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.

Continue reading “The CFPB Leadership Fight and Silver Linings”

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.

Continue reading “The Fight over the CFPB”

Another excellent court resource: Justia

I was reminded of another valuable resource for accessing court documents: Justia. I’ve used the site many a time, and it’s helped me discover cases related to one entity or another more than once.

You can search for a court case for free at Justia, and once you’ve found the case, you can then directly access the PACER court documents from the returned result. Using Justia you can save on the dime-a-page query forms that PACER provides.

As an example, when I searched on “Front Range Equine Rescue” and New Mexico, I found the listing for the court case I’m currently following related to horse meat plants and USDA inspections that has been on fire with activity today. Yes, I still need to use PACER to access the docket and court cases, but I’ve saved from a dime to a dollar just finding the case.

Hey, every penny counts.

Brought to you by HTTPS

As you can see when you access this page, I’ve made the move to HTTPS. I detail the experience at my new technology-only site, Shelley’s Toy Box.

I upgraded my server before I made the move, and eliminated all the cruft. I also moved my DNS records over to my name registrar, rather than manage on the server.

All in all, the experience was challenging at times, but also interesting. It was fun tweaking with the tech, and I need to do more tech tweaking in the future.

One of the downsides to the move is removing my archived statically generated HTML pages. I now get, on average, over seven hundred 404 requests a day. The numbers will go down as I gradually add the older content into this site, and as search engines drop references to the missing pages. Still, I feel like one big link black hole right now.

The Wayback Machine is extremely helpful when it comes to recovering pages that, for whatever reason, I don’t have backups for. I even found a link to my earliest weblog, a Manila site, hosted by Dave Winer and Userland.  I was excited when I found the link. My reactions to the events of 9/11 were recorded in my Manila weblog, and I don’t have a backup of the old posts.

I could have dropkicked Dave Winer when I discovered all the pages have the same message:

Your crawler is hitting our servers too hard. Please slow down, it’s hurting the service we provide to our customers. Thanks. webmaster@userland.com.

Thankfully most of the pages for my many other sites and weblogs are intact. When I restore a page, I try to include a link to the Wayback Machine archive page, because the site also archived the comments.

Seriously, if you’re not donating to the Internet Archive, you should think about starting. It’s our history.

Google and the power we give in exchange for security

A couple of weeks ago,  I received an email from Google. It read:

Chrome will show security warnings on http://burningbird.net

To owner of http://burningbird.net,

Starting October 2017, Chrome (version 62) will show a “NOT SECURE” warning when users enter text in a form on an HTTP page, and for all HTTP pages in Incognito mode.

The following URLs on your site include text input fields (such as < input type=”text” > or < input type=”email” >) that will trigger the new Chrome warning. Review these examples to see where these warnings will appear, so that you can take action to help protect users’ data. This list is not exhaustive.

http://burningbird.net/tag/foia/

http://burningbird.net/tag/standards/

http://burningbird.net/tag/epub/

http://burningbird.net/

The new warning is part of a long term plan to mark all pages served over HTTP as “not secure”.

Here’s how to fix this problem:

Migrate to HTTPS
To prevent the “Not Secure” notification from appearing when Chrome users visit your site, only collect user input data on pages served using HTTPS.

Like many web sites, mine contain an input field that people can use to search through articles. It’s this search field that triggered the warning.

Continue reading “Google and the power we give in exchange for security”