Wiretap: Who runs consumer watchdog agency under Trump? It depends on whom you ask

Even by Trumpian standards, this one is really weird. This morning, two people are expected to walk into the offices of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau claiming to be the temporary director. Donald Trump has his pick — Mick Mulvaney, who’s also the Office of Management and Budget director and who has called the consumer watchdog agency a “joke.” And the CFPB has its pick, Leandra English, who was the bureau deputy before Director Richard Cordray resigned. So, who actually takes over the bureau that was the brainchild of Sen. Elizabeth Warren? No one knows. What we do know is that English has asked for a temporary restraining order to prevent Mulvaney from taking the job. Via The New York Times.

Nancy Pelosi’s performance on Meet the Press in defense of Rep. John Conyers is exactly why more women don’t come forward to report sexual harassment, writes Laura McGann in Vox. 

Al Franken says he is embarrassed and ashamed and that he’s going back to work today to regain the trust of Minnesota voters. In other words, he breaks his eight-day silence to say he is not resigning from the Senate. Via the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

In the Trump era, the gender gap has turned into a gender chasm. Is there anything that Republicans can do to stop women from leaving the party? Via The Atlantic.

E.J. Dionne: Who can save America from the dreadful tax bill that is being rushed through the Senate? The best candidate, Dionne writes, would be John McCain. If he’s truly the conscience of the Senate, as he has shown himself to be of late, this is the time to show it again. Via The Washington Post.

If you think the tax bill is tough on the middle class, you’re right. But it’s actually much worse than you probably know. Via The New Yorker.

The next battle in the Senate version of the tax bill looks like it will be whether to repeal a 1954 law that prevents churches from engaging in political activity. Many charities support the ban, but repealing it could also be a bargaining chip for support from the religious right. Via The New York Times.

The most controversail story of the weekend is the New York Times’ piece on the everyday, all-too-normal life of an Ohio white nationalist and Nazi sympathizer. Critics say the article — A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland — normalizes Nazis. A Times editor replies. The Atlantic offers a different take on the making of an American Nazi.

It may be fair to mock Trump’s insistence that he has accomplished more than any president at this point in his tenure, but Dan Balz writes in The Washington Post that, for better or worse, Trump has accomplished more than you might think.

Trump finds a tweet that actually praises his accomplishments thus far and, of course, he promptly retweets it. The problem, writes The Weekly Standard, is that the tweet links to a website that specializes in conspiracy theories and aligns itself with white nationalists.

Mexico’s plan to provide affordable housing for all has turned into a catastrophe, according to an investigative report in The Los Angeles Times. Despite the tens of billions of dollars invested, many of the housing projects have turned into slums.

Photo courtesy of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, via Flickr: Creative Commons. Elizabeth Warren announces CFPB is officially open for suggestions


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