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War of the Long Knives and Cheap Shots on Bernie Sanders – Alemahehu G. Mariam

It is the season for the Clintons to tar and feather Bernie Sanders.
Could their campaign of fear and smear against Bernie Sanders succeed?
I was shocked to see last week Chelsea Clinton rolled out in the role of attack dog against Sanders, the underdog.
They say all is fair in politics and war.
Sanders-Pix-1Chelsea Clinton said Bernie Sanders’ health care plan would “empower Republican governors to take away Medicaid, to take away health insurance for low-income and middle-income working Americans.”
Bill Clinton in so many words called Sanders delusional and out of touch. Sanders is “a hermetically sealed box. It’s very effective. The system is rigged against you by the big banks, and both parties are in the thrall of the big banks. Anybody who takes money from Goldman Sachs couldn’t possibly be president.”
Whoa! Bill!
Bernie Sanders is not the only one in America who thinks the people are getting the short end of the stick. According to a Pew survey, 62 percent of Americans think that the economic system unfairly favors the powerful, and 78 percent think that too much power is concentrated in too few companies. A whopping 69 percent of young conservative-leaning Americans and 48 percent of the most conservative voters agree that the system favors the powerful.
In 2008, Hillary called Obama a “divisive elitist” disconnected from reality. Hillary lost!
But talking about Goldman Sachs and all, the fact is that Hillary is the darling of Big Money, on or off Wall Street.
Here  is a sample of the accounts receivable for Hillary: Citigroup contributed Hillary Clinton $824,402 (I did not say paid.); Goldman Sachs $760,740; DLA Piper (whose clients include the most ruthless and bloodthirsty dictators in Africa including the thugtators in Ethiopia) gave $700,530, J.P. Morgan $696,456; Morgan Stanley $636,564,  to mention just a few. It is all on OpenSecrets.org.
To all Ethiopian American voters thinking about supporting Hillary Clinton, I want them to know DLA Piper butters Hillary’s bread (no pun intended).
My long time readers know DLA Piper and I go way back.
I stood up and challenged DLA Piper when DLA Piper stood with the thugs ruling Ethiopia today. That was in 2007. DLA Piper led the charge on the Hill (Congress) and defeated the “Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2007”.
It  was a fight between many Davids and one Goliath who won. Yes, one of those Davids is back to fight another day, in 2016.  I am going to do everything I can (which is next to nothing compared to Goliath) to make sure DLA Piper does not win again because if Hillary Clinton wins DLA Piper wins. If enough Ethiopian Americans and all Americans of good will join the Bernie Sander’s campaign, we can defeat not only the Goliath DLA Piper but also all of the Wall Street Goliaths. The people united can never be defeated.
The Clintons’ money trail does not end with DLA Piper.
Since 2001, the Clintons have snagged “at least $35 million by giving 164 speeches to financial services, real estate and insurance companies.”
Hillary now wants to convince voters she ain’t no friend of Wall Street, only the folks on main street.
Should a person be judged by the billionaire friends s/he keeps?
The Clintons never tire insulting our intelligence.
As a Democratic presidential frontrunner in 1992, Bill Clinton said, “When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two, and didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and I didn’t try it again.” (But did Bill exhale? Aah!)
In 1998, Bill Clinton said, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time, never.” Uh-huh!
He topped it off by telling the grand jury that “there’s nothing going on between us [Lewinsky]… It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”  Sounds like jiggery-pokery to me.
The Clintons obviously do not think the American people have much intelligence to to be able to discern lies and damned lies. I guess they take their cue from  the Sage of Baltimore H.L. Mencken who said, “No one went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”
Mama Bear, Papa Bear and Baby Bear piling on underdog Bernie Sanders. That just ain’t fair, if there is such a thing as “fair” in politics and war.
But that is not all.
The attack canines from the Clinton Canine Command Center (CCCC) have been on the prowl with a big growl.
They  demonize Sanders by calling him “socialist”, “communist” and a “radical.”
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon (D) said, “Here in the heartland, we like our politicians in the mainstream, and he [Sanders] is not — he’s a socialist.”
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) joined in claiming, “The Republicans won’t touch him because they can’t wait to run an ad with a hammer and sickle.”
David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s “super PAC” manager tried to paint Sanders as a candidate of “White people” based on ad that shows Sanders hanging out mostly with young Americans and ordinary folks. Brock said the ad presents a “bizarre” image of America focused on white voters and was a “significant slight to the Democratic base.”
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, a “rising” African American Democrat from New York was unleashed from the CCCC to join the cheap shot vilification parade: “Bernie Sanders as mayor, as a member of the House, as a member of the United States Senate, has been missing in action on issues that are important to the African Americans. There’s no credibility to the things that are being said at the twilight of his political career.”
But there is credibility in the historical verdict of a man who became a member of Congress in 2013?
According to the New York Times, establishment Democrats in New York City are actively  grooming Jeffries as a “formidable challenger” to New York City mayor Bill de Blasio.
If Jeffries want to become mayor, he has to do a hatchet job on Bernie Sanders. That’s politics. I understand it.
If the CCCC is trying to portray Sanders as anti-African American, I ain’t buying it.
When Sanders was a student at the University of Chicago back in the day, he was active in the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). He was arrested in 1962 protesting segregation in public schools in Chicago. In 1962, Sanders was out in the streets passing flyers documenting police brutality. He has stood up for civil and minority rights for over five decades.
Clintons Canines better not go there! Wuf! Wuf!
Sanders recently confessed before thousands of students at Liberty University that he is a follower of the teachings of someone much greater than any human: “I am motivated by a vision, […] so beautifully and clearly stated in Matthew 7:12, and it states, ‘So in everything, do to others what you would have them to do to you, for this sums up the war and the prophets.’ That is the golden rule.”
If being motivated by Matthew 7:12 makes one an evil “socialist”, “communist” or “radical”, then He who is spoken of in Matthew 7 is also “socialist”, “communist” or “radical”.
If Matthew 7:12 is good enough for Bernie Sanders, it is good enough for me!
Is Sanders walking around with a “hammer and sickle” or the cross?
The Clinton Canines are free to talk about Bernie Sanders and claim he will dismantle  Medicaid, Medicare and chop up Apple Pie and Old Glory.
Didn’t they vilify MLK, Jr. as rabble rouser and an agitator, a communist and a radical for speaking out against the Vietnam War, unemployment, the rights of union workers, rising inequality and stagnant wages, underfunded schools and broken-down slums, inadequate health care, constant violence and on and on?
Bernie Sanders is not MLK. He would be the first to admit that. But Bernie Sanders is a follower of MLK because he believes in and talks about and stands for the same exact things MLK believed in, talked about and stood for. That is good enough for me.
Well, let the Clintons do and say what they may.
I just want to say a word or two about what will happen if the FBI should find sufficient evidence to launch a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton or one of her top aides for mishandling classified information.
Already some Republican leaders are calling for a special prosecutor to be brought in and evaluate the situation. (Didn’t a special prosecutor investigate Bill Clinton concerning a whole bunch things?) How history could repeat itself?
There are reports alleging more than 1,500 classified emails, including 22 classified at the highest level,  were found on her personal server.
Hillary is dismissive as usual.  “I think the American people will know it’s an absurdity, and I have absolutely no concerns about it whatsoever.”
I don’t think it is an absurdity to violate the law with impunity.
Of course, Captain Edward Smith of the Titanic had absolutely no concern about the tip of the iceberg from a distance. “It kept getting larger as we were getting nearer it.” Capt. Smith ordered, “Close the emergency doors.” Came the answer, “The doors are already closed.” That’s how the Titanic went down.
Yesterday, a federal judge  “gave the Justice Department one day to explain why portions of the remaining 3,700 emails from Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state cannot be produced by Feb. 18.” The judge also demanded a “detailed explanation of how the roughly 7,000 pages of emails were overlooked and not sent for interagency consultation earlier.”
In July 2015, it was reported that two “inspectors general have asked the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation into whether Hillary Rodham Clinton mishandled sensitive government information on a private email account she used as Secretary of State.”
Other officials who have played fast and loose with classified information have learned a hard lesson. Sandy Berger and John Deutsch—who both served in high-level positions under President Bill Clinton, did not go to prison for mishandling TOP SECRET intelligence though Berger got probation and was fined $50,000.
I am not going to say whether Hillary Clinton has committed any crime. I believe in the bedrock principle of American justice that all are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
But in the court of American public opinion has Hillary Clinton committed a major lapse of judgement– enough to bring into serious question her fitness to become President of the United States– by keeping even a single document classified top secret on a private server?
As for me, I want my worldwide readership to know without any doubt whatsoever: Any friend of DLA Piper ain’t no friend of mine!


  1. It is sad! Alemayehu, you are one of the misleaders —- read the following from today’s Washington Post
    Surprise! Bernie Sanders has backers on Wall Street
    Meredith Burak is a third-generation Wall Street executive. At 32, she has worked in global wealth management for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch. She thinks Wall Street is one of the few places in the country where people can truly realize the American Dream.
    And she’s supporting Bernie Sanders for president of the United States.
    The same Bernie Sanders who said this about Burak’s industry: “The reality is that for the past 40 years, Wall Street and the billionaire class has rigged the rules to redistribute wealth and income to the wealthiest and most powerful people of this country.”
    Burak doesn’t take it personally. “Wall Street has been very good to my family,” she said. “It has enabled myself and my cousins and people around me to go to college.”
    But at the same time, Burak said, Wall Street needs tougher regulation and rules. “People on Wall Street want the game to be fair,” she said. “It is when people cheat that things get messed up for everyone. And to the extent that we can have rules and more enforcement to get people like [Ponzi schemer] Bernie Madoff out of the financial system, the better it is for the economy.”
    Burak said she left Merrill Lynch earlier this month and is traveling in Israel this week, focusing on charitable work on behalf of a cancer foundation in honor of her mother. But Burak said she’ll be using the skills she learned on Wall Street for the rest of her career. “I was raised not to talk about politics and money, and somehow I talk about both of them all day,” she said with a laugh.
    She’s not the only one.
    Sanders, unlike his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton or many of the Republican candidates, has received a relative pittance in campaign contributions from people in the securities and investment industry: just more than $55,000 in all of 2015, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
    And the vast majority of those financial professionals who have written checks to the Sanders campaign work in regional financial hubs across the country: in cities like Minneapolis, Pittsburgh or San Francisco.
    But scattered through the list of Sanders donors are a very small number of people who work in the heart of New York’s financial center, with offices on Wall Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan. They include people who are employed at some of the industry’s biggest names: JPMorgan (JPM), Citigroup (C), Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley (MS).
    It’s difficult to draw broad conclusions about what drives the political beliefs of such a small group, but their personal experiences may hold a clue. Two of the Sanders supporters on Wall Street work in wealth management — where their jobs necessarily include helping rich people get richer. One holds a position whose purpose appears to be minimizing taxes on hedge funds and alternative investments, based on his LinkedIn description. Some have personal connections to Sanders’ home state of Vermont.
    Working in an industry where rank-and-file employees and executives overwhelmingly support other candidates, it’s perhaps not surprising that the Sanders supporters on Wall Street are reluctant to speak publicly about their political views. “I appreciate your call and the story, but I would rather not participate,” said one when contacted by CNBC.
    One Sanders supporter explained that he grew up in Vermont, and has fond memories of Sanders campaigning across the state. “Bernie was such a fixture of Vermont politics for many years, so I sort of have a soft spot in my heart for him,” this supporter said. And although he contributed to the Sanders campaign, he added that he’s not committed to actually voting for Sanders. “I don’t know at the end of the day if I would vote for him,” he said. “I grew up wearing Bernie T-shirts my dad gave me.”
    Still, the supporter does not see any irony in Wall Street executives supporting a self-declared democratic socialist. “You’ve got Warren Buffett — one of the wealthiest people in the country — and he’s out there supporting raising taxes and the things that Bernie talks about,” he said.
    Meredith Burak said her family has known and supported Sanders since he first ran for mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1980 — before she was born. But she cites a more recent development — the financial crisis of 2008 — as driving her support for Sanders.
    “His issue is if you look at the financial crisis of 2008 and 2009, no one at the top has been brought to court or indicted,” she said. “Compare that to this whole generation of African-American and Latino kids who are put in the jail system for having a little bit of pot. There’s something wrong there. People need to be held accountable.”

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