It only took a few days for it to be very clear that Americans are tired of financial bailouts. And it was obvious that members of Congress had heard that message back home.
Lawmakers were so jumpy about approving $25 billion for the Big Three automakers that they couldn't even come up with a plan that could get to the floor of the House or Senate for a vote.
Top Democrats knew the score, and they didn't want to be embarrassed.
"What kind of message do we send to the American people by having a bunch of failed votes here?" asked Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a news conference.
While Wall Street did not like the inaction on Capitol Hill, no one should have been surprised.
The original Wall Street Bailout caused an uproar nationally. Even though this is just chump change compared to that, lawmakers had been getting their ears melted for several weeks back home about the raw deal that taxpayers smell.
Democratic leaders seemed so jumpy on the House side that they never even opened the floor to speeches by members of Congress. Usually you have one minute speeches for those who want to speak, and then longer "special orders" that can run an hour.
Not this week. The only business transacted was to swear in a new member and then tap the gavel to put the House in recess subject to the call of the chair.
I can only assume that the leadership didn't want any sour notes on the floor of the House.
Over in the Senate, it was obvious before the week began that nothing was going to get done. Yes, some members from Ohio and Michigan tried to come up with a last minute deal on automotive aid, but it wasn't going anywhere.
You never know. Wait a few more weeks and things may be even worse. It might not be only Detroit that we're talking about.
Maybe it's time to start talking about reducing the transition time between administrations.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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