While You Weren’t Looking, Trump Basically Killed Dodd-Frank
HuffPo – As the nation’s capital has been consumed by the frothing chaos of President Donald Trump’s administration — botched Muslim bans, sudden personnel changes and the chief executive’s erratic behavior — a steady current of traditional right-wing orthodoxy is sweeping through the federal government. Whatever happens with Russia or the FBI, this tide is washing away former President Barack Obama’s second-greatest legislative achievement: Wall Street reform. And it’s all happening while you’re paying attention to something else.
Trump campaigned on conflicting promises about big banks. One minute, he was going to stick it to the corrupt financial insiders who had wrecked the middle class. The next, he’d vow to liberate our benevolent princes of capital from crushing regulations Obama had cruelly imposed.
Some of Trump’s populist rhetoric followed him into office. But the actual governing has been pure deregulation. Last week, a council of top regulators quietly met to discuss the future of the Volcker rule ― the most important structural change Obama established for the financial system. A few days later, a freshly installed Trump official went further, threatening to defang the rule “unilaterally” by “reinterpreting” its entire purpose.
South Korea Fires at Suspected Drone at Border With North Amid Missile Crisis
Reuters – South Korea’s military fired warning shots at a suspected drone from North Korea on Tuesday amid tension over Pyongyang’s latest missile test which drew international condemnation and a warning from China.
The identity of the object remained unclear, the military said, but Yonhap news agency said it was possibly a drone, more than 90 shots were fired in return and it disappeared from radar screens.
The incursion came with tension already high on the Korean peninsula after the North’s test-launch of a ballistic missile test on Sunday which Pyongyang said proved advances in its pursuit of building a nuclear-tipped weapon that can hit U.S. targets.
The United States has been trying to persuade China, North Korea’s lone major ally, to do more to rein in North Korea, which has conducted dozens of missile launches and tested two nuclear bombs since the start of last year, in defiance of U.N. Security Council sanctions and resolutions.
Two Men Caned 83 Times in Indonesia For Homosexual Sex
CNN – Two men were caned 83 times Tuesday as a punishment for having homosexual sex in Indonesia’s ultra-conservative Aceh province.
Hundreds of people turned out to see the public punishment, held at a mosque in Banda Aceh, the capital of Aceh province, filming the caning on their phone cameras. It is very rare, even in Aceh, which follows strict Islamic law, for two men to be caned for having sexual relations.
The men, aged 20 and 23, were arrested in March by vigilantes. Neighbors had barged into an apartment with the men and filmed them naked with camera phones, according to rights groups.
The videos were shared widely in local media.
They were subsequently found guilty of violating Aceh’s strict Islamic laws and were sentenced to 85 lashes.
India Hits Terrorists Across Line of Control With Pakistan
Bloomberg – India has hit army posts in a Pakistan-controlled part of Kashmir that were providing cover for militants planning attacks, an Indian Army spokesman said.
“The operation was conducted very recently,” Ashok Narula told reporters in New Delhi. The strikes took place in the Nowshera sector, he added.
Pakistan denied the military action took place. “Indian claims of destroying Pakistani post along LoC” are false, Pakistan military spokesman Asif Ghafoor said in a tweet.
The military action is likely to further raise tension between the nuclear-armed, South Asian neighbors. It comes roughly three weeks after New Delhi blamed Pakistani military personnel for killing and mutilating Indian soldiers in the disputed region of Kashmir, which is claimed in full and ruled in part by both countries.
Eric Garcetti Isn’t Running For President (wink, wink)
POLITICO – Joe Biden’s already been to New Hampshire. Bernie Sanders will be in Iowa in July.
Eric Garcetti is headed to Wisconsin.
The Los Angeles mayor and his staff like to say his trip to the state Hillary Clinton famously forgot to pay attention to last year—he’ll keynote the state Democratic convention June 2—is because the state party finance director is a friend who used to fundraise for him, or that he was just such a hit when he spoke to the Wisconsin delegation during the Democratic convention last year that they invited him for more.
Or, crazy as it may seem right now, it’s exactly what you think.
Running for president without being a statewide elected official first, and the mayor of L.A. to boot, goes the thinking in his orbit, isn’t the kind of liability it used to be—have people not noticed that Donald Trump is the president, that Emanuel Macron just won in France as a first-time 39-year-old candidate?
“I’m not focused on running for president,” was how he tried, briefly, to deflect when I asked him if he’s looking at the 2020 race, in an interview for POLITICO’s Off Message podcast.