Tag Archives: Regulations

The manufactured ‘crisis’ over the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

The latest attempt by Donald Trump to fill the D.C. swamp with his loyal cronies to destroy federal agencies he does not like is this manufactured “crisis” over who will head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This fake “populist” is actually a big supporter of the banksters of Wall Street, the The Predator Class whose unbridled avarice and greed led to The Mortgage Fraud Scandal, The Biggest In Human History, that nearly destroyed the U.S. economy and the world’s financial system.

Donald Trump, a grifter and con man himself, believes the banksters of Wall Street were the real victims in this financial scandal, and that they should be freed from the minimalist banking regulations enacted in the Dodd-Frank Act to allow them to once again prey on consumers victims again, something you would expect a grifter and con man to say. Casting Wall Street as Victim, Trump Leads Deregulatory Charge.

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The Twitter-troll-in-chief”s tweet is, of course, total bullshit, as Philip Bump of The Post explains. Trump once again rises to Wall Street’s defense:

This isn’t true: Banks have repeatedly set new quarterly records on incomes over the past several years, including in the second quarter of 2017. If that’s devastation, sign me up.

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Bloomberg News’s editorial board, in an editorial praising the watchdog agency, described some of its successes: “It created the first federal rules to make payday lending less predatory. It gave the public reams of valuable information, such as a database that allows consumers to compare credit-card agreements. Its practice of publishing complaints pushed financial institutions to be more responsive. Its investigation of Wells Fargo brought national attention to the fake-accounts issue.”

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Trump and Tea-Publicans are leaving the U.S. vulnerable to Russian cyber attacks

The social media companies Google, Facebook, and Twitter spent the past two days testifying before Congress on how Russian intelligence agencies used their media platforms to engage in a disinformation campaign to disrupt the 2016 election and undermine confidence in the American political system, and are continuing to actively do so.

We previously learned that Facebook sold $100,000 in ads to the Russian propaganda troll farm Internet Research Agency, paid for in Rubles no less. Some Facebook ads bought by Russian company may have violated US election law. Nevertheless, Facebook and Google declined under repeated congressional questioning Tuesday to commit to stop taking Russian rubles and other foreign currencies as payment for American political advertisements, despite federal election law prohibiting payments from foreign nationals. Facebook, Google won’t commit to stop taking foreign cash for U.S. political ads.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had initially dismissed the notion that fake news stories proliferated on Facebook to manipulate voters. A preliminary internal investigation by Facebook  reported that Facebook found over 3,000 ads that came from inauthentic accounts linked to a Russian group called the Internet Research Agency that operated between 2015 and 2017. Some 10 million people in the U.S. viewed at least one of those ads, with around 44 percent of those views happening before the Nov. 8, 2016 election. 10 million saw Facebook political ads posted from Russia-linked fake accounts. Prior to this week’s congressional testimony, that number was dramatically revised upward. Russian fake accounts showed posts to 126 million Facebook users:

As many as 126 million people — or one-third the U.S. population — may have seen material posted by a Russian troll farm under fake Facebook identities between 2015 and 2017, according to testimony presented by Facebook’s general counsel at a hearing before the Senate on Tuesday.

The figure is the largest yet of the possible reach Russian operatives had on the giant social platformin the run-up to last year’s presidential election and afterwards and reflects Facebook’s new disclosures that a Kremlin-linked misinformation agency used original content in users’ feeds, as well as paid ads. Previously Facebook said 10 million people saw Russia-linked advertising that sought to sway U.S. voters.

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Evil GOP bastards vote to gut Dodd-Frank banking regulations

Remember those terrifying days in September 2008 after the housing bubble had collapsed, the world’s financial system teetered on collapse, and the economy was in a free-fall?

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Yeah, Tea-Publicans in Congress hope you suffer from short-term memory loss and that you have forgotten all about those dark days.

The evil GOP bastards want to return to what they view as those halcyon days when the banksters of Wall Street ran wild in unregulated casino capitalism — speculation, fraud and theft — that nearly destroyed the world’s financial system. Not one bankster of Wall Street was ever convicted for the greatest financial crime in history, but the GOP is OK with that … the banksters are the “masters of the universe” whom the lickspittle servants of the GOP serve in Congress.

While You Were Paying Attention To Comey, House Republicans Voted For Everything Big Banks Want:

While much of the political world was watching the fallout from former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday, House Republicans were jamming through a bill that would largely gut the financial regulations in Dodd-Frank, the landmark banking legislation passed in 2010 after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

But instead of quietly sneaking the legislation through, Republicans were loudly touting the bill ― which passed, 233-186, with all Democrats and one Republican (Walter Jones of North Carolina) voting no ― as a major victory.

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Sen. Jeff Flake’s bill wipes out the FCC’s landmark rule for Internet privacy protection

Arizona Senator Jef Flake does not believe in your privacy on the Internet. In fact, he believes that everything you do on the Internet, from your personal information, browsing history, the apps you use, etc. is fair game for your Internet service provider (ISP) to compile a personal profile on you and to use that information for their profit, as well as to sell to third parties.

Senn. Flake introduced S.J.Res. 34, a joint resolution of congressional disapproval of the FCC rule relating to “Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services.”

Last week the Senate voted on a party-line vote of 50-48 to undo landmark rules covering your Internet privacy:

U.S. senators voted 50 to 48 to approve a joint resolution from Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) that would prevent the Federal Communications Commission’s privacy rules from going into effect. The resolution also would bar the FCC from ever enacting similar consumer protections.

Flake’s measure aims to nullify the FCC’s privacy rules altogether.

Today, House Tea-Publicans voted overwhelmingly, by a margin of 215-205, to to wipe out the FCC’s landmark Internet privacy protections:

The resolution marks a sharp, partisan pivot toward letting Internet providers collect and sell their customers’ Web browsing history, location information, health data and other personal details.

The measure, which was approved by a 50-48 margin in the Senate last week, now heads to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it.

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About that EPA ruling … it’s not what you have read in the paper

The Rush Limbaugh of The Republic, Doug MacEachern, once again misinforms and misleads readers of The Republic with his opinion today. Justice Kagan wrong about EPA and costs. Rush Doug takes exception to Justice Elena Kagan’s comment in her dissent:

That is a peculiarly blinkered way for a court to assess the lawfulness of an agency’s rulemaking. I agree with the majority — let there be no doubt about this — that EPA’s power plant regulation would be unreasonable if ‘[t]he Agency gave cost no thought at all.’ … But that is just not what happened here. Over more than a decade, EPA took costs into account at multiple stages and through multiple means as it set emissions limits for power plants. And when making its initial ‘appropriate and necessary’ finding, EPA knew it would do exactly that — knew it would thoroughly consider the cost-effectiveness of emissions standards later on. That context matters.

carbon-emissionsThis has been long-standing practice in environmental regulation, previously upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. This is why the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which oversees federal regulatory cases, upheld the EPA regulations — the EPA had followed established practice. Scalia’s opinion in Michigan v. EPA marks a departure from prior Supreme Court precedents.

Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog provides an Opinion analysis: Power plants stymie smokestack controls:

When Congress orders an agency to begin regulating an industry, but says it should do so only if “appropriate and necessary,” the agency must take costs into account before it issues any orders, according to the ruling in a group of cases under the name Michigan v. Environmental Protection Agency.

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FCC approves net neutrality, Providers, GOP vow to block it

First, the good news today. FCC approves strict rules on Web providers:

FCCThe Federal Communications Commission approved strict new rules for Internet providers Thursday in a historic vote that represents the government’s most aggressive attempt to make sure the Web remains a level playing field.

The rules would dramatically expand the agency’s oversight of the country’s high-speed broadband providers, regulating them like a public utility. They were adopted by a 3-to-2 margin with the commission’s Republican members voting against them.

Under the rules, it will be illegal for companies such as Verizon or Cox Communications to slow down streaming videos, games and other online content traveling over their networks. They also will be prohibited from establishing “fast lanes” that speed up access to Web sites that pay an extra fee. And in an unprecedented move, the FCC could apply the rules to wireless carriers, such as T-Mobile and Sprint, in a nod to the rapid rise of smartphones and the mobile Internet.

“This is no more a plan to regulate the Internet than the First Amendment is a plan to regulate free speech,” said FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler. “They both stand for the same concept: openness, expression and an absence of gatekeepers telling them what they can do, where they can go and what they can think.”

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It is also a significant victory for consumer advocates, grass-roots organizers, Internet companies and Democrats, all of whom spent months pressing for what President Obama called “the strongest possible rules” on net neutrality.

President Obama sent a thank-you note to the millions of people who urged the FCC to write tough rules. Obama’s thank you note to net neutrality supporters .

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