Few political families are closer to Wall Street than the Clintons
by JON QUEALLY | COMMON DREAMS | JULY 8, 2014
Editor’s Note: As we noted yesterday the elite plan to swap out Clinton with “populist” Elizabeth Warren who, like Clinton, follows the neocon line on foreign policy. It is of paramount importance the elite keep the wars going as they pretend to institute economic reforms. So long as the Federal Reserve is allowed to exist, there will be no significant economic reform regardless of what figurehead occupies the Oval Office and despite the best wishes of naive liberals and progressives.
With an ascendent economic populism that rejects the dominance of large financial institutions, wealthy individuals, and powerful industries that have too much sway in Washington, DC, the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency has many asking whether or not the former U.S. Senator and Secretary of State has what it takes to challenge the status quo which allows Wall Street to rule supreme in the nation’s seats of power.
In a frontpage article exploring the question in the New York Times on Tuesday, the newspaper suggests that Wall Street sees Hillary Clinton as “a solution” to the populist trend—a person who can neutralize other members of the Democratic Party, like Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown, calling for more aggressive economic reforms and who have tapped into the nation’s populist sentiment.
As the Times reports:
Few political families are closer to Wall Street than the Clintons. Their family foundation has raised millions from financiers and the foundations of big banks, and recently held its annual briefing for donors in the auditorium of Goldman Sachs’s headquarters in Manhattan. Major financial firms are stocked with Clinton alumni.
And the Clintons often interact with the titans of finance on the Manhattan charity circuit and during their vacations in the Hamptons. Last month, Mr. and Mrs. Clinton sat at a table with Hamilton E. James, president of the Blackstone Group, and mingled with the billionaire David H. Koch at a benefit for the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Clinton has been looked on with suspicion by progressives following high-paid speaking engagements with Goldman Sachs and other powerful Wall Street institutions since leaving her post at the State Department. And last month, Clinton put her weight behind the powerful biotech industry by speaking at their national conference, not only endorsing their business model but offering political advice on how to overcome public opposition to the use of genetically-modified seeds and industrial-scale, chemical-based agriculture.
Also this week, comments made by Clinton suggest her political strategy, if elected, would follow her husband’s well-worn tactic of “triangulation,” tacking to the political right as a way to curry favor with Republican and corporate interests, but doing so in a way that ameliorates the objections of progressives and liberals. Bill Clinton was famous for doing this when he passed “welfare reform” legislation and deregulated the financial industry in the nineties, both of which, according to many experts and analysts, say paved the way for the current economic crisis the country is now suffering.
The Obamas have spent over 44 million dollars in taxpayer money on travel and vacations. Some are even calling him the “most well-trvaeled, expensive” president in our nation’s history.
As Americans head off for the long holiday weekend, let’s take a look back at some of the president’s holiday spending.
Our president vacations a lot — we’re talking $44,351,777.12 worth of “a lot,” with most expenses charged to the American taxpayer.
As of March 2014, Obama has spent more time traveling internationally than any other president, taking 31 trips since assuming office in 2009. The 119 days spent overseas have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
At the same point in their respective presidencies, George W. Bush had spent 116 days on 28 trips, Bill Clinton had spent 113 days on 27 trips and Ronald Reagan had spent 73 days on just 14 trips.
In 2010, Obama flew aboard Air Force One 172 times, nearly every other day. Just the cost of flying aboard Air Force One to Obama’s hometown of Chicago reportedly hovers around $180,000 per hour.
In addition to all of his international travel, the president spends a significant amount of time traveling with his family. The Obama family has taken vacations to exclusive beaches in New England, private clubs in Key Largo and, of course, luxurious beaches in Hawaii.
According to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, beginning with the infamous New York “date night,” the Obamas have spent $44,351,777.12 in taxpayer cash on travel expenses.
The actual total cost may be higher, as the White House is not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
“Here we have a president that gets on the budget line by line, but this apparently doesn’t apply to his travel,” president of Judicial Watch, Tom Fitton, said in an interview with The Daily Caller.
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Frequently missing from the data are the costs of housing the first family and staff, costs of prepositioning the Secret Service and their equipment, and other travel expenses such as meals and beverages.
“We’ve got this financial crisis here in Washington and the president and his family need to be more sensitive as to the cost concerned with his travel,” Fitton said. “We are especially concerned about the excessive luxury travel, such as his trip to Hawaii.”
In 2013 alone, President Obama incurred $7,396,531 in flight expenses for his family vacations to Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard, as well as a trip to California to appear on the Jay Leno show.
“The Obamas are abusing the public trust and the taxpayers with unnecessary luxurious vacations and travel,” Fitton said in a press release. “These staggering costs show why these documents were covered up and we had to sue in federal court to get them. Another transparency fail for the Obama gang.”
Professional race hustler Jesse Jackson, Sr., who has made a lucrative career fanning the flames of racism, was given a forum on CNN with Wolf Blitzer last Thursday to discuss what he referred to as the “beauty” of Senator Thad Cochran’s use of dirty tricks against Tea Party-backed challenger, Chris McDaniel, in the highly contested Mississippi Senate GOP runoff.
Jackson, a “reverend” who retweeted in May that Pope Francis was a “half dead hum bug u were living with another man in a one bedroom apartment,” somehow contends that “eleven southern states have gone Confederate again.”
Evidence cited by Jackson is three states, South Carolina, Mississippi and Texas, that rejected federal Medicaid money in order to not further the ongoing crisis of government dependency.
“We must enforce the Voting Rights Act,” Jackson told Blitzer. “And of course address the fact that the eleven southern states have gone Confederate again on their agenda of the McDaniel variety.”
Reverend Jackson, who “counseled” fellow Democrat Bill Clinton after his famous affair, is the father of an illegitimate child due to an extramarital affair.
June 27, 2014 By Matthew Burke
Former Newsweek editor and best-selling author Edward Klein’s new book about the “Blood Feud” between the Clintons and the Obamas is sure to cause liberal/progressive/communist heads to spin within the Democrat Party.
While always acting lovey-dovey on stage and anywhere in public, Klein contends that the leftist quartet actually hate each other.
“Blood Feud,” a follow-up to Klein’s NY Times bestseller “The Amateur,” pants a picture of two two-faced couples filled with political greed, working together only with extreme reluctance and only when political expedience outweighs the couple’s mutual hatred.
According to Klein, two months after Hillary Clinton resigned from her position as Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary told a group of friends, over one too many glasses of wine, that, about Obama, “You can’t trust the motherf***er,” while claiming that “Obama has turned into a joke.”
The boozed-up rant took place in May of 2013, according to Klein, at Le Jardin Du Roi, a French restaurant near the Clinton mansion in Chappaqua, New York.
Klein says Hillary told her friends that the Clintons made a deal with the Obamas that they would help him get re-elected in 2012, in exchange for Obama’s support in getting Hillary elected to the presidency in 2016.
“He agreed to the arrangement but then he reneged on the deal. His word isn’t worth sh*t,” Hillary reportedly said.
Many have reported, and it’s no great secret that Bill Clinton and Barack Obama aren’t the best of friends, and even dislike each other. However Klein reported in “Blood Feud” that it goes much deeper than a casual distaste.
“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Klein quotes Bill Clinton as having said about the Democrat president.
Klein claims that Valerie Jarrett, a top Obama adviser and longtime friend, and Michelle Obama nicknamed Hillary Clinton “Hildebeest,” comparing her to the ugly gnu that can be seen wandering the Serengeti region in Tanzania.
Attempt to restore constitutional balance to the executive branch
by Kurt Nimmo | Infowars.com | June 26, 2014
The Supreme Court has attempted to restore balance to the presidency by ruling that President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he skirted the Senate and made recess appointments in 2012.
Since taking office, Obama has made 32 recess appointments. His record is surpassed by Ronald Reagan, who made 232 recess appointments during his tenure, and Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who made more than 100 each.
The Court sharply curtailed the practice and nullified action Obama took during pro forma sessions held in the Senate.
Pro forma, Latin for “as a matter of form,” are sessions held when no formal business is conducted in the Senate and the House.
Pro forma sessions fulfill the obligation under the Constitution “that neither chamber can adjourn for more than three days without the consent of the other.”
Senate Republicans have used cursory pro forma sessions to prevent Obama from making recess appointments and circumventing Congress. In response, the Democrat majority in the Senate changed the rules to block Republicans from preventing the appointments.
The ruling by the Supreme Court on Thursday calls into question hundreds of decisions made by Obama’s labor board. The board was dominated by members appointed during recess. A new five member board approved by the Senate will now have to revisit those previous decisions.
The Obama administration argued Congress was on an extended holiday break when the president made his appointments to the National Labor Relations Board.
The Court said the Senate was not actually in recess when Obama acted.
During arguments on Wednesday, Justice Stephen Breyer stated in his majority opinion that a congressional break must last at least 10 days to be considered a recess under the Constitution.
PRINCETON, NJ — Americans view each of the four former living presidents more positively than negatively, while giving Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush higher favorable ratings than George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter. Current President Barack Obama has a net-negative favorable rating.
Americans’ Favorable Ratings of Living U.S. Presidents
The younger Bush’s current favorable rating is likely lower than other former presidents’ ratings because his term, marked by job approval ratings well below 40% during his final two years in office, is the freshest in Americans’ minds.
Though Carter left office with similarly poor job approval ratings, his lower favorable ratings today are mostly attributable to one in six Americans not having an opinion of him. That includes 36% of those younger than 30, all of whom were born after Carter left office in 1981. The only other time Gallup measured opinions of Carter with this question format, in 2007, 69% rated him favorably, 27% unfavorably, and 4% had no opinion.
The data are based on a June 5-8, 2014, Gallup poll and represent Americans’ current opinions of the four former living presidents and the current president. The elder Bush recently turned 90, and Carter will do so later this year, making them among the longest living former presidents.
In addition to these personal favorable ratings, Gallup has previously measured Americans’ views of how each president’s term will be judged by history and retrospective job approval ratings of former presidents. Clinton and the elder Bush also fared better than Carter and the younger Bush on those metrics.
Partisanship Drags Down Rating of Current President
Americans typically rate presidents more positively after they leave office, so Obama’s relatively worse standing than his predecessors is not surprising. However, the current poll represents Obama’s worst favorable rating to date.
The public likely views the incumbent president in more strongly partisan terms than former presidents, given the chief executive’s role in negotiating the prevailing political and policy disputes of the day. Past presidents largely stay away from those contentious matters but still serve a public but largely ceremonial role, often using their high profile for charitable work.
As evidence of the more partisan evaluations of the current commander in chief, Republicans give Obama a much lower favorable rating (7%) than the two former Democratic presidents, Clinton and Carter (both 28%).
Still, partisanship is a major factor in how Americans view ex-presidents, with former presidents rated much more highly by supporters of their own party than by supporters of the other party.
Americans’ Favorable Ratings of Living U.S. Presidents, by Political Party
George W. Bush Back Above 50%
George W. Bush appears to be reaping the public opinion benefits of being a former president. His current 53% favorable rating marks the first time it has been above the majority level since 2005, early in his second term as president.
Americans’ Favorable Ratings of George W. Bush
Bush began his first term in office in 2001 as a relatively popular figure with a 64% favorable rating. After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that year, his favorability surged to 87%. His ratings stayed high, above 60%, until 2004, the year he sought re-election.
A difficult second term — dominated by the ongoing war in Iraq and including domestic difficulties such as the response to Hurricane Katrina, rising gas prices, and an economic recession — contributed to a steep drop in Bush’s personal popularity. By April 2008, 32% of Americans had a favorable opinion of Bush and 66% had an unfavorable one. After leaving office with a slightly higher 40% favorability score, his rating improved to the mid-40s in 2010 and the high 40s in 2013 before the most recent increase.
Bush’s favorable rating has improved by nearly the same amount among all party groups since he left office, up 11 percentage points among Republicans (77% to 88%), 15 points among independents (37% to 52%), and 15 points among Democrats (11% to 26%).
Americans are largely forgiving of former presidents, as each of the four living ex-presidents had times in office when they had job approval ratings below 40%, if not 30%. Clinton and the elder Bush recovered and left office with majority job approval, while Carter and the younger Bush stayed unpopular through the end of their terms.
Despite the different circumstances of those presidents, a majority of Americans now have mostly positive opinions of all four, although they do rate the elder Bush and Clinton more favorably than they do the younger Bush and Carter.
Obama’s current favorable ratings are the worst of his presidency, and they are worse than former presidents’ ratings. No matter how popular or unpopular he is when he leaves office in a little more than two years, Americans’ views of Obama personally should improve once he becomes a former president.
Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted June 5-8, 2014, with a random sample of 1,027 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, and cellphone mostly). Demographic weighting targets are based on the most recent Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the most recent National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the most recent U.S. census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup’s polling methodology, visit http://www.gallup.com.