A Smear?

It’s hardly worth denying that the Clintons, Bill and Hillary have been staunch supporters of the Banksters and their Too Big To Exist Mega-Banks. You may choose to excuse it, but their policies, Bill’s as President and Hillary’s as Senator, are simply a matter of record.

Bernie’s campaign has has raised justifiable concerns about the enormous amount of money Hillary was paid directly by those Mega-Banks and other financial institutions for making speeches to them. Since we now learn that one of the conditions of her contracts is that a paid stenographer make a transcript of her remarks (and only Yellow M&Ms in the Green Room), the Sanders campaign has quite reasonably asked if she will release them.

She’s certainly within her rights not to, they are her property not public record.

Her campaign has taken 3 positions in relationship to the transcripts, first- that she was quite tough in her remarks to the Banksters and scolded them for their excesses. Secondly, that they’ll release them if Bernie does the same. Thirdly, that there is no evidence of quid pro quo, that is, money paid to influence a particular vote which if proven would be, technically speaking, a Bribe which is a criminal offense.

Let’s take these in reverse order. Hillary’s voting record is persistently and militantly pro-Bankster, it may in fact be that this is entirely unrelated to her speaking fees, you can make up your own mind. I’m sure Sanders would release any transcripts and recordings of speeches he’s made to Banks but there aren’t any, Bernie’s entire net worth is about 2/3rds of what she got for just one speech.

Her campaign also said that $200,000 Sanders got from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee for his Senate campaigns was “Wall Street” money. A lot of other people and businesses contributed to the DSCC too. To call that “Wall Street” money is a bit of a stretch from someone who took $675,000 directly from Goldman Sachs and put it in her pocket, not into campaigning.

Which leaves us with the proposition that she’s privately a Bank scold in private despite her record of complete Bankster support in public.

Or maybe not so much-

What Clinton said in her paid speeches
By Ben White, Politico
02/09/16 05:15 AM EST

When Hillary Clinton spoke to Goldman Sachs executives and technology titans at a summit in Arizona in October of 2013, she spoke glowingly of the work the bank was doing raising capital and helping create jobs, according to people who saw her remarks.

Clinton, who received $225,000 for her appearance, praised the diversity of Goldman’s workforce and the prominent roles played by women at the blue-chip investment bank and the tech firms present at the event. She spent no time criticizing Goldman or Wall Street more broadly for its role in the 2008 financial crisis.

“It was pretty glowing about us,” one person who watched the event said. “It’s so far from what she sounds like as a candidate now. It was like a rah-rah speech. She sounded more like a Goldman Sachs managing director.”

At another speech to Goldman and its big asset management clients in New York in 2013, Clinton spoke about how it wasn’t just the banks that caused the financial crisis and that it was worth looking at the landmark 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law to see what was working and what wasn’t.

Hillary Clinton can’t run away from her Goldman Sachs problem: Report suggests her paid speeches were decidedly pro-Wall Street
by Sean Illing, Salon
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016 11:15 AM EST

At a previous debate, when asked about her previous efforts to curb financial corruption, Clinton again dropped the ball. She said she went to Wall Street before the Great Recession and told those crafty bankers to “Cut it out!” and to “Quit engaging in these kinds of speculative behaviors.” Obviously this wasn’t a compelling defense of her record.

These kinds of questions aren’t going away. If anything, it’s going to get worse for Clinton. The calls for her to release the transcripts of her paid speeches at Goldman Sachs are getting louder every day.

This is really a lose-lose proposition for Clinton. If she does release the transcripts, she’ll have to defend everything she said, and that’s not a position she wants to be in. As another attendee of one of the speeches put it, “It would bury her against Sanders. It really makes her look like an ally of the firm.”

If she sits on the transcripts, the most likely move, the speculation and pressure will only mount. A Democrat close to the campaign told Politico that “If it were up to me I’d just say go ahead and release them and deal with it. But I can understand why they don’t want to because anything can be taken out of context and blown up.” Clinton pushed back on ABC’s “This Week,” saying “Let everybody who’s ever given a speech to any private group under any circumstances release them. We’ll all release them at the same time. I have never, ever been influenced in a view or a vote by anyone who has given me any kind of funding.”

This may be the only angle Clinton can take on this story, but it won’t make it go away. Goldman Sachs isn’t a typical “private group” and the notion that she’s never been influenced by the people giving her millions of dollars isn’t plausible. In any other election cycle, Clinton could easily survive this story – and she still can, of course. But 2016 is the year of the populist, and this will plague her campaign for several months.

Hillary Clinton’s artful smear: Her Goldman Sachs speaker fees matter, even if she doesn’t understand why
by David Weisberg, Salon
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016 07:58 AM EST

At a Democratic debate in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton accused Bernie Sanders of an “artful smear” for an insinuation that the secretary has been “bought” because she accepted six-figure speaking fees from big banks and corporate interests.

“You will not find that I ever changed a view or a vote because of any donation I ever received,” Clinton argued.

Accepting her response as fact – and there is no evidence to the contrary – the mammoth speaking fees still matter. It is not only relevant whether our leaders’ voting records are affected by the fees they accept — but it is also important, in both appearance and with regard to ethical measure, where those speaking fees come from at all.

Let’s take Goldman Sachs as an example. According to records, Hillary Clinton accepted speaking fees from Goldman Sachs for three engagements between June and October of 2013 totaling $675,000. Regardless of the content of those presentations (and Clinton should absolutely and without hesitation agree to release those transcripts), those engagements occurred after it was clear that Goldman Sachs had contributed not only to a national economic meltdown but also to the financial devastation of countless investors – individuals, families and organizations – through the investment banking giant’s fraudulent sale of doomed-to-fail investments.

What was $675,000 in pocket change for Goldman Sachs is $675,000 in lost savings and lost homes for bilked investors – $675,000 that went into the pockets of an already incredibly wealthy Hillary Clinton.

Accepting Clinton’s assertion that millions of dollars in speaking fees have not affected her voting decisions or views as fact, those fees are nevertheless problematic.

What is absolutely fact is that she indeed accepted those fees, and accepting those fees, in and of itself, raises questions of ethics and equity; and that is not an “artful smear.”


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