Benny's World

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Happy Saturday

Good morning, BW readers. I haven't given you much to read lately. Let's catch up for a few with your favorite AM beverage.

Frankly, I've been working a lot, still trying to do things around the house, taking care of the pooties. One of them is Benny, whom this site is named after. He's funny and just likes to either sleep, eat, or have fun.

In the news this past week that caught my attention:

More stupid pet tricks/comments by money hungryGrizzly Mom, Sarah Palin. The Young Turks discovered this gem of one of her comments, regarding the WH and what it would do in protecting her against ethical allegations:

That's a good one: the Department of Law as a cabinet. Unfortunately for the Young Turks, they keep forgetting that half of the yahoos in Texas wouldn't know any differently from her comment. I think she actually knows there isn't a Dept of Law in the Executive Branch, but she plays to the lowest common denomination, which means any ill-informed regular viewer of Fixed Noise--or perhaps worse--listeners of Rush Limbaugh. The Young Turks' rant is not going to be helpful when our own Democrats, such as Ben Nelson, won't even help the jobless with a little extra helping hand in an economic crisis. See the NYT article about how the uber wealthy were the ones spending--and now even they are watching their vaults more carefully. Geez, is it possible they may have to pay more taxes than their administrative assistants and clerks?

If Sarah Palin is the new heroine of the Tea Baggers, then the picture of billboard in Mason City, Iowa should be plastered on any ad over and over by the DNC come 2012. For some good analysis about the fallout from this controversial billboard, go to Bleeding Heartland. I have to agree with Desmoinesdem that Tea Baggers do not understand how our current President is far from being Mr. Government takeover.

Financial Reform was allegedly passed this week. My reaction after listening to Dean Baker on Countdown? Meh. Here's Baker's comment:

"While the reform bill does improve regulation in many ways, it does not fundamentally change the way Wall Street works. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and the rest will be doing business pretty much the same way the day after reform as they did the day before reform."

(this comment was repeated at TPM Cafe, which is where I got it)

But as always, Senator Jeff Merkley did manage to point out the silver linings in this press release:

“I am pleased that the final bill includes the Merkley-Levin amendment that will ban high-risk trading inside the banks and put an end to conflicts of interest, where giants like Goldman Sachs bet against the very securities they were selling to their customers. This provision will encourage banks to return to the days where their main focus was lending. I can’t thank Senator Carl Levin enough for his tireless work to ensure that our banks won’t engage in high-risk trading and put our entire financial system at risk.

“In addition, I’m pleased that the bill includes provisions I championed to end some of the most egregious mortgage practices that led to the housing crisis and cost millions of families their homes. The bill will ban steering payments, liar loans, and prepayment penalties and give Americans the transparency they deserve when purchasing their own home. It will also create a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau dedicated to protecting consumers from financial tricks and traps, such as unfair overdraft fees and exploding interest rates. "

Senator Merkley adds though:

“Now, this bill will not solve every problem in our financial system, and from my perspective, could be stronger in significant ways. Regulators have been given an enormous amount of responsibility to implement the bill as intended. In order to ensure that they hold up their end of the bargain, Congress needs to conduct vigorous oversight of government regulators and our financial markets. "

I agree. So why is Treasury Secretary Geithner wanting to throw Elizabeth Warren under the bus in making her the Chief Oversight of Consumer Credit Protection?

If you want to see what else got left out of the bill, read Chris Bowers' rant at Open Left, as he was one of the New Progressive Fellows who worked on the bill.

And finally, the answer to Senator Inhofe's rhetorical question to Al Gore in at an Environmental hearing in 2007, "where is global warming when you need it?" Answer: when you don't need it. The News-Gazette (my hometown newspaper in Central Illinois) published a report in which U of Illinois scientists have been running models on greenhouse gas emissions and their effects on weather in the Midwest. Chicago could have a month or more of 100+ temp in the near future if we don't cut down on fossil fuel usage.

Time to check the leader board at the Open Championship, which is being played at St. Andrews, Scotland, and to run errands, amongst them, two weeks of recycling!

Happy Saturday, all.

Update: in taking in some recycling this morning, the Recycle Center was gone--or at least I thought it was until I saw a relocation sign on the gate. When I drove around the corner to it, I realized that it became a real drop-off place. The other place was always crowded, with sometimes having to wait to park, and often it took awhile to drive out.

This new facility can be driven in, and it's easier to bring your stuff closer to the bins. And for a change, there was space in each bin. Here's a photo I took with my smartphone:

C-U Olympians


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