Friday afternoon, DJT began the process that will release the financial industry from the “fiduciary rule.” This was done, or will be done, at the expense of consumers. Trump ordered the Department of Labor to explore overturning—or at least weakening—a dull-sounding fiduciary rule the Obama administration had put in place. Mother Jones News reports:
It’s an intuitive concept, but it’s one that hasn’t always been practiced by the industry. President Barack Obama’s Labor Department spent six years writing the details of how exactly the fiduciary rule would work, publishing a finalized version last year. The department estimated that retirement accounts across the country lost a total of $17 billion per year due to investment advice that clearly isn’t in the consumer’s interest. Earlier Friday, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren released a report detailing the rampant kickbacks that financial advisers receive when they recommend certain financial products to their clients. “It’s far too easy for an adviser to sell just one more annuity, regardless of whether it is a prudent choice for the investor, when a free vacation or an international cruise is waiting for him on the other side of the sale,” the report says. “These conflicts can result in devastating consequences for retirees.”
During Bill O’Reilly’s interview with DJT, the president said he has “respect” for Russian President Vladimir Putin, but that respect does not mean they’ll get along.
In an interview set to air this coming week, O’Reilly asks Trump why he respects Putin — a former KGB officer who is known to have had his enemies killed. The response was
“I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not. And if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world — that’s a good thing,” said Trump. “Will I get along with him? I have no idea.”
Pressed about Putin’s history of violence, Trump said: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think? Our country’s so innocent?
Fox News reports the President made it clear Saturday that the White House will fight a recent judge’s ruling that effectively stops his immigration ban.
A federal judge in Seattle late Friday imposed a nationwide hold on Trump’s temporary ban on travelers and immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries. “The Constitution prevailed today,” Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said in a press release. “No one is above the law — not even the President.”
“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!,” Trump tweeted Saturday morning.
U.S. District Judge James Robart, a George W. Bush apointee, ruled that Washington state and Minnesota had standing to challenge Trump’s executive order on immigration. So he issued the temporary, nationwide restraining order based on his opinion that the states showed their case is likely to succeed.
Trump issued the temporary ban following his winning campaign promise to further protect Americans from radical Islamic terrorism.
“When a country is no longer able to say who can, and who cannot, come in & out, especially for reasons of safety & security — big trouble!” Trump said in two other tweets Saturday. “Interesting that certain Middle Eastern countries agree with the ban. They know if certain people are allowed in its death & destruction!”
One of Congress’ very first acts will be to overturn an obscure Obama-era regulation that restricts coal companies from dumping mining waste into streams and waterways. Vox, is reporting the following:
But that is indeed what’s going on. On Thursday, the Senate voted 54-45 to repeal the so-called “stream protection rule” — using a regulation-killing tool known as the Congressional Review Act. The House took a similar vote yesterday, and if President Trump agrees, the stream protection rule will be dead. Coal companies will have a freer hand in dumping mining debris in streams.
Killing this regulation won’t really fulfill Trump’s goal of reversing the coal industry’s decline; that decline has more to do with cheap natural gas than anything else. Instead, Republicans are mostly focusing on this rule because they can. Because the stream protection rule wasn’t finished until very late in 2016, it’s much, much easier to kill than most of the other Obama-era rules around coal pollution. It was a ready target, so long as the GOP acted fast.
What Obama’s “stream protection rule” actually does
Coal mining is a messy business. In parts of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia, mining companies often get at underground coal seams by blowing up the tops of mountains — a process known as mountaintop removal mining. Once that’s done, they’ll frequently dump the debris into the valleys below, which can contaminate streams and waterways with toxic heavy metals.
Appalachian Voices, an environmental group, estimates that coal companies have buried over 2,000 miles of streams in the region through mountaintop removal mining since the 1990s. And there’s growing evidence that when mining debris and waste gets into water supplies, it can have dire health impacts for the people and mostly rural communities living nearby.