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Nederlog

Oct 9, 2016

Crisis: Pussy-grabbing Trump, Rules Dead, WikiLeaks, Democracy & Debts
Sections                                                                                     crisis index
Introduction

1. Donald Trump: "I grab them by the pussy"

2. Both Campaigns Enthusiastically Violate Ban on Super PAC Coordination,
     Watchdog Says

3. WikiLeaks Dumps Excerpts From Paid Speeches Hillary Clinton Sought to
     Bury

4. Democracy’s Debt Ladder
Introduction: 

This is a Nederlog of Sunday, October 9, 2016.

A. This is a crisis log with 4 items and 4 dotted links: Item 1 is this time not a text but a nice, funny and bitter video by Bill Maher, made after it became known Donald Trump said (in 1995) that because he is famous he starts kissing any woman he wants, and he also (in his own words) "grabs them by the pussy"; item 2 is about the complete decline of all standards in the U.S. elections; item 3 is about WikiLeaks' (so far small) dump of excerpts from Hillary Clintons superbly paid speeches to very rich bankers; and item 4 is about an interesting interview with Michael Hudson, with whom I partially agree.

-- Constant part, for the moment --

B. In case you visit my Dutch site: I do not know, but it may be you need to click/reload twice or more to see any changes I have made. This certainly held for me, but it is possible this was caused by the fact that I am also writing it from my computer.

In any case, I am now (again) updating the opening of my site with the last day it was updated. (And I am very sorry if you have to click/reload several times to see the last update: It is not what I wish, nor how it was. [1]

C. In case you visit my Danish site: It now works again (!), but I do not know how long it will keep working.

I am very sorry, and none of it is due to me. I am simply doing the same things as I did for 20 or for 12 years, that also went well for 20 or for 12 years.

I will keep this introduction until I get three successive days (!!!) in which both providers work correctly. I have not seen that for many months now.

---

1. Donald Trump: "I grab them by the pussy"

The first item today is a video by Bill Maher of which the theme is what I shall call

                                                    Trump's Presidential Slogan
:



For this is what Donald Trump said
, in 1995, on tape, about - "non-fat, attractive" - "chicks": He immediately starts kissing them and he grabs them by the pussy, which he all can do because - he says - he "is famous".

He also said more and it is all interestingly discussed here:
I think this is a better discussion, and also a more honest one, than most of the discussions about the same subject that I have read; it also contains contributions by a real billionaire (Mark Cuban); and it takes only 11 minutes.

Then again, I do have one remark: In a sense, I agree with Bill Maher, who asks himself "every week: Is this really happening?!", for what Trump shows is the campaign of an insane - crazy, mad - person.

But I should add that I have been saying now for nearly seven months (since March 14) that it is my psychologist's judgement that Trump is really not sane. And this - "I grab them by the pussy" - is what you get from the insane presidential candidate from the Republican Party.

So while I agree in one sense with Bill Maher's remark, I add that I probably am less amazed than many:

This is the presidential candidate of the Republican Party: Donald Trump, who - from his own taped words - "grabs" any attractive woman (married or not) "by the pussy", because he can do so because he "is famous". Or so he said.

Indeed, by now I have a question, also considering Trump's fondness for "uneducated people":

Why should I not extend my judgement on Trump's mind to the minds of his supporters, given that
they support an insane candidate who thinks he can "grab" any attractive woman (married or not) "by the pussy"? [2]

And this is a recommended video.

2. Both Campaigns Enthusiastically Violate Ban on Super PAC Coordination, Watchdog Says
 
The second item is by Jon Schwarz on The Intercept:

This starts as follows:

In another noble, doomed attempt to encourage the Federal Election Commission to enforce campaign finance law, the Campaign Legal Center filed complaints Thursday against Donald TrumpHillary Clinton, and several Super PACs supporting them for illegal coordination.

The Campaign Legal Center is a nonpartisan Washington, D.C., nonprofit that frequently files such complaints — including one based on The Intercept’s reporting — on which the FEC then generally takes no action.

The FEC’s coma-like state is due to the ferocious opposition of its three Republican members to almost any restriction on money in politics. The FEC has six members, and by law no more than three can be from any one political party, so on many significant votes the commission deadlocks 3-3.

Based on the CLC’s current complaints, it’s difficult to say whether the Trump or Clinton campaign more joyfully violates campaign finance rules.

I say, though indeed I am not amazed. But I didn't know what is said in the above about the FEC.

But first, let's move back a little:

Several 2010 court decisions, including Citizens United, made it possible for Super PACs to raise and spend unlimited amounts of money supporting candidates for federal office. The Supreme Court determined that this would not “give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” so long as Super PACs’ expenditures were truly independent — i.e., not coordinated with candidates’ campaigns.

But after years of inaction by the FEC, campaigns have realized that this restriction can be ignored. And now both the Trump and Clinton campaigns are coordinating with Super PACs in the same way your hands coordinate with your brain.

For its part, the Trump campaign has saved a great deal of money by simply not paying key staff and letting Super PACs pick up the bill instead.

As I have said several times (I don't know how many, for the simple reason that I wrote, since September 1, 2008, more than 1350 files on the crisis, and there is a lot more in them than I recall, although my memory is still quite good): In my opinion, the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision was certainly political i.e. not really legal, and it may have been corrupt (although that is less likely).

It was political for the simple reasons that allowing unlimited amounts of money to support candidates is corrupt and cannot fail to be seen as corrupt: It gives most of the power to the richest, who then can use their riches to corrupt anybody else.

There is considerably more on Trump, which I skip (you can read it by clicking the last of the above dotted links), whille I only quote this short bit on Clinton:

The approach of the pro-Clinton Super PAC Correct the Record has been more sophisticated, though not by much.

Here is the - sad, but true - conclusion of the article:

Nevertheless, both Republicans and Democrats are acting rationally if their primary objective is to win the presidential election rather than follow the law. If its prior actions are any guide, the FEC is unlikely to vote on the Campaign Legal Center’s complaints until long after the election is over; it will then probably deadlock 3-3, taking no action; and if it does take action and issue fines, the penalties will likely be minuscule and easily handled by each party’s biggest, billionaire donors.

Yes indeed. And once you've cleared the way for massive corruption by the rich, as the Supreme Court did in 2010, that is what you're going to get: Massive corruption by the rich.

This is a recommended article.

3. WikiLeaks Dumps Excerpts From Paid Speeches Hillary Clinton Sought to Bury

The third item is by Deirdre Fulton on Common Dreams:

This starts as follows:

Excerpts of Hillary Clinton's paid speeches to Wall Street institutions, divulged by WikiLeaks late on Friday, show why the Democratic presidential nominee was reluctant to have them publicized during her primary battle against populist rival Bernie Sanders.

In the lucrative speeches, for which she was paid some $225,000 a pop, Clinton signaled support for a plan that would lower corporate tax rates while raising the Social Security age; admitted she was out-of-touch with regular Americans; explained how politicians "need both a public and a private position;" and embraced a strong pro-trade position that could conflict with remarks she's made on the campaign trail.

Let me start by saying that paying a politician nearly a quarter million dollars per speech = major corruption, regardless from who pays it or who receives it. Anybody who receives for a speech of an hour five times the average income earned in a year is corrupt - and this did not even consider that those paying her (and her husband) already received extremely much - in terms of deregulation after deregulation - from her husband, and are evidently counting on just the same from her.

And the points that are mentioned above are all pro rich, anti non-rich policies, and they also are remarkably dishonest (with "politicians" that "need both a public and a private position" - which seems equivalent to saying "publicly, I speak for the non-rich; privately, as soon as I am nominated, I'll decide for the rich").

Here is some more:

In one revealing excerpt, from a 2014 speech at a Goldman Sachs-Black Rock event, Clinton discussed being "kind of far removed" from the struggles of the middle class, saying:

I am not taking a position on any policy, but I do think there is a growing sense of anxiety and even anger in the country over the feeling that the game is rigged. And I never had that feeling when I was growing up. Never. I mean, were there really rich people, of course there were. My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care. We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn't believe in mortgages. So I lived that. And now, obviously, I'm kind of far removed because the life I've lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven't forgotten it.

And Hillary Clinton is - somewhat - right: Before 1980, the economy was rigged as well (despite her not seeing any evidence), but it was considerably less rigged for the rich and by the rich than it has been since 1980.

Also, while she "had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care", she doesn't mention that her husband, while he was president, deregulated nearly all the legal underpinnings of Hillary's youthful advantages.

But she is quite honest about "
the economic" "fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy", although she "forgets" to add that these "economic fortunes" were put together by the bankers, who also rewarded Bill Clinton with many speeches of an hour or less, for five times the average yearly income, which quickly gained him at least $120 million dollars.

Here is Hillary Clinton on her ideal economy:

On more than one occasion, she spoke of how bankers should take a leading role in shaping financial regulations, saying in 2013, "the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry."

And on trade, Clinton told a Brazilian bank in 2013: "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders...We have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access and to trade."

This translates (I think) as follows: 'I want the bankers to decide what is good for the bankers, and I want the rich to be as unregulated as is possible, so that they can get even richer even faster, all without any regulations whatsoever: There must be no protectionism of the poor and the non-rich.'

Finally, this is from WikiLeaks on what is to come:

WikiLeaks declared on Twitter that it had published just "1% of the #PodestaEmails so far. Additional publications will proceed throughout the election period."

I say. I am certainly curious. O, and why do I think you have to vote for Clinton and not for Trump if I think both are pro-rich liars and deceivers? Because Trump is mad, and his plans are considerably more unbalanced, crazy, untested and wild than Clinton's.

And this is a recommended article.


4. Democracy’s Debt Ladder

The fourth and last item today is by Michael Hudson (<- Wikipedia) on Washington's Blog and originally an interview on The Real News Network
(<- Wikipedia):

This starts as follows:
KIM BROWN, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I’m Kim Brown, in Baltimore. With the worst of the great recession, supposedly, behind us, economic analysts still see signs that we’re not yet completely out of the woods. A new report released Wednesday by the International Monetary Fund shows that some banks in the United States and Europe may not be strong enough to survive another downturn, even with States assistance.
Actually, as Michael Hudson will explain, "the great recession" is not "behind us", at least if we are not rich. Indeed, here he is:
HUDSON: We are not in a recovery and we’re not really in a traditional recession. People think of a business cycle, which is a boom followed by a recession and then automatic stabilizers revive the economy. But this time we can’t revive. The reason is that every recovery since 1945 has begun with a higher, and higher level of debt. The debt is so high now, that since 2008 we’ve been in what I call, debt deflation. People have to pay so much money to the banks that they don’t have enough money to buy the goods and services they produce. So there’s not much new investment, there’s not new employment (except minimum-wage “service” jobs), markets are shrinking, and people are defaulting. So many companies can’t pay their banks.
(...)
It was a false model. So really, we’re at the end of long cycle that began in 1945, loading the economy with debt. We’re not going to be able to get out of it until you write down the debts. But that’s what the IMF believes is unthinkable. It can’t say that, because it’s supposed to represent the interest of the banks. So all the IMF can say is to wring their hands over the fact that the banks won’t make money even if there is a recovery.
But there really isn’t a recovery, and no signs of it on the horizon, because people have to pay the banks. It’s a vicious circle – or rather, a downward spiral.
I mostly agree though I must start with saying that while I have read hundreds of books on economy the last 50 years, I don't think economics is a real science, and my proof is very simple: Almost no economist predicted 2008.

So next I translate what Hudson said to my terms (which probably are not quite adequate to what he is saying, but then he also seems to have been leaving a few things out):

First, there is not much investment in the West, because (i) people and companies have to pay back enormous amounts of money to the banks, and also because (ii) the last 35 years very many factories and companies have taken the chances offered to them by deregulations, and effectively moved to the Third World, where wages are very much cheaper than in the West.

Second, most of the
deregulations that were the main feats that the politicians produced over the past 35 years (!!) [3] were in favor of the banks and in favor of the rich, and were against the non-rich, and this is also the main reason there is no recovery for the non-rich: They - about 90% of the total population - have been effectively moved out of the class of (rich and very rich) people who can be fairly certain that they will profit from the economy.

And indeed those who did profit from the economy since 1980 have been the rich and the very rich, and no one else (see your statistics on income inequalities... - in fact, here are two of them:)

 

and this:



... and these and only these folks profited so much because the rules have been deregulated on purpose to make only the rich and the very rich richer.

Then there is this on Europe (where I live):

BROWN: Michael, the IMF report says that in the Eurozone, if the Eurozone governments could help banks dump their bad loans, it would have a positive effect on bank capital. What would be the effect on consumers in the EU economy, at large, if banks were able to just dump these bad loans?

HUDSON: Its really very simple mathematics. You have to abolish pension plans. You have to abolish social spending. You have to raise taxes. You have to have at least fifty percent of the European population emigrate, either to Russia or China. You would have to have mass starvation. Very simple. That’s the price that the Eurozone thinks is well worth paying. It’s the price that it thought Greece is worth paying. To save the banks, you would have to turn the entire Eurozone into Greece.

You’ll have to have the governments sell off all of their public domains; sell off their railroads, sell off their public land. You’ll essentially have to introduce neo-feudalism. You’ll have to roll the clock of history back a thousand years, and reduce the European population to debt slavery. It’s as simple a solution as the Eurozone has imposed on Greece. And it’s a solution that the leaders and the banks are urging for responsible economists to promote for the population at large.

I say - which I say because I don't quite believe it. More precisely, I agree with Michael Hudson that the rich, the banks, and the politicians all (with extremely few politicians excepted) serve the exclusive ends of the rich (to whom most of the politicians belong, although they will lie), and I also agree that this will continue until the rich, the banks, and hopefully the politicians collapse in another and deeper crisis.

What I disagree about is the extent to which this will continue. That is, I am quite prepared to accept that what the rich and their politicians really want is "to abolish pension plans (..) to abolish social spending (..) to raise taxes" [and] "to have at least fifty percent of the European population emigrate, either to Russia or China." But I don't think there will still be a functioning
European economy while pension plans are abolished like social spending, and while "at least fifty percent of the European population emigrate".

I think it is much more likely that the European economy collapses before the above results are reached.

And here is Hudson on what I call the forces of neofascism:

HUDSON: To save the banks from making losses that would wipe out their net worth, you’ll have to get rid of Social Security. It means that you’ll essentially have to abolish government and turn it over to the banking system to run, with an idea that the role of governments is to extract income from the economy to pay to the bondholders and the banks.

When you say “paying the banks,” what they really mean is paying the bank bondholders. They are basically the One Percent. What you’re really seeing right now in the IMF report, in this growth of debt, is that One Percent of the population owns maybe three-quarters of all this debt. This means that there’s a choice: either you can save the economy, or you can save the One Percent from losing a single penny.

Every government, from the Obama administration right through to Angela Merkel, the Eurozone and the IMF, promise to save the banks, not the economy.
The reasons I call the rich, the banks and the vast majority of all politicians forces of neofascism are precisely that (i) everything has been arranged (mainly through deregulations of laws that protected everyone, that have been moved forward and forward for 35 years now) to make ONLY the few rich grow richer, at the costs of the many poor, while also (ii) "every government, from the Obama administration right through to Angela Merkel, the Eurozone and the IMF, promise to save the banks, not the economy" (which they promise to the bankers rather than to the populations they wish "to see disappear").

Finally, here is Hudson on the present state of the economy (in the USA, specifically):
HUDSON: We’re still in the collapse that began after 2008. There’s not a new collapse, there hasn’t been a recovery. Wages for the ninety-nine percent have gone down, steadily, since 2008. They’ve gone down especially for the bottom twenty-five percent of the population. This means that they’ve gone down especially for Blacks and Hispanics and other blue-collar workers. Their net worth has actually turned negative, and they don’t have enough money to get by.
I agree that "[t]here’s not a new collapse, there hasn’t been a recovery", but I rather observe that since 1980 the ninety percent have not gained anything, while the 1% or perhaps the 10% if you also count the well-off who effectively support and protect the rich and very rich, have gained a great lot (the very rich) or a little (the well-off): See the above graphics.

Also, while I may be a little less pessimistic than Michael Hudson, I do hope for another collapse, and the sooner the better, although I probably will not survive that, because I am very poor. [4]

---------------
Notes
[1]  Alas, this is precisely as I said it does, and it goes on for months now. I do not know who does it, and I refuse to call the liars of "xs4all" destroy (really: the KPN), simply because these have been lying to me from 2002-2009, and I do not trust anything they say I cannot control myself: They have treated me for seven years as a liar because "you complain about things other people do not complain about" (which is the perfect excuse never to do anything whatsoever for anyone).

[2]
In fact, I will if Trump becomes the next president of the USA.

[3] I have quite a few times explained why I haven't voted (in Holland) since 1970: Because I had then decided (based on a considerable amount of reading in the Dutch Acts of Parliament) that almost all politicians excel in precisely one respect: They are all enormous liars. I think I was and am quite correct, and like to add a video reference to:
George Carlin Doesn't vote

Then again, I like to add that if I were American, I would vote this year, and namely to help keep out the madman Trump, for he doesn't just lie: He is insane.
(And I am a psychologist, who knows quite well what insane people are like.)

[4] Incidentally, I don't mind much being poor, and I have some reserves though not many. Also, I do not need to be pitied (if there are some who pity others, in these times where personal profits and personal wealth are so dominant): I am 66, and while my life was quite heavy (and much more heavy than that of nearly all other Dutchmen: See M.E.) my guess is that those who are 30 or 50 years younger than I am will have a much harder life than I had. (And I am quite glad now that I don't have children because I am ill since I was 28, which also is the only reason
I am poor, since my degrees are excellent).


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