Author Archives: nickqueen

No, Hillary, Young People Don’t Want Free Stuff; They Want Change

Hillary Clinton really does not understand the youth of America. She also just does not understand the appeal of Sanders and why the momentum is behind him. In winning Nevada tonight, she took a swing at getting young people to come to their senses and back her instead of Bernie:

I want to say this to all the young people out there. I know what you’re up against if you left college with a ton of loans, it’s not enough just to make college more affordable. You need help right now with the debt you already have.

That’s why I have a plan to cut your interest rates and cap payments so you never have to pay more than you can afford.

But I want you to think about this. It can’t be just about what we’re going to give to you. It has to be about we’re going to build together. Your generation is the most tolerant and connected our country has ever seen. In the days ahead, we will propose new ways for more Americans to get involved in national service and give back to our communities, because every one of us has a role to play in building the future we want.

Here’s the thing: the future the young people of America wants is not represented in Hillary Clinton.

They want a future where money does not dominate our politics.

They want a future where Wall Street is reigned in and politicians stand up and tell them that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

They want a future where education and healthcare are seen as human rights.

They want a future.

And Hillary’s campaign is dominated by money from the wealthy, she stands up to Wall Street only when they pay her to speak to them. She continues to say “no we can’t” while hugging close to the president who ran on “yes we can.”

Bernie is the true heir to the ideals behind yes we can. Bernie sees a future where money does not dominate politics, where Wall Street is reigned in, and where banks are broke up and He has fought consistently against all of this his entire career.

The only consistency with Hillary is her evolution.

We Are a Movement and Must Keep Moving Forward to Take the Victory

Tonight in her victory speech after being declared the winner of Nevada, Hillary Clinton told the youth of America, “It can’t be just about what we’re going to give to you.” She’s right. Right now we are fighting against years of corruption fueled by a system that is self-perpetuated by policies, money and the media. No one is going to give us a victory.

We must take it.

No one would have thought we would be where we are now but to move forward, we have to keep our eyes on the true prize. Yes, the primary goal is electing Bernie Sanders but overall our goal is systemic change.

Across the country, Bernie’s message is gaining momentum. To continue this momentum we must realize that the system will attempt to dampen our passion. They will see the revolution is over. They will say Bernie has no path to victory. They will try to spin that Hillary’s victory is historic. They will try to bully us into giving up.

We must have the courage to show them we are a revolution and that revolutions do not roll over because we lose one state by such a small margin that we were told was a firewall.

The system has needed money on top of money to win by that margin. They needed to steal our stump speech. They needed to parrot our message. And even then the firewall barely held.

Let’s dispel with the notion that it will be easy. It won’t. We will have to fight for every inch. Phone banking. Donating. Canvassing. Whatever it takes.

And in the end one of two things will happen.

If we win the primary, we then must take on whoever the GOP sends our way.

If we lose the primary, we must not allow the progress we have made to go away.

In either circumstance the fact remains that this is the START of the revolution and that the revolution is bigger than any one person. As Bernie says: Not me. US.



Hillary in Response to Call to Release the Transcripts: “…I’ve been in public standing there the whole time.” Except When Speaking to Wall Street

Very interesting exchange tonight at the Democratic Town Hall tonight between Joe Sacco, a realtor in Las Vegas, and Hillary Clinton:

Joe Sacco: Secretary Clinton, I do respect you very much. In fact, only a decade ago I was a very big supporter of yourself and your husband. It actually broke my heart when you said marriage was between a man and a woman. How can we trust that this isn’t just more political rhetoric? Please just release those transcripts so that we know exactly where you stand.

Hillary Clinton: You know where I stand because I’ve been in public standing there the whole time.

Again, Hillary is missing the point. The question itself points out the problem that she WAS NOT IN PUBLIC. The worry is that you are telling us what we want to hear but promised them, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, something else. You were NOT standing in public, and by not releasing these speeches you are continuing to not stand in public with full disclosure.

This was his redirect from the first part of his question, where he asked her to release the transcripts and she responded with a canned answer she has said before:

Hillary Clinton: I am happy to release anything I have when everyone else does the same, because every other candidate in this race has given speeches to private groups, including Sen. Sanders.

Well, Bernie replied pretty quickly on Twitter:

And, of course, everyone realizes that the Republicans are pretty much known to be in the pocket of the rich Wall Street tycoons but expect more from a Democratic presidential candidate. And she tries to spin it to her favor by continuing that:

I was the candidate who went to Wall Street before the crash. I was the candidate who said to them, ‘You are wrecking our economy.’

But it continued and is still continuing. Why did it not stop? Were you ineffective? And why should we pick you over the guy who is NOT receiving Super PAC money, Wall Street speaking fees and donations from bankers, private prison firms, big pharma and on and on? Bernie speaks truth to the concerns of this generation. They did not pay Hillary to speak. They bought a potential president.

Bernie’s Not a Single Issue Candidate: Why It is Still the Economy, Hillary!

Hillary Clinton wants you to believe that the Bernie Sanders campaign is a one note candidacy that focuses on only economics. This is, of course, an untrue assertion though even I will admit that Bernie is extremely passionate and willing to discuss it at all times. But, there is a reason for that: the subversion of our economic system and infection of our political system via money directly affects most if not all of the issues we deal with today. Because the rigged economy is held in place by a corrupt campaign system. And that is all underpinned by the hate perpetuated by those in media and in power.

Hillary has missed the point in how income inequality is closely related to racism and sexism in our country. While at a church where her and Sanders both spoke to the congregation, she noted the following:

“Because if we were to achieve everything about banks and money in politics, would that end racism? Would that make it automatically going to happen that people would be able to get the jobs they deserve, the housing they need, the education their children need to have?” Clinton asked.

Sanders has noted the problems are parallel, and indeed one must consider how the disproportionate power held by those who are able to pay for access to the powerful in Washington affects those unable to access a job at or above minimum wage. Let me ask you to consider whether such a disparity, which affects minorities more, would work to keep those minorities without power.

Bernie Sanders wants to confront this disparity. It is, as is becoming clearer and clearer, an issue that Hillary Clinton as well as the Republican candidates are willing to address. I personally agree with a model that Michael Reich, a Professor of Political Economy at U. C. Berkeley, proposed that makes sense in what we are seeing increasingly today. Reich wrote in 1974 that:

Through racism, poor whites come to believe that their poverty is caused by blacks who are willing to take away their jobs, and at lower wages, thus concealing the fact that a substantial amount of income inequality is inevitable in a capitalist society. Racism thus transfers the locus of whites’ resentment towards blacks and away from capitalism.

Consider today that this has continued, only now we are adding Latinos and other immigrants. We have Republican candidates currently rabble-rousing that Mexicans are coming to take their jobs and that they are to blame for many of the ills that we have to deal with daily. And Reich is not alone. Dedrick Muhammad, Director of the Racial Wealth Divide Initiative and Host of the Race and Wealth podcast of CFED wrote that:

Racial inequality, then, has always been defined by economic inequality. As historian Eric Williams succinctly puts it: “Slavery was not born of racism; rather, racism was the consequence of slavery.” Specifically, throughout American history, racism has always been motivated by and defined as a way for white elites to control an unequal share of property — whether African-Americans could be bought as property, were outright forbidden to own property or were racially targeted for toxic loans when trying to buy property.

The ways in which African-Americans have been economically disenfranchised are too numerous to list here — suffice it to say that generations upon generations of discriminatory hiring practices, unequal access to quality education, housing segregation, voter disenfranchisement and scores of other inequities have helped form the many disparities that still persist today.

The masters of the system in place today wants to continue to profit from the system they have designed. To do that, they cannot allow the system to change. This is done by money, which gives them access to candidates. Indeed, the elite and candidates are forming a symbiotic relationship that shuts out the ability for the regular citizen, the 99%, to have any influence over their government and, increasingly, their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Consider Flint. You continue to hear that it went on for so long. How could we not know about it? Why was nothing done? Because they had no voice in the exchange of political ideas.

Consider the decimated urban neighborhoods nationwide, or even the small local communities in rural areas that are dying. Both suffer because they have no way to have their voice heard.

Why is that? Because in a world where corporations and the elite are allowed the ability to pour money into the political process, amplifying their voice to levels no individual citizens can reach, as well as no poor neighborhoods can rival, they are the ones that have their issues heard. The candidates need the money to run increasingly more expensive campaigns. The corporations need the candidates to keep things either they way they are or to continue to improve their ability to earn higher and higher profits.

As Scalia said, when writing in support of the Citizens United ruling in the Supreme Court:

Indeed, to exclude or impede corporate speech is to muzzle the principal agents of the modern free economy. We should celebrate rather than condemn the addition of this speech to the public debate.

The issue with the addition of free speech is that it is from a source that drowns out the voices of everyday citizens. Meanwhile, the other voices that muddy the water focus everyone on other concerns.

“Immigrants want your jobs.”

“Look at what the Kardashians are doing now.”

“Blacks are killers and thugs.”

“Whites are rednecks and racists.”

“Mexicans are rapists.”

“All Arabs want to kill us.”

And while this all keeps us distracted, they keep the system chugging along and profits are at all time high. And people make less and less. And work more and more. Or, not at all. And we blame the people unable to make if for being on welfare and taking all of our money while instead a huge chunk of our money goes to corporate subsidies and grants. And none of this takes into account the taxes that many avoid paying.

But, Hillary is probably right when she says the reality is that Washington won’t allow us to change. True, in the current state we will get nowhere. But if we support a presidential candidate like Bernie Sanders who recognizes the issues we are facing it will signal that we are tired of the way things are. And if we support other candidates who also recognize this needs to change then we can start making a difference.

Or, we can support the status quo and allow it to continue. I promise you that if we vote in Hillary Clinton or the Republicans that it will also send a message to Washington:

We aren’t ready for change.

Clinton Wants Voters to Believe She Stands up to Money in Politics But She’s No Bernie

Hillary Clinton has continued to frame the money in politics issue to her favor, but continues to miss the point. She even tried to throw President Obama into the mix last night, saying he also took on Wall Street, but that “When it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street.”

Then, Bernie schooled her:

“Why in God’s name does Wall Street make huge campaign contributions? I guess just for the fun of it, they want to throw money around,” he said. “Why does the pharmaceutical industry make any contribution? Any connection to our people paying the highest amount of money for prescription drugs? Why does the fossil fuel industry pay huge amounts of money in contributions? Any connection to the fact that not one Republican candidate for president thinks and agrees with the scientific community that climate change is real and we have got transform our energy system?”

On the topic of Dodd-Frank, Sanders said he supported the legislation Obama signed into law in July 2010, but added that “it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough.”

“Major banks have paid $2 billion in fines since the great crash,” he said. “No Wall Street executive has been prosecuted.”

I mean, what exactly does Clinton want us to think Wall Street is trying to accomplish? They are investors. They are paid to invest in things that will have a strong return on investment. And they have continued to bet big on Clinton. ThinkProgress has more on why Dodd-Frank just really didn’t work, including the shocking truth that 5 big banks control 44% of all US banking assets, making them still too big to fail.

But the money in politics issue continues to grow. Hillary was also asked by the moderators:

Secretary Clinton, your campaign has recently ramped up criticism of Sen. Sanders for attending Democratic Party fundraisers from which you say he benefited. But nearly half of your financial sector donations appear to come from just two wealthy financiers, George Soros and Donald Sussman, for a total of about $10 million. You have said that there is no quid pro quo involved. But is that also true of the donations that wealthy Republicans give to Republican candidates, contributors including the Koch brothers?

And Hillary attempted to distance herself from them. But, really, she cannot do this. New York Times itself noted, in May 2015, that Hillary courted them to support her:

Hillary Rodham Clinton will begin personally courting donors for a “super PAC” supporting her candidacy, the first time a Democratic presidential candidate has fully embraced these independent groups that can accept unlimited checks from big donors and are already playing a major role in the 2016 race.

Her decision is another escalation in what is expected to be the most expensive presidential race in history, and it has the potential to transform the balance of power in presidential campaigning, where Republican outside groups have tended to outspend their Democratic counterparts.

Mrs. Clinton’s allies hope that with her support, the top Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA Action, will raise $200 million to $300 million. That is on par with what the largest Republican organizations, such as the Karl Rove-backed American Crossroads super PAC and its nonprofit affiliate, spent in 2012.

That would be Priorities USA, set up in 2011 to support Obama’s reelection bid. Clinton had this to say today:

Are you referring to a Super PAC that we don’t coordinate with, that was set up to support President Obama that has now decided they want to support me? They are the ones who should respond to any questions.

Notice the bold I added to the New York Times story. This is critical. Hillary did not expect to have to run from big money in politics and positioned herself to benefit from it instead. This is why the Wall Street speeches matter. But it continues. While trying to paint herself as willing to stand up to money from corporate interests, she continued to seek it:

“You’re not going to find anybody more committed to aggressive campaign finance reform than me,” Clinton said, promising to “crack down on corporations that game the system.”

Only days later, Clinton’s campaign is launching a fundraising blitz that includes events with representatives of industries that have significant business interests before the federal government. An International Business Times review of fundraising invitations found that the Clinton campaign’s nationwide tour includes events with corporate officials from the food, investment and energy sectors — all of which have vested financial interests in the policies that the next presidential administration will decide.

And then today it was disclosed that the DNC has rolled back the restrictions Obama put in place to ban money from lobbyists. I wonder who that will help?

The Democratic National Committee has rolled back restrictions introduced by presidential candidate Barack Obama in 2008 that banned donations from federal lobbyists and political action committees.

The decision, which may provide an advantage to Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, was viewed with disappointment Friday morning by good government activists who saw it as a step backward in the effort to limit special interest influence in Washington.

“It is a major step in the wrong direction,” said longtime reform advocate Fred Wertheimer. “And it is completely out of touch with the clear public rejection of the role of political money in Washington,” expressed during the 2016 campaign.

So, who let me ask you: who do YOU believe will rein in Wall Street and fix money in politics?

Why Henry Kissinger Matters in 2016 and Why Bernie is Right to Question Hillary on Embracing Him

Hillary Clinton has said the following on Henry Kissinger when reviewing his book, World Order:

Kissinger is a friend, and I relied on his counsel when I served as secretary of state. He checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels. Though we have often seen the world and some of our challenges quite differently, and advocated different responses now and in the past, what comes through clearly in this new book is a conviction that we, and President Obama, share: a belief in the indispensability of continued American leadership in service of a just and liberal order.


Even when there are tensions between our values and other objectives, America, he reminds us, succeeds by standing up for our values, not shirking them, and leads by engaging peoples and societies, the sources of legitimacy, not governments alone.

Kissinger has always been someone that invokes strong emotions. It is true that he, through the policy of Realpolitik, opened diplomacy with China and assisted with easing the oil crisis by diplomatic means of having Israel partially withdraw from the Sinai Peninsula. He also, however, was a bit brutal and many feel he committed war crimes. But what do you expect from a man that said this about Soviet Jews after the Holocaust:

“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policy. And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”

Or on how horrible it is that we can’t use assassination:

“It is an act of insanity and national humiliation to have a law prohibiting the President from ordering assassination.”

On how high of regard he holds the military in:

“Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.”

On how to unite people behind George W. Bush, said in 2000:

“I can think of no faster way to unite the American people behind George W. Bush than a terrorist attack on an American target overseas. And I believe George W. Bush will quickly unite the American people through his foreign policy.”

On his willingness to do illegal and unconstitutional things:

 “The illegal we do immediately. The unconstitutional takes a little longer.”

On depopulation, which means reducing the population in an area by means I will leave to your imagination:

“Depopulation should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the third world, because the US economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries.”

On the willingness to take the rights of a foreign nation’s people to chose for themselves the government they wish to have:

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

And showing contempt over the fall of the Pakistani army collapsing in Bangladesh:

“That means no one can bleed anymore about the dying Bengalis.”

Or his willingness to embrace the Cambodians, despite them being “murderous thugs,”:

“How many people did (Khmer Rouge Foreign Minister Ieng Sary) kill? Tens of thousands? You should tell the Cambodians (i.e., Khmer Rouge) that we will be friends with them. They are murderous thugs, but we won’t let that stand in the way. We are prepared to improve relations with them. Tell them the latter part, but don’t tell them what I said before.”

But have no worries. Kissinger himself was complicit in his own murderous acts. WarIsCrime explains this well:

Mr. Kissinger’s most significant historical act was executing Richard Nixon’s orders to conduct the most massive bombing campaign, largely of civilian targets, in world history. He dropped 3.7 million tons of bombs between January 1969 and January 1973 — nearly twice the two million dropped on all of Europe and the Pacific in World War II. He secretly and illegally devastated villages throughout areas of Cambodia inhabited by a U.S. Embassy-estimated two million people; quadrupled the bombing of Laos and laid waste to the 700-year old civilization on the Plain of Jars; and struck civilian targets throughout North Vietnam — Haiphong harbor, dikes, cities, Bach Mai Hospital — which even Lyndon Johnson had avoided. His aerial slaughter helped kill, wound or make homeless an officially-estimated six million human beings**, mostly civilians who posed no threat whatsoever to U.S. national security and had committed no offense against it.

There is a word for the aerial mass murder that Henry Kissinger committed in Indochina, and that word is “evil”. The figure most identified with this word today is Adolph Hitler, and his evil was so unspeakable that the term is by now identified with him. But that is precisely why it is important to understand the new face of evil and moral depravity that Henry Kissinger represents. For evil not only comes in the form of madmen dreaming of 1000 year Reichs. In fact, in our day, it is more likely to be committed by sane, genial and ordinary careerists waging invisible automated war in far-off lands against people whose screams we never hear, whose faces we never see, and whose deaths go unrecorded and unnoticed. It is critical to understand this new face of evil, for it threatens not only countless foreigners but Americans in coming years. And no one has embodied it more than Henry Kissinger.

And in tonight’s debate, Bernie Sanders brought up the spectre of Kissinger who Hillary embraced often in the past.

“I find it rather amazing, because I happen to believe that Henry Kissinger was one of the most destructive secretaries of state in the modern history of this country,” Sanders said. “I am proud to say that Henry Kissinger is not my friend.”

Sanders went on to single out Kissinger’s widely condemned secret invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

“And in fact, Kissinger’s actions in Cambodia, when the United States bombed that country, overthrew Prince Sihanouk, created the instability for Pol Pot and Khmer Rouge to come in, who then butchered some 3 million people, one of the worst genocides in the history of the world,” Sanders said.

Now, tonight the pundits have laughed at this exchange and wondered why both candidates stayed on Kissinger for so long. I believe, however, it is vitally important. Hillary has long embraced a hawkish view of the world and foreign policy and her embrace of Kissinger is extremely troubling. The fact that Sanders is able to look at him and say that is not someone he would seek counsel from matters. As Sanders has stated, the US should not be the policemen of the world. Under Kissinger the US was often the bully and strongman.

Again, the stance Bernie takes here in contrast to Hillary is of paramount importance. She has the experience but we must question her judgement of embracing, let’s call it what it is, a horrible man that lacks morality in his decisions and judgement.

Hillary has already discussed in her book how she received guidance from Kissinger, stating:

“Henry Kissinger checked in with me regularly, sharing astute observations about foreign leaders and sending me written reports on his travels.”

Excerpt From: Hillary Rodham Clinton. “Hard Choices.”

The Nation also pointed out the similarity between Clinton and Kissinger:

Clintonism is largely an extension of Kissingerism, so Clinton’s cozy relationship to Kissinger shouldn’t come as a surprise. Both Clintons have excelled at exactly the kind of fudging of their public-private roles that Kissinger perfected. Kissinger, the private consultant, profited from the catastrophes he created as a public figure. Beyond his role in brokering NAFTA, in Latin America his consulting firm, Kissinger and Associates, was a key player in the orgy of privatization that took place during Clinton’s presidency, enriching itself on the massive sell-off of public utilities and industries, a sell-off that, in many countries, was initiated by Kissinger-supported dictators and military regimes. The Clintons, too, both as private philanthropists and private investors, are neck deep in corruption in Latin America (especially in Colombia and Haiti)–corruption made worse, à laKissinger, by the policies they put into place as public figures, including the free trade treaties and policies that Hillary helped push through, first as senator and then as secretary of state.

When it comes to coups and bombing, too, Clinton follows Kissinger’s lead. Clinton’s role in legitimating the catastrophic 2009 coup in Honduras was pure Machtpolitik, the kind Kissinger deployed in Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Argentina, and elsewhere.

Then there’s Libya. Kissinger has long had the secular radical Muammar Qaddafi in his crosshairs (Kissinger, a close ally of Saudi Arabia, prefers to work with Wahhabi theocrats).

It should come as no surprise to anyone, then, when Kissinger himself embraced Hillary and her possibility of being president when he said:

I know Hillary as a person. And as a personal friend, I would say yes, she’d be a good president. But she’d put me under a great conflict of interest if she were a candidate, because I intend to support the Republicans. …

Yes, I’d be comfortable with her as the president.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Just Gave the Weirdest Answer About Superdelegates on CNN; Are They Clinton’s Firewall?

I was just listening to CNN while out running errands and Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the DNC chair, was on talking to Jake Tapper. He asked her to explain superdelegates to ease the mind of young voters to not think “it’s all rigged” and, well, here is her response:

Let me make sure I can clarify exactly what was available during the primaries in Iowa and in New Hampshire. The unpledged delegates are a separate category. The only thing available on the ballot in a primary and a caucus is the pledged delegates, those that are tied to the candidate that they are pledged to support and they receive a proportional number of delegates going into our convention. Unpledged delegates exist really to  make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activist. We are, as a Democratic party, really highlight and emphasis inclusiveness and diversity at our convention and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse committed democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention. So we separate out those unpledged delegates to make sure that there isn’t competition between them.

Mediaite has the video up and I typed it in. If I got a word wrong here or there I apologize. I’m not a transcriptionist!

In any case, what exactly is she saying? Remember, this is in the context of Bernie and Hillary, but also a system created after the 1968 election when  Humphrey got trounced by Nixon.

Note: I mentioned McGovern before and was a little confused. He actually was one of the chairs of the commission that led to superdelegates being added. See here.

But, listen to what she says: “Unpledged delegates exist really to  make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activist. We are, as a Democratic party, really highlight and emphasis inclusiveness and diversity at our convention and so we want to give every opportunity to grassroots activists and diverse, committed democrats to be able to participate, attend and be a delegate at the convention.” My emphasis, of course.

Now, who exactly might she be referring to? Remember, Bernie was an independent that, while caucassing with the Democrats was not a true member of the party in allegiance. Despite this he has received funds from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which seems like they were ok thinking of him as a Democrat. But, that is neither here nor there.

No, the issue here is that she sees the superdelegates as the buffer to ensure that the party is the decider when it matters. It will prevent the whims of grassroots activism taking over the people and in the end not being the direction the party wants it to go. They welcome their input, but they also need to know their place. The only way to prevent the party stepping in is to really overwhelm them with Bernie getting landslide support. We do this by ignoring the superdelegates right now and winning each and every primary and caucus we can win!

But, no, this answer is not going to assure anyone that the system is not rigged. It’s a poor answer and shows where her mindset is. Jake tapper agreed, saying “I’m not sure that answer would satisfy an anxious young voter.”

Can We Stop Insulting New Hampshire Voters by Insinuating They Picked Sanders Because He’s From Next Door?

CNN. MSNBC. And every other mainstream media outlet wants you to believe sincerely that Sanders won New Hampshire because he was from next door in Vermont. This gives him the hometown advantage because they know him better.

Oh, so do many Democratic establishment higher-ups.

It’s insulting to tell the nation that New Hampshirites are swayed by voting for the neighbor and missing out on the great package that is Hillary Clinton. Only because he’s pretty much that nice Jewish kid across the state line.

Bull crap, people!

Hillary Clinton has been in the public eye since the 1992 when her husband won the presidency and for 8 years she was the First Lady. She was then a Senator in New York and her name was often touted that she would run for President. She did that in 2008 and WON NEW HAMPSHIRE DRAMATICALLY.

She lost the primary to Obama who then made her Secretary of State and again she was often in the limelight.

New Hampshire KNOWS her.

And maybe that is the issue. Hillary is well known and the voters want change. They are tired of the same crap every 4 years and they know that is what they will get from her.

Maybe they saw the hypocrisy in her going after leaving the spotlight of public service and taking Wall Street money to talk to them, and then deny it changed her.

Maybe, they remember why they liked her in 2008 but since that time they recognize this is not the same Hillary Clinton they liked then.

Or, maybe they like Bernie and believe in his message.

The issue with Hillary Clinton is Hillary Clinton. She is discussing now, according to Politico, of shaking up her campaign. She did that in 2008, too.

But David Axelrod is very correct when he adds:

“When the exact same problems crop up in separate campaigns, with different staff, at what point do the principals say, ‘Hey, maybe it’s US?’,” the former top aide to President Barack Obama tweeted.

And that is probably the biggest issue that new Hampshire had this time, too. Maybe they said, “We’ve seen that before but the message just isn’t ringing true. It’s time for a change.”

And I think I’m right, because over on the Republican side they chose Trump over the establishment, too.

This election is becoming historic because it’s the establishment versus the change candidates. And not “change you can believe in.” They had that and want real change.

An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton on Her Reluctance to Release Her Wall Street Speech Transcripts

Secretary Clinton,

I believe you are not reading the mood of the country during the 2016 Presidential Election. People are tired of the typical, persistent politics of money that dominates politics in the United States. People are tired of dishonest politicians that discuss “evolving” positions but in the end vote to meet the demands of the rich. Then, here you are giving hugely overpriced speeches to Wall Street and being resistant to release the text of these speeches to the people you want to serve.

This, Secretary Clinton, is unacceptable.

The Bible discusses the quandary as such:

No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. Matthew 6:24

It goes on to describe these as God and money. In this instance you are attempting to serve the interests of Wall Street lobbyists and the American people. These interests are at odds.

Senator Sanders message is resonating because he is right. Wealth is continuing to flow up to the top 1% while the rest of us are getting poorer. We want a champion to stop this and balance it out. It’s ok for people to get wealthy, but there must be a balance.

But, understand this. The average household income in the United States is $51,939. In one speech to Wall Street you made a little less than four times that amount. In all of your speeches to Goldman Sachs, you made more than the net worth of your Democratic opponent.

It worries people, especially those that are part of the Democratic Party, that your interests are aligned closer to the elite than the common person. As a former Democratic president, Jimmy Carter, described it, the United States is now “an oligarchy with unlimited political bribery.” Hence, when a former Secretary of State who many believe will run for President, and now is running for President, makes $2.9 million in speeches to Wall Street, many people want to know what she said to them.

You are now saying you will release your speech transcripts if your opponents will release their speeches. Currently, your opponent is Bernie Sanders. He made, according to the New York Times, Bernie made $1867.42 for 3 appearances, one on Real Time with Bill Maher.

And if you are including the Republicans running as needing to release their speeches, guess what: the Democratic primary voters don’t care. We EXPECT them to be in the pocket of Wall Street. We EXPECT that they will kowtow to their interests. We EXPECT better from you.

That, Secretary Clinton, is the problem. When you are asked about why people would see you as dishonest, you blame Republicans. You say they are the reason for the questions around the your email server. And now you demand they release the transcripts to speeches, too.

But, Secretary, you are the one that evolves on myriad positions.

You are the one that decided to, for your convenience, setup a private email server.

And you chose to speak to Wall Street, making you rich and creating doubt in Democratic voters.

So, please, release the transcripts. If you continue to resist doing this you will allow your opponents to continue to question what you are trying to hide. We have no reason to question the integrity of Bernie. In this instance you would be able to put to rest one troubling question that will continue to overshadow your campaign.

Nicolas Queen, MSW LGSW

Clinton and Bernie on Fracking and Why it Matters for Flint

Flint is a national tragedy. It is an example of money influencing politics and hurting people. Clinton is out in full force to gain headlines and voters:

“She’s the only one actually trying to help Flint,” said Shayne Hodges, a Flint father of three and friend of Mayor Weaver.

“Secretary Clinton has been in touch with the mayor personally and the two staffs have been in consistent contact,” Kristin Moore, the mayor’s communication director told MSNBC. “As far as I know,” she added, “Clinton is the only presidential candidate—Republican or Democrat—who has reached out.”

But what she won’t bring up is that she as secretary of state pushed fracking, which Mother Jones succinctly painted a picture of:

Shortly before Clinton arrived, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets carrying placards that read “Stop fracking with our water” and “Chevron go home.” Bulgaria’s parliament responded by voting overwhelmingly for a fracking moratorium.

Clinton urged Bulgarian officials to give fracking another chance. According to Borissov, she agreed to help fly in the “best specialists on these new technologies to present the benefits to the Bulgarian people.” But resistance only grew. The following month in neighboring Romania, thousands of people gathered to protest another Chevron fracking project, and Romania’s parliament began weighing its own shale gas moratorium. Again Clinton intervened, dispatching her special envoy for energy in Eurasia, Richard Morningstar, to push back against the fracking bans. The State Depart­ment’s lobbying effort culminated in late May 2012, when Morningstar held a series of meetings on fracking with top Bulgarian and Romanian officials. He also touted the technology in an interview on Bulgarian national radio, saying it could lead to a fivefold drop in the price of natural gas. A few weeks later, Romania’s parliament voted down its proposed fracking ban and Bulgaria’s eased its moratorium.

Now, I know many are going to point out that this is not the same thing. And I agree that it is not 100% the same. What it is, however, is an example of the use of money in politics to push an agenda that is at odds with the health and wellbeing of people.

Now, there is a lot of controversy surrounding whether fracking is safe. There are studies showing water has been contaminated. The EPA has said said has not led to “to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.” But InsideClimateNews points out how this was criticized by the Science Advisory Board:

The SAB’s 30 members, from academia, industry and federal agencies, said this and other conclusions drawn in the executive summary were ambiguous or inconsistent “with the observations/data presented in the body of the report.”

“Of particular concern is the statement of no widespread, systemic impacts on drinking-water resources,” the SAB wrote in a preliminary report. “Neither the system of interest nor the definitions of widespread, systemic or impact are clear and it is not clear how this statement reflects the uncertainties and data limitations described in the Report’s chapters.”

Residents in Pennsylvania are continuing to complain about the contamination of their water. Russian Times pointed out:

However, EcoWatch reports that Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has received 2,309 water complaints from 17 of 40 counties where fracking took place. Of those, 1,275 can now be viewed by the public, thanks to the investigations of non-profit Public Herald. The sheer number of complaints casts a shadow over EPA’s claims, since Pennsylvania’s official tally of water degradation is only 271 for all 40 fracking counties in the state.

Don’t worry, however, because while Hillary was fine bringing fracking to other areas of the world, she now opposes it in the US.

For now. I mean, she evolves on issues a lot.

From The Daily Caller:

Hillary Clinton was a major force behind bringing fracking to African countries during her tenure as Secretary of State, although she now opposes fracking in the United States.

Clinton made promoting fracking for natural gas in other countries a big priority during her tenure as Secretary of State. “The United States will promote the use of shale gas,” she said then.

But Grist noted that at the National Clean Energy Summit that Clinton appeared to be supportive of fracking while never using the politically charged word:

Now part of that bridge will certainly come from natural gas. There are challenges here to be sure, but the boom in domestic gas production is an example of American innovation changing the game, and if we do it right, it can be good for both the environment and our economy. With the right safeguards in place, gas is cleaner than coal. And expanding production iscreating tens of thousands of new jobs. And lower costs are helping give the United States a big competitive advantage in energy-intensive energies. …

But to capitalize on this boom, we have to face head-on the legitimate, pressing environmental concerns about some new extraction practices and their impacts on local water, soil, and air supplies. Methane leaks in the production and transportation of natural gas are particularly troubling. So it’s crucial that we put in place smart regulations and enforce them, including deciding not to drill when the risks are too high.

But let’s compare some pictures of water from Flint:

With water from fracking:

What is wrong with us in the US that we are ok with water being contaminated, and we have a Secretary of State out in the world pushing a process that has the potential to contaminate more?

Mother Jones, and please I urge you to go read the whole thing, does a good job summarizing the issue:

The episode sheds light on a crucial but little-known dimension of Clinton’s diplomatic legacy. Under her leadership, the State Department worked closely with energy companies to spread fracking around the globe—part of a broader push to fight climate change, boost global energy supply, and undercut the power of adversaries such as Russia that use their energy resources as a cudgel. But environmental groups fear that exporting fracking, which has been linked to drinking-water contamination and earthquakes at home, could wreak havoc in countries with scant environmental regulation. And according to interviews, diplomatic cables, and other documents obtained by Mother Jones, American officials—some with deep ties to industry—also helped US firms clinch potentially lucrative shale concessions overseas, raising troubling questions about whose interests the program actually serves.

And this is why Bernie’s attacks on Hillary and her Wall Street ties matter. What if they come calling holding lucrative benefits to a Clinton administration. Is she going to stand up to defend what is in her best interests or instead bow to them? Bernie, in the response to Hillary saying he was artfully attempting to smear her, said:

Let’s talk about issues. All right, let’s talk about why, in the 1990s, Wall Street got deregulated. Did it have anything to do with the fact that Wall Street provided—spent billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions? Well, some people might think, yeah, that had some influence. Let’s ask why it is that we pay, by far, the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, and your medicine can be doubled tomorrow, and there’s nothing that the government can do to stop it. You think it has anything to do with the huge amounts of campaign contributions and lobbying from the fossil fuel industry? Let’s talk about climate change. Do you think there is a reason why not one Republican has the guts to recognize that climate change is real and that we need to transform our energy system? Do you think it has anything to do with the Koch brothers and ExxonMobil pouring huge amounts of money into the political system?

And that is the issue. Bernie was able to turn her claim of him focusing on her and instead point out the whole, entire system is rigged. This fracking issue and the Flint water issue are two instances of a national epidemic. Bernie says it is time to get money out of politics, and this whole issue is a good example. The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington says:

The fracking boom is yielding gushers of campaign contributions for congressional candidates from districts containing hydraulically fractured wells. A new CREW analysis of federal campaign contribution data tracked by MapLight found contributions from the industry to House and Senate candidates from districts and states home to fracking activity rose by 231 percent between the 2004 and 2012 election cycles.  In contrast, industry contributions to candidates from nonfracking districts rose by 131 percent, over the same time period.

Mother Jones also noted the links to lobbyists raising money for Hillary Clinton:

A list of 40 registered lobbyists that the Clinton camp disclosed to the Federal Election Commission on Wednesday revealed a number of Democratic Party lobbyists who have worked against regulations to curb climate change, advocated for offshore drilling, or sought government approval for natural gas exports.

And this is how Washington works. On the other side, where a candidate stands that is not being bought and paid for by corporate interests, is Bernie Sanders. According to H.A. Goodman, writing for Huffington Post:

Bernie Sanders never accepted money from corporations involved in fracking, and certainly never accepted money from prison lobbyists. His challenger, on the other hand, is linked to oil and gas contributions that span across the globe.

And here is Bernie saying how proud he is that Vermont banned fracking:

And he sponsored the Climate Protection Act of 2013 which does this:

Amends the Safe Drinking Water Act to repeal the exemption from restrictions on underground injection of fluids or propping agents granted to hydraulic fracturing operations relating to oil and gas production activities under such Act.

Requires state underground injection programs to direct a person conducting hydraulic fracturing operations to disclose: (1) before the commencement of such operations, the chemicals intended for use in underground injections; and (2) after the end of such operations, the chemicals actually used.

Requires the applicable person using hydraulic fracturing, when a medical emergency exists and the proprietary chemical formula of a chemical used in such hydraulic fracturing is necessary for medical treatment, to disclose such formula or the specific chemical identity of a trade secret chemical to the state, the Administrator, or the treating physician or nurse upon request, regardless of the existence of a written statement of need or a confidentiality agreement. Authorizes such person to require the execution of such statement and agreement as soon as practicable.

Directs the Administrator to prescribe an underground injection control program for a state, if the Administrator disapproves a state’s program. Repeals provisions concerning optional demonstrations to the Administrator by states that show the effectiveness of such state programs relating to oil or natural gas.

Authorizes civil penalties for violations of underground injection requirements.

And Hillary, let me remind you, pushed fracking worldwide. There is a difference.

UPDATE: Meg Bones on Facebook linked me to this, which could very well tie these completely together:

In July of 2014 I interviewed Flint attorney Alec Gibbs about the state takeover of Flint, why it happened, and the damage that, by that point, was already underway. It was a great discussion. And, because Gibbs got into a lot of depth not only about what had happened in Flint, but the history of the Emergency Manager law in Michigan, I find myself revisiting our conversation often. Well, when reading through it this afternoon, I found something interesting that I had’t noticed before. Toward the end of our interview, Gibbs mentions that the decision to move Flint off of Detroit water, and instead build a pipeline from Lake Huron, was likely made in part because Snyder and the Republicans wanted to bring water west from Lake Huron in order to service fracking operations along that route.