Going to be a busy week in politics, so here’s something uplifting to start the day. Warning, Politico link:
LOS ANGELES – Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka denounced the United States Supreme Court on Sunday as a right-wing panel that serves the interests of corporate America, previewing a theme that is likely to rise in prominence with the approach of the 2016 election.
On the opening day of the AFL-CIO’s convention, Warren – the highest-profile national Democrat to address the gathering here – warned attendees of a “corporate capture of the federal courts.”
In a speech that voiced a range of widely held frustrations on the left, Warren assailed the Court as an instrument of the wealthy that regularly sides with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She cited an academic study that called the current Supreme Court’s five conservative-leaning justices among the “top 10 most pro-corporate justices in half a century.”
“You follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of big business,” Warren said, drawing murmurs from the crowd…
… Warren took aim at the financial services industry, touting the importance of the Dodd-Frank banking regulation law and calling for new separation between commercial and investment banking.
“The big banks and their army of lobbyists have fought every step of the way to delay, water down, block, or strike down regulations,” Warren said. “When a new approach is proposed – like my bill with John McCain, Angus King, and Maria Cantwell to bring back Glass-Steagall – you know what happens – they throw everything they’ve got against it.”
Departing from her prepared remarks, Warren alluded to the long-delayed confirmation of Richard Cordray to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and told the crowd: “That’s your work.”
Warren drew some of the loudest applause of her precisely worded, sharply enunciated speech with a statement of skepticism about upcoming trade deals – debates that may pit big labor and liberal members of the Senate against the Obama administration.
“Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig upcoming trade deals in their favor,” Warren said. “I’ve heard people actually say that [trade deals] have to be secret because if the American people knew what was going on, they would be opposed.”
She continued: “I believe that if people would be opposed to a particular trade agreement, then that trade agreement should not happen.”…
Returning to the stage after Warren concluded, Trumka sighed into the microphone: “Ah, if we could only clone her.”