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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Thomas Friedman, "Who Are We?": Hands Off Hillary!



Yesterday, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Roosevelt Approach," David Brooks trashed Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. Today, in a Times op-ed entitled "Who Are We?," Thomas Friedman lambastes Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz. Friedman begins his opinion piece by observing:

"I find this election bizarre for many reasons but none more than this: If I were given a blank sheet of paper and told to write down America’s three greatest sources of strength, they would be 'a culture of entrepreneurship,' 'an ethic of pluralism' and the 'quality of our governing institutions.' And yet I look at the campaign so far and I hear leading candidates trashing all of them.

Donald Trump is running against pluralism. Bernie Sanders shows zero interest in entrepreneurship and says the Wall Street banks that provide capital to risk-takers are involved in 'fraud,' and Ted Cruz speaks of our government in the same way as the anti-tax zealot Grover Norquist, who says we should shrink government 'to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.'"

Okay, I have no love for Trump, Sanders or Cruz, but how the heck does Tom Terrific make reference to "the quality of our governing institutions" without making reference to Hillary's installation of a home email server in flagrant disregard for America's national security?

Friedman continues with regard to Sanders:

"Sanders seems to me like someone with a good soul, and he is right that Wall Street excesses helped tank the economy in 2008. But thanks to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, that can’t easily happen again."

Unfortunately, Dodd-Frank addresses past financial abuses, while ignoring newer manipulative and predatory tactics devised by hedge funds to line their pockets. With the cancellation of the Uptick Rule in July 2007 and the advent of high-frequency trading, it can happen again, yet the Obama administration has done absolutely nothing to address this problem.

Also, consider what Robert B. Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley and Senior Fellow at the Blum Center for Developing Economies, has to say about the repeal of Glass-Steagall by Bill Clinton:

"Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act – at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been advising Clinton’s campaign. 'You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall,' Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about Glass-Steagall.

This is a big mistake.

It’s a mistake politically because people who believe Hillary Clinton is still too close to Wall Street will not be reassured by her position on Glass-Steagall. Many will recall that her husband led the way to repealing Glass Steagall in 1999 at the request of the big Wall Street banks.

It’s a big mistake economically because the repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the 2008 Wall Street crash, and without it we’re in danger of another one."

I agree with Reich.

It is sickening how The New York Times - with the notable exception of Maureen Dowd - is determined to ignore Hillary's transgressions in order to grease her way into the White House.

Question: If the FBI recommends indicting Hillary, will the Gray Lady push its coverage of this story onto one of its back pages? Actually, news concerning the demise of Hillary's candidacy might well belong on the obituary page.

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