Media Quote Frank on Rolling Back Dodd/Frank–Not Disclosing He’s Now a Bank Director

The House of Representatives voted on Tuesday to roll back key provisions of the landmark Dodd/Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, a 2010 law that increased regulatory scrutiny of banks following the 2008 financial crisis. One of the many provisions of the original Dodd/Frank law subjected banks with over $50 billion in assets to annual economic “stress tests” to gauge their potential for collapse in the event of an economic crisis. The rollback bill raises that threshold to $250 billion, which would exempt at least two dozen “small”…

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Kinsey Hasstedt on Reproductive Health Restrictions, Corey Hutchins on Denver Post Distress

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Focus on Pruitt’s Scandals Obscures Environmental Degradation Under Trump

Focusing on a $43,000 phone booth (Washington Post, 4/16/18), not on the $60 trillion that unchecked climate change is projected to cost (Nature, 7/25/13). Scott Pruitt sure is busy these days. The climate change-denying head of the Environmental Protection Agency has been renting out a DC condo on the cheap from an energy lobbyist; installing a $43,000 soundproof booth for his telephone calls; passing out improper pay raises to aides; jet-setting around the world on first-class flights; hitting up Disneyland and the Rose Bowl with his oversized $3 million, 20-person…

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Promoters of Saudi Prince as Feminist Reformer Are Silent on His Crackdown on Women

“It appears the only ‘crime’ these activists committed was wanting women to drive before Mohammed bin Salman did” (Independent, 5/22/18). During his US PR tour in March, Saudi prince and de facto ruler of the absolute monarchy Mohammed bin Salman (often referred to as “MBS”) touted the progress the kingdom was making in the area of “women’s rights”—namely letting women drive and combatting nebulous reactionary forces that were somehow separate from the regime. Since then, at least seven major women’s rights advocates—Eman al-Nafjan, Loujain al-Hathloul, Aziz al-Yousef, Aisha al-Manea, Madiha…

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Protecting Pfizer’s and Microsoft’s Patents in China Is Not ‘Our’ Concern

To Catherine Rampell (Washington Post, 5/21/18), the idea that the US’s $337 billion trade deficit with China is problematic is a “fairy tale.” It’s rare that you get a more explicitly classist piece in a major newspaper than Catherine Rampell’s column (Washington Post,  5/21/18) on Donald Trump’s trade war with China. While its assessment of the Trump administration’s blustery rhetoric and confused actions seems very much on the money, its assertions about the country’s actual interests are not. It tells readers: So rather than taking the time to learn about…

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Media Delegitimize Venezuelan Elections Amid Complete Unanimity of Outlook

NPR (5/21/18) was amid many other news outlets who chose a similar headline strategy. Nicolás Maduro was successfully re-elected president of Venezuela on Sunday, receiving 5.8 million of the 8.6 million ballots cast, on a turnout of 46 percent. His nearest challenger, Henri Falcon, received 1.8 million votes. The process was watched over by 150 international observers from over 30 countries, among them former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who said (Telesur, 5/20/18): “I do not have any doubt about the voting process. It is an advanced automatic…

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‘There’s an Asymmetry Not Only in Power, but in Compassion’

The May 18, 2018, episode of CounterSpin was a special on Gaza that featured three classic interviews—with James Zogby from  July 5, 2006; with Yousef Muneyyer from November 23, 2012; and with Phyllis Bennis  from April 6, 2018. This is a lightly edited transcript. Play Stop pop out X MP3jPLAYLISTS.MI_0 = [ { name: “1. CounterSpin Gaza Special Full Show “, formats: [“mp3”], mp3: “aHR0cDovL3d3dy5mYWlyLm9yZy9hdWRpby9jb3VudGVyc3Bpbi9Db3VudGVyU3BpbjE4MDUxOC5tcDM=”, counterpart:””, artist: “”, image: “true”, imgurl: “” } ]; MP3jPLAYERS[0] = { list:MP3jPLAYLISTS.MI_0, tr:0, type:’MI’, lstate:true, loop:false, play_txt:’Play’, pause_txt:’Pause’, pp_title:’FAIR’, autoplay:false, download:true, vol:80, height:71, cssclass:’…

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The Tired Trope of Blaming Trump on ‘Liberal Smugness’

In an attempt to understand the coalition that gave Trump his narrow victory, for the past year and a half the press has spun a whole new subgenre of stilted, tautological feature reporting on how Trump supporters support Trump (FAIR.org, 2/15/17). And in their opinion sections, corporate media have fared no better. They have routinely given platforms to those who claim, with little to no firm evidence, that Trump’s election and his steady (though historically low) popularity (as well as his predicted eventual reelection) are all partly if not wholly…

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Media Ignore Government Influence on Facebook’s Plan to Fight Government Influence

Medium (5/17/18) Facebook announced Thursday it was partnering with DC think tank the Atlantic Council to “monitor for misinformation and foreign interference.” The details of the plan are vague, but Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab wrote in a non-bylined Medium post (5/17/18) that the goal was to design tools “to bring us closer together” instead of “driving us further apart.” Whatever that means, exactly. Behind its generic-sounding name and “nonpartisan” label, the Atlantic Council is associated with very particular interests. It’s funded by the US Department of State and…

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The Surprising Popularity of ‘Far Left’ Policies

The Washington Post (5/16/18) characterized Nebraska congressional candidate as “far left” because she supports universal background checks, raising taxes on the wealthy and decriminalizing marijuana. “The Far Left Is Winning the Democratic Civil War” was the headline over a Washington Post report (5/16/18) on the results of recent primary elections. So what counts as “far left” to the Washington Post, the newspaper owned by the world’s richest human? Here are the positions cited by the Post‘s James Hohmann to characterize the “unelectable activists” who are “thwarting” Democratic hopes to take…

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