A new RINO: reform in name only

Check out The Economist’s take on the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac situation: www.economist.com/node/16640249

Once again it is potpourri time, which means Reviled & Revered readers get short takes on issues du jour. National now, Nevada later. Let’s start with the FinReg fiasco.

What the financial regulation bill reformed remains deformed. This monstrosity won’t change things just because a bought-and-paid-for Congress stamped approval on 2,000-plus pages of drivel called legislation.

Commentators say it leaves much of the oversight hammer to bureaucratic rule-writers and the regulators (i.e., the dolts who didn’t regulate under reams of law already in place before the economy tanked).

We did get the window-dressing of a financial consumer protection arm of—but not exactly under—the Federal Reserve. And “too big to fail?” Pardon me if we skeptics wait to see how that plays out.

What we got for sure was something the Obama administration can claim fixed the problem. Instead it showed the fix is in on FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate).


Next on the reform agenda, according to Economist magazine: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These government-backed entities helped hand us the Great Recession.

Fannie and Freddie, which made housing seem affordable for anyone until they made it crash for everyone, won’t really get reformed by President Obama and his fall partners. These partners, not unlike many predecessors, believe borrowing is good, binge borrowing is better, and home buying cures the clap or whatever ails you.

Binge borrowing and indiscriminate home buying amounted to claptrap run amok.


Let’s see: Earlier we got health reform, now FinReg reform and next cometh a pass at Fannie/Freddie reform. The only thing missing is energy reform, which Obama wanted but won’t achieve full blown.

Though we need real energy reform most, it’s best that a scaled down energy bill is likely. Democrats want to use energy reform as another way to bolster government revenues while hamstringing the private sector.

Once again, reform in name only would actually have advanced another agenda.


Obama and his ilk want so-called reforms before their majority disappears, and so they make hasty decisions keyed to politics instead of policy.

Such lightning rod governing stems from short attention spans and competing political forces, making decisions less than deliberative.

A recent example: the Shirley Sherrod case. It prompted talk about race as much as the larger message regarding patience. This Agriculture Department bureaucrat was fired for truth-telling and being taken out of context on comments blown up to sound like racism of a black against a white.

It wasn’t just a rush to lack of judgment by most concerned, it was a stampede.


The abrupt firing of Ms. Sherrod is representative of the entire instant gratification culture that gets us reforms that ain’t, liars’ loans that cause crashes, government bailouts that don’t save a sinking economy—or ship of state for that matter—and firings of the thoughtful by the thoughtless.

Call it a national potpourri of the impolitic by patience-challenged folks in and out of politics.


In Nevada, the recent crossing of verbal swords by GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons and Demo Sen. Harry Reid over Nevada getting no federal “race to the top” education money was unseemly squabbling. To both, I say: your watch, your fault.


Since the death of former Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn, I’ve heard bunches of folks say even though they weren’t Republicans they voted for the man. Real tributes for a tribune of the people. ’Nuff said.