Monthly Archives: September 2013

Far Left Baiting Elizabeth Warren


photo credit to Tim Pierce, with a link back to the original photo page at
Photo Credit to Tim Pierce

New Orleans  Why in the world would the New York Times be “left-baiting” Elizabeth Warren, the recently elected US Senator from Massachusetts?  The front page headline read, “Warren is now the Hot Ticket on the Far Left.”  Huh?

            What’s up?  Is she leading sugar cutting expeditions to Cuba with the Vinceramos Brigade?   Did she just attend a memorial service for Hugo Chavez in Venezuela?   Did she just have lunch in Germany at the Rosa Luxemburg Institute of the former East German Communist Party?

            No, the former Harvard Law professor and consumer advocate from Oklahoma who was the architect behind the new federal Consumer Finance Protection Bureau is exciting people with a populist message.   The “far left” where she is supposedly a “hot ticket” includes the following wild-eyed radical groups according to the Time where she recently was a speaker:   the AFL-CIO at its national convention, a conference call, the League of Conservation Voters, the Campaign for America’s Future, the Wellstone Institute, the Daily Kos, and the like.   Are these mainstream, pillars of the liberal wing of the Democratic Party now somehow defined not just as “left” which would surprise many of them, but as “far left?”   Wow!   And, does the fact that she is also courted to help raise money for other Senators like Barbara Boxer of California, Mark Begich of Alaska, and Richard Durbin of Illinois make them fellow Molotov cocktail throwers on the far left?

            What’s the story behind the news here?   Is a little taste of “make the banks pay” populism scaring the Times and the Establishment voices whispering in their top editor and owners’ ears?  Is this an early stealth campaign by the Hillary and Bill gang of Clintonistas trying to preemptively strike at Warren and paint her as too radical and “far left” so she doesn’t come out of nowhere and derail their hopes in the same fresh-faced and aspirational  way that Barack Obama did in 2008?  

            She’s reportedly going out of her way to tamp down any speculation that she might run for President in 2016, which is smart, whether she means it or not, but frankly, if a populist message about wealth inequality, banking and loan abuse, and equal opportunity for lower income and working Americans, is scaring the Establishment, Senator Warren, originally from the bright red state of Oklahoma and now representing the deep blue state of Massachusetts, might be just the voice – and candidate – we need to make sure that our issues don’t get ignored once again.

            If Elizabeth Warren is “far left,” then we need to pull the whole country in that direction!


Is it Possible that Judges are Finally Fed Up with Banks Breaking Bad?

FIGHTING-FORECLOSURE-PHOTOToronto   After years of big banks essentially flipping off their customers and borrowers fighting foreclosures in no small measure because banks were more than willing to take the money and run on the government’s bailout, but were heedless of the damage they were doing to their borrowers’ lives and communities, Gretchen Morgenston in the New York Times reported several cases of judges finally being in on the game and being as sick of it as the rest of have been for years.

I particularly loved the case she cited where a judge has ordered Wells Fargo to produce a corporate resolution signed by its CEO and board saying that they have knowledge and approve of the conduct of their lawyers.   Having dealt with the two-faces of Wells Fargo for years in instance after instance where they seem willing to do anything to keep from settling now matter how egregious the bank’s conduct is, I loved the report that the judge raised the issue in that case of the huge gap between the bank’s advertising and their predatory, corporate culture.

In another case she cited a judge who ordered Bank of  America and its services to stop harassing a borrower who had successfully gone to bankruptcy court to clear the debts on their mortgages, though the harassment of the bank’s agents continued nonstop and unabated.   The judge ordered the bank pay the borrowers $10,000 per week until it stopped.   Eventually that family will be able to buy a new house with cash, because the bank doesn’t seem to know how to stop.

Though she didn’t mention it, the fact that the arrogant JP Morgan Chase and its CEO Jamie Dimon also have to come up with billions because they thought they were a law unto themselves is also gratifying.

Maybe the feds and the judges will finally crawl out of the pockets of the bankers and give us some justice. As for the bankers, they best get the message, because they were lucky in this mess not to have to do time, but with their record of misbehavior continuing, it seems like it’s only a matter of luck and timing that more of them are not behind bars, and that’s the fire next time.