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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 5/9/13

Benghazi: The Shiny Object Distracting Us From Elizabeth Warren

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Senator Elizabeth Warren is making noise, but Benghazi is stealing the headlines. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Getty Images)
Senator Elizabeth Warren is making noise, but Benghazi is stealing the headlines. (photo: Andrew Harrer/Getty Images)

If you haven't yet seen "Wag the Dog," go watch it right now. I'll wait. And don't worry, this article isn't actually about Benghazi, but something that really matters.

The movie is about how the art of manipulation is used by the media to distract people from events of actual importance. It was cited regularly when the GOP had their Clinton witch hunt. The GOP's latest witch hunt over Benghazi is simply more wagging of the dog. Fox News is trying really, really hard to make it into Obama's Watergate to keep us all distracted from some incredibly populist moves in the Senate.

Elizabeth Warren's first official bill of the 113th Congress, the Bank on Student Loan Fairness Act, is her first big salvo against the Wall Street and Federal Reserve banking cartel that controls our government. She made headlines during banking committee hearings, where she exposed the fact that the government's Wall Street regulators are simply tools used by Wall Street to pilfer more money from the people. She turned heads when calling for a $22 an hour minimum wage in another hearing. She even got Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to agree that "Too-Big-to-Fail" banks should be broken up. Now she's introducing a bill that says if the banks that wrecked our economy and multinational corporations can borrow billions at a 0.75% interest rate, then students should be able to get those same rates when pursuing a higher education.

Apple exploited this obviously rigged system earlier this month when it borrowed $17 billion from the Federal Reserve at the preferential interest rate, then used it to enrich their own executives and dodge $9 billion in taxes. Banks borrow regularly at that same rate from the Fed to make risky bets on Wall Street. But this Summer, students with federal Stafford loans will see their interest rates double from 3.4% to 6.8%. The banks aren't creating anything real, just imaginary financial instruments. But ensuring that more people have access to a college education will only improve society in the long run. So why are we bleeding poor students dry while giving big banks preferential treatment?

If you're on Twitter, chances are your trending topics box has #Benghazi at or near the top. That means Fox News and the right-wing corporate media are succeeding in getting both the left and the right to squabble over an issue that was dragged through the mud months ago in a cheap attempt to politicize a tragedy. There were 60 deaths at U.S. embassies and consulates during the Bush administration, and there were zero outraged Republicans having hearings about it. 

The House GOP is obviously playing along with the corporate-owned spin machine's game of smoke and mirrors. It's largely a frantic attempt by the corporations running our government to steer attention away from the populist resistance to corporate rule that's slowly and steadily sweeping all over the country.

Our goal should be to make #BankOnStudents the new top trend on Twitter, and spread word about Warren's bold new bill far and wide. Call your senators and demand they support it if they want your vote. Let's help Elizabeth Warren stick it to the banks and the corporate tyrants and refuse to get distracted by the shiny objects they flash at us.

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Carl Gibson, 26, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured (more...)
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