Friday, February 14, 2014

Liz Warren's Hot Air

I think she is a nice lady and all, but she is wasting her breath:

"With oil prices now above $4 a gallon , and frigid temperatures helping push up the prices of other heating fuels, such as propane and natural gas, the aid that families receive has been limited. In the past, fuel assistance tended to last longer into the winter, but a combination of reduced funding and high energy prices means those funds don’t buy as much as they once did.  Senator Elizabeth Warren said, “This emergency action is critical to protect families and make sure they have access to the heating assistance they need.”

No, no, it has nothing to do with fart mi$t.

"The plan faces grim odds in a deeply polarized Congress." 


I'm tired of that narrative when Israel, Wall Street, the war machine, and well-connected concerns get everything they want. 

"Elizabeth Warren sees promise in Postal Service as lender; Says alternative to payday loan industry needed" by Kimberly Railey |  Globe Correspondent, February 14, 2014

WASHINGTON — Senator Elizabeth Warren, as a financial industry watchdog, wants to crack down on sky-high interest rates and other potentially unfair practices of the payday loan industry. But as a self-described champion of lower-income families, she also sees a need for small, short-term loans for people who otherwise can’t get credit.

So Warren has seized on a novel idea: Transform the US Postal Service into a lender.

The Massachusetts Democrat is calling for post offices to go into competition with private enterprise and offer simple financial services — like bill-paying, check-cashing and small loans — as an alternative to payday lending.

“There are still people who need cash on a short-term basis,” Warren said in an interview. “The question is: Is it possible to design something and give people access to small-dollar loans without getting them ensnared in the trap of payday lending?”

So-called payday lenders offer short-term loans, often less than $1,000, that carry steep fees and whopping interest rates, which critics say catch borrowers in a negative cycle of debt.

It's called usury, and it's the essence of the banking $y$tem.

But for some of the 12 million Americans who take out these loans yearly, they represent the only option to pay for expenses such as car repairs or unexpected medical bills.

The plan to thrust the Postal Service into the business, an idea that Warren supported in a recent op-ed article for The Huffington Post, faces grim odds in a deeply polarized Congress.

Like Glass-Steagel and anything else she has tried to introduce.

Representative Elijah E. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, has introduced legislation to move the proposal forward, but banks and congressional Republicans are expected to oppose it.

Not all Republicans, but.... 

Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who caucuses with Democrats, also supports the concept.

Except Sanders is a sell-out in so many ways.

Payday lenders, who say their business has been unfairly maligned, maintain the Postal Service would need to play by the same rules as private enterprises.

Industry representatives say they provide valuable services to millions of struggling Americans who have few credit options and are on the fringes of the traditional banking system.

“We’ve heard a lot of criticism from some consumer groups but we don’t hear viable alternatives for this underserved community,” said Peter Barden, spokesman for the Online Lenders Alliance, a trade group. 

You just did.

RelatedBanks aid predatory lenders, US says

Better be careful or they will "choke" off the economy, my "point" being I didn't see any Wall Street banks mentioned.


Consumer advocates assail it as a predatory business, arguing that high fees thwart the repayment of loans on time. As a result, borrowers are forced to renew their loan or take out an additional one.

And who benefits?

On average, they spend $520 in finance charges for loans averaging $375, according to the Safe Small-Dollar Loans Research Project at the Pew Charitable Trusts.

“Most borrowers can’t support that,” said Nick Bourke, the project’s director.

The industry has recently come under the scrutiny of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which Warren played a key role in creating after the financial crisis. In November, the federal agency took its first enforcement action against a payday lending firm, requiring Cash America to pay $19 million to settle charges it had violated lending laws and impeded an investigation.

A report by the Postal Service inspector general suggested the government agency could allow consumers to borrow up to 50 percent of their paycheck at an annual interest rate equivalent to 28 percent, a fraction of the triple-digit rates common in payday loans.

That addition, combined with offering other financial services, could serve the roughly one-quarter of Americans who do not have bank accounts or need more affordable access to credit. More than 90 percent of the bank branches that closed since 2008 are in lower-income areas.

The changes could generate $8.9 billion in annual revenue for the cash-strapped Postal Service, which is losing billions of dollars yearly.

Only because they have to fund pensions and healthcare 75 years into the future.

Agency officials are still evaluating the proposal, said Postal Service spokeswoman Toni DeLancey.

Industry representatives said they would welcome new competition into the market, as long as the agency abides by the same rules.

The rules you don't abide by?

“We’re wholeheartedly supportive of that idea provided they carry the same level of regulatory oversight as those of us operating in the competitive regulated marketplace,” said Jamie Fulmer, senior vice president of public affairs at Advance America, a consumer lending company.

But some bank representatives doubt the Postal Service is suited to take on financial services.

“What is next? Asking Amtrak to get in on the loan business?” said Richard Hunt, chief executive of the Consumer Bankers Association.

RelatedBanks aid predatory lenders, US says

From 1911 to 1967, post offices allowed consumers to make savings deposits but discontinued the practice as banks began to offer higher interest rates.

Then the banks dropped interest rates to damn near nothing.

Today, the agency provides money orders.

The payday loan industry is pushing for one federal charter for lenders to follow, as the business increasingly moves to the Internet and crosses state boundaries, leading to a patchwork of lending regulations. They say that framework could help identify fraudulent companies, while giving others the ability to create more flexible financial products.

“People are preferring to go online instead of standing in line,” said Mary Jackson, senior vice president of corporate affairs for Cash America.

Really? After the Target hacking and everything? 

Also see: Banks Are the Place to Be

Banks moving to Siri-like virtual tellers to cut costs further

Just don't lose your tracking, 'er, phone connection.

On the other side is an effort to rein in the payday lenders, led by Senators Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Tom Udall of New Mexico, Richard Durbin of Illinois and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, all Democrats.

That legislation, which Warren signed on to last year, would require all lenders, including banks, to follow state rules for the small-dollar, payday-like loans they offer customers....

And it has gone where in the Senate?


Maybe you can get a loan from Liz Warren instead:

"Warren bolsters Democratic party’s funding; Money-raising aids Shaheen, other candidates" by Noah Bierman |  Globe Staff, February 04, 2014

WASHINGTON — Elizabeth Warren has played the role of dutiful freshman in the Senate, careful to avoid upstaging veteran colleagues despite her high national profile and enthusiastic liberal followers. But outside the Capitol, her ability to raise money for Democrats is giving her standing beyond her newcomer status.

Politics always comes down to money more than votes in my propaganda pre$$.

The Massachusetts lawmaker has raised $1.1 million for the party’s candidates and helped the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee raise $1 million more, according to her aides. This year, with elections in November, she has said she will do more.

A breakdown of Warren’s fund-raising so far, provided by her political operation at the Globe’s request, shows she has spread her early efforts to nearly every Senate contest in the country — from blue states such as Illinois, where Richard Durbin has a relatively safe seat, to more conservative areas such as Louisiana, where Mary Landrieu faces a tough reelection battle and has tried to distance herself from her party’s liberal wing.

In all, Warren has helped 24 candidates, mostly in 2014 Senate races.

“It is absolutely critical that we keep a Democratic majority in the Senate,” Warren said in a recent interview, adding that retaining that majority is essential to her strategy of using committee hearings to rattle the cages of bureaucracy.

I'm sorry, but political posturing isn't getting it done for me anymore.

Nowhere has her support been more generous than in New Hampshire.

Warren has raised $139,000 there for Senator Jeanne Shaheen, as Shaheen is trying to fatten her war chest to intimidate Republican Scott Brown, the former US senator from Massachusetts, as he contemplates a challenge in New Hampshire that would make her race more competitive.

Like that is going to intimidate the largest receiver of Wall Street money the Senate has ever seen.


Brown Out in New Hampshire 
In N.H., GOP weary of waiting for Scott Brown
Scott Brown tied with Jeanne Shaheen in N.H. poll
Don’t dismiss Scott Brown’s chance in N.H.
Scott Brown rents out e-mail list to spammer

Looks like a “total conspiracy.” 

Shaheen issued a statement welcoming Warren’s support, calling her “a great friend’’ and “a strong voice for middle-class families.’’

There is no national ranking of senators’ fund-raising for other candidates, because such numbers tend to be kept unofficially by individual senators.

But veteran political consultants say Warren has done quite well in her first year, enough to earn “player” status, especially given that many donors have yet to focus in on the 2014 contests....

Oh, she's a PLAYER now, according to the political cla$$. I'm so glad they approve!

But candidates in the toughest races — including several in the South, where President Obama and the national Democratic party are less popular — may be more eager to get Warren’s money than her public support.

“I would not take her below the ‘Smith & Wesson’ line,” said Dane Strother, a veteran Democratic consultant raised in Louisiana who has worked for candidates throughout the South. “She’s a rock star with the insiders, but if you’re standing in the Carolinas and Louisiana and Arkansas, you don’t necessarily need a Massachusetts liberal standing with you, because those folks find ‘Massachusetts liberal’ redundant.”

What if she were a Republican?

It's insane to be calling Massachusetts liberal! Other than same-sex marriage, we are the same as all the rest. The tax money goes to the same places, the $ame people. 

Related: The Warren Wing of the Democratic Party

An aggressive out-of-state schedule also carries some risk for Warren, if she appears too distracted by political activities to tend to her Massachusetts constituents.

Oh! But Patrick and Obama can do such things and no big deal.

All senators face pressure from their political parties to raise money, particularly if they have received help from other politicians in their own campaigns.

Pressure is especially strong on those who have proved effective in soliciting money online, on the phone, or in person, and Warren led all congressional candidates in fund-raising in the 2012 election.

For Warren, the benefits of extending help to others go beyond maintaining power for her party. She can also build clout within the Senate and raise her standing if she decides to seek higher office, political consultants say.

See: Will Liz Warren Run For President?

“The place runs on personal relationships, and stuff like this can’t hurt in the future when you’re scrambling to put together coalitions to pass whatever bill you’re trying to get done,” said Jim Manley, a former aide to the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, and the late Edward M. Kennedy, who now works for a lobbying and public relations firm.

That is EXACTLY what is WRONG with WA$HINGTON and the ELITE CLA$$!

Warren has pledged that she will not run for president in 2016, but her fund-raising prowess has helped put her in third place in several Democratic primary polls. 

Must be Clinton, Biden, then her. 

See: Opening the Gates of the 2016 Presidential Campaign

Despite Warren’s recent fund-raising achievements, she has a lot of ground to make up to reach the stratosphere of other current and former celebrity senators in her party who have held leadership positions or made presidential runs — including Reid, Kennedy, Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John F. Kerry....

Oh, just what we need, CELEBRITY SENATORS! 

All part of the $HIT-$HOW FOOLEY that is AmeriKan politics in the 21st-century.

Most of Warren’s money — $624,000 — has come through online fund-raising, which has become an increasingly vital tool for the Democratic Party as it capitalizes on small donations from grass-roots enthusiasts.

Wow, what a $urpri$e! Warren is backed by little people, not corporate conglomerates.

Consultants said Warren has one of the most valuable e-mail lists in Congress, with hundreds of thousands of names on it.

But politicians are often cautious in sending out too many e-mails to avoid bombarding their supporters and weakening future support. With a single e-mail, Warren can raise tens of thousands of dollars.

Warren has also donated $180,000 directly to 21 candidates through her political action committee, which she established soon after taking office last year.

She has held only a handful of fund-raising events for individual candidates so far, but cashes in whenever she does....

Yeah, she's just like all the rest of them, uh-huh, yup.


Also see:

Warren pushes minimum wage hike in Boston visit
Elizabeth Warren blasts profits on student loans

She had a lot more to say, but my printed Globe didn't listen. 

My advice to her would be leave after her term is up. Too nice a lady for that aggravation.