Friday, February 1, 2013

Last Call

Republicans say they will indefinitely block Rob Cordray and any nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the President agrees to strip the agency of any actual oversight powers, mainly because consumers don't matter to Republicans, only banks do.

Silly consumers.  Adam Serwer:

Senate Republicans want three big changes before they'll stop blocking Cordray. First, they want the CPFB to be by Congress rather than the Federal Reserve. Subjecting the bureau to the congressional appropriations process would compromise its political independence. Second, Republicans want the range of financial institutions the bureau has authority to regulate narrowed. This would leave unsupervised some of the problematic institutions the bureau was created to regulate. Finally, the GOP is demanding that other bank regulators—the same ones who failed to prevent the 2008 financial meltdown—be allowed to chaperone the CFPB by "verifying" that its rules "would not harm the safety and soundness of banks." This would let regulators who turned a blind eye to exploitative practices in the past because they were profitable tell the CFPB what to do—and the more different regulators have to approve of a rule, the more convoluted and less effective it is likely to be.

Blocking Cordray could leave the CPFB without most of its powers to regulate the very financial institutions whose practices helped lead the country into near-economic collapse in 2008. That's just how Republicans want it. Having failed to prevent the financial regulation law from being passed, they are now seeking to nullify it through procedural extortion. 

Either way, the GOP figures, the agency is effectively shut down until Republicans can kill it.   They don't want anyone protecting the people from the banks, they want the banks protected from the people.

But there's no difference between the parties, right?

Turkey Embassy Attack Called "Act Of Terror"

Details are still coming in, but preliminary information indicates a suicide bomber and a Turkish security guard killed in a blast at the US embassy in Ankara.

Tension is high in Turkey after a suicide bombing at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara as officials identified the attacker as a member of a radical leftist group.

The blast killed a Turkish security guard, authorities say. The bomber died.

Istanbul police identified the bomber as Ecevit Shanli, a member of DHKP-C, a Marxist Leninist terror group.

There are conflicting accounts concerning how many were wounded.

Ankara police and health officials said two were injured, while Ankara Gov. Aladdin Yuksel said one person was hurt.

A senior U.S. official said no Americans were wounded.

The "terrorist blast" occurred at 1:13 p.m. at a checkpoint on the perimeter of the embassy, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.

"We are working closely with the Turkish national police to make a full assessment of the damage and the casualties, and to begin an investigation," she said.

Unlike in Benghazi, the Turkish government is fully invested in getting to the bottom of this and assisting US investigators.  I'm thinking the DHKP-C just moved up several places on the "Going to get some drones in your errywhere" list, too.

More on this as it comes in.

The Paranoid, Without Style

Probably won't surprise you to learn that the National Rifle Association has an enemies list.  It will probably be even less of a surprise to you that the list consists of basically everyone who's not the NRA. McAllister at Addicting Info parses the voluminous tome:

A couple of things become apparent while reviewing the NRA list. First, they have no concept of data record formatting. Second, at least some of the folks on the NRA list are dead – which rings familiar to the persistent rumors that many of the NRA “Life” Members are dead as well. Third, unlike Nixon, the NRA didn’t list the politicians who support gun regulations, nor are any of the new media sites – like we here at Addicting Info or Occupy the NRA on the list.

Back to the list. 24 major medical associations, from the AMA to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons populate the list of NRA enemies. And so are the American Bar Association, National Education Association, the Catholic Conference, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church and the American Jewish Conference. From the world of sports are the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Rams.

Hollywood is represented by a wide variety of actors…from TV’s Barney Miller – Hal Linden to Rambo – Sylvester Stallone to NCIS’ Mark Harmon to George Clooney, Matt Damon, Kevin Bacon, MacGyver’s Richard Dean Anderson. Also on the list, Sigourney Weaver, Oprah Winfrey, Shania Twain, Meryl Streep and Barbra Streisand – the only person to be on both Nixon and the NRA’s lists.

Former politicians Jimmy Carter, Ed Koch and C. Everett Coop are also listed along with political powerhouse, the AARP, 32 Million strong.

It might be easier to write who is NOT on the list.

And if you want to know how and why the NRA will survive this, they'll brutally attack everyone on this list as gun grabbers who support fascist Obama, so you'd better back the NRA or join the list as a bad guy.  About half of America is willing to do that still, because the NRA is still viewed as more socially acceptable than NAMBLA or the KKK.

Until that changes, gun control laws in Congress will not pass.  Period.  Not even the background check stuff.


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