Hillary Clinton twisted the knife in Progressives’ backs when she appointed Ken Salazar as Head of her Transitions team, which is an important appointment, albeit an underrated one. Salazar must suggest candidates for Clinton to appoint to powerful positions of federal agencies, which are routinely criticized for lack of accountability.
There are hundreds of positions that Salazar could influence. Salazar as the Head of Transitions team is disastrous for personal liberty, the climate, and working people because as Former Colorado Senator, Obama’s head of Interior, and present Partner at WilmerHale, Salazar has demonstrated support for fracking, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), and the Keystone XL pipeline.
Transition teams suggest potential cabinet secretaries and administrative agency positions and smooth the new president’s transition into the White House. Progressives were understandably upset by Clinton’s vice president choice, Tim Kaine. For a presidential candidate so whiney about party unity during the Democratic National Convention, her policies and appointments sure don’t indicate a genuine interest in collaborating with Progressives.
Salazar’s position as the Head of Clinton’s “Transition” team is misleading. The very definition of transition means change. Change is not what Salazar has to offer. He brings continuity – in the best case scenario – and that’s exactly why Clinton chose him.
Politicians (like Clinton) and lobbyists(Like Salazar) inside the “Washington bubble” benefit from America’s (broken)system. What incentive do they have to change the system to work for all Americans, including the 90% at the bottom?
Salazar’s work for WilmerHale is Disastrous for the Middle Class because his job is to protect large corporations — and those interests direcly contradict Middle Class values.
Salazar is partner (lawyer) for WilmerHale, which is a colossal lobbying group.
You can check out the comprehensive WilmerHale client list here. The most (disturbingly) notable clients are: At&t, Boeing, Monsanto, Pfizer, Millennium Pharmaceuticals, and huge banks: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Credit Suisse.
Cigna, a health insurance provider, is a client unlisted on the site. Cigna seeks to merge with Anthem.
Under WilmerHale’s Guiding Principles, it reads:
We operate much like our clients, using fresh and inventive approaches and benefiting from the collaborative strength of multi-disciplinary teams. Many of our lawyers have degrees and first-hand experience in business and government. Innovation has always been a key element in achieving and sustaining our progress. Staying ahead means not only participating, but more importantly, playing a leading role in shaping change. Over the years, our firm has used innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to effect significant change in the practice of law and the conduct of business.
This is the coded language of corruption. The quote demonstrates WilmerHale’s crony capitalist agenda by describing how it seeks to shape/create laws to benefit itself by benefitting its clients, which are huge profit-driven corporations. Lobbyists, like those that work for WilmerHale, write laws that govern the very corporations that sign their paycheck.
This is as preposterous as Barney Frank, banker and co-writer of the Dodd-Frank Act, co-authoring the legislation purportedly designed to “regulate” Wall Street and big banks after the crash in 2008. Dodd-Frank is little more than watered down lip service to faux bank regulation. Frank profited from the greed and recklessness that lead to the 2008 crash. Then, he was asked to write the law regulating the very banks that made him richer. That’s like asking a convicted murderer to write the laws dictating murderers’ prison sentences: it’s preposterous. Dodd-Frank was purportedly designed to prevent banks from engaging in the same risky and fraudulent behavior that lead to the economic downturn. Frank has no incentive to regulate the system responsible for his massive wealth.
More on banks later…
WilmerHale also represents huge corporations belonging to one of the most perverse and corrupt privatized systems in the U.S.: Healthcare. Privatized healthcare doesn’t care about people; it care about profits. WilmerHale represents pharmaceuticals and insurance companies, which are problematic in distinct ways.
- Private health insurance agencies, like Cigna and Anthem, are corporations that make money by denying healthcare coverage to those it insures. That’s how the system works. Clients pay monthly/yearly premiums in return for a lower copay and coverage of the U.S.’s exorbitant medical costs and procedures. Private healthcare is a business and the goal is to make maximum profits. Therefore, the more medical coverage its clients are denied – the more money to be made. Moreover, WilmerHale lobbies for laws legalizing coverage denial to as many people as possible because WilmerHale has a fiduciary responsibility to ensure maximum profits for its insurance-provider clients, like Cigna. This is a clear case of crony capitalism and profit over people.
- Pharmaceutical companies (A.K.A. Big Pharma), like Pfizer and Millennium Pharmaceuticals, produce medicine. The problem here is three-fold: 1) cost; 2) cures disincentivized; and 3) addiction.
- Cost: Big Pharma makes more money by charging higher prices. The Epi-Pen, for example, is now 400x more expensive than it was in the past. This is arguably a life saving medical instrument and it’s unaffordable(if out-of-pocket) for most Americans. Pharmaceutical prices have risen substantially over the past few years. This is life or death because people die when they cannot take necessary medication.
- Cures Disincentivized: When a patient can stay alive by taking medication everyday, there is no economic incentive for Pharmaceutical companies to explore new drugs to cure illnesses. Pharmaceutical companies are large corporations concerned with maximizing profit. It’s not moral or immoral: it’s amoral because corporations only exist to make maximum profits.
- Addiction: Because Pharmaceutical companies want to maximize profits, often times doctors are persuaded to giving, or prescribing, medicines like highly addictive painkillers (e.g. oxycodon) to their patients, who then become addicted. Prescriptions for addictive drugs have skyrocketed. There is a heroin epidemic in the U.S. and doctors are still prescribing these highly addictive drugs like candies.
No civilized society should privatize the healthcare system because corporations, by their very nature, are profit-driven and profit-driven insurance companies and drug companies are uninterested in keeping humans healthy. The sick and the chronically underinsured translate into billions and possibly trillions of dollars in profits. The human cost is devastating. The same can be said of the private prison industry but that’s a can of worms that can be opened at another time.
Capitalism isnt the enemy of the state: crony capitalism is.
Moderately regulated capitalism works in industries like mattress manufacturing. Healthcare must remain largely in the public sector.
AT&T & Verizon
WilmerHale represents AT&T and Verizon Wireless, the behemoths of the wireless industry. In 2008, for the first time in American History, Congress supervened in pending lawsuits against the companies to grant the telecoms blanket immunity. AT&T and Verizon were losing in a massive court battle. The companies were sued for illegal and unconstitutional wiretaps that wildly violated the Fourth Amendment and was initiated under the Bush Administration.
In other words, lobbyists convinced Congress to pass a law protecting AT&T and Verizon after the companies were sued. The telecoms collected data from their paying clients and handed it over to the government without being presented a warrant. So, AT&T and Verizon customers were paying for telecommunication services and unknowingly had their privacy (and other) rights violated because lobbyist like WilmerHale convinced Congress intervene in a pending lawsuit, which effectively denied justice.
The connection? WilmerHale, the lobbying group Salazar is a Partner at, represents and lobbies for both AT&T and Verizon, which continue to violate constitutional rights. As Salazar’s additional position as Head of Transitions team, you can count on Salazar recommending that Hillary appoint administrators that will continue the lawlessness.
Besides Hillary’s appointment of Salazar, this is one of the most illustrative examples of the proverbial “revolving door” that corrupts American politics where lawlessness grants justice to the rich and powerful while the powerless are exploited. Only to then reward the lawbreaker a high paying job later.
Besides the fact that Boeing is one of the largest defense manufacturers and war profiteers-ers in the world, Boeing has special ties to the Clinton foundation.
Judicialwatch.org reported that Boeing received a $7 Billion dollar aircraft deal with Russia after Clinton persuaded the country to buy aircraft from Boeing. Two months after the Russian aircraft deal was made, Boeing made a $900,000 contribution to the Clinton Foundation. Some estimates claim the Clinton Foundation recieved $2 million dollars in donations. What an investment for Boeing! It invested $2 million dollars for a return of a $7 Billion dollar contract.
WilmerHale represents Boeing, a company not only steeped in corruption but also in profiteering off war. Remember, Boeing is one of the largest weapons manufacturer in the world. The products Boeing make are used in war. Therefore, Boeing has an interest in continued war. WilmerHale’s job is to ensure Boeing makes money and therefore it will continue to lobby for laws against peace, and for continued war. Therefore, Salazar will suggest Clinton appoint people who believe in continued profits for Boeing and thus never-ending war.
This week we saw the human cost of war. Remember, when you vote for Hillary and her team filled with crony capitalists, like Salazar, you get continuity. You get this:
In a moment of honest reporting, CNN had this to say about Omran, the little boy from Aleppo, Syria:
Roughly 20 countries have banned at least 1 form of Monsanto’s products. Monsanto produces genetically modified crops and harmful pesticides that have been linked to microcephaly(the same birth defect caused by the Zika virus caused by some mosquito bites). The pesticides have also been linked to cancer. Often times, chemicals from the pesticides contaminate water supplies. Communities using the water suffer higher rates of birth defects and cancer.
Proponents of using genetically modified organisms or foods (GMOs) argue that they can be used for alleviating world hunger and growing food in a barren climate.
However, proponents of Monsanto products fail to recognize different methods to combat hunger. Lifting families out of poverty by creating jobs is a solution. “Going green” saves the climate and prevents barren-climate farming.
Proponents of GMO crops are unbelievably naive. We have enough food to go around and are constantly throwing out food that could be given to the needy and hungry. In fact, France recently enacted a law that requires foods not sold by the date on the label must donate the food to shelters or other charitable organizations that combat hunger.
Let’s be honest with ourselves here. Hunger is a problem right here in America. Instead of enacting laws to help the hungry, states and municipalities have enacted anti-homeless laws prohibiting feeding the homeless. The U.S. criminalizes homelessness and poverty, which goes hand-in-hand with hunger. Proponents of GMOs must be delusional to think Monsanto would actually help with hunger when our own lawmakers are not even up to the task. We’re talking ability versus willingness.
Monsanto is a huge corporation and seeks to maximize profits. It maximizes profits by selling GMOs and pesticides to small farmers, who are then unable to use other seeds on their lands. It is also known for putting small farmers out of work through litigation. This prevents small organic farms from producing more nutritious and safe food for consumers. It creates a monopoly on farm food.
Chris Parker wrote an exceptional piece in the Miami New Times titled “How Monsanto Is Terrifying the Farm World.”
WilmerHale represents Monsanto. Salazar will recommend Clinton appoint pro GMO and pro Monsanto employees to her administration.
For example, Justice Clarence Thomas was previously in-house counsel for Monsanto. Thomas ruled favorably for pro-GMO and Monsanto litigants in every case remotely connected to Monsanto and the effects have been disastrous. Unsafe drinking water is one example of an ill-effect caused by Monsanto’s products.
Banks: GoldmanSachs, JP Morgan Chase, City Group, Morgan Stanley
WilmerHale represents all the big banks that caused the 2008 crash. Remember, that the risky investing that caused the crash was made possible by then-president, Bill Clinton. He signed the Graham-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 that repealed Glass-Steagall, which was part of the 1933 Banking Act.
The Great Depression was caused by the 1929 crash. The 1933 Banking Act contained Glass-Steagall, which prohibited the very same risky investments that caused 2008 crash. Bill Clinton repealed it. Again, he repealed it. Bill Clinton made millions last year from bank speaking fees alone. These are the banks he essentially allowed to ruin the economy. Jobs were lost, families were destroyed, and poverty skyrocketed.
Hillary Clinton has also received enormous speaking fees from Goldmansachs. Clinton will continue to help big banks profit off the working class. Her cabinet, and especially Salazar who works for WilliamHale, which writes laws on behalf of big banks, will also continue to help big banks destroy the American Dream.
This is the death of the “American Dream.” It doesn’t exist anymore. Wages are too low and living expenses are too high. The Middle class has nearly been taxed out of existence. Working Americans are working more hours for lower wages.
Remember Obama bailed the banks out as soon as he got into office. Clinton and Salazar ensure continuity.
WilmerHale represents the crooks that lied, cheated, and stole their way into billions of tax-payer money. Money that could have been used for jobs programs, education, and healthcare. Instead, WilmerHale lobbyists work for crooks to continue to hurt the middle class. Salazar will suggest pro-big bank appointees to Clitnon.
This bank deserved its very own section. It recently plead guilty to tax evasion and was fined $2.6 billion dollars. Notice that not one banker went to prison. Not one. The poor go to prison for tax evasion. Banks and corporations might get slapped with a fine but it amounts to no more than a slap on the wrist because the payout for breaking the law is worth the $2.6 billion dollar fine.
WilmerHale represents Credit Suisse. He has no interest in regulating a bank guilty of tax evasion.
This is significant because huge banks like Credit Suisse, which help high-profile clients evade taxes, shift the tax burden on to the taxpayer already buried in taxes and struggling to survive with the increased cost of living and stagnant wages.
Salazar’s job is to act in the best interest of WilmerHale’s clients. This essentially means that he must do whatever he can to make his clients money. A conflict of interest arises as Clinton’s Head of Transition team because he will be appointing secretaries and administrators that help to enforce and make policies that average Americans must follow.
These policies are also detrimental to average Americans because continuity entails more constitutional rights violations, more of their sons and daughters sent off to fight unnecessary unwinnable wars, unsafe food and water, and exploitation of their low-wage labor.
The Head of the Transitions team matters because Clinton’s appointments matter. Salazar won’t be recommending Progressives that care about issues that affect the middle and lower classes — he’ll be reccomending climate-destroying pro-fracking pro-Keystone XL pipeline, pro-war, pro-big bank, pro- big pharma, pro-low wage TPP-supporters, and pro-crony capitalists like Clinton and himself.
Ken Salazar is the prime example of crony capitalism. Writing the laws to be governed by is how profit-driven corporations rig the system. Smaller businesses can’t compete and Rule of law becomes inconsequential – a farce, if you will. Credit Suisse committed tax evasion and yet it’s still allowed to operate and it’s clients benefitting from tax evasion are still unnamed and un-charged.
Everything about Salazar oozes corruption.
This is what modern-day oligarchy looks like. Get used to it because Clinton represents continuity. She doesn’t give a damn about progress.
Those that will vote for Clinton in November vote from a place of privilege. To them, continutity hasn’t robbed them of their opportunities yet. They say that we can handle 4-8 more years of the same suffering before we can get a real Progressive in office. Maybe THEY can wait. Most of us, however, don’t have that privilege. Continiuty of a failing system hasn’t caught up to them yet. For the rest of us, Clinton is detrimental because we have no more time to work, no other employers to offer a living wage, and no sufficient safety net or healthcare system.
I thought Hillary was a Progressive that got things done. The only thing she’s getting done is making good on her promises to other cronies.