If You Ain't Into Barack, Then Roll ON Cause Today is All About The Woman and Man In Charge, Oookkkkk..
Everybody heeps talking about What Barack Obama may or may-not do in this climate of consistent crisis. He's for sure gotten the biggest Bly of ANY President - Including the beloved Bill Clit-on. Our Girl Bria of UBetttaRecognize has finally pushed the button ontop of that sonic bomb she's been keeping hidden for weeks over there, and released this unrelenting response from none other than Alphacat starring as Barack Obama. if you are a proponent of Fierce Politics, Strap Up cause this is for you baby.
As Ms Bria points out, Michelle O Is ON POINT. She is Blowin up the lyrics and Workin that Dress to death. Fierceness is the mode in this pseudo political musical tingler.
No Screen Lickin Please..
Senate nears credit card compromise
05/11/09 07:19 PM [ET]
By Silla Brush and Jim Snyder - The Hill
The Senate is likely to pass a bill this week that would clamp down on the credit card industry, which would be a victory for President Obama and Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) and a setback for the financial industry.
Dodd and Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), ranking member on the Senate Banking Committee, agreed to compromise legislation over the weekend that will likely draw Republican support, aides and industry lobbyists said.
Dodd has seized on a public disgruntled with the industry as he pushes for new regulations, and passing the bill could boost his flagging reelection campaign. The White House has stumped strongly for new rules, and Obama is set to travel to New Mexico for a town hall meeting on the issue Thursday.
The administration is pushing Congress to send the president legislation to sign by Memorial Day.
The compromise goes beyond new rules put in place by the Federal Reserve in December that take effect by July 2010 and further than legislation passed in the House on a strong 357-70 vote. It would codify the Fed rules and take effect earlier — as early as January, nine months after the bill is signed into law.
The bill would also prohibit double-cycle billing and universal default on existing balances, mandate that gift cards have a five-year lifespan and require a study by the Government Accountability Office on “interchange fees.”
But Dodd softened his stance on part of the bill.
Originally, Dodd wanted to ban all retroactive increases in interest rates on outstanding balances, but the compromise legislation allows firms to increase interest rates if cardholders are late on payments by at least 60 days.
The financial industry opposes the bill, arguing that the Fed rules should be allowed to take effect and that undoing them will lead to additional problems in the industry and hamper the flow of credit.
The bill would be a win for consumer advocacy groups that have been pressing for years for tougher regulations to little avail in the Senate. The financial industry, which successfully fought against the rules for years, is now feeling the brunt of broad opposition to credit card companies.
A loss could be a sign of things to come, with a broad range of bills aimed at financial firms on deck. Senate Democrats blamed the industry lobby for scuttling a housing bill pushed by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
“The current economic crisis has made it crystal-clear that ignoring unfair and deceptive lending practices can hurt both family finances and our economy,” said Nick Bourke, manager of the Pew Safe Credit Cards Project. Consumer groups support the compromise bill.
The new restrictions, if passed, would come at a bad time for banks. The nation’s 19 largest banks could lose $82 billion on credit card loans in 2009 and 2010, according to federal regulators’ “stress tests,” out last week.
As if financial service reform, a climate change bill, and an overhaul of the healthcare system isn’t enough for Congress to tackle, this is also the year that the surface transportation bill is up for renewal.
The bill — colloquially referred to as the highway bill, to the great irritation of the transit lobby — is usually a big push on its own, when the congressional plate isn’t nearly as full.
But House Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) is putting the bill on the fast track, chomping to put his imprint on the nation’s transportation policy. That has construction, state highway, public transit, smart-growth and big business lobbies revving up for a fight.
Jim Berard, a committee spokesman, said Oberstar’s bill will present a new direction in transportation policy. So much so, the chairman refuses to call the bill a “reauthorization” of current policy. His bill will represent a “transformational” change in transportation, Berard said. It will likely increase transit funding, he said, and suggest some way to speed the time it takes to develop a transportation project, while maintaining the integrity of environmental reviews, Berard said.
Oberstar wants to move a bill shortly after recess to have it ready for a floor vote and beat the legislative traffic jam that appropriations bills may cause later this summer.
The bill pays for new highways, bridges, transit systems and bike paths.
Divvying up the money the government gets from taxes on gasoline is hard to do, and the deadline for reauthorization — or “transformation” — can slip a year or more before all the constituencies are satisfied, or just too worn out to fight over the details anymore.
James Corless, director of Transportation for America, a pro-transit group, expressed optimism that the change that everyone is talking about these days in relation to healthcare or climate policy will also translate to transportation.
“The federal transportation program has lost its way,” Corless said. Too much is spent on constructing new roads and bridges, and not enough on other transportation “modes,” including rail and buses, he said.
The last transportation bill spent around 18 percent on transit. Transportation for America would like that increased to at least 25 percent.
In a new report titled “The Route to Reform,” the group calls for a doubling of money in the transportation bill, or to around $500 billion over six years. The report lays out a number of goals: triple walking, biking and public transportation usage; reduce per capita vehicle miles traveled by 16 percent; increase the use of freight rail by 20 percent; and reduce transportation-generated carbon dioxide levels by 40 percent.
The nub of the problem is paying for everything. One option is likely to cause heartburn on Capitol Hill, especially with oil prices going up again: raising the gas tax.
The business lobby also supports raising the gasoline tax. But there is a difference of opinion as to what projects the money should go toward. Janet Kavinoky, director of transportation infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said the goal should be supporting projects that lead to economic growth. That means more highways to reduce congestion, more freight rail lines and better systems to support international trade.
The goal, she said, should be to get the best bang for the buck, “rather than just spreading money around like peanut butter so that everybody gets something.”
Berard acknowledged that Oberstar’s schedule was aggressive and that there would likely be some resistance along the way.
“In such a massive bill, there is always going to be something that some groups don’t like,” he said. But the chairman hoped that the promise of more money would provide some momentum to the bill.