Tag Archives: Elizabeth Warren

Hero of the Week Award: May 10, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

10 May
Hero of the Week

Hero of the Week

Senate Republicans must be kicking themselves. When they used all their dirty tricks to block Elizabeth Warren from becoming the first chair of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, they thought that was the end of it. She turned the tables, running for Senate herself and dislodging the odious Scott Brown. Since joining the Senate in January, Warren has demonstrated her unwavering dedication to consumer rights and holding business accountable. This week, Sen. Warren introduced her first bill, a straightforward piece of legislation that represents the values and fairness that got her elected.

This July, Federal student loan rates are set to double, moving to 6.8%. This creates a huge burden for people entering the workforce or emerging from a career-changing education. With a still shaky job market (something Congressional Republicans have done NOTHING to address…) these graduates may be hit with a large bill while they have not yet moved into their earning potential. Warren’s solution is simple and elegant: give students the same rates that we give big banks.

Right now, as I speak, the federal government offers far lower interest rates on loans, every single day – they just don’t do it for everyone. Right now, a big bank can get a loan through the Federal Reserve discount window at a rate of about 0.75%. But this summer a student who is trying to get a loan to go to college will pay almost 7%. In other words, the federal government is going to charge students interest rates that are nine times higher than the rates for the biggest banks – the same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke this economy. That isn’t right.

[…] In effect, the American taxpayer is investing in those banks. We should make the same kind of investment in people who are trying to get an education.

Well done, Sen. Warren! I am impressed by her systems-based approach to problem solving and moving financial laws toward true equity. As Massachusetts voters get ready to select Secretary of State John Kerry’s replacement in the Senate, the should remember Scott Brown and look at Elizabeth Warren. That comparison makes the selection of Rep. Ed Markey (D) a pretty easy choice.

Hero of the Week Award: October 26: John English and company

26 Oct

Hero of the Week

Once again the lies of a Republican politician have forced an everyday American to come face to face with vicious hypocrisy; once again an everyday American has found the strength to speak truth to power. It started with an ordinary political ad.

Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren is running a spot featuring three people who lost loved ones to mesothelioma resulting from exposure to asbestos. The three thank Warren for her work representing their families and achieving a settlement from the corporations that refused to take responsibility. They also mention Sen. Scott Brown, Warren’s opponent, and his attempts to lie about her record of defending corporate victims.

When asked about the ad, Scott Brown brushed it aside, claiming, “A lot of them are paid. Listen, you can get surrogates and go out and say your thing.” REALLY? Three decent people relive their personal tragedies to stand up for something they believe in and you call them liars and whores? You are Klassy with a K, Sen. Brown.

John English, who lost his father to the disease, was outraged and refused to let Brown get away with it. Taking time from his workday to set the record straight, he was very clear.

After taking care of my father for so long, it’s a little insulting. I’m not an overpaid actor. I’m an ordinary construction worker just like my father. […] Let Scott Brown tell me to my face that I am nothing but a paid actor, and I’ll set him straight on what it was like to watch my father suffocate to death.

Thank you, Mr. English. Thanks also to Ginny Jackson, who lost her husband and was subjected to the same outrageous abuse. Ms. Jackson replied

Sam and I were childhood sweethearts and we had been together since I was 15 years old. I came forward in this campaign because Massachusetts voters need to know the truth about what Elizabeth Warren did to help families like mine who were affected by asbestos poisoning, rather than Sen. Brown’s misleading attacks.

It’s horrifying that these people should have to defend themselves, but gratifying that they took the time to do so. If more people like Scott Brown were called out on their lies regularly, they might start to think before they speak.

Hero of the Week: March 23, President Jimmy Carter

23 Mar

Hero of the Week

In an age where major party presidential candidates sign pledges of discrimination and turn a blind eye to death threats at their debates and vicious attacks on women from their pet pundits, it is heartening to remember that our country has elected some truly noble men to our highest office. Long-time readers of TSM will know of our admiration for President Carter; after leaving office he made the most of his fame and power and spent his time and energy making the world a better place. He recently published a new book, NIV Lessons from Life Bible: Personal Reflections with Jimmy Carter, in which he addresses faith and the proper role of religion in our civic lives.

A brilliant but humble man, he articulately expresses his own faith and the deep importance of maintaining a secular state. Of particular relevance are his comments regarding the use of religion as a club against women.

I separated from the Southern Baptists when they adopted the discriminatory attitude towards women, because I believe what Paul taught in Galatians that there is no distinction in God’s eyes between men and women, slaves and masters, Jews and non-Jews -– everybody is created equally in the eyes of God.

Are you listening Right Wing Republicans and Tea Party bitter tea bags? Pretty simple, isn’t it? In a later question, Carter addresses a topic that even President Obama waffles on, full  marriage equality.

Homosexuality was well known in the ancient world, well before Christ was born and Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. In all of his teachings about multiple things -– he never said that gay people should be condemned. I personally think it is very fine for gay people to be married in civil ceremonies. I draw the line, maybe arbitrarily, in requiring by law that churches must marry people. I’m a Baptist, and I believe that each congregation is autonomous and can govern its own affairs. So if a local Baptist church wants to accept gay members on an equal basis, which my church does by the way, then that is fine.

What an eloquent statement about the separation of church and state, the difference between personal values and legislation, and Carter’s own wonderful understanding of our innate humanity.

Honorable mention this week goes to regular TSM hero Elizabeth Warren. Not content to wait until she’s asked about an issue, Warren has made LGBT rights and marriage equality active parts of her campaign.

Marriage equality is morally right. I’d be glad to see it included in the Democratic platform. It helps raise awareness of the impact of DOMA and it helps build support to repeal it.

Hero of the Week Award: December 16, Elizabeth Warren

16 Dec

Hero of the Week

For regular TSM readers you will know this is not the first time our Elizabeth Warren has earned HWA.  Warren consistently proves her mettle and the courage of her convictions as a civil servant.  Warren’s speech yesterday on civil rights, equality, and preventing bullying not only made me weep a tear of joy and hope, but earns her another HWA.

Here are bits of Warren’s speech from yesterday:

I’ve had the chance to say it in living rooms and school auditoriums, but I’m glad to have the chance to say it here: No one – no one – should be discriminated against because of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or religion…As other states grapple with whether to support marriage equality, I’m ready to move to the next step: End the two-tiered system created by the Defense of Marriage Act. Our federal government should not be in the business of selecting which married couples it supports and which it treats with contempt. States define marriage among couples, and, once married, all those couples and their families should have the same protections, the same benefits, and the same tax treatments. Fairness and equality are foundational values in our country, and nowhere is that more important than in our families.

While I do hope she wins the Senate seat in Massachusetts, I really hope she will eventually become our first woman President. Click here to read her entire speech.

*TSM is taking nominations for Hero of Year Awards

Hero of the Week Award: September 23, Elizabeth Warren

23 Sep

Hero of the Week

This week Elizabeth Warren really stood out amongst her peers and showed true leadership, when addressing a crowd and talking about the deficit and fair taxation.  Her video/speech earns her this week’s HWA.  If she does not win the Senate seat in Massachusetts, I fear this is a bad harbinger for the country.

Here is a part of Warren’s speech regarding taxation and class warfare:

I hear all this, you know, “Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever.”—No!
There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.
You built a factory out there—good for you! But I want to be clear.
You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for.
You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate.
You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.
You didn’t have to worry that maurauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.
Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea—God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.
But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.

I love this speech and I love that she refers to the Social Contract. Here is my enormous fear: I worry there are too few Americans who know what the Social Contract is and have never heard of Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  I so wish Americans knew history; it sure would save a lot of time, anguish, and lives if we did.  Click here to see  the video of our Warren, provided by “Voice of the Trailer.”

I also have to give an honorable mention to Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).  Ros-Lehtinen is the first Republican to have the social courage and integrity to break from her party and sponsor legislation repealing DOMA.  Our Ros-Lehtinen is a wonderful straight ally.

Honorable LGBT Ally

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