Simply Creating another Expensive Federal Bureaucracy Will Not In Itself Protect Consumers
In the aftermath of every crisis there are lessons to be learned. The recent financial collapse is no exception. In hindsight, there were glaring regulatory gaps in many areas of finance, including consumer protection. We can all agree that regulators, financial institutions and consumers should work together toward the shared goal of better transparency and ease of understanding for financial products such as mortgages and credit cards.
Simply creating another expensive federal bureaucracy will not in itself protect consumers. As the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) takes shape, strong oversight is essential to ensure that the rules are effective and efficient so that consumers are never again left out to dry. As members of Congress, we have a duty to put a regulatory structure in place that protects our constituents from unscrupulous actors; however, we also have a duty to protect them from unchecked, unelected bureaucrats.
This week, the House Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit, which I chair, will examine common-sense bills that seek to promote effective and efficient transparency in the CFPB. The first bill would replace the director of the bureau with a five-person commission. We think this is a more balanced approach and follows the standard structure for other product regulators, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The second bill would strengthen the review authority of the Financial Stability Oversight Council to make it possible to overturn a bad rule; currently the Dodd-Frank Act, which created the new bureau, makes this process virtually impossible. We’ll also take a look at my suggestion to make sure the CFPB has a director in place — confirmed by the Senate — before it’s officially set up in July.
Some may say these improvements are making the CFPB weak and ineffective.
The truth is that yes, many members of Congress — and many Americans — cringe at the idea of unelected bureaucrats in Washington overseeing personal financial decisions. Frankly, they’re tired of Washington creating another agency instead of holding existing ones accountable. But if the CFPB is here to stay, it’s my job as chairman to make sure the bureau is accountable to the American people.
G-Comm™: Stop All Military Aid: to Israel, Pakistan, Everybody
Israel is now dictating conditions to the US and upbraiding President Obama for having the nerve to suggest finally following UN Resolution 242, which has long called for a return to the 1967 borders of Israel. He says it should be the border of the two states of Israel and Palestine. It is long past time to end all military aid to Israel.
When I was growing up in the 1950s Israel was seen in my Minnesota community as a brave outpost of kibbutzim egalitarianism amidst a harsh Arab environment of hatred and bloodlust. Jews had traded European persecution for Arab persecution. The Cold War exacerbated this as the hatred for Jews in Russia and throughout the Soviet Union in general led to USSR sponsorship of Arab arms pointed at the head and body of the tiny Jewish state. It was the right thing to do, to support Israel.
It was not until many years later that the story of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians came to light in much of the US. The assumption had been–and this was buttressed by the ongoing image of Israel as a social experiment in justice and equality–that Israel was founded upon the most modern principles that were meant to produce justice for all. Even Nazis who went on trial there for slaughtering countless innocent Jews in Europe were let free if the cases did not meet good judicial standards of evidenciary robustness.
The late 1960s produced big cracks in that image as the antiwar movement in the US generally aligned itself with Palestinian aspirations, but the development of the peace wing of the antiwar movement questioned the left/right acceptance of violence and the Cold War frame around the struggle. This ambivalence continued until the fall of the Soviet empire in the late 1980s-early 1990s. The violence of the left and the violence of the right were alienating to peace people. Most of us put our energies into disarmament and into struggles in which one side could be identified as a nonviolent party. Asymmetry of violence is still violence.
Certainly it has been the general position of the peace movement to cut off military aid to everyone, including Israel. That is still the case. But the talking points in favor are now stronger and have more political cache. It is time to press the point, to stop the horrific enabling of apartheid in Israel and subjugation/occupation of Palestine. It is long past time to let Israel survive with some humility, to take its place as a nation state that was founded on someone else’s land during a period of extreme duress. The sight of an arrogant Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proclaiming derisively that Obama is out of touch with reality and marching into the Oval Office to dictate to the US should help Americans realize it’s time to pull the military plug on Israel.
From Pakistan to Israel and moving around the world from there, the US taxpayer continues to hemorrhage vast amounts of money on governments that despise us, alienating people from us, and impoverishing the US taxpayer even as it erodes the US infrastructure. The only ones who gain in the US are the war profiteers.
End this now. As the Republicans are so fond of saying whenever a social safety net is discussed, “No. We’re broke.” The reason we are broke is exactly the war system and we should begin our conversion now. Save many $billions right away by ceasing all military aid to Israel and all our clients.
Legislative Update – by – Delegate Brent Boggs - House Majority Leader - 05.23.11
As I write this week’s column on Sunday night, the news reports are just coming in about more deadly tornado outbreaks; earlier Sunday in Minnesota, then later this evening in Joplin, Missouri. Our prayers go out to the residents who have been devastated by these violent twisters.
Here in West Virginia, nice weekend weather allowed for lots of catching up on outside work. This week, I’m taking a week of vacation time to stick close to home and complete multiple projects around the house. Jean has a long list. I can’t eliminate it, but I hope to make a meaningful dent in it.
Last week was a busy time for legislative matters – both in Charleston and here in the district, with a railroad day sandwiched in last Wednesday. First, interim meetings last week were somewhat abbreviated, with the normal three day meetings pared down to 2 days. The Joint Committee on Government and Finance approved a number of interim studies, with several more likely to be approved before next month’s interims on June 13 – 15 at the Capitol.
During the legislative session, I met on several occasions with Cabinet Secretary Keith Burdette and several of his key staff members from the Department of Commerce and the West Virginia Development Office. After a number of scheduling conflicts, we were able to meet at my request, on site in Braxton County last Friday to review development options, along with Terrell Ellis, Braxton County Development Authority Executive Director.
Initially, we toured the Tech Center and the evolving progress of the State Emergency Medical Command Center. Director Drema Mace provided Secretary Burdette and his staff a great overview of this high tech center, its function and plans when fully on-line. DHHR Cabinet Secretary Dr. Michael Lewis was unable to attend as previously planned, but he and I will tour the facility in the near future.
Additionally, there is an opportunity to begin planning for additional recreational facilities and opportunities on a portion of Corp of Engineers property around Bee Run and the Sutton Lake vicinity. Ms. Ellis and I previously met with Mr. Burdette at the Capitol to discuss this, so an on-site opportunity was in order while in the area. I want to thank Bill Hunt and his staff at Sutton Lake Marina for their hospitality in providing a tour of the site from Sutton Lake. This gave everyone a better prospective of the property boundaries and opportunities that may be available for local residents and visitors.
In all, the group checked out at least five major locations around the county, plus an on-site review of an industrial access road that we hope to upgrade. I believe it’s important that those at the helm of the State economic development efforts have the opportunity to view first-hand the numerous development locations, meet with property owners, advice on strategic planning and to coordinate closely with our local development authority officials. It was a very productive day.
While the Legislature is not in session all year long, the job entails much more than 60 days at the Capitol. I will continue to explore any and all options we have available in Braxton and Gilmer Counties to move central West Virginia forward. We have the location. We have the infrastructure. Working together, we’ll make a great area even greater.
Finally, I appreciate the daily assistance of the leadership staff at the Capitol. Communications Stacey Ruckle helps me in a multitude of ways; most recently by monitoring various news stories and events that affect the House. Assistant to the Majority Leader Tom Bennett graciously filled in for me last Friday in speaking to a school group in Kanawha County. He also is working with House technology staff and the Governor’s Office of Technology as we install major data and computer server upgrades and set up off-site back-up of legislative data here at the Braxton Technology Center in Flatwoods. Leadership assistant Jennifer Underwood was instrumental in working to plan and coordinate Friday’s meeting and also attended the meetings.
Both Tom and Jennifer are working on numerous special projects and troubleshooting problems and concerns for central West Virginia residents and folks across West Virginia. I am indeed grateful for their help each day in working to serving you.
How to Contact
Please send address your inquiries to the Capitol Office at: Building 1, Room 226-M, Charleston, WV 25305. Or, call the Capitol office at 304.340.3220 or my Assistant to the Majority Leader, Mr. Tom Bennett at 304.340.3262 or fax to 304.340.3213. If you have an interest in any particular bill or issue, please let me know.
For those with Internet access, my e-mail address is “Boggs34@aol.com”. You also may obtain additional legislative information, including the copies of bills, conference reports, daily summaries, interim highlights, and other information from the Legislature’s web site atwww.legis.state.wv.us/. If you write or leave a message, please remember to include your phone number with your inquiry and any details you can provide. Additional information, including agency links and state government phone directory may be found atwww.wv.gov and on the Facebook site of the West Virginia Legislature.
Remember to thank a veteran for their service to our nation and continue to remember our troops - at home and abroad - and keep them and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Until next week – take care.
01 99 Carl Edwards Ford Aflac “Now Hiring”
02 18 Kyle Busch Toyota M&M’s
03 00 David Reutimann Toyota Aaron’s Dream Machine
04 14 Tony Stewart Chevrolet Burger King
05 16 Greg Biffle Ford 3M
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07 11 Denny Hamlin Toyota FedEx Express
08 06 David Ragan Ford UPS “We Love Logistics”
09 29 Kevin Harvick Chevrolet Budweiser / Realtree
10 39 Ryan Newman Chevrolet Haas Automation
The celestial scorpion skitters across the southern sky during late-spring nights.
Its tail clears the southeastern horizon in late evening, and the scorpion remains visible throughout the night.
Its brightest star is bright orange Antares.
Stars are brilliant beacons of light shining through the vast cosmic darkness. But just how brilliant they are, and how far they shine across the darkness, varies by a huge amount. In our Milky Way galaxy, for example, the most brilliant stars are several billion times brighter than the faintest ones.
What the faint ones lack in power, though, they make up for with numbers—they account for most of the galaxy’s stars, and most of our stellar neighbors, including the closest one of all. Yet not a single one of them is bright enough to see from Earth with the eye alone.
These stars are known as red dwarfs. Their surfaces are so cool that they shine reddish-orange, like dull cosmic embers.
They range from about half down to less than one-tenth the mass of the Sun. With such little material, the nuclear furnaces in their cores chug along at a leisurely rate, so they produce little energy. In fact, those at the low end of the scale are so feeble that it takes them a year to emit as much energy as the Sun produces in just an hour.
These stars are quite turbulent, though. A red dwarf’s surface layers bubble like a boiling tea kettle. All of that motion generates powerful magnetic “storms”: dark “starspots” that can cover close to half of the star’s surface, and powerful explosions that shower space with X-rays.
Yet red dwarfs should be good targets to search for planets. We’ll explain why tomorrow.
Nancy Helen Fitzpatrick Sutton
passed away on Thursday, March 31, 2011, at Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center, Trenton, FL.
She was born September 06, 1921, at Kermit, WV, to Thomas Edward Fitzpatrick and Lucy Salmons Fitzpatrick.
Thomas was a coal miner, and died before Helen was born. Helen spent a good deal of her childhood at the International Order of Odd Fellows Home in Elkins, WV, and graduated from Elkins High School.
She married Francis Brady Sutton and spent much of her married life in Doddridge County, WV. Besides being wife, mother and homemaker, she enjoyed gardening, raising flowers and many creative projects.
She was an active member of the Currydale Home Extension Club. She did a lot of volunteer work; one of her favorites was reading stories to grade school students. She was a strong advocate for education to family and others. She was an active member of the Middle Island Seventh Day Baptist Church, New Milton, WV, for many years — cleaning, teaching Sabbath school, serving as an officer of the Church and serving the Conference.
She treasured family and friends, and she made a concerted effort to stay in touch with most by cards and letters — recognizing birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, holidays and moments of sadness and pain.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and infant daughter, Nancy Lee Sutton. Also, by brothers: Clyde Fitzpatrick, Claude Fitzpatrick and Lee Fitch; and sisters: Florence Kertz, Anna Ruth Mason and Dorothy Varney.
She is survived by sister, Reba Jenkins, as well as many nieces and nephews of her siblings. Also surviving are her sons and their children: John Sutton, wife Harriet and children: Kirk, Andrew and Charlotte Boggess, husband Gurien; Joel Sutton, wife Laura, children: Trina, Garreth, wife Bonnie, children: Judah, Asher and Torah; Jarrod, wife Gerry, children: Katelynn, Alysha and Erin; Jesse, wife Lenore, children: Finn and Remy; Clint, wife Kelly; Seth Martin, wife Ramona, children: Zoe and Mia; Jill Adana Martin, children: Amelie; and Leah Martin; James Sutton, wife Rebecca, children: Erin Sutton and Fawnda Hashman.
A memorial service was held at the Middle Island Seventh Day Baptist Church, Doddridge County, WV, at 1:00 PM on Sunday, May 29, 2011, with Pastor D. Scott Smith presiding.
Burial of Helen’s ashes took place at 4:00 PM, this date, at Masonic Memorial Cemetery, Route 18 North, Crystal Lake, WV.
Today is Monday, May 23, the 143rd day of 2011. There are 222 days left in the year.
Thought for today “You can construct the character of a man and his age not only from what he does and says, but from what he fails to say and do.“ — Norman Douglas, British author (1868-1952)
Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 23, 1911, the newly completed New York Public Library was dedicated by President William Howard Taft, Gov. John Alden Dix and Mayor William Jay Gaynor (the library was opened to the public the next day).
On this date:
In 1430, Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians, who sold her to the English.
In 1533, the marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Catherine of Aragon was declared null and void.
In 1701, William Kidd was hanged in London after he was convicted of piracy and murder.
In 1788, South Carolina became the eighth state to ratify the United States Constitution.
In 1873, Canada’s Parliament voted to establish the North West Mounted Police force.
In 1934, bank robbers Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker were shot to death in a police ambush in Bienville Parish, La.
In 1945, Nazi official Heinrich Himmler committed suicide while imprisoned in Luneburg, Germany.
In 1967, Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, an action which precipitated war between Israel and its Arab neighbors the following month.
In 1984, Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued a report saying there was “very solid” evidence linking cigarette smoke to lung disease in non-smokers.
In 1991, talk show host Johnny Carson stunned an NBC affiliates’ meeting in New York by announcing his retirement from “The Tonight Show,“ effective in one year.
Ten years ago:
• The Senate passed an 11-year, $1.35 trillion-dollar tax cut bill.
Five years ago:
• In a recording posted on the Internet, a voice purported to be that of Osama bin Laden said Zacarias Moussaoui—the only person convicted in the US for the 9/11 attacks—had nothing to do with the al-Qaida operation.
• ABC appointed Charles Gibson to replace Elizabeth Vargas as anchor of “World News Tonight.“ (Gibson stepped down as anchor in Dec. 2009; he was succeeded by Diane Sawyer.)
• Former US senator, vice-presidential candidate and Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen died in Houston at age 85.
One year ago:
• In a new al-Qaida video, US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki advocated the killing of American civilians, accusing the US of intentionally killing a million Muslim civilians in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
• Space shuttle Atlantis undocked from the international space station.
• The Czech Republic captured the ice hockey world championship, ending Russia’s 27-game tournament winning streak with a 2-1 victory in Cologne, Germany.
• The final episode of the supernatural castaway drama “Lost” aired on ABC after six seasons.
Actor Bruce Dern is 75
Musician Roger Ball is 67
Actress-singer Michelle Phillips is 67
Jazz musician Anthony Braxton is 66
Rock musician Danny Brown (The Fixx) is 60
Actor Parker Stevenson is 59
Actor Keith David is 55
Actress Julie Gholson is 53
Actor Eddie Velez is 53
Singer-musician El DeBarge is 50
Actress Julie White is 50
Actress Lindsay Frost is 49
Tennis player Andrea Jaeger is 46
Rhythm-and-blues singer Al B. Sure! is 43
Actor Scott Wolf is 43
Comedian Horatio Sanz is 42
Actor Noah Wyle is 40
Rock musician Stefan Lessard (The Dave Matthews Band) is 37
Actor-comedian Russell Brand is 36
Actress Angelina Jolie is 36
Actor Theo Rossi is 36
Alt-country singer Kasey Chambers is 35
Rock musician JoJo Garza (Los Lonely Boys) is 31
Model Bar Refaeli (ruh-FEHL’-lee) is 26
Rock musician Zac Farro is 21
Coach Rich Rodriquez in Glenville for GSC Football Golf Outing
Former Glenville State and West Virginia head coach Rich Rodriguez was back in Glenville on Friday for a Glenville State College Football Alumni Golf Outing fundraiser.
Rich Rodriguez, along with several of his former players and assistants, took to the Glenville Golf Course to play 18 holes.
Afterward, Rodriguez was overjoyed about returning to his old job and still referred to the state of West Virginia as “home”.
“I love coming back for the people,” Rodriguez said. “The Glenville community is just great and that’s what has made this place so special over the years.
“West Virginia is my home. My family and friends are here.”
But the question of the day for Rodriguez was whether he had any thoughts about how things ended at his other in-state job, West Virginia.
Rodriguez became the head coach of the Mountaineers in 2001, following Hall of Fame Coach Don Nehlen, and left for the University of Michigan in 2007.
The initial backlash from some West Virginia fans was overwhelming for Rodriguez, but he says time has healed a lot of wounds.
“There were some hurt feelings on both sides,” Rodriguez said of his departure. “There was definitely some bitterness from some people, but overall the people who I’ve encountered during the times I’ve been back have been great.”
Rodriguez was fired from Michigan in January after three seasons and a 15-22 record.
The coach said there were plenty of frustrating times in Ann Arbor, but felt the Maize and Blue were getting back on the right track in 2011.
“I really felt like we were about to take off,” Rodriguez said.
But Rodriguez doesn’t carry a grudge; if he does, he hides it well!
Instead, the WVU alumnus has taken some time to reflect back over his 26 years of coaching since his termination, something he admits he hasn’t done in a long time.
“I actually think I’m a better coach now than I was three years ago, if you can believe that,” Rodriguez joked. “You grow as a coach, but I feel like I’m the same person that I was when I started here in Glenville 26 years ago.
“Glenville was my first real coaching job and about two months in I thought ‘Wow, this is a lot harder than I thought it would be’” Rodriguez admitted.
“I’ve taken that small town, small college philosophy – how to develop your relationship with your players—and applied it to West Virginia and Michigan.”
Twenty-six years of coaching and Rodriguez still hasn’t stopped learning.
Now a guest analyst for CBS Sports, Rodriguez gets to learn about coaching in another way.
“Being an analyst gives you some perspective and allows you to learn in a different light,” Rodriguez said. “I’m always nice to coaches, but I try to call it like it is.”
Television has been good to Rodriguez. In addition to his time with CBS, Rodriguez also appeared on HBO’s “Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel”.
But Rodriguez says television studios fail to satisfy his competitive appetite and, one day soon, he would like to roam the sidelines again.
But no matter where Rodriguez ends up, he hopes to reconnect the severed ties of his alma mater.
“I do hope I can go back there [WVU] and do something like this,” Rodriguez said. “It would be a lot of fun.”