Thursday, March 11, 2010
The news has been cancelled. Well, not exactly cancelled, but pre-empted with less meaningful news. Itâ€™s the equivalent of having the figure skating finals going on while all the TV is showing is curling competition. If you donâ€™t believe me, ask Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who blasted the press corps on the floor of the House for ignoring the war in Afghanistan. Iâ€™m sure the press corps was shocked, if only to learn that there was a war in Afghanistan. Really, if youâ€™re going to bring that up, Congressman Kennedy, at least give the press a little background. Tell them where Afghanistan is, what the Taliban is, and how it all ties in to what happened on 9/11. Oh, and then you might want to remind them what happened on 9/11. You donâ€™t want them having to go back to the tape library. Kennedy said â€œWeâ€™re talking about Eric Massa 24/7 on the TV.â€ Hey, be fair. There was at least some mention of Corey Haim by all the major news outlets. Kennedy was upset because there were only two members of the press in the Congressional gallery. And they were probably checking to see if Eric Massa was there. Patrick Kennedy is free to speak out. He has already announced that he will retire after this term. Maybe he can get the press to pay attention to him after he leaves Congress. All he has to do is get on â€œDancing with the Stars.â€
Hereâ€™s some other news you may have missed, especially if you pawned your televisionâ€”Republicans are pushing to exempt payday loan companies and pawnbrokers from oversight in any new financial regulation bill. Payday loan companies are supposed to be exempt from oversight? Ever been to a check-cashing place? They have cameras all over the place. Why shouldnâ€™t we keep an eye on them? Theyâ€™re certainly keeping an eye on us! Under the Republican proposal, institutions that donâ€™t have bank charters would be shielded from scrutiny. In other words, theyâ€™re willing to regulate bankers, but not people who just act like bankers! Exempting payday lenders from scruting is like exempting companies that manufacture fireworks from workplace safety standards. Republicans argue that there is no reason for increased oversight of industries that played no role in the financial crisis. Hey, maybe payday lenders didnâ€™t cause the nationâ€™s financial crisis, but they sure as hell caused a lot of peopleâ€™s personal financial crises. I have more respect for crack dealers. At least theyâ€™re overcharging for a commodity that people have the option of refusing.