Monthly Archives: December 2011

The Elizabeth Warren Train Wreck

I just got another Elizabeth Warren campaign email.

I responded to the initial part of the message:

On 12/29/2011 10:03 AM, Mindy Myers, wrote:
> It’s about fighting for middle-class families in Massachusetts and
> across our country who are getting hammered — and have been, year
> after year, now for a generation. It’s about leveling the playing
> field so that it’s not just the big banks and big corporations
> getting all the breaks from Washington.

Sorry, I have given up waiting for Warren to start fighting. I am moving over to Marisa DeFranco who is not the type to back down when Karl Rove says boo.

I tried to warn Kerry when the Swift Boat first came out and he tried to ignore it and me. I have been warning the Warren campaign about the Rove attacks. They pose the same threat as the swift boat attacks did for Kerry.

Warren has much better ammunition to fight back, but the campaign won’t use it. Read The Boston Globe this morning. The Karl Rove attack won’t go away just because you try to ignore it.

The weak ad that Warren ran in response is not an adequate rebuttal to the kind of attack that was mounted.

Can you hear that whistle in the distance? That is the train you are about to collide with. I see the train wreck coming and yet I cannot seem to shout loud enough to wake you folks up.

The sad fact is that you will just ignore this warning too.

Ron Paul’s Wacky But Influential Fed Policy

The article Ron Paul’s Wacky But Influential Fed Policy in Salon magazine shows that I am not the only person who feels this way about Ron Paul’s misunderstanding of the role of the Fed.  Here are a couple of introductory paragraphs:

The Republican Party, falling deeper into the clutches of Ron Paul’s radical ideology, has a new item on its anti-populist agenda: Castrate the Federal Reserve so that it no longer can promote job growth.
This great leap backward isn’t likely to happen as Democrats remain in control of the Senate. But what it does show is the extent to which Ron Paul’s fixation with the Fed has infected the Republican Party.

Unfortunately, I think some of Ron Paul’s wacky ideas about the fed have also infected some members of the Occupy movement.

Marisa DeFranco For U.S. Senate from Massachusetts

I have realized since the October 4, 2011 Democratic Senatorial debate in Lowell, that Marisa DeFranco knows how to stand up and defend her principles.  It was not actually a debate, because it had unreasonable time limits on the length of response, and the surprise and often off-the-wall questions that were posed.  I remarked about the debate and posted a link to the video of the debate in the previous post Warren shines in debate debut where I  expressed my disagreement with the headline.  I expressed praise for the way Marisa DeFranco performed.

I have decided that the lackluster performance of Warren was not a one-time failing, but possibly a deliberate campaign tactic.  I have also come to realize that the Warren campaign does not feel the necessity to change how the message is presented or what issues she backs away from.

So why resist anymore volunteering for Marisa DeFranco who seems to be more of the person I thought I was getting when I first discovered Elizabeth Warren way before she ran for Senate?  That old Elizabeth Warren is not running in this race.  If anything, the old Elizabeth Warren has been reincarnated in the DeFranco campaign.

You can access the DeFranco web site at and her Facebook page at  You can also follow her on twitter at!/marisadefranco.

Here is a political button from the DeFranco Facebook website that captures my feelings.

Political Button

Here is my version of the button.

Understanding Muslim Militants Can Land You In Jail

The story is actually titled, In Alaska, becoming the militants next door. In describing the convicted person’s transition from disliking Muslims for the 9/11 attack to a level of understanding of the reasons, the article states:

Rockwood said he also felt he was beginning to understand what had driven the Sept. 11 hijackers. “These people felt that they had been under attack,” he said. “They kind of saw it as a self-defense response. It was like you’d be impressed if an American soldier jumps on a grenade to save his buddies – it takes a lot of courage to give up your life like that.”

There is much more to the story than this beginning.  However,  the police did enticed Rockwood into committing acts that they could use to convict him.  The police effort may have been initiated by reports to the police that Rockwood was beginning to understand the hijackers motivations.  He might never have gone anywhere near as far as he did, and it is arguable about how far he went, had not the police officer befriended him, encouraged him, got him riled up, and enticed him.  The police even paid Rockwood money that he desperately needed to move his pregnant wife and himself from from Alaska to her native England for multiple medical reasons.

Given the new powers that Congress gave to, or thrust upon, President Obama, Rockwood could have been indefinitely detained without trial rather than getting the 8 years in federal prison that he got on a plea deal he was coerced into signing.

Warren And Brown Are Two Sides Of Same Tarnished Coin

The Boston Globe published the letter to the editor Warren And Brown Are Two Sides Of Same Tarnished Coin.

RE “A safe distance from Occupy: Warren claimed to have influenced the movement, then backed off’ (Op-ed, Dec. 18): Our country is in big trouble, and it’s not the kind of trouble that’s going to be fixed by trading Democrat Elizabeth Warren for Republican Senator Scott Brown. Winning the political game isn’t going to do it. The beliefs and minds of a lot of people are going to have to be changed, and that’s going to require someone willing to shout out the unvarnished, untriangulated truth, no matter what. I had hoped that Warren might be that fearless truth-teller. I’m afraid that my hopes, like those of columnist Joan Vennochi, are fading fast.

Randy Slaughter

The statement that “The beliefs and minds of a lot of people are going to have to be changed, and that’s going to require someone willing to shout out the unvarnished, untriangulated truth, no matter what.” echoes something that I have been saying in a number of different ways.  Most recently I said something related to Obama along the same lines in the post President Obama Rallies His Domestic Troops – What $40 Mean. Part of what I said in that post was:

I hope this is a sign that the President has come to realize that his most important job is to educate voters so that they know what is at stake. Rallying people around the legislation he wants to pass, is effective as shown by this incident.

In an even earlier post on December 6, Strong Medicine For Elizabeth Warren, I directly addressed the issue of her initial comments about OWS and then her unwillingness to stand by those remarks.

My response to that comment was:

I am so glad someone asked about the intellectual foundation that Elizabeth Warren provided to the Occupy movement.

Elizabeth Warren wrote a book, “The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class”

If you really wanted an answer to the question, you would devote the time to listen to her invited lecture on what is the lesson from the book.

I do not understand why the campaign doesn’t use this strong message to shoot down the Karl Rove meme. I suggested Warren acknowledge the OWS movement. The proviso was that there was going to be blowback, and you had to be prepared for it. Now that you have taken the bold step, you cannot retreat. You must use the blow back as a teachable moment.

The blowback will continue until you answer it forcefully. If some professional political advisor is holding Elizabeth back from making her case, that person ought to be fired.

If she is a bold person, and we like boldness, then you can’t retreat and be a wimp. Go for broke, or go home.

Obama Challenges Provisions in Budget Bill

I am afraid I have to reference the article Obama Challenges Provisions in Budget Bill from The New York Times. The only other link I found on Google that was not just to a blog was to Faux Noise.  It is a sad commentary when those are the only two choices.

When President Obama signed a budget bill on Friday, he issued a signing statement claiming a right to bypass dozens of provisions that placed requirements or restrictions on the executive branch, saying he had “well-founded constitutional objections” to the new statutes.

Among them, he singled out two sections barring the use of money to transfer prisoners from the naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, into the United States and limiting the ability of the government to transfer them to the custody or control of foreign countries. Mr. Obama said he would apply them in a way that avoided infringing on his powers, without any specific explanation of what that meant.

I am going to have to think long and hard about whether this action by President Obama gets him off the hook with me on my stated inability to ever vote for him again if  he failed to veto this bill.  Even if Obama refuses to use the powers that the bill tries to grant to him, some future president is sure to use them.

As I have said before, we need to prevent the loss of our civil rights in a time when the loss probably won’t be implemented.  When the time comes that a president wants to use these powers, it will be too late for us to try to claw them back.  That time might be sooner than we think, if this president decides to change his mind after he gets re-elected.

Climate Change Evidence

Thanks to Hassan Moradi for +1ing this on Google+.

Those of us in southern New England in the northeast corner of the U.S.A. can appreciate this evidence. We may be looking out for camels tonight instead of reindeer.