Dec 232017
 

Here is the one hundred fifth article in our Republicans on Parade series, featuring individuals who personify what the Republican Party has become. Today’s honoree is Republican CFPB appointee Mick Mulvaney. He is so honored for gutting the CFPB for Banksters.

1223cfpb-mulvaney

Muting the core of the agency’s mission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the controversial direction of Trump-appointed Mick Mulvaney has sidelined consumer protection and indicated "deregulation" is the forefront of its purpose.

The difference is displayed at the bottom of the most recent press releases from the agency.

The first image below shows the mission statement as it appears at the bottom of two pressreleases dated Dec. 21:

1223cfpb-mission-dec21

The second image is from the previous press release dated Nov. 24:

1223earlier-cfpb-mission

The new version puts "by regularly identifying and addressing outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations" first and also leaves out the word "fairly."…

Inserted from <Common Dreams>

The worst I can do is give this greedy Republican a parade, but I’m looking forward to following up when Elizabeth Warren responds to how he has turned her signature achievement into a device to make Banksters richer by screwing consumers.

RESIST THE REPUBLICAN REICH!!

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Nov 282017
 

I’ve had another busy day, and catching up with sleep just makes me sleepier.  I ordered groceries from Store to Door.  I also spoke with the Safeway Store Manager.  She was highly apologetic and offered me $50 in compensation as an apology.  I refused, and told her I would reconsider, if they demoted the .com manager.  She said she will take my complaint to senior management and let me know what happens.  I doubt that I’ll hear back, but I take pride in refusing to be bought off over the principal that they can’t just dismiss cursing a justifiably irate crippled senior.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:09 (average 4:07).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Fantasy Football Report:

Here’s the latest from our own fantasy football league, Lefty Blog Friends.

Scores:

12Scores

Woooo Hoooo!!  Did I put that Sasquatch under foot, or what? Winking smile

Standings:

12Standings

Congrats to Vivian and Seth, who lead the league.  Condolences to Jack, who is still eating Sasquatch toe jams.  There are only two weeks left before our playoffs.

Short Takes:

From YouTube (GQ Channel): Trump is Finished

 

On the one hand, I fully agree with Keith. On the other, I feel devastated over Keith’s retirement from political commentary. We still need his clarity, integrity, and depth. RESIST!!

From YouTube (MSNBC Channel): Elizabeth Warren: This Is Donald Trump Bringing His Chaos

 

As of 12:30 PM PST the CFBP was still in limbo. Liz spelled it out with crystal clarity. May she win the White House in 2020. RESIST!!

From The New Yorker: Casting further doubt on the authenticity of his notorious “Access Hollywood” tape, Donald J. Trump said on Monday that the voice on the tape was actually that of Hillary Clinton, imitating him.

“That’s not me on the tape,” he said. “That’s Hillary faking like she is me.”

Trump said that he had a theory to explain how Clinton came up with the infamous “locker-room talk” that appeared on the tape. “It’s so obvious that Bill came up with that,” he said.

Dang Andy!  Now that you gave him the idea, that’s coming next! RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1128TCFatBurp

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Nov 252017
 

I’m making this a lazy day.  I don’t know why, but I slept very poorly last night.  Most of the news seems to be rehashing old business.  This is my only article today, and I shall not be sending links messages on Care2.  Between 10 AM and Noon Amazon.com/New Seasons Market is delivering the bird, a cooked 6-10 lb. Free Range Turkey.  Purrrr!!  This morning I prepared the Brussels Sprouts Hollandaise.  The stuffing and gravy are done.  And I look forward to feeding Wonder Woman Wendy (Thanks, Lona!) tomorrow.  Tomorrow is also a holy day in the Church of the Ellipsoid Orb.  My Broncos play Wendy’s Raiders, but we don’t get to watch, as it is not televised here.

Later: The turkey came.  It’s in the fridge, waiting to be put in the TomCat.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:12 (average 5:29).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Washington Post: President Trump and the outgoing head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau both named acting directors to head the watchdog agency on Friday, throwing its leadership into disarray.

Legal analysts were split over whether the White House or the CFPB had authority to name an acting director, with each side citing the fine print of dueling federal rules. Some added that the laws were open to interpretation and that the courts ultimately would have to decide the matter.

Trump proposed his White House budget director, Mick Mulvaney, as the acting director of the CFPB, which Mulvaney once called a “joke” and said he wished didn’t exist. Several defenders of the agency said they were worried that Mulvaney, if given the helm of the CFPB on a temporary basis, would gut its powers.

The series of events began Friday when the CFPB’s long-time director, Richard Cordray, announced that he would leave at the end of the day — instead of at the end of the month — and promoted his chief of staff, Leandra English, to become deputy director. Cordray said in a letter to CFPB staff that English would serve as the agency’s acting director until a replacement was confirmed by the Senate.

I have no doubt that the CFPB would not survive a week as a functional entity with Mulvaney at the helm. English is the rightful Acting Director, and Trump is trying to duck Senate confirmation. RESIST!!

From NY Times: Despite efforts by Congress, the Obama administration and state attorneys general to stop the predatory practices of for-profit colleges, veterans and service members who rely on funding from the G.I. bill and the Defense Department to attend school are still being targeted by an industry infamous for saddling people with debt and useless degrees.

A Senate committee report sounded a warning on this problem three years ago, when it raised questions about deceptive practices in the industry. State attorneys general and federal agencies at the time were investigating seven for-profit outfits with significant revenue streams from the G.I. bill. Some of these schools have since been forced to shut down.

Nevertheless, a new analysis of federal data by Veterans Education Success, a nonprofit that provides free legal services to student veterans, finds that the for-profit industry is still setting its sights on veterans and service members even as its nonmilitary enrollment has declined.

The Republican Reich views our veterans as prey fit to be ravished by Republican criminals. RESIST!!

From Alternet: As Americans gather for Thanksgiving, we can only hope that the richest among us have the good graces to give thanks for the bounty they expect to receive in a few days thanks to how Donald Trump and the Republican leaders on Capitol Hill conned millions of voters.

The plutocrats should set aside a moment to thank all the voters suckered by the Trumpian promise to drain the swamp. What Trump really meant was to drain the pockets of Americans who make less than $500,000 a year so the richest of the rich can have more.

Amen! Amen!! Amen!!! YOU are the swamp! RESIST!!

Cartoon:

1125Cartoon

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Jul 162017
 

Before I get very far with this, Wendy will be here to help with assorted tasks and fumigate the TomCat.  It’s just in time too, because the authorities were about to evacuate the Squatch north of the Arctic Circle for her own defense, if the wind had shifted.  Tomorrow will be my last day in the saddle, before my cataract surgery.  I hope to be back in the saddle on Thursday, but we’ll see how I see.  Later: Wendy has left and we have everything ready for Tuesday.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 2:41 (average 4:42).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos: The former chief G W Bush speechwriter has a column in today’s Washington Post that shows the spreading impact of people processing the events since Saturday when the story of Trump Jr. , Kushner, and Manafort met with the Russian lawyer broke into the public consciousness.  Titled In Trump’s world, innocence is proved by guilt, it is very much shaped by the release of the email chain earlier this week.

Yes, it is true the Gerson was never a fan or supporter of Donald J. Trump, but this piece is very pointed, and given who reads Gerson likely to have an impact on a some of the “more reasonable” Republican officers.

Click through to read his take down. I’m sure I disagree with him on many other issues, but seeing a Republican express an ethical position is so rare, I have to applaud it, when I do. As for the rest of the Republican Reich… RESIST!!

From NY Times: A powerful rule finalized last week by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will allow consumers to join together in class-action lawsuits against banks, credit card companies and other lenders over price gouging, predatory lending, abusive loan terms and other mistreatment.

Some congressional Republicans have vowed to use special legislative procedures to repeal the rule, which could take effect next year. A quick kill would be of a piece with other efforts to weaken financial regulation and allow firms to operate without accountability to customers or judges.

It’s unclear whether a congressional majority will vote to overturn a rule of such obvious benefit to consumers. What is certain is that killing the rule would be an injustice.

Liz Warren’s CFPB may be the only thing Republicans hate as much as ObamaCare and voting rights. I suspect they will overturn the rules in short order. RESIST!!

From Commonwealth Fund:

 

AUS

CAN

FRA

GER

NETH

NZ

NOR

SWE

SWIZ

UK

US

OVERALL RANKING

2

9

10

8

3

4

4

6

6

1

11

Care Process+

2

6

9

8

4

3

10

11

7

1

5

Access+

4

10

9

2

1

7

5

6

8

3

11

Administrative Efficiency+

1

6

11

6

9

2

4

5

8

3

10

Equity+

7

9

10

6

2

8

5

3

4

1

11

Health Care Outcomes+

1

9

5

8

6

7

3

2

4

10

11

Click through to read the entire report. What better case could there be for Medicare for all? RESIST!!

Cartoon:

0716Cartoon

Republicans in Congress refuse to allow the residents any power to govern themselves.

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Jun 092017
 

It has been a busy week and next week looks the same.  It rained most of yesterday and a bit last night, but today has been dry with some sunshine.  Earlier this week, Wendy said that she expected TC would go home Friday or Saturday.  So far, I think he is still in the hospital as he still has pain and did not outright say he was home.  However I know he is very relieved that the liver spots are benign.  Please say prayers or keep healing thoughts for TC front and centre.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Jigsaw Puzzle

Yesterday’s took me 3:32 (average 5:14).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? No, I'm not barkin' mad!

Today’s took me 4:27 (average 5:46).  To do it, click here.  How did you do? 

Short Takes

Politico — House Republicans on Thursday united to pass a comprehensive bill that would dismantle the landmark banking regulations enacted after the 2008 financial crisis.

The legislation, approved without a single Democratic vote, represents the GOP's opening salvo in the debate over easing the rules on the financial system, a move sparked by the election of President Donald Trump and Republican control of Congress. 

Hensarling argues that the economy and consumers would benefit from his vision in which market forces rather than government regulation would keep the financial system in check.

Among the bill's most controversial measures is the elimination of most of the powers of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the independent regulatory agency that is Democrats' crown jewel in Dodd-Frank.

The legislation would rename the weakened CFPB the Consumer Law Enforcement Agency and make it more beholden to Congress and the president. 

The bill would also repeal a pillar of Dodd-Frank that allows regulators to manage the failure of a major financial institution, replacing that power with an updated version of the bankruptcy code.

While people were distracted by the Comey testimony, Lyin' Ryan and the Republicans rammed through a piece of legislation designed to all but kill the CFPB.  Not good at all!

Raw Story — A former Republican congressman who voted to impeach former President Bill Clinton called out House Speaker Paul Ryan as a hypocrite.

Ryan argued Thursday that congressional Republicans would not be calling for the impeachment of a Democratic president accused of the same activity as President Donald Trump — but former representative Bob Inglis dismissed those claims as nonsense.

“You know this isn’t true,” Inglis tweeted to Ryan. “You know that you would be inquiring into impeachment if this were a D.”

There have been 2 attempts to impeach sitting presidents in modern times: Richard Nixon — the Judiciary Committee approved Articles of Impeachment in July 1974 but Nixon resigned in August 1974 before the whole House could vote on the impeachment; and Bill Clinton — the Judiciary Committee approved Articles of Impeachment in December 1998 but he was acquitted in the Senate.  I won't go into detail on the charges but both presidents were charged with obstruction of justice as well as other charges.  See Nixon charges here and Clinton charges here.  In my non legal mind, it is apparent that Drumpf has obstructed justice and I hope that Mueller's investigation will bear that out at the very least.  It is a long process which will hamper Drumpf to do his job effectively.

YouTube — What We Now Know From James Comey | The Resistance with Keith Olbermann | GQ              

As the days proceed, I am sure that Mueller's investigation will raise more questions and hopefully some answers.  Comey has not heard the end of the public testimony and I dare say there will be all manner of speculation about the closed session.  Truth win out!

The New Yorker — The White House was on lockdown Thursday morning after a television was hurled out of a window, the Secret Service reported.

The incident, which occurred shortly after 10 A.M. E.S.T., caught the attention of the Secret Service after agents heard the sound of smashing glass emanating from the Oval Office.

“The sound was consistent with that of a large object, such as a television set, being thrown through a closed window,” a Secret Service spokesman said.

The television, which crashed to the ground outside the Oval Office, injured no one, the Secret Service confirmed.

I think Andy is back to straight reporting again.  I can quite imagine that the pResident was really foaming at the mouth listening to Comey's testimony.  His staff tried to keep him away from Twitter, but when they could contain no more, he let loose with this tweet "Despite so many false statements and lies, total and complete vindication … and WOW, Comey is a leaker!" .  

My Universe

I particularly like #3. 

Reminds me of my Annie who is almost 9 years old now.

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May 082016
 

I’m getting another late start today.  When I finally finished with all yesterday’s tasks, I could not sleep, because the battery in my smoke detector ran low, and the damn thing started chirping at me every 30 seconds.  We have very high ceilings, and the desk clerk on duty was very short.  She could not reach it, even though she climbed onto mu desk.  I had to wait for shift change at 9:00 AM, when a tall guy came on, and he changed it.  However, I got almost no sleep.  This mourning I did research and took a Lona cat nap.  Tomorrow, please expect no more that a Personal Update.  I have a five hour appointment with my Ocular Oncologist to determine the best way forward for the probable melanoma in my right eye.

Jig Zone Puzzle:

Today’s took me 3:47 (average 5:48).  To do it, click here.  How did you do?

Short Takes:

From Daily Kos:

“The last time you signed a contract for a cell phone plan, a bank account, or a credit card, you probably signed away your right to go to court if that company cheated you. That’s because most contracts for financial products contain forced arbitration clauses buried deep in the fine print. These clauses prohibit consumers from protecting themselves in court, and they make it a lot easier for financial institutions to get away with cheating their customers.” —Sen. Elizabeth Warren, October 2015.

In a move The New York Times calls “the biggest that the agency has made since its inception in 2010,” the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Thursday proposed a rule that would bar mandatory arbitration clauses in contracts with financial firms. Since it requires no congressional approval, the rule quite likely will go into effect after a 90-day public comment period in which opposition from business groups will no doubt be extensive, loud and bullshitty. (If you’d like to comment, you can choose a method here.) Foes of the rule, which could cost firms billions, include the U.S. Chamber of Commerce…

Thank God for Elizabeth Warren for championing the CFPB! I love this rule, but we need such a rule, banning forced mandatory arbitration for all companies!

From NY Times: Last November, Meg Muñoz went to Los Angeles to speak at the annual West Coast conference of Amnesty International. She was nervous. Three months earlier, at a meeting attended by about 500 delegates from 80 countries, Amnesty voted to adopt a proposal in favor of the “full decriminalization of consensual sex work,” sparking a storm of controversy. Members of the human rights group in Norway and Sweden resigned en masse, saying the organization’s goal should be to end demand for prostitution, not condone it. Around the world, on social media and in the press, opponents blasted Amnesty. In Los Angeles, protesters ringed the lobby of the Sheraton where the conference was being held, and as Muñoz tried to enter, a woman confronted her and became upset as Muñoz explained that, as a former sex worker, she supported Amnesty’s position. “She agreed to respect my time at the microphone,” Muñoz told me. “That didn’t exactly happen” — the woman and other critics yelled out during her panel — “but I understand why it was so hard for her.”

Muñoz was in the middle of a pitched battle over the terms, and even the meaning, of sex work. In the United States and around the globe, many sex workers (the term activists prefer to “prostitute”) are trying to change how they are perceived and policed. They are fighting the legal status quo, social mores and also mainstream feminism, which has typically focused on saving women from the sex trade rather than supporting sex workers who demand greater rights. But in the last decade, sex-worker activists have gained new allies. If Amnesty’s international board approves a final policy in favor of decriminalization in the next month, it will join forces with public-health organizations that have successfully worked for years with groups of sex workers to halt the spread of H.I.V. and AIDS, especially in developing countries.

In my opinion, prostitution should be decriminalized. Attempts to outlaw it over the last 5,000+ years have always been unsuccessful, as they always will be. Income from legal prostitution can be taxed. Legal prostitution can be licensed and regulated to protect sex workers from abuse and  protect public health.  Legal prostitution can be separated from the illegal drug trade.  While I don’t encourage it, it’s past time to end the exploitation and criminalization of sex workers.

From Huffington Post: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country would not use nuclear weapons unless its sovereignty is infringed by others with nuclear arms, in a speech broadcast on Sunday, and set a five-year plan to boost the secretive state’s moribund economy.

He has all the qualifications needed for Rump Dump Trump to want him as a VP candidate.

Cartoon:

0508Cartoon

Free Leonard Peltier!

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