Monday, June 20, 2016
Politics: “Burnt Toast”
by Jim Kunstler
"At a most troubled moment in history, both major political parties appear set to nominate time-bomb candidates for president with a fair percentage chance of blowing up their own campaigns and the parties themselves.
We’ve been living in the era of anything goes and nothing matters — that is, the era of no consequences — but at some point between now and November 8 someone surely will press FBI chief James Comey as to why his agency issued neither a criminal referral nor an explanatory memorandum in the matter of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and its role in the money-gathering activities of the Clinton Foundation while she was Secretary of State.
Hapless Bernie Sanders blew his chance to call her on that months ago — “The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” — but it’s absolutely certain that Trump will jump up and down and shout woo-woo-woo about it during the general election campaign, if he manages to not get dumped at the GOP convention. Or his as-yet-hypothetical replacement will.
The email issue won’t go away because it entails serious issues of racketeering in public office, not just niceties of security procedure. One of the Secretary of State’s duties is to approve weapons sales to foreign countries. During her three years at State, Hillary signed off on $165 billion worth of sales by private commercial arms contractors to Clinton Foundation foreign donors. On top of that was an additional $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that gave to the Clinton Foundation. It also happened that the weapons contractors themselves and companies connected financially to them made substantial donations to the Clinton foundation — and paid whopping speaking fees to Hillary’s husband ex-president Bill, during her years at State.
Salon Magazine has also reported that in contradiction of a 1995 directive signed by then-president Bill against arms sales to nations violating human rights, Hillary approved such weapons sales. Salon’s David Sirota writes: "As just one of many examples, in its 2011 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department slammed Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association,” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption” and a “lack of judicial independence.
That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and the next year Clinton’s State Department approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country. The jump included authorizations for almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment.” The State Department had not authorized the export of any of such items to Algeria the year before."
There’s no way that the shady doings of the Clinton Foundation will not become a campaign issue whether Trump emerges as the eventual GOP nominee or not, and of course the other noisome matter of exactly what Hillary told Too-Big-To-Fail banks in exchange for many quarter-million dollar “speaking fees” still lurks behind all that. Hillary’s partisans at the The New York Times and The WashPo have ignored these stories for months, but the telltale stench remains, like a dead body under the floorboards.. In contrast to her beaming victory lap after the California primary, all this stuff promises some serious frowny-face for Mz. It’s-My-Turn in the months ahead.
As for Trump, the hand-wringing and Maalox-gulping among GOP nabobs got a lot more intense since the Orlando Club massacre, and the (as usual) disjointed utterances by the presumptive Republican Party nominee. This guy is not just a loose artillery shell rolling around on the deck — he’s a dirty bomb wrapped in a smallpox blanket threatening to turn the Grand Old Party into a political Flying Dutchman. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan underscored his extremely conditional endorsement of Trump on the Sunday TV chat forums, hinting that even if Trump got where he is playing by the rules, the rules can be changed at the convention.
That would set the stage for a melee both inside and outside the GOP convention in Cleveland a month from now. The tragedy of a legitimately irate populace vested in such an obviously inept champion will lead to a political explosion when the party poobahs try to maneuver him off-stage. The only worse alternative is if they actually go ahead and nominate the ham-headed sonofabitch. Either way, the Republican Party comes out as burnt toast.
Remember, too, the Black Lives Matter movement and its affiliates promised months ago to bring a disruptive presence to both conventions. Imagine how they will get on with thousands of outraged Trumpsters moiling in the streets. Add a dash of Mexican hot sauce to this farrago and you’ve got a perfect recipe for mayhem.”