An update on Mollie Tibbetts’ family …
Two days ago I wrote of Mollie Tibbetts’ murder, allegedly by a Latino who had been in this country for at least four years without legal immigration papers. I reported that Trump was shamelessly using Mollie’s death to promote his quest for funding for his wall and other border security proposals. The Tibbetts family, however, is not sitting still for that.
Mollie’s father, Rob Tibbetts, gave her eulogy on Sunday …
“The Hispanic community are Iowans. They have the same values as Iowans…. As far as I’m concerned, they’re Iowans with better food. The person best equipped to help us through this is Mollie. So let’s try to do what Mollie would do. Let’s say what Mollie would say.”
Another relative, Sandi Tibbetts Murphy, released an even stronger statement and placed the blame squarely where it belongs … male entitlement …
“Especially for those of you who did not know her in life, you do not get to usurp Mollie and her legacy for your racist, false narrative now that she is no longer with us. Yes, [Rivera] is an immigrant to this country, with uncertainty to his legal status. But it matters not. [Rivera] is a man who felt entitled to impose himself on Mollie’s life, without consequence. He is a man who, because of his sense of male entitlement, refused to allow Mollie the right to reject his advances — the right to her own autonomy. Mollie was murdered because a man denied her right to say no. Our national discussion needs to be about the violence committed in our society, mostly by men.”
I haven’t heard Trump mention Mollie Tibbetts for a couple of days now … without the support of the Tibbetts family, his plan to politicize Ms. Tibbetts’ death for his own ignoble purposes loses its legitimacy.
Bad news for those with student loans …
When Trump chose Mick Mulvaney to be Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), his choice reflected his ongoing policy of picking the worst possible candidate for the job. One of his first acts was to fire all 25 members of the CFPB’s advisory board. Then he refused to request funding for the CFPB. Earlier this year, for no apparent reason other than a whim, he changed the name and announced that the agency would go by the name “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection” (BCFP). Confused yet? I suspect that was the intent.
In May, Mulvaney ordered a dramatic restructuring of the agency, essentially ending the operations of its student lending office. Seth Frotman was the student loan ombudsman for the CFPB (I shall continue to call it by its original title, for I am too damn old to play these little acronym games). Mr. Frotman’s job was evaluating tens of thousands of student loan complaints, returning millions of dollars to borrowers, and assisting in lawsuits against for-profit colleges and student loan services. Mr. Frotman resigned his position yesterday, which I am quite certain did not disturb Mick Mulvaney nor Donald Trump, but it should greatly concern any of us who have or are likely to incur student loan debt. Mr. Frotman was the guard dog who ensured that students were not defrauded or saddled with unfair, unsubstantiated debt.
Mr. Frotman is not going quietly, however, and his letter of resignation makes clear the abuses by Mick Mulvaney. The letter is long, but you can read the entire thing by clicking on the link above. Here are a few excerpts:
“It is clear that current leadership of the bureau has abandoned its duty to fairly and robustly enforce the law. The current leadership of the Bureau has made its priorities clear—it will protect the misguided goals of the Trump administration to the detriment of student loan borrowers. By undermining the Bureau’s own authority to oversee the student loan market, the Bureau has failed borrowers who depend on independent oversight to halt bad practices and bring accountability to the student loan industry. You chose to leave students vulnerable to predatory practices and deny any responsibility to bring this information to light.”
The elimination of the student lending office means that students who are victims of unfair lending practices when borrowing to pay for their college education no longer have any protection, any recourse. It is the not-so-humble opinion of this writer that this is yet another way to help the rich get richer (many of Trump’s cronies are lenders) and the poor get poorer. It is also likely to keep some students from being able to go to college, which as I have mentioned before, I believe is part of this administration’s goal. A less educated society will fall for the lies, not see through the smoke and mirrors, and kneel in submission to their mighty king Trump.
A bit of good news … um … maybe
North Carolina has voted for a republican in 9 out of the last 10 elections, and Trump won the state by a 3.67% margin in 2016. I don’t know about you folks, but there is no doubt in my mind that most states’ district maps are gerrymandered, and south of the Mason-Dixon line, heavily drawn to favour the Republican Party. North Carolina is no exception.Yesterday, a federal court struck down North Carolina’s congressional map, calling it an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. Score one, right? Not so fast, Pancho! We are just ten weeks out from the November mid-terms. Remember that ol’ saying that “the wheels of justice turn slowly”?
This is the second time this case has come up this year. In June of this year, the case went to the Supreme Court, who vacated the decision, ordering the district court to retry the case. Which is what led to yesterday’s decision. A three-judge panel found that Republican state legislators had violated the First Amendment and the equal-protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when they drew congressional lines that favored their party. Ten of the state’s 13 House districts are held by Republicans, despite the state’s political competitiveness.
So, what happens next? The court will appoint a “special master” to draw a remedial map. Meanwhile, the court gave the North Carolina State Legislature three weeks, until September 17th, to propose their own “constitutionally compliant” map. The problem of time is obvious, but it is not the only issue.
North Carolina has already held its 2018 congressional primaries. Try to envision the utter chaos of candidates trying to figure out where their district is, what ground it covers, who their potential constituents are. And imagine the confusion on the part of the voters trying to figure out what district they are in, who their candidates are, and where the polling places are. Under the best possible scenario, this has to lead to mass confusion.
And to add one more plot twist, the case may well be appealed to the Supreme Court … again. Stay tuned for more fun and games, folks.
And thus concludes the bits ‘n pieces for this morning. Have a wonderful day!