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Hillary and Wall Street, links from Peter Myers

(1) Hillary promises to stop Big Business from buying US elections
(2) Hillary refuses to publish transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs
(3) Hillary's Finance Industry Fundraisers
(4) Hillary made $2,935,000 from 12 speeches to Wall Street banks
(5) Hillary backed Russian Opposition
(6) Hillary champions Neocon Wars, regime change

(1) Hillary promises to stop Big Business from buying US elections

Bernie Sanders is pushing Hillary Clinton to care about money in politics

Updated by Jonathan Allen on September 8, 2015, 11:10 a.m. ET

Just in time to beat Bernie Sanders to the punch, Hillary Clinton
released a comprehensive campaign finance reform plan Tuesday aimed at
reducing the influence of wealthy interests and boosting the power of
small donors.

The ambitious three-tiered proposal calls for overturning the Citizens
United decision that opened the floodgates for unlimited spending on
elections, creating a small-donor matching funds program for
presidential and congressional candidates, and using the power of the
executive branch to force greater disclosure of campaign activity by
corporations and nonprofits.

"Our democracy should be about expanding the franchise, not charging an
entrance fee," Clinton said in a statement. "It starts with overturning
the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, and continues with
structural reform to our campaign finance system so there’s real
sunshine and increased participation."

The timing, depth, and content of Clinton's plan show that she's got one
eye cast toward Sanders, who has gained ground on her in polling of the
Iowa caucuses and taken a substantial lead over her in New Hampshire.
Sanders, who first introduced a constitutional amendment that would pave
the way for reversing Citizens United in 2011, was expected to introduce
a bill providing for public funding of presidential and congressional
campaigns as early as Tuesday. Because Clinton's plan focuses on
small-donor matching, it leaves room for Sanders's bill to be more

But Clinton's plan goes further than Sanders's in the important category
of things a president could actually accomplish. That's because neither
a constitutional amendment nor simple legislation setting campaign
finance restrictions is likely to be considered as long as Republicans
control at least one chamber of Congress. What Clinton says she would do

The best way to think about Clinton's proposal is Plan A, Plan B, and
Plan C, all of which could be set in motion at the same time.

     Plan A — Courts and the Constitution. Reverse Citizens United
through the appointment of justices who are hostile to the decision or
through the adoption of a constitutional amendment that would explicitly
allow Congress to pass campaign finance laws without abrogating the
First Amendment.

     Plan B — Congress. Create a new optional multiple-matching fund
program for congressional and presidential candidates. Borrowing an idea
used by New York City, Clinton would establish a federal program for
matching the donations of small contributors at a two-to-one or better
ratio. Candidates would have to show viability to be eligible for the
program, and they would have to agree to a lower cap on contributions
from a single donor. Clinton did not specify the matching ratio, the
caps on overall spending for the program or on contributions from a
single individual, or the threshold at which a candidate could qualify
for matching funds by demonstrating viability. Clinton's campaign also
said she would push for Congress to require outside groups to disclose
donors who support significant political expenditures and disclose
significant transfers of money among outside groups.

     Plan C — Executive power. The smallest piece of Clinton's proposal
may be the most significant, because it involves actions a president
could actually take. She would prod the Securities and Exchange
Commission to disclose all political spending to shareholders. She would
also sign an executive order requiring more disclosure of political
activities by companies that contract with the federal government.

Like most campaign finance reform plans, this one is defined more by the
difficulty in accomplishing its major goals than by the goals
themselves. But it does show that Clinton is paying serious attention to
Sanders, and that the issue has moved closer to the front burner for
Democratic presidential candidates.

(2) Hillary refuses to publish transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs

Hillary Clinton Laughs When Asked if She Will Release Transcripts of Her
Goldman Sachs Speeches

Lee Fang

Jan. 24 2016, 12:37 a.m.

After Hillary Clinton spoke at a town hall in Manchester, New Hampshire,
on Friday, I asked her if she would release the transcripts of her paid
speeches to Goldman Sachs. She laughed and turned away.

Clinton has recently been on the defensive about the speaking fees she
and her husband have collected. Those fees total over $125 million since

Her rival Democratic presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, has raised
concerns in particular over the $675,000 she made from Goldman Sachs, an
investment bank that has regularly used its influence with government
officials to win favorable policies.

Watch the video:

During one of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, Clinton reportedly
reassured the crowd and told them that banker-bashing was unproductive
and foolish, according to a Politico report based on accounts offered by
several attendees.

On Friday, Clinton was asked by New Hampshire Public Radio how the
"average person should view the hefty speaking fees?"

"I spoke to a wide array of groups who wanted to hear what I thought
about the world coming off of my time as secretary of state," Clinton
said, defending her decision to make money from speaking fees. "I happen
to think we need more conversation about what’s going on in the world."

"I think groups that want to talk and ask questions and hear about that
are actually trying to educate themselves because we’re living in a
really complicated world."

Listen here:

When asked by the Des Moines Register on Thursday if she regretted her
decision to make money from speaking to various interest groups, Clinton
compared herself to President Barack Obama, noting that significant
campaign donations from Wall Street did not stop him from passing the
Dodd-Frank reform law.

But the Obama administration did in fact go easy on Wall Street by
refusing to criminally prosecute the major financial institutions
responsible for the 2008 economic crisis. And Dodd-Frank, many critics
say, does not go far enough in preventing systemic risk.

What’s more, though Obama fundraised for his presidential campaigns from
Wall Street, he never enriched himself personally as the Clintons have done.

Obama’s ethics disclosures show that he made the vast majority of his
income from royalties and advance money for his two books, Dreams From
My Father and The Audacity of Hope.

Top photo: Lloyd Blankfein, chairman & CEO of Goldman Sachs, and Hillary
Clinton during the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting.

(3) Hillary's Finance Industry Fundraisers

Hillary Clinton Doing Back-to-Back Finance Industry Fundraisers Just
Before Iowa Zaid Jilani

Jan. 27 2016, 5:20 a.m. Photo: Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images

Despite being dogged with questions about her ties to Wall Street,
Hillary Clinton will take a detour from the campaign trail in Iowa to do
back-to-back finance industry fundraisers in other states later this week.

Clinton will appear in Philadelphia at a "gala" fund-raiser hosted by
executives at Franklin Square Capital Partners, a $17 billion investment
fund. Rocker Bon Jovi will reportedly play an acoustic set for "friends"
who pledge $1,000 and hosts who bundle up to $27,000.

The Philadelphia Inquirer notes that "Franklin Square employs Ivy
League-educated money managers and salespeople with experience at big
Wall Street firms – plus four personal trainers and a dietitian to keep
staff happy and productive amid the gym, yoga and nap rooms, Sol LeWitt
art installations, and fancy cafeteria."

Clinton will then head to New York City, where she will speak at a
lunchtime "Conversations With Hillary" fund-raiser. This one is
co-hosted by Matt Mallow, a senior managing director and general counsel
at BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management firm. As we’ve
reported before, having a conversation with Hillary is not cheap.

BlackRock’s ties to Clinton go particularly deep: Cheryl Mills, one of
Clinton’s closest advisors at the State Department, sits on BlackRock’s
board, and perhaps not surprisingly, Clinton’s plans for the industry
align with the company’s financial strategy.

As David Dayen wrote for The Intercept, the company "buys and holds most
of its investments, meaning that any policy punishing short-term capital
gains and rewarding longer-term strategies would personally benefit the
firm….You could see Clinton’s proposals [to limit high-frequency
trading] as clearing much of the competition to BlackRock’s asset
management business."

While Clinton certainly has an interest in raising money for her
campaign, the organizers are banking on less government regulations in
the future.

One of Franklin Square Capital’s investment funds, the FS Energy & Power
Fund, is heavily invested in fossil fuel companies, including offshore
oil drilling and fracking. A disclosure posted by the company cautions
that "changes to laws and increased regulation or restrictions on the
use of hydraulic fracturing may adversely impact" the fund’s
performance. As secretary of state, Clinton worked to spread fracking
around the world.

(4) Hillary made $2,935,000 from 12 speeches to Wall Street banks

Hillary Clinton Made More in 12 Speeches to Big Banks Than Most of Us
Earn in a Lifetime Zaid Jilani

Jan. 9 2016, 4:28 a.m. Photo: Stephen Chernin/AFP/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders this week assailed
rival Hillary Clinton for taking large speaking fees from the financial
industry since leaving the State Department.

According to public disclosures, by giving just 12 speeches to Wall
Street banks, private equity firms, and other financial corporations,
Clinton made $2,935,000 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.

To put these numbers into perspective, compare them to lifetime earnings
of the median American worker. In 2011, the Census Bureau estimated
that, across all majors, a "bachelor’s degree holder can expect to earn
about $2.4 million over his or her work life." A Pew Research analysis
published the same year estimated that a "typical high school graduate"
can expect to make just $770,000 over the course of his or her lifetime.

This means that in one year —  2013 — Hillary Clinton earned almost as
much from 10 lectures to financial firms as most bachelor’s
degree-holding Americans earn in their lifetimes — and nearly four times
what someone who holds only a high school diploma could expect to make.

Hillary Clinton’s haul from Wall Street speeches pales in comparison to
her husband’s, which also had to be disclosed because the two share a
bank account.

"I never made any money until I left the White House," said Bill Clinton
during a 2009 address to a student group. "I had the lowest net worth,
adjusted for inflation, of any president elected in the last 100 years,
including President Obama. I was one poor rascal when I took office. But
after I got out, I made a lot of money."

The Associated Press notes that during Hillary Clinton’s time as
secretary of state, Bill Clinton earned $17 million in talks to banks,
insurance companies, hedge funds, real estate businesses, and other
financial firms. Altogether, the couple are estimated to have made over
$139 million from paid speeches.

(5) Hillary backed Russian Opposition

US presidential candidates weigh in on Russia, Putin, Middle East

Al-Monitor takes the pulse of the US presidential candidates' varied
stances on the Middle East crises and on Vladimir Putin and his role in
international politics. Author Laura Rozen Posted January 11, 2016

Hillary Clinton:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who led the Obama
administration’s first term efforts at a "reset" with Russia, probably
has the most direct experience with the Putin government of all the 2016
presidential candidates, and the two leaders have indicated they are not
very fond of each other. Clinton has said she thinks the United States
needs to take a more assertive approach to Russian annexation of Crimea
while indicating there is room for cooperation on diplomacy to try to
end the Syrian war. Putin in turn has expressed irritation with
Clinton’s tough statements and belittled them as a sign of weakness.

"I remain convinced that we need a concerted effort to really up the
costs on Russia and in particular on Putin," Clinton said at the
Brookings Institution on Sept. 9. "I am in the category of people who
wanted us to do more in response to the annexation of Crimea and the
continuing destabilization of Ukraine."

"We can't dance around it anymore," Clinton said. "We all wish it would
go away. We all wish Putin would choose to modernize his country and
move toward the West instead of sinking himself into historical roots of
czar-like behavior, and intimidation along national borders and
projecting Russian power in places like Syria and elsewhere."

"I think Russia's objectives are to stymie and to confront and undermine
American power whenever and wherever they can. I don't think there's
much to be surprised about them," she said.

"We have to do more to get back talking about how to we try to confine,
contain, deter Russian aggression in Europe and beyond," she said. "And
try to figure out what are the best tools for doing that."

"I don’t admire very much about Mr. Putin, but the idea you can stand up
and say ‘I will be your next president’? That has a certain, you know,
attraction to it," Clinton also joked at the Brookings event.

Putin, in December 2011, accused then-Secretary of State Clinton of
giving support to the Russian opposition protesting disputed
parliamentary polls and his plans to return to the Russian presidency in
2012. Russian opposition leaders "heard the signal and with the support
of the US State Department began active work," Putin said Dec. 8, 2011.
"We are all grownups here. We all understand the organizers are acting
according to a well-known scenario and in their own mercenary political

Putin apparently remained annoyed by Clinton three years later, but said
they could manage to conduct themselves cordially if needed.

"It’s better not to argue with women," Putin said in a June 3, 2014,
interview posted by the Kremlin.

"But Ms. Clinton has never been too graceful in her statements," Putin
said. "Still, we always met afterwards and had cordial conversations at
various international events. I think even in this case we could reach
an agreement. When people push boundaries too far, it’s not because they
are strong but because they are weak. But maybe weakness is not the
worst quality for a woman."

Despite their seemingly jaundiced views of each other, Clinton said that
when it came to Syria, Russia would have to be part of the solution.

"We need to be putting together a coalition to support a no-fly zone,"
Clinton said at a campaign event in Davenport, Iowa, on Oct. 6. "I think
it’s complicated and the Russians would have to be part of it, or it
wouldn’t work."

(6) Hillary champions Neocon Wars, regime change

Hillary Clinton: The International Neocon Warmonger by Webster G. Tarpley

Hillary Clinton has announced her candidacy for President of the United
States. While the European press showers her with praise without
thinking, Webster G. Tarpley recalls her balance sheet: in all
circumstances, she supported war and corporate interests.

Voltaire Network | Washington D. C. (États-Unis) | 13 April 2015

As the National Journal reported in 2014, even the pathetically weak
anti-war left is not ready to reconcile with Hillary given her
warmongering as Secretary of State. And with good reason. Scratching
just lightly beneath the surface of Hillary Clinton's career reveals the
empirical evidence of her historic support for aggressive interventions
around the globe.

Beginning with Africa, Hillary defended the 1998 cruise missile strike
on the El Shifa pharmaceutical plant in the Sudanese capital of
Khartoum, destroying the largest producer of cheap medications for
treating malaria and tuberculosis and provided over 60% of available
medicine in Sudan. In 2006 she supported sending United Nations troops
to Darfur with logistical and technical support provided by NATO forces.
Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi was outspoken in his condemnation of this
intervention, claiming it was not committed out of concern for Sudanese
people but "...for oil and for the return of colonialism to the African

This is the same leader who was murdered in the aftermath of the 2011
NATO bombing of Libya; an attack promoted and facilitated with the eager
support of Mrs. Clinton. In an infamous CBS news interview, said
regarding this international crime: "We came, we saw, he died." As Time
magazine pointed out in 2011, the administration understood removing
Qaddafi from power would allow the terrorist cells active in Libya to
run rampant in the vacuum left behind. Just last month the New York
Times reported that Libya has indeed become a terrorist safe haven and
failed state-- conducive for exporting radicals through "ratlines" to
the conflict against Assad in Syria.

Hillary made prompt use of the ratlines for conflicts in the Middle
East. In the summer of 2012, Clinton privately worked with then CIA
director and subversive bonapartist David Petraeus on a proposal for
providing arms and training to death squads to be used to topple Syria
just as in Libya. This proposal was ultimately struck down by Obama,
reported the New York Times in 2013, but constituted one of the earliest
attempts at open military support for the Syrian death squads.

Her voting record on intervening in Afghanistan and Iraq is well known
and she also has consistently called for attacking Iran. She even told
Fareed Zakaria the State Department was involved "behind the scenes" in
Iran's failed 2009 Green Revolution. More recently in Foreign Policy
magazine David Rothkopf wrote on the subject of the Lausanne nuclear
accord, predicting a "snap-back" in policy by the winner of the 2016
election to the foreign policy in place since the 1980s. The title of
this article? "Hillary Clinton is the Real Iran Snap-Back." This makes
Hillary the prime suspect for a return to the madcap Iranian policies
that routinely threaten the world with a World War 3 scenario.

Hillary Clinton is not only actively aggressing against Africa and the
Middle East. She was one of the loudest proponents against her husband's
hesitancy over the bombing of Kosovo, telling Lucina Frank: "I urged him
to bomb," even if it was a unilateral action.

While no Clinton spokesperson responded to a request by the Washington
Free Beacon regarding her stance on Ukraine, in paid speeches she
mentioned "putting more financial support into the Ukrainian
government". When Crimea decided to choose the Russian Federation over
Poroshenko's proto-fascist rump state, Hillary anachronistically called
President Putin's actions like "what Hitler did in the '30s." As a
leader of the bumbled "reset" policy towards Russia, Hillary undoubtedly
harbors some animus against Putin and will continue the destabilization
project ongoing in Ukraine.

Not content with engaging in debacles in Eastern Europe, she has vocally
argued for a more aggressive response to what she called the "rollback
of democratic development and economic openness in parts of Latin
America." This indicates her willingness to allow the continuation of
CIA sponsored efforts at South American destabilization in the countries
of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina and Brazil.

It is one of the proud prerogatives of the Tax Wall Street Party to push
out into the light the Wall Street and foundation-funded Democrats. The
final blow to Hillary's clumsy façade comes directly from arch-neocon
Robert Kagan. Kagan worked as a foreign policy advisor to Hillary along
with his wife, Ukraine madwoman Victoria Nuland, during Hillary's term
as Secretary of State. He claimed in the New York Times that his view of
American foreign policy is best represented in the "mainstream" by the
foreign policy of Hillary Clinton; a foreign policy he obviously
manipulated or outright crafted. Kagan stated: "If she pursues a policy
which we think she will's something that might have been
called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that;
they are going to call it something else." What further reason could any
sane person need to refute Hillary? A vote for Hillary is a vote for the
irrational return to war. The "Giant Sucking Sound": Clinton Gave US
NAFTA and Other Free Trade Sellouts

"There is no success story for workers to be found in North America 20
years after NAFTA," states AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka. Unlike
other failures of his Presidency, Bill Clinton can not run from NAFTA.
It was Vice President Al Gore, not a veto-proof Republican congress, who
lobbied to remove trade barriers with low-wage Mexico.

The record of free trade is clear. Multinational corporations and Wall
Street speculators realize incredible profits, wages remain stagnant in
the US, poverty persists in the developing world, and the remaining
industrial corporations in America and Canada are increasingly owned by
Chinese, Indian and other foreign interests.

America's free trade policy is upside down. Besides Canada, Australia
and Korea, most of our "free" trade partners are low-wage sweatshop
paradises like Mexico, Chile, Panama, Guatemala, Bahrain and Oman. The
US does in fact apply tariffs on most goods and on most nations of
origin - rates are set by the US International Trade Commission (USTIC),
a quasi-public federal agency.

Since a German- or Japanese-made automobile would under USITC's schedule
be taxed 10% upon importation, Volkswagen and Toyota can circumvent
taxation by simply building their auto assembly plants for the US market
in Mexico. In Detroit, an auto assembly worker is paid between $14 and
$28/hour, ($29,120-$58,240/yr); hard work for modest pay. In Mexico, the
rate varies from $2-5/hour.

In China, all automobile imports regardless of origin are tariffed as
high as 25%. This allows the Chinese to attract joint ventures with
Volkswagen and Toyota, and to paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, "keep the
jobs, the cars and the money."

NAFTA-related job loss is not a question of productivity, currency
manipulation, "fair trade," environmental standards, etc. While these
issues are not trivial, free trade - as Lincoln's advisor Henry C. Carey
proved - is a matter of simple accounting. Can an American family
survive on $4,160/year ($2/hr)? If not, cars and their components will
be built in Mexico. If we want cars built in the United States, the only
solution is a general tariff (import tax) reflecting the difference
between those wage standards, like the very tariffs repealed by Bill

In the United States the "runaway shop" under NAFTA and CAFTA has sent
trade deficits and unemployment soaring while wages drop relative to the
cost of living. Yet Mexico and other "partners" receive no benefit
either. Many manufacturing sectors in Mexico pay wages lower than the
equivalent sector in China. Mexico is now the world leader in illegal
narcotics exportation and weapons importation. The poverty level between
1994 and 2009 remained virtually identical. (52.4% - 52.3%). The
shipping of raw materials to Mexico comprise the majority of so called
American "exports". The finished products from these exports are
assembled and sold back to the United States at slave labor prices.

Don't expect Hillary to behave differently with the coming
"Trans-Pacific Partnership," which seeks to replace an ascendant China
with less-developed Vietnam and Malaysia. Vietnam would overtake
India-allied Bangladesh in the global apparel trade, and Malaysia has a
high-tech manufacturing sector poised to rival China's. With America's
manufacturing economy in shambles, the Clinton machine can now be
redirected to geopolitical maneuvers.

Peter Myers