Elizabeth Warren Hub

Sen. Elizabeth Warren Challenges FDA Gay Blood Ban: 'Have the Courage to Set Policies Based on Science'

1069185_10151577989208687_1095263248_nLast week, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) again spoke out against the FDA's new blood donation policy —  accepting blood from gay men, but only those who have been abstinent for at least one year.

Through Twitter, Warren called for concrete, alternative methods of ensuring blood safety, challenging the FDA to shake up the status quo.

Here's the Tweet:

This statement is in line with the recent letter, signed by 80 congressional Democrats including Warren, which called for "risk-based blood donation policy," and stated:

The pertinent scientific question is not whether a cross-section of the population is more likely than another to transmit an infection, but rather whether an across-the-board, risk-based screening will reduce the likelihood of all infectious contaminations.

In related news, the FDA released a statement this week saying it had considered individual self-assessments, but did not find them reliable:

"Assessment of high-risk sexual behaviors would be highly burdensome on blood donation establishments and potentially offensive to donors." 

John Aravosis over at AMERICAblog has some colorful commentary on the FDA's recent response:

So to recap, the FDA believes that a total stranger asking a man if he’s gay — a highly personal, and for some embarrassing, admission that could get you fired from your job, and disowned by your family — is not “offensive.”

Nor is it offensive to ask a gay man when the last time is he screwed another guy.

But if you ask a straight man whether he’s monogamous, how non-monogamous he is (how many different partners he’s had), and whether he use condoms during intercourse, suddenly the FDA becomes a collective prude.

I try not to over-use the word “homophobia.” But the FDA’s response to this mess is deplorable, offensive, and homophobic.

What do you think of the one-year deferral policy and the FDA's handling of the situation?

80 Congressional Democrats Call Bull On One Year Gay Blood Deferral, Urge Obama Administration To Lift Ban


Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, along with 78 other congressional Democrats, urged the Obama Administration to lift the ban on gay men donating blood on Monday, calling the 1983 policy archaic and a scientifically unjustified barrier reports BuzzFeedThe two lawmakers wrote a detailed letter to the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Sylvia Burwell.

BloodThe lawmakers' request comes after the FDA reaffirmed that it will not repeal the longstanding ban on gay blood. The request also addresses the recommendation by the Health and Human Services’ Advisory Committee on Blood & Tissue Safety & Availability's relaxation on the lifetime ban to instead ban donations from men who have had sex with men in the previous year. However, the lawmakers believe both policies are unfair saying, "both policies are discriminatory, and both approaches are unacceptable.”

In the letter the lawmakers request that the ban should be replaced with a "risk-based blood donation policy.” The most poignant part of the letter addresses the common objection of gay men donating blood; that gay men tend to be higher carriers of HIV, the virus that can lead to AIDS.

Said lawmakers:

“The pertinent scientific question is not whether a cross-section of the population is more likely than another to transmit an infection, but rather whether an across-the-board, risk-based screening will reduce the likelihood of all infectious contaminations.”

Two other letters were addressed in the past concerning the ban however, the latest letter explicitly lays out the lawmakers’ policy platform and asks Secretary Burwell several pointed questions. The prominent question is will Burwell "Commit to replacing the lifetime deferral policy by the end of 2014?" And if a blood-screening network is established, when would it be functional, and would it need to be up and running to roll back the ban?

The lawmakers expect Burwell to address the matter before or on Dec. 22. 

Read the letter below:

Elizabeth Warren: GOP Making 'Naked Attempts to Nullify' the Last Presidential Election — VIDEO


In a floor speech on Wednesday, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) ripped Republicans for filibustering judicial nominees, because they are so beholden to special interests:

"Powerful interests don't give up. They shift their fight to the courts because they know that if they ccan weaken or overturn a law in court they turn defeat into victory. And if they can rig the courts by putting enough sympathetic judges in lifetime positions a friendly judicial system will give them a chance to undermine any law they don't like."

And, they are also still so extremely bitter that Obama got reelected that they are doing anything in their power to deny him of exercising what the people wanted when they voted Obama in:

"We need to call out these filibusters for what they are: naked attempts to nullify the results of the last presidential election. To force us to govern as though President Obama hadn’t won the 2012 election. Well, President Obama did win the 2012 election by five million votes, and he has done what the Constitution requires him to do."


(via mediaite)

Continue reading "Elizabeth Warren: GOP Making 'Naked Attempts to Nullify' the Last Presidential Election — VIDEO" »

Elizabeth Warren Schools CNBC Like A Boss, Wants More Banking Regulation: VIDEO


Senator Elizabeth Warren took to CNBC recently to promote the 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act, a bil which she along with Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Angus King (I-ME) are sponsoring that would make law certain sections of the original Glass-Steagall Act that was repealed in 1999 and was widely viewed to have contributed to the economic collapse in 2008.

When asked, “shouldn’t we just tell the American consumer that no matter what we do, there will be bank boom and bust cycles no matter what the laws and regulations, you can’t protect everything?” Warren replied, forcefully:

“No. That is just wrong. Look at the history. From 1797 to 1933 the American banking system crashed about every 15 years. In 1933 we put good reforms in place for which Glass-Steagall was the centerpiece. And from 1933 to the early 1980s, that’s a fifty year period, we didn’t have any of that. None. We kept the system steady and secure. And it was only as we started deregulating, you start hitting the S&L crisis, and what did we do? We deregulated some more. And then you have long term capital management in the 90s and what did we do as a country? This country continues to deregulate more. And then we had the big crash in 2008.  You are not going to defend the proposition that regulation can never work. It did work.”

After one commentator suggested that Warren’s attempt to re-introduce Glass-Steagall has a slim chance of passing and that she should focus on “doing things that actually have a chance of happening and becoming law,” Warren responded:

“I remember going on television multiple times including here when I talked about the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, when the big banks were spending more than a million dollars a day lobbying against it and when everybody told me you’ll never get that thing through, why are you even trying, the chances of passing it are slim to none, and yet look around, we now have a good, strong Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It’s recovered a half a billion dollars for families who got cheated. It’s out there working on behalf of military families, on behalf of seniors, on behalf of students. We got that agency because we got out and fought for it. I actually believe in that.”

Watch the full video in all its erudite glory AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Elizabeth Warren Schools CNBC Like A Boss, Wants More Banking Regulation: VIDEO" »

Elizabeth Warren Wins U.S. Senate Race in Massachusetts


Elizabeth Warren is the projected winner of the U.S. Senate race in Massachusetts, defeating Republican Scott Brown.

Boston Herald:

“Over the past year, we built something amazing together,” Warren said in an e-mail to supporters moments after polls closed. “We showed the world that we had heart, that we had guts, and that we were willing to get in the ring and fight for a principle — that together we will build a future of growing opportunities for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren.

The epic battle for the seat drew record campaign contributions from across the country and ended with a mammoth get-out-the-vote effort and hours-long waits at polls across the state.

News: Meth Vaccine, Ohio, Eric Bodenweiser, Amtrak

1NewsIcon The National Organization for Marriage funneled $1.6 million into the Minnesota marriage equality ballot fight. "All told, Minnesota for Marriage raised more than $3.7 million so far this year, much of it from the Catholic Church, affiliated groups and the National Organization for Marriage. That's still far less than the group's opponents."

RockHulk1NewsIcon The Rock dressed up as "The People's Hulk" for Halloween, so the 1% better not make him angry.

1NewsIcon Face it, gullibility is charming.

1NewsIcon Hurricane Sandy may have permanently altered Fire Island's geography: Predicting "dramatic changes" to the island’s geography, [Fire Island National Seashore superintendent Chris Soller] mentioned several breaches on the far eastern end of the island, with one so deep that it could effectively divide Fire Island into two separate islands."

1NewsIcon Always classy, Chris Brown attended a Halloween party thrown by Rihanna, a former girlfriend he abused, while dressed as a member of the Taliban, a group that wants to keep women barefoot, pregnant and uneducated.

1NewsIcon Amtrak will hopefully have limited service between NYC and parts of New Jersey tomorrow.

1NewsIcon Eric Bodenweiser, a 53-year old member of the Delaware Family Policy Council and GOP candidate for that state's senate, was indicted this week on multiple charges stemming from allegations that he sexually abused a boy from 1987 until 1990, when the boy was 10-13.

1NewsIcon This is potentially good news: "Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in California successfully tested the methamphetamine vaccine on rats. When given meth, the vaccinated critters showed few signs of intoxication."

1NewsIcon On gay fathers on television: "Thinking about the latest crop of gay dads on television I can’t help but recall a popular chant from the Act Up demonstrations whenever someone was arrested or harassed: 'The whole world is watching! The whole world is watching!' The irony is that, too often, the world wasn’t watching then. But now, thanks to these primetime characters, people are definitely watching. They just aren’t seeing much of the truth."

1NewsIcon Sandra Bullock and son Louis are potentially the cutest Halloween in Hollywood couple.

NPHHalloween21NewsIcon Uh-oh. Sorry, Sandy and Louie, but Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka and their twins may actually be the cutest costume winners!

1NewsIcon The Vatican loves the latest James Bond flick, Skyfall.

1NewsIcon Let sleeping bunny rabbits lie.

1NewsIcon The Kardashian clan dressed up as the Bat family for Halloween.

1NewsIcon Is Helena Bomham Carter in costume?

1NewsIcon The Seattle Times definitely does not approve of anti-gay marriage commercials that claim passing Resolution 74 and legalizing marriage equality will force homosexuality onto school curricula. "R-74 is about a legal covenant of marriage for loving couples and their families. Ignore the shameless scare tactics. Approve R-74," the editorial board wrote in an op-ed called "Anti-Referendum 74 school ad is shameless".

1NewsIcon Dan Evans, the GOP governor of Washington State from 1965 to 1977 and a U.S. Senator from 1983 until 1989, came out for Referendum 74. "[The Referendum allowing marriage equality] just seems right and reflects the fundamental value of fairness that we treasure here in Washington," he said. 

ObamaOhio1NewsIcon Washington Post's The Fix on Ohio: "After reviewing all of the available public polling data as well as talking to operatives in both parties about the private polls they are privy to, we are convinced that Ohio is a 1-3 point race in President Obama’s favor at the moment."

1NewsIcon If you're interested, you can travel to Ohio to stump for Mr. Obama.

1NewsIcon President Obama today said campaign rival Mitt Romney's "bet is on cynicism".

1NewsIcon In addition to endorsing President Obama and Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts gay paper Bay Windows has endorsed openly gay GOP congressional hopeful Richard Tisei. Perhaps tellingl, though, Obama and Warren both got specific blurbs, Tisei's name is just part of a general list of candidates the paper prefers.


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