Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Elizabeth Warren's propaganda overlooks many flaws!

According to an enormous amount of coverage from the mass media Elizabeth Warren appears to be one of the biggest advocates for consumers out there. However a closer look will almost certainly not back that up; although some of what she says is better than the vast majority of the policies of other politicians. This appears to be primarily because many of the other politicians have become so extreme, and less extreme politicians appear rational by comparison. A closer look at her history has shown these flaws from the beginning but those that rely primarily on the mass media or in many cases even many of the alternative outlet might not know this.

Some of the strongest criticism has, of course, come from the Republicans, as would be expected; but this isn't the best criticism and a closer look at many of the best informed people on various issues might show that she isn't nearly as strong a supporter of the majority as she seems. I went into some of the problems that I found with her in a series of blogs that began with How sincere is Elizabeth Warren? which I initially wrote before I knew much about her but became skeptical when I noticed that the coverage of her started as mostly hype without discussing many of what I considered the most important issues. The most recent article was Elizabeth Warren is NOT a “consumer advocate!!” which I wrote after taking a much closer look and I found many problems and that she was opposed to the best interest of consumers as often if not more often than the high profile rhetoric might imply. There are many issues that I noticed that she wasn't handling nearly as well as she could have but one of the most obvious warning signs might have been that she was able to break so many records when it comes to fund raising and most of her support didn't start at the grass roots level as the media implied; it started with an enormous amount of media coverage that was followed up by support from the public. Then the media portrayed this as grass roots support. Many other candidates that gain grass roots support by addressing the issues the typical politicians refuse to handle well have an extremely difficult time getting any media coverage at all.

One of the biggest problems that has come up previously has been her lack of support for Single Payer Health Care; which she has reinforced in a recent speech. And as the following excerpt indicates she has declined to provide much if any opposition to Monsanto when it comes to labeling genetically modified organisms that might impact the health of millions.

Elizabeth Warren joins GMO labeling fray

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has joined the GMO labeling debate, but consumer advocates aren’t entirely pleased with her position.

The first-term senator is well-known as a champion of consumer protection, especially in relation to banking regulation, but she is on to new issues, calling for the Food and Drug Administration to finalize a 12-year-old draft guidance in relation to the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.

The guidance could be complied with by the food industry on a voluntary basis, which would not be nearly as tough as the mandatory GMO labeling requirements being sought by consumer advocates. In fact, some advocates fear the FDA guidance promoted by the Massachusetts Democrat and others might even be used to circumvent the tougher standards they seek.

“FDA needs to require mandatory labeling and guidance isn’t enough,” asserts Scott Faber, director of Just Label It, one of multiple organizations fighting for mandatory labeling on a national basis. Complete article

Monsanto has a long history of conducting their research in secret and they have been involved in numerous problems where they might have falsified or misrepresented studies about the health of their products. They have also been involved in an enormous amount of political activity to protect themselves from accountability and this has included spending an enormous amount of money to misrepresent the issues in the California ballot initiative which they almost certainly won by deceiving the voters. It should be clear that Monsanto should be much more open about what they've been doing and that their compliance with this shouldn't be just voluntary.

If this was the only issue that Elizabeth Warren strayed on or if it wasn't so obvious that she was holding the wrong position then it might be understandable but a closer look has indicated problems with many other issues, including one of the issues that has made her famous, banking regulation, as indicated by her support of Janet Yellen and her praise for Lawrence Summers, despite her opposition to his nomination which wasn't nearly as strong as some have implied. This is indicated in the following article.

Elizabeth Warren Was Mostly Absent In The Left’s Fight Against Larry Summers by Kate Nocera

WASHINGTON — There are few senators who can fire up the liberal base more than Elizabeth Warren, a progressive icon who has happily assumed the mantle of the Senate’s consumer champion and Wall Street watchdog.

So, when Larry Summers, a man many liberals view as far too cozy with the big banks, was floated as the potential successor to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke this summer, many expected Warren to lead the charge against him. And when Summers eventually withdrew his name from consideration last week, Warren got credit at home with a triumphant Boston Herald headline: “Elizabeth Warren bounces Larry Summers as stock continues to rise.”

But sources familiar with Summers’ defeat — a development progressives celebrated as a major victory — said Warren had little to do with it. Far from leading the charge, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts hung back and let more senior members of the banking committee go out on a limb to campaign against the potential nominee.

Warren declined to publicly take a position on Summers, even as her colleagues began to openly oppose him. And while she was one of 20 senators who in July signed a letter urging President Obama to nominate Janet Yellen for Fed chair, she did so with little fanfare, and only after Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown began circulating it. She stayed away from cable news, where one of her trademark liberal sermons could have galvanized the left, and she did very little behind-the-scenes arm-twisting. The closest she came to lobbying against Summers was reportedly telling the White House she had “serious concerns” about him.

That’s not to say Warren didn’t have any impact: Her spot on the banking committee ensured that she would have a key vote against Summers, as several other Democratic senators on the committee had already publicly signaled their opposition. But for a senator who has been cast as the left’s favorite champion for the middle class in Washington, Warren’s relatively subdued role in bringing down Summers was surprising.

After Summers begrudgingly withdrew his name for consideration, Warren didn’t celebrate or gloat. While noting she likely would have opposed his nomination, she praised him as a “brilliant economist.”

“I don’t think it’s any secret that Larry is not my first choice. He’s a brilliant economist who has made terrific contributions to the field of economics. I have no doubt that he’s going to continue to do that in the future,” she said on MSNBC Monday.

That’s a far cry from some of the statements that came from progressive groups — and some of Warren’s biggest cheerleaders — after Summers withdrew. Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green said Summers would have been “an awful Fed chair” who “accepted millions in payments from Wall Street.” The National Organization for Women, who has forcefully pushed for Yellen’s nomination, had previously said Summers “can’t be trusted to understand the everyday economic problems women face.” Complete article

It is hard to imagine how she came to the conclusion that Lawrence Summers "made terrific contributions to the field of economics," if you take a close look at his record including his support of the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act which Elizabeth supposedly supported. Lawrence Summers is the same economist who famously wrote a memo about exporting pollution and he was heavily involved in developing the policies that got us into this mess in the first place. Ironically Janet Yellen, who she does support for the Federal Reserve, also supported repealing the Glass-Steagall Act and NAFTA, as well, according to the Huffington Post: "Janet Yellen Urged Glass-Steagall Repeal And Social Security Cuts, Supported NAFTA."

Despite Elizabeth Warren's rhetoric when it comes to a few high profile speeches, she isn't nearly as productive a "consumer advocate" as the commercial media makes her out to be; instead she supports the usual positions of the democratic party and declines to challenge many of the people that she works with even when they take positions that oppose hers. By supporting Janet Yellen she can indirectly support some of the policies she suposedly opposes while taking credit for opposing the policies in a much higher profile manner.

This is typical political manipulation; which shouldn't be surprising, she has surrounded herself with democratic political advisers from the beginning, mainly many of the same advisers that supported Deval Patrick. These political advisers routinely coach candidates on what to say and how to act and their taking points and how to "stay on message." Many of these things wouldn't fit the strictest definition of a conspiracy since they aren't secret; they openly admit they conduct politics this way! However they also admit that an enormous amount of their planning is done in secret; so this clearly would fit the definition of a conspiracy; and once again they admit it; although they seem to act as it is acceptable in a "democratic society."

Essentially what they seem to be admitting to is that many of the methods that they use to manipulate the public are secret and that the public is given an enormous amount of propaganda to base their decisions on. This might not be a good conspiracy in many ways since an enormous amount of the information that exposes their activities is public; however in many other ways it's an excellent conspiracy, or perhaps, more accurately, propaganda effort, since the vast majority of the public continues to rely on the propaganda to make their decisions without taking the time to sort through many of the alternative sources which often take more time to find and the mass media routinely presents many of these sources as fringe.

One of the most common methods that the political establishment attempts to do is to maintain control of who gives the public their information and what questions they have to answer and methods that they might use to avoid grass roots questions that might enable the public to better understand the issues. One organization that has attempted to change that in the past was Project Vote Smart by asking all candidates to fill out a questionnaire. Unfortunately Elizabeth Warren refused to fill out her vote smart questionnaire. In all fairness Vote Smart hasn't done as good a job developing these questionnaires as they have in the past and they have often been late distributing them but they're still the closest thing I know of to a job application that is given out consistently to all candidates. and the fact that they're shorter than they probably should be would make them easier and safer for candidates to fill out; but presumably many of these candidates seem to want to maintain as much control over what information they give out as possible so that might have an impact on the decline of this project.

One of the most important subjects that many people have been advocating for has been Single Payer health Care; however there are few if any people within the political establishment or the commercial media that support it; and Elizabeth Warren is no exception. Last year there were several candidates running for president that supported Single Payer Health Care but the mass media and political establishment treated them as fringe third party candidates and refused to provide any sincere coverage of what it is and how it works, including the possibility that it could dramatically reduce health care bureaucracy and make health care much more affordable for all. This is something that is only discussed in a rational manner on alternative media outlets, for example, Democracy Now has had plenty of stories discussing Single-Payer; and Truthdig does as well!

It turns out that Elizabeth Warren may have once thought it was a good idea but as soon as she began participating in politics she may have done an about face and decided to support the "Affordable Care Act," which isn't nearly as affordable despite it's title. Now that she is in the senate she could easily speak out about this and do much more to inform the public about it but she has declined to do so and she is even attempting to ensure that "the law is here to stay" according to a recnet oped ironically called "This is Democracy." If this was as democratic as she implied she wouldn't hesitate to give the vast majority of the public the information they need to base their decisions and this could include educating them on Single Payer Health Care, which she has written on in the past but, perhaps, only for a smaller audience, of mostly better educated, or better informed people.

The following article covers some of the discussion of health care. It either demonstrates, or hints at, how attempts may have been made to portray Single-Payer as a socialist program that is inefficient during the election by the Republicans and many of the people within the commercial media and instead of speaking out in favor of it Elizabeth Warren remained silent while the only one that attempted to support it was her democratic opponent in the primary, before the primary was canceled ending further discussion.

Factcheck: Does Elizabeth Warren support single-payer health care?

After the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care reform as constitutional, Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown’s campaign sent out a fundraising email with the subject head, “Here comes single-payer Warren.”

The email read: “Scott's opponent, Elizabeth Warren, not only supported Obamacare, but she thought we should have gone even further: ‘The most obvious solution would be universal single-payer health care,’ says Warren. Warren's single-payer, European-style, government-owned and operated health care scheme will make Obamacare look tame by comparison.”

However, Warren’s former Democratic opponent Marisa DeFranco criticized Warren for not supporting a single-payer system. DeFranco’s website stated, “I am the only candidate on the record in support of Single Payer.” “When we debated at Stonehill College, I made a clear statement I’m the only candidate in this race who supports single-payer,” DeFranco told “No one disabused me of that notion.” ...

Asked by earlier this year if she supports a single-payer health care system, Warren similarly said the focus needs to be on the current law. "I think the urgent question now is whether we’re going to be able to hold on to the health care reforms that just passed," Warren said in an emailed statement. "There are a lot of people who want to repeal them. I think we need to focus on protecting them and on finding new ways to lower costs, which are still too high."

Asked for its source on Warren’s support for a single-payer system, the Brown campaign pointed to “Get Sick, Go Broke,” a chapter written by Warren, a Harvard Law School professor, and Ohio University professor Deborah Thorne in the 2008 book “Health at Risk,” edited by Jacob Hacker. The chapter was based on an academic study in which Warren and Thorne analyzed questionnaires, court records and personal stories of families in bankruptcy. They found that more than half their sample filed for bankruptcy at least in part because of medical problems, and nearly three-quarters of those who fell ill had insurance.

Warren and Thorne wrote: “We approach the health care debates from a single perspective: maintaining the financial stability of families confronting illness or injury. The most obvious solution would be universal single-payer health care.”

They wrote that universal, single-payer care would allow people to get care without risking bankruptcy, and would “free families from dependence on an employer’s plan, and make certain that everyone is covered, whether or not they are employed.”

Warren and Thorne also noted the problems with single-payer care. “We recognize that there are cost-containment issues and the ever-present specter of rationing medical care,” they wrote.

They concluded, “From the perspective of family finances, this is the most obvious and workable solution.”

Warren and Thorne offered other solutions as well.

They wrote that if universal, single-payer health insurance is “politically unacceptable,” another option would be to guarantee all Americans access to “affordable and adequate” health insurance, which cannot be terminated if a family member is ill and which should not be tied to employment. They wrote that other reforms that would relieve financial burdens on families would include making prescription drugs and rehabilitation therapy available at lower costs, providing additional access to in-home care and providing paid leave for care providers. Complete article

“Politically unacceptable” generally seems to refer to what is acceptable to powerful institutions, not to the vast majority of the the public. These institutions have an enormous amount of influence over what the public hears about any particular subject, so they can have a major influence on the decisions they make by controlling the propaganda that is given to them. when it comes to "cost-containment issues" related to Single payer health care compared to the current system many of them might be much worse in the current system. this is because their are an enormous amount of bureaucratic expenses and the need to give investors large profits in the current system. If they eliminated the enormous amount of money donated to politicians or spent on advertising that demonized universal health care then this money could be diverted to actual health care expenses which is what it was intended for in the first place.

And as for "the ever-present specter of rationing medical care,” this is already happening by withholding care from millions of people. This leads many people to wait until the last minute when it is much more expensive and the state often gets left with the tab anyway because people show up in the emergency room much more often. By not waiting to the last minute they could reduce both of the problems that Warren and Thorne acknowledged and she could do much more to explain this to the majority of the public now that she is in a position where even the commercial media will cover her.

Instead she now only supports or discusses what the establishment considers “Politically acceptable.”

According to Medicare for All, Elizabeth Warren does not support the will of 67% of the people of Massachusetts regarding health care. there are many other well informed consumer advocates on many other issues that look into them and find that Elizabeth Warren doesn't support the best interest of the public on those issues but they can't get any attention from the commercial media anymore than Medicare for All.

One argument that has been made in the past is that she might not want to alienate people and that she has to be careful about picking her fights; on the other hand one of her most popular ads was of a woman who seemed amazed because Elizabeth warren isn't "afraid of anyone." It might be extremely difficult to get things done in Washington but this would be much easier if she had support at the grass roots level and she could get much more of this if she spoke up much more often on a variety of issues load and clear as someone who really isn't "afraid of anyone."

If she did this, even if she lost then she would at least do much more to educate a large percentage of the public on many of the issues that the media and political establishment aren't covering properly.

Instead, as I have indicated in this blog or some of my past blogs she has taken the side of the political establishment against the public on a large variety of issues including charter school, gambling, health care, asbestos, Monsanto, advertising to children and many other issues.

In all fairness a lot of her rhetoric is very good and if she followed up on it with actual policies or much better efforts to educate the public then she would be the "consumer advocate" that they portray her to be; but instead she spins things like any other politician. The same thing happened with Barack Obama with his promises of "hope and change" and this is jsut one of many other examples where the hype seems to good to be true.

the hype surrounding Wendy Davis seems a lot like the hype that i saw when I first started paying attention to Elizabeth Warren and, perhaps, it should make many people just as suspicious. Considering how bad Rick Perry is it is hard to imagine how she could be worse, but even if she is much better than Rick Perry she is another creation of media hype and they should spend much more time discussion the details of many issues. Considering the track record of the media it is hard to imagine that they would provide her with this coverage unless they knew she wouldn't get out of line anymore than Elizabeth Warren is getting out of line now.

This may seem cynical but the media and the political system has demonstrated over and over again that this is justified.

However this doesn't mean that there isn't an alternative because a closer look at many of the grass roots efforts indicates that there are many people that haven't been fooled by this hype and if they had a chance to get their views across in a higher profile manner then they could implement real reform.

It may not seem easy but what we need to do is to get people elected that are chosen at the grass roots level; not people that are chosen by the media. As long as our leaders see that they can continue to fool us by giving us one hyped up candidate after another without rational discussion of the issues they'll continue business as usual!

No comments:

Post a Comment