Archive for Elizabeth Warren – Page 2

GOP: Women Okay For Supporting Staff But Not The Top Spot

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crying woman

Well, it's only 2014 and two full years away from the next presidential election. The Democrats seem to have their heir (Hillary Clinton) and their spare (Joe Biden). Things are a bit  more cloudy on the Republican side.

They don't have any favorites for the top job yet -- lots of possibles and potentials, but that's about it -- no clear front runner. Their current list of damaged goods includes the likes of: Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Mike Pence, Jeb Bush and perennial candidate Mitt Romney. (Don't count him out just yet. He has the field staff, organization and donor lists. He's also starting to make more and more public appearances and statements).

But one thing there does seem to be on the GOP side. Despite being unsettled for the top job, POTUS, there's an almost certainty for the number two slot. It's Kelly Ayotte.

Kelly Ayotte

Republican strategist and former McCain presidential campaign manager Steve Schmidt revealed his party's thoughts recently in The Daily Beast:

Ayotte is also one of the only female GOP top personalities that could counter a Democratic ticket with Hillary Clinton at its top, and at a time when the Republican party has been reeling from a number of scandals that have left the party vulnerable to the accusation that they are not savvy at courting the women’s vote.

“Ayotte could turn the ‘war on women’ narrative into a punch line,” said Schmidt. “In the category of those really talented women who can really break into the next level, I think Kelly Ayotte stands out. She has a lot of skills. There's no on-the-job training and she’s clears [sic] that hurdle.”

Well, it looks like we'll have another Sarah Palin running on the GOP ticket only this time she'll be the Scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz, after she got a brain. Perhaps.

So the Republicans think they have the answer to their women problem. If that was really the case, why aren't they talking about her for the top dog's chair? After all, she's as good or better than any of the male potential candidates. Wouldn't it be something if two women were heading the major tickets? I think so. But that, of course would mean the GOP's leader would be a woman, and I'm not sure the party is ready to accept that yet.

If this is really to be the best possible race, the Dems should go with a totally female ticket - Clinton/Warren. Together they'd be unstoppable.

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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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