Apr 26, 2010

What just happened?! Stormy Monday edition

  • The Senate has yet to reach a deal on financial regulatory reform, but Majority Leader Harry Reid is moving forward with a cloture vote today. Will Republicans follow through on their filibuster threat? Or will Dems strike a deal in the next few hours?
  • Representative Chris Van Hollen and Senator Chuck Schumer are planning to introduce legislation in both chambers this week designed to blunt the effects of this year's Citizens United decision. The legislation's major provisions include: requiring corporate chief executives or group leaders to publicly attach their names to ads, like political candidates are required to do; mandating disclosure of major donors whose money is used for "campaign-related activity;" tightening political restrictions on foreign-based corporations; requiring public disclosure of political spending; and barring companies that receive federal contracts worth more than $50,000 from spending money to influence federal elections.
  • President Obama used his weekly address on Saturday to highlight the auto industry's remarkable recovery, but cautioned listeners not to take this as an indication that Wall Street will police itself back into health. In case you missed the remarkable recovery part: in the first quarter of this year, Chrysler recorded a profit (after having already paid back its loan), and GM paid back its government loan while adding 45,000 jobs.
  • The President was also on hand at a memorial service for the 29 coal miners who lost their lives in the recent explosion at Upper Big Branch mine. In his eulogy, President Obama honored the miners as hard workers who were “simply pursuing the American dream.”
  • W. Willard Wirtz, "unabashed liberal" and Secretary of Labor under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, died Saturday at the age of 98. He was the last surviving member of the Kennedy cabinet, remembered for his anti-discrimination work.
  • Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed what many are calling a reactionary and racially motivated immigration bill into law on Friday, reportedly prompting the Obama administration to consider its options for blocking the law.
  • A twister ripped through Mississippi and parts of Alabama this weekend, killing 12 people, and leaving considerable destruction in its wake.
  • And finally, here's your daily does of bizarre behavior in the Senate: Senator Lindsay Graham, the key Republican architect of both immigration reform and climate change legislation, is angry that Democrats are prioritizing immigration reform (which he championed), so now he is pulling his support for the Senate's climate change bill (which he engineered). ????