Friday, August 13, 2010

Please Let Elizabeth Warren Protect Us Mr. President

"To restore some basic sanity to the financial system, we need two central changes: 

fix broken consumer-credit markets 
end guarantees for the big players 
that threaten our entire economic system. 

If we get those two key parts right, we can still dial the rest of the regulation up and down as needed. But if we don't get those two right, I think the game is over. I hate to sound alarmist, but that's how I feel about this. 
- Elizabeth Warren

I felt Privileged to meet Elizabeth Warren
at the 2010 Netroots Nation Convention

Meet Elizabeth Warren!
The idea for the consumer watchdog agency
originated from a paper  
Elizabeth Warren wrote in 2007 

Elizabeth is the Gottlieb Professor of Law,
at Harvard Law School.

She Chairs the Congressional Oversight Panel which held hearing on the Trouble Assets Relief Program (TARP).  The Panel releases monthly oversight reports that evaluate the government bailout and related programs.

Elizabeth Warren was under consideration as Supreme Court nominee for position that is now freshly held by Elana Kagan.

The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection, the new watchdog agency, which she may be tapped to lead, is a cornerstone of the administration's plan to rewrite current financial regulations. It will have autonomy to write and enforce its own rules and a dedicated source of funding. 

Think about it! This idea originated with Elizabeth Warren.  She is highly qualified; so that can't ever be an obstacle. So if the idea is that great to become the cornerstone of Obama's Wall St. reform, the long awaited relief for consumers who have lost their homes, their pensions, their jobs; then why wouldn't the author and creator of this idea be picked to lead it?

The Congressional Oversight Panel she currently Chairs issue monthly reports that have covered foreclosure mitigation, consumer and small business lending, commercial real estate, AIG, bank stress tests, the impact of TARP on the financial markets, government guarantees, the automotive industry, and many other topics. The Panel has also released special reports on financial regulatory reform and farm loans. For each report, Warren releases a video on the Congressional Oversight Panel's website explaining key findings. All reports and videos are available at

Had Elizabeth Warren not already been serving as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, she would still be the most qualified candidate for the new consumer agency.  Had she not been the author of the idea in a paper released on it in 2007, she would easily still be the most qualified candidate to chair the new agency.  

In essence you have a person who is already a lawyer; a law professor, at Harvard; who specialized in studying and doing research on bankruptcy laws; who has proven to have special insights into the perspective of consumers, aka Americans; who had the original vision about this agency; wrote the mission statement for the agency; who was also appointed to be the Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel which has become the precursor to the new agency; all of this one very dedicated and humble public servant.

If you look up the term 'No Brainer' it now says; "See also the appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head the new Consumer Protection Bureau

It is in direct proportion to her unique qualification that Progressives have totally embraced and fallen in love with Elizabeth Warren. To everyone who has lost their home in foreclosure, lost their job, have had or are having to go through bankruptcy, who have lost their retirement, or in any other way have fallen prey to the abuse of Wall Street or the greed of big business; to everyone of them, Elizabeth Warren offers hope.  To everyone of them, everyone of us, we all look at her as the symbol of potential justice in our own individual lives.

It is in direct reverse proportion to this unique qualification that the Party of No, the Grand Obstructionist Party, the party of the rich, the party of Wall Street; do NOT want to see the other 99% of Americans get any protection from the corporate masters, from corporate governance, from their greed and abuse.  

Obama has been experiencing a serious erosion of his base! Progressives are impatient for change in their favor and disappointed to see bank bailouts, corporate welfare, Wall Street insiders Summer and Geithner running the economy and the belief that big business was "too big to fail" but working Americans? Not so important they can't fail!

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs' recent comments about the "Professional Left" has only inflamed the passion and divided progressives even more.  Obama can ill-afford to alienate the left anymore.  Give us Elizabeth Warren on this one or face a wrath like you haven't ever seen Mr. President!  For progressives like me, I can only say that appointing Elizabeth will do much to heal the divide.  Failure to appoint Elizabeth will cause many progressives to jump ship and be your worst critics.

Although some senators have questioned whether her nomination could succeed in the Senate, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs recently said that he thought Warren was a "terrific" candidate and that she was "very confirmable" in the Senate.

Don't blow this one Mr. President!  To quote Vice President Biden: "This is a BIG fucking deal"!

Pick Elizabeth! Pick Elizabeth! Pick Elizabeth!

Elizabeth Warren at Netroots Nation 

 Elizabeth was a keynote speaker at the 2010 Netroots Nation Convention in Las Vegas.   She captivated the progressives and proved herself to be a dynamic speaker!

Elizabeth Warren was also on a panel on the 'Forgotten Foreclosure Crisis' with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley who himself was a well educated, highly intelligent participant on the panel who proved to be well versed on the the entire Wall Street scams that led to the foreclosure crisis. 

I attended both her dynamic speech on the convention floor and the panel on the forgotten foreclosure crisis. I thought she was just outstanding.  Yes she is totally qualified in every sense of looking just at her resume.  But I was struck at her sincere compassion.  She was highly approachable.  I waited my turn to be able to share just a few words with her.  I told her a thumbnail of what I wanted to discuss with her in the future.  And I told her that I would be using the picture with her to help remind her of those words when that comment arrives.

For me Mr. President, its personal!  
Seriously, pick Elizabeth!

Here is Elizabeth's Speech from Netroots Nation

Links to more on Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, likely to head new consumer agency, provokes strong feelings

By Brady Dennis Washington Post Staff Writer,  August 13, 2010

This is an article I just ran across in the Washington Post that gives some perspective on her bio background, her qualifications, and why GOP in Congress are resistant to her leading the new agency. Read on Washington Post link [HERE] 

Elizabeth Warren Uncovered What the Govt. Did to 'Rescue' AIG, and It Ain't Pretty
On AlterNet [HERE]

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The 'Professional Left' Just Doing Our Job Mr. President!

"What I'm asking you is; 
  to keep making your voices heard. 
To keep holding me accountable" 
-- President Obama, July 2010

Well Mr. President; that's exactly what I'm doing.  
that's exactly what WE collective Progressives are doing. 
And that's exactly those your Press Secretary Gibbs now refers to as the "Professional Left"  are doing. 

"Change we can believe in."
I believed!  
I worked hard to help Obama get elected! 

I made sure we got hundreds of signs, buttons, bumper stickers out into the community. I still have an Obama bumper sticker on my truck.  I got a really great campaign headquarters for our local community.  We used it to do phone banking; hold events, and especially the big celebration on election night.  We rented a big screen tv and installed cable just for the big moment when we finally laid to rest eight years of Bush Conservatism and ushered in a new dawn, new hope; finally, a new era of Progressive change!

I remember the speeches. Great speeches. Speeches so great I recorded many of them.  Will I. Am made a song out of one of them.

What I heard in those speeches was how we were going to end the wars, reform Wall St., repeal DADT, bring foreclosure relief, extend unemployment benefits, create jobs, retool America for green energy, protect our oceans from BP, lots of good progressive stuff like that.

We were going to have real health care reform not the milk toast watered down version the GOP deteriorated it into.  I was naive enough to think that we were going to get universal health care, single payer.  We didn't even get the public option.  

So YOUR Press Secretary Gibbs is flippant about us not ever being satisfied even if Dennis Kucinich was president or if we had the Canadian Health Care System.

Excuse me?

At this point, I'm rather certain that Dennis would have found a way to end the wars and get us all universal health care.  I really doubt he would have brought in Wall St. insiders like Larry Summers or Tim Geithner.  And I'm rather certain that Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod wouldn't have been fired at the will of Fox Noise.  By the way Mr. President,  I'm getting less fond of Rahm Emanuel and Robert Gibbs by the day.

And by now Mr. President, I would have expected DADT to have been repealed.  Congress did that and now its under review?  For how long? Unacceptable Mr. President.

If we had Canadian style universal health care, I'd have some of my health issues looked at and I'd be satisfied knowing that Americans would start living 3 to 5 years longer like Canadians now do.

You broke all of your promises about dealing with the foreclosure crisis.  As a result, millions of families lost their homes.  What I don't remember in any of your speeches Mr. President was your devotion to Big banks, big corporations, big oil.  I must have missed all of those 'Too Big to Fail' speeches where you must have promised that corporations must be given priority over their victims of predatory lending and illegal loan servicing practices.

Yes Mr. President, your base is restless. We're impatient.  Soldiers are dying. People are still unemployed, homeless, losing all hope.  BP just killed an ocean and they got to call all of the shots.  No one is in prison for that just like nobody is in prison for the Wall St. crimes.

We acknowledge all of the great things you have done but frankly, its not nearly good enough and 'Yes we can do more'.  By now you should have done more.  We want you to stop pandering to the right.  We really want you to stop pandering to big business.  We want you, to get strong, defiant, and force through the "Change" you talked about in all of those great speeches that earned you the most votes of any president in history.

So do us 'Lefty Professionals' (whatever that means and whoever that includes) a big favor;  Tell Gibss to STFU about us and turn his frustration where it belongs; the GOP and the 'RWNJ Professionals'.  They are the enemy; not us.

We in your base are NOT satisfied.  We 'Professional Left' (if I can be so bold as to include myself), WE Mr. President are damn well going to, as you put it: "Keep making our voices heard" and WE Mr. President are going to "Hold you accountable".  

And unless you have changed your mind on that one Mr. President, then you need to tell Mr. Gibbs about your directive.  Fire Mr. Gibbs for turning on us in a defiant act of betrayal.  Because this progressive army of Professional and Amateurs on the left do not intend to be patient much longer.  Grow a pair, and give us the change we elected you for or your base won't be there for you next time you need us.  Its that simple Mr. President.

There is a big temptation here to go into many other areas or elaborate on those I've already cited but when I have a couple of videos from a couple of big shots that always do a better job at speaking for me than I ever do; I think I should just shut up and them do what they do best.

First, here is what Press Secretary Gibbs said along with the response from Florida Congressman Alan Grayson:

Here is what else Rep Grayson had to say on the subject:  

"Times are tough. Maybe you noticed.
In certain parts of the world, 100 years ago, when times were tough -- a drought, a famine -- they ate each other. Literally.
That's who they were.
We're different. When times are tough, we don't think about ourselves alone. We think about those who need help. The sick. Senior citizens. The disabled. Children. When times are tough, they're the ones who need help the most.
That's why I was so proud yesterday to vote for money for schools and for health care for the poor.
That's why I was so proud yesterday to vote for money for schools and for health care for the poor.
Why? Because if we voted it down, schools would close. And hospitals would close.
But we won't let that happen. When times are tough, we rise to the occasion. We shelter the homeless, we feed the hungry, and we heal the sick. We teach the children. We help those in need.
We're Americans. It's who we are. And I'm proud of it."
Follow Rep. Alan Grayson on Twitter:

Here is Keith Olbermann's Special Comment on it:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Related Links on this Subject

Cowards vs. Hypocrites: 
Why Democratic Politicians Despise the “Professional Left”
By Randy Shaw

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Al Doesn't Live In His Van Anymore!

Al Doesn't Live In His Van Anymore; 
Al Doesn't Live Anymore!

      Al's Story showed up as part of another post here on Real World Politics called: 'The Bush Economy, Unemployment, and Suicide' [HERE]. In that post I was addressing the crossroads of three pieces of info;

1.This Chart on the Bush Deficit

[ I uploaded this chart for easy sharing on twitter [HERE] and sent it out on various versions of tweets. Lots of people RTd it and within two weeks it was viewed almost 5,000 times. ]

2, A video on the UnEmployed called: 'America's 99ers The Forgotten' [HERE] 3.And the first of the two letters on the 'Al Doesn't Live in his Van' story!

      I got the chart at the 2010 Netroots Nation from a presentation by AFL-CIO President Richard L.Trumka. The Chart originated from 'The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities' who were also at the Netroots Nation Convention. They are doing a great job on crunching the numbers on the economy demonstrating cause and effect of Bush Economics vs Obama response. You really should go visit their site and get yourself edjumacated [HERE]

      If you start studying the real effects of the deficit and how infinitesimal the percentage of that massive deficit is on behalf of doing anything for real Americans who are suffering in a real way. Millions of Americans are losing their jobs, losing their homes to foreclosure, losing their unemployment insurance, losing their health insurance and health care; and way to often they are losing their self respect, their dignity, and their hope!

      The story of Al not living in his van is the tragic story of what is happening all across our country. There is every conceivable version of Al's story out there with millions of Americans, with their own unique tales of hardship, suffering and despair.

      And while millions of Americans are hurting, the Grand Obstructionist Party is yelling about the deficits and why we can't afford to help them. Getting past the issue than none of these corporate pawns in Congress ever said a single peep when they were supporting Bush economic; passing them in country with not a word of objection from any of them.

      But now when its time to put the country back to work rebuilding the country, universal health care, extending unemployment, taking care of the 911 first responders, investing in green energy, mass transit, foreclosure crisis, homeless, veterans benefits, and any other relief for suffering Americans; suddenly we just can't afford to help. The majority of Americans are struggling through hardships right now but ask the rich to pay their fair share? Treason!

     I guess that's why Al's story effected me so much. Al doesn't live in his van anymore because Al's dead. Al's story didn't have to end like this. Al's story could have ended with Al working at a plant making windmill generators, or solar panels; Al could have been building hybrid cars, or mass transit: Al could be enrolled at a college or trade school learning skills for the future technical trades. There is lots of ways Al's story could have been different. It could have been, but it didn't! Al's dead!

      Here now is Al's story: 

'Al Doesn't Live in his Van Anymore' – Part One

[Believed to be written by BrucePaue from The Unemployed Friends Forum [HERE]

      Well whoever it is I hope they read this. I can't think properly right now. Around 2pm on Tues afternoon I received a visit from a member of our local fire company. They came to my house and told me to sit down. I knew I was about to receive bad news.

      With tears running down his eyes he informed me Alex has shot himself in the head in the woods someone found him laying along the side of his van. Alex attempted suicide by shooting himself in the head.

      Alex is in intensive care at the local hospital but to be honest it isn't looking good at all. His sister called me and she told me he has severe swelling of the brain. Doctors have drilled several holes in his skull to contain the swelling. He is currently on life support and his wife and son are going to be by his side tomorrow. T

      The reason I am posting this here is because I know Alex has posted here he showed me this forum because I too am unemployed. He called you guys his support group. Alex is a 99er so please please if you feel stressed or feel the urge to commit suicide talk to someone.

      Alex was not only my neighbor but he is my best friend. Alex has helped so many in this community and everyone in our small community knows Alex and his family. Alex worked at one job all his life and got laid off few years ago when his company went out of business.

      I feel so bad about this I should have known something was up. Monday night Alex walked over to my place and wanted to give me his laptop computer because he knew I sold my computer to feed my baby boy. Alex looked really wore out at the time mentally and was losing weight like crazy because he was walking to apply for jobs.

      Alex wouldnt accept a ride or accept a meal without putting up a fight. He used to say I am no charity case. Ok I am sorry for blabbering on just needed to talk to some people. However I am greatly upset about this but we need to keep up the fight for 99ers all over. Lets fight for Alex by calling emailing or faxing. I will be doing so for now on.

'Al Doesn't Live in his Van Anymore' – Part TWO

[I don't know if it was Bruce Paue or someone else who wrote this Part Two but on Thursday 5th August 2010, @ExtendUENow sent out this letter on a 'long tweet':]
      It is with Great Sadness that I have to let you know that unemployed 99er Al passed away from a self inflicted gunshot wound. This beautifully written piece was Posted by 1 of our members Msannonymous222 at the Unemployed-Friends Forum.
This is the story of Al, one of those statistics you all talk about, one of the constituents you read letters from on the Senate floor, on the House floor:

      "He did everything right: worked hard all his life, paid taxes, took care of his family, participated in his community. Then boom, one day he was laid off at age 58, and for more than two years after that could only find odd jobs here and there. Jobs he applied for had many people showing up to try to get the same 'one' job. 

      When he reached 99 weeks and lost his unemployment benefits, he lost his home, he put his disabled wife and son into a homeless shelter, he lived in his van, he suffered when the police confiscated his license plate due to nonpayment of the registration. 
      No longer able to drive the van to seek work, he walked miles and miles, and prospective employers told him that he would not be hired because he was too old. Managers at both McDonald's and Wendy's told him that the was too old to work for them. 
      The welfare office said he couldn't have food stamps without a mailing address. The homeless shelters that accept men told him they were full. He managed to hang onto his laptop and used it to email Congress and the White House to help the 99ers, but no one listened. 
      Then one day last week, he gave his laptop away to a fellow jobless man who had just sold his own computer to buy milk for his baby, walked a few miles back to where his van was parked, and shot himself in the head."—a poster on the Unemployed Friends forum

      Today we learned he is no longer with us. He was declared brain dead yesterday. His family courageously and most lovingly removed him from life support, and he died.

      Sen. Casey, your constituent is gone. Sen. Specter, your statistic is gone. And his representative? Someone from your district has passed.

      While all of you were aiming your slings and arrows at each other—you know, your good friends on the other side of the aisle—day after day, week after week, month after month, no one was noticing that many millions of Als were trying to live through one more day of heartbreak, terror, disgust, anger and a million other emotions—while attempting to find something to eat, someplace to sleep, and, yes, by golly, being chipper on that job hunt.

      Today I'm not addressing this to Democrats. Today, I'm not addressing this to Republicans. Today I'm not addressing this to an Independent. I'm not addressing it to your political beliefs, your deficit spending or not. I'm addressing this to each and every human being in Congress, and I'm putting you on notice that a man died—a 99er died—because no one moved fast enough to help him.

      Do you know how many 99ers are near bottom right now—who don't know if they can stand one more day, or even one more hour, trying to hold on until financial aid comes to them? They are white collar, blue collar, degreed and not, many years of experience, just out of school, with families, alone, with lives they've had to just give up, lives that don't exist anymore in any way resembling "the old days" when they were proud to be employed.

      We are grateful that a bill for the 99ers has been introduced. But I cannot physically fathom that you people are leaving and leaving millions of needy people behind. By your return from your recess, there will be more Als who just. give. up.

      Do you know what it's like to be penniless? I do. I've been.

      Do you know what it's like to watch your loved one die from a brain injury? I do. I've watched.

      His family members and close friend Bruce have been in agony since July 27 because you didn't do something to help this man in time.

      Do the honorable thing tomorrow. Don't recess. Stay. Fulfill your moral obligation. And if you didn't know you had a moral obligation as a member of Congress, then maybe you ought to consider another career, perhaps as an accountant, something which makes you accountable for money, but unaccountable for lives worth saving and lives worth living.

      Today we should all be mourning. This was a life lost. Al wasn't your constituent. He wasn't your statistic. He was a living, breathing, desperate human being. How many more lives will be lost before other living, breathing, desperate human beings are helped?"