Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hillary's Younger Woman Problem: Wall Street Campaign Donations

With the NH primary today, and national polls now showing Sen. Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in a statistical tie, it is instructional to probe further into the claims and accusations made by Hillary and her surrogates over the weekend. It turns out that the influx of Wall Street money - millions in fact to Hillary  -  isn't some myth or an "artful smear" as she tried to portray it. Not according to a Wall Street Journal article on Wall Street executive contributions to her campaign (Feb. 5, p. A1, A7). As the piece notes (p. A7):

"No Democrat or Republican running for President this year  has received as much money from Wall Street as Mrs. Clinton has. Wall Street is the top donor to her 2016 campaign and to a super Pac run by Mrs. Clinton's allies to support her candidacy. Only the super PAC supporting Jeb Bush has raised more on Wall Street."

The Journal added that in a tour-de-force Sen, Sanders has turned one of Hillary's assets (campaign funding) into a powerful weapon against her. Indeed, she's so desperate for a false equivalence she even went on the record saying: "Sanders has taken Wall Street money too, but it was through the DNC, not directly!"    Please, Hill, you ought to be beyond such desperate bollocks. So, because the Democratic National Committee accepts Wall Street money and makes it available to all candidates  Bernie is in Maul Street's maw? Give me a break.

The WSJ also notes Clinton has received a whopping $14.3 million from a Wall Street-based super PAC alone, excluding direct contributions from banks and high rollers.

This is sobering and also means Madeleine Albright's disgraceful gender card castigation of younger women in NH and elsewhere:

"There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."

Needs to be turned on its head, e.g.:

"There is a special place in hell for women who don't tell other women the truth about a candidate, male or female.."

The Journal, in case Albright's memory is slipping, also noted that "Wall Street has contributed more than $100 million to Bill and Hillary's political campaigns". This is since the early 90s, but by anyone's reckoning is not chump change. We are actually talking real money here.  In addition:

"Some Wall Street money has helped the couple's personal finances. Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase and Co. and other Wall  Street firms have paid the Clintons more than $20 million in speaking fees over the years."

All of this is what Bernie has been railing about, though to behold the omissions of most of the mainstream press you'd never think she has taken anything. (Though it did come out in the CNN Town Hall meeting, when Andersen Cooper pressed her about accepting the $675,000 speaking fee and asked why, eliciting the lamo response: "That's what they offered!"

Then insulting voters' intelligence via the canard that if she'd known she would be running for President at the time she wouldn't have taken it.  Please.

While Bernie has offered a muscular program of breaking up the big banks that have again grown "too big to fail", Hillary has offered measures like (ibid.): "building on Dodd-Frank to strengthen oversight of the banking sector and unregulated 'shadow banking' and proposing a tax on certain types of high frequency trading."

And then we learn:

"Still there's a general feeling that 'she's not going to come after Wall Street"

This, "according to a super PAC donor who has spoken to dozens of potential supporters"

We also learn from Greg Valliere, chief global strategist at asset manager Horizon Investments (ibid.):

"She's moved to the left because she needed some political cover in her fight against Sanders. Her plan may be aggressive but her ties to Wall Street make it unlikely that this proposal of hers will be a top priority.....it's a cynical view."

Not really, bub. It's the view of a growing number of Dem voters - young and old - who have had the blinkers removed from their eyes and are no longer prepared to invest in business as usual. It is also the view (via honesty) of the Wall Streeters themselves, as from today's editorial ('Hillary's Wall Street Reckoning'):

"The traders at Goldman have a keen sense of value and they're not trading $675,000 for the entertainment value of Hillary Clinton's appearances."


"The long standing arrangement between Democrats and financial giants like Goldman is that the politicians collect the money and get to pose as populists by publicly attacking the big banks, and in return the big banks enjoy high regulatory barriers that prevent smaller firms from competing with them"

But....as Bernie has noted...this impels continued growth that renders them unstable and more likely to fail so they can whine for the next public bailout. Haven't we had enough of this shit? Huh?  Haven't we citizens had about enough of this baloney from the Neoliberal DINOs and their bankster pals? I'd have thought so. For once, despite the cackling and babbling of Neolib tools and fools like Joe Klein (TIME) and others, we demand real change, not cosmetic change.

And Hillary and Albright and any other poppets can play all the gender cards they want but that won't change our determination and we aren't going to buy the media hogswill that we are chasing "pie in the sky" or an impossible dream. 

For anyone with brains and I don't mean in their ass, the WSJ article's facts ought to be a wake up call, including that "donations from the financial services sector make up a large and growing share of the amount of money raised in U.S. elections."

And, up to the end of 2015 this blood money "made up roughly 40 percent of the $1 billion donated so far into the 2016 election".

Friends, this IS exactly what Bernie has been pounding in all of his speeches until blue in the face. Given the young female voter demographic (18-30 yrs.) is the most idealistic and aspirational, it isn't surprising they'd be highly sensitive to Hillary's crass political manipulations. They are also too intelligent to be suckered in by tools like Albright blatantly playing the gender card. If Albright really had a clue, she'd give it a rest and maybe spend more time helping in old folks' homes - as opposed to dispensing junk admonitions to young women on the campaign trail..

Now, are we going to let the monied vultures continue buying off our so-called leaders and elections? OR are we going to grow spines for once, stop this "lesser of two evils" BS, and opt for genuine change?  Whatever your race or gender, determining who will be the next U.S. President ought to depend on principles and the nation's future welfare, not cold pragmatism in the service of finance parasites! Further, the candidate we choose to lead the nation should have and practice abiding principles - not merely when it's politically expedient.

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