Thursday, May 14, 2009

Saints & Sinners


By a wide margin (60-33), the Senate rejected legislation proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) that would cap credit card interest rates at 15%. I wrote last month about the negative impact unregulated lending rates have on the economy. A 15% cap hardly seems an onerous burden on the lending institutions who would have to reduce their profit margins from demonic to merely scandalous. My two senators, Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray, both opposed the Sanders legislation; I've written to them about it. You can see how your senator voted here. Please write him or her to express either disappointment or support of their vote...


Robert Frost's Banjo has a short history of bonnets...

Montana Democrat Max Baucus had doctors and nurses supporting single payer health care arrested and ejected from "hearings" on health care reform...

Chris Mooney warns against the dangers posed by scientific illiteracy. He saves his final salvo for the mainstream media:
Something that drives the science community nuts is this supposedly news media refusing to state clearly what is an established conclusion in science and instead doing on-the-one-hand/on-the-other-hand over something like evolution or global warming — which is throwing two talking heads on the air to shout at each other, one of whom represents a really well-established and credible position and has every scientific community in the world behind it, and one of whom is just completely way out of the mainstream. And creating a false equivalence between them, it's kind of cowardice. It's also a journalistic norm (that has) outlived its usefulness. But that's a huge aspect of the problem.
He's absolutely right about this. While I'm happy that the Seattle Times ran this interview, I'm mindful that they've also given op-ed space to the benighted ravings of the Discovery Institute. There is a such thing as an equality and inequality of ideas, after all, and a newspaper ought to take that into consideration when allotting precious editorial page space...

NOLA Happenings: The Saints And Sinners Literary Festival starts tomorrow at the Bourbon Orleans hotel...Tuesday is the first day of the New Orleans Wine And Food Experience...

9 comments:

ZenYenta said...

I'm very pleased that both of my senators voted "yes" and won't think about the possibility that they get credit for it when they both knew it was going down. I will send them each a "thank you for trying and please try again" note.

K. said...

Good for them. I don't know what's going on with Cantwell and Murray -- they're generally pretty reliable on votes like this. I'm sure they'll have some excuse that sounds good but that doesn't hold water.

Roy said...

I could've predicted my Senators' votes on this. Jack Reed, the senior senator from RI, voted in favor. Jack's a great guy and I wouldn't have expected anything less from him. On the other hand Sheldon Whitehouse didn't vote. Whitehouse's presence in the Senate is the sole gripe I have with Linc Chaffee. If Linc had listened to a bunch of us who tried hard to convince him, he'd have left the GOP (who actively tried to sabotage his primary campaign because they saw him as too liberal) and run for re-election to his Senate seat as an independant. He didn't; he had these noble dreams of trying to reform the Republican Party from withing, and those dreams sank him. And now we have Sheldon Whitehouse as our junior senator, a party hack with little independence or imagination. And, as regards the credit card interest rate issue, has some serious conflict of interest - his family is deep in the banking industry in RI. I guess not voting on this was his way of "recusing" himself. Feh!

Re: Max Baucus... Isn't there some way we can have this yahoo arrested for violating the Constitution? Geez, talk about turning his committee into a kangaroo court!

K. said...

I'm surprised to hear this about Sheldon Whitehouse. The Nation was high on him as I recall.

Chaffee is a good guy, and I'll never understand why he didn't switch parties. Too much family history with the Republicans, perhaps? I thought six years ago that the D's could have offered him a great deal: Change parties or else Patrick Kennedy will run against you as a Democrat. Hey, it was worth a shot!

John Hayes said...

Dog bites man story: both of our Idaho senators voted against. I'd ask if this legislation simply makes too much sense for people like Crapo & Risch to "get," but let's face it: this threatens the banks' cozy & obscene profit margins.

Hey, thanks for the shout out!

K. said...

I must say that Se. Crapo is one of the more aptly named politicians.

John Hayes said...

K:

You've got that right. When he was running for Senate in one of the past campaigns, all of the Crapo signs had a "long A" line over the A apparently to keep people from saying & thinking the obvious.

Scrumpy's Baker said...

If you get a chance, watch the Showtime Documentary Maxed Out. It is an interesting documentary about the credit card industry. Quite moving in fact.

Kvatch said...

K. thanks so much for the link. I'm just waiting on the next doubling of the AIG bonus pool.