Saturday, February 11, 2017

Corrupt Congressional Conservatives Are Making Their Move To Unleash Wall Street Predators On Society Again


Are you stunned to see Trump's sinking poll numbers? You should be. A newly elected president has never had a reaction from the country like his. His first week in office and 35% of Americans already thought he should be impeached. That rose to 40% last week and then 46% this week! Rachel Maddow suggested on her show that the way she reads the data, Trump's impeachment number would be even higher except for the fact that so many people worry that Mike Pence would be even worse president than Trump!
PPP's new national poll finds that Donald Trump's popularity as President has declined precipitously just over the last two weeks. On our first poll of his Presidency voters were evenly divided on Trump, with 44% approving of him and 44% also disapproving. Now his approval rating is 43%, while his disapproval has gone all the way up to 53%. If voters could choose they'd rather have both Barack Obama (52/44) or Hillary Clinton (49/45) instead of Trump.

...Voters are increasingly taking the media's side in his fights with them. The New York Times has repeatedly been a target of Trump's attacks, but voters say they think the Times had more credibility than them 52/37. Trump seems to be losing ground in that conflict-- he was only down 51/42 a week ago. The Presidency has been so diminished over the last 3 weeks that voters even say Saturday Night Live has more credibility than Trump, 48/43.

...[U]nhappiness with Trump-- and with Congressional Republicans-- could help Democrats to make big gains in 2018. Democrats lead 49/41 on the generic Congressional ballot. That's partially a product of Trump's unpopularity but also an outgrowth of Paul Ryan (35/47 approval), Mitch McConnell (23/52 approval), and Congress as a whole (16/68 approval) being unpopular in their own rights.
Is any of that slowing down the Republicans and their catastrophic agenda? Certainly not in terms of licking the boots of the special interests that finance their careers. As Alan Rappeport reported in yesterday's more-credible-than-Trump NY Times the House Republicans are making a big move against the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which was designed for basically one reason: to prevent crooked, avaricious, greed-obsessed banksters from preying on bank customers and investors. The Members of Congress the banksters pay off most richly are determined to deliver for their bankster masters by destroying the extremely successful agency. First the congressional crooks who have taken the biggest bribes in the past cycle from the Finance Sector:

These were just the bankster bribes for 2015-16

What you're looking at is a chart of a baker's dozen of corrupt members of Congress-- 10 Republicans and 3 slimy assholes from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party-- who have sold out their constituents for the Wall Street cash. If these 12 men and one woman were all in prison, America would be a far, far better place for working families. Note, particularly, Texas Congressman Jeb Hensarling, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. Since first being elected to Congress in 2002, has has taken $7,375,190 in bribes from the banksters.

The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee will move forward on legislation to neuter the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and its power to crack down on predatory business practices, according to a leaked memo that emerged on Thursday and infuriated Democratic defenders of the bureau.

The memo, drafted by the chairman, Representative Jeb Hensarling, a Republican from Texas and a longtime foe of the consumer agency, aligns House Republicans with President Trump in the latest attack on President Barack Obama’s legacy. The memo detailed plans to weaken the leadership of the agency, allowing the president to replace the bureau’s director at any time. Legislation in the works would limit the bureau’s enforcement authority, reduce its ability to make rules and repeal its consumer complaint system.

It would also greatly shrink the enforcement tools at the consumer watchdog’s disposal, blocking it from being able to go after businesses engaged in deceptive practices and restricting its oversight of big publicly traded companies that are already regulated by agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“This would substantially change the structure of the C.F.P.B. and greatly limits the scope of its authority,” said Hunter Wiggins, former principal deputy enforcement director at the bureau.

The proposal was part of a broader set of policies that Republicans have been devising to roll back the Wall Street regulations known as the Dodd-Frank Act, which emerged from the 2008 financial crisis. While Mr. Trump also supports dismantling the law, Republicans would probably be unable to accomplish a sweeping repeal of Dodd-Frank without the support of some Democrats.

That will be difficult to get.

I have to break in here and say that Rappeport couldn't be more mistaken. While actual Democrats will oppose Hensarling with all their might, all last year he was consistently enabled in his committee by 9 crooks from the Republican wing of the Democratic Party: Kyrsten Sinema (AZ), Jim Himes (CT), Patrick Murphy (who was defeated in November but who took $2,161,722 from the banksters in 2016), John Delaney (MD), David Scott (GA), Ed Perlmutter (CO), Terri Sewell (AL), William Lacy Clay (MO) and Gregory Meeks (NY). Of the 4 new Democrats on the committee this year, 3 are stinky-fingered corruptionists of the utmost magnitude, who Hensarling was delighted to welcome aboard: Josh Gottheimer (NJ), Charlie Crist (FL) and Vicente González (TX). Notice that Rappeport seamlessly switched from the House, where the action is, to the Senate, where the Democrats are actually more united in protecting the CFPB from Trump and the Republicans.
Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee, blasted Mr. Hensarling’s plan on Thursday and accused Republicans of plotting to turn an effective consumer watchdog into a “toy poodle.”

“It took less than three weeks for House Republicans to show their hand on how they will renege on candidate Trump’s campaign promises to hold Wall Street accountable and help working Americans,” Mr. Brown said after reviewing the memo.

Mr. Trump has been relatively muted on the future of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is the brainchild of one of his most vocal Democratic critics, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. But advisers to Mr. Trump have signaled that the administration is prepared to gut the agency.

Steven Mnuchin, Mr. Trump’s nominee to head the Treasury Department, said during his confirmation hearing that the consumer protection bureau, created by Dodd-Frank, should cease to be funded by the Federal Reserve and should instead be funded through Congress, a move that could curb its independence. Representative Mick Mulvaney, Republican of South Carolina, who is waiting to be confirmed as the White House’s budget director, has referred to the bureau as a “sad, sick joke.”

And Sean Spicer, White House spokesman, said Mr. Trump had not yet decided if he would try to oust the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, before Mr. Cordray’s term ends in 2018.

“You bet I’m worried,” Ms. Warren said in an interview. “I’m worried for the millions of working families who have gotten some help over the last five years from a strong and independent consumer agency.”

She added: “I’m worried that Trump wants to take the life out from that.”

The bureau has returned billions of dollars to bilked consumers since it was created in 2011. Its regulators exposed the scandal of Wells Fargo employees creating fake accounts.

For Mr. Trump, hobbling the bureau would have the added sweetness of outraging Ms. Warren, a political nemesis whom he derided regularly on Twitter during his campaign as Pocahontas, referring to a controversy about her Native American heritage. [Rappeport desperately needs a competent editor to get him to stop embedding GOP propaganda in his writing.]

That revenge would not be that easy to exact. While Mr. Trump is fond of bellowing, “You’re fired,” sacking Mr. Cordray could be complicated.

“In my view, attempts to fire him would be not only illegal but unwise politically,” said Rohit Chopra, a fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and a former official of the bureau. “The director of the agency is not intended to be a political pawn of the president.”

Changes to the bureau generally need to come from Congress, and Republican lawmakers have been hoping to tear it down since its inception. Mr. Hensarling argued in a Wall Street Journal editorial this week that it should be abolished.

“The C.F.P.B. has eroded freedom, trampled due process and killed jobs,” Mr. Hensarling wrote. “It must go.”

Hensarling, of course, refers of the freedom of banksters to rip off society with impunity and without regard to accountability. It's part of Republican Party DNA to refer to that as "freedom" or "liberty." Republicans are apoplectic that the CFPB has provided 27 million Americans who were ripped off by the banksters with almost $12 billion in restitution. Some of that money could have made its way into the pockets of corrupt congressional scumbags, like Hensarling, Ryan, McCarthy... well, you see that list up there. Well Fargo and Mastercard were caught red-handed stealing from their clients-- and forced to repay the people they stole from. Under Hensarlings plan, not a nickel of the stolen money would have even been discovered, let alone returned.

What kind of Democrats could support something like this? Oh, that's an easy one-- Democrats who are desperate to be primaried and Democrats who don't want any grassroots support in their reelection efforts.

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At 4:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's democraps that want (wall street via) DSCC and DNC support for re-election. Which is nearly all of them from scummer on down to the ones that will run for the few R seats against incumbent Rs.

To be fair, not much has been restraining the wall street syndicates and casinos except fear that doing it again so soon after the last one will make people start sharpening their pikes for the banksters' heads. Literally.

Put Bankfein's severed head up on a pike on the Brooklyn Bridge and I bet Jamie dimon and Steve Mnuchin will BEG for prison. It's nice to dream anyway.

Back to being fair... Dodd-Frank was all hat and no cattle, really, just as the years of bribes to both principals guaranteed. The sole exception is the CFPB, which obamanation tried to neuter by not naming Warren as its chairwoman... but it still functioned wrt Wells Fargo anyway. So it looks like defunding is the preferred method. Predictably.

Not that the CFPB will prevent the student debt bubble from bursting... or another real estate episode... or credit card debt or auto loans... all it will take is a tiny little kick in the balls of the 99.99%. 1m jobs lost and the whole thing starts swirling the bowl. Hell, corporations can do that in a quarter trying to save money on labor.

And if bubbles take too long... there's the $20T in federal debt that will soar after the money gets both their yoooooge tax cuts and federal spending on infrastructure (like the wall to start). The first month where the Chinese and Saudis refuse to flush any more into our swirling bowl... default? Drumpf is very good at defaulting on debt. Gotta give him credit for that.

But it's also instructive to see that the Rs don't even care to pretend to be honest any more. You know things are truly shit when the powers don't even bother with pretense.

At 5:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To support my 4:34 comment, I just stumbled upon this as another illustration of just how big a cluster fuck we're in:

key point, imo,
"The S&P 500 has now reached the highest ratio to worker earnings in recorded history. It will descend into a bidless free fall when eight years of buying the dip finally unwinds."

Now I realize this is all math and shit, but this cannot NOT happen eventually when growth relies on borrowing, rather than "fundamentals" AND wages are suppressed for decades AND productivity increases bwo automation only. To name a few.

An indication that SOME investors still are sane is the coincident jumps in gold and silver. Or perhaps there's simply too much loose money rattling around looking for something to invest in that will pay off.

Very ominous times. Oh well, at least the crash will be "drumpf's fault".. which won't mean shit under martial law and suspension of the (last shreds of the) constitution.


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