at the mercy of institutions whose only interest is the pursuit of profit at any and all cost.  People should have the freedom to become victims of the powerful.

Conservatives are crying foul and are accusing Mr. Obama of circumventing the will of the people.  And by people it is assumed that they mean the corporations.  Because it seems that the majority of people recognize the fact that the public needs some kind of protection from financial institutions that would use their resources to keep anything even remotely resembling some kind of protection for consumers off the books.  An agency designed to protect flesh and blood people is too much like socialism and that’s not good for anyone.

It has been theorized that the best way to challenge the recess appointment of Mr. Cordray would be for some third party corporation to challenge the appointment and have the agency’s legal status called into question.  Conservatives are giving their blessing to such a move.  And when such a move takes place, it should be proof positive that corporations have all the resources they need to challenge the government as needed.  The idea that government has to protect corporations from people just doesn’t fly.  If fact, if any one needs protection, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau might need some protection from conservatives.  After all, governments are people.

Thursday, January 5, 2012 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Life, Thoughts


  1. I’ve been hearing tid bits about this here and there. It seems to me and my simpleton mind, that the law has been written, the agency is staffed, but just lacked the head boss. Now I know that the big boss is supposed to set the tone and mission to his staff and all, but if the law is cut and dry, shouldnt the staff be able to operate sans the big guy or gal? Or have we been paying a bunch of new government employees to sit with their thumbs up their asses waiting to see if the old head coach would show up for the game before doing anything?

    Comment by mikelovell | Friday, January 13, 2012 | Reply

    • MOOKIE!!!

      It looks like we’ve been paying for people to sit on their asses. But why should that be any different than our Congress?


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Saturday, January 14, 2012 | Reply

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