The House of Representatives used one of its few remaining legislative days in 2013 to pass a measure Wednesday that would exempt private equity firms like Mitt Romney’s Bain Capital from disclosure rules in the Dodd-Frank financial reform law.
The Dodd-Frank law requires financial advisers who manage more than $150 million in private funds to disclose detailed information to the Securities and Exchange Commission — information that the SEC uses to protect investors in the formerly secretive funds and to help evaluate systemic risks that could threaten the broader economy.
But House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) argued during the House floor debate before the vote that it is too burdensome for many such private equity firms to satisfy the rather complex filing requirements, and paying the costs would mean less capital going to create new companies and jobs. Rep. Steve Stivers (R-Ohio) argued that some firms would quit the business of raising money and investing in companies if they had to comply.
“The compliance costs for these smaller firms in towns like Columbus, Ohio, will be especially high as a percentage; and it could drive many of them out of business,” Stivers said.
Further, Hensarling argued, the deep-pocketed investors in such private funds are sophisticated and thus don’t need extra protection from the SEC.
More power to them. Anyone working full time should not also need welfare in order to survive.
Workers walked off their jobs at fast-food restaurants across the country as part of a national protest against low wages, a day after President Barack Obama renewed his call for a minimum wage hike in a speech Wednesday.
The action is part of a growing movement against what workers say are sub-standard working conditions and wages too low to make ends meet. Thousands of labor activists and workers, who were scheduled to start their shifts early Thursday morning, did not show at work and chose to protest instead.
Workers and their supporters are expected to strike at the nation’s major national fast-food restaurants, organizers said, including McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s and KFC. Protesters in cities such as Charleston, S.C., Providence, R.I. and Pittsburgh, Pa., will join the action for the first time, along with clergy, elected officials and community supporters.
This is great news! Now I wonder how long it will be until homophobic wingnuts here in the states, start angrily yelling about how Israel will “incur the wrath of God” for tolerating homosexuality?
Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday publicly backed marriage rights for same-sex couples.
“Even a person who is a homosexual is a human being, and he has rights,” he told the news website Ynetnews during an interview while he was in Mexico on a state visit. “We cannot take away someone’s rights because they are different. We cannot take away their right to breathe, right to eat or right to start a family. We must allow everyone to live as is natural to them.”
The fact that there has to be training in not saying idiotic things (which comes from believing idiotic things, but that’s another story) speaks volumes about where the Republican Party is today.
It’s more than making sure Todd Akin doesn’t rear his ugly head again. It’s about leap frogging 20 or 21 centuries.
A GOP aide told Politico that the NRCC held “multiple sessions” with incumbents’ aides on messaging in races where the challenger is a woman. By Politico’s count, at least 10 male GOP incumbents in the House of Representatives face Democratic women challengers in the 2014 midterm elections.
House Speaker John Boehner’s (R-OH) top aides also held a meeting with GOP staff to discuss how legislators should talk to female constituents, although a Republican staffer who attended the meeting told Politico that “some of these guys have a lot to learn”
In other news, water is wet.
Dangerous dogs which are outlawed in Britain may be no more unsafe than other breeds - they simply attract bad owners, researchers have suggested.
Currently under the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991, it is illegal to own certain types of dog including the Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino and Filo Brasileiro.
But the University of Lincoln has argued that the act stigmatises breeds which are not inherently more aggressive while making owners too trusting of dogs which are not banned.
Driving into work this morning, I noticed like a half-dozen Tea Party license plates on SUVs and sports cars. That was an extra large number today; I only usually see one or two.
I wondered what the average member of the Tea Party movement would think/feel about if they were transported back in time to the Eisenhower era.
Of course I picked November 5, 1955 as the date.
- Higher tax rates.
- Cold War, Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD), and "Duck & Cover".
- No Medicare/Medicaid.
- Worse/more limited medical care, mental health care, medications, prosthetics, surgeries (but on the upside, there's the Salk polio vaccine in April!).
- No Interstate Highway System.
- Segregation; extremely limited interracial marriage.
- More sexism and a much thicker glass ceiling for women.
- Much stronger unions.
- Few televisions, no VCRs/DVDs, no internet, no video games.
- Blue jeans really only worn by manual laborers.
- Smoking in nearly all public places.
What else can you think of that was part of living in 1955 that would make the generic Tea Partier uncomfortable or worried, that they probably wouldn’t have thought about?
Dylan’s quotes came in response to a question about whether he sees parallels between Civil War-era America and the US of today. “It’s like … the United States burned and destroyed itself for the sake of slavery. The USA wouldn’t give it up. It had to be grinded out. The whole system had to be ripped out with force. A lot of killing. What, like, 500,000 people? A lot of destruction to end slavery. And that’s what it really was all about,” he replied.
He continued: “This country is just too fucked up about colour. It’s a distraction. People at each other’s throats just because they are of a different colour. It’s the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back - or any neighbourhood back. Or any anything back. Blacks know that some whites didn’t want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can’t pretend they don’t know that.
“If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood.”
First lady Michelle Obama invited military families to scope out the holiday decorations Wednesday in the White House’s newly decked halls. Then the first family’s second dog grabbed the spotlight.
Two-year-old Ashtyn Gardner, of Alexandria, Va. took a tumble after encountering the Obamas’ newest pooch, who was making the rounds. With a hand from the first lady, Gardner was quickly back on her feet and petting the dog.
The theme for Christmas at the White House this year - Gather Around - celebrates coming together with loved ones during the holidays. As in years past, much of the décor honored military service members. After delivering remarks in the East Room, the first lady joined White House florist Laura Dowling and White House chefs Cris Comerford and Bill Yosses to make holiday crafts and snacks with the visiting kids.
We first heard from Marni Evans a few days after she’d received an ominous voicemail. “I am calling from your doctor’s office,” the message began. An appointment for an abortion that Marni had scheduled for the next morning was suddenly canceled.
Marni isn’t the only woman in Texas who received such a call. On the last day of October, a conservative federal appeals court granted the state’s emergency request to reinstate part of an anti-abortion law that another judge had blocked just a few days earlier. That provision, which requires doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, will force many of the clinics in Texas to shut down. So, with the Fifth Circuit’s order in place, clinics had to start turning women away on the first day of November. Hundreds of women like Marni woke up to the news that their appointments weren’t going to happen.
Marni knew she still wanted an abortion — but she wasn’t sure if she would be able to get one in Texas. So she used her frequent flier miles to book a one-way ticket to Seattle.
“I thought that it would be a smart idea to just get out of Texas,” she explained. “I wasn’t sure what I would find at other Texas clinics because I was aware that over 100 women’s appointments had been canceled on the same day. And I was concerned that I would be stuck waiting for weeks and weeks and weeks.”