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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 17, 2011 11 Adar II, 5771

Who's afraid of Elizabeth Warren?

By Dana Milbank




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It seems everybody is afraid of Elizabeth Warren, the Harvard law professor charged by President Obama with setting up the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The Wall Street Journal editorial page called her "President Warren" and a "czar" in command of an "empire." Richard Shelby of Alabama, the top Republican on the Senate banking committee, thinks she's orchestrating a "regulatory shakedown" of mortgage companies. And Spencer Bachus, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, told Warren on Wednesday that she is "probably directing the most powerful agency that's ever been created in Washington."

That will come as news to the Pentagon.

But in the tradition of Chief Justice John Roberts, who described himself to lawmakers as a lowly "umpire," Warren declared herself to be a mere sheriff's deputy.

"If there had been a cop on the beat with the authority to hold mortgage services accountable a half-dozen years ago," she announced, "the problems in mortgage servicing would have been exposed long before they became a national scandal."

Warren added: "We need a cop on the beat that American families can count on. It is critical that we get this right - a real cop on the beat."

"You kept saying 'cop on the beat, cop on the beat,'?" complained Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), who chaired the day's hearing.

Warren could not dispute this. In reply, she said that banks must know "there will be a cop on the beat" and that her agency will need "enough money to put enough cops on the beat." Before completing her testimony, Officer Warren made four more references to cops-on-beats - possibly putting her in violation of public-nuisance statutes.

But it was a useful metaphor: If she's the cop, then banks are the robbers, and members of the Republican majority on the committee sounded like lawyers for the accused.

Echoing the talking points of their banker clients, the lawmakers complained that Warren's new agency will be run by a director rather than a bipartisan board (never mind that the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, another banking regulator, runs the same way), and that it is exempt from the congressional spending process (never mind that other regulators are treated the same).

Basically, the members of the panel didn't want the new CFPB to have anything that would displease bankers.

Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) said the agency was "the last thing that our lenders need." Rep. Robert Dold (R-Ill.) ridiculed the "theoretical consumer protection" the agency would provide. Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) complained that, in Warren's agency, "consumer protection could trump safety and soundness."

The obvious refutation of Duffy's complaint was the mortgage bubble, in which lightly regulated banks ignored consumer protections - and the financial industry collapsed. But instead of going there, Warren smiled pleasantly and nodded understandingly. She tried to established herself as a regular gal ("the first house we ever bought was for $23,300") and a patriot ("I went down to Lackland Air Force Base, where my brothers had taken basic training.") She said she had been "schooled" by the lawmakers and given "good counsel."

The flattery got her nowhere with committee Republicans. They were particularly annoyed that she is on the job without being formally nominated to run the CFPB, which opens for business in three months.

"You have no statutory authority to engage in these matters that you are engaging in," Patrick McHenry of North Carolina informed her.

Bachus, who wants to abolish the CFPB director's position before it is even occupied, dubbed her "the acting director of this to-be agency."

"No, congressman, there is no acting director," Warren replied.

Duffy disagreed. "If it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck and it looks like a duck, it's a duck," he said, prefacing his duck test with the disclaimer: "I don't want to beat a dead horse."

The whinnying continued: "Ma'am, you've spent 30 seconds my time not answering my question. You're backtracking. You're demanding something from the people you will enforce things over that you're not willing to give yourself, and that is, straightforward, clear, concise answers."

The final questioner, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.), skipped all but the last few minutes, arriving just in time to suggest that Warren was breaking the law. "What legal authority does a political appointee have in a situation like this?"

Officer Warren again flashed her proverbial badge. "Congressman," she said, "I think we need cops on the beat to enforce the law."

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Previously:



03/15/11: The underwear flap over Bradley Manning
03/10/11: In Senate's debt debate, talk isn't cheap
03/09/11: With Obama's new Gitmo policy, Administration officials had some 'splainin to do
03/02/11: Issa press aide scandal is like bad reality TV
02/25/11: Jay Carney: Mouthpiece for an inscrutable White House
02/14/11: The Donald trumps the pols at CPAC
02/09/11: Arianna Huffington's ideological transformation


© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group