Tue
Aug 19 2008
11:20 am

If Joe Biden is Obama's Veep pick, I am going to have a really hard time voting for Obama.* Biden is a special-interest laden millstone eaten up with huge dollops of corporate influence peddling topped with an unabashed love of consumer credit card lobbyist money. If you want to know why your credit cards can go from 5.9%APR to 29.9%APR overnight because you didn't return a letter confirming that you wanted to keep the 5.9%APR or something medieval like that, thank Joe Biden.

*And I am already holding my nose....

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Ragsdale2010's picture

Biden also accentuates Obama's "youth"

Biden is at least 66 and really makes Obama look rather young and inexperienced in their joint appearances.

Biden brings big baggage and lots of credibility questions and if credit cards are going to be campaign issue in 2008, Biden has catered to the card industry which is solidly entrenched in Wilmington, Delaware and he has ushered in all types of "accomodations" for that industry in the halls of Congress.

Factchecker's picture

...Biden has catered to the

...Biden has catered to the card industry which is solidly entrenched in Wilmington, Delaware and he has ushered in all types of "accomodations" for that industry...

Didn't know about a Biden/credit company connection, but Delaware has long been known as the state for incorporating. It isn't because of him and he can't be blamed for using that to help his state. Well, maybe some.

That said, I've never much cared for Biden. Don't like his style--too gruff and smarmy. And I don't think Obama should pick from the Senate either. They're all needed there (except Lieberman).

I'm hoping the pick, whoever it is, is someone refreshing and novel. I still like Wes Clark best, I think. Liberal doves won't love him, but that won't hurt as much as Clark will help shore up moderates and the strong on defense front. Hell, I still like Bob Kerrey too.

P.S. I forgot about Kathleen Sebelius. I think she's my favorite of the most mentioned short list (not including Clark). I'd go for Hillary only if it produced a slam dunk in Nov. I would only hope a pick of KS would not be seen as a snub by HC's supporters. That's a little touchy.

Anonymously Nine's picture

Klaatu barada nikto

Klaatu barada nikto

metulj's picture

The only other person I know

The only other person I know who thought that was clever was also a pompous ass. You are in good company on the day the earth stood still.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Anonymously Nine's picture

Get the net...Mad Butterfly

The only other person I know who thought that was clever was also a pompous ass.

Had to use wiki to look it up didn't you? Sad.

metulj's picture

What's the Knoxville

What's the Knoxville connection, dipshit? That's how I know.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

gonzone's picture

Isn't he

Isn't he the senator from MBNA? Who represents Delaware?

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Rachel's picture

To be honest, I find fault

To be honest, I find fault with all the possible VP picks.

At least Biden is extremely good on foreign affairs, and a great campaigner. His "Rudy Guiliani: a noun, a verb, and 9/11" was the best sound bite of the primary season.

KC's picture

Interesting. When the

Interesting.

When the Democrats should have it in the bag this time, they seem quite ready, if you all are any indication, to rip the bag apart, if it isn't the exact kind of bag they want.

metulj's picture

You assume that I consider

You assume that I consider myself a member of the Democratic Party.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Brian A.'s picture

People on the blogs seem to

People on the blogs seem to have a lot easier time selecting who shouldn't be Vice President than picking who should be.

Unfortunately, Obama has to pick an actual live person.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

Johnny Ringo's picture

Unfortunately, Obama has to

Unfortunately, Obama has to pick an actual live person.

Not necessarily. He could pick Al Gore.

gonzone's picture

But

live person != corporate whore

Sebelius, for example.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

jbr's picture

How about Sam Nunn?

How about Sam Nunn?

Anonymous's picture

Lets see Obama and Biden or

Lets see Obama and Biden or Mccain and ?.

You must be loosing it. Who really cares who his VEEP is.

Come on.

dan's picture

credit cards

Those credit card companies have ruined the lives of millions of decent americans. Its especially heinous what they do on these college campuses. They prey upon these naive kids like vultures until they drive them into bankruptcy.

HSimplex10's picture

Biden doesn't carry the change theme very far

aside from Teddy Kennedy, he's about as entrenched in Washington and its culture of waste, abuse, and excessively poor decision making as they come.

Govenor Bill Richardson is a much better choice, however, the Clintons can't stomach him and Obama can't push the Clintons any further to the edge or they will swift boat him and they may still yet.

Brian A.'s picture

Those credit card companies

Those credit card companies have ruined the lives of millions of decent americans.

I agree that credit card companies have high charges, but don't the consumers themselves bear much of the blame? The credit card companies aren't forcing people to go out and buy stuff they can't afford.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

gonzone's picture

No

No, the blame rests on financial de-regulators like Biden and Gramm. Period.
Would you loan money to a student with no job and no prospect of a job for years? Neither would I. A loan shark might, just maybe, but MBNA will beg them daily to please, please fill out our easy application and get CASH baby! That ain't right. That should be illegal.

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

Johnny Ringo's picture

Um, how about spreading a

Um, how about spreading a little blame to their parents, who failed to tell them not to respond to credit card offers? My son and I had a long talk about that one, and I expect him to listen. Had I failed to talk to him about such things and were he to get himself in credit trouble, I think I would blame myself.

metulj's picture

But you get a t-shirt, Dad!

But you get a t-shirt, Dad! Again, the personal responsibility line is one thing. My own experience at a private college where I was the hoi polloi compared to my friends, who despite being exasperated at my poverty, still insisted that I tag along, no matter the expense, on semester long jaunts to Europe, no expenses paid. It is a much more complicated matter than: "Don't get a credit card." There is pressure from all kinds of direction and the sort of the pressure that parental guidance has little power over. You are in Knoxville. Little Ringo is in New Haven (?).

Anyhow, my own experience with a credit card in college was spotty, but I never got behind on it. When I pledged my fraternity (yeah, yeah, whatever), they took us to Lexington, KY and kicked us out of the van after taking all of our money. Too bad they didn't check me for my Amex. We rented a Uhaul van, piled into it and beat them back to campus by 16 hours (they stopped in Knoxville for the Fiji blowout).

On the more "moral" side of having a credit card, when I lived in Italy, one of my fellow American boarders fell down (not drunk) and broke her jaw. I called her folks who were flummoxed by how to get the couple of thousand dollars to fix the jaw up and fly her back to home. (Actually the ticket was something like $1800). I had them send the money to the Amex office in Rome on my card account and the woman at the office arranged everything. So I think there is value in having a credit card of some kind.

One solution that a friend has for his son: He put him on his small business Amex. Amex can put a cap on each card if you request and he has him on a tight leash. He can't do cash withdrawals, but he puts groceries (double points) and such on the card. The deal is that if he pays back the money to the card religiously, he gets to use the Amex points to travel. I'd have jumped at that deal and been a damn good kid for that deal if it had been offered to me.

You can see that I am an Amex fan, but I still think Joe Biden sucks.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Andy Axel's picture

Been in Dover?

AMEX is hq'd in New York City, not in Dover - home to Wachovia, Mellon Bank, BOA Card Services, and Discover.

____________________________

"It's gettin' so a businessman can't expect no return from a fixed fight. Now, if you can't trust a fix, what can you trust?"

Hildegard's picture

Johnny Ringo

I bet you've also told your kid (when he was young) not to get in the car with strangers, but I bet you'd still hold the stranger responsible for anything bad that happened to your kid.

Anyway, relevant question: Is it true, as I have heard asserted, that you do not believe that such a thing as usury exists? I did not believe it but this is my chance to ask.

Johnny Ringo's picture

Um - where did you hear

Um - where did you hear that? I don't recall having ever taken that position, although I suppose a doctrinaire libertarian might make such an assertion, and I guess it's possible I might have said something like that for argument's sake.

I guess the simple answer is that if the state or federal legislature defines lending money at over a certain rate of interest as "usury", then there's such a thing as usury. What rate of interest is "usurous" would be, I would think, entirely defined by the legislature.

Do I think that some rates of interest are usurous in and of themselves, without regard to what the law is? I dunno. I think parts of the Bible would suggest that lending money at any rate of interest would constitute usury, but if you don't accept that definition, then where you draw the line between an APR of .0000000000001% and 100000000000% is a matter of taste.

Maybe I don't understand your question.

metulj's picture

"but if you don't accept

"but if you don't accept that definition, then where you draw the line between an APR of .0000000000001% and 100000000000% is a matter of taste."

No. It is a matter of empirical fact that interest rates, a form of market regulation and governance if there ever was one, have a direct effect on the values and costs of every segment of an economy. Maybe you call that "taste." I call it "reckless."

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Johnny Ringo's picture

Tell me then, what is the

Tell me then, what is the rate of interest that, in every place and at every time and under any conditions, constitutes "usury".

metulj's picture

How many angels can dance on

How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? I love the siren call of the epistemology police.

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Johnny Ringo's picture

Thanks for making my point.

Thanks for making my point. There isn't a rate that's usurious regardless of time or economic conditions. "Taste" perhaps wasn't the best word, but my point was there is no point of interest that in some metephysical sense is usurious.

metulj's picture

Actually, my point is that

Actually, my point is that you are engaging in rhetorical games about "truth." "Taste" is probably the best word for the whole enterprise as it isone that is fleeting and designed to change at the whim of its user.

Personally, I'd rather trust facts and develop practices in response to consequences emanating from those facts. It is a fact that interest rates and the practice of them regulate and govern segments of economies. What are the consequences of that? How can we change those practices when suffering appears as a consequence of certain facts about interest on money?

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

rikki's picture

gross domestic protruberance

It's certainly a fact that credit card companies can charge rates and fees now that are radically higher than what was legal 20 years ago. 29% interest is certainly usurious, but it's not just the interest rate. It's the fees and the traps in the fine print.

Like I said while changing the subject to Chalabi: "You can pay back way more than you ever purchased with the card and still be in a hole. That is the definition of usury."

And after lobbyists bought permission to be usurious and consumers started falling in the traps, what did Congress do? Rein in the banks? Nope. They created non-profit credit counseling agencies and futzed with bankruptcy laws, opening up a new busy-work industry for lawyers. It's a pretty good example of how our economic indicators do not distinguish healthy growth from mere bloating and swelling.

rikki's picture

Maybe I don't understand

Maybe I don't understand your question.

Maybe you don't want to. It's a lot easier to dismiss bankruptcies and foreclosures if you think of the debt as a consequence of irresponsibility, and focusing this discussion on college students is a fine way to ignore all the people whose debt spiraled out of control because of an illness or a transmission failure or a divorce or a layoff.

There is a good reason why creditors are willing to settle accounts for a fraction of the balance. It's because 29% interest and $39 fees add up real fast. You can pay back way more than you ever purchased with the card and still be in a hole. That is the definition of usury.

Johnny Ringo's picture

rikki, this mini-thread was

rikki, this mini-thread was focused on credit card companies, and specifically on the charge that they prey on college students. My comment focused on that. You changed the subject.

rikki's picture

woe upon me

OMG! I changed the subject from credit card companies preying on college students to credit card companies preying on not just college students! I should be strung up by my short hairs! How can I respect myself after such a grievous logical lapse?

OMG! And like my post had totally nothing to do with anything! I wish I could address the subject incisively by demanding someone produce a threshold interest rate delineating usury from everything else. Why must I be cursed with such weak debating skills as changing the subject within a mini-thread?

Johnny Ringo's picture

Look, we all know that all

Look, we all know that all of the problems with the mortgage and forclosure crisis would be solved if we could just get Dick Cheney under oath and find out who gave Chalabi the milkshake.

Hildegard's picture

It was just as plain and

It was just as plain and simple as it sounded. You answered it. And it was an honest question, because people often (usually?) get quoted out of context and I sorta doubted you'd ever said you don't "believe in usury" as my source put it. My guess is whatever you said got over-reduced. So I just wondered, and this topic put me in mind to ask. (I honestly don't remember who told me - it was some liberal suspect down at the brew pub who likes you a whole lot, tho.)

It ain't no big deal.

redmondkr's picture

You can see that I am an

You can see that I am an Amex fan, but I still think Joe Biden sucks.

I have carried an Amex card since 1980 and I have never had a bad experience with them. They once helped me avoid paying Gateway a dime for a DVD recorder that I ordered online. It never burned the first DVD.


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R. Neal's picture

Y'all should see this

Y'all should see this documentary if you haven't already:

(link...)

It explains how credit card companies and banks have been mining the less-than-stellar credit market for years, as Rikki explains above, because they are the most profitable customers over the long haul. Especially so now that bankruptcy has been eliminated for many of these people who are basically now in debtor's prison.

But yeah, personal responsibility plays a big part. The flip side is that people aren't educated enough to understand what they are being sold, or are redlined so they have no other options. Good for parents who at least try to teach their kids what schools and free markets don't.

cooperhawk's picture

You"ll vote for Obama

You"ll vote for Obama

Brian A.'s picture

Back to the original topic

Back to the original topic (Vice President), let's just stipulate that Biden is D-Visa/Mastercard/AmEx. Should that disqualify him from being Vice President? Is so, why? What danger does he pose? Arguably, as Vice President he would have less of a voice on banking policy than he does now in the Senate.

You can find warts on everyone if you look hard enough.

Brian A.
I'd rather be cycling.

redmondkr's picture

It Ain't Me, Babe

Biden is saying that he is not the one.


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Elrod's picture

Biden is a great attack dog

I don't give a crap about the credit card industry. I think they're slugs but the number of people voting against the bankruptcy bill was puny.

Biden is a great attack dog and that's what Obama needs right now. He needs to start mocking John McCain for everything he says. The high road crap might help Obama but lots of voters only notice the low road.

Noun plus verb plus POW - That's McCain's campaign in a nutshell.

gonzone's picture

Good point

That's a good point that I hadn't considered Elrod.

Obama should stay on the high road but who said his VP choice needs to do the same? The VP could be his attack dog and Biden makes a logical choice as such.

Even though I detest Biden(MBNA) for his financial industry whoring, I also realize politics is nasty and, by definition, requires compromise, so I'm not opposed to Biden as a choice. Thank God Bayh didn't make the cut!

"When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro."
Hunter S. Thompson

redmondkr's picture

Rikki, Rikki, Rikki,

Rikki, Rikki, Rikki,

Take a Bombay Sapphire and tonic and everything will look much, much better.

I have found that I can even get over hurtful name-calling from Tiger Cup if I have enough gin in the house.


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rikki's picture

snake eyes

Take a Bombay Sapphire and tonic and everything will look much, much better.

Your elitist salve is no match for the humiliation of changing the subject of a mini-thread. I've gone to the Pilot, bought one of each on-the-counter stimulant, a bottle of cough syrup, five lottery tickets, malt liquor and a half-dozen Fudge Rounds, and I'm rolling the fucking dice!

redmondkr's picture

Your elitist salve . . Well

Your elitist salve . .

Well these will do in a pinch.


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Factchecker's picture

...if we could just get Dick

...if we could just get Dick Cheney under oath and find out who gave Chalabi the milkshake.

Whom should we suspect more than Cheney?

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