Apr 23, 2010

What just happened?! TGIF edition

  • After a lot of optimism just a few days ago that financial reform was gaining enough momentum to pass this week (what with the SEC suit against Goldman Sach's and the President's speech in New York), the legislation, predictably, stalled in the Senate.
  • Speaking of the speech, have you read Paul Krugman's latest column ? The one in which he points out that financial reform can be both good for America and bad for Wall Street - and that's OK (maybe even a plus): "A growing body of analysis suggests that an oversized financial industry is hurting the broader economy. Shrinking that oversized industry won’t make Wall Street happy, but what’s bad for Wall Street would be good for America."(Bravo!). If not - get to it!
  • Back to the news: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is determined to break through the logjam - he filed for cloture today, setting up a cloture vote Monday afternoon. Stay tuned, America!
  • Another reform that gained and lost momentum this week: DC voting rights. After a brief glimmer of hope, it seems DC residents will stay disenfranchised for the foreseeable future.
  • Yes, reform is a fickle thing. Turning to immigration reform for example, even some of its supposed supporters aren't actually interested in getting it done anytime soon.
  • And then there are those who have taken a bit more of a reactionary approach to immigration reform. Like the state of Arizona for example, whose legislature passed a bill Tuesday that would require state police to determine whether immigrants are here illegally - a measure some say will make racial profiling the law of the land.
  • The law has provoked criticism (ranging from rebuke to outrage) among immigration reform advocates, editorial boards (and not just the "liberal east coast" ones), faith leaders, and Latinos around the country. Governor Jan Brewer of Arizona signed the bill today.
  • President Obama says the "misguided" bill "threatened to undermine basic notions of fairness that we cherish as Americans, as well as the trust between police and their communities that is so crucial to keeping us safe." Agreed!
  • The Times does an in-depth analysis of the widely varied safety practices at two coal mines (yes, Upper Big Branch is one of them).
  • And, on a different workplace safety topic, is there about to be a revolution in ergonomics?
  • Follow up alert! Remember those exploitative unpaid internships we we're so peeved about? The U.S. Department of Labor has issued updated standards dictating when an internship can and cannot be unpaid. Way to put the Fair Labor Standards Act to good use, DOL!

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