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August 28, 2015

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The Republican forces of oligarchy apparently have assured the Clintons will forever be chained to a lazy, malevolent, scandal-obsessed press. Too many "legitimate" reporters and pundits picked up where the Clintons' old Arkansas enemies and Republican operatives, including kooks like Jerry Falwell, led them. Once the media take the trouble to develop a story line they're never going to let it go easily, therefore all the "secretive, untrustworthy, criminal" manure being flung at Hillary now in addition to this new non-story about Bill.

The Clintons helped bring this on themselves. Bill unleashed the hounds of civil rights backlash and financial irresponsibility on the country to re-position the Democratic Party. Some liberals like Chris Hedges think it was a net benefit because occupying the Republicans' positions drove them off the deep right end. However, in the meantime countless people have gotten 20 years in a privatized prison for having a joint in their pockets, gotten life for "three strikes," or lost their life savings to "Financial Modernization." He also made sure Hillary would only be supported by the left because they're afraid of the right. I'm beginning to agree we'd be better off with any Democrat besides Hillary.

I agree. I've long felt that Bill Clinton's politics are far better for Bill Clinton than they are for the Democratic Party.

With Clinton I see this as a feature, not a bug. Unless, of course, it raises doubt about whether she can get elected. I think she will win, and that she is the most likely Democrat to deliver the crushing blow to the Republicans. I can imagine a scenario (admittedly unlikely) where Hillary has the coattails to win the House.

What is the absolutely worst thing for the Republican base and the Republican party? They nominate a Trump or a Cruz, they think they are finally going to win, and then their candidate gets crushed. Not just crushed, but crushed by the only person they hate as much as Obama. Crushed by Hillary Fucking Clinton.

I appreciate the criticisms of the Clinton years, but that was a different time and place. There was no credible left. Until Obama stopped Reagan and turned the ship of state left, the only way any Democrat could win was to run as a Republican. I blame the left for that, not Clinton. Hillary has shifted left with the country. I think she will make reasonable decisions as President. I don't expect great - an Obama doesn't come along very often - but she will keep driving the country in the right, that is the left, direction.

Job one, though, is to destroy the Republican party as it now exists. That is what is needed to make American government functional again. What better way to do that than have Hillary Fucking Clinton handing Donald Trump his head?


Was there no left in the 1990's because it was outflanked or because DLC Democrats like Bill wanted to move the party right? Or was it because the left was outflanked with the help of the DLC? There might not be an answer, but we can be assured that if Hillary wins the same tactics will be repeated by the right because they have a target they've already softened up. What we don't know is if Hillary will have coattails or if the public at large will tune out the same old Republican same old.

If you look at what policies are intended to do and what their unintended consequences are many of these policies can be said to have failed. But only in retrospective. Tough crime laws for violent offenders? No ethnic group suffered more from violent crime than the black community. They still do. Taking violent offenders out of neighborhoods were they preyed seemed like a great idea. But it did not deal with the underlying poverty and lack of employment that generated the criminalks in the first place. And so there were always more. Ditto for drug laws.

Could they have gotten legislation through the American political system then to actually address the real problems. Almost certainly not. Can you do it today? With the makeup of Congress almost certainly not. But at least you have exhausted what Churchill would say were the wrong things to do. Maybe you'll get it right this time. Bill Clinton didn't invent getting tough on crime. It was the zeitgeist and no politician dared then be perceived as soft on crime. You know who really has a historical problem with this? Joe Biden. He wrote and sponsored many of these tough on crime bills.

Or the country basically moved to the right, which is what I think happened. Talk radio did not become right wing because of corporate dicta. Those people don't give a shit about that. They care about what sells advertising and gets listener share. Talk radio used to be mostly oriented towards the left. That changed in response to audience demand and not the other way around. Right now I'm watching MSNBC try to save itself by being the new home to Donald Trump.

There was no left because Reagan convinced most Americans that government wasn't a solution to problems, it was the problem. Liberals stood for big government, always getting in the way of the free market. Until Obama, the left ran away and hid from that argument.

I did not see Clinton as ideological at all. I saw him as all charm and ambition. It was always about winning with him. If the center was moved to the right - and it was - then Bill Clinton was going to move with it.

The center of the country is going left and even if you are cynical about the Clintons, they will - they have - followed that center back. I like to think better of Hillary, but either way...

Jon Karl is, in the same proud tradition as Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier and David f'n Brooks, a purportedly nonpartisan reporter who is, in fact, and not particularly subtly, carrying GOP water by the truckload.

With the Clintons in particular, they use this "well, this thing I'm reporting on doesn't show any wrongdoing...but the questions aren't going away and in fact this report raises more questions than it answers" without explaining WHY "more questions" are "raised," or what those "questions" even are.

The Clinton email thing is currently a "story" about an issue in which nothing particularly interesting has been revealed. It's remains a "story" because the media has decided it is a "story" and each new article about this "story" "raises new questions" about the "story," which prompts new articles to be written about the "questions" that remain unanswered about this "story." I don't blame the Clintons at all for being exasperated by the whole thing. I just wish they'd figure out how to handle it better, because no less than the fate of the planet might end up depending on Hillary winning this election, and letting this nonsense linger is not helping achieve this.

First, do no harm. True about Biden, but it all sounds like excuses. There were plenty of people around who warned what would happen with both the crime and financial services laws. And the story line on the Clintons is well established and not likely to go away. Hillary will just have to distance herself as best she can.

" ... Reagan convinced most Americans that government wasn't a solution to problems, it was the problem." That's what I meant by being outflanked. A popular liberal critique of Bill during the '90's was that he was elected to counter the rightward drift of the country and had repeatedly failed. He did take the Republican's political territory and make them over-reach, though. As I've admitted I don't know if he took the best course, but I do know there's still plenty of resentment about him, and Hillary's inherited it.

When was talk radio oriented to the left? Aside from Air America which was a reaction to right wing talk radio, I can't remember any.

I should qualify. Chicago had Steve Dahl and Jonathon Brandmeier, but they were mainly comedians who occasionally said something that might be construed as liberal. NWU had (and still has) 'This is Hell' on Saturdays, which is definitely liberal and worth streaming or downloading as a podcast. However, there was never anything I can remember as successful as Limbaugh and all his imitators.

Who are these people and what specific predictions did they make? I ask because I cannot find predictions of failure that represent what eventually happened. Glass-Steagall for example is often cited as a cause of failure but when you ask how the question seldom gets answered. It wasn't who was selling bogus securities, it was that they were being sold. And rated by institutions that were ultimately exonerated because it was ruled they had no fiduciary responsibility to actually tell the truth. Who on earth would believe what bond rating agencies have to say God only knows.
I don't buy a lot of conventional wisdom. Banks too big to fail? I couldn't help but notice they were the banks to survive in sufficiently good condition that the government could beg them to buy their defunct rivals. Making them even bigger. Which also begs the question, which commercial bank is the right size that it can be allowed to fail without disastrous consequences for both depositors and clients?

Paul Volcker, Chairman of the Federal Reserve was the most prominent:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/wallstreet/weill/demise.html

There were also economists and financial writers from across the entire spectrum. I'll leave it to you to find their old columns.

The only problem with that theory is that it isn't what happened. Glass Steagall was effectively dead long before Clinton owing to the relaxation of the very regulations that were at the heart of it. Nor was gambling with their depositors money the key to the meltdown. The problem was selling crap to investors and insuring it's guaranteed failure through highly leveraged credit default swaps. None of which GS regulated at any time,The problem was regulations that never existed and I seriously doubt that if GS were still enforced at the time it would have made a lick of difference. Why were the GS rules relaxed? For the same reason that the Savings and Loan rules were relaxed. They were dying. And so were relieved of regulatory constraints. But it wasn't the regulations that were relaxed that resulted in the fiasco. That was inventive crooks.

From the above link:

"Volcker ... expresses his fear that lenders will recklessly lower loan standards in pursuit of lucrative securities offerings and market bad loans to the public."

Which is exactly what happened. It didn't take much imagination to predict the more room high rollers had to gamble with other people's money the more they would.

Regulations were dying because they'd been under attack by the financial oligarchy since the mid 1970's. It's not like they'd failed on their own for good reasons.

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