Framing the Dialogue

Obama Appoints Warren to Shape New Consumer Agency

In this series I choose a current news article and you decide via a multiple choice format which terms were used and whether others would have been more accurate…….

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) — President Barack Obama named Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren a(n) __________ (adviser, czar, czarina, non-vetted adviser) to help  __________ (control, shape, subvert, empower) the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling her __________ (“one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the lower class,” “one of the country’s fiercest advocates for the middle class,”  “an elitist from academia with no business experience who will further my socialist agenda,”  “an awesome sista and you’re a racist if you oppose her nomination…wait there was no nomination process as she is just another one of my extra-Constitutional appointees with unlimited power and answers only to me…snap!”)

Warren will be an __________ (operative, czar, highly paid drone, assistant) to the president and a special adviser to Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner with the assignment of __________ (seeking ever higher budgets, hiring scores of federal employees, setting up the agency, deriding evil business who exploit the common man in their quest for excessive profit…but only those businesses who don’t contribute to my campaigns), established by this year’s Wall Street financial regulatory overhaul.

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be a watchdog for the American consumer, charged with enforcing the toughest financial protections in history,” Obama, flanked by Warren and Geithner, said at a White House Rose Garden announcement.

By appointing Warren a(n) __________ (adviser, operative, shill, agent) Obama avoids a Senate confirmation battle while letting her help __________ (control, create, establish, control) the agency she is credited with proposing several years ago.

Warren illustrates the amount of Congressional oversight that the Federal Reserve allows even though it is funded by our tax dollars.

Obama said Warren, 61, will play a __________ (“pivotal role,” “mean game of hoops,” game of stealth,” “along with whatever George Soros decides”) in determining who will be the first director of the bureau when it becomes an __________ ( operative agency of progressives, independent agency, large bureaucratic behemoth, huge tax drain) housed at the Federal Reserve. That transfer may be still be months away.

It isn’t clear whether Warren will be a candidate to head the bureau, which would require Senate approval. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, at a news briefing after the announcement, __________ (wouldn’t say, avoided the question about, attacked Fox News about, declined to say) whether she will be in the running.

Confusing Language

“For years banks and mortgage lenders and credit card companies have often used fine print and confusing language and attractive front-end offers to take advantage of American consumers,” Obama said. __________ (“from now on those tactics will only be available to politicians and government agencies,” “All this has cost middle class families billions of dollars, tens of billions of dollars that they could have used to pay the bills or make the mortgage or send their kids to college,” “These companies have not contributed enough to Democrat political campaigns and must be punished,”  “like Goldman Sachs, they will pay a nominal fine while I gain points with the left and will emerge more profitable and offer Michelle and me lucrative jobs when we are bounced out of office in 2012.”)

“The president and I are committed to the same vision” for the consumer bureau, Warren said in a statement prior to today’s announcement. “I am confident that I will have the __________ (unlimited budget, excessive number of new federal employees, ability to compile enough anecdotal evidence to demonize the Republicans cutting my budget,  tools) I need to get the job done.”

She didn’t speak publicly at today’s announcement

Obama said that, as a “janitor’s daughter,” Warren has “seen financial struggles and foreclosures affect her own family.” He said she will work to recruit staff and oversee all aspects of the agency’s __________ (creation, exploitation of the consumer to further socialist policies, goal to spread the wealth around, goal to demonize business).

Architect of Agency

He called her the “architect” of the consumer agency, “so it only makes sense that she should be the architect working with Secretary of the Treasury Geithner in standing up the agency.”

Senator Christopher Dodd, the Connecticut Democrat __________ (who should have resigned after the Country Wide Mortgage scandal, who should have been kicked out of congress after the Country Wide Mortgage scandal, is looking for a job after he leaves office to spend more time with his family, who helped shepherd the regulatory bill), has questioned whether Warren would be able to get the necessary 60 votes for confirmation.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV yesterday, Dodd was asked if she would be operating as a de facto director. “Well, you can’t do that,” Dodd said. “You’ve got to have somebody confirmable here, and I’d be totally __________ (opposed to , in favor of,  down with a recess appointment to get, will to be that) someone on a backdoor operation here.”

Dodd said Warren will be a “great (operative, operative,asset, operative) for the administration” in her role as chairwoman of the steering committee.

Representative Barney Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat and__________ (someone who should be thoroughly investigated for his role in the Fannie/Freddie scandal, someone cannot pronounce “r,” someone who played a pivotal role in the collapse of the financial markets,  a chief sponsor of the financial overhaul), said “nothing could be better news” for __________ (Democrat consolidation of federal power, consumers, ever growing federal bureaucracy, gaining control over business) than to have Warren help shape the new agency. “She will now have the opportunity to make it function as it was intended,” he said in a statement.

Republican Reaction

Republicans Representatives Darrell Issa of California and Spencer Bachus of Alabama, in a letter to White House Counsel Robert Bauer, questioned the “unusual arrangement” of Warren’s appointment.

“The president bypassed the Senate confirmation process,” they said. “Furthermore, by giving Professor Warren responsibilities at both the White House and the Treasury Department, he is undermining congressional oversight while giving her substantive authority.”

The consumer bureau is one of the biggest __________ (power grabs, extra-Constitutional power grabs, regulatory consequences, potential Democrat fundraising opportunities) of a Wall Street overhaul Obama signed into law in July. It will have a $400 million budget and the __________ (power, unlimited power, super-power, business-killing power) to impose federal rules on mortgages, credit cards, layaway plans and other consumer credit products.

“People ought to be able to read their credit card and mortgage contracts and __________ (realise that our federal controlled public education system failed them,know the deal, see that they should contribute to Democrats more than lawyers to gain favor, not be like Congress who don’t read things before signing/voting)” Warren wrote in a White House Web posting prior to today’s announcement. “The new law creates a chance to put __________(a nanny, Big Brother, Chris Dodd, a tough cop) on the beat and provide real accountability and oversight of the consumer credit market.” 

Authority Transfer

The Treasury Department is responsible for establishing the bureau and under the law must transfer authority to the Fed __________ (where it will then require NO OVERSIGHT by elected officials, WHERE IT WILL HAVE NO OVERSIGHT BY ELECTED OFFICIALS, WHERE WE WILL PAY FOR IT AND HAVE NO OVERSIGHT BY ANYONE, no later than July 21, 2011). The administration expects to do so close to that deadline.

Consumer groups are urging the administration not to wait until the last minute to transfer the agency from Treasury to the Fed.

“We’d like it ready as early as possible. I don’t want them lollygagging,” said Ed Mierzwinski, program director at the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. At the same time, he said it will be a “big job” to build the agency. “We want to make sure that when it’s set up and they turn on the lights, that the power doesn’t short out.”

On Sept. 21, Geithnerwill meet with housing industry and consumer advocates to begin discussing __________ (how to resolve contradictions in federal law about, how to create loopholes for friends/contributors within the, how to included provisions that ensure that Right-to Know rules do not apply to the agency as, how to reserve jobs for unemployed Obama Administration advisers before) rules for home loan disclosures, one of the bureau’s first legislated mandates, Treasury spokesman Steve Adamske said.

Obama used the Rose Garden statement to __________ (unveil his new liquid crystal teleprompter that prevents glare when used outside,  renew his push to extend Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year, Bash Bush, avoid another stuttering press conference performance). “I am urging the leaders of the other party to stop holding middle-class tax cuts hostage and extend this relief to families immediately,” he said.

The political debate over extending the tax cuts, enacted in 2001 and 2003, is intensifying as Nov. 2 congressional elections approach.

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