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      A few weeks ago, for work related reasons, I had to bone up on Venture Capital. One of the books I read was Thiel’s “Zero to One.” Thiel has become even more famous recently for bankrolling the lawsuit that put Gawker out of business and for his support of Trump.  He’s a libertarian gay man. […]
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Things that tick me off about lefty Hillary phobes

121115310_29ecec608bYou know who you are. You know she’s going to be nominated at this stage but there’s something about her you don’t like. It’s always SOMETHING.*

These are somethings that you would let slide in any other candidate. Please, don’t make me go over 2008 again. It’s even boring me. But before we move on with that, let’s just all get on the same page with 2008. We don’t buy any of the revisionist history on the 2008 Democratic primary. There should have been a floor fight and the fact that there wasn’t one tells us everything we need to know about how pure and virtuous the left can be.

On to stuff about Hillary:

1.) She feels she is entitled. She thinks it’s her turn. Ok, let’s take the first part. If you have as much experience as Hillary Clinton, you should feel as entitled as anyone with similary experience to run for president.

As for it being her turn, I have heard this over and over again from die hard Obots over the last 7 years, that somehow, there’s an unspoken deal that the party or Obama’s financial backers or even the Obots themselves, would allow Hillary to run after Obama prevented any change  presided over the executive branch for eight years. I don’t know where these people got this idea. None of the Clintonistas were in on this deal. In fact, as far as we were concerned, she probably shouldn’t have bothered. Eight years of Obama after eight years of Bush have made it harder for her to make any real changes. I would have just said “You’re on your own” and walked away if I were her. I don’t think it’s a deal that made her run. And anyway, it’s a stupid deal and she’s not stupid.

2.) The vote for the Iraq War. I hated this vote. I was all in favor of Afghanistan. We had to go there. No, no, peaceniks, we really did. But Iraq was a blunder of monumental proportions. I despise that vote.

But you know what? She was one of 100 senators. Guess what? Without her vote, we were still going to Iraq. Yep, going there and ruining the world for no good reason. John Kerry voted for going to Iraq and his long, disjointed, rambling speech made a lot less sense than Clinton’s. John Edwards voted for Iraq. I can clearly remember lefties falling all over themselves over Edwards. He was the one to beat. If he hadn’t been a cad, the Kossacks would have told Obama to take an old cold tater and wait his turn.

But Hillary is held to some higher standard. The way lefties go on about this makes you think that it was going to be a 50-50 tie and she broke it with her one single vote. It was not. It wasn’t even close. The hypocrisy is ridiculous in this area. So, you know, knock it off.

3.) Coziness with the banks. People who voted for Obama should not be bringing this up given his track record, the results of which certainly suggesting very strongly that there was a deal in 2008 in exchange for all their filthy campaign lucre (which the DNC lapped up without protest). But if they must, we should probably see how many times Jamie Dimon visited the White House in Obama’s first term. Maybe Ron Suskind, the author of Confidence Men would have the answer to that query.

And if we’re going to get transcripts of her speeches, we should probably get the transcripts for all of the other candidates, including Obama’s, from 2007-2008. Fair’s fair. If the media thinks the transcripts will tarnish her reputation with lefties, why bother? They’re already there. Her reputation with lefties can’t get any lower. The question is, does she have a record of exchanging money for influence? Her voting record does not show that.

Does it say that she would be ‘captured’ by the banks like Obama clearly was? Time will tell, I suppose. It might help if we could get a regular person on the Supreme Court who would see the sense in overturning Citizens United. Good luck getting Donald Trump to do that.

4.) Libya. I’m getting a little tired of this one. At the time she advocated the air strikes in Libya, there was a humanitarian crisis developing there. It’s the same kind of humanitarian crisis that developed and spun out of control in Syria. But note that we did nothing in Syria. And how did that work out? I mean, for the average, every day Syrian?

There were terrorists in Libya before the air strikes. The head honcho was one of them. This has been proven. Lockerbie, anyone?  Getting rid of terrorists was not why we did air strikes in Libya but it’s not like there weren’t any there before hand.

Failed states. Yes, it is regrettable that Libya is now considered a failed state. And whose fault is that? No, seriously, whose fault is that? What should we have done? Should we occupy another country? Like a pacifist is going to be thrilled with that solution either. We rebooted the country because it was going to crash (like Syria). Isn’t it the Libyans’ responsibility to keep it running?

So now the terrorists are back. But these are not the same terrorists as before. They are a product of what happened in Iraq when the Bushies insisted that we go kick Saddam Hussein’s ass. Which takes us back to the first point. Hillary’s vote in favor or opposed was not going to keep us out of Iraq.

Do you guys remember the crazy rhetoric in Congress back in 2003-2008 when anyone suggested we dial it back? Remember “cut and run”, “Freedom Fries” and “If you don’t like <fill in the blank>, then the terrorists have won”? Remember the Patriot Act??  Remember Russ Feingold? Hardly anyone does. And that’s the point. You cast a nauseating vote that you can do nothing to mitigate and live to fight another day.

As for the air strikes in Libya, they happened in 2012. So, this problem has had 4 years to fester. There have been 4 years for the Libyans to get their shit together. Why are we not asking the Libyans to step up? Why are we not pointing the Libyans to Kurdistan and saying, “look guys, you have the same oil reserves, the same crazy ass religious relatives, and YOU aren’t landlocked. Why can’t you be like Kurdistan? We gave you a chance to get your shit together and you sqaundered it.”

Why are we blaming ourselves for this?

I only ask.

BTW, if you are a Republican who is cowering in your bedroom because you are afraid that a Muslim is going to behead you, you have only yourself to blame. Iraq was entirely preventable. In fact, your insistence that we go get the WMDs and steal the oil in Iraq has put the entire world in danger by making the rise of ISIS possible. Colin Powell said we would break it. We were warned. So, you know, we’ve had enough of your less than helpful input.

I don’t like warhawks and I don’t like isolationists. They’re two sides of the same coin. Neither is thinking ahead.

Now, I have plenty of problems with the way Hillary is running her campaign this year. The economy is not nearly as good as her ads make it out to be. I understand the need to not make us feel like losers. I get it. But I really do feel like she is neglecting the suffering that a lot of us have had to endure because we have had an ineffective president and an obstructivist congress.

And there are very few people that I know who have benefitted from Obamacare. There is almost universal dislike of it. Her “never, ever” comment came off like a lead balloon and more than a little paternalistic. Like, “You’re not going to Ashley’s house for a sleep over and that’s final. Don’t even ask.” or “I’m tired of going over this and over this. We aren’t dredging this up again.”

That’s a mistake. That feels like inevitability. That makes people feel like they have no choices. But as Stephen Covey says, people always have choices. And they are really beginning to hate nudges.

America may still be great, I wouldn’t argue with that. But we are not addressing the problem that the people who live here are increasingly seen as crops to be harvested instead of people. To the rest of the developed world, what is happening here is horrifying. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.

So far, I haven’t heard Hillary talk about the exploitative profit mining of the American people and I think it’s time she started to discuss that. What is she going to do to reset the balance of power and what is she going to do about income instability?

Everything else is New York Times getting its money’s worth on the deal it and WaPo and Fox News struck with an opposition research company last year.

* Someday, we’re going to have to talk about what really bugs lefties about Hillary Clinton. I think Anglachel was on to something when she discovered the Male Graduate Student problem.





Banks on Jello

Does anyone else get the sense that the financial system is so royally screwed up that it’s one butterfly’s wing flap away from collapsing?

Wall Street shut down this morning because of a number of unusual high volume trades, the LIBOR scandal keeps building, the former CEO of Citigroup says merging with Travellers was probably not such a good idea, while Steve Rattner says don’t break up the banks, write a better Dodd-Frank.  Here’s the money quote from Rattner’s piece today:

Because of pressure from Sheila C. Bair, then the chairwoman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the primary responsibility for winding down failing institutions was given to the F.D.I.C., an agency woefully ill equipped to deal with complex global entities. The Federal Reserve Board would have been a far superior choice.

In April 2011, the F.D.I.C. published a hypothetical plan suggesting that it could wind down a global octopus like Lehman in a manner similar to the way in which it routinely takes over small community banks. The report was widely derided.

We need a Dodd-Frank do-over to create the right oversight apparatus for huge banks. Regulators will always be outnumbered by bankers, and they will never find every problem. But, like prison guards, regulators are essential, even if they are outnumbered. In a world of behemoth banks, it is wrong to think we can shrink ours to a size that eliminates the “too big to fail” problem without emasculating one of our most successful industries.

You know who else didn’t like the idea of Sheila Bair taking over the banks?  Tim Geithner.  But he pressured Bair to back them anyway, guaranteeing shareholders a lot of money Bair didn’t think they deserved.  She would have made shareholders take substantial haircuts.  I’m betting that Rattner and his friends wouldn’t have liked that very much which is why it was off the table almost from the beginning.

I’m not sure I like Rattner’s tone.  Is he saying that the FDIC, which has something like 80 years of experience taking over failing banks is incapable of dismantling these behemoths or is he just dissing Sheila Bair?  Maybe it was just bad timing to have a woman as head of the FDIC when a man would have been able to do his job without meddling and disrespect.  Or maybe the world of the political elite should be held accountable for the fact that its ingrained sexism appears to be behind some phenomenally bad decisions in the past 13 years.  There’s more than one account of Bair being called “hard to work with” and “not a team player”.  Those are code words, baby, for we don’t want to listen to her and we’re going to pull out the old sexist staples to knock her status down.  Well, it worked so well against Bair and Brooksley Born, Elizabeth Warren, Christina Roemer and Hillary Clinton.  The pattern is obvious.  They don’t even pretend to hide it anymore.

I don’t know but I’m getting really pissed that so many sensible women are ignored and trampled so that the big boys can keep playing their games uninterrupted.  That shit’s gotta stop or why bother appointing women at all??  Again, this is Obama’s responsibility.  He hired these guys. And it’s not like his female White House staff didn’t warn him about the disrespect shown them.  What has Obama done about it?

Then there’s Rattner’s statement that even if we regulate the banks, they’ll just find a way around the regulations.  I’m not sure what point he is trying to make here.  If he’s trying to put us at ease, it’s not working.  It’s probably time to stop treating banks as a blessed industry while everyone else is getting damned.

And then there are the uber wealthy who are starting to worry that the Sans Culottes are going to turn the country into some dystopian state.  Maybe we shouldn’t have taken so much, they muse while they take in the scenery from their mansions.

Yeah, maybe.  Only time will tell.

And then there is Tim Geithner.  It looks like we were right about him.  He knew all about the LIBOR interest rate fix.  According to Taibbi, it was a well known secret on Wall Street.  Everybody knew it but the American people, who put their faith in Obama and his treasury secretary.

All I can think about is the stress tests and the way that Geithner assured everyone that the banks were solvent.  Who knows what the truth is but all of the Obama administration’s policies were built around the fiction of the condition of the banking industry.  Maybe the regular American citizen didn’t know about the LIBOR interest rate fixes but it’s hard for me to believe that Obama didn’t know.  You have to ask yourself what Obama was thinking when the stimulus turned out to be too small, bankers’ asses were saved and not homeowners, and he treated every bank crisis with an ad hoc solution instead of regulation.  Without regulation, it could happen again.

It’s all very, very shaky.