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There you go again!

Is anyone surprised that the Republicans ( and, yes, ONE democrat,) are blocking debate on the Finance Reform Bill ? I guess some of you will point to Sen. Ben Nelson to prove that it is bi-partisan opposition. Well, yes, Sen. Ben Nelson, along with all the Republicans, wants to prevent any tightening in the laws governing the sale of "derivatives" (the single most toxic and destructive product in the whole god awful mess!) because Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Fund is located in his state, and any such regulation might mean Buffet's billionaire clients might have to take a hit. The other two major sticking points for the obstructionists?....consumer protection and the government's right to shut down an institution that poses a threat to stability while using a $50b. fund provided by the BANKS (people!) to pay off it's obligations while it is being liquidated.

When is this country going to wake up from this fear and bigotry induced coma, and see who the good guys really are? !!!!!

Remember my friends . . . Only Connect
Charles Shaughnessy


  1. Well, who are the good guys? The folks at Goldman Sachs who are currently under investigation by the SEC? The Treasury Secretary who can't figure out how to pay his taxes on time? So you really want the fox to guard the hen house after all...

    Seriously, according to the one Economics professor at my college (who is a diehard Democrat), the Finance Reform Bill is another stop-gap measure that really does not address the more serious problem of effective regulation and has more holes than a pound of Swiss cheese (I do occasionally talk to other academics who are more familiar with some of this stuff than I am). Did you even think that the vote was might have been a political tactic by the Democrats to try and make the GOP look bad in the upcoming primaries and fall elections? Or would you prefer that the bill be rushed through Congress, signed into law by the president, and we'll worry about the details later (like the health care law), leading to another round of Tea Party activity? (Please note the phrase used).

    Is there a problem with financial reform that looks out for the interests of taxpayers? Is there a problem with the GOP looking out for the long-term financial stability of this nation?

    Before everyone gets bent out of shape on this issue, we should just wait a few days and let tempers simmer a bit--especially after the excitement and discourse of the previous blog. A Senate subcommittee will begin interviewing Goldman executives tomorrow, and even Republicans are saying that they will support debate by the end of the week (they just want time to consider the bill before beginning debate--particularly examining loopholes regarding potential government bailouts of institutions deemed "too big to fail"). Even Democrats and Independents (such as Bernie Sanders of Vermont) are concerned that the bill doesn't go far enough, which is one of the reasons why the Republicans are delaying the vote. By the way, I don't think Ben Nelson is really representative of the Democrats, so I don't think you can rationally consider his lack of support for the bill a sign of bipartisanship.

  2. Before I get snagged with a piece of rope...let me say that I was raised as a banker's daughter. I lived growing up through the Carter Administration where the interest rates drove my father to sleepless nights and doing his utmost to keep everything going at his branch. He did it. He had integrity and did what was right, and what is right, is not always easy.

    I work as a mortgage broker. I have for 7 years now. I am finding that these past few years are beginning to mirror the Carter Administration, especially of late. Just today, every lender I deal with was emailing their take on the FHA changes. We are basically doing a sword dance, trying to get our feet cut out from underneath us while trying to deliver an honest product.

    As a broker, I divulge EVERYTHING. I have the option to work as a mortgage banker, where good faith estimates vary in what they disclose from a broker. I have been licensed as a loan originator in my state since it was mandated in 2007. We had a background check, fingerprinting, and a test. Every year we renew, and pay fees. ONLY BROKERS though, not folks that work for banks, until this year. Now, with the mandating of the NMLS I need to resubmit my fingerprints, background check, and transfer my license yet again. Mind you, this is for brokers. I believe banks are also beginning, but this depends on their governances. In addition to the transfers and resubmissions, there are fees attributed to each one as well. Couple that with lenders who are reluctant to sign off on loans, even though the file is solid, the industry is undergoing a massive restructuring.

    USDA is waiting for their monies to run out, it is anticipated by April 30th, 2010. FHA has increased its Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premiums from 1.75 to 2.25 of the base loan amount, and instead of a flat 3.5% down payment, now requires differing downs depending on risk layering. This was for all CAIVR numbers ordered AFTER April 5th.

    Let's not even discuss the HVCC appraisals! You, the borrower gets to pay for it up front, however, the majority of lenders will not accept a transfer of one appraisal to another lender. They have been requiring new ones if the file needs to transfer programs or lenders. You may not speak to the appraiser to discuss the property or even ask if it will stand a chance at coming in at value. Then, the client can contest the value, at their own cost sometimes, if it comes in too low. All this because a government official decided that a few crooked bankers and appraisers painted the entire industry with the same brush. How is this benefiting the consumer?

    The new Good Faith Estimate doesn't require a signature any longer either. Only the signatures on the Truth in Lending and subsequent paperwork.
    IF, by chance some charges come into play that were not disclosed up front by someone, it potentially comes out of the loan officer's pocket. Please tell me how this is just and fair.

    Again, the pedulum generally swings FAR to one direction before it finally settles somewhere in the middle. This was the case with Women's Rights, and is the case with banking reform. Hence, my entry in to school, and the hesitence in lauding this "reform" as anything other than a bad experiment.

    Again, I am simply a voice crying out in the wilderness of mortgages. I have no experience in the derivative market, nor, do I care to.

    Other than that....I'm okay :-)

  3. I believe the most modest way to go about this business, is if the republican party set aside their selfish wants and needs, and that both parties come together, to do what is best for America, for the people. They should fulfill their duties as they are elected to do. It is a simple task, but with all this corrupt business that is going on, who knows what's in store for the future.

  4. @George's Daughter:How neat to have someone who works in finance on this blog! It is soooo hard for a layman to understand(sounds like a foreign language!). Please help us muddle through this debate.

    Why would we call this bill "bipartisan" with one moderate Dem vote? I mean, it's not like Obama called one of the Senate HC votes "bipartisan" when Olympia Snowe voted yes....oh, wait. But no, it's not bipartisan..we learned that Nelson has a price for his vote in the last debate. Remember that the next time Snowe or Collins votes with the Dems.
    Every thing I've read(from liberals and conservatives) says this bill does not do enough. JUST LIKE THE HEALTH CARE BILL, it is written by lobbyists and has loopholes and parachutes for the offending institutions. Is $50B enough money for a bank to pay off obligations? Not from what the experts are saying, and then we will be right back to "too big to fail". We've seen that movie and we know how it ends. And, just where do banks GET money they need for this? They get it from the consumers!!! And, there is no consequence for Fannie and Freddie, nor are there any regulations on the Federal Reserve!
    Goldman-Sachs has had their fingers in every mess for DECADES, even back to the Great Depression. There is a great article by Matt Taibbi(whom I like) in Rolling Stone(that bastion of conservative media) chronicling the history of GS. The article is titled "The Great American Bubble Machine" if you'd like to google/read it. There is also a revolving door between Washington DC and Goldman-Sachs. Depending on the administration, GS execs get positions in the Treasury,SEC or Federal Reserve..then go back to GS and a new batch comes down, or they hire people who've worked in those agencies when the job ends. They've greased the palms of both parties, so they know they're safe.
    And I'm with Karen...who the H are the "good guys"? It sure isn't Tim "Turbo Tax" Geithner, or the porn-watching SEC. Maybe it's the guys who Clinton just said "gave him bad advice" in the 90s, who are currently Obama's financial advisors..Rubin and Summers? Hiring the foxes to repair the broken henhouse..but they're "good foxes"?
    This is very reminiscent of the HC debates...back room meetings with the same people that are being called "evil" in a speech, promises of reform, lobbyists being hired to write the bill, and already pages and pages of mumbo-jumbo. But who cares, as long as you can call it "reform", because it's HISTORIC!!UNPRECEDENTED!!SWEEPING!!
    Same poop, different day. Here's a novel concept...just enforce the myriad of laws that are already on the books, and end the fed.

  5. @George's Daughter: Thank you for the perspective from the finance side. I'm sure that all regulatory changes impact you far more than the rest of us.

    @Charlie: Two Democrats voted "nay" on the Finance Reform Bill, not one (39 Republicans voted no, and 2 did not vote). Would you like to explain why Harry Reid--Senate Majority Leader--voted "no" for this bill? I already know the answer, but I would like to hear your explanation.

  6. (part 2, ran out of room). There is currently an attempt in the Senate to get some accountability and transparency for the Federal Reserve into the bill. If I'm understanding correctly, the banks will be forced to have open books(a good thing), but the Fed will still be doing monkey business in secret. This motion is being co-sponsored by Ron Paul and Alan THAT'S bipartisanship. Two polar opposites, agreeing to work together to solve a problem.

  7. I have ONE question for the entire panel/blog membership. Can ANY of us honestly say they live a solely Republican or Democrat existence? Do you live down party lines? I know I certainly do not.

    To see commentary that so generalizes, pigeonholes and tarnishes one party or the other, points the finger, etc. is so sad and disheartening. We may lean toward one more strongly than the other ideologically, however, if I am a Democrat or a Republican, will that really stop you from being my friend?

    Let's realize that while certain powers that be have agendas, not everyone that affiliates themselves with either party IS defined by said party. We all live a bipartisan existence in this country, if not INDEPENDENT. We need to stop blaming and work together. The more blame we heap, the bigger the wall that develops.

    We all need to grab a shovel and dig our way through the compost pile that has been festering in Washington DC to find the truth...

  8. @G's daughter~~I can only speak for myself, but no I do not follow a party. As a matter of fact, I recently returned my membership card to the RNC, and have re-registered as "unaffiliated". The Republican politicians are not any better than the Dems. It really seems like they're ONE party...the Corporacrats, and we're the stooges who believe them. If they keep us fighting amongst ourselves, we won't notice their shenanigans. I've never voted party line anyway(voted for Clinton twice)just was a registered Repub so that I could vote in my primaries. Now I will have to "declare for the day" when that time comes. I still want to have a voice.
    I'm with you, I get so frustrated with the partisan "you people" blame game. The politicians are ALL corrupt, all bought by special interest. The Republicans have had more time to accept that fact, many Dems seem to still be in denial over the fact that their "side" is no different.

  9. Another cloture vote today (at 4:31 p.m. Eastern), and it's still 57-41 with 2 not voting (this time the "not voting" includes one Democrat and one Republican--and Harry Reid has switched his vote from "Nay" to "Yea"). So now technically Charlie is correct by stating that only one Democrat is objecting to cloture (still Ben Nelson)--but I'm still waiting for his explanation why he neglected to include Harry Reid in the total number of Democrats who voted against debate yesterday. Because if Harry Reid is one of the "good guys," why would he vote "nay" on having debate? And what happened between yesterday and today that led the Senate Majority Leader to change his vote?

  10. Jo
    So glad to read your last post--It somehow reassures me that you're listening to other views and maybe, just maybe, sometime you will even agree with some of them--I'm so in awe of your knowledge (Karens' too) of all of these situations and happenings-You go girls--keep on keeping it all so interesting!

  11. @George's Daughter: I am a registered Republican (where I live, that's really the only party that has an actual primary), but I do not live a solely Republican or Democrat existence. I vote for the candidate, not for the party. I voted for our state's Democratic governor, and I voted for the current president. I also voted for the Republican Congressman from my U.S. House district, and for the formerly Republican Senator who is currently running for re-election as a Democrat (I'll let everyone figure out which state I live in from that last comment).

    I still think that the issue with the Finance Reform Bill--or, more precisely, Financial Regulatory Reform Bill (which I think is the focus of this blog) is that bill sponsor Chris Dodd is still negotiating with Republican Senators (like Chuck Grassley) to develop a bill that will attract bipartisan support--and that, until a truly bipartisan bill emerges, efforts to permit debate will be rejected, at least for the next few days. The Democrats are apparently trying to substitute debate for negotiation, and the Republicans prefer to negotiate instead of debating--and apparently have already developed their own proposal to counter Dodd's bill (there are only a few minor differences between the two). If this nonsense is still going on next week at this time, then I think we all can share Charlie's outrage at the fact that neither side is willing to give in (and yes, both sides are equally to blame in this mess). On the bright side, we do have the opportunity this fall to vote on the performance of all 435 members of the House and of 1/3 of the members of the Senate--and Chris Dodd will not be one of the candidates, as he is stepping down. Even the primaries this spring will give us an opportunity to voice our discontent by not supporting the incumbent candidates for re-election if we don't think they are effectively serving our needs. After all, the preamble to the Constitution does start off, "We the People"--we are in charge, even though our nation is a republic and not a democracy.

  12. @Karen

    Yes, I agree with your post. The bright side is definitely something I am chomping at the bit for, and I believe many of the constituents in this country are as well. "We the People" has, in my opinion, become rhetoric to so many elected officials to fall back on as they vote in what they are lobbied for by the professional lobbyists, not the actual constituency.

    Financial reform is very much needed. I have witnessed so much that needs to be done away with, disclosed, or instituted. They are erring on the side of caution now in disclosures I have. I literally have one disclosure that is repetitive to the tune of three-four of the same verbiage on three separate disclosure statements I need signed in a loan packet, each worded just slightly different in order to protect someone. We are not enlightening the borrower at the moment. We are merely confusing them and playing a shell game.

    My dad mentioned today that the Goldman Sachs officials were getting it from both sides on the Stated Loans. In the industry, we heard Stated Loans referred to as "Liar's Loans". I can honestly say I put through 4 of these in my entire time of mortgage originating. Primarily for the self employed who had the receipts and taxes to back up the number, and we took an average monthly income as it may have varied, and took the mid to low average, not a number that was fabricated. Then, I signed a statement certifying it was true, and the borrower authorized the lender to pull their taxes as well if it bacame necessary to validate income in case of default. I was working today, and would have liked to see the questioning on that subject, since I have seen so many come to me now in dire straights that were put into homes/loans they couldn't afford on an interest only ARM with a stated loan, and are trying to refinance, only to be upside down in their property. Not everyone is responsible enough to keep a home. It needs to be MANDATORY to have a budget class and home ownership classes. They need to outline expenses and maintenance associated with homes as well as why your payment may increase if taxes and insurance go up. The something for nothing mentality is still out there though, since so many buyers still seek out zero down payment loans. Without a vested interest fiscally in their property, buyers do not feel attached, and are more likely to walk away from the mortgage. This, I have witnessed.

    One successful charity that Carter established was Habitat for Humanity. My uncle passed of cancer and left my aunt with four boys. She went through the program, credit qualified, and they built the house along with the volunteers. They have a mortgage, and are in the home still. It has a high success rate because the homeowner feels vested by the work they put into the home getting built. More programs like this would be great to see in HUD homes that stand empty currently, and families with nowhere to live. I would like to see that as part of the new bill, and maybe a community reinvestment by the banks for REO properties.

    Have a wonderful day and keep the ideas flowing!

  13. Speaking of the good guys. We got the largest income tax return ever this year. At first, thought it was a mistake. In agreement with you that habitat is a great charity.

  14. Another cloture vote today, and once again two Democrats voted against it (Ben Nelson and Harry Reid)--just like the first time the vote was held on Monday. So the process drags on again, although it is apparent that within hours (possibly even before this comment is made available) a reconciliation will occur. By the way, if neither of the Democrats had voted no, then they could not keep holding cloture votes--so, in effect, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is posturing to make the Republicans look bad, when he himself is on record as voting against cloture--TWICE! Of course, Ben Nelson is still siding with the Republicans; Charlie has already given the reason for Nelson's opposition to cloture.

    In case anyone is wondering, a cloture vote is held to prevent filibustering--so the Democrats keep calling for a cloture vote (which so far has not passed, because it requires 60 votes for approval) to prevent opponents of the bill from filibustering (and, in effect, to limit debate). Does anyone else see anything wrong with this constant attempt by the Democrats to limit debate? At a certain point, shouldn't they agree to fix the bill so that Republicans would support it? Is anyone else out there the least bit concerned that this bill as it is currently written does not include ANY consumer protection, and this is what the Republicans are fighting for?

    Anyway, by tomorrow debate will begin on the Senate floor, and both sides will begin amending the bill and negotiating changes to garner enough bipartisan support for it to pass. It will probably end up as confusing as the health care act, but at least there is hope that a bipartisan bill will emerge, one that truly addressed financial regulatory reform (probably for the first time since the New Deal).

  15. Your blood pressure can come down, Charlie and you can stop eating Cadbury´s fruit and nut! Just came over the news that the Republican have agreed to discussing the Finance Bill on certain conditions.

    Just a bit of trivia there is massive critic on rating companies such as Standard & Poors for giving Greece a minus + rating which as some may know crashed the markets yesterday. These sort of things should be regulated , in fact all these agencies who prognose things (in their intersts) should be gotten rid of or curtailed.
    I listen to my stommach and have most times done the right thing.

  16. The filibuster has ended (without another cloture vote), and debate will begin today (Thursday). Let's wait and see if the members of the Senate will actually be able to work together and develop a financial regulatory reform package that senators from both parties can support without threats of filibustering--and one that looks out for the consumer. We have a chance to see an overhaul in the banking system unlike any other since the New Deal, and, if what emerges truly addresses the needs of the American public, the Senate and the President should be commended for their efforts.

  17. @Liane~~Standard&Poors and Moody's have been in the news here too. If I have it right, many of the 'deals' that were traded by Goldman-Sachs had AAA+ ratings, which would lead the investor to believe that it was good. Nope..they were PAID to give it a good rating! How else are "we the little people" supposed to know what's a good and bad risk, if the companies who evaluate those risks are paid off?
    I do hope that they can come up with something that will make the banks/WallSt. accountable to the people, but I'm not holding my breath. Goldman-Sachs probably has so much information about the politicians who were in cahoots with all this, and have probably made SURE that politicians were part of the deals, to protect themselves with this day of reckoning came. It also appears that everything GS did was LEGAL..maybe not moral, but well within the laws...and they know it.
    For most of us, though..we can't even begin to comprehend that kind of greed and disregard for others. We don't need "regulations" to behave like civilized human beings. Makes you wonder how some people sleep at night.

    @Bev~~you'd be surprised at how much I *do* agree with! David Vidal has a blog, and we agree on soooo much, when we get down to discussing the details. I feel like I spend a lot of my time here dispelling myths or correcting "half-truths", instead of discussing the core issues. We end up talking about the things that divide us, instead of all the ideas/beliefs that we have in common.

  18. @Jo Ann it seems these agencies need regulating . Not the ordinary person.
    The fact is these rating agencies "rate " in their own interests as they also sell products, and again it has been proven Goldman Sachs have deliberatedly given false data again and are being investigated.
    These people aren´t "civilized " normal human beings but greedy bankers who will go over bodies to make a profit.Unfortunately they know their legal limits so I think there should be maybe not regulation but more control of bankers etc. Isn´t it funny that just these Banks who received Federal help are making the biggest profits again ( with your tax money) and selling foul papers. it´s not just in the US here it is no better, except Europe now has to cope with Greece and here also it is just the same banks that sold foul Greek papers who are refusing to help Greece, however the German Finanzminister is trying to negotiate with these banks , because if Greece goes down then the whole Euro zone goes too! Greece should never have been let into the Eu monatary system as they came in on false pretences.

    So we are all having our package to carry.
    There are so many hypocrats around that preach water and drink wine themselves !! See Al Gore!!! He has lost MY trust.

  19. @Liane~~oh my word, Al Gore. I assume you saw my Facebook status today? Do they really think we aren't going to see right through their charade? The environmental part of buying that home is sick, but funny. But, the other issue, is what I mentioned on a recent blog..the hypocrisy of the wealthy liberals. If they are TRULY so concerned about the needs of the poor, the oppressed, the homeless, the one is stopping them from writing a check. To be such a vocal liberal, and choose to spend an "extra" $8.5M on a luxury investment home, when that money could have been used so much more responsibly. Food for the food pantries, helping people keep their homes or pay medical bills, save a few polar bears. I realize Al Gore is now a private citizen, but he WAS Vice President for 8 yrs and preaches liberal ideals. He lost my trust a long time ago with this whole "The world has a fever but you can help by buying offset credits from me" business.

  20. If anyone is interested in finding out what's going on with the "Restoring American Financial Stability Act of 2010" (the new name for the bill), you should check out the U.S. Senate website ( The bill number is S.3217. It appears that the amendment process is proceeding steadily, and among the changes proposed include establishing a Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection under the Federal Reserve System and improvements to the regulation of credit rating agencies.

    I'm particularly intrigued by a couple of proposed amendments. One (Taxpayer Fairness Act) will require high earners at firms that received bailout funds to contribute a portion of their bonuses to reduce the debt (or potentially pay a tax equal to 50% of the amount of the bonus). Another amendment would prohibit taxpayers from ever having to bailout financial institutions.

    A lot of the amendments appear to be wordsmithing (if you have ever seen the musical or watched the film "1776," think of the debates on the floor of Congress over comma placement and word choice, such as inalienable vs. unalienable, and if you haven't seen it, you really should--it's one of the better history movies available, even with the singing). But there are a couple of interesting proposals, once of which wants Wall Street to be transparent and accountable in its actions. It is starting to look like a true financial reform package that will benefit all Americans.

    Plus it is definitely a bill that has bipartisan support, as Republican Senators John McCain, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Judd Gregg, Bob Corker, and Olympia Snowe are all proposing or supporting amendments, along with several Democratic Senators who apparently think the first version didn't go far enough in providing financial reform.

    Meanwhile, I'm off to ponder why Al Gore needs nine bathrooms in his new home.

  21. Hi JoAnn, I read your post on Al Gore and I was disgusted! How can they go around telling everyone that our plant is in serious trouble(which it is)That we need to be more conscientious about what we do & how we live to reduce our negative impact on our planet and then turn around and buy an 8 million dollar enery guzzler of a house? How much energy, lights and water is that gonna take?

    I read his book "An Inconvenient Truth". The title now seems to suit him more than it does his book. We now know him for what he is a liar, and someone needs to hold him accountable for this. Call him on the carpet and corner him and ask the really hard questions.

    By the way I totally agree that JoAnn and Karen are extremely knowledgable and up to date on a great many yopics, which is good because I don't always have the time (or energy) to do it, Rock on sisters, you're tops in my book.

    Interesting that we haven't heard from Charlie yet. Maybe we were too hard on him? I just found out he's the Baron of my city, Montreal.
    I suggested he pass by as we have interesting debates here, like on his blog! Somehow I think he'll keep his distance. My claws are still out over our last discussion!

    Have aa great weekend everyone!!

  22. @Linda,
    It's like I've said before... Charlie throws the mud (his postings) and then sits back and, for the most part, watches the ensuing battles...
    i.e - Mud-wrestling for intellectuals. ;)

  23. LOL Deidre!How true!
    @linda, I don´t think we were too on on him , he likes this sort of discussion, however Charlie maybe at this stage you could !throw in a comment.
    Have a great weekend.Here in Berlin (Germany) it is a public holiday and the radicals left and right are protesting and causing damage and injuries as usual.

    Now to those oil spills, in the Gulf of Mexico ,here is a perfect example how a few make their money and again it shows if their are no regulations from Gov ernment side. (Obama is stopping boring until certain safety measures are induced) these companies will exploit nature and everybbody just have to accept this. Saw photos etc and reports on TV , how devastating this is , and shouldv really make us think if we need so much oil in our daily lives.
    I know this isn´t the subject of this blog, but in a distant way has to do with all the lies we have been served over the past year regarding the financial situations of the countries we live in.BP shares rose this past year as they were "rated" safe? Now I wonder how BP will cope with this spill obviously at present not at all. The irony of it all , ist that the fishermen who take their livelyhood from the sea are being employed by BP to clean up! How ironic can one get!!! One fisherman said at least there is a little income to support his family when he does this.

  24. @Deidre...LOL, you crack me up! It's true though, us old-timers don't expect Charlie to participate a lot on the blogs, so don't feel he's staying away "for a reason". Hopefully, he's either working on a new project for us to watch or spending time with his family.
    But, yes...mud(or jello)wrestling for intellectuals. ;o)

  25. @Liane~~re:the oil spill. Those poor people in Louisiana!! Hurricanes Katrina and Gustav, and now this. Actually, I'm glad that BP is hiring the fishermen...their industry will be in trouble for a few years, so this is a way to give them a job. It's going to affect so many industries there. Until we know more, I'll give BP the benefit of the doubt...accidents happen. If it turns out to have been a preventable error, or a danger that was "swept under the rug", that's a different story. We should have a "buy-cott", and make sure we purchase products from the region to help with the local economy.
    And truthfully, I would not rule out eco-terrorism as a possible cause. The "environmental extremists(not everyday people who are concerned, but lunatic fringe)" would not be above sabotage in order to stop the recent move towards off-shore drilling. Unlikely, but not impossible. Those fringes do tend to have an "end justifies the means" mentality, even if their logic is terribly flawed(like a nut who thinks bombing an abortion clinic and killing innocent people is going to save innocent babies...boggles the mind).
    I'm figuring we can count on a blog soon about the immigration reform debate! Should get you ladies prefer green or red jello?

  26. Hello Ladies, as usual I agree with everything JoAnn and Karen have said. Unfortunately this oil spill will affect the local economy and environment for many, many years to come. We must not forget the loss of lives in this catastrophe either. It's heartbreaking on so many levels.

    I agree that we should be hearing from Charlie about the immigration issue in a short while. Maybe I'll sit that one out! But just in case I prefer the red jello with whipped cream on it.

  27. @JoAnn: Red jello is too much like school lunch or cafeteria food. I prefer green, orange, or grape (but I won't be able to have grape next month on jello day). And I am anticipating an immigration reform debate in the near future; I might get some good ideas for topics for the immigration history class this fall.

    BP America is already taking responsibility for the explosion and leaks (apparently there were faulty valves that were supposed to close with the explosion but didn't), but they are also taking a lot of criticism for at first saying they could control it, and now the oil slick is increasingly coming closer to the Louisiana coast. Plus, I would be more inclined to think that the oil spill was eco-terrorism if this was the first time that it has happened. Having lived near petroleum refineries when I lived in Houston, we probably could have been under nuclear attack but would have dismissed the noise as another refinery explosion. You hear the noise, your windows rattle, you look out the window, and you see the smoke rising...and then the news report that there was another refinery accident/explosion. It wasn't a common occurrence, but it wasn't unusual, either--in fact, they occurred more often than hurricanes hit the Gulf Coast of Texas.

  28. Charlie,

    I realize this was about the Washington DC government, however, being that the UK elections are upon us, I am curious. I realize you are a US citizen, do you still vote in the UK, especially if as I read you are titled? If so, what is your take on the goings on, and how different is it there from here?

  29. The Finance Reform Bill passed the Senate today. It had bipartisan support--3 Republicans (Scott Brown of Massachusetts and the two senators from Maine) supported it. Two Democrats (Russ Feingold of Wisconsin and Maria Cantwell of Washington) opposed it, so there was bipartisan opposition as well. Now it has to get House support before it goes to the president to become law.

    Note that Scott Brown--the chap who was elected to the Senate seat formerly held by Ted Kennedy--supported it (and was the 60th vote to end debate). So all the excitement about electing Republican Scott Brown to replace Kennedy was a bit misplaced, because he has consistently supported the Democrats when it mattered.

  30. I read most of this comment,,,some I understand,,and some, well, just words,,,,I do think it is important to get involved in our government,,,but,is it really the people of the United States of America's government,,,,or does it belong to the "good guys",,,I am awake, aware, and I care,,,,but, I just can't seem to "translate" the politicians anymore,,,,anyone else have this problem,,,,,,


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Our special guest will be Charlie's friend, the very charming, Jack Maxwell.  Jack is the Host of the extremely entertaining, funny and successful show on The Travel Channel, The Booze Traveler!  We are thrilled to have Jack on the show to talk to us all about his new TV show. He just finished his first season of the show and has been picked up for a second season!

Jack travels the globe to not only get a taste of a country’s alcohol, but to quench his curiosity about what people drink, why they drink it and the stories they tell when they do. At each stop, he connects with locals, immerses himself in regional activities, learns about the country’s unique relationship with liquor and sometimes even participates in the alcohol-making process. If you haven't seen the show, you must check it out the website for #BoozeTraveler or watch some of the episodes online or on The Travel Channel. Check your …

Charles Shaughnessy's thoughts on Cory Monteith's death

Charles Shaughnessy on Twitter  @C_Shaughnessy
"RIP Cory.  Until we treat alcoholism and other mental health problems as compassionately as we treat cancer, there will be other Corys."


What are your thoughts?
By Associated Press, Published: July 16 |
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — “Glee” actor Cory Monteith, who had struggled for years with substance abuse and once said he was lucky to be alive, died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, the British Columbia coroner’s office said Tuesday.“There is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most tragic accident,” the office said in a statement. He was 31 years old.
If you have been shopping from the link of my amazon store on the old website, this is the NEW link that you will need to use from now on. If you use this link, each time you purchase something on amazon, a portion of our proceeds will go to DIABETES RESEARCH. So please click here every time you use AMAZON! It will take you directly to my official AMAZON SHOPPING LINK Thank you to all of you who have used & continue to use my AMAZON link through the years to support this cause that is so important to us!
Best Wishes,