Hillary Clinton spent an hour talking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper and a handful of New Hampshire voters in a town hall on Wednesday night. For 59 minutes of it, she was excellent — empathetic, engaged and decidedly human. But, then there was that other minute — really just four words — that Clinton is likely to be haunted by for some time to come.
“That’s what they offered,” Clinton said in response to Cooper’s question about her decision to accept $675,000 in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs in the period between serving as secretary of state and her decision to formally enter the 2016 presidential race.
The line is, well, bad. More on that soon. But, the line when combined with her body language when she said it makes it politically awful for her.
Hillary Clinton’s supporters like to say that Bernie Sanders stands little chance of getting his initiatives through a Republican Congress. They overlook the fact that Clinton’s odds are just as dismal.
The funniest thing about pro-Hillary punditry is the claim that her proposals are achievable while Bernie Sanders’ proposals are not. This has been all over the punditry of late, especially in the oldsplaining get-off-my-lawn punditry aimed at the rude teens who support Sanders. For an example of it, look no further than the New York Times official endorsement:
In the end, though, Mr. Sanders does not have the breadth of experience or policy ideas that Mrs. Clinton offers. His boldest proposals — to break up the banks and to start all over on health care reform with a Medicare-for-all system — have earned him support among alienated middle-class voters and young people. But his plans for achieving them aren’t realistic, while Mrs. Clinton has very good, and achievable, proposals in both areas.
This is frankly insane. Hillary Clinton’s legislative agenda has a 0% chance of passing through the GOP-controlled Congress. None. Nothing. Zilch. This is true, not only because the GOP fundamentally disagrees with her proposals, but also, crucially, because the GOP pursues obstruction for its own sake. It has been very explicit about this. The GOP has (probably correctly) determined that helping a Democratic president pass things of note benefits the Democrats and hurts the Republicans.
Former Raleigh City Councilor Barlow Herget wrote to the N&O about his abysmal recent experience at the Time Warner Cable office.
Mr. Herget asks if the City Council could change the law to go back to local control of cable TV franchises. Local control went out the window in 2005 when a group of “business-friendly” Democrats in the state legislature successfully passed the “state franchise for cable television” bill into law for their friends at Time Warner Cable. This stripped control of cable franchises from city and county governments and placed it in the hands of the state. It’s easier to pay off state leaderss rather than local leaders, it seems.
I predicted this would happen back in 2006 and time has proven me correct. I just wish I could’ve convinced more state legislators at the time.
I recently had the dreadful occasion to visit Time Warner’s office in Raleigh. We needed a “box” for a new television. It was a hot 95 degrees outside, and inside the Atlantic Avenue office, there were 35 to 40 people waiting, including one crying baby.
The room was the size of a typical school class. We took a number and asked how long we should expect to wait. Thirty minutes. We luckily found two chairs together and sat down.My fellow subscribers were lined along the walls, a few standing, more coming in. Mostly patient, the steam was starting to rise in some of these customers. There was an inane game show on a big screen TV that a few were watching.
One lady came in carrying a big box, saw the crowd and asked how long she had to wait. Told 30 minutes, she declared she was on her lunch break and, after waiting 10 minutes, departed, muttering, “Some people have to work for a living,”
Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed an ambitious program of social reform, including regulatory changes to raise wages and protect workers’ rights, progressive tax reforms, and universal health insurance (Improved Medicare for All). Taken together, these policies would not only dramatically increase employment and national income, but would also raise wages, reduce poverty, and narrow the gap between rich and poor Americans.
Bernie Sanders will never be president. Let’s just get that out of the way right now. He stands very little chance of pulling down the Democratic nomination and no chance at all of winning a general election. His rabid acolytes can argue with this all they want but they’ll be wrong for several inarguable reasons: because the “political revolution” Bernie Sanders needs to advance his campaign and agenda is pie-in-the-sky thinking that simply doesn’t occur in representative democracies like ours, where change always comes incrementally and our entire system is designed so it can’t be remade in one fell swoop; because he’s a one-note candidate who concerns himself with nothing other than his admittedly noble lifelong obsession with wealth inequality; because America isn’t evolved enough to elect an avowed socialist, democratic or otherwise, and it unfortunately won’t get near someone who openly eschews religion; and maybe most importantly because once the GOP considered Bernie a sworn enemy rather than the perfect foil it can use to destroy Hillary Clinton, it would eat him alive. Eat. Him. Alive.
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.
According to a wide assortment of bankers and hedge-fund managers I spoke to for this article, Clinton’s rock-solid support on Wall Street is not anything that can be dislodged based on a few seemingly off-the-cuff comments in Boston calculated to protect her left flank. (For the record, she quickly walked them back, saying she had “short-handed” her comments about the failures of trickle-down economics by suggesting, absurdly, that corporations don’t create jobs.) “I think people are very excited about Hillary,” says one Wall Street investment professional with close ties to Washington. “Most people in New York on the finance side view her as being very pragmatic. I think they have confidence that she understands how things work and that she’s not a populist.”