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Weekly Primer: Who Cares About Protecting Service Members From Financial Fraud, Anyways?

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August 16, 2018 6:21 p.m.

Work in the White House? Take a discount at Trump’s golf club.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, just weeks after proposing to kneecap the Obama administration’s borrower defense rule, now seeks to erase punishments for for-profit colleges that weight students down with debt. A department spokesperson joined the list of Trump administration press representatives to get unnecessarily and unusually personal.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s interim director, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, thinks members of the military don’t really need the CFPB to proactively guard against financial fraud.

The President can whine all he wants about Amazon, it’s still getting billions from the federal government for rented server space. The Pentagon is shopping around for a new vault for its virtual information. It just so happens that its request for proposals “contains a host of technical stipulations that only Amazon can meet.”

“Environmental terrorist groups” are to blame for California’s historic forest fires, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says. Humans are certainly to blame for the unprecedented intensity of this year’s fires, but not how Zinke means.

The EPA has a new proposal on the way to replace one of the Obama administration’s crowning environmental achievements, the Clean Power Plan. Essentially, they’ll tell coal power plants: Do whatever.

Read E&E News’ thoroughly-reported tale of the Trump administration checking off an endangered coal plant’s regulatory wish list, item-by-item.

Vanity Fair picked apart Stephen Miller’s shadow-darkened anti-immigration effort, while Miller’s uncle called him out for quarterbacking policies that would have condemned Miller’s own Yiddish-speaking great grandparents to religious persecution.

As expected, after the announcement of a recent change of sorts in its procedures, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services is collaborating with Immigration and Customs Enforcement and is now acting more like a law enforcement agency than ever.

The National Park Service said Thursday it was a “misstep” to refuse access to the Statue of Liberty to a couple wearing “Abolish ICE” t-shirts.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was, in a meticulously-researched report, accused of criminal conflict of interest by a watchdog group. If you’re a true Trump Swamp fan, read the whole complaint and let me know what you think.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders just made some stuff up Tuesday when she asserted that former President Obama created three times fewer African-American-held jobs in all his eight years than Trump has in 18 months. In reality, she was comparing two totally different sets of data, and, even in her sorry-not-sorry correction, blamed Obama for three months of George W. Bush job losses.

But anyway: Obama began his presidency at the height of a historic recession. And the bigger picture: Presidents can’t be directly credited (or blamed) for jobs numbers, and they especially can’t be considered to have “created” jobs “for African Americans,” as Sanders said. And the bigger picture still: Sanders brought all this up in the first place to change the topic when asked if the President had used a racial slur. The exhausting and shameless bad faith is itself corrupt and improper.

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