November 26, 2014

Wednesday Warren Warning - A triple decker day.


It's been about a month since I've updated some of the Elizabeth Warren news in the regular weekly feature as a result of the focus on the midterms. I thought I'd have some catch-up to do, but there's enough this week to actually bring three recent items to your attention. These three disparate items come together as a thread that is cause for concern, not because of Warren, but rather because of Hillary Clinton.

First item: Liz goes to Israel.
Elizabeth Warren’s trip to Israel and other Middle East countries is likely more an indication of the senator’s fast rise within the Democratic Party than a sign that she is rethinking her political future, longtime Democratic observers of the Massachusetts senator said Monday.

Warren is the lone lawmaker on the trip organized by the State Department and the Senate Banking Committee, of which she is a member.
This is a profile building trip pure and simple and it means at least some powerfully placed Democrats want her to be more visible either as the nominee or as the token opposition to Hillary Clinton.

Second item: Warren Wages War on Wall Street

Getting her grassroots bona fides in place she tears into the Federal Reserve's William Dudley. Libertarian viewers might support Warren on this one, but consider the source. Warren is a purveyor of class warfare pure and simple. If you don't like the Federal Reserve, you still don't need an ally like Warren. She sees a more effective Fed as a more powerful tool to control the big banks. For her, a more effective Fed is a more powerful instrument.

Look how far left she is on Obama's nominee for Treasury nominee. This is particularly revealing on her far left progressivism, and it may explain why she's being set up as the alternative to Hillary Clinton - she'll be really easy to tear down come the primaries. It will allow Hillary to consume vast swaths of the supposed center and give her gleaming coverage in juxtaposition to this:
Less than 48 hours after President Obama nominated Antonio F. Weiss, a longtime adviser on mergers at the investment bank Lazard and a Democratic supporter, to become the under secretary of Treasury for domestic finance, Senator Elizabeth Warren denounced the appointment and said that she would vote against his confirmation.

“Enough is enough,” Senator Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, declared.

She said she was furious that the president would nominate someone from Wall Street. “It’s time for the Obama administration to loosen the hold that Wall Street banks have over economic policy-making,” she wrote on The Huffington Post .

Specifically, she took Mr. Weiss to task for working as an adviser on Burger King’s merger with Tim Hortons, which will result in a combined company based in Canada, which she suggested should disqualify him....

let’s start with Mr. Weiss. He is hardly the prototypical banker...

He has been a staunch supporter — and campaign donation bundler — for President Obama and is considered relatively progressive, especially by Wall Street standards.

Oddly enough, Mr. Weiss is one of the few people within financial circles who might have been friends with Ms. Warren.
Warren's outrage on this issue is a disqualifier for president, even the NYT defend the Tim Horton's Burger King deal as not particularly a tax inversion deal. This is simply anti-business. Her anti-business stance makes her un-electable, and Hillary Clinton that much more electable by comparison. That's really the scary part.

There is nothing going on

If there's anything important going on in American politics right now, I'm not seeing it.

The situation in Ferguson is being treated as a political topic by many. But it's not. It's an investigation into a situation involving local law enforcement even to allow the discussion that this was a racially motivated crime is to make it political. Why? Because the officer followed protocol and his training. Even if it was the action of a racially hostile individual, that is an isolated situation not a reason to indict a system as endemically racist. Does the training need to change to account for different situations? Maybe. That is still not political.

Obama's amnesty power grab? That may be political but right now, nothing meaningful is happening on that front. Speculation? Sure. Angst? Definitely. But movement? Nope. That will happen eventually as both Republicans and Democrats decide how to react to the president's actions and then act on their own. Otherwise, it's just talk. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Discussion is important. Hashing out ideas is a good thing, but it's too early to comment on the direction that has yet to be taken or speculate on which direction ultimately will be taken. It's just too early.

Secretary of State John Kerry telling Russia to ignore Obama's tough talk on Russia? Yeah, they were already doing that.

Chuck Hagel's forced resignation? Nothing to see here. Hagel was a yes man for Obama, just not quite yes-y enough. It's more evidence that the White House has been so insular it can't stomach any opinion not precisely aligned with its own. But we didn't need that evidence and the left still doesn't want to acknowledge it.

I might be sounding disenchanted with politics. Perhaps, but it's not a reflection of how I feel about American politics. It's more about the lack of development. We're in a lull. That's not a bad thing - sometimes it's necessary. In an Obama era, with a lame duck Democratic senate, less is definitely more.

Meanwhile, wait for it. Lulls typically don't last very long.

It's not about facts, it's just about agitation

For these people at least, using the death of a teenager in Ferguson, MO under unfortunate circumstances (largely of his own doing) seems a perfectly reasonable reason to agitate for other political causes. This is sympathetic to neither the family nor the police, and should be seen as disgusting by everyone with an opinion on this situation.
...The protest had many elements of the Occupy Portland movement, which galvanized protesters in the city and formed a network of people who still communicate via mass text message.

As with Occupy, the vast majority of protesters preached peace, but a fringe group of people — some covering their faces with black bandannas — advocated violence and confrontations with police. And like Occupy, the original protest drew a disparate group of people together, not all of whom agreed with one another.

Military veterans called for peace, a communist group called for the overthrow of capitalism, and a group calling for a Palestinian state all held court during a series of speeches on the steps of the state Justice Center in Portland.
Military veterans calling for peace is vague - does it mean in response to this situation or are they complaining about growing U.S. involvement in Iraq? It's unclear, so I'll let that one slide. But communists advocating the overthrow of capitalism? That's an impossible walk from the Ferguson situation but one they are only too happy to pretend isn't. How will overthrowing capitalism do anything for the Ferguson situation? Capitalism is not at fault here. Either a belligerent hooligan is or a racist police officer is. Even if you believe the latter to be true, capitalism does not foster racism any more or less than any other system. Tell me there are no racists in Russia or China or Cuba and I'll laugh at your premise.

Go home communists, you're crazy.

Palestinians? Really? In a country fraught with nationalistic and religious violence you have no moral authority to claim anything about what's going on in one city in America. Secondly, and more importantly, there is ZERO connection between this and the issues related Palestinian statehood. Got that? Zero. Using this as an excuse to get media face time is morally bankrupt. This is not even about solidarity with supposed victims. Why would you require your community to march or protest as an identifiable group rather than as individuals? In order to throw a reminder out there that the Palestinian issue still exists.

Purposely bending an issue not related to your cause to bring attention to your cause is dishonest, and in many cases, like this one it's repugnant in it's disrespect for all parties concerned.

I told you so.

Way, way back in 2008 when I started this blog, one of things that has stuck with me was in speaking with some of my black (African-Canadian?) friends, I recall speaking with them about their views the importance of having an African-American president. They argued it's importance, and I argued what was more important was competence. An ineffectual, ideological president would make matters worse because he would make it that much harder for their to be a second African-American president. I argued supporting a presidential candidate because of is skin color was being blind to the person as an individual and being racist in your voting selection.  A good leader is a good leader regardless of skin color.  Supporting Obama's candidacy because of race, I argued, would set matters back, not move things forward, unless Obama followed up his election with positive results. My argument was that he did not possess the qualities needed to achieve success - namely, experience and a solid understanding of economic fundamentals. That sank in with one of my friends but not the other two.  There are a number of other things I'd add to that list today, such as personal humility as opposed to being a national apologist.

But, and keep in mind this is coming from a likely Repbublican candidate for president, looking back there's been some corroboration of my pre-Obama-era assessment.

Ben Carson says race relations have suffered under this president. It's hard to disagree.
"I actually believe that things were better before this president was elected. And I think that things have gotten worse because of his unusual emphasis [on race]" he stated.

Carson cited Obama's criticism of the police in the Henry Louis Gates incident and his remarks that his son would look like Trayvon Martin and accused the president and other progressives of trying to "manipulate, particularly minority communities to make them feel that they are victims." And that the president "absolutely" plays the race card, but he said the president was attempting not to do so in the aftermath of the grand jury decision regarding Officer Darren Wilson.
This is just one example where Obama has set things back rather than moved them forward when it comes to African American issues, but it's an important one.

November 24, 2014

Foreign policy quick notes

I was never a big fan of Chuck Hagel.  The man the president picked to be his Secretary of Defense, a Republican, has abandon ship Obama. But I don't think I should be surprised he lasted this long.  

And on a related topic, if you think there was no smoke or fire in the Benghazi scandal, you should read this.
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