The Midmorning Refill: Anti-financial reform lobbyist to oversee commission in charge of regulating futures market

Today’s Flickr photo

A snow falls in Brooklyn. Flickr photo by maesaslaw.

If you read one thing today . . .

Another day, another lobbyist joins some member of Congress’ staff. But wait, it gets better. Incoming Agriculture Chairman Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) is bringing in a U.S. Chamber of Commerce lobbyist who spent most of her time trying to persuade lawmakers to deregulate financial markets, according to Lee Fang in Think Progress. Ryan McKee joins the Ag committee as the senior staffer to oversee the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Of course, this makes perfect sense if you have the memory of a gold fish. Remember, it was deregulation — the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act — that ushered in the reckless Wall Street behavior that helped crash our economy. From Fang’s post:

As ThinkProgress reported, the Chamber, which is funded by AIG, JP Morgan, CitiGroup, and other financial interests, took the lead role in fighting to defeat Wall Street reform efforts. Last year, the Chamber organized a conference call with other financial industry lobby groups and bank lobbyists to coordinate their efforts. As Tim Fernholz reported, McKee made clear that she was fighting to “kill” financial reform:

Overheard:

The bill that provides health care for the 9/11 first responders passed in the waning moments of the 111th Congress thanks in large part to comedian Jon Stewart’s efforts to shame members of Congress into doing the right thing, write Bill Carter and Brian Stelter in the NYT. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is one of those heaping on the praise:

“Success always has a thousand fathers,” the mayor said in an e-mail. “But Jon shining such a big, bright spotlight on Washington’s potentially tragic failure to put aside differences and get this done for America was, without a doubt, one of the biggest factors that led to the final agreement.”