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What about Bellarmine?
There are many important news events and issues facing us every day, but let's face it - in Kentucky, basketball is a big deal. That's why I was shocked to find that after the Bellarmine University men's basketball team won the NCAA Division II national championship this weekend, the best The News-Enterprise could manage was a small notice buried on page 5 of the sports section.
This is a huge accomplishment for the school, for Coach Scotty Davenport and for all the players and everyone in this region should be proud of the way they represented Kentucky. I don't want to take anything away from the University of Kentucky or other local schools, but Bellarmine deserves better coverage from The News-Enterprise.
Not even a penny for the people?
In the midst of the U.S. presidential race of 2008, Secretary of the Treasury, Hank Paulson, came to Congress and insisted U.S. taxpayers had to provide the U.S. banking industry $700 billion or face the collapse of our financial system. Candidates McCain and Obama came off the campaign trail to cast their votes in favor of the bail-out.
Subsequent revelations showed institutions long thought to be the biggest, best, and brightest stars of the financial world were loaded with flimflammers and predators creating snake oil products and boiler plate contracts that demolished consumers and investors alike. Indeed, much of the pension plan woes and mortgage mess we face now can be traced to the wave of shenanigans that began when the banking industry, trysting with Congress, succeeded in wrecking the restraints of law put in place after the Great Depression. So now the typical American family has been stripped of about $100,000 in asset value and few under age 50 have hope of a decent retirement.
And, just as in the post-depression era a financial reform act, the Dodd-Frank Act, significantly weakened by financial industry lobbyists, was passed into law. Its protections would put at least a penny weight on the consumer side of the scale. The new Congress seems to feel the consumer is not even worth the penny and has already attacked even before the law takes full effect this summer. The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee seemed to have forgotten the actions of Wall Street gone wild, but asserted recently that the new Consumer Protection Bureau had "very little accountability." His statement was generally ignored because it was important. Chairman Bachus feels the consumer agency should be controlled by Congress.
It seems sometimes to this citizen that Congress has become an elected aristocracy that sees its peerage in the money class. We must demand the new Consumer Bureau be free of Congressional interference and allowed to perform on behalf of our nation before judgment is passed. We the people have paid dearly for the privilege.