Clinton and Trump Are Rich and Pals of the Rich—and
That Could Be a Huge Problem
for the Nation
2. Will Donald Trump’s Shake-Up Destroy the GOP?
3. US Hawks Advance a War Agenda in Syria
4. TiSA: Big Brother and Big Business Together
This is a Nederlog of Monday, August 22, 2016.
There are 4 items with 4
dotted links today: Item 1
is about the fact that both presidential candidates are rich, which
does entail some potential problems for either when elected president; item 2
is about Trump but is too optimistic about his chances of losing, and
also doesn't answer the question its title asks (I do answer that: Very
probably not); item 3 is about the war in Syria,
which gets more and more complicated; and item 4
is the most important item today and is about the TiSA, which in my
just like the TPP and the TTIP, and indeed also like NAFTA, is designed
to bring neofascism a lot closer - or, if
you don't like that term (very few do, also very few
real neofascists ) is designed to take
most powers from states and democracies and parliaments, and
give these powers to the multi-national corporations (and that is
what I mean by "neofascism").
Also, I have to go to the dentist today and do some other things, which
means that this article got finished fairly early.
Clinton and Trump Are Rich and Pals of the Rich—and That Could Be a
Huge Problem for the Nation
first item today is by Bill Blum on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
As described in various
articles and op-eds, Trump’s conflicts stem from his far-flung
worldwide enterprises, while Clinton’s emanate from the global reach of
her family foundation and her long-standing ties
to Wall Street banks. Given their assets and business relations,
questions of favoritism, self-dealing and compromised judgment would
haunt either candidate’s tenure in office.
Yes, of course - at least, this is why
I take it many very rich men and many very rich banks support Clinton: Because
this gives them a great advantage in the "favoritism,
self-dealing and compromised judgment" that obviously must
happen as soon as presidential decisions are being made that will
effect the chances or the profits of (in Clinton's case) very rich
banks. For she will have to decide between arguments which say
or suggest "We supported you when you wanted to be president; now it's
time to support us in these deals."
And similar things hold for Donald
Trump, although his position is different because he owns a
great amount of property outside the USA:
According to the financial
disclosure form he filed in May with the Federal Election
Commission, Trump has an ownership share in more than 500 closely held
corporations. These include (with credit to O’Brien for closely
analyzing the filing) hotel and real estate development projects across
the United States, as well as resort and hotel properties in Dubai,
Qatar, China, Azerbaijan, Brazil, Egypt, Georgia, India, Indonesia,
Israel, the Philippines, South Africa and Turkey. And don’t forget the
neckties manufactured in Bangladesh, his misbegotten Russian ventures
like the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, or former campaign
chairman Paul Manafort’s lobbying on behalf of deposed former Ukrainian
President Viktor Yanukovych.
In addition, Trump is deeply
in hock to foreign banks, to the tune of $335 million according to
a Mother Jones story in June. And a New
York Times exposé revealed Saturday that “companies [Trump] owns
have at least $650 million in debt.”
Mother Jones reports that the
Frankfort-headquartered Deutsche Bank has lent Trump some $295 million
since 2012. The Times alleges that Trump’s major creditors include the
Bank of China, as well as Goldman Sachs.
Incidentally, this means that - simply
adding up the given numbers - Trump owes nearly $1.3 billion dollars
- and note that most about Trump's business interests is not
known, or is only very partially known, and he also hasn't
published any financial details about himself.
As to Hillary Clinton, there is this:
And all of these corporations
contributed to Hillary Clinton, simply because if she is
president then each of them can say, as soon as deals come up
that are financially important to them: "We
supported you when you wanted to be president; now it's time for you to
support us in these deals."
Clinton’s conflicts are not much
cleaner. Since its inception in 2001, the Clinton
Foundation has raised more than $2 billion in donations to fund
initiatives and programs on global health, climate change and economic
development in the Third World. More than 40 percent of its
top donors—those who have contributed more than $1 million—have
been based in foreign countries, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Corporations have also ponied up a
boatload, with the Citi Foundation, Barclays Capital, Goldman Sachs,
HSBC and Exxon Mobil chipping in as much as $5 million each. According
to Bloomberg, 29 of the 30 companies
listed on the Dow Jones industrial average have contributed.
While neither Bill nor Hillary has ever
drawn a salary from the foundation, they have nonetheless benefited
handsomely from speaking fees paid by many of their corporate
underwriters, and in Hillary’s case from campaign contributions as well.
To be sure, I have no written proof of my last statement, but indeed it
would be very odd (I think) if it were different: Banks and
corporations don't spend millions on politicians without
a good chance of making a profit for themselves on deals the politician
decides or co-decides.
Finally, here is evidence that both Trump and Clinton are both rich and
pals of the rich:
Yes, indeed. Also, my guess about the
Clintons (who started poor, unlike Trump, who was born in a rich
family) is that their personal motives are about half-half:
Schwartz writes that Trump, “[w]ith a
supposed net worth of $4.5 billion,” is “brushing up against the velvet
rope” of the club and is practically a member. The Clintons, with a
fortune just north of $110 million, may be well outside the lines, but
they are still miles closer than the rest of us. And, as Schwartz
elaborates, they’ve used their connections with the über rich to
approximate a similar lifestyle, flying in the private jets of wealthy
friends “during the political offseason,” and buying such trinkets as a
$10 million Manhattan apartment for Chelsea and her husband.
Whatever other differences there may be
between Clinton and Trump—and whether or not either might become
embroiled in an overt “quid pro quo” indignity in the Oval Office—they
will function as emissaries of the oligarchy.
Half of them cares a lot for major or supreme power, and the
cares a lot for living the very soft life of the very rich: "flying in the private jets of wealthy friends “during the
political offseason,” and buying such trinkets as a $10 million
Manhattan apartment for Chelsea and her husband".
Anyway - there is considerably more in the article, which is
recommended, and the summary is that both presidential candidates are
very rich, and both presidential candidates run serious risks if they
are president, but the risks are quite different.
Donald Trump’s Shake-Up Destroy the GOP?
The second item today is by Eugene Robinson on Truthdig:
This starts as follows:
Shaken by the fact that he’s losing,
Donald Trump has fled into the parallel universe of the extreme
right—and apparently plans to stay there for the remainder of the
campaign. Let’s see if the rest of the Republican Party is dumb enough
to follow him.
Trump has reportedly been feeling “boxed
in” and “controlled” by the few people around him who actually know
something about politics. Advice from these professionals to tone it
down must be responsible for his slide in the polls, he seems to
believe. So he has hired as chief
executive of his campaign a man named Stephen Bannon, who will not
only let Trump be Trump, but encourage him to be even Trumpier.
Bannon runs Breitbart News, a website
that creates its own ultranationalist far-right reality—one that often
bears little resemblance to the world as it really is. As I write, the
site is claiming that Hillary Clinton has some serious undisclosed
health problem (her doctor says she is just fine), that one of
Clinton’s aides has “very clear ties” to radical Islam (which is
totally untrue) and that Clinton herself has “clear ties” to Russian
President Vladimir Putin (when in fact it is Trump who often reveals
his man-crush on the Russian leader).
I say. I think I agree on Stephen Bannon,
but I don't
think I agree Trump is loosing. More precisely, while I agree Trump is
behind Clinton in the polls, I do not have much faith in polls; I also
think a lot may happen that may change the polls in the coming
months; and I don't think Trump has lost until it is November
9, and indeed he has lost.
And I think the following also is too
For it is also a fact that while "there hasn’t been a single national poll since July 24
showing Trump in the lead"
this fact is less than 30 days old, while there are still 77
days to go till
the elections of November 8. And the control of the Senate isn't
So if anyone was wondering if this
election cycle could get any worse for the GOP, it just did.
The fact is that there hasn’t been a
single national poll since July 24 showing Trump in the lead, according
to the tally kept by RealClearPolitics. Clinton has also pulled ahead
in all the battleground states and has become competitive in
traditional Republican strongholds such as Georgia and Arizona.
It now appears to be a good bet that
Republicans will lose control of the Senate.
Finally, the question the title asks - Will
Donald Trump’s Shake-Up Destroy the GOP?
- is neither posed nor answered in the article, but I will give my own
answer on the assumption that Clinton wins the presidency:
There is so very much money involved in the Republican party, that it
will be relatively easy to forget about Trump and to try to
rebuilt it again, for
which they will have two to three years. So no, I don't think
it is likely the Republicans will be destroyed: There simply is too
much money involved.
3. US Hawks Advance a War Agenda in Syria
The third item today is by Daniel
Lazare on Consortiumnews:
This starts with a summary that is worth
The U.S. government, having
illegally sent American troops into Syria, is now threatening to attack
the Syrian military if it endangers those troops, an Orwellian twist
that marks a dangerous escalation, explains Daniel Lazare.
I say. I think I agree, but I should add that
the U.S. government either doesn't believe that it has "illegally sent American troops into Syria" or else (more probably) doesn't care much.
Here is some more on the present situation in Syria:
Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis, a
Navy captain, said that the U.S. was resolved to protect the safety of
“We view instances that place coalition
personnel at risk with the utmost seriousness” he declared,
“and we do have the inherent right of self-defense when U.S. forces are
“As we’ve said in the past,” he added,
“the Syrian regime would be well-advised not to interfere with
coalition forces or our partners.”
Such statements are little less than
Orwellian since the United States has essentially invaded Syria by
inserting military forces without Syrian government permission in
violation of international law. What Davis was saying, therefore,
is that the U.S. will prevent Syria from protecting its own forces on
its own soil, which was rather like the Wehrmacht condemning Poland for
daring to defend its own territory in September 1939.
Yes and no, and I start with the no:
The situation of 1939, with "the Wehrmacht condemning Poland for daring to defend its own
territory" is not
the same as the situation in Syria. The Wehrmacht attacked Poland and
defeated it quickly, and that was the extent of the military
involvement, whereas in Syria far more military parties are
involved, and the conflicts in Syria have been going on for quite a
And yes, the statements of Davis do
sound Orwellian, for the simple reason that the Americans indeed are
inside Syria with military forces (as are the Russians, at least with
jets) and have not
been asked to be there by the Syrian government.
There is also this bit, that asks a quite
The confrontation begs the question
of who is really calling the shots with regard to Syria, the President
or well-placed hawks whose specialty is maneuvering the White House
into doing their bidding.
In fact, few people know the
answer, for the simple reason that few people outside the Pentagon and
outside the US government know much about the
relations between the president or the government on the one hand and
Pentagon on the other hand: These are all matters about which there is
of secrecy, as indeed there is - anyway - about the Pentagon.
So all I can do is guess,
and since the
question is quite important, I will guess and say that it seems
that the president and the government do have influence and
they are one or two from several more, for there also is the Pentagon
and its generals, and besides these there also are the
major corporations that built and sell the weapons the USA uses.
And given that the Pentagon now for about twenty
years (!!) has not given a good statement on how and on
what its many trillions of tax money are spend, I guess that
the generals of the Pentagon are most powerful.
Finally, here is a bit about the very
complicated military situation in Syria:
Indeed, the Syrian conflict grows
more complicated by the day. Syria and Russia are battling ISIS,
Al Nusra, and other Islamist groups while the U.S. is battling ISIS as
well while indirectly aiding Al Nusra by channeling arms to allied
Islamist groups with which it shares weaponry and coordinates
4. TiSA: Big Brother and Big Business Together
The fourth and last item today is
by The Daily Take Team and The Thom Hartmann Program, and is quite
This starts as follows:
President Obama started a fresh push for
the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TTP) on Friday when he sent
Congress a draft Statement of Administrative Action.
That action means that after 30 days,
the White House will be able to present Congress with legislation on
And on Tuesday, Democratic presidential
nominee Hillary Clinton chose Ken Salazar, who is an aggressively
outspoken supporter of the TPP, to lead her White House transition
team, despite the fact that Clinton has come out firmly against the TPP.
Obama has been strongly for the
TTP since the beginning, which means (for me at least) that he always
supported the corporate rich, who want to break down the national
states, the national parliaments, and the national democra- cies, and replace
all these powers by the powers of the rich multi-national corporations,
served by a new "court"
to which nobody has access but the multi-national corporations and the
states, and which are manned by lawyers who co-wrote the TTP.
As I have said quite a few times now, this
is by far the best plan to impose neofascism on
everyone that I have ever
known - and while I am certain that Obama will reject that accusation,
it is founded on the simple definition of fascism as the
rule of the rich
and their corporations, and while he certainly rejects it, he also
done all he could to keep anybody from reading  all the many new laws he is
proposing in the TPP, the TTIP and TiSA: It is best if these new laws
are approved by a Senate (and by parliaments in other countries) that
knows as little as possible about the laws they have to
approve, according to Obama, because "that is good for Free Trade"
(which is a bullshit
argument, if there ever was one).
Finally, Hillary Clinton is completely
incredible as an opponent of the TTP: She has always been for
it, as was Obama, and the only
reason she now says she is against it is that she wants to be
president, while many who will vote for her are against it. But
will - I think - very soon revise her position as soon as she is
here is the program of the TiSA, that sounds like the ideal of
neofascism (and I will explain myself). To start with, here is step 1:
TiSA will undermine citizens' privacy
and governments' sovereignty, and negotiators are hoping to have a deal
finalized by the end of this year.
Paola Casale at EconomyInCrisis
writes bluntly about TiSA that, "You may be asking: 'how does this
affect me?' The best one sentence response I can come up with is: 'how
does this not affect
Fifty-one countries would be initially
governed by TiSA, including the United States, the European Union, and
22 other nations from around the world, representing 70 percent of the
world's services' trade.
Everybody's privacy will be lost i.e. the
secret services will know much more about anyone than anyone can
remember about himself or herself, and neither the government nor your
national laws will defend you in any way, for everything
they do that threatens to diminish the projected profits of the
can be attacked by them, and will be resolved in the new "courts" that
the TTP, the TTIP and the TiSA created, to which no one except
multi-national corporations and states have access.
This is not an original fascist
ideal? I think it is.
Here is step 2 on the TiSA - and please
note this about the "leaked texts and summaries":
President Obama is such an enormous democrat that he tries his very
best (together with the lawyers of the TTP, the TTIP and TiSA) to keep
the texts of the new laws he wants very much to see realized completely
secret to everyone and as long as he can (which makes it quite
improbable many senators will have read much of the TTP,
the TTIP or the TiSA they are very strongly prodded to approve by their
Based on leaked texts and summaries
published by the European Union, it's clear that TiSA aims to go even
further than the World Trade Organization (WTO) to globalize markets,
functionally destroy national borders, and to create new
corporate-friendly rules and regulations in sectors like e-commerce and
TiSA would include a "standstill clause"
for financial services, and Switzerland has proposed that the agreement
force all signatories to allow "any new financial service" to enter the
market, which would virtually guarantee that banks all over the world,
freed from sovereign regulation, would adopt the same sort of
reckless speculation that destroyed the global economy just eight years
The deal also aims to make it so that
banks and e-commerce outlets like Amazon could send an individual's
data out of a TiSA country for processing, regardless of national
privacy laws, breaking with centuries of precedent on locally kept
business records accounting to David Dayen at The
So the presently secret text of
the TiSA (also for senators and parliament- arians, and if they do
know something about these new laws, they are not allowed to
tell anything about them to anyone, nor are they
allowed to take any notes in case they did get
permission to read parts of it) sees to it (it must be inferred,
from the little that is known):
- that national borders and nations are
- that corporate-friendly rules replace all
democratically agreed national laws (indeed in anything that
might affect any of the projected profits of any of
the multi-national corporations),
- that financial services get all the liberties they want (and their customers none,
nor any state, parliament or national government)
- that all banks are totally liberated
and can do what their executives please, and
- that all private data on any individual
cease being private, and can be send anywhere to