So who supplied the shell that exploded and tore off this girl’s foot? Was it the US? Saudi Arabia? Turkey? Israel? And the children left brain damaged in this Aleppo hospital? Who do we thank for their plight? Where are the humanitarian concerns professed by Western leaders like John Kerry? Or that new British court jester, Boris Johnson?
There is some good news, though. Goldman Sachs has reported a 47% increase in quarterly earnings.
As bad as the people of Syria have it, the terrorists Americans have to deal with are in some respects far worse.
By the way, you can go here to read the full text of the three speeches Hillary Clinton gave to Goldman Sachs in 2013. One thing bankers can be sure of. Hillary feels their pain.
“I mean, right now,” she said, “there are so many places in our country where the banks are not doing what they need to do because they’re scared of regulations, they’re scared of the other shoe dropping.”
That bit about “regulations” she seemed particularly keen to drive home, informing her golden-sachsian audience that:
“There’s nothing magic about regulations. Too much is bad, too little is bad. How do you get to the golden key, how do we figure out what works? And the people that know the industry better than anybody are the people who work in the industry.”
In other words, better let Wall Street regulate itself.
Clinton also admitted that imposing a no fly zone on Syria would “kill a lot of Syrians,” as she put it…
“To have a no fly zone you have to take out all of the air defense, many of which are located in populated areas. So our missiles, even if they are standoff missiles so we’re not putting out pilots at risk–you’re going to kill a lot of Syrians. So all of a sudden this intervention that people talk about so glibly becomes an American and NATO involvement where you take a lot of civilians.”
…as is, of course, what happened two years earlier in Libya.
But regardless of how things might turn out in the Middle East, Clinton has had, and presumably will continue to have, a great working relationship with the financial industry.
“I represented all of you for eight years. I had great relations and worked so close together after 9/11 to rebuild downtown, and a lot of respect for the work you do and the people who do it, but I do–I think that when we talk about the regulators and the politicians, the economic consequences of bad decisions back in ’08, you know, were devastating, and they had repercussions throughout the world.”
Interestingly, the political establishment seems to be growing alarmed over the possibility of an “armed rebellion” should Clinton win the election in November. Trump’s talk about the election being rigged has stoked their fears, it seems. Here is an excerpt from an article published at the pro-Clinton website Politico two days ago:
Even after the election, many Democrats and Republicans fear, Trump could keep showing up at rallies. He’s all but certain to keep up his near-constant claim of a “rigged election” on Twitter and in friendly news interviews, casting doubts and stoking a toxicity that, at least as of now, relatively few in his party have explicitly rejected.
A measure of where things stand already: Asked Saturday whether there could be an armed rebellion if Clinton wins, South Carolina Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster at first pegged the chances of it only at “highly unlikely.”
“There’s going to be a rebellion, yeah. Everybody’s tired of the system,” said Fred Steadman, a 57-year-old semi-retired man who was at Trump’s Saturday night rally in New Jersey, sure already that the election is rigged.
If Clinton does win, most agree that the immediate burden will likely fall on Republican leaders — particularly House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell — to quickly and vocally insist on the legitimacy of her election.
“What this would be is an assault on the foundations of the long-established traditions of the country, an assault on democracy, vandalizing it,” said Steve Schmidt, the Republican strategist who led John McCain’s 2008 campaign. “It would be incumbent finally on national leaders in the Republican Party to speak clearly, unequivocally about not just the situation, but the totality of it.”
Ari Fleischer, who worked for George W. Bush on the 2000 campaign and later as his White House press secretary, contrasted how “Al Gore graciously accepted the outcome” to Trump’s rhetoric that has him “disgusted.”
“If he never calls to concede, he’ll go down as one of the sorest of sore losers,” Fleischer said, but “if Donald Trump loses and fights the outcome, it will make many of his followers, which means millions of people, question the legitimacy of our American government. That’s destructive and corrosive.”
Tony Fratto, a former aide to George W. Bush, said, “You hate to have to fight something like this, but it is very corrosive, so you do have to fight it. You don’t want it to even pick up with a small segment of the population. Reince [Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman] and Ryan and McConnell will have to concede for him, for the party. They just have to take things out of his hands.”
Only Republicans — and maybe leaders from the right who aren’t going to be suspected to be part of the “establishment” — will be able to move the country forward if Trump won’t, many agree.
“This is on them. They’ve created this. They need to defuse,” said a senior Democrat on Saturday evening.
But that probably won’t be near enough to prevent Trump’s most determined supporters, some of whom are as suspicious of Republicans as Democrats, from challenging the results.
One of the most prominent characteristics of life in America these days is the amount of pretense we see in the public statements of officials. If one is going to speak of the “destruction” and “corrosion” of democracy, it is of paramount necessity to pretend that such corrosion and destruction have not already occurred. And that is likely what we will see should this trend continue and Trump end up contesting the election.
But of course for the world’s great pretenders, such fronts are not hard to maintain, and all in all, I suppose, it won’t be much different from pretending, with a wink and a nod, that America is not supporting terrorists in Syria.