Matt Is Still Making Excuses (So Are You)

Matt Stoller and I, years ago, used to talk a fair bit on policy in the political realm. We have rather different views that could be reasonably-characterized by some “left:right”, but I think are more “socialist:libertarian”, when you get down to it.
But that’s all well and good, if you can confine your differences to policy and try to hash out how the government can function more-efficiently, which I think everyone can define as provides more benefit than it costs to a larger percentage of the population.
Of course we’ll differ on what defines “benefit” and “cost.”
The problem is that unlike my perspective on what happened, which hasn’t changed very much in quite a long time, Matt’s is basically the same perspective both the “right” and “left” hold. Here’s his perspective on where the Democrats went wrong:
It was January 1975, and the Watergate Babies had arrived in Washington looking for blood. The Watergate Babies – as the recently elected Democratic congressmen were known – were young, idealistic liberals who had been swept into office on a promise to clean up government, end the war in Vietnam, and rid the nation’s capital of the kind of corruption and dirty politics the Nixon White House had wrought. Richard Nixon himself had resigned just a few months earlier in August. But the Watergate Babies didn’t just campaign against Nixon; they took on the Democratic establishment, too. Newly elected Representative George Miller of California, then just 29 years old, announced, ‘We came here to take the Bastille.’
One of their first targets was an old man from Texarkana: a former cotton tenant farmer named Wright Patman who had served in Congress since 1929. He was also the chairman of the U. S. House Committee on Banking and Currency and had been for more than a decade. Antiwar liberal reformers realized that the key to power in Congress was through the committee system; being the chairman of a powerful committee meant having control over the flow of legislation. The problem was: Chairmen were selected based on their length of service. So liberal reformers already in office, buttressed by the Watergate Babies’ votes, demanded that the committee chairmen be picked by a full Democratic-caucus vote instead.

This post was published at Market-Ticker on 2017-11-24.

Will Obama Pardon Hillary?

President Ford granted former President Richard M. Nixon an unconditional pardon for all Federal crimes that he ‘committed or may have committed or taken part in’ while in office. Ford said his pardon was intended to spare Mr. Nixon and the nation further punishment in the Watergate scandals. This establishes the precedent and answers the question whether Obama will or even could pardon Hillary. If he words this pardon in the same manner, Hillary can escape tax evasion, treason, whatever.
The more interesting problem, as I have stated before, I see her crime more as TREASON and it does not center on her emails, but the Clinton Foundation. That means in my judgment, that the exposure extends to Bill and Chelsea as well. Indeed, anyone working at the Clinton Foundation engaging in pay-for-play taking money from foreign governments could be charged with TREASON. If anything emerged that linked Obama to future kick-backs, then and only then would there be a Constitutional Crisis concerning the question can Obama pardon someone for a crime in which he participated?

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Nov 21, 2016.

Watergate’s Bob Woodward: “Clinton Foundation Is Corrupt, It’s A Scandal”

It’s one thing for the right-wing press to accuse the Clinton foundation of cronyism, corruption, and scandal (especially if the facts, and internal admissions by affiliated employees, confirm as much) – it tends to be generally ignored by the broader, if left-leaning, media. But when the Watergate scandal’s Bob Woodward, associate editor at the liberal Washington Post, says very much the same, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has no choice but to notice. This is precisely what happened today when journalist Bob Woodward told a Fox News Sunday panel that the Clinton Foundation is “corrupt” and that Hillary Clinton has not answered for it.
Here, courtesy of RealClearPolitics, is the transcript of today’s exchange:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 23, 2016.

Abolish the FBI

Like all employees of the FBI, James Comey lives off the sweat of the American taxpayer. His large salary, upon retirement, will be converted into a very generous pension. Like most federal employees in a high ranking position like his, Comey continues to look forward to decades of living at a standard of living far above what is experienced by ordinary people in the private sector.
To maintain this life of comfort, all he had to do was agree to look the other way as a powerful politician clearly – by Comey’s own admission – broke federal law.
Naturally, this same treatment would never be afforded to an ordinary taxpayer, who would likely be looking at years in federal prison for offenses similar to that which Hillary Clinton has apparently committed. Moreover, Comey even went out of his way to do his best to ensure no federal prosecutor would proceed with charges when he claimed that “no reasonable prosecutor” would proceed with charges. It wasn’t enough for Comey to simply not recommend charges. He had to pre-emptively condemn any prosecutor who might proceed with charges.
Some have claimed that Comey was forced to cave to Obama administration pressure in order to protect his family. Of course, Comey could have resigned his position rather than take a position he regarded as unethical. Then the task of clearing Clinton would have fallen to Comey’s successor. There are precedents for this. When ordered by Nixon to fire the special prosecutor in the Watergate scandal, Attorney General Elliot Richardson resigned rather than do what the president mandated. Comey could have done the same, but then he would have had to give up some of his comforts and privileges. To find work, he might have had to move to an unexciting place like Indianapolis or Albuquerque.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on July 7, 2016.

Surprise! Most Corrupt Bankster in U.S. Endorses Hillary Clinton

It’s hard to imagine a better endorsement of Donald Trump’s economic policies – whatever they may be, whenever he finds the time to explain them – than the recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton by former Goldman Sachs CEO and U. S. Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. As the man in charge of the biggest explosion of corporate welfare in world history – the ‘TARP’ bailouts, he defined himself as a sworn enemy of capitalism and a socialist when it comes to the capital markets. Socializing billions of dollars in investment bank, insurance company, and automobile industry losses with taxpayer dollars qualifies Paulson as deserving of the S-word label. As such, Hillary Clinton may well have found a new political and financial soulmate.
Paulson began his career and cut his political teeth with some of the sleaziest and most disastrous political hacks in American history – first as a Pentagon assistant to the secretary of defense from 1970-1972, then as a Nixon administration assistant to John Ehrlichman, the convicted Watergate felon. Such sterling credentials earned him a position at Goldman Sachs, where he presumably mastered the political dirty trick skills that he must have learned from Ehrlichman and the rest to eventually claw his way up to the CEO position.
Paulson and Hillary Clinton might as well be cloned twins when it comes to using their positions of political power to line the pockets of the wealthiest people in America in return for kickbacks and political support. As the chief corporate welfare czar during the Bush administration, a first order of business was the $180 billion bailout of the insurance company AIG, ninety percent of which was totally solvent, as documented by David Stockman in his book, The Great Deformation(p. 6). Rather than allowing a healthy free-market purge of AIG’s bad assets, Paulson showered the company with taxpayer dollars in a totally unnecessary bailout.

This post was published at Lew Rockwell on June 27, 2016.

Straight From The Watergate Sleuth – -Damaging Leaks Coming From Hillary’s Servergate Probe

On Wednesday’s ‘CNN Tonight,’ Journalist and author Carl Bernstein stated that there would be ‘very damaging’ leaks from the investigation into Democratic presidential candidate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email, and described her conduct as ‘what she did was an act of recklessness, and entitlement, that there’s no excuse for.’
Bernstein began by stating that in the general election ‘all bets are off,’ including the usual GOP-Dem breakdown as an important factor, celebrity might be more important than ideology, and ‘TMZ, Drudge, new media, [are] going to have a huge role in this, much more than the usual, fact-based media.’
He further said that GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign had expanded from a ‘nativist, almost neo-fascist campaign’ to when where ‘there might be a kind of screw you vote, about Washington, about the process, that he could be the beneficiary of.’ And that ‘a lot of Democrats around Hillary Clinton’ that he had talked to were ‘very worried’ about running against Trump, and that some ‘Republican regulars’ who were part of the Stop Trump movement he talked to pegged Trump’s chances against Hillary at at least 25%.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on May 5, 2016.

Origins Of Nixon’s War On Drugs – -To Jail Hippies And Black People

President Richard Nixon launched the War on Drugs for one specific reason: to decimate his perceived political enemies – the anti-war left, and black people.
That’s according to an anecdote in a lengthy cover story for Harper’s, in which journalist Dan Baum recounts an interview he conducted with John Erlichman, a former Nixon staffer who was jailed for one year due to his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Unprompted, Erlichman confessed the true purpose of federal drug prohibition:

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on March 23, 2016.