The incomparable David Dayen at The Nation tells us how JP Morgan Chase provided at least part of a settlement-mandated $8 billion in "homeowner assistance": by "forgiving loans on properties it no longer owned." (Italics in original, for once!) It gets better: Chase still collected loan payments on the properties it had sold! As one former Congressman said, "No one in Washington seems to understand why Americans think that different rules apply to Wall Street, and why they’re so mad about that. This is why." And it sure seems like those crappy Obama-era settlements were even worse than we thought.
Trump Administration declares that the American Insurance Group (a.k.a. the Notorious AIG) is no longer a "systematically-important financial institution" (or SIFI), and is thus no longer subject to more rigorous government regulation. The move just so happens to benefit Carl Icahn, one of AIG's largest investors and a Trump Administration advisor until he lobbied to roll back environmental regulations that, just so happens, would have benefited another of his investments. And that's another example of what really corrupts America's morals -- not ZOMG TRANGENDURD IN TEH BATHROOMZ!!!!! or any other species of right-wing idiocy.
In a peripherally-related note, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were thisclose to getting indicted for misleading potential condo buyers, until Donald Trump's longtime lawyer Marc Kasowitz personally intervened with Manhattan's District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., and got him to squash the case. The punchline? Mr. Kasowitz is a big campaign donor of Mr. Vance's, and although Mr. Vance returned Mr. Kasowitz's $25,000 donation before meeting with him, Mr. Kasowitz raised more than double that for Mr. Vance thereafter. Some four years later, Mr. Vance now says he'll return that money, too, which doesn't even avoid the appearance of evil.
Sen. Rand Paul, last seen helping to scuttle the Graham-Cassidy health care "reform" bill, has expressed serious concerns about the Trump Administration tax "reform" plan as well. And not from the "it doesn't hurt people enough" corner, either -- he links to a Tax Policy Center analysis finding that nearly a third of taxpayers making between $50,000 and $150,000 annually could see their taxes go up. Anyway, we could certainly do worse than to have Rand Paul go on a rampage against the Trump agenda, regardless of his motives.
Sen. John Thune (R-SD) advises potential mass shooting victims to "take precautions," "stay safe," and "as somebody said, get small." What are you supposed to do if you get shot before you realize something awful is happening? Well, I guess we can't expect that much wisdom from a U.S. Senator. And let's see him say "(i)t's an open society and it's hard to prevent anything" next time immigration reform comes up.
Finally, vaunted seer Pat Robertson informs us that all those people died in Las Vegas because "we have disrespected authority," adding that "there is profound disrespect for our president." He must have missed that lesson from our Founders that you're supposed to mistrust your leaders, so that you can keep them from doing you harm -- a lesson I bet meant more to him when Barack Obama was President. Anyway, disrespecting our President is our damn birthright as Americans, and seriously, it's well past time Our Glorious Elites and Their Glorious Institutions earned some damn respect.