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Scott Michelman
Recent Activity
The ABA Journal reports that “The Georgia Secretary of State’s office accidentally sent protected personal information for its states’ registered voters on computer disks to third parties last month, along with the public voter-registration records for which those organizations had... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at CL&P Blog
In 2014, the U.S. Department of Education adopted the “gainful employment” rule to address overwhelming evidence that some postsecondary career training programs, particularly at for-profit institutions, were failing to prepare students for jobs that would enable them to repay their... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at CL&P Blog
Overall, the program has been working well, the Nobel laureate chronicles: -The uninsured rate has dropped sharply -Most employers are not (as previously feared) dropping coverage for employees -Costs are lower than expected And Krugman puts some recent bad news... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at CL&P Blog
With so many avenues to challenge the use of forced arbitration clauses in consumer contracts closed off by Supreme Court precedent, plaintiffs tried another one: allege that so many credit card companies' parallel adoption of the clauses was collusive and... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at CL&P Blog
In response to our recent discussion of the TPP, alert reader Matthew Bruckner pointed out that NPR's Planet Money podcast covered the trade pact recently. Unfortunately, many of the aspects covered were the traditional tariff-related aspects of the deal rather... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at CL&P Blog
One of the examples from the aforementioned Times editorial is worth noting in its own right: Last Thursday, a $59 million settlement was filed in a class action against shady debt collection practices on behalf of tens of thousands of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Discussing recent state and federal enforcement actions against debt collectors who engaged in various illegal practices including falsifying documents, the Times argues on today's editorial page for stronger state consumer protections, here. Along with the paper's three-part arbitration series and... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Last month, we told you how General Mills had to recall over a million boxes of Cheerios that were labeled gluten-free but in fact were not. Now the popular cereal has a new product with a new problem, according to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The New York Times reports: Smoking would be prohibited in public housing homes nationwide under a proposed federal rule announced on Thursday, a move that would affect nearly one million households and open the latest front in the long-running campaign... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at CL&P Blog
...asks a story from NPR's Morning Edition this morning. A recent story in the Financial Times (entitled "Being 'wasted' on Facebook may damage your credit score" but behind a paywall) suggests this is a possibility, although the credit reporting industry... Continue reading
Posted Nov 12, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Check out this podcast, in which the reporters behind the NYT's broad and thoughtful three-part series on arbitration last week, discuss their experience reporting the story. Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at CL&P Blog
More than 70% of the 7,000-plus meetings of federal advisory committees in 2014 were conducted behind closed doors, according to a recent study by the Congressional Research Service. The committees influence federal regulatory policy by advising federal agencies, and the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 11, 2015 at CL&P Blog
This morning, the Supreme Court considered whether a group of workers at an Iowa meat-processing plant appropriately proceeded as a class on their federal and state wage-and-hour claims where their proof of the amount of hours worked was based in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The text of the is out -- finally -- and it's "worse than we thought," according to a Public Citizen analysis. Among the lowlights, according to Public Citizen, are "New Rights for Fossil Fuel Corporations to Challenge Climate Protections"; "Constraints... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2015 at CL&P Blog
We've flagged before the issue of whether the Obamacare mandate that employers provide contraceptive coverage raises religious liberty problems even if an opt-out is available. The Supreme Court announced today it will decide the issue in seven consolidated cases. Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The Post reports: In the first such case against a U.S. cable company, federal regulators are slapping Cox Communications with a $595,000 fine after Cox allowed hackers from Lizard Squad to penetrate its systems and steal private customer information. By... Continue reading
Posted Nov 6, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Released last month, new Tesla software includes (the NYT reports) a semiautonomous feature that allows hands-free, pedal-free driving on the highway under certain conditions. The car will even change lanes autonomously at the driver’s request (by hitting the turn signal)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2015 at CL&P Blog
For anyone seeking to understand the interwoven problems with for-profit schools -- misleading advertising, taking advantage of federal government loans, and trapping students in spirals of debt -- James Surowiecki's column in the Nov. 2 New Yorker provides a great... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Today, Public Citizen client Jen Palmer told the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Technology the story of her ordeal involving's attempt to fine her family $3,500 and subsequent reporting of a phony debt to ruin the Palmers'... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2015 at CL&P Blog
It's been a good week for high-profile media attention to some of the most important issues facing consumers. First, as we've noted in several posts over the past few days, the NYT published a three-part deep dive on the abuses... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2015 at CL&P Blog
The New York Times headline "Metrojet Rules Out Technical Failure or Human Error for Crash in Sinai Peninsula" captures the gist of the article about the latest announcement from the Russian airline company whose plane crashed in Egypt over the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2015 at CL&P Blog
We told you yesterday about a story documenting the source of many regulatory delays: OIRA. OIRA is a component of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). OMB now says (in a draft report) that regulations are cost-effective and produce... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2015 at CL&P Blog
In an illuminating piece today entitled "How a small White House agency stalls life-saving regulations," Reuters explains how regulatory delay -- chiefly on the part of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs -- costs lives. The examples... Continue reading
Posted Oct 29, 2015 at CL&P Blog
An overview, from Public Citizen's press release: Corporations and their lawyers are pushing the idea that consumers who were duped by misrepresentations into buying products or overpaying for products have suffered “no injury.” The new report (PDF), “The Fiction of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2015 at CL&P Blog
Reuters reports: Eating processed meats like hot dogs, sausages and bacon can cause colorectal cancer in humans, and red meat is also a likely cause of the disease, World Health Organization (WHO) experts said. The review by WHO's International Agency... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2015 at CL&P Blog