U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: April 30, 2014

Banned!
Banned! (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

The Week

The NBA bans Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life, Oklahoma inmate dies in botched execution, and more

1. NBA bans Sterling over racist comments
The National Basketball Association on Tuesday banned Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life and fined him $2.5 million in a dramatic reaction to racist comments he allegedly made in a secretly recorded conversation. Commissioner Adam Silver said he would try to force Sterling to sell his team, a strong-arm move requiring the approval of three-quarters of team owners. Sterling’s views, Silver said, “simply have no place in the NBA.” [The New York Times]

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2. Oklahoma murderer dies after his botched execution is halted
An Oklahoma death row inmate, Clayton Lockett, died of a heart attack Tuesday night after hislethal injection was botched. Prison officials had called a halt to the execution after Lockett’s vein burst when the first of three drugs was administered, preventing the lethal ones from entering his system. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) issued a 14-day stay for the second inmate who was scheduled to die in the state’s first double execution since 1937. [USA Today]

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3. Judge throws out Wisconsin’s new Voter ID law
A federal judge in Wisconsin has struck down the state’s Voter ID law, saying the state failed to demonstrate that voter fraud exists and that the state can take steps to stop it. “The evidence at trial established that virtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin,” District Judge Lynn Adelman said. Another judge threw out a similar law in Arkansas last week. [The Washington Post]

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4. Watchdog looks into allegations of Syria gas attacks
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced Tuesday that it was sending investigators to Syria to look into allegations that government forces had launched three chlorine gas attacks against rebels in the last month. The watchdog has overseen the destruction or export of 92 percent of the chemical arms Syria has promised to surrender. Chlorine, which has many industrial uses, is not one of the substances on the list. [Reuters]

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5. Gunman wounds six at FedEx sorting warehouse
Witnesses said a FedEx employee who was armed “like Rambo” shot six people at one of the delivery company’s sorting facilities, in Atlanta, before shooting himself to death on Tuesday. Two of the victims were hospitalized with life-threatening, close-range shotgun wounds. A FedEx worker said the shooter was wearing black and camouflage. “As soon as I saw guns strapped to his chest and everything,” she said, “I knew something was wrong.” [Los Angeles Times]

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6. Court explains why it found Amanda Knox guilty
An Italian court that convicted Amanda Knox in January for the 2007 murder of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher, released its reasoning on Tuesday, saying that Kercher’s wounds indicated that the man already convicted in the killing, Rudy Guede, did not act alone. The court said it had concluded that Knox, who returned to the U.S. after an earlier conviction was reversed, slit Kercher’s throat in rage after the two argued about money. The next step is likely another appeal. [New York Daily News]

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7. Australian firm says missing jet might have crashed near Bangladesh
An Australian geological survey company says its radiation scanning technology found evidence suggesting the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 might have crashed in the Bay of Bengal off Bangladesh, thousands of kilometers from the current search area off Australia. The company, GeoResonance, said it detected a sudden deposit of aluminum — the plane’s chief component — on the sea floor after the plane vanished on March 8. [TIME]

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8. Hawaii legislature approves $10.10 minimum wage
Lawmakers in Hawaii made their state the latest to raise its minimum wage, voting late Tuesday to hike the rate to $10.10 an hour from the federal minimum of $7.25 by January 2018. That would bring Hawaii in line with a target wage set by President Obama, whose push for a higher federal minimum wage has stalled in Congress. California, Maryland, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., have already approved hikes to $10 or more an hour. [Reuters]

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9. Olympic officials express doubts over Rio’s preparations for 2016
The International Olympic Committee is getting worried about Rio de Janeiro’s readiness for the 2016 Summer Olympics, committee vice president John Coates said Tuesday. He called preparations in the Brazilian city — the first in South America to host the games — “the worst I have experienced.” Construction has just begun on a sports complex that will house 11 events. Still, Coates said, “There can be no Plan B; we are going to Rio.” [The New York Times]

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10. Next Star Wars movie brings back original cast
Disney has revealed that the cast of the next Star Wars film will include original stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher returning to their original 1977 roles as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. The plot picks up three decades after the story in Return of the Jedi. The movie, which also stars a new crop of actors, is scheduled for world release in December 2015. [CNN]

 

Obama Derangement Syndrome

Local GOP Party Chair Compares Obama To Zebra-Donkey Hybrid Who Is All ‘A**’

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AP Photo / Charles Dharapak

I suspect when Barack Obama has completed his two terms as President of the United States, those who have loathed the idea of him being the POTUS for eight years will continue the effort of denigrating the man and his place in history, which is a sad commentary about his detractors…

TPM DC

“Media update for the week: saw on the news this week the offspring of a donkey and a zebra, black and white legs, rest all donkey,” Thompson wrote at the end of the newsletter. “Not sure why this is news: now if we can teach him to read a teleprompter, we could have two living creatures the media will fawn over that is part white part black and all a**!”

Thompson is referring to a baby zebra-donkey hybrid that was born at Mexico’s Reynosa Zoo on Friday.

Thompson emailed TPM with the following statement:

I would like to offer my sincere apology to those who were offended, and I regret including this item in the newsletter. In the future, it most certainly won’t happen again.

Voter Suppression

Wisconsin Voter ID Law Rejected By Federal Judge

WISCONSIN STATE CAPITOL| Visions of America/Joe Sohm via Getty Images

Undoubtedly the State of Wisconsin will take this all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States where the majority of Justices are more amenable to knocking down civil rights gains of the past…

The Huffington Post

A  federal judge in Milwaukee struck down Wisconsin’s voter identification law Tuesday, declaring that a requirement that voters show a state-issued photo ID at the polls imposes an unfair burden on poor and minority voters.

U.S. District Judge Lynn Adelman sided with opponents of the law, who argued that low-income and minority voters aren’t as likely to have photo IDs or the documents needed to get them. Adelman said the law violated the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. He also said the law appeared too flawed to be fixed by legislative amendments.

Adelman’s decision invalidates Wisconsin’s law and means voter ID likely won’t be in place for the fall elections, when Republican Gov. Scott Walker faces re-election. While Walker last month committed to calling a special legislative session if the law were struck down in court, his spokeswoman wouldn’t commit to that Tuesday.

“We believe the voter ID law is constitutional and will ultimately be upheld,” Walker spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said in an email. “We’re reviewing the decision for any potential action.”

The ruling could set a precedent for similar legal challenges in Texas, North Carolina and elsewhere. There are 31 states with laws in effect requiring voters to show some form of identification, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Seven states have strict photo ID requirements similar to the one a state judge struck down in Arkansas last week; that decision has been appealed to the Arkansas Supreme Court. Pennsylvania’s voter ID law has been put on hold because of court challenges.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama waded into the voter ID debate, accusing Republicans of using restrictions to keep voters from the polls and jeopardizing 50 years of expanded voting access for millions of black Americans and other minorities.

A Dane County judge had already blocked Wisconsin’s law in state court. The state Supreme Court heard arguments in two separate lawsuits in February, although it’s not clear when the justices will issue a ruling. For voter ID to be reinstated, the state’s high court would have to rule that it doesn’t violate the state constitution, and Adelman’s decision would have to be overturned on appeal.

Wisconsin’s Department of Justice, which defended the state law in court, pledged to continue the fight.

“I am disappointed with the order and continue to believe Wisconsin’s law is constitutional,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said in a statement. “We will appeal.”

Republican backers had argued that requiring voters to show ID would cut down on voter fraud and boost public confidence in the integrity of the election process. But Adelman said the state failed to prove that voter fraud is a legitimate problem.

“(V)irtually no voter impersonation occurs in Wisconsin and it is exceedingly unlikely that voter impersonation will become a problem in Wisconsin in the foreseeable future,” he wrote in a 90-page opinion.

Wisconsin’s Republican-led Legislature passed the photo ID requirement in 2011, scoring a long-sought GOP priority. Former Gov. Jim Doyle, a Democrat, had vetoed a similar requirement three times between 2002 and 2005.

Wisconsin’s law was only in effect for a 2012 primary before a Dane County judge declared it unconstitutional.

Adelman pledged to expedite any proceedings should Wisconsin’s Legislature attempt to amend the law, but he also had strong cautionary words for lawmakers.

“Given the evidence presented at trial showing that Blacks and Latinos are more likely than whites to lack an ID, it is difficult to see how an amendment to the photo ID requirement could remove its disproportionate racial impact and discriminatory result,” Adelman wrote.

Wisconsin residents can get a free state ID from a Department of Motor Vehicles by presenting documents such as a certified birth certificate, passport or Social Security card. Each document must be unexpired, and the person’s name must be spelled identically on each document.

A number of witnesses testified the regulation was a problem, either because their names were misspelled on a key document or because they were born in rural areas during an era when birth certificates weren’t always issued.

Adelman cited their testimony in his ruling, noting that they faced challenges that could deter them from voting.

“Although not every voter will face all of these obstacles, many voters will face some of them, particularly those who are low-income,” the judge wrote.

The federal challenge combined two separate cases. One was brought by minority-rights groups, including the Wisconsin chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens, and the other involved the American Civil Liberties Union and the Washington, D.C.-based Advancement Project.

ACLU spokesman Dale Ho said his group was “ecstatic” over the victory, and felt Adelman rendered a fair assessment of the evidence.

“We’re pleased. We feel vindicated by the judge’s decision,” he said.

Rick Santorum

Santorum: Obama’s ‘Minions’ Privately Told Me They Thought I Could Beat Him (VIDEO)

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How long have u suffered from delusions of grandeur, Santorum?

TPM LiveWire

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to promote his new book “Blue Collar Conservatives,” Santorum was asked whether he thought he’d win if his family was game to launch another presidential bid. He lost the Republican nomination last time around to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

“Look, I thought I could have won last time,” he said. “I’m convinced. You know I asked one of the Obama minions who were running the campaign ‘Hey, why didn’t you guys help me? I was up there battling Romney and all these folks at MSNBC were saying wouldn’t this be great if Santorum were the nominee, why didn’t you help me? Why didn’t you go out and bang me a little a bit, hit me you know, as being too conservative?'”

“And the consensus was, ‘We didn’t want you, because of this,'” Santorum added, holding up his book.

The former presidential hopeful then recounted how he met with Romney’s campaign manager and pollster after dropping out of the race. Romney’s team showed him a poll from Pennsylvania that found Santorum down by four points among voters who went to the polls during the workday, but up by 21 points after 5 p.m.

“When working people go to the polls,” host Joe Scarborough pointed out.

“This is it. And that’s what the other side is scared to death of,” Santorum said.

Watch below:

Donald Sterling

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver announces $2.5 million fine and Sterling is banned for life- live blog

Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling (R) puts his hand over his face as he sits courtside with his wife Shelly (L) while the Clippers trail the Chicago Bulls in the second half of their NBA basketball game in Los Angeles December 30, 2011. REUTERS/D

Daily Kos

How will NBA’s Adam Silver punish Donald Sterling?

Many here have expressed interest in the NBA’s investigation of Donald Sterling’s racist remarks. He has just announced a $2.5 million fine, and Donald Sterling is banned for life from all participation with the Clippers, and will recommend to he owners that they vote to force Sterling to sell the team  based on the fact that he voice on the tape is Mr. Silver. These remarks are or “contrary to the respect and diversity of the NBA.”

On the eve of the NBA playoffs 10 days ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver proclaimed the game in great shape.

On the court, it is. The playoffs have been outstanding — already seven overtime games (an NBA record for one round) and several others decided in the final minutes of regulation.

Silver had no idea then an audio recording, allegedly of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, uttering racist comments was about to interrupt and overshadow a compelling start to the postseason and possibly damage the league’s reputation.

11:20 AM PT: Adam Silver has banned Donald Silver from all NBA from all NBA activities, games, decisions about players, or decision about players, and will recommend that the NBA pursue every option to get him to sell the team.

11:21 AM PT: In response to a reporter’s question he said a vote of 3/4 of the owners can force Sterling to sell the team.

11:25 AM PT: Silver says Sterling acknowledged it was his voice on the tape.

CNN announced just before he came out the finding was a $5 million fine and infinite suspension. So for about 1 minute that was the title I had up. It is correct now…

Fox News · President Barack Obama

President Obama Shreds Fox News For Their Bogus Criticisms Of His Foreign Policy

obama-ed-henry-foreign-policy

PoliticusUSA

During his press conference in the Philippines, President Obama took apart Fox News and the Republican Party’s claim that his foreign policy is weak.

The video starts 10 minutes before it ends…

Video: 

President Obama engaged in one of his favorite press conference hobbies. The president handed Ed Henry his head for asking yet another Fox News fueled stupid question that was entirely based on Republican talking points. As soon as Henry broke out the phrase red line, it was easy to see the utter BS question coming.

Obama went through and debunked point by point the right’s bogus criticisms of his foreign policy. The president got in an immediate jab at Fox News by suggesting that the network ignored the complimentary pieces about his foreign policy. Obama directly took on the Republican talking point that Fox News pushes on a daily basis that his foreign policy isn’t strong or manly enough.

The president hit Fox News and the Republicans hard by saying that haven’t learned the lessons of the decision to invade Iraq, and that they keep hitting the same note over and over again. He called out Fox and the GOP for being wrong about Syria, and for advocating military strikes that the American people want no part of. He made it clear that his foreign policy decisions aren’t made because some clown at a cable news network thinks that they will make him look strong.

President Obama ate Ed Henry and his talking points for breakfast, and demonstrated why Republicans don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to foreign policy. Military action and waving the flag is not foreign policy. The nation learned that painful lesson under George W. Bush.

Obama is showing Fox News what a strong president looks like by intelligently shoving their talking points right back in their face.

(I usually don’t include the whole lengthy transcript, but this one is worth reading in order to appreciate Obama’s foreign policy.)

Transcript

Gun FAILS · Guns

Shooter Injures Six In Georgia Town Where Everyone Is Required To Own A Gun

Gun
CREDIT: SHUTTERSTOCK

Think Progress

A gunman opened fire Tuesday morning at a FedEx facility in Kennesaw, Georgia. Six were shot, with their injuries ranging from minor to one in critical condition. Authorities report that the gunman is dead.

The Georgia facility is located in Kennesaw, near Atlanta, a quiet suburb unique in the U.S. for mandating every household own at least one gun. The law is not enforced, so the Kennesaw gun ownership rate hovers around 50 percent, according to its police chief. That’s still higher than the average rate of gun ownership in the U.S., estimated to be about 34 percent. When the law was enacted in 1982, Kennesaw had only 5,000 residents. Today, it has a population of 30,000.

The incident comes just one week after Georgia enacted what may be the nation’s most expansive concealed carry law. The National Rifle Association-sponsored “Safe Protection Act” allows gun owners to bring firearms into most public spaces, including schools, bars, churches, airports, and government buildings, even though researchers have generally foundthat more people die from gun homicides in areas with higher rates of gun ownership.

“FedEx is aware of the situation,” the company told WSBTV. “Our primary concern is the safety and well being of our team members, first responders and others affected. FedEx is cooperating with authorities.” It isn’t the first time a facility has been the scene of a shooting; in 2011, a gunman shot himself in a FedEx warehouse in Illinois. The company is also one of at least 34 corporations that boost the NRA, offering discounted shipping to NRA members.

WTH is on their mind?

U.S. Politics

10 things you need to know today: April 29, 2014

Putin's former chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin is on the U.S. Treasury's sanctions list. 
Putin’s former chief of staff Vyacheslav Volodin is on the U.S. Treasury’s sanctions list. ! (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Pool, File)

The Week

The U.S. hits Putin allies with sanctions, sponsors flee the Clippers over racist comments, and more

1. Putin allies hit with sanctions over Russia’s support of Ukrainian separatists
The U.S. cranked up pressure on Russia for what the White House called its “continued illegal intervention in Ukraine” by imposing sanctions on seven individuals and 17 companies connected to President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle.” Among the individuals affected were oil magnate Igor Sechin and tech executive Sergei Chemezov. The European Union on Tuesday also targeted 15 people, including Russian military leaders, with new sanctions. [BBC NewsThe Associated Press]

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2. Sponsors abandon the Clippers over racist comments attributed to owner 
Several major sponsors — including CarMax, Virgin America, Kia, State Farm, and Red Bull — have ditched the Los Angeles Clippers over racist comments attributed to team owner Donald Sterling. The loss of revenue could give the National Basketball Association the ammunition it needs to suspend Sterling, who has become an overnight pariah. The statements “can negatively impact the business of the NBA,” one sports attorney said. [Los Angeles Times]

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3. More deadly tornadoes bring two-day death toll to 28
Tornadoes killed at least 11 people in Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi on Monday, bringing the death toll to 28 over two days of severe weather across the central U.S. and the South. Mississippi state Sen. Giles Ward (R) said he, his wife, four other family members, and their dog huddled in a bathroom as a tornado pulverized his two-story brick house. “For about 30 seconds, it was unbelievable,” Ward said. [The Associated Press]

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4. McAllister declines to run again after kissing scandal
Rep. Vance McAllister (R-Louisiana), who was caught on surveillance video kissing a married member of his staff, announced Monday that he would serve out his term but not seek reelection in November. “The past few weeks have been a trying time for my family,” said McAllister, who won the seat in a special election last year. “As I’ve said before, there’s no doubt I’ve made a mistake.” His wife, Kelly, said she was “behind him 100 percent.” [Daily World]

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5. Major search effort ends for Washington mudslide victims
Officials of Snohomish County, Washington, announced Monday that they were ending the “active search” for the two people still listed as missing after a March 22 mudslide that killed at least 41 people near Oso. About 30 people, down from as many as 1,000, will keep searching a limited area. Frank Hadaway, whose brother Steve is one of the missing, said he understood. “Reality is reality,” he said. “We knew this day was coming sooner or later.” [The Seattle Times]

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6. North Korea announces more live fire drills near disputed sea border
North Korea conducted live fire drills Tuesday on a disputed maritime border with South Korea. The artillery blasts were expected to be similar to those Pyongyang fired in late March near the Northern Limit Line, a sea border that has been a matter of contention since the 1950-53 Korean War. Ahead of the drills, South Korean military leaders told residents in the area to go to shelters. [Reuters]

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7. Year’s first solar eclipse wows… penguins
The first solar eclipse of the year appeared Monday night, although the only inhabited places where it was partially visible were in the southern Indian Ocean and Australia. The event occurred while the moon was slightly closer to the Earth than normal, so it could not completely block out the sun, leaving a glowing, fiery ring around the moon’s edges. The best view was in an entirely uninhabited part of Antarctica, which is why some called it the “Penguin Eclipse.” [Wired]

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8. Roughly 1 in 25 death row inmates don’t belong there
About one in 25 people sentenced to death in the U.S. is innocent, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal. The researchers said that at least 4.1 percent of death row inmates are innocent, making it all but certain that innocent people have been executed. [Richmond Times-Dispatch]

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9. Heat win first-round series in bid for third consecutive NBA crown
The Miami Heat got a step closer in their bid for a third straight NBA championship Monday night by defeating the Charlotte Bobcats to complete a four-game, first-round sweep. The Heat won 109-98 thanks in part to a game-high 31 points from star LeBron James, who went on a 19-point scoring spree after suffering a thigh bruise in the third quarter. The Heat await the winner of a Brooklyn-Toronto series, now 2-2, that could last until Sunday. [The Associated Press]

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10. Ferguson says he is leaving CBS’ Late Late Show
Craig Ferguson announced Monday that he would step down as host of CBS’ Late Late Show in December. “CBS and I are not getting divorced, we are ‘consciously uncoupling,'” Ferguson said during taping of the show, making a reference to the way actress Gwyneth Paltrow and Coldplay frontman Chris Martin described their recent split. No word yet on who will replace Ferguson. [Deadline]

Guns

Man Legally Stalks Children’s Baseball Game: ‘I’ve Got A Gun & There’s Nothing You Can Do About It’

I heard about this on the local news here.  The new gun laws don’t even go into effect for a few months but this guy is getting an early start on the madness that will ensue from that law…

Daily Kos

Another American WTF.

A man carrying a gun began stalking a children’s baseball game in Forsyth County, Ga, this past Tuesday night. It’s reported that at least twenty-two 911 calls were made mostly by parents fearing for the safety of their children. The game was halted, but the sheriff said they could do nothing – the man was within his legal limits.

WSBTV.com reports:

“He’s just walking around [saying] ‘See my gun? Look, I got a gun and there’s nothing you can do about it.’ He knew he was frightening people. He knew exactly what he was doing,” said parent Karen Rabb.

The Forsyth County sheriff, Duane Piper said:

See video here…

 

“We support the constitutional right to bear arms. We will not tolerate bad behavior,” said Forsyth Sheriff Duane Piper.

You just did, Sheriff Piper, you ‘tolerated’ this man’s bad behavior by not taking any action. Is this country so fearful of the NRA, that they do not dare arrest, detain, or at minimum question this man for disturbing the peace, stalking children, and/or intentionally putting the public in fear for their lives? I’m not an attorney. It seems there would be some law out there that would at least give cause to question this man.

The aforementioned parent, Karen Rabb, says she is a gun rights advocate:

“I own a gun. I have no problems with the Second Amendment. But they do not belong in a parking lot where we have children everywhere. If you want to make a statement, go to the Capitol.”

Oh really? Go to the Capitol and do what? Sorry, not a solution. This will continue, and more people will die. This will continue, until laws are changed. This will continue, until both gun rights advocates and gun safety advocates get together and find a compromise.

There is one organization that offers solutions: Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense In America is a very successful non-partisan organization that, for years, has persistently been fighting for gun safety.

Elizabeth Warren

Why Elizabeth Warren Left The GOP

Warren Emerging
Sen. Elizabeth Warren – (D) |Credit: AP

Think Progress

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) told George Stephanopoulos Sunday that she left the Republican Party in the mid-90s because it was tilting the playing field in favor of Wall Street.

Warren has quickly become a populist hero to liberals. Stephanopoulos, host of ABC’s The Week, noted something in her background that “might surprise” her supporters: the fact that she has voted Republican in the past, and was a registered Republican in Pennsylvania from 1991 to 1996. Warren said she left the party after that because she felt it was siding more and more with Wall Street:

I was an independent. I was with the GOP for a while because I really thought that it was a party that was principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets. And I feel like the GOP party just left that. They moved to a party that said, “No, it’s not about a level playing field. It’s now about a field that’s gotten tilted.” And they really stood up for the big financial institutions when the big financial institutions are just hammering middle class American families. I just feel like that’s a party that moved way, way away.

Warren’s instincts on the GOP’s sympathy for the big financial institutions proved prescient. Former Senator Phil Gramm (R-TX) spent the 1990s spearheading legislation that made the 2008 financial crisis possible: the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which broke down the firewall between commercial banks and the far riskier investment banks, as well as the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which deregulated the over-the-counter derivatives that played a key role in the 2008 financial collapse. Both bills passed with majority Republican support, though they were also supported by a good deal of Democrats and the Clinton White House.

“Starting in the 80s, the cops were taken off the beat in financial services,” Warren explained. “These guys [the big financial institutions] were allowed to just paint a bullseye on the backs of american families. They loaded up on risk, the crashed the economy, they got bailed out. And what bothers me now is they still strut around Washington, they block regulations that they don’t want, they roll over agencies whenever they can, and they break the law. And they still don’t end up being held accountable for it and going to jail.”

Warren also dinged the Obama White House, saying, “I make no secret of my differences with the administration in how they’ve treated the large financial institutions.” But she noted the Consumer Financial Protection bureau (CFPB) — which was largely Warren’s brainchild — would not exist without Obama’s support. The agency has already begun cracking down on payday lenders and debt collectors, while cataloging and reporting on mortgage service abuses.

Warren credited the agency with already forcing the largest financial institutions to return more than $3 billion they’ve cheated from customer, and she herself has gone afterRepublicans for filibustering the CFPB’s nominated director unless the agency is restructuredto weaken its political independence.

Since 2008, the Democrats and the Obama Administration have made some efforts — albeit limited — to repair some of the damage, particularly by passing the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill and the CFPB. But prominent Republican senators like David Vitter (LA) former Sen. Jim DeMint have tried to roll back the Dodd-Frank financial regulation laws, or repeal them wholesale. And as Mike Konczal has detailed, both establishment and Tea Party republicans have spent the time since the crisis opposing nearly every new regulation to rein in Wall Street’s risk-taking and every attempt to reinstate the rules lost during the 1990s.

“What’s happening is we’ve got a washington for those he can hire armies of lobbyists and lawyers. Their voices get heard in Washington and rules get tilted in their favor,” Warren said.

“Working families, not so much.”

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