Free To Be Us — Liberalism Unshackled

By James A. Kidney Tuesday’s election results — President, Senate and House — freed liberalism from its shackles.  The ransom payment is high. In the long run, it may be worth the price.  The key is to put aside defeatism and start adopting new tactics now that the Democratic Party elite has been shamed and defeated by a horrible con man and his angry allies. Liberalism — by which I mean a set of political goals recognizing and trying to contain the power of the elite, bringing genuine equality of economic opportunity to those not sharing in the top five percent, and sponsoring a strong foreign policy using force as a last resort — has been treated by the Democratic Party for years as the smelly uncle at the dinner table who talks too much but contributes too little. Hillary Clinton embodied this party sentiment in her campaign, fully endorsed … Read more of this post . . .

When Does Paranoia Become Realistic Fear — Trump and the Military

By James A. Kidney One challenge in this vicious, unsatisfying presidential campaign is for the average voter to separate legitimate worries about either candidate from paranoia. The Trump side of the campaign thus far has had more trouble keeping to boundaries of reason than Clinton supporters. Egged on by Fox News and Trump allies from Breitbart News, as well as the Rasputins of Clinton conspiracies, such as broadcaster Alex Jones, right wing bomb thrower Roger Stone (who, like Trump, learned nastiness from the late Roy Cohn) and David Bossie (author of, among other things, Hillary:  The Politics of Personal Destruction), the Trump camp is actively promoting long-time crazy notions such as that Clinton is responsible for the death of Arkansas state troopers and the suicide of White House aide Vince Foster.  They also are supplementing the oldies but goodies with newer tropes, such as that Clinton failed to protect U.S. … Read more of this post . . .

Savor the Moment, Oh Beautiful America

By James A. Kidney Whether you are a reluctant or die-hard supporter of Hillary Clinton, or even an increasingly rare “undecided” voter, take the weekend to savor the just-concluded Democratic convention.  Enjoy your own post-convention “bounce”.  Set aside your serious worries about the Republican candidate, though by-all-means enjoy the dark humor his candidacy has engendered.  If you think about presidential politics at all, be sunny.  If necessary, suspend your disbelief.  The hard and fearful events of the campaign will come again soon, if they have not already begun. Savor the warm recollections of our gorgeous First Lady and her thanks to the American people for providing love and confidence as she, her husband and two beautiful daughters weathered vicious attacks on their Americanism, heritage and hope from politicians and people who have not a flicker of their good spirit. Remember the vice president’s speech.  He knows the disappointments of life … Read more of this post . . .

Is Hillary A Stronger Candidate than Bernie?

   By James A. Kidney  clinton-v-sanders-1

Let’s agree that a Donald Trump presidency is a very scary prospect and that either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders would be a much better choice. Right now, Trump looks like easy pickins’ for either Democrat.

But now is not November.  One cannot rule out that as Trump collects campaign experts who might corral some of his worst traits, Republicans surrender all principles in favor of party loyalty, and Americans exercise their constitutional right to short term memory loss, the GOP “standard bearer” will become more palatable to larger numbers of voters.  Politico this week published a sardonic assessment of “The 12 Signs that Trump Will Win the White House” that, while improbable, recognizes the fluid process of an American presidential election.

Clintonistas are not containing their anger at Bernie Sanders and his supporters for continuing what they call a fruitless campaign for the Democratic nomination.  Although expressing confidence that Sec. Clinton will wipe out Republican Donald Trump in November (“like with a cloth,” as Clinton said when asked if she had wiped her home server clean), they also hate seeing any competition for the crown.  Their asserted confidence of victory is easily undermined by the least criticism of their candidate.

Hey, it’s a democracy folks.  People who want change are entitled to cast a vote for one who at least campaigns on the notion of bringing it.  Don’t demonize them for exercising the franchise.  (Clinton herself is careful not to demand that Sanders stop campaigning; that is left to surrogates.)

So Sanders is right to campaign to the end.  If he loses the nomination, as is likely but not certain, he will throw his support to Clinton, perhaps gaining a little more leftish Clinton on some issues in the process.  He knows Trump would be terrible.

One of the major contentions in support of Clinton becoming the Democratic nominee is that she is more likely to beat Trump in November than is Sanders.  “America will never elect a Democratic Socialist,” we are told time and again.  We have been told this not only by Hillary loyalists, but also by the Establishment media and its many pundits.  Since these pundits and editorialists have called every development in the presidential campaign accurately so far, what’s to worry?

Plenty, it turns out.  Bernie may be the better candidate to beat Trump.

Read more of this post . . .Is Hillary A Stronger Candidate than Bernie?

Why I (Belatedly) Blew the Whistle on the SEC’s Failure to Properly Investigate Goldman Sachs

By James A. Kidney The New Yorker and Pro Publica websites today posted an article by Pro Publica’s Jesse Eisinger about the de minimis investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into the conduct of Goldman Sachs in the sale of derivatives based on mortgage-backed securities during the run-up to the Great Recession of 2008.  The details of the SEC’s failure to aggressively pursue Goldman in the particular investigation, Abacus, and its refusal to investigate fully misconduct by Goldman and other “Too Big to Fail” banks, stands not only as a historic misstep by the SEC and its Division of Enforcement, but undermines the claim that the Obama Administration has been “tough on Wall Street.”  The Pro Publica version contains links to a few of the documents I provided. No one in authority who was involved in the Goldman investigation ever gave me an explanation for why the effort was so slight. … Read more of this post . . .

Why Does Big Media Go Soft on Hillary Clinton?

By James A. Kidney              Recently, Big Media has attacked Sen. Bernie Sanders for being too vague and uncertain in answering questions during interviews with editorial boards of The New York Times and The New York Daily News about how to break up the big banks, his position on gun control, and other issues. A Washington Post political columnist, one who specializes in superficial “listicles” costumed as commentary, has even claimed that these interviews with Sanders and Donald Trump were, to quote the headline over his column, “the surprising success story of the election cycle.” Many, probably most, national political columnists and reporters have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo of the Democratic and Republican parties.  Electing Trump, Sanders or, until recently, Sen. Ted Cruz (who is now becoming the darling of Republican Party leaders), would put in the trash years of work cultivating … Read more of this post . . .

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