Insane Capital and Hillary Clinton

by lizard

I doubt there will be a political reset after Eric Cantor’s embarrassing primary loss. All of us busy with dissection are just expounding on whatever particular body part fits our particular narrative. That said…

Who doesn’t appreciate the financial David vs. Goliath aspect of this upset? We are told over and over by party apologists that money=viability, affirming while lamenting the total capture by insane capital of our political process.

Insane capital? Yes. This from Boiling Frog Post:

The world’s super-rich are terrified that the system that they have constructed, which almost exclusively benefits them, is so lacking in trust and legitimacy in the eyes of the world’s population that it could collapse beneath their feet. With this as the context, Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild hosted – on May 27 – the ‘Conference on Inclusive Capitalism’ in London, closed to the press and public, attended by 250 delegates who collectively hold $30 trillion – or one-third – of the world’s investable wealth. With speakers that included Prince Charles, Bill Clinton, Christine Lagarde and Mark Carney, among others, the conference was concerned with rebuilding trust and legitimacy in the state-capitalists system by promoting ‘cosmetic’ changes. This conference was the first in what will likely be a series of conferences to be hosted in the future, as the conditions which destroyed trust will only worsen.

There is no trust. There is no legitimacy. The list of grievances is long, very long.

Notice, of course, the presence of Bill Clinton, the perennial, ruddy-faced wholesaler of Democrat values to the global plutocrats. Oh, and anyone who thinks Hillary Clinton would be any different is deluded.

The meager reaction to the global economic crisis we haven’t recovered from—Dodd-Frank—is being slowly undermined, as reported by Moyers & Company:

In Washington, DC a bi-partisan effort is underway to chip away at the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, which is supposed to prevent the type of economic meltdown that brought the world to the brink in 2008.

Wall Street banks are lobbying to de-fang sections of the law related to derivatives — the complex financial contracts at the core of the meltdown. One deregulation bill, the “London Whale Loophole Act,” would allow American banks to skip Dodd-Frank’s trading rules on derivatives if they are traded in countries that have similar regulatory structures.

“It keeps being weakened and weakened,” economist Anat Admati, co-author of the book, The Bankers’ New Clothes, says of the Dodd-Frank legislation. “We have some tweaks. We have messy, unfocused efforts. But we haven’t really gotten to the heart of the matter and really managed to control this system effectively,” she tells Bill.

Banks are indulging in the same behaviors, such as having too much debt, that got us into serious trouble in 2008. According to Admati, “…the financial system continues to be fragile and the banks continue to live dangerously. And when you speed at 100 miles an hour, you might explode and harm other people.”

Insane capital, running the same insane con that blew up five years ago. Anyone see a problem with this?

While the banks continue their con-job unabated, Hillary Clinton is trying to co-opt Elizabeth Warren’s populism. If it works then Democrats have only themselves to blame. Here’s Mother Jones describing Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs problem:

A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton delivered a much-touted policy speech at the New America Foundation in Washington, where she talked passionately about the financial plight of Americans who “are still barely getting by, barely holding on, not seeing the rewards that they believe their hard work should have merited.” She bemoaned the fact that the slice of the nation’s wealth collected by the top 1 percent—or 0.01 percent—has “risen sharply over the last generation,” and she denounced this “throwback to the Gilded Age of the robber barons.” Her speech, in which she cited the various projects of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that address economic inequality, was widely compared to the rhetoric of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the unofficial torchbearer of the populist wing of the Democratic Party. Here was Hillary, test-driving a theme for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, sticking up for the little guy and trash-talking the economic elites. She decried the “shadow banking system that operated without accountability” and caused the financial crisis that wiped out millions of jobs and the nest eggs, retirement funds, and college savings of families across the land. Yet at the end of this week, when all three Clintons hold a daylong confab with donors to their foundation, the site for this gathering will be the Manhattan headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

Goldman was a key participant in that “shadow banking system” that precipitated the housing market collapse and the consequent financial debacle that slammed America’s middle class. (A system that was unleashed in part due to deregulation supported by the Clinton administration in the 1990s.) This investment house might even be considered one of the robber barons of Wall Street. In its 2011 report, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a congressionally created panel set up to investigate the economic meltdown, approvingly cited a financial expert who concluded that Goldman practices had “multiplied the effects of the collapse in [the] subprime” mortgage market that set off the wider financial implosion that nearly threw the nation into a depression.

Hillary Clinton’s shift from declaimer of Big Finance shenanigans to collaborator with Goldman—the firm has donated between $250,000 and $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation—prompts an obvious question: Can the former secretary of state cultivate populist cred while hobnobbing with Goldman and pocketing money from it and other Wall Street firms? Last year, she gave two paid speeches to Goldman Sachs audiences. (Her customary fee is $200,000 a speech.)

I don’t know Democrats, can she cultivate populist cred while hobnobbing with banksters? Does the desire to have a president with a vagina trump the substance of what this woman represents?

And then there’s the foreign policy disasters, like Iraq and Libya. Iraq is currently collapsing to ISIS jihadists. What’s been happening the past few days is incredibly disturbing:

Insurgents inspired by al-Qaeda rapidly pressed toward Baghdad on Wednesday, confronting little resistance from Iraq’s collapsing security forces and expanding an arc of control that now includes a wide swath of the country.

By nightfall, the militants had reached the flash-point city of Samarra, just 70 miles outside Baghdad, after having first seized Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town, and other cities while pressing southward from Mosul.

The stunning speed with which the rout has unfolded in northern Iraq has raised deep doubts about the capacity of U.S.-trained Iraqi security forces, and it has also kindled fears about the government’s grip on the capital.

Who cares as long as Big Oil gets their share, right?

With Libya, this Truthout piece is worth reading because it describes the real questions Democrats should be asking about Benghazi but won’t because Hillary:

There is very little coverage of how Libya looks now, years removed from NATO’s attack, or the liberal defenses of it. “Though the NATO intervention against Gaddafi was justified as a humanitarian response to the threat that Gaddafi’s tanks would slaughter dissidents in Benghazi,” wrote Patrick Cockburn in September 2013, “the international community has ignored the escalating violence. The foreign media, which once filled the hotels of Benghazi and Tripoli, have likewise paid little attention to the near collapse of the central government.” Recent reports indicate that the country might be heading towards another civil war; the violence has gotten increasingly more disturbing, a consistent reminder of the Obama administration’s lasting impact on the region.

These are all things that could, hypothetically, be brought up during a hearing on Benghazi. Democrats and progressive media members criticize the hearings vociferously and mock the futility of the Republican talking points, without ever once mentioning what a constructive committee on Libya might look like. Perhaps, rather than ask a multitude of specific questions about what the Obama administration knew and when they knew it, it could ask about NATO’s attack against Libya TV, which killed three people, an obvious violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1738, which condemns attacks on journalists during conflicts. Maybe it could ask a question, or two, about the various mass killings that took place after Gaddafi was removed from power. Greg Shupak, who teaches media studies at the University of Guelph in Canada, points out that, “On October 21, 2011, 66 bodies were found at the Mahari Hotel, at least 53 of whom were executed by a rebel militia. An undetermined portion of these were Gaddafi loyalists who had been captured along with Gaddafi himself. Those killed at the hotel were shot with rifles and many had their hands tied behind their backs and some can be seen on video being abused before their execution. NATO plainly shares responsibility for these crimes because before NATO bombing commenced, the insurgents were on the verge of defeat and could not have won the war without NATO air cover, arms, money, and diplomatic support.”

There are also questions that connect directly to the murder of US Ambassador Christopher Stevens and US Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith that no one seems to be asking. According to an April 2014 report from Seymour Hersh, the entire diplomatic mission in Benghazi could have simply been a cover so that the CIA could effectively smuggle weapons to the anti-Assad forces of Syria. Why is no one addressing this? Also, why are people simply focusing on the causes of this specific attack, rather than putting the attack in the context of similar attacks in Libya? In the days after the killings, Vijay Prashad observed that, “This is not the first such protest in Benghazi, the eastern city of Libya. Over the course of this year, tumult has been the order of the day. In January, a crowd stormed the headquarters of the National Transitional Council. In April, a bomb was thrown at a convoy that included the head of the UN Mission to Libya, and another bomb exploded at a courthouse. In May, a rocket was fired at the Red Cross office. A convoy carrying the head of the British consulate was attacked in June, and since then the consulate has been abandoned. In August, a pipe bomb exploded in front of the US consulate building. Frustration with the West is commonplace amongst sections of society, who are not Gaddafi loyalists, but on the contrary fought valiantly in the 2011 civil war against Gaddafi.”

The liberal refusal to investigate any of these issues transcends mere Obama deflection and is probably also influenced by the need to nominate Hillary Clinton in 2016. As Ajamu Baraka wrote, in a piece called “Why a Principled Left Should Support a Benghazi Inquiry,” “Democrats already lined-up behind a Clinton campaign understand that no matter what comes out this inquiry, Benghazi has the potential to become a permanent yoke that wears down the Clinton candidacy. But in another bizarre display of political and ideological subordination to the Democrat Party and its rightist elite, elements of the left have also expressed opposition to this inquiry.”

Are there any Democrats out there not captured by insane capital? Are Democrats capable of seeing how disastrous another Clinton in the White House would be?

If Democrats don’t wake up to the Clinton con, and Hillary becomes our next president, we are in serious trouble. With insane capital already calling the shots, we are already in serious trouble. Another Clinton in the White House will further entrench the evil bastards who are destroying this country and setting the world ablaze.

  1. steve kelly

    The bit actors are growing restless and tired of the endless saga of The Truman Show now playing daily worldwide. I’m sure the 1% is beginning to wonder: Will “gated communities,” armored limosines and ex-black-ops bodyguards be enough to save their sorry asses when the shit hits the fan and the nation-state they just vaporized can’t help them? Asymetrical (“flash mob”) chaos worked in Benghazi and it will work almost anywhere.

  2. Turner

    Things are going to have to get a lot worse before ordinary people can be moved to action. Most people fawningly admire the wealthy and powerful, no matter what legalized crimes they commit. Widespread serf mentality is what really protects the gangsters at the top.

    Whoever said that wealth is theft had it right.

  3. dg

    This lizard person can both write and analyze quite well; is this the gun-buyer on good meds???

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