It's Friday, ya bastids!
Well, yesterday the Republicans in the Senate torpedoed an extension of unemployment benefits… thereby pretty much assuring an extension of the recession. Democrats worked and worked, but they just couldn’t make this bill bad enough for Republicans. Republicans kept insisting on a smaller and smaller bill… and then they killed it anyway. And that’s pretty much their plan for government in general. Senator Debbie Stabenow says that the filibuster of the jobless extension shows that the Republicans want the economy to fail. She said “They have decided they want this economy to fail, and they’re willing to take the country down with them.” (video below). Somewhat harsh words, but for a much harsher action.
While Senate Republicans were reigning in those spoiled unemployed people, the rest of Congress was finally reigning in Wall Street. House and Senate leaders have finalized a financial reform bill. It’s hard to tell how good this bill is. But absolutely none of the Republicans in the conference committee supported it—so that’s a very good sign. The law includes consumer protections, and a requirement that banks segregate their derivatives activities into a separately capitalized subsidiary. If you have no idea what that means, that only highlights the need for the consumer protections. One of the compromises was to exempt auto dealers from oversight by the new consumer financial protection watchdog. Really? Car dealers are exempt? That’s kind of like exempting hot dogs from a food purity law… or exempting the NRA from a disclosure law. Finally, the National Enquirer is out with a piece about a masseuse who claims that Al Gore sexually assaulted her. Gee, I wonder if this story is going to have a happy ending… The woman had asked the magazine for $1 million for her story. I cannot imagine a story about sex with Al Gore would be worth $1 million even if it were true. For a million dollars, you don’t just tell your story of sex with Al Gore. No, you re-enact it, using state of the art computer graphics and a special appearance by Alec Baldwin playing the part of Al Gore. The tabloid refused to pay the woman, so she told her story for nothing. I hope she’s better at giving massages than she is at negotiating.
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