Start with a funny?
Trumpf really has been a godsend for the Clinton Machine. He's turned her most fearsome rival - the son and brother of two presidents into a national laughing stock, destroyed the Bush family brand and wasted at least $200 million that would have been deployed more destructively against Democrats. He's brought the GOP into a state of anarchy and discord so intense that it really is conceivable that when the establishment tries to broker the inevitable deadlocked convention for their boy Ryan, gun fights will break out and a substantial part of the Republican establishment will be reunited with Ronald Reagan forever. He's clarified for some people who are repulsed by the pay-for-play political system that sometimes the lesser of two evils is lesser enough.
But there's something else Trumpf's done that has worked to Hillary's advantage. He managed to suck up so much energy and attention that Bernie's critique of the toxic establishment of which she is a leading member is being lost on many casual news consumers. Even Bernie partisans like myself are spending too much time on Trumpf and his antics and glorying in the discomfiture the Republicans are going through because of them. When I could be doing more research on how Clinton's career-long flip-flopping on gun laws, and how she tried to use that as a club with which to attack Obama in 2008 the same way she's doing now with Bernie, I was instead reading the equivalent of pulp thrillers by third-rate pundits about the GOP civil war. "It reflects badly on the party," wrote Peggy Noonan, "that Donald Trump - whom one journalist this week characterized as a guy running around with his hair on fire - had to become the party’s 2016 thought leader. Bernie Sanders has, in a way, had the wit to see this, which is why he said he is reaching out to Trump supporters. Reaching out. What a concept." Yeah, what a concept; wasn't that what Jesus told mankind to do?
. . . Bernie is also reaching out to Hillary voters and trying - without calling her a liar (which she is) - to help voters see the difference between (the) thistle fist he's offering Wall Street and the bouquet of flowers she's waving at the banksters. Look at this little graphic "The Intercept" put together showing how much money the banksters funneled into her pockets between 2013 and 2015 - just under $3 million for 12 speeches.
They're counting on getting their money's worth if she makes it into the White House. As Huff Po's senior political economy reporter, Zach Carter, pointed out Friday, the Clinton Machine spent the week lying about Bernie's Wall Street proposals. Kind of heartbreaking to see how Barney Frank has sold out to all the worst elements of the Democratic Establishment in his retirement. But then again, the warning signals were always there; the head of the House Financial Services Committee did take in $4,451,123 from the Financial Sector while he was serving in Congress. He's still good on LGBT issues though.
Clinton's attack on Sanders is as simple as it is untrue: Unlike Sanders, Clinton has argued, she is willing to take on "shadow banking" - a broad term for various financial activities that aren't regulated as strictly as conventional lending.
Sanders has in fact proposed attacking shadow banking in two principal ways: by breaking up big financial firms that engage in shadow banking, and by severing federal financial support for shadow banking activities by reinstating Glass-Steagall.
These would be substantive changes. A lot of shadow banking takes place at firms with traditional banking charters, like JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America. Some of it takes place at specialized hedge funds, or at major investment banks like Goldman Sachs. Breaking them up would not eliminate the risk shadow banking poses to the economy, but it would limit it. Risky shadow banking activities cannot bring down institutions that are too-big-to-fail if there are no too-big-to-fail institutions.
Yet the Clinton campaign has repeatedly said Sanders is wholly ignoring shadow banking, accusing Sanders of taking a "hands-off" approach to it that would not apply to firms like Lehman Brothers and AIG. This barrage has come from Clinton's press aides, campaign CFO Gary Gensler, and Clinton surrogate Barney Frank.
In a bizarre appearance on Chris Hayes' MSNBC show, Frank claimed that splitting up Morgan Stanley or Bank of America "is not going to do anything, literally not anything to restrain shadow banking." He even said that since Lehman Brothers was "very small" when it failed, Sanders' break-up-the-banks plan would be unworkably broad and apply to too many firms.
It's hard to see these comments as anything but dishonest. Lehman Brothers was not "very small" when it failed. At $639 billion in assets, it was the single-biggest bankruptcy filing in American history. Only six U.S. banks are now larger than Lehman was, and the next-largest institutions are almost half Lehman's size. AIG - then the world's largest insurer - was even bigger.
Breaking up major institutions and forcing banks that accept insured deposits out of the shadow banking system are not the only conceivable tactics for mitigating risks posed by shadow banking. Clinton's plan includes some vague but sensible proposals to take a harder look at the sector, require more transparency, and impose new leverage limits on some players. Her approach eschews a focus on the threat posed by large institutions in favor of monitoring risks across the financial system (she has repeatedly rejected calls to break up the biggest banks). The Clinton team could easily make a case for her approach without saying strange and false things about Sanders' plan.
And indeed, the Clinton camp's relentless references to Lehman and AIG undercut her own regulatory approach. If bank size were truly irrelevant to the shadow banking problem, then there would be no need to consistently highlight two too-big-to-fail institutions, one of which wreaked havoc on the economy by failing, and another of which was bailed out to avoid further havoc.
Jaret Seiberg, a regulatory specialist at Guggenheim Partners - and one of the most astute finance-friendly observers of American politics - issued a note to clients this week saying that key elements of Sanders' platform have bipartisan appeal and political viability that will put pressure on other candidates to present more aggressive anti-Wall Street messaging.
Read the whole schmear here.
Not really that amusing.
And you'll notice that The Don-Con Show gets little play at this blog as it's a sideshow directing attention away from the real sideshow (where the money is being directed now - and very few of us, who aren't getting it, can know exactly where).
I'm nominating David Talbot (founder of "Salon" magazine and author of The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government, The Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years, and Devil Dog) for the Secret Information Published Under Great Adversity/Courage Nobel Prize, which should become a major award for journalists in the future based on the ground-breaking work of David Talbot.
Talbot has announced on CSPAN2 (I just viewed it today but it has been shown before) a movement to strip the names Reagan (due to his destruction of the US economy and widespread criminality and corruption) and Dulles (collaborator with Nazis during and after WWII as well as his involvement in assassinations both foreign and domestic) from airports.
As well as lots more that he is pleased to share with all who want to listen to the true history of the USA! USA! USA! since the end of World War II (and before).
Read a Talbot book and get truly informed about your government. He says it should have been called the Dulles Commission (not the Warren Commission) and he's got the research to prove it.
To me Talbot is in the forefront of true American journalists today (and he urges a new investigative commission be appointed along the lines of the Bertrand Russell Commission on the Vietnam War). Although who the people would be that would appoint it remains a mystery. Alan Grayson immediately comes to mind as well as a few other courageous souls whom we must await in that future better world of fond dreams.
(On a personal note on the above subject, I, when viewing the Kennedy cortège crowds on TV with my father, seeing the sad visage of Charles de Gaulle amongst them, listened as my father said that it looked like De Gaulle had some very sad knowledge about the assassination that it seemed others may not have. Talbot has documented that De Gaulle returned to France saying that the Dulles-guided CIA aided in the assassination of Kennedy as well as his own previously planned one.)
Mussolini Don speaks!
And the crowd goes wild.
From Lawyers, Guns and Money:
Refugees from Syria “could be ISIS … and by the way, it is turning out that they probably are ISIS,” said Trump in Rock Hill, South Carolina. “There’s so many men, they’re so young, they are very strong. Where are the women? Where are the children?”
Young bucks! Strong like bear! Taking our t-bone steaks! And replacing them with Sharia!
And they don’t have any women-folk! And you know what that means!
One of the things that is so delightful about Le Donald is how well he demonstrates the fact that without logical fallacies and outright fibs, the GOP would be rendered mute. And the logical fallacy of choice is appeal to emotion (fear/anger). I’ve long thought the Republican establishment will stop messing about with sentences and adopt a Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy! form of communication that involves yelling words that encapsulate whatever they want the following to be upset about at the moment.
Warren Terra says:
The story I think is incredible, and deserves more coverage, is Trump egging his security on to abuse a protester:
“I don’t think we can be beaten. There’s a momentum that we have, there’s a momentum that we have that is so unbelievable—I thought I heard a little voice over there. Alright, get him out. Take him out. Get him out of here. Ya, don’t give him his coat. Don’t give him his coat, keep his coat. Confiscate his coat. You know, it’s about ten degrees below zero outside. No, you can keep his coat. Tell him we’ll send it to him in a couple weeks
If you’re going to do the whole Mussolini thing you might as well go whole hog.
That and the Muslim-American removed from his speech for wearing a shirt that said, “I come in peace”. I admire her resolve.
It would have been nice, as a civil disobedience matter, to refuse to cooperate when asked to leave and force them to carry you out. I can see why she didn’t carry things that far, but the video would be even more stark.
Anna in PDX says:
Once an articulate and thoughtful right wing guy convinced me to read an entire transcript of a Rush Limbaugh show, telling me that I’d see that what he was saying was not stupid after all. Well, he was right in that it was not really so much wrong as it was a stream of weird non sequiturs made up of buzzwords. I fisked it on my blog I had back then (this was in the mid 2000s) and basically came to the conclusion that there was nothing to fisk. Trump seems like a natural further stage of this content-free bumper-sticker-ese … It is like a strange form of Newspeak.
December 18, 2015
Funny how often there is an anti-terror law waiting to be passed right after these lone wolf terror (Muslims did it... it's a mental health issue when non Muslims are involved) events.
Has anyone ever seen a key crime scene open to the press like their apartment... wtf?Where are the security vids... a government disabilty center (high risk) would be swarming with them... this is the first media piece I've seen that even asked?
There were dozens of eyewitnesses that saw this close up and could confirm the "3 athletic men or man & small woman" conflict... where are they mainstreem media?
Now, back to your bowl games amerika...
From the beginning of the events that took place in San Bernardino, It's something very wrong and twisted with the information we have been getting . . .
Except that it was THREE WHITE MEN, dressed in military issue camo. These poor Muslims are murdered patsies. This was done to divert attention from Russia presenting evidence of Turkey buying ISIS oil and that ISIS is a CIA creation.
There's something wrong here...