By William K. Black
August 15, 2016 Bloomington, MN
The Wall Street Journal’s Deputy Editor, Daniel Henninger, wrote an op ed dated August 10, 2016 designed to convince Republicans to hold their noses and vote for Donald Trump. His means of attempting to convince them was conventional – play on their hate of Hillary Clinton. Op eds need to be brief, so Henninger picked as his argument the single policy he felt would be most compelling to the paper’s readers.
It is a testament to how bizarre the WSJ editorial writers are and how bizarre they believe their readers are that Henninger chose as his most dreadful policy supported by Hillary that should enrage the paper’s readership – her opposition to rape. The specific context was that she opposes the rape of coeds.
Robina Chair in Law, Science and Technology, U. Minn. Law School
August 10, 2016 Bloomington, MN
I like Hillary. Would I like to have a mimosa with her? Wrong question. I suspect that that neither she nor I have much interest in partying during the mimosa part of the day. Indeed, I suspect that no woman who meets the mimosa test would run for President or be elected if she did. Instead, for me, a detail oriented policy wonk, the more relevant question is whether I would find a discussion of political strategy to be exhilarating. And in spite of the fact that I have supported Hillary for the last thirty years (since I was thrilled to discover that someone who had worked for the Children’s Defense Fund was running for Yale Alumni Trustee) and went out of my way to stick up for her over Bernie Sanders in the Minnesota caucuses, I still have no idea whether she sees the issues – the defining issues of our day – in the same terms that I do.
Thomas Friedman’s economic illiteracy and sycophancy for Wall Street “elites” have never been in doubt, but he has (unknowingly) plumbed new depths in his columns advising Hillary Clinton to remake the Democratic Party in Bill’s image – by embracing Wall Street’s dream of deregulation. Friedman has literally learned nothing from the three great epidemics of accounting control fraud (“liar’s” loans, inflated appraisals, and fraudulent resale of these fraudulently originated mortgages) that drove the financial crisis and the Great Recession.
In other columns in this series on Friedman’s columns advising Hillary on moving the Democratic Party well to the right of the Republican Party on economic issues, I show that Friedman has literally learned nothing from the successes of stimulus, education, and infrastructure, the horrific failures of austerity and deregulation, or his repeated distortion of “capitalism” and “socialism.”. Friedman gives no indication that he realizes that (1) his economic dogmas were all falsified by our recurrent financial crises and (2) the policies implemented on the basis of those dogmas proved disastrous.
For months now, the Hillary campaign has vigorously argued that Bernie supporters have to fall in line to support the Democratic National Committee’s favorite candidate. Anyone not willing to jump to Hillary is a “Bernie Bro”—not willing to vote for anyone but Bernie. Why? Because, Trump. Forget the will of the people, the democratic process, or “voting one’s conscience”—Trump trumps all hesitation. We simply cannot afford to give Trump any chance of winning.
We need a Trumpbuster. Who you gonna call?
Hillary Clinton or Jill Stein?
Before reading any further, please first watch (or read) this debate between Bob Reich and Chris Hedges:
Bernie Sanders has an ambitious agenda. Too ambitious, insist his critics (including, especially, surrogates of Hillary Clinton). He would break up the big banks, reverse the redistribution of income and wealth to the top (that accelerated under the triple whammy of the Bush-Clinton-Bush administrations), restore and improve our nation’s infrastructure, and provide employment and better wages at the bottom. The critics proclaim that his programs cannot “pay for themselves”.
Using conventional macro models, Professor Gerald Friedman at UMass showed that they would. He was then attacked for using the conventional models that all conventional economists use. Apparently, these models are fine when they support austerity, but are out-of-bounds for use when they support progressive policy. Adam Davidson (of NPR’s “Planet Money”) has noted that in spite of the empirical results, even Friedman admits that perhaps only 4% of economists believe that Bernie’s programs can pay for themselves.
[Revised 4/18/16. Added Part 2 and link to Part 2]
Bill Black, adviser to Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton supporter Paul Hodes appear on The Real News and discuss whether the Dodd-Frank legislation is effective at preventing systemic risk from Wall Street monopolies. You can view the videos below or on The Real News‘ site with a transcript. Part 2 on Real News.
(Crossposted from Huffington Post. Postscript added for NEP)
Remember several weeks ago when Hillary Clinton was complaining that Democrats did not consider her a “progressive?” Bernie Sanders’ big win in Wisconsin ended that tactic and propelled Paul Krugman and Hillary and Bill Clinton to race to the right, inadvertently proving Bernie’s point that they are not progressives on the key issues.
In the last week, Hillary and her surrogates have pivoted hard right and retreated to their long-held positions on the major issues. Indeed, in several cases they have gone even farther to the right than the policies they pushed over a decade ago – even though those policies proved disastrous. They also inadvertently demonstrated the terrible policies that were produced by the Clinton’s vaunted “pragmatism” and compromising with the most extreme Republican demands. That was the story of Clinton’s infamous welfare “reform” – a policy both Clintons championed. Tom Frank details in his new book entitled Listen, Liberal how the Clintons’ “pragmatism” and zeal to work with the worst elements of the Republican Party led to the welfare “reform” bill. Zach Carter has just written the article I was planning to write about that travesty. He entitled it “Nothing Bill Clinton Said To Defend His Welfare Reform Is True.” I encourage you to read it.
By William K. Black
February 23, 2016 Bloomington, MN
Secretary Hillary Clinton is asking Democratic voters to believe that she has experienced a “Road to Damascus” conversion from her roots as a leader of the “New Democrats” – the Wall Street wing of the Democratic Party. When exactly this conversion occurred is never stated, but an interesting fact has emerged that demonstrates it did not occur during her service as the Secretary of State. A Wall Street Journal story provides the key facts, but none of the analysis.
Newly released emails indicate that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her top staff were involved in the selection process for the State Department’s internal watchdog, a position that ultimately went unfilled throughout her four-year tenure.
Hillary Clinton’s pragmatic, practical, ‘realistic’ mantra about how she would operate as president can be boiled down to: ‘Take what you can get’. In today’s political climate this means the same thing it meant in the political climate of Bill Clinton’s presidency, it means: ‘Take what Republicans give’.
The Clinton’s have made a religion of being ‘pragmatic’, a virtue of taking what Republicans give; of embracing Republican positions and making them their own.
William K. Black
February 10, 2016 Bloomington, MN
I am writing as one of the four founding members of Bank Whistleblowers United. We came together recently to create a detailed plan that could restore the rule of law to Wall Street and dramatically reduce the risk and damage of future financial crises. We crafted it so that it could be implemented without any new legislation or regulation. We offered our aid in the implementation process to any candidate who wins the election – and pointed out that President Obama could implement it immediately. Our plan and approach virtually defines the word “pragmatic.” It would also transform finance and begin to end its corrupt culture.