Hillary the Wall Street call girl???

I have mixed emotions about Hillary Clinton’s ties to Wall Street. On the one hand it might be helpful because probably the best chance to reform the system is within the system, so if she is in with the in crowd while Bernie Sanders shuns them, in fact says Wall Street is predicated “on fraud”, then it would seem Hillary has a better chance of changing what is wrong. I mean love ‘m or hate’m, the Wall Streeters wield major power.

On the other hand, defending the millions of dollars she has personally taken in speaking fees by simply saying: “because that is what they offered”,  to me sounds no more noble than what a high-priced call girl might say when questioned about her morals.

Or, would a prostitute accept money and then be shocked at what the client had in mind?

But I think it was CNBC financial personality Larry Kudlow I heard comment that Wall Street while preferring a Republican wins the White House would be more comfortable with Mrs. Clinton than Sanders.

Her husband Bill Clinton supported the repeal of the so-called Glass-Steagall Act when he was president. The shorthand is that Glass-Steagall among other things prohibited the combining of commercial banks with investment banks, and that the result was that mergers took place or commercial banks otherwise got involved in risky investments, most notably the bundling of home mortgages to sell as securities (mortgage derivatives), and that it ultimately resulted in the burst of a speculative bubble that had been based on worthless loans to people who had no credit.

Not everyone would agree with all that, but I think that narrative is pretty much assumed as accurate by most. What there is no doubt about is that there were some big banks that were “too big to fail” so the federal government (read  taxpayers) had to bail them out. And how honest capitalists would see that as right or practical I don’t know. I mean individuals and even corporations have to go through bankruptcy. Uncle Sam does not bail you or them out.

Sanders would like to see the return of Glass-Steagall.  Mrs. Clinton thinks the current Dodd-Frank law, put into effect after the financial calamity of 2008, the Great Recession, can be enforced in order to control the big banks and such.

I use the term Wall Street in generic terms sometimes. The Clintons have received millions of dollars from the investment community. Some of that money is funneled into a non-profit foundation they run that is supposed to be doing good works around the world. I confess, I know next to nothing about the details of it. But of course the Clintons benefit financially big time from the special interests. They sell influence.

Interestingly, although they are Democrats and the Bush family are of course Republicans, both families share this profession — influence peddlers.

Mrs. Clinton grew indignant during the last debate, saying that Sanders was implying that she took money and made decisions accordingly while in public office. She declared that she never based a decision on a money donation.

(Maybe not solely, but you cannot ignore the source of money.)

But at any rate, in my opinion, Sanders took himself out of the race (polls notwithstanding) both when he declared he would raise taxes and when he conceded basically that he is weak on foreign policy and that foreign policy is a strong point for Mrs. Clinton.

The president does not raise taxes (by himself), but even if we know he would have to we also know that history shows you don’t win an election by promising to raise taxes. Just ask Walter Mondale — well his ghost.

And in an interview for the job of president of the United States, the world’s super power, you don’t look good saying you are weak on foreign policy.

I’m not convinced Mrs. Clinton’s idea of foreign policy is much different from Sanders’ however.

And when either one of them promises not to commit U.S. troops (save special forces) to the Middle East, or anywhere, I just shake my head. You just cannot do that. Two things: you cannot predict the future and you send a signal to any enemy that we are weak and reluctant to defend our interests. You still might in the end not decide not to commit troops. That is a tactical decision. But you do not need to telegraph intentions to the enemy. It is the same as promising to pull out of a conflict at a date certain. A smart adversary will just wait.

Personally, I am not a war hawk and would just as soon we not be in this costly endless war situation in the Middle East or anywhere. But I think the candidates would do better to state careful and general positions on defense. And you never want to lock yourself into a position on these things. Stuff happens and things change (just ask President Obama).

While there are far too many candidates on the Republican side, somehow there seems not enough on the Democratic side.

And before I forget, the Clinton email thing:

So far all I see is maybe bad judgment or maybe just someone who like me is having to use all the nice new technology and on the one hand is glad to have it but on the other hand does not grasp the implications of all of it.

1.She should not have been using a private server for government business. But as far as I have read, she did not break any laws outright. She may have violated policy that was not written at the time, but understood, and written policy may have been adopted later.

2. So far, all reports I have read (aside from Republican or Clinton-hater propaganda) say that none of the material on her private server was classified at the time. Some of it was classified after the fact. In addition, we all know that the government is classify crazy. Some things that are already well known and some things that are innocuous are stamped classified. We often hide more stuff from the general public than the enemy.

3. What the email controversy points out so far is that the government needs to get a handle on the whole mess and make sure it is not over classifying and make sure that when it does have a legitimate secret it stays that way. And there need to be clear laws and regulations.  It has now been reported that what is now regarded a classified material has been discovered among the private email of former secretary of state Colin Powell and of the aides of former secretary of state and national security advisor Condoleezza Rice. Both of course are Republicans. And everybody is doing it may not be te best defense, but it is certainly a mitigating factor.


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