Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Guillotines Wells Fargo On Live TV
Conservatives like to dismiss Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a former "waitress and bartender," because liberals are the coastal "elites" who have no respect for working people. They've even negatively compared her to Sarah Palin, an intellectual lightweight from their own party. Unfortunately, Ocasio-Cortez complicates this narrative because she's actually competent. During recent congressional hearings, she's proven deft, serving up lethal inquiries that leave witnesses asking for their mommies.
Tuesday Ocasio-Cortez publicly spanked Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan during his appearance before the House Financial Services Committee. The committee is examining the company's "pattern of consumer abuses," a benign description of its reported "practices of predatory lending, misleading and defrauding customers."
First, we should give a shout out to Rep. Katie Porter, who "dragged" Sloan with "receipts." (You can't imagine how thrilled we are that this is a direct quote.)
These kickass freshman Democrat women are giving out the wedgies in defiance of the natural order of high school. After Porter filleted Sloan, Ocasio-Cortez then grilled him on a carbon-spewing Weber barbecue about Wells Fargo's role in possibly helping pollute the planet.
Ocasio-Cortez: Should Wells Fargo be held responsible for the damages incurred by climate change due to the financing of fossil fuels and these projects?
Sloan: I don't know how you'd calculate that, Congresswoman.
Well, first you get out your slide rule ... Dude, you're a bank. You do nothing but calculate profits and losses.
Ocasio-Cortez: Say, from spills or when we have to reinvest in infrastructure, building sea walls from the erosion of infrastructure, or cleanups, wildfires, etc.
Sloan: Related to that pipeline? I'm not aware that there's been any of what you described that's occurred related to that pipeline.
Ocasio-Cortez: How about the cleanups from the leaks of the Dakota Access pipeline?
Sloan: I'm not aware of the leaks associated with the Dakota Access pipeline.
The Dakota Access pipeline has leaked at least five times since 2017. Sloan probably isn't playing dumb. He's likely arguing that just because Wells Fargo financed the pipeline, it's not responsible for everything the pipeline does. That seems fair. We shouldn't have to register as a sex offender just because we bought all of Michael Jackson's albums.
Conservatives pounced on Ocasio-Cortez for what they believed was an obvious gaffe and clear evidence that her pretty head is filled with little more than beer nuts and cocktail napkins.
Graham Allen probably looks at himself in the mirror and thinks he sees a clever person. He should consult an ophthalmologist. The star of A&E's "Rodeo Girls" even came for the AOC. It wasn't pretty.
Ocasio-Cortez also accused Wells Fargo of "financing the caging of children." This shook Sloan, who claimed he didn't "even know how to answer that question." Sure, if you want to get technical, Wells Fargo has financed two firms that run detention facilities the government possibly uses to lock up kids like the villains in Pinocchio. But that was a while ago. Only one of those partnerships is even still active. Why is she bringing up old shit?
SLOAN: I'm not familiar with the specific assertion that you are making, but we weren't involved with that.
OCASIO-CORTEZ: These companies run private detention facilities run by ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement], which is involved in caging children but I'll move on.
When a woman of color says, "I'll move on," she's giving you fair warning that she's not "moving on."
Sloan took over Wells Fargo in 2016 after a "fake accounts" scandal forced out his predecessor. He's done such a bang-up job shares of the company fell 25 percent in 2018. Elizabeth Warren has repeatedly asked him to go jump in a river. He still received a five percent raise last year that brought his total compensation to $18.4 million. He can finally buy that sofa he's been eying.
This earned a rare response from the Federal Reserve.
"The Federal Reserve does not approve pay packages. We expect boards of directors to hold management accountable," said a Fed spokesperson in an emailed statement when asked about the bank's new executive compensation numbers.
It's like no one's responsible for anything! That's just the sort of blase reaction to rampant corruption that Ocasio-Cortez wants to stop.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).