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Sunday, June 5, 2016


After the last post, I want to make it clear that I do not think Hillary Clinton is perfect.  I know, "DUH"!  But thinking one candidate is essentially unfit to be President does not automatically make the other major party candidate better.

There are concerns about Hillary Clinton, as well.  Some go back a long way.  None of the buckets of charges against Hillary Clinton appear to hold water, though.

1.  Whitewater -  One of the earliest charges against the Clintons involved the Whitewater Development Company.  The Clintons lost money in a real estate deal.  The Whitewater Development company hired the law firm at which Hillary Clinton worked at the time for a separate failed investment.

Republicans claimed a conflict of interest and possible payback to the Clintons.  8 years of Republican-led investigation and millions of taxpayer dollars spent resulted in no finding of any wrongdoing by the Clintons.

2.  WalMart - In 1986, Walmart (based in Arkansas) was under pressure to name women to their Board of Directors.  Hillary Clinton, then merely a talented lawyer (from Arkansas) , was chosen.  As a Board Member, she championed ethnic and gender management diversity and supported corporate environmental responsibility.

Republicans claim this proves she doesn't understand business priorities and that she supported low worker wages..

Today, these are recognized as legitimate business concerns.  Her 6 years on the Walmart Board of Directors gave her considerable experience about how major business operate.  And while there, she never supported the WalMart "low wages" strategy.

3.  Monsanto -  Republicans sometimes like to claim that Hillary Clinton once sat on the Monsanto (multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation) Board of Directors.  This is a false claim designed to undermine her reputation for environmental concerns.  There is no evidence for the claim.

4.  Vince Foster -  Republicans claim that the Clintons arranged to have Vince Foster (Deputy White House Counsel for Bill Clinton for a few months) killed to protect unspecified secrets.  Mr Foster sufferred from depression exacerbated by the stress of some political failures (Kimba Wood and Lani Guinier recommendations were unsuccessful).  There were several suicide notes, and there is evidence he spent some time organizing "end of life" concerns.   The Clintons were cleared of involvement by the FBI and several independent investigations.

5.  Wall Street And Bank Donations - Not all wall street investors and bankers are Republicans.  But Republicans like to think they are.   So they get really annoyed when VERY rich people Wall Street people support Democrats.  They attack Hillary Clinton for being supported by some very wealthy people as some sort of flaw, when they glory in the very wealthy people who support THEM!  It makes no sense that all wealthy people have to support Republicans.  Some wealthy people support Democratic Party values too.  And they like to hear from the Clintons.

6.  Citizens United - Speaking of the false claim that Hillary Clinton favors the Wall Street Investors (above), she doesn't support the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  However, it being the current law, she has to operate within it's guidelines in order to run a viable campaign.  She desires this Supreme Court ruling to be overturned in the interest of fairer campaigns in the future.

And I will add something here.  MONEY is not "speech".  One person, one vote does NOT mean "one dollar one vote"!

7.   Benghazi - Diplomatic service is dangerous in some nations.  There were 13 attacks on US Embassies during the George W Bush years, resulting in at least 60 deaths.  4 people died in Benghazi.  All were tragic.  The Benghazi situation was confusing of initial cause, and seems to have changed from a minor protest about religious images to an opportunistic attack for more political/religious/insurgent reasons by more violent elements.

The deaths at Benghazi have now been misused as attacks on Hillary Clinton while Secretary Of State.  This is wrong.  Several investigations have found no evidence that Scretary Of Stae Clinton, either allowed the attacks or refused to send military aid.

As best I can tell, the main Republican attack is that she did not call the incident a "terrorist attack"  early enough publicly AND that she called it one to family and friends before the facts were certain.  Public officials SHOULD be circumspect publicly.

In any case, there was no willful failure of duty.  The idea that any Secretary Of State would willfully allow fellow officials to die is reprehensible.   Numerous Republican investigations have failed to find any failure by Secretary Clinton.  And they wasted $7 million of our taxes trying to do so.

8.  Email server - It was an agency regulation, not a law.  And every Secretary Of State since email was created ignored it.  They are in charge of the rules and get to define them.  And Clinton's server was never hacked.  I wish more companies could claim that...  That being said, it wasn't the smartest decision she ever made.  But like my first boss told me, "everyone gets one minor screw-up".  And this one is minor.

9.  Dollars To Iran - Well, the dollars to Iran were Iran's money that we managed to lock away from them for years.  We didn't GIVE them a dime.  We (the international community) unlocked their international assets after negotiating a cessation of their nuclear research program.  It wasn't Clinton's decision; it wasn't even Obama's decision.  It was an international agreement. 

1 comment:

Megan said...

Thank you Mark.

As I was reading the para about Walmart, I was wondering how anyone could criticise a board member for being concerned about diversity and environmental responsibility! I guess she was a bit ahead of her time in 1986. Good on her.

I agree that just because Trump is a horrifying thought doesn't mean that Clinton is perfect. She's far from it. But given how long she's been in public life, it's inevitable that she will have made mistakes and errors of judgement that 'everyone' knows about - she's a mere human being after all. If you want someone who's never made a mistake as President, you'd need to elect a newborn. LOL

Any thoughts at this stage about who might be the VPs on each ticket?

Sydney, Australia