Guess Who’s Now Heading the Securities and Exchange Commission?

From Reuters

The U.S. Senate voted on Tuesday to confirm attorney Jay Clayton to head the Securities and Exchange Commission, the agency tasked with policing and writing rules for Wall Street.

In a 61-37 vote, the Senate approved the nomination, with some moderate Democrats joining their Republican colleagues in supporting his confirmation.

Clayton could be officially sworn in as SEC chairman as soon as Thursday.

The White House still must complete some paperwork, including an action by President Trump to formally designate him as SEC chairman.

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House GOP Wants to Undo Dodd-Frank

From AP News

House Republicans worked to undo former President Barack Obama’s law overhauling the nation’s financial rules, arguing that it is undermining economic growth. Democrats countered that the GOP effort risked a repeat of the 2008 meltdown that pushed the economy to the brink of collapse.

The Financial Services Committee’s effort got off to a slow start Tuesday as Democrats insisted that much of the 600-page replacement bill be read aloud before the committee even considered amendments. The marathon session had been expected to last through the night, but the committees leaders agreed instead to hold the first votes Wednesday morning in what will now be at least a two-day affair.

5th Doctor, Peter Davison, annoyed...

5th Doctor, Peter Davison, annoyed…

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Sir Tiny Hands *Wants* the Government to Shut Down

From the New York Times

President Trump said Tuesday that the United States needed “a good ‘shutdown’” this fall to force a partisan confrontation over federal spending and suggested that he might move to reverse longstanding Senate rules that effectively require a supermajority to approve most major pieces of legislation.

The declarations, in two posts on Twitter, appeared aimed at defending a compromise spending package that Congress is likely to clear this week, but that fails to accomplish many of Mr. Trump’s stated goals — including allocating any money to build a wall on the southern border, a project that was his most talked-about campaign promise. Conservative activists have criticized the agreement as one that does not address their priorities and swells the deficit, but the White House has signaled that the president would accept it rather than set off a government shutdown.

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White House Actively Looking to Restrict Press Freedom

From ABC News

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said the Trump administration has “looked at” changes to libel laws that would curtail press freedoms, but said “whether that goes anywhere is a different story.”

President Trump frequently slams the press for its coverage of him and in March suggested changing libel laws.

Libel is when defamatory statements about someone are published. But the American press enjoys some protection from lawsuits claiming libel because of the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech rights.

At least, that’s how it should be…

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Orange Julius Caesar Proposes Tax Cuts that Help the Wealthy

What an obvious title. We all knew that’s what he’d do…

From the New York Times

President Trump on Wednesday proposed sharp reductions in individual and business income tax rates and a radical reordering of the tax code that would significantly benefit the wealthy, but he offered no explanation of how the plan would be financed as he rushed to show progress before the 100-day mark of his presidency.

Mr. Trump’s skeletal outline of a tax package, unveiled at the White House in a single-page statement filled with bullet points, was less a plan than a wish list. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Gary D. Cohn, the director of Mr. Trump’s National Economic Council, laid out the bare bones to reporters, part of a mad dash toward the administration’s 100th day on Saturday that has included the resurrection of a health care bill, near-daily signings of executive orders and the possible withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement.

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The FCC Is Destroying Net Neutrality

From the Washington Post

Tech companies and Internet providers are poised for another dramatic showdown as the head of the Federal Communications Commission revealed a plan Wednesday for rolling back his predecessor’s rules mandating an open Internet.

The proposal from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai marks the first step toward undoing a key decision of the Obama era, one that forced Internet providers to behave more like legacy telephone companies. The stricter rules for ISPs had made it illegal to block or slow down websites for consumers — and they paved the road for other policies, such as one governing online privacy, which was overturned in a separate controversial move by Congress and President Trump earlier this year.

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National Monuments to be Opened for Development?!?

Wow… seriously? This is entirely unprecedented and utterly ridiculous…

From Reuters

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to allow national monument designations to be rescinded or reduce the size of sites as the administration pushes to open up more federal land to drilling, mining and other development.

Trump’s order is part of an effort to reverse many of the environmental protections implemented by his predecessor, Democratic President Barack Obama that Trump said were hobbling economic growth. Trump’s agenda is being cheered by industry but enraging conservationists.

Legal challenges are expected because no president has ever rescinded a monument designation.

In announcing the order on Wednesday Republican Trump said Obama’s use of the 1906 Antiquities Act to create monuments was an “egregious abuse of federal power” that allowed the federal government to “lock up” millions of acres of land and water.

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Things for Immigrants are Just Getting Worse…

From the New York Times

For more than 15 years, jails that hold immigrants facing deportation have had to follow a growing list of requirements:

Notify immigration officials if a detainee spends two weeks or longer in solitary confinement. Check on suicidal inmates every 15 minutes, and evaluate their mental health every day. Inform detainees, in languages they can understand, how to obtain medical care. In disciplinary hearings, provide a staff member who can advocate in English on the detainee’s behalf.

But as the Trump administration seeks to quickly find jail space for its crackdown on illegal immigration, it is moving to curtail these rules as a way to entice more sheriffs and local officials to make their correctional facilities available.

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