Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for co-Presidents?

on this page:

heating New England cities in the winter,
fossil fuel depletion and energy rationing

Warren - Sanders ticket might overcome corporate & CIA pre-selection of candidates

Senators Warren and Sanders have stated they would ban fracking if inaugurated as President. This is a worthy goal but omits the obvious consequence. Fracked oil and gas have fueled the current economic boom (since the near crash of 2008). Most of the country's natural gas is now from fracking. All of the increase of domestic oil and gas extraction has been from fracking. Fracking is super toxic but it keeps the lights on, powers rush hour and food delivery trucks. We are damned if we drill (toxic waste and climate change) and damned if we don't (energy rationing and economic collapse).

Massachusetts and Vermont are especially vulnerable to energy decline. It takes lots of energy in the winter to keep Burlington's (Vermont) and Boston's buildings habitable. New England is also the main part of the country that uses heating oil for residences. How to sustain this on the energy downslope does not seem answerable and this predicament gets no public attention from politicians, the media, or even environmental groups.

In 2009, I heard the late Connecticut State Representative Terry Backer at the ASPO-USA conference (Association for the Study of Peak Oil & Gas). He was a liberal Democrat and environmentalist, alarmed about the social impacts of oil decline if heating New England becomes more difficult.

ASPO conference speakers had diverse politics, including conservative Republican Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-Maryland), the Udall political family, Matt Simmons (an oil investor from Houston, donor to George W. Bush). Interest in what it takes to power our technocracy is not a function of political affiliation.

I cannot imagine any politician in New England being blase about the logistics needed to keep buildings warm when it is 20 below Fahrenheit. However, I have encountered politicians elsewhere remarkably disinterested in the complex systems required to keep trucks delivering food to grocery stores, what is required to balance electric grids, and oil supplies approaching depletion without a seeming "Plan B."

To date, reports about how we can supposedly sustain green growth without fossils ignore heating cold cities in the winter. An authentic "Green New Deal" would include coast to coast cooperatives for weatherization, insulation, more efficient heat systems. These and other techniques could employ huge numbers of contractors, heating engineers, plumbers, electricians and others who sometimes earn living wages. Unfortunately, we have waited too long, satiated with rhetoric and vague promises, mostly unwilling to recognize we face not only the need for efficiency and technofixes, but fundamentally learning to live better with much less.

Pandering to the public that we can end fossil fuels without making fundamental changes to the American Way of Life (AWOL) is popular with liberal voters but likely a logistical disaster as fracking peaks and conventional drilling continues to subside.

Neither Warren nor Sanders mention limits to growth on a round, abundant, finite planet. The topic of how overpopulation makes accountable capitalism or democratic socialism more difficult to achieve is not part of their campaign rhetoric.

Since the start of the Bush Cheney invasion of Iraq in 2003 -- when (and why) OilEmpire.US first went online -- world population increased from 6.38 billion to 7.71 billion (2019). This increase of 1.33 billion is greater than the 1.2 billion living in 1859, when the first oil well was drilled.
source: https://www.worldometers.info/world-population/world-population-by-year/

Concentrated carbon powers industrial agriculture and distribution networks, something that solar and wind power cannot fully replace. If there is a solution, relocalizing production everywhere would be most important.


Perhaps privately Warren and Sanders know about overshoot but realize it is a non-starter for attracting votes. Or maybe they think solar panels can heat homes in New England during blizzards ... Solar power is great but it is much better in the summer than the winter, especially in places that get far below freezing.

I've used solar panels since 1990, which taught me the joys and limitations of powering electrical devices from sunlight. I have used solar panels in Vermont, but only on summer camping trips in the 1990s.

A friend who lived off-grid in Vermont had a solar power system that ran lights and other things in his home, but had a gasoline powered generator as a backup.

Many rural Vermont homes also have large woodsheds to store firewood, a form of stored solar power. Wood stoves can work well if one has direct access to a wood lot, but are not as practical for cold cities like Boston or Burlington, Vermont.

The main lesson I learned from using solar panels is they could power a smaller, steady state society. Exponential growth requires finite fossil fuels that have reached their peak in terms of energy availability. Unconventional drilling - fracked oil and gas, tar sands, offshore drilling, Arctic drilling - pushed back the arrival of permanent energy rationing. Fracking, in particular, was a stay of execution from Peak Oil and Gas, now largely wasted propping up growth based consumerism instead of using these resources as a partial transition to a lower energy society. (It takes fossil fuels and minerals to make, move, install solar panels and wind farms.)

What will be physically possible to produce as the easier to extract, concentrated resources are replaced by lower quality, more expensive, more difficult to extract and more polluting sources?

Debt based fiat currency is incompatible with mitigating climate chaos and peak energy. This is not about capitalism, socialism, communism - but about industrialism.

Collectively, we missed the opportunity to shift toward sustainability in 1963, when our society tolerated the extrajudicial removal of President Kennedy from office. He called for ending the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, withdrawal from Vietnam, normalization of relations with Cuba, decolonialization in Africa, a non-nuclear Israel and support for nationalists instead of fundamentalists in the Arab world.

What would the world be today if these changes had been allowed to happen? How would America - and Earth - look today if the resources for war were used for peaceful cooperation? What lessons can we learn from this?


one page summaries:

What the Frack?
Scraping the bottom of the barrel is not good to the last drop

Peak Money: a permanent change

A practical suggestion: if the Warren and Sanders campaigns combined together during the primary, they would likely be better suited to getting the nomination, in terms of public support. There are differences between them, but they are more alike than the other candidates. Neither is perfect, especially on peak energy and militarism, but both are among the best of the challengers. An ability to cooperate is probably more important that the fine details of their platforms that may or may not be remembered after the election.

Of course, being ALLOWED to win the election is always more important than the quality of a campaign, the insightfulness of position papers or the size of rallies.


President Elizabeth Warren and
Vice President Bernie Sanders

artist unknown


On airplanes, pilots and co-pilots work as a team. There is not one pilot and an assistant. Both are fully capable and often alternate who has primary control and who is doing other tasks. The pilot has ultimate authority, similar to the current definition of President and Vice President.

Co-Presidents are not authorized in the US Constitution (neither is the US government intelligence community). A joint ticket would have to have one as President and the other as Vice President.

The job of "President" is so complex and difficult than any White House occupant requires a huge bureaucracy to handle countless details. No leader of the executive branch, not even the smartest, most competent and compassionate can address more than a handful of topics at a time. A Warren Sanders joint ticket might suggest a team effort instead of a single leader, more able to address countless challenges we all face.

Ideally, it would not matter who had the titles of President or Vice President if they formed a cooperative administration. The main reason for President to outrank Vice President is to start and run wars and Commander in Chief (which ignores the Constitutional requirement for Congress to declare war). But symbolism matters at least as much as substance in our media fixated world.

Inaugurating a female President would not automatically reduce the power of the military industrial intelligence financial university media complex, but it could be a small step toward sanity, especially after the misogyny of Trump.

I don't think the nomination will be decided by public popularity, but elite selection of a corporate / CIA approved candidate could be more challenging if the supporters of Warren and Sanders were united together.

At a deeper level, pretending that 51% of the electorate can tell the other 49% what to do has collided with the global crises of civilization. Mitigating climate change, peak everything, overconsumption, overpopulation, overshoot require systemic understanding combined with practical policies shifting resources away from war and domination toward peace and cooperation. Competitive elections lack the ability to address these exponentially growing, interconnected problems.


Coup In America

"our Government is the CIA and the Pentagon, with Congress reduced to a debating society."
-- Jim Garrison, District Attorney of New Orleans, 1967

"It is my belief that since the JFK assassination the secret government, the CIA and the MIC [military industrial complex], have been running the show. They have not allowed anyone to become president, from either party, that was not under their control."
-- Bruce Gagnon, Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space

If the press had looked seriously into the Kennedy assassination, they would found a conspiracy. Had the press then reported the conspiracy, there could have been prosecutions. Had there been prosecutions, we might not have lost Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy. NOT challenging the official story was the same as giving future conspirators a blank check, which was taken and cashed, several times over."
-- Lisa Pease, My comments on the JFK and the media panel at the Duquesne "Passing the Torch" conference, MONDAY, OCTOBER 21, 2013 http://realhistoryarchives.blogspot.com/2013/10/my-comments-on-jfk-and-media-panel-at.html

"If you understand it, you understand the way the media works in this country."
-- Jim DiEugenio, www.kennedysandking.com

"I believe that a true understanding of the Kennedy assassination will lead not to a few bad people but to the institutional and parapolitical arrangements which constitute the way we are systematically governed."
-- Peter Dale Scott, "Deep Politics and the Death of JFK"

We can no longer afford to shield ourselves by asserting that the murder of President Kennedy is a mystery. There is no mystery regarding how, by whom, and why President Kennedy was killed. Only when we strip away our privileged cloak of denial about the truth of the killing will we be able to free ourselves for the hard global work of changing our unfair and brutal society to one that is more equitable and less violent.
-- Vince Salandria, "The JFK Assassination: A False Mystery Concealing State Crimes" Coalition on Political Assassinations Conference
20 November 1998 www.ratical.org/ratville/JFK/

"we have a very strange sort of democracy. It is a democracy in which the press is so free that the President can't have sex with a White House intern without being hauled before the court of public opinion, but the military intelligence establishment can openly assassinate the President and escape without any serious effort by that press to call it to account."
"One of the primary means of immobilizing the American people politically today is to hold them in a state of confusion in which anything can be believed and nothing can be known. nothing of significance, that is."
-- E. Martin Schotz, "History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy"
[complete book on-line]



Warren tolerant of nuclear reactors,
Sanders promoted forest incinerator in Vermont

Buttigieg absorbs a pummeling, and there's more where that came from
The mayor has been discovered. Can he withstand the scrutiny?
12/20/2019 01:47 AM EST

.... A lively discussion about whether the existential threat of climate change meant that Democrats should embrace the expanded use of nuclear power, as is common among our European allies, revealed some telling divides. Elizabeth Warren, despite proposing aggressive carbon reduction targets that some scientists do not believe are possible without a full range of alternative energy options, said she wouldn't shutter currently operating nuclear plants but that she doesn't favor expansion. Andrew Yang, who wore, as he often does, a pin that said "MATH", argued that nuclear expansion was essential to solving the climate crisis.


Sanders promoted the McNeil biomass incinerator in his home town of Burlington. It burns trees to generate 50 megawatts.

Sanders and Clinton Back Bioenergy, but Activists Say It's the Wrong Alternative
Thursday, 07 April 2016 00:00
By Josh Schlossberg, Truthout | News Analysis


Warren says military should be greener (eco-war?)
Sanders supported basing F-35s in Vermont



Woke wonk Elizabeth Warren's foreign policy team is stacked with pro-war swamp creatures

With her new list of foreign policy advisors, Warren unveiled a cast of pro-war think tankers, Cold Warriors and corporate careerists united in support of the Beltway consensus. So much for "big, structural change."

By Alex Rubinstein and Max Blumenthal January 26, 2020



consistent with the objectives of the Green New Deal, the Pentagon should achieve net zero carbon emissions for all its non-combat bases and infrastructure by 2030.
We don't have to choose between a green military and an effective one.
My energy and climate resiliency plan will improve our service members' readiness and safety, all while achieving cost savings for American taxpayers. Our military understands that, and it's time our elected leaders did as well. Together, we can work with our military to fight climate change — and win.


Elizabeth Warren wants green bombs, not a green new deal, by Danny Haiphong, 05 Jun 2019



Bernie Sanders on Lockheed Martin F-35 Jets in Vermont

[from the 2016 campaign, still relevant]

Senator Bernie Sanders was asked a question about the most expensive weapons system in history and controversial F-35 Fighter Jet, manufactured by Lockheed Martin in his home state of Vermont.

Josh: "...You work on limiting the influence of money in politics, yet at the same time you continue to support wasteful contracts from companies such as Lockheed Martin with the F-35 for instance. So what steps are you willing to take to limit the influence of companies in politics, not only on campaigns, but in policy making as well?”

Senator Sanders: "What part of the F-35? What are my options as a Senator? …if I said no to the F-35 coming to Burlington, for Vermont National Guard where would it go?... South Carolina?

My choice as a Senator, this is not a debate 20 years ago when we saw the F-35, which was very, very costly and is a huge cost overall. It’s the debate that the F-35 is here, it goes to South Carolina, or Florida, or in the state of Vermont. And I wanted it to come to the state of Vermont. Now in terms of the military spending in general, that’s another broader issue. Are we spending too much? Yes, we are. Have there been, more…well back up for a minute…we are spending too much, we should cut it.

The F-35, you have to in politics, it’s not and people do this I don’t mean to be critical, but you gotta look at where somebody is at the moment. If the debate is if somebody comes to you and says “Look, I’m thinking about building this super plane deal, it’s gonna cost huge sums of money, what do you think?” That’s, and maybe say no, no I think that’s a good idea, maybe we’ll go with the F-16. So then I responded. Are you about to say something?”

Josh: "No."

Sen. Sanders continues: “That’s where, in the real world, if the plan is built, and it is the plan that the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force and of NATO, and if the choice is if that goes to Vermont, North Carolina-not North Carolina, South Carolina, or Florida, what is your choice as a United States Senator? Do you want it to go to South Carolina? You’re not saving anybody any money. So you have to look at these things in a, and it becomes complicated, and good friends can disagree on that. But my view is that given the reality of the damn plane, I’d rather it come to Vermont than to South Carolina. And that’s what the Vermont National Guard wants, and that means hundreds of jobs in my city. That’s it.”




Author and journalist David Talbot has spent years examining and writing about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and its connection to broader US politics. In his conversation with WhoWhatWhy's Jeff Schechtman, he makes the case that the cynicism from decades of lies about JFK, Martin Luther King, Watergate, and many more seminal events in recent US history is to blame in part for the divisions and the distrust of government we are witnessing today. ....

David Talbot: President Eisenhower warned young President Kennedy coming into office and the rest of the nation about the military-industrial complex. I think that military-industrial complex, as I document in my book, took out President Kennedy once he opposed them and tried to limit their power. And ever since then no President has been courageous or brave enough to take on this growing power in our country of militarism and imperialism. It really has, I think, subverted and destroyed our democracy to the point where we can't even think of a national leader. Not even Bernie Sanders in his campaign, which was so thrilling in many ways, but not even he made America's ballooning defense budget, military budget, and militarism and all these overseas engagements, he didn't make that a primary part of his campaign. I think the last person to do that was probably Bobby Kennedy when he challenged the Vietnam War and the rise of militarism in this country when he ran for President in 1968, and he too was assassinated. [emphasis added]


Warren's record is not great

sent by a reader:

- Elizabeth Warren was a staunch Republican until age 47 in 1996.

- She is reaching out to Democratic party insiders to assure them that "she is aligned with them."

- She has been unclear on her healthcare plan (her website didn't have one until a couple weeks ago) and is waffling on Medicare-For-All.  For example, her proposed healthcare plan has a $6000/year cap on prescription drug costs.

- She raised money from big wealthy donors in her senate campaign and then transferred $10 million of that money to her presidential campaign, while claiming that she was "100% grass-roots funded."  She has vowed not to take corporate and super PAC money in the primary, but not in the general election.

- She is one of the richest of the main Democratic contenders, with a net worth of $12 million.

- Elizabeth Warren's supporters are 71% White.  Bernie's are 49%.  Remember that Bernie was attacked constantly in 2016 for having too many white supporters.  You won't hear this in the mainstream media.

- Her claims to Native American ancestry do not indicate honesty or honor.  In fact, she changed her official ethnicity from White to Native American at both Penn and Harvard, which allowed them to report that they had a more diverse faculty.  Essentially, she was taking up minority spots.  Remember, she's still a Republican at this time, and possibly not even a supporter of affirmative action.  Warren was called Harvard Law School's "first woman of color" professor.

- She was seen as an opportunist by other Democrats during the financial crisis, when she built her national profile.  (see the below quotes from this Politico article)

- Back in 2010, when Warren was being a thorn in the side of the Obama administration, Rep. Barney Frank had this exchange with Obama, "And he said, 'Do you think she wants to be a senator?' And I said, 'I think she wants your job but she's got to start somewhere.'

- "Even those most critical of Warren say she brandished her pragmatism more than her populism while at Treasury and say she was effective as a result. She readily brought in some top Treasury officials and her first hires for the consumer agency were a surprising mix of people from financial-services firms like Capital One and Morgan Stanley along with bureaucrats and academics."

- Obama recognized another expert politician: "Elizabeth's a politician like anyone else," Obama said in 2015, adding that her arguments "don't stand the test of fact and scrutiny."



'Liz Was a Diehard Conservative' 

How Elizabeth Warren Raised Big Money Before She Denounced Big Money - The New York Times

What Elizabeth Warren Is Quietly Telling Democratic Insiders

Warren and Clinton talk behind the scenes as 2020 race intensifies

How Elizabeth Warren Built A $12 Million Fortune 

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are not 'the same'. One of them thinks it's OK to buy elections

Elizabeth Warren's Health Care Plan Still Leaves a Lot of Unanswered Questions

Elizabeth Warren swings and misses on Medicare for All plan

Where is Elizabeth Warren's health care plan? - The Washington Post

Sen. Warren's Claim to Native Heritage Didn't Aid Her Career, But Did It Keep Women of Color Out?

Fordham piece called Warren Harvard Law's 'first woman of color'

'Why Are You Pissing In Our Face?': Inside Warren's War With the Obama Team 



interview of musician, writer, poet Bruce Cockburn:


Q.: I imagine that some people have been surprised that you released an all-instrumental record during this politically charged era?

Yes, apparently everybody's expecting me to say something bad about Donald Trump. But everybody else is doing that already; I don't need to do that, too. He gets enough attention.
Plus, when I look around, everyone's nattering away: Liberals are bad. Liberals are weird. Liberals are gonna do something bad to my kid. And then, on the liberal side of it, all the conservatives are gonna do these bad things. It's ridiculous. But who's listening? We're all only listening inside our little echo chamber.
What we need is something that promotes unity, something to pull us together and to allow to look at each other and go, "Hey, we all appreciate the same thing here." That happened in a different kind of way in the 1980s, with Stealing Fire. In the Reagan era, I'd play these shows, and I'd look out at the audience. In response to songs like "Nicaragua" or "If I Had a Rocket Launcher," people were looking at each other going, "I'm not alone here" because there was no media coverage at that time with a dissenting view. But when all these people were in a concert hall and listening to this music, they were looking at each other and going, "Oh, yeah, all these people feel the way I do about it." It's empowering, and a great feeling for me, to witness something like that.
What we need now is something that will come out and do the same thing in a much more difficult context, where you're dealing with people that just don't agree with each other. Many of us are coming to recognize that it's not sustainable to continue like this. There are people interested in exploiting this intentional fragmentation. We've got to fix it. I don't think a song can fix it, but I think a body of popular sentiments expressed in song might. [emphasis added]