From Denny: With the 15th year anniversary of McVeigh's heinous crime of domestic terrorism, killing 19 children along with another another 149 adults, President Clinton is speaking out. He gave a number of interviews and the video clips here are from ABC and CNN.
Former President Clinton acknowledges he made his mistakes in office like every new President - aside from his personal life mess. By his own estimation his biggest mistake was not to institute stronger financial regulation of Wall Street. All these years later he recognizes the lack of wisdom on that decision.
However, Clinton did not back up or back down from his stance on the dangers of overheated political rhetoric and its effect upon people who are easily influenced to do violent acts. He counters blowhard conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh's mangled accusation that it is Clinton who "set the stage for violence" with a recent speech on the subject "doesn't make any sense." As usual, it's Limbaugh who doesn't make any sense, running his usual mouth version of the shell game, always moving the truth around so much that people get so confused they can't find it. Read that statement as Limbaugh lies: all over the place and constantly.
Clinton reflected upon the recent health care reform bill passing, saying it made him "feel like Teddy Roosevelt to Obama's FDR." Clinton being Clinton, always thinking about the issues and ever ready to offer his thoughts, he considered the issues facing the current President: Supreme Court nomination to replace retiring 89 year old Justice Stevens, the Middle East peace process and the ever worrisome midterm elections because of a restless America watching their comfortable lifestyles plummet from the rocky economy.
Clinton's' speech about the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing was heavily criticized by Limbaugh. It's no wonder Limbaugh attacked Clinton's admonitions because it is Limbaugh who is behaving anti-American. He is working feverishly to turn American against American. Just how patriotic is that?
What did Clinton advise in that speech that set off the Republican War of Words machine? Clinton warned that "the words we use really do matter, because there's this vast echo chamber, and they go across space and they fall on the serious and delirious alike. They fall on the connected and the unhinged alike." So, the inciting, violent and unhinged started howling at the top of their lungs, screaming it wasn't fair to speak against them.
Clinton clarified his statements yet again to the reading and politically hearing challenged, "The only point I tried to make was that we ought to have a lot of political dissent -- a lot of political argument. Nobody is right all the time. But we also have to take responsibility for the possible consequences of what we say."
He is worried about the constantly increasing death threats against too many member of Congress and President Obama. Clinton is concerned "about more careless language ... some of which we've seen against the Republican governor in New Jersey, Gov. Christie." Talk about depraved and alarming, there is a teacher in New Jersey, writing in a memo, who thought it was funny to joke about Gov. Christie dying. These are the kind of no account jerks you want teaching your kids in public or private schools? It's no wonder we have such a toxic political atmosphere in America.
Clinton believes "we all have to be careful. We ought to remember that after Oklahoma City we learned something about the difference in disagreement and demonization."
Another revelation from Clinton about the financial sector is how badly he was advised by Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers. Clinton laments he ever listened to them. They actually told him to not regulate derivatives, basically a fast and loose gambler's market of supposedly complex financial instruments. Read that as Wall Street found an easy way to steal and do it legally, without accountability, regulation restraints or retribution.
"On derivatives, yeah, I think they were wrong and I think I was wrong to take [their advice]," Clinton said, "because the argument on derivatives was that these things are expensive and sophisticated and only a handful of investors will buy them, and they don't need any extra protection and any extra transparency. The money they're putting up guarantees them transparency.
"The flaw in that argument," Clinton added, "was that first of all sometimes people with a lot of money make stupid decisions and make it without transparency."
Clinton also acknowledges his thinking was wrong about how the economy would be affected if the derivative market collapsed.
"The most important flaw," he said, "was even if less than 1 percent of the total investment community is involved in derivative exchanges, so much money was involved that if they went bad, they could affect 100 percent of the investments, and indeed 100 percent of the citizens in countries, not investors. And I was wrong about that."
In retrospect, Clinton would have liked to at least try to regulate derivatives during his tenure. As to his success at taming the financial sector in this area, he doubts it would ever have become law since the Republicans had a stranglehold on Congress.
"Now, I think if I had tried to regulate them, because the Republicans were the majority in the Congress, they would have stopped it," he said. "But I wish I should have been caught trying. I mean, that was a mistake I made."
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