Tuesday, September 20, 2016

After another police shooting, silence from Kaepernick's critics speaks volumes

After another police shooting, silence from Kaepernick's critics speaks volumes


On Sunday afternoon, Colin Kaepernick knelt for the national anthem before another game. On Monday, video went public of unarmed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher being shot to death by Tulsa police, as he walked beside his stalled car with his hands clearly raised.

Kaepernick responded to it on Twitter several times that day. His point was being made for him in the most horrific way, a graphic example of the police brutality against citizens of color he told America from Day One was the primary target of his protest.

As of Tuesday morning, his critics across the sports world the last three weeks had said of the Tulsa video … absolutely nothing.

MORE: Worst of the worst Colin Kaepernick takes 

Thunderous silence. Complete absence from the discussion. Utter disinterest in a full-color, blood-soaked illustration of the very issue they obstructed and deflected in their rush to condemn Kaepernick and his method of protest.

Trent Dilfer, who said Kaepernick's job as the second-stringer is "to be quiet?" So far, Dilfer is quiet.

Tony LaRussa, who "really question(s) the sincerity" of Kaepernick? Nothing.

Drew Brees, who declared that Kaepernick was free to protest, but actually was not free to protest? Nothing.

Tony Stewart, who said Kaepernick shouldn't "run his dumbass mouth" about the police? Nothing.

Jerry Rice, who tweeted "All Lives Matter" about Kaepernick's protest? Nothing.

Nothing from Michigan's Jim Harbaugh, who had backpedaled quickly from saying he didn't "respect the motivation." Nothing from Clemson's Dabo Swinney, who defended his position with one of the all-time manglings of Martin Luther King's mission.

Nothing from Jerry Jones, Jay Gruden, Ben McAdoo or Jeff Fisher, who were crystal-clear about how they expected their players to act as the anthem was being played, regardless of their individual feelings.

Nothing from Rodney Harrison and his opinions on Kaepernick's parentage. Nothing from Alex Boone, who said he "would have had a problem on the sideline" if he was still his teammate. Nothing from Joel Dreessen, who was ready to "stomp on his toes" to get him to stand.

Nothing from Paul Finebaum, who had to apologize for saying on-air that "this country is not oppressing black people." Nothing from Boomer Esiason, who called Kaepernick a "disgrace." 

Nothing from Ben Roethlisberger or Victor Cruz or Justin Pugh or Steve Weatherford.

SN EXCLUSIVE: Tommie Smith compares raised fists to flag protests

Of course, this was only as of mid-morning Tuesday. Millions across the nation had already been sickened and angered by Crutcher's killing and had made the hashtag #TerenceCrutcher trend. And, to be fair, Kaepernick's actions have hardly been confined to the sports world.

So … nothing on the latest video from Kate Upton, who called the protests on opening weekend "horrific.''

Nothing from Kid Rock, either. Nothing from Rob Lowe. Nothing from Dave Navarro. Nothing from James Woods. Nothing from Donald Trump.

And from Rep. Lee Zeldin, U.S. congressman from Long Island, who somehow linked Kaepernick to the terrorist bombings in New York and New Jersey?


Which is strange. Because many of them insisted that they understand the point Kaepernick was making, but …

But nothing.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Donald Trump used $20K worth of charitable donations to buy a 6' tall painting of Donald Trump

from http://boingboing.net/2016/09/12/donald-trump-used-20k-worth-o.html?

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The Donald J Trump Foundation raised a lot of other peoples' money and spent it on things that benefited Trump, while allowing the Republican presidential candidate to falsely claim to have made enormous, public spirited donations.

For example, in 2009/10, the Evans Foundation gave the Trump Foundation $150,000. In the same years, the Trump Foundation's total disbursements were $150,000. Trump took 150K from Evans, gave it away, and claimed that he had been a generous giver -- he even won an award for this act, and held the ceremony in his own ballroom, charging the charity a sizable sum to rent it out.

This isn't an exception. Analysis of the Trump Foundation's "giving" shows that Trump repeatedly raised money without contributing anything of his own, and then claimed the foundation's disbursements as evidence of his generosity. Trump's last contribution to his charity was in 2008 -- every other cent the Foundation spent was other peoples' money.

Not all of Trump's disbursements were to other charities. Sometimes, he buys gifts for himself, like a 6' tall portrait of Donald J Trump ($20,000). Other times, he makes illegal political contributions, like the $25,000 he gave to "a campaign group affiliated with Florida Attorney General Pamela Bondi (R)," for which he was fined by the IRS.

Trump's foundation appears to have repeatedly broken IRS rules, which require nonprofit groups to file accurate paperwork. In five cases, the Trump Foundation told the IRS that it had given a gift to a charity whose leaders told The Post that they had never received it. In two other cases, companies listed as donors to the Trump Foundation told The Post that those listings were incorrect...

...The Trump Foundation still gives out small, scattered gifts — which seem driven by the demands of Trump's businesses and social life, rather than by a desire to support charitable causes.

The foundation makes a few dozen donations a year, usually in amounts from $1,000 to $50,000. It gives to charities that rent Trump's ballrooms. It gives to charities whose leaders buttonholed Trump on the golf course (and then try, in vain, to get him to offer a repeat donation the next year).

How Donald Trump retooled his charity to spend other people's money [David A. Fahrenthold/Washington Post]

rest at http://boingboing.net/2016/09/12/donald-trump-used-20k-worth-o.html?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Jason Aldean Doesn’t Understand Why People Are Sensitive About Blackface

Jason Aldean Doesn't Understand Why People Are Sensitive About Blackface

Facebook co-founder goes all in with $20 million anti-Trump donation

Brooklyn Deli's 'Trump Sandwich' Is a Baloney Monstrosity

Brooklyn Deli's 'Trump Sandwich' Is a Baloney Monstrosity

Jon Voight: God Wants Trump To Be President So He Can 'Lift The Dark Cloud That Hovers Over Us Now'

Jon Voight: God Wants Trump To Be President So He Can 'Lift The Dark Cloud That Hovers Over Us Now'

After 9/11, Sen. Hillary Clinton was instrumental in getting treatment for Ground Zero rescuers

White nationalist who smeared MLK as ‘degenerate’: Trump is ‘what we need in a leader’

White nationalist who smeared MLK as 'degenerate': Trump is 'what we need in a leader'


Here's Ann Coulter Getting Savagely Slammed to Her Face For 8 Minutes

Here's Ann Coulter Getting Savagely Slammed to Her Face For 8 Minutes

Monday, September 5, 2016

Wells Fargo paid $3.6 Million for Illegal Student Loan Servicing Practices

Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today took action against Wells Fargo Bank for illegal private student loan servicing practices that increased costs and unfairly penalized certain student loan borrowers. The Bureau identified breakdowns throughout Wells Fargo's servicing process including failing to provide important payment information to consumers, charging consumers illegal fees, and failing to update inaccurate credit report information. The CFPB's order requires Wells Fargo to improve its consumer billing and student loan payment processing practices. The company must also provide $410,000 in relief to borrowers and pay a $3.6 million civil penalty to the CFPB.

"Wells Fargo hit borrowers with illegal fees and deprived others of critical information needed to effectively manage their student loan accounts," said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. "Consumers should be able to rely on their servicer to process and credit payments correctly and to provide accurate and timely information and we will continue our work to improve the student loan servicing market."

The CFPB's order can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/2016-CFPB-0013Wells_Fargo_Bank_N.A.--_Consent_Order.pdf

Wells Fargo is a national bank headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D. Education Financial Services is a division of Wells Fargo that is responsible for the bank's student lending operations. Education Financial Services both originates and services private student loans, and currently serves approximately 1.3 million consumers in all 50 states.

Student loans make up the nation's second largest consumer debt market. Today there are more than 40 million federal and private student loan borrowers and collectively these consumers owe roughly $1.3 trillion. Last year, the CFPB found that more than 8 million borrowers are in default on more than $110 billion in student loans, a problem that may be driven by breakdowns in student loan servicing. Private student loans comprise approximately $100 billion of all outstanding student loans. While private student loans are a small portion of the overall market, the Bureau found that they are generally used by borrowers with high levels of debt who also have federal loans.

According to the CFPB's order, Wells Fargo failed to provide the level of student loan servicing that borrowers are entitled to under the law. Because of the breakdowns throughout Wells Fargo's servicing process, thousands of student loan borrowers encountered problems with their loans or received misinformation about their payment options. The CFPB found that the company violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's prohibitions against unfair and deceptive acts and practices, as well as the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Specifically, the CFPB found that the company:

  • Impaired consumers' ability to minimize costs and fees: Wells Fargo processed payments in a way that maximized fees for many consumers. Specifically, if a borrower made a payment that was not enough to cover the total amount due for all loans in an account, the bank divided that payment across the loans in a way that maximized late fees rather than satisfying payments for some of the loans. The bank failed to adequately disclose to consumers how it allocated payments across multiple loans, and that consumers have the ability to provide instructions for how to allocate payments to the loans in their account. As a result, consumers were unable to effectively manage their student loan accounts and minimize costs and fees.
  • Misrepresented the value of making partial payments: Wells Fargo's billing statements made misrepresentations to borrowers that could have led to an increase in the cost of the loan. The bank incorrectly told borrowers that paying less than the full amount due in a billing cycle would not satisfy any obligation on an account. In reality, for accounts with multiple loans, partial payments may satisfy at least one loan payment in an account. This misinformation could have deterred borrowers from making partial payments that would have satisfied at least one of the loans in their account, allowing them to avoid certain late fees or delinquency. 
  • Charged illegal late fees: Wells Fargo illegally charged certain consumers late fees even though the consumers had made timely payments. Specifically, the bank charged illegal late fees to certain consumers who made payments on the last day of their grace periods. It also charged illegal late fees to certain students who elected to pay their monthly amount due through multiple partial payments instead of one single payment.
  • Failed to update and correct inaccurate information reported to credit reporting companies: Wells Fargo failed to update and correct inaccurate, negative information reported to credit reporting companies about certain borrowers who made partial payments or overpayments. These errors could damage a consumer's ability to access credit or make borrowing more expensive. 

Enforcement Action

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, the CFPB has the authority to take action against institutions engaging in unfair or deceptive practices. Among the terms of the consent order filed today, Wells Fargo must:

  • Pay $410,000 in consumer refunds: Wells Fargo must provide at least $410,000 to compensate consumers for illegal late fees. This includes refunding illegal fees due to the bank's failure to disclose its payment allocation practices across multiple loans within a borrower's account as well as the bank's failure to inform consumers that they could instruct the bank to allocate payments in a different way. This also includes refunding illegal fees charged because of the bank's failure to combine partial payments made in the same billing cycle, and fees improperly charged when borrowers made a payment on the last day of the grace period.  
  • Improve student loan servicing practices: Wells Fargo must allocate partial payments made by a borrower in a manner that satisfies the amount due for as many of the loans as possible, unless the borrower directs otherwise. This can help reduce the number of delinquent loans in an account as well as the number of late fees. Last month, the Department of Education, in consultation with the CFPB, released new policy guidance calling for federal student loan servicers to implement a similar standard for handling partial payments.
  • Improve consumer billing disclosures: Wells Fargo must provide consumers with enhanced disclosures with their billing statements. The disclosures must explain how the bank applies and allocates payments and how borrowers can direct payments to any of the loans in their student loan account.
  • Correct errors on credit reports: Wells Fargo must remove any negative student loan information that has been inaccurately or incompletely provided to a consumer reporting company.
  • Pay $3.6 million civil penalty: Wells Fargo will pay $3.6 million to the CFPB's Civil Penalty Fund.

The consent order can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/documents/2016-CFPB-0013Wells_Fargo_Bank_N.A.--_Consent_Order.pdf

This order comes as the Bureau takes steps to ensure that all student loan borrowers have access to adequate student loan servicing. Last year, the Bureau released a report outlining widespread servicing failures reported by both federal and private student loan borrowers and published a framework for student loan servicing reforms. As part of this work, the Bureau has continually raised concerns around, as well as taken enforcement and supervisory actions against, illegal student loan servicing practices related to the handling of partial payments. Building on this, earlier this year, the Bureau called for market-wide reforms and announced that it was prioritizing taking action against companies that engage in illegal servicing practices. Today's action is an important part of this ongoing work.

Students and their families can find help on how to tackle their student debt on the CFPB's website


The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit consumerfinance.gov

rest at http://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/newsroom/cfpb-takes-action-against-wells-fargo-illegal-student-loan-servicing-practices/

Amazon exits scammy student loan biz partnership with Wells Fargo

"Consumer advocates quickly assailed the partnership between the two companies after it was announced in July. Pauline Abernathy, a former official in Bill Clinton's White House who now works for the Institute for College Access & Success, described the arrangement as "the kind of misleading private loan marketing that was rampant before the financial crisis." She said both companies buried the otherwise high costs and inflexible repayment terms that she said are standard in private student loans and that the deal was a "cynical attempt to dupe current students."

Undergraduate students can borrow from the feds at a 3.76 percent interest rate, a loan that effectively acts as an entitlement thanks to virtually no underwriting requirements. But the government caps student borrowing, leaving many to rely on private student loans to fill the gap between college costs and federal loan limits. A review of Wells Fargo's website shows student loans that carry interest rates as high as 10.93 percent.

"We congratulate Amazon for deciding to stop promoting Wells Fargo's costly private education loans. Private loans are one of the riskiest ways to pay for college," Abernathy said Wednesday."

rest at http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-31/amazon-and-wells-fargo-terminate-student-loan-partnership