Convenient Bipartisanship

There’s something terribly ironic, or maybe tragically ironic, about the Congressional action on the Fed bailout plan in Congress today.

Speaker Pelosi says she won’t bring it to a vote in the House without at least 100 Republicans assured to vote for the plan, even though she could bring it to the floor and overwhelmingly pass it on a party line vote. Back in 2005 when Republicans controlled Congress it was Senate leaders who refused to bring H.R. 1461, which would have reformed Fannie/Freddie, to the Senate after having passed it out of the Republican controlled banking committee. Their reason for not bringing this reform bill to the floor? Democrat opposition even though Republicans could have passed this on a party line vote.

Politicians like to talk about bi-partisanship when it is either necessary for passage or necessary for covering their asses. There’s always a political angle involved, that’s why they call it politics I guess.

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Deal or No Deal Banker Goes Belly Up

The television show Deal or No Deal factors heavily in the Federal bailout plan for the financial services industry after news leaked that the silhouetted banker on the television show Deal or No Deal had become the latest victim in the subprime mortgage crisis.

Yes it is parody and satire, which is all we are left with now that the truth is stranger then either.

Government officials urged Congress to bail out the program. “We must act now,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said. “Failure to save ‘Deal or No Deal’ will cause a catastrophic rise in unemployment among attractive suitcase models, and that could set off a chain reaction that brings down ‘Wheel of Fortune,’ ‘Jeopardy’ and other game shows that form the bedrock of civilization as we know it.”

[From No Deal]

Shining City on a Hill

I particularly liked this part of the President’s speech last night.

“To sustain this shining city on a hill,” Mr. Bush said, “we need to rescue the ignorant, irresponsible folks — from Wall Street to Capitol Hill to Main Street — who got us to where we are today. We must guarantee that no American suffers the soft bigotry of being forced to live with the consequences of his bad decisions.”

[From ScrappleFace — News Fairly Unbalanced. We Report. You Decipher.]

but this part was equally compelling.

“Americans value the liberty they have to buy homes they can’t afford, to invest in securities backed by nothing but hope, and to draw six- and seven-figure salaries based on the courage to risk taxpayer dollars on deals that even the dealmakers don’t understand.”

Another Unenforceable Useless Law

Just like the hands free cellphone law… it will fail because of massive civil disobedience and enforceability. But here’s the thing that really pisses me off, practically every police, sheriff, and CHP car I see driving around features an officer yakking away on a cellphone stuck to his/her ear. When the people who are telling me it’s a problem start behaving like it’s a problem then I will believe it’s a problem.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday signed into law a measure banning motorists from text-messaging and e-mailing while operating a vehicle.

[From Schwarzenegger signs bill banning texting by motorists - San Jose Mercury News]

BTW, I think you have to be absolutely nuts to be text messaging while driving because it really is hazardous… but do we really need a new law to define reckless driving?

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Black Box on Board

When I first read that this guy canceled his GT-R order my first reaction was to wonder if he was taking delivery (no) and then to think he must be a real narcissistic dumbass. However, you really have to read the article to see the gist of his argument, which is that Nissan is applying unique terms to how the blackbox data is being applied, which is contrary to how other manufacturers of performance cars view the device. It’s reminiscent of early downloadable music and online service terms and conditions where the clickthrough agreement could impose dramatically different conditions upon the consumer (this is often still true), in this case a device that is mandated by law may have consequences that go far beyond what the law originally intended. Still, I saw a GT-R blast by me on 280 the other day, I’d want that car regardless of the terms.

Until a few weeks ago, Florida attorney Scott Weires was eagerly awaiting delivery of his new Nissan GT-R. But in late August, Weires canceled his order–not because he doesn’t want the $82,000 Super Silver supercar he has lusted for since it was first unveiled as a concept seven years ago. Weires says he’s uncomfortable with the fact that every GT-R has a recording device strapped to its chassis, an electronic black box that monitors how each owner drives his or her GT-R.

[From Black box on board - AutoWeek Magazine] Link via Autoblog