A New Sweet Home Alabama

I woke this morning to the fantastic news that Doug Jones won the Senate race in Alabama. It was a comfortable win, too—enough of a margin to preclude a voter recount.

The fact that the Republican candidate Roy Moore was a piece of garbage has less to do with Jones winning than his campaign’s and the NAACP’s outreach program during the election. Al Giordano created a Twitter thread listing all of the actions both took, and they were significant. Democrats coming up for election in 2018: pay attention.

The end result of this effort was outstanding. From the Washington Post exit polls, Jones captured the vast majority of the black vote, and enough of the white vote to win. Among the blacks, he captured over 97% of the black women’s vote—proving once again that black women are the most significant demographic for Democratic voters.

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Break the Internet

For the next two days, when you first access this site, the following image will show, with a form you can use to send your concerns to Washington DC. The FCC is about to destroy everything we hold dear about the internet, while pretending to serve the public. Don't let them. Save the Internet form

In Defense of Al Franken

February 19 update

Several sources have now uncovered a bot net and troll farm attack on Franken.

Way to go, Senate Democrats. You’ve been had.

Update:

Senator Franken resigned. We lost a strong voice in the Senate. I hope the DNC is happy.

Earlier:

I started this web site in the interest of showing just how different Democrats are from Republicans. Different, in a positive way. In the future, I will focus on the positive differences, but not today.

Today I’m going to talk about Al Franken, the Democratic Senator from Minnesota. A man whose colleagues have urged to quit—not because there is proof of egregious behavior, but because it’s politically expedient.

I celebrate the women (and men) coming forward this year, telling their stories. Many did so knowing that their actions could have negative repercussions on their careers. I was less happy with the hashtag of #MeToo, because the stories than lost their individuality. Still, it was good to see people speaking out against sexual harrassment and assault, especially against those more powerful.

I think it’s grand that Time decided to feature those who spoke out in its Person of the Year cover this week. It is fitting, it is proper, and it is right.

So now, let’s talk about Al Franken.

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The CFPB Leadership Fight and Silver Linings

Update:

And the Judge ruled in favor of Mulvaney. None of us are surprised. English will, most likely, appeal the ruling. In the meantime, Texas has filed a motion requesting leave to filing a Friend of the Court.

These red state AGs have very little else to do.

First Update:

The judge has asked all parties to appear in court today at 4PM Eastern regarding the motion for a temporary restraining order. We’ll most likely get resolution on the two leader issue at that time.

Earlier:

I have updates on the lawsuit over the temporary leadership of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Last night, a deputy Attorney General filed a legal motion opposing Leandra English’s request for a temporary restraining order. They did so quickly at the urging of the judge, newly installed, Trump-appointed Timothy Kelly.

The Judge is likely to rule today on the motion for the restraining order. Sadly, I don’t hold out a lot of hope that English will prevail.

OK, we’re disappointed. Now, let’s look at the silver lining.

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The Fight over the CFPB

The Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) resigned last week. Before he left, he appointed Leandra English as Deputy Director, recognizing “that appointing the current chief of staff to the deputy director position would minimize operational disruption and provide for a smooth transition given her operational expertise.”

Later that day, Trump appointed the White House budget director Mick Mulvaney as acting head of the CFPB until he could appoint a permanent director with Senate approval. Last night, English filed a lawsuit challenging the appointment, following up this morning with a request for a restraining order to prevent Mulvaney from stepping into the position.

Dueling legal arguments have been flying on Twitter and in the media about the transition. The White House claims the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (FVRA) applies to the appointment of an acting CFPB Director. This act enables the President to make the appointment.

English and those who support her state that it is the Dodd-Frank law that created the CFPB that has precedence in the appointment. A section of the law states that the deputy Directory shall “serve as acting Director in the absence or unavailability of the Director.”

When Congressional laws create a conflict, the newer law, and the more specific, takes precedence. The Dodd-Frank is both newer and more specific (related specifically to the CFPB rather than all agencies, generally). The White House argument is that the laws aren’t in conflict, they exist parallel to each other, which means that the deputy Director would be acting director only if the President doesn’t choose another.

I’m not a lawyer, but it only requires a modicum of logic and commonsense to realize that Trump’s hasty appointment of Mulvaney was ill-thought and will ultimately be counter-productive.

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