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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

 

Predators welcome

by Tom Sullivan

President Dale: I want the people to know that they still have 2 out of 3 branches of the government working for them, and that ain't bad.
Mars Attacks (1996)
Crooks get protection. Abusers get cover. Families get deportation.

NPR reported yesterday that Mick Mulvaney, President Trump's interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, pulled the plug on a lawsuit against a predatory lender. Protecting American consumers is really more of marketing than mission with Mulvaney at the helm. He wrote in the bureau's new strategic plan, "[W]e have committed to fulfill the Bureau's statutory responsibilities, but go no further."

NPR broke that down for listeners:
Within weeks of coming on board, Mulvaney has worked to make the watchdog agency less aggressive. Under his leadership, the CFPB delayed a new payday lending regulation from going into effect and dropped an investigation into one payday lender that contributed to Mulvaney's campaign. In another move that particularly upset some staffers, the new boss also dropped a lawsuit against an alleged online loan shark called Golden Valley Lending. The suit says the lender illegally charges people up to 950 percent interest rates. It took CFPB staffers years to build the case.

"People are devastated and angry — just imagine how you would feel if years of your life had been dedicated to pursuing justice and you lose everything," says Christopher Peterson, a former Office of Enforcement attorney at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau who worked on this particular case early on.
Golden Valley's victims know just how they feel.
"Dismissal of this lawsuit shows an outrageous disregard for the rule of law," says Peterson, who calls the lender "one of the worst of the worst" for swindling many people around the nation out of tens of millions of dollars.

A key backer of Golden Valley was recently convicted of racketeering charges in a case involving another online lender, according to court documents. Given this history, Peterson wonders why Mulvaney dropped the lawsuit against Golden Valley.
Mulvaney received $60,000 in campaign donations from payday lenders between 2011 and 2017.

So while one bureau of the Trump executive branch is protecting alleged online loan sharks, another is breaking up families. Only public outcry is preventing more of these stories:
With nothing but the clothes on his back and less than $300 in his pocket, Amer Adi was put on a plane and deported to Jordan, the country he left 39 years ago to pursue his American dream.
Adi owns several businesses in Youngstown, Ohio. He has a wife who is a U.S. citizen and four daughters, also U.S. citizens. CNN has more on his struggle.

Here's another story, a Bangladeshi chemistry professor in Kansas:
His family says they couldn’t even tell him goodbye.

Immigration officials arrested Syed Ahmed Jamal in his Lawrence front yard on Jan. 24 while he was taking his daughter to school.

The 7th-grade girl ran into the house to alert her mother and brother, while Jamal, a chemist, was handcuffed and led into a car. When his wife tried to hug him, an agent said she could be charged with interfering in an arrest, said son Taseen Jamal, 14.
Public outcry ensued. An immigration court has stayed the deportation order, although Jamal remains in a detention facility near El Paso.

And another:
The father of a 5-year-old boy battling cancer has been fighting to stay in this country. Jesus Berrones had taken refuge inside a Phoenix church to evade deportation by federal immigration authorities.

On Monday, cheering erupted from inside the house of worship as Berrones' attorney said Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had granted a stay and a one-year work permit.
In Trump's America, Golden Valley walks, wife beaters get White House jobs, and immigrants with families but without proper papers get tossed out on their ears.

Not to mention that White House personnel cannot be trusted with national security information about Russia, according to a just-released January 20 email from former Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice:
The previously undisclosed meeting was memorialized in an email written by then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice on Donald Trump's Inauguration Day. A person familiar with the January 5, 2017, meeting said the Obama administration wanted to know whether the FBI and others in the intelligence community believed there was a national security reason to limit conversations with the Trump transition about Russia because some on the incoming President's team could be compromised.
The Obama administration had imposed sanctions against Russia for interference in the 2016 election. Incoming Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn had been in secret communications with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak regarding undoing those sanctions.

The email is available here.

Just another day of making America grate again.

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