Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 83,080
Number of posts: 83,080
‘Progressive’ Hillary Touts Endorsement by Drug Lobbyist Sitting Next to Goldman, Monsanto Lobbyist
February 4, 2016
Much of the early part of the MSNBC New Hampshire Democratic debate Thursday focused on whether Clinton was “progressive enough,” after Sanders accused her of only being “progressive on some days.”
Among other positions, Sanders pointed to her close ties with Goldman Sachs and big corporations as problems with her progressive resume.
In turn, as “proof” that she’s progressive, Clinton touted the endorsement of former Vermont governor and farther-left presidential candidate Howard Dean, now himself an employee of a healthcare lobbying firm.
He’s not exactly a “lobbyist,” but he more or less is.
Here’s how The Intercept describes him:
Dean, though he rarely discloses the title during his media appearances, now serves as senior advisor to the law firm Dentons, where he works with the firm’s Public Policy and Regulation practice, a euphemism for Dentons’ lobbying team. Dean is not a lawyer, but neither is Newt Gingrich, who is among the growing list of former government officials and politicians that work in the Public Policy and Regulation practice of Dentons.
The Dentons Public Policy and Regulation practice lobbies on behalf of a variety of corporate health care interests, including the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, a powerful trade group for drugmakers like Pfizer and Merck.
Not only is Dean now a corporate shill for Big Pharma, he is actively campaigning against his own support for single-payer healthcare (Medicare-for-all, as Bernie calls it) while also playing a surrogate for the Clinton camp.
The more ironic aspect was that Dean was sitting with a man named Steve Elmendorf, a Goldman Sachs lobbyist involved in her campaign. Elmendorf isn’t just a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, the former political operative also lobbies for Monsanto, Citigroup, Verizon, and countless other massive corporations.
Posted by KoKo | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 09:59 AM (10 replies)
The 12.8 Trillion Dollar Financial Scam – PBS And Bloomberg Report (VIDEO)
According to a team at Bloomberg News, at one point last year the U.S. had lent, spent or guaranteed as much as $12.8 trillion to rescue the economy. The Bloomberg reporters have been following that money. Alison Stewart spoke with one, Bob Ivry, to talk about the true cost to the taxpayer of the Wall Street bailout. Most of this is UN-accounted for and the private Federal Reserve won’t tell.
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Posted by KoKo | Fri Feb 5, 2016, 08:08 AM (0 replies)
The Clinton System
by Simon Head --New York Review of Books
Former US presidents have long used charitable foundations as a way to perpetuate their influence and to attract speaking fees as a lucrative source of income. But the Clintons are unique in being able to rely on the worldwide drawing power of former president Bill Clinton to help finance the political career of Hillary Clinton—with the expectation among donors that as a senator, secretary of state, and possible future president Hillary Clinton might be well placed to return their favors. The annual meetings of the Clinton Global Initiative have provided a prime setting for transactions between the Clintons and their benefactors. Among the corporate sponsors of the 2014 and 2015 CGI conferences in New York City, for example, were HSBC, Coca Cola, Monsanto, Proctor and Gamble, Cisco, PricewaterhouseCoopers, the Blackstone Group, Goldman Sachs, Exxon Mobile, Microsoft, and Hewlett Packard. For sponsorship of $250,000 or more, corporate executives attending the CGI meetings can enjoy special privileges up to and including direct access to the Clintons.
In a 2013 investigative article for The New Republic, Alec MacGillis described the annual CGI meeting as a complicated give and take in which CEOs provide cash for CGI projects in exchange for access to Bill Clinton. MacGillis focused on the activities of Douglas Band, a former low-level aide in the Clinton White House, who at the CGI meetings arranged favors for selected CEOs such as “getting them on the stage with Clinton, relaxing the background checks for credentials, or providing slots in the photo line.” At the CGI’s 2012 meeting it was Muhtar Kent, then CEO of Coca Cola, who, The New York Times reported, “won a coveted spot on the dais with Mr. Clinton.”
Along with the Clinton Foundation, lecture fees have offered another way for interested parties such as Citicorp and Goldman Sachs to support the Clintons beyond direct campaign donations. Data drawn from the Clintons’ annual financial statements, the Clinton Foundation, and the banks themselves show that between 2001 and 2014 Bill Clinton earned $1.52 million in fees from UBS, $1.35 million from Goldman Sachs, $900,000 from the Bank of America, $770,000 from Deutsche Bank, and $650,000 from Barclays Capital. Since she stepped down as secretary of state in February 2013, Hillary Clinton has been earning comparable fees from the same sources. Of the nearly $10 million she earned in lecture fees in 2013 alone, nearly $1.6 million from major Wall Street banks, including $675,000 from Goldman Sachs (the payments referred to by Bernie Sanders in the January 17 2016 debate), and $225,000 each from UBS, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank.
Among the most striking and troubling aspects of the Clinton System are the large contributions corporations and foreign governments have made to the Clinton Foundation, along with Bill Clinton’s readiness to accept six-figure speaking fees from some of them, at times when the donors themselves had a potential financial interest in decisions being made at Hillary Clinton’s State Department. An investigation published in April 2015 by Andrew Perez, David Sirota and Matthew Cunningham-Cook at International Business Times shows that during the three-year period from October 2009 through December 2012, when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, there were at least thirteen occasions—collectively worth $2.5 million—when Bill Clinton received a six-figure speaking fee from corporations or trade groups that, according to Federal Government records, were at the time engaged in lobbying at the State Department.
These payments to Bill Clinton in 2010 included: $175,000 from VeriSign Corporation, which was engaged in lobbying at the State Department on cybersecurity and Internet taxation; $175,000 from Microsoft, which was lobbying the government on the issuance of immigrant work visas; $200,000 from SalesForce, a firm that lobbied the government on digital security issues, among other things. In 2011, these payments included: $200,000 from Goldman Sachs, which was lobbying on the Budget Control Act; and $200,000 from PhRMA, the trade association representing drug companies, which was seeking special trade protections for US-innovated drugs in the Trans-Pacific Partnership then being negotiated.
And in 2012, payments included: $200,000 from the National Retail Federation, which was lobbying at the State Department on legislation to fight Chinese currency manipulation; $175,000 from BHP Billiton, which wanted the government to protect its mining interests in Gabon; $200,000 from Oracle, which, like Microsoft, was seeking the government to issue work visas and measures dealing with cyber-espionage; and $300,000 from Dell Corporation, which was lobbying the State Department to protest tariffs imposed by European countries on its computers.
During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, US defense corporations and their overseas clients also contributed between $54 and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation. (Because the foundation discloses a range of values within which the contributions of particular donors might fall, only minimum and maximum estimates can be given.) In the same period, these US defense corporations and their overseas government clients also paid a total of $625,000 to Bill Clinton in speaking fees.
In March 2011, for example, Bill Clinton was paid $175,000 by the Kuwait America Foundation to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker at its annual Washington gala. Among the sponsors were Boeing and the government of Kuwait, through its Washington embassy. Shortly before, the State Department, under Hillary Clinton, had authorized a $693 million deal to provide Kuwait with Boeing’s Globemaster military transport aircraft. As secretary of state, Hillary Clinton had the statutory duty to rule on whether proposed arms deals with foreign governments were in the US’s national interest.
Further research done by Sirota and Perez of International Business Times and based on US government and Clinton Foundation data shows that during her term the State Department authorized $165 billion in commercial arms sales to twenty nations that had given money to the Clinton Foundation. These include the governments of Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Algeria, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, all of whose records on human rights had been criticized by the State Department itself. During Hillary Clinton’s years as secretary of state, arms sales to the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation ran at nearly double the value of sales to the same nations during George W. Bush’s second term. There was also an additional $151 billion worth of armaments sold to sixteen nations that had donated funds to the Clinton Foundation; these were deals organized by the Pentagon but which could only be completed with Hillary Clinton’s authorization as secretary of state. They were worth nearly one and a half times the value of equivalent sales during Bush’s second term.
Among the most important, and lucrative, business friendships the Clintons have formed through the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Global Initiatives has been that with Canadian energy billionaire Frank Giustra. A major donor to the foundation for many years, Giustra became a member of its board and since 2007 has been co-sponsor of the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative, or CGGI. In turn, Bill Clinton’s political influence and personal contacts with foreign heads of state have been crucial to Giustra’s international business interests.
In September 2005, Bill Clinton and Giustra travelled to Almaty, the capital of Kazakhstan, to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. At their meeting Clinton told Nazarbayev that he would support Kazakhstan’s bid to become chair of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). The OSCE is a body with the responsibility for verifying, among other things, the fairness of elections among member states. According to multiple sources, including the BBC, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, Nazarbayev coveted this position for Kazakhstan, primarily as a mark of European diplomatic respectability for his country and himself.
MORE of "Grifter Greed & Influence Peddling" at...
Posted by KoKo | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 08:09 PM (3 replies)
Where is it?
Posted by KoKo | Wed Feb 3, 2016, 06:58 PM (3 replies)
January 28, 2016, 03:00 pm
Sanders surge panics Washington establishment
By Brent Budowsky, columnist, The Hill
Virtually the entire Washington and Wall Street establishments are now in a state of panic about the possibility of a Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) victory in the Iowa Democratic caucus next Monday.
The Sanders revolution of young people, which includes a growing number of young women, independent workers in some labor unions that refuse to go along with the establishment, and liberal populists and idealists of all varieties, is now within striking distance of stunning the political world with upset victories in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary.
In response, the virtual bedlam that has been behind the scenes in the Washington establishment in recent weeks is now coming into the open. It is a sight to behold!
In the last 24 hours, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has been seen on television criticizing the Sanders proposal for Medicare for all, which has huge support throughout the Democratic Party and, arguably, majority support throughout the nation. Privately, I protested what she said; here my protest becomes public. In a private memo, I wrote that if she wants to endorse Hillary Clinton she should, and state why she believes Clinton would be a great president, a proposition that can be fairly argued, but an argument that has never made effectively made by Clinton herself.
In the last 24 hours, the editorial board of The Washington Post launched a major broadside against Sanders. The Post is a paper owned by a billionaire and, in the early 2000s (under different ownership), its editorial page ardently supported the Iraq War that Sanders (and I) opposed. While the Post's columnists include a heavy dose of neoconservatives alongside some traditional moderate liberals, the Post recently let go Harold Myerson, its one authentically liberal populist columnist who had the spirit of Occupy Wall Street and the Sanders campaign.
As the Iowa caucus comes close, there is panic in the air of the establishment and that includes the Washington Democratic establishment, the Wall Street financial establishment and the corporate media establishment, which today is only concerned about the Donald Trump reality show and the GOP debate.
Meanwhile in Iowa, Sanders roused Democrats with a moving television ad, one of the best in decades, based on the theme of the Simon and Garfunkel song "America." While Sanders supporters are taking their case to social media, to campus meetings, to labor union halls, to farmers and workers in Iowa, and to homes through large-scale door-to-door campaigning.
What the insider Washington Democratic establishment fails to understand is that the issues Sanders raises have great appeal to the broad nation: a free public college education paid for through a Wall Street transaction tax; an increase in Social Security payments (now frozen at least year's rate for the new year); breaking up big banks and re-instituting reforms initiated by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt; dramatic reforms of the criminal justice system. These are very popular ideas that are opposed by armies of lobbyists but supported by huge numbers of Democrats and large numbers of independents.
Clinton offers great possibilities of becoming a great president if she is nominated, and her campaign should be singing her praises and not letting her advocates attack long-held policies, visions and dreams of the Democratic base that in many ways embody the core of the Democratic vision for America.
Posted by KoKo | Fri Jan 29, 2016, 02:00 PM (3 replies)
Sanders camp suspicious of Microsoft’s influence in Iowa Caucus
01/27/16 06:05 PM—Updated 01/28/16 12:09 PM
By Alex Seitz-Wald
DES MOINES, Iowa – The campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is raising questions about the involvement of Microsoft in the Iowa Caucuses, now just days away, and has built a independent system to check the official results.
For the first time this year, Microsoft partnered with the Iowa Democratic and Republican Parties to provide a technology platform with which the parties will run their caucuses. The software giant created separate mobile apps for each party, which officials at hundreds of caucuses across the state will use to report out results from individual precincts to party headquarters for tabulation.
The arrangement has aroused the suspicions of aides to Sanders, whose regularly warns that corporate power and the billionaire class are trying to hijack democracy. Pete D’Alessandro, who is running the Iowa portion of Sanders’ campaign, questioned the motives of the major multinational corporation in an interview with MSNBC: “You’d have to ask yourself why they’d want to give something like that away for free.”
The Sanders campaign has built their own reporting system to check the results from the official Microsoft-backed app. It has trained its precinct captain on using the app, which is designed to be as user friendly as possible, and the campaign will also staff a hotline system as further redundancy.
Posted by KoKo | Thu Jan 28, 2016, 12:30 PM (115 replies)
Charity officials are under pressure to scale back lavish events.
By Kenneth P. Vogel
01/28/16 05:17 AM EST
The Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation ― increasingly seen as a distraction by supporters of Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid ― is considering dialing back its activity during the campaign and a potential Clinton presidency, according to interviews and documents obtained by POLITICO.
With its packed slate of events already colliding with the presidential election calendar and donors growing wary, the foundation has commissioned a study from the powerhouse Boston Consulting Group on how to improve the foundation’s showcase endeavor, the Clinton Global Initiative or CGI, while a 2015 study flagged concerns that Clinton's presidential campaign could hurt a separate project, the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
Foundation CEO Donna Shalala late last year warned staff of possible restructuring and election year uncertainty, and wouldn’t guarantee that CGI would follow through with plans for its flashy annual meeting in September, according to sources familiar with her conversations with staff.
Supporters of Hillary Clinton’s campaign privately grumble that the foundation is diverting the attention of Bill Clinton, her former president husband — as well as key donors — at a pivotal moment in the presidential campaign. They argue that CGI should suspend planned events during the primaries and just before the general election.
“Gosh, can't they relax a bit on that work and focus on winning Iowa?” said one bundler. “But everyone is resigned to how they function, and presumes they know what they are doing.”
Clinton Foundation officials said they have no plans to cancel any CGI events in 2016, and they cast the Boston Consulting Group study as "a periodic customer service review," while Hillary Clinton's campaign declined to comment.
Sometimes it can be hard to escape the sense that the two entities are competing for bandwidth in the Clintons’ orbit, with top bundlers complaining anonymously about dueling fundraising appeals from the two entities.
With a week to go until Iowa’s pivotal caucuses, Hillary Clinton was holding a series of events in the frigid state, while Bill Clinton, her top surrogate, was in the sunny California desert presiding over a golf tournament in which the foundation is a partner and an annual foundation healthcare conference. And next week ― soon after the caucus and just a few days before the New Hampshire primary ― CGI is holding a major gathering in Manhattan slated to be headlined by Bill and Chelsea Clinton, the foundation’s vice chair who is assuming an increasingly prominent role in both the foundation’s affairs and her mother’s campaign.
Other high-profile CGI events could run-up against major campaign moments. CGI University, a project championed by Chelsea Clinton, is scheduled to hold a conference in Berkeley, California, in early April ― just before a crush of primaries that month. And CGI America is planning a mid-June meeting in Atlanta, a month before the Democratic National Convention. The foundation’s glitziest event ― CGI's annual meeting, which in the past has featured all manner of celebrities and dignitaries ― is scheduled for just seven weeks before the general election.
“CGI America in June in Atlanta will look too much like a pretend DNC, in a major Southern state, and they're worried about the media backlash,” said a source familiar with CGI internal discussions. “Can you imagine ― Trump would have a field day! And CGI's annual meeting is way too close to the actual election to risk the bad press,” the source said.
Foundation officials said "these events will take place," and added "President Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are scheduled to participate as they have in past years."
Continued (long read) at:
Posted by KoKo | Thu Jan 28, 2016, 11:19 AM (2 replies)
Introduction to United States Sociology (C. Wright Mills): Professor Colin Samson
University of Essex
Published on Feb 22, 2013
Department of Sociology: http://www.essex.ac.uk/sociology/
In this video, Professor Colin Samson, from our Department of Sociology discusses the life and works of american sociologist, C. Wright Mills.
This module (SC164-4-SP: Introduction to United States Sociology) can also be taken as part of our BA Liberal Arts course. To find out more about studying Liberal Arts go to: essex.ac.uk/cish
If you are interested in studying sociology, we offer a wide range of courses, covering the areas of criminology, media and sociology.
Posted by KoKo | Wed Jan 27, 2016, 08:27 PM (4 replies)
Astrological Predictions 2016 - 2017 | Barbara Goldsmith
Astrological Predictions 2016 - 2017 - your free report covering global and person forecasts.
What do the aspects show about the coming year?
With so much mutable and cardinal energy in the heavens, there is the potential for some huge jumps forward both personally and for our planet.
Structures will be crumbling, softer leaders coming, more polarity, but also the possibility as Jupiter goes into Libra later in the year of peace, harmony, acceptance of one another.
Saturn in Sagittarius will be questioning all the rules of religion - why are we doing certain rituals? Do they really matter?
What about immigration? Will we solve this in the Pluto in Capricorn way of putting up more boundaries and fences between one another, or will we move towards Neptune in Pisces and see that we all want the same thing: to love one another and to be loved. Love and peace are the way forward.
E-learning will become more prevalent and well as games making learning more fun. This will be the influence of Saturn in Sagittarius.
Space travel and time travel could see huge leaps forward.
Although we are going through some very difficult global shifts, these are also exciting times to be alive where everything is possible. We only need to start believing it!
Posted by KoKo | Tue Jan 19, 2016, 02:20 PM (1 replies)
Does China hold key to the Afghan puzzle?
--By Pepe Escobar
Just like Lazarus, there were reasons to believe the Afghan peace process might have stood a chance of being resurrected this past Monday in Islamabad, as four major players – Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and China – sat together at the same table.
The final communiqué though was not exactly ground breaking:"The participants emphasized the immediate need for direct talks between representatives of the Government of Afghanistan and representatives from Taliban groups in a peace process that aims to preserve Afghanistan's unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity."
A week before the Islamabad meeting, while in the Persian Gulf, I had an extremely enlightening conversation with a group of Afghan Pashtuns. After the ice was broken, and it was established I was not some Sean Penn-style shadowy asset with a dodgy agenda, my Pashtun interlocutors did deliver the goods. I felt I was back in Peshawar in 2001, only a few days before 9/11.
The first ground breaker was that two Taliban officials, currently based in Qatar, are about to meet top Chinese and Pakistani envoys face to face, without interference from the US. This fits into the strategy laid out by the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, according to which the Afghan puzzle must be solved as an Asian matter. And Beijing definitely wants a solution, fast; think Afghan chapter of the New Silk Roads.
The post 9/11 Afghan War has been going on for an interminable 14 years; taking a cue from Pentagonese, talk about Enduring Freedom forever. No one is winning – and the Taliban are more divided than ever after the previous peace process collapsed when the Taliban announced Mullah Omar had been dead for two years.
More of a good Pepe read continued at:
Posted by KoKo | Mon Jan 18, 2016, 02:00 PM (1 replies)