Sunday, July 19, 2015

Hillary Clinton's Malpractice

Last week, a Michigan physician named Farid Fata was sentenced to 45 years in prison for prescribing unnecessary chemotherapy to hundreds of patients he had deliberately misdiagnosed with cancer. The motive was the usual one: pathological greed.

Four years ago this month, an American secretary of state named Hillary Clinton traveled to Greece to prescribe what she called "chemotherapy" to millions of otherwise healthy Greeks. She deliberately misdiagnosed their economic suffering at the hands of Eurozone leaders as a disease to be cured, paradoxically enough, by those same banksters and their partner in malpractice, the USA-centric International Monetary Fund. The motive for their toxic prescription of austerity was, and is, the usual one: pathological greed.

Even though Hillary Clinton's Rx has proved ultimately deadly -- both literally and figuratively -- she is living proof that the love of finance capital means never having to say you're sorry. Hillary, of course, isn't going to jail, or even being scorned by the Establishment for proclaiming that austerity is good medicine which fosters fiscal growth and healing. She is running for president. And she has a good chance of winning office, thanks to voter apathy and unlimited bankster money, and the GOP opposition being even more pathological than she is.

Her good friend Donald Trump has already served his own usefully idiotic purpose: that of being so vile that the other vile Republicans in the race are beginning to look vaguely, miraculously human. Hillary must run against someone who appears vaguely human -- otherwise, people might notice that this so-called democracy of ours is a big fat sham. 

The reason that I'm bringing up Hillary Clinton's relatively recent visit to Athens in July 2011 is because of the frenzied "apology war" currently being waged on her behalf by the usual liberal suspects and proxies. They're claiming that the 90s years of Clintonian right-wing neoliberism are so far in the distant past that it is patently unfair to blame her for the tragedies that her husband's malpractice (Wall Street deregulation, his criminalization of poverty via welfare "reform", his embrace of globalization/NAFTA) have spawned in the interim. Now that she is verbally repudiating "Third Way" centrism in her stump speeches, we are supposed to believe that she has evolved into the progressive she has always wanted to be. The ultimate proof of her good intentions, supposedly, is in The Speech she gave last week, vaguely and feebly echoing Elizabeth Warren's populism. (see my previous post, The Extreme Centrism of HC.)

But four years ago -- seems like only yesterday because essentially, it was  -- Hillary Clinton, like a reanimated Maggie Thatcher, was lecturing the world on the therapeutic benefits of free market unregulated capitalism and the necessity of punishing "ordinary" people with toxic chemo. She promised the austerity cure, yet the disease of wealth inequality spread.

It gets even worse. When Hillary Clinton traveled to Athens only four years ago this month, she also congratulated the unpopular Greek government for preventing a ship called The Audacity of Hope from joining the humanitarian aid flotilla bound for Gaza, then under cruel lock-down by the Israeli government. As people demonstrated in the streets against neoliberalism, she congratulated the unpopular Greek government for joining her misbegotten air war on Libya, even as the Troika's imposition of economic martial law on ordinary citizens sent them reeling. Belt-tightening orders from non-elected banksters did not prevent NATO (aka the American War-for-Profit Industry) from ordering Greece to use its American-made weaponry get involved in Hillary's war on Libya while Greek citizens were going without food and medicine.

Bill Clinton felt your pain. Hillary Clinton, just four short years ago, wanted the pain to be felt -- with a vengeance. From her July 2011 press con with former Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis:

The steps ahead will not, they cannot, be pain-free, but there is a path forward to resolve Greece’s economic stability and to restore Greece’s economic strength. I have faith in the resilience of the Greek people and I applaud the Greek Government on its willingness to take these difficult steps. Greece has inspired the world before, and I have every confidence that you are doing so again. And as you (addressing her Greek foreign minister counterpart) do what you must to bring your economy back to health, you will have the full support of the United States.....

 We believe that the recent legislation (another bailout for Eurozone banks and the global investor class predicated on austerity for working people) that was passed will make Greece more competitive, will make Greece more business-friendly. We think that is essential for the kind of growth and recovery that is expected in the 21st century when businesses can go anywhere in the world and capital can follow. We think that will provide a firm financial footing on which Greece will be able increasingly to attract businesses and create the jobs that Stavros said are absolutely important for the Greek people. Because businesses seek consistent, predictable regulatory and taxation regimes. Investors seek a level playing field. They expect transparency, streamlined procedures, protection of commercial and intellectual property rights, effective contract enforcement, all of which was part of your reform package.
Therefore, I am not here to in any way downplay the immediate challenges, because they are real, but I am here to say that we believe strongly that this will give Greece a very strong economy going forward. There are lots of analogies – having to take the strong medicine that tastes terrible when it goes down and you wish you didn’t have to, or the chemotherapy to get rid of the cancer. There are all kinds of analogies. But the bottom line is this is the best approach and we strongly support it.
"Hmm... I wonder if our chemo line will fit in that bottom?"

How is the Neoliberal Project which Hill and Bill helped rev up into overdrive back in the roaring 90s any less evil than the sadistic project of the gruesome Michigan cancer doc? Farid Fata left his patients suffering from brittle bones and fried organs...  and in some cases, he literally killed them. The neoliberal chemo inflicted by Hillary Clinton and her cohort has left Greece with an unemployment rate worse than that of the Great Depression, an increase in suicides and premature deaths due to lack of proper medication, and the transformation of a sovereign nation into a colonial client state run by an organized crime cabal of bankers and technocrats. 

Where's the justice?

Not only is Hillary able to transform herself into a progressive heroine with the help of the fawning corporate media owned by the same oligarchs that own her, but her family's slush fund charity actually continues to accept money from a couple of Greece's (and the world's) richest oligarchs. They are shipping and steel magnate (and UBS banking official) Theodore Angelopoulis and his lovely wife Gianna, Greece's "ambassador at large." 

The Theodopoulis' Super-yacht Okto
Like Hillary, Gianna "evolved," once having served as a right-wing member of Parliament, but now purporting to be a born-again afficionada of the Syriza political establishment. Gianna had been hoping to host the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for its annual confab in Athens this spring, but the event was cancelled out of concern for Hillary's election chances.

These people are not stupid. They know they're flim-flam artists who need to hide their fraud during campaign season. They know full well that austerity is not a growth industry for anyone but the plutocrats.

Gianna recently ran a contest through the CGI for suffering Greek youth. Among the "entrepreneurial" winning entries were a website curating freebies for unemployed young people, and a scheme for delivering discarded restaurant food to the hungry. While apparently not espousing the idea that Greek oligarchs actually pay their back taxes out of their bloated offshore bank accounts, or that her family bail out Greek working people, Gianna has donated millions to the Clintons themselves. She has a website called, appropriately enough, My Greek Drama. (And not to be outdone is a site devoted to her hubby's yachts.)  Rumor has it that she would like to run for president of Greece someday, under a new Clinton-inspired party called the Democratic Party.

Go figure.


Jay–Ottawa said...

This is an old tactic, isn’t it. A “centrist” Democrat pivots left during the campaign to pick up the ever-hopeful lefties still in the party. In this case, just steal away enough supporters from Bernie Sanders and that robbery will eventually make him disappear. After the party nomination is secured, Hillary swings back to center-right, and then right some more, where she will pick up more than enough propaganda money to prevail in a few key swing states.

BTW, it’s so unfair of you Karen, to bring up Hillary’s old missteps into the neocon doo-doo. At that level of politics, one has to make compromises every day. You’re making her look like an opportunist while she’s working so hard to shake off her bona fides in support of war, globalization and austerity.

Greece may or may not be the Lehman Brothers of the Eurozone. If and when Greece folds, will the Euro crash like Wall Street 2008? Here’s an unusually well-informed interview of Yves Smith (Naked Capitalism) on Louisiana Public Radio. Aired yesterday and available here (h/t Valerie):

Pearl said...

Hillary Clinton Draws Scrappy Determination From a Tough, Combative Father

The apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Meredith NYC said...

Oh, this long campaign...we'll have to watch Hillary's pivots and switches for over a year, and wonder where she'll finally land. And how long she'll stay there after the election.

I commented to the op ed today re Fannie/Freddie and the mtg crisis:

Bill Clinton now says he went too far signing bills to increase our prison incarceration rates. Will he ever also admit he went too far signing repeal of laws separating risky investment banking from retail consumer banking? And Hillary isn’t calling for restoring Glass Steagall. That would be too radical, to restore laws that kept the US economy from serious recessions and crashes since the 1930s thru 2007. (radical instead of truly conservative, as Orwell might say).

I commented to Krugman's column about the EU Dream:

This column for economists has enough generalizations to almost sound like a Hillary Clinton campaign speech. Please tell us how EU’s fantasy economics specifically affects the middle and working class in the various advanced EU nations. Compare to US specifics.

In your blog you equated budget cutting in Germany with the US right wing. Quite a statement. Please compare/contrast. Has Germany’s parliament been non operational like our Repub congress? Starved their own govt and citizens of funding for public services, health care and education? Destroyed employee unions? Do they have a Fox News media monopoly to spread the party line?

Do the successful democracies sacrifice their own citizens’ living standards for the profit of the big banks? Aim to destroy their version of the New Deal and return to a Gilded Age? Say, pre Bismarck’s social security reforms?

Does their highest court bless corporations paying for their elections for the best return on investment? Or do they at least keep their bribery illegal, not legal?

How about Goldman Sachs, etc, extracting from both Greece and the US?. But that’s one of Hillary Clinton’s biggest sponsors, of course. Does Angela Merkel also hug bankers for the cameras?

See Robert Reich: “How Goldman Sachs Profited From the Greek Debt Crisis” July 16.
“The investment bank made millions by helping to hide the true extent of Greek debt, and in the process almost doubled it.”