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January 5, 2015


First, you amass a lot of money. (See Koch Bros and casino-owner Sheldon Adelson.) Then you buy a captive press and a political party to poison the political atmosphere. Then you feed the products of (corporate sponsored) “think tanks” into all media. Then you go after that dirty (and probably) socialist Senator Elizabeth Warren with no holds barred, unleashing your Chambers of Commerce and big banks and corporations and their propaganda machines to put this woman in her place on the PR front by labeling her as a populist and putting her views into a box you can manipulate. She and her views must be discredited, whatever the cost!

It’s all part and parcel of framing the issues and setting the agenda as noted by George Lakoff, cognitive brain scientist, but Senator Warren is having none of it. What Wall Street propaganda shills tell us are the issues are not the issues at all. She tells us that the issues are not that corporate taxes are too high or that banking excesses are too heavily regulated; she instead holds that ordinary Americans are subsidizing banking and corporate America with largesse not seen since the Republican Roaring Twenties and that the deal is rigged in favor of banking and corporate America against the average American – and she is right. She is not playing the usual role of politicians these days by playing dead and rolling over for fear of losing “campaign contributions” (aka bribes) from the rich and corporate class; she speaks for those of us who may have little if any to contribute to her future campaign(s). Best of all, she speaks truth, and she needs no propaganda device to massage truth for public consumption.

Unfortunately for those of the rich and corporate class who want to label her as a populist and a do-gooder (and perhaps a socialist still in the closet), she is in fact none of these. She is rather a brilliant  citizen-senator  who knows when the American people are being had by the machinations of the rich and corporate class and has a podium from which to launch her jeremiads. As such, she is dangerous and a threat to the established order of burgeoning corporate control and must be marginalized.

As noted earlier, Senator Warren has been labeled a populist, a designation intended to put her messages into a box that can be controlled, but she is far more than a mere populist, if that. Thus she not only wishes to redesign the political process that is allowing Piketty’s  r > g formula to run amok (tax loopholes, bailout liability, corporate giveaways and welfare at stratospheric highs); she is also painfully aware of the system of revolving doors we have come to think are normal between Wall Street and the Treasury Department in the appointment of Wall Street denizens to regulate those whose ranks they have just left for “public service”( which is akin to appointment of dictators to parcel out democracy).

She is currently opposing a presidential appointment of Antonio Weiss to the third biggest job at Treasury. Weiss is a Wall Street product who works for Lazard, an investment bank, which is not an American bank anymore, having moved in an enthusiastic burst of patriotism to Bermuda to cut its taxes. She noted in a recent speech that “It’s all about the revolving door – that well-oiled mechanism that send Wall Street executives to make policies in the government that sends government policymakers straight to Wall Street,” adding somewhat humorously that “Weiss defenders are all in, loudly defending the revolving door and telling America how lucky we are that Wall Street is willing to run the economy and the government.” I for one am willing to forego such a lucky sacrifice Wall Street is making on my behalf in favor of having We the People run our own government. Why invite foxes into the henhouse?

It also seems clear that she wishes to strengthen the regulatory process that is so politically impaired (via a recent amendment of the Dodd-Frank Act sponsored by Republican congressional toadies) that ordinary Americans are back on the hook for banking excesses (read bailouts and another recession). Someone tell me why trying to protect the public purse is the act of a socialist do-gooder populist. It rather smacks of pure capitalistic impulse and fiscal survival to me. Why shouldn’t we cut our losses?

The truth is that she is engaged in an increasingly rare exercise – she is trying to represent the people and not just Wall Street with their campaign contribution checkbooks – and Wall Street does not like company. Corporate propagandists have been called out to circle the wagons with their diversionary chatter of blaming the messenger and not the message. The message has nothing to do with her personal or political characteristics. Their attempts to ruin her image by manipulative framing of what they are calling the “issues” can and should be ignored in favor of the real issue, i.e., their own ongoing attempts to manipulate and control and ultimately own America via purchase of our politics and our economy.

The ultimate issue in this connection is thus a thinly-disguised attempt of our corporate culture to control not only our politics and our economy but our social institutions as well with their calls for corporate modeling of our schools, our churches, our local governments etc., as though other and better models are unavailable. Like government, such institutions are not designed to be profit-making; they are meant to deliver services to people, a concept probably difficult for the greedy to understand since it doesn’t fit their framing of how all human activity must show a profit.

Finally, George Lakoff, cognitive brain scientist, has this to say about framing and fear of framing. “Framing the truth so that it can be understood is not just central to honest, effective politics. It is central to every aspect of human life. It takes knowledge and honesty, skill and courage. It is part of being a full human being. It is not just the province of political leaders; it is the duty of a citizen. Fear of framing is debilitating, not just to you, but to everyone who depends on you.”

Thus Senator Warren has her work cut out for her. She must frame the truth (or reframe the truth after corporate propagandists have framed their slant) so that we may have an opportunity to finally engage in “honest, effective politics.” We as citizens have to challenge slanted framework of truth from Fox News, corporate “think tanks” (aka corporate propagandists) and the financial media with which we are inundated daily by the rich and corporate class and instead create our own framing for discussion of the real issues of the day. After all, one has to perceive what the issues really are before trying to solve them, and Wall Street’s framing of the issues and setting the agenda for discussion are untrustworthy at best and deserving of special scrutiny since corporate America exists only to make profits. We can frame our own issues and set our own agendas without help from Rupert Murdoch and other servants of greed, so let’s do it.    GERALD    E


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One Comment
  1. Dee permalink

    I saw Senator Warren speak in December, and she did, indeed, rail against the appointment of Mr.Weiss. She said that Wall Street people are running our Treasury – I don’t believe they are the ONLY ones who know how to do that! Let’s go with Sen. Warren and take back our democracy!

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