Sunday, May 03, 2015

Left, right, left, right

Bernie Sanders is already doing what everyone expected was the most he could do.

Even without a high-profile challenger in her way -- and in part to prevent one from jumping in -- Clinton has been moving left. What's remarkable about her shift is that it's occurring even at a time when her approval ratings within the Democratic Party are strongest among self-described liberals. She's shoring up the base now, moving from constituency to constituency.

That paragraph was written after Sanders' entry last Thursday.  He raised more money in the first 24 hours of his campaign announcement than any of the other declareds.

(Sanders) kicked off his dark horse campaign for the Democratic nomination on Thursday with an email to supporters and a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol. Since then, more than 100,000 people signed up for the campaign and 35,000 people donated money, according to a campaign press release.  The average donation was $43.54.

Sanders' 24-hour fundraising haul puts him ahead of what every currently declared Republican presidential hopeful posted in their first day.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul's campaign announced that it had raised $800,000 a day in. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign raised $1 million in the first 24-hours of its existence. And Florida Sen. Marco Rubio's campaign raised $1.25 million in its first day.

The only other Democrat in the race -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton -- did not announce what her campaign raised in its first 24 hours and declined to do so on Friday.

Gee, I wonder why.

Of course, even humble-bragging about the money (note the average donation amount again, above in the excerpt) might be a little, teensy part of the money-in-politics problem.  For Democrats who have now aligned themselves with the benefits of Citizens United... hey, Hillary all the way.

When the ruling was handed down, Democrats were outraged, and Hillary Clinton herself has recently suggested she wants it overturned. Yet with revelations that firms with business before Clinton's State Department donated to her foundation and paid her husband, Clinton's campaign and rank-and-file Democratic activists are suddenly championing the Citizens United theory.

In campaign statements and talking points—and in activists' tweets and Facebook comments—the party seems to be collectively saying that without evidence of any explicit quid pro quo, all the Clinton cash is acceptable. Moreover, the inference seems to be that the revelations aren't even newsworthy because, in the words of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, “there’s nothing new” here.

"Nothing to see here, move along."

— While Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, Bill Clinton was paid $2.5 million by 13 corporations that lobbied the State Department. Ten of the firms paid him in the same three-month reporting period that they were lobbying Hillary Clinton's agency. Several of them received State Department contracts, worth a total of almost $40 million.

— Hillary Clinton switched her position to back a controversial U.S.-Colombia free trade agreement as millions of dollars flowed into her foundation from an oil company operating in Colombia, and that company’s founder. Amid reports of violence against Colombian unionists, she also certified Colombia's human rights record, thereby releasing U.S. aid to the Colombian military.

— Hillary Clinton's State Department delivered contracts and a prestigious human rights award to a technology firm that donated to the Clinton Foundation—despite allegations from human rights groups that the firm sold technology to the Chinese government that helped the regime commit human rights violations.
The same Democratic Party that slammed the Bush-Halliburton relationship now suggests that this type of behavior is fine and dandy, as long as there wasn't, say, an email detailing an explicit cash-for-policy trade. The insinuation also seems to be that journalists shouldn't even be reporting on any of it, if there is no such email.

Is it morally acceptable for firms to pay a public official's spouse while those firms are getting government contracts from the agency headed by that same public official? That’s a matter of opinion, and if the Democrats want to now champion the ideology behind Citizens United, that’s their right.

Right.  So please stand over there, Democrats.  No, farther to the right.

You'll be hearing a lot of yellow dogs call themselves progressive in the coming months, but be clear that if they're saying they are voting for Clinton, then they've mislabled themselves.  Deceiving themselves certainly, maybe even trying to deceive others.  Pay attention to that as Secretary Clinton makes the rounds of constituencies on her latest listening tour, telling people what they want to hear.  In these early days, judging them by their past works, and not their recent words, is the best lesson they have demonstrated as to who they really are.

See?  Even an atheist knows there's something you can use in your life from the Bible.

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