Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hillary and Bill Clinton: Breaking Bad

(Update on 1/22/16) Together, Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill have earned in excess of $125 million in speech income since leaving the White House in 2001 — about $40 million of it in the last two years.

This morning Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, was interviewed on MSNBC and asked if it was a mistake for Clinton to be taking those speaking fees from the big banks. Shaheen's response was, "That was all in the past, just like Bernie's socialism was in the past."

Just by giving 12 speeches to Wall Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations, Hillary Clinton made $2.9 million from 2013 to 2015. Clinton’s most lucrative year was 2013, right after stepping down as secretary of state. That year, she made $2.3 million for three speeches to Goldman Sachs and individual speeches to Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, Fidelity Investments, Apollo Management Holdings, UBS, Bank of America, and Golden Tree Asset Managers. The following year, she picked up $485,000 for a speech to Deutsche Bank and an address to Ameriprise. Last year, she made $150,000 from a lecture before the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

But Hillary Clinton’s haul from Wall Street speeches pales in comparison to her husband’s Bill.

(Click all images on this page to enlarge.)

Hillary and Bill Clinton: Breaking Bad

Hillary Clinton is running for President to replace Obama when his 2nd term expires (She is basically just running for Obama's third term, although she denies this.)

She has secured the endorsement of Eric Holder, the nation's first black attorney general, for whom she worked with for four years in the Obama administration. The former attorney general (who wouldn't prosecute corrupt bankers) said Hillary Clinton is the candidate that we need in the White House to continue the progress of President Obama. Holder, a close confidant of President Obama, retired from the Justice Department in February 2015 and returned to corporate practice at the law firm of Covington & Burling. He is the latest official from the ranks of Washington DC's upper political echelons to endorse the former secretary of state.

Now (while running for President) Hillary is supposedly under investigation by the FBI — under that same Justice Department Eric Holder once headed. She is being investigated for using a private email server and for sending classified email that originated from her, but that she hadn't marked as "classified." Of course, no one but a crazy person would ever expect her to be charged with anything. After all, how would that make the bankers look?

In the video below Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley had a heated discussion about Wall Street at the fourth Democratic primary debate. (IMHO, this is the best 3 minutes of the debate.)

(* The video was edited from the original live-streamed debate at YouTube.)

This is the ad she referred to that American Crossroads produced (via Karl Rove) and this is how Hillary responded to it in an ABC News interview.

If you earned $600,000 selling meth, and were caught by the authorities, you'd go to prison. When the bankers were caught bilking the taxpayers out of billions of dollars, they only paid a small fine — then they looked for other ways to rip off the taxpayers. Meanwhile, their government accomplices just moved on to better-paying jobs in the private sector — or they ran for President.

Bernie Sanders and millions of his supporters would like to see a political revolution to change the way our corrupt politicians do business.

What was different in the last Democratic debate from the previous debates was Bernie Sanders's willingness to go on the offensive against Hillary Clinton on her most vulnerable area: her corrupt ties to the Wall Street plutocracy. Sanders mentioned that she has received generous speaking fees from Goldman Sachs. One NBC moderator of the debate had asked Sanders how his approach to bank regulation would differ from Clinton’s. He replied:

"Well, the first difference is, I don’t take money from big banks. I don’t get personal speaking fees from Goldman Sachs."

After Clinton claimed that she had the toughest, most comprehensive plan to regulate Wall Street, Martin O'Malloy (who made a great wing-man for Bernie) vigorously disagreed, and had said several times, "That's not true" — while most of us just thought she was a common pathological liar. (Those acting lessons she took didn't help her much.)

Then Sanders reminded Hillary that she had received over six hundred thousand dollars in speaking fees from Goldman Sachs, just in one year alone. (For whatever sage advise she had to offer the bankers — but all that is still unclear, and we may never know what exactly Hillary had to say.)

The first time Sanders brought up the subject, Hillary had tried to deflect the accusation by accusing Bernie of being disloyal to President Obama, inferring that Bernie was also criticizing Obama because he too had accepted donations from Wall Street — and then reminded us that Obama had led the country out of the Great Recession.

Hillary accused Bernie of voting on banking regulation that allowed the economy to tank; but Bernie reminded us that anybody could check his own record on fighting Wall Street deregulation and Wall Street lobbyists.

If Hillary Clinton is nominated, the Republicans will have a lot more to throw at her in a general election than they would at Bernie Sanders. At the very most, all a Republican candidate could do during a general election debate is to call Bernie a "socialist" (which he wears as a badge of honor).

But with Hillary, the GOP will have a laundry list of scandals to draw from — dating back 40 years.

The top 1% that parties together, stays together.

The Royal Wedding

The Don with wife and Clintons

Their daughters, Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton, are also BFFs.


  1. UPDATE:

    This week, some of the richest people on Earth will gather high up a snowy mountain in the world’s biggest tax haven to attend the three-day meeting in Davos. Oxfam found that 62 billionaires have more wealth than half the world’s population. The 6 Waltons of Walmart alone have hoarded $149 billion.

    At the start of this decade, 388 billionaires owned as much as half the world. By 2011, that number had plunged to 117. Last year, it had fallen to 80. This year it's 62.

    In other words, in the five years since the world recession, the very richest have grown inexorably wealthier. And that’s not because the global economy is booming, as every worker on a pay freeze and every family seeing their benefits cut knows. It’s because we are living in a period of trickle-up economics, in which the middle- and working-classes have handed over money to those right at the very top.

    According to the Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez, between 2009 and 2012 the top 1% of American households took 91 cents out of each extra dollar that the country earned. The other 99% of Americans had to share the remaining 9 cents between them.

    The super-rich now practically write their own tax laws. They get to ensure that tax havens are treated with due leniency, all the better to hide their trillions in them. They buy their own politicians, as with the shadow-bankers who funded the Conservative election campaign or the billionaire Koch brothers using their fortune to tip the US presidential contest. Indeed, the more ambitious decide to become politicians. Think not just of Donald Trump but former bond trader turned media mogul turned mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg.

    The great mistake made by the mainstream left and right is in imagining that the super-rich, now enjoying such massive riches, are somehow “wealth creators” providing jobs and investment for the rest of us, or that they might give up their tax havens. But they have siphoned off gains in salaries and profits wherever possible, and enjoyed hundreds of billions flowing into their asset markets.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us who provide the feedstock for their revenues see our welfare states hollowed out, our wages frozen and our employers failing to invest.

    Enter Bernie Sanders.


  2. (MLK Day January 18, 2016)

    The day after the 4th Democratic debate, despite frigid weather, 7,100 people showed up to see Bernie Sanders speak in Birmingham, Alabama — an man who actually marched with Dr King.

    Dr Cornel West, who introduced Sanders to the crowd, said: “My dear sister Hillary Clinton is a Wall Street Democrat with a flip-flop propensity. She told us she shook hands with Martin Luther King Jr in 1962 but she campaigned for Goldwater in 1964. It looks like the moral clarity didn’t stick.”


    1. Bernie Sanders told the audience about when he marched with Dr. King: “I was there at the March on Washington, and I can remember the day in my mind’s eye ... But what good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger?”


    2. Here's a photo of the Birmingham, Alabama event at Twitter showing only 3/4 of his supporters at Boutwell Memorial Auditorium (because the camera couldnt capture whole scene)


      Most African-Americans prefer Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton. The problem is, most of them just don't know it ... yet.


  3. The Nation:

    If presidential debates were scored liked boxing matches, you’d have to call Sunday night’s bout a split decision.

    Hillary Clinton used President Obama as a human shield all night long. It was as if Clinton was following her own weird variation of a rope-a-dope strategy: Instead of draping herself over her opponent, she wrapped her arms around an imaginary Obama and held on for dear life. From healthcare to the economy, her answer was always: I ❤ Obama.

    At one point she even turned a question about her ties to Wall Street into an attempt to depict Sanders as an enemy of Obama. Will it work? We won’t even begin to know until February 27th South Carolina primary.

    But a whiff of fear is evident: the Clinton campaign went on the attack by putting out a press release calling Friends of the Earth Action a “dark money group” after it bought TV ads praising Sanders for leading the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline.

    But boxing matches aren’t only scored on the basis of punches landed. There is also the question of who controlled the ring, and here Sanders was the obvious winner. Unlike all three of their previous encounters, tonight it was Sanders who set the tone, dominated the discussion, and whose campaign themes — healthcare and the economy.

    Yet still, Hillary remains the odds-on favorite in South Carolina with African-American voters. [But why? What have the Clintons done for them lately — or over the last 40 years?]


  4. International Business Times:

    After the third Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton faced a flood of criticism for linking her financial support from Wall Street to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks — even though she had accepted campaign donations from the financial industry before the attacks. In Sunday night’s debate, she tried out a new line of defense: President Obama has taken their money too.


  5. During last Sunday's debate Hillary Clinton launched into an attack centered on Sanders’s previous criticisms of Obama, a political play many strategists believe was intended to sway black voters in South Carolina.

    Bernie Sanders’s campaign strongly dismissed Hillary Clinton's accusation that he has been disloyal to President Obama: “He has been very, very supportive of President Obama and campaigned for President Obama twice. It’s part of a series of attacks that the Clinton campaign has been making that don’t have a lot of credibility. We could have a debate about real substance, real issues — but they don’t want to have that debate. I think one of the things we’re trying to do is avoid getting sucked into whatever they want to talk about on any given day. Our view on a lot of this stuff is it’s just not credible.”

    Sanders himself pushed back aggressively on stage Sunday: “In 2006 when I ran for the Senate, Senator Barack Obama was kind enough to campaign for me. In 2008, I did my best to see that he was elected — and in 2012, I worked as hard as I could to see that he was reelected. He and I are friends. We've worked together on many issues. We may have some differences of opinion.”


  6. Analytics via Zignal Labs shows that, the day after the 4th Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders was the talk of social media with 235,408 mentions as opposed to 133,683 mentions for Hillary. But yet, the mainstream media had Bernie with 4,712 mentions to Hillary's 4,768 mentions (almost tied). I'm only guessing but, it appears that, just like with online polling vs. corporate-sponsored surveys (who also use landline phones), it appears that younger people using mobile devices might far outnumber older people using conventional TV and radio for their news. FYI: 10.2 million people watched Sunday’s Democratic debate on NBC — but only 1.2 million watched online. But even the combined total is still fewer than the 15.2 million who watched the first Democratic debate in October.


    Bernie is way ahead in the New Hampshire 2016 Democratic Primary

    51.6 Sanders 39.0 Clinton = Sanders +12.6


    Bernie is VERY CLOSE in the Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus

    46.8 Clinton 42.8 Sanders = Clinton +4.0


    *** Younger voters and Independents need to register and vote...and only then can we all "Feel the Bern"!

  8. UPDATE: (The Guardian)

    "I worked on Wall Street. I am skeptical Hillary Clinton will rein it in ... More than 23 years following Bill Clinton’s election, Wall Street is very much intertwined with the Clintons: they helped fundamentally change Wall Street, and Wall Street fundamentally changed the Democratic party. So maybe they really do know what it takes to reform both. Maybe. Except that Hillary Clinton continues to receive large donations from top bankers. Ask anyone who has spent the last two decades on Wall Street which politicians have worked for them the hardest, and most will grudgingly admit it’s the Clintons. I doubt that will change anytime soon."


  9. Howard Dean accusing Bernie Sanders of attacking the integrity of Hillary Clinton by mentioning her speeches to Goldman Sachs.

    Shorted edited version (93 seconds)

    Full 7 minute clip)

    My post:

  10. From Wall Street on Parade:

    The Hillary Clinton presidential campaign has a new strategy to get Senator Bernie Sanders to shut up about the unseemly mountains of money Wall Street has showered on her and Bill Clinton throughout their careers: in campaign funds, in speaking fees, in home mortgages, and in donations to their charity, the Clinton Global Initiative. (Details here.) The new strategy is to effectively socialize Sanders to silence by embarrassing him every time he brings up the subject.

    It should be noted that other hedge fund billionaires, like George Soros and Paloma Partners’ David Sussman, have contributed over $10 million to Hillary’s Super Pac, Priorities USA, which raked in over $41 million last year, 90 percent of which came from a handful of super wealthy individuals. Sanders has no aligned Super Pac.)

    In 2012, Hillary’s last full year as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton socked away an astonishing $16.3 million in speaking fees.

    As a perfect example of how Hillary wants to tar Sanders as smearing her while drawing a dark curtain around the facts, MSNBC moderator Chuck Todd asked her if she would release the transcripts of all of her speeches to Wall Street firms. Hillary did not seem enthusiastic and offered only that she would look into it.