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Sunday News: “This Could Destroy China”; SNL on Kim/Trump; “The Porn President”; “Donald Trump and the Stress Test of Liberal Democracy”

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by Lowell

Here are a few national and Virginia news headlines, political and otherwise, for Sunday, March 11. Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour, if you haven’t done so already.

  • Full video of Trump’s unhinged campaign rally in Moon Township, PA

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ke4FykCxwcc

    • RobertColgan

      I made it watching all the way to the 35 second mark.
      That’s a personal best for me.

  • Quizzical

    France rams up with India to work on affordable solar power for poor nations
    https://www.voanews.com/a/french-president-pokes-at-trump-for-leaving-paris-accord/4291604.html

  • Video: Chuck Todd challenges Steve Mnuchin on Trump’s bashing of journalists, praise of Kim Jong-Un. Mnuchin gives complete b.s. non-answer.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXBGFTKy4TQ

    • RobertColgan

      Steve Mnuchin (Sp?) = Fake News.

      As Stepford robotics go, he doesn’t have nearly enough head movement servomotors to appear human.
      Soulless, yes. Conscienced, no.

  • Quizzical

    Fukushima ice wall working good
    https://cleantechnica.com/2018/03/09/fukushima-ice-wall-failing-water-seepage-nuclear-reactors-still-problem/
    Except for the 141 metric tons of water per day that pass through it.

    1 metric ton equals 264.17 gallons of water.

  • Andy Schmookler

    Last I heard, both of our Democratic Senators are backing this bill that weakens the Dodd-Frank provisions. So far as I can tell, Elizabeth Warren’s view of this bill as a big move in the wrong direction is valid. So the question arises:

    Why are Senators Kaine and Warner supporting it?

    (I really would like an explanation. I called their offices last week and registered my objections, but I’m still in the dark about why they are siding with the Republicans and the bankers here.)

    • Here’s what a progressive Virginia FB friend of mine found out:

      Cutting and pasting information I received from the Kaine campaign. This does answer some concerns, though it still doesn’t address why SunTrust, Citi, etc are included in a bill to help ‘community banks.*’ Somebody who knows more about the fair housing/ lending aspects than I do will have to address that part, though I do have respect for Senator Kaine’s bona fides on this issue.

      *I don’t know anything worth knowing about banking though I could talk
      about Dodd-Frank’s unintended consequences for the real estate appraisal
      business (much of which is traditionally local & small-entrepeneur based
      so I have some sympathy there).

      Anyway, quote below:

      **********************************************
      Information on the Senate Banking Bill

      Dodd-Frank, which Sen. Kaine strongly supports, has beencritical in
      providing more stringent financial regulations and oversight to ensure
      another crash never happens. But improvements can be made to ensure that
      the mega banks that caused the crisis and small, regional or community
      banks aren’t treated with a “one size fits all” approach. This bill does
      not repeal Dodd-Frank and leaves almost all of its critical protections in
      place.

      In Virginia, the number of state-based banks has shrunk by about35 percent
      since Dodd-Frank passed, with an overwhelming impact on rural Virginia and
      minority-owned banks. This means that people looking to get a loan for a
      house or to start a business are often left with either no option or one
      option – a big bank – instead of local banks, where lenders are closest to
      the community.

      This bill seeks to help small, community banks grow and ensures small
      lenders can provide mortgages and credit more effectively to working
      Americans. It would make it easier for smaller banks – including minority
      and black owned banks – to stay open, which helps cut against the growing
      monopolies of the big banks.

      As a former fair housing lawyer who fought against discriminatory lending
      practices, Sen. Kaine has long pushed for strict requirements to protect
      against unfair lending based on race. This bill keeps the protections
      established in Dodd-Frank in place.

      • This bill is supported by the largest national organization representing
      community banks owned by African-Americans, Native-Americans,
      American-Indians, East-Indians, Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans, and
      Women support this bill.
      • A new amendment included in this bill, which Sen. Kainesupports,
      addresses concerns with housing discrimination, and the bill does nothing
      to change fair lending standards.
      • Under this bill, the vast majority of lenders — including large banks —
      would have the same data collection requirements as they have now, meaning
      they would still have to report the race of loan applicants to regulators
      to guard against discrimination. No bad actors are exempt from these
      requirements, no matter their size, and if regulators had concerns that a
      lender was at risk of unfair practices, they could require the lender to
      provide additional data.
      • Even the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has acknowledged that
      requiring smaller lenders, including minority-owned banks, to engage in
      new data collection could impose substantial cost burdens, which would
      hurt local banks’ ability to lend to Virginians.

      The bill also includes new consumer protection provisions, including free
      credit freeze and year-long fraud alerts, and new protections for
      veterans, seniors, and members of the military.

      The largest entities will be subject to the same regulations they face
      today if this bill passes.

      • Andy Schmookler

        The Democrats I’ve heard talk against this bill — Sherrod Brown and Elizabeth Warren — acknowledge the good aspects of relieving the burdens on small community banks.

        But Warren description of what this bill does explicitly contradicts this statement from the passage above: “Under this bill, the vast majority of lenders — including large banks — would have the same data collection requirements as they have now, meaning they would still have to report the race of loan applicants to regulators to guard against discrimination.”

        And it is not only community banks, she says, but also banks that are really very large that get excluded from the Dodd-Frank regulatory regime.

        So I’m still wondering why Kaine would come down on the other side on this from Warren and Brown.

        • Did you read today’s Roanoke Times editorial on this? What did you think?

          • Andy Schmookler

            Hadn’t, but have now.

            I haven’t heard anyone disagree with the community banks aspect of this bill. But the thing is, the community banks part that everyone agrees should be adjusted seems to be another example of the Republicans taking hostages.

            Like “I’ll give you DACA if you give me the Wall and the end of family unification, etc.”

            Of course there will always have to be some horse-trading. But the hostage-taking has led Democrats astray more than once over the years, and I’m not sure that the ransom is proportionate to the kidnap victim.

            It should be remembered that the impetus that led to Dodd Frank was that the lack of adequate regulation almost tanked the entire global economy. That scale should be kept in mind as we consider what the risks might be of any kind of roll-back of the regulations Dodd Frank put in place.

            Have you read the Brookings Institution review of the pros and cons of this bill? (It’s not as condemnatory as, say, Warren, but if I recall, it does sound like the bad outweighs the good.)

          • Just looked at it; seems like this is a mix of good, bad and in between. According to Brookings: “The legislation is about more than the small bank relief its supporters focus on, but neither would it gut Dodd-Frank as some opponents claim…”

          • Andy Schmookler

            So what’s your sense, Lowell. If you were in the Senate, would you vote for this bill as you see the balance in this mixture?

          • I probably wouldn’t, but I can see the arguments both ways.

          • RobertColgan

            https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/03/13/24-million-reasons-dems-back-americas-worst-banks

            Here are 24 million reasons: These 16 Democrats have collectively received $24,488,961 in campaign contributions from savings and investment firms and commercial banks. They have also received $42,246,555 from lawyers and law firms, some of which represent banking interests, and $4,318,208 from lobbyists.

            They are: Mark Bennet (D-CO), Dave Carper (D-DE), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Doug Jones (D-AL), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), and Mark Warner (D-VA).

            I’m sorry————–but Congressmen and women NEED TO BE CHANGED after they have been in those poisoned swamp waters too long. The good ones tend to last longer than the already compromised ones…..but sooner or later they ALL succumb to a false sense of entitlement.
            We need term limits for all Congresspersons.