SPLASH! Recap of February 4-5, 2017

Dive Into The News You May Have Missed

Photo Credit: Kiran Opal


Trump Uses Executive Orders To Repeal Wall Street Regulations

Business Insider – President Donald Trump is set to sign two executive orders on Friday that would roll back two major Wall Street regulations, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Trump will target the Dodd-Frank Act, which was written in the aftermath of the financial crisis to scale back risk-taking at the country’s largest financial institutions, as well as the fiduciary rule, which requires investment advisers to put client interests above their own when it comes to investment choices for retirement accounts, according to The Journal‘s Michael Bender and Damian Paletta.

Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs COO who is now the director of the White House National Economic Council, told The Journal that the executive orders would not immediately repeal the two regulations. Instead, Trump’s orders would direct the labor secretary to rescind the fiduciary standard and the Treasury secretary to devise a plan to replace Dodd-Frank.

The FBI is Building a National Watchlist

The Intercept – The FBI’s Rap back program is quietly transforming the way employers conduct background checks. While routine background checks provide employers with a one-time “snapshot” of their employee’s past criminal history, employers enrolled in federal and state Rap Back programs receive ongoing, real-time notifications and updates about their employees’ run-ins with law enforcement, including arrests at protests and charges that do not end up in convictions. (“Rap” is an acronym for Record of Arrest and Prosecution; ”Back” is short for background). Testifying before Congress about the program in 2015, FBI Director James Comey explained some limits of regular background checks: “People are clean when they first go in, then they get in trouble five years down the road [and] never tell the daycare about this.”

Conway cites ‘Bowling Green Massacre’ That Never Happened

The Washington Post – Kellyanne Conway has taken “alternative facts” to a new level.

During a Thursday interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the counselor to the president defended President Trump’s travel ban related to seven majority-Muslim countries. At one point, Conway made a reference to two Iraqi refugees whom she described as the masterminds behind “the Bowling Green massacre.”

“Most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered,” Conway said.

The Bowling Green massacre didn’t get covered because it didn’t happen. There has never been a terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Ky., carried out by Iraqi refugees or anyone else.

FCC Suspends Probes of Telecommunication Firms

The Hill – The Federal Communications Commission on Friday suspended its probes into whether thee major telecommunications companies violated net neutrality rules with their data plans.

The FCC’s wireless telecom bureau sent letters to AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile informing them that the probes were over.

The letters are a sign that the FCC is changing under new Chairman Ajit Pai, a Republican who has been a fierce critic of the rules, which generally prevent companies from charging higher prices for speedier net service.

“Through this letter, I am notifying your company that the [Telecommunications Bureau has closed this inquiry. Any conclusions, preliminary or otherwise, expressed during the course of the inquiry will have no legal or other meaning or effect going forward.” wrote acting FCC Telecommunications bureau chief Nese Guendelsberger.

The FCC also suspended several programs that aim to help low-income people gain access to the internet via subsidies, citing a desire to “eliminate fraud.”

Written by Pamela Getz

Writer and Activist. Follow Pamela on Twitter @goddesspamela.

Pamela Getz is Editor of International Affairs for Progressive Army and a member of its Editorial Board.

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As Trump Destroys, the Left Must Rebuild

SPLASH! Recap of February 4-5, 2017