Monday, January 4, 2016

The Clintons, Trump and the parasitic nature of the US body politic

Source: Business Insider
By Richard Mellor
Afscme Local 444, retired

It is no wonder the average American is so cynical about politics and politicians.  We have the most corrupt and bribery riddled democracy of all the advanced capitalist economies.

I don’t know how many times we hear from US politicians in the two Wall Street parties about how the millions, sometimes hundreds of millions, in political donations they take from corporations or individual billionaires do not affect the decisions they make. At Hillary Clinton’s confirmation hearing for secretary of state, she promised she would take “extraordinary steps…to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest.” WSJ 12-31-15.

Why bother making a statement like this? Even when it’s as clear as the nose on one’s face that there’s a conflict of interest, they say the money doesn’t affect their decisions and that’s the end of it, nothing happens.  A message to our readers abroad: No American worker with any brain cells at all believes them when politicians of the 1% like Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush or whomever makes these statements.

Not only are these state sponsored lies, there is other money, money these people make giving speeches for example.  Not long after Hillary said all this, her husband Bill was paid more than $8 million for speeches. The bribers were corporations as well as one foreign government, Abu Dhabi; and this was during a period when the donors had matters before Ms. Clinton’s State Department.  “Abu Dhabi and its sister emirate, Dubai are the places where investors go to escape the deadly politics of the Middle East and focus on making money” Bloomberg BusinessWeek wrote last month, and Dubai and Abu Dhabi have horrendous human rights records when it comes to workers.  In 2013, a Norwegian woman who was raped was sentenced to 16 months in prison for her transgression--------having sex out of wedlock.

This was when Ms Clinton was US Secretary of State.  The Emirate government was seeking an inspection facility that could, “….clear travelers for U.S. entry before they boarded planes so they could avoid delays when arriving in the U.S.” according to the Wall Street Journal. The deal was eventually agreed to and one week after the “US officials signed the letter of intent.”, Bill Clinton gave a 20 minute speech on climate change to the Abu Dhabi government and was paid $500,000 for his efforts. A year or so later, Bill Clinton spoke again in Abu Dhabi, this time to the World Travel and Tourism Council and sponsored by the government.  Bill gave the keynote address and was paid $500,000. As a matter of interest, a major sponsor of this conference was the Emirate Airline Etihad Airways, a direct beneficiary of the aforementioned facility.

In 2009 bribers/lobbyists for the Biotech industry pressured Clinton’s State Dept. to “get diplomats to oppose rules against genetically modified foods.”  She helped out telling diplomats to “…push an ‘active biotech agenda’”.   She meant by that, one that would protect US farmers and exporters, not the health of the consumer. Some months later she was paid $175,000 at the Biotech Industry convention and after leaving the State Department she spoke at the trade group’s convention for another $335,000 fee.

None of this indicates any wrongdoing and neither should it arouse suspicion.  These are important prestigious members of the US ruling class and government; they go to church.  Important people make this very clear if the reader takes the time to read the Journal article.

Not only did Ms. Clinton stress that nothing she does comes close to conflict of interest, the Wall Street Journal, “…found no evidence that speaking fees were paid to the former president in exchange for any action by Mrs. Clinton.”  

Brian Fallon, a Clinton spokesperson told the Journal that, “no evidence exists” that would link “…actions taken by Mrs. Clinton’s State Department to organizations hosting Mr. Clinton’s speeches.” To suggest such a thing with regard to the opening of the Abu Dhabi facility was “farcical” he said.

No evidence, farcical, within the confines of the law.  And on and on.

The Clintons are not alone.  The whole system is mired in corruption and graft, the best democracy money can but as they say. This is why it is extremely rare for them to be punished by the phony ethics committee or conduct this thievery in the open and with complete contempt for the American taxpayer and working class----they’re all at it in either party, from top to bottom. To defend her actions with regard to the cable sent to diplomats pressuring them to object to anti-GM rules, Hillary Clinton’s mouthpiece tells the WSJ, “a similar diplomatic cable was sent under the Bush administration.”  Of course, the office is a cash cow for whoever’s in it.

In the period of Ms. Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton was paid for more than 200 speeches. If he intends to continue this gravy train while Hillary is campaigning for president Bill told NBC, “Oh, yeah. I gotta pay our bills.”

The American working class allows this to continue.  Too many heads are still buried in the sand. Too many union members complain about their leaders but do nothing about it. Too many let others fight battles alone satisfied it's "not happening to me" rather than joining them before it is. The rich, militant history of the struggle in the US has been driven deep in to the subconscious and the mass media, the mindless focus on shallow celebrities, sports, millionaire movie stars and now the diversion of terrorism and foreign enemies, hordes of immigrants all act to suppress this history and the domestic war against US working people that has been fought for centuries.  

Don't whine, organize.

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