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.
Thank you GFP for posting minutes for the Calhoun Gilmer Career Center. Comparing those minutes to ones for Gilmer County’s Board meetings is a study in contrast.
At the CGCC there is a focused mission everyone understands and supports, nothing including finances, personnel, and details about instructional programs is kept secret from citizens, the meetings are structured to keep parents and everyone else fully informed, and you can tell from the minutes that emphasis down there is that every student is important to be treated accordingly.
No meaningless lip service. Demonstrated Center commitment to performance and student success instead.
Why the differences? They pertains to superior leadership and lack of censorship at the CGCC.
The later is one of the WVDOE’s intervention trademarks as Dr. Martirano peddles his community involvement pillar throughout WV.
You can’t have effective citizen involvement, support, and trust for common core or anything else, Dr. Martirano, when information is purposely withheld from people.
I do not know what the WVBOE expected for ROI, but if it wanted to ruin its WV support for common core its self-inflicted damage could not have been done better with a professional world class wrecking crew.
The highly circulated intervention documentation on social media proved to citizens that the WVBOE could not be trusted to run a centralized one size fits all education program for our children.
Negative publicity won’t stop and the WVBOE needs damage control fast to include ending its severe blunders in intervened counties.
Prisoners bring up a question. If they are subtracted out what is the full time (FTE) enrollment beginning each fall semester on campus for the past ten years? The administration always side steps this question to cause suspicion that the trend is moving down.
Sports does a lot to shore up the enrollment and the program has been very successful over the years. Team spirit is one thing GSC doesn’t lack.
That WACO center is a beautiful new facility and the Alumni and friend donate to keep the flag flying on the hill. What they want their money used for is up to the giver.
Online prisoner classes add to the count so there’s another contributor.
More community interaction would probably be a help. Thought they had a Teaching program but everything can always stand to grow. How to get it done is the big problem. Do not see state revenues being the answer as the population statewide is on the down side. Didn’t the Governor have to cut all of the colleges in the states budget the last two or three years?
GSC was once known far and wide for the quality of Teachers graduating. Unfortunately with the current standings regarding the state of education in West Virginia how effective could such a program be? It would take years to get a program off the ground and running, is there enough time?
Governor Tomblin is supporting the new State Superintendent of Schools agenda now. If the students sent to college aren’t ready then who will be trained as the high quality Teachers of tomorrow?
Begin at the beginning. There may not be a quick fix. It’s taken a lot of time and money to get where things are.
We are already at rocky bottom of that slippery slope at GSC and other schools.
Teacher ed. is one of several programs of which WV has too many. Criminal justice is another. At last count there were 20+ CJ programs in WV’s colleges and universities.
Wanna thin them out? Have each one ranked in quality and demand that when a new student enrolls the list must be given out. Let the survival of the fittest function.
Something like that could be done for fields for which jobs are scarce to help cut the rate of college grads with huge college debts to pay off to have to work at fast food businesses to make a living.
When a new student enrolls in a program at an institution give out a fact sheet about chances for getting a job in that field and the pay prospects. That would cut down on getting degrees in poor opportunity fields.
If disclosure information is not required to be given out as a higher education version of truth in advertising, profs in the bottom fields will hold back because candidness would work against their personal interests in keeping their classes filled.
A profession to be valued, certainly. But crucial shortages are widely reported to be in the areas of science, technology and special education.
There has been a downward spiral of the number seeking a Teaching degree nationwide for the past several years. Teach America recruitment is down.
Glenville State College should be valued as an asset for central WV, an area of this state historically ignored for infrastructure update by its Legislative body. Even more valued and protected during a troubled economy when even the largest colleges have seen decreased enrollment.
Can they afford to put all of their eggs in this basket? Can GSC afford expending all efforts and resources to be the education hero of West Virginia?
By Slippery Slope - Is It Practical? on 08.25.2015
It does not require geniuses to find one of the major reasons. Look at compositions of Boards of Governors.
Members of the same families have been represented since the BOG system started. The families control all other components of the College too.
Same families with strangle holds on the Court House, law enforcement, businesses to succeed and to fail, who gets jobs and who keeps them, who gets elected, what happens with our schools, who gets scholarship money, and everything else.
They like to portray appearances of watching out for us while the really watch out for themselves.
O my aching sacro. Is there anything else to say to distract from the fact that rights of tax paying citizens to representation by their elected officials on the Board of Education is being ignored even by this County Commission. For goodness sake, don’t even read that thing the State BOE is letting pass as a lease! Your Commission took education dollars for rent last month. This month they short changed their own employees. Bet you will find out those elected officials will find the money for their own raise very soon. That’s something to pray about.
But continue with inane babbling and making mountains out of molehills everyone has heard about for years. It shows where your head is when it comes to the community, the kids, and what you really care about. O my!
Oh my! To what level has this conversation sank that one would be suggestive of a mafia hit? Let us hope and pray that those dear families mentioned in that post were not party to that threat. Let us also hope and pray that nothing of a violent nature ever happens to Mr Ed, i. e. a hunting accident or what ever. I would beseech the GFP to flag that post and take note of it’s source for future reference.
I think Retired Ed was just trying to be provocative. Everyone knows that the school at Normantown is the highest performing school in the county. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that closing the best performing school to build a new one is stupid. That is just common sense.
On the topic of bussing, it is ten miles from Glenville to Normantown. It is almost 30 from Rosedale to Glenville. If it’s too far for the Glenville students, then it’s three times too far for the Rosedale students.
Anyone that thinks this whole fiasco is anything other than politics is dreaming.
We started out with five schools and a surplus and we are ending up with two schools and a deficit. All the employee cuts are still to come, and you can expect that they will turn things back over to the local BOE for that.
The man got the school he wanted. Gail backs off. Mark changes jobs. Heinlein retires. It’s all very tidy and all very sad.
TW we are fed up with broken promises and false information from the cabal. No more!
Have many do not remember what we were promised about what the federal prison was sure to do, how businesses and jobs would skyrocket, the great River’s Edge development with its state-of-the art facilities, what about the new full scale jet strip down the river, Wal-Mart and Shoney’s coming, and GSC to skyrocket in size?