Yesterday, Mike Pence was on duty to break a tie in the Senate, just as he was when the confirmation of Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, Betsy DeVos, came up for a vote.
At issue was a proposal to prohibit class-action lawsuits against banks. The banking industry wanted people aggrieved by spectacular (or even unspectacular) actions taken by banks to use arbitration rather than class actions to pursue their claims. Remember the Wells Fargo scandal?
On this proposal, the Senate was divided 50-50, so former Indiana conservative radio talk show host Pence did his duty for Trump and his many friends in the banking industry by breaking the tie, and the proposal passed.
Unhappy about the result, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) said on NPR that what the Senate had just done was like giving a big wet kiss to Wall Street.
Associate solitary reporter Melissa Smith was unable to sleep last night because she couldn’t help wondering what it would be like for Sen. Warren to walk up to Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and plant a big sloppy kiss on his cheek.
In today’s Politico, expert reporter Nancy Cook writes about how Mnuchin, who was the Trump campaign’s national finance chairman, has kept his job working for Trump by working in lockstep for the extraordinarily brash Twitterer-in-Chief (http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/26/mnuchin-treasury-congress-wall-street-244184). (Mnuchin, who, like his boss, had no previous government experience, has had a few issues in getting along with powerful congressional leaders.)
As soon as ASR Smith read Cook’s article, she (Smith) erupted into peals of laughter imagining Sen. Warren kissing the conspicuously unpretty Mnuchin, so she called Warren and asked her, just for fun, to go up to Mnuchin, fling her arms around him, and say, “Steve Honey, here’s a bit of performance art for you.”
The Bay State’s senior senator’s reaction to ASR Smith’s suggestion cannot be printed here.