Why I Want Elisabeth Warren in the Senate for the Next Hundred Years

Via Upworthy. You should really listen to the whole thing (or at least read the transcript), but here’s a taste, starting just before the four-minute mark:

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: So that’s my question, again, Mr. Hunt. Are you telling me that all banks today in America, or even a majority, have some data to suggest how many are offering loan modifications for student borrowers that will reduce interest rate or will reduce principal for them. Do you have any data on that?

Richard Hunt: I will tell you, when it comes to refinancing the actual amount of the interest rate, it’s Discover, Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has been doing this for ten years-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: I’m sorry, the question was, do you have any data to suggest that the banks are offering the kinds of loan modifications that will help people who are in financial trouble get a chance to get back on their feet? After all, Mr. Hunt, the banks lobby to get nondischargeability in bankruptcy, the question I started with here is what are people supposed to do? What is this family sup- posed to do that now has three children to take care of & $100,000 in nondischargable student loan debt from a child who died?

Richard Hunt: So Senator, thank you. Two things. There is now loan forgiveness for a student who passes away. Many of our banks are now formalizing that into their contract-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: I’m sorry, you’re telling me that this is now available from all banks, that there is loan forgiveness and this couple can take advantage of this loan forgiveness, since their daughter died? I hadn’t heard this…

Richard Hunt: I’ll let you know, there’s not all banks. There are many more banks that are giving loan forgiveness across the country-

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: What number is many more? More than what? More than zero?

Richard Hunt: Yes, ma’am. There are more than zero. In fact, I know of about four, at least four that are doing it right now…

Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Thank you, Mr. Hunt. And when it goes from four to eight, I’m sure you will announce that you’ve seen a 100% increase…

If America, like Terry Pratchett’s Ankh-Morpork, was run by a Patrician, I would absolutely vote Senator Warren Patrician for Life. As it is, I don’t want her to waste precious time addressing the Iowa Family Leadership Summit or fending off David Gregory’s attempts to get her to put on a “war bonnet”.

53 replies
  1. 1
    Big R says:

    Frankly, I don’t think Elizabeth Warren would cut it as Patrician. She’s too straightforward. Vetinari makes Slope Point trees say, “Jeez, that guy is twisted.”

  2. 2
    Karen in GA says:

    Goddess? Yes. Goddess.

  3. 3
    efgoldman says:

    While both my senators (Reed and Whitehouse) are excellent, I wish I could still vote in MA just so I could vote for Warren.

  4. 4
    some guy says:

    Can we clone her?

  5. 5
    MikeInSewickley says:

    I teach at a Big Name College in PA. So I personally hear the stories from my students on how student loans for huge tuitions are killing the dream of higher education.

    I also had my sister-in-law’s son die this year and, fortunately, her grief was not made worst by having to deal with his $50,000 student debt. He graduated 12/24/13 and died of cancer 1/8/14. Fortunately, his debt was forgiven as it was all in his name.

    I would hate to have seen what she would have gone through if this huge burden for her was thrown on top of her grief at losing her only child.

    I DO NOT want Warren in the White House. She will be neutered there. If we could figure out how, I DO WANT her in the Senate until the end of the 21st Century fighting for us.

  6. 6
    Tommy says:

    @Karen in GA: I was blessed. My parents paid for my college. And grad school. It was kind of an unwritten social contract between the two of us. If I wanted to go to college they’d pay for it. Just a given. It is really kind of amazing. I had no student loans. I wish everybody else had what I had.

  7. 7
    Tommy says:

    @MikeInSewickley: I don’t have any children. My brother just a wonderful little girl. 6. Almost at the time of her birth my parents, who have some financial means, set up a trust fund for her education. She will never have to worry about paying for her education. I think that is the coolest thing in the world.

  8. 8
    Suffern ACE says:

    So I went to findaid to see how many lenders there were. 1,080 for New York alone.

  9. 9
    Hill Dweller says:

    @MikeInSewickley: She is neutered now in the Senate. If the wingnuts take over the Senate next year, they’ll bury any legislation she proposes.

  10. 10
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @efgoldman: I’m sure ACORN can assist with that.

  11. 11
    Tommy says:

    @Suffern ACE: If I am not mistaken Warren wants something pretty simple. Taxes, or interest rates on a student loan the same as a bank pays to borrow money from the Federal government. If that isn’t a no brainier then I don’t know what is.

  12. 12
    MikeInSewickley says:

    @Hill Dweller: I hate to agree but for now, you’re right.

    The older I get, the more I don’t trust anyone completely, but Warren keeps saying the right things to help the shrinking middle class. The banksters absolutely hate her because she’s smart and knows how the system works which scares the crap out of them.

    I sure hope she hangs around making trouble for a long time no matter what position, even judiciary.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Hill Dweller: @MikeInSewickley: So get to work surrounding her with good people.

    ETA: She isn’t neutered. She is forcefully making a good case for good legislation. To win the argument, you have to have the argument.

  14. 14
    MikeInSewickley says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Easier said then done. But I’ve become more active than at any time since 2008.

    Hope it helps.

  15. 15
    rikyrah says:

    Senator Warren always gets to the heart of the matter.

  16. 16
    Tommy says:

    @rikyrah: She can take a complex topic and explain it to me, I recall before she was a Senator. Going on the Daily Show. Or Chris Hayes. I came away from listening to her feeling smarter. I think that scares the heck out of the right.

  17. 17

    Pretty sure I need a cigarette now.

  18. 18
    FlyingToaster says:

    We Massholes want to keep her right where she is. If we get to a point (after 2024, say), where the Senate is 62-38 our way, then adding her to SCOTUS would be an excellent idea, but not right now. As Senator Centerfold demonstrated, we’re not a safe D seat.

  19. 19
    Mandalay says:

    From the transcript link:

    Richard Hunt: …there’s nothing worse than the tragic accident that happened throughout the country-

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren: Actually, there is something worse. And that is, when something like this happens, and the family is left with $100,000 in debt and three orphans to take care of, that’s worse.

    The best Senate confrontation I’ve seen since George Galloway shredded Norm Coleman.

  20. 20
    kindness says:

    Hillary did a ‘surprise’ appearance on Colbert. It was cute.

  21. 21
    fleeting expletive says:

    @kindness: She continues to show she can bring it and sling it. I have doubts but if she is the D nominee, I’ll work overtime for her. It’s all too important to slack off on. She’ll do fine.

  22. 22
    Hill Dweller says:

    If Clinton wins in 2016, I’ll be interested to see how she handles Sen Warren. If the rumors are true, and Clinton has already promised Wall Street the world, she’ll likely have some run ins with Sen Warren.

  23. 23
    Nutella says:

    @MikeInSewickley:

    The banksters absolutely hate her because she’s smart and knows how the system works which scares the crap out of them.

    And because she has the rare ability to ask a question and require an answer to it. She had to insist on getting a number from the weasely bankster but eventually she did.

  24. 24
    Xenos says:

    This is a good part of the reason we moved out of the states. Increasing inequality means that college degrees and graduate degrees are a necessity, and tuition rates mean indentured servitude. The social contract sucks, to use the technical legal term. It was just not acceptable to put my kids through that if we had options elsewhere.

    They all want to move back to the US as adults. I hope there is a working college financing system for my grandchildren.

  25. 25
    Corner Stone says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    If we get to a point (after 2024, say), where the Senate is 62-38 our way, then adding her to SCOTUS would be an excellent idea, but not right now

    Good Sweet Christ. 2024? No, thank you.

  26. 26
    Corner Stone says:

    @kindness:

    Hillary did a ‘surprise’ appearance on Colbert.

    I wish she’d do a ‘surprise’ appearance at casa de corner stone.
    Rawr.

  27. 27
    Corner Stone says:

    @Xenos:

    This is a good part of the reason we moved out of the states. Increasing inequality means that college degrees and graduate degrees are a necessity, and tuition rates mean indentured servitude. The social contract sucks, to use the technical legal term. It was just not acceptable to put my kids through that if we had options elsewhere

    But aren’t higher level degrees pretty much assumed for where you are?

  28. 28
    Corner Stone says:

    @Hill Dweller:

    If the rumors are true, and Clinton has already promised Wall Street the world,

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
    Shit. Pull the other leg, gramps. Nobody. Not Fucking Nobody. Gets into the WH without promising Wall Street the world.

  29. 29
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    I wish that at least one of my senators(Boxer and DiFi) was nearly as good as Warren. Boxer isn’t all that bad mind you but she doesn’t play at the Warren level. DiFi is worse than worthless. You think that a small state like CA would be able to find someone like Warren within it’s borders. Maybe she really is as rare as it seems.

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @Tommy:

    It was kind of an unwritten social contract between the two of us. If I wanted to go to college they’d pay for it. Just a given.

    Tommy. This isn’t an unwritten social contract. Not between the two of you. Not just a given.
    Please look at what words mean. And punctuation.

  31. 31
    TooManyJens says:

    @Mandalay:

    Richard Hunt: …there’s nothing worse than the tragic accident that happened throughout the country-

    What’s he even referring to there?

  32. 32
    Xenos says:

    @Corner Stone: Higher level degrees are necessary, really. There is the same problem of social division and inequity in the EU that you have in the states. Here, education at the higher level is heavily subsidized but available spots are quite limited, and so the hidden discrimination against people from working class backgrounds who do not have the support needed to excel in school is quite real.

    So while opportunity can be limited, there is not a pervasive atmosphere of economic exploitation and rigged markets in everything. That just got too depressing in the end.

  33. 33
    Kropadope says:

    @Corner Stone: To be taken serious in politics or the media, you gotta fellate the financial class. Then they give Obama crap because he won’t swallow.

  34. 34
    Tyro says:

    @Xenos: education at the higher level is heavily subsidized but available spots are quite limited, and so the hidden discrimination against people from working class backgrounds who do not have the support needed to excel in school is quite real.

    The trick, however, is that the consequence of not having higher education is fairly benign. You will still get a good job with a living wage, health care, and free education for your children.

  35. 35
    Corner Stone says:

    @Xenos:

    So while opportunity can be limited, there is not a pervasive atmosphere of economic exploitation and rigged markets in everything. That just got too depressing in the end.

    Yeah. I have a 9 year old.

  36. 36
    🚸 Martin says:

    @Xenos:

    Increasing inequality means that college degrees and graduate degrees are a necessity, and tuition rates mean indentured servitude.

    This isn’t really true. Yeah, you can study French Literature at Vandy and rack up $100K in debt and not have much in the way of job prospects, but the solution to that problem is don’t fucking go to Vandy. Average UC student debt is $20K, and the standard deviation on that is pretty small. I’d bet more people are running around with car loans of that size or larger – and that’s on a non-appreciating asset, unlike an education. So, get your degree and learn how to drive a shit car until you can afford to pay cash. Problem solved. Go to a CalState and you’ll get out typically with no more than $10K in debt. And UC is about average on student costs of tuition and high on cost of living, so most states shouldn’t be too different.

  37. 37
    Mnemosyne says:

    @🚸 Martin:

    Uh, yeah, about Cal State:

    California State University campuses are charging students huge fees for something their tuition is supposed to cover — classes.

    In the past five years, some schools have shifted classes that were covered by tuition to special sessions, where single courses can cost more than $1,000 each, on top of a student’s annual tuition of about $5,500.
    (snip)
    Between 2007 and 2012, San Jose State alone cut back regular class offerings for 281 courses while adding more expensive versions funded almost entirely by student fees, according to a critical study of three campuses by California’s state auditor.

    CSU Long Beach cut access to 398 courses and CSU Sacramento cut back 177 courses as they increased special sessions of the same classes, the audit revealed.

    I would disagree that Cal State schools are doing much of anything right at the moment.

  38. 38
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    So, this Richard Hunt guy…he’s a Dick Hunt asshole, isn’t he?

  39. 39
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Xenos:

    So while opportunity can be limited, there is not a pervasive atmosphere of economic exploitation and rigged markets in everything. That just got too depressing in the end.

    Well, we over here on this side of the pond have to pay some lipservice to the ideals of equality and meritocracy, even though we don’t really mean either one of them.

    Jefferson saw this coming and tried to do something about it, but he was thwarted by the parasitical scum of the 1%.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Corner Stone says:

    @David Koch: I’ve got to tell you. That was probably the most poignant comment you’ve ever made here.
    That touched my heart.
    More like this, please.

  42. 42
    debbie says:

    @Mandalay:

    That exchange just shows that as long as Warren has access to a microphone — and they can’t stop that — she will not be neutered.

  43. 43
    TR says:

    God, I love this woman.

    We need another 50 like her in the Senate, but that would require Democrats getting out of their defensive crouch and fighting back.

  44. 44
    TR says:

    @FlyingToaster:

    Eh, Warren would be 75 or so in 2024. That’s an age when you leave the court, not join it.

  45. 45
    wuzzat says:

    @🚸 Martin:
    Seriously, most people need an Ivy League education the same way they need a Coach bag and a pair of Manolos. I went to state schools. I paid off my student loans in two years, and have a better job than my idiot neighbor who went into debt majoring in Geology at Princeton. And trust me, I’ve reviewed the programs at a couple of Ivy Leagues. The quality of education is not appreciably better than that at less expensive schools.

    Granted, I jumped through a lot of hoops to put myself through college. Before undergrad, I applied for about 50 scholarships and got 2. I also got some federal grants and worked at least one part-time job the entire 4 years. In grad school, I had a teaching assistantship. It should not be necessary to put in 60 hour work weeks to get an education and stay out of debt. But even if I hadn’t received any scholarship or grant funding, the only way that I would have ended up “hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt” is if I’d put my whole education on a credit card. Kids, don’t do that!

  46. 46
    Cervantes says:

    @TR: Well, it wasn’t exactly a defensive crouch that got her elected. Democrats and progressives in each state need to find good candidates and urge them to run.

    But “good” is a function of local culture and conditions. There are a number of states where Warren could not have been elected. Fifty Senators Warren may just not be possible at this time.

  47. 47
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @TooManyJens: The subprime crisis and the 2008 financial crash, presumably. An accident, just like a natural disaster; nobody’s fault.

    I guess that’s a little better than blaming the victims.

  48. 48
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @TR: Many people seem to think Warren is much younger than she is, maybe because she’s a relative political newcomer and appeals to younger voters. She’s almost the same age as Hillary Clinton.

    (And Mitt Romney, another person who seems to be perceived as younger than he is.)

  49. 49
    aimai says:

    @🚸 Martin: Yes, this is simply not true. States have stopped subsidizing state schools to an alarming degree. And the kinds of people who are working their way through schools can’t afford the extra fees and the complicated rules that can end up denying them their degrees in a timely fashion. Often state schools don’t offer every course every year and people can end up registering and paying without being able to get the courses they need. The college debt crisis isn’t only because of people paying stupid prices and taking stupid liberal arts. Its insulting to everyone who is trying to get those degrees, working hard, and paying a shitload of money to assert that it is.

  50. 50
    TR says:

    @Cervantes:

    Oh, sure, we’re not going to get a Warren from Arkansas or somewhere.

    But California can do better than Feinstein, right?

    And quick — name the two senators from the safest blue state of Hawaii. Exactly.

  51. 51
    Cervantes says:

    @TR: I agree, both California and Hawaii are not living up to their potential!

    As I said, Democrats and progressives in each state need to find good candidates and urge them to run — nor do they have to begin with the Senate.

  52. 52
    C.V. Danes says:

    Warren needs to stay in the Senate to head up a Pecora Commission when the next crash happens…

  53. 53
    Elliott says:

    The look on his face when she says “actually, there is something worse” is priceless. He knows exactly what the ton of bricks coming his way is going to feel like, and that his own empty sanctimonious pandering put him in its path.

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