Well, Arizona voters did do one sensible thing. With all of the attention paid (and I am not saying that we should have paid less attention) to the immigration bill, this one slipped by almost unnoticed. HuffingtonPost notes that 'pay day' lenders are leaving the state after both the legislators and the voters refused to extend an expiring law which allowed extremely high interest rates. Instead of 400% interest rates they are limited to a paltry 36%. I really can't get up a lot of sympathy for those legalized loan sharks. I think 36% is usurious and immoral.
And I have to say the same thing about the 'silent raids' the Obama Administration have been conducting to deal with illegal immigration. MSNBC carried this story today. I think it is an excellent strategy and an effective use of personnel. Instead of the dramatic, televised raids on farms or factories that nets large numbers of illegal immigrants and the follow up hand-wringing and tears (also televised) of families torn apart as the illegals are deported, there is the quiet audit of company payrolls and the quiet firing of those workers without documents. The comments Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AZ) makes are totally asinine. He bemoans the firings when 'so many Americans are out of work.' My dear Idiot, these are NOT Americans. I am also not impressed with his concern that the illegals are not arrested. If they cannot get jobs they will leave. I strongly suspect that Sessions is really crying for the employers who have been caught and are paying fines for flouting the law. The story includes a 'traditional' point that many of the jobs involve farm work that even our long-term unemployed are reluctant to take. Can anyone, except a hard core RepThuglican, blame anyone for not wanting a job that pays a pittance and requires hard physical labor for long hours under trying physical conditions? I don't.
So, after the Gulf disaster, we are going to trust both oil companies (whose only standard of behavior is how much profits they rake in) and the Federal Government (who has consistently failed to enforce any regulations on big companies) to protect the 1.8 M acres of the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge the Obama Administration is opening up to drilling? I once saw an estimate of the amount of oil in that reservoir and found the U.S. daily consumption of oil. It was simple math to figure out that, IF we could get every last drop of oil out, we would get only 3 months supply (maybe a little bit more with the recession suppressing demand a little bit.) And most of the estimates I have read claim that only half of any such field is economically recoverable. The rest is simply too expensive unless the oil prices rise to over 200/barrel.