The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a rare gem in the US financial regulatory apparatus, a regulator that actually tackles fraud and criminality by monied, powerful financial institutions, exacts meaningful penalties from them, and forces them to stop. They're one of the only things standing between you and highway robbery.
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If Trump FCC chairman Ajit Pai had confined his attack on Net Neutrality to merely rolling back the 2015 Title II rules, he might have gotten away with it; but like the Republican plan to kill Obamacare, the Republican plan to rob the middle class to enrich billionaires, and, well, every other Republican plan in this administration, Pai's plan is so grotesque, so overreaching, so nakedly corrupt that it is likely to collapse under its own weight.
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When Trump's Health and Human Services secretary Tom Price lost his job for chartering private jets to fly him all around America, it left a vacancy in Trump's cabinet of billionaire gators that he's been filling the DC swamp with.
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When mainland US cities like Houston and Miami get hit by hurricanes, they rely on mutual aid deals with out-of-state and Canadian power authorities to rebuild, as hundreds of skilled maintenance workers flood in and work for free to get their grid up and running; but debt-crushed Puerto Rico is paying $300 million to Whitefish Energy, a two-person company from Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's hometown of Whitefish, Montana.
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Brett Gaylor from Mozilla writes, "The FCC received 22 million comments in response to its plan to repeal Net Neutrality legislation. So we've created a virtual way for you to drop 22 million virtual leaflets on Ajit Pai at the FCC headquarters. And we're almost there! Folks have dropped over twenty million so far, and in the process made weird cyber graffiti appear all over DC. Help us get to 22 million!" Read the rest
On September 29, weeks after Equifax admitted to having lost the most sensitive financial and personal information of 143,000,000 Americans (but a week before Equifax admitted that the total was actually 145,500,000) (and counting), the IRS awarded the company a no-bid contract for $7,250,000 to verify taxpayer identities and curtail fraud. Read the rest
The Intercept's Sharon Lerner is Read the rest
Gary Cohn is Trump's chief economic advisor. He's a former Goldman-Sachs banker with a net worth of more than $250,000,000. In his latest appearance, the quarter-billionaire explained to the press that Trump's tax-plan (which will transfer billions to the wealthiest 1%, e.g., Gary Cohn) will save two-child families earning $100,000/year about $1,000 and that they can use this money to buy "a new car." Read the rest
Only two people on the 30-seat FCC advisory panel come from city governments and have experience overseeing telcoms regulation; the other 28 members are executives, consultants, lobbyists and think-tankies from the telcoms sectors. Read the rest
Trump wants to dismantle America's labor, environmental and safety regulations, but to do so, he needs to hold hearings, post notices, collect feedback and go through the whole long, cautious process of changing agency rules for the EPA and others. Read the rest
The Department of Agriculture's chief scientist oversees more than 1,000 scientists in 100 research facilities: Trump's pick to run the agency is Sam Clovis, a climate-denying talk-radio host who not only lacks any kind of scientific degrees -- he didn't take a single science course at university. Read the rest
The word on the Hill is that Trump will nominate Cheryl Stanton to head the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, a step up from her current job as head of the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, where her tenure has been marked by high-profile resignations over her plans to trump up claims against employees she disliked and wanted to fire, and (you can't make this stuff up) a lawsuit by the agency that cleans her house because she refused to pay them. Read the rest
Evan from Fight for the Future writes, "The Internet strikes back! Hundreds of people chipped in small amounts to crowdfund these billboards targeting U.S. lawmakers who voted to gut the FCC's Internet privacy rules and allow ISPs like Comcast and Verizon to collect and sell their customers' personal information and web browsing history without our consent. Check out photos of the billboards here. Read the rest
Chris Dodd (previously) was once a Democratic senator who decried politicians who became lobbyists; then he became one of the highest-paid and least competent lobbyists in DC, taking the helm of the Motion Picture Association on America and leading the organization to failure, catastrophe and irrelevance. Read the rest
Susan Crawford, one of the most articulate campaigners for Net Neutrality (previously) explains how FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to kill Net Neutrality will leave small-town America behind in the 21st century's rear-view mirror, receding into the distance with poor-quality, slow, and inefficient network access at a moment when economic survival depends on reliable, high-speed and neutral nets. Read the rest
Before being put in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-denier Scott Pruitt sued the agency more than a dozen times. This has made him rather unpopular. Read the rest
Education secretary (and Ponzi-scheme billionaire heiress, anti-public-education crusader, and sister of notorious war criminal Eric Prince) Betsy DeVos just killed the recent Department of Education/Consumer Financial Protection Bureau guidelines that banned dirty bill-collectors from going after people with delinquent student bans. Read the rest