ThinkFast: April 28, 2010

Goldman Sachs executives refused to admit any regrets over the investment bank’s activities at a Senate hearing yesterday. “Regret to me means something that you feel that you did wrong,” said former Goldman executive Dan Sparks. “And I don’t have that.”

Many legal scholars say that Arizona’s controversial new immigration law does not “pass constitutional muster.” “The law is clearly pre-empted by federal law under Supreme Court precedents,” said Erwin Chemerinsky, an expert in constitutional law. “My view of the constitutional question is that it is unconstitutional,” said Hiroshi Motomura, co-author of leading casebooks on immigration law.

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds “members of Congress face the most anti-incumbent electorate since 1994, with less than a third of all voters saying they are inclined to support their representatives in November.” The poll also found some positive signs for President Obama, “with, for the first time since the fall, a majority of independents approving” of his job performance.

Senate Republicans united once again yesterday to block Democratic efforts to start debate on a new financial regulation bill. “Republicans have made it clear whose side they’re on: Big banks on Wall Street, not middle-class families,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who is set to schedule another vote today.


Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein lent his supporrt to Wall Street regulation reform yesterday, saying the proposed bill would help the financial industry and American consumers by making the market safer. “I’m generally supportive,” Blankfein told a Senate panel. “The biggest risk is risk financial institutions have with each other.”

A former employee of Massey Energy, which owns the upper Upper Big Branch mine where 29 miners died earlier this month, told a Senate panel yesterday that he quit because he was “scared” the mines weren’t safe. “I know from my time working at Massey mines, things [that] aren’t right and which shouldn’t be allowed to continue,” he told the panel investigating mine-safety laws.

Yesterday, former Florida governor Jeb Bush criticized Arizona’s new immigration law, saying that it wasn’t “the proper approach.” California GOP gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman said there are “better ways to solve this problem.” Former Bush Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge also expressed discomfort with the law, “saying it allows police to question people without probable cause.”

The Obama administration is “supporting legislation to provide mandatory paid sick leave for more than 30 million additional workers who are some of nation’s lowest-paid employees.” The legislation, called the Healthy Families Act, has been introduced by Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).

According to the National Counterterrorism Center, terrorist attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan increased last year leading to “a spike in the number of civilians killed or wounded there” and pushing South Asia past the Middle East as the top terror region in the world. Thousands of civilians — predominantly Muslim — have been killed in the region.


And finally: “Pistol-packing” Texas Gov. Rick Perry has a message for “wily” coyotes: “Don’t attack my dog or you might get shot.

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