Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 20, 2014

Elizabeth Warren Leads Progressive Charge, but Has GOP Admirers Too

warren 095 0501414 445x296 Elizabeth Warren Leads Progressive Charge, but Has GOP Admirers Too

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

“What reaction do you usually expect from banks?” Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked a reporter last week.

It was classic Warren. Appearing at a news conference with fellow Democrats and D.C.-area college students to roll out legislation she spearheaded that would let borrowers refinance student loans, the Massachusetts Democrat dismissed a question about financial institutions losing profits from older, high-interest loans.

“There’s a real question here. Does Congress work for the rich and the powerful, for those who can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers, or does Congress work for the rest of America?” Warren asked. “We believe the rest of America should get a fair shot at an affordable education.”

The Democratic senator is well known for her populist criticism of big banks, and the financial services sector more generally, as well as for being the driving force behind the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. And she’s raised her profile with a tour for her recently-released book “A Fighting Chance,” during which she’s been greeted by largely adoring audiences and no shortage of calls for her to seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2016.

Her national profile makes her a natural to lead Democratic efforts to rally their progressive base — like with the student loan bill — but her status as a star on the left doesn’t seem to have hampered her ability to work with GOP senators under the Dome.

Warren has worked with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., on an effort to help keep veterans from falling victim to scam artists, and she’s working with Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., on the issue of transparency when the federal government’s various enforcement agencies settle cases.

Coburn working with a potential Democratic presidential candidate on transparency issues is, oddly enough, not new. A bill that Coburn introduced with then-Sen. Barack Obama related to transparency in federal funding decisions was signed into law by President George W. Bush back in 2006.

Sen. Michael D. Crapo, R-Idaho, the ranking member on the Banking Committee, said he doesn’t believe there would be any political repercussions for Republicans working with Warren.

“I don’t think so. I know people are always speculating about that, but no I don’t think so,” Crapo said. He noted he had worked with Warren on legislation that would overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

“We are always looking for opportunities to work with any of our colleagues. I don’t think there is blow-back or anything when we work together from different perspectives,” he said.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., co-sponsored a bill with Warren last July that would reinstate portions of the Glass-Steagall Act.

“I think she’s adjusted well to the Senate and she speaks very strongly and candidly as one might expect,” McCain said. “So I think she represents her point of view in a very articulate fashion.”

Of course, that does not mean Republicans often agree with Warren’s point-of-view. Including, it seems, on the student loan measure that is going to be the next piece of the Senate Democrats’ “fair shot” agenda.

trans Elizabeth Warren Leads Progressive Charge, but Has GOP Admirers TooWisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, a fellow Democratic freshman, said the issue of the cost of college was a natural for Warren to take the lead on.

“Well I think she’s a great colleague and a lot of fun. And I think this issue has given her advocacy for consumers over her career as a law professor and in particular a cognizance about bankruptcy laws and how families burdened with debt don’t really have a fair shot at the American dream. She’s been really great about not only speaking out on that but also offering constructive legislation like this bill,” Baldwin said.

Since the bill as currently drafted is paid for using the so-called Buffett rule millionaire minimum tax, it’s almost certainly headed for a GOP filibuster when it comes up for a test vote next month, though Democrats say they are open to other offsets.

Having Warren front and center, meanwhile, gives the issue some extra muscle with progressives beyond the Beltway.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, for instance, has touted a series of grass-roots events backing the student loan proposal.

Although Warren’s bill faces an uphill battle in the the divided Senate, her fellow Democrats see her as an effective member of their caucus. She joined Sen. Patty Murray of Washington on the Senate floor Wednesday afternoon to outline the way priorities of Senate Democrats affect women.

“This is a question I know Sen. Warren cares deeply about,” said Murray. “She’s brought an enormous amount of leadership and focus to this debate.”

“I support her policies because I think she’s on the right track to help our students and I think she’s pursuing the right strategy,” said Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md., dean of the Senate women, in a brief interview earlier in the week.

Warren has not secured a signature legislative achievement since taking office, but that’s no surprise in the current Senate atmosphere where legislative productivity has almost ground to a halt.

But her profile could work to her favor in the Senate. “Her voice is respected,” said fellow Massachusetts Democrat Edward J. Markey, who added that her “stature” helps focus attention on her signature issues.

Mikulski also works with Warren on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

“What I see is that she’s really working hard on the agenda that she campaigned on and not worrying about her national profile, and because of it she has a very good one,” she said.

Humberto Sanchez contributed to this report.

  • http://americansforpetraeus2012.org JohnnyAngel Advocacy Group

    Warren reminds me of McGovern,except now her views,more extreme than his,are viewer favorably by half the country. McGovern won one state in 1972 and guess which one ?

    • DHFabian

      How so? I don’t even remember McGovern’s economic views, as his central campaign point was his opposition to the Vietnam War. What views has Warren expressed even come close to meeting the definition of “extreme”?

      • David L. Allison

        None. She is a traditional centrist liberal activist Democrat who could easily have been part of an Eisenhower or Nixon cabinet. Johnny obviously has no idea what McGovern thought or, likely, even who he was or how the right wing shot down his candidacy because of his opposition to the war and support for human rights.

    • Jill

      Her views are not extremist – holding banks accountable? Trying to lower student loan rates? It’s the death of freedom, I tell ya.

      Care to name any specifics at all?

    • Javier Bonafont

      Uhh… no. Her views are only “extreme” in the context of how far right the debate with republicans has shifted. Try and imagine her proposing an agency that could police all industries in the country and regulate all production processes in order to improve the air and water. She would be laughed out of town as a radical. Yet the Nixon Administration supported, signed, and implemented the EPA which does just that. What Warren supports is little more than equal treatment under the law, which should be as centrist and universal a tenant of American politics as there is. If BANKS can borrow money at essentially zero percent, why would we charge students, our future, 8% or more? Why does someone who steals a loaf of bread go to jail an someone who steals a hundred million dollars get off with a reprimand? Thinking that is wrong is not extreme.

  • http://marketsharescorp.com/ Nick10

    “Since the bill as currently drafted is paid for using the so-called Buffett rule millionaire minimum tax.” What Buffet opposed was that the minimum tax should not be for market investors because their taxes are much, much lower than ordinary citizen who pay more in taxes. Despite Buffets complaint other investors do risk more than ordinary income tax rates. Investors take chances in the market. Markets do go up and they do go down.

    • Matt

      Unlike employees, who when a company’s stock price goes down don’t get laid off. Except they do – so why are they paying more taxes while taking risk? When an employee’s company does well, conversely, their wages don’t retroactively go up.

      Even from a market perspective the split in tax rates makes little sense – there’s a global savings glut and record low interest rates. Our problem is obviously not finding people to loan money – it’s finding people to buy stuff.

      • marvin steiner

        Can’t stress that enough.It’s all about aggregate demand.

    • Rich Davis

      Buffet was referring mainly to the type of “investor” that makes millions when the market is down and billions when the market is up

  • Layla

    Ms. Warren needs to stop blaming the banks and take her argument to the esteemed universities that are making an education unattainable.

    • Dawn Wolfson

      Two separate issues. She needs to not only work on getting the student loan rate lowered, but tuition and books as well. Does not mean she should stop blaming the banks or those in government that helped them get away with wrecking our economy.

      • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com/ Goon’s ND Redneck

        She will use the they didn’t build that…

        • Jill

          That’s deep. LOL.

          • Joe Cariola

            Buzz phrases against actual helpful policy. Go figure.

        • skacahtoa

          Good response bro. Well thought out.

    • libertytribune

      Really? When in fact the banking cartel is a big problem called the Federal Reserve?

    • ThinkTransformation

      Hmmm – seems to me banks and college institutions worked hand-in-hand to create this oversized profit-centre for both of them. The unleashing of the creative use of technology in education today can break this Ponzi scheme strangle hold on our children’s future. We can do better than this!

      • marvin steiner

        In many cases the educational provides received lender kickbacks for steering students their way.

    • Joe Cariola

      Banks and Schools are in cahoots. One at a time, but I like the way you think.

    • mrgingrich

      Hopefully you are on the board at a large bank. Or else you just hate yourself and any protections the government might afford you.

    • David L. Allison

      Senator Warren is tracking and challenging the stink of corruption in business and banking wherever she finds it. Education should be free to any qualified applicant. That is much of what the State Universities and Land Grant colleges were about in the first place. Reading history can be very helpful in making sensible comments.

  • DHFabian

    Elizabeth Warren is competent and impressive, and I respect this, but she isn’t a progressive. On economic issues, she is a centrist. On socio-economic issues, she is actually to the right of such historic conservatives as Eisenhower and Nixon. Too often, “progressive” is merely a vague marketing term designed to capture a specific audience. Believe it or not, well-regulated capitalism was actually the mainstream norm before the 1980s, when the US began its economic slide, intent on dramatic upward wealth redistribution. Elizabeth Warren stands for requiring the financial sector to comply with laws, and advocates for laws that actually serve the overall best economic interests of the country. While the right wing lives for deregulation, Warren is for sensible re-regulation.

    • http://ndgoon.blogspot.com/ Goon’s ND Redneck

      Wow! Elizabeth Warren is competent and impressive…
      In what world is this woman impressive? She’s a fraud and a liar.

      • Dawn Wolfson

        If you’re talking about her Native American roots, that accusation has been debunked.

      • raiderbubba

        Care to offer an example or are you just making stuff up?

      • Jill

        Empty name calling -

      • wifather2000

        A wage earner that votes for and supports repuglican’ts does not have a valid opinion!

      • wooooozee

        To make such an inflammatory statement and not present any example or is just name calling. .democratic discourse requires more than that. Unpack your thoughts love and join the communal conversation.

        • Layla

          We still have a First Amendment, don’t we? You haven’t done away with that yet, have you?????

          • David L. Allison

            your reply is, once again, nonsense. It is a perfect example of a non-sequitur.

      • Rational Rob

        This is a comment of a cretin.

      • ZenderTranscender

        Examples?

    • Rumionemore

      Interesting comment. The Republicans are veering away from the super-conservative label in favor of centrists. Of course, they want to win the presidency in 2016, and most Democrats are thinking they will have a cake walk with Hillary. I don’t think so, but I believe Warren would be a better candidate to win than Hillary. A political party’s ideological wings can no longer hijack the entire party. The GOP has had a hellishly hard lesson in this.

      • David L. Allison

        IMHO the Republicans are not veering away from super conservative policies, just the label worn by radical right wing nut jobs that cost them some more moderate conservative voices in the Senate last election. The feedstock for the Senate often comes from the House or Governorships. If one looks at the composition of that House feedstock it is dominated by gerrymandered radicals who could be elected to the House for their whole lives but would be run out of any statewide vote.

        The Republican governors have been pulled to supporting ALEC and the radicals in the Club for Growth and the Koch foundation so often that they lose credibility as anything left of Genghis Kahn as well. (No disrespect meant to the conqueror.)

        I would not look for any real change in the Republican party until the wheels fall completely off and they have lost two or three more Presidential elections and consistently fail to gain a significant working majority in the Senate.

        • Rumionemore

          We need an effective two-party system. Note the word “effective.” Not like the squabbling bunch we now have on both sides. I am for strength in both parties, but I see little hope for our having smart leaders who genuinely care about voters. That is not the way the system is set up in “that” town. Gridlock actually benefits all the hangers-on in the system. As brutal as this might sound, Noah-type event to wipe out the whole city and its inhabitants might help. I know of no other way to stem the corruption. Voters repeatedly elect the same old crowd, so what can we expect but more of the same?

          • David L. Allison

            Agreed on most of this but I do see some hope in the Democratic party and in the populist voters in both parties. As much as we may differ on many, mostly “social”, there are increasing issues on which the populists agree. Also people like Warren, Sanders, Grayson and a handful of others give me hope that the Democrats are moving forward toward positive change.

          • Layla

            Now I KNOW you’re a fraud. People like Sanders and Grayson are NOT interested in working to positive change that doesn’t directly benefit the new American Democrat Socialist Party.

          • David L. Allison

            So sad to find you still so ill informed. Elected officials representing real populists on the right and left will continue to grow and your kind of mindless attacking and senseless opposition to anything and anyone to the left of Attila the Hun will become a consistently declining minority in the US.

          • Rumionemore

            Yes, until clear thinkers in both parties come together, we will continue to have the humiliating mess we’re now in.
            As for social issues, those I care about involve elevating all human beings and their rights as humans- gays, women, minorities. In many cases, their needs differ. That said, I don’t believe we need to burden the already-crushed middle class with more taxes. Extra taxes doesn’t hurt the rich because they evade it or don’t even care they’re paying more, and the poor often don’t pay an income tax. It all usually runs downhill to the hard-working middle class who are struggling toward the same goals as others, but the middle class has to pay more for its struggles.

        • Layla

          While we are on the subject, what has happened to all the Blue Dogs? Love the way you toss the word centrist around. If it isn’t socialist, you don’t want to hear it.

          • David L. Allison

            The racist Democrat Blue Dogs have become racist Republican know nothings. They were a shrinking part of the increasingly just and fair Democratic party and are now a shrinking part of an increasingly irrelevant right wing Republican party.

      • Rope_Necktie

        What’s interesting about singing the praises of someone who advocates lawlessness and income redistribution at every turn?

        • ZenderTranscender

          How’s that?

          • Rope_Necktie

            Nothing. It’s over your head.

          • ZenderTranscender

            The problem is that there is nothing in your head.
            You’re just repeating things you’ve heard and you have no idea what they mean.

          • Rope_Necktie

            Test me, ZenderBender.

          • ZenderTranscender

            Either you can answer the question, or you can’t. No need to be defensive and try to sound tough. If you want to be tested, then there it is: answer the question about the charges you made. In what ways has Warren supported lawlessness and income distribution at every turn?

          • Rope_Necktie

            “In what ways has Warren supported lawlessness and income distribution at every turn?”

            Maxed Out

            Capitalism: A Love Story.

            CFPB

            “Native American ancestry” ROFLMAO..

            The Senate Banking Committe – oversees the implementation of Dodd-Frank

            Favors increasing the minimum wage

            The Bank on Student Loans Fairness Act

            “People feel like the system is rigged against them. And here’s the painful part: They’re right. The system is rigged.” Warren said that Wall Street CEOs “wrecked our economy and destroyed millions of jobs” and that they “still strut around congress, no shame, demanding favors, and acting like we should thank them.

            I could go on at lenght about how each of these points and numerous other besides, demonstrates my contentions. But since you are a “progressive”, you will see it all backwards. The problem is that I consider progressive to be euphemism for “regressive”.

            I refer you to an article in The American Spectator, Feb, 2009 entitled:
            “The True Origins of This Financial Crisis As opposed to a desperate liberal legend”
            By Peter J. Wallison, the Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

            He concludes as follows:

            PREVENTING A RECURRENCE of the financial crisis we face today does not require new regulation of the financial system. What is required instead is an appreciation of the fact–as much as lawmakers would like to avoid it–that U.S. housing policies are the root cause of the current financial crisis. Other players–greedy investment bankers; incompetent rating agencies; irresponsible housing speculators; shortsighted homeowners; and predatory mortgage brokers, lenders, and borrowers–all played a part, but they were only following the economic incentives that government policy laid out for them. If we are really serious about preventing a recurrence of this crisis, rather than increasing the power of the government over the economy, our first order of business should be to correct the destructive housing policies of the U.S. government

            You fill in the blanks…

          • ZenderTranscender

            Warren fights for the lessers of this world. She herself had to struggle in her early life. But maybe you are one of the lucky ones in the stock market. Good for you. Only about half of the country participates. And maybe you are waiting for the Republicans to make everything better. Good luck on that. Just like the Democrats and any other politician, they are indifferent to your needs. When you find a clean politician, be sure to support him. Good luck in that. By the way, what you so hate in Warren makes her look angelic to the side of someone like Mitch McConnell.

          • Rope_Necktie

            I understand what you’re saying and much of it I agree with. I am the last person to put any hope in McConnell or the GOP establishment, nor am I parroting empty platitudes that I heard from somewhere. I do not “hate” Warren. I am familiar with her background – I did my homework on her quite a while back, and predicted that she would rise to prominence after these last elections. She has many admirable qualities and is unquestionably a very bright woman with some excellent credentials under her belt, and she does appear to be relatively “clean”. She also appears to be sincere in her motivations. She is quite likable and attractive in many ways.

            IMO Warren is the most viable candidate the Democrats can offer up in 2016, and she might well win the presidency if they did so – I predicted that quite some time ago as well. Hillary is an albatross around the Democrats’ neck at the moment, but it’s unlikely they will be able to rid themselves of her without putting her up and watching her fail miserably in 2016. The GOP goes through that often enough – Dole, McCain and Romney are all examples.

            My problem with Warren is the political and legislative means she uses and advocates, to achieve her goals. She takes the “big government/top down”, approach, working under the very mistaken belief that it is government’s job to regulate and legislate, chocking free markets and trouncing on private property rights and contract law, to achieve some sort of Utopian state of “equality”. That amounts to lawlessness and Marxism IMO. Her ends do not justify her means. I do not judge a politician by their intentions or motivations, which in Warren’s case may be quite honorable, but by their philosophy of government and their political actions. Because of that, I oppose Warren stridently.

          • ZenderTranscender

            Thanks – I understand what you are saying and agree about her taking a conservative approach to government. We’ve become such a polarized nation that people rely on political parties to supply them with appropriate belief systems. If they thought things through, they might realize that it’s okay to have a mix of beliefs that have nothing to do with political parties or movements.

            In this land of opportunity, many people are poor and won’t be able to move up. One of the reasons is that government has extended itself into private lives. Results have been disappointing to devastating. People have become paralyzed when making basic decisions about their own lives. People fail to get an education, or to educate themselves, and they don’t understand what life is about: being able to support yourself or finding a support system that is not taxpayers who have their own lives to struggle over.

            I am desperate for a leader, someone to step up with confidence and knowledge and genuinely cares about the path the country is on. Warren is one of the few who seems to come close. Others seem to be playing politics as usual. If we don’t elect a capable leader in 2016, I feel I may become very pessimistic about our prospects as a robust nation.

          • Rope_Necktie

            Others seem to be playing politics as usual.

            Agreed. I am vehemently opposed to Obama’s executive decree on illegals and did some legal research on the subject (I am not an attorney but I have a paralegal degree). It is one of the murkiest, most obscure areas of federal law, with very little case law. Obama is indeed treading on dangerous ground, but the way our legal system works, unless someone has a legitimate cause of action and files a summons and complaint, no one can or will intervene.

            So, I took careful note of the speeches delivered by prominent members of the opposition such as Sen. Cruz, Sen. Sessions, Speaker Boehner, etc. “Emporer”; “Monarch”; “Ripped up Article I”…. blah blah blah…. Problem is, if they really believe what they say and profess, they would not be sitting in their comfortable chambers, retiring home to their private mansions, and living the good life from their fat paychecks and perks. They would be taking action. Some of my posts from last week reflect my frustration.

            But all they come up with is grandstanding (Yesterday Cruz recited one of Cicero’s speeches on the Senate floor and substituted current events and figures where appropriate. Brilliant guy – clownish behavior) and meaningless gestures to appease their base, none of which can or will have much impact. The law suit they are supposedly preparing is IMO ridiculous and won’t gain any traction in the courts, if they even have the nerve to bring it to a judge.

            My conclusion: Just playing politics as usual. It’s a business: Obama does something crazy? Ka-Ching! Another book, another speaking tour, another brilliant but meaningless speech, another campaign issue, and at the end of the trail: Another term in office, or book deal, or big time media contract, more perks, more limos, more bodyguards, more millions

            “Speak softly but carry a big stick”? – Those guys speak loudly and carry nothing but an iPhone…

            Real leadership went out with Reagan – agree or disagree with his politics and policies, the man knew how to lead. Bill Clinton had a bit of an idea of how to lead. The rest have failed, either because they didn’t know how, or they didn’t have the personal clout and charisma required. In that respect, Obama is undoubtedly the greatest failure in many many years – he just does not know how, or simply doesn’t want to.

            If we don’t elect a capable leader in 2016, I feel I may become very pessimistic about our prospects as a robust nation.

            Don’t get your hopes up… Regardless, I think it’s “game over”. History moves on. Great nations and empires have a life cycle, just like individuals. IMO the USA reached its zenith in the period from 1980 to 2001. Since 9/11, it’s been downhill, and I don’t expect a recovery.

          • Rope_Necktie

            Others seem to be playing politics as usual.

            Agreed. I am vehemently opposed to Obama’s executive decree on illegals and did some legal research on the subject (I am not an attorney but I have a paralegal degree). It is one of the murkiest, most obscure areas of federal law, with very little case law. Obama is indeed treading on dangerous ground, but the way our legal system works, unless someone has a legitimate cause of action and files a summons and complaint, no one can or will intervene.

            So, I took careful note of the speeches delivered by prominent members of the opposition such as Sen. Cruz, Sen. Sessions, Speaker Boehner, etc. “Emporer”; “Monarch”; “Ripped up Article I”…. blah blah blah…. Problem is, if they really believe what they say and profess, they would not be sitting in their comfortable chambers, retiring home to their private mansions, and living the good life from their fat paychecks and perks. They would be taking action. Some of my posts from last week reflect my frustration.

            But all they come up with is grandstanding (Yesterday Cruz recited one of Cicero’s speeches on the Senate floor and substituted current events and figures where appropriate. Brilliant guy – clownish behavior) and meaningless gestures to appease their base, none of which can or will have much impact. Decline to fund? McConnell, the gutless wonder, has already caved. Besides, that won’t stop anything. Obama can find money… The law suit they are supposedly preparing is IMO ridiculous and won’t gain any traction in the courts, if they even have the nerve to bring it to a judge. There are other legal and political means at their disposal (and I don’t mean impeachment) but they require courage and the ability to think outside the box – so they’re all non-starters.

            My conclusion: Just playing politics as usual. It’s a business: Obama does something crazy? Ka-Ching! Another book, another speaking tour, another brilliant but meaningless speech, another campaign issue, and at the end of the trail: Another term in office, or book deal, or big time media contract, more perks, more limos, more bodyguards, more millions

            “Speak softly but carry a big stick”? – Those guys speak loudly and carry nothing but an iPhone…

            Real leadership went out with Reagan – agree or disagree with his politics and policies, the man knew how to lead. Bill Clinton had a bit of an idea of how to lead. The rest have failed, either because they didn’t know how, or they didn’t have the personal clout and charisma required. In that respect, Obama is undoubtedly the greatest failure in many many years – he just does not know how, or simply doesn’t want to.

            Warren is one of the few who seems to come close

            As I said, ostensibly good motives, credentials and leadership abilities (all of which Warren arguably possesses) are not enough: The big question is: What are we being led to!? It’s like Obama’s “Hope and Change” – Change to WHAT?

            If we don’t elect a capable leader in 2016, I feel I may become very pessimistic about our prospects as a robust nation.

            Don’t get your hopes up: How does Hillary Clinton vs Jeb Bush sound to you? They just released “Dumb and Dumber To” – it’s about that election…. I think the country deserves to see Warren vs Jindal. I like Jindal – he is tough, outspoken and he delivers, he’s pretty clean and he comes across as genuine. He’s also not “lily white”. I think it would be a good race, and perhaps a lot cleaner and more substantial than we’ve been used to seeing, although I’m afraid Warren would enlist her army of “Sandra Flukes” to muddy things up. But that race will never come about.

            Regardless, I think it’s “game over”. History moves on. Great nations and empires have a life cycle, just like individuals. IMO the USA reached its zenith in the period from 1980 to 2001. Since 9/11, it’s been downhill, and I don’t expect a recovery. The best we can hope for is that we “age gracefully”. IMO Obama doesn’t seem be helping that cause.

    • David Wilson

      For some of us, that she is a centrist in many ways is appealing. Obama is even more of a centrist, and Warren is also more sincere (IMO) than he is, and hopefully would be more effective. Somehow I don’t think Warren would have wasted the political capital that Obama was handed 2008-2009. I bet she would have acted far more boldly, like FDR.

      • Layla

        Obama a centrist? PLEASE…..He picks winners and losers which is crippling our economy. Half the country hates him, not because of the color of his skin but because he is the most divisive President in history.

        • David L. Allison

          You are conflating cause and effect, another logical flaw for your bucket list. President is pretty much a right of center Democrat who was hated by the right wing and feared by the republicans before he was even elected.
          It is the hatred and intentional disrespect by folks like you and McConnell toward our President that has driven this country. You have driven us apart both because of your fear of the demographic changes moving through the country as well as your hatred and mean-spirited attacks on anyone who does not look like you and believe everything that you do..

        • Rope_Necktie

          If you wear a Che teeshirt, Obama is a “centrist”….

    • Jill

      Can you point to specifics in her record to support your assertions? She created a new agency to support consumers against enormous opposition and consistently advocates for jailing more bankers – she is not a centrist.

      • Javier Bonafont

        She is definitely a centrist. If not for the republican party veering wildly to the extreme right in the last generation. She would probably fit in nicely in the Eisenhower cabinet. The consumer protection agency is far more limited in scope and jurisdiction than the EPA, which was signed into law by Nixon. So she is only “progressive” in the sense that being a common sense centrist is now considered a radical left wing idea. Barack Obama could have been Richard Nixon’s running mate and not had an inch of policy difference between them.

      • mrgingrich

        I would imagine most people want someone to be held responsible for 2008/2009.

        • Layla

          It that were true, this President would be impeached.

          • David L. Allison

            Actually, Ms. Layla, it would be most likely to be W Bush and actual president Cheney who would be most likely impeached and/or tried and found guilty of war crimes and criminal negligence if justice were to be served. president Obama can hardly be the person responsible for the economic collapse when it happened before he was elected. Not, of course that you would let something as minimal as facts, truth and history to undermine your rants..

          • David Wilson

            Obama would be impeached as President for decisions made by his predecessors Bush and Clinton. Okie dokie!

            I know you think you are attacking Obama, but really all you are doing is making it clear to the rest of us that you don’t make any sense & aren’t worth paying close attention to. Even by people like me who think this problem is owned by both sides, caused by Clinton as much as Bush.

      • David L. Allison

        society has been driven so far to the right by the Reagan/Clinton/Bush debacle that the center looks like the left to even a caring and principled citizen such as yourself. But folks like Senators Warren, Sanders and a handful of others can re-establish the center and explore ways of moving our country towards the center left where the US has governed responsibly before Reagan and his criminal sidekicks came to power.

        • Rumionemore

          Now, come on – why do people rag on Reagan? Clinton and both Bushes, I get. Also, I don’t see that Obama has a good grasp on what needs to happen, but his record and legacy are still up for garbs because he’s still around. I don’t understand why people hit on Reagan, other than that he’s a Republican history, so far, is remembering well.

          • David L. Allison

            People rag on Reagan and Chaney and allies for undercutting unions, waging corrupt secret wars on countries of south and central America, supporting dictators and revolution against democratically elected heads of state, beginning the end of a fair progressive income tax system and the initiating of the US oligarchy, the building of the American Empire and the export of jobs and manufacturing from the USA.
            I’m sure others have many more reasons but these are some of the first that come to mind.

          • Rumionemore

            Aw, nothing of any true significance just happens within one presidential administration – unless it’s Monica Lewinsky crawling under Clinton’s desk in the Oval Office. Heh! Seriously, even wars have seeds throughout a couple of administrations. The decline of the middle class and along with it, the dissolution of unions, began in the mid-70s and worsened with Carter. Recall that Reagan inherited a seriously battered economy from Carter, Clinton inherited a somewhat sagging economy from Bush I, and Bush II got a cooling economy from Clinton. That’s just one example, but that’s how it works.

            Our oligarchy in this country, if you can call it that, began decades prior to our lives. You’ve heard the names Carnegie, Vanderbilt, DuPont, Morgan, Rockefeller, Astor, and so on. Some of those names are still serving in Washington – and on Wall Street. That idea didn’t just appear with recent D.C. and media spin. What happened in the Reagan administration is that hundreds of thousands of Americans were given an economy and opportunities to become wealthier – or at least better off. This applied especially to those who were educated for a changing economy – an information economy driven by quickly developing technologies. This exploded during the Clinton administration with the tech. industry. Maybe you and others would call that the era of new oligarchs.

            The people who did not thrive in the 80s were those unprepared for the new economy. People in labor unions were trained to perform a single task at the GM plant and paid handsomely for it. When technology took over some of their jobs, their were SOL. The mistake that people have made through the ages – “Go back, Jack, and do it again … Wheels turning round and round” – is to believe that nothing will ever change in their lives. They are always wrong, and always caught in surprise. Why? I am not talking about the deeply poor. There have always been poor, and always will be. I am talking here about the middle class.

          • David L. Allison

            Your beliefs are strong, your evidence, not so much.

            The New Deal brought millions into jobs and meaningful sustainable lives. Reagan undid progressive taxes, made the upper 1% wealthy, expanded government and placed upon the poor the cause of their being poor./ He began the dismantling of the country’s safety net in his attacks on human services and Social Security. Clinton moved the entire Democratic party abruptly to the right and confirmed the growing control of government by corporations with NAFTA.

            It is an oligarchy because the means of production and distribution are controlled by the wealthiest .01% and that micro-minority has been given control of politics and the government by the Supreme Court and many lower courts with judges and justices appointed by Republicans.

            With respect to the wars, Reagan’s team of CIA spooks in suits and camo suited troops carried on an unending war in support of dictators and democratically elected heads of state, killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in multiple countries.

            The bush wars were family retribution and power issues carried over to a world stage. they made up the reasons for war, made up the justification for death and destruction with more lies and forced the Congress into accepting their lies with gross misrepresentations of the information that was available.

          • Rumionemore

            My point: there is nothing new under the sun, especially not with the wealthy and with politicians. They’ve always had a thing for each other. Now it just seems the thing is bigger than ever between them because the wealthier are much more so, and the politicos want that too.

            The Adelson guy in Las Vegas (if I got that spelling correct) is a big deal not because he’s a blue blood with loads of class. He has loads of money. And he is enthroned in a location that is not the destination for the world’s richest people. It’s a smashing success because average Joes and Janes can fly there for vacations and on business trips. They spend on all those all-American staples: booze, drugs, prostitutes, mega-star entertainment. Water parks and clowns for the kids. Fake Elvis singing in wedding chapels. Lots of people have lots of money to buy lots of things. Even poor people have discretionary income to spend on lottery tickets, pet food and tobacco.

          • David L. Allison

            Thanks. I guess it just is seeming more sever right now as the wealth gets more and more consolidated and the corporations seem to have more and more power to control our government and our country. I guess “rich and poor’ is based on where you are and the context of everyone else My SS is more than the average hard working man or woman in Mexico or central America. These folks, however feel free and middle class compared to their friends in the pueblos in the Americas or the villages of India or Africa. But there is increasing awareness of the inequities in every country. I think that spells danger for all of us..

          • Rumionemore

            If there is a revolution of any degree, I fear it would be out of anger and desperation, and would not be led by people with a clear plan for anything better than we have. So often that is what revolutions come down to. Look at what has happened in the Middle East – which is to say, not much. Look at Occupy Wall Street. On the other hand, the Tea Party, like them or not, has done well for itself. It’s fading, but it made a real impact. And it may not be done.

      • Rational Rob

        Consumer protections came as a result of Gilded Age. At one point in our nation’s history we were incredibly concerned about the newly created wealthy class and income disparity. We used to have a 90% income tax! Only recently have we been against these values. Take, for instance, Teddy Roosevelt. In 1901 he took office and started busting the trusts! Not even 100 years from then we’re allowing the mega-wealth run the country. TR would be mightily disappointed in us. The point is the legacy of our nation and our Presidents’ records cast Warren as a centrist. The recent phenomenon in the Republican party only make her look to be a radical.

    • Layla

      What is your definition of sensible re-regulation? We have nearly 100 million Americans out of work because of some of these policies. Congress regulates with absolutely no regard for the costs which will be forced upon the business owner and the consumer.

      • David L. Allison

        You are wrong again, Layla. The people are out of work because of the collapse of capitalism from greed, avarice and ignorance; because of ill conceived agreements like NAFTA and TPP that drove manufacturing and assembly plants overseas. People are out of work because of changes in business plans of the largest corporations and an economic system that consistently treasures short term goals over long term sustainability.
        You, again, provide no citation for your allegation that regulations have driven all of the unemployed out of their work. Congress regulates what it is told to regulate by whoever they happen to believe are their most important constituents.

    • Rope_Necktie

      Eisenhower and Nixon were NOT conservatives. Nixon in particular was one of the most liberal GOP presidents in the 20th Century.

      “Warren is for sensible re-regulation.”

      Warren, like Obama, is for lawlessness.

    • Rope_Necktie

      “Elizabeth Warren is competent and impressive”

      She’s a very impressive and sophisticatedly cloaked bandit and political opportunist.

      When are you morons going to figure out that you just got your stupid butts kicked.

      The Democrats love phonies: First a phony “African American”, now a phony “Native American”..

  • Andre Leonard

    SIgnature legislation not withstanding. Warren has proved to be a strong voice on the issues that concern most Americans in bipartisan fashion. The status-quo and gridlock were there in congress long before she arrived. She’s calling the dinosaurs on these issues everyday.

  • Rumionemore

    It is my great hope that Hillary will circle the track one more time and step aside for Warren. Warren is more appealing. She has the energy and passion Hillary lacks. And she doesn’t have Bill’s mediocre legacy or Obama’s failing legacy to try to defend. I’d love to see a Warren-Christie shoot-out.

    • Joe Cariola

      Christie would have likely brought a knife to a shoot out. Definitely not the sharpest tool in the shed. He’s definitely a tool though. That much is certain.

      • Rumionemore

        Usually I blow off people who make cracks about successful politicians’ intelligence, but I’m gong to bite on this one. He’s a two-time governor of a major state, has a law degree, a wife and three children and is still a candidate for the presidency in 2016. What does your resume look like? People don’t make those accomplishments by being a dull tool in the shed. If you want to take jabs at him, make them sensible.

  • libertytribune

    Normally i don’t side with Warren, but she is taking the same position that Ron Paul had been stating for decades while NO one listened and where are we now?

    • DonRitchie

      Still ignoring Ron’s Paul’s incoherent ramblings…

      • David L. Allison

        Every day, as much as possible.

    • Booyaka Shot

      Sorry but the Paul’s are a bunch of racists.

      • libertytribune

        Your racist

        • Booyaka Shot

          YOU’RE an ignorant racist.

          • libertytribune

            No, you are a racist. That is racist what you stated.

          • Booyaka Shot

            Sorry, but anyone who supports the idea that a business should be allowed to discriminate in America and let the free market decide is pretty much a racist supporter in my book.

          • David L. Allison

            It was not presented in that way in your original comment. It certainly appeared to be a gratuitous shot at Paul, often a good target for his policy proposals. I think it is important though that wherever we can, we support good ideas from across the political spectrum rather than always focusing on or bringing a focus on someone’s’ bad policies.

          • Booyaka Shot

            His father is guilty of putting out a racist newsletter and did you not see Rand’s performance at Howard University? He really underestimates, lack appreciation and is not sympathetic to anyone unlike himself.

          • David L. Allison

            Again, not the point. Hate him for what you will but it is not wise to hate him for doing something right based on your hate for his racism. To bring up the latter in the midst of a discussion on Warren and his agreement with Warren is not productive.

          • Layla

            Hate him? Why can’t we be free to disagree without being hated? Why can’t we have a discussion without the name calling?

          • Layla

            We are not a socialist country, YET. You are free to leave. That option is always open.

      • David L. Allison

        And what, exactly, does that have to do with advocacy for reform and transparency in government and politics? Nothing. So your comment is actually racist in abandoning the thread of the comments and engaging in an ad-hominem attack on Paul.

    • marvin steiner

      Ron Paul’s statements were not his shortcoming–his shortcomings were his solutions.

  • Hutch King – HK

    Where most activities are restricted and controlled, the term “liberties” is often used to describe those options which are still available.

  • Steve T

    U.N. Resolution 2117 lists 21 points dealing with firearms control. Did you really vote for this Ms. Warren? You had better rethink any more un-American resolution if you care to stay in office.
    If so, you represent Not me nor many of the voters that put you in office. This one issue alone is political suicide for you.
    We voters will make sure.

    • Joe Cariola

      I never really understood the argument against gun control. I’m a gun owner myself. No one is making guns illegal. You just need to go through a process to obtain one. So it takes a few days? I’d like it if they required psych evals as well. Would certainly help prevent crazy folk from getting their hands on a weapon.

      If someone crazy commits a crime with a sane family members weapon, the way the actual owner stored their weapons should also be examined. Senator Warren is working for the middle class. The last time we had a president on her wave length, they shot him in the head while he was riding in his convertible.

      • Layla

        Really? Is that why this administration is calling gun manufacturers a risk and cutting off their funding? Is that why they are trying to ban lead to make bullets? Is this why police are raiding homes at night without a warrant or provocation?

        I think there are many who might disagree with you. It is the actions of this administration and this Congress that have made the sale of guns the number one retail item in this country.

        • David L. Allison

          You really ought to get out more and read & watch more than Fox “news” and the Murdoch lie manufacturing machine. Gun manufacturers are a risk to the safety and stability of the US. They own the NRA and are creating death and destruction around the world.

          The removal of lead from the shotgun loads is to keep from killing birds and animals from eating prey loaded with lead poisoning. But we can tell that you care nothing for wildlife.

          The reason for midnight raids is the irrational power that the government has handed the militarized police since 9/11 and most of that government has been led by republicans and democrats terrified of being called “soft on terrorism” by radical ideologues like you.

          The fear mongering right wing racist radicals are the reason that the sale of guns is so high in the United States. Rational thinking and reason will return as the republican party disintegrates over the next decade or two.

          • Layla

            David, I READ and I also spent 20 years on Congressional staffs. Stop the name calling and people may listen to you. Rational thinking should be done by all Americans in this country. You seem to think the Democrats have cornered the market on that.

    • Javier Bonafont

      Really? Exactly what part of 2117 is anti-American? Do you actually support unregulated international gun sales to militias waging wars and killing children? Is that the american value you wish to preserve? Have you actually read it? “We voters” mostly support common sense, unlike you apparently.

      • Layla

        Javier, most people have no problem with our gun laws. These Senators supported UN weapons control in this country. That, most Americans have a problem with.

        Don’t get your panties in a wad.

        • Javier Bonafont

          Your use of “most americans” and “most people” as aligning with your point of view has no merit, as most polls show Americans support better gun laws, universal background checks and bans on assault weapons. More to the point, the UN treaty deals exclusively and only with international traffic of small arms and would have virtually zero impact on any gun owners in this country unless they were looking to acquire black market AK-47s. It is the gun lobby that gets its panties in knots over the most innocuous and sensible items. This is a good treaty and should have full support of all Americans.

  • Steve T

    Sorry to hi-jack this thread everyone.

    • David L. Allison

      Your hi-jack is ok, lots of folks do it. On the other hand, your comment on 2117 is totally off the mark, makes assumptions that are not true or accurate and makes you look like a shill for the NRA/gun industry.

      • Layla

        David, there is a list of Senators who voted to give control of our gun rights to the UN. That list is common knowledge. Some of those folks are not going to be reelected because of that vote.

  • runiter

    Elizabeth Warren is one of the few politicians I know that has consistently supported the middle class. If you are middle class or hope to be one day, it’s obvious who you should vote for.

    • Joe Cariola

      Strongly agree. It’s not exactly a secret that a strong middle class makes an economy.

    • Layla

      What’s she done?

      • runiter

        She’s the architect of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau which is responsible for protecting consumers from being scammed by banks, securities firms, payday lenders, mortgage operators, foreclosurers and debt collectors. It may also expand to cover protection from investment scams that target retired and elderly people.

        She introduced a bill to allow students to refinance their student loans. Currently every one in USA is allowed to refinance their loans except students. She has another bill that demands transparency in government settlement cases, adding new requirements for the pubic disclosure of any covered settlement agreement entered into by a federal executive agency. She has another bill called Equal Employment for All that prevents employers from discriminating by not hiring people who don’t have a good credit score.

        • Choose Life

          “Students to refinance their loans”
          How’s that $20. of lower interest working for ya? Instead of regulating the high salaries of educators like “$350000/ a course” Warren, so student debt is not through the roof, particularly when one can’t find a job to pay for the student loan
          She has been a LOUD NOISE and she accomplishes nothing..

  • mtrphx

    What’s surprised me about the Senator is the lack of extremest attacks. She keeps bringing forward her points, doing it better and better, gaining larger and larger support, now a national book tour, all over virtually every form of media, being considered for Presidential appeal and yet there’s no lash back that I’ve even noticed. It’s almost eerie.

    • Rational Rob

      You know, even though I’m a purveyor of theories and a believer in many conspiracies, I don’t find it odd that she’s not being attacked. If you attack someone you draw attention to them. Whether it’s because she’s yet to announce her presidency or the fear of her becoming a force of real change, Senator Warren has the banks ready to attack. But they, a banking cartel with over 100 years in the making, know when to wage war.

  • Luanne Taylor

    I like a Biden/Warren ticket for 2016

    • citizen

      Sanders /Warren…Biden hasn’t done anything

      • mrgingrich

        As much as I want this, Sanders has no chance — he’s openly called himself a socialist. I agree with him to the bone, but that ain’t gonna fly at this period in American politics.

        • marvin steiner

          He has clarified his Socialist identity-Democratic Socialist.This clarification is a difference with a distinction.

      • David L. Allison

        Wyden/Sanders?

  • Thomas Chute

    I think Warren is on the right track, she has many solid points about the banks breaking the few laws they have to regulate them and not a single thing being done about it, i hope by the time shes done big banksters take more care in how they treat the american people. My biggest question for the richest 1% is how much money is to much, and what do you do with it, once your kids and their kids and their kids and their kids are set for life why do you still need to rake in billions a year? one work GREEEED!

    • Gilda Morkert

      That is why I prefer her, over Hillary. Hillary’s son-in-law is a shill for Goldman, his dad was a crook who served time for fraud. Would Hillary serve OUR interests or her own extended families?

    • marvin steiner

      Thomas:It’s all about power.Wealth is power.

    • Layla

      Washington is all about wealth and greed. Do you realize that in the past 15 years just about every major corporate headquarters has moved to the metro area? No wonder they don’t listen to the voters anymore.

  • Cthulhu0818

    Sure, but can she get THEM to work with HER? Does she have any GOP supporters?
    Because that’s what she needs.

  • PatrickInBeijing

    Have a well educated population benefits the entire nation! College should be free as long as you do the work.

  • David L. Allison

    A great senator to carry the Progressive banner but really Warren is just a rational centrist. She is leading on financial issues on which populists of the right, like the libertarians and on the left, like Progressives can agree. She can work well with mainstream republicans on financial and business issues even though they are quite right of center on social and “hot button” issues. The middle has been pulled so far to the right since Reagan and Clinton that moderates now look progressive.
    For some pretty progressive senators look to Vermont and Oregon. Mass politicians are pretty much solid moderates with a liberal bent. Good but not really progressive. That said, Warren is great at restoring the center and fighting for transparency and equity in government and society in general. I hope she remains a strong voice in the Senate for many years, maybe as Majority Leader in the second term of our next President.

  • Shalom

    While liberty stokes the competitive fires of some, it also frees charlatans to conjure up the anti-liberty superstitions of collectivism.

  • Gilda Morkert

    Hillary has too many banking ties, her son-in-law a Goldman lackey, and his father an ex-con fraudster. Whose interest will Hillary REALLY serve, her extended family, and pal banksters or the middle class? Warren 2016. Let’s push her.

  • Rita__A

    I don’t like Elizabeth Warren since hearing she had her college paid by the government being part Indian. I am a senior citizen and never exploited that. Work for what you have, don’t expect others to pay for you!!!

    • Layla

      Good point.

      • David L. Allison

        Only if you like radical right wing Fox likes that have been determined to be scurrilous allegations that have been refuted repeatedly.

        • Layla

          I don’t watch Fox, David.

    • David L. Allison

      An allegation repeatedly and thoroughly refuted should not be the issue that determines your vote. The canard about Senator Warren’s college payments has been thoroughly discredited. Don’t believe everything you read in the Washington Times or see on Fox TV.

  • Layla

    If Members of Congress truly worry about working with one another, then we have a huge problem. If you’ve been there so long you’ve forgotten when Members did this, you need to do the American people a favor and go home.

    The problem with Congress is that partisan politics and outside interests have become more important than the folks who believed in you enough to send you to Washington in the first place.

    • David L. Allison

      It is not so long ago that Newt Gingrich initiated the ideological “take no prisoners, make no compromises” approach to running Congress. The only time he worked with the Democrats in congress or on the hill was when they were doing something that he wanted them to do. That was the end of the Reagan years and beginning of the Clinton years. What you see in Congress today is the fruit of that poison tree that Gingrich and his friends planted these decades ago.

      • Layla

        David, long before Gingrich the Dems held the House for 40 straight long years. The Blue Dogs were those who worked with the GOP and that was about all. The blame goes both ways.

        • David L. Allison

          Not really. The Democrats lost the majority of the racist blue dogs to the Nixon Republicans strategists. For that, I am thankful. It has turned out to be a pyrrhic victory by the Republicans. They are now reaping that whirlwind. The Republicans are, in fact, with the nurturing of the tea party right wing gadicals, accepting and adopting the blame for carrying on racist, misogynist hate and despite that they stole from the forty years of deep south democrats.

  • Rope_Necktie

    “There’s a real question here….does Congress work…”

    Wrong question here. The question is whether or not Congress works to uphold the Law. A loan is a legally binding contract. For Congress to arbitrarily void or change legally binding contracts is unlawful behavior: More of the same bs we’ve been hearing from politicians, particularly Democrats, for way too long Warren represents among the worst with this poisonous mindset.

    Is it any wonder that we have a President who has decided that our laws are meaningless?

    Senate Democrats’ “fair shot” agenda:

    Translation:

    1) Make sure that we get every kid into one of our federally funded indoctrination centers.

    2) Make sure that the “stupid” (to quote Gruber) taxpayers fund it, even though it mean their demise.

  • Rope_Necktie

    Elizabeth Warren is lawless Marxist:

    “What reaction do you usually expect from banks?”

    I expect the same reaction from banks as I do from any other entity, when the government cannot be relied on to support their legally binding contracts.

    “Working for the people” to break legally binding contracts is simply Marxist brinkmanship.

  • Chris Clark

    Warren has such nice high cheek bones–do you suppose she’s Native American?

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