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Elizabeth Warren Slams Republicans and NRA

All she did was evoke common sense.
 
 
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Elizabeth Warren slammed Republicans’ anti-regulatory rhetoric this Thursday in a speech to the Consumer Federation of America. Warren told the consumer safety group that government oversight is necessary to protect Americans and strengthen the economy, and offered examples of federal agencies’ past successes as evidence of why it is essential to re-regulate guns, big banks and campaign finance.

“It’s thanks to federal agencies that no one has to worry that those white pills are baking soda instead of antibiotics or that the paint on the baby’s crib is laced with lead,” Warren said in prepared remarks.

Warren also ripped into Republicans’ filibuster of Richard Corday to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, calling it out as an attempt to the weaken the watchdog agency.

“Blocking Rich Cordray is about keeping the game rigged, keeping the game rigged so that consumers remain in the dark, and a few bad actors can rake in big profits,” Warren said.

She said the CFPB, a product of the Dodd-Frank legislation that was designed to protect ordinary consumers from the financial institutions that wrecked the economy, “is about making consumer credit clear — no more hiding tricks and traps in a thicket of fine print. It is about letting consumers see the deal — and not worrying about the things they can’t see.”

“Blocking Rich Cordray is about weakening the agency," Warren said.

She also had some harsh words for the National Rifle Association and its outrageous opposition to collecting data on guns.

“If as many people were dying of a mysterious disease as innocent bystanders are dying from firearms, a cure would be our top priority,” Warren said. “But we don’t even have good data on gun violence. Why? Because the NRA and the gun industry lobby made it their goal to prevent any serious effort to document the violence."

When it comes to stripping bare the right's "big government" excuses for opposing regulation that protects Americans, Warren has been on fire. She recently told the Senate Banking Committee that the Justice Department's failure to hold HSBC bank accountable for laundering billions of dollars to Mexican drug cartels (linked to tens of thousands of murders and disappearances) was a stunning example of how banks have become "too big to jail."

If you're caught with an ounce of cocaine, the chances are good you're gonna go to jail. If it happens repeatedly, you may go to jail for the rest of your life. But evidently if you launder nearly a billion dollars for drug cartels and violate our international sanctions, your company pays a fine and you go home and sleep in your bed at night -- every single individual associated with this. And I think that's fundamentally wrong."

Kristen Gwynne is an associate editor and drug policy reporter at AlterNet.  Follow her on Twitter: @KristenGwynne