Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today in Consumer Protection

Michelle Singletary and Faiz Shakir sound off on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its nominee.

Singletary rightly regrets Obama's declining to name Elizabeth Warren to the post, while Shakir wants the WH, in the face of Republican obstruction, to let this, and perhaps other, nominees speak for themselves and the policies they'd advocate:

[CFPB nominee] Cordray could face the same ignominious fate. A toxic partisan climate, amplified by a round-the-clock news cycle, demands a new strategy.

The White House should take the muzzle off its nominees. Let them talk to the press over and over again to tout their accomplishments. Allow them to publicly defend their records, as they are best and uniquely qualified to do.

By silencing a nominee, the administration gives its critics the opportunity to spout unfounded concerns about the nominee’s fitness to serve. The conversation quickly descends from one about the individual’s merit to meritless attacks on his or her character or qualifications.

The White House must be willing to cede a degree of control over its day-to-day messaging in favor of the greater victory of getting its nominees passed and its policies enacted. The administration shouldn’t be turning down all press requests, but should instead be picking and choosing the venues that can give the nominee a fair and reasonable hearing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

I'll Miss Borders

From Yahoo:

The Borders Group, the bankrupt 40-year-old bookseller, said on Monday that it will move to liquidate after no last-minute savior emerged for the company.

Borders said in a press release that it will proceed with a proposal by Hilco and the Gordon Brothers Group. That liquidation plan will be presented to the federal judge overseeing the company's bankruptcy case on Thursday.

What is left to unwind are Borders' 399 stores, about two-thirds of the locations it operated when it filed for bankruptcy in February. It currently has 10,700 employees.

Aside from being deprived of a place to buy books in my town, this unfortunate development will also mean less competition for And 10k plus people added to the ranks of the unemployed, although I know nobody cares about that.

Mr. Brooks

I realize this David Brooks column today is somewhat harder on the GOP than usual, I think this point, the post's first paragraph is especially illuminating:

Over the past months, Republicans enjoyed enormous advantages. Opinion polls showed that voters are eager to reduce the federal debt, and they want to do it mostly but not entirely through spending cuts.

I wonder why voters were so eager to reduce the federal debt "mostly" through spending cuts?

It couldn't be because that was how our national media framed the issue from the beginning, could it?

Also missing from Mr. Brooks lament this morning was any mention of unemployment, which I know our media villagers don't care about, but there it is.