Monday, February 23, 2009

Monday notes

1. We. Get. It. Ad nauseam. He likes hockey, he drapes himself in it at every opportunity. Apparently it's a state secret though that he is a Leafs fan, won't admit to it. Will gladly help him get back to that book on hockey he's supposedly "writing," gladly...a full time return to it would be a good thing for the book, don't you think? And for the nation?

2. The giant mess that the Bush administration left at the S.E.C. is the subject of this NY Times report, "S.E.C. Chief Pursues Reversal of Years of Lax Enforcement" that's worth a look today. Gives you a sense of how the commission, through the life of the Bush administration, was essentially rigged to quash investigations, Bush populated the commission with "opponents of government regulation." Leading to the commission missing major scandals. Brand new one today. Schapiro is said to be improving technology and looking at significant corporate governance reforms, including "...considering asking boards to disclose more about directors' backgrounds and skills, specifically how much they know about managing risk."

3. The NY Times editorial board is applauding the new EPA administrator, Lisa Jackson, for the speed at which she is reversing Bush era intransigence on environmental action.
She has pledged to reverse or review three Bush administration directives that had slowed the government’s response to global warming and has brought a new sense of urgency to an issue that President Bush treated indifferently. She has also boosted morale at an agency badly demoralized after eight years of political meddling.
These would be major changes in regulatory policy affecting, all told, more than half the greenhouse gas emissions emitted in this country.
While we will await the content of these directives, the point is that the Obama administration is starting to act, quickly here, and Mr. Harper's feigned inability to act due to U.S. obstruction will be coming to an end. Surely he too is applauding, based upon his recent comments.

4. Liberals will use Kevin Page, Parliamentary Budget Officer when it comes time to review the Conservatives' progress in implementing the budget:
Mr. McCallum said however that his party will be working with the Parliamentary Budget Officer Kevin Page to dissect and study the report to determine if it is sufficient. He said although the Liberals and the Parliamentary Budget office still have to work out the details about what the party is looking for, Mr. Page will review the report. "He's done a very good job in providing economic professional advice to Parliamentarians and he will play a role in the report," Mr. McCallum said, adding the Liberals are looking for evidence that "the government has active plans to get money out the door fast [because] the money will not have flowed" by March 12.
See that? Cooperation with the independent types. Not so hard.