Its first editor was Herbert Croly, whose 1909 book “The Promise of American Life” — Theodore Roosevelt read it, rapturously, during his post-presidential travels — is progressivism’s primer: “The average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to a serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities as a democrat,” so national life should be a “school.” “The exigencies of such schooling frequently demand severe coercive measures, but what schooling does not?” And “a people are saved many costly perversions” if “the official schoolmasters are wise, and the pupils neither truant nor insubordinate.”
‘Republicans are the Taliban of the USA’: Congressional Shooter was Bernie Sanders Supporter, Leaned Slightly Anti-TrumpPosted: June 14, 2017
(CNN) Jose Pagliery reports: James T. Hodgkinson, the man identified as shooting a Republican member of congress and four others on Wednesday morning, was a small business owner in Illinois who defined himself publicly by his firm support of Bernie Sanders‘ progressive politics — and his hatred of conservatives and President Donald Trump.
This is based on CNN’s review of Hodgkinson’s Facebook profile, public records, and three years of impassioned letters to his local newspaper.
“Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” he posted on his personal Facebook page on March 22.
“Republicans are the Taliban of the USA,” he posted in February.
Hodgkinson, 66, was married and lived in Belleville, Illinois. He started his own company, JTH Inspections, in 1994 and conducted home inspections and mold/air quality testing. But he quit that job on New Year’s Eve last year, according to his Facebook profile.
Federal law enforcement identified Hodgkinson as the shooter who attacked Rep. Steve Scalise, a congressional staffer and members of the congressional police force, Wednesday morning in Alexandria, Virginia. President Donald Trump said the gunman had been killed.
His online presence was largely defined by his politics. For example, his public Facebook posts date back to 2012 and are nearly all about his support for leftist politics. He was passionate about tax hikes on the rich and universal health care.
In the last year, most of his Facebook posts consisted of signed petitions on Change.org with titles like: “Bernie — please run no matter what;” “Hillary Rodham Clinton should concede the nomination to Bernie Sanders;” and “Healthcare for all Americans.” Read the rest of this entry »
“I am the best president I’ve ever been?” That’s a pretty low bar. I’m sure all presidents, on the week they are leaving office, delude themselves into thinking they were a great historic success, I’m sure it happens in all walks of life. And you wonder whether Obama believes it. I’m convinced he does. I think what he doesn’t quite understand is: Yes, he did a lot of things, but they are all built on sand.”
“The reason is that he never brought in the opposition. He never brought in the country. He wins all the elections when he’s on the ticket, and he gets crushed in the elections when he’s not because, as he said himself, “I’m not on the ballot but my policies are.” He completely overshot the mandate. The mandate in ‘08 was to reassure a very nervous, apprehensive country and to govern sort of in a moderate way. He understood it as a mandate for his sort of social democratic — he was Bernie Sanders before Sanders was Sanders. And he tried to govern that way, and you can’t for a country that is 80 percent non-liberal.”
Source: National Review
After Donald Trump Kills CNN Reporter with Death-Ray, Media Debates Use of Top-Secret Military Weapons Against CiviliansPosted: January 12, 2017
The dogs of the Democratic media were absolutely howling yesterday over sordid, unverified allegations involving Russia, but the president-elect and his team put on a master class in self-defense. They hit back forcefully, with press secretary Sean Spicer calling publication of the allegations “disgraceful” and Vice President-elect Mike Pence calling it a case of “fake news” that aims to “delegitimize the president-elect.”
It was a strong warm-up, and Trump then took the stage to completely deny the charges, and repeated the denials in response to numerous questions. By the end of the press conference, he had managed to turn the spotlight away from himself and on to the lack of integrity in both the media and government intelligence agencies — where it also belongs.
That was no mean feat, and his performance was a reminder that Trump is not and never will be a pushover. He fights fire with fire and is getting increasingly more disciplined in making his case.
Pulling it off was not as easy as he made it look. The run-up to his first press conference since winning the election had the air of crisis that was routine in the long campaign. Then, every week or two, many geniuses predicted that something Trump had said or done would be the final straw and he would have to drop out.
Similarly, the salacious allegations he faced yesterday packed a potential to seriously wound him before he takes office. Anything less than complete denial would have created a firestorm, but after his no-wiggle-room statements, the allegations withered, at least for now. That had to disappoint the dead-enders who hoped they had finally found the kill shot.
Instead, Trump emerged intact and even stronger as he made news on two other fronts: He released extensive plans on how he is severing himself from his company and nominated a new secretary of the troubled Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Read the rest of this entry »
The Left ultimately destroys itself.
Daniel Greenfield writes: It was the end of the big year with three zeroes. The first X-Men movie had broken box office records. You couldn’t set foot in a supermarket without listening to Brittney Spears caterwauling, “Oops, I Did It Again.” And Republicans and Democrats had total control of both chambers of legislatures in the same amount of states. That was the way it was back in the distant days of the year 2000.
In 2016, Republicans control both legislative chambers in 32 states. That’s up from 16 in 2000.
What happened to the big donkey? Among other things, the Democrats decided to sell their base and their soul to a very bad billionaire and they got a very bad deal for both.
It was 2004. The poncho was the hottest fashion trend, there were 5 million new cases of AIDS and a former Nazi collaborator had bought the Democrat Party using the spare change in his sofa cushions.
And gone to war against the will of the people. This was what he modestly called his own “Soros Doctrine”.
Instead of going to the poorhouse, he threw in at least $15 million, all the spare change in the billionaire’s sofa cushions, dedicated to beating President Bush.
In his best lisping James Bond villain accent, Soros strode into the National Press Club and declared that he had “an important message to deliver to the American Public before the election” that was contained in a pamphlet and a book that he waved in front of the camera. Despite his “I expect you to die, Mr. Bond” voice, the international villain’s delivery was underwhelming. He couldn’t have sold brownies to potheads at four in the morning. He couldn’t even sell Bush-bashing to a roomful of left-wing reporters.
But he could certainly fund those who would. And that’s exactly what he did.
Money poured into the fringe organizations of the left like MoveOn, which had moved on from a petition site to a PAC. In 2004, Soros was its biggest donor. He didn’t manage to bring down Bush, but he helped buy the Democratic Party as a toy for his yowling dorm room of left-wing activists to play with.
Soros hasn’t had a great track record at buying presidential elections. The official $25 million he poured into this one bought him his worst defeat since 2004. But his money did transform the Democrat Party.
And killed it.
Next year the Democracy Alliance was born. A muddy river of cash from Soros and his pals flowed into the organizations of the left. Soros had helped turn Howard Dean, a Vermont politician once as obscure as this cycle’s radical Vermont Socialist, into a contender and a national figure. Dean didn’t get the nomination, but he did get to remake the DNC. Podesta’s Center for American Progress swung the Democrats even further to the left. And it would be Podesta who helped bring Hillary down.
The Democrats became a radical left-wing organization and unviable as a national political party. The Party of Jefferson had become the Party of Soros. And only one of those was up on Mount Rushmore.
Obama’s wins concealed the scale and scope of the disaster. Then the party woke up after Obama to realize that it had lost its old bases in the South and the Rust Belt. The left had hollowed it out and transformed it into a party of coastal urban elites, angry college crybullies and minority coalitions.
Republicans control twice as many state legislative chambers as the Democrats. They boast 25 trifectas , controlling both legislative chambers and the governor’s mansion. Trifectas had gone from being something that wasn’t seen much outside of a few hard red states like Texas to covering much of the South, the Midwest and the West.
The Democrats have a solid lock on the West Coast and a narrow corridor of the Northeast, and little else. The vast majority of the country’s legislatures are inRepublican hands. The Democrat Governor’s Association has a membership in the teens. In former strongholds like Arkansas, Dems are going extinct. The party has gone from holding national legislative majorities to becoming a marginal movement. Read the rest of this entry »
Party leaders are moving leftward, naively assuming they can win over working-class voters with a socialist-minded message.
Josh Kraushaar writes: In the aftermath of the election, shell-shocked Democrats struggled to pinpoint a reason behind their stunning loss to Donald Trump. Hillary Clinton blamed FBI Director James Comey. Democratic operatives criticized the Clinton campaign team for taking the Rust Belt for granted. Bernie Sanders and his ascendant left-wing flank of the party blames the party’s closeness to Wall Street.
“On issues ranging from the president’s hesitance to label terrorism by its name to an unwillingness to criticize extremist elements of protest groups like Black Lives Matter to executive orders mandating transgender bathrooms, the administration offended the sensibilities of the American public.”
No one is pointing a finger at the most glaring vulnerability—the party’s cultural disconnect from much of the country. On issues ranging from the president’s hesitance to label terrorism by its name to an unwillingness to criticize extremist elements of protest groups like Black Lives Matter to executive orders mandating transgender bathrooms, the administration offended the sensibilities of the American public.
Among liberal-minded millennials, President Obama’s actions were a sign that he was charting “an arc of history that bends towards justice.” But to older, more-conservative Americans, it was a sign that the administration’s views were well outside the American mainstream.
“Among liberal-minded millennials, President Obama’s actions were a sign that he was charting ‘an arc of history that bends towards justice.’ But to older, more-conservative Americans, it was a sign that the administration’s views were well outside the American mainstream.”
Clinton tried to win over moderates by raising red flags about Trump’s foreign policy and his racially charged, misogynistic rhetoric. But she didn’t have a Sister Souljah moment to criticize the excesses of the Left—as Bill Clinton famously did during the 1992 campaign—for fear of alienating the Obama coalition. In fact, her line that “implicit [racial] bias is a problem for everyone” during the first debate was a moment that couldn’t have been more repellent to those white Rust Belt voters who deserted the Democrats this year.
“Democrats will be spending their time in the political wilderness figuring out how to rebuild a shattered party. But early indications suggest that party leaders are veering even further to the left instead of moderating their rhetoric.”
As New York Times columnist Ross Douthat presciently wrote in September: “The new cultural orthodoxy is sufficiently stifling to leave many Americans looking to the voting booth as a way to register dissent.” Opposing political correctness was one consistent theme in Trump’s very muddled campaign message.
“They’ve concluded—with the assistance of Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and polemicist Michael Moore—that they would have performed better with working-class white voters if they only articulated a more populist economic message. They’ve shown no inclination to reject Clinton’s controversial notion that half of Trump’s supporters were deplorable and irredeemable.”
Democrats will be spending their time in the political wilderness figuring out how to rebuild a shattered party. But early indications suggest that party leaders are veering even further to the left instead of moderating their rhetoric. Read the rest of this entry »
Trump spoke with key figures at home and abroad over the phone after winning the U.S. presidential election. He was to meet President Barack Obama on Thursday to discuss a transition of power in preparation for his presidential term.
Abe talked to Trump over the phone for about 20 minutes on Thursday morning, according to a Japanese government official. The prime minister congratulated Trump on his presidential win, saying, “I’m sure the United States will become a greater country under the extraordinary leadership of incoming President Trump.”
Trump praised the achievements of Abe’s economic measures and said he is looking forward to working with Abe for the next few years.
Trump also said Japan and the United States have an outstanding partnership and that he wants to strengthen this special relationship further.
Abe proposed an early meeting, saying, “Peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, which is the center of global economic growth, is a source of U.S. strength. The strong Japan-U.S. alliance is indispensable to supporting peace and stability in the region.”
Trump accepted the offer and expressed his desire for forward-looking discussions between Japan and the United States.
They did not refer to issues such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal, which Trump opposes, and an increased burden on Japan to cover the costs for stationing U.S. forces. Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Nasty Elizabeth Warren: ‘We Nasty Women are Marching Our Nasty Feet to Cast Nasty Votes for Hillary Clinton’Posted: October 24, 2016
Harvard Law Protesters voted to remove all signs on their “occupied” portion of campus that were not approved by their plenary committee. Over 50 signs were removed, including these free speech fliers.
Dave Huber reports:
The Harvard group “Reclaim Harvard Law,” which has been occupying the Law School’s Caspersen Student Center for over a month, claims it has jurisdiction over the building which they have renamed “Belinda Hall.”
After student Bill Barlow had put up flyers at Caspersen/Belinda which denounced Reclaim as anti-free speech, group members promptly took them down.
Reclaim leader AJ Clayborne, who personally had removed some of Barlow’s flyers, said that anything that goes up in Belinda Hall “must be approved by Reclaim first”:
“Belinda Hall has been reclaimed by Reclaim HLS for the purpose of creating an anti-racist environment for all and, accordingly, has a new governing body to protect that cause in a way that the institution’s existing structure, including DOS, has not. Anything that violates anti-racist values has no place in Belinda Hall.”
Barlow’s first set of signs compared the (anti-free speech) policies of Donald Trump to those of Reclaim. But “[a]fter learning about Harvard’s 501(c)(3) obligations, which could bar signs referencing Trump, [he] created new signs void of political content.”
Clayborne and Reclaim removed those signs, too…(read more)
[VIDEO] Operation Choke Point Was Meant to Stop Fraud. So Why is the Program Going After Legitimate Business?Posted: September 6, 2015
The Government’s Secret War on Small Business
Banks are sending notices of account closure out to small businesses across the country, to clients they’ve done business with for years, even decades. The reason? They often don’t provide one.
But a growing number of business owners believe they know why they’re being cut off from the financial system. It’s Operation Choke Point, ostensibly an attempt to crack down on fraudulent businesses, but in reality a dragnet that has ensnared innocent entrepreneurs unfairly classified as “high-risk” players.
Earlier this year, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) chairman Martin Gruenberg told Congress that Choke Point was over, but many business owners believe the FDIC and the Department of Justice have passed enforcement duties along to a newly created independent agency: the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the brainchild of progressive senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.). The CFPB operates under the guidance of the Federal Reserve and doesn’t rely on Congress for funding, which critics say allows it to operate without any meaningful checks on its power.
Reason TV profiled two business owners who believe they’ve been targets of Choke Point and its legacy: a payday lender in Southern California and a hookah seller in North Carolina. Brian Wise of the U.S. Consumer Coalition, an organization that’s been compiling Choke Point stories from across the nation, also appears in the video. Read the rest of this entry »
Jon Stewart has been a major cultural and political commentator for the past 16 years. He liked to take down the powerful—at least, when his head wasn’t shoved up Uncle Sam’s ass.
As “The Daily Show” host ends his run, reminisce with Reason TV the top five ways Jon Stewart was full of shit.
Approximately 5 minutes. Read the rest of this entry »
Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company’s interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm’s mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign.
During Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family’s foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.
In the laundry-whirl of stories about Clinton buck-raking, it might be easy for that last part to get lost in the wash. But it’s the part that matters most. The $225,500 speaking fee didn’t go to help disease-stricken kids in an impoverished village on some long-forgotten patch of the planet. Nor did it go to a campaign account. It went to Hillary Clinton. Personally.
The latest episode in the Clinton money saga is different than the others because it involves the clear, direct personal enrichment of Hillary Clinton, presidential candidate, by people who have a lot of money at stake in the outcome of government decisions. Her federally required financial disclosure was released to media late Friday, a time government officials and political candidates have long reserved for dumping news they hope will have a short shelf life. Read the rest of this entry »
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK/DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Hillary Clinton, under pressure from the left wing of her Democratic Party to aggressively campaign against income inequality, voiced concern about the hefty paychecks of some corporate executives in an email to supporters.
“I definitely see the push from the left wing, which I think is great.”
— Jared Milrad, a Clinton supporter who appeared in a video launching her campaign
Striking a populist note, Clinton, who announced on Sunday she was running for president in 2016, said American families were still facing financial hardship at a time “when the average CEO makes about 300 times what the average worker makes.”
In a tightly scripted campaign launch in which there were few surprises, the comments were unexpected, at least by progressives, who saw them as an early sign she may shift away from the centrist economic policies pursued by her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
“So far we don’t know very much. I hope Clinton clarifies where she stands on these issues.”
— Zephyr Teachout, a one-time New York gubernatorial candidate.
“I definitely see the push from the left wing, which I think is great,” said Jared Milrad, a Clinton supporter who appeared in a video launching her campaign for the presidency.
Milrad said he saw the populist rhetoric as a sign that Clinton “has been listening” to backers such as himself who want her to embrace some of the economic policies pushed by Senator Elizabeth Warren, a hero of liberal Democrats. Warren favors tighter regulation of big banks and a bolstering of the social safety net.
The enthusiasm of some progressives was tempered by the fact that they have yet to see the details of Clinton’s policy proposals. Read the rest of this entry »
Democrats stumble unquestioningly into 2016
Kyle Smith writes: Hillary Clinton is “one of the finest public servants this country has produced” and “a person of extraordinary integrity,” says Mayor de Blasio.
He is completely confident that “measures were taken to comply with the letter and the spirit of the law,” so no biggie that Clinton hid her official e-mail correspondence on her own private servers where they could be protected from scrutiny and/or deleted.
“The real reason Hillary commands such tribal loyalty is that she is, apart from the non-candidate Elizabeth Warren, the only political ‘celebrity’ available, and Democrats are obsessed with star quality.”
De Blasio may have an undeclared interest at stake: Maybe he’d like to be a cabinet secretary under President Hillary. But his unqualified defense of Hillary’s secretive and likely illegal off-the-books communication system is typical of even those members of his party who have little to gain from covering for her.
Hillary is infallible. Hillary is above reproach. She can’t ever, ever have done anything wrong, ever, and even when she has been shown to have done something ethically revolting, the reason we know it’s no big deal is that it is said to be a big deal by those slimy Republicans.
Associated Press? The New York Times? Obvious GOP front groups.
As Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin put it, “People have different ways of communicating. I have a granddaughter who does nothing but text. You’ll never find a letter written with her. So everybody’s different.”
Right, and Bernie Madoff? He just had a different way of managing a hedge fund.
“So oblivious of her own record that she is trying to make an issue of the gender pay gap despite having run a Senate office in which women were paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men?”
The Democratic Party, with whose members Hillary has had an approval rating of 88% or higher since 2009, has the attitude of passengers on a storm-tossed ship that only one person can steer. “O Captain, my Captain!”
Except they aren’t aboard the ship. The ship is still in the dock. It doesn’t sail for more than a year. The Party isn’t stuck with Capt. Hillary. It could find another leader.
So, why the fervent loyalty to someone with such a troubled ethics record? A woman whose foundation accepted donations from foreign countries while she was Secretary of State? A woman who is such a poor communicator that her approval rating actually dropped while she was on a book tour last year?
“As recently as 1992, the Democratic nominee could be the little-known governor of a tiny state, but today only celebrities need apply.”
So oblivious of her own record that she is trying to make an issue of the gender pay gap despite having run a Senate office in which women were paid 72 cents on the dollar compared to men?
Democrats behave as if Hillary is the only conceivable presidential candidate with sufficient stature, but any Democratic elected official who became the nominee would naturally rake in donations from the usual left-wing groups, massive media exposure and the national high profile that comes with it. Read the rest of this entry »
Like Gorbachev, Obama will be esteemed in certain quarters a generation from now, but probably more by foreigners than fellow citizens, and more by his country’s enemies than its friends.
Christopher Caldwell Democrats nominated Barack Obama in 2008 to extract America from George W. Bush’s Iraq misadventure and to spread more fairly the proceeds of a quarter-century-old boom for which they credited Bill Clinton. The Election Eve collapse of Lehman Brothers changed things. It showed that there had been no boom at all, only a multitrillion-dollar real-estate debauch that Clinton’s and Bush’s affordable-housing mandates had set in motion. It also showed how fast historians’ likely rankings of presidents can shift: Clinton went from above average to below average, Bush from low to rock bottom.
“Obama’s legacy is one of means, not ends. He has laid the groundwork for a political order less answerable to voters.”
Obama may wind up the most consequential of the three baby-boom presidents. He expanded certain Bush policies — Detroit bailouts, internet surveillance, drone strikes — and cleaned up after others. We will not know for years whether Obama’s big deficits risked a future depression to avoid a present one, or whether the respite he offered from “humanitarian invasions” made the country safer. Right now, both look like significant achievements.
Yet there is a reason the president’s approval ratings have fallen, in much of the country, to Nixonian lows. Even his best-functioning policies have come at a steep price in damaged institutions, leaving the country less united, less democratic, and less free.
“For a generation, there has been too much private wealth in politics; Obama’s innovation has been to bring private wealth into government.”
Health-care reform and gay marriage are often spoken of as the core of Obama’s legacy. That is a mistake. Policies are not always legacies, even if they endure, and there is reason to believe these will not. The more people learn about Obamacare, the less they like it — its popularity is still falling, to a record low of 37 percent in November. Thirty states have voted to ban gay marriage, and almost everywhere it survives by judicial diktat.
These are, however, typical Obama achievements. They are triumphs of tactics, not consensus-building. Obamacare involved quid pro quos (the “Cornhusker Kickback,” the “Louisiana Purchase,” etc.) that passed into Capitol Hill lore, accounting and parliamentary tricks to render the bill unfilibusterable, and a pure party-line vote in the Senate. Read the rest of this entry »
Daniel Payne writes: My colleague Robert Tracinski recently re-instituted the Democratic Party Death Watch, an alert that signifies the donks are “betting everything on the far-left base while driving away their own blue-collar and middle class constituents.” The modern Democratic Party being a clumsy amalgamation of economic buffoons and social justice warriors, a death watch is an appropriate vigil to keep, although I wouldn’t bet against Elizabeth Warren making fiscal insanity and dimwitted neo-Marxist philosophy a mainstream policy platform. It has been done before.
Nevertheless, the Democratic death watch sounds fine with me, and while we’re at it we can celebrate one of the other victories of the past year, a triumph that is not-coincidentally contemporaneous with the imploding prospects of the Democrats: 2014 was a year in which gun control became more of a liability for the Left than an asset.
To be sure, there are still plenty of politicians out there who are interested in restricting and curtailing gun rights: they will always be there, constantly mumbling about background checks and “loopholes” and 30-clip military-style magazine-rifles. Ignore them. In the main, gun control has become a distasteful subject and a losing prospect for many who seek it. Early in December, Pew released a poll showing that, for the first time in more than two decades, a majority of Americans support gun rights over gun control. Across the board these numbers have risen from just a couple of years ago after the Newtown shootings: the share of Democrats who believe in protecting gun rights rose 6 percent, the same as Republicans generally; among “conservative/moderate Democrats” the jump was a startling 12 percent. Urban, suburban, and rural Americans all increased their support of gun rights over gun control; blacks did too, by a whopping 10 percent.
The Signs of Desperation Abound
This isn’t to say that everyone who sides with gun rights believes in no gun regulations at all, only that the gun controllers have suffered a decisive and, frankly, humiliating defeat: for all the fearmongering, all the nasty and deceitful scare tactics that the Left has used over the past few years to convince more Americans to give up their gun rights, a majority of Americans have largely ignored this advice and even turned against it.
“I think she ought to run, I’d be the No. 1 supporter, I’d love to see her run. It would be a festival if you’re a conservative or a Republican. We put up anybody sentient on the other side it’ll be a good night on Election Night.”
The senator’s sit-down with Piketty reveals the shallowness of her populism
For National Review Online, Patrick Brennan writes: How many rookie American politicians, seated in a colloquy with a French economist, can get repeated rounds of applause from the packed high-walled pews of Boston’s Old South Meeting House?
” if Warren’s student-loan proposal is meant to address this, she’s abandoning the pretense that it’s about inequality or access to education and instead is calling for a bizarre roundabout economic stimulus.”
At least one: Senator Elizabeth Warren. And she can do it while repeatedly referring to Thomas Piketty, the bestselling author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, professor at the Paris School of Economics, as “Tom.” He even seemed to like it.
“This is the kind of policy that comes out of focus groups, not white papers.”
That’s the phenomenon that is Elizabeth Warren. She doesn’t have a massive or national following (the Boston event was full but not mobbed), and she isn’t the policy prodigy some supporters might hope, but she has some serious political talent.
On Saturday, Warren and Piketty participated in a discussion led by Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief of the Huffington Post, in part funded by Patriotic Millionaires, a group of wealthy Americans campaigning for higher taxes on themselves. Read the rest of this entry »
For The Daily Caller, Robbie Soave writes: Just days after proposing a massive bailout of indebted students that would subsidize their college loans and forgive some of their financial obligations, far-left Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said she has no idea why people think she is a socialist.
“…an effort to punish taxpayers for college students’ bad choices.”
Her bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, would lower the amount of money that students are obligated to repay to the federal government. If enacted, the bill would deprive the federal government of billions of dollars in interest payments owed to its shareholders: the American taxpayers.
It is Warren’s belief that students — who voluntarily signed up for the loans and agreed to pay them back at certain interest rates — should be let off the hook. Read the rest of this entry »
Violently ill, strapped to a hospital bed, under psychiatric observation, Robert Shrum writes:
Handicappers in the presidential race abhor the opposite of a vacuum—a campaign two years out where one candidate seems to blot out the entire field. Thus a mini-chorus now rises, and may swell, questioning Hillary Clinton’s apparent lock on the 2016 Democratic nomination. It’s a predictable reflex, but in cold, hard reality, logic suggests that the lock is authentic, not just apparent. And in modern history, or virtually all American history, Hillary’s inevitability is unprecedented for a non-incumbent.
First, the logic. Who can seriously challenge her march toward a closing night acceptance speech at the next Democratic convention?
With a deft touch of humor more enjoyable than enlightening, Matt Bai suggests that Hillary is “no more likely to clear the Democratic field and avoid a primary … than Dennis Rodman is to become her Secretary of State.” Her fundraising advantages and her strength among “party regulars” make “her vulnerable to another grassroots challenge.”
But history doesn’t metronomically repeat itself. There is no Barack Obama waiting in the wings this time—and the last time, he wasn’t exactly in the wings. He had captured the party’s attention and admiration from the moment he commanded the national spotlight with a stunning keynote speech at the 2004 convention. It’s utter mythology that he came out of nowhere in 2007; some of the smartest Democrats, including Clinton loyalists like Greg Craig, who had defended the president during impeachment proceedings, signed on with Obama early on.
Kevin D. Williamson writes: The Left is at war with economic reality. The intellectual poverty of the Left — which is also a moral poverty — is evident in the fact that its leaders are much more intensely interested in incomes at the top than those at the bottom. Examples are not difficult to come by: Senator Elizabeth Warren is visibly agitated by JamieDimon’s recent raise, the AFL-CIO maintains a website dedicated to executive compensation, Barack Obama avows that “at a certain point, you’ve made enough money,” et cetera ad nauseam. The entire rhetoric of inequality is simply an excuse to rage about incomes at the top, a generation’s worth of progressive shenanigans having failed to do much about those at the bottom.
It is the case that incomes at the top have gone up while those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined in real terms. It is not the case that incomes at the top have gone up because those in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined, nor is it the case that incomes in the middle and at the bottom have stagnated or declined because incomes at the top have gone up. There is a relationship between the two phenomena, but it is not the relationship that progressives imagine it to be.
Sheldon Richman writes: If you share my belief that the major obstacle to the free society is the national-security/corporate state, 2016 is shaping up to be a year of apprehension. The Wall Streeters, who are among the biggest advocates of partnership between big government and big business, are looking forward to a presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, a contest the bankers can’t lose.
They have already discounted any populist rhetoric Clinton may need to fight off a primary challenge from, say, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. As “one well-placed Democrat” told Politico, “Wall Street folks are so happy about [having Clinton run] that they won’t care what she says.”
Clinton recently spoke to a gathering in New York organized by Goldman Sachs, the giant, influential (and bailed-out) investment bank, a gathering that Politico says was attended by “a few hundred major investors.”
Ordinarily these masters of the universe might have groaned at the idea of a politician taking the microphone. In the contentious years since the crash of 2008, they’ve grown wearily accustomed to being called names — labeled “fat cats” by President Obama and worse by those on the left — and gotten used to being largely shunned by Tea Party Republicans for their association with the Washington establishment. And of course there are all those infuriating new rules and regulations, culminating this week with the imposition of the so-called Volcker Rule to make risky trades by big banks illegal.
“But,” Politico continues, “Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish.”
Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn’t going to improve the economy — it needs to stop. And indeed Goldman’s Tim O’Neill, who heads the bank’s asset management business, introduced Clinton by saying how courageous she was for speaking at the bank. (Brave, perhaps, but also well-compensated: Clinton’s minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000).
She got one thing right: The politicians and big bankers “all got into this mess together.” The financial and housing collapse of 2008 was the fruit of that malign partnership of big government and big business. (See my article “Wall Street Couldn’t Have Done It Alone.”) But the big banks are doing fine now, thank you, and there’s no reason to think that too-big-to-fail is over. It’s regular people who are still hurting.
Michael Goodwin writes: When I first heard the claim, I thought it was a mistake or hoax. A talking head was describing a raging war in the Democratic Party between progressives and centrists.
Centrist Democrats? Aren’t they already extinct?
Yes, they’re gone, the dodo birds of politics. But the chattering classes, needing something to chatter about and slow to face facts about their darling liberals, are just discovering that the party of Barack Obama and Bill de Blasio bears little resemblance to the party of FDR, JFK and even Bill Clinton.
Oh, please. Some of us have been saying this for years. The Democratic Party has gone so far left that late Senate stalwarts like Henry “Scoop” Jackson and Pat Moynihan, lions of liberalism but also of common sense and a strong military, must be spinning in their graves.
Timothy P. Carney writes: I’m generally for more disclosure in campaign finance, but the best argument against requiring full disclosure by groups engaged in political speech is that politicians sometimes retaliate against their critics. Sen. Elizabeth Warren inadvertently made that very argument this week.
As told by Ben White at Politico, a group called “Third Way” criticized Warren. Warren apparently suspected that Third Way’s criticism of her was funded by banks. So she wrote a letter to bank CEOs demanding they disclose which political groups they’re funding.
For all of their mutual public admiration, Presidents Clinton and Obama react differently to political trouble. Bill moved to the middle, while Barack always moves left. So it’s no surprise that Mr. Obama is responding to his ObamaCarerollout slump by doing his best Elizabeth Warren imitation.
Mr. Obama returned to his favorite theme of rising income inequality on Wednesday, which he called “the defining challenge of our time.” He ought to know since few Presidents have done more to increase inequality than he has. Median household income has fallen since the economic recovery began, while the rich who own capital assets have done very well thanks to the Federal Reserve’s focus on reflating stock and home prices. Mr. Obama is the Chief Economist of Nottingham posing as Robin Hood.
Editorial board member Steve Moore on why Congress shouldn’t hike the federal minimum wage to $10.00 from $7.25.
The President’s political purpose here is what the pros call rallying your base. Many Democrats are as dismayed as Republicans at ObamaCare’s rollout, so the White House wants to change the subject and give MSNBC viewers something else to debate. Mr. Obama didn’t have much new to offer that would help the economy or the middle class, so instead he’s decided to escalate that hardy liberal perennial, the minimum wage.
Today the magazine, whose birth was partly financed by a progressive heiress, Dorothy Payne Whitney, is owned by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. Warren, a scourge of (other) economic royalists and especially of large financial institutions, is a William Jennings Bryan for our time: She has risen from among Harvard’s downtrodden to proclaim: “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of derivatives.”
Before she sank to a senator’s salary, she was among the 1 percenters, whose annual incomes now begin at $394,000. Hillary Clinton recently made more than that from two speeches, five days apart, for Goldman Sachs, a prowling Wall Street carnivore that Warren presumably wants to domesticate. Between Warren, hot in pursuit of malefactors of great wealth, and Clinton, hot in pursuit of great wealth, which candidate would be more fun for the kind of people who compose the Democrats’ nominating electorate?
Ted Johnson reports: It may be at least a year before Hillary Clinton announces if she will run for president in 2016, but in the next few weeks, her presence in Los Angeles and Hollywood may be as busy as her last bid for the White House.
On Wednesday, she is scheduled to headline a $15,000-per-person fundraising luncheon for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe at the home of media mogul Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl. That evening, she is scheduled to speak at the environmental org Oceana’s Partners Award Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, with a long list of politically active entertainment figures among those who are chairing the event. Read the rest of this entry »
Democrats liked Hillary personally. But they could see that a Clinton nomination implied a course correction to the right from an administration they already condemned as too conservative. And so, even as the front-runner led the fundraising race through 2015, Iowa and New Hampshire were filling with volunteers canvassing for Elizabeth Warren and her message: “She’s in it to win it. I’m in it for you.”
Five years after the housing and financial meltdown, self-styled progressives are still peddling the Glass-Steagall pseudoexplanationPosted: October 14, 2013
One wonders if Warren et al. ever bother to look at the facts, particularly the passage of Glass-Steagall and what, if any, role the repeal actually played in the crisis. Since they never say anything specific, it’s hard to know if this is anything more than an incantation designed to blame the “free [sic] market” and to bolster their case for bureaucratic management of our lives (which they call “the economy”). It takes Herculean ignorance or dishonesty to claim that America had free banking before 2010. Hence, this is a classic confirmation of my observation that no matter how much the government controls the economic system, any problem will be blamed on whatever small zone of freedom remains.
According to folklore, Glass-Steagall was passed because of rampant conflict of interest and abuse among banks that both served savers and borrowers (commercial banking) and underwrote and sold securities (investment banking). But this is a case of the victors writing the history.