Biz groups fracture after Dodd-Frank rollback | TheHill


The financial industry coalition that helped roll back the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms is fracturing.

Lobbyists for banks and credit unions are turning on each other, rekindling fights that have long divided them.

It’s a swift turn after years that saw financial services trade groups largely united in pushing for regulatory relief.

Source: Biz groups fracture after Dodd-Frank rollback | TheHill

EU approves controversial copyright laws | TheHill


The Copyright Directive is a proposal meant to protect works for its creators.

A number of large technology companies vigorously oppose the measures, but Europe’s largest news agencies have called for the law to pass, saying that companies like Google and Facebook have hurt their ad revenues.

Critics argue that the measures are bad for businesses.

“It’s bad for creators, for entrepreneurs and for innovators,” Google’s chief business officer, Philipp Schindler, said of the vote, according to Reuters.

The Copyright Directive was previously rejected by members of the European Parliament in the wake of backlash against two of its components: the “link tax” and the “upload filter.”

Source: EU approves controversial copyright laws | TheHill

Trump and the Russian mob: why the relationship is deeper than you think | Vox


Longtime journalist Craig Unger opens his new book, House of Trump, House of Putin, with this anecdote.

The book is an impressive attempt to gather up all the evidence we have of Trump’s numerous connections to the Russian mafia and government and lay it all out in a clear, comprehensive narrative.

The book claims to unpack an “untold story,” but it’s not entirely clear how much of it is new. One of the hardest things to accept about the Trump-Russia saga is how transparent it is. So much of the evidence is hiding in plain sight, and somehow that has made it harder to accept.

Source: Trump and the Russian mob: why the relationship is deeper than you think – Vox

Congress Begins Formally Blocking Trump’s Government Reorganization Plan | GovExec.com


.. Lawmakers also blocked a proposal from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board to reorganize itself, including by slashing its headquarters staff by 46 percent.

The conferees specifically prohibited that plan unless it is authorized by law. The proposal was not included in Trump’s reorganization, however, and it was announced by the board’s acting chairman, Bruce Hamilton, who was appointed by President Obama.

Source: Congress Begins Formally Blocking Trump’s Government Reorganization Plan – Management – GovExec.com

JPMorgan is investing $500 million in reviving US cities | Quartz


The bank is taking applications from cities until November and will announce the winning cities by the middle of next year. In that, JPMorgan follows in the footsteps of Amazon, which turned location-hunting for its second US headquarters into something more akin to America’s Next Top Model, forcing US cities to bid against each other to land the $5 billion complex.

If you’re wondering why US governments—city, state, or federal—aren’t taking care of this stuff, good question …

Source: JPMorgan is investing $500 million in reviving US cities — Quartz

How the Trump Administration Is Quietly Trying to Reduce Legal Immigration | Pacific Standard


USCIS spokesman Michael Bars said the policy was changed to cut down on frivolous applications. The agency has said applicants sometimes file substantially incomplete placeholder applications, knowing the back-and-forth with the USCIS will buy them time. “Under the law, the burden of proof is on the applicant,” Bars said, “not the other way around.”

But immigration lawyers worry that there is not enough oversight or clear standards to ensure fair handling. USCIS officers will now have near-complete discretion to make complex judgments behind closed doors.

Source: How the Trump Administration Is Quietly Trying to Reduce Legal Immigration – Pacific Standard

A New Website Shows Nearly Half of E.U. Clinical Trial Data Isn’t Publicly Disclosed | Pacific Standard


“We do clinical trials to find out which treatments work best,” says Ben Goldacre, a researcher who crunches medical data sets at the University of Oxford. He previously worked as a psychiatrist, hence the “we.” “We cannot make informed choices with our patients, as doctors, unless we have the results of all the clinical trials that have been conducted on all of the treatments that we use.”

At issue is a law in the U.S., and a non-legally binding piece of “guidance” in the E.U., that say organizations that run clinical trials must post their results publicly after a certain time frame. In the U.S., the data is supposed to go to ClinicalTrials.gov.

In the E.U., it’s ClinicalTrialsRegister.eu.

The rules are meant to make it easier for doctors and researchers all over the world to look up data about how well drugs work.

Source: A New Website Shows Nearly Half of E.U. Clinical Trial Data Isn’t Publicly Disclosed – Pacific Standard

The Limits of Solidarity at the Global Climate Action Summit | Pacific Standard


The problem is that the people marching outside the summit are furious with the people inside it, and most of the people inside don’t seem to understand fully why.

Any international climate summit is inherently about solidarity, or at least about sharing: Leaders from politics and business talk about sharing technologies and making investments across borders while issuing broadly acceptable statements about a common plight—”Emissions know no borders”; “Many solutions, one Earth.”

These can sound funny coming from people in $2,000 suits, like hearing a Dr. Bronner’s label read aloud by someone who would never consider using the product, but often they are deeply sincere. It’s illuminating this year to hear so many big-city American mayors speaking with intelligence, sometimes even nuance, about environmental justice.

Source: The Limits of Solidarity at the Global Climate Action Summit – Pacific Standard

The Exceptional State | Pacific Standard


The two-time governor of California whose four terms were separated by three decades of wandering and other service knows what humility is about.

Brown gave up the habit on the road to being a priest, took a detour into a beautiful, rocky path called Linda Ronstadt, sang for his supper in two quixotic, losing tries at the American presidency, took a far less important but more demanding job of being mayor of industrial, multiethnic Oakland (hard to dodge constituents who are in your face if not honking at you on the highway).

Tagged once by the label “Governor Moonbeam,” and now, after a highly successful fourth term that balanced California’s budget (from a $25 billion deficit in 2010 to a $7 to $10 billion surplus in 2018), shepherded the state into an economic powerhouse (the sixth largest economy in the world, if it were a nation), and achieved a sort of spiritual presidency of the environment and immigration, if not an actual one, Brown is staring down the tunnel of the end of his political career.

Where is he retiring? Mar-a-Lago? Palm Springs?

Source: The Exceptional State – Pacific Standard

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President’s threat against DOJ attorney could have deep consequences for Justice | TheHill


When I began what would turn into a 25-year career at DOJ, I, like all federal prosecutors, had to go through a lengthy security clearance investigation. Without a security clearance, a DOJ attorney is pretty much limited to planning the office Christmas party.

Imagine then, how much pressure can be brought to bear on someone working at DOJ if he is threatened with losing the one thing he needs to keep his job.

If the president revokes Bruce Ohr’s security clearance, Ohr’s done.

At some point, he would either be fired because he cannot perform his job or he would leave on his own accord because selecting new paint and carpet, as the chairman of DOJ’s redecorating committee, is not sufficiently fulfilling for an attorney who is trained to investigate and lead criminal prosecutions.

And, if this comes to pass, the man who made his name by sitting at the head of a reality TV table will have effectively discharged a longtime DOJ employee without uttering the two words for which he is most famous.

Source: President’s threat against DOJ attorney could have deep consequences for Justice | TheHill