EnduringSense

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Posts Tagged ‘Clinton’

Democrat Party’s Self-Inflicted Wounds

Posted by Steve Markowitz on November 1, 2016

It has been a few wild days in the race for the White House.  On Friday, FBI Director James Comey announced that the Bureau is reopening its criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server and potential mishandling of classified documents.  If found guilty of a felony Clinton would be subject to potential jail time.  Quite a shadow hanging over a potential president-elect!

It is remarkable that James Comey, who just a week ago was considered a hero and patriot by the Left after recommending against Clinton’s prosecution in July, is now demonized by these same people.  Either they were wrong about Comey in July or they are wrong now.  In fact the issue is not Comey’s credibility or patriotism, but his findings that go against the political leanings of the Left.  This is incredulous for a group that often claims the need for bipartisanship, blaming Republicans for the polarization in Washington.  How quickly the worm has turned.

Some on the Left are beginning to take their compatriots and Clinton to task for the email mess, Hillary’s own creation.  Earlier this week Doug Schoen, long-time supporter of the Clintons, pulled his support for Hillary due to concern for a Constitutional crisis that would likely occur should she be elected president.  Just as amazing, MSNBC’s liberal cohost, Mika Brzezinski, took off after Hillary Clinton and those on the Left that have attacked James Comey, as shared in the video below.

Both political parties are to blame for the state of American national political mess.  Republicans rejected their Party’s conventional wisdom and nominated Donald Trump merely because he was an outsider and irrespective of qualifications or policies.  Taking a different route, the Democrat establishment chose to coronate Hillary Clinton even though she was deemed dishonest by many and under FBI investigation for potential criminal acts.  Those who cry foul on both sides of the aisle need to take a long look in the mirror to locate the source of the Country’s problem.

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Obamacare May Implode

Posted by Steve Markowitz on October 19, 2016

The news media and Americans are focused on the upcoming presidential election.  Given the important role the president plays in the United States this is natural.  However, the focus on the election has been on the questionable personal traits of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  This myopic focus masks serious issues that face the Country and the next president, irrespective of who is elected.

The significant challenges the Country faces include international relations, as well as economic issues.  The Middle East is devolving into chaos that will eliminate the artificial borders and countries created after World War I.  Russia is again adversarial and imperialistic.  Economic growth in the United States is tepid with the total debt soon to exceed $20 trillion.  Irrespective of whether Clinton or Trump become president, these issues will prove intractable.

Within the broader subject of economic challenges is the out of control medical costs.  This problem had its roots long before Barack Obama became president.  However, the President’s signature program, Obamacare, exasperated the problems and is showing signs of heading into a death spiral.

The President is aware of Obamacare failings writing in The Journal of the American Medical Association: “Too many Americans still strain to pay for their physician visits and prescriptions, cover their deductibles or pay their monthly insurance bills; struggle to navigate a complex, sometimes bewildering system; and remain uninsured.”  This is a far cry from the President’s promises to the American people that healthcare costs would decrease.  Obamacare not only added expensive mandates to the cost of medical insurance, but covered some 20 million people who previously did not have insurance.  For the President to have made this cost cutting promise indicates incompetence or dishonesty, there is no third option.

A more honest representation of the realities of Obamacare was made earlier this month by former President Bill Clinton who said:

bill-clinton“You’ve got this crazy system where all of a sudden, 25 million more people have health care and then the people that are out there busting it – sometimes 60 hours a week – wind up with their premiums doubled and their coverage cut in half.”

Leave it to Bill Clinton to take a complex issue and break it down to its most basic problem; the middle class and healthy younger Americans are being forced to pay for the health costs of others.  Insurance is a system whereby risk is spread amongst a population of people with an example being auto insurance.  Some drivers will have accidents while others will not.  In the case of so-called health insurance, all beneficiaries will require significant benefits.  Therefore what we call health insurance is an entitlement and cannot be financed as if it was insurance.

In early October Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said: “The reality is the Affordable Care Act is no longer affordable”.  This is no partisan attack coming from a Democrat governor of a state that is projected to have increases in the Affordable Care Act medical exchanges in excess of 50%. (Source)  Other states are facing similar problems.

In business or economics matters, prior to resolving a problem the issue and goals need to be clearly vetted and defined.  This was not done with healthcare reform.  Instead, proponents of Obamacare promoted problems to elicit emotional responses.  This included Americans without medical insurance and the increasing costs of medical care.  Ignored were the basic laws of supply and demand that have impacted these issues and will play a role in any propose resolution.  The upcoming implosion of Obamacare is the result of this gross failure.

After the presidential election the winning party will throw celebrations for the power they gained or maintained in Washington.  Beginning in January a new president who will be forced to address the problems left behind by Barack Obama.  A major issue will be the growing problem of the increasing cost of healthcare.  Democrats will promote a single-payer system; i.e., government run healthcare.  This should concern Americans given the government’s poor track record managing the health care of veterans through the VA Administration.

Republicans will promote market oriented solutions for health care reform.  However, continue calling a solution “insurance” improperly defines the problem and will not lead to productive results that are politically or economically palatable.

When discussing the problems of increasing healthcare costs, rarely will politicians discuss economic realities including supply and demand.  Instead, many scapegoat insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, and/or doctors.  While these factors play some role, it is minor compared to demographic changes.  For example, the Country is rapidly aging.  In 2000 there were 35 million Americans over 65 years of age.  In less than two decades this has increased to 47 million.  In addition we have become more obese.  Both factors increase the demand for healthcare and therefore cost.  Not including these issues in the broader discussion of healthcare reform dooms any program to failure.

The Kaiser family Foundation reported that in the last six years, health insurance premiums rose about 19%, three times greater than inflation.  At the same time, peoples’ salaries rose only 11%.  This increasing cost of healthcare as a percentage of total income is one reason the recovery has been sluggish.  Consumer spending on other goods and services has been decreased as a result.  Unless healthcare costs are brought under control, this negative impact on the economy will grow.  May the force be with the next president!

Posted in Healthcare, healthcare costs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sen. Warren Accuses Wells Fargo Chief of “Gutless Leadership”

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 22, 2016

Earlier this month Wells Fargo admitted that its employees created thousands of bogus credit card accounts to meet sales goals.  This led to bonuses for many employees including high level ones.  Wells Fargo fired over 5,000 employees for their involvement in the scandal.

The Wells Fargo scandal is inexcusable and heads should roll at the bank’s highest levels.  At the same time it is amusing to read Elizabeth Warren’s scolding of Wells Fargo’s CEO John Stumpf’s “gutless leadership” for his pushing responsibility for the scandal onto lower-level employees.  As an associate said of Warren’s double standard:

“I’m not defending this guy by any means, but I wonder if Elizabeth Warren told Hillary she is a gutless leader when she blamed her email issues and subsequent attempts at cover-up on her low-level employees.  Something tells me I already know the answer…. “

Wells Fargo Chief Accused of ‘Gutless Leadership’
The chief of Wells Fargo, John G. Stumpf, appeared before the Senate Banking Committee. He apologized. He expressed regret. He vowed to make amends.
But the senators were not having any of it. And the more he tried to explain, the more skeptical they became.
Senator Elizabeth Warren even suggested he resign, saying that his pushing responsibility onto low-level employees showed a “gutless leadership.” On the issue of clawing back pay, Mr. Stumpf said it was a process that he could not get involved in.
And this is not the end of it — Wells Fargo is under fire from multiple directions:
• Mr. Stumpf has been invited to testify before the House Financial Services Committee, which is also investigating Wells Fargo.
• Prosecutors are examining the scandal.
• The Securities and Exchange Commission has been invited to join the fray by Senator Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon.

Posted in Banks, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Audience Laughs When Congressman Charlie Crist Calls Hillary Honest

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 21, 2016

Earlier this week Florida held a debate between current Democratic Congressman Charlie Crist and Republican challenger David Jolly.  When asked about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Chris responded:

“I am proud of Hillary Clinton.  I think she’s been a very good secretary of state, a very good senator from the state of New York.  The thing I like most about her is I believe she is steady.  I believe that she is strong.  I believe that she is honest.  And I look forward to voting for her.”

Hillary Clinton may be may be connected to many adjectives.  However, calling her “honest” is just plain ludicrous.  As indicated in the video below, Crist’s comment drew laughter from the audience.  It is statements such as this one made by Crist that has turned so many Americans against the political elites.  It is a major reason why Donald Trump with all of his weaknesses has a reasonable chance of becoming America’s next president.  Should he be elected, the political elites and those that back them need look in a mirror to see Trump’s greatest asset.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Obama’s View of Hillary in 2008 Versus 2016

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 15, 2016

Barack Obama once said words matter.  His words, however, don’t seem to matter all that much.  Below is a rather hilarious video put together showing Obama’s view of Hillary when she was an opponent in 2008, versus today when she is the candidate for the presidency for his party.  If words truly matter, either Obama was disingenuous in 2008 or he is being disingenuous in today.

Posted in Politics, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Democratic Congresswoman has Problem with Hillary Clinton’s Trustworthiness

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 7, 2016

During the past 25 years no family has dominated American politics more than the Clintons.  Bill was the most important political figure during the 1990s, serving as president for two terms.  Hillary Clinton was a powerhouse in her own right, most notably as an activist first lady.  During the next two decades she served as a United States Senator from New York, was a serious contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, and also served as Secretary of State during the Obama Administration.

The accomplishments of the Clintons have been accompanied by scandals.  Bill and Hillary have become infamous for lies with Bill being disbarred for it during the Lewinsky scandal.  Hillary’s lies have been so pervasive that the late New York Times writer William Safire called her “a congenital liar”.  That was 20 years before FBI director James Comey confirmed she lied on matters relating to the email scandal.

During a substantial portion of the past 25 years the Clintons successfully blamed a right-wing conspiracy for attacking their credibility.  That dog no longer hunts.

Polls indicate the majority of Americans find Hillary less than trustworthy.  Just a significant, politicians who support Hillary have difficulty with her trust factor.  CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin in the video below asked Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona, Ann Kirkpatrick her thoughts on Hillary’s trustworthiness.  She did not answer the question, but instead said “she is the most qualified to lead this country”.

American politics are in a sad state.  Republicans nominated Donald Trump, who not only has problems with temperament, but shares few philosophical views in common with traditional conservative politics.  The best Hillary supporters can say is that she is more qualified than Trump.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have failed the people.  This reality demands radical intervention.  Third parties are a reasonable alternative.

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Understanding the Trump/Sanders Phenomena

Posted by Steve Markowitz on May 22, 2016

Let us travel back in time only 12 months.  America was starting to focus on the next potential President.  There was seeming certainty over the choices.  For Republicans, Jeb Bush was anointed the chosen one with a campaign war-chest that was unrivaled.  Similarly for Democrats, Hillary Clinton was to be anointed, being the next person up.  What was certain twelve months ago has since evaporated, ushering in a paradigm shift in American politics.

There is much in common between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and their supporters.  Historically, Donald Trump’s politics have had more in common with Democrat platforms.  Until recently Trump not only donated to Democratic candidates, but also hobnobbed with many of its elites including the Clintons.  Like Trump, Hillary has led a protected life, enjoying the benefits of the top 1% and with access to and being a powerbroker in Washington.

It is ironic that given the many similarities between Hillary and Donald, that Hillary is considered an insider and Donald the insurgent.  Both in fact are consummate insiders.

Trumps ascendancy to being the presumptive Republican nominee is remarkable.  He defeated 16 Republicans in the primaries, some who had been quite formable candidates.  Trump has since broken the spirit of the Republican establishment, who were powerless against his insurgent appeal.

Bernie Sanders, who has near zero chance of becoming the Democratic Party’s nominee, has encountered remarkable success against the Party’s anointed one, Hillary Clinton.  Hillary has the backing of nearly every Party leader, has had a significant funding advantage, yet has had difficulty competing against the 73 year old socialist.  With a bit of luck and a more sophisticated campaign early on, Sanders could have won the Party’s nomination.

Ignoring policies proposed by Sanders and Trump, there are similarities behind their successes.  Both are seen as outsiders to voters who are disenchanted in the direction the Country has taken, even though their support comes from opposite ends of the political spectrum.  Understanding the reasons behind this disenchantment by is more important than who wins in November.

Economist John Mauldin recently published a piece titled “trump” that goes a long way towards explaining American’s radically switched politics.  While Mauldin shows compassion and understanding of the plight many less fortunate Americans, his economic background helps explain the difficulty in problem resolution.  Mauldin’s comments/conclusions include:

  • He castigates both political parties for giving us the choice of, as Peggy Noonan states, “Crazy Man vs. Criminal ”, concluding that: “People have real problems, and increasingly they don’t trust traditional leaders to solve them.”
  • Sanders is supported by left-leaning Americans who are “living on the edge, vulnerable and unprotected”.  Trump is being supported by another portion of Americans who believe they are being marginalized.
  • Mauldin divides Americans into the “protected” and “unprotected”.  He makes the important conclusion that the protected make public policy, but it is the unprotected who must live with the results.  The protected that create public policy are not subject to the penalties of these policies with Mauldin including “Because they are protected they feel they can do pretty much anything, impose any reality. They’re insulated from many of the effects of their own decisions.”  The unprotected are now saying enough is enough.
  • The protected Mauldin refers to are both Republicans and Democrats.  So too are the unprotected.  Party affiliation has become meaningless in this discussion.
  • A Federal Reserve survey found that nearly 50% of Americans could not cover an unexpected $400 expense.  No wonder voters are scared.  No wonder they have lost faith in politicians who not only promised so much, but whose policies helped create the economic problems the Country now faces.

sandersThere are many examples of policies created by the protected that inflict pain on the unprotected.  Progressives propose open borders for immigration.  These immigrants are mainly unskilled and compete for the lower skilled jobs in the United States.  This increased competition hurts poorer Americans.  It also benefits businesses that have access to cheaper labor.  In an effort to fix the damage done by the ill-conceived immigration policies, the protected then promote increasing the minimum wage.  This too hurts poorer Americans who lose their jobs to machines that are made still cheaper by the artificially low cost of capital.  A higher minimum wage also benefits larger corporations who are better equipped to pay higher wages than startups, their potential competitors.

Obamacare is another example of Progressive policies damaging the unprotected.  While many Americans now face doctor shortages and increasing healthcare premiums caused by Obamacare, the protected have access to concierge doctor services.  They also have access to accountants and lawyers who can take advantage of the ever-increasing regulatory and tax environments that average Americans do not have access to.

Finally, there is the rigged government numbers.  Unemployment is supposedly down to 5%.  However, this number does not take into account those Americans who have quit looking for jobs.  It also does not take into account less hours available for workers or the quality of jobs available.  Similarly, the government’s inflation numbers are rigged, removing from the calculation must-have goods and services whose costs have increased.  As a result, many Americans feel they are being left out of a supposedly improving economy.

We are eight years after the beginning of the Great Recession.  While various government stimulus programs and artificially low interest rates created bubbles that increased the wealth of the protected, it damaged the unprotected, increasing the wealth gap.  This led to the popularity of Sanders and Trump.  The fact that a Socialist and a bully have become so popular indicates how deep the frustrations are.  While this trend favors Donald Trump in the upcoming election, it blocks intellectual discussion concerning realistic policies that could actually improve the plight of middle Americans.

Posted in economics, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hillary Equivocates on Terrorism Bill

Posted by Steve Markowitz on April 19, 2016

George Stephanopoulos, an ABC news commentator, in a previous life was a Clinton family apologist.  During a recent interview with Hillary Clinton even Stephanopoulos was taken back by her equivocation on an important pending legislation.  (See video below.)

The legislation would allow individuals to sue state sponsors of terrorism in federal court.  This bill has bipartisan support in the Congress, including Democrat Chuck Schumer, but is opposed by the Obama administration on the basis of national security interests.  When asked if Ms. Clinton supported the bill, she did the famous Clinton two-step indicating that she was not aware of the legislation’s specifics.  An incredulous Stephanopoulos questioned Clinton’s lack of knowledge on an issue that is been around for years.  After stammering a bit she incredibly said:

“…. unlike some people, I actually do,     do try to learn what’s at the core of any question before I offer opinion, because you know it’s not enough to say what’s wrong, I think you have a responsibility to fix it.”

It is interesting to review Hillary’s record when it comes to learning what’s “at the core of any question before I offer opinion”.  She certainly did not use this approach when blaming the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi on an obscure video.  She also did not use this analytical approach during her husband’s presidency when Bill was caught with his pants down in the White House.  For those who forget her infamous claim of a great right-wing conspiracy when it came to Monica Lewinsky, the video below offers insight into how Hillary views facts and in this case a vulnerable young female intern.

 

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hillary Clinton Stands by a Sex Predator

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 21, 2016

The dearth of accusations concerning predatory sexual behavior against former President Bill Clinton is damning.  The number of women that have come public with complaints, as well as his behavior with an intern at the White House, indicates the treatment of women that feminists should recoil from.  However, that has not been the case, which seems to indicate that the so-called feminists are more concerned with one’s political views than the treatment of women.

Hillary Clinton has not only been Bill Clinton’s wife during the period that many of these complaints were lodged, but has been his political partner as well.  While some might think it noble that she stood by her man, it is reasonable to ask if she has culpability in attempts to cover up the sexual harassment complaints against her husband.

Earlier this month on the Morning Joe show on MSNBC, cohosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski interviewed Hillary Clinton backer, former congressman Harold Ford Jr.  Ford was asked about Hillary’s potential culpability in covering up her husband’s mistreatment of Women.   Ford refused substantive response, an example of disingenuous behavior by the Left when it comes to women’s rights.  The same behavior does not allow many on the Left to criticize Islam for its misogynistic practices.

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Hillary Clinton on Democrats and Socialists

Posted by Steve Markowitz on January 11, 2016

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, host of Hardball, is an unapologetic Democrat.  However, that even Matthews is concerned with the Party’s shift the radical Left.

During an interview would likely Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, Matthew stated “I want to try to help you tonight …. Locate yourself politically.”  Then Matthews went on to ask “What’s the difference between a socialist and a Democrat?” in an obvious attempt to allow separation between herself and Socialists in the Party.  Clinton did not have an explanation and instead said: “Well, I can tell you what I am.  I am a progressive Democrat.

Matthews was clearly troubled by Clinton’s lame response then asked Clinton the obvious follow-up question: “How’s that different than a socialist?

Unlike Clinton this Blogger can answer the question.  There is no discernible difference between the modern Democratic Party and Socialism.  In fact, if the historic heroes of the Democratic Party including Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Humphrey were alive today, they would be unwelcome in the Party they helped create.

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