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Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

Category: Banks

Sunday shows: Senate debates McMahon vs. Blumenthal, Kirk vs. Giannoulias. Also, Gen. Hayden

Connecticut US Senate Candidates Linda McMahon Republican and Dick Blumenthal Democrat

ABC This Week with Christiane Amanpour: Connecticut Senate candidates Linda McMahon (R) and Richard Blumenthal (D); Pervez Musharraf, ex-president of Pakistan; Christine Lagarde, French Finance Minister; PBS’ Tavis Smiley, and Amy Walter and George Will of ABC News.

Bloomberg’s Political Capital with Al Hunt: Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.).

CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Obama advisor David Axelrod; Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee.

CNN GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Authors Steven Rattner, Richard Brookhiser, Robert Caro and Peggy Noonan; Charles Postel, San Francisco State University.

CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.); former CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden; Whit Ayres, Republican strategist; Celinda Lake, Democratic pollster.

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace: Reps. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.); Karl Rove and Joe Trippi with panel of Bill Kristol, Juan Williams, Nina Easton and Dana Perino.

NBC Meet the Press with David Gregory:  Illinois Senate candidates Alexi Giannoulias (D) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.); Noonan and Joe Klein.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photos: Getty Images (Blumenthal); Associated Press (McMahon).

Ah, Washington. Democrats and the GOP spar over a John Boehner speech that hasn't even been given yet

Members of Congress enjoy their summer break

Here's how far we've not come into the post-partisan era of the Obama-Biden administration:

Representatives of political parties once used to wait for opponents to speak before countering with their own set of contradictory talking points.

But now those few Americans who are paying attention to national politics in these fading few days of summer are being treated to what's being honestly called "prebuttals." So eager are they to fight, that U.S. political opponents are pre-reacting a day in advance to what they think the other guy is going to say. Prompting a pre-response to the prebuttal.

Knowing that Republican House Leader John Boehner has scheduled a major speech on the economy for Tuesday morning at Cleveland's City Club, the Democratic....

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Social media wrap: Obama, Boehner and Feingold have money on their minds

Money Money: It's a gas (if you listen to Pink Floyd), but often it’s also the oxygen of politics. Today, it’s clearly on politicians’ minds (Snoop Dogg).  But does it make the world go round (Liza Minnelli)? 

Inside the Beltway, you can bet your last dime it does. Here is today’s roundup of politicians’ tweets on the green stuff, after a slew of economic news and policy initiatives:

MaryBonoMack (Rep. California): believes that we must not bankrupt our future with reckless and wasteful spending and debt!

DeptofDefense: Secretary Gates wants to instill a culture of saving in the Department. #sot#militarymon #milblog

johnboehner (House minority leader): Democrats want Congress to vote on a spending bill they forgot to name: (via @CNETNews)

BarackObama: A minority in the Senate is blocking a vote on a jobs bill for small businesses, and that's a shame. It's time to move forward.

fredthompson (former presidential candidate): Gibbs: Obama economic team did 6 yrs of work in last 18 mo. Doubt it. In last 18 mo, they did at LEAST 10 yrs worth of spending. #ftrs #tcot

repblumenauer (Rep. Oregon): Republicans Demand Two-Month, Taxpayer-Funded Recess After Election

edlabordems (House Education and Labor Committee): RT @ED_Outreach 8 mil more students are getting $ for college because of shift of billions of dollars from bankers to students. #hugewin

RepWalterJones (Rep. North Carolina): Why is the Obama Administration spending $10 million to train foreign workers so they can take American IT jobs?

DrCassidy (Bill Cassidy, Rep. Louisiana): Oil Spill Commission notes “unanimity of opposition to....

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Sunday shows: Holder, Netanyahu, Richardson, Bair

ABC: "This Week" with Jake Tapper: Obama advisor David Axelrod; Reps. Brian Bilbray (R-Carlsbad) and Luis V. Gutierrez (D-Ill.); George Will; Ruth Marcus; Reihan Salam; and Ron Brownstein. BP claims administrator Kenneth Feinberg

Bloomberg: "Political Capital" with Al Hunt: Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairwoman Sheila Bair.

CBS: "Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer": U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric Holder.

CNN: "Fareed Zakaria GPS": George Osborne, British chancellor of the exchequer, and Anjem Choudary, leader of Islam4UK.

CNN: "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Axelrod, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) and Kenneth Feinberg, gulf oil spill claims administrator.

Fox News: "Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and Axelrod with a panel of Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams and Mara Liasson.

NBC: "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs with GOP political strategist Ed Gillespie, former U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr. of Tennessee, MSNBC commentator Rachel Maddow, and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Kenneth Feinberg. Credit: Associated Press

Sunday shows: Barbour, Emanuel, R. Gates, Cao

Obama Defense Secretary Robert Gates

ABC "This Week" with Jake Tapper: White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and round-table with Greta Van Susteren, George Will, Richard Haass and Michel Martin.

Bloomberg "Political Capital with Al Hunt": Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.).

CBS "Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer": Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao (R-La.), Sens. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

CNN "Fareed Zakaria GPS": Abdullah Abdullah, Afghan opposition leader; Paul Wolfowitz of the American Enterprise Institute; Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).

CNN "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Sens. Shelby and Nelson, and Florida GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio.

Fox News: "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace": Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Robert Gates, secretary of Defense, with panel of Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, Juan Williams and Mara Liasson.

NBC "Meet the Press with David Gregory": Gov. Haley Barbour (R-MS), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Markey and Shell Oil ex-president John Hofmeister.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot.  Our Facebook Like page is over here. And, btw, we're available on Kindle now with free two-week trial.

Photo: Defense Secretary Robert Gates. Credit: Associated Press

Marx Bros. break out in a House hearing

"Those are my principles and if you don't like them, well, I have others"
Marx Bros

Since everyone knows the Congress of the United States pretty much has all of the nation's problems and challenges under control, a hearing of the Financial Services Committee in the House of Representatives got into a discussion today about the Marx Brothers.

Never mind, it's too hard to explain how. This video picks up the committee discussion at just the right point.

While watching, remember the immortal words of Groucho: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside, it's too dark to read."

And while we're at it on this Friday afternoon, here's a bonus video. It's not the same scene they're talking about in the House committee, but it's funnier. And what do they know anyway? They're just elected.

Here's a classic Marx Bros. clip -- from "A Night at the Opera" -- that actually resembles many Americans' impression of Congress at work.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Moviefone Pictures

As Gulf oil flow continues, Obama slides away from BP


There's an old story about the Lone Ranger and his Native American partner, Tonto, riding along in the Wild West when suddenly they are surrounded by thousands of angry Indians on the warpath. "Well, Tonto," says the masked white man in the white hat, "It looks like we've come to the end of the trail."

To which the once-trusty Tonto replies, "What you mean 'we,' kemo sabay?"

Now that the worst oil spill in American history is likely to continue for months, numerous signs now indicate the Obama administration is also switching sides -- away from a crisis response partnership with BP toward that of a suddenly aggressive prosecutorial arm of an angry....

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Sunday shows: Palin, Kaine, Steele, Rendell, Sestak

Sarah Palin on Fox News Channel

ABC's "This Week" with Jake Tapper: Michael Steele and Tim Kaine, chairmen of the Republican and Democratic national committees, respectively, plus George Will, Sam Donaldson, Cokie Roberts and Donna Brazile.

Bloomberg Political Capital with Al Hunt:L Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX).

CBS' "Face the Nation" with Bob Schieffer: Sen. Lamar Alexander, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa.) and Senate nominee, Obama Press Secy. Robert Gibbs.

CNN's "State of the Union" with Candy Crowley: Govs. Tim Pawlenty (R-Minn.) and Ed Rendell (D-Pa.).

"Fox News Sunday" with Chris Wallace: Sarah Palin with Steele and Kaine plus Brit Hume, Bill Kristol, Kirsten Powers and Mara Liasson.

NBC's "Meet the Press" with David Gregory: Cornyn and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sestak. Roundtable with Paul Gigot, Andrea Mitchell and Bob Woodward.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot.  Our Facebook FAN page is over here.

Photo: Sarah Palin. Credit: Fox News Channel

Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson says he could learn how to use an ATM

Nebraska Democrat Senator Ben Nelson

And here you thought members of Congress were special, spoiled and somehow disconnected from everyday Americans who work for a living!

But we now know that's not true, at least for Democrat Sen. Ben Nelson.

The Nebraska senator claims he's up to the challenge of buying gas and groceries for himself with a credit card as well as anyone. Nelson told Joe Morton of the Omaha World-Herald, "I swipe to get my own gas, buy groceries. I know about holograms."


Hologram is Nelson for bar codes, those collections of little black lines on virtually every single product sold in America that tell genies inside magical little scanning machines how much to charge the purchaser in American currency.

Nelson, who's paid $174,000 in American currency per year as a federal legislator, also boasted:

I go and get my own seating assignment on an airplane. I mean, I'm not without some skills. I just haven't had the need to use an ATM.


Morton had asked Nelson his opinion on a legislative amendment to cap the ATM fees that banks can charge account holders from other institutions. "I've never used an ATM," Nelson explained. "So I don't know what the fees are."

However, the United States senator assured the reporter that he could learn how to use an ATM if he had to.

Good to know. 

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Associated Press

Sunday shows: Brennan, Giuliani, Adm. Allen, Holder

Fox News Channel on screen at Obama's Justice Deptartment

ABC This Week with Jake Tapper: Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., Rudy Giuliani, John Podesta, Shelby Steele of the Hoover Institution, Robin Wright and George Will.

Bloomberg's Political Capital with Al Hunt: Carol Browner, White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy.

CBS Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer: Assistant to the President John Brennan, Sens. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) and Adm. Thad Allen, Coast Guard commandant.

CNN GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Martin Wolf of the Financial Times; Richard Clarke, former deputy assistant secretary of state; Fawaz Gerges, London School of Economics; Irshad Manji, New York University; Bernard-Henri Levy, French philosopher.

CNN State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Brennan, Sens. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) and Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace: Brennan, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-ConnT), Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), Jennifer Griffin and a panel with Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Liz Cheney and Juan Williams.

NBC Meet the Press with David Gregory: Holder with David Brooks, E.J. Dionne,  Katty Kay and Wes Moore.

-- Andrew Malcolm

Why wait until Sunday for politics? Click here for Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot.  Our Facebook FAN page is over here.

Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
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