BREAKING NEWS: Is Hillary Clinton Just More Of The Same Old Pay To Play Politics?

by Gene Howington

There are many Clinton supporters who tout her as a bonafide progressive bent on reform that will/should benefit all citizens and not just the usual host of monied interests. Despite this, she has been fighting off both scandals from her past and an emergent challenger in Senator Bernie Sanders whose bonafides are beyond reproach as he draws ever growing numbers to his rally events and in many cases dwarfing Clinton’s own events in the same area.

There is no problem identifying part of the problem the corrupting influence of money has on politics. The “revolving door” between the financial industry and government service is well recognized, often putting industry insiders in charge of regulating business that they rapidly return to once leaving office and their marked proclivity for lax regulation and enforcement when it impacts their business interests. This is a problem most if not all politically active adult Americans realizes is serious and contributes largely to the perception of and actual dysfunction of government as an exercise in representative democracy.

Many Clinton detractors point to her long immersion in this culture as a willing and contributory player as an indicator that her progressive credentials are overblown at best and a complete fraud at worst. DISCLOSURE: This author has personally stated on many occasions that HRC is simply “more of the same”. However, evidence keeps mounting that this position may not be wrong.

Ben Jacobs at The Guardian is reporting that two top officials in HRC’s campaign are beneficiaries of the revolving door. As Jacobs describes:

Tom Nides and Robert Hormats, have shuttled between government and Wall Street for years. Nides, who is frequently described as a Clinton confidant, is a longtime Morgan Stanley executive who served as deputy secretary of state for management and resources from 2011 to 2013 before returning to Morgan Stanley. Nides is also the former chairman of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (Sifma), the main lobbying group for Wall Street in Washington DC.

Hormats, a former vice-chairman of Goldman Sachs, served as under secretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment from 2009 to 2013. He is currently vice-chairman of Kissinger Associates, the consulting firm founded by the former secretary of state Henry Kissinger.

[. . . ]

Both Nides and Hormats have a strong history of taking pro-business stances on financial regulation and other issues near and dear to progressives. While at Morgan Stanley, which received a federal bailout, Nides pushed for the Obama administration to “find the right balance” in avoiding criticism of Wall Street in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He also played an important role in the Bill Clinton administration lobbying members of Congress to vote for Nafta in 1993.

Hormats, who has been described as Clinton’s “economic guru”, boasted of the Clinton State Department’s support of the business community in a 2013 interview. He is also on the record being supportive of partial privatization of social security. Hormats also touted the benefits of “widescale deregulation” in the 1990s and strongly supported increased trade with China.

Nides, in particular, has played a major role in Clinton’s current campaign. He has been one of the campaign’s top bundlers of contributions and responsible for raising over $100,000 for the former secretary of state. He has been tipped as a future White House chief of staff in a Clinton administration. Further, employees of Morgan Stanley, where Nides serves as vice-chairman, have given Clinton over $90,000 in the past quarter. This is more than every Republican candidate combined has received from the firm.

To say this puts HRC’s progressive credentials at risk is an understatement.  In the column, Neil Sroka (spokesman for the progressive advocacy group Democracy for America) noted, “It’s hard to imagine how a presidential candidate is going to seriously confront the powerful, greed-driven interests on Wall Street when they’re taking advice and staffing cabinet posts with people who just clocked out of the same big banks and investment firms that made bundles from wrecking our economy.” Furthermore, Clinton herself has remained silent on the revolving door issue in contrast to both Senator Sanders – a long time critic of the Wall Street to Washington to Wall Street dynamic – and former Maryland Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate Martin O’Malley have strong positions on the issue. O’Malley having gone so far as to propose a three-year waiting period before government officials at agencies that regulate the financial sector can take jobs in the industry.

Is Clinton a force for change? Or is she just more of the same? What do you think?

About Gene Howington

I write and do other stuff.
This entry was posted in Breaking News, Democracy, DNC, Economic Policy, Equal Rights, Hypocrisy, Presidential Elections, Progressives, Wall Street and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

53 Responses to BREAKING NEWS: Is Hillary Clinton Just More Of The Same Old Pay To Play Politics?

  1. randyjet says:

    There is no question that Clinton is tied to Wall Street and the banks and will do their bidding on many areas. I supported Clinton when she was running against Obama because she was more to the left than Obama, who I saw as simply a black corporate attorney and conservative on many issues and well to the right of Clinton. The real question for me is the one will she put the national interest above that of her clients? Obama has not done that, and it was not a surprise to me. Clinton in her campaign diverged from the corporate interests while Obama did not. Then there is the question, is there enough difference between Clinton and whoever the GOP nominates to justify voting for her and giving money to her campaign? Judging from what I can see from the GOP that is a no brainer.

  2. Aridog says:

    Hillary Clinton is worse than more of the same. Again a Cllnton has gone from “there’s no evidence” to “I didn’t do it” when the equivalent of “the blue dress” pops up. This time it is far more serious than a daliance in the Oval Office closet with a waif. First she printed out some 58,000 pages of her emails, carefuly eited I am sure, solely to mke it very hard for the auditors to read, and second to hide any digital modifiction, source or classifiction categories. A CD or DVD would have ben the normal manner to transmit such information…and I’ve done it a few times when audited by DOD.

    I receive official federal government emails monthly and they ALL have a “classifiation” category anotated in brakets in the subject line..ALL of them. If makrked “classified, they require an additonal encrytpion key to read, which someone’s role & permission level is supposed to determine. Did she mean “no classified” information that YOU can read? Even when there is a personal coment leading a message string, the classification notice remains in the orignal mesage. This began roughly in 2004-5 and she didn’t take the Dec of State job until 2008..e.g., every government email she received had it and its pretty hard to believe in her job none had the classification notice.

    I was a registered Democrat until 2004 when the Dem Party started promoting fops and clowns, beginning with John F Kerry of “Winter Soldier” fame who perjured himself by cited 3rd and 4th hand “stories” from 100 out of 2,5 milion veterans as first hand accounts (“I have the hat”) more or less. I assure you I wantonly kiled no women and children, nor was there any official policy to do so. I cannot begin to exlain my dismay at the Dem Party today. If Hillary is the best they have, I am cumbfounded..but not surprised as things have unfolded. Hillary lies and when caught lies again…ths time say 4 out of 40 is isignificant…what happened to the “no eivdence” claim?

    Finally her implication she’s not for big money is ludicrous considering she & her husbands’s accumulation of milions upon millions from the very people she cites, both domestic and foreign….now allegedly “managed” by her daughter. Her chocses of advisors also makes this laughable…not to mention her outright arrogance in hiring, via the “foundation” (whihc reportedly only gives 15% of donations to any or trans-national welfare?) a man the POTUS forebade her to hire for government work….another “money guy.”

    I mean, please, just …please. There just must be one Democrat somewhere more qualified. The current opposition Dem’s don’t make that cut. When Bernie Sanders makes more sense than the “anointed one” you have to ask that question. Where does she acquire this leverage?

    • randyjet says:

      It is impossible to “perjure” oneself by citing others unless you falsify their testimony. The FACT is that in all wars atrocities are committed, and in guerilla warfare the US has committed more than its fair share. The US embarked on a policy of genocide in Vietnam and prior to that the Philippines insurrection. Both had as the aim the subjugation of a whole people to the US interests. I belive Ari when he says that he did not do anything contrary to the rules of warfare, but no ratioinal person believes that My Lai was the ONLY case. As Kerry explicitly stated, HE was in fact guilty of a war crime by carrying out orders to establish a free fire zone. The US Army has purged its history of such a thing by refusing to even mention it in their history.

      The one good thing about Vietnam was that it proved that US GIs make lousy Nazis since the majority of them did not act as brutes and beasts. It also contributed to the destruction of the US Army when troops would not follow such orders. I have talked to many Vietnam vets and there are an equal number of stories about GIs NOT following orders in order to save innocents. As has been previously noted, the mass murder at My Lia was halted by a W/O who put his butt on the line to stop it. The US Army hated him for it, and did everything they could to cover it up, but thanks to a reporter, it was forced out., but the corrupt officers who did this continued their successful careers. That does not show me or any rational person that the other mass murders that went on were stopped or reported.

  3. James Knauer says:

    It hardly matters. Any Democrat begins the race with a huge electoral advantage the GOP has done nothing to repair, but has instead made worse. There is deep schism on the right between establishment and base, and establishment keeps losing national elections. Add Trump, and the GOP is distracted by its own crapulence. In May 2012, Wang/Silver released their electoral college models, and Romney never led in either model. It was never close. The demographics of 2016 are even less favorable to Republicans. In May 2016, it will be clear another lemon election is in the offing. Will the GOP continue on auto-pilot? Brokered convention? Third party? Trump Aaagh! Destroy?

    HRC will be whatever she wants to be, unmolested, even from the left. $2B+ will exchange hands to know what is already known. It may take several such beat-downs of the GOP for it to realize abdication from governing is not a workable policy, and governing means everyone. What is interesting is her xp as former FLOTUS, Senator, and SoS would be considered a leadership path to POTUS, at least on paper. Some people continue to be driven quite mad simply at the mention of her last name, deeply frustrated by the inability for any scandal to seriously stick.

    The Republic suffers meantime from the inability to have a balanced debate on any subject. HRC is the automatic bastion against Republican theocratic oligarchy. She doesn’t need to govern. Governing is soooooooo 20th century, in any case. In practice, however, it’s only slightly less nightmarish than the Democrat rudderless kleptocracy.

    Full disclosure: I remain Decidered. This means even though I haven’t made up my mind, I live in WA State and it glows blue at night.

  4. bron98 says:

    Typical socialism same old story over and over again. The rich get richer and the middle-class get screwed.

  5. bron98 says:

    Although I guess you could call it fascism but it’s all pretty much the same so why not just call a pig a pig and not worry if it is a domesticated Hampshire or a ferrel pig.

  6. Because socialism and fascism are nothing alike in practice, B., no matter how many times you try to make that false equivalence. Besides, what is going on there is clearly corporatism which is simply a sub-form of fascism. It isn’t socialism of any form.

  7. bron98 says:

    So now we have the choice on the Democratic side of either the domesticated pig or the Wildhog, that’s such a great choice.

  8. No. You have the choice between what appears to be more fascism or a democratic socialist. Not even in the same genus as far as political ideologies go.

  9. bron98 says:

    Gene:

    They are so close that it’s really not even worth the effort to distinguish between the two. One has control of the means of production by the state and the other is the regulation Of the means of production by the state. Either way the state controls the economy and therefore the people. So it really doesn’t matter the little nuances.

  10. No. You are confusing a command economy with a directed economy.

    And the difference between democratic socialism works by steering parts of the economy to the betterment of all in the demos. The corporatist flavor of fascism steers the economy for the benefit of an oligarchical class comprised of industrialists and career pols. The former works for the people to raise the quality of everyone’s life (the principle that a rising tide raises all ship), the later works on the people as a tool of oppression (screw the needs of the people so long as those at the top make a profit). Two entirely different forms of governance despite having a common feature of a directed economy. Economic models are a toolbox, B. With the exception of a command economy and its polar opposite of a laissez-faire economy (which naturally results in economic tyranny by order of operation), what you do with the tools matters as much if not more than the tool itself. The salient difference is a democratic form over an oligarchical form.

    So they are quite different despite your protestations to the contrary.

    Feel free to continue to misunderstand basic concepts all you like.

    It provides teachable moments.

  11. Aridog says:

    randyjet … pretty good dodge there…but with merits none-the-less 🙂

    It is impossible to “perjure” oneself by citing others unless you falsify their testimony.

    I am saying flat out that he did so. Then there’s the matter of his 3 purple hearts earned without a day in the field dispensary, which got him an early rotation to CONUS from RVN, and then a 180 day early out from the Navy (when the DOD rules of the day were minimum 151 days remaining) that he cited running for Congress as his reason. Kerry’s silver star was based upon NO eyewitness observance, just presumption of his killing a wounded enemy. I’d have given him the award for his rescue of the SF soldier in the river instad…he did risk his lif e and that of his crew doing that…but he did save a life.

    As has been previously noted, the mass murder at My Lia was halted by a W/O who put his butt on the line to stop it

    That notation was likely by me, as I’ve cited WO Hugh Thomson Jr. (no relation…common name) recently several times. There were far far more of us who were “bad Nazis” as you say than otherwise and we dispised the man who inferred we were not, using embellished 2nd and 3rd hand war stories, and that it was both our nature and policy that made us do it. I do apprecaite the fact you said we made “bad Nazis” because it is true. In your readings did you notice my remeniscince of stacking our rifles (with one man guarding the stack) and playing basse ball with some kids who had nothing but a broom handle and a ragedy tennis ball? Then finding a guy with PX acess to buy us gloves, bats and balls to give to those kids when we found them again? THAT was and is the American Soldier and Marine and perfectly in the spirit of LTG Victor Krulak’s concepts of how to assimilate with local civilains. MAC-V didn’t like him either. We’d rather play than fight if given the choice…and there are dozens of photos illustrating that simple character trait. Soldiers and Marines fight when they have to do so and others are trying had to kill them, more for political reasons than anything else. The NLF & PAVN were (and perhaps the PAVN still are) equal opportunity murderers and equating them with our troops is atrocious.

    Kerry “threw away his medals” eh?…no he did not, he threw some ribbons from another rman or source over a wall in a fake protest. He has his awarded medals to this day. He’s a born liar and if his lips are moving, other than to let his snake toungue swipe the air, he is lying. Recent news hasn’t changed that feature one bit. MAC-V disliked anything that shone badly on them, and many of us disliked their policies as directed by Robert “Blowtorch Bob” Komer from the White House (worst was the “Stategic Hamlet” program, a rounding up of civilians, demolishing their village structures, not murdering the civilians, but futile culturally in S.E. Asia) or Nixon’s crew later, but they never promoted an outright civilian murderous policy per se…free fire zone, to the Soldier or Marine in the field, meant an area where you could be shot at at any time thus were free to fire at any time. It was a “comand” designation. I assure you wee LT JG Kerry did not establish such a zone…well beyond his pay grade….but something Oliver Stone might have dreamed up for his BS movie “Platoon.” Yes, there were other incidents, but nothng near the volume asserted by then self-agrandizing Kerry, who asserted it was official policy & procedure….who failing in his first run for Congress went on the embellish his “war record” by besmirching others.

    BTW…”Free Fire” Zones exist to this day in various locales. If you want to know one or more of them, just ask around….start with the Han Estuary above the Northern Limit Line in Korea for starters. Anyone moving around there at night, after the curfew, is shot on sight. They are not “war crimes” and never have been. I did move through that zone at night and I assure you I had my black out lights well lit and a small flag flying from my radio antenna. In the ROK case, they are infiltration sites and those moving through them in the dark otherwise are out to kill you. Best to kill them first…you can discuss in the morning.

    Once again, let me thank you for asserting we made bad Nazis…becasue we did.

    • randyjet says:

      Ari I saw much of the Winter Soldier hearings, and saw Kerry’s testimony before Congress, and he did not lie about what was said there. I am also bothered by your denigration of any vets purple heart, it smacks of the GOP convention band aids with purple hearts on them. As you should know, an inch one way or another is the difference between a scratch and a mortal wound. I am also reminded of Bob Dole who joked about how he got his first self inflicted purple heart. He threw a grenade, and it hit a tree and bounced back and the shrapnel caught him causing a non-life threatening wound. As for his service, one of my heroes is Col. David Hackworth, who had nine purple hearts, who is no stranger to hard combat, and after he took a ride on a swift boat mission, decided it was too easy to get killed doing that, and it was his first and last one. The way Kerry got the Silver Star was that he had decided on a new tactic to deal with an ambush, and charged the point of fire. The reason he had to go after the VC was that the bow was on the bank and the boat guns could not depress enough to fire. The whole boat got to see that one. I think you should read the book Tour of Duty before you accept the lies told by the Swift Boaters. By the way, I got to talk to some real swift boaters since I was with the Kerry campaign in Houston and all the drivers for the motorcade were all Vietnam vets with the exception of me. One of them was the captain who took over Kerry’s boat, but he never met him while in country.

      As for his character, I DO know for a fact that he has saved at least two lives, one was the SF captain in Vietnam, and the other was a GOP Senator from NV, who stumbled out of a GOP breakfast in the Capital choking. Kerry just stepped out of the elevator, saw what was happening, and while others were watching the scene, performed the Heimlich maneuver and cleared his airway. The Sen. daughters all worked on Kerry’s campaign by the way. I haven’t saved anybody’s life so far, nor have I killed anybody. I will be quite happy to die without doing the latter.

      The free fire zones in Vietnam of course were not decided by Kerry, he just followed his orders in creating them. That involved evacuating all the inhabitants of a village, burning the houses, and all other buildings, food stores, and killing all livestock that could not be taken with them. After clearing all the villagers, any person or animal within that area was shot on sight. THAT is a war crime. In fact, Milosevic was put on trial for doing that in his own country, not going 10,0000 miles to a foreign nation.

      As you should know there were many My Lais in Vietnam, and many GIs I talked to liked what the ROK Marines would do to the natives. They shot them all. If you go to any Vietnam vet gathering, you will see banners that have the slogan that say KILL THEM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT! That is not exactly a kind and gentle idea winning the hearts and minds of the people. So please spare us the tears about how ALL GIs and the US government was not as bloody as our opponents.. The ARVN had a nasty habit of murdering POWs who were officers in the NVA or VC. McCain had Hilton accommodations compared to the “tiger cages” the ARVN had for their prisoners. A friend of mine was a Marine Corps interrogator who participated in torturing POWs I always wondered why he spoke fluent Vietnamese and wrote poetry in it. Then I found out what his job was, then it made sense.

      The ordinary GI of the draft US Army had the same character of most Americans. We tend to be open, and friendly and have a desire to do good. So most GIs took that into the Army with them, and did not become brutes. One friend of mine’s unit was ordered to take part in the invasion of Cambodia. They got together and decided that since Cambodia was not on their orders, they would stay in Vietnam, so they did not mount up. They stayed, and then most of the troops were transferred out to other units after that. My uncle, a career Col., only turned against the Vietnam War when it became obvious that war was destroying the one thing he loved most, the US Army. This would never have happened in any other army in the world. That is why the Army insists that US troops be handled by US officers only. Americans are a feisty lot in or out of uniform.

  12. James,

    We are going to have to disagree on one thing: I think her “experience” as FLOTUS is meaningless other than to illustrate her enurement to the “Washington Establishment”. Her track record as Secretary of State, her campaign fundraising efforts and now her continued use of the revolving door only solidifies that to my eye she remains more of the same. FLOTUS is an honorific with no actual power whatsoever. She got good at dressing up for photo ops and opining as First Lady, but her actual control and/or influence in that position was minimal if not non-existent. It qualifies her as FLOTUS but nothing else.

  13. Aridog says:

    Gene … please be careful…you may wind up convincing me Bernie is better than Hillary…which I am already inclined to believe…and I am a social liberal but fiscal conservative otherwise. I vote Republican today with the “plunking” (you can vote a straight ticket and still vote for opposition candiates as you see fit) as allowed in Michigan. For example, while he was my representative (until 2010 census), I voted for John Conyers Jr becasue he was s true “representative’ of you, regardles of your party or color. Hard to believe I know…but true. I have direct personal experience with the man, disagree with him on almost all points, but this one. He came to my assistance, personally, when needed and I am grateful…funny how few understand that anomoly of mine.

    • Aridog,
      I’ve had some dealings with pols at various levels of government over the years. Your tale doesn’t surprise me. Some have been very helpful despite any differences we might have, others not so much and even one (who shall remain nameless as they are no longer in office) who was a sociopath by any diagnostic criteria. While politics as a profession does appeal to a certain personality type, there is quite a bit of range of behavior within that type. They are like any other group of people. Some are good, some are just decent, some are not and a few of them are outright evil. That is why I think engineering systems to minimize or eliminate the damage bad actors can do within the system is so important. History teaches us that a few evil men can steer a nation to ruin easier than a few good men can save one.

      I think Bernie is one of the truly good guys. Can he undo the ruinous harm wrought by years of bad actors? Maybe. Maybe not. But I think he is one of our last best hopes before the damage is irreversable. The time to that threshold is short if not already past.

      It is funny what you say about social liberalism and fiscal conservatism. It is precisely that stance that led me to see democratic socialism as a fix for the laissez-faire damage and bent toward oligarchy harms done to the vast majority of American society in earnest since the days of Reagan.

      • James Knauer says:

        Gene, what the FLOTUS xp does grant her is near 100% name recognition, which means there no news there. The nine-act opera known as “benghazi hearings” is an attempt to generate that news because absent some sort of upending scandal, the Republicans well know they face electoral disaster next year. Both Clintons have been on the stage so long that their “ethical lapses” are merely assumed at this point. Of COURSE the server was illegal. No proof of that or anything is required. They are The Clintons. And that means trouble. (cue the River City bit from Music Man).

        What bothers me about HRC is the same thing that bothered me in 2008: for whom is she campaigning, and why? What is the There, There? She lost the caucus vote battle to Obama because those votes were in play to begin with, and she didn’t see it. Blind spot. Iraq vote? Didn’t see it. Benghazi? Didn’t see the GOP would use it claw and nail so she didn’t use her powers to diffuse it EARLY. She didn’t see it. Bothering to address the House Subcommittee on Kabuki Theatre a SECOND time? Really dumb and she doesn’t see it. And now she doesn’t see Bernie coming. He’s serious business because he’s, you know, not only articulating policy, but which so far gains enthusiastic support among his primary base. I don’t think she sees that her attachment to Bill is still and will ever be a laughingstock. From day one. Again. I think she may even accept some of these things rationally. But there’s nothing under the political veneer that I have seen . She eerily reminds me of Romney in that regard.

        Such musings evaporate when the choice comes between her and Jeb, and that’s much more to do with SCOTUS appointments. Just like the hatred for Obama, HRC’s political enemies will not let her govern in any meaningful way beyond that. We’re headed into very bumpy times on the GOP side as the schism deepens. Like, by the hour! Oy vey, Donald Trump!

        Jeb will have it far worse. He will have to answer for W, who did a wee bit more than diddle on the nice carpeting. Not seeing the “smart brother” so far, either.

      • Gene Howington, you are way off base.

  14. pete says:

    Aridog

    Too many people go to Washington and begin believing they are international players on a national stage. They forget they were sent to “represent” the people in their home district. Eric Cantor Syndrome* maybe? Many people in the military have found how useful or useless their Representatives are.

    * Type in Eric Cantor Syndrome into wikipedia and it says no page exists. This is the first of the search results.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraphilic_infantilism

    aka David Vitter Syndrome

  15. Anonymously nYours says:

    On an Airbus to Amsterdam. Will follow when I can. Take care.

  16. Aridog says:

    Gene … like I said you are going to screw me up. You are an evil man! 😀

  17. James,

    Reasonable enough. I just don’t think name recognition is a job qualification. Is it an asset? Most assuredly.

    In re: Jeb – I think I have a better chance of becoming President and I’m not even running. I’m fairly certain the Bush name is a curse now that cannot be removed thanks to his brother. That, and while HRC leans toward partial privatization of Medicare, Bush is for eliminating it. That may play well to the Baggers, but to the older voters who need it to survive probably not so much.

    In re: Trump. Speaking of name recognition, he’s got plenty, but you have to ask what for? He’s essentially a clown who parlays his name and ability to say outrageously stupid things into a media presence, but anyone with any business acumen realizes that his money is 1) accumulated through smoke and mirrors (why he’s not in prison for fraud is not a mystery but it is amazing) and 2) he built it the old fashioned way – off of inherited wealth. If he hadn’t been born rich, he’d be a mid-level confidence man of some sort. He won’t withstand the scrutiny of the general no matter if he runs GOP or third party. The only there there in his case is his fevered ego and that poor marmoset enslaved as his hair piece. Anyone with any political acumen realizes he’s practically an open invitation to war (as are some of the other more unhinged GOP runners at the moment). Possibly a real, real bad war (read: nuclear, biological and/or chemical). I don’t want that man anywhere near governing foreign policy let alone controlling the military or WMDs. I don’t think I’ll be alone in that assessment by the time of the general election. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone on that point now.

    Aridog,

    I may have evil skills but I only use them for good. One must understand evil to conquer it.
    muahahahaMuaHaHaHaMUAHAHAHA*cough*weeze*cough* (reaches for Benedryl)
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😀

  18. pete says:

    A Y

    The hookers and hash tour?

  19. mespo727272 says:

    Until government officials are motivated by public good rather than their own good there is no reason to expect change.

  20. In order to run for President, one needs a gigantic ego and supreme self-confidence. Ability and ethics have become secondary. Elections have become a contest of personality, plus skill and means to shake off and survive the most scurrilous attacks by one’s opponent.

    The most skillful panderer is often the one who wins elections, all the way from the local school board to the Oval Office.

    The only bright light I see on the horizon is Senator Bernie Sanders. Better than anything the Republican Clown Car and billionaire class has to offer. If he does not get the nomination, then my decision is going to be based on who will appoint either the best, or least worst, to fill the next vacancy on the SCOTUS.

  21. Hillary Clinton is more of the same, too connected to the interests of big money. Besides that, I still have Clinton Fatigue from the first go-round. Whether or not her FLOTUS experience is germane (I think it is not), imagine Bill back in the White House.

    While I would vote for her over any Republican, Bernie Sanders is my preference at this point.

  22. I see that Bernie Sanders has undertaken a fifty state strategy. Or drilling down even deeper, a 176,000 precinct strategy. He and his surrogates are appearing in heretofore unlikely places. There is a huge push in Appalachia, which has voted consistently against their own interests due to fear mongering and lies. His campaign is beginning to bring truth to that segment of the electorate. Even more important, in ways the average minimally informed voter can understand. Daily Kos user Crashing Vor, a musician from New Orleans, just reported on attending a rally with five thousand enthusiastic fellow Louisianans.
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/07/27/1406007/-Louisiana-What-For

    This is a movement which is blindsiding the mainstream (or lamestream) media. They don’t quite know what to do about Bernie.

    It is more than significant that MSNBC has started making moves to the right in their programming lineup. Former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks has pulled the curtain back on that. Obviously, the network is privately owned, and since the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, can do what they please about trying to sell the line their Corporate Masters tell them to. That makes them just another propaganda outlet version of Fox News, albeit less overt in their dishonesty.

    • Chuck Stanley and Gene Howington, democrats, republicans, liberals, conservatives-different labels, same basic agenda. That of running the lives of the U.S. citizens. Libertarianism is the only truly logical philosophy to abide by.

  23. bettykath says:

    re: FLOTUS. Do you really believe that Hillary wasn’t involved in various discussions and decisions by POTUS? It might not have been an out-in-front level of participation but most assuredly, it took place.

    I haven’t voted for a Rep or Dem in decades, but one, a Rep for county clerk who is very well qualified for the job and doesn’t involve herself in partisan b.s. I’m not interested in another choice of Clinton v Bush. Sanders v. Trump, now that would be a match. I see Jill Stein is again campaigning.

  24. “Do you really believe that Hillary wasn’t involved in various discussions and decisions by POTUS?”

    Sure I do. I also think Jane was involved in various discussions and decisions had and made by Stephen Hawking. That does not make her a holder of the Lucasian Chair in Mathematics at Cambridge let alone an astrophysicist. Conversely gender-wise, I think Sir Denis was involved in various discussions and decisions had and made by Margaret Thatcher, but that didn’t make him Prime Minister either. One is not their partner. Well. I suppose you could argue Trump is his own partner but being an onanistic narcissist is kind of a special case.

  25. Aridog says:

    Mrs. Clinton is following the well worn Clinton pattern of denial. First, “there’s no evidence”…then when some evidence appers, it’s “that informaiton wasn’t classified when I saw it, etc.” amd soon enough it will be just “I didn’t do it” when more evidence appears….when the equivalent of the “blue dress” shows up, she will profess regret and confusion….a duman faling, of course. It has been me ntioned on a a couple of news outlets, from Fox to Al Jazeera-America that he copies might not have had the de rigueur (since 2004-5) “classification” annotaiton in the subject line…which can happen if the copy she received was a “forward” from a staff person…however the original message forwarded would have had it so to base denial on the forarding mesage is spurious.

    When I receive offical DOD emails by forwarding it is always with the instruction to read the string from the “bottom up.” That makes missing the annotation nearly impossible other than by intent.

    Do I think this is a big deal? No…not really, it is what I expected. Mrs. Clinton is not the only federal senior executive to use this ploy. I dealt with it fairly often on matters of law breaking (usually misappropriation of funds) when I challenged the statements made to me (outright lies)…and I successfully stopped the law breaking 3 times…but the last one put a target on my back for my audacity….since in that case I was unable to cloak my identity and location. Yes, I do have a a sock puppet ISP and nickname…but it has only been used for the purpose of whistleblowing. The cretins took aim at my best subordinate, however, as a means to punish me and I dealt with that by retiring early to protect her…e.g. force them to promote her to my Chief’s position, like it or not….in short catching the senior folks in their own web.

    Or biggest problem in the USG today is the geometric growth of senior executives (SES+) who usualy have little experience in the fields they purportedly oversee. Soonn we have more rule & regulation writerss than civil servants who actually provide services….and it was done under Bush43 as well as by Obama & crew today. Example #1: The case of “Bunny” Greenhouse versus Cheney & Rumsfeld. Example #2: We now have more Admirals than the Navy has ships of any kind….when the ax falls in a RIFF the SES’rs atre the last to go, if ever…witness the Army’s reductions of late.

    Regretably I doubt we can again produce a leader in the WH who will make the necessry cuts because ALL of the SES+ posiitons are political and appointed (at will employees) who protect their empires by the skeletons they have in the closet on others….other wise they can and should be fired at will. Lois Lerner is a prime example of this phenomena. These days I find even mentioning this craziness is a waste of time, mine and yours. This may be the last time I cite it.

  26. Aridog says:

    Clarification: By “direct forarding” I mean of the whole message with commentary. If it is provided as an attachment, then the classification remains in the subject line of the attachment.

  27. Aridog says:

    Gene … I am socially liberal becasue I have compassion, and fiscally conservative because I do not believe we can or should spend more than we take in or earn. Somehow we must find a balance and I don’t believe socialism is the cure. We perpetually find “reasons” to over spend, in the name of compassion, and this must end or we will be the new Greece. Those we seek to help or assist will be far better off if be don’t go broke. Again, witness Greece.

    • Greece is a problem caused by mismanagement, not form. Socialism when properly managed offers efficiencies that do not appear in for profit models of service provison. For example, health-care insurance. Under the risk pool model of insurance, you maximize patient spending by removing the profit motive while gaining cost efficiencies through making the pool as large as possible. There is no larger pool than “everyone”. No this option does not kill the for profit health care insurance market but it would limit it to Cadillac plans and perhaps supplements like dental and vision.

      Economics is a tool box of models. Not all tools do all jobs with maximum efficiency. What gets socialized and why matters. Socialized markets make sense for some channels of service provision but certainly not all. That is why the successful socialist models in the world are blended economies and not command economies. Command economies, like their polar opposite lassez-faire economies, do not work in practice. One stagnates and discounts human nature while the other encourages economic tyranny and caters to greed and exploitation.

      The balance between is by definition some form of socialism. What form and to what degree becomes the question.

      • Gene Howington, your views are misguided.

        • That’s your opinion and you’re entitled to it. Hell, you’re even entitled to express it. However, my opinion is now that I know you think Austrian school economics is a good idea let alone actual economic theory instead of realizing its a crass rationalization for greed and has no scientific basis whatsoever? I’m not going to worry about your opinion of my views. Really, you might as well have just said you were a Scientologist if you wanted me to take you less seriously. Don’t get me wrong. I’m sure you’re a lovely person. But in these matters I’ll follow my own counsel and that of those who don’t dabble in outcome determinism.

          • Gene Howington, democrats’ economic policies are disastrous for what some people call middle class families and the poor.

          • Did I say I favored one party and their policies over another? No. I did not. Do not assume because I am neither Republican nor conservative that I am a Democrat. I’m something far more complicated than that.

  28. By comparison to Greece, look at the health care provided in France. One of the best health care systems in the world. I remember a regular writer on Daily Kos who is an international banker in Paris. Holds a PhD in finance. His child suffered from cancer. He wrote that doctor visits and treatment typically ran about the equivalent of $4.00USD.

    When Ben Franklin came up with the idea of insurance, he knew the only way it could work would be to make the insurance pool as large as possible. The model we ended up with in the USA has two major flaws. First of all, insurance companies (before ACA) did everything they could to weed out those who might actually need insurance; i.e., sick people. Second, “managed care” is nothing more than a code word for rationing services.

    I once went to work for a mental health center whose insurance plan would pay for chemotherapy drugs, as long as it was not orally administered chemo. IIRC, at that time, the chemo drug of choice for both prevention and treatment of breast cancer was Tamoxifen, administered orally.

    In a big company meeting I came close to getting in trouble, but if you know me, I could have cared less. I stood up in the meeting and asked the CEO why the corporation hated women, since the insurance plan covered all the chemo drugs men might need, but denied the one drug needed most by women.

    There was a collective gasp from those present, and I have never seen a man’s face turn so many different colors in such a short span of time. Not too long after that, Tamoxifen was added to the insurance formulary.

  29. randyjet says:

    Ari By the way, I too got a 180 day early out from the USAF about the same time The reason was that the Air Force was running short of funds, and they wanted to let out the higher paid ranks, I was a Sgt, who were not going to re-enlist. So Kerry getting out with that time is NOT unusual, and it is a FAR cry from W BUSH getting out of TWO YEARS of his service in the ANG.

  30. Aridog says:

    There is no point in us continuing randyjet. You are speaking in 2nd & 3rd hand terms,, while I am not. And, yes, I was quite familiar with the 2 Bde ROK Marines…aka the Blue Dragons. They were nothing like most of us, although feared by the NLF and the PAVN. Their thinking was to fight fire with fire, so to speak…e.g., treat the NLF and PAVN as they treated their own people. Spend some time with some ROK’s and you will learn that their moral debate is whether to kill at all, not how or by what means.

    I will agree that the Vietnam War destroyed the US Army for a long time during and after. The “free fire” method you describe was that proscribed by Robert Komer of LBJ’s White House and subsequently head of CORDS before Colby…nothing field Army personnel dreamed up. It was adjunct to his “Strategic Hamlets” program….something that could never work in a nation where home and ancestor reverence was paramount. Komer was never there in uniform either….nor did he hold military rank. Your uncle was right, the Army was being wrecked by bureaucrats, while Kerry casually blamed the wrong people.

  31. Aridog says:

    One last thing randyjet … do you have a verifiable citation for Kerry’s on the ground participation personally in establishing free fire zones? I doubt it as he was a boat commander not a grunt.

  32. Aridog says:

    randyjet … No hard feelings. Please understand I don’t like talking about the era and period cited, and my experiences in it. it prompts anger in me when the Marine or Solider is blamed for what they did not espouse, and that anger level is untoward, especially in a place like this one.

    PS: If you got a 180 day early out, I believe you….perhaps the Navy and USAF had different rules…the rule for Army was 150 days or less or no out. Plenty of Army reception centers at basic training bases were populated by the unlucky 151’s. I extended twice so it was of no concern for me. I left also as an NCO when I saw the Army cutting combat and ordnance forces and retaining administration types…also to purportedly save money. Seemed backwards to me then and now.

    • randyjet says:

      Thank you Ari, no apologies are needed since I too get emotional about the subject of the Vietnam War since I willingly joined the Air Force because I believed the propoganda and US government. I understand your anger about Kerry’s testimony, but the greater point he was making was that as I found out by doing extensive reading Fall and others, the war was wrong, and we were not the good guys. I fully agree that it was not the average GI who was responsible for the war and its atrocities. That is the problem with too many on the ‘left” is that they confuse and conflate ALL GIs with the horrors that were dictated from on high. Thus they fall into the trap of blaming the GIs for things that they had no say in. I did not go over the edge as so many on the left did by saying that the other side were the good guys. They were less wrong since they had the support of most Vietnamese. I know most of the dirt on Ho and the Lao Dong too so I am not a fan of his either.

      As one of the threads here posted about the Jefferson, Jackson, dinners, even though I am a Democrat, it will still be a cold day in HELL before i go to one with LBJs name attached to it. I know he was a good if not great President with the exception of Vietnam, but I still cannot put that aside. I still read all of Caro’s bio of LBJ and got to understand him, and even felt some pity for his childhood hardships. i recommend those books. I refer you to the book Tour of Duty for Kerry’s experience in Vietnam and how he pariticipated in destroying villages in the delta. He was on Swift boats which operated in close conjunction with ground units and were most often used to transport troops into the field.

      I understand your dislike of how the Army reduced in forces. A fellow pilot I flew with was riffed after Vietnam since he had accepted a full commission and was a captain when he got cut. As he noted, he was the go to guy if you wanted to go into a hot LZ, but not good enough for peacetime. At least the First Gulf war proved that the US military had changed much for the better, and officers like Schwartzkopf and Pagonis swore to not do things like they were done when they were junior officers.

  33. bettykath says:

    “We perpetually find “reasons” to over spend, in the name of compassion, and this must end or we will be the new Greece.”

    Compassion is our reason to over spend? It’s compassionate to send drones to bomb wedding parties and funerals? It’s compassionate to cover a country with “depleted” uranium? It’s compassionate to use phosphate on a population? It’s compassionate to round people up for torture and endless incarceration without charges? Take a look at the budget. To the amount spent for war stuffs, add in the billions spent off-budget for the many unprovoked invasions we’re now dealing with, wars that not have not been declared. Don’t forget the CIA and the NSA budgets. COMPASSION? I’m calling B.S.

  34. Aridog says:

    bettykath … where did I say “compassion” includes wars? Never the less, depending upon the leadership, wars are usually instigated by the US for compassionate reasons..e.g., help out the oppressed, blah blah. Denial of that based upon dislike for war is to deny reality. I dislike war as much or more than anyone else. I note you cite US wrongs, as you see them, but none of those by our foes. I find that odd. It is also what makes war repugnant. We need a powerful military that is a threat, not an invader except under the very most dire circumstances. Without it, the machinations of the world’s enemies will increase. As I said earlier, to another commenter who also enlisted, the anathema of war is recent ones have been run by bureaucrats, not soldiers…and I am always surprised when someone like you jumps on a word without grasping what the writer meant. I will be more clear if I say anything again on the subject. I am still a believer that you cannot (sanely) spend what you do not have, for “compassionate” entitlements that are expanded way beyond any original intent or for war and “war stuffs.”

    Thanks for “calling BS” on my political position. Very cordial of you.

    • randyjet says:

      Ari, While I have respect for most of your views since I agree with a lot of them, to say the US has gotten involved in wars for compassionate reasons is quite a stretch. The wars that were done for that were the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Barbary Wars, and possibly the Mexican American war in that Mexico started it. WWI was more to ensure that Britain would not be defeated and a loss of fiinancial means of US investors. In WWII the US was kicked into it by Japan and then Germany and Italy who declared war on us first. Before that, FDR had to fight to even construct a military, much less give aid. The Spanish American War was supposedly to free Cuba, but later US laws made it nearly a US colony in all but name What the US did in the Philippines was an atrocity and most of the people involved in that would be tried and convicted of massive war crimes today. The US military used armed force to support a coup in Hawaii by American citizens who took over a sovereign nation with which the US had recognized and had ambassadors exchanged. At least Stalin had the historical justification that the Baltic nations had been part of Russia for centuries when he followed the US example there. The Korean War was justified more for global geopolitical reasons rather than democracy, which did not exist in the South at that time. At least the UN declared support for it, even though, S Korea was not a member at the time and provided justification for that war. Vietnam had a US imposed puppet government which was a Catholic Diem dictatorship in a nation that is 90% non-Catholic. Eisenhower admitted that if a free election were ever held in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh would probably get as much as 80% of the vote. So that hardly sounds either democratic or compassionate. The First Gulf War was authorized by the UN and was a real coalition with significant Arab, and UN forces, with the US only making up 60% of the forces and paying only 10% of the costs. Kuwait was a member of the UN and it HAD to get Iraq out of it otherwise the UN would go the way of the League of Nations which failed when Italy invaded Ethiopia and they did nothing. The second Gulf War had none of those things going for it. The US provided 90% of the forces, and almost all of the financing and bribed other nations to join. Afghanistan was justified because of 9/11 and the UN authorizing US and NATO military operations.

      The US record in Latin America is worse than that of the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe in absolute body counts, and imposing dictatorships. The list is far too long and bloody to detail. The body count in LA runs into nearly one million. The Soviets count is tens of thousands killed in comparison. I DO have to note that in Panama the US did do good in getting rid of Noriega and having a democratic government as a result. One success hardly outweighs the rest which installed dictatorships and overthrew freely elected governments. THAT is NOT compassion or even self defense.

  35. Aridog says:

    randyjet … you did see my “blah blah” remark, right?

    The word compassion can have multiple meanings…and in the case of several of our wars it was a reason cited…saving from Communism was popular, among others. I’m rather skeptical myself. However, in Indo-China post WWII there was a scramble for power and the Indo-Chinese political parties and armies killed each other wantonly. The only reason Ho won out is that his folks killed more of their folks, not counting the French and later us. We almost guaranteed Ho’s succession by allowing the French back in to Indo-China, since Ho was adamantly anti-French occupation, then compounding matters, a bunch of white guys sat down in Geneva and divided up the Indo-Chinese like sausage. Similar to how the African continent was divided up in colonial sections…no attention paid to language lines, culture lines, even racial lines, or anything but what the Euro’s wanted…resources.

    • randyjet says:

      Ari, I think one of the tragedies is that FDR died too soon, since he was adamantly opposed to colonialism and would not have supported the French going back into Indochina. The irony is that it was the French Communist Party cabinet member for colonies in the coalition government who ordered French troops back in. It was also a lost opportunity since Ho would have gladly tossed Stalin aside had the US kept on supporting him as we did immediately after the Japanese surrender. I don’t know if the resulting government would have been any more democratic, but it would have had to take into account US views as well as the other parties. The war we got involved in never would have happened. The domino theory was bunk from the beginning and I knew that at the time.
      Unfortunately, it was Nixon and Kissenger who enabled the Kmer Rouge to take power, As any fool could see, invading Cambodia could only unify Cambodians against the US and South Vietnamese since the Kmer Rouge were the only ones fighting against the US backed coup. Sihanouk, then had no choice but to join with them, and the rest is a very sad history. I was studying Southeast Asian history at the time, and the Kmer Rouge was a small force led by some nuts. I could not believe the US was that stupid since that was the only way the Kmer Rouge would ever come to power. At least Vietnam had the decency to finally do the right, if illegal thing under international law and got rid of Pol Pot. Reagan then compounded US stupidity and sent military aid and funds to Pol Pot simply to punish Vietnam. Incredible!

  36. Aridog says:

    randyjet … you do realize we are analyzing the past without out the frame of reference of those days. Hindsight is usually 20-20. I am quite old enough to recall the popularity of things like the “domino theory”…which today we’d dismiss. But it was popular and supported originally.

    • randyjet says:

      Ari, I fully understand the excuses given at the time, and I have to say I was one of them which is why I supported the war initially, and joined the military. I later did some research, reading and thinking, which changed my mind. I suppose I should have been skeptical of the propaganda, but I was raised to believe the US government and believed it was only concerned with doing good. Now while I am still a skeptic I don’t carry it to extremes as so many do today.

  37. bettykath says:

    Aridog, I believed that when you wrote “compassion” you were referring to the “entitlements”. What I’m talking about is the trillions that have been spent on war in the past ten years, with no end in sight, that completely dwarfs what is spent on “entitlements”. Although you may be right. The greatest “entitlements” go to corporations that are further fed by the wars. And there is no way that I accept the wars of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon, etc. etc. as wars of compassion. They are wars for oil and hegemony. If you want to include Vietnam, yes, it was about resources. War is about power and resources, people and compassion for them be damned.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.