Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


The Big Split: Why the hedge fund world loved Obama in 2008—and viscerally despises him today.
March 23, 2012 11:50 AM   Subscribe

If you’re elected president,” asked one guest at a 2007 hedge fund managers event for Obama, “what will you do to the taxes on the people in this room?” “I’ll raise them,” Obama fired back. The managers, who share social circles and an educational background with Obama, approved of his style. These days, however, the bloom is off the rose. In The Big Split, Alec MacGillis investigates the souring of a 20 year relationship between Democrats and high finance, and surmises that it's the administration's rhetoric more than its policy that has upset the masters of the financial universe.
posted by the mad poster! (83 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
But he lambasted Obama in a recent interview with the Chicago Tribune in which he said that the country was drifting toward Soviet-style central planning, that the administration had “embraced class warfare” as a “political tool,” and that wealthy people have “insufficient influence” in politics. “Those who have enjoyed the benefits of our system more than ever now owe a duty to protect the system that has created the greatest nation on this planet,” Griffin said.

You mean protecting your own privileges within the system. Bastard.
posted by kgasmart at 11:57 AM on March 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


Boo fucking hoo.
posted by vibrotronica at 12:02 PM on March 23, 2012 [13 favorites]


Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Sorry if the truth hurts, hedge fund managers.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:05 PM on March 23, 2012


Of course, the irony here is that the Democrats would have been happy to spinelessly continue to do little to nothing to these poor, oppressed hedge managers and their accounting friends, but these masters of the financial universe strove successfully to be even bigger assholes.

I can understand how their feelings might be hurt now that everyone's looking at them and thinking "wow, what a bunch of assholes." After decades of pandering and thinking they could gape as much as they wanted, they probably feel a bit taken, umm, aback.
posted by hank_14 at 12:09 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


“what will you do to the taxes on the people in this room?” “I’ll raise them,” Obama fired back.

But when pressed on the issue, Mr. Obama extended those Bush tax cuts.
posted by three blind mice at 12:11 PM on March 23, 2012 [25 favorites]


“what will you do to the taxes on the people in this room?” “I’ll raise them,” Obama fired back. The managers, who share social circles and an educational background with Obama, approved of his style.

Oh. So this is how you approve of style and not of substance. I wish I was rich enough to do that.
posted by karathrace at 12:12 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


but these masters of the financial universe strove successfully to be even bigger assholes.

The PR Goatse: When assholes double down.
posted by srboisvert at 12:13 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


You mean protecting your own privileges within the system.

No, it's more than that. He wants more power, more privilege and will say or do whatever it takes to get it. It's not about protecting what's his - he's actively trying to take what's yours.

They're a little slow on that end of the spectrum, and haven't really been keeping up with how the rank-and-file republicans have been doing since the "Tea Party" took power in the House in '10. Out-of-control hyperbole and absolutist positions have poisoned the mainstream electorate against the radical right, and the social-issues shooting-star they hoped to hitch their neofeudalist wagon to is more of an asteroid about to impact.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:14 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


Cooperman: If you voted for Obama in 2008 to prove you’re not a racist, don’t vote for Obama in 2012 to prove you’re not an idiot.

Yeah, I use the secret ballot to prove things. Guess what, you're a racist.

Asness: We have a free enterprise system that has worked spectacularly for us for two hundred plus years. When it fails it fixes itself.

Yeah, I mean, the Great Depression ended because the free market fixed itself. Duh.

And, if they were really so worried about deficits, why were so many of them incensed about proposals to raise their taxes?

Because they're greedy?

Obama: But the notion that somehow me saying, ‘Maybe you should be taxed more like your secretary when you’re pulling home a billion dollars or a hundred million dollars a year,’ I don’t think is me being extremist or me being anti-business.

Of course, that's completely reasonable, and I think at some level everybody knows it. What I can't figure out is, how fucking crazy do you have to be to believe that you're a put-upon hedge fund manager, crying yourself to sleep at night on a pillow stuffed with hundred dollar bills?
posted by axiom at 12:15 PM on March 23, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'd like to think that losing the votes of such a limited number of people wouldn't matter at all. But then you see how much these guys are funneling through super-PACs to the candidates -- hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, and it becomes so obvious how campaign finance throttles democracy. What? To get elected, you have to put on the kneepads for this bunch of assholes?
posted by bumpkin at 12:16 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


But when pressed on the issue, Mr. Obama extended those Bush tax cuts.

It's almost like there's a co-equal branch of government called the Legislature or something.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:17 PM on March 23, 2012 [38 favorites]


Had Obama actually raised taxes on the wealthy or enacted significant financial reform, he would have earned the ire of Wall Street and accomplished something worthwhile for the country. As it is, however, his empty rhetoric has skewed his chances for re-election without gaining him (or us) any tangible benefit.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:18 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


and that wealthy people have “insufficient influence” in politics

Poor America. If only you'd just let the wealthy have sufficient influence everything would be okay.
posted by dng at 12:18 PM on March 23, 2012


A senior partner at a Midtown fund had a simple explanation. “Their whole life is wrapped up in their money and their whole identity is in their money,” he says. “If someone takes five percent more of your money this year, it’s directly attacking your manhood. They really want to maximize their net worth, and, if you’re taking five percent more out of their profits, they’ve got to do ten more good trades to get it back.” Daley, who worked for J.P. Morgan Chase before coming to Obama’s White House, notes that, for many managers, tax hikes mean losing huge amounts of money. “Do not underestimate the impact [the carried-interest proposal] has made,” he says. “If you make four billion dollars, the difference between fifteen percent and thirty-five percent is a big deal.”

Still leaves you with several billion dollars. Which is more than 99.9 percent of humanity can say.
posted by kgasmart at 12:18 PM on March 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


“If someone takes five percent more of your money this year, it’s directly attacking your manhood."

"Paging Dr. Freud. Dr. Freud to the cockatorium please."
posted by joe lisboa at 12:20 PM on March 23, 2012 [15 favorites]


... the souring of a 20 year relationship between Democrats and high finance...

I contest the premise of the article. March 21 (Bloomberg) -- "President Barack Obama’s largest campaign donors last month included employees of Wells Fargo & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc., according to an analysis of Federal Election Commission records. Their support indicates that Wall Street, which gave Obama $16 million for his successful 2008 White House run, is opening its checkbook again for the president."

It's more complicated than all that. There are a few hedge fund guys making a really big deal about how much they hate Obama, but it seems that, generally, the bankers are lining up behind him yet again.

Why? I don't know. Maybe the hedge fund guys really are "insulted." Maybe they see their carried interest tax rate on the line and perceive Romney as more of a fellow traveler at this point, but don't feel they can just "flip flop" without some trumped up justification. The real question is, why do the bankers still like him? Perhaps they are not so afraid of the regulatory crackdown after all...
posted by rkent at 12:23 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


“Since our destiny follows our stories, it’s imperative that we do everything in our power to get our stories right,” Loehr writes.

...

“Lots of [hedge fund managers] started out poor, and made a huge amount of money, and created thousands and thousands of jobs in the process. They’re used to being the American Dream, and now you have the president who looks at them and sneers at them like they’re bad guys.”


Speaking of getting the stories right... billionaire hedge fund managers, a true collection of Horatio Algers if I've ever seen one.
posted by bumpkin at 12:25 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Doing that thing where you point your finger really hard.
posted by dephlogisticated at 12:26 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


“Lots of [hedge fund managers] started out poor, and made a huge amount of money, and created thousands and thousands of jobs in the process. They’re used to being the American Dream, and now you have the president who looks at them and sneers at them like they’re bad guys"

Its the hoodie effect. Nowhere, anywhere, did Barack Obama go anywhere and say that hedge fund managers were bad guys. Nor did he go around the world and "apologize" for America. But as soon as they see his face, they think "black guy is against me" and then the imagination takes off from there.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:28 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


created thousands and thousands of jobs in the process

Ohhhhhh yeah?
posted by adamdschneider at 12:31 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


If High Finance guys are not mad at the gov't right now - then the gov't is not doing its job.

The High Finance guys need a reality check from the rest of society.
They are not more important than everyone else, and should be allowed to fail like everyone else.

I take it as praise for Obama that some High Finance guys are angry with him -
actually, I wish they were angry - meaning, I wish he went after them more.
posted by Flood at 12:32 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Good. Fuck 'em.
posted by X-Himy at 12:34 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Hedge fund manager Ken Griffin: ...the country was drifting toward Soviet-style central planning...

Citation, please.
posted by univac at 12:35 PM on March 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's more complicated than all that. There are a few hedge fund guys making a really big deal about how much they hate Obama, but it seems that, generally, the bankers are lining up behind him yet again.

Why? I don't know.


They're hedging their bets. You'll see the same companies on the list of biggest of Romney's donors (I'd expect even more donations for the general election). It could also be that different employees within the company support different candidates for different reasons that have nothing to do with the companies they work for but the more sinister interpretation is that they want to make sure they influence either way.
posted by VTX at 12:36 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


created thousands and thousands of jobs in the process

[citation needed]

[no your delusions don't count]

[prove it, asshole]

(again, full disclosure: former Citigroup employee, unemployed as they shed people during the 'need to be profitable so we'll lay off people' process.)
posted by mephron at 12:37 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


They're hedging their bets.

I see what you did there.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:38 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, these people are idiots. You would think, though, that since he no longer has their support, he might as well start actually passing some laws that
But when pressed on the issue, Mr. Obama extended those Bush tax cuts.

It's almost like there's a co-equal branch of government called the Legislature or something.
It's definitely not relevant in this specific case.

For one thing, Obama negotiated an extension of the tax cuts, and then actively endorsed that compromise. He didn't merely reluctantly acquiesce to congress. Let's not pretend the actions Obama actually takes are somehow the fault of congress. That is by far one of the most annoying traits of Obama's hard-core defenders.

For another, if he hadn't acted at all, the tax cuts would have expired on their own. that is an important point here. Obama had to actively extend the tax cuts, or they would have expired on their own. That's why it's so disingenuous to blame congress here. Congress could not have extended the tax cuts on their own without Obama, because they'd actually need a supermajority in both houses. That's really unlikely.

Oh and another thing. People who defend Obama on stuff like this always say "You don't know how government works, this is all congress's fault!" But often when it comes to the actual details of how a specific piece of legislation got passed they are the ones who don't actually know! (You didn't do this here at all, but it's a common thing)

But in their minds it's not good enough just to disagree, they have to insult the people they disagree with and presume that the disagreement must be rooted in the other person's ignorance, but never their own.

In order to say Obama is not responsible for the tax cut extension, you have to believe:

1) Obama is not responsible for the laws he fights for in congress, because it's up to congress to vote on them
2) Obama is not responsible for the laws he signs, for some reason or other.
3) That tax cuts that were scheduled by law to expire in 2010 wouldn't have if Obama did nothing because... congresss... something.

So annoying. I realize you didn't say all of that Joe Lisoba, but all of that stuff comes up all the time with people who refuse to allow any criticism of Obama on the basis that congress exists, therefore anything bad he does is not his fault.
posted by delmoi at 12:42 PM on March 23, 2012 [14 favorites]


You would think, though, that since he no longer has their support, he might as well start actually passing some laws that

You got cut off but I think we get the gist of where that goes.

I agree - Obama needs to haul out FDR's old "economic royalists" line. Being very public about the fact that hedge fund managers who make millions/billions have their panties in a wad because they might have to pay more than 15 percent in taxes on their "gains" might not play as well on Wall Street, but it'd be a hit on Main Street.
posted by kgasmart at 12:45 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Fair points, all, delmoi (and I'm not going to derail this so I'm going to leave it at this and move one) but any serious discussion of the tax cut fight has to mention the insane all-or-nothing, Manichean stances of the Republican-controlled House. The deal he struck preserved a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, a payroll tax cut for employees, and the continuation of a variety of tax credits that were aimed at lower- and middle-income Americans. True, the Bush cuts would have expired by law, but try that and see if you can get *anything* through the House without the GOP attaching them to any and every damn thing. But, like I said, don't want to derail. I tire of lazy and naive sniping at the President (not that you have ever been guilty of that, delmoi, I am referring to others).

So I also appreciate that you did not put words in my mouth, delmoi, and took pains to note that.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:49 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


(The unemployment extension, btw, was absolutely critical here in Michigan and other rust belt states.)
posted by joe lisboa at 12:51 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh and the other thing, If Obama doesn't want blame for something, he should at least actually say that he disagrees with something congress has done. Has he ever done that when it comes to tax cuts? I mean if Obama isn't even trying to say he didn't want to extend tax cuts, why should we all just assume he's not responsible for something, when in fact I think he's taking credit for it - his campaign frequently points out they've never raised taxes.

So Obama supporters in some cases are actually saying we shouldn't blame Obama for policies he actually takes credit for and campaigns on.

Anyway, again I'm not trying to pile on you joe lisboa, it's just that the tax extension thing perfectly illustrates. this phenomenon.
You would think, though, that since he no longer has their support, he might as well start actually passing some laws that

You got cut off but I think we get the gist of where that goes.
*sigh* Yeah, exactly. Why not propose, for example, a millionaire's tax? Why not not work with the republicans to add $900b to the debt by cutting inheritance taxes to ~30% from ~51%, due to another bush era tax-law timeout? Why not go as far to cap salaries at banks that have access to the fed discount window?

Why should banks be able to borrow money from the fed, lend it to us at a profit, and pay themselves huge bonuses? It's ridiculous.
posted by delmoi at 12:53 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


As I recall, he explicitly said that he didn't want to extend the tax cuts, that he wanted to only extend the cuts for the middle/lower class but couldn't get that through congress.
posted by VTX at 12:58 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why should banks be able to borrow money from the fed, lend it to us at a profit, and pay themselves huge bonuses? It's ridiculous.

Because that's how we've decided we're going to "fix" the economy - an already debt-saturated populace needs to be larded down with more debt to go buy more stuff, be it homes (resurrect the housing market!), cars (ditto Detroit!) or plastic crap at Wal-Mart - which, of course, creates all sorts of greeter-type jobs.

We've convinced ourselves or been convinced that the health of the biggest banks is tantamount to the health of the American economy itself. But we're not all convinced of that.
posted by kgasmart at 1:01 PM on March 23, 2012


The deal he struck preserved a 13-month extension of unemployment insurance, a payroll tax cut for employees, and the continuation of a variety of tax credits that were aimed at lower- and middle-income Americans.
A lot of Americans don't actually get access to that level of unemployment insurance anyway due to state law. I don't know about MI, but it's not like every single person can access 99 weeks of UI.

The other thing, the Dems could have done far, far more in the stimulus bill. They could have have changed the law automatically adjust unemployment based on the unemployment rate rather then have a fight over it every few months and let the republicans try to take another pound of flesh.

There was a serious failure to plan for the collapse, due largely to putting way to much trust into Lawrence Summers. That was a huge error, and a lot of the economic fallout stems from that mistake, which Obama completely owns.

Anyway kind of a derail but the rest of the thread is just "LOLBANKERS" anyway :P

--

Oh and the huge policy "win" for the bank. The complete failure to go after the banks for any criminal wrongdoing relating to the whole mortgage thing. There was a lot.

The only thing they did do was go after some insider traders who sniped Goldman Sachs bond offerings.

Think about it. With all the billions, maybe trillions stolen from everyday Americans, what does the DOJ focus on? Prosecuting people who used illegal information to make money at the expense of Goldman Sachs

On the other hand, robosigning? Control fraud with mortgages? Works with the banks and the states AGs to come up with a "Deal" that the US Government mostly pays for, and all the crimes are wiped clean with no criminal consequences for anyone at all.

Oh well. TL;DR: The country is doomed and we're all screwed.
posted by delmoi at 1:04 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


But when pressed on the issue, Mr. Obama extended those Bush tax cuts.

That's what makes me laugh about the whole thing. We're in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and the wealthiest have been making profits hand over fist.

Obama has demonstrated that he's been in the pocket of big business from the start, and yet big business has managed to con the public into thinking he's a socialist, while quietly complaining at the same time that he hasn't been doing enough to secure their interests.

It's such a joke. I want my vote back. I feel dirty even mentioning his name, and not even in the good way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:05 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


nd there was the president’s decision to push forward with ambitious plans for health care reform and energy and climate legislation. For fund managers who’d suffered big losses, this seemed an indulgent diversion from the task of fixing the economy.

Hahahahahahahahhaahhaahahahahah

hahahahahahahahahahahah
hah
ah
hhaa
ha
h
h
posted by lalochezia at 1:06 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh well. TL;DR: The country is doomed and we're all screwed.

Cockatorium, indeed.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:06 PM on March 23, 2012


Two words that have enabled me to stop giving a shit about the election: Supreme Court. I'm depressed by this President, I'm disgusted with the entire sleazy political system, and I wouldn't even bother voting except that if by some ridiculous circumstance Romney beats Obama and packs the Court with Tea Party lunatics, we go from being merely fucked to triple-fucked for the rest of my probable lifetime, and I don't want to be accused of enabling that by not doing my "civic duty." So...whatever. Obama has my vote. If I could wipe my ass with it before handing it in, I would. God bless America.
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 1:33 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


delmoi: "Obama had to actively extend the tax cuts, or they would have expired on their own. That's why it's so disingenuous to blame congress here."

I'm not sure that it was the right call to acquiesce to the opposition's position that it was an all or nothing deal, but I understand his reluctance to kick the poor and middle class in the nuts by raising their income tax in the middle of a recession.
posted by wierdo at 1:51 PM on March 23, 2012


Hmm...I wonder what would happen if you just kept income tax levels the same (or decreased them) but increased the capital gains tax and any profit made by investments by x10 or so?

Would that destroy/shrink the economy, or keep the economy less suspectible to bubbles and rampant speculation?
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:54 PM on March 23, 2012


susceptible
posted by The ____ of Justice at 1:56 PM on March 23, 2012


[...] the bankers are lining up behind [Obama]yet again. Why? I don't know.

That's a pretty easy one to explain. It's because, as much as they might dislike him personally and politically, they realize that even if they throw their support behind Romney, Obama is likely to get elected. And if that happens and they didn't ante up, suddenly the White House might not take their phone calls anymore. And, since the basis of their entire fucking industry is making insane bets and having the government take on the downside risk, that would be a poor move.

They'd make substantial contributions to Fluffy The Dog, if Fluffy was likely to become President, because that's how you buy influence. (Okay, probably not if Fluffy was president, then you'd do it with Milk Bones.)

But it's not just Wall Street. You can see this going on with most corporate contributions -- Anheuser-Busch, the auto companies, and a lot of other heavyweights tend to give surprisingly equally to both parties, or to give in proportions that tends to favor the winner more than it does the guy who is actually on their "side" politically. Companies like those run by the Koch brothers are actually aberrations, because they're so overtly partisan; they're only like that because they're effectively extensions of two guys' collective ego. I doubt that a rational, short-term-maximizationist CEO would do that -- it's too easy to back the wrong guy and get hurt when the opposition comes into power.*

If you view political contributions as an investment, any money spent on a candidate who doesn't win is a waste. Money spent getting your preferred candidate into office is optimal, but if you can't do that, the next-best thing is to give to the guy who is likely to win anyway, so that you can get some strings pulled when the going gets tough.

* This brings up an interesting thought... although we normally decry companies who are motivated by short-term gains at the expense of the longer-term ones, maybe a company focused on the long game would look exactly like Koch Industries. They're passing up potential short-term gains that you'd get by betting on the favorites, currently Democrats, instead making a long-term investment in conservatives, apparently in the hopes of actually changing the overall business climate. At the very least, it's consistent with my experience of privately-held companies having significantly longer investment horizons than public ones.
posted by Kadin2048 at 1:57 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Would [raising the capital gains tax significantly] destroy/shrink the economy, or keep the economy less suspectible to bubbles and rampant speculation?

I've seen economists, or at least people with a lot of economics background, come almost to blows over that particular point. Apparently there are models and theories on both sides. In general, encouraging investment through low cap-gains taxes is usually viewed as a good thing in terms of spurring growth, but depending on where the government is going to spend the money that it would raise from taxes, you can create scenarios where, depending on the model you use, it is advantageous.

It looks very suspiciously to me like you can find evidence to back up whichever position you are predisposed to favor.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:01 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure that it was the right call to acquiesce to the opposition's position that it was an all or nothing deal, but I understand his reluctance to kick the poor and middle class in the nuts by raising their income tax in the middle of a recession.

Obama would not be raising them though, George Bush and a Republican congress did that when they passed their law. Obama could be on TV every day after the expiration demanding the Republicans lower the taxes they just raised.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:26 PM on March 23, 2012


Obama could be on TV every day after the expiration demanding the Republicans lower the taxes they just raised.

Man, I wish that's how most people would parse it. The ads write themselves: "Obama raised your taxes during the Great Recession." The facts are irrelevant. Which is infuriating, but, no-one ever lost money betting on the civic illiteracy of the American electorate.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:49 PM on March 23, 2012


stupid extra comma, my-kingdom-for-an-edit-window, etc. etc.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:50 PM on March 23, 2012


furiousxgeorge: "Obama could be on TV every day after the expiration demanding the Republicans lower the taxes they just raised."

Which would do exactly nothing for the people getting kicked in the nuts every payday. (Or the people whose UE checks stopped coming in) Maybe letting them get kicked in the nuts would have been a better long-term strategy, but it would have also caused a lot of very real pain.
posted by wierdo at 3:01 PM on March 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's my personal view that the Republicans would have caved, but no point re-debating that because we aren't going to convince each other.

Man, I wish that's how most people would parse it. The ads write themselves: "Obama raised your taxes during the Great Recession." The facts are irrelevant. Which is infuriating, but, no-one ever lost money betting on the civic illiteracy of the American electorate.

Look, if everyone is stupid morons and facts don't matter politics is a pointless waste of time and it's better to find other things to do. I don't think that, I don't believe Obama thinks that either. I do buy that he did it for the unemployment checks, don't buy he could not have sold people on the obvious truth when the Democrats would have a tax cut bill ready to go and the only thing holding it up would be a filibuster.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:04 PM on March 23, 2012


So they get to make 990 USD millions instead of a full sexy 1000 and they have lost their manhood to the government commies? Shit, if they are willing to give me 1 mill per head they can all call me a sissy all year long to get their manhood back up. I'll even send them pics of me in a tutu and all, what the hell.

Sorry for the pissing, it's almost as if these guys are from a completely different planet than all of us down here in sweatland.
posted by Iosephus at 3:12 PM on March 23, 2012


This made my day, and somewhat softens my criticism of Obama re: structural wealth in this country. I hope he can take it step further, especially if he gets the nod in November. He will have nothing to lose, and I hope he will be able to use that leverage to advantage in a way that helps our nation get back on a track to more humane values. The word is still out, but I'm hopeful.
posted by Vibrissae at 3:38 PM on March 23, 2012


Look, if everyone is stupid morons and facts don't matter

Yeah, I phrased that too broadly in a moment of angst. My bad. Gonna agree to disagree on tactics here, but not on principle(s).
posted by joe lisboa at 3:39 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


So they get to make 990 USD millions instead of a full sexy 1000 and they have lost their manhood to the government commies?

No, they perceive a speed bump on their road to more power and privilege and it pisses them off.
posted by Mooski at 4:10 PM on March 23, 2012


Kadin, what a great comment about the Kochs' donations reflecting a long-term vision vs. the short-term vision of typical influence buying; a private vs. public company dichotomy.

There's also an important division between businesspeople: those who see politics as important to their success, and those who don't see politics that way. People in the former category are involved in politics as a cost of business, dispassionately and typically bipartisan. In the latter category most business people couldn't care less about politics, and those who do tend to drift with their cultural milieu -- Hollywood and Silicon Valley go left, and Dallas and Houston go right.

Obama's great success with business in 2008 was driven by a couple of things.

People who never thought politics mattered to their profit and stability were shaken up by the crisis, disappointed by George Bush, appalled by Sarah Palin, and persuaded themselves that Obama's Ivy League credentials and moderate rhetoric made for a better hand on the tiller.

Other people who still didn't care about politics got caught up in Obama's celebrity and first-African-American-President historicity ... they saw him as a star (who could have done perfectly well on a trading floor or in a C-suite) rather than a typical politician (ugly, poor posers getting "A"s on an very easy curve).

Both those sets of people will go for Romney. For the first group, Romney will be seen as a steadier and friendlier hand on the tiller, someone who without ambivalence regards entrepreneurs and executives as central to the American project. The other group will split: some will be back to not caring, because Obama's star has dimmed; the others will embrace Romney because he not could have been a business star, he was.
posted by MattD at 4:24 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


When the goddamned president of the Dallas Fed says we have to Stop "Too Big to Fail" policies, you KNOW you have a fucking problem. Jamie Dimon and all the other fat cats can burn in hell for all I care.

I don't want a "souring" of relations between the Dems and Finance. I don't want "spoiled milk"... I want a goddamned rotting carcass for the Buzzards and Jackals to devour.
posted by symbioid at 4:40 PM on March 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Both those sets of people will go for Romney. For the first group, Romney will be seen as a steadier and friendlier hand on the tiller, someone who without ambivalence regards entrepreneurs and executives as central to the American project. The other group will split: some will be back to not caring, because Obama's star has dimmed; the others will embrace Romney because he not could have been a business star, he was.

I disagree in the strongest terms with your assessment. I guess we'll see.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:03 PM on March 23, 2012


Sorry for the pissing, it's almost as if these guys are from a completely different planet than all of us down here in sweatland.

This is what happens when the socioeconomic divide grows to the imbalanced level which it has. These guys are no different than feudal lords with absolutely no ability to connect to the experience or point of view of commoners. Let them eat cake and all that. I'm not at all surprised by the way billionaires behave at this point.

Hmm...I wonder what would happen if you just kept income tax levels the same (or decreased them) but increased the capital gains tax and any profit made by investments by x10 or so?

I'm not sure what the right balance is, but no one can argue against the fact that current tax rates on capital gains are pretty much as low as they've ever been. I would argue that they're far too low to encourage any measure of tax equality between the haves and have nots. It certainly wouldn't hurt to bump the long-term rate back up at least 5%.
posted by Brak at 6:24 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Add a per-trade tax on equities. If anyone needs a disincentive to keep on keeping on, it's the people High Frequency Trading programs buying and selling every nanosecond and making money off statistical noise.
posted by the jam at 6:46 PM on March 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Initially Obama wanted to grant an extension of the Bush era tax cuts only apply to individuals making less than $200K per year and families making under $250K. The income restrictions were lifted, the Bush-era tax cuts were extended for another 2 years, and what Obama got in return was "unemployment benefits for another 13 months and [a forgoing] that the $60 billion cost be offset by a cut in federal spending.

In other words, yes, the Bush-era tax cuts were set to expire. Republicans were refusing "to go gentle into that good night" and were holding the lifelines of many impoverished and recently jobless people and families with a pair of budget cut scissors.

You can spin it how you want to, delmoi, but the reality of bipartisan compromise means you give up some of what you want and give others some of what they want.

To characterize the extension of Bush-era tax-cuts as something Obama pursued as a matter of his administrations agenda is just plain bullshit.
posted by mistersquid at 8:08 PM on March 23, 2012


They don't hate Obama because he's going to raise taxes. It's because if he wins the upcoming election, they know regulations are going to be put back in place that will impact the finance industry for decades.

And with the Tea Party launching the war on women at the state level, they are worried like hell that they might lose Congress. Not just the Senate, but the whole thing. A lot of women are going to vote straight party line, because the TP have pissed them off so much. If a Republican woman can't stomach that, she's just going to stay home.

Taxes are a pain the in ass, but there are always ways around that. Regulations with teeth, on the other hand, will cut into their bottom line significantly, especially the funds that have invested in the mortgage industry and have been buying the crap loans that have been sitting on bank books.

Also, he's a black man, which really pisses them off. Or as I've overheard, "he's ethnic".
posted by lootie777 at 10:24 PM on March 23, 2012


It really is stupid for Obama to alienate these people. He should have drawn a sharp rhetorical attack against the criminals among them and come down strongly on the side of the honest financiers. A lot of them are very intelligent and rational; he should have drawn them into a dialogue about how to solve the nation's problems.

If these people go to the Republicans and the Republicans win the election as a result of their large monetary support, Democrats have their own stupidity to blame.
posted by shivohum at 10:39 PM on March 23, 2012


Its kinda hard to get anything at all across to the average person when it involves things outside the scope of their life.

Then you realize that half of everyone is stupider than that (to steal from Carlin) and taking cues blindly from The Men Behind The Curtain. This was a fight that needed to have been fought 15 years ago, when the momentum wasn't so far against progressive taxation in GOP circles.
posted by Slackermagee at 11:03 PM on March 23, 2012


Initially Obama wanted to grant an extension of the Bush era tax cuts only apply to individuals making less than $200K per year and families making under $250K. The income restrictions were lifted, the Bush-era tax cuts were extended for another 2 years, and what Obama got in return was "unemployment benefits for another 13 months and [a forgoing] that the $60 billion cost be offset by a cut in federal spending.

Yeah, everyone understands that. The point of contention is if the Republicans were really going to go through with cutting off unemployment to get tax cuts for rich people, and if they would have been able to sell that to the public if they tried.

Since everyone signed off on the tax cut extension, we won't ever know how that battle would end up, but nobody gets to claim they know the answer for sure.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:32 PM on March 23, 2012


For one thing, Obama negotiated an extension of the tax cuts, and then actively endorsed that compromise. He didn't merely reluctantly acquiesce to congress. Let's not pretend the actions Obama actually takes are somehow the fault of congress. That is by far one of the most annoying traits of Obama's hard-core defenders.

For another, if he hadn't acted at all, the tax cuts would have expired on their own. that is an important point here. Obama had to actively extend the tax cuts, or they would have expired on their own. That's why it's so disingenuous to blame congress here. Congress could not have extended the tax cuts on their own without Obama, because they'd actually need a supermajority in both houses. That's really unlikely.


You are being purposefully disingenuous. You are refusing to acknowledge that there are different tax brackets so that you can pretend that Obama somehow did something he did not pledge to do. It is morally wrong for you to distort the facts.

Here are the facts. From the beginning Obama promised that he would repeal the tax cuts fort the wealthy, while leaving them intact for the middle class. You cannot be for a stimulus and not for this--it is about leaving spendable cash in the hands of consumers.

In early 2011, all the Bush tax cuts were to expire both the upper-bracket cuts he promised to repeal, and the middle-class ones he promised to retain. You deliberately avoid mentioning this fact to make your "case" appear to have merit. The Republicans had just won the House and would be taking power soon. Obama had a month of a Democratic majority in the House an a slim and filibuster able majority in the Senate. This meant that the GOP could stop anything they wanted to. Obama could have let all the tax cuts expire and broken his campaign promise not to raise taxes on the middle class, pulling consumer spending in the middle of a fragile recovery down in the process. Or he could have extended all the tax cuts another ten years and broken his campaign promise to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 a year.

Instead, he split the baby. He forged an agreement with GOP Senate Minority Leader to extend both sets of tax cuts 2 years in exchange for no-filibuster votes on 4 items: (1) DADT repeal, (2) extension of the payroll tax cut for middle-class voters, (3) an extension of unemployment insurance benefits, and (4) ratification of the New START Treaty, a nuclear arms treaty whose predecessor, negotiated by Bush I, was blocked for 19 years by the GOP.

So if you are against that deal, please explain why. Are you for the recovery-killing middle class tax hike, payroll tax reimposition and ending of unemployment benefits? Are you for or against the repeal of DADT? Because you are not giving the complete truth in the way you laid out the tax cut repeal situation. Obama fulfilled several campaign promises and kept alive the promise he did not have the votes to fulfill at that point. That's leadership. That's the President keeping promises to the people who voted for him.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:07 AM on March 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


So if you are against that deal, please explain why.

Probably because he opposes the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:10 AM on March 24, 2012


So if you are against that deal, please explain why.

Probably because he opposes the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:10 AM on March 24 [+] [!]


If he wanted that at the expense of raising taxes on th middle class, he should have voted Communist. Because Obama promised to not let the Bush tax cuts expire on the middle class. I can totally respectfully disagree with anyone who opposed Obama from the left before the election and voted against him because of that. But making up stories about what the President promised to do is morally wrong. Obama's done some things I didn't agree with (Libya for example), but to act as if he didn't do exactly as he said he would if given the opportunity and the votes in Congress is flat-out deceptive.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:21 AM on March 24, 2012


If you don't want to raise taxes on the middle class you might as well vote Republican, nobody seriously holds that position.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:28 AM on March 24, 2012


I'm not sure that it was the right call to acquiesce to the opposition's position that it was an all or nothing deal, but I understand his reluctance to kick the poor and middle class in the nuts by raising their income tax in the middle of a recession.
The problem with that line of reasoning is that the unemployment stuff needed to be renewed, like, every six months or so. By that time the republicans already fought and acquiesced a bunch of times.

And the thing is, at any point the democrats could have just extended it for 10 years or something. They had the majority in both houses, the republicans couldn't sustain a filibuster for yet another 6mo extension, why would they be able to do it for 10 years?

You can't just throw up your hands and say "It was a hostage situation" when the only reason a "hostage situation" comes up is because of prior legislative maneuvering. Really, it's such a weak excuse.

And honestly, the republicans are always going to be able to take some hostages. If you say the democrats always have to give into their demands, then you are essentially arguing that the republicans should always get their way.
Would [raising the capital gains tax significantly] destroy/shrink the economy, or keep the economy less suspectible to bubbles and rampant speculation?


The problem is all the hedge fund managers getting paid in "Stock Options" and paying capital gains taxes on their income.
In other words, yes, the Bush-era tax cuts were set to expire. Republicans were refusing "to go gentle into that good night" and were holding the lifelines of many impoverished and recently jobless people and families with a pair of budget cut scissors.

You can spin it how you want to, delmoi, but the reality of bipartisan compromise means you give up some of what you want and give others some of what they want.
As I said: Unemployment had been extended several times during the first two years. The democrats chose not to extend funding for more then six months at a time. Just like they chose not to increase the debt limit when they knew it was going to be an issue.

the democrats left all those landmines laying all over the place when they were in the majority, then proceeded to step all over them

It's kind of exasperating that people only want to look at a single event in isolation. With the debt limit it's even worse. I think they actually expected to 'trap' the republicans into voting for it, so they could no longer use it as a campaign issue against them. The result: the U.S. getting close to default (not really, IMO, but they acted like they might) and the democrats were suddenly on-hook for massive, massive cuts. And by the way, let's not pretend those cuts didn't hurt poor people the same way a failure to extend unemployment benefits would have.

The "Obama defender" narrative always involve a compromise made to 'save the hostage'. But there are several problems with this:

1) Most seriously, it ignores the question of whether or not something could have been to avoid the hostage situation. It's like looking at only one move of a chess game. The mistake may have been made several moves back.

2) There is a game theory problem. Since republicans can just keep taking these 'hostages', you end up in a situation where they always win. You can't expect people to support you if you always lose, there's no point.

3) Furthermore, if you always give up, it signals to the republicans that they'll always win with this technique, encouraging them to do it more.

4) There isn't an analysis of really how bad off the hostages will be, compared to the potential problems caused not only by acquiescing at this point, but by continuing to signal future acquiescence.

But the big problem is #1, ignoring how the hostage situation came about in the first place.
It really is stupid for Obama to alienate these people. He should have drawn a sharp rhetorical attack against the criminals among them and come down strongly on the side of the honest financiers. A lot of them are very intelligent and rational; he should have drawn them into a dialogue about how to solve the nation's problems.
The problem is they don't think there are any 'criminals' among them.
You are being purposefully disingenuous.-- Ironmouth
Lol. I don't really find that worth a response.
posted by delmoi at 9:52 AM on March 24, 2012


If you don't want to raise taxes on the middle class you might as well vote Republican, nobody seriously holds that position.

Hello! If Obama would have done nothing, those tax cuts would have expired on the middle class. The GOP wouldn't have done it, you say? Wanna bet? They turn around on day 1 of their House leadership and offer 10 year extension on both. What would have everyone done then? They would have voted for it!

No fantasy-land scenario would have worked to get the middle class cuts extended and the upper class ones stopped. So he kicked the can down the road. With the pluses of DADT and the rest.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:29 AM on March 24, 2012


You are being purposefully disingenuous.-- Ironmouth
Lol. I don't really find that worth a response.


Please explain, then, why you excluded the different brackets and the actual campaign promises from your layout of the facts.

There is a game theory problem. Since republicans can just keep taking these 'hostages', you end up in a situation where they always win.

Explain to me how they "won." Did they "win" on DADT? No. Did they win on the tax cut extension? No. Did they get a permanent (ie no sunset-clause) extension of the tax cuts? No. Did they win on filibustering New START? What you are doing is quite simple--you are setting up raising taxes on the highest bracket as the only thing constituting a win. That it is not.

This isn't a game theory problem. This is real life, stuff theorists are trying to explain.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:38 AM on March 24, 2012


he other thing that is a huge error is the constant conflating of the President and those of his or party in congress. You constantly present problems as if the President can just order the Democrats to do what he wants.

A prime example is the tax debate. In the fall of 2010, the President repeatedly suggested the Dems do the tax cut deal then, before the election and run on it if the GOP filibustered it. Pelosi refused.

If game theory is to be inovked, its high time the actual players and the board be identified instead of a simplification which obscures the facts.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:54 AM on March 24, 2012


Hello! If Obama would have done nothing, those tax cuts would have expired on the middle class. The GOP wouldn't have done it, you say? Wanna bet? They turn around on day 1 of their House leadership and offer 10 year extension on both.

Hi, as I said before I don't believe they would be willing to do that, no. Doing so would be a risky political gambit that could easily destroy them. Taking on populace outrage from the poor and middle class in defense of the rich is the harder sell.

We are going to have to agree to disagree on that though since we have been through it so many times.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:24 PM on March 24, 2012


There is a game theory problem. Since republicans can just keep taking these 'hostages', you end up in a situation where they always win.

Explain to me how they "won." Did they win on the tax cut extension? No. Did they get a permanent (ie no sunset-clause) extension of the tax cuts? No.


Yes, they won on the tax cut extension, they got it extended when what Obama wanted was for them to expire. And since they will always use the middle class cuts as a hostage they will never, ever expire until their bluff is called.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:28 PM on March 24, 2012


Hi, as I said before I don't believe they would be willing to do that, no. Doing so would be a risky political gambit that could easily destroy them. Taking on populace outrage from the poor and middle class in defense of the rich is the harder sell.

But they don't have to do anything other than filibuster. No votes against an actual bill.

Second, look at the time. At that point, they are literally the farthest away from an election they are going to be. Its the perfect time.

If they turn around and offer their own bill and Obama says no, its immediately on Obama to say no. And he has to actively veto the bill, not just sit on his hands. They were in an excellent position.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:42 PM on March 24, 2012


Right, and the Democrats offer their bill too, a bill that actually reflected the position of the public.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:45 PM on March 24, 2012


This isn't a game theory problem. This is real life, stuff theorists are trying to explain.
You don't think that the nuclear missiles the US and soviets had pointed at each-other were "real life"? Yet, the U.S. used game theory to manage the standoff.
Game theory is a method of studying strategic decision making. More formally, it is "the study of mathematical models of conflict and cooperation between intelligent rational decision-makers."[1] An alternative term suggested "as a more descriptive name for the discipline" is interactive decision theory.[2] Game theory is mainly used in economics, political science, and psychology, as well as logic and biology.
...
Modern game theory began with the idea regarding the existence of mixed-strategy equilibria in two-person zero-sum games and its proof by John von Neumann. Von Neumann's original proof used Brouwer's fixed-point theorem on continuous mappings into compact convex sets, which became a standard method in game theory and mathematical economics. His paper was followed by his 1944 book Theory of Games and Economic Behavior, with Oskar Morgenstern, which considered cooperative games of several players. The second edition of this book provided an axiomatic theory of expected utility, which allowed mathematical statisticians and economists to treat decision-making under uncertainty.
Etc. Math doesn't stop being true just because you don't like what it has to say. Game theory applies to games, but it also applies to everything else involving competition between decision making entities.
he other thing that is a huge error is the constant conflating of the President and those of his or party in congress. You constantly present problems as if the President can just order the Democrats to do what he wants.
The critique applies to the democratic party as a whole. I don't really have an interest in figuring which particular democrat is the most spineless. What difference does it make? Obama is in some sense a metonym for the party.

Like I said above. If you look at a chess board where one person is screwed, it's easy to say "they're screwed, there's nothing they can do!" But you have to look back and see if there are other moves they could have made to avoid the current arrangement.

like furiousxgeorge said: Obama could have simply offered* a bill that would have put a middle class tax cut in place indefinitely. He could have done that at any time from Jan, 2009 forward. After the republicans took the house, they might have voted it down, but politically that would have been a hard sell for them.

(*more specifically, had someone in congress offer it)
Please explain, then, why you excluded the different brackets and the actual campaign promises from your layout of the facts ... Explain to me how they "won." Did they "win" on DADT? No. Did they win on the tax cut extension? No. Did they get a permanent (ie no sunset-clause) extension of the tax cuts? No. Did they win on filibustering New START? What you are doing is quite simple--you are setting up raising taxes on the highest bracket as the only thing constituting a win. That it is not.
This kind of random noise isn't really worth engaging in, but I would point out that joe lisboa brought up the tax cut deal and congress, not me. I was simply pointing out that Obama did play a major role in that. It also ties into the FPP topic at least a little bit, which is Obama's relationship with bankers. DADT isn't relevant to that at all.
posted by delmoi at 1:33 PM on March 24, 2012


DADT isn't relevant to that at all.

When you let Obama negotiate the price of your car, you end up with one damn fine boat.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:54 PM on March 24, 2012


This kind of random noise isn't really worth engaging in, but I would point out that joe lisboa brought up the tax cut deal and congress, not me.

I merely responded to your comment. If you do not want to get involved in steering the conversation in that direction, don't steer it in that direction.

DADT has everything to do with the tax deal you commented on. It was explicitly a part of that. Deal.

Still wondering why you left the key tax bracket details on your multi-paragraph comment on the tax deal.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:35 AM on March 26, 2012


like furiousxgeorge said: Obama could have simply offered* a bill that would have put a middle class tax cut in place indefinitely. He could have done that at any time from Jan, 2009 forward. After the republicans took the house, they might have voted it down, but politically that would have been a hard sell for them.

I disagree.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for McConnell said today that every Senate Republican has pledged to oppose any attempt to extend the Bush tax cuts that doesn't include an extension of the tax cuts for the wealthy. McConnell himself has given similar remarks.
You appear to have no grasp of parliamentary procedure. One the GOP had the House, they controlled the calendar. The hypothetical bill you refer to would have never come up for a vote.

Finally, you continue to make the same Obama=House Dems mistake. They are not the same thing. It important to get the big, simple facts right.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:43 AM on March 26, 2012


You are (as usual) confusing parliamentary procedure with convincing the public. When the country is outraged at the Republicans for cutting off their unemployment over tax cuts for rich people procedure isn't going to save them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:58 AM on March 26, 2012


You are (as usual) confusing parliamentary procedure with convincing the public. When the country is outraged at the Republicans for cutting off their unemployment over tax cuts for rich people procedure isn't going to save them.

I'm responding to Delmoi's claim that the GOP would not be able to bote down the Dem bill after they gained control of the House above.

Think this out. As soon as they get in, the GOP puts one bill up for a vote, one extending all the tax cuts. Its the only bill that can be voted on. Why? Because tax bills must start in the House. So its gonna be voted on and passed. Then it goes to the Senate, where its filubustered. Now who is standing in the way of tax relief? The Dems. This is elementary. You cannot create any scenario where the GOP is Blocking anything for more that 1 month 2 years out from the next election. The GOP had threatened to filibuster any such legislation. They had the power, and one month after winning the 2010 elections they had no reason to expect that they would have any problems, as they had their own bill ready to go. The consequences of any minor, one-month delay were as far away as they could be.

The actual details count.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 AM on March 26, 2012


They had no power to pass a bill without approval from the Dems, and the entire country would know the only reason a bill was still being discussed was that the Republicans sacrificed middle class tax cuts and unemployment payments so they could gift money to rich people.

No, the procedural details don't matter as much as that. You're waving a piece of paper at people waving pitchforks back at you. Nobody cares more about rule books than their money outside of the D.C. bubble, and a month would be an eternity for people who could not afford to make their payments because unemployment was cut off. Actually going through with the bluff would have been political suicide for the Republicans.

That said, delmoi is correct to point out it's ridiculous to act like the only thing that counts is after the Republicans take control of the house. The Democrats had their chances to fight and win this battle and they passed on it.

Until you change the playbook so that the hostage taking won't always mean extensions, they will always pass on it.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:23 AM on March 26, 2012


They had no power to pass a bill without approval from the Dems, and the entire country would know the only reason a bill was still being discussed was that the Republicans sacrificed middle class tax cuts and unemployment payments so they could gift money to rich people.

Let's be clear here. The Dems would have been put in a tough position, with two years to go and no extension to middle-class tax cuts. Do you believe they would have voted down middle-class tax relief only to prevent the upper-class tax relief from going through? Because they would have been under tremendous pressure.

That said, delmoi is correct to point out it's ridiculous to act like the only thing that counts is after the Republicans take control of the house. The Democrats had their chances to fight and win this battle and they passed on it.

This post was not about the Democrats. Its about President Obama and his reelection. Should the Dem House have passed the tax cut bill before? YES. Did Obama ask them to do so? Yes. Did Pelosi do it? No. Is it Obama's fault that she didn't do anything? No.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:19 PM on March 26, 2012


Let's be clear here. The Dems would have been put in a tough position, with two years to go and no extension to middle-class tax cuts. Do you believe they would have voted down middle-class tax relief only to prevent the upper-class tax relief from going through? Because they would have been under tremendous pressure.

The pressure would be on the group holding up the process by taking unemployment and middle class tax cuts hostage in the name of unpopular tax cuts for rich people. The Democratic position was the popular one, not the Republican position. When the Democrats are willing to pass a clean bill at any time, they aren't the ones in the tough position.

This post was not about the Democrats. Its about President Obama and his reelection. Should the Dem House have passed the tax cut bill before? YES. Did Obama ask them to do so? Yes. Did Pelosi do it? No. Is it Obama's fault that she didn't do anything? No.

So Obama is to be held accountable for the actions of the Republican house but not the Democratic house. Got it.

Doesn't work that way, Obama is the leader of his party and people know that. If they mess up, he messed up. If the Republicans mess up, THEIR leadership messed up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:29 PM on March 26, 2012


« Older Nadia Naffe describes herself as a former accompli...  |  The newly launched Roads & Kin... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments