While Everyone Obsesses On Teabagging Candidates, Good Things Happen Elsewhere

Yes, I know the teabaggers' wins are attention-worthy, but the mere thought of Paladino and O'Donnell anywhere near Washington DC turns my stomach. (And Rand Paul, and Sharron Angle, and, and, and...)

So I went looking for what's going right. To my surprise, there are good things afoot that are being buried in the never-ending Republican noise machine.

First, Elizabeth Warren is going to be appointed as a special advisor to the White House and Treasury Department for the purpose of setting up the Consumer Financial Protection Agency. This appointment is sure to raise all sorts of whining from Republicans, who will certainly bemoan their lost opportunity to stall yet another confirmation.

The appointment would place Warren in charge of the new watchdog agency she personally proposed three years ago to protect Americans against lending abuses.

The official said Obama plans to name Warren as an advisor to him and Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner - giving her responsibility for shaping the consumer bureau in coming months.

The financial overhaul bill signed into law in July gives this consumer watchdog - and the person who leads it - broad autonomy to write and enforce rules governing credit cards, mortgages and other such loans.

Under the law, the Treasury maintains responsibility for setting up the new regulator until the president nominates a director, subject to approval by the Senate.

Also, the White House is implementing new policies to ensure that more contracts go to small business, and has set up a website to track that implementation.

The White House is also urging all veterans who are entitled to retroactive stop-loss back pay to apply as soon as possible. The deadline is October 21st, and any veteran who was stop-lossed is entitled to receive additional back pay for that.

Meanwhile, in Congress, Republican Senators LaMieux and Voinovich joined with the Democrats to break the filibuster on the Small Business Jobs Bill. For small businesses who are tired of beating their collective heads on bankers' doors, this is welcome news indeed.

In other Senate news, the Johanns amendment repealing the 1099 reporting provisions of the Affordable Care Act by eliminating wellness and preventative health care funding has been defeated. The White House has signalled support for softening 1099 reporting requirements, but not at the expense of wellness and prevention.

Finally, the Department of Energy announced grants to incubate new green energy industries.

It's news like this that keeps me from stabbing myself in the eye over teabaggers' antics. It would be good if our mainstream media gave at least a small amount of attention to it, too, instead of breathing heavy every time one of the idiots opens their mouth.


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