Archive | Politics As Usual

Morning roundup

There’s so much to follow these days:

James Clapper: ‘Doesn’t matter’ who paid for dossier if it’s true

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On CNN’s New Day, Alysin Camerota spoke with former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper about the latest Russia controversies, including reports that Cambridge Analytica, the firm which worked closely with the Trump campaign, reached out to Julian Assange and Wikileaks to get Hillary Clinton’s “missing emails.” On the difference between working with Wikileaks and Christopher… Continue Reading →

Talk is cheap

Trump trashes outgoing Republican senator in public falling out
Also known as “money talks, bullshit walks.” AKA: “Once a Republican, always a Republican.” Via Charlie Pierce:

You would have thought that Senator Jeff Flake would have basked a little longer in the applause he got for scarpering out of the Senate before he got around to the business of emptying his words of any significant meaning they ever had. Instead, Flake—along with fellow brave truth-tellers Bob Corker, Ben Sasse and, significantly, John McCain—joined with every other Republican (including Mike Pence, The Great Tiebreaker) to arrange for the screwing of countless Americans and their families.

In the dead of Tuesday night, with the applause still ringing in his ears, Flake voted to strip the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau of a rule that allowed Americans to file class-action suits against banks rather than being forced into an arbitration process that generally is as rigged as a North Korean election. From The Los Angeles Times:

The rule was unveiled in July by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and praised by Democrats and consumer advocates as giving average people more power to fight industry abuses, such as Wells Fargo & Co.’s creation of millions of unauthorized accounts. But banking lobbyists argued that the rule would unleash a flood of class-action lawsuits, and that the cost of fighting those suits would be passed on to consumers. Republicans quickly moved to repeal the regulation.

You have to love their timing, too. This move comes hard on the heels of the Equifax calamity, and just as the Congress is shilling for a massive upward shift in the country’s wealth that is disguised as a “middle-class tax cut.” Further, it proves that our political system learned absolutely nothing from what happened in 2008, when the masters of the universe nearly blew up the entire world economy.

Set to take effect in March, the rule would not have banned clauses in checking account, credit card and other banking agreements that say disputes between companies and customers must be dealt with privately or in small claims court. Instead, there would have been a ban on provisions that block consumers from banding together to bring class-action cases. The CFPB argued that such cases help hold banks accountable. The determinations of an arbitrator are binding and consumer advocates say most decisions favor the company. The private proceedings also allow banks to deal with individual problems quietly rather than address widespread abuses. George Slover, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union, said the vote “means that big financial companies can lock the courthouse doors and prevent consumers who’ve been mistreated from joining together to seek the relief they deserve under the law.”

Hundreds of new homes in N.J. were built with toxic chemical

Loft Floor Joists

Yet another reason why I prefer old housing!

Lou and Lisa Andreozzi put more than $100,000 down on a custom home in Scotch Plains, and expected to move in this month. They bought custom furniture to fill up the new house. Before moving day arrived, however, the Andreozzis were told their home was leaking a toxic chemical and that they couldn’t occupy the house for months. Continue Reading →

Here we go again

Flake announces he will not run for reelection

The Arizona senator says he’s out.

And is ripping into Trump in a floor speech. Wow.

Transcript here.

Fact-Check: Were the Clintons paid by Russia?

Now This Is Fake News! Cosmopolitan Says Hillary And Bill Clinton Have A Great Marriage!

President Donald Trump kicked off Thursday with a series of tweets that all but accused Hillary and Bill Clinton of corruption and accepting of millions of dollars from Russia. He also slammed his predecessor, Barack Obama, for knowing about a deal that gave a Russian state-run company control of 20 percent of the uranium in the United States, but not shutting it down. “. Continue Reading →

Is Niger Trump’s Benghazi?

Elite U.S. troops killed and wounded during surprise attack in Niger

“This might wind up to be Mr. Trump’s Benghazi.” Those are the words of Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, a Florida Democrat who was present during a controversial phone call between President Donald Trump and the widow of one of the four U.S. special forces soldiers killed in Niger on October 4. Continue Reading →

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