Friday, May 27, 2011

No Warren Recess Appointment

President Obama will not be making his hoped-for recess appointment of Elizabeth Warren to head her own Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, because there will be no Senate Recess.  Republicans blocked it, and Harry Reid caved.  Read the details here.

You have to wonder if this is just what the Obama Administration was hoping for, since not one Democrat is offering an explanation or a complaint.  With no recess appointment of Warren, and the Dodd-Frank Law stipulating a nomination by a July deadline, and the Republicans vowing to block anybody from heading the bureau, you have to wonder if this spells the death of the agency itself.

With the lightning-fast speed of passage of the Patriot Act extensions today without debate, it's pretty obvious we have one unified oligarchic party under the guise of bipartisanship.  Our only recourse is to kick these bastards out come election time, district by district and state by state.

As far as the President is concerned, he's coming back from his World Leader tour this weekend, still basking in the glow of global adoration.  With any luck, this current resurgence of the Obama Personality Cult, the never-ending orgasmatron of the Osama Assassination Celebration will quickly wind down and progressives will again stop fixating on loony-tune Republicans and hold this President's feet to the fire.

Let's face it. He could have appointed Elizabeth Warren a year ago, and chose not to.  It's just too easy to blame the usual easy suspects, the craven Republicans, for this one.


John said...

Another vile non deed.

Jay - Ottawa

Kate Madison said...

This is so disappointing! I hope that Obama realizes how important it is to his base to stand behind Elizabeth Warren. He certainly has not shown that so far, since Timmy Geithner did not show up to support her at her hearings!

I hope Ms. Warren stays put and lets the Democrats choke on their duplicity! If she surrenders and goes to MA to run against Scott Brown, the power-brokers will have learned nothing. If she refuses, they will be in a bind--a much needed bind! This is an excellent test for all of us to see if Obama will step up to the plate.

Janet Camp said...

Sad news.

Kate, I don't think the President is very concerned about the base. He knows that we will hold our noses and vote. He can probably get by without our $100 or so dollars and our time. I'm disappointed in Harry Reid, if he's the one responsible for not having a recess! What's with that?

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Truly, I felt sick to my stomach when I read this headline. It is true - Obama could have shown his support by appointing Warren a year ago. He should have forced the Republicans to go through the confirmation process and he should have fought for Elizabeth Warren. I think the Prez has shown which side he is on - He is on the side of the Big Bankers.

President Obama – You do not get my vote for free. You are not entitled to my vote just because you are the lesser of two evils. The lesser of two evils is still eveil.You have proven you are in collusion with the people who crashed this economy.

So screw you Mr. President! Good luck winning 2012 without votes from people like me. You have underestimated the angry left. We are angry enough NOT to vote for you. With Presidents like you and Clinton, who needs Republicans?

Anne Lavoie said...

The only consolation I have from all this is that Kate, et al have finally had their Obama bubble burst. (I can only hope) That is the first step towards recovery.

Anonymous said...

This will probably set me up for a thrashing...

All I can think about is how very, very, very well organized the right is. They took over a number of states and we saw how fast the legislation came rolling out. They started with school boards and have mastered governorships. I've forgotten the name of the organization (can somebody help me?) who is writing this legislation for all the states.

Ladies and gentlemen, if they win all three branches in 2012, expect Wisconsin, Ohio, and Texas at the national level and throw in a wonderful justice or two.

I hate that Warren is getting screwed, but I'll vote for Obama without a problem.


Anonymous said...

I've found the name:

American Legislative Exchange Council


Anonymous said...

Sorry to keep bothering you.

I've just seen Palin's "bus" ad. She's running.

I'll vote for Obama TWICE over this woman.


Kate Madison said...

@Anne- Actually, I have not had an "Obama bubble" since I saw his appointments of economic advisors in 2009. So, there has been no bubble to burst. I am glad Obama is President and not John McCain, but I am not a fan.

That said, I WILL vote for Obama, because the thought of any of the Republicans who are considering running is too horrible to behold. And I would never do a Ralph Nader switch. That would again be suicidal for our country. I know the deal, and I think Obama is the better person for the job, given all the constraints. Just because I will vote for him, however, does not mean I will not continue to hold his feet to the fire! I think that is important and necessary. I have no fantasy that he will somehow magically "change" if he knows I might not vote for him.

Blackmail is not my style. Confronting and acting constructively is. I am sure I will be out in the streets (again) before the 2012 election.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

The problem is, Kate, - with all due respect and I DO respect you greatly - we aren't holding Obama's feet to the fire because we have no power to do this. We complain - and we might even complain loudly - but in the end it doesn't do any good. The only thing we have of value that Obama and his "team" want is our vote. And I'll be damned if I am going to just give it to him without getting something in return.

I wrote in another posting, I feel like I am going through the five stages of grief. At first it was disbelief - I made excuses for Obama. I couldn't believe he was really in bed with the bankers and all the corporations that were wrecking our country. - Now, I am just angry beyond words.

We have been played. I think if the Angry Left had stuck together we would have been a big enough voting block to actually hold Obama's feet to the fire. But we were slapped aside like a annoying gnats and told to quit whining. And what did we do? We put our tail between our legs and are accepting crumbs as if that is our only choice - as if we don't deserve a full meal.

Blackmail may not be your style, but accepting kick after kick and sticking around for more isn't my style. I fight with the only weapon I have at my disposal. And that weapon - that tiny bit of power and autonomy at I possess - is my vote.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Sorry, Ned, I wasn't blowing off your comments. I can understand where you are coming from and you make very good points, as has Kate in this posting and in the past. But I respectfully disagree.

Janet Camp said...

This is part of the latest "recruiting" memo from the campaign from Mitch:

Janet --

This kind of organization-building isn't just an electoral strategy -- it's a reflection of what we believe in as voters and citizens. It's a commitment to the kind of politics that begins in backyards and living rooms and empowers every single American to get involved and organize for the changes they want to see.

At a moment when it feels like the only thing that separates our opponents is how quickly they want to end Medicare as we know it, winning this way -- driven locally, powered by the grassroots -- will be a rebuke to those in Washington who still think that people across the country don't have a seat at the table where decisions are made.

-- Messina mentioned the one-on-one initiative last month. We're going to talk with every person who volunteered or made a donation last time. So the staff and I started making calls and meeting with people one-on-one. And then those people started having their own one-on-ones with others. So far more than 75,000 individual conversations have happened across the country. The results are a massive army of newly energized volunteers, plus thousands of pages of ideas and feedback that will inform how we shape our organization nationally.

I had this "one-on-one" bit done to me when I worked on the 2010 campaign. It is worse than buying a new car--a process I despise. They invite you for coffee, sit down and look at you very earnestly and then after you express your disappointment on certain issues-- ADMIT that its been "disappointing", they ADMIT that they share your feeling of disgust on certain issues, they confess that they too, will have to hold their noses when they vote, but, oh please, just make these calls or what's the alternative? Then you have a "house party", thinking it is an opportunity to organize your neighbors for some meaningful discussion. Turns out, the "organizer" guy just fakes a concerned look and uses this gathering as a "recruitment tool" to get more phone bankers. It's all a giant sales pitch. I don't know who all these eager people are that they talk about, they were certainly not in evidence at my house party! No one signed up to "volunteer" and they were promptly ignored by the campaign. So much for holding any feet to the fire.

Notice how this one even throws in the Medicare "scare" tidbit. These emails are insulting on a number of levels. They seem to be aimed at the same audience as Fox News--uneducated dimwits.

I am back to the idea of staying home for the first time in my long voting life. I'm just not convinced that it makes any difference at all who is elected. The fix is in and unless millions (obviously tens of thousands as in Madison is not enough) take to the streets, very little is going to change. I understand the Supreme Court appointment argument, but with Citizens United in place (and just enhanced) and with states passing all kinds of anti-abortion legislation, I'm not even sure that matters.

So, Kate, tell me how a few of us taking to the streets is making a difference? I think withholding my vote could be a lot more effective. Only I wouldn't call it blackmail. I'd call it discipline. A candidate has to earn my vote, not assume it based on a lesser-of-two-evils scale.

Karen Garcia said...

I got the same Mitch-mail. How quickly they are jumping on the "Only WE will protect your Medicare" campaign issue.

Check out the "New Progressive Alliance" via the link I just posted on my Blog Roll. These people are already organizing for the Iowa caucus and definitely don't belong to the Nose Holding branch of the Democratic Party!

Janet Camp said...

I checked out NPA. Dunno. I don't think they will ever get any kind of majority. Just WHO would anyone suggest (who would accept) challenge Obama? I'm not so much anti-Obama, as anti-right wing, well-financed money machine that has been eating away at all things liberal for 30 years. I can see where he has difficulty challenging this machine this late in the game. I think we need to concentrate on getting local and state liberals elected and get some think tanks going (Brookings barely counts). There are too many blue and yellow (and dirty) dogs in Congress pretending to be democrats who do not really stand for the Party Platform.

I'd like to remind everyone that I supported Hillary Clinton initially--not because she's so "liberal", but because I thought she was better qualified than Obama.

Karen Garcia said...

Janet, you are perfectly correct that progressives mounting a challenge to Obama haven't a prayer of actually defeating him. And this group is under no illusions of doing so. But they do want to make a noise, cause some disruption to the status quo, make the powers that be just a wee bit uncomfortable. They have about 20 possible candidates on their list. Leading the pack is, of course, Elizabeth Warren.
I agree that we have to concentrate on state and local races during the next four or five years, then the Democratic field is wide open. Biden will be too old, Hillary likely will not run either. Her current gig has aged her about 10 years. She looks worn out. Maybe that's why Obama picked her.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to the "flock" we in the trade unions have a name for it, "dues card sheep", our purpose is to pay dues and vote for the people we are told to vote for. Past that we are told to just go away and let our "betters" run things. The primary interest of our betters is to get as many members paying dues as possible rather than do anything for the existing members.

I don't think so!


Anonymous said...

This is more than Obama. This is about:
Public schools
Prayer in schools
Universal health care
School lunch
Pell Grants
Religious Tolerance
Respect for Science
Love of the Arts
Privitization of public services
No Planned Parenthood
End of Roe v Wade
A Republican sweep will go very hard right.
If you can't vote for Obama, vote for the others. Obama let you down. Don't let your country down.


Kate Madison said...

I sincerely wish our "one" vote counted for something. I think what it does count for is holding on to our integrity. I have no illusions that taking to the streets will have any effect on Obama either, and I may not do it. But if he does not start in earnest the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan, you can be sure I will be protesting.

What I do hope is having some kind of effect is my refusal to serve again as an Obama Organizer in Oregon. My other progressive friends are unwilling to take on their jobs again either. We are all being pestered by the West Coast Obama people, so they are well aware of what is going on. I think there are quite a few of us in this position, and I hope at some point it will get to Jimmy Messina. If and when he writes or calls, you can be sure I will post it on Sardonicky. Or, maybe he will just say: "fucking bitch--who needs her and her sanctimonious purist friends."

Anyway, I do hope all of you who are planning to withhold your votes as a matter of conscience are thinking about the consequences of a Republican president if enough of you decide to do that! Yikes! Then we will really be digging through deep ca ca.

Janet Camp said...

Kate, I'll probably end up voting--old habits are hard to break, but I just get so angry every time Prez caves when he could be taking the opportunity to turn some of this "ca ca" we're already deep into, around.

Karen, I'll take another look at that site, but I'm already committed to Russ Feingold and Progressives United. I think overturning Citizens United is absolutely critical. I also give to Bold Progressives and to individual progressive candidates, so it's not as if I'm not involved. I have worked on every dem campaign since McGovern and I violated my carbon footprint vows to go to Madison frequently to protest.

Richard, if you don't want to pay union dues, go to work somewhere for less pay and fewer benefits. Some of your dues helped organize the demonstrations in Madison--which just may have been the turning point in the long downward mobility of the working person. The fight for your union job is continuing here and the recalls just may succeed. You can thank me later.

Valerie Tweedie said...

My concern is if Obama isn't willing to fight for Elizabeth Warren - someone with the exposure and support of so many people - and for an agency that we all want - both Republicans and Democrats - what kind of Supreme Justices can we trust him to appoint if he is re-elected? There is a reason Ruth Bade Ginsberg, a justice who has had pancreatic cancer, isn't stepping down. I suspect she doesn't trust Obama to appoint a progressive justice in her place any more than I do.

Those of you who would like to convince us to vote for Obama are putting the fault of a potential Republican in the White House on the wrong people. All Obama has to do is give us SOMETHING in return for our vote. For God Sake! He wouldn't even stand up for a ban on land mines!

And Janet, while I can agree that Hillary is more of a fighter, look who her husband is buddy, buddy with. It sure sounds like (from the short video clip) he was a supporter of Paul Ryan’s disastrous health care bill. Some of the worst deregulation of the media and banks took place under Bill Clinton. Their daughter married an investment banker. From where I sit, the Clintons are in bed with the people who train-wrecked our country as much, if not more, than the Obamas. Hillary took a two million dollar campaign donation from Rupert Murdoch while he was moving in to deregulate the media industry even further. I don’t think we would have been better off with Hillary in the White House – possibly John Edwards, the adulterer – but not Hillary.

I have begun to think our country needs a Democrat, born into money, who is a traitor to his/her class -someone like FDR. The Obamas and Clintons were seduced by the “privilege” of being invited into the hallowed halls of the ultra rich. We voted for them thinking they would not forget their roots and would stick up for Main Street. But it turns out they despise where they came from. It is like the working class who are part of the Tea Party movement – they don’t want the rich paying taxes because they aspire to be rich themselves, to be part of the ruling class where deep down inside, they think they belong.

We need someone who isn’t dazzled by the ultra-rich and who has a conscience – a Democrat born into money. Aside from Jimmy Carter, who was driven in great part by his devout religious beliefs, I haven’t seen a Democratic president who hasn’t used his office as a means of climbing up the social ladder of the Oligarchy.

As for protesting in the streets, I am with Kate and Janet on this one. Progressives need to join together in big numbers to make a loud, loud noise that the media can't ignore. Janet, take heart in knowing the Wisconsin Protests were covered by the media here in Australia and all my friends in Germany were talking about it - word DOES get out and it sent a powerful message to the world. But unless protesters have something the Obama administration wants that they can withhold to motivate him into giving them something in return, he will continue to ignore them.


Anonymous said...


FYI - I have been a dues paying union member ever since the union approached me and asked me to join them. That would be 30 years ago. I know where my dues go. They don't spend the money on what I would but I pay anyway. I could have gone financial core but didn't. As for making more or less money the pay is about the same ether way. Trade Unions should be about the Union supporting the members and vice versa. Today's unions or at least mine is more interested in collecting more dues from more members and making deals with management that benefit the national union at the expense of the individual locals. That is not the way to advance trade unionism.

But that was not my point. The point was the union takes us for granted just like you Progressives are taken for granted by your political party.


Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Thanks for the link to the National Progressive Alliance, Karen. I have sent it off to all my disaffected liberal friends. Will a progressive challenger in the Primary or a Third Party Candidate win against Obama or the political machine of the oligarchy? Maybe not - but maybe as a united block of voters our candidate can force an informal coalition and concessions from the Democratic camp in exchange for our votes.

I always believed that Ralph Nader should have done that. He should have been willing to throw his voters to Gore in an eleventh hour Hail Mary Pass in exchange for a couple of key positions in Gore's cabinet (Sec of the Interior?) and a commitment on Gore's part to support key pieces of legislation most important to the Greens. Nader wouldn't have gotten all he wanted for his constituents, but he would have gotten something. And I guess we would have found out whether Ralph really was the reason Gore lost the election.

Quite honestly, I think an informal coalition system is the only hope for America. The Two Party System as it stands right now is a failure. I wish the NPA all the luck that is out there and I will support them with every spare $5 I have. I only wish I was there in the States to start organising and working for them. Yes, I will also continue to support the recall efforts and I will continue to support Russ Feingold and the good organisations working at the state levels.

But I will not give up my vote without getting something in return. Thank goodness I finally have a group of like minded individuals who are idealistic enough to have the audacity to hope – for something better than Obama.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

OK - I will stop commenting after this but try to catch the last posting on Fire Dog Lake:
Barney Frank: Republicans Are Completely Afraid of Elizabeth Warren. In response to the Republicans refusing to call a recess, David Dayen's has a brilliant idea:

"I have a suggestion for the Democratic leadership in the Senate. Republicans are not allowing the chamber to adjourn. Why oblige them? Why not keep them in session as long as humanly possible? Why not run live quorum calls forcing the sergeant of arms to forcibly return Senators to the chamber? Why not hold votes every five minutes on issues Republicans care about? Why not get unanimous consent requests on pretty much everything on the Democratic wish list? Why allow pro forma sessions? I suspect Republicans, needing to get home to their fundraisers, would reach a deal pretty quickly."

John said...

I've been away from the net for a few days. What a gift it is to catch up on the many rich posts over the weekend.

We have a chicken/egg conundrum: is it the system that's corrupt, or the politicians? If it's the system, then, to quote Mr. Dooley, "Don't vote, it only encourages them." If you think it's just the politicians, then there may be some acceptable ones to vote for still.

The Warren swindle, apparently, was not the last straw. I wonder what's left to argue over, what's left to save from the initiatives and the neglect of this administration? Nevertheless, the question remains about voting for "The Lesser of Two Evils" (TLOTE) in 2012.

That's how I'm spelling his name henceforth: TLOTE.

Fine arguments have been laid out above for and against voting for TLOTE, but you know which side I favor.

We've all heard the line about the futility of arranging deck chairs on the Titanic as it sinks. Well, I too have a list of what's very, very important as I consider what's at stake in 2012 voting or not for TLOTE:

Would my house be safe under TLOTE's continued administration?
Would my job be safe under TLOTE's continued administration?
Would my savings be secure under TLOTE's continued administration?
Would my Medicare under TLOTE's continued administration continue to
be watered down, as it has been under TLOTE's administration so much
so that doctors are more inclined not to accept it as I go gently into that
good night? And what about family too young for Medicare?
Would my nephew's life be used well, or wasted like so many others,
under the continued administration of TLOTE as my nephew continues
his career in the armed forces ?
Would the Fourth Amendment be eroded even further under TLOTE's
continued administration -- never mind the Court?
Would anything that isn't nailed-down-private, the so-called Commons
-- whatever is left of it -- be preserved, or rescued or repaired, or
defended under the continued administration of TLOTE?

Of course, during the first administration of TLOTE big hits in that list were absorbed by millions of Americans.

If I'm in serious doubt about any of those "biggies" above, not just for myself but for other Americans after 2012, then it appears I don't trust life itself with The Lesser of Two Evils (TLOTE). How could I ever vote for someone who is quite willing to see me and millions of others slide further, albeit a tad more slowly, into long-term need without succor in a state being converted into feudalism?

Martin Neimoeller told us what happens to those who don't expect state-sized evil, even when somewhat removed, to touch them. Can I seriously hope for a reversal, or even a slowdown, to the Reagan/Bush trend that continued through the first term of TLOTE? No. So I refuse to lift a finger to help him hurt me and millions of others. He might continue to think there are no consequences for repeated betrayal. Voting for TLOTE in 2012 would only encourage him.

Jay - Ottawa

Karen Garcia said...

Yeah, it's a choice between being killed by a slow-acting poison or being slammed over the head with a cudgel. Either way we're just as dead. The two-party system, I am increasingly convinced, is inherently corrupt and ruled by big money. It is two halves of one oligarchic whole. Change will only come with a multi-party system. Other countries (like Canada!) survive and thrive this way. With more competition, politicians are more apt to feel accountable to the electorate.

John said...

Having just taken my weekly dose of Chris Hedges ( and Bill McKibben (, I realize I omitted the heavyweight issue looming over everything else. (What else matters by comparison?)

-- Would the global warming crisis be addressed any better under TLOTE's (pronounced "tee-LOT-ee's") second administration than it was in his first? Answer only after reading Hedges & McKibben ... while sitting down.

Otherwise, have a nice day.

Jay - Ottawa

Janet Camp said...


It's a bit late to be following up but here we go anyway. Your take on unions is your business, but if I felt the way you did, I would get out--especially if you don't think the pay is any better.

It's pretty hard for unions to keep fighting for better pay, benefits and conditions when they are being constantly attacked by the right and by half their membership as well.

I don't know where you live or what trade you're in, but my son is a steamfitter in Vancouver, Washington, and in spite of some grousing about the union not fighting hard enough, he is a very happy camper who has done very well right straight through this whole rotten economy.

It seems to me that you refer to us on this blog as "the other--those liberals", and yet we are the ones who want unions to regain their power to bargain for the best wages and benefits for working people. You seem to be biting your nose to spite your face if you thing that progressives are somehow the enemy. I'm sorry if I seem argumentative toward you, and it it hard to know enough from these posts to write personal critiques, so I apologize if I've assumed too much. I do appreciate your posts, just don't quite get where you're coming from.

Janet Camp said...


I'm losing track of this thread, but I just wanted to be clear that I don't think Hillary would necessarily be a better or worse President than Obama. She'd have been better on some things and worse on others. I do think she'd be more combative in defense of women, children and general progressive principles. All that you say about Bill Clinton is true and I am no big Bill Clinton fan, but I don't think it completely follows, that Hillary would govern just like Bill. A lot like, maybe, but not just like.

I supported her before Obama won the nomination--that is all. I never liked John Edwards, ever since I heard him speak in person when he ran on the Kerry ticket. He seemed, well, smarmy and that was just what he turned out to be.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Janet, you make some good points. I never got that feeling about Edwards on the campaign trail but it says a lot about a man that he would cheat on his wife when she was so very ill and had stuck by him through the rigours of many campaigns. So your instincts were better than mine on judging his character.

I HAVE wondered if Hillary might have fought more for Elizabeth Warren. While I certainly didn't see all the footage of the Health Care Debate when Hillary testified before Congress during the Clinton Administration, from what I saw she was very much like Liz Warren, knowledgeable and never losing her cool no matter how attack-doggish her "tormentors" were. I would assume she might have had some empathy (and sisterhood) for the uphill battle Warren is going through and all the misinformation, unjustified mudslinging and "bitch" allegations.

Truthfully, if Hillary had decided to run against Obama for the second term I would have certainly given her a chance and supported her, despite my doubts. At this point, I just want Obama out - obviously not enough to vote for a Republican or Libertarian in his place - Not sure I agree that Hillary would have been more progressive on economic issues but Health Care WAS her baby so I assume it would be an issue close to her heart. We will never know. At this point, I certainly wish she had won because she couldn't have been worse that TLOTE who has been pretty useless in fighting on behalf of Main Street on any issue of importance.

Valerie Long Tweedie said...

Always look forward to your comments, Jay! Love the TLOTE! I will be using it myself, with your permission, in future postings. Check out the NPA - They sound like a bunch of people who feel like we do about TLOTE, Geithner and the "team." Maybe we all can vote as a block and force some concessions from the Democratic Camp.