Give Her a Badge
Even if she doesn't get a government post, Elizabeth Warren has surpassed any regulator past and present in pop-culture status.
Democrats and liberal groups have been pressuring the White House to name Warren, who originated the idea for the consumer regulator, to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But she is now also the subject of a rap video that enjoyed wide web distribution last week. The video features Los Angeles-area comic Ryan Anthony Lumas rapping the song "Got a New Sheriff," while wearing a cowboy hat against a Western backdrop.
The video, produced by the pro-consumer group Main Street Brigade, opens with Spaghetti Western-style whistling, and Lumas in spoken word saying: "Elizabeth, we got your back. Wall Street, you better watch out."
The rap then begins: "Giddy up, giddy up, giddy up, giddy up. Sheriff Warren's what we need, yo. Let me plead, yo. She's not about the money and the green, no. She's about working class families and bringing them out of financial crisis and tragedies." Background voices sing the chorus: "Got, got, got a new sheriff. Elizabeth!"
At one point, Lumas pets a pony. His props include a copy of the Time magazine cover featuring Warren with FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair and SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro, and the headline: "The New Sheriffs of Wall Street."
Later, in a reference to Warren's home state, Lumas bellows: "Oklahoma! Oklahoma, can you hear me? OK. Oklahoma, can you hear me? OK. That's right. Stand up if you feel me."
In an interview Friday on the public radio show "Marketplace Morning Report," Lumas explained some of the references. "That was a little tribute to her being from Oklahoma. In rap in general people are always representing where they're from."
Lumas said he hadn't heard of Warren before participating in the project. "Now that I know who she is, I'm like totally following her."
He said it was fitting he was involved, since the creators wanted a working-class person, the demographic for whom Warren advocates. "I work at Best Buy. I am the target audience," he said.
Never Means Never
Is he or isn't he a banker? The question has haunted Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner since he took office.
An article Friday in The New York Times relayed the many times Geithner has been mistaken for a Goldman Sachs alum.
Media outlets including The Washington Post and CBS have at times mistakenly asserted that Geithner formerly worked for the bank, while lawmakers have fed the rumor during congressional hearings.
Most recently, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg referred to Geithner as a former Goldman banker. The wife of White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel even said at a dinner that Geithner looked forward to returning to Goldman.
The paper recounted another notable exchange, where Damon Silvers, a member of the Congressional Oversight Panel, remarked that the secretary has been in banking.
"I have never actually been in banking. I have only been in public service," Geithner replied.
"Well a long time ago. A long time," Silvers said.
"Actually never," Geithner replied.
"Investment banking, I meant," Silvers said.
"Never investment banking," the secretary said.
To be absolutely clear, Geithner has, in fact, never worked for a bank. He briefly worked for Kissinger Associates Inc., but has spent the rest of his career in public service, including stints at the International Monetary Fund, the Clinton Treasury Department, and, most famously, as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
New Face at SBA
President Obama ushered in Winslow Sargeant as the new chief counsel for advocacy at the Small Business Administration late Thursday in a recess appointment maneuver that bypasses Senate confirmation.
"Dr. Sargeant comes to the SBA with a wealth of knowledge of small businesses and what they need to grow and thrive," Senate Small Business Chairman Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat, said in a press release.
Sargeant is the managing director of Venture Investors, a venture capital company with a concentration on starting up health care and technology companies. Before that he co-founded Aanetcom, a technology company, and was a program manager for the small business innovation research program in electronics at the National Science Foundation.