Monday, August 3, 2015

Clinton and Biden vs. Bernie Sanders — vs. Donald Trump

At a conference at the Koch brothers' retreat, five GOP presidential contenders — former Florida governor Jeb Bush, Senator Ted Cruz (Tex.), former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Senator Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker — all made appearances at the posh weekend retreat, held on the grounds of the St. Regis Monarch Beach, with dazzling views of the misty-blue Pacific Ocean.

In response to this news, Donald Trump had tweeted:

Trump Tweet on Koch brothers convention

Trump's tweet made this blogger wonder if he might have read my earlier post? --> "Trump Pulled the Strings of Political Puppets"

Robert Reich: The Revolt Against the Ruling Class (August 2, 2015)

“He can’t possibly win the nomination,” is the phrase heard most often when Washington insiders mention either Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders. Yet as enthusiasm for the bombastic billionaire and the socialist senior continues to build within each party, the political establishment is mystified ... What’s new is the degree of anger now focused on those who have had power over our economic and political system since the start of the 1980s. Included are presidents and congressional leaders from both parties, along with their retinues of policy advisors, political strategists, and spin-doctors. Most have remained in Washington even when not in power, as lobbyists, campaign consultants, go-to lawyers, financial bundlers, and power brokers. The other half of the ruling class comprises the corporate executives, Wall Street chiefs, and multi-millionaires who have assisted and enabled these political leaders — and for whom the politicians have provided political favors in return ... In the last three decades — when almost all the nation’s economic gains have gone to the top while the wages of most people have gone nowhere — the ruling class has seemed to pad its own pockets at the expense of the rest of America.

This blogger also just happened to mention the very same thing yesterday —> Fed Up with Stagnant Wages and Corrupt Politicians. And if Bernie Sanders wins the presidential election in 2016, he should make Robert Reich one of his economic advisors — along will Paul Krugman and Joseph Stiglitz.

MSNBC recently reported: "A senior adviser to Joe Biden’s late son Beau is joining the Draft Biden Super PAC to lay the financial groundwork for a potential presidential bid — a key hurdle for the sitting vice president if he hopes to take on Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential primary." MSNBC favors Hillary, and bashes Bernie Sanders, so there was no mention in that MSNBC article about Biden "taking on" Sanders, just "taking on" Hillary — as though Bernie posed no serious threat at all. Does MSNBC have their heads in the sand?

In response to Joe Biden considering another run for president, Bernie Sanders said he's "very fond" of Vice President Joe Biden [as most Americans are], but that the American people want to go beyond conventional establishment politics. Sanders suggested that voters are looking for a change in 2016 . “The government has to respond to the needs of the middle class, not the billionaires,” he said, “I think that’s what going on in this country, and I am not sure conventional politics will do it anymore.”

Bernie Sanders is spot-on, and Obama and Joe and Hillary are the "conventional" Democrats — the very ones that Robert Reich spoke of. Obama recently bragged that if he could run for a third term, he would win. As someone who once supported Obama, I am one who would NOT vote for Obama because of his position on the TPP trade agreement (among others things); so I would vote for any other Democratic contender against the GOP — but I would not vote all if ONLY Hillary Clinton were running on the Democratic ticket.

But if it only came down between Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton in 2016, I would vote for Joe — but then again, I would vote for any other Democratic contender if someone else such as Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders were challenging Joe.

But since Bernie and Hillary (and maybe Joe) are running, my vote goes to Bernie — because Obama, Biden and Hillary are all just like 3 peas in a pod; and we need someone different (other than a Republican) in the White House — and preferably with a Congress packed with progressive Democrats (as opposed to many of "Third Way" pro-corporate Democrats we now have).

Can we imagine Joe and Hillary bashing Obama's policies during the Democratic primaries on the TPP trade agreement when (as loyal underlings) they had both supported TPP under Obama? And all while Senator Bernie Sanders had opposed the trade deal. And if it came down to just Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016, as an "Independent Progressive", I would prefer Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton if the only issue were about trade.

So, maybe now, because polls show Hillary lagging behind Bernie Sanders to beat any GOP contender, the Democratic party machine may be thinking about a "Plan B" with Joe Biden. But Biden might only split votes for Hillary, and have no bearing whatsoever on support for Bernie Sanders. Maybe we could see a presidential election race in 2016 with Trump vs. Sanders. And if Trump has Sarah Palin on his ticket, and Sanders has Elizabeth Warren on his ticket, it would be a landslide victory for Sanders.

According to a Quinnipiac poll released last week, 57 percent of registered voters do not think Hillary Clinton is trustworthy. But Bernie Sanders refused to answer "yes or no" as to whether he thinks the former secretary of state is honest and trustworthy. He did concede, however, that he had a hard time understanding her refusal to take a position on the Keystone pipeline this week.

Republican contender Donald Trump, however, did take the opportunity to attack Hillary Clinton, adding that Vice President Joe Biden could possibly topple her for the nomination. But Trump also said Joe Biden has been very loyal to the president, which he called an "important trait." But he also predicted that the vice president would not be very effective as a campaigner because there's a lot of anger with respect to President Obama and that would include Joe Biden because nothing's been done. "I think it's not going to be easy for him," Trump said.

Trump is right. How loyal has Joe Biden been to Obama? Well, he support the TPP trade agreement — as did Hillary Clinton, which Bernie Sanders opposed. (See info-graphic below: Click to enlarge).

TPP infographic

But there's only a small chance that Biden would run, and the Clinton campaign says that even if he does, they aren't very worried about Joe. That's because, even though they won't publicly admit it, they are a lot more concerned about Bernie Sanders — as they should be.

Donald Trump also said that he pays as little in taxes as possible, just like every other taxpayer in America, and said: "I fight like hell to pay as little as possible for two reasons. Number one, I'm a businessman. And that's the way you're supposed to do it. The other reason is that I hate the way our government spends our taxes. I hate the way they waste our money. Trillions and trillions of dollars of waste and abuse. And I hate it." Trump has not yet released his tax returns, but said he may tie a release of his tax returns to a release of Hillary Clinton's emails from her time as secretary of state.

As to the Clinton's tax returns for 2007 to 2014: Why did they pay such a high tax rate? Are they bad money managers and/or have bad tax attorneys? Or maybe it's because most of their money came from speeches on behalf of bankers, and their income was taxed as regular wages — and not as capital gains from the sell of stocks and real estate investments (which are taxed at a much lower rate than regular wages). Hillary recently claimed that if she were elected to be the president, she might consider taxing capital gains as regular wages. (cough* cough* hack*cough) Ain't no way Jose!

State Department investigators concluded this year that Huma Abedin, one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s closest aides, was overpaid by nearly $10,000 because of violations of rules governing vacation and sick leave during her tenure as an official in the department. The finding emerged Friday after Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) sent letters seeking more information about an investigation into possible “criminal” conduct by Abedin concerning her pay. The letters also sought the status of an inquiry into whether Abedin had violated conflict-of-interest laws related to her special employment situation, which allowed her to work simultaneously for the State Department, the Clinton Foundation and a private firm with close ties to the Clintons.

Did we mention that a Quinnipiac poll showed 57 percent of registered voters do not think Hillary is trustworthy?

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