Monday, May 1, 2023

Last Call For A Supreme Government Takeover

The Roberts Court has agreed to take up a case that could spell the end of regulatory federal agencies. TPM's Kate Riga:

The Supreme Court opened a new front in its war against the administrative state Monday when it took up a case that asks it to consider overruling a doctrine that has long helped form the basis of executive branch agencies’ authority.

The Chevron doctrine, stemming from a 1984 Supreme Court decision, gives government agencies deference in how they choose to interpret congressional statutes they administer. Congress traditionally delegates authority to agencies in broad strokes — say, for example, telling the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce air pollution in accordance with the Clean Air Act. Under Chevron, the EPA would be given leeway in using its expertise to determine how best to achieve that.

The right-wing legal world is passionately committed to weakening the administrative state, the parts of the government that are charged with regulating corporate polluters, protecting workers’ rights, dictating public health policy and more. That attitude has become evident in its members that sit on the bench, who have largely welcomed cases that challenge agency authority.

A group of familiar far-right groups, including the Cato Institute, National Right to Work Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and former Trump attorney John Eastman all filed amicus briefs asking the Court to take up the case.

The case tacked on the broad Chevron challenge as an additional question to the heart of the dispute, which centers on the National Marine Fisheries Service. The Court only agreed to take up that second part of the question, “whether the court should overrule Chevron, or at least clarify that statutory silence concerning controversial powers expressly but narrowly granted elsewhere in the statute does not constitute an ambiguity requiring deference to the agency.”

Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson recused herself.

The overturning of Chevron would be somewhat less of a legal earthquake than it would have been before the right-wing judges amassed such power on the Supreme Court, as they largely have ignored the doctrine when presented with agency actions they don’t like. But still, and enduringly at lower courts, the Chevron doctrine is a bedrock in agency authority — one that the Court seems primed to take a whack at.
 In other words, the end of Chevron would mean the end of nearly all the regulatory power of the executive branch and all of its executive agencies, and courts filled with Trump appointees would be able to wreck those agencies and tie up even basic regulatory power in courts for decades.

It would mean the end of enforcement of things like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the FDIC, the CFPB, and who knows, probably everything else the Executive cabinet agencies do. It would be awful. Red states could sue to stop just about everything, and they will.

Trump getting three appointees is the end of a lot of America as you know it.

Our Little White Supremacist Domestc Terrorism Problem, Con't

As goes Ohio, the political bellwether of the Midwest, so goes the nation. That's true of a lot of political topics, none more so than the state becoming ground zero for white supremacist MAGA terrorists who bomb churches over drag events.

Aimenn Penny sat watching online videos of drag-queen story hour events in France, half a world away from his Alliance home, when he decided to attack, authorities say.

Penny, a member of White Lives Matter Ohio, made Molotov cocktails, drove some 50 miles to a small Geauga County town and hurled them at a church planning to host drag events the following week. His only regret: that the church didn’t burn to the ground, according to court records.

Penny’s arrest and indictment on federal hate crime charges, as well as a recent report from the Anti-Defamation League that showed a spike in white supremacist activity in Ohio, is emblematic of the growing problem of domestic hate groups, said Jonathan Lewis, a researcher at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism.

“It paints a really disturbing picture of the state of domestic terrorism and domestic violent extremism in this country,” Lewis said. “I think that the case that was recently brought in in Ohio is, unfortunately, a really good indicator of the types of violent extremism bubbling to the surface today.”

Penny’s case in many ways mirrors the broader white supremacist movement and how some become radicalized via social media and ultimately carry out real-world attacks, Lewis said.

Most white supremacists are no longer affiliated with organized groups, like the Proud Boys or Oath Keepers, he said. The new trend is groups that are very loosely affiliated. There’s no set hierarchy in the groups or membership dues. Meetings aren’t in person, but on apps like Discord, 4Chan and Telegram, among others, he said.

The rhetoric is hate-filled, but there’s no single person who issues orders or makes plans, Lewis said. Those who carry out violence often do so alone or in small groups, making it more difficult to detect or predict.

“The chatrooms stop just short of saying, ‘Hey go commit a hate crime tomorrow,’ ” Lewis said. “It’s basically do-it-yourself terrorism.”

Members are typically younger, like the 20-year-old Penny. They get radicalized online and through public officials and politicians at the local, state and federal levels who use similar rhetoric, Lewis said.

The result is people with different causes often blending. People with anti-LGBTQ+ ideologies team up with anti-Semites, racists with anti-LGBTQ and so on, Lewis said.

“It creates a really complex environment, particularly for law enforcement,” Lewis said. “It’s tougher to infiltrate a group because it’s all decentralized.”

White Lives Matter of Ohio fits that mold, Lewis said. The group launched in April 2021. It is loosely affiliated with a nationwide group and uses Telegram to spread propaganda and disrupt drag shows like the one the Chesterland Church of Christ organized.
These terrorists continue to radicalize others. The Trump stochastic terrorism model is now being repeated by dozens of Republicans at local, state, and federal levels.

We will be dealing with the damage from these monsters for decades to come.

It's 2008 All Over Again, Con't

The 2023 version of the 2008 Big Bank Casino Bonanza is nowhere near over, as California regional bank First Republic has finally failed over the weekend, with the FDIC seizing the bank's remaining assets to sell to Jaime Dimon and JPMorgan Chase.
Federal regulators have seized First Republic Bank and sold it to JPMorgan Chase Bank in a deal aimed at quelling renewed weakness in the nation’s banking industry.

In a statement issued early Monday, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said that all depositors of First Republic Bank will become depositors of JPMorgan and will have full access to their deposits.

The deal involved a “highly competitive bidding process,” the FDIC said in its statement, but it did not say what JPMorgan is paying to purchase First Republic.

Under the deal, JPMorgan acquires “substantially all” First Republic assets and agrees to assume responsibility for all of its deposits, including those above the federal insurance limit of $250,000 per account. First Republic had about $229.1 billion in assets and $103.9 billion in deposits.

JPMorgan personnel are now reaching out to First Republic customers, CEO Jamie Dimon said.

Federal regulators approached JPMorgan about bidding on First Republic’s assets, said Jeremy Barnum, JPMorgan’s chief financial officer. The bank “did not seek out this deal,” Barnum told reporters Monday.

Dimon reiterated that the broader banking system was sound and said the deal would stabilize the system after the country’s third bank failure in two months. Still, Dimon acknowledged that as interest rates continue to rise, the economy is not immune to consequences or stress.

“Hopefully people will be properly prepared for it,” Dimon said.

In March, JP Morgan was one of the banks that put billions of dollars into beleaguered First Republic, as regulators and the industry scrambled to contain a crisis that had led to the failures of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank. Barnum said the ultimate demise of First Republic wasn’t a sign that that effort failed. Rather, it helped buy time “when time was needed.”

JP Morgan is not assuming First Republic’s corporate debt or preferred stock, it said in a statement.

First Republic’s failure is expected to cost the FDIC about $13 billion, the agency said. The money will come from the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund, which insured banks pay into every quarter.

First Republic’s 84 offices in eight states will reopen as branches of JPMorgan, and depositors will be able to access all of their money when they open Monday.

The closure and sale of First Republic comes seven weeks after the abrupt failure of Silicon Valley Bank in California prompted an extraordinary federal rescue effort aimed at averting a wider financial crisis.

Unlike SVB, which failed in a matter of days, First Republic has been wobbling for weeks. The delay gave regulators and industry executives time to evaluate the bank and prepare for its demise.
The difference between SVB's failure in March and First Republic this morning is that the big investors were given time to make an orderly exit and even profit from First Republic.
Everyone's acting like this is the end of the performance rather than the coda to the first movement of the symphony where the second biggest bank failure in US history just happened

If the Fed raises interest rates even more to slow down the inflation train, more of this will happen. And if the GOP causes a debt default on America's credit, all bets are off even in the Big Casino.

It's going to be a wild summer.
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