Sunday, February 23, 2020
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If Cuccinelli Cared About Consumer Protection

He'd take the lead on combating the fraud of the new "professional" credit cards. There'd be a hard look at lending practices that allow the payday and refund lending industry to exceed the maximum interest limits. The Attorney General's website would show him instead of Bob McDonnell as Attorney General.

The last Consumer Alert of the Month wouldn't be December 2009. The link to the "Nigerian Bank Account Scams" would not take the user to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) webpage where another link must be selected; it would link to the SEC page for the Nigerian Advance Fee Fraud. The link to FAQs on Consumer Fraud would not navigate to a general page that includes one on "Why Virginia is suing the federal government over the new health care law" (a political statement on a state website). The Virginia Consumer Guide would be updated with a cover letter from the current rather than the former Attorney General. It would contain links to relevant online resources. It would include warnings about debt relief schemes, their effects on income tax, and the outcomes of bankruptcy. There would be a mortgage foreclosure step by step for after it happens rather than "Prevention Tips." No one who thinks about foreclosure in time to prevent it comes looking for foreclosure prevention help.

By the way, those new "professional" credit cards also known as small-business or corporate credit cards, aren't covered under the Credit Card Accountability and Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Card Act). There is a The Wall Street Journal article this morning that provides plenty of information about this scheme that allows the predatory practices that the Card Act was designed to stop: hair-trigger interest rate increases, shortened payment cycles and inactivity fees. Suddenly anyone qualifies as a small business. But the Attorney General is oblivious to this scheme that will defraud thousands of Virginians. And he doesn't have a clue about advising the legislature concerning leaks in the payday lending law. It has to do with numbers and math, so maybe he ought to contact the ABC Store vultures for some crafting of the formula for annual percentage rates; or not.

Sowing The Seeds of Red Virginia

The McDonnell-Cuccinelli antics add to the fog that provides cover for the unfounded ramblings of the Goodlattes of Virginia. Unchallenged by Democrats, these anecdotes become embedded in the electorate's world view. That won't change anything in the 6th District this year. But they wash over Virginia for 2011 and beyond.

The Mutt and Jeff act is a perfect one-two reactionary strategy. The Attorney General tilts at windmills while the Governor provides a "more balanced" view of principle, sounding reasonable, businesslike, and bipartisan. Meanwhile, uncontested Republicans like Goodlatte (here showing bipartisan appeal) hold town halls with apprehensive audiences where they twist the facts to stoke the fear and resentment. No effective counter from the Democratic Party of Virginia (DPVA).

"George King of Lynchburg asked why energy products that are made in China, such as photoreceptors, couldn't be made in the United States. Goodlatte said the answer lies in reducing the cost for companies to operate in the United States, through lower health-insurance costs and lower corporate taxes." - reported in The News & Advance

It couldn't be the almost slave labor cost advantage...it must be the evil health insurance and taxes. Unfortunately, this plays well in Peoria...or more appropriately, anywhere outside NOVA. And when these trees fall in the Republican forest, the case for a red Virginia is built from the timber.  

Democratic Party Of Virginia on Ken Cuccinelli

Here's what the Democrats, party of the future, think of one of the primary representatives of the party of the past, the anti-freedom party (i.e., the Republican Party)

Attention Cuccinelli: Professor Mann Exonerated

It will, I am sure, be a tremendous relief to Kenneth Cuccinelli, Virginia's Attorney General, to learn that a prestigious panel has completed a thorough review of Professor Michael Mann's climate research, and concluded that there is "no substance" to allegations of misconduct levied against him last year by climate science deniers, which of course includes Mr. Cuccinelli.  Mr. Cuccinelli, as you recall, used his office to enter a law suit against Professor Mann for "fraud" while using a grant to investigate climate change when he was at the University of Virginia.  The Attorney General demanded every communication, e-mail, and scrap of paper relating to Mann held by the University as part of the evidentiary discovery phase of his law suit (i.e., he went on a fishing expedition). As reported in The Washington Post today. The Penn State Investigatory Committee's final report determined that
"Dr. Michael E. Mann did not engage in, nor did he participate in, directly or indirectly, any actions that seriously deviated from accepted practices within the academic community for proposing, conducting, or reporting research, or other scholarly activities."