The Curmudgeon ended up having an excellent Father's Day, including catching up with his dad, watching the amazing finish to the U.S. Open with his brother, hanging out with friends by their pool, chowing down on Mrs. Curmudgeon's excellent lemon pound cake and getting a nifty new watch from the kids (with a little help from their mom).
Hope all you other dads had as good a day!
GOP Effort to Gut State Laws Protecting YOU Against Identity Theft
As just about everyone knows now, identity theft is running rampant. As we reported here recently, one reason is that the financial services industry really just doesn't give a darn! How else can you explain a system under which all someone needs to steal your identity is your social security number? If the banks etc. wanted a better system, they could easily implement one--but it might cost THEM money.
So what are our good friends in Congress doing about this? As usual, they're shilling for the Big Banks that created the problem in the first place.
Here's what's up: so far, 23 states have passed "security freeze" laws that allow consumers to prevent anyone from issuing credit in their name indefinitely, regardless of whether ID theft is suspected. (Virginia ain't one of them.) Several other states allow such a freeze only to ID theft victims.
In addition, a growing number of states are passing laws forcing businesses to alert consumers about potential data losses. If a consumer knows his or her data is potentially compromised, he/she can take steps with credit agencies to prevent fraud.
And that's where our helpful GOP Congressmen (and quite a few Democratic allies, unfortunately) come in. Why surely, you say, they are also taking steps to help prevent this rampant fraud from spreading, aren't they?
Nope, far from it. The House Financial Services Committee recently approved a bill--sponsored, of course, by the major financial institutions who are large benefactors of the GOP--that would preempt the state laws referenced above. Of course, like all bad laws passed by Congress, this law has a deceptive title: the "Financial Data Protection Act" (HR 3997).
It ought to be called the "Cover the Banks' Behinds Act." The law would exempt companies from alerting consumers about data thefts or losses unless the company knows the loss places the consumer at a direct risk of identity theft. In other words, a complete cop-out!
Furthermore, the House bill would limit credit freezes to only those who are already victims of ID theft. In other words, you get no help until you've already been victimized. It's a bit like saying the police will no longer try to prevent crimes before they happen!
Stronger state laws would be "preempted"--meaning the weaker federal legislation would prevail.
Of course, you can bet that, behind the scenes, there are huge campaign contributions being made to a few key members of the House Financial Services Committee--Chaired by Ohio Republican Michael Oxley--as well as furious lobbying by well-heeled GOP connected K Street firms, all working to screw you, the consumer, so the banks don't have to do anything.
Yesterday's 10 day forecast: Hi 85, scattered T-storms, 60% rain. Rating: N
Yesterday's 5 day forecast: Hi 93, partly cloudy, 20% rain. Rating Y
Yesterday's actual weather: Hi 93, mostly sunny, no rain.
The 10 day forecast was way off, the five day forecast was right on the money.
Today's 10 day forecast: Hi 86, mostly cloudy, 10% rain. Rating: N
Today's 5 day forecast: Hi 90, partly cloudy, 20% rain. Rating: N
Today's actual weather: Hi 89, brief, intense thundershower.
Both forecasts missed the thunderstorm, which at least brought much needed rain!