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Open Thread - 2/11/2013

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: Open Thread )

- 1899 days ago -
Personal news, a Jig Zone puzzle, 3 short takes, and a homemade cartoon (shown).

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John B (185)
Monday February 11, 2013, 8:59 am
Thanks Tom for the post and the links to all three of the NY Times article,
(1) Of course the GOP is trying to close down the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as their action are affecting and hurting their fund raising base,
(2) War tax? Not sure about that but it is an interesting concept,
(3) Cantor and critical thinking is a great oxymoron,
Cartoon: the Yalta agreement came 2 months and 1 day before FDR's death.
Read and noted.

Mary T (178)
Monday February 11, 2013, 12:20 pm
Thanks Tom, I hope you are feeling better.

Elle B (84)
Monday February 11, 2013, 1:15 pm
Ty Tom for articles and links. . .

Lynn Squance (235)
Monday February 11, 2013, 11:49 pm
Puzzle — 3:01 I think I was declawed so I couldn't get any traction! Jerry, will you be declawed too by the Patty monster? I wonder if she lost traction in the winter storms?

NY Times — It seems that almost anything goes in the US profit driven economy! I'm not against profit because it is profit that allows businesses to expand etc. I am opposed to unbridled greed for excessive profit!

"a halt to predatory practices by mortgage lenders" — I was impressed with the TDSR (Total Debt Service Ratio) of 43% until I got to the correction at the end of the piece. It applies to only the housing loan. In Canada, servicing of the housing loan cannot exceed 32% and all debts, including the mortgage loan, cannot exceed 40% or 42% in some cases. Servicing levels in the US while better than before, scare the crap out of me as a very experienced senior mortgage lender.

"an $85 million settlement from American Express" — This is good. "Under the deal with regulators, American Express must halt the deceptive practices and set up independent auditors to ensure that its practices comply with consumer protection laws. " Still a skeptic, I wonder what the price is for independent auditors? Who engages the auditors, or do they have to be approved by the CFPB?

"opened an investigation" — "Those financial benefits create at least the appearance of a conflict of interest as schools may be tempted to choose the arrangement that gives the school the most money rather than the arrangement that gives their students the best deal," — conflict of interest indeed!

NY Times — If I recall my Canadian history lessons correctly, Canada's income tax started as a means to support the war effort during WWI. That was a general tax. But I hear what you're saying TC about the war profiteers like Haliburton. What about a war tax that also hits the very wealthy since they have more to lose in a war? Of course in addition to war profiteers? I also like Critter's suggestion "All military work in connection with any war actions should be done at cost. No profit allowed at all."

NY Times — This pretty much sums it up

"Hillary Clinton said of her Republican critics, “They just will not live in an evidence-based world.”"

The Republican/Teabaggers are ideologues and nothing else. I agree with Krugman that if real evidence does not support their desired goals, they bash and mash it, a real FUBAR.

Cartoon — From Wikipedia:

"U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union William Christian Bullitt, Jr.'s thesis prophesied the "flow of the Red amoeba into Europe". Roosevelt responded to Bullitt, Jr., with a statement summarizing his rationale for wartime relations with Stalin:

I just have a hunch that Stalin is not that kind of a man. … and I think that if I give him everything I possibly can and ask for nothing from him in return, noblesse oblige, he won't try to annex anything and will work with me for a world of democracy and peace. —Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1943"

Bullitt was very prophetic. Red amoeba indeed!

P A (117)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 6:27 am

Sorry you're still so ill TC – I have been a bit poorly myself (though nothing at all to compare) – but it is why I missed looking for these – my IQ shrank with my fever!

I was horrified to read this "To be sure, Mr. Cantor tried to sound interested in serious policy discussion. But he didn’t succeed — and that was no accident. For these days his party dislikes the whole idea of applying critical thinking and evidence to policy questions. And no, that’s not a caricature: Last year the Texas G.O.P. explicitly condemned efforts to teach “critical thinking skills,” because, it said, such efforts “have the purpose of challenging the student’s fixed beliefs and undermining parental authority.” – Good grief they do want utter unquestioning morons to fill the population – just like any fundamentalist sect or fascist/communist government!

TomCat S (129)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 4:02 am

David C (133)
Thursday February 14, 2013, 8:14 am

Robert B (60)
Friday February 15, 2013, 10:12 am
Well Tom, now you've done it! You got me hooked on doing puzzles! I finally broke the 5 min. barrier :)
It is obvious that the republican congress cares nothing for it's citizens, but only for those crooks that can rip off consumers.

Susanne R (234)
Friday February 15, 2013, 11:47 pm
Kudos to President Obama and Elizabeth Warren for bringing us the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau! I can see why the GOP wants to shut it down: it's goal to stop the GOP's greedy masters (banks, credit unions, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage-servicing operations, foreclosure relief services, debt collectors and other financial companies) from raking our poor and middle class over the coals! Evidently, the CFPB is doing it's job very well --in spite of the fact that the Republicans were successful in blocking Elizabeth Warren from being appointed as head of the bureau she was instrumental in creating.

Is Eric Cantor for real? Is he really defending his party's agenda to "oppose, among other things, early childhood education, sex education, and multicultural education, but support “school subjects with emphasis on the Judeo-Christian principles upon which America was founded.” This man needs to go.
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