Was Debate Ever Properly Closed?

Of course, we do not intend that Zero Hedge should become a center of excellence for the review of obscure Senate rules, but, as a consequence of the full-court-press-rush to pass the health care bill, this was too interesting not to reprint:

Under Senate Rule XXII, “a measure or motion to amend the Senate rules… the necessary affirmative vote shall be two-thirds of the Senators present and voting” to end debate. Yet there were only 60 votes for cloture on the Reid bill. So unless there is some basis for giving special treatment to rules changes that are buried into other legislation, it would seem that either a) cloture was not achieved, or b) the entrenchment provisions do not actually alter the Senate rules.


I’m told that a fine point of distinction means that Reid’s entrenchment clauses were blessed by a Senate parliamentarian with respect to the 60 needed.  I suppose one needs to be far more versed in the minutia of Senate procedure than an honest citizen could claim to be.


Here was DeMint on the topic yesterday:


The entire thing is worth watching, but here is our favorite part:

DEMINT: and so the language you see in this bill that specifically refers to a change in a rule is not a rule change, it’s a procedure change?


THE PRESIDING OFFICER: that is correct.

Either way the process continues:

Senate Democrats cleared the last 60-vote hurdle on U.S. President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul on Wednesday, virtually ensuring final passage of its version of the biggest health policy changes in four decades.

Geithner: No 'Second Wave' To Crisis

One sure way we know a second wave to the crisis is likely coming is the preemptive denial of it by those who never saw it coming. Please consider Geithner: There Will Be No ‘Second Wave’ Crisis.

“We are not going to have a second wave of financial crisis,” Geithner said in an interview with National Public Radio. “We cannot afford to let the country live again with a risk that we are going to have another series of events like we had last year. That is not something that is acceptable.”

Geithner, interviewed on NPR’s “All Things Considered” program, rejected the idea that a serious new crisis could be triggered by lingering problems with commercial real estate loans or with a sudden weakening in the value of the dollar.

“We will do what is necessary to prevent that and that is completely within our capacity to prevent,” he said.

However, in a separate interview he conceded that it would take several months before the economy yields positive job growth. Job losses have been easing in recent weeks but the economy still saw 480,000 new claims for unemployment benefits last week. That number is expected to shrink just a bit this week.

Geithner on NPR

Inquiring minds might be interested in the complete NPR interview. Please consider Geithner Voices Confidence About Economic Rebound.

Here is the Transcript of the interview with Michelle Norris. Some snips follow …

NORRIS: You know that businesses are spending again. The administration has been asking the banks to try to free up more money for small business in particular. And I want you to help me understand something because on one hand the administration is telling the bankers that they need to take fewer risks, that they need to deleverage, that they need to have higher capital reserve. And at the same time you’re also telling them that they need to lend more money. Those two things don’t seem to square.

Sec. GEITHNER: It is very important that we work with Congress to pass legislation that can put in place financial reforms that can prevent the next crisis. So it’s pretty important in the future we build a more stable financial system. We constrain risk taking in the future. But right now the real risk we face is that banks are not lending enough and not going to provide the capital businesses need to grow for the economy to strengthen going forward.

NORRIS: So it’s okay for them to take risks right now?

Sec. GEITHNER: Absolutely. Right now the real risk is that the pendulum having been too soft and easy on the lending side. Right now the risk is that banks overcorrect or that supervisors overcorrect. And that’s something we need to work against, lean against, because, again, the strength in recovery will depend in part on credit being available to businesses across the county.

NORRIS: You know, pardon me for presenting you with all these doomsday scenarios, but as you know, many people are worried about a second wave of systemic crisis, that either because of commercial real estate or the value of the dollar…

Sec. GEITHNER We’re not going to have, Michele, a second wave of financial crisis.

NORRIS: You’re that confident? You’re certain of it.

Sec. GEITHNER: We’ll do what is necessary to prevent that. We cannot afford to let the country live again with a risk that we’re going to have another series of events like we had last year. That’s not something that is acceptable. And we will prevent that. We will do what is necessary to prevent that, and that is completely within our capacity to prevent.

NORRIS: You’re saying you’re confident that it won’t happen. What levers can you press or pull to make sure that does not happen again?

Sec. GEITHNER: As people saw, when you have the will to act, we have substantial ability to prevent that, and we’ll do what’s necessary.

The arrogance and ignorance of Geithner are both appalling.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
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Santa Claus Tells All in a No Holds Barred Interview

I managed to catch up with my old friend, Santa Claus, the other day, before he took off on his global gift giving rounds. I have had a rocky relationship with old Saint Nick over the years, usually finding coal or potatoes in my stocking, as one who lives a feckless life might expect. But one year I found a Mercedes S600 V-12 under the tree! I ended up regifting it because I didn’t like the cup holders, but hey, it was a nice thought! Things are not good at the North Pole. The cost of the software upgrade needed to switch from children’s handwritten letters to email has been a killer. And what the hell is Twitter? The First National Bank of the North Pole won’t let him roll over his debt because snow appraisals aren’t coming in like they used to. Labor costs are rocketing. Elves used to work for a few pieces of candy cane a day, but no more. Now they want black snowmobiles with chrome wheels, big screen TV’s, and Blue Ray HD players. There are rumors of a strike over health care costs, which are bleeding him snow white. The Amalgamated Confederation of Elves must be the only union that gets Viagra with their benefits, besides the United Auto Workers. And now they want free mistletoe, to boot! He’s going to have to skip the unfortunate children of Afghanistan and Iraq once again because Obama’s budget cuts won’t allow the US Air Force to provide needed fighter cover. The price of reindeer food is going through the roof, thanks to Chinese hoarding, and Donner and Blitzen are down with the swine flu. Rising costs, lower revenues, and an unruly workforce are not a good business model. Since the government forced that TARP money down his throat, the green eye shades from the Treasury have been camping out in accounting. To top it all, compliance is telling him he’s being investigated for backdated stock options in Santa Claus Inc. All this while the debate rages on over whether he even exists. Tell that to the SEC! Coming on top of all the shareholder carping about his ten figure compensation package, and unlimited use of the corporate sleigh, he needs this like a hole in his head! To be honest, he would have retired by now if he had not invested so much of his savings with Bernie Madoff. Sure, being Santa Claus is a bitch, but somebody’s got to do it.