As Congress struggles to enact legislation that will bring tax relief to the rich and obliterate healthcare for the not-so-rich, another battle is brewing beneath the Swamp; the never-ending struggle to decimate the lusterless policies that affect the lives of ordinary Americans. Policies put in place to protect us no matter what our political persuasion may be. Wresting control of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, or CFPB, is the latest move by the administration to gut any regulatory body designed to ensure that “the 99%” of us are not taken advantage of, or endangered by financial institutions. The CFPB is part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection… Read More

Once again, our fearless leader has insinuated himself into the national dialogue. Don’t get me wrong, the president is entitled to his opinion, just as you are or I am. The difference, however, is that when words are impulsively spouted by someone in a position of leadership, the message being conveyed sometimes sounds ominous. While criticizing the separation of powers to a talk-radio host earlier this month, President Trump whined about his inability by law to direct the FBI and Justice Department in matters related to criminal or civil investigations. He stated emphatically, “I’m the only one who counts!” Not according to the Constitution. The president’s latest distraction from corruption… Read More

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is on a roll and, it would appear, hell-bent on keeping his job. Making his best effort to please his boss and rid himself of the taint associated with his recusal from the Trump-Russia collusion investigation, he has instructed the anti-trust division of the Department of Justice to put the kibosh on AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner if it does not spin-off Time Warner’s CNN unit. Because, as we all know, CNN is the chief culprit when it comes to purveying “fake news.” Were this any other administration, consumer protection would be sufficient motivation for the DOJ to initiate an anti-trust investigation into this deal.… Read More

The behavior of UCLA Bruins basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, who were arrested in China last week and charged with shoplifting a pair of expensive sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou came under further scrutiny prior to their departure amidst reports that the three may have been involved in similar thefts at several other nearby shops. According to LiAngelo Ball’s father, LaVar, “Everybody making it a big deal, it ain’t that big of a deal.” I disagree. Although first-time shoplifting offenders in California typically face misdemeanor charges and potential penalties of fines and/or time in a county jail, that’s not the case in China.… Read More

We have yet to see clear evidence of the president’s artistry as a dealmaker. To date, he has failed to cut any on health care or immigration reform. He may yet endure another failure should a tax plan be brought to a vote on the Senate floor next week. A more looming negotiation “tactic” is even closer on the horizon: the decision as to whether he will decertify the comprehensive Iran nuclear agreement, thus opening the door for Congress to impose new, tougher sanctions on Iran. The president is less the dealmaker he believes himself to be, more a blue-sky kind of a guy. Like an adult ADHD patient off… Read More

Someone needs to cloak Mr. Trump in a copy of the Constitution. The Emperor clearly needs new clothes. Whether one agrees with the president’s political philosophy – or lack thereof – Republican and Democratic leaders must remind him that the Constitution provides for the separation of powers: the Executive Branch, the Judicial, and the Legislative. All three branches of our government have clearly defined responsibilities. The president can’t or refuses to comprehend this, which is a bit disturbing as he swore an oath that he would, to the best of his ability, “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.”  It appears the president’s best isn’t… Read More

Backroom wrangling over financial transactions between government agencies and big business is not unheard of. It is, however, suspect when it involves “no-bid” contracts. Such deals are pretty straightforward: “Our city, state…  island… has a job that needs to be done. Tell us how much it will cost and we’ll sign a contract to let you do it.” Yet arrangements of this nature are also questionable. Which leads to how a fledgling company based in Whitefish, Montana could have been awarded a contract to restore power to the island of Puerto Rico, some 3,400 miles away. After an uproar that lasted for nearly a week, the contract was pulled this… Read More