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.
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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.
All the majority of this county wanted to do was to keep community schools, smaller class sizes while working to provide access to 21st century skills and technology for the children.
Every credible study done says that is the methodology that creates successful schools.
The new State Superintendent of Schools and the new School Building Authority Director have agree with this theory in public advertisement.
Our dream of community school access has been denied. As each day passes with a dysfunctional, control freak of a Board President in place any chance for board cohesion, development and input decreases. He sees to that every time he takes it upon himself to go to Charleston.
WVDOE/BOE has refused to take control or responsibility for the clear mistreatment of county boards by their own employees. Michael Martirano twittered a JFK quote about telling a lot a person by how they treat their INFERIORS.
That pretty much puts the rest of us in our place doesn’t it?
He’ll be sitting at that meeting next to Gayle. The content of his character will come into play here as well.
See they are electing new officers at the end of the meeting. Will Gayle take the Presidency again or is she ready to get out to help her husband’s campaign?
You be this town is tired of it. There’s no leadership for Gilmer at the Superintendents level Local or State. Expect to see video soon where those two lay down on the floor, scream and kick their feet. Apparently that’s the kind of leaders Charleston wants.
I don’t believe that bail or bounty hunters should go unregulated but in the end we do help a lot of people in a tough situation to say nothing of the money we save taxpayers. If we can successfully arrange for a person’s release from jail that’s one less person being housed and fed by the county/state. Most bondsmen are family men and women trying to make a living; believe me it’s a tough way to make a buck.
I have retired after 35 years in the business and don’t miss it a bit.
The money talk was just his excuse to kick off a true “reign of terror” at GSC. It’s the side of the story he likes to tell. Enough time has passed. The rest of the story is coming out now.
Nothing ever goes under the devils belly that doesn’t come up over his back as the old saying goes. Who remembers how much money it cost GSC in court for spiteful wrong doings by the ex-GSC President against personnel daring to speak against him who won their case and had Division Chair positions returned? Remember the ones that didn’t get their jobs back? Remember WHY that faculty no confidence vote was 55 to 21?
There were substantial reasons GSC Faculty Senate submitted a 50 page document called the Summary of Concerns of Glenville State College Faculty to Dr. Simmons, the Governor’s Office, the Board of Directors, etc.
His actions as BOE Board President and support of the state agenda are a mirror image of Faculty evaluation of his GSC performance.
The documented GSC faculty belief was that President Simmons held “the integrity and academic welfare of the college to be secondary to playing politics in Charleston and courting local, influential citizens…” Sound familiar? Could it explain how he was brought back years later to teach a while for double what the average professor was making?
It is our opinion the State Board of Education did the right thing in preventing another Simmons “reign” as County Superintendent. They took drastic measures that hurt this county but what else could they do? Time was of the essence. What would be unfortunate is for them to let conduct they knew so well degrade the efforts of local Board of Education members struggling under no leadership to improve education and strengthen community involvement and trust. June 8th will show if the State BOE will punish or help.
Governor Tomblin, you know every bit of this is true. Care to comment???
This is my interpretation of the MH scandal after watching tapes, reading reader’s comments, and talking with citizens.
*Devono knew that the school board did not have authority to approve the MH move.
Devono thought that he had votes lined up to get the board to approve the move anyway so he could use the vote to help pull off the move.
*There is videotape proof of what happened at two board meetings.
*The State’s strategy backfired after two board members saw through it and they took an opposing stand.
*The board president went berserk at the June 1, 2015 meeting and he engaged in unprofessional conduct when he did not get the State’s way with the MH deal. Devono went berserk too.
*The June 1, 2015 meeting was declared illegal and was stopped with advice from Devono’s lawyer.
*The WVBOE got a biased briefing on what happened and an agenda item was placed for the July 8, 2015 meeting in Charleston to legitimize action to be taken in response to the controversy.
*Instead of the two board members being complimented for integrity in the face of stiff adversity the State is angry because the MH scheme was exposed.
*The next move will be for the WVBOE to punish Gilmer County by sending a strong signal that conscientious conduct will not be tolerated when resistance does not match with the State’s plans.
*The WVBOE will approve the MH move unanimously to demonstrate that its judgement is infallible and it has absolute power to do as it pleases with Gilmer County’s money.
*Money going to pay for the bad decision MH move will be diverted from being used to help Gilmer County’s poverty stricken children.
Past GSC President has used such tactics before. When he learned problems were found with GSC actions approved by his signature that were certain to go public what did he do? He dialed the phone to Charleston and told them HE had found a problem, THEY needed to get up there and started laying blame as fast as he could line it out. That brought about the vote of no confidence.
Now he has lost his control over Gilmer BOE by losing automatic votes to do the superintendents will. If he is to get it done this Board President must vote himself to make it happen.
This means his personal choices are shown. Many times before he has not had to vote to get it done. All that said he is no longer absolutely certain of that third vote.
OF COURSE he ran to Charleston to lay blame before his mismanagement and lack of professionalism became public knowledge.
By That Leopards Spots Haven't Changed on 07.04.2015
Video of WVBOE show the Manchin led Board has been advised more than once about rogue appointed Superintendents and what harm the State Board’s lack of oversight of their employees in intervention counties causes.
Wood County a lot of people hear and agree with you. There’s a certain Senator related to all of this. If fair play does not take place on June 8 there’s more than one way to skin a cat. Up here the brother to Gilmers super got a $57,000 raise while our Teachers got nothing.
It gets worse by the day. The GFP exercised good taste to shield public viewers from unacceptable language at the June 1, 2015 special school board meeting.
If allegations are true a panic run was made to Charleston after the meeting by Simmons and Devono to attempt damage control by giving their side of the story to WVDOE officials.
The whole truth is out about what happened at the illegal meeting which gives the State one more black eye for its mismanagement.
Instead of the State to admit errors and to make positive corrections the probable outcome will be for Gilmer County to be punished. That is always the standard procedure by the WVBOE in intervened counties. Wait and see.
One achievement is that organizational obscurity in Charleston is being eliminated with the advent of the Internet and various forms of the social media.
West Virginians know now who Ms. Susan O’Brien is to include her role with interventions. It remains to be seen what caliber of a leader she is and that unknown will be eliminated on the 8th.
The way interventions have worked, the State has demanded total submission of boards. No questions are allowed, debate about issues to strive to get the best solutions to problems is not allowed (The State always knows best—-just trust it and remain silent), and strict information control is maintained to keep boards and the public uninformed or worse yet, misinformed.
Turmoil in Gilmer County could be eliminated overnight. It would require an experienced, results proven, and interpersonal skilled person to replace Mr. Devono.
He could be assigned out of Gilmer County to remain somewhere for the duration of his contract to be a high pay off investment for the WVBOE.
There is no excuse when the board and Gilmer County people are purposely kept uninformed about how the County’s money is spent, what the State has achieved during its rule in improving our school system, and what its remaining plans are. Total emphasis has been on constructing new schools and spending money. Look at Minnie Hamilton for one of many examples.
It is painfully evident that the State has failed to allow use of skillful organizational management practices to enable the Gilmer County School Board to become a model in WV.
Based on the evidence a good case could be made that the State has done everything in its power to discredit the board, prevent it from doing its job, and to ignore contributions it could make to contribute to better educations for our children.
In fact the State’s motive has appeared to have been to contribute to dysfunction and to blame it on the board. Unlike in highly successful organizations forced to be efficient and well managed in order to survive, the leadership is declared exempt from all accountability for the County’s problems from intervention.
A prime need for improvement would be for another board president to be installed with one who understands his/her role of office to be committed to bringing board members together to function as a highly effective team.
Presently, there is too much projection of the image that the existing president speaks for the board on matters for which it has no knowledge.
Also, it appears that the president works too intricately with the State and local masters in the County. This suggests that the president is an instrument of others instead of an elected advocate for the majority of Gilmer County’s people including our children.
The WVBOE could exercise the choice of eliminating problems overnight. The impediment to positive change seems to be that turmoil is used as an intentional manipulative tool to maintain iron fist control.
Hard working people of Gilmer County do not play victim. The battle is to keep Charleston’s BOE from victimizing the children and depriving them of their right to a good education. If Susan O’Brian would take the word of a disgruntled Superintendent and an, at best, ineffective and unprofessional board president then she is not the quality of person to have the job as Director of the OEPA. That being said, she does serve at the will and pleasure of the WVBOE. Her character will be revealed June 8th.
Holy Molee, it all sounds like Simmons speak to us. There was a Special Circumstances executive session the state board held on June 8th with the OEPA Director. We read that in the past agenda of the WVBOE on line now.
Some believe Devono took Simmons by the hand and ran down there to do damage control before the June 1st video would be posted (on June 12). Not hard to picture the hand wringing, the phone calls and the running around in Devono’s office saying OMG! OMG! OMG! what do we do, that went on before heading to Charleston.
Not hard to imagine they talked about the meeting being recorded but would have guided the BOE to UTube where they wouldn’t see it had been edited for Bill’s inappropriate language. Oh the spin doctor was at his finest no doubt with Gabe yipping that’s right at his heels. Not one single board member would have been spared to save their behinds from criticism.
They would do it because that’s the kind of people they are. It wouldn’t have occurred to them that others on the Board would not do the same.