philosophy at age eight

“If you cannot control your peanut butter, you cannot expect to control your life.”
~ Judah-ism

Friday, September 17, 2010

high hopes for elizabeth warren appointment

I was so stoked when I heard about Obama appointing Elizabeth Warren as interim "special advisor" for the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  This bureau, this protection, is something the American people need desperately, and for once, it appears the right person was selected to put it together.

Warren was assigned originally to track what happened with the millions that the tax payers gave to the banks years ago, and was horrified with what she saw happen there.  She had championed a bill to create the new Bureau to protect the American consumers --- you and me --- against fraudulent credit practices long ago, but only after the banking crisis was it finally taken seriously and passed.

For a while there it looked bleak; the Republicans and their banking lobbyists were really against the idea of someone with a passion getting into that position and telling them what fees they can and cannot slap us with. They threatened all kinds of delays and eventual failure when her appointment went before the senate confirmation process.  The American people protested; I know I sent a couple letters to my Representatives.

Hollywood even had something to say about it:  :D

So Obama got smart and slipped her in as "Interim" special advisor when the committee was in recess, an appointment which didn't require a full confirmation. 

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor who became a darling of the left for her championship of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, was appointed by President Obama on Friday to oversee its establishment by mid-2011, until a director is named later.
The appointment will allow Ms. Warren, “a janitor’s daughter,” as Mr. Obama called her in a Rose Garden introduction, to effectively get the agency up and running without having to go through a contentious confirmation battle in the Senate — a fight that a leading Democrat, Senator Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut, predicted she could not win given opposition from Republicans and the financial industry.

Read the full article here.

Of course, the Republicans are shitting bricks.

Republicans are expressing their dismay over the news that President Obama has tapped Elizabeth Warren as "special adviser" to a new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, arguing that naming her to the post - a move that means she won't have to undergo a potentially lengthy and divisive Senate confirmation process - is "an affront" to transparency that subverts the guiding principles of the agency.
"By not allowing Ms. Warren's nomination to be considered through the regular order of the full Senate confirmation process, the administration has circumvented one of the very few checks on a big new agency that already has been given an unprecedented concentration of regulatory powers," said the Chamber of Commerce's David Hirschmann, in a statement released this morning. "This maneuver is an affront to the pledge of transparency and consumer protection that's purported to be the focus of this new agency."

Full article here.

What they're not talking about is the the fact that Bush pulled the same stunt all the time. ALL THE TIME. So pitch your fits and foam at the mouth, go on, go on wit' you.
For once, Obama didn't let the American people down.  A big hand for that --- let's take it where we can get it --- and best of luck to Elizabeth Warren in her new appointment.  I have the highest of hopes for her, that she will succeed in setting up a strong, independent department that will succeed in reining in the practices of the banks and credit agencies who are profiting off the American people's financial difficulties.

(Which is why, by the way, I pulled all my money out of Chase and started an account with a credit union a year+ ago. Not only do I have the satisfaction of not supporting a for-profit corporation with outrageous fees and condescending advertising, but I am a stakeholder in a not-for-profit credit union which has reasonable fees and every interest in protecting me rather than taking advantage of me. Not to mentioned better online banking than Chase! We're so happy we --- and many other members of the family --- made the move.)


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