Saturday, December 13, 2014

Is Elizabeth Warren just another con artist like Barack Obama?

 It was not that long ago that the country was sick of George W. Bush.  They were tired of the endless stupid wars, the showering of the rich with bailouts and insider deals while Main Street suffered, the lies, the greed, all of it.  And then in came Barack “Magic Sparkle Pony” Obama.  He told the American people all that they wanted to hear.  He would stand up for the average American against Wall Street.  He would end the stupid wars. He would renegotiate anti-American trade agreements like NAFTA.  He would have an open administration. 

And it was all of it, completely, totally, a lie.  From day one Obama was the bought and paid for agent of Wall Street and the super rich.  Obama constantly talks about helping the average person – but his every single action is aimed like a laser at enriching his wealthy patrons and screwing the working class. 

During the 2008 campaign, Obama promised to renegotiate the anti-American anti-worker NAFTA trade treaty.  There was a leak, and it turns out that during this time his agents were pledging to his wealthy backers that he didn’t mean a word of it.  And sure enough, once elected not only didn’t Obama work to renegotiate NAFTA, he is secretly negotiating some new trade deals that, according to recent reports, will eliminate domestic sovereignty and make US law subject to a veto by unelected corporate lawyers.  This is not a man who was overwhelmed by events, and please don’t fall back on the infantile excuse that the Evil Republicans blocked his agenda.  No, this is a man who planned and colluded in advance to screw over the average American for money.  And so he is.

After six years of Obama, Americans are starting to get tired of his Potemkin liberalism.  And now along comes Senator Elizabeth Warren, the New Liberal Champion!  Who is standing up to the banks, indeed, even standing up to Barack Obama!  And she tells us everything that we want to hear.  And the big corporate-controlled press outlets give her massive and favorable coverage.  And if your spider sense isn’t tingling, you have not been paying attention.

Recently Warren has gotten big notice for trying to derail the omnibus spending bill, allegedly because it contains yet more goodies for the big Wall Street banks.  Yes, the big banks want to use taxpayer-guaranteed funds that they are given at effectively a zero percent interest to gamble in the derivatives market.  This is not a minor thing, as witness the massive amount of lobbying effort and money that Wall Street put into it.  Apparently Warren was willing to threaten to shut down the government over this.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?  Well, maybe.  But let’s consider a few points.  When the Republicans threaten to shut down the government to do things like block Obama’s open-borders cheap-labor immigration policy, the mainstream press is adamant that this is ‘showboating’ and ‘not being responsible’ and ‘purely political’ etc.  Now Warren does it, and the press loves her.  No, it’s not because the corporate press has a liberal bias (I wish!).  It must be because the press wants to push Warren.  And I cannot imagine them doing that unless, somehow, the rich thought that she would serve their interests.

Remember, the corporate press does not consist of independent journalists and editors.  The corporate press is owned by a small number of media conglomerates, and nothing but nothing gets published unless the owners sign off on the script.  And these owners are very much not on the side of the average person.  When they encounter a real populist, it is standard to slander them as either ‘far right’ or as ‘quixotic’ or ‘egotistical self-promoters’.  For some time now the corporate press has only given the progressive seal of approval to people who are the exact opposite.  For example, Bill ‘I feel your pain’ Clinton, who swooped out of nowhere to win the presidency on the back of unprecedented positive corporate press coverage (‘you’ve never heard of him and he’s polling 3% and he has no money but he’s ON FIRE and he HAS THE MOMENTUM and he is THE TOP SEED TO BE PRESIDENT’), and then once elected he screwed over the American people with the NAFTA trade treaty, repealing Glass-Steagal, breaking unions, etc.   Clinton was only prevented from giving the social security system to Wall Street because of the distraction of being impeached over the Monica Lewinsky thing.

No, real populists – U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions, Ted Cruz, Ralph Nader, Ross Perot, and overseas Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage – they are far right, or extreme far right, or egotists who are only spoiling the vote, etc.  If Elizabeth Warren is being hailed by the New York Times and CNN as the new liberal hero, it’s not proof that she’s sold out, but it sure looks fishy.

And we also hear that Obama likes her and has been pushing for her to run for president.  That also is worrying.

Politicians have always lied, but today we have moved to a new level.  I think the main problem is the consolidation of the press into a monolithic corporate-controlled entity (thanks again, Bill Clinton).  In the past when a politician consistently said one thing and did another, there was at least a decent fraction of the mainstream press that would call them on it.  Now, not at all. 

Sure there are alternative publications and an infinite number of internet blogs.  But these are fractured, self-cancelling.  The mainstream press is monolithic, omnipresent, and hammers home its propaganda over and over.  It gets to define the terms.  A million random nerds blogging from their parent’s basement can’t dent that power.  I would say that right now the only alternative media voice to have any power at all is the Drudge Report.  I wonder how long that will be allowed to continue.  Will Matt Drudge be crushed, or pressured into selling out?  Hint: the day that Drudge stops covering immigration, is the day that you can be sure that he sold out.

Remember also that independent bloggers don't have the institutional depth of the old-time news agencies.  They can find inconsistencies in the corporate script, but they do not have the resources to conduct significant investigations on their own.  They rely on the corporate press as their primary source of information - and thus, are not really independent.  Ultimately even the independent bloggers are, without even thinking about it, forced to accept the terms of debate of the corporate behemoths.  

Modern politics today is totally scripted.  It’s like professional wrestling without the muscles.  Obama, now he gets to play the ‘liberal’.  And John McCain, he gets to play the ‘conservative’.  Oh and how they fight and scrap and holler!  The fate of civilization as we know it is at stake!  Next Sunday they square off in a steel cage match!  And then the bankers come by demanding trillions of dollars in bailouts and they both drop everything and say ‘oh yes sir!’ 

We have politicians labeled as what they are not, but the overwhelming monolithic power of corporate media makes it almost impossible to fight this.  After all this time, many people still believe that Obama is a liberal but only because he is officially labeled as such, there is no objective evidence to support that.   We have politicians proposing bills that they know won’t pass in order to gain political points – and when they are in a position to get the votes, they suddenly lose interest.  Politicians are allowed to vote against things they are for, in backroom deals designed to buff their manufactured image.  The government can’t do something that benefits the average American because it’s too hard, or the government is incompetent, or someone looked at me funny – but something that benefits the super-rich?  In that case the government is a streamlined focused paragon of efficiency.  The Republicans campaign against Obama’s amnesty for illegal immigrants – and once they win the midterm elections, they push to make sure Obama’s amnesty is funded.  Not to worry though, the Republicans will eventually propose a bill addressing the issue that they know will be vetoed.

In the old days, before journalism became corrupt, there were three laws for evaluating a politician. 

1. Examine the record.
2. Examine the record.
3. Examine the record.

So what’s Elizabeth Warren’s record?  Well the corporate press calls her a tireless champion of the middle class.  The corporate press says a lot of things.  Is she?

Much is made of her tenure on the consumer protection bureau.  She made a lot of speeches.  But nothing came out of it that in any way discomfited the rich.  Much is made of her criticizing Wall Street.  But she was part of the TARP bailout oversight panel, and while she talked a good game, nothing stopped the big banks from screwing over the economy and grabbing trillions of dollars in bailouts.  I see no objective evidence that anything she actually did in any way inconvenienced Wall Street. 

So maybe it would have been impossible for anyone in Warren’s position to do anything useful.  And maybe she talked a good game but was careful to never actually do anything that might build momentum and hurt the big bankers.  I don’t read minds.  But I see no objective evidence to rule out possibility number two.

Here’s a rule of politics: never really trust a politician unless they have objectively, and seriously, injured the prospects of what they claim to be against.  Otherwise, it might be just another act.

And there are other issues.  Elizabeth Warren is for an open borders immigration policy that will make most workers poorer and the rich much richer.  She is for endless pointless wars whose only possible objective is to enrich politically connected defense contractors.  These are not classical liberal positions.

Of course looking at the donors can be instructive.  Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who with 20/20 hindsight are both vile and disgusting corporate whores, received massive funding from Wall Street.  Warren apparently not so much, but after things like the Citizens United case this is getting hard to track.  She is getting boatloads of cash from a lot of rich people, that much is clear.  Remember also that, increasingly, political campaigns don’t run on donations per se – they run on favorable coverage in the corporate-dominated press. 

I mean, suppose you are a politician and you raise a million dollars.  You run a few TV ads and send out some fliers.  But the press doesn’t cover you, except to maybe run a series on your divorce ten years ago, or show you picking your nose.  Your opponent raises a half-million dollars – and every day they are shown on the front page looking official and poised, and articles are breathless about their gravitas and experience and compassion… It would have cost a billion dollars to buy that kind of publicity.  Guess who’s going to win?  Yes, campaign money still has its place in American politics, but the center of gravity has shifted to the corporate controlled press.  That is now the arm of decision in politics, not nominal campaign fundraising.

So to conclude, no, I don’t have any proof that Elizabeth Warren is yet another sweet talking corporate con-artist like Bill Clinton or Barack Obama.  I see reasons to be suspicious, but no smoking gun.  But the gross betrayals of Obama should make us cautious of any politician who is telling us what we want to hear, and whom the rich are not censoring…

The amount of disinformation out there may have made it basically impossible for any non-insider, no matter how intelligent or skeptical, to make an objective assessment.  And surely that is the major political issue of the day.  There is no democracy if the American people do not know what they are voting for.

Do I have a solution?  No.  But I propose that, more than any other issue, the corporate press needs to be broken up.  Media news outlets cannot be owned by large conglomerates, they cannot be joined with other classes of businesses, they should not be owned or controlled by foreign nationals.  Until that is done, I do not see that the people will be any match for an increasingly sophisticated and dishonest system of organized propaganda.


UPDATE May 13, 2015.  Well as expected the utterly vile TPP corporate coup de tat has passed the first hurdle int he senate, but it is beginning to look like Elizabeth Warren may be the real deal.  It's so hard to tell nowadays - it's all opposition theater, they pretend to fight something and then when they get a chance they vote for it etc.  But in the fight against TPP Warren showed what appeared to be genuine spunk. 

Also, the mainstream corporate press is starting to be a little less polite towards her.  When Obama lied about the TPP being secret ('how dare anyone say that this secret trade agreement is secret!  You must be lying!'), and Warren called the sleezebag president on it, a lot of corporate papers came up with things like 'And Warren embarrassed herself by suggesting that the sainted Obama was not telling the truth about the top-secret trade treaty that it is a felony to leak to the general public being actually completely open and transparent.'

Look to see how this goes.  If Warren is in fact the real deal, it will get ugly.  They will find something in her background - something that would not get the time of day if committed by an Obama or a Clinton - and hammer, hammer, hammer, to destroy her credibility via pure mudslinging.

If you ever feel that Elizabeth Warren - or any politician - is on your side but you feel pressure from all these news articles that somehow they are just not 'credible', well, get over it and send them money and vote for them, dammit.

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