Hillary Clinton & the Wall Street plutocrats who paid her $200,000 for one speech

This has been making the rounds, and it should. Hillary Clinton recently spoke before a group of “major investors” — a “few hundred” Wall Street big-money denizens, according to the report — invited by Goldman Sachs executives to a gathering at the Conrad Hotel in downtown Manhattan.

Politico covered the meeting, Clinton’s speech (based on reports, not reporter attendance), and the general subject of Wall Street bankers and their relationship with politicians these days. It’s a major piece and I invite you to read it through.

My focus is on Hillary Clinton herself, however, her need for fundraising if she’s going to run in 2016, and her relationship to the scruffy Dems who form the newly-named “Elizabeth Warren wing” of the party.

stocklight / Shutterstock.com

Hillary Clinton, with her husband Bill behind her. (stocklight / Shutterstock.com)

Here’s what Politico said Clinton said to some of the wealthiest political donors in America, along with a few of Politicos other comments. Wall Street, be not afraid:

Lament of the Plutocrats

On a recent afternoon, executives at Goldman Sachs invited a few hundred major investors to the Conrad Hotel in lower Manhattan. The bankers and their guests filed into a large room and turned their eyes to Hillary Clinton.

Ordinarily these masters of the universe might have groaned at the idea of a politician taking the microphone. In the contentious years since the crash of 2008, they’ve grown wearily accustomed to being called names—labeled “fat cats” by President Obama and worse by those on the left—and gotten used to being largely shunned by Tea Party Republicans for their association with the Washington establishment. And of course there are all those infuriating new rules and regulations, culminating this week with the imposition of the so-called Volcker Rule to make risky trades by big banks illegal.

Corruption via Shutterstock

Corruption via Shutterstock

But Clinton offered a message that the collected plutocrats found reassuring, according to accounts offered by several attendees, declaring that the banker-bashing so popular within both political parties was unproductive and indeed foolish. Striking a soothing note on the global financial crisis, she told the audience, in effect: We all got into this mess together, and we’re all going to have to work together to get out of it. What the bankers heard her to say was just what they would hope for from a prospective presidential candidate: Beating up the finance industry isn’t going to improve the economy—it needs to stop. And indeed Goldman’s Tim O’Neill, who heads the bank’s asset management business, introduced Clinton by saying how courageous she was for speaking at the bank. (Brave, perhaps, but also well-compensated: Clinton’s minimum fee for paid remarks is $200,000).

So there you go. What the writer thinks the bankers heard — meaning, what the banker who talked to the writer thought s/he heard — was: “I think going easy on you good souls is the right thing to do. I’m not like some other people. Lean forward, say I; that pesky past is so yesterday.”

A few takeaways, and then I’ll let you enjoy your Seasonal fun:

▪ They paid her to say that. Minimum take: $200,000 for the afternoon. That means she’s in the club. What club is that, you ask? The club of people who make millions doing things for people who are worth billions.

Your model for that is the NFL or the NBA — millionaire athlete-employees of billionaire owners — except in this case, Clinton is a free-lancer. Her money is reported on a 1099-MISC instead of a W-2. Crucial difference, at least for tax purposes.

▪ She didn’t take their money and disappoint. See how easy it is to get along? I should try it her way sometime.

▪ If she runs in 2016, she going to need more than $1,000,000,000 — that’s one billion dollars in words, if the zeros dazzled you. Where better than from billionaires to get a billion dollars?

▪ The crucial question — Has Hillary Clinton just declared she’s no friend of the “Elizabeth Warren wing” of her party? She didn’t make this speech in public. Will her public speeches be at odds with this one? If they are, will anyone — including MSNBC — notice?

▪ And the crucial leap — Was this an “ask,” a deal memo, an offer letter from Clinton to the East Coast billionaires? Only the one who sees hearts and intentions knows for sure, but the rest of us aren’t all that stupid, all that far behind, when the jigsaw puzzle pieces fall so neatly into place.

With that, I’ll leave you to your thoughts, and ask you to keep this in mind, when and if the public “I’m just as left as that Warren person” ad campaign starts up.

Happy Season all. Light posting from now until the end of the year.


To follow or send links: @Gaius_Publius

Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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152 Responses to “Hillary Clinton & the Wall Street plutocrats who paid her $200,000 for one speech”

  1. Bruce says:

    WAW (What A Whore).

  2. Ford Prefect says:

    Just perfect! +10000

  3. Whitewitch says:

    I know a few of those military retirees that put in the time – at grunt levels – with no disability that are working second jobs in a menial market (driving a truck or delivering uniforms) and they are not getting any of the perks you speak of.

    That said, it is good that they are pointing to the military – because it makes people mad that they are suffering. Most people don’t have much compassion for the regular Federal Employees and feel they are over paid and not necessary – so give them someone they can care about and put that face on all Pensions….it might work. (Well maybe not).

    It is wrong and they are wrong – ANYONE that worked for a pension deserves their pension. ANYONE….period. You can’t let someone work for years and years, at less wages (because most people who are Federal Employees are paid a little less because they do get a pension or other “benefits” or some such silliness…anyway – if you work for 20 years that pension better be there. Taking them away NOW is wrong, wrong, wrong.

    And you are right every politician that went home for the Christmas Break and did not extend Unemployment Benefits is a GRINCH…no political cover for any of them.

    Sadly, it seems the only non-crazy people talking about politics are those here at Americablog….everyone else just seems to be soooo mad and hateful.

    LEAVE PENSIONS Alone!!! Should be the cry from all of us.

  4. Whitewitch says:

    I think a lot of women feel this way – really and are just afraid to say it out loud.

  5. Ford Prefect says:

    Dem Grinches are buy-partisan!

    I’m more concerned about the federal civilian pensions than the military retirement. They’re much better off than their civilian counterparts, as it’s a myth they aren’t paid well–only the lowest rungs of enlisted (nowhere near retirement and most don’t stay in anyway) are poorly paid. An E5 that’s been in ten years (Navy Chief or Sergeant elsewhere) gets about $90K in compensation (that includes housing and other differentials, depending on where they are stationed)–plus socialized medical and dental. They retire at half pay, plus even a desk jockey will get an additional $1,200 a month in “disability” such as PTSD, even though they’ve never been near combat. Besides, less than 10% of military personnel are in combat arms. The rest are logistics and other support areas–the military is first and foremost a bureaucracy. Desk jockeys and whatnot. Lastly, many of them become contractors after retirement, which means they’re double-dipping. Great work if one can get it. (I’m not the least bit opposed to people being paid well for what they do. But this notion that they’re somehow suffering economically just doesn’t ring true if they stay in til retirement.)

    Besides all that, notice that all the media attention over pensions is directed at military pensions, with little attention to civilian public servants that are getting shafted in a far more damaging fashion. It seems to me the people inspecting passenger airlines (for example) ought not to be shafted as well and their options for healthcare and retirement income are more limited. They don’t qualify for SS, for example.

  6. Ford Prefect says:

    “In an age of universal deceit, simply telling the truth becomes a radical act.” — Orwell

    If SmittyPA can’t make a dent, despite her best efforts, then let them spew. There’s a good satire in here somewhere.

  7. karmanot says:

    With ya all the way WW!

  8. karmanot says:

    Same here…….

  9. Whitewitch says:

    Oh my soooooo true and cutting pensions for the military…when did cutting pensions serve anyone in this country. Now they can say – hey if we cut federal pensions for people who have sacrificed in battle we can cut them (or completely kill them) for the common man/woman.

    I am shocked by the whole NSA mess, however I always suspected they all spy on us…sweeping the unemployed under the carpet and cutting their benefits at Christmas…that is the Grinchest thing in the world. So now Dems are Grinches.

  10. Ford Prefect says:

    I hear Lawrence O’Donnell whitewashed the NSA last night–I’m glad their ratings are in the basement, as it lessens their influence. But how about issues Democratic voters are historically concerned with? Unemployment perhaps? The new budget throws a couple million people under the unemployment bus, presumably because throwing them off the dole improves the U3 (headline unemployment) number by simply disappearing them.

    Principles that change depending on who is in office aren’t principles.

  11. karmanot says:

    Couldn’t agree more!

  12. Whitewitch says:

    Thank you for making me smile. I really appreciate it…it took a lot to post the above – I worry that people will judge and spew horrible things at me…but it is truly how I feel about the situation. After years and years (nearly 55 years) of fighting for woman’s rights and just trying to survive as a woman in these backward moving times…I will not vote for a women who is NOT in the fight with me, I will not support a woman that is as willing as I to risk everything to move us forward to freedom. Won’t do it!

  13. Whitewitch says:

    I have to say it is the thing that has made me most unhappy….if a republican where in the White House you would see protests against the war and demanding the shutting of Gitmo…with democrats in the White House…just crickets!!! Soooo frustrating and proof positive their is no difference between the parties…

  14. Ford Prefect says:

    Hillary is quite supportive of wealthy women. The problem of course, is one needs to have a few mil in the bank before one qualifies for her support. When her chief of staff went off and took a part-time gig at a Wall Street consulting firm that specializes in international trade issues, all while still working for Hillary at the State Department, she was cool with that. For HRC, Flex-time is cool, even when it means taking on a conflict of interest heavily tainted with corruption. So there’s that….

    See also her fierce advocacy of the right of wealthy Saudi women to drive to the mall. Quite impressive, that bit of fierce advocacy was. (I jest, of course, since the right to vote isn’t as important as shopping.)

  15. Whitewitch says:

    Here here…

  16. Butch1 says:

    Warren is totally against Wall Street and has been one of the only souls willing to go after them. ( really go after them ) Bernie Sanders has also fought for the common man as well as Warren has. He has been passionate defending our Safety Net in the Senate when no other democratic senator made a peep in our defense on the media stations etc. There was Bernie speaking passionately in our defense. He’s an Independent. The democratic party should be ashamed of themselves for being so spineless. I think they have sold out and need to be primaried or just voted out and replaced by third party candidates. Same thing goes for the republicans. Enough of these people.

  17. Ford Prefect says:

    By all means. If we’re going to be precise though, we should credit the Democratic Party, since these are just THEIR positions. Also recommended is Karmanot’s “testilying,” which can be used in mock religious tones ad infinitum. Especially useful if Obama starts to mockingly ape MLK again.

  18. Butch1 says:

    If only more people thought this way.

  19. Whitewitch says:

    Hi Ford Perfect – do you mind if I borrow this from time to time. It is very well stated!!!

  20. Whitewitch says:

    Prove that Hillary will support voting rights or women’s rights. We are talking about a woman that lives with a man that is a serial cheater – because he has power. Now you get to the root of the issue. She is no supporter of women’s rights….and does nothing to stop the objectification of women as sexual objects. I actually feel sorry for her, often and embarrassed for her while she stood beside him during his presidency.

    And, if former President Clinton had come OUT and admitted that yes he let her blow him…I would have no objection…the lying is beyond the pale though and standing on TV wagging his finger that he did not have sex with that woman made me cry. You see – he probably sees Monica (or insert name of woman) just that way as not a woman, just an object…so of course he didn’t have “sex” with her. And Hillary stood there saying nothing.

    When my ex-husband did that – you know what I did – I packed my bags and moved out…and made it on my own WITH NOTHING FROM the rat…she elected to stay because he had the power….when in fact she would have had a lot more power than he ever had because every woman would have stood up and cheered for her!!!!

    So there – that is the real reason I will not vote for her. Power is her only thirst…not fairness, morality or honor.

  21. Whitewitch says:

    Actually there have been a few candidates that were genuinely loved by the people, maybe not all the people, but loved non-the-less.

    And it is technically a canard..because “choosing the lesser of two evils” has not been proven to be true or a very good ideal…in fact choosing between two evils is rather a sad way to live….but then perhaps that is okay with you.

  22. Whitewitch says:

    That is the one they will use…woman hater. And they better trend lightly with that one as many of her critics are women…like me…older, wiser women who have been fighting the FIGHT for a very long time and are easily offended by that BS.

  23. Whitewitch says:

    See my comment below to Karmanot…and since you seem to be a Bot for the Democrats…please pass this message along to President Obama…

    Start snapping your fingers and Extend unemployment, really help people save their homes, stop kissing the butt of Wall Street and PUT ON YOUR SNEAKERS AND START MARCHING WITH THE PEOPLE…like you promised.

    P.S. One of those down votes was MINE.

  24. Whitewitch says:

    Oh and Snap to the SmittyPA, I get so tired of that argument…that he can just “fix it”. BS – THEY hated him (Clinton) anyway and were out to destroy him anyway…his snapping his fingers would have been a boon to him, the truth is that President Clinton was a man that fancied having women more then doing the hard work….and just like him, THEY hate President Obama, but he fancies making THEM like him…which will never happen. So he might as well SNAP his fingers and make IT happen. Extend unemployment, really help people save their homes, stop kissing the butt of Wall Street and PUT ON YOUR SNEAKERS AND START MARCHING WITH THE PEOPLE…like you promised.

  25. Whitewitch says:

    Totally agree – except for the Elizabeth Warren thing….she is still a little to Republican for my taste…but Bernie…maybe Bernie.

  26. lilyannerose says:

    I’ve been pretty cool to Hilary for several years and it’s just not her easy fit into Wall Street it’s that she’s also a member of the “god” has chosen me to be a leader club. Overall it’s pretty quiet yet I’ve still bumped into articles about her and her faith over the years.

  27. Whitewitch says:

    If there is a “good” candidate in a third party – that is ALWAYS my first choice and has been for a while….particularly in local elections.

    The mantra did not mean to imply we should not vote…simply that we not be shamed/guilted into voting lesser of two evils by the people that get on these blogs and go all ape crazy about not voting the PARTY Line….

  28. Butch1 says:

    Start voting for a good candidate from a third party. We need them in the government to replace these turncoats.

  29. Butch1 says:

    Hillary Clinton is more right-wing than Obama and I think she is in league with Wall Street. We do not need more of the same and more wars and Imperialism to prove we are “Number One” and the World Policeman like she would like to maintain world dominance; that would require the same build up of our Defense department and continuing more wars and hunting for small al-Qaeda cells which continue to drain our taxes dry. This is the wrong path.

    We have yet to see any decent jobs bill produced by Congress to help relieve our economy and inject it with the growth it needs. She seems more interested in our foreign affairs and war and the rich bankers than the rest of us. Perhaps, it’s because she has lived that life and hob-nobbed for too long in those circles.

    Elizabeth Warren is a people’s person and is constantly fighting for us, I wish she would run for the presidency; I would vote for a democrat again if she ran for president. Otherwise, I will be voting for the best third party candidate running because there is no democrat worthy of the presidency that I can presently see on the horizon. Like the republicans, the democrats have been bought off by these corporate lobbyists as well and both parties are run by them. It’s time to break away from a Wall Street run government. All three branches are controlled by Wall Street. Sorry to say, but we do have a fascist run government in my opinion. Voting is only an illusion.

  30. karmanot says:

    Since you have no cogent arguments to advance I prefer to insult you.

  31. karmanot says:

    Carry that water— go go go

  32. karmanot says:


  33. karmanot says:

    I was referring to the canard in a coal mine.

  34. karmanot says:

    No, actually the Republican caucus made little John the Speaker.

  35. karmanot says:

    Ever hear of a President named Harry Truman who snapped his fingers and desegregated the arm forces? Seriously?

  36. Dameocrat says:

    Hillary voted for the Iraq war resolution unapologetically!

  37. lynchie says:

    Unfortunately that also includes pushing back against Hillary. Once elected they do what they want. O’highness is a perfect example. There is little common ground when they are owned by Wall Street and the banks and our interests on the left are ignored.

  38. lynchie says:

    I did not in 2012 and I will not in 2016 if Hillary is the only choice. It matters little who is President or who controls the house and senate since the results are the same. Diminished middle class and poor, cuts in programs for the elderly, increased welfare for the rich and corporations, constant attack on freedoms in the name of freedom and an increase in militarization of the police

  39. lynchie says:

    No. I value my vote, obviously you put blind faith in the lesser of two evils. I put a high value on my vote and if a politician wants it they must earn it. I was fooled by O’highness the first time, second time withheld my vote because no one was worthy. As far as Boehner being speaker tell me what was worse about him than Pelosi who could not control the Dems and allowed the blue dogs to vote with the GOP on many issues. If you love hillary which is obvious from your posts so be it, but you will be voting for continued war, continued attrition on the middle class and an increased income disparity all to fill the Clinton bank accounts.

  40. jomicur says:

    LOL, is that one being trotted out already? We heard it ad nauseam about Obama, and now that he’s a lame duck you’re using it to defend (in your mind) Hilary? I repeat: You are just one more example of a tired Dembot attacking everyone with sense enough to see through your beloved party. What are you going to give us next, she’s playing ten-dimensional chess? All her critics are just covert GOP operatives? (No, you’ve already pulled that one, above.) Everyone who opposes her is a racist, er, sexist?

  41. jomicur says:

    If you were seriously interested in enacting progressive policies, you wouldn’t be supporting the Democrats. ROTFL!

  42. Blogvader says:

    Meanwhile, I’ll be voting for people who may actually get elected and — wait for it — will then actually be able to block Ryan’s vouchers or the 43rd-umpteenth repeal of the ACA, etc.

    Judging from the content of your posts, you’ll continue to vote for people who will require you to make excuses.

    You can and should do better.

  43. Smitty PA says:

    “He’s expanded Gitmo and torture…”

  44. Smitty PA says:

    >>>”The sad thing is, the party you’re voting for is not actively supporting the interests you mentioned.”

    The Democratic Party IS supporting them as best as I could ask for since progressives gave the House to the obstructionist teanuts in 2010. Stay home, stomp your feet, complaaain, wah. Meanwhile, I’ll be voting for people who may actually get elected and — wait for it — will then actually be able to block Ryan’s vouchers or the 43rd-umpteenth repeal of the ACA, etc.

    >>>”Obama stood idly by while union bargaining rights were threatened (and still are threatened) at the state level.”

    Real world: A president with underwater approval ratings swooping into a state fight to recall his counterpart really is not smart. It takes it national on a whole new level; donations will flood in to defeat the ‘dictator’, the media will spend a week quoting Michelle Bachmann that the ‘campaign stop’ cost ‘Real Americans’ 6 gazillion dollars cause of those evil unions. Yeah, that would’ve helped defeat Walker alright.

  45. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, I was around during that time as well and remember how they threw us under the bus for both DADT and DOMA. Yes, it’s more complicated than that. Betrayal always is. I’ve known the Clintons since 1982. I’ve met them both several times. Nothing about them has surprised me. I voted for Bill at least once for governor and both times he ran for president, but I knew full well he wasn’t going to be able to keep his pants zipped for 8 years and was waiting for that shoe to drop the whole time. they both have a long history of tossing people aside when they are no longer useful and a huge path of destruction in their wake. It’s not intentional (the destruction), it’s just that they are ambitious and once it’s not convenient to be your friend any more they can’t be bothered. I’ve seen it happen too many times.

    That said, I’ll probably be voting for her in 2016. I’m just waiting to see who else is running. (Dont’ worry there’s virtually no chance the Republicans will nominate anyone I’d ever vote for.) I think we can do better, but Democrats seem bafflingly blind to their many shortcomings both as people and as elected officials. I could never fully trust anyone as in bed with the C Street crowd as Hilary is. That’s enough for me not to trust her, but the history shows that she’ll be happy to sell us out if need be. Even by the very low standards of political loyalty, the Clintons score pretty low in that regard.

  46. nicho says:

    Oh no, not this crap so early in the rush to crown Hill&Bill Inc for another term as emperor. John, can we please have an “ignore” button. The ClintonBots are starting early.

  47. nicho says:


  48. Smitty PA says:

    I’m not making excuses for anyone, just speaking from what I’ve learned from the history I’ve lived and read. It’s never been simple or pretty. Stating a solution is, of course, but changing the country is quite a bit more difficult. Discharges did increase, then decreased in the arc to repeal. There were certainly retaliatory discharges, there were certainly people who defied DADT by coming out, there were concerted efforts to make DADT a failure, a whole lotta ugly. But it remains in the long view of history that DADT was the next attainable step toward total repeal.

  49. Ford Prefect says:

    You do realize that almost every issue you mentioned involves Democrats taking a reactionary position, right? Dems positions on the following issues are:

    War: They are pro-war, pro-drone, pro-torture (GITMO), pro-assassination, etc.

    Voting rights: they don’t care about voting rights, except as a throwaway line in press releases. This is evidenced by the fact they’ve done NOTHING to reverse the attacks on said rights.

    Medicare: They intend to privatize it, a la Obamacare.

    Social Security: First benefit cuts, then privatization.

    Health insurance: See Obamacare.

    Immigration: Obama has deported more people than all previous presidents combined. He’s destroyed thousands of families and orphaned thousands of children.

    This is what you support and you can’t believe other people would object to all that.

  50. Smitty PA says:

    Civil rights struggles don’t come about by presidents waving magic wands, or even by presidents signing legislation. There is pushback. Clinton campaigned on letting homosexuals serve openly in the military, yep, and then he couldn’t achieve it legislatively. But he did get a major change in US policy that advanced the messy process to full repeal. It took two decades and the GOP is still pushing back — and you’re bitching that Clinton didn’t just snap his fingers and change institutional bigotry in the whole place. Seriously?

  51. Smitty PA says:

    Oh I believe in the power of a single vote alright. Single votes gave us GWB, Iraq, the Republican Tea House and the RWNJ governors and legislatures. It’s why I think it’s foolish that you throw away your single vote.

  52. Smitty PA says:

    War. Voting Rights. Women’s Rights. LGBT Rights. Worker Rights. Social Security. Medicare. Health Insurance. Immigration. What would be the same… the 1% will remain the 1%.

  53. Blogvader says:

    The sad thing is, the party you’re voting for is not actively supporting the interests you mentioned.

    Obama stood idly by while union bargaining rights were threatened (and still are threatened) at the state level. His HHS tried (and is still trying) to cater to the hard right on contraception. At least in terms of voting Obama and his ilk have acted somewhat to protect our interests, but even that action has been lackluster and nowhere near universal. Obama has expanded the War on Terror policies that he vowed to oppose or end. He’s expanded Gitmo and torture, even going so far as to protect those who kill during torture sessions. He’s claimed the power to drop bombs anywhere and everywhere in the world and changed the legal definition of militant to hide the civilians he’s ordered killed. He’s fought for Wall Street handouts, admitted publicly his willingness to cut Social Security, and enforced economic policies that have largely rendered the middle class irrelevant to corporate profits.

    And yet, you still vote for them. I think you’re a coward, Smitty, and folks who think as you do are as well.

    And I sure as hell hope you’re not happy with the Dems. What reasonable progressive could be at this point?

  54. Smitty PA says:

    Discuss to what end?? To the end that I’d wager you and I agree on nearly all the significant social, economic and legal issues of the day and it is in our mutual interest to find some common freaking ground and push back against the far right.

  55. Smitty PA says:

    Be specific karmanot, how am I a moral hazard to you? You seem very fond of one-line insults but can you articulate what this post even means?

  56. Smitty PA says:

    I acknowledge that you’ve stated the equivalent of “water is wet”. Seriously, in what Utopian pipe dream isn’t evil an inherent part of man’s institutions?

  57. Smitty PA says:

    A “canard” is a rumor that is not true. That Americans get to pick between two candidates and don’t love either has been true as long as we’ve been electing presidents.

  58. Smitty PA says:

    Your solution is what then? Stay home and pout? That made John Boehner Speaker in 2010.

  59. Smitty PA says:

    Sheep. Lackeys. Dembots. Vicious. Spew. Venom… So you needed to attack people who disagree with you (“Dembots”) to warn people who agree with you that they may be attacked…? That’s so fantastically helpful to enacting liberal policies in this country, really.

  60. Whitewitch says:

    I will be needing a VP Karmanot (wink wink) – no anyone who would like to help me!!!!

  61. Whitewitch says:

    Oh noooo say it isn’t soooooo…well good to know that some of them actually come to their senses somewhere along the line eh?

  62. Whitewitch says:

    You will note that Smitty McPA – did not have a suggestion for actually fixing anything just on here blowing steam about us.

    And a double bobble head to her/him/it.

  63. Smitty PA says:

    Tell me this Blogvader: How long are you willing to wait and how much are you willing to gamble for the rest of us in the meantime? The Republican Party’s hard right turn has had serious consequences for my husband’s livelihood (union roofer) and mine (disability advocate), our kids’ schools are being squeezed, my rights as a woman are under attack, our rights as voters are as well, etc. etc. The Democratic Party is not a single-celled organism, no one in it is pleased with every action of every elected Dem or the DNC, that’s ridiculous. But tell me how long we should politely nod while you pursue creating a new DNC under a different name?

  64. jomicur says:

    The only comment I made was a warning that we have to brace ourselves for the onrush of Dembots who spew venom at everyone who won’t toe their party line. You have demonstrated that I was quite correct, and you have done so more than amply in this thread.

  65. Houndentenor says:

    Yes, I was multitasking. the number of discharges went up dramatically under DADT, Of course it’s complicated. Civil rights abuses always are. The solution, however, is always simple. You can make all the excuses you want for the Clintons but they threw us under the bus with TWO heinous pieces of anti-gay legislation. At least we are now done with DADT but parts of DOMA are still law.

  66. karmanot says:

    and a double bobble head to boot! :-)

  67. karmanot says:

    For one example: The loss of dozens of Middle east experts and linguists in the middle of two ongoing wars. DADT was a sloppy, incompetent failure by Clinton to whitewash his betrayal of GLTB communities.

  68. Daddy Bear says:

    Or better yet, through an “exploratory committee” fund that doesn’t have to report who it gets its money from, or to whom it gives it.

  69. karmanot says:

    Don’t worry, so was John and look how that turned out—Go Americablog!

  70. karmanot says:

    You would make a great president! We are going to need some magic at this juncture.

  71. karmanot says:


  72. Smitty PA says:

    “…it was sold that way but in reality the number of gay people in the military INCREASED under DADT as opposed to the years before.”
    Maybe there’s a typo in there? Not sure why the number of gay people in the military increasing would not be a step forward. If you meant discharges, it was the difference between undesirable or dishonorable before DADT and honorable after DADT based on a member’s service. I’ve read the number of discharges went up but that data is a bit more complicated…

  73. Smitty PA says:

    How do you figure it’s BS karmanot? Before DADT, a homosexual service member could be investigated, court-martial, imprisoned, involuntary committed to military psychiatric hospitals, given an “undesirable discharge”. The first legislative efforts to allow homosexuals to serve openly were in like 89 or 90 and there was significant pushback from the right, “main street” America, military brass and Congress. Passing DADT in ’93 was a major sea change in US policy and law — in the right direction! Perfect? Of course not, but absolutely a legislative achievement given the status quo when Clinton took office.

  74. Ford Prefect says:

    You can’t lose what you never had in the first place. There might be more interest in “keeping” the presidency if “WE” actually had it. Sadly, we don’t.

  75. Ford Prefect says:

    On the plus side, converts can be very committed, so I’m not going to judge her one way or the other until I see more evidence. Note also that Hillary Clinton was a “Goldwater Girl” during his attempt at becoming president in ’64. So she’s always leaned rightward as well.

    At least EW is making the right noises on certain things.

  76. Whitewitch says:

    She was a republican…oh my goddess now I am going to hang myself.

  77. Whitewitch says:

    Why do we have to have either of those two. I want a real Candidate…Like Bernie or ME – I would be a good President – well better than those two.

  78. Whitewitch says:

    Or we could make a new mantra – I will not vote, I will not vote, I will not vote for the lesser of two evils!!!!”

  79. Bill_Perdue says:

    Voting for any Democrat or any Republican is voting for war and against workers., the LGBT communities and the Bill of Rights.

    Hillary Clinton and Santorum have the same politics. The difference is that Santorum isn’t smart enough to rebrand the way Obama and Clintons did on marriage equality, “…Clinton has been an active participant in conservative Bible study and prayer circles that are part of a secretive Capitol Hill group known as the Fellowship. Her collaborations with right-wingers such as Senator Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and former Senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) grow in part from that connection.” http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2007/09/hillarys-prayer-hillary-clintons-religion-and-politics

  80. Bill_Perdue says:

    Hillary Clinton, enraged at the exposures of her lies, was didn’t bat an eye when the torture of whistle blower and hero Chelsea Manning began.

    She supported and excused the Clinton/Bush/Obama wars of aggression in Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan and Afghanistan and Obama’s continuing wars in Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere.

    Hillary Clinton is a rightwing, anti union, pro war thug and will be just as bad as Obama or as bad as McCain or Romney.

  81. Whitewitch says:

    Snap, snap and snappity snap!!!! Well said!

  82. lynchie says:

    so what will the difference be between Hillary and a Republican president. Both are owned by Wall Street and the banks and both are in it for the pay back

  83. lynchie says:

    Discuss it to what end. It is simple I will not vote for her. she represents nothing that is liberal or democratic. We have no choices. A third party is a joke and to annoint Hillary with no track record of accomplishment shows how devoid of real ideas the party is.

  84. Bill_Perdue says:

    Not exactly the same. But generally the same, absolutely.

  85. Bill_Perdue says:

    It doesn’t matter which of the two parties wins. They’re the same party.

  86. LanceThruster says:



  87. Bill_Perdue says:

    Democrats are the enemy of working people. So are Republicans.

  88. karmanot says:

    It clearly beyond your moral intelligence to consider that many of us still believe in the power of a single vote for those whom we genuinely believe to earn it. So save your smug, righteousness for others in the lesser evil popcorn gallery.

  89. Bill_Perdue says:

    Mark Hanna, Republican National Committee Chairman said “An honest politician is one who, when he he or she is bought, will stay bought.”

    Obama, in 2008, made the same moneyed connections that H. Clinton’s now cultivating. He got almost a million dollar from Goldman Sachs alone and since then has been a loyal political prostitute, servicing their needs – appointing Bill Clintons banksters to run the economy, trashing health care reform, ignoring unemployment, busting unions and passing out trillions to banks.

    Criticism of Obama and the Clintons, separated from a general criticism of Democrats, just won’t cut it. The truth is that the US is a banana republic ruled by and for rich. That’s unquestionable. And so is the fact that the Democrats and their Republican cousins work for the rich and are owned by the rich.

    Both parties are right wing. Democrats used to right centrists but they’ve moved and are now just right wing with a few cosmetic differences with the Republicans.

    • The two parties agree on the need for more wars of aggression against weaker nations to plunder their resources and establish de facto US colonies.

    • They agree on a broad program of artificially maintaining high levels of unemployment/underemployment, union busting, job export and a variety of measures to drive down workers standard of living.

    • They agree on the need to import workers at low wages and to keep their wages low by immigrant bashing.

    • They agree on the assault on the Bill of Rights and the passage of repressive laws.

    • Both stridently oppose socialized medicine and the restoration of social programs to
    cushion the appalling effects of the economic catastrophe they created with job
    exports, union busting and deregulation. Both support gutting Socail Security and further weakening Medicare.

    People who mistakenly voted for Clinton or Obama or a Republican should tattoo their foreheads with the reminder: “HELP, STOP ME BEFORE I VOTE AGAIN.”

  90. karmanot says:

    The Republican Party is a moral hazard as are you.

  91. karmanot says:

    The old lesser evil canard—-next.

  92. karmanot says:

    Do prattle on with your stupid false equivalencies.

  93. karmanot says:


  94. karmanot says:

    My thoughts exactly. I loath Clinton, but if Biden is nominated we will lose the Presidency.

  95. Monoceros Forth says:

    You know, being forced to vote for a shitty candidate just because our political system is so fucked up that the only alternative is voting for someone even worse might be, in your view, an evil necessity. But you do know that the evil necessity however necessary is still fucking evil, right? At least acknowledge that instead of being so fucking smug about it.

  96. Smitty PA says:

    I was actually shooting for common sense but know that is lost on supporters of the Green Party.

  97. Monoceros Forth says:

    It’s just deeply depressing how one is forced into a kind of solidarity with someone like Hilary Clinton, or with Barack Obama for that matter, because one doesn’t want to associate even inadvertently with the usual run of right-wing morons who hate Clinton or Obama for the dumbest reasons imaginable. One almost wants to support Clinton or Obama by reflex because, hell, look at the people who are loudest and most abundant with their attacks. Whenever I come across some Tea Party maniac frothing in the mouth about socialism and tyranny I just have to defend Obama even though I think he’s been a bad President. The same will be true of Clinton should she end up in the White House.

    What a rotten state of affairs.

  98. dcinsider says:

    For $50,000 I’ll tell them they look like George Clooney.

  99. Ford Prefect says:

    In any case, it’s irrelevant. The CGI exists as a corporate PR org whose sole purpose is to further enrich the Clintons, at greatly reduced taxes no less, since that is their current vehicle for influence peddling. The two GS speeches and some insider trading (which I’m confident probably continues to this day, given their special relationship with their investment bank) are small peanuts compared to that. A half-mil here, a half-mil there and a few million repeated in various other transactions and pretty soon there’s a ton of money sitting in the Caymans.

    It’s funny how when Republicans do all these things, Democrats rightly deride them for it, but when Dems do it… well, it’s all OKAY.

  100. basenjilover says:


  101. Ford Prefect says:

    Your comments are a superb example of a person wholly devoted to partisan gain, bereft of any real politics or policy goals. Unlike most Americans, you still labor under the delusion The People stand to benefit from Democratic Party governance. But since we all know facts have a liberal bias, reality is staring you down.

    Your Us vs. Them-ism serves no real purpose. You’re not even helping your Party with this authoritarian gibberish. When you speak, I’m sure most people “hear” something akin to fingernails scraping a blackboard.

  102. Ford Prefect says:

    That’s one aspect, to be sure. Another one is that by personalizing everything under the sun, the politics are greatly diluted. It also feeds the cult of personality complex, to which the messagers are totally wedded. 2008 taught them they can avoid most politics and “promises” through empty rhetoric and a good cult of personality.

    That’s how you divorce a campaign from the underlying politics.

  103. Ford Prefect says:

    Agree. It’s a good thing when the erstwhile “progressives” started pushing back on SS in an affirmative manner. I like it. The problem is I don’t trust the party to ever get behind such an effort, so I’m inclined to expect a Bait & Switch. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t push back on cuts with proposals to increase benefits. They bloody well should.

    The other day I read about the Ready For Hillary PAC. The only thing Democratic elites have learned from the Obama Debacle is how to build a cult of personality around the presumptive Emperor To Be. I do expect Hillary to appropriate Warren’s language, but not actual policy preferences. EW got some really good, positive feedback from the proles. Obama got good feedback on his bogus inequality speech, but he falls short since he’s so obviously insincere.

    The Machine seems to be looking for a winning pitch to the electorate for the election cycle. That’s an opportunity to push back forcefully. Any attempt at rejecting Neo-Liberal policies and politics is good, even if it’s insincere. But only so long as we keep in mind the insincerity and keep calling them on it.

  104. Whitewitch says:

    And the party begins…seriously – if guilt, shame and Republican Party Thanks You – are the only things you have to persuade a person to vote for your candidate – I believe it is time to rethink your candidate!

  105. Whitewitch says:

    Excellent points Perl…and I am sure you are pretty correct…although my son (handsome and brave and true young man that he is) owns a company and they would most probably give their employees the difference if tomorrow, magically, the government ruled they no longer had to pay it on behalf of their employees…but then he was raised by a Left-Wing, Bleeding Heart, Quasi-Gay, Pagan Woe-man.

    So perhaps those old, ruling class guys would in fact give us the shaft – but there are some modern, well meaning, caring people that would pass along the savings – I think.

    That said…I too am surprised we are not at least show our “cubicle” rent in our statement. I too like my job, and love my work…so I am good for now.

  106. Blogvader says:


    What I’m doing is voting for a third party, a party whose politics more closely aligns with my morals and sensibilities. The Democratic Party has no right to my vote as a progressive, and the notion that they (and you) think they do, demonstrates just how [email protected]#$ed we are politically.

    More people should vote third party, not less. That’s the only thing that will force the party bosses to take notice and behave like the Democrats they claim to be.

  107. Ford Prefect says:

    All very true. Still, as Secretary of State, the way the department was run under her “leadership” belongs to her in any case. Well after the various horrifying scandals, she still increased the amount of money being paid to Blackwater and increased their role at State, rather than seeking other vendors or renationalizing DSS. She not only gave the bird to those pointing in horror at BW’s abuses, she made them richer.

    HRC’s continued destruction of State Intel belongs to her, even though she didn’t start it. She also led the way, during her tenure, to make sure State remained–as you so aptly put it–the Dept. of Saber Rattling. Fact is, she loves war and as Preznit, she’ll continue down that path.

  108. Smitty PA says:

    Of course you don’t ‘support’ the Republican Party, but they will still thank you for helping to elect their nominee. That is all you are doing.

  109. perljammer says:

    You know, I have job I really, really like a lot, working for an employer that really treats me well. I am given fascinating assignments that both challenge and entertain me. I feel that I am generously (well, adequately, at any rate) compensated for my efforts. However, there is not a shred of doubt in my mind that, were Social Security and Medicare to magically vanish tomorrow, the company’s share of those payments would not start to appear in my net pay. I would expect my employer to pocket that 6.2% and never look back. The way I look at it, the money deducted from my gross pay is money I would have received if the deductions weren’t made; the money my employer contributes to FICA/Medicare is money I never would have received in any event.

    My company does the same thing you describe with the annual statement of all the money they spend on my behalf. They do this to try to make me feel like I make more money than I do, and it doesn’t work, because I know that those are expenses they are required to underwrite, either by law (e.g., FICA) or talent retention policy (e.g., health insurance). I’m always a little bemused that they don’t throw my share of the lights, water, and rent in there as well.

  110. Smitty PA says:

    The only thing I have proven, so far, is that you are unable or unwilling to defend your own comments. You claimed Clinton is not “a better choice than whichever corporatist the GOP nominates” so following your logic that means either Clinton would be exactly the same, or worse. Are you able to articulate a defense of that? Both are evil? Sure, okay, simplistic but I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is people who pretend it is more noble to pat themselves on their self-righteous back and allow a larger evil to happen when they had the power to choose the lesser evil. We live in a two-party system and all the idealism in the world isn’t going to change that. Oh, and it works both ways… you will repeat your comments from now to election day with increasing ferocity and even viciousness. Why not try discussing the issue with people instead?

  111. Houndentenor says:

    it was sold that way but in reality the number of gay people in the military INCREASED under DADT as opposed to the years before. So, not it wasn’t a step forward. You can spin for the Clintons all you want but the reality is that they were happy to take our votes and money but then threw us under the bus when it became expedient. I realize that’s a different time but I don’t see any evidence that Sec. Clinton has changed one iota since then except to jump on the gay marriage bandwagon once polling got over 50% and it was clear that everyone running against her in 2016 would be taking the same position. I don’t trust her and may be stuck with her, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t look for better options for the White House.

  112. Naja pallida says:

    In fairness, the INR had been largely supplanted by DoD intelligence sources, and DSS were already entirely undermined by mercenaries well before her tenure. She just never had any intention of ever helping State retake the power they ceded to war solutions rather than diplomatic ones. They’re now treating the Department of State as the Department of Saber Rattling, and the Secretary as someone whose primary job is to deliver threats of military force.

  113. Indigo says:

    and Kent State. Don’t forget that massacre. As you say, it was a warning, an effective one, as events have played out.

  114. Indigo says:

    That sounds about right. I’m bothered by the effort to pit EW vs HRC as if it’s just another boxing match with Vegas bets riding on it. Even if we remain mired in the Bush Depression, Obama owns it now. There has been no evidence of an upswing in the Main Street economy even though Wall Street is doing well. Or, more specifically, the owners on Wall Street are doing well. The Party messaging apparatus (wonderful phrase!) others me because the message is not Democratic, it’s autocratic. The message is not how shall we proceed but bow down, your queen ascends the throne. That approach is unacceptable.

  115. Naja pallida says:

    They like to name these kind of things after specific people, so they can turn around and blame it all on that person when the rest of the party sabotages any progress that might have come from it. It’s all about avoiding taking any responsibility.

  116. jomicur says:

    Do they have to be EXACTLY alike for both to be evil? Thank you for demonstrating so quickly and so vividly that my original comment was accurate.

  117. Blogvader says:

    My lack of support for Democrats does not equal support for the Republican Party.

    It equals support for the Green Party. If the Democrats want my vote they’re more than welcome to act like they deserve it.

  118. Smitty PA says:

    True left winger… real American… all sounds the same.

  119. BeccaM says:

    Actually, if Hillary Clinton has an even halfway competent tax accountant, she won’t be taking those speaking fees directly on 1099-MISC, but rather funneling the income through an LLC partnership, S Corp, or C Corp.

  120. Smitty PA says:

    The Republican Party thanks you.

  121. Smitty PA says:

    You have a problem with people pointing out the truth? Or do you honestly believe a McCain/Palin presidency would have been EXACTLY the same as the Obama/Biden presidency?

  122. Smitty PA says:

    You refer, of course, to allegations that were investigated ad nauseam and never proved.

  123. Smitty PA says:

    A reminder to all those whining about DADT… in the 1990s is was a major step FORWARD for lesbians and gays in the military.

  124. Ford Prefect says:

    Actually, take a good look at her stint as SECSTATE. She wasn’t terribly good at it. She’s a bully and bullies make bad diplomats. Her biggest “successes” lied in her ability to stomp people into submission. US Public Diplomacy completely collapsed under her reign. After more than half a century, it was eliminated altogether under her thoughtless tutelage.

    See also her destruction of the State Intel division, the replacement of State Dept. Diplomatic Security forces with Blackwater mercenaries and so forth. She was no prize.

  125. Smitty PA says:

    Wish the Elizabeth Warren wing would wake up and notice that already.

  126. Ford Prefect says:

    Hmm. This “Elizabeth Warren wing” thing increasingly looks like a stalking horse to me. Firstly, there’s this notion that a wing of the party should be named after a person who was a Republican all of five or six years ago. Then there’s the “cult of personality” aspect that goes along with naming a wing after a person, instead of a set of values (ie, Progressive, etc.). Then there’s the fact all those rumors about her running, even many moons after she had personally endorsed HRC, were completely false.

    But if the Party is trying to find out which lies will get the most traction from Party loyalists who are currently in a state of catatonia due to a frolicking depression, then the EW Wing thing makes sense.

    I’m not saying this to diss EW. I’m dissing a Party messaging apparatus that is less honest than most used car sales units. MSNBC has to have something>/i> positive to say about their own party for the audiences’ sake. And their ratings. So stalking horses make good sense. Also too, it will help HRC’s campaign construct the lies needed to win over an otherwise despondent electorate.

  127. basenjilover says:

    and she enriched herself years ago when she had sold stocks due to insider trading at least $600,000 richer if I remember correctly and there was no proof

  128. BeccaM says:

    NAFTA. Welfare ‘reform.’ The Glass-Steagall repeal. The appointment of center-right “bipartisan compromise” nominees to the bench (something never required when the GOP controls the White House). Pointless saber-rattling at Iraq, setting the stage for the illegal war that followed. DADT and DOMA, which Hillary’s husband had the sheer gall to insist wouldn’t be anti-gay at all in their consequences.

    Was Hillary Clinton a good Secretary of State? I’d say yes, she handled that job pretty well. But with respect to financial matters and civil rights, I don’t see a sliver of daylight between her and her husband’s positions. With heavy emphasis on making the rich happier, at the expense of everybody else.

  129. Ford Prefect says:

    The reason people will pay so much to see a hack speech from a Clinton (or similar) is they’re paying to buy influence from the next president of the US. It’s not like they’re gaining anything from her but the promise to use the government for their benefit, assuming she receives adequate payment. Her speeches are not worth the paper they’re printed on. If she said important things in her speeches, they’d become newsworthy. It’s best to avoid that when one’s sole purpose is to be bought off.

    HRC can get six figures for a lame speech solely because of where she’s going. BC’s pay is the same because he’ll be the First Husband, where he can also use his influence to benefit his corporate clientele. Neither of these people are genuinely interesting in any way most people would recognize. They’re popular with that set because they have something to offer paying clients: direct influence over the course of US governance. It’s a commodity people are willing to pay good money to get. Also, a half-million for two speeches is super cheap when one stands to gain billions in profits, yes?

  130. BeccaM says:

    Took the words right out of my mouth there: If it ends up being between Hillary and some unnamed GOP hyper-conservative moonbat (at this point, are there any other kind?), it’ll be yet another Lesser Evil election. With any populist rhetoric adopted solely for the duration of the election cycle — then it’ll be back to the status quo of steady ratcheting to the right.

  131. gaylib says:

    Morons. Elizabeth Warren isn’t even a part of the “Elizabeth Warren” wing of the party.

  132. Whitewitch says:

    Actually Perljammer – your statement is incorrect in a weird twisty kind of way. You don’t pay more SS and Medicare than someone, like say me, that is employed in a “regular” job. The difference is that my employer pays, on my behalf, half of my social security taxes. He does this and reduces my wages by said half so that he is not out…it is just a complicated way if hiding from the people the real amount of taxes that I pay. Just like my employer pays for my health insurance (thank you very much Mr. Employer-greatly appreciated),

    At the end of the year, my employer (maybe most) sends me a statement showing me how much IT (sorry not trying to hurt your feelings Mr. Corporation – I know you are real) pays for my health insurance and my SS/medicare and other taxes and indicates that this is the REAL compensation IT pays me. Which is true and I wish more employers did that – as I make about 35% more after you calculate all those details in.

    So it seems as if you pay more for SS and Medicare, but the reality is that by being your own employer – you are just paying your taxes yourself. Based on thatyou should get a higher pay rate when working for yourself….

  133. GaiusPublius says:

    Myrddin, I love your participation in these comment sections. You add so much. Thanks, and happy season to you!


  134. Indigo says:

    Okay, I admit I’m a bit perverse on this topic but every time Hillary Clinton’s name comes up, I seem to hear a devilish little gnome or some such whisper a comment made about Hillary by, of all people, Barbara Bush, “I’ve loved every one of her hair styles.” And that defuses that. Although, as I’ve said before, if we are destined to become a fully activated police state (or should I use the expression “security surveillance state?”), Hillary’s the one that can make it happen.

  135. GaiusPublius says:

    In literal terms, I meant what Houndentenor said. Take a look at Schedule C sometime. Your expenses are deducted directly from your income, unlike Schedule A, where there are minimums to beat, etc.

    But I meant something else as well. The fact that “Clinton is a freelancer” is also a crucial difference for political and deniability purposes. If she were a direct employee, she’d be literally quid-pro-quo-ing. As an “independent contractor” she can sell the store with no way to prove she was paid to do it. Snarkish attempt on my part.

    Thanks for the comment, perljammer.


  136. perljammer says:

    Yeah, I get that income from a business brings with it a much greater opportunity to deduct legitimate expenses from your income. I was mainly curious about what Gaius’ purpose in mentioning it the way he did — the wording made it look a little sinister.

  137. Whitewitch says:

    I am going for the Bat Shit Crazy Republican myself….that way when the shit hits the fan it will be the Republicans fault! I think they ran Romney cause THEY didn’t really want to win and wanted President Obama in office to take the fall.

    Did I mention that my Tin Foil Hat is at the Cleaners and at the moment I only have my Christmas Hat with Reindeer Antlers for protection .

    That said – I actually do believe my first sentence – I do.

  138. Whitewitch says:

    Merry Christmas, Yule and Seasons Greetings Gaius.

    Great article – as always! I shall save my rude comments re Mrs. Clinton for 2014.

  139. MyrddinWilt says:

    Many professional speakers do that because they re-use the same speech at multiple events.

    I find it kind of scummy to take that kind of money for no work and then phone it in but nobody pays me $100K for a speech let alone twice that.

    And yes, it will be a choice between Hilary and a Republican who is at least as bad as Santorum. If there is a third party candidate breaking 5% in the polls it will be a tea party loony, not a progressive.

  140. Houndentenor says:

    I’ll just add this to the reasons I don’t like the idea of another Clinton in the White House. The others include DOMA, DADT, and Hilary’s cosiness with the C Street gang.