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Friday, April 24, 2015

Why is the media screwing the Clintons (AGAIN)?

They are at it again. Even though Hillary Clinton has given every indicator that she plans to veer right -- her very logo contains a bright red "right-turn" signal -- the Powers-That-Be are making a concerted effort to make sure that the Clintons never again get near the White House.

Remember how, back in the 1990s, mainstream journalists would join forces with the tabloids, Rush Limbaugh and the conspiratard underground to toss manure at Bill Clinton? Remember the seemingly endless stream of Clinton pseudoscandals -- Whitewater in particular -- which turned out to be pure nonsense?

Those days are these days.

Why else would the NYT pay good money to publish malarkey from a Breitbart-loving right-wing hack with a history of crap journalism? Seriously, look at Schweizer's background. He's the guy who wrote a book titled “Makers and Takers: Why conservatives work harder, feel happier, have closer families, take fewer drugs, give more generously, value honesty more, are less materialistic and envious, whine less … and even hug their children more than liberals.”

Under normal circumstances, the NYT would have nothing to do with a Murdochian hack of this sort. The fix is in.

As the always-quotable Charles Pierce notes:
It appears that the "exclusive" ratfking arrangement entered into by The New York Times and Washington Post has brought us all back to the Mena Airport again, and that it has done so by strict application of the Clinton Rules, first devised in the mid-1990's, as the nation's elite political press turned laundering oppo research into a smoothly running machine. The very first Clinton Rule, established by most of the original reporting into the Whitewater non-scandal, is that if you can blow enough smoke, you can say there's fire.
As best I can trace the lines of the conspiracy as it is taking shape, some of the countries and patrons of the Clinton Global Initiative may also have paid Bill Clinton the big money to talk to them. There's a bit of innuendo to the effect that the Clintons may have been commingling Initiative money with their own. However, if Bill's piling up $100 mil just for talking, and the man loves to talk, then they hardly seem to have to raid the cookie jar.
Need we mention that people pay big bucks to for speeches from right-wing politicians all the damned time? The NYT and the WP never give a crap about that.
It looks as though the CGI, and the speaking fees, are going to be this cycle's Whitewater, which brings us to the application of Clinton Rule No. 3 -- if you have blown enough smoke, you then can claim that there is a "climate" of fire
We've already seen this principle in action: We wake up one morning and suddenly two dozen well-paid pundits are reciting from a script: Oh, those sneaky Clintons sneak again. Sneak sneak sneak. Repeat those words enough times and nobody will care about the facts. The manipulative creeps who orchestrate these attacks know that most working people have time only to scan headlines, not to sort through the details.

So far, Schweitzer's allegations are looking pretty damned dubious. Media Matters has collated various articles double-checking the NYT stories. You know those claims about Hillary's supposed aid to Russia? I'll give you the one-word summary: Crap.

Then there is the suggestion of the supposedly shady deal between Bill Clinton and a mining millionaire named Frank Giustra. The whole story hinges on a trip they allegedly took together. Problem: The trip never took place.
Hillary Clinton Was Critical Of Colombian Trade Agreement For Many Years, Despite Foundation Donations. According to an April 9, 2008, Los Angeles Times article, then-Senator Hillary Clinton "pledged" to oppose the free-trade agreement with Colombia. This was long after Giustra had already pledged more than $130 million to the Clintons' charitable works over the previous three years, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Here's the follow-up:
On April 23, ABC News explained that their independent review of the source material used for Clinton Cash "uncovered errors in the book, including an instance where paid and unpaid speaking appearances were conflated." The book purports to reveal connections between Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state, donations to the Clinton Foundation, and paid speeches given by the Clintons, but Schweizer reportedly admits in the book he cannot prove his allegations.
The people who run the NYT says that they have been "vetting" Schweizer. Sure they have. Just like they vetted Judy Miller.

In The Nation, Michelle Goldberg asks some of the right questions:
Why on earth would the New York Times enter into an “exclusive agreement” with a right-wing hack like Schweizer? After all, there’s nothing to stop the paper from following up on Schweizer’s reporting on its own. Why make a deal with him? What did it entail?
To give this strange decision some context, you should be aware that the NYT did not make a deal with the Washington Post to carry Woodward and Bernstein's reporting. The NYT wrote its own Watergate stories.

Mahablog may offer the best summary:
Even the author of Clinton Cash, the book all the allegations are based on, admits he hasn’t found proof of any actual wrongdoing on the part of the Clintons. But who needs proof? All you have to say is “Oooo, a lot of money, plus Clintons.” A scandal is born.
The sheer obviousness of this smear campaign suggests to me that someone somewhere (cough cough NSA cough cough Unit 800) may have overheard Hillary discuss her potential presidency, and that she has said things in private that she would never say in public.

This just in: The NYT has again been caught inventing "facts"...
The New York Times is urging the Clinton Foundation to reinstitute a ban that never existed on accepting donations from foreign governments.

The Times editorial board wrote on April 23 that now that Hillary Clinton is running for president, the international nonprofit "needs to reinstate the ban on donations from foreign governments for the rest of her campaign -- the same prohibition that was in place when she was in the Obama administration." Likewise, an April 23 Times news article stated that the Foundation recently "limited donations from foreign governments," but that the new policy "stops short of Mrs. Clinton's agreement with the Obama administration, which prohibited all foreign government donations while she served as the nation's top diplomat."

In fact, the 2008 memorandum of understanding entered into by the Clinton Foundation and then-President-Elect Barack Obama did not ban foreign government donations. Instead, it stated that if Hillary Clinton were confirmed as secretary of state, the Foundation would "continue to perform" its activities "on behalf of existing foreign country contributors and in fulfillment of existing and on-going commitments."
Let's make clear that these "foreign government contributions" went to a reputable charitable organization that has a solid record of doing good around the world. Bill Clinton has spent his ex-presidency helping poor people, working on behalf of women, improving health care in the third world, and making people aware of climate change.

By contrast, look at how the Republican ex-presidents have spent their time: Dubya took up painting (badly), Poppy went skydiving, Reagan went wacky, Gerry Ford golfed, and Dick Nixon got involved in a bizarre scheme to rip off Saddam Hussein. (That last story is told in Joseph Trento's Prelude to Terror.)

The decision to go after the Clinton Foundation was Rovian in its audacity, just like the decision to attack John Kerry on his war record.
And yet everything up to now suggests Hillary will be a good neo-con and no threat to the national security/corporate state. She'll be Obama 2. So why are they really after her? Are they that desperate to have another Bush?
I'm not impressed by Clinton's post-presidency efforts.

Speeches, of course. Would be nice if these people could shut up occasionally, but can't really hold it against him.

Helping poor people, seems unlikely. Certainly not on aggregate.

Working on behalf of women, I don't doubt that, but it's about as meritorious as working on behalf of white people. I mean, I'd be impressed if he did it in a way that would annoy the al-Sauds or something, but funding feminist propaganda doesn't impress me. For example his foundation's website currently has a blog post "Addressing Violence Against Women and Girls". You know, the group least likely to be victims of violence in every single country on earth. That's a sentimental, id-driven distribution of resources.

Making people aware of climate change is a pointless task, and really the job of scientists and the media. There's really nothing Clinton could ever hope to achieve in this area.

As for improving healthcare in the third world, he seems to be wedded to a market model which is inherently destructive. He puts a lot of resources specifically into women's healthcare in areas where women already live longer than men. He supports the circumcision campaign (along with Bill Gates' foundation and others) to fight HIV, even though circumcision correlates with a higher HIV infection rate, condoms are cheaper (and actually work), the circumcision programme has killed hundreds of people across Africa and a group of children were recently kidnapped and circumcised against their will by a group looking for foreskin bounties.

Hillary has herself taken a stand against female circumcision and another in favour of male circumcision. That's one scandal no-one will be bring up on the campaign trail.

OK, Steve, we get it. You don't like dames. *rolls eyes*
I read through a lot of nonsense to get to the last paragraph and finally had to comment.

"Hillary has herself taken a stand against female circumcision and another in favour of male circumcision. That's one scandal no-one will be bring up on the campaign trail."

You're obviously ignorant of some basic anatomy. The two practices aren't directly comparable. Hint, it isn't just skin that's amputated.

The removal of the clitoral hood is the direct physiological analogue of the removal of the prepuce. There are more extreme forms of female circumcision, but they're no more illegal.

Female circumcision was also once relatively common in America as a masturbation remedy, and is still reputed to have the same mythical health benefits as male circumcision.

Why anyone feels the need to defend the practice of genital cutting, I can't understand. Male or female, you've got a tiny child and it's nothing short of pathological to start cutting into its genitals without even the courtesy of painkillers, as the baby screams in agony an terror.

Amazing! Joe's piece is about the Smear Machine being rolled out to flatten Hillary Clinton's presidential run and we get into a genital mutilation argument about who's wee-wee gets more chewed up: male or female. And yes, a course in basic anatomy would be recommended.

The Rovian playbook? Create the smoke screen and then yell FIRE, FIRE. Bill Clinton has been paid generous speaking fees as a former POTUS and Hillary Clinton has been paid generous speaking fees as a former SOS. Just as their predecessors have. It's only a crime when the Clintons do it. They could have done the speaking gigs alone if money were their driving force. Instead, they've worked to raise money to . . . help the global poor, raise awareness about the plight of women and girls, fund education, health and welfare programs around the world.

The horror! The shame!

The Republicans have nothing except their own twisted perceptions, narrow beliefs and witch-hunting fervor.

The Clintons ain't perfect. But the GOP and their wolfhounds are pygmies in comparison. They know it too. Which is why throwing monkey poo is their strategy if choice.

Peggysue, I am no longer surprised by the world's willingness to ignore all other concerns and focus on the wee-wees.
I only wish there was a focus on wee-wees. Actually, to me that means urine but I assume to you people it means genitals. It would be nice if the fripperies of personality and other such nonsense could be ignored in favour of policy defects, amongst which defects support for painfully mutilating children would be primus inter pares.
I don't have any bad memories of circumcision; I guess I was too young for it to register. I did not know the medical variety lacked anesthesia.

In that case, Morgan is correct; they should quit doing that.

Hey--I just agreed with SM.

*jump cut to Hell*

"What do you mean, IT'S SNOWING?!?!" ^_^
Even if the procedure were performed under general anaesthesia there would still be pain after the patient awoke, not the mention the occasional negative outcomes such as amputation, scarring, rabbi-transmitted herpes and the like. And, of course, the inherent dangers in any use of anaesthetic.

Of course you're unlikely to consciously remember something that happens a week after birth, but that doesn't rule out long-term psychological damage and doesn't excuse any other crime committed against a baby.
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