Jesse Eisinger at ProPublica describes how acting director Mick Mulvaney has crippled the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. He hasn't just been pulling back from high-profile investigations, but he's also been doing the little things, like "freezing" data for "privacy" reasons so various CFPB employees have trouble using it in their investigations. But if you attend paragraphs 27 and 28, you may wonder if his department colluded illegally with Betsy DeVos's Department of Education over the Navient case -- which also means you wonder if Mr. Mulvaney, like Mr. Pai, is rather less clever than he wants you to think.
Ho hum, another health care "reform" group, the so-called United States of Care, sprouts out of nowhere to challenge single-payer, and the "liberal" media of course lap it up. Of course, by "sprouts out of nowhere" I mean "sprouts out of America's vast and overpaid consultant class," and its braintrust, such as it is, includes a few prominent Affordable Care Act supporters and a few prominent Affordable Care Act opponents, which must be what they mean by "bipartisanship." They deny any animus toward single-payer (and thus the will of the majority of Americans who want single-payer), but really, what other reason do they have to exist?
Education Secretary Betsy DeVos says that our criticisms of her many works in office -- against minority students, against transgender students, against protestors, against the rule of law -- are "hurtful." All together now: waaaaaaah! But I do find it a bit stunning that Frank Luntz might actually have told her to do this. Did he say if people think you have feelings, they'll like you better? If so, what a misstep -- people intuitively don't like people who whine about their critics, and though it's not fair, they like it even less from women.
Good news, everyone! A U.S. District Court judge has ruled that the Trump Administration must implement four late energy efficiency standards set by the Obama Administration, even if it doesn't want to. The Trump Administration tried to use a 45-day "error correction process" as a way to simply ignore the deadline to publish the standards, which, perhaps not surprisingly, the law doesn't allow. The Trump Administration showing a disdain for law and order -- well, color me surprised!
The Straight Dope's latest tackles how an animal species's disappearance could adversely affect humans in unexpected ways. It's fascinating and sobering reading from the beginning, when Mao Zedong (during the "Great Leap Forward," naturally) orders the extermination of sparrows eating Chinese crops, apparently not knowing that the sparrows were also eating locusts who also ate the crops, and you already see where that ends, I trust. Then it's on to how disappearing vultures in India may be enabling a "public health crisis" there.
Finally, the Justice Department indicts 13 Russian citizens and three corporations as part of the ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. I'm still pretty sure we wouldn't be talking very much about this if Bernie Sanders had been the Democratic Presidential nominee in 2016, but it's going to get harder for President Trump to claim that this whole thing is "fake news," try as he will. But here's the more important question: when's that terrorist attack coming?