Daily Archives: February 5, 2017

Frederick Douglass’s great-great-great-grandson set the records straight of Douglass

Democracy Now:

AMY GOODMAN: Well, for more, we’re joined by the great-great-great-grandson of Frederick Douglass, Kenneth Morris Jr. He’s also the great-great-grandson of Booker T. Washington and the founder and president of the Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives. Kenneth Morris Jr. joins us from Irvine, California.

Welcome to Democracy Now! Your thoughts on Donald Trump’s words, the president of the United States, about your great-great-great-grandfather?

KENNETH MORRIS JR.: Well, I’m in California, so when I woke up and my phone was ringing off of the hook and I heard what he had said, my first reaction was, “Wow! The gift of Frederick Douglass has been given again on the first day of Black History Month.” Last year on Black History Month, February 1st, Google honored Frederick Douglass with its Google doodle of the day. And that act introduced the legacy of Frederick Douglass and his life and contributions to the country and to the world, to millions of people. And then, when I heard that Donald Trump said that Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job, I thought, “OK, well, this is great. This gives us an opportunity to be able to introduce and talk about his legacy and his life to a wider audience.”

AMY GOODMAN: Amazingly, Frederick Douglass was trending at some point on Thursday. He was as popular on social media as Beyoncé and her pregnancy announcement. So—

KENNETH MORRIS JR.: Yeah, I have—I have two young daughters, and they were very proud that Frederick Douglass was number one over Beyoncé.

AMY GOODMAN: So this is an incredible educational moment. Can you talk about Frederick Douglass’s life and what people around the world should know about him?

KENNETH MORRIS JR.: Well, both of my ancestors, Frederick Douglass and Booker T. Washington, were born into slavery. And they were born into the most horrific conditions that a human being could be subjected to. But yet, through the power of education, both of my ancestors understood from a very young age that education equals freedom.

And for Frederick Douglass, at the age of nine years old, he was sent from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he was born on a plantation, to go to Baltimore to be the house servant for his master’s brother. And when he got there, his slave mistress had never had slaves before, and she didn’t know that it was illegal to teach him to read and write, so she began to teach young Frederick his ABCs. But when his master found out about it, he got angry, and he forbade it. And he looked at Frederick, and he looked at his wife Sophia, and he said, “You cannot teach a slave how to read and write, because if you do, it will unfit him to be a slave.” And Frederick looked at his master, and he heard that message loud and clear, and he understood right then and there that education would be his pathway to freedom.

At the age of 20 in 1838, he would have the courage to run away from slavery. He would eventually settle in New Bedford, Massachusetts. And instead of just saying, “I’m free now. I’ll start a family and get a job,” he looked back, and he saw that there was this institution of legalized slavery that needed to be dismantled. And he, along with the other abolitionists, got to work and worked on ending slavery. He became an adviser to President Abraham Lincoln, and then a statesman, the first African American to be nominated for vice president. He was counsel general to Haiti. And his contributions really tell us that he was a true American hero.

Yes Douglass was nominated as VP. He ran on Presidental ticket with a woman who is leader of the women suffrage. From Wikipedia:

Douglass became the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States as the running mate and Vice Presidential nominee of Victoria Woodhull, on the Equal Rights Party ticket.

And yes, Douglass was for women’s rights and supported women suffrage.From Wikipedia:

In this denial of the right to participate in government, not merely the degradation of woman and the perpetuation of a great injustice happens, but the maiming and repudiation of one-half of the moral and intellectual power of the government of the world.

Deutsche Bank apologizes for misconduct in full-page German newspaper ads

Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, has apologized in full-page German newspaper ads for misconduct that has cost the company billions.

The ad, signed by CEO John Cryan on behalf of the bank’s top management, ran Saturday in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the Munich-based Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The bank said its past conduct “not only cost us money, but also our reputation and trust.

Read on.

Trump’s Gifts to Wall Street Threaten Retirees—and Robots


In the wake of the financial crisis, a slew of so-called robo-advisors promised consumers a fully automated version of money management that purports to remove human error—and avarice—from the equation. Instead of a human broker making decisions about how to invest your money, companies like Betterment and Wealthfront let algorithms do it. Experts have speculated the fiduciary rule would benefit robo-advisors by making the compliance costs too great for money managers to justify holding onto smaller clients. Robo-advisors that can perform much the same function at a lower cost would likely gobble that business right up.

In a 2015 Congressional hearing, then-Labor Secretary Tom Perez repeatedly cited Wealthfront as the way of the future. “They have a platform that enables them to lower their fees, operate as a fiduciary and do well by doing good,” Perez saidat the time.

“Today’s announcement of a rollback or freeze on some of those rules probably will shrink the market for robo-investing,” says former California state senator Sam Blakeslee, president of the broker-dealer Blakeslee & Blakeslee.

“This is a sad day for individual investors. Repeal of the fiduciary rule would imperil the retirement savings of millions of Americans,” Jon Stein, founder and CEO of Betterment, said in a statement. “Repeal means favoring the bottom lines of the financial services industry over the American people, who deserve financial transparency and honesty.”

Are robots coming to take investor jobs on Wall Street?

The robots are rolling forward with a full-frontal assault to capture Wall Street’s vast investment fees and commissions.

More investors are warming to the cold, steely embrace of the increasingly sophisticated, low-cost automated robo-advisers. The primary reason is to save money on those fees and charges.

Bots are squeezing their flesh-and-blood competition and threatening the jobs of thousands of human brokers in the $20 trillion US wealth management business.

Nearly one in three investors says these machines are superior at picking stocks and lessen their risk, and almost as many say the machines are better at selecting investments for retirement than human brokers, according to a new study of US investors by market research and consulting firmSpectrem Group.

Read on.

Bernie Sanders On Donald Trump’s Actions on Wall Street Reform: ‘This Guy Is A Fraud’


Tell it like it is, Bernie!

Baltimore Whistleblower Teacher Says ‘All Systems Down’ in City Schools

Longtime educator gives an inside view of deplorable conditions and poor learning environment as city officials prepare to layoff nearly 1000 employees to address budget deficit crisis.

Private Sector Will Make a Killing Off of Infrastructure Bank

NEP’s Bill Black appears on The Real News Network discussing that Democrats and Republicans appear willing to offer public-private partnerships and tax credits to the benefit of Wall Street. You can view with transcript here.

Source: New Economic Perspective


MUCH OF THE COUNTRY has been watching in horror as Donald Trump has made good on his promises to eviscerate the Environmental Protection Agency — delaying 30 regulations, severely limiting the information staffers can release, and installing Scott Pruitt as the agency’s administrator to destroy the agency from within. But even those keeping their eyes on the EPA may have missed a quieter attack on environmental protections now being launched in Congress.

On Tuesday, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology is expected to hold a hearing on a bill to undermine health regulations that is based on a strategy cooked up by tobacco industry strategists more than two decades ago. At what Republicans on the committee have dubbed the “Making EPA Great Again” hearing, lawmakers are likely to discuss “The Secret Science Reform Act,” a bill that would limit the EPA to using only data that can be replicated or made available for “independent analysis.”

The proposal may sound reasonable enough at first. But because health research often contains confidential personal information that is illegal to share, the bill would prevent the EPA from using many of the best scientific studies. It would also prohibit using studies of one-time events, such as the Gulf oil spill or the effect of a partial ban of chlorpyrifos on children, which fueled the EPA’s decision to eliminate all agricultural uses of the pesticide, because these events — and thus the studies of them — can’t be repeated. Although it is nominally about transparency, the bill leaves intact protections that allow industry to keep much of its own inner workings and skewed research secret from the public, while delegitimizing studies done by researchers with no vested interest in their outcome.

Read on.

Court denies Democrats’ push to defend CFPB

The D.C Circuit panel on Thursday denied all three motions to intervene in thelandmark case between the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and PHH.

The case, which is waiting for a final decision on the CFPB’s petition for rehearing en banc, received three additional motions over the last couple weeks from Democratic state attorneys general, Senators,  and consumer advocacy groups, who were attempting to intervene on behalf of the CFPB.

Read on.

Mixed reactions to Trump’s push for Dodd-Frank overhaul

As one might expect, the reactions to President Donald Trump’s initiation of the overhaul of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act came in fast and furious after Trump signed an executive order on Friday that calls for the Secretary of the Department of the Treasury to begin reviewing Dodd-Frank.

And unsurprisingly, those reactions varied wildly, with left-leaning people and organizations calling the move an outrage and other assorted adjectives, and those that lean right having the polar opposite reaction.

Read on.