“I Quit”

Principled people who can do so are fleeing the Trump Administration. Those who cannot afford to take the moral high ground–the government workers with mortgages to pay and children to educate–are valiantly trying to hold their agencies accountable to the rule of law.

Talking Points Memo, among others, has reported on the departure of one who just left: the top watchdog overseeing student loans.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s “Student Loan Ombudsman,” responsible for guarding student borrowers against predatory lenders and scammers, has resigned in a scathing letter aimed at acting CFPB director Mick Mulvaney.

“Unfortunately, under your leadership, the Bureau has abandoned the very consumers it is tasked by Congress with protecting,” Seth Frotman’s resignation letter, obtained by NPR, read. “Instead, you have used the Bureau to serve the wishes of the most powerful financial companies in America.”

Not exactly surprising, in an administration where up is down, failure is success, accurate reporting is “fake news,” and corrupt practices are touted as “good business.”

Frotman’s job was to monitor and review of thousands of complaints from student borrowers. The Obama administration had introduced a number of regulations intended to protect those student borrowers against fraudulent practices; according to Frotman, Mulvaney and Betsy DeVos have worked “diligently” to eliminate those protections.

Frotman’s letter pointed to specific wrongdoing by Mulvaney, NPR reported, including the alleged suppression of a report from his office revealing that big banks were “saddling [students] with legally dubious account fees.”

In May, NPR noted, Mulvaney called for Frotman’s office to be incorporated into the Office of Financial Education, effectively proposing to remove Frotman’s office from direct enforcement actions and shifting it to an educational role.

Regarding another change — the Department of Education’s announcement last year that it would no longer share federal student loan oversight data with the CFPB — Frotman wrote: “The Bureau’s current leadership folded to political pressure… and failed borrowers who depend on independent oversight to halt bad practices.”

NPR has posted a copy of Frotman’s letter here.

My husband often reminds me that–while Americans are distracted by our demented President’s tweets, rages and sundry other embarrassing and destructive behaviors–his administration is busily dismantling the structures of accountable and legitimate governance–stacking the federal courts with right-wing ideologues, eliminating regulations protecting air and water quality, bleeding public schools of the resources needed to educate the country’s children, empowering theocrats, and weakening the rules that restrain the rich and powerful.

Even if November brings the hoped-for “blue wave,” and installs a Congress that takes its oversight responsibilities seriously, it will take years to restore both the rule of law and the American people’s ability to trust that their government is operating on their behalf.

33 thoughts on ““I Quit”

  1. There are just 2 months left to convince our relatives and acquaintances to put checks in place to restore some balance in government. PLEASE READERS, register to vote, contact others to register and vote Democratic for U.S. Senators and Representatives. The future of individuals, our nation, our environment, the international balance of powers, and our planet itself depends on it.

  2. If it is proven that this president was/is a Soviet Asset, if he is impeached, if he is jailed, does the nation have to retain his judges? Do we need to accept lifetime employees put in place by a Soviet Asset? Seems like we could / should get rid of them if that is who he turns out to be. And I think that IS who he will turn out to be. Vladimir is appointing our judges. Seems very wrong to me.

  3. Sorry Sheila, but your hubby is a little late to the game. Corporate donors have been stacking the rules against workers and Americans for the past 30+ years. It’s why the rich and have gotten richer and the poor have gotten poorer.

    No unions equal no middle class. Both parties have participated in Neoliberalism since Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher.

    Brexit and Trump are products of this three-decade assault against the collective.

    Who passed the laws saying students couldn’t discharge student loans by filing bankruptcy?

    Who passed laws saying elderly students with student loans will receive garnishments against their SSI checks for student loans unpaid?

    Who was bailed out and made whole on peddling junk investments to pension investors all around the world?

    Who didn’t go to jail for peddling toxic investments collapsing the world’s economy?

    Who didn’t go to jail for accepting and cleaning drug cartel monies?

    #Banksters

    #TooBigToFail

    #TooBigToJail

    Who wrote these laws for banksters?

    Our congressional men and women received already written laws by attornies for the banking industry with a campaign check paper clipped at the top. Please and thank you.

    It has NOTHING to do with Trump. It has everything to do with unfettered free market capitalism where corporations have been given the rights of free speech versus being regulated by our government.

    Capitalism leads to corruption unless there is a strong government regulating its every move. The power given to the government leads to corruption unless there is a strong free press holding the government accountable.

    These checks and balances are essential. Without them (which we’ve basically had for three decades) will cause extreme harm to the collective via Fascism, or the unification of the private sector and government with a media acting as a public relations/marketing department.

    Welcome to USA, Inc., brought to you since the 1980’s.

  4. “Those who cannot afford to take the moral high ground–the government workers with mortgages to pay and children to educate–are valiantly trying to hold their agencies accountable to the rule of law.”

    Those words are a fully accurate description of my position, and that of a few other dedicated City workers, in the Goldsmith administration here in Indianapolis in the early 1990’s. Those words are why I have wondered about those trapped by economics and circumstance in the Trump administration, beginning with the “transition” which began in the Goldsmith administration with the order to dump all files and paperwork from the Hudnut administration. Large wheeled trash bins were wheeled into all offices to carry out his order. What has Trump, et al, done with any and all documents from previous presidential administrations? Are those who remain, dedicated to doing the full extent of their jobs in deplorable conditions, unable to escape due to the unearned “not to be trusted” reputation of working in and for the current White House?

    “The Obama administration had introduced a number of regulations intended to protect those student borrowers against fraudulent practices; according to Frotman, Mulvaney and Betsy DeVos have worked “diligently” to eliminate those protections.”

    Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders; today’s leaders are fraudulent, lacking morals and decency, working only to protect their positions of power and their increasing wealth as the majority of Americans of all ages founder in the spreading mire of the nation’s capital swamp.

    Yesterday Monotonous aptly quoted a few lines from Yeat’s “The Second Coming”. I will move to the end of that sadly beautiful piece of poetry:

    “And what harsh beast, it’s time at last come round;
    Slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”

    “The Second Coming” was written after WWI ended; are those words warning of an impending WWIII? Is Trump that “harsh beast” we have allowed to “slouch toward” our own “Bethlehem” to be born? Trump’s slouching has been documented in the media for 40 years but we missed his “coming”. Is his arbitrary move of the capital of Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem a religious, a political or a business opportunity for new development act and how far reaching will the results of that action be IF or WHEN he is gone from the White House? Will there be enough educated students to accomplish the “undoing” of this criminal administration if our education system is turned into the “God’s Kingdom” planned by Trump, Pence and DeVos?

    “Even if November brings the hoped-for “blue wave,” and installs a Congress that takes its oversight responsibilities seriously, it will take years to restore both the rule of law and the American people’s ability to trust that their government is operating on their behalf.”

    Sheila’s words today are harsh but necessary; so are those of Nancy Papas…and Monotonous and Yeats.

  5. “Voting isn’t enough; ”

    Marv; dammit…voting on November 6th is all we have to work toward at this time and we are working in the only ways we can, then it will be our only action unless and until we can change the numbers in both houses of Congress. You keep saying we are doing nothing but offer few, if any, viable recommendations in addition to what we say we have done and are doing; not accepting our actions as acceptable “work”, you say voting isn’t enough but tell us to Vote Blue.

    You and Todd of “Muncie Voice”, a small Indiana town with big city problems, often undermine our belief we are accomplishing anything, including Sheila’s words from a position of knowledge. We need cheerleaders now as Trump escalates all negative action and words and we edge closer to losing more rights and him making that decision to press that big, working red button on his desk…which will be the only way he knows how to say “I Quit!”

  6. Todd,

    Your posting today is absolutely spot on. In my book, “Killing the Dream: America’s Flirtation with Third World Status”, this situation is detailed event by event. Neoliberalism, aka “trickle-down” economics, aka “Supply-side Economics” is the bane of capitalism. You called it correctly.

    In Chris Hedges’ disturbing book, “The Death of the Liberal Class”, he discussed how those Viet Nam war protesters and JFK and LBJ liberals shut up after the war, cut their hair and went to work in the Dilbert cubicles of finance. Thus the voice of protest was silenced as these people built up debt and responsibility to their own families.

    This attack on education by the Trump administration is probably not fostered by Putin, but is part of the neo-liberal agenda of destroying public services for the sake of profit for the few. Naomi Klein’s astounding book, “Shock Doctrine”, illustrates how the Milton Friedman initiative (He “won” a Nobel Prize in economics for this fetid disaster.) works to destroy nations and societies on a grand scale. Republicanism continues to embrace this folly because they are the wholly owned subsidiaries of corporate/banking America – thanks to Citizens United for removing any restraints for that takeover.

    Screwing the poor has been part of Republicanism since Lincoln was shot. It will never change, but they can be removed from doing additional harm while thinking people once again have to use pooper scoopers to clean up the mess the “elephant” has left behind.

  7. Voting blue is only the first step in a long journey to take back civilization. We have to take that step, but then we have to remain engaged. Put your Congressman’s phone number on speed dial and let him know as often as possible what you expect. Work to get better candidates in place. We shouldn’t have to hold our noses while we vote for someone. Volunteer.

    VOTE BLUE!

  8. JoAnn,

    “Marv; dammit…voting on November 6th is all we have to work toward at this time and we are working in the only ways we can, then it will be our only action unless and until we can change the numbers in both houses of Congress.”

    “You and Todd of “Muncie Voice”, a small Indiana town with big city problems, often undermine our belief we are accomplishing anything, including Sheila’s words from a position of knowledge”

    Sheila’s terrific, but she is not G-d. And neither are you.

  9. Vernon,

    “Thus the voice of protest was silenced as these people built up debt and responsibility to their own families.”

    You’ve pointed out problem #1. The lack of a will to fight, and courage to stand-up for their rights. ALL TALK AND NOTHING MORE.

    So let’s attack Todd, who has the courage to speak out.

  10. What else do you want us to do? Actively supporting candidates, going door-to-door, encouraging people to register and vote, voting ourselves for candidates we support. Riots and violence are an option for some. We see the militarization of law enforcement as a response, the 350 million guns within a small segment of the society, the threats to use those weapons to get their way. We fought a Civil War that killed hundreds of thousands. It got some of us a brief reprieve, POC and minorities, not so much. VOTING is our weapon. We need to use it.

  11. JD,

    “What else do you want us to do? Actively supporting candidates, going door-to-door, encouraging people to register and vote, voting ourselves for candidates we support.”

    If the so-called leaders of the Democratic Party, like Chuck Shumer, are afraid to speak out and lead, then there has to be a voice or voices to overcome that deficiency. No one said it had to be you.

  12. I happen to agree with Todd. “The take over of the American Political System has been decades in the making. Both parties have participated in Neoliberalism since Ronald Reagan and Maggie Thatcher.”

    The 1% and the large Corporations are an Equal Opportunity buyer of politicians no matter if it is a D or R behind their name. The Clinton Family Speaking Fees would validate this. See the list here: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-08-03/every-hillary-and-bill-clinton-speech-2013-fees

    I also agree with Marv: “If the so-called leaders of the Democratic Party, like Chuck Shumer, are afraid to speak out and lead, then there has to be a voice or voices to overcome that deficiency. No one said it had to be you.”

    > I would add Nancy Pelosi to the list.

    Voting Blue is just a small step. The Democratic Party must be purified. The Schumer’s, Pelosi’s, Donnelly’s, the DNC and residual contaminates like the Clinton’s and Joe Biden have to go.

    It took a non-Democrat in the form of Bernie Sanders to bring out the Progressive Wing of the Party. Elizabeth Warren is the right person for the Democrats inn 2020.

  13. Ditto, Todd. We are approaching the fascist cliff if not already in freefall. It is not enough to win in November; we must immediately begin to dismantle the continuing harm being done to our democracy.

  14. SO QUIT. Yeah that’s the ticket – don’t take that stuff… but DON’T CHANGE IT EITHER!… right.
    omg… we are sooooo screwed. Not a brave soul among them ONE! You cannot change these things from the outside, that is not unless there is a social uprising to boycott the government(.) And yes, it can be done; but it takes guts. And I still have those buckets of tar for the ready! (that is NO joke!) It is time the better angels in us started spanking some out of control brat’s asses!!

  15. Name names. That’s what you can do. Trump … on a daily basis … gets full credit for everything rotten said or done by members of the Republican Party. We are now learning that McConnell has a heavy hand in most of the really rotten stuff being said and done. Muller is in the process of sending a bunch of not-so-nameless Republicans to jail.

    We need names. Specific names of every individual involved with this daily string of garbage. Stop giving the little guys free rides. Lock ’em up … down … or sideways.

  16. Marv, Todd, Monotonous and Gerald; you are all correct in your repetitious reporting of all of our mistakes and those of the government over the past few decades. It is not encouraging at a time when we need encouragement; we need to be supported in what we can do and are doing no matter how little it may seem to you or how little it actually is. If you have children; I hope you did not raise them with this negative attitude and never let them forget their mistakes or never encouraged them when they tried.

    Although that attitude certainly fits with the title of the blog today, “I Quit”. Any readers who take your negative words to heart may be the hopeless voters who will sit home on November 6th.

    “…those Viet Nam war protesters and JFK and LBJ liberals shut up after the war, cut their hair and went to work…”

    Vernon; those Viet Nam war protesters and all liberal’s job DURING the war was to protest; when the war ended their job was to get a job and work on the next phase of life.

    JD; I’m with you, I will continue my pitiful little activities to support the Democratic party and all nominees, including the weak links, I will worry about their deficiencies IF we can get them elected. Numbers are vital at this time. I will also continue to send an occasional pittance of a donation if and when I can. The wrongs of past government will not make me quit; I didn’t quit working in the Goldsmith administration till my disease disabled me and I needed to hang onto walls and furniture to get around the Indianapolis City-County Building. The jobs I was responsible for were vital and I continued following local and state laws, against orders from the Mayor’s office to ignore all laws and ordinances. My doctor called to tell them I was NOT to ever return to work and gave them the names of my other two doctors if they needed more information. Hopefully; there are those workers in the White House who are “hanging onto furniture and walls” to continue their job as they see it.

  17. Todd’s comments are the best I’ve read in a long time, and they are 100% correct. Errr, make that 95%. He is right about the attacks on the poor and the triumph of unfettered capitalism. He is right that both sides are at least partially complicit in the violent assault on our working men and women, the poor and the elderly. But he is wrong about Trump. Trump is pure evil.

    Trump is the means of destruction the Republicans intend of our entire society. What he will decimate in his term(s) WILL take years and years to identify, unravel and repair–if that can ever be done.

    What Todd misses is that all of the underhanded, nasty and dirty acts of the Republicans over the past few years have now been laser focused in this evil man and the destruction–even if he is stopped in 2020–will not only have impacted many, but for many will also be their death knell. These are real people and real people’s lives.

    However pathetic the Dems seem sometimes, they still have a few champions like Liz and Bernie, Kamala Harris, Corey Booker, and yes, Joe Biden. Vote Blue. Kill the vermin in the White House and his minions. Destroy them utterly or they will destroy us.

  18. trumps mob,er,gang? anyway, NPR did a good job,and made the story easy to understand,we need more on focus,upfront news that the voting public can easily consume. we have so much news and diffrent sides,and catagories. we need a simple easy to digest,without cutting it up into headlines, i enjoy decent journalism,and enjoy two sides,as it gives me the middle lines,and some more to digest,most people i encounter,just can not,enjoy journalism,because of the facts,and pieces that made the article come together. the CFPB was a sure fire way to have wall streets game exposed,and the buisnesses that are supported by wall street. my concern has always been the runaway over payday loans,with aprs in the 4/500% range,seriously,whoya foolin.. student loans,whereas,the colleges and unis just partcipate in rigging the tution,like insursance,to grab what thay can, recent harvard pro racist agenda on detremining student enrollment,really, courage? any student should be allowed,as long as a SAT can be passed. sounds like harvard is still a money boys school.. cut the ivy…heres where the CFPB could be used to slam this sort of enrollment scam.. wells fargos deliberate disregard for thier own customers,was met with a slap on the wrist again, send some of these cons to prison..
    or at least mick mulvanny,,, sick

  19. In politics it seems that the opposite of “extreme” is “balanced” and right now we have a tribe of extremist politicians in power and a mob of extremists gloating over that among the electorate.

    We need capitalism as long as it’s regulated. We need strong Unions to represent workers with the same clout as CEOs have. We need all citizens represented in and to government equally. We need balance and we’ve never been this far from it.

    Trump and Spence and Mulvaney are temporary irritants but the extremists who put them in office are permanent unless we change the societal causes that drive them to extremism.

    I blame that on the use of entertainment media as a propaganda network. At the moment it’s much more of a right wing bias than left wing.

    After the elections of this year and 2020 we have to find ways to balance that form of voter education.

  20. JoAnn,
    “Marv; dammit…voting on November 6th is all we have to work toward at this time and we are working in the only ways we can…”

    Have we set up an alternate means of communication?
    Have we a chain of command?
    Do we have an armory that is secure and readily available when we are forced to defend the country from deplorables who will try to dominate every street and alley on the day that 45 defies impeachment?
    Do we have a support network: food, water, meds, ammo, maps, sandbags, clothing and reinforcements to support the underground resistance?
    Do we have a skilled propaganda machine ready to go?
    Do we have a set of tactics that is teachable?
    Have we enough liaisons with the military, at least that part of it that has not joined the Right’s present coup?
    Is our list of traitors complete, and are we compiling the evidence we will need to legally put them before our firing squads?

    Unless we have those things, or are working on them, we are not “working in the ONLY ways we can”.

    What we have here is a reverse revolution in which the bad has (past tense) taken over government from the good. Our job is to form the resistance, and maybe, if our resistance appears strong and capable early enough, the enemy will choose not to risk bringing the issue to a head when 45 is impeached.

    Voting blue and impeaching 45 is only a small part of our mission to save the union.

  21. Larry; is that your list nailed to your circa 1950’s bomb shelter wall? This is 2018; I am 81 years old, totally deaf and physically disabled, living on barely above federal poverty level income. I do what is possible to do in my condition during this 21st Century/1984 nightmare. Good luck with your list.

    VOTE BLUE!

  22. I’m sure I’m not the only one who is aware that we’re getting essentially the same unhelpful diatribe every single day from two or three of the regular contributors. Beyond exercising their nearly trumpian egos and sense of superiority they’re not adding anything to the conversation, and in fact are basically acting as trolls in this setting. Since Sheila isn’t willing to cut them loose as she did with the earlier troll, gopper, I’ve found that the best thing I can do is to quickly scroll past their comments so that I can go on to see what the many contributors who are actually trying to come up with real world actions in their real world lives have to say. As a real person myself (in other words one limited by the circumstances of my own life and not fond of engaging in a lot of political hyperbole for its own sake), I’ve found that the only effective things I can do right now are to educate myself the best I can, contribute far more money than I ever have before to Democratic candidates around the country, urge everyone I can to vote–for Democratic candidates only–and to be ready to volunteer to drive people to the polls in November. I would welcome any concrete, practical suggestions for action from the naysayers (not just theoretical, egotistical political posturing) beyond those things, but I’m not holding my breath. If they can’t come up with any, I would recommend that they move on to another blog where they might find the contributors more worthy of their faultless opinions.

  23. Vernon,

    William,

    “Your self-righteousness is beyond nauseating.”

    Right on target! You’re absolutely right, it is BEYOND NAUSEATING: it is a potential, COMMUNICABLE DISEASE.

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