Sen. Leahy (D-VT), Rep. Conyers (D-MI), and Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-WI) plan to introduce a Voting Rights Act fix that'll respond to the Supreme Court's invalidation of the pre-clearance formula. Per Mr. Leahy's press release, the bill would cover any state or municipality with "repeated voting rights violations" over the last 15 years, and would give states and municipalities a way to escape such coverage after 10 years. I'm glad (and unsurprised) to see Mr. Sensenbrenner aboard, but I wish the Senate's ranking Judiciary member, Charles Grassley of Iowa, was aboard as well.
Dan Roberts at The Guardian notes that Congress's budget agreement cuts funding for both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, apparently the price exacted by Republicans in exchange for giving up on (even) further food stamp cuts. Shame that our Congressfolk treat all these as Democratic/Republican issues to be "negotiated" and not American issues they should negotiate with us. Shame, also, that corporate welfare can never be cut in a "bipartisan" agreement.
Federal regulators revise "Volcker rule" regulations to allow banks to hang on to a particular kind of security, though the Volcker Rule aims to get banks out of the securities business. Bankers said they wanted the rule change to protect smaller banks, but the rule change actually allows any bank to hang on to a security as long as that particular security is backed by less than $15 billion in assets -- leaving open the possibility that a big bank could circumvent the spirit of the rule by buying up a bunch of small securities. And when did $15 billion become "small"?
Citizens for Tax Justice notes that notorious tax break-receiver Boeing apparently argued before the IRS that it needed research tax credits in order to conduct rigorous safety testing of its planes. Sounds like a classic hostage situation to me -- give us our tax breaks, or all our planes will crash! Boeing, of course, has paid next to nothing in taxes for a decade, while making billions in profits; how much is enough?
Sen. Jim Inhofe (E-OK) reiterates that he's a climate change denier mainly because climate change would cost so much to fix. Of course, he also thinks the science is bad, mainly because of a few emails circulated years ago and not because he's in tune with what actual scientists think, but mainly it's the cost to "businesses." The cost to people from complete inaction on climate change interests him a lot less. Seriously, he must think no one keeps track of what he says.
Media Matters dutifully finds Fox News much less interested in the George Washington bridge lane closure story than CNN or MSNBC -- apparently, Fox devoted 15 minutes to coverage of that story the day it broke wide open, versus two hours each for CNN and MSNBC. But I feel compelled to note that two hours is still approximately 22 hours less than the coverage they gave to Miley Cyrus the day after she shook her butt on a music awards show.