Archive for Elizabeth Warren – Page 2

MSNBC Looks Into Krystal Ball For Hillary Clinton's Future

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Krystal Ball

MSNBC's Krystal Ball had some strong insight into the future of the Democratic Party yesterday on The Cycle. She devoted three minutes of very honest, contemporary and deeply thought-out assessment of her party's future - 2016- and whether or not Hillary Clinton is the answer. I was quite surprised, because she precisely stated my feelings which I've expounded numerous times on The Political Carnival. It's as if she were channeling my thoughts. She said them much more succinctly and eloquently than I could have, but I hope you'll watch this. It's not long, but it's eye-opening.

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Elizabeth Warren obliterates Republicans for blocking unemployment benefits

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Image: politicker.com

Image: politicker.com

Note: This is a crosspost from our wonderful friend Anomaly at FreakOutNation

On Monday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) took to the Senate floor and blasted Republican lawmakers for blocking an extension of federal unemployment insurance. Those benefits would have helped 1.6 million Americans. When Romney/Ryan ran for the 2012 ticket, they vowed to stand up for the middle class. Republicans have continued with this mantra without backing it up with votes.

Warren

She said, “Unemployment insurance is a critical lifeline for people who are trying their hardest and need a little help—a recognition that Wall Street and Washington caused the financial crisis, but Main Street is still paying the price.”

Warren continued, “Republicans line up to protect billions in tax breaks and subsidies for big corporations with armies of lobbyists but they can’t find a way to help struggling families trying get back on their feet.”

Watch. This is one of Warren’s best speeches yet (I say that each time):

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VIDEO: Elizabeth Warren kicks ass... again.

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elizabeth warren wing of dem party

Did you see Elizabeth Warren on "Now with Alex Wagner"? If not, here you go. She kicked major ass, as she always does. And whaddya know, I also got this email (bolding is mine):

Laffy,

Millions of families are hanging on by their fingernails to their place in the middle class – and the United States Senate just voted to let them fall.  

I'm ashamed that the Senate didn't extend unemployment benefits yesterday. I'm sickened that my colleagues went home last night knowing that they just cut off a little help for millions of people who have worked hard and who can't find a job.

And I'm appalled that so many Senators cannot admit the simple reality: we are still in the middle of a jobs crisis. People have been looking for work for months or even years. Many are starting to give up entirely. Young people are beginning to think that there isn't a future out there for them. Long-term unemployment isn't just about money; it's also about losing hope.

These people – our friends, our families, our neighbors – they weren't the ones who broke our economy. So many people worked hard, played by the rules, and did everything we told them to – and now struggle to find work. They need our help.

We help because we care about people, but we also help because it is good for the economy. The numbers show money put into unemployment goes right back into the economy to help stimulate more demand and more business activity. According to a new Congressional report, in just one week after unemployment benefits expired, our state economies lost $400 million. Extending unemployment makes good business sense.

There's so much we should be doing to strengthen our economy and rebuild our middle class, and yesterday we took a step backwards. Washington needs to get back to work solving problems – not making them worse – so families can get back to work.

I really don't get why the Republicans would stand in the way on this issue. I don't get it, but I'm taking stock – and like many of my colleagues who voted to help people yesterday, I'm not giving up. 

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

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Sallie Mae Go Away

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Elizabeth Warren

Start with this jaw-dropping introduction by Huffpo:

Student loan giant Sallie Mae is currently under fire from lawmakers, federal regulators, consumer groups and student advocates for allegedly violating numerous consumer protection laws. The company is facing accusations that it cheats soldiers on active duty, engages in discriminatory lending, pushes borrowers into delinquency by improperly processing their monthly payments, and doesn't provide enough aid to borrowers in distress.

Then I say, screw them. No wonder Senator Elizabeth Warren has been calling for investigations into the student loan industry.

The U. S. Department of Education surely has options. Luckily there's a small window of opportunity here before the current contract with Sallie Mae is up in June.

The new contract, which would run through June 2019, is potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Last year, Sallie Mae recorded $84 million in revenue from its Education Department contracts. But the company wants more.

In its latest annual report, released in February, Sallie Mae told investors that in the 2013 fiscal year, the Education Department was projected to originate more than $121 billion in new loans and dole out more than $1 billion in servicing and other fees -- a large slice of which Sallie Mae hoped to capture.

Why isn't the DofE out there soliciting bidders? Something's not right here -- and the implication from this perceived closed bidding is that there's some shenanigans going on here. If we're willing to offer bail outs and support a 'too big to fail' philosophy, why don't we support 'small enough to fail but small enough to care?' Why not a consortium of smaller financial institutions and investors who want to make big money?

Student loan default rates have become alarmingly high. But much of that could be attributed to the onerous overseeing of Sallie Mae and their untoward business practices. If Sallie Mae cheats, why reward them?

Even better put is Senator Warren's comments:

The agency has yet to respond to a Sept. 19 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticizing it for its apparent inability to hold Sallie Mae accountable, despite what Warren described as a “pattern of breaking the rules and ignoring its contractual obligations.”

If Sallie Mae’s past actions have not warranted an end to its federal contracts, Warren asked Education Secretary Arne Duncan, under what circumstances would the department terminate a contract with a law-breaking company?

What we need is to listen more to Senator Warren and less to Sallie Mae -- and it's mouthpiece, Arne Duncan. C'mon Mr. Secretary, grow a pair -- a big pair -- and stand up for the students of America, not a corrupt, lawbreaking organization.

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"The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party definitely are showing that they have growing influence"

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elizabeth warren wing of dem partyPhoto credit: Tim Pierce

As I said in this post, for medical reasons (and unfortunately, more have arisen) I have to cut back, so I'll be posting much less often. This is one of those times when I felt compelled to jump in, because this is positive news, something we all need to jolt us out of our constant state of frustration with Washington DC.

It comes via the Los Angeles Times in an article that explores the recent move by Senate Democrats that changed the filibuster rules:

After pushing through one of the most significant rule changes in Senate history, Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a solemn tone: "This is not a time for celebration."

I understand but disagree. In a sense, it is time for celebration. We can celebrate the recent infusion of a few stiffer spines to the Democratic party, as in: not caving on the GOP government shutdown fiasco.

And we can celebrate the Democrats actually acting on their more-than-justified, long overdue resolve to end filibusters against most presidential nominations. Kudos Dems, you threw cold water all over the endless sabotage by Senate Republicans and their incessant obstruction that created a dysfunctional, do-nothing government. Or as I like to call it, Democracy Demolition.

Now it looks like there's more good news in our future:

Next on their agenda is extending the filibuster rule change from presidential appointments to legislation, which would enable the Senate to move on issues including gun control and climate change. [...]

"The Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party definitely are showing that they have growing influence in the caucus, and in government in general," said Matt Wall of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a group that works to promote progressive candidates and issues in Democratic primaries. On Friday, Warren circulated a fundraising letter to supporters on behalf of Merkley and Udall, thanking them for their role in changing the rule.

So yes, there are a few positive outcomes after the years and years of blocking, dirty tricks, and efforts to derail and destroy President Obama and the Democratic agenda. Hopefully, a gobsmacked GOP is getting a taste of things to come.

gobsmacked 2

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A Letter From Elizabeth Warren

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Elizabeth Warren

This came in to me today -- and I'm sure it was sent to many, but I think it's important for all to read. Social Security effects us all, whether its contributing, or receiving. We must protect it.

US Senate letterheadNovember 20, 2013

David --

I spent most of my career studying the economic pressures on families – people who worked hard, played by the rules, but still found themselves hanging on by their fingernails to a place in the middle class.

A generation ago, middle class families could put away enough money during their working years to make it through their later years with dignity. But since that time, the retirement landscape has shifted dramatically against our families.

A third of working families on the verge of retirement have no savings of any kind. Another third have total savings less than their annual income. Just as people need to rely more than ever on pensions, employers have replaced guaranteed retirement income with 401(k) plans that leave retirees at the mercy of the market. And 44 million workers don't even have access to that sort of plan.

Add all of this up, and we're left with a retirement crisis – a crisis that is as real and as frightening as any policy problem facing the United States today.

Social Security is incredibly effective, it is incredibly popular, and the calls for strengthening it are growing louder every day. Will you join our national pledge to protect Social Security?

Today, there is a $6.6 trillion gap between what Americans under 65 are currently saving and what they will need to maintain their current standard of living when they hit retirement.

Two-thirds of seniors rely on Social Security for the majority of their income in retirement, and for 14 million seniors – 14 million – this is the safety net that keeps them out of poverty. God bless Social Security.

And yet, instead of taking on the retirement crisis, instead of strengthening Social Security, some in Washington are actually fighting to cut benefits.

Let's look at the facts: Social Security will be safe for the next 20 years and even after that will continue to pay most benefits. With some modest adjustments, we can keep the system solvent for many more years – and could even increase benefits.

The absolute last thing we should do in 2013 – at the very moment that Social Security has become the principal lifeline for millions of our seniors to keep their heads above water -- is allow the program to begin to be dismantled inch by inch.

If we want a real middle class that continues to serve as the backbone of our country, then we must take the Retirement Crisis seriously. Sign our national pledge to protect Social Security for America's seniors.

The conversation about retirement and Social Security benefits is not just a conversation about math. At its core, this is a conversation about our values.

I believe we honor our promises, we make good on a system that millions of people paid into faithfully throughout their working years, and we support the right of every person to retire with dignity.

Let's make sure my colleagues in Washington know that our values are America's values. Sign our pledge now.

Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

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Warren not running for president, Sanders "willing to consider," GOP doesn't have candidates for U.S. Senate

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2016 speculation jon stewart

Per the Burlington Free Press, 72-year-old Senator Bernie Sanders is well aware of the immense challenges one must confront in order to make a presidential run. However-- and this took me by surprise after hearing him declare repeatedly that he would not run-- he recently dropped a hint that contradicted his previous denials:

Still, Sanders says he is willing to consider making a run if no one else with progressive views similar to his ends up taking the plunge.

It is essential, he said, to have someone in the 2016 presidential campaign who is willing to take on Wall Street, address the “collapse” of the middle class, tackle the spread of poverty and fiercely oppose cuts to Social Security and Medicare.

But then he jolted us back in time to recollections of Ralph Nader's candidacies, which would mean jumping through hoops to  get his name on the general election ballot in 50 states, not to mention being identified as "The Spoiler" candidate.

And don't get him started on the enormous demands of having to fundraise. He'd have nothing to do with corporate Wall Street money, which of course would whittle down his chances of raking in the big bucks.

And then there's that pesky "independent" label:

Sanders said if he does run, he would “probably” do so as an independent. It’s a label that has been of value to him in his statewide races but could become a complication as a presidential hopeful.“The disadvantages of being an independent are you not going to get in these big debates that you have on television,” he said. “But I’m very proud to be an independent.”

But then he added that he'd be "comfortable with an Elizabeth Warren presidential bid." Hey, so would a lot of people, including yours truly.

There's just one problem.

BuzzFeed:

Elizabeth Warren’s former national finance chair, Paul Egerman, has told several inquiring donors this month that, despite runaway speculation and a burning desire from the party’s left wing, the freshman senator will not run for president in 2016. [...]

One Democratic fundraiser said he spoke with Egerman roughly two weeks ago... “It’s not gonna happen” [...]

Lacey Rose, Warren’s press secretary, gave BuzzFeed the following statement: “As Senator Warren has said many times, she is not running for president,” Rose said.

Three attendees at last week’s Democracy Alliance meetings cautioned that there is already an understanding inside fundraising circles that Warren would not consider running unless Clinton bows out of the race — a possibility that looks increasingly unlikely...

On the upside, the National Journal is reporting on the 2014 U.S. Senate races and the Republican deficits therein:

Republicans are giddy about their chances to retake the Senate on the back of a disaster known as Obamacare. There's just one problem: The GOP doesn't have the right candidates to make it happen.

Sure, in the high-profile races of 2014, Republicans have recruited competitive contenders to take on red-state Democrats. But in the second-tier contests, the ones that could suddenly become competitive if the national mood turns increasingly toxic for Democrats, the GOP's cast of hopefuls ranges from the unknown to the unelectable.

The NJ described it as "the dearth of credible candidates." They nailed it. Why? Well, think about it: GOP credibility? Oxymoron.

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