FUCK NEOLIBERALISM

The following is a guest column by Australian academic Simon Springer, a geographer/anarchist. The title of the essay leaves little doubt about his attitude towards the pseudo-progressive ideology that currently infects the Democratic Party and which, under different disguises, is rapidly enslaving much of the world. It is not too much to say that unless the Democratic Party purges itself of this malicious Corporatist infection, it is likely to go the way of the Whig Party; hopefully some party which is truly on the side of working men and women will replace it. We don’t need two parties dedicated to enriching the 1% at the expense of the rest of the country; in the best of all scenarios, the GOP would also wither away and be replaced by a party more in the spirit of Abraham Lincoln. This essay does not discuss Neo-Liberalism’s evil twin, Neo-Conservatism, but I gather from his other published works that professor Springer is not a fan of that poison apple either. This essay is republished through Creative Common license and I claim no ownership or copyright of it. I do not necessarily agree with all the author’s opinions, but I believe his views are worth airing on as many forums as possible. You can contact the author through the Academia.edu portal or via his website.  

Fuck Neoliberalism

Simon Springer

Department of Geography, University of Victoria simonspringer@gmail.com
Abstract: Yep, fuck it. Neoliberalism sucks. We don’t need it.
Keywords: fuck neoliberalism; fuck it to hell

Fuck Neoliberalism. That’s my blunt message. I could probably end my discussion at this point and it wouldn’t really matter. My position is clear and you likely already get the gist of what I want to say. I have nothing positive to add to the discussion about neoliberalism, and to be perfectly honest, I’m quite sick of having to think about it. I’ve simply had enough. For a time I had considered calling this paper ‘Forget Neoliberalism’ instead, as in some ways that’s exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve been writing on the subject for many years (Springer 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015; Springer et al. 2016) and I came to a point where I just didn’t want to commit any more energy to this endeavor for fear that continuing to work around this idea was functioning to perpetuate its hold. On further reflection I also recognize that as a political maneuver it is potentially quite dangerous to simply stick our heads in the sand and collectively ignore a phenomenon that has had such devastating and debilitating effects on our shared world. There is an ongoing power to neoliberalism that is difficult to deny and I’m not convinced that a strategy of ignorance is actually the right approach (Springer 2016a). So my exact thoughts were, ‘well fuck it then’, and while a quieter and gentler name for this paper could tone down the potential offence that might come with the title I’ve chosen, I subsequently reconsidered. Why should we be more worried about using profanity than we are about the actual vile discourse of neoliberalism itself? I decided that I wanted to transgress, to upset, and to offend, precisely because we ought to be offended by neoliberalism, it is entirely upsetting, and therefore we should ultimately be seeking to transgress it. Wouldn’t softening the title be making yet another concession to the power of neoliberalism? I initially worried what such a title might mean in terms of my reputation. Would it hinder future promotion or job offers should I want to maintain my mobility as an academic, either upwardly or to a new location? This felt like conceding personal defeat to neoliberal disciplining. Fuck that.

It also felt as though I was making an admission that there is no colloquial response that could appropriately be offered to counter the discourse of neoliberalism. As though we can only respond in an academic format using complex geographical theories of variegation, hybridity, and mutation to weaken its edifice. This seemed disempowering, and although I have myself contributed to the articulation of some of these theories (Springer 2010), I often feel that this sort of framing works against the type of argument I actually want to make. It is precisely in the everyday, the ordinary, the unremarkable, and the mundane that I think a politics of refusal must be located. And so I settled on ‘Fuck Neoliberalism’ because I think it conveys most of what I actually want to say. The argument I want to make is slightly more nuanced than that, which had me thinking more about the term ‘fuck’ than I probably have at any other time in my life. What a fantastically colorful word! It works as a noun or a verb, and as an adjective it is perhaps the most used point of exclamation in the English language. It can be employed to express anger, contempt, annoyance, indifference, surprise, impatience, or even as a meaningless emphasis because it just rolls off of the tongue. You can ‘fuck something up’, ‘fuck someone over’, ‘fuck around’, ‘not give a fuck’, and there is a decidedly geographical point of reference to the word insofar as you can be instructed to ‘go fuck yourself’. At this point you might even be thinking ‘ok, but who gives a fuck?’ Well, I do, and if you’re interested in ending neoliberalism so should you. The powerful capacities that come with the word offer a potential challenge to neoliberalism. To dig down and unpack these abilities we need to appreciate the nuances of what could be meant by the phrase ‘fuck neoliberalism’. Yet at the same time, fuck nuance. As Kieran Healy (2016: 1) has recently argued, it “typically obstructs the development of theory that is intellectually interesting, empirically generative, or practically successful”. So without fetishizing nuance let’s quickly work through what I think we should be prioritizing in fucking up neoliberalism.

The first sense is perhaps the most obvious. By saying ‘fuck neoliberalism’ we can express our rage against the neoliberal machine. It is an indication of our anger, our desire to shout our resentment, to spew venom back in the face of the noxious malice that has been shown to all of us. This can come in the form of mobilizing more protests against neoliberalism or in writing more papers and books critiquing its influence. The latter preaches to the converted, and the former hopes that the already perverted will be willing to change their ways. I don’t discount that these methods are important tactics in our resistance, but I’m also quite sure that they’ll never actually be enough to turn the tide against neoliberalism and in our favour. In making grand public gestures of defiance we attempt to draw powerful actors into a conversation, mistakenly believing that they might listen and begin to accommodate the popular voice of refusal (Graeber 2009). Shouldn’t we instead be done talking? Here is the second sense of ‘fuck neoliberalism’, which is found in the notion of rejection. This would be to advocate for the end of neoliberalism (as we knew it) in a fashion advanced by J.K. GibsonGraham (1996) where we simply stop talking about it. Scholars in particular would discontinue prioritizing it as the focus of their studies. Maybe not completely forget about it or ignore neoliberalism altogether, which I’ve already identified as problematic, but to instead set about getting on with our writing about other things. Once again this is a crucially important point of contact for us as we work beyond the neoliberal worldview, but here too I’m not entirely convinced that this is enough. As Mark Purcell (2016: 620) argues, “We need to turn away from neoliberalism and towards ourselves, to begin the difficult – but also joyous – work of managing our affairs for ourselves”. While negation, protest and critique are necessary, we also need to think about actively fucking up neoliberalism by doing things outside of its reach.

Direct action beyond neoliberalism speaks to a prefigurative politics (Maeckelbergh 2011), which is the third and most important sense of what I think we should be focusing on when we invoke the idea ‘fuck neoliberalism’. To prefigure is to reject the centrism, hierarchy, and authority that come with representative politics by emphasizing the embodied practice of enacting horizontal relationships and forms of organization that strive to reflect the future society being sought (Boggs 1977). Beyond being ‘done talking’, prefiguration and direct action contend that there was never a conversation to be had anyway, recognizing that whatever it is we want to do, we can just do it ourselves. Nonetheless, there has been significant attention to the ways in which neoliberalism is able to capture and appropriate all manner of political discourse and imperatives (Barnett 2005; Birch 2015; Lewis 2009; Ong 2007). For critics like David Harvey (2015) only another dose of the state can solve the neoliberal question, where in particular he is quick to dismiss non-hierarchical organization and horizontal politics as greasing the rails for an assured neoliberal future. Yet in his pessimism he entirely misunderstands prefigurative politics, which are a means not to an end, but only to future means (Springer 2012). In other words, there is a constant and continual vigilance already built into prefigurative politics so that the actual practice of prefiguration cannot be coopted. It is reflexive and attentive but always with a view towards production, invention, and creation as the satisfaction of the desire of community. In this way prefigurative politics are explicitly anti-neoliberal. They are a seizing of the means as our means, a means without end. To prefigure is to embrace the conviviality and joy that comes with being together as radical equals, not as vanguards and proletariat on the path towards the transcendental empty promise of utopia or ‘no place’, but as the grounded immanence of the here and now of actually making a new world ‘in the shell of the old’ and the perpetual hard work and reaffirmation that this requires (Ince 2012).

There is nothing about neoliberalism that is deserving of our respect, and so in concert with a prefigurative politics of creation, my message is quite simply ‘fuck it’. Fuck the hold that it has on our political imaginations. Fuck the violence it engenders. Fuck the inequality it extols as a virtue. Fuck the way it has ravaged the environment. Fuck the endless cycle of accumulation and the cult of growth. Fuck the Mont Pelerin society and all the think tanks that continue to prop it up and promote it. Fuck Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman for saddling us with their ideas. Fuck the Thatchers, the Reagans, and all the cowardly, self-interested politicians who seek only to scratch the back of avarice. Fuck the fear-mongering exclusion that sees ‘others’ as worthy of cleaning our toilets and mopping our floors, but not as members of our communities. Fuck the ever-intensifying move towards metrics and the failure to appreciate that not everything that counts can be counted. Fuck the desire for profit over the needs of community. Fuck absolutely everything neoliberalism stands for, and fuck the Trojan horse that it rode in on! For far too long we’ve been told that ‘there is no alternative’, that ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’, that we live in a Darwinian nightmare world of all against all ‘survival of the fittest’. We’ve swallowed the idea of the ‘tragedy of the commons’ hook, line and sinker; when in reality this is a ruse that actually reflects the ‘tragedy of capitalism’ and its endless wars of plunder (Le Billon 2012). Garrett Hardin’s (1968) Achilles’ heel was that he never stopped to think about how grazing cattle were already privately owned. What might happen when we reconvene an actual commons as a commons without presuppositions of private ownership (Jeppesen et al. 2014)? What might happen when we start to pay closer attention to the prefiguration of alternatives that are already happening and privileging these experiences as the most important forms of organization (White and Williams 2012)? What might happen when instead of swallowing the bitter pills of competition and merit we instead focus our energies not on medicating ourselves with neoliberal prescriptions, but on the deeper healing that comes with cooperation and mutual aid (Heckert 2010)?

Jamie Peck (2004: 403) once called neoliberalism a ‘radical political slogan’, but it is no longer enough to dwell within the realm of critique. Many years have passed since we first identified the enemy and from that time we have come to know it well through our writing and protests. But even when we are certain of its defeat, as in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent Occupy Movement, it continues to gasp for air and reanimate itself in a more powerful zombified form (Crouch 2011; Peck 2010). Japhy Wilson (2016) calls this ongoing power the ‘neoliberal gothic’, and I’m convinced that in order to overcome this horror show we must move our politics into the realm of the enactive (Rollo 2016). What if ‘fuck neoliberalism’ were to become a mantra for a new kind of politics? An enabling phrase that spoke not only to action, but to the reclamation of our lives in the spaces and moments in which we actively live them?

What if every time we used this phrase we recognized that it meant a call for enactive agency that went beyond mere words, combining theory and practice into the beautiful praxis of prefiguration? We must take a multipronged approach in our rejection of neoliberalism. While we can’t entirely ignore or forget it, we can actively work against it in ways that extend beyond the performance of rhetoric and the rhetoric of performance. By all means let’s advance a new radical political slogan. Use a hashtag (#fuckneoliberalism) and make our contempt go viral! But we have to do more than express our indignation. We have to enact our resolve and realize our hope as the immanence of our embodied experiences in the here and now (Springer 2016a). We need to remake the world ourselves, a process that cannot be postponed.

We’ve willfully deluded and disempowered ourselves by continuing to appeal to the existing political arrangement of representation. Our blind faith has us waiting endlessly for a savior to drop from the sky. The system has proven itself to be thoroughly corrupt, where time and time again our next great political candidate proves to be a failure. In this neoliberal moment it’s not a case of mere problematic individuals being in power. Instead, it is our very belief in the system itself that epitomizes the core of the problem. We produce and enable the institutional conditions for ‘the Lucifer effect’ to play itself out (Zimbardo 2007). ‘The banality of evil’ is such that these politicians are just doing their jobs in a system that rewards perversions of power because it is all designed to serve the laws of capitalism (Arendt 1971). But we don’t have to obey. We’re not beholden to this order. Through our direct action and the organization of alternatives we can indict the entire structure and break this vicious cycle of abuse. When the political system is defined by, conditioned for, enmeshed within, and derived from capitalism, it can never represent our ways of knowing and being in the world, and so we need to take charge of these lifeways and reclaim our collective agency. We must start to become enactive in our politics and begin embracing a more relational sense of solidarity that recognizes that the subjugation and suffering of one is in fact indicative of the oppression of all (Shannon and Rouge 2009; Springer 2014). We can start living into other possible worlds through a renewed commitment to the practices of mutual aid, fellowship, reciprocity, and non-hierarchical forms of organization that reconvene democracy in its etymological sense of power to the people. Ultimately neoliberalism is a particularly foul idea that comes with a whole host of vulgar outcomes and crass assumptions. In response, it deserves to be met with equally offensive language and action. Our community, our cooperation, and our care for one another are all loathsome to neoliberalism. It hates that which we celebrate. So when we say ‘fuck neoliberalism’ let it mean more that just words, let it be an enactment of our commitment to each other. Say it loud, say it with me, and say it to anyone who will listen, but most of all mean it as a clarion call to action and as the embodiment of our prefigurative power to change the fucking world. Fuck Neoliberalism!

 Acknowledgements

I owe my title to Jack Tsonis. He wrote me a wonderful email in early 2015 to introduce himself with this message as the subject line. Blunt and to the point. He told me about his precarious position at the University of Western Sydney where he was trapped in sessional hell. Fuck neoliberalism indeed. Jack informs me that he has since gained employment that is less precarious, but seeing the beast up close has made him more disgusted and repulsed than ever. Thanks for the inspiration mate! I’m also grateful to Kean Birch and Toby Rollo who listened to my ideas and laughed along with me. Mark Purcell motivated greatly with his brilliant delight in thinking beyond neoliberalism. Thanks to Levi Gahman whose playful spirit and support demonstrated an actual prefiguration of the kinds of ideas I discuss here (“Listen Neoliberalism!” A Personal Response to Simon Springer’s “Fuck Neoliberalism”). Peer reviews from Farhang Rouhani, Patrick Huff and Rhon Teruelle demonstrated tremendous unanimity giving me reason to believe that there is still some fight left in the academy! Special thanks to the translators Xaranta Baksh (Spanish), Jai Kaushal and Dhiraj Barman (Hindi), Ursula Brandt (German), Fabrizio Eva (Italian), anonymous contributor (French), Eduardo Tomazine (Portuguese), Haris Tsavdaroglou (Greek), Sayuri Watanabe (Japanese) and Gürçim Yılmaz (Turkish), as well as Marcelo Lopes de Souza, Myriam Houssay-Holzschuch, Ulrich Best, and Adam Goodwin for helping to organize the translations. Finally, thanks to the many people who so kindly took the time to write to me about this essay and express their solidarity after I first uploaded it to the Internet. I’m both humbled and hopeful that so many people share the same sentiment. We will win!

References

Arendt, H. (1971). Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil. New York: Viking Press.
Barnett, C. (2005). The consolations of ‘neoliberalism’. Geoforum, 36(1), 7-12.
Birch, K. (2015). We Have Never Been Neoliberal: A Manifesto for a Doomed Youth. Alresford: Zero Books.
Boggs, C. (1977). Marxism, prefigurative communism, and the problem of workers’ control. Radical America, 11(6), 99-122.
Crouch, C. (2011). The Strange Non-Death of Neoliberalism. Malden, MA: Polity Press
Gibson-Graham, J. K. (1996). The End of Capitalism (as We Knew It): A Feminist
Critique of Political Economy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Graeber, D. (2009). Direct Action: An Ethnography. Oakland: AK Press.
Hardin, G. (1968). The tragedy of the commons. Science, 162(3859), 1243-1248.
Harvey, D. (2015). “Listen, Anarchist!” A personal response to Simon Springer’s “Why a radical geography must be anarchist”. DavidHarvey.org. http://davidharvey.org/2015/06/listen-anarchist-by-david-harvey/
Healy, K. (2016) Fuck nuance. Sociological Theory.
https://kieranhealy.org/files/papers/fuck-nuance.pdf
Heckert, J. (2010). Listening, caring, becoming: anarchism as an ethics of direct relationships. In Franks, B. (ed.). Anarchism and Moral Philosophy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 186-207.
Ince, A. (2012). In the shell of the old: Anarchist geographies of territorialisation. Antipode, 44(5), 1645-1666.
Jeppesen, S., Kruzynski, A., Sarrasin, R., & Breton, É. (2014). The anarchist commons. Ephemera, 14(4), 879-900.
Le Billon, P. (2012). Wars of Plunder: Conflicts, Profits and the Politics of Resources. New York: Columbia University Press.
Lewis, N. (2009). Progressive spaces of neoliberalism?. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 50(2), 113-119.
Maeckelbergh, M. (2011). Doing is believing: Prefiguration as strategic practice in the alterglobalization movement. Social Movement Studies, 10(1), 1-20.
Ong, A. (2007). Neoliberalism as a mobile technology. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 32(1), 3-8.
Peck, J. (2004). Geography and public policy: constructions of neoliberalism. Progress in Human Geography, 28(3), 392-405.
Peck, J. (2010). Zombie neoliberalism and the ambidextrous state. Theoretical Criminology, 14(1), 104-110.
Purcell, M. (2016). Our new arms. In Springer, S., Birch, K. and MacLeavy, J.
(eds.). The Handbook of Neoliberalism. New York: Routledge, pp. 613-622.
Rollo, T. (2016). Democracy, agency and radical children’s geographies. In White, R. J., Springer, S. and Souza, M. L. de. (eds.). The Practice of Freedom: Anarchism, Geography and the Spirit of Revolt. Lanham, MD: Rowman &
Littlefield.
Shannon, D. and Rouge, J. (2009) Refusing to wait: anarchism and tntersectionality. Anarkismo. http://anarkismo.net/article/14923
Springer, S. (2008). The nonillusory effects of neoliberalisation: Linking geographies of poverty, inequality, and violence. Geoforum, 39(4), 15201525.
Springer, S. (2009). Renewed authoritarianism in Southeast Asia: undermining democracy through neoliberal reform. Asia Pacific Viewpoint, 50(3), 271276.
Springer, S. (2010). Neoliberalism and geography: Expansions, variegations, formations. Geography Compass, 4(8), 1025-1038.
Springer, S. (2011). Articulated neoliberalism: the specificity of patronage, kleptocracy, and violence in Cambodia’s neoliberalization. Environment and Planning A, 43(11), 2554-2570.
Springer, S. (2012). Anarchism! What geography still ought to be. Antipode, 44(5), 1605-1624.
Springer, S. (2013). Neoliberalism. The Ashgate Research Companion to Critical Geopolitics. Eds. K. Dodds, M. Kuus, and J. Sharp. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, pp. 147-164.
Springer, S. (2014). War and pieces. Space and Polity, 18(1), 85-96.
Springer, S. (2015). Violent Neoliberalism: Development, Discourse and Dispossession in Cambodia. New York: Palgrave MacMillan.
Springer, S. (2016 a) The Anarchist Roots of Geography: Toward Spatial Emancipation. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.
Springer, S. (2016 b) The Discourse of Neoliberalism: An Anatomy of a Powerful Idea. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
Springer, S., Birch, K. and MacLeavy, J. (2016) An introduction to neoliberalism. In Springer, S., Birch, K. and MacLeavy, J. (eds.). The Handbook of Neoliberalism. New York: Routledge, pp. 1-14.
White, R. J., and Williams, C. C. (2012). The pervasive nature of heterodox economic spaces at a time of neoliberal crisis: towards a “postneoliberal” anarchist future. Antipode, 44(5), 1625-1644.
Wilson, J. (2016). Neoliberal gothic. In Springer, S., Birch, K. and MacLeavy, J.
(eds.). The Handbook of Neoliberalism. New York: Routledge, pp. 592-602.
Zimbardo, P. (2007). The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York: Random House.

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HILLARY’S DIRTY DOZEN

 

clinton_machineIf you haven’t heard by now, the Clintons have wealthy friends; VERY wealthy friends.  And they show their friendship in many ways, but mostly through giving them money; LOTS of money. No secret here.  Also no secret is that Bill and Hillary will do just about anything for their friends; change their vote in Congress, steer lucrative government contracts their way; make sure they get nice shiny new bombers and missiles and other military hardware that her foreign friends think they may like to play with.  Friends like that you can’t put a price tag on except, actually, you can.

 

Hillary's boys
You Gotta Friend in Me

 

Through the Clinton Foundation, Super PACs, Shell Corporations in the Cayman Islands and any number of other dodges and subterfuges that elude even the most diligent forensic accountants, Bill and Hillary shift money around the nation and around the world like your grandpa shifts checkers on a checkerboard.  Because I like to keep it simple, however, today let’s just look at the top dozen contributors to Hillary’s current primary election campaign.  Now this is the list as reported a short while back, so no doubt the list has grown much bigger and the rankings may have changed since last reported.  It also does not take into account speaking fees, super PAC money, Clinton Foundation donations, in kind donations, influence peddling, or any other back door ways of obtaining lucre, filthy or otherwise.  So these contributors, whom I call the Dirty Dozen, are but a small tip of the iceberg of the Clinton Cash Machine.  In fact, I have every confidence that these same donors are also giving far more money through other avenues than straight to her campaign; but like I said, I wanted to keep it simple.

So here they are, The Dirty Dozen:

  1. Emily’s List……………………….907,510
  2. Citigroup…………………………..891,500
  3. DLA Piper………………………….856,873
  4. Goldman Sachs……………………831,523
  5.  J P Morgan Chase…………………801,380
  6. Morgan Stanley……………………765,202
  7. University of California………….686,509
  8. Time Warner……………………….603,170
  9. Skadden, Arps et al……………….562,182
  10. Coring Inc…………………………..492,750
  11. Kirkland & Ellis…………………….491,066
  12. Paul, Weiss et al……………………430,919

Now, on this list are the usual suspects: Goldman Sachs, J P Morgan, Morgan Stanley; and considering how much they give Goldwater Girl Hillary an hour to speak at their meetings (where are the transcripts Hillary?) these are, comparatively, modest sums for getting THEIR CANDIDATE elected. Of course, as noted before, these are the outright campaign contributions, not any of the dark money donations. hqdefault

Of special note is the fact that one these big money donors is Time Warner, the media conglomerate, whose subsidiary is CNN, the cable news giant.  So, when the CNN folks pretend to be objective and then give Bernie fifteen minutes of news coverage to hours for Hillary, we should not be too surprised.  Also, when they have a conga line of “commentators” asking why Bernie just doesn’t give up and cede the race to the heir apparent to the throne, this too should be taken for the simpering attempt to control the message in this election that it is.

Clinton-Propped-NRD-990Time Warner, along with other media giants, is a BIG (or as Trump would say HUUUGE) backer of the Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP, that really awful giveaway to multinational corporations which will undermine national sovereignty (and all local laws the corporations don’t like) as well as transfer more high paying US jobs overseas to nations where they’ll become starvation wage jobs, as well as further hurting the US balance of trade and indirectly increase the Federal deficit. So once Slick Hillary assumes the mantle of power, expect the TPP deal to slide through like a case of diarrhea due to Asian Flu.  Did I mention that this and other so-called “Free Trade” deals have nothing to do with trade and are anything but free?money-game

At the top of the list is EMILY’s List, a Pro-Choice, pro-Gay and Transgender, pro-Democratic Party, Feminist organization, dedicated to getting women elected to public office.  They bill themselves as a Progressive.  So, at first glance Emily’s List is a perfect fit for Pro-LGBT, Pro-Progressive, Vote for Me Because I’m a Woman Hillary.  No Progressive Democrat, male or female, could quibble with this group donating to get a Democrat elected, right? Wrong.

According to one media pundit, “basically every Democratic woman candidate is petrified to speak publicly about EMILY’s List’s shenanigans.”  Evidently, whenever they give to a candidate’s race, there is an unspoken requirement that they hire a certain media consulting firm, whose president just happens to be the wife of EMILY’s List Campaign Director!  The donated money must be spent on the beltway media firm, whose performance is reported to be something less than stellar and who some candidates have blamed for their losing the election.

Apparently liberal candidates are forced to go along with the scam because EMILY’s List is working hand in glove with senior Democratic Party officials to fleece candidate’s campaigns. Obviously, a few high powered party establishment operatives are benefiting from this scam at the expense of the Progressive wing of the party; I wonder who they could be, Bill and Hillary?

More curious on the Dirty Dozen list is the University of California, weighing in at more than three quarters of a million dollar donation.  It is ethically dubious even for a private university to contribute to a political campaign; it is even worse for a PUBLIC university to do so.  A “Fact Sheet” distributed by U. of C. in fact denies that the school makes any political contributions or funds any political action committees.  They do, however, say that “sometimes organizations that track campaign contributions, such as http://opensecrets.org, take the official data provided by the FEC about campaign contributions and report by demographic breakdown, such as by industry or employer” and UC characterize such listings as “misleading.”  So technically, no, the University of California did not directly give; but some pundits note that there is a “revolving door” between political lobbyists and government officeholders and the members of UC administration and the University does “track” bills in Congress as well as any Executive Branch’s proposed rules and regulations which may affect the university and higher education in general.  Also, there are political operatives who do “bundling” of UC employee contributions, plus there is the dark world of PACs, who are legally separate from their beneficiary organization, but who unofficially coordinate their activities with it.  So the truth here is, let us say, somewhat murky.

Then we have the big money law firms.  Hillary is a lawyer; they’re lawyers; what could be more natural, right?

Up near the top is DLA Piper, a GLOBAL multinational law firm, with offices in over 30 countries; it is the largest law firm in the world with billions in revenue; virtually every lawyer in the firm is a multi-millionaire.  Just a bunch of poor ol’ country lawyers.  It should come as no surprise that its legal staff has included, not just US senators and cabinet members, but former Prime Ministers and other high international Muckey-Mucks.  According to the watchdog, Above the Law, “the firm makes for great copy; there’s always something funny, ridiculous, or salacious going down over there.”  This includes accusations of over-billing its filthy rich clientele (no tears here over that) and the firm’s involvement with a fossil fuel executive who claimed to be working for the CIA in order to get into the panties of two Khazakh women, whom he had “rescued” from a brothel (or was it a seraglio?), as well as more serious scandals over the years.

Skadden Arps is perhaps not so colorful as DLA Piper, but it too is an international law firm with tentacles firmly in the Washington establishment, doing lobbying for major corporations and with a notable tilt towards Democratic politics.  Love ya Hill baby.

Paul, Weiss is another lobbying law firm with headquarters in New York City but major offices in Washington and overseas.  Besides buttering up pols such as Bill & Hill, they do entertainment law and manage corporate mergers and takeovers, in addition to the occasion pro bono good deed, such as representing detainees held in durance vile in Gitmo.

Kirkland & Ellis is similarly a heavy hitter law firm who do entertainment and corporate law; they went to bat for BP when the oil giant polluted the entire Gulf Coast and got some of its workers killed in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill fiasco.  They didn’t clean up the heavy crude, but did try to clean up the legal mess for their multinational client.  They trend toward Dems, being a major backer of Obama in 2008 and have their own PAC to distribute additional largesse.  Apparently they want to get in Hillary’s good graces before she becomes the Anointed One.

There are, of course, very many more law firms and lobbyists on the Hillary hit list; we have only looked at the tip of the iceberg here.  Where the real influence peddling with Bill & Hill goes on is in the murkier nether regions of the Clinton empire, namely the Clinton Foundation and the spiders webs of PAC’s and other organizations.  Of course, as the email and Panama Paper scandals unfold, more will be revealed; that’s when the real fun begins.

As one Repugnican pundit has observed, on the campaign circuit Hillary Clinton travels around with two jets; one for Hillary and her entourage, and one for her baggage.

October 16, 2015

DAILY PLANET SWIFT BOATS THE BERN

AS CRUCIAL AS NEW YORK IS FOR SLICK HILLARY, WE ALL KNEW HER MEDIA HACKS WOULD GO ALL OUT TO DISCREDIT BERNIE SANDERS.  WELL ITS BEGUN.

surprised Hillary
Slick Hillary distributed copies of the Daily Planet hatchet job to her minions to use against Brooklyn Bernie

The New York Daily News (aka The Daily Planet–you know with the tabloid with the big globe in its lobby) had an interview with candidate Bernie Sanders.  Actually, hatchet job would be a better description.  The tack they took was a classic from the Republican playbook; they “Swiftboated” him.

In case you are too young to remember, back in 2004, nearly half the country was already soured on George W. Bush, the Vietnam Era playboy who had his Daddy pull strings to get himself into the Air National Guard to avoid going to Viet Fucking Nam.  Running against draft dodge George was Senator John Kerry, a war hero who was awarded the Purple Heart five times–FIVE TIMES==but who was painted as a liar and a coward by GOP shills.  Well, enough of the public bought that lie that King George II won re-election.  So, the evil genius GOP hacks and their media lackeys took Kerry’s strong point and by repetitive lying and misrepresentation, turned that strong point into his weak point.  That is, in essence, what the Hillary hacks at the NY Daily News have tried to do in their interview.

If anything, Bernie Sanders has gone into too much detail about what he will do when elected President. His critique of the Washington establishment is as deep as it is broad and by his avoiding large donors and super PAC money, he has walked the walk as well as talking the talk.  He also has made no secret that he intends to rein in Wall Street at the earliest opportunity.  This we all know.

Hillary vs Bernie on Panama Trade Agreement

So what does Hillary’s shill at the Daily Planet do?  Why attack Bernie as being shallow and having no plan as to what he’s going to do, of course!  In regard to how Bernie would break up the big banks, they badgered him to cite chapter and verse as to EXACTLY he would go about doing that, on the surface of it a perfectly moronic question.

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Bernie opposed the Panama trade agreement which enabled billionaires to dodge taxes; Slick Hillary pushed it through to help her corporate friends.

As President, the POTUS does not give specifics as to how his policies are carried out: that’s what his cabinet and their departments are supposed to do.  How do you go about going after the banksters who committed massive fraud and nearly destroyed the world economy? How do I prosecute thee? Let me count the ways.

There are dozens, possibly hundreds of ways to go about reining in the Banksters and their mega banks; but first you have to get elected.  Then appoint Elizabeth Warren to your cabinet and I GUARANTEE she will find a way or three; or four, or more.

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Just appoint Elizabeth Warren to your cabinet Bernie, then let her at these Banksters; she’ll take care of the details!

 

Another so called “Gotcha” by the Hillary shill was on Sanders notable lack of enthusiasm for Benjamin Netanyahu’s Neo-Fascist policies.  Because Bernie, a NEW YORK JEW doesn’t go along with rubber stamping the failed policies of the extreme right wing parties in Israel and tacitly approves of a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian problem (which EVERY previous US president has at least given lip service too) this is supposed to be a negative.  Bernie Sanders grew up seeing the adults in his neighborhood with the concentration camp tattoos; he is pro-Israel, he is A JEW; but he does not support the failed policies of extreme right wing Israeli governments who have chosen to intervene in the internal politics of the United States big time.

That being said, it is true that foreign policy is not Bernie Sanders strong point.  We must contrast that with Hillary Clinton’s VAST experience in foreign policy: such as approving a trade agreement with Panama to enable her billionaire friends to dodge taxes and launder money; voting for the Iraq War; pushing President Obama to intervene in Libya (Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi); and, of course, the sterling success of our intervention in Syria.  And let us not forget the looming TPP deal, which will lose us millions more in trade deficits and jobs, but enrich her billionaire multi-national corporatist friends.  So yes, Hillary is a foreign policy “expert” and Bernie is not.  He just believes in fairness, justice and peace.

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Well, mark my word.  The New York Daily Planet hatchet job is just the opening salvo in the Hillary Media campaign to keep New York voters from finding out the truth about Brooklyn born Bernie and their carpet-bag former senator.