October 8, 2016

Excerpts from Hillary Clinton’s speeches to Wall Street firms and other corporatist insiders

The 80-page attachment in the Podesta emails of Clinton's Wall St speech excerpts is at https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails//fileid/927/180 [Note: The page numbers in the Table of Contents of the attachment (a Word file) are not all accurate.] Update: Three complete transcripts are now available as Word file attachments at https://wikileaks.org/podesta-emails/emailid/11011

‘Saudis have exported more extreme ideology than any other place on earth over the course of the last 30 years’ p16

‘capture of oil and gas … from hydraulic fracturing … has created this enormous opportunity for us’ p20

‘with the new discoveries, with the new techniques for extracting oil and gas, the US & Canada are going to be powerhouses …’ p21

‘I am an all-in kind of person, all-of-the-above kind of person when it comes to America's energy and environmental future’ p24

‘I'm all for privacy, believe me.’ p26

‘the collection of the metadata is something that has proven to be very useful’ p28

‘You know, on healthcare we are the prisoner of our past. The way we got to develop any kind of medical insurance program was during World War II when companies facing shortages of workers began to offer healthcare benefits as an inducement for employment. So from the early 1940s healthcare was seen as a privilege connected to employment. And after the war when soldiers came back and went back into the market there was a lot of competition, because the economy was so heated up. So that model continued. And then of course our large labor unions bargained for healthcare with the employers that their members worked for. So from the early 1940s until the early 1960s we did not have any Medicare, or our program for the poor called Medicaid until President Johnson was able to get both passed in 1965. So the employer model continued as the primary means by which working people got health insurance. People over 65 were eligible for Medicare. Medicaid, which was a partnership, a funding partnership between the federal government and state governments, provided some, but by no means all poor people with access to healthcare. So what we've been struggling with certainly Harry Truman, then Johnson was successful on Medicare and Medicaid, but didn't touch the employer based system, then actually Richard Nixon made a proposal that didn't go anywhere, but was quite far reaching. Then with my husband's administration we worked very hard to come up with a system, but we were very much constricted by the political realities that if you had your insurance from your employer you were reluctant to try anything else. And so we were trying to build a universal system around the employer-based system. And indeed now with President Obama's legislative success in getting the Affordable Care Act passed that is what we've done. We still have primarily an employer-based system, but we now have people able to get subsidized insurance. So we have health insurance companies playing a major role in the provision of healthcare, both to the employed whose employers provide health insurance, and to those who are working but on their own are not able to afford it and their employers either don't provide it, or don't provide it at an affordable price. We are still struggling. We've made a lot of progress. Ten million Americans now have insurance who didn't have it before the Affordable Care Act, and that is a great step forward. (Applause.) And what we're going to have to continue to do is monitor what the costs are and watch closely to see whether employers drop more people from insurance so that they go into what we call the health exchange system. So we're really just at the beginning. But we do have Medicare for people over 65. And you couldn't, I don't think, take it away if you tried, because people are very satisfied with it, but we also have a lot of political and financial resistance to expanding that system to more people. So we're in a learning period as we move forward with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. And I'm hoping that whatever the shortfalls or the glitches have been, which in a big piece of legislation you're going to have, those will be remedied and we can really take a hard look at what's succeeding, fix what isn't, and keep moving forward to get to affordable universal healthcare coverage like you have here in Canada.’ [Clinton Speech For tinePublic – Saskatoon, CA, 1/21/15]
[cf Clinton campaign rally at Grand View University – Des Moines, IA, 1/29/16: angrily characterizing Bernie Sanders’ plan to pursue single-payer health insurance as ‘some better idea that will never, ever come to pass.’]

‘we’re still living in too uncertain a world to make radical changes right now’ p40
[translation: this is precisely when radical change is possible and why we must be vigilant to prevent it]

‘So if you look at a recent study that just actually was posted today, if you're in the middle class in Canada, you're better off in general than if you're in the middle class in the United States today. And if you're poorer in the United States, you are worse off than the poor in Canada and Europe. […] So yeah, we've done some very necessary and good things but we've also, in my view, not adequately addressed the challenges that have come in the last 20, 25 years. They've slowly crept up on us like all of us are the frogs in the giant pot and the heat's been slowly turned up and we haven't jumped out, and if we even started to thinking about it, we weren't sure what we'd find if we did. So we're all wondering around saying, what's going on, why is it happening? And it has certainly economic effects because as people's standard of living stalls, if they believe that their children are not going to be better off -- and remember, ever since we have done polling in this country, back to the Great Depression, no matter how poor the vast majority of Americans were, they believed it would be better in the future and they believed it would be better for their children. That no longer is the case. People are quite concerned that their livelihoods, their lives are not going to get any better, and they're even now worried that neither will their children. So this deserves the kind of thoughtful discussion, not the us versus them, finger pointing, blame placing, because that's not going to get us anywhere, but if we do not address and figure out how we're going to revitalize the middle class and begin the process of once again encouraging more people to rise up, then what I fear is that our politics and our social fabric are going to be dramatically altered.’ [Clinton Speech For JP Morgan, 4/22/14]

‘… there are rich people everywhere. And there are poor people everywhere’ p44

Clinton's remarks on Iran are creepy & unhinged. p44-46

‘the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity’ p47

legalization of pot?
CLINTON: Short [ie, I don’t support] in all senses of the word

Clinton praises Wal-Mart as model for politics p52

‘we are in a worse position than we were in the 90s’ p53

BLANKFEIN: … the financial services industry has been the one unifying theme that binds everybody [R/D] together in common. p54
[cf Huey Long (1932): ‘They've got a set of Republican waiters on one side and a set of Democratic waiters on the other side, but no matter which set of waiters brings you the dish, the legislative grub is all prepared in the same Wall Street kitchen.’

Clinton endorsed recommendations of Obama's Simpson-Bowles “cat-food commission”, which included cuts to Social Security. p63-65

‘So we now have what everybody warned we would have, and I am very concerned about the spillover effects. And there is still an argument that goes on inside the administration and inside our friends at NATO and the Europeans. How do intervene—my view was you intervene as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene. We used to be much better at this than we are now. Now, you know, everybody can’t help themselves. They have to go out and tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: Look what we’re doing and I want credit for it, and all the rest of it’ [Speech to Goldman Sachs, 2013 IBD Ceo Annual Conference, 6/4/13]

‘To have a no fly zone … you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians’ p67

‘And with political people, again, I would say the same thing, you know, there was a lot of complaining about Dodd-Frank, but there was also a need to do something because for political reasons, if you were an elected member of Congress and people in your constituency were losing jobs and shutting businesses and everybody in the press is saying it's all the fault of Wall Street, you can't sit idly by and do nothing, but what you do is really important. And I think the jury is still out on that because it was very difficult to sort of sort through it all.’ [Goldman Sachs AIMS Alternative Investments Symposium, 10/24/13]

‘Sam Walton was a cheerleader for Walmart but also a great patriot, because he knew that he was able to build this company in this country, and it might not, if ever, have been possible anywhere else.’ [Hillary Clinton remarks at Sanford Bernstein, 5/29/13]

October 2, 2016

William Blum on the US election

From The Anti-Empire Report #145:

On more than one occasion during the recent US primary campaign, Senator Bernie Sanders was asked if he would run on a third-party ticket if he failed to win the Democratic nomination. His reply was a form of the following: “If it happens that I do not win that process, would I run outside of the system? No, I made the promise that I would not, and I’ll keep that promise. And let me add to that: And the reason for that is I do not want to be responsible for electing some right-wing Republican to be president of the United States of America.”

So instead he’s going to be responsible for electing some right-wing Democrat to be president of the United States of America. It’s certainly debatable who’s more right wing, Clinton or Trump. Clinton surely earns that honor on foreign policy. Think of Syria, Iraq, Honduras, Yugoslavia, Libya … et al.

The revelation that the Democratic Party was secretly favoring Clinton over Sanders is reason enough for Sanders to have broken his promise and accepted the offer of the Green Party to be their candidate.