Posts Tagged ‘Elizabeth Warren’

Pocahontas Fight Heap Big Lies

February 3, 2020

Elizabeth Warren, aka Pocahontas, the Pale-Faced Indian, has a plan to combat the rampant disinformation on social media and the Internet. This is a growing problem since the lies that are spread unchallenged over the web keep people from making the right decisions like voting for Democrats.

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday released a plan to fight disinformation and to hold tech companies accountable for their actions in light of the 2016 election.

“Disinformation and online foreign interference erode our democracy, and Donald Trump has invited both,” Warren said in a Tweet Wednesday. “Anyone who seeks to challenge and defeat Donald Trump in the 2020 election must be fully prepared to take this on – and I’ve got a plan to do it.”

Warren proposed to combat disinformation by holding big tech companies like FacebookTwitter and Google responsible for spreading misinformation designed to suppress voters from turning out.

“I will push for new laws that impose tough civil and criminal penalties for knowingly disseminating this kind of information, which has the explicit purpose of undermining the basic right to vote,” Warren said in a release.

According to Warren, we need to control the information that voters have access to protect their right to vote. That seems to be rather an Orwellian statement. Warren goes on.

“The stakes of this election are too high — we need to fight the spread of false information that disempowers voters and undermines democracy,” Warren said. “I’ll do my part — and I’m calling on my fellow candidates and big tech companies to do their part too.”

Great Chief Pocahontas protect braves and squaws from heap big lies

I am sure that I am not the only one who suspects that politicians and government agencies might not be entirely evenhanded and unbiased when it comes to determining what is fake news and disinformation. Authoritarian governments have typically punished the bearers of news that might make them look bad in much the same way as Warren proposed, even if, or especially if the information is entirely accurate. The old Soviet Union did not permit any news, such as airplane crashes, nuclear power plant failures, or the level of crime, that might lead anyone to suspect that the Soviet system wasn’t as perfect as the government claimed. I am sure that the government of China has not bothered to tell its people the full extent of the dangers of the coronavirus.

But aside from such concerns, and the equally obvious question of whether Senator Warren’s proposal is compatible with the First Amendment, there is a more fundamental issue here, who is responsible for deciding what is disinformation? Are we, the American people, responsible adults who are capable of deciding for themselves what sources to trust, or are we ignorant children who need someone like Senator Warren to sort it out for us? The essential premise behind censorship or government control over information is that it is for the protection of the people, who are unable to decide for themselves what might be false or harmful information. For this reason, the Roman Catholic Church used to promulgate an Index of Forbidden Books, a list of books deemed dangerous for laypeople to read lest they come to question the faith. For the same reason, the church discouraged the private reading of the Bible. People needed guidance from the clergy since they were obviously too ignorant to decide matters of faith for themselves. The kings and emperors of old all routinely employed censorship to protect their subjects from dangerous ideas, like maybe kings and emperors were not really needed all that much. The Nazis burned and banned un-German books, to keep the master race from being defiled, and the Communists kept the workers from reading anything which might give them the false impression that they were not living in the Workers’ paradise.

This reasoning is justified in an authoritarian polity, in which the government takes a paternal interest in the physical and spiritual welfare of its subjects. It is antithetical in a democratic polity in which the people’s representatives make up the government. It is not up to Senator Elizabeth Warren, or anyone else in the government to tell us what is disinformation. It is up to us, the people to educate ourselves to learn how to tell the difference between trustworthy and untrustworthy information, and if we are not willing to do this, if we would rather the likes of Senator Warren do our thinking for us, rather than thinking for ourselves, then we do not deserve to be free.

This, then, is part of the larger question of what sort of country we want to live in. Do we wish to be free citizens in a free republic in which we get to decide who to trust and how to live or do we want to be serfs in a country in which our alleged betters decide such things for us? Elizabeth Warren, and really the whole pack of Democratic candidates, seem to be in favor of the latter course. I prefer to be free.

Senator Warren is Part of the Problem

April 2, 2017

Senator Elizabeth Warren, aka Fauxcahontas, recently wrote an opinion piece in the Boston Globe opposing the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. On the whole, the article was not worth much, being composed of the usual talking points about right wing extremism and Republican class warfare against the poor, written by a woman who is worth millions but there was one or two paragraphs that caught my attention since they illustrate why there is a lack of civility in contemporary politics.

On the bench, his judicial decisions show a remarkable ability to shape and re-shape legal arguments in ways that benefit large corporations and disadvantage ordinary people seeking justice. In the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores case, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of women, Gorsuch sided with corporations. In consumer protection cases, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of swindled consumers, Gorsuch sided with corporations. In discrimination cases, when he had to choose between the “rights” of corporations and the rights of employees to be free from harassment and abuse, Gorsuch sided with corporations.

Notice the use of quotation marks when she speaks of rights that she disagrees with. In her mind, Neil Gorsuch cannot be simply concerned about religious freedom, the effectiveness and constitutionality of certain laws or government overreach in regulating the workplace. There is not an honest difference of opinion or priorities here that can be discussed and debated. No, Neil Gorsuch is a puppet of the corporations and right wing extremists. He has no logical reason for the rulings he has made, he is simply evil.

Warren goes on;

Gorsuch has taken positions that are even more extreme than his extremely conservative colleagues. When it comes to the rules that protect public health and safety, Gorsuch is more radical than Scalia was. Gorsuch believes that courts should not be required to defer to expert agency interpretations of their governing laws. If he had his way, he’d make it even easier for corporations to challenge health and safety rules that prevent them from polluting our air and water, poisoning our food, undermining public safety, or cheating people out of their hard-earned savings.

What she is referring to is the Chevron Deference, the legal principle established by Chevron vs. National Resources Defense Council in 1984, which holds that the courts should defer to agency interpretations of statutes unless they are unreasonable.

What this means is this. Suppose the EPA decides that a ditch in your back yard is a wetland and forbid you to drain it or develop that part of your lawn in any way, You might take the EPA to court in the grounds that they have no jurisdiction over your private property, but the courts must defer to their own interpretation of the relevant regulations, so if the EPA says they have jurisdiction; they have jurisdiction. You may question whether a ditch constitutes an actual wetland, but the court must defer to their expects, so if the EPA says it is a wetland, it is a wetland. This is a silly example that might never occur in real life, but it illustrates the principle and demonstrates why it is almost impossible to win a court case against a federal regulatory agency. The system is rigged in their favor.

This might be a good thing. One would suppose that the people working for the EPA would know the most about protecting the environment and would be less biased than a company that is polluting, but one can see the potential for abuse, especially if the regulatory agencies are staffed with activists and zealots. In any case, there is legitimate concern among conservatives like Neil Gorsuch that the Chevron Deference permits agency overreach and abuse of power. In Senator Warren’s opinion .anyone who questions the Chevron Deference cannot have any real cause for concern. They must want to allow pollution and poisoned food because they are evil and greedy.

How can you have civility in politics when one side accuses the other of wanting to discriminate and cause pollution? How can government function when a constitutionally elected president is routinely compared to Hitler and his opponents call themselves the Resistance as though they are fighting a foreign occupation. To be fair, there is a lot of this on both sides, but I think it is much, much worse on the left. At least, people on the right haven’t been calling for a military coup to overthrow the president or attacking Trump’s supporters. There was a certain amount of insanity from the right during the Obama administration, but responsible Republicans tried to keep it toned down. Where are the responsible Democrats? There don’t seem to be many left in the Senate.

Senator Warren and the Minimum Wage

March 19, 2013

May God protect us from politicians who are completely ignorant of economics. Here is video from Foxnews in which Senator Warren wonders why the increase in worker productivity since 1960 hasn’t translated to a corresponding increase in the  minimum wage to $22 per hour.

She actually has a point, however you have to consider that a lot of that increase in productivity has been the result of increasing automation. We simply do not require as many people, whether on a factory floor or in an office, to get a job done. This allows resources,  including human resources to be allocated more efficiently but it doesn’t necessarily mean that each person’s labor is worth more and thus deserving of a higher wage. The other point to consider is beyond the actual numerical amount of a person’s salary is what that salary can actually purchase. A person making minimum wage today is, in many ways, far more prosperous than a comparable person in 1960 if you consider the advances in technology, etc. Consider that the laptop that I am writing this on costs about $300, an amount that is affordable enough to anyone who is in the middle class and even many people considered poor. How much would a computer have cost in 1960? A computer in 1960 was a device that filled a room and cost thousands of dollars. What about televisions? Even someone making minimum wage probably has a color television. I don’t think they even make black and white televisions anymore. Yet, that was all they had in 1960. A television in 2013 is of better quality in almost any way conceivable and yet is cheaper in terms of cost measured by the work needed to earn the amount to buy it (I know there is an economic term for this but I forgot what it is.) compared to a television in 1960. I could go on and on but you get the point.

So, what would happen if we did raise the minimum wage to $22 per hour. To start with, it wouldn’t be only people on minimum wage who would be getting an increase in pay. Normally when the minimum wage is increased, it doesn’t have much of an affect, as the one man noted, simply because not that many people actually make minimum wage. Even so there is a sort of rippling effect on wage scales, especially in unionized labor, which is why unions generally support increasing the minimum wage, even though their members may earn far more than that wage. An increase to $22 per hour would set the minimum wage above that of most hourly workers and the effects of such an increase would be more obvious and profound.

What are the effects of raising the minimum wage? Any increase in wages, whether voluntary or not, is an increase in the cost of labor. the money to pay for that increase has to come from somewhere. Either employers must increase the price of their products, or they may choose to make do with fewer employees, either letting some workers go, or simply not hiring. Either way, the long term result is an increase in prices or unemployment, or both.

As I said, since not many people actually work for minimum wage, these effects may not be noticeable, except perhaps in long term trends. Still, the people most likely to be affected are unskilled laborers and young people just entering the job market. By making their labor more expensive and thus less attractive, any minimum wage tends to increase unemployment among precisely those people it is intended to help. An increase in the minimum wage to $22 per hour would probably increase unemployment to depression levels, and cause a temporary surge in inflation.

I hope that answers Senator Warren’s questions, not that she is ever likely to read this, or pay attention to anything I have to say, even if by chance she stumbles across this blog. I wonder if it would be possible to amend the constitution to require that every member of Congress be required to take Economics 101. But then, no Democrat could ever be elected to Congress.

Desparate Democrats

July 30, 2012

From the fund raising e-mails I have been getting lately, I am starting to think that the Democrats are not too confident they are going to win this November. First there’s Donna Brazile.

David —

If you’re hoping that Democrats win the Senate, I’ve got to talk straight with you: Hope isn’t enough anymore.

***Swing State Polling Update, 7/30/2012***
Elizabeth Warren (D) 40 Scott Brown (R) 38 (MassINC, 7/22)
Sherrod Brown (D) 46 Josh Mandel (R) 42 (Rasmussen, 7/18)

The election is just 99 days away, and if we wait any longer to act, we could lose the Senate. The FEC deadline is in 24 hours and we’re $250,000 away from our goal–can you contribute $5? Sherrod Brown’s lead is practically gone after getting outspent 3-to-1. Elizabeth Warren’s words are being twisted and distorted, and now she’s in a dead heat.

Republicans are stooping to the lowest lows to win. They’re using dirty voter suppression tactics and distorting the records of progressives, and it’s working.

We’ve got a choice. We can hope for the best and watch Republicans take over government. Or we can fight for progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown.

I am surprised that Elizabeth Speaks with Forked Tongue Warren is even with Scott Brown. I would have thought that with her embarrassing claims to be a Native American would have put her far behind. This is Massachusetts though. They kept that murderer Ted Kennedy in office.

Joe Biden is blunt.

David —

The only way we win this election is by each of us stepping up to do our part.

I’m going to be blunt: Before tomorrow’s FEC deadline, the campaign needs your support more than ever. We’ve been outraised by Mitt Romney and the Republicans — by tens of millions of dollars — for two straight months.

But while their money comes mostly from very wealthy donors, corporations, and special interests, our campaign is powered by you. That’s a point of pride.

He forgot to mention the unions and Hollywood celebrities.

James Carville is joining in.

Fuck —

I wish I had good news for you.

I want to tell you that President Obama has a second term in the bag. I want to tell you that the Koch Brothers are giving up their plot to buy the election.

But here’s where things really stand: We’re gonna have to go through hell and high-water to win this damn thing. It’s gonna be hard. Every big-oil billionaire and Republican Super PAC is throwing the kitchen sink at President Obama.

If we don’t fight back, it’ll be over long before November.

That all sounds like good news to me. Did you notice that their troubles are due to evil, shadowy, big money donors like oil billionaires and the Koch Brothers? It couldn’t possible be due to the terrible record of President Obama.

Last and least, there is Al Gore.


The last thing we want is the Republican Party — a party that’s been hijacked by an extremist fringe — to win the White House and tighten its grip on Congress.

That would spell disaster for our economy and our environment.

Karl Rove and the ultra-conservative Koch brothers are pouring millions of dollars into this campaign. Democrats are depending on the individual support we get from people like you.

To paraphrase Inigo Montoya, the Democrats keep using that word extreme. I do not think it means what they think it means. I would say that the party with the candidate who promised to fundamentally transform the United States, who voted against the born alive act, who fought the Catholic Church over contraception coverage, and who routinely disparages small businesses could be considered just a little extreme in some circles. In fact I would say that the Democrats have been turning more and more extreme since at least the McGovern campaign.


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