The Market Ticker
Commentary on The Capital Markets- Category [Politics]

Now we're getting somewhere.

Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation have been hit with a racketeering lawsuit in Florida court.

The lawsuit, filed by Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, includes a legal request to have the Florida judge seize the private server on which Hillary Clinton and her aides hosted their emails while she served as secretary of state.

Freedom Watch is known to be rather litigious when various politically-connected folks try to flout FOIA laws and otherwise obfuscate what's going on.  Some people don't like them very much but that's understandable when you're the target.

smiley

In any event this is definitely an interesting suit as the predicate is what amounts to the appearance of selling access to the State Department..... a point I raised and one I believe deserves serious consideration in both the political and prosecutorial realms.

This lawsuit bears watching -- especially if it results in Hillary being forced to cough up the server.  In that case the options are bad and worse; if anything on it was destroyed then she could very well find herself on the wrong end of an obstruction of justice charge.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Maybe.

State approved $165 billion worth of weapons sales to 20 foreign governments during Clinton's tenure, the International Business Times reports. Among the countries involved in the sales were Algeria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The Clinton Foundation received between $54 million and $141 million in donations from the foreign governments and defense contractors involved in those sales, the report says.

How is this sort of thing legal?

One has to wonder how we have arrived at a point in this nation where you can have a Secretary of State who while in office has their own "family foundation" with a former President running around giving speeches "for the foundation" at a half-million dollars a crack and which accepts donations from foreign entities that potentially, and in these cases actually do, have questions of national policy before The State Department!

We've always had a "revolving door" in Washington DC; people working for The Fed go to investment firms (Bernanke anyone?) Treasury secretaries do the same thing (Geithner anyone?) and various Representatives and Senators have for decades gone on to work for lobbying outfits and those with business before the Congress.

But this is different; those acts happened after said person left their office.  It is unprecedented to have a major sitting policy official running their own "foundation" that accepts donations from entities with business before the department they represent or head.

How this isn't blatantly illegal is beyond me but what's even worse is that now, with all of this out in the open there is still a "desire" among certain people to actually have the person who appears to have sold our nation's interests for private gain elected as President of the United States!

Have you lost your mind?

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Hillary has tried to claim that she never sent or received any classified data on her personal email server.

This never passed the sniff test, and now there's a clean question as to whether that is the smoking gun that nails her.

There was a recent small release of these emails via a long-running FOIA that was finally complied with.  More will be forthcoming, and there was one email that was completely redacted because it was retrospectively classified.  That doesn't break the law, as when Clinton sent or received it there was no classification on the material (and, by the way, it utterly silly to "retrospectively" classify something if any of the people who have already seen it do not hold clearances for all sorts of both logical and legal reasons) and thus classifying it now doesn't implicate her.

But, if any of the material ultimately discovered on that server is classified (and was at the time it was sent or received on that server) then she's cooked.

I wouldn't bet a plugged nickel that this didn't happen...... and if it it did when it is discovered I'm going to enjoy the ensuing fireworks.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

2015-05-11 06:45 by Karl Denninger
in Politics , 158 references
 

This man needs to be run out of town on a rail for his decade-long plus false claims regarding the budget.

Unnecessary, wasteful government spending is today putting America on a dangerous path, as we burden future generations with a mounting national debt – now totaling more than $18 trillion. The future of the American dream is at risk, due to Washington’s bipartisan spending addiction.

For years I have fought alongside my friend, former Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, a tough and sometimes lonely battle against the corrupt practice of earmark spending, which he called “the gateway drug to overspending” in Washington.

Uh huh.

By the way, it was good to ban "earmark" spending.  Don't get me wrong; the "bridge to nowhere" was an infamous example.

But it's also utterly immaterial to the outcome and diverts attention from where the real problem lies -- in the medical system.

John McCain has not done one legislative thing during his entire time in The Senate to take care of that problem despite facially visible evidence of acts that, taken by anyone in any other industry, would lead to felony indictments and prosecutions under long-standing Federal and State laws.

That is in fact where the federal overspending, that is spending more than the government takes in via taxes, comes from and only there.  If you were to address this problem that spending, specifically on Medicare and Medicaid, would drop by approximately 80% and the Federal Budget would instantly be running at a surplus.

Why?  Because with the exception of the poorest Americans were you to address this issue neither program would be necessary at all because everyone else, even those of modest means, could pay cash for their medical care and catastrophic insurance would cost just a few hundred dollars a year, which is affordable by nearly everyone.

The very same pattern of behavior of "industry" when the government starts treating things as "entitlements" and ignoring blatantly anti-competitive behavior that is supposed to be illegal is also evident in college costs.  The reason is the same: The removal of competitive forces and enforcement of the law leaves entities free to do whatever they wish to maximize their extraction of funds from those who are "customers", and if they can force you to be a customer then their extraction power becomes effectively unlimited.

Cartel-like behavior in both the medical and education industries, coupled with government "support" and a willing blind eye to that cartel-like behavior, drives the problem.

The solution in both cases is to vigorously prosecute the cartel-like behavior (e.g. any collusive act to require degrees or set prices, whether in hospitals, colleges or otherwise), remove all government regulatory sanction that makes it possible (e.g. formal so-called "degree requirements"; independent testing where there is a public safety issue is fine but if you can pass without a degree why do you need one?) and then remove the government financial support.

That change would collapse pricing -- witness the "cost" of college in other nations where no such system exists, and witness the cost of medical care in those nations as well, including first-world developed nations such as Japan.

If such a path were to be undertaken not only would health outcomes improve on balance but the Federal budget would run in surplus immediately and permanently, paying down the National Debt, and that would result in a mild monetary deflation that would improve the purchasing power of ordinary Americans on an immediate and durable basis.

In other words it would actually solve the problem, which isn't what McCain wants.  No, he wants you to be a slave, but at the same time believe he's "trying to help."

His interest in "helping" as as honest as those who once held him in the Hanoi Hilton, and simply wanted to "help" him come to the "correct" point of view.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

You knew it would come, right?

The attempt to blame all on.... liberalism.

Of those governments, perhaps the most salient fact to the objective political scientist, tasked with anatomizing the failed system, would be that both governments have long effectively functioned as one-party systems. Baltimore last had a Republican mayor, Theodore M. McKeldin, in 1967. (A wire photograph from April 1966 captured McKeldin, a bear of a man, chatting amiably with Dr. King in Baltimore, two years before the civil rights leader’s assassination in Memphis.) Maryland elected its incumbent Republican governor, Larry Hogan, in November – but that made Hogan only the second GOP governor in the Old Line State since 1969.

Incumbent mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat, deals with a city council comprised 100 percent of fellow Democrats. Other important power blocs in the political and civic life of Baltimore are likewise controlled by Democrats, such as educational institutions and public-sector unions.

See, that's easy.  Just blame "one party" rule, as if the Republicans have "better ideas" without demonstrating how their ideas are better or even providing examples of alleged ideas to be implemented.

Nobody, of course, wants to ask the salient question: Exactly how did these cities become one-party political machines?

That, of course, is because if you were to go there you'd expose the soft underbelly of corruption in the political process -- the making of political promises that the maker knows cannot be fulfilled but doesn't care as he or she is buying votes, not results.

In the meantime behind the scenes even more-perverse and outrageous corruption is taking place; the selling of America, literally, to the highest bidder.  And rather than perform its job as a guardian at the gate the press fawns over such people and their espousing of various programs without a single critical examination of the issues at hand or a question being raised.

Let us put reality out there for everyone: No, not everyone is exceptional.  In fact most of us are downright ordinary and even there, if we're in the middle of the bell curve somewhere instead of out on the ends, fully half of us are on the wrong side of it!

The question to ask becomes simply this: What are you going to do about that fact given that we all must somehow manage to find our way in the world?

This is a cancer that we invited into our nation with so-called "free trade" and the exporting of our manufacturing base.  It is the one we refuse to discuss and debate, yet we must.  We instead try to placate and paper over it while at the same time destroying the programs and structures that led individuals in that situation to have productive, happy lives.

We then wring our hands when despair turns to crime and rioting.

Baltimore was a thriving industrial community that produced, among other things, a huge amount of steel.

But Baltimore lost over 100,000 manufacturing jobs by 1995, all due to foreign imports produced under near or actual slave labor conditions with zero regard for environmental impact.  One third of the residents of Baltimore fled the city.  Worse, 90% of the jobs in Baltimore today are low-paying and often part-time service-sector jobs.

Did liberals promote all the so-called "free trade" that led to this manufacturing displacement?  Hardly; that charge is equally leveled against conservatives; that is, Republicans.

At the same time deficit spending, which both political parties consider sacrosanct, has destroyed the ability to accumulate wealth for anyone that is in the lower economic classes.  Adding to this was outright and documented predatory behavior by financial institutions toward city residents, especially black city residents, in the 2000s via subprime lending.

Where is the debate on these topics?  It's missing from the political sphere for a very good reason: To address this you must address facts -- such as the fact that if the "average" IQ is 100 then half of the people will be above and half below; unless you're willing to literally murder the lower half of the population you need a social, employment and political system that provides opportunity for all.  That in turn means you cannot export your lower-wage and lower-ability-required manufacturing jobs to places like Vietnam and China as they must be retained so your citizens have gainful employment available to them.

At the same time you cannot deficit spend because for the person in the lower economic and intellectual quantum there is no defensive move available to them to mitigate the damage done to their financial security by such policies.

Finally, accountability for every dollar spent is far more important when you have few dollars to contribute to government programs in the form of taxation.  In this regard both Democrat and Republicans fail; our current so-called "educational" system is an utter and complete joke when looked at in terms of return-on-investment.

Are you ready to have a debate on these topics yet, America?

Or will you wring your hands and point fingers, as is often the case, at this bogeyman or that while ignoring the elephant in the room -- the intentional destruction of working-class jobs in this nation over the last 40+ years, and our utter refusal to put a stop to the abusive and outrageous "trade policies" that enable it.

View this entry with comments (registration required to post)
 

Main Navigation
MUST-READ Selection:
No Kidding? Stan Sees The Problem?

Full-Text Search & Archives
Archive Access
Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.

NO MATERIAL HERE CONSTITUTES "INVESTMENT ADVICE" NOR IS IT A RECOMMENDATION TO BUY OR SELL ANY FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO STOCKS, OPTIONS, BONDS OR FUTURES.

The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be reproduced or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media or for commercial use.

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.