Thursday, November 03, 2011

I Hate The War

The White House is highlighting an e-mail from Joe Biden. I was asked to note it on the phone and it was also e-mailed, so we will. And I'll weigh in at the end. Yes, I love Joe, he's someone whose word really means something. But that doesn't mean I agree with all he says or does.

I want to make sure you heard a piece of news from Capitol Hill today.

This morning, Holly Petraeus, who has been leading an office at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to protect military families, went to Capitol Hill to highlight some of the most abusive practices our service members face in today's financial marketplace.

She explained that military families are the targets of predatory lenders. She talked about how many service members and their families struggle to make ends meet -- especially during deployments. And she said that the CFPB will help combat the lenders who try to take advantage of people with deceptive, unfair, and abusive lending practices.

But here's the thing: The Senate still hasn't confirmed President Obama's nominee to lead the CFPB, a former Attorney General from Ohio named Rich Cordray. The bureau needs a director to fully ensure that the debt collectors, private student loan providers, and payday loan providers are properly supervised and that consumers are not put at risk of falling prey to the same kinds of abusive practices that helped cause the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Rich has spent his career advocating for middle class families, and enjoys broad, bipartisan support from the elected officials, business leaders, and consumer groups who have worked with him.

Take a minute to read what Holly had to say, and share her testimony with those you know.

Holly Petraeus is the daughter of a decorated general, wife of a four-star general, and mother of an Army soldier who served in Afghanistan. I don't know if there's anyone who better understands what it means to be part of an American military family.

She just gets the stress and challenges that those who serve in uniform, as well as their loved ones, face.

And that's exactly why she joined the CFPB, to safeguard our military personnel and their families.

Republicans in Congress could be taking steps to grow the economy by passing the American Jobs Act. There is no reason why John Boehner should send his members home to their districts without passing a single measure President Obama has proposed to help put the country back on track. Nor is there any reason why the Senate should require 60 votes on these proposals. Republicans could be helping to ensure that every American family gets a tax cut. And Republicans should be working to protect consumers by confirming Rich Cordray.

We can't wait. That's why I want you to hear from Holly Petraeus. I want everyone to understand how much sense it makes for the Senate to put Rich Cordray to work.

So check it out.


Vice President Joe Biden

If you're wondering, Holly Petraeus never mentioned Rich Cordray in her testimony, nor would she. It's really not a role for someone in her position -- getting into nominations and advocating for individuals to the Senate.

There's a reason she has respect when she testifies before Congress and that's because she doesn't really get into anything but the issues she's working on. She doesn't get sidetracked, she doesn't get drawn into partisanship.

Her testimony was great and I agree with the Vice President on that. But let's be really clear that she didn't bring up the nominee.

Let's further clarify that she and the other witnesses (see today's snapshot if you missed the hearing) talked about the regulation that Joe wants Cordray enforcing.

The regulations are useless. Holly Petreaus testified to that. The rip-off artists have already figured out their way around it. DoD -- this was addressed in the hearing -- needs to write new regulations. DoD has that authority. If confirmed Cordray would have nothing to do with the writing of new regulations.

I don't know why Cordray's nomination has been held up. There may be a good reason and good reason include a failure of the executive branch to turn over information. If that's the case here, not only do I support any senator's right to place a hold on a nomination for that reason, I remember that, as a senator, Joe Biden supported that right as well.

I agree that Holly Petraeus offered some important testimony today. (And the link in the e-mail above goes to her written remarks. I noted in the snapshot, with her opening remarks, that we stuck to what she said and that her written remarks went into more detail. You can use the link and see that for yourself.) That's why we opened with it in the snapshot.

And I'm really glad Joe's getting the news out there because there weren't a lot of outlets present for the hearing and what was discussed was very important.

I think the White House could go a lot further if they'd highlight testimony like Holly Petraeus' and do so without adding anything about a nomination or piece of legislation. David Axelrod does everything with a hammer touch and that might have worked for an unknown candidate but with an established personality (which Barack is now), it's probably a bit much when it comes to campaigning. And I happen to agree with Michelle Obama on this, Axlerod's best days are behind him and if the campaign fumbles at all in the early months, he's the first person that needs to be dumped. I think those very astute observations on Michelle's part. I wonder what it will take for her to be listened to?

It's over, I'm done writing songs about love
There's a war going on
So I'm holding my gun with a strap and a glove
And I'm writing a song about war
And it goes
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Na na na na na na na
I hate the war
Oh oh oh oh
-- "I Hate The War" (written by Greg Goldberg, on The Ballet's Mattachine!)

Last Thursday, ICCC's number of US troops killed in Iraq since the start of the illegal war was 4485. Tonight it remains [PDF format warning] 4485. Here's the screen snap:


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