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Who's In Charge Here? | The Nation

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Nation in the News

Nation in the News

TV and radio appearances by Nation writers and editors, big Nation announcements.

Who's In Charge Here?

Recently, the vote to begin deliberation on financial reform was blocked by Republicans and Democrat Ben Nelson 57-41. The GOP may be deciding their midterm electoral strategy, says Nation columnist Melissa Harris-Lacewell on GritTV with Laura Flanders. On the one hand, the GOP can decide to run on the significant issues facing the nation, but most likely they will not, she says. "It looks like they decided that substantive financial reform is going to be less valuable to them than simply maintaining this position as the opposition party."

Likewise, the key issue of the day--financial regulation--raises one crucial question: Who's in charge here? If you compare the protections expected with toasters and lawn mowers to the protections given for financial products, they don't add up, says Harris-Lacewell. "We are in a market where we are simply allowing any old financial product to be sold to consumers," she says, "and when consumers couldn't make these balloon payments on mortgages, when they couldn't play by rules that have been stacked against them, we blamed the financial consumers. And it's only been the taxpayers--ordinary people--who have taken the fall of this crashing market. It's absolutely about revising this idea about where we place value and who's in charge here."

Harris-Lacewell also discusses potential Supreme Court nominees and how it's unnecessary to find a candidate we can all agree on. Also, Harris-Lacewell suspects that Nightline's expose on the black women marriage crisis (coupled with Arizona's racist anti-immigration law) is an attempt at scapegoating.

--Clarissa Leon

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