Friday, May 13, 2016

Scared, bickering Democrats update

-- It's a Breitbart production, but that's not going to draw as much ridicule as it should.

“Clinton Cash,” premiering at the Cannes Film Festival on May 16, is a “devastating” documentary, according to MSNBC, alleging Bill and Hillary Clinton used the Clinton Foundation to “help billionaires make shady deals around the world with corrupt dictators, all while enriching themselves to the tune of millions.”

The film, written and produced by Breitbart News executive chairman Stephen K. Bannon and directed by M.A. Taylor, is based on the New York Times bestselling book of the same name (subtitled “The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich”) by Peter Schweizer.

MSNBC got an “exclusive first look” at the documentary, which is strategically set to hit U.S. theaters on July 24, one day before the start of the Democratic National Convention:

“The movie alleges that Bill Clinton cut a wide swathe through some of the most impoverished and corrupt areas of the world — the South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Colombia, India and Haiti among others — riding in on private jets with billionaires who called themselves philanthropists but were actually bent on plundering the countries and lining their own pockets.

“In return, billionaire pals like Frank Giustra and Gilbert Chagoury, or high-tech companies like Swedish telecom giant Ericsson or Indian nuclear energy officials — to name just a few mentioned in the film — hired Clinton to speak at often $750,000 a pop …”

Yes, it's very, very harsh.

One of the most damning follow-ups to Schweizer’s most startling accusation — that Vladimir Putin wound up controlling 20 percent of American uranium after a complex series of deals involving cash flowing to the Clinton Foundation and the help of Secretary of State Clinton — was printed in The New York Times.

Like Schweizer, the Times found no hard evidence in the form of an email or any document proving a quid pro quo between the Clintons, Clinton Foundation donors or Russian officials. (Schweizer has maintained that it’s next to impossible to find a smoking gun but said there is a troubling “pattern of behavior” that merits a closer examination.)

But the Times concluded that the deal that brought Putin closer to his goal of controlling all of the world’s uranium supply is an “untold story … that involves not just the Russian president, but also a former American president and a woman who would like to be the next one.”

“Other news outlets built on what I uncovered and some of that is in the film,” Schweizer, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, told NBC News Tuesday. “To me the key message is that while U.S. politics has long been thought to be a dirty game, it was always played by Americans. What the Clinton Foundation has done is open an avenue by which foreign investors can influence a chief U.S. diplomat. The film may spell all this out to people in a way the book did not and it may reach a whole new audience.”

-- As you might have predicted, Clinton surrogates have lashed back ... at Bernie Sanders.

Pressure is mounting on Bernie Sanders to end his campaign for president, with Democratic Party leaders raising alarms that his continued presence in the race is undermining efforts to beat presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump this fall.


"I don't think they think of the downside of this," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., a Clinton supporter who hosted the 2008 meeting that brokered post-primary peace between Clinton and then-Illinois Sen. Barack Obama.

"It's actually harmful because she can't make that general-election pivot the way she should," Feinstein said. "Trump has made that pivot."

Clinton, her aides and supporters have largely resisted calling on Sanders to drop out, noting that she fought her 2008 primary bid again Obama well into June. But now that Trump has locked up the Republican nomination, they fear the billionaire businessman is capitalizing on Sanders' decision to remain in the race by echoing his attacks and trying to appeal to the same independent, economically frustrated voters that back the Vermont senator.

"I would just hope that he would understand that we need to begin consolidating our vote sooner rather than later," said New York Rep. Steve Israel, a Clinton backer and former chief of efforts to elect Democrats to the House. "Democrats cannot wait too long."

Though Clinton has for the past few weeks largely focused her rhetoric on Trump, campaign aides say the two-front effort hampers their ability to target both Sanders supporters and Republican-leaning independents that may be open to her candidacy. It also means she's spending time in primary states, rather than battlegrounds that will decide the general election.

'Please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton's problems'. 

While they can talk up Clinton, Sanders' determination to contest every state remaining has kept Obama and Vice President Joe Biden largely on the sidelines, benching two of her most powerful advocates.
"It all sort of slows the takeoff of her general-election campaign," said Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown, a member of the party's liberal wing from a perennial battleground.
Sanders is having none of it, frequently telling the thousands of supporters who attend his rallies that he still has a narrow path to the nomination.
"Please do not moan to me about Hillary Clinton's problems," Sanders said in a recent interview with MSNBC. "It is a steep hill to climb, but we're going to fight for every last vote."

Coffee's brewed, Berners.

Yet there is no question his campaign is on its last legs. His fundraising dropped by about 40 percent last month and he's laid off hundreds of staffers. Biden said this week he "feels confident" that Clinton will be the nominee. Even Obama is pointing out the realities of the delegate math, which puts Clinton on track to capture the nomination early next month.
By every measure, Clinton is handily winning the Democratic contest. She has won 23 states to Sanders' 19, capturing 3 million more votes than her rival along the way. She has 94 percent of the delegates needed to win the nomination, which means she could lose all the states left to vote by a landslide and still emerge as the nominee — so long as all her supporters among the party insiders known as superdelegates continue to back her.

Oh, let's go ahead and catch a little moaning, shall we?

White House officials believe Obama has the ability to coax some die-hard Sanders' fans into the Clinton camp, particularly young people and liberals. But if he moves before Clinton officially captures the nomination, he risks angering those voters and undermining that effort.
Clinton faces a similar calculus. While her international expertise could attract foreign policy-focused Republicans and suburban women, highlighting her record on those issues now might encourage Sanders to resurrect attacks on her vote in favor of the Iraq war.
"When his rhetoric takes a sharper tone against her, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. "I know that can be used as ammunition."

Okay, that's all the moaning I can take.  How about you?

-- Anonymous Congress critter, allegedly a Democrat, is about to spill the beans on exactly how corrupt Congress has become.

A forthcoming book called The Confessions of Congressman X, purportedly written by a sitting (and rumored to be Democratic) congressman, promises to be an anonymous revelation of everything terrible you've always suspected about America's representatives in Washington. Choice quotes about Congress include:

  • "Most of my colleagues are dishonest career politicians who revel in the power and special-interest money that's lavished upon them."
  • "My main job is to keep my job, to get reelected. It takes precedence over everything."
  • "Fundraising is so time consuming I seldom read any bills I vote on. Like many of my colleagues, I don't know how the legislation will be implemented, or what it'll cost."

But voters aren't spared his poison pen, either:

  • "The average man on the street actually thinks he influences how I vote. Unless it's a hot-button issue, his thoughts are generally meaningless. I'll politely listen, but I follow the money."
  • "Voters are incredibly ignorant and know little about our form of government and how it works."
  • "It's far easier than you think to manipulate a nation of naive, self-absorbed sheep who crave instant gratification."

The Confessions of Congressman X is published by Mill City Press, a vanity imprint in Minnesota, and will be available on May 24.
Sounds a lot like Alan Grayson to me.  I'd love to see Grayson in the Senate (he's running against the Bluest of Dogs, you know) and I'm just sorry Harry Reid won't be around next year to get his ass whipped by an actual fighting progressive.

Let's try to focus on the easy job, Dems: flipping the Senate.  Screwing that up really ought to be more difficult than losing the White House to Trump, shouldn't it?


Gadfly said...

The film actually may deserve no ridicule, but too bad it will get it as being from Breitbart.

Respected political journalist and certainly not a Breitbarter, Ken Silverstein, has written in much detail about all of his.


Grayson? Meh. Per his dust-up with Harry Reid, most fellow members of the Progressive Caucus in the House think he's a hot-air showboat. Plus the ethics investigation against him is very real. Gonna have to disagree with you on this one. (And even before the Reid flare-up, and before his fellow Progs' comments, I thought he was kind of full of himself.)

PDiddie said...

It's a hit piece from a bunch of diaper-soiled Republicans. The NYT was duped by their allegations for some period of time (follow the link). These wads are Dinesh D'Souza 2.0. But it will have its intended consequence.


Grayson is head, shoulders, and swinging dick better than former Republican Murphy. He's a loose cannon and the hedge fund thing might have legs, but there's no Green in this contest according to Ballotpedia, the FLGP candidates page hasn't been updated since 2015, and the three indies declared don't seem to be all that liberal.

#AlanOrBust. And I'd like to see Sanders, Warren, and Grayson triple-team the shit out of Schumer.

Gadfly said...

Oh, I agree that he's better than a former GOPer. And, right on the lack of alternatives.


On the Breitbart? It's only looking like a hit piece because Breitbart.

I mentioned Ken Silverstein before. This:

And, even more, this:

And, he wrote about Mossack Fonseca before the "Panama Papers" became known:

Dunno if you remember Ken as long-time editor of the Washington Babylon blog for Harper's. He knows his stuff, and he's no Breitbart. That said, he semi-hates Omidyar, and Greenwald, from the clusterfucks at the startup of The Intercept. He's more scathing about them than Matt Taibbi. (His Fonseca piece was originally for The Intercept, but it dropped the ball)

Gadfly said...

Oh, and yet more on Hillz from Silverstein:

PDiddie said...

Yes to all that. What does Silverstein's integrity as an appeal to authority have to do with Breitbart, Schweizer, and the trashy documentary they've made beyond a biased portrayal of the subject matter (and nothing)?

They could have done better than 'a troubling pattern of behavior'. And maybe they will, if the film utilizes Silverstein's work.

I'm not defending Clinton. There's quite obviously a more forthright way to report on her, her husband's, and their foundation's dirty dealings. "Clinton Cash" isn't likely to be one. It IS likely to be a six-month topic for bloviating Republicans.

Gadfly said...

What I'm saying is, is that the content is most likely all true. It may be presented in a slanted manner, though, which will sadly lead people to dismiss it — not just the Breitbart movie, but actual facts in the content.

meme said...

That is what I love about the Bernie lovers, they believe everything the Republicans dig up or make up (would be more appropriate) about HRC.

An intelligent mind clouded by love cannot see clearly and is no different than an unintelligent mind.

PDiddie said...

I would respond that -- by your own admission and logic -- your mind appears to be clouded by love, Manny.

meme said...

We all begin live with a brain that tends to gather and disseminate what we have learned in different ways.

I have seen enough Bernie Sanders in my life to know that the only difference between him and Drumpf is the people that he is conning. I like my life to exist in reality, the existential part can come when my organic body no longer exists and my essence is in another place. Can I prove that (The Latter) of course not but no one can disprove it either. Have a great day.