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Just add water (and hot air)…

Only in Washington can something grow so quickly. Just 10 days ago, Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson released this $700 billion 3 page plan for saving the economy. A few days later, it had morphed into a 110-page plan. And by Wednesday, it had grown to a 451-page plan, which was passed by the Senate earlier tonight by a vote of 74 to 25. The Associated Press has a good summary of the many add-ons — Christmas ornaments — here.

Of course, you have to wonder how many of those 74 Senators actually read those 451 pages before voting. My guess is very few. Keep in mind that last week, John McCain couldn’t even take the time to read the 3-page plan. Both McCain and Barack Obama voted in favor of the rescue plan.

After a quick skim — even I’m not that much a glutton for punishment — the executive compensation language seems to be pretty similar. Mark Borges, of Compensation Standards picked up a subtle language change having to do with giving incentives for unnecessary risk from “executive officers” in the old version to “senior executive officers.”

On accounting issues, the legislation delves into mark-to-market accounting, an issue we’re quite sure that every member of Congress — in the House and the Senate — are intimately familiar with. And, yes, we’re only being slightly snarky here.