Dan O'Mahony

Dan O'Mahony
Location
Long Beach, California,
Birthday
October 02
Title
West Coast Chairman
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pointninenine.com
Bio
Co-Founder and West Coast Chair of the .99 Advocacy Fund and PointNineNine.com, a registered non-profit dedicated to voter mobilization and issues related advocacy on behalf of the financial best interests of 99% of all Americans.

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Editor’s Pick
JANUARY 4, 2012 7:39PM

With the Cordray Appointment, Obama Hits the Trenches.

Rate: 7 Flag

In what his opponents have called an “unprecedented power grab” President Barack Obama has used the power of the recess appointment to install former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau. The CFPB is an agency whose formation was approved and passed into law along with the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms in 2010 but cannot operate fully or exercise its full authority without an appointed director. With this fact in mind Congressional Republicans have effectively blocked Cordray’s confirmation since his name was put forth in July of this year.

Let’s examine the implications. At its core the refusal to even allow the appointment of a director to the CFPB to come to a vote represents selective enforcement of the law of the land. It allows an agency already formed and approved by the existing machinations of representative democracy to sit hamstrung based on ideological preference. This juvenile act of sabotage is best described as the organized kicking and screaming of a legislative sore loser.

More heinously it looks the American consumer in the eye and states that the obstructionist stance of the current Republican Congress extends directly to the day to day business of surviving in the shrinking American middle class. As stated in its government website the core functions of the CFPB are as follows:

  • Conduct rule-making, supervision, and enforcement for Federal consumer financial protection laws
  • Restrict unfair, deceptive, or abusive acts or practices
  • Take consumer complaints
  • Promote financial education
  • Research consumer behavior
  • Monitor financial markets for new risks to consumers
  • Enforce laws that outlaw discrimination and other unfair treatment in consumer finance

To put it simply, the CPFB was created to further specify and codify the practices that had led to the catastrophic economic events of 2008 and reign them in. It was an action that perfectly illustrates the frontline in the battle between those who recognize the need to create and enforce legislation to regulate a lending industry and banking system that is unsustainably predatory, and those who believe that a reshaping of the vocabulary and a reframing of history that depends on collective amnesia regarding the legislative history of the Bush years will somehow be anything other than deadly to the economic well-being of the country.

While Obama declared, “I will not stand by while a minority in the Senate puts party ideology ahead of the people they were elected to serve. Not when so much is at stake. Not at this make-or-break moment for middle-class Americans.” Republicans have labeled the recess appointment an egregious abuse of power. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has said, ‘The President has arrogantly attempted to circumvent the American people.” GOP Presidential front runner and beneficiary of millions in anonymous campaign contributions via his ostensibly non-affiliated super PAC, Mitt Romney has dubbed the move akin to “the worst kind of Chicago politics.”

Understand American voter that the hair they split is the use of the recess appointment, an often employed political maneuver used in response to the filibuster and other outdated mechanisms of obstruction. The implication is that in appointing a director to an agency already receiving taxpayer funding but blocked from providing the full benefits of its service, the President has somehow gone back room with his politics. They reach for the technicality that it has been decades since an appointment was made during a recess less than three days old. They threaten a legal challenge based on this pretext despite the fact that the last President to employ the tactic was a little known and seldom revered Republican named Teddy Roosevelt.

A recess appointment is never ideal, it is not the product of diplomacy but trench warfare. As such it is the big stick that sits so well with the speak softly end of that thought. Furthermore it is Obama’s 29th such appointment in reaction to the stonewall tactics of the current congress (George W. Bush had made 171 such appointments by the way). It’s hard not to see this as a disappointing evolution in the capital, but also a necessary show of strength by the White House in a year when the politics of deception and entrenched corporate interests are being heralded as the exact opposite and the exact practices that lead to financial ruin are being repackaged and represented as something new.

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Comments

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Consumer protection will be the end of capitalism! Everyone run for your lives! The sky is falling!

I will never understand why a person of average income would ever vot Republican. It is blatantly obvious the average man's interests are not on the Republican docket.
One problem--Congress isn't in recess.
I don't think the average person realizes how obstructionist this Congress has been, with arcane rules allowing one senator to put a "hold" on a confirmation, and the pro forma calling to order a session of Congress when no one is there, just so they can claim they are not in recess and prevent recess appointments. I applaud Obama for giving up any pretense of working with people who just want to see him fail, at any cost.
Frank:

George Bush’s appointments were blocked in the same fashion Obama’s appointments were blocked, or should I say, attempted to be blocked. Like Obama, you’re just a hypocrite with no respect for the Constitution. You’re also salty over the fact that Obama and the Democrats can no longer do whatever they like. Unlike the recent past, Obama has to work with the other side, no more Xmas Eve, middle of the night votes, on thousand page bills, which nobody reads.

I thought the election was shaping to be a great fight for the direction of this country. Continue to spend our way into bankruptcy or do something about entitlements. But with this move Obama has shifted the debate into something far more serious than bankruptcy: Allow this country to divulge into a Banana Republic or continue to respect the Constitution.
@ Con Chapman: "One problem--Congress isn't in recess."

Too funny. See this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctYUYOObQK4

Congress was "in session" for exactly 38 seconds (by my count)
Hats off to Obama. I am 100% behind him in 2012, by the way. Not to say he is perfect. But he's light years better than the Republican field. Patrick, grassroots volunteer, Obama, Arden, NC
It would be good to see the Court decide this issue because the clause has been pushed, both ways, beyond its intent.
The 2 issues as I see them are whether a president can fill a position that did not come open during a recess, but was open before a recess.
The other is whether the Senate can circumvent the intent of the clause by pro forma sessions, as the clause obviously assumes a true recess, not a semantic dodge when the Senate isn't truly in session.
Given the letter and intent of the clause, it would be interesting to know how many Clinton or Bush appointments filled vacancies that were open before recesses, as that would call constitutionality into question.

*The President shall have power to fill up all vacancies that may happen during the recess of the Senate, by granting commissions which shall expire at the end of their next session.*

You can parse "may happen" as a vacancy that "happens" every day the position isn't filled, or say "may" renders some ambiguity because it suggests the vacancy "may not" have to happen during the recess. Either is a stretch, but one not even close to the idea of effectively negating a constitutional clause by a ceremonial session that has no intent of accomplishing anything but the negation of a clause.
We should assume all clauses in the Constitution are there for a reason and shouldn't be open to nullification without amendment. I didn't look, but given the coverage, it seems safe to assume this question hasn't been before the Court. It seems they would have to preserve the clause as a matter of course and declare pro forma sessions irrelevant to the clause. That done, allow appointments only when the position becomes vacant *during* a recess. That may open the issue to a question of timing the vacancies, but at least it preserves the intent and letter of the clause.

Fever, you don't know Constitution from constipation, so you should just make your statement without the insults, as your clownish ignorance doesn't allow for even remotely suggesting some superiority on your part.
You post makes me laugh.

President Obama made one on day 3 so you go and dig up an old Teddy Roosevelt stat. It would have been different if he had waited until day 4? The fact is they all do it now and it's wrong I don't care who they are. The approval process is there for a reason.

Then you go on to blame the Minority Leader for not bring it to a vote. Funny thing is he doesn't determine that. Harry Reid (D-NV) has that power. If Reid wanted a vote there would have been one. The fact it may not have gone his way is a different story.

I love it when someone quotes President Obama's class warfare platform. It does my heart good to know our President is only looking after one class of people. When did we become not equal under the law?

This is just another president playing games, and this is just his latest game to go along with his go around the Congress ideas, statements and plans.
You post makes me laugh.

President Obama made one on day 3 so you go and dig up an old Teddy Roosevelt stat. It would have been different if he had waited until day 4? The fact is they all do it now and it's wrong I don't care who they are. The approval process is there for a reason.

Then you go on to blame the Minority Leader for not bring it to a vote. Funny thing is he doesn't determine that. Harry Reid (D-NV) has that power. If Reid wanted a vote there would have been one. The fact it may not have gone his way is a different story.

I love it when someone quotes President Obama's class warfare platform. It does my heart good to know our President is only looking after one class of people. When did we become not equal under the law?

This is just another president playing games, and this is just his latest game to go along with his go around the Congress ideas, statements and plans.
Catnlion... vote is discussed in 2nd paragraph, McConnell in the 6th so you're swinging a little wide there, and if citing historical precedent like the TR appointments is silly when discussing poltics, I guess we're just shopping in different aisles... always happy to make a feline giggle though.
recess appointments
Reagan: 240 (30 p.yr)
d0bya Bush: 171 (21.4 p.yr)
Bush0 77 recess appointments (19.25 p. yr.)
Clinton: 140 (17.5 p.yr)
Obama: 28: 9.3
So both bushies had MORE than TWICE the number Obama's got, and Reagan more than THREE times that!
So ...y'all can just STFU!!! Big bunch of hypocrites!
As you are on Family Values, the constitution, Christainity, the Bible and Fiscal responsibility.
Mixed feelings about anyone but Elizabeth Warren heading the CFPD. She has strongly endorsed him, and, hopefully, she will win the MA senate race.
No mixed feelings about the recess appointment. Good action by Pres. Obama.
r./