Ted Kaufman

In a new book, a former Senate insider and lobbying kingpin spills the beans on how Wall Street throws its weight around Washington.

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WILMINGTON, Del.--On the eve of the primary that would end his electoral career, Rep. Mike Castle was in a reflective mood.

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Have we finally fixed the 'too big to fail' problem?

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Close Call

Last Wednesday, Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln took to the Senate floor and delivered about as fiery a speech as you’ll hear in the chamber, at least on the subject of financial reform. “Currently, five of the largest commercial banks account for ninety-seven percent of the [derivatives market],” she said.

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A Few Good Dems

The Democrats’ recent electoral woes have been well-chronicled. Within the last six months, the party has been plagued by high-profile losses (Martha Coakley, Jon Corzine), high-profile retirements (Byron Dorgan, Marion Berry), and, yes, even high-profile deaths (Ted Kennedy, John Murtha). Stack those on top of a faltering economy, a stalled-out Congress, and a pissed-off populace (to name just three bits of bad news), and the first Tuesday in November is looking nasty.

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I'm only an imtermittent visitor to the financial blog Zero Hedge. But between my occasional perusals, and Joe Hagan's interesting profile of the blog (and its proprietor Dan Ivandjiiski) in last week's New York magazine, I can't help thinking it has a lot in common with the political blog Daily Kos. Both have an aggressively anti-establishment, semi-conspiratorial worldview and are constantly fulminating against the powers that be (big Wall Street firms in the first instance, sellout Washington Democrats and their corporate overseers in the second).

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Striking quote in today's Washington Post: "I want to hear from the president, and not just on combat troops," Sen. Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) said in an interview. "Combat troops is like the public option" in health care, he said, quoting a conversation with Levin this month when they traveled together to Afghanistan. "Everybody can understand combat troops." For most Americans, Kaufman said, eight years "is an eternity, and now they come in asking for another batch of troops? What's that all about? . . . This is a crescendo growing.

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