Hard Truths: Stuck Between the Truth and a Hard Place

HardTruths_7_9_15On Name Value
In a move that can only be read as “mild desperation,” former first lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is going to be a bit more visible, and audible, over the next few weeks.

“She’s all on board… America will see more of her…” is how her campaign comms director, Jennifer Palmieri, put it to Fox’s Howard Kurtz.

What’s prompting the heir apparent to abandon her time-tested method of just ignoring all controversies and clamming up until victory is handed to her? Berniemania.

Senator Bernie Sanders, whose socialist values campaign seemed as quixotic and unserious as Perot ’92 just a few weeks ago, is now becoming obnoxious to the Clinton machine. First there were the Facebook graphics which snottily pointed out how Clinton’s voting record is virtually indistinguishable from George W. Bush on nearly every issue that counts with liberal voters. Then there were the mounting scandals, of which she has several and he has none (save the non-troversy of an old essay he wrote in the ‘70s that made some bizarre assertions about women). Then Team Bernie actually showed a knack for raising funds, announcing a $15 million haul just a couple weeks ago. Now the depth charge: Joe Biden is talking about jumping in.

That’s the real problem for Hillary; not the weekend at Bernie’s that fashionable liberalistas are currently enjoying, but crazy Uncle Joe waiting in the blind. Nobody with Bernie Sanders’ voting record will ever sit in the seat of Corporate Partner Commander-in-Chief, but he might siphon off just enough votes to let a challenger, even one as old and demonstrably unequipped for the job as Joe Biden, slide past.

So buckle up, because you’re about to enjoy some soundbites from one of the most charismatic accomplished innovative professional candidates to ever do it.

On Rending One’s Clothes and Shaking a Fist to the Heavens
Lamarcus Aldridge is officially done in Portland. The biggest star the franchise has had since Clyde Drexler, and the most impactful, is taking his talents to Texas and joining up with the San Antonio Spurs. Which is not only sad for Oregon sports, but ridiculous and unfair for fans of any team other than the Spurs, which will probably reel off three or four championships in a row now.

Trail Blazers fans are rightfully heartbroken, and strangely classy about the whole affair. I was expecting way more burning of jerseys and hateful graffiti, but leave it to a town of hipster half-sports fans to react in an emotionally mature manner. Proving once again why Portland deserves no pro sports teams (other than the Timbers, you can have them).

A real city riots when it doesn’t get its way.

On Greeks Bearing Needing Gifts

Greece is broker than my friend’s ’86 Volvo. The only difference is my friend can take his Volvo to a European auto mechanic and get it fixed. Greece, not so much. The Eurozone is preparing to bid adieu to the first member nation of the EU to have to exit as Greece moves inexorably toward bankruptcy.

As you can guess there’s a lot of finger-pointing across the pond right now, with Germany, the resident rock of EU stability, being the presumed savior/executioner of Greece’s financial future. One thing that’s particularly unhelpful is people declaring that it’s just a facet of the Greeks to be bad with money. Not only is this unhelpful, but it opens the door to moronic historical digs, such as the one in this week’s Huffington Post by Christof Asche that attempts to explain that Germany, far from being a financially secure nation, is history’s worst bankruptcy scofflaw, because they’ve gone bankrupt seven times, including historical Prussia.

One has to wonder if the only class in Greece not feeling the pinch right now is creators of online content, who now have unlimited reasons to point out inane and irrelevant factoids in place of actual analysis.

 The Greek debt load is sinking them and austerity is not something the populace is on board for. They’re heading toward bankruptcy. Full stop. How bad the Prussians were at managing their funds 200 years ago is less than pointless, because the Germany of today is the only angel of mercy the Greeks can expect to find. And they probably aren’t interested in a scolding or a history lesson for their trouble.

By Sidney Reilly