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David Dayen

 
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Senate Republicans Nickel and Diming Sandy Relief

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 9:19 am

While the nonsense continues on the fiscal slope, which increasingly looks like something the nation will have to weather, the Senate has been working on an appropriation for states suffering from the disaster caused by Hurricane Sandy. The parallel has to be understood: in one part of Washington, they’re trying to put in a deficit deal to replace politically driven forced austerity, and in another part, they’re trying to respond to a national emergency the way the federal government must in these cases, by spending money. Look at these two things together and you’ll understand a lot about Washington – the compartmentalization, the forced blindness, the lack of knowledge about the economy, everything.

And both sides of the Senate are taking up their predictable positions in the matter. Specifically, Senate Republicans want to nickel and dime disaster relief victims.

Pelosi Says Chained CPI Would Strengthen Social Security

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 8:00 am

Republican craziness has stopped a deal from happening on the fiscal slope, and really nothing else. Because here’s Nancy Pelosi yesterday on chained CPI, a benefit cut to Social Security recipients that happens to be regressive and more painful as people age…

Boehner’s Plan B Also Cuts Taxes on Rich, Raises Them on Poor

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 6:38 am

John Boehner may not even have the votes for today’s “Plan B,” a bill that effectively raises taxes on people making over $1 million a year. He was seen gladhanding on the House floor last night, whipping votes for his side. He can only lose 24 votes to reach 217 (there are a couple vacancies right now), on the expectation that he’ll get no help at all from the other side. It’s probably a heavy lift; even with Grover Norquist’s blessing, Boehner wants his GOP colleagues to walk the plank on a tax increase bill without any hope of it becoming law, just so they can go back and pass another bill that does the same thing.

A look at the bill’s particulars, however, actually inverts expectations.

The Mortgage Scam Against Widows, and Why No Mortgage Lender Should Ever Get Legal Immunity

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 5:54 am

Dealbook had an item about the qualified mortgage rule and the bid by mortgage lenders to acquire a “safe harbor,” essentially a shield against consumer lawsuits, in the process. I’ve already gone over this topic and continue to oppose giving banks a safe harbor of any kind on the merits. But just to shift gears away from the precise details for a moment, consider why you would want to give any entity that does something like this protection from legal exposure:

Fatster’s Roundup

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 4:45 am

❖ What a moment awaits us: On December 21, the NRA will be saying something about Newtown.

❖ Two Irving, TX women (an aunt and her niece) are filing a federal lawsuit claiming that Texas State Troopers performed cavity searches (without changing gloves) after they were pulled over for tossing a cigarette butt out the car window. They were eventually charged with littering.

❖ Good on them! Orleans Parish, LA’s School Board has voted to “ban the teaching of creationism as science” and the “‘revisionist’ history curriculum promoted by the state of Texas.”

Pro-Israel Right Gangs Up on Chuck Hagel to Sink Defense Secretary Nomination

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 10:51 am

Empowering the likes of John McCain and Lindsey Graham to hold veto power over any nominee the Administration puts out is just deeply depressing.

President Endorses Reinstatement of Assault Weapons Ban, Other Gun Safety Legislation

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 7:51 am

The President will support a reinstatement of the assault weapons ban in the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. He will also “consider” legislation limiting extended magazines that carry a high capacity of bullets, as well as legislation closing the “gun show loophole,” which enables gun purchasers to avoid background checks by buying them at gun shows.

Fatster’s Roundup

By: Wednesday December 19, 2012 4:45 am

News Flash! “The soon to be former blogger, David Dayen, explains what would happen if we went over the ‘fiscal cliff’, why the new Obama offer is so bad, why he Dayen is leaving blogging.” More.

❖ Richard Engle, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent, and two others “have escaped from heavily-armed captors during a fire-fight five days after being abducted in Syria.” Their captors appear to have been Syrian loyalists.

❖ From Mrs. N Turner to UK Prime Minister David Cameron: ”Are the British public now being asked to accept that, despite incontrovertible evidence of multiple criminal acts by bankers, including money-laundering, drug-money-laundering, Libor rigging, multiple frauds and assorted Ponzi schemes, bankers are considered to be immune from prosecution?”

Though Liberals Carp at Chained CPI, Pelosi Says She Could Live With It

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 3:10 pm

You will hear virtually nobody claim that chained CPI represents a more accurate way of determining the cost of living for senior citizens on Social Security, because if they were honest about it, they would tailor an inflation index to the real costs of seniors. The only benefit to chained CPI is that it saves the government money at the expense of senior citizens. That’s it. It’s a back-door way of lowering the benefit.

Investors Pushing to Buy Housing Other Than Foreclosed Properties

By: Tuesday December 18, 2012 2:30 pm

Tom Lawler pulls out an interesting piece of data from the latest housing statistics. Foreclosures have been dropping in 2012, mainly because of the rise of short sales as a foreclosure alternative. This appears to be changing – the repossession rate in November was 11% above that of October and even up 5% year-over-year – but Lawler is looking back at data, not forward at the recent trend.

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