Aug. 5: Clinton Cash & Corruption

Jerry Russell

Staff member
I'm not sure if this was tongue in cheek, but Joe gave Trump his endorsement this week on the grounds that Trump is merely insane, while Hillary is immoral & corrupt.

I'm still appalled about both candidates, and discussed a proposal from Dmitry Orlov that voters should rely on a coin-toss to determine their vote.

In all my years of watching politics in the US, never have I seen a presidential election generate such overwhelmingly negative emotions. Everyone hates Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, or, increasingly, both of them. This is creating a severe psychological problem for many people: they want to tell their friends and the world that Clinton is mentally unstable and a crook, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Trump. Or they want to tell everyone what a vulgar, narcissistic, egotistical blowhard Trump is, but they are conflicted because they realize that by so doing they would be supporting Clinton. Some are abandoning the two-party duopoly in favor of minor parties, ready to vote for Jill Stein the Green or Gary Johnson the Libertarian, but are conflicted because voting for Stein would take votes away from Clinton the crook and thus support Trump the blowhard, while voting for Johnson would take votes away from Trump the blowhard and thus support Clinton the crook. There is just no winning! Or is there?
The podcast was largely based on material from this video:


Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I'm still appalled about both candidates, and discussed a proposal from Dmitry Orlov that voters should rely on a coin-toss to determine their vote.
The best vote is "no vote". Voting in such conditions is merely granting legitimacy to whatever the rigged outcome is.

The video presentation is perfectly consistent with what Roger Morris wrote, decades ago, in his Partners in Power book about the Clintons. They were always all about the gravy train, hiding behind their rhetoric.

Jerry Russell

Staff member
They were always all about the gravy train, hiding behind their rhetoric.
Yes, but isn't the Clinton Foundation on a far more epic scale than anything that went on in the 1990's?

I'm feeling that maybe I'll vote for Johnson, as that would be seen as taking a vote away from Trump, more so than Hillary. It might be materially preferable to have a crook in the White House rather than a clinical psychopath.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Since the Clinton Global Initiative is all about the razorback hogs 'hupigging' themselves out via the changes they helped bring about with the likes of the Bushes and Gingrich, the following Matt Tiabbi article in Rolling Stone is essential reading. Taibbi discusses Tom Friedman's disingenuous and "glib" categorizing of the world into "web" people (globalists) versus the "wall" people. These latter ironically being a coalition of Trump's and Sander's bases of Losers in the board room game of Global Life.

I think that this helps one see what Trump's real role is here. He is a Pied Piper to the anti-intellectuals and is merrily driving all these demonic, pot-bellied piggies over the cliff and into the crypto-randian Sea of Ga..Hillary. Once the siren trumpet has delivered his charges, like Friedman he'll tell them to: "Up your game", while under his breath it's: "Let them piggies eat soggy cake."

[Please note that I have coined a new verb: hupigging.]

Meanwhile, Friedman’s definition of "web people" describes individuals who:

Instinctively understand that Democrats and Republicans both built their platforms largely in response to the Industrial Revolution, the New Deal and the Cold War, but that today, a 21st-century party needs to build its platform in response to the accelerations in technology, globalization and climate change, which are the forces transforming the workplace, geopolitics and the very planet.

That seems like a very specific and weird belief system, probably unique to writers for the New York Times named Thomas Friedman. Also, Friedman never explains what any of this has to do with "webs" – is it an Internet thing? Do they have webbed hands?

But whatever, we get it, sort of. "Web people" embrace the future and "open systems," i.e. free trade, bringing us closer to the heart of what Friedman is talking about.

Friedman is right that this election, like the Brexit vote, has really been a referendum on globalization. What's infuriating is the cartoonish way he defines the critics of globalization.

"Wall people" in his mind are either xenophobic Trumpites who don't want a flood of dirty, rapey immigrants entering their towns, or they're Sanders socialists who don't want to compete with foreign workers and insist on government handouts.

With regard to the latter, what troubles Friedman the most is the way Hillary is cozying up to her critics on the left:

She is opposing things she helped to negotiate, like the Pacific trade deal, and offering more benefits from government but refraining from telling people the hardest truth: that to be in the middle class, just working hard and playing by the rules doesn't cut it anymore. To have a lifelong job, you need to be a lifelong learner, constantly raising your game.

Yes, to get by these days, working hard isn't enough to keep a job. You need to be "constantly raising your game." Either that, or you need to marry a shopping mall heiress and write books fawning over Fortune 500 companies.

Friedman's glib definition of globalization goes virtually unchallenged in the pundit-o-sphere, which by and large agrees with him that critics of globalism are either racists or afraid of capitalism.

But this issue is infinitely more complicated than that.

We never really had a referendum on globalization in America. It just sort of happened. People had jobs one day, then the next morning they were fired, replaced by 14-year-olds in Indonesia or sweatshop laborers in Bangladesh, working in unsafe hell-holes without overtime or health care, beaten when they don’t make quotas.

What exactly does "raising your game" mean in the context of that sort of competition?

Globalization in the snap of a finger essentially erased nearly two centuries of America's bloody labor history. It's as if the Thibodeaux Massacre, the hangings of the Molly McGuires, the Pullman Strike, the L.A. Times bombing, the Flint sit-in and thousands of other strikes and confrontations never took place.

In the new paradigm, all of those agonizing controversies and wars of political attrition, which collectively produced a vast set of rules and standards for dealing with workers, were simply wiped away.

Manufacturers just went abroad, to dictatorships and communist oligarchies, to make their products, forcing American workers to compete not just against foreign workers, but against their own history and legal systems.

People forget that when it comes to labor relations, America had to be dragged, kicking and screaming, in the direction of the civilized world. Attempts to ban child labor in this country failed repeatedly, and we didn't actually pass a federal child labor law that stuck until 1938. Airlines in America were still firing flight attendants for getting married through the mid-eighties.

Now all that work spent to get even past those most basic problems is at risk. In the global economy, employers can look at their business models as one giant arbitrage.

You do your banking in the laissez-faire havens of the Caribbean, build factories in slave-labor capitals like China or Indonesia, buy swaps in less-regulated financial atmospheres in London, sell your products in America and Europe, etc.

You also arrange your corporate structures so that you pay the smallest amount of tax possible, often by threatening to move until you receive subsidies and exemptions. This leads to bizarre situations like Boeing making $26 billion in U.S. profits over a five-year period and receiving a U.S. federal tax refund of $401 million over the same time.

This whole situation has raised profound questions that nobody has ever bothered to try to answer for ordinary voters, as in: What are nation-states for, in a global economy?

What's the point of all of our labor laws, or voting-rights laws, the first amendment and a host of other American legal traditions if large pluralities of American manufacturers do their business in countries like China, where human rights abuses are rampant, political freedom is nonexistent and speech is tightly controlled?

Friedman's description of "Wall People" is probably somewhat true when it comes to Trump voters, many of whom do just want to be physically walled off from a confusing, racially diverse world.

But to dismiss the rest of globalization's critics as communists who hate freedom and just want to curl up in the lap of government and hide from change is absurd and insulting.

Most educated people accept and embrace the idea of an increasingly integrated world. The problem is how to go forward into the future in a way that's fair and doesn't increase oppression, pollution, child labor, even slavery and indenture, to say nothing of the disenfranchisement of the ex-middle class in places like America. ...
In order to keep myself thoroughly confused, I follow both James Corbett (anarchist/voluntarist) and Webster Tarpley (Tax Wall Street party/FDR New Dealist). Corbett suggests that you vote for no one. Tarpley has been saying for months that Trump is truly crazy, and that he has a Fascist mass movement behind him, therefore, you should hold your nose and vote for Hillary because she's less dangerous.

This article:
from Peggy Noonan says "This was The Week They Decided Donald Trump Was Crazy". That article is behind a paywall, but
you can get the gist of it elsewhere. What she doesn't say is why this week in particular, when psychiatrists have been saying the same thing months if not years ago. I think the timing of the insanity verdict has mainly to do with Trump's announcement that he would not endorse the stalwarts of the GOP congressional leadership, including Ryan and McCain.

All of my predictions about Trump have been wrong so far, but my main prediction has been that Hillary will ultimately win in the general election. I predicted that the GOP will declare Trump unfit by reason of insanity, but that probably won't happen. I share Tarpley's wish that the Trump candidacy will lead to the destruction of the GOP, but that probably won't happen, either.

At least Trump is starting to show some consistency on his immigration policy:

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Corbett suggests that you vote for no one.
Imagine if they gave an election and nobody came.

At least Trump is starting to show some consistency on his immigration policy:
This is Hillaryous!!! :rolleyes:

I forgot to add that Taibbi gets to the issue of just what do we need "nation-states" for if this is the way things are going to be. As such, could even the Clinton's hupiggery ultimately be used as the pretext to explain to the world that this is why we really need one world government? One set of uniform rules, and in other words the federalization of the world. Right now we are operating as a weak 'confederation' under the UN, and in the USA the Constitution and the Civil War put the Confederation to rest.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
As Trump alludes to the possibility of a post-election assassination of President Hillary (Trump specifically qualified his statement as "this would be a bad day"), the dirty e-mail deluge is only just beginning. No wonder they wanted a private email server. But how did the Clintons think this would not have this kind of blowback?

In an April 2009 message to Abedin and Mills, Doug Band, who was overseeing the Clinton Foundation at the time, urgently asked for a meeting between a top US official and Gilbert Chagoury — a major donor to the Clinton family charity.

“We need to speak to the substance person re Lebanon. As you know, he’s [Chagoury] key guy there and to us and is loved in lebanon,” wrote Band, in a clear attempt to suck up to a big donor to the foundation.

“Its jeff feltman,” Abedin wrote back, referring to America’s former ambassador to Lebanon who went on to become assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs in August 2009.

“I’m sure he knows him. Ill talk to jeff,” said Abedin.

Less than 20 minutes later, Band replied, “Better if you call him. Now preferable. This is very important. He’s awake I’m sure.”

Chagoury is a Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire who gave the Clinton Foundation between $1 million and $5 million. In 2009, he also pledged $1 billion to the Clinton Global Initiative.

The construction magnate, a close pal of Bill Clinton’s, has financial interests around the world. He was convicted in Switzerland in 2000 of money laundering and paid a $66 million fine in a plea deal.

Abedin’s quick response to Band paid dividends down the road.

In June 2011, Band formed the Teneo consulting firm, with Bill Clinton as the paid honorary chairman. And in 2012, Abedin won permission to work as a $15,000-a-month consultant for Teneo in a special arrangement that allowed her to remain on the State Department payroll.

The disclosures came in a batch of 296 pages of State Department documents released by Judicial Watch, a watchdog group that has been fighting in court to recover Clinton’s emails through the Freedom of Information Act.

In an April 2009 exchange, Band — who also worked for years as Bill Clinton’s close aide or “body man” — forwarded an email from an unidentified person to Abedin, Mills and a third aide, Nora Toiv, about a job.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member

The above is a very interesting October 2015 article about the man now selected to run Trump's campaign. In his capacity of running Breitbart News, after Breitbart's fatal heart attack, he was behind the Clinton Cash effort and a similar piece, Bush Bucks, on Jeb Bush's crony capitalism. The article goes into how their related operation data mines the so-called Dark Web for dirt on their opponents. Then they carefully package the data with a factual narrative that they can deliver to investigative journalists, preferably at left leaning MSM, to garner viral credibility. Once the story reaches the mainstream then they can loosen the right hounds of Hell.

Considering the reputation of Bannon and Breitbart as solid de-cronied Tea Party types, one has to wonder about this marriage with Trump, who is clearly an insider crony playing a populist demagogue, a mirror to the Clintons. Is it a coinkydink that Bannon and the Clintons have both Georgetown, Ivy League, and Wall street credentials? Bannon and the Koch brothers are the major force behind the Tea Party, and are elite Catholics.

As the article points out, Bannon also was executive producer of the movie Titus Andronicus.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
To help balance the scales after my Trump posts, here's a July piece from Maureen Dowd, that also tangentially mentions the Clinton Cash issue.

“You’ve got a situation here where the woman who would be in charge of setting national security policy as president has been deemed by the F.B.I. unsuitable to safeguard and handle classified information,” Bill Savarino, a Washington lawyer specializing in security clearances, told the Times.

So many lawyers in this column, so little law.

President Obama is not upset about being pulled into the Clinton Under Toad, to use an old John Irving expression. He thinks Washington is so broken that the next president will need a specific skill set to function, and he thinks Hillary has that.

But what should disturb Obama, who bypassed his own vice president to lay out the red carpet for Hillary, is that the email transgression is not a one off. It’s part of a long pattern of ethical slipping and sliding, obsessive secrecy and paranoia, and collateral damage.

Comey’s verdict that Hillary was “negligent” was met with sighs rather than shock. We know who Hillary and Bill are now. We’ve been held hostage to their predilections and braided intrigues for a long time. (On the Hill, Comey refused to confirm or deny that he’s investigating the Clinton Foundation, with its unseemly tangle of donors and people doing business with State.)

We’re resigned to the Clintons focusing on their viability and disregarding the consequences of their heedless actions on others. They’re always offering a Faustian deal. This year’s election bargain: Put up with our iniquities or get Trump’s short fingers on the nuclear button.

The Clintons work hard but don’t play by the rules. Imagine them in the White House with the benefit of low expectations.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
Here's an August Dowd piece on the Hillary / Trump dynamic, that also briefly mentions the Clinton Cash scandal. The article starts by discussing Trump's association with the so-called alt-right movement that Dowd terms the Occupy Trump movement. In the same fashion that the neocons used Dubya as their own "host body" to facilitate their agenda. Where I differ from Dowd is in considering either Dubya, Trump, or either Clinton as anything more than 'Lifetime Actors'.

For instance, as a Machiavillian 'thinker' I believe the entire "Monica Affair" was trumped up (to anger the beehive), as was 9/11.

If Hillary had a normal opponent, her vulnerabilities would be more glaring. She would have spent the last week getting peppered with questions about how the F.B.I. discovered 14,900 more emails from her private server, which are going to drip out through the fall.

But Hillary does not have a normal opponent. She has one who manages to self-destruct in every news cycle. So instead she was soaring above her own paranoia and mocking Trump’s paranoia, soaring above her egregious messes and gamboling through Trump’s egregious messes.

In Reno, instead of having to talk about the email marked “C,” the ones classified as confidential, she talked about a very different “C”: She recalled the Justice Department’s housing discrimination suit against the real estate developer and his father in the ’70s, charging that the applications of black and Latino residents were “marked with ‘C’ — ‘C’ for colored.”

After the Monica affair, she deflected questions about Bill’s cheesy behavior by summoning up the specter of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy. Now she deflects questions about the emails and foundation ethical tangles by summoning up the specter of the Vast Alt-Right Conspiracy.

Extremists always ride to Hillary’s rescue. Just as Ken Starr and impeachment-crazed conservatives in the House pushed it way too far and made laughingstocks of themselves, succumbing to Clinton Derangement Syndrome, so the alt-right allows Hillary to have an easy target that occludes the Clintons’ own transgressions.

It’s a symbiotic relationship: The Clintons benefit, hailed by many Democrats and Republicans who regard them as the white hats who will keep out brownshirts. And the alt-right is jubilant at being given a bigger platform to be sulfurous.


And to conclude:

Many people believe that Trump is so demented and dangerous that any criticism of Hillary should be tabled or suppressed, that her malfeasance is so small compared to his that it is not worth mentioning. But that’s not good for her or us to leave so many things hanging out there, without her ever having to explain herself.

Letting her rise above everything for the good of the country is not good for the country.

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
My just previous forum post was about John Podesta receiving emails from a former astronaut about the space aliens that the Vatican knows about, and apparently communicates with (according to the astronaut, at least), in their knowing what the aliens will tolerate as far as Earthlings' military behaviors.

And now, as the presidential campaign nears its terminal frenzy, Hillary's thrill of victory seems ever closer to her agony of defeat. Despite claims about the national poll numbers, the only thing that matters is the battleground states, and things like this can flip things back to 'the trump', as even he tweets himself. With the Russians becoming more belligerent, its nice to have the t-rump kindly warn us that electing Hillary will mean WWIII. How does this connect to the first paragraph?

Hillary's campaign is dumping tens of millions of dollars on bombarding the poor people of these states with campaign commercials that they are getting sick of. In other words, these are running the risk of becoming counter-productive, rather than merely throwing millions down the drain without a benefit. Curious, on a number of levels.

A 2011 memo made public Wednesday by Wikileaks revealed new details of how former President Bill Clinton made tens of millions of dollars for himself and his wife, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, through an opaque, ethically messy amalgam of philanthropic, business and personal activities.

The memo was written by Bill Clinton’s longtime aide, Doug Band, and is among tens of thousands of emails apparently stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief, John Podesta, in what U.S. officials believe is part of a massive Russian-backed attempt to disrupt the U.S. election.

The Band memo came in response to an investigation undertaken by a law firm, Simpson Thatcher, into the activities of the Clinton Foundation at the behest of its board. The board was concerned that some of the activities undertaken by Band and others on behalf of the President could threaten the Foundation’s IRS status as a charity, according to Band’s memo. Chelsea Clinton had also reported concerns to Podesta and other Clinton advisors that Band and his recently-launched consulting firm, Teneo, were using her father’s name without his knowledge to contact British lawmakers for clients, including Dow Chemical.
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Marcilla Smith

Active Member

I'm particularly tired of the way the "impartial" media has essentially made the subtext to most of its political punchlines "so vote for Hillary so we don't have that jerk for President." I don't personally internalize that as "oh yeah? Well just you watch me vote for Trump!" But I'm sure some people will. I find it insulting, regardless.

Which reminds me, I need to go vote for Jill Stein today

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Heaven's, Jerry, you talk as if I actually want her to be president! I just want to be able to say I didn't vote for Hillary Clinton, but that I did vote for a woman ;)

Thank you for the praise, though. It's good to hear =] If you liked that choice, maybe you will also appreciate these:

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
Hrmmm... Sorry that didn't work. I can't seem to make these links work with the editor (I'm guessing). I'll try as links, although I recognize the comedic value is seriously compromised by the inconvenience of opening a new window:

In any event, my recent absence has been due to my canvassing for Miss Clinton (and other Democrats). Rest assured that my reasons are far more pragmatic than ideological - Dr. Stein isn't hiring, and Mr. Trump didn't respond to my application :: shrugs ::

Richard Stanley

Well-Known Member
I was watching on the news this morning that the position of the President is the only federal political office that is exempt from conducting private business to whatever degree he wants. Trump has said he is going to turn over his empire to the kids, but this still creates numerous issues. For one there will be no 'Chinese Wall' between him and his kids, hence a similar situation as between Crooked Hillary and the Clinton Foundation.

In fact, the kids are central to picking Daddy Trump's administration team. Go figure.

And irony of all ironies, Steve Boner Bannon produced the Clinton Cash documentary. Trump's transition team is filled with the swamp he promised to drain. Fruit of the poisonous tree?