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Trump Might Test a Nuke 'for Political Purposes'

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By Charles Pierce, Esquire

05 February 18


You know, like Kim Jong-un.

There’s no more prominent target for the administration*’s Friends of the Plutocrats deregulation frenzy than the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Senator Professor Warren’s brainchild that was born out of the days in which people destroyed most of the world economy and stole the rest, and then got paid by the United States government for having done so. The CFPB was set up to give ordinary folks at least a fighting chance against a financial-services industry possessed of the fundamental humanity of a forest fire. And it was a project of the Obama Administration, so that was another strike against it.

The current administration* has virtually shredded the bureau. They put Mick Mulvaney, a Tea Party lackey from South Carolina, in charge of it, and he not only has worked to destroy its regulatory mission, but also actively arranged things so that the CFPB becomes a defender of the very financial institutions it was created to keep in line.

This week, for example, Mulvaney has taken the CFPB out of the business of lender discrimination. From The Washington Post:

The move to sharply restrict the responsibilities of the Office of Fair Lending and Equal Opportunity comes about two months after President Trump installed his budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, at the head of the bureau. The office previously used its powers to force payouts in several prominent cases, including settlements from lenders it alleged had systematically charged minorities higher interest rates than they had for whites. That unit now will move inside the office of the director, where staffers will be focused on “advocacy, coordination and education,” according to an email Mulvaney sent them this week. They will no longer have responsibility for enforcement and day-to-day oversight of companies, he wrote.

Mulvaney, of course, previously turned off the CFPB’s attempts to rein in the parasitic payday lending scam, an industry that previously had donated extravagantly to his campaign fund.

Beyond moving the fair-lending office, Mulvaney has also dropped a lawsuit against payday lenders and said the agency will reconsider rules the financial industry complained would be particularly onerous. He also updated the bureau’s mission statement to include addressing “outdated, unnecessary, or unduly burdensome regulations.” In a memo to staffers last week, Mulvaney said the CFPB would still look to protect consumers but would not try to “push the envelope.” “Bringing the full weight of the federal government down on the necks of the people we serve should be something that we do only reluctantly, and only when all other attempts at resolution have failed. It should be the most final of last resorts,” he wrote.

The embattled agency got something of a reprieve on Thursday when a federal appeals court ruled that its basic structure was constitutional, turning back yet another administration attempt to defang the CFPB. From The Los Angeles Times:

Although the Supreme Court could have the ultimate say, Wednesday's ruling upholds the broad powers granted to the bureau's director by Congress to oversee mortgages, credit cards and other financial products. Republicans and business groups have fought aggressively to reduce the bureau's authority, arguing its aggressive actions have restricted access to credit. But the calculus has changed since President Trump took office, said Alan S. Kaplinsky, head of the consumer financial services group at law firm Ballard Spahr. The bureau's first director, Democrat Richard Cordray, resigned in November and Trump named Republican Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, to be the acting chief. An outspoken opponent of the bureau, Mulvaney has moved quickly to make it more business-friendly and scale back enforcement actions even as his appointment is the subject of its own litigation.

The administration*’s assault on this most basic response to what nearly was a fiscal apocalypse brought on by massive fraud should prevent any further use of the word “populist” in near proximity to the name of this president*. At the very least, the CFPB likely will still be around when and if the country regains its sanity.

***
This does not fill me with optimism. W.J. Hennigan went deep on what the Trump Administration* is up to with nuclear weapons in Time:

Since 1993, the Department of Energy has had to be ready to conduct a nuclear test within two to three years if ordered by the President. Late last year, the Trump Administration ordered the department to be ready, for the first time, to conduct a short-notice nuclear test in as little as six months.

This is something when you decide to change the policy, you really have to know what you’re doing. Yeah, I know…

That is not enough time to install the warhead in shafts as deep as 4,000 ft. and affix all the proper technical instrumentation and diagnostics equipment. But the purpose of such a detonation, which the Administration labels “a simple test, with waivers and simplified processes,” would not be to ensure that the nation’s most powerful weapons were in operational order, or to check whether a new type of warhead worked, a TIME review of nuclear-policy documents has found. Rather, a National Nuclear Security Administration official tells TIME, such a test would be “conducted for political purposes.”

So, red baseball caps, scarves, and firing off some nukes. Re-elect the President!

The point, this and other sources say, would be to show Russia’s Vladimir Putin, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, Iran’s Ayatullah Ali Khamenei and other adversaries what they are up against.

God, these people are weird. Do they think any of those people already don’t know we have enough megatons to vaporize the planet? Do they think turning a little more of Nevada into a glass parking lot is going to convince those people to turn into good democrats? Can they do anything except flex, clumsily and unconvincingly, on the international stage?

The Trump Administration, by contrast, is convinced that the best way to limit the spreading nuclear danger is to expand and advertise its ability to annihilate its enemies. In addition to putting the Nevada testing ground on notice, he has signed off on a $1.2 trillion plan to overhaul the entire nuclear-weapons complex. Trump has authorized a new nuclear warhead, the first in 34 years. He is funding research and development on a mobile medium-range missile. The new weapon, if tested or deployed, would be prohibited by a 30-year-old Cold War nuclear-forces agreement with Russia (which has already violated the agreement). And for the first time, the U.S. is expanding the scenarios under which the President would consider going nuclear to “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks,” including major cyberattacks.

Never mind.

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/48294-trump-might-test-a-nuke-for-political-purposes

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How ya ever gonna make any serious money if they won't let you shear the sheep regularly?

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Floridatexan wrote:
....
[i]Beyond moving the fair-lending office, Mulvaney has also dropped a lawsuit against payday lenders and said the agency will reconsider rules the financial industry complained would be particularly onerous.

I wonder which rules those are?   The one's that say you can't charge people 50% interest, maybe?

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Floridatexan wrote:

God, these people are weird. Do they think any of those people already don’t know we have enough megatons to vaporize the planet? Do they think turning a little more of Nevada into a glass parking lot is going to convince those people to turn into good democrats?


You are assuming everyone thinks every country in the world should be an egalitarian democracy .... some people just want to be feared.

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EmeraldGhost wrote:
Floridatexan wrote:
....
[i]Beyond moving the fair-lending office, Mulvaney has also dropped a lawsuit against payday lenders and said the agency will reconsider rules the financial industry complained would be particularly onerous.

I wonder which rules those are?   The one's that say you can't charge people 50% interest, maybe?


Yep...usury...you hardly ever hear that term anymore. And who, pray tell, finances these payday lenders?

Also, the CFPB has decided to drop a lawsuit against Equifax for their credit breach.

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Floridatexan wrote:

Yep...usury...you hardly ever hear that term anymore.  And who, pray tell, finances these payday lenders?  


Once upon a time "ursury" was not only illegal in many places ... but a sin!   (except for Jews of course)

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Well, the good side is that my old Reagan-era punk rock albums are starting to sound timely again...



Missiles in America
Deep down in the ground
They're pointing straight at Russia
They're pointing all around

A small red button gently pressed
Will set those missiles free
And when they land with one big bang
The end of you and me

America leaders, who'll start the war?
Soviet leaders, who'll start the war?
There's missiles in the U.S.S.R
Pointing straight at you

Aimed at the United States of America
Aimed at Britain too
A small red button gently pressed
Will set those missiles free

And when they land with one big bang
No hope for you and me
America leaders, who'll start the war?
Soviet leaders, who'll start the war?

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zsomething wrote:Well, the good side is that my old Reagan-era punk rock albums

I never liked most of "punk"  .... a few acts/tunes here & there I could get into ... but most of it? Nah. Didn't speak to me.

As my daughter got into her teen years and grew out of Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana (yes, I've actually been to a Hannah Montana concert .... with three 11 year old girls in tow.    Saw Pink too)   she got into Scandinavian black-metal of all things ... and it's not even in English.   Fortunately, we've had a DNA test so I know she's really my blood, otherwise I might have my doubts ... but I promise ya, I didn't raise her that way!!!!

One of the acts my daughter's used to listen to before she got into the metal ... I actually liked these girls music ...  we saw them in concert once.  They put on a good show.  
[/i]

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Neither did I... but then I guess you aren't a skinhead nazi punk either.

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zsomething wrote:Well, the good side is that my old Reagan-era punk rock albums are starting to sound timely again...



Missiles in America
Deep down in the ground
They're pointing straight at Russia
They're pointing all around

A small red button gently pressed
Will set those missiles free
And when they land with one big bang
The end of you and me

America leaders, who'll start the war?
Soviet leaders, who'll start the war?
There's missiles in the U.S.S.R
Pointing straight at you

Aimed at the United States of America
Aimed at Britain too
A small red button gently pressed
Will set those missiles free

And when they land with one big bang
No hope for you and me
America leaders, who'll start the war?
Soviet leaders, who'll start the war?




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