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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

BOSTON — Elizabeth Warren is cast as many things: a populist, a left-winger, the paladin against the bankers and the rich, the Democrats’ alternative to Hillary Clinton, the policy wonk with a heart.

The senior senator from Massachusetts is certainly a populist and her heart is with those foreclosed upon and exploited by shady financial practices. But she is not nearly as left-wing as many say — she can offer a strong defense of capitalism that’s usually overlooked. And here’s betting that she won’t run against Clinton.

What all these descriptions miss is Warren’s most important contribution to the progressive cause. She is, above all, a lawyer who knows how to make arguments. From the time she first came to public attention, Warren has been challenging conservative presumptions embedded so deeply in our discourse that we barely notice them. Where others equivocate, she fights back with common sense.

Since the Reagan era, Democrats have been so determined to show how pro-market and pro-business they are that they’ve shied from pointing out that markets could not exist without government, that the well-off depend on the state to keep their wealth secure, and that participants in the economy rely on government to keep the marketplace on the level and to temper the business cycle’s gyrations.

Warren doesn’t back away from any of these facts. In her new book, A Fighting Chance, she recalls the answer she gave to a voter during a living-room gathering in Andover, MA, that quickly went viral. She was in the early days of her Senate campaign, in the fall of 2011, and had been asked about the deficit. Characteristically, she pushed the boundaries beyond a narrow fiscal discussion to explain how government helped create wealth.

“There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own,” she said. “Nobody. You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: You moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for. You hired workers the rest of us paid to educate. You were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for.” It was all part of “the underlying social contract,” she said, a phrase politicians don’t typically use.

  • disqus_ivSI3ByGmh

    I do hope that all these conservatives who claim they do not believe in government are not accepting their paychecks for serving in Congress. After all, if they don’t believe in it, why are they accepting money for trying to destroy it?

    • Lola Johnson

      It’s a curiously cynical rationale, which states it’s okay to grab tax money while inveighing against taxes. It is used by polygamous cults, radical white groups, and those who support Clive Bundy. ( How could all those armed men afford to just not go to work for that many days?) ” Starve the beast” states that it is right to destroy a country by taking and not giving anything back.

    • rkief

      Maybe the reason is that some receive far more remuneration – and future financial prospects – as well as increased political clout, from moneyed special interests, than from their paltry government salary.

    • Mike

      In all actuality, it is the Constitutional conservative that will save this country from the free spending, socialist, big government, types like Ms. Warren that seek to rob the citizenry of Liberty with ever growing encroachment of government into our lives.

      It will take Conservatives, Libertarians, Constitutionalists and a few good Democrats to wrest control from the progressive crowd, but if it has taken 100 years to get here, we know we must be in this for the long game.

      As Margaret Thatcher observed, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.’

      • Independent1

        “In all actuality, it is the Constitutional conservative that will save this country from the free spending, socialist, big government, types like Ms. Warren that seek to rob the citizenry of Liberty with ever growing encroachment of government into our lives.”

        Wow!! You really are clueless aren’t you!! Your supposed “constitutional conservatives” have proven to be the biggest spenders of all time!! Starting with America’s worst president ever – Ronald Reagan. The guy that not only tripled California’s debt during his 8 disastrous years governing that state, but almost tripled the debt of America during his disastrous 8 years as America’s president. Spending more money in 8 years than all the presidents in office behind him from at least 1900 on.

        Every GOP president since Nixon during his 2nd term has spent like a drunken sailor which is why the last 4 GOP presidents, Nixon, Reagan and the two Bushes are responsible for more than 90% of America’s current 17 trillion in debt. Not only have the last 3 Democrat presidents had to work to reduce deficit spending, they’ve actually accomplished that with Carter being the president that had reduced our debt to the lowest level when compared to GDP (around 35%) of any president since 1900.

        • Mike

          Is that it?

          It’s the Republicans, its the Republicans, Its the Republicans…..

          Your right there Einstein and I am not, nor are we Republicans. The Constitutional Conservative movement should strike fear in all things progressive (what ever that is). The times are a changing, and it isn’t about you.

          We are organized, we have a plan and we have the time.

          “See ya around Schmedly”1

          1)Warner Brothers Cartoon Bugs Bunny 1943, Los Angeles.

        • neeceoooo

          I really like to read your posts, thank you.

  • latebloomingrandma

    I hope that Sen. Warren does not run for president or accept a VP spot. We need her in the Senate. She is just starting to be effective and is the perfect person to fill Ted Kennedy’ s Liberal Lion shoes. As her common sense message takes hold, maybe we’ll get more like her and finally the Senate can be a place that gets things done.

  • rkief

    If more Democratic politicians, – from the top, down – like Sen Warren and Sanders, and Representative Alan Grayson, were willing to tell the American people like it is – as opposed to Republicans, who tell it like it ain’t – they could do a lot more for those who need help (and yes, less for those who don’t). That would take political courage, however, a quality sadly lacking in both major parties, who are more beholden to special interests, than to their citizen constituents.

  • Independent1

    ” But the book is most striking for the way in which her confident tone parallels Ronald Reagan’s upbeat proclamations on behalf of his own creed. Conservatives loved the Gipper for using straightforward and understandable arguments to make the case for less government. Warren turns the master’s method against the ideology he rhapsodized.”

    Reagan making the case for “less government” is just one more example of how devious this man really was. He espoused nonsense like the idea of small government while he went about adding by far more people to government than any previous president, in fact more than a number of those before him combined (he added more than 260,000 government workers to our government in his disastrous 8 years in office). No one has done more to damage America than Ronald Reagan with all his underhanded and devious escapades. If Warren’s actions parallel Reagan’s, those parallels are only on the surface and in no way similar when compared with respect to honesty and actual results.

    • Mike

      By your logic, you should love Mr. Reagan. How odd.

  • Angel Perea

    KEEPING IT THOUGHTFULLY HONEST: Elizabeth Warren is not liberal! No! She is intelligent and thoughtful and a symbol of responsible public service policy leadership!

  • exdemo55

    Elizabeth Warren has built her progressive rock star image and her campaign by attacking the wealthy factory owners and others who supposedly do not pay their “fair share” and take advantage of loopholes to live off of infrastructure paid for by others.

    Yet Warren appears to be one of those people who takes advantage.

    Warren falsely and without any legitimate legal basis claimed to be Cherokee for employment purposes. Warren also chintzed by failing to register for the Massachusetts Bar despite an active practice of law in Cambridge since the mid-1990s, thereby evading Bar registration dues. Howie Carr has a great column today about Warren’s class warfare phoniness.

    Add another example to the long list: Warren obtained fee waivers from at least 50 federal bankruptcy courts so she would not have to pay for access to the federal PACER system, even in years when she had a high 6-figure income and an 8-figure net worth.

    Warren’s High Income and Net Worth

    In 2008, the earliest year for which Warren has released income tax returns, Warren and her husband had a combined income of $831,208, which increased in 2009 to $981,670. Warren’s net worth as of the end of 2011 was as high as $14.5 million.

    In 2010-2011, Warren earned approximately $140,000 from Aspen Publishers for her books about bankruptcy. Warren also has published a variety of commercial books over the years, for which no income data is available, such as the 2004 publication of The Two Income Trap (see Megan McArdle and Todd Zawycki reviews), which incorporated her bankruptcy research and many of her non-commercial articles.

    Warren also worked as a private consultant for which she earned $90,000 on bank antitrust litigation, although it’s not known if she incorporated her banktruptcy docket work because she will not release her report.

    These commercial endeavors are separate from her non-commercial, highly politicized research, such as the review of bankruptcy case dockets which led to a devastating critique of Warren’s work by Rutgers Law Professor Philip Schuchman. These bankruptcy file reviews also contributed to Warren’s non-commercial studies such as the misleading claim that medical expenses account for one-third of all bankruptcies.

    Warren’s bankruptcy docket research has contributed at least indirectly to the vast money-making empire which euphemistically could be called “Elizabeth Warren, Inc.” (not an actual name, but fitting).

    PACER Waivers In At Least 50 Districts

    I say good for Warren, she built that $14.5 million net worth through hard work and persistence.

    But Warren, who berates factory owners, obtained fee waivers for access to the bankruptcy docket maintained by the federal PACER system, for which others have to pay.

    Warren took advantage of a policy at PACER which provides for fee waivers for academic research based on her standing as a law professor.

    Copies of letters submitted by Warren in 2006 and 2008 in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, along with corresponding Orders (plus a third Order in Maryland for which no letter was found) were located through the PACER system.

    In her November 22, 2006, letter to the Court, Warren attached a list of 49 federal district courts which previously had granted her waivers from the normal PACER fees:

    • Sand_Cat

      Have you proof the Cherokee claim was false? I thought not.
      Why should anyone believe your other calumnies when you defend the deranged idiots of the GOP?

      • exdemo55

        If you wish to ignore the truth, that’s your problem. The fact that you think the entire GOP is deranged speaks to a lack of itellect. Open your mind and listen to them. Some are actually brilliant

        • Sand_Cat

          Actually, I speak to a lack of intellect when I reply to you and your fellow trolls:>).
          As usual, your projection mode is on full: a GOP
          person criticizing someone (who’s not another GOP person) for ignoring the truth? Imagine that. I certainly have my blind spots, and writing in
          anger doesn’t improve intellectual quality or absolute accuracy, but for every denial of truth of which I can be legitimately accused, the average GOP voter must have at least 10-20, and you – who don’t seem to be a thoughtless and delusional moron like most of our “visitors” here –
          must have hundreds. You didn’t answer the question about the Cherokee relationship, no doubt because you have nothing to back it up but made-up “research” by other right-wingers, which is also the likely source for your other libels of Senator Warren, and others I’ve seen
          trumpeted here by you or another of your colleagues.

          • Mike

            More relevant is the question, had Liz lied about her Native
            American heritage, would you think less of her? Speculating, I would say not.

            I will answer for the writer and say that there are easily found any number of
            confirming articles in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, and a Genealogical
            society, that confirms that there is no reason empirically, genetically or
            otherwise to believe that Ms.

            Warren is telling the truth. She lied.

            She is a charlatan and opportunist that has gamed the system continually, to
            the applause of the fawning liberal “intelligentsia”.

            Please use the same research tools that the rest of us have available and you
            just may change your mind.

          • Sand_Cat

            “Warren is telling the truth. She lied.” Are you saying she admitted to lying?
            Amidst the avalanche of lies and falsehoods from her opposition and their proven record of gratuitous character assassination as a political tool, I must admit that it’s hard to feel too much disillusionment at the word that yet another politician isn’t in line for canonization. I know a man of whiter complexion than mine who selected “African American” on a college application,” which, while strictly true – he is Egyptian – was clearly not what was being asked. I thought it was pretty funny, and I suspect you would approve as well. Not knowing why she lied – I’ll take your word that her claim was not true – I won’t be launching into a hate campaign like yours against her for a relatively trivial falsehood in a political environment in which the honest are often punished. The more important question, since you bring it up, is would you have even noticed – or bothered to check – if someone you support had uttered such a fib. Not quite on the same plane as “weapons of mass destruction in Iraq” or a certain politician’s completely non-opportunistic claim that Jesus is his favorite “political philosopher.”
            I do have to say that – aside from the completely fabricated – this seems to be about the best you guys can do against most of your opposition.

          • exdemo55

            Cherokee genealogist Twila Barnes, whose group of researchers has done more than anyone to document Elizabeth Warren’s false claims to be Cherokee, was incensed at Warren’s continued insistence that she is Native American:

            Let me make one thing clear. Your Native American issue has not been put to rest.

            You say your “ancestry” played no roll in your hiring. That is not the only issue. You were listed as a minority in diversity reports. That is an issue. You admit you made the schools aware of your “heritage.” They counted you as a minority in their reports to the federal government when the criteria to list you as such had a two part requirement – you had to have both the ancestry and maintain tribal ties. Something you did or said led the two schools in question to believe you met those requirements despite the fact you didn’t….

            You continue to skate around the issue by repeating the same story you heard growing up. You say you didn’t ask for documentation because you were a child. Excuse me, but you were not a child when you started “checking the box”; listing yourself in law directories as a minority; or were counted as a Native American for diversity reports.

            You were instead, an adult, 37 years old, and a lawyer, when you professionally “became” Native American. To make matters worse, your mother was still alive. Maybe children don’t ask for documentation, but adult lawyers should….

            As of today, you still refuse to release your personnel records from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School. If there is nothing to hide, why? …

            No one really cares about your family or the stories you were told growing up, but we do care about your integrity. The “Cherokee flap” is important because it shows what you have done when you thought no one was watching. It is important because it shows what you have done when you thought you wouldn’t get caught. And it is important because it reveals you still think you can get away with it now that you have been caught.

            Michael Patrick Leahy explains how Warren repeated old lies about her Native American ancestry:

            In repeating her old claim that her parents were “forced to elope” because her mother had both Delaware and Cherokee Native American ancestry, Warren retold a story Breitbart News debunked in June with an article that showed her parents were married in a religous ceremony twenty miles from their hometown. Subsequent reports showed that their hometown paper proudly announced the wedding within days after the ceremony was performed on January 4, 1932.

            In the debate Thursday night, Professor Warren also claimed that “the people who hired me for my jobs have all made clear they didn’t even know about it until long after I was hired.” In fact, she admitted to the Boston Globe in May that she herself had told both Penn and Harvard she was a woman of color prior to her hiring as a full time professor by Harvard.

            In addition, she self identified as a “woman of color” in an article published by the Harvard Women’s Law Journal in 1993, two years before she joined the Harvard Law School faculty as a tenured professor in 1995.

            Last night was a debacle for Warren. The Native American issue and how she reported it to federal authorities through Harvard is not going to go away.

          • Sand_Cat

            How trivial you guys have become. Can’t find anything of substance, and you ignore Bush’s insider trading and all the other CRIMINAL acts, some of which killed thousands, but you’ll defend him to the death but we should crucify Elizabeth Warren because she isn’t a saint. I’ll ask you the same question I asked puff-up self-righteous Mike: would you have even noticed if this were Scott Walker – who has had the benefit of your defense – or some other right-wing lunatic of whom you approved? Whatever you try to pin on her or Obama, or most others is pure chickenshit compared to the criminal acts of the GOP presidents and congressmen to whose level you are all – or almost all – so desperate to drag even one Democrat or anti-Republican by whatever exaggerations or fabrications necessary.

          • exdemo55

            Again, what criminal acts?

          • Sand_Cat

            Look up the Geneva Conventions on Torture and the crime of initiating a war of aggression (if not before, used by the US and its allies after WWII) for starters.
            I’m sure there is no need for you to ask, so nickel-and-dime someone else.
            Not to mention that this is way off topic.

          • exdemo55

            The UN and the US Congress approved that war including a yes vote from Hilliary

          • Sand_Cat

            First of all, my recollection is that the UN refused to back the US effort; several of our key allies were smart enough to realize who they were dealing with. In any case, a UN vote of the type taken does not override international law, especially when based on the same pack of lies fed the US Congress. The UN never authorized torture and abuse of POWs, nor do they have the power to do so, and these actions are also forbidden by US law, as I suspect starting an unprovoked aggressive war is as well, and lying to Congress certainly is.
            Are you really naive enough to think I’d be impressed by Hillary’s vote? What, do you think I’d collapse into a gibbering ball of jelly at being told something I knew at the time it happened? And are the craven votes of misinformed and timid Democrats supposed to change my mind? In their defense, they should be able to believe the president in matters of such gravity, but I still thought they were fools at the time. Their vote did embarrass the Administration by getting the UN inspectors back into Iraq at a time when Cheney and Bush were trying to claim no cooperation could be expected. And the CIA Director said it was a “slam dunk”? How many times did he have to be threatened with humiliation and dismissal to get that? You have no doubt conveniently forgotten that Bush officials were known to return CIA-written analyses based on evidence for rewriting if the conclusions didn’t fit their desires, and I believe some even rewrote the reports themselves not to mention the humiliation of General Shinseki (don’t know how it’s spelled), and I believe another officer for predicting accurately what would happen if the administration tried to carry out the war on the cheap as they planned all along and ultimately did.
            I’m done with your pursuing topics irrelevant to this article, or reality, for that matter. Don’t bother with any more pointless questions.

        • Sand_Cat

          And I should point out that you and others of your persuasion are entirely too eager to ascribe to the opposition condemnatory statements about groups as a whole, perhaps as part of the same problem that fuels the GOP’s shameless support for, and dependence upon, racism. I never said ALL Republicans are deranged: certainly those at the top pulling your strings are positively brilliant, if you consider manipulation of a well-meaning but frustrated and ill-informed electorate “brilliant.” I always thought Bush was a real dope when it came to things that matter, but even his inept and transparent lies seem to have convinced a lot of people. And no doubt there are plenty of good and well-meaning people among GOP voters. Unfortunately, most of them seem to have been duped into believing that the timid centrism of most of the Democratic Party represents the “Far Left,” when the only thing it’s far to the left of is crazy. All of the recent Democratic presidents would have fallen well within the moderate wing of the GOP before its leaders went off to the deep end.
          But I guess we’ll never agree on that, or much of anything else.

          • exdemo55

            What were Bush’s inept and transparent lies?

          • Sand_Cat

            If you don’t know, better crawl back under your rock and go back into suspended animation.

          • exdemo55

            No, honestly, please tell me.

          • Sand_Cat

            We can start with the whole WMD BS. Then there’s the part about how he was “praying” war wouldn’t be necessary when it should have been obvious to anyone by his demeanor and talking points he could barely sit still for eagerness to be a “war president.” And the way he and Cheney constantly implied, without ever actually saying it, that Saddam had a major part in 9/11. Those are the main ones that killed people, and in themselves should be enough.
            My memory is fading, and I don’t really care to think about the SOB, but so far as I’m concerned, he never made a really honest statement about anything of importance from at least as far back as the beginning of his run for president through the end of his presidency. That part about Jesus’s being his favorite “political philosopher,” his insider trading when he was on the financial board of a failing oil company and told not to sell stock, then immediately did so, making 800,000 dollars or thereabouts while leaving the investors holding the bag, these and many others served as garnishing on the whole pack of lies he spun.
            I suspect you won’t accept any of it, and I don’t really care to pursue it.

          • exdemo55

            The SEC’s exhaustive investigation examined thousands of pages of documents. Additionally, and in an unusual move, Mr. Bush waived client-attorney privileges so the attorneys could be questioned, with no doubts remaining on the subject. Regarding whether Mr. Bush knew in advance about the losses, the SEC investigators found: “The evidence establishes that George W. Bush was not aware of the majority of the items that comprised the loss Harken announced on August 20.” The SEC investigators concluded that the loss resulted from write-downs and expenses that occurred after he sold his stock. Basically an outsider, Mr. Bush did not usually receive the Executive Committee’s Weekly Flash Reports on the company’s financial condition. In short, concluded an SEC investigative memo, George W. Bush was not particularly informed about the company’s finances.

            Regarding whether the stock was deliberately sold in time to avoid losing money before bad news was made public, the SEC found that Mr. Bush did not initiate the sale, but was contacted by a stockbroker who offered to buy a large block of Harken stock. There was evidence that before selling the stock, company Board Member Bush checked with inside and outside company executives, fellow directors and legal experts concerning the sale of his stock. The SEC report read, “In light of the facts uncovered, it would be difficult to establish that, even assuming (Mr.) Bush possessed material nonpublic information, he acted with sentience or intent to defraud”.

            Whether the news of Harken’s unexpectedly large loss hurt the company’s investors unfairly was quickly discarded after the SEC examined Harken Energy’s share price just before and just after news of the loss was made public. Though the price dropped about 20% that day, the move downward was not immediate, and the price rebounded to $3 the following day. If indeed the announcement had caused a loss of confidence in the company, SEC investigators reasoned, the stock would most likely have fallen down immediately and stayed down. “The conclusion of the Office of Economic Analysis is that, because the price of Harken did not immediately react to the earnings announcement and there is no news that explains Harken’s return to its pre-announcement price of $3 on August 21, 1990, the earnings announcement did not provide investors with new material information,” the SEC wrote. Moreover, the stock rebounded the next year and hit $8 a share.

          • exdemo55

            George Tenet, George W. Bush’s CIA director, assured the President that the case for Saddam possessing WMD was “a slam dunk.” In this assessment, Tenet had the backing of all fifteen agencies involved in gathering intelligence for the United States. The National Intelligence Estimate of 2002, where their collective views were summarized, asserted with “high confidence” that “Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding its chemical, biological, nuclear, and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions.

            The intelligence agencies of Britain, Germany, Russia, China, Israel, and France all agreed with this judgment. Even Hans Blix—who headed the UN team of inspectors trying to determine whether Saddam had complied with the demands of the Security Council that he dispose of the WMD he was known to have had in the past—lent further credibility to the case in a report he issued only a few months before the invasion:

            “The discovery of a number of … chemical rocket warheads in a bunker at a storage depot 170 km southwest of Baghdad was much publicized. This was a relatively new bunker, and therefore the rockets must have been moved there in the past few years, at a time when Iraq should not have had such munitions…. They could also be the tip of a submerged iceberg. The discovery … points to the issue of several thousands of chemical rockets that are unaccounted for.”

            The consensus on which President Bush relied was first fully formed in the Clinton administration, as these statements indicate:

            “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s [WMD] program.” – Bill Clinton, 1998

            “Iraq is a long way from [America], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risk that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.” – Secretary of State Madeline Albright, 1998

            “[Saddam] will use those [WMD] again, as he has ten times since 1983.” – Sandy Berger, Clinton’s National Security Adviser, 1998

            Also in 1998, a group of Democratic Senators — including such luminaries as Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, and John Kerry — urged President Clinton “to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq’s refusal to end its [WMD] programs.”

            Nancy Pelosi, then a member of the House Intelligence Committee, stated: “Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of [WMD] technology, which is a threat to countries in the region, and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process.”

            This Democratic drumbeat continued and even intensified when George W. Bush succeeded Clinton in 2001. In a letter to the new President, a number of Senators led by Florida Democrat Bob Graham declared:

            “There is no doubt that … Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical, and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf war status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies.”

            Senator Carl Levin reaffirmed for Bush’s benefit what he had told Clinton some years earlier:

            “Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations, and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them.”

            Senator Hillary Clinton agreed, speaking in October 2002:

            “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical- and biological-weapons stock, his missile-delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al-Qaeda members.”

            Senator Jay Rockefeller, vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, concurred:

            “There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years…. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction.”

            Also in 2002, Al Gore said the following:

            “We know that [Saddam] has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country.”

            “Iraq’s search for [WMD] has proven impossible to deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.”

            Senator John Kerry announced in 2002: “I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force—if necessary—to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security.”

            That same year, Senator Ted Kennedy said, “We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction.”

            Senator Robert Byrd put it this way: “We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has [since 1998] embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical- and biological-warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons.”

            William Cohen, who had served as President Clinton’s Secretary of Defense, remained “absolutely convinced” that Saddam possessed stockpiles of WMD even after the U.S. military had failed to find them in the wake of the invasion in March 2003.

            Kenneth Pollack, who served in the National Security Council under President Clinton, recalls:

            “In the late spring of 2002, I participated in a Washington meeting about Iraqi WMD. Those present included nearly twenty former inspectors from the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), the force established in 1991 to oversee the elimination of WMD in Iraq. One of the senior people put a question to the group: did anyone in the room doubt that Iraq was currently operating a secret centrifuge plant? No one did.”

            Many who believed that Saddam did possess WMD accused Bush of having mischaracterized the threat of those weapons as “imminent.” But in fact, Bush consistently rejected imminence as a justification for war. In the State of the Union address he delivered three months after 9/11, Bush declared that he would “not wait on events while dangers gather,” and that he would “not stand by, as peril draws closer and closer.” In a speech at West Point six months later, he said: “If we wait for threats to materialize, we will have waited too long.” In his State of the Union address in 2003, Bush stated:

            “Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late.”

  • Irishgrammy

    “Where others equivocate, she fights back with common sense”…so perfectly representative of Elizabeth Warren! I don’t even look at Ms. Warren as a Liberal first, but a woman with vast experience and years of education, acquired knowledge of lessons learned, years of teaching and writing i.e., simple truth and numbers, statistics and history, you know all those pesky facts! Truth is what it is, it cannot be colored with ideological BS, no matter how hard the right tries or how hard the greedy financial boys go after Ms. Warren in some twisted attempt to destroy her or worse silence her. She is simply grace and strength under a constant barrage of outrageous attacks by “smaller men” or “ideologues” that spout out no facts and instead spew out “sound bites” insanely believing that should be enough and if one does not buy their sound bites, then they throw in the “social issue” swill to inflame and divide. Elizabeth Warren has no hidden agenda, just a fighter for the common man, people like her Mom and Dad, and God knows we need more of people like her, although I really believe others might pale in comparison…..As usual E.J. Dionne, writes with truthfulness, compassion and an accurately considered description of what Ms. Warren does in fact speak for as an advocate of the millions and millions of us, who have precious few who speak as eloquently as she does on our behalf.

  • Mike

    Liz, Liz, Liz….Really, we didn’t build it? I got news for you, the Federal leviathan has built nothing without private enterprise and the American business owner who provides the goods, services and man power.

    This gal is a ideologue and a leftist, pure and simple. She has not met the program nor the bureaucrat she does not like. The bigger the government and the more intrusive the better because, government knows best, in all things.

    There has never been anything government has achieved that is not directly related to the private capitalist system. Beginning with the beloved Federal Reserve, a private institution, the controller of the currency, you will notice that the the by laws insist on independence and hands off by the government. Why, because it is incapable of administering anything successfully.

    Social Security, the VA, Fanny and Freddie, the EPA, Department of Ed. on and on with track records that betray the fact that the Federal Government is incapable of doing anything but making more government.

    I say, bring it on Liz, cannon fodder for the reasoned crowd and those of us that respect the Constitution and limited government.

    • charleo1

      God, you’re stupid. And I’m so sick of hearing you ass wipes, run your ignorant mouths. It’s all we’ve heard now, since your wonder boy Bush, wrecked the military, the economy, his Party, and pissed away enough money to fund Social Security, The Affordable Care Act, Medicare, the VA, and fix the roads for the next 20 years. And all you geniuses can say is, well, we don’t a need a Federal Govt. anyway. Well, STFU. And take responsibility for your Party’s screw ups, and then, after you stop your bitching, say just one thing, one thing, half way intelligent, and you may, may get some of your credibility back. Now go learn something about the Country you grew up in, and quit trying to be a smart ass. We’ve heard it. It’s total BS. If you don’t like the Govt. then do everyone a favor, and stay the hell away from it. Don’t want to pay taxes? Leave! Go some lovely where, they don’t have them, and have a wonderful life.

      • Mike

        Well, again you’ve proven your nothing but a disgrace with a limited vocabulary.

        • charleo1

          And you’re still stupid.

          • Mike

            Do those big words come easily “sweetness”

      • neeceoooo

        I like everything you had to say, thank you

        • charleo1

          You’re welcome! As you can see, I’m over my anger at the ignorant T-Party. And have decided to try gently reasoning with the treasonous bastards.