NO ONE WAS MORE QUALIFIED.
As the Clinton's ran for President from a position of Governor of Arkansas with Hollywood making them cool---the Clinton's were all about BIG AG/Monsanto and BIG MEAT---global food to Bush's global oil. Global food drained US aquifers/fresh water dry, pushed small farmers to being contract workers--but made a few people really rich. Bill and Hillary spent their terms in office selling Monsanto globally often by force in trade agreements. They are behind protecting US BIG MEAT with all the hormones, antibiotics, and lots of exploited immigrant labor ---you know----Republican stuff---anything for profit. All of this was super-sized during the Clinton's terms.
This means that all of the food protections from the progressive era of FDR were killed-----food quality in the US is now as bad as the developed nations and made dangerous to people's health---more sectors of small businesses killed-----and the environment severely damaged. This consolidation of food suppliers is what makes food prices soar with no competition.
THAT'S A CLINTON NEO-LIBERAL FOR YOU. DON'T VOTE REPUBLICAN BECAUSE ALL OF THIS IS REPUBLICAN POLICY.
This is a long article but please take time to glance through to the next-----it shows complete disregard to public interest and that profit-at-all-cost anyway you can attitude of neo-liberals.
On Hillary and Bill Clinton and Monsanto
by Forwarded article by Linn Cohen-Cole Wednesday, Mar. 12, 2008 at 9:23 PM
RE: Open Letter to Hillary Clinton From a Wellesley College Alumna, by Linn Cohen-Cole. Thought you all might be interested in reading this open letter to Hillary Clinton, by Linn Cohen-Cole, on the Clinton's ties to Monsanto, promotion of genetically engineered crops and rBGH, recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone.
Open Letter to Hillary Clinton From a Wellesley College Alumna
February 19, 2008
by Linn Cohen-Cole
By polling logic, I should be your supporter - Democrat, older woman, white, liberal. I was even in a dorm with you in college. I have pulled for you for years. But something this past summer fundamentally changed my responsibility to my children and grandchildren. In the time I have left in my life to protect them and others, I need to speak out.
I saw a News Hour piece on Maharastra, India, about farmers committing suicide [see here and here]. Monsanto, a US agricultural giant, hired Bollywood actors for ads telling illiterate farmers they could get rich (by their standards) from big yields with Monsanto’s Bt (genetically engineered) cotton seeds. The expensive seeds needed expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto, again) and irrigation. There is no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had larger debt than they’d ever experienced.
And farmers couldn’t collect seeds from their own fields [see here and here] to try again (true since time immemorial). Monsanto “patents” their DNA-altered seeds as “intellectual property.” They have a $10 million budget and a staff of 75 devoted solely to prosecuting farmers [here]. Since the late 1990s (about when industrial agriculture took hold in India), 166,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide and 8 million have left the land.
Farmers in Europe, Asia, Africa, Indonesia,South America, Central America and here, have protested Monsanto and genetic engineering for years.
What does this have to do with you?
You have connections to Monsanto through the Rose Law Firm where you worked and through Bill who hired Monsanto people for central food-related roles. Your Orwellian-named “Rural Americans for Hillary” was planned withTroutman Sanders, Monsanto’s lobbyists.
Genetic engineering and industrialized food and animal production all come together at the Rose Law Firm, which represents the world’s largest GE corporation (Monsanto), GE’s most controversial project (DP&L’s - now Monsanto’s - terminator genes) [here], the world’s largest meat producer (Tyson), the world’s largest retailer and a dominant food retailer (Wal-Mart) [here].
The inbred-ness of Rose’s legal representation of corporations which own controlling interests in other corporations there and of corporate boards sharing members who are also shareholders of each other’s corporations there, is so thorough that it is hard to capture. Jon Jacoby, senior executive of the Stephens Group - one of the largest institutional shareholders of Tyson Foods, Walmart, DP&L - is also Chairman of the Board of DP&L and arranged the Wal-Mart deal. Jackson Stephens’ Stephens Group staked Sam Walton and financed Tyson Foods. Monsanto bought DP&L. All represented at Rose.
You didn’t just work there, you made friends. That shows in the flow of favors then and since. You were invited onto Walmart’s board, you were helped by a Tyson executive to make commodity trades (3 days before Bill became governor), netting you $100,000, Jackson Stephens strongly backed Bill for Governor, and then for President (donating $100,000).
Food and friends, in Clinton terms: Bill’s appointed friend Mike Espy, Secretary of Agriculture, who immediately significantly weakened federal chicken waste and contamination standards, opening the door to major expansion of Tyson’s chicken factory farms. Espy resigned, indicted for accepting bribes, illegal contributions, money laundering, illegal dispersal of USDA subsidies, …. Tyson Foods was the largest corporate offender.
But what Bill did for Monsanto “genetic engineering” goes beyond inadequate concepts of giving corporate friends influence: He unleashed genetic engineering into the world. And then he helped close off people’s escape from it.
Genetic engineering is many orders of magnitude different from “normal” (even polluting) business in its potential biologic ramifications. The warning myth of Pandora’a Box - letting irretrievable things rush out into nature - has become real. The harrowing change to the world from nuclear fission and fusion is the closest parallel.
What did Bill do?
1. Bill’s put Monsanto people in at the FDA, as US Agricultural Trade Representatives, on International Biotechnology Consultive Forums, and more … (
2. Bill’s FDA gave Monsanto permission to market rBGH (a GE bovine growth hormone), the first genetically engineered product let loose on us (or did tomatoes with fish DNA get there first?).
3. Despite reports of bovine illness and death, Bill’s FDA did not recall it or put warnings on it. Even “a very angry, very vocal nationwide consumer base” had no impact.
4. Bill’s FDA wouldn’t even label rBGH as “present” in milk.
5. When dairy farmers tried to label their own milk rBGH-free so the public could choose [more on rBGH and labelling here], Bill’s USDA threatened all dairies that their products could be confiscated from stores. Michael Taylor, USFDA Deputy Commissioner, was formerly Monsanto’s counsel.
6. How were consumers to protect their family, given Bill’s FDA enforced public blindness, except to buy only organic? But Bill’s FDA tried to close off that last escape, proposing to include in “organic” standards, “the dirty three” a: genetic engineering of plants and animals, use of irradiation in food processing and use of municipal sewage sludge as a fertilizer. The FDA backed down.
Had this gone through, Monsanto could have finally labeled rBGH milk … as “organic.” And animal waste from factory farms, a pollution nightmare for Tyson and others, could have been sold as fertilizer.
USDA head Dan Glickman: “This is probably the largest public response to an [Agriculture Department] rule in modern history.” In fact the response was 20 times greater than anything ever before proposed by the USDA.
Personally, I resent years of effort to protect my children and now grandchildren, from that crap.
Politically, Bill sided against small farmers and against the public’s right to know, and with Monsanto.
A snap shot of our food:
Oils: Sheep died in India after feeding on Bt cotton fields. We feed our children Bt cotton, as cottonseed oil in peanut butter and cookies.
Grains: 49% of US corn acreage was planted in Bt corn in 2007. A French study proved Monsanto’s GMO corn causes kidney and liver toxicity.
Soft drinks and candy have highly concentrated Bt corn, in the form of high fructose Bt corn syrup. The US food system depends most on two crops, soy (90% GMO, 90% of traits owned by Monsanto) and corn, the largest crop (60% GMO, nearly 100% Monsanto traits). “[E] ssentially our entire food supply is genetically modified, to the benefit of one company.” The Grocery Manufacturers of America in 2000 estimated that 70 percent of US food contains GM traits.
Meat: Steroids bulk up atheletes. Monsanto steroids bulk up animals - more weight, more profit. We feed our children steroids in meats. Is this why our children are fattening, like Hansel and Gretel?
Poultry: Bill’s USDA weakened chicken waste and contamination standards and attempted to allow sewage sludge as fertilize crops. I will say more about disease from industrialized poultry farms waste, at the end of this letter.
Milk: Over 30 scientific publications have shown increased levels of IGF-1 in milk with rBGH increases risks of breast cancer by up to seven-fold, also increasing colon and prostate cancers risks. Canada, 29 European nations, Norway, Switzerland, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, and South Africa ban U.S. rBGH dairy products. Bill’s USFDA put no restrictions, no warning labels (not allowing labels at all).
American children eat that food and drink that milk, Hillary. Coincidentally, American children are increasingly fat and sick.
Here, Bill ignored pleas for labeling. Abroad, Bill ignored intense international objections over the same issue - unlabeled US food exports - badly straining trading relations. Monsanto’s “good ole boy,” he betrayed American families at the deepest levels conceivable - their family’s health and their democratic right to know. He betrayed our rural life and American family farmers - backing corporation deceit and control, over honesty and clean farming.
But, Hillary, it is one thing to not label a regular ‘ole food product to sell it, and quite another to sell a suspected-dangerous food product (rBGH), but Bill’s administration didn’t label (or stop) a well-known, terrifying threat - Mad Cow Disease.
Bill’s FDA’s August, 1997 regulation permitted “known TSE-positive [Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy] material to be used in pet food, pig, chicken and fish feed,” only requiring the label to read “Do not feed to cattle and other ruminants” in the US.
Monsanto added to the problem. “There is evidence that rbST use [Monsanto’s GE bovine growth hormone] reduces the useful lifespan of a dairy cow. … Given that the incubation period for BSE is at least three to five years and perhaps longer, rbST-treated cows could harbor “hidden” BSE. That is, they might be infected but still asymptomatic when sent to slaughter.” http://www.consumersunion.org/food/bgh-codex.htm
Bill let TSE into our entire food chain. And who owned the feed and slaughter and genetic engineering corporations which benefitted?
Please, tell me, Hillary, what he could possibly have gotten in friendship or favors, that could ever justify his exposing millions of people to this?
With genetic engineering itself, Bill did something to the whole world, which tried to object. Words are inadequate to express how astoundingly immoral, beyond human bounds and conceit and power, that was.
“Even for the biggest “winners,” it is like winning at poker on the Titanic.” Jerry Mander: Facing the Rising Tide
He had no right
Do you hear that?
Bill had sex from Monica Lewinsky. That’s “dinky immoral.” That’s chicken feed immoral - excuse the Tyson pun, excuse the TSE-laced pun. Bill let genetic engineering lose on NATURE itself.
Our way of life is likely to be more fundamentally transformed in the next several decades than in the previous one thousand years…Tens of thousands of novel transgenic bacteria, viruses, plants and animals could be released into the Earth’s ecosystems…Some of those releases, however, could wreak havoc with the planet’s biospheres. — Jeremy Rifkin, Biotech Century
Bill did this to us, like it was some nothing and he, some big dumb ass Southern boy, just smiling and getting in good with the Big Boys, thinking about as much about the consequences of something this immense and about us human beings out here, as he thought about you, when he was unfaithful with Monica. Just one big fool getting off on the power and used to getting away with things.
Terminator genes, developed by DP&L, a Rose Firm client, prevent seeds from “working” after only one season. Farmers “must” repurchase (patents and suing not certain enough control, it seems). Those “killing” genes pose the apocalyptic risk of breaking out into nature. Natural seeds could fail, too. Nature could fail.
GMO fields are already contaminating normal species Berkeley Professor of Microbiology, Ignacio Chapela, wrote an open letter, warning the Mexican government about just this breaking out phenomenon happening in maize
And it has already happened with weeds - pesticide resistant GMO seeds break lose and weeds become pesticide-resistant Superweeds. [here]
But Bill’s USDA spokesman, Willard Phelps said the USDA wanted the technology to be `widely licensed and made expeditiously available to many seed companies.’
Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one that feeds more people with better food. Nothing could be further from the truth. With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to increase sales of chemicals and bio-engineered products to dependent farmers. — David Ehrenfield: Professor of Biology, Rutgers University [also see previous link]
Hillary, one third of the world’s bee colonies have collapsed [here]. Gone. Farmers in India are killing themselves. Farmers and bees. Since organic farmers in India are fine and organic farmers report no colony collapse [here], what does these farming catatrophes say about “industrial agriculture” [here]
Mad Cow Disease is another direct result of industrial agriculture. And now ……. transnational poultry factories are implicated as the source of bird flu [here]. Small scale poultry farms and wild birds seem not to be the problem [just as small farmers are not the issue in Mad Cow Disease], and yet “initiatives are multiplying to ban outdoor poultry, squeeze out small producers and restock farms with genetically modified chickens. … http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2006/2006-02-27-01.asp “Of the few outbreaks that did occur in [Laos], more than 90% broke out in commercial poultryoperations, not free-ranging flocks.”
Monsanto (and others) is currently working with the USDA to force small farmers to tag every animal with a global tracking device (NAIS - National Animal Identification System). Allegedly related to food safety, Monsanto and others would be creating a vast corporate digital library on every move of small farmers’ livestock.
But small farmers do not create the contaminated environments, do not supply the feed, do not grind up diseased animals into feed (how Mad Cow began) and then sell it. In fact, their farming methods, free range and small scale, are significantly healthier and safer for animals and food than the massive concentration of animals by corporate industrial agriculture.
Monsanto is also aggressively pushing for state laws to limit farmers’ right to choose what to plant and the public’s right to exclude GE plants from their communities.
Cattle bloated by steroids, lapse and loss of 10,000 year old normal seeds [here], immense pollution from factory farms [here], deadly-disease-ridden feed, world-wide bee colony collapse, poisoned soil and depleted water supplies, Superweeds, lawsuits against farmers, loss of family farms, and … India farmers killing themselves in what may be the largest mass suicide in recorded human history (on average … one farmer suicide every 30 minutes since 2002 - The Hindu 1.30.08) - that is industrial agriculture.
Monsanto and Tyson are two of the largest industrial agricultural corporations in the world. Industrial agriculture is represented by your Rose Law Firm.
Your claim to care about food safety is terrifying double-speak given what Bill did and who you take donations from. Your idea of a Department of Food Safety would centralize control of food - in whose corporate connected hands? You talk tough about labeling food - ah, but “foreign” food - a sleight of hand tricking a public desperate for safe US food. You talk about food safety but Bill degraded food in every imaginable way and prevented minimally sane labeling.
I am a person before I am a woman. Your gender means nothing. It is a media distraction. Your policies on health and food and women and children, are meaningless in the face of connections that have threatened those groups profoundly, connections you have never denounced.
Monsanto uses child labor in India, primarily very young girls, exposing them to a lethal pesticide 13-14 hours a day, for pennies in pay. But you take donations from their lobbyists. You say you care about black people but as the poorest people in this country, they are least able to buy organic and are forced to eat the contaminated foods Bill let into our food system. The National Black Farmers Association has a boycott out on all Monsanto products.
Do you eat organic?
So, who are you with, hapless black consumers and black farmers, or Monsanto? Mothers left to give their children rBGH milk, or Monsanto? Women exposed to 7 times greater risk of breast cancer, or Monsanto? Desperate farmers in India and young children forced into child labor in cottonseed factories there, or Monsanto? Animals suffering [here] from lives in filthy cages and disgusting feedlots, shot up with steroids and hormones and antibiotics, or Monsanto? Our children who eat candy with high fructose Bt corn syrup associated with kidney and liver toxicity, or Monsanto?
Edwards was right about your corporate connections. I just didn’t understand until I saw that PBS show and read about Monsanto, how personally affected my children and grandchildren, and all people around the world, have been.
I will not vote for you. I will vote for someone who will commit themselves to work on behalf of small farmers and real food and decent treatment of animals and to end this industrialized agricultural nightmare that is taking us off a cliff.
Linn Cohen-Cole, Atlanta
Disclaimer: I am not a scientist. I have read for months on this subject, and am including only a tiny portion of the horrifying things I have learned. I am expressing my opinion as person and may be wrong. Perhaps things are swell out there and rBGH is fabulous and TSE-laced feed is great, and genetic engineering is the best thing since manna. But I am scared for my family and I have not only a right to say so but an obligation to do so. I am angry that Monsanto was allowed the influence it had and has done the things it definitely seems to have. I am disgusted by industrialization of every tender and beautiful part of our world and hope, for all our children’s sake, we are not too late to pull back.
© 2001-2009 Pittsburgh Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not endorsed by the Pittsburgh Independent Media Center.
Hillary did not stop there-------the Clinton's are large holders of Monsanto stock for all their work and just recently made their partnership with Bush/Cheney neo-conservatives official by merging Monsanto with Blackwater -----to give the world militarized food. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State under Obama worked with Obama in super-sizing the privatization of US military creating new laws that made foreign nationals fall under the heading of US military. Today, over 70% of America's military is private global corporate contractors with troops that report to corporations and not to the American people. They work for the global corporate tribunal. Hillary and Bill think this is a good idea given a global corporate tribunal rule and control of all energy and food sources in the US and around the world might make people angry....
All of this is why Bill and Hillary broke Glass Steagall and deregulated the financial industry-----they wanted Wall Street to not only expand overseas but keep the monopoly on the financial markets in the US.
COULD THERE BE ANYONE MORE OF A SOCIOPATH THEN BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON?
We know Republicans are wealth and profit politics but the Democratic Platform protects labor and justice and it takes lying, cheating, and stealing to kill the people's ability to access the political system. While global pols are pretending that gun control in the US is the problem-----we are watching them build a foreign standing military controlling food and energy.
Below you see where Hillary is after having pushed for this merger.
Monday, July 1st, 2013
Monday, July 1st, 2013
Did Monsanto Actually Buy the BLACKWATER Mercenary Group?[View an update/correction on this article from the EF! Newswire]
Cross Posted from Political Blindspot
A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (later called Xe Services and more recently “Academi”) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.
Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.
One of them, Cofer Black, known for his brutality as one of the directors of the CIA, was the one who made contact with Monsanto in 2008 as director of Total Intelligence, entering into the contract with the company to spy on and infiltrate organizations of animal rights activists, anti-GM and other dirty activities of the biotech giant.
Contacted by Scahill, the Monsanto executive Kevin Wilson declined to comment, but later confirmed to The Nation that they had hired Total Intelligence in 2008 and 2009, according to Monsanto only to keep track of “public disclosure” of its opponents. He also said that Total Intelligence was a “totally separate entity from Blackwater.”
However, Scahill has copies of emails from Cofer Black after the meeting with Wilson for Monsanto, where he explains to other former CIA agents, using their Blackwater e-mails, that the discussion with Wilson was that Total Intelligence had become “Monsanto’s intelligence arm,” spying on activists and other actions, including “our people to legally integrate these groups.” Total Intelligence Monsanto paid $ 127,000 in 2008 and $ 105,000 in 2009.
No wonder that a company engaged in the “science of death” as Monsanto, which has been dedicated from the outset to produce toxic poisons spilling from Agent Orange to PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), pesticides, hormones and genetically modified seeds, is associated with another company of thugs.
Almost simultaneously with the publication of this article in The Nation, the Via Campesina reported the purchase of 500,000 shares of Monsanto, for more than $23 million by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which with this action completed the outing of the mask of “philanthropy.” Another association that is not surprising.
It is a marriage between the two most brutal monopolies in the history of industrialism: Bill Gates controls more than 90 percent of the market share of proprietary computing and Monsanto about 90 percent of the global transgenic seed market and most global commercial seed. There does not exist in any other industrial sector monopolies so vast, whose very existence is a negation of the vaunted principle of “market competition” of capitalism. Both Gates and Monsanto are very aggressive in defending their ill-gotten monopolies.
Although Bill Gates might try to say that the Foundation is not linked to his business, all it proves is the opposite: most of their donations end up favoring the commercial investments of the tycoon, not really “donating” anything, but instead of paying taxes to the state coffers, he invests his profits in where it is favorable to him economically, including propaganda from their supposed good intentions. On the contrary, their “donations” finance projects as destructive as geoengineering or replacement of natural community medicines for high-tech patented medicines in the poorest areas of the world. What a coincidence, former Secretary of Health Julio Frenk and Ernesto Zedillo are advisers of the Foundation.
Like Monsanto, Gates is also engaged in trying to destroy rural farming worldwide, mainly through the “Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa” (AGRA). It works as a Trojan horse to deprive poor African farmers of their traditional seeds, replacing them with the seeds of their companies first, finally by genetically modified (GM). To this end, the Foundation hired Robert Horsch in 2006, the director of Monsanto. Now Gates, airing major profits, went straight to the source.
Blackwater, Monsanto and Gates are three sides of the same figure: the war machine on the planet and most people who inhabit it, are peasants, indigenous communities, people who want to share information and knowledge or any other who does not want to be in the aegis of profit and the destructiveness of capitalism.
For those that did not know-----Hillary was working on deregulating and consolidating America's health care with the mirror image of Bill's deregulation and consolidation of the financial industry----in both cases the goal was to remove all constraints on these industries----free market-----and create the conditions for both industries to go global. US Constitutional laws of monopoly and anti-trust were ignored and health regulations in place to protect the public were to end. Think BIG AG and BIG MEAT to see the pattern of not going a hoot about human welfare -----only maximizing wealth.
Today's ObamaCare is basically HillaryCare----the same goals of deregulation and consolidation and an ending of yet more progressive social programs---this time Medicare and Medicaid. When a neo-liberal calls a policy Universal Health Care they mean----we are going to send everyone to a preventative clinic care on par with third world nations----wellness/preventative is what corporations are asked to provide shedding the best in the world health care benefits.
What baby boomers remember about the 1990s and this HillaryCare is the first open use of behind closed door policy discussions by our Congress. This was not simply a meeting or two-----Hillary felt she could take a 1,000 or more pages of policy and negotiate behind closed doors without any public knowledge of what was coming out----
SOUND FAMILIAR? YES, THAT IS WHAT HAS BECOME THE NORM OVER THE NEXT TWO DECADES UNDER BUSH AND NOW OBAMA.
Where is Bill and Hillary today in that regard? They are the face of Trans Pacific Trade Pact negotiations from Bush through Obama all negotiated BEHIND CLOSED DOORS WITH ONLY CORPORATIONS PROVIDING INPUT.
Hillary as President will be the first official Global Corporate Tribunal pol totally ignoring WE THE PEOPLE.
The First Lady's role in the secret proceedings of the Health Care Task Force also sparked litigation in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, in relation to the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) which requires openness in government. The Clinton White House argued that the Recommendation Clause in Article II of the U.S. Constitution would make it unconstitutional to apply the procedural requirements of FACA to Mrs. Clinton's participation in the meetings of the Task Force. Some constitutional experts argued to the court that such a legal theory was not supported by the text, history, or structure of the Constitution. Ultimately, Hillary Clinton won the litigation in June 1993, when the D.C. Circuit ruled narrowly that the First Lady of the United States could be deemed a government official (and not a mere private citizen) for the purpose of not having to comply with the procedural requirements of FACA.
Also in February 1993, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with several other groups, filed a lawsuit against Hillary Clinton and Donna Shalala over closed-door meetings related to the health care plan. The AAPS sued to gain access to the list of members of the task force. In 1997, Judge Royce C. Lamberth found in favor of the plaintiffs and awarded $285,864 to the AAPS for legal costs; Lamberth also harshly criticized the Clinton administration and Clinton aide Ira Magaziner in his ruling. Subsequently, a federal appeals court overturned in 1999 the award and the initial findings on the basis that Magaziner and the administration had not acted in bad faith.
HillaryCare was RomneyCare was ObamaCare and these policies both come from the Republican health policy to hand control of health care to private health corporations ending Federal health programs and Medicare and Medicaid.
Hillary Clinton’s Health Care Plan – A Detailed Analysis
By Rob Berger Senator Hillary Clinton unveiled her health care reform plan, called the American Health Choices Plan. Clinton’s health care plan promises to bring health insurance to every American. Clinton promises lower insurance premiums for every American, improved delivery of health care, health insurance for all, and a “net tax cut for American taxpayers.” She also promises to end insurance “discrimination,” which we’ll return to at the end of this post. Her plan raises significant questions in part because the costs are astronomical and the plan’s cost assumptions are suspect. Before I get to the cost of the plan, though, here are the elements of her proposal and some important links so you can check it out for yourself.
Key Provisions of Clinton’s American Health Choices PlanYou can download a pdf version of the plan by clicking on the image to the right or by clicking here. The plan has 5 key provisions:
- Universal Coverage: The plan covers everybody. There are about 47 million Americans without health insurance, and Hillary Clinton’s proposal would provide coverage for all of them. The coverage would come from one of a number of sources she calls the new “Health Choices Menu.” The menu would include a Medicare type option and an option similar to the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHBP).
- Coverage is Mandatory: Although she calls here plan the American Health Choices Plan, you don’t have a choice. Everybody must be covered by health insurance.
- Eliminate Insurance “Discrimination”: Hillary Clinton wants to prevent an insurance company from setting rates based on the health of the insured, a common and sensible practice in the insurance industry (e.g., bad drivers pay more for car insurance) that she labels as “discrimination.”
- Modernize Health Care to Produce Cost Savings: Clinton believes her plan can deliver health care to you more efficiently than the health care industry, and that her plan will result in annual savings of $56 billion.
- “Net Tax Cut for American Taxpayers”: The plan includes refundable tax credits to help pay for health insurance. In conjunction with the cost savings, Clinton plans on paying for these credits by raising taxes on high income earners to the tune of $54 billion. Apparently, the credits are more than the increased taxes, abracadabra, a net tax cut.
This article is long----but please glance through----what it shows as Hillary moves to pose environmental in this Presidential race while being the world's worst for the environment----O'Malley from Maryland did the same----is that she led in trading the rights for US fracking corporations to go into China to frack in exchange for allowing China to get the solar panel market. Now, which industry is the only real environmental one? Solar energy because fracking and natural gas have nothing green about it.
I cannot go into how bad fracking is for the environment or how it is not 'clean energy'---Hillary is just lying as always and fracking is today's BIG AG and BIG MEAT debacle. Fresh water aquifers around the world are being contaminated and the fracking waste is often just released into the ocean.
"I know that in some places [it] is controversial," she said, "but natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today."
Fracking and natural gas is an extension of the oil industry----and again, Clinton meets Bush.
How Hillary Clinton's State Department Sold Fracking to the World
A trove of secret documents details the US government's global push for shale gas.
—Mariah Blake | September/October 2014 Issue
Illustration by John RitterOne icy morning in February 2012, Hillary Clinton's plane touched down in the Bulgarian capital, Sofia, which was just digging out from a fierce blizzard. Wrapped in a thick coat, the secretary of state descended the stairs to the snow-covered tarmac, where she and her aides piled into a motorcade bound for the presidential palace. That afternoon, they huddled with Bulgarian leaders, including Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, discussing everything from Syria's bloody civil war to their joint search for loose nukes. But the focus of the talks was fracking. The previous year, Bulgaria had signed a five-year, $68 million deal, granting US oil giant Chevron millions of acres in shale gas concessions. Bulgarians were outraged. Shortly before Clinton arrived, tens of thousands of protesters poured into the streets carrying placards that read "Stop fracking with our water" and "Chevron go home." Bulgaria's parliament responded by voting overwhelmingly for a fracking moratorium.
Clinton urged Bulgarian officials to give fracking another chance. According to Borissov, she agreed to help fly in the "best specialists on these new technologies to present the benefits to the Bulgarian people." But resistance only grew. The following month in neighboring Romania, thousands of people gathered to protest another Chevron fracking project, and Romania's parliament began weighing its own shale gas moratorium. Again Clinton intervened, dispatching her special envoy for energy in Eurasia, Richard Morningstar, to push back against the fracking bans. The State Department's lobbying effort culminated in late May 2012, when Morningstar held a series of meetings on fracking with top Bulgarian and Romanian officials. He also touted the technology in an interview on Bulgarian national radio, saying it could lead to a fivefold drop in the price of natural gas. A few weeks later, Romania's parliament voted down its proposed fracking ban and Bulgaria's eased its moratorium.
The episode sheds light on a crucial but little-known dimension of Clinton's diplomatic legacy. Under her leadership, the State Department worked closely with energy companies to spread fracking around the globe—part of a broader push to fight climate change, boost global energy supply, and undercut the power of adversaries such as Russia that use their energy resources as a cudgel. But environmental groups fear that exporting fracking, which has been linked to drinking-water contamination and earthquakes at home, could wreak havoc in countries with scant environmental regulation. And according to interviews, diplomatic cables, and other documents obtained by Mother Jones, American officials—some with deep ties to industry—also helped US firms clinch potentially lucrative shale concessions overseas, raising troubling questions about whose interests the program actually serves.
Geologists have long known that there were huge quantities of natural gas locked in shale rock. But tapping it wasn't economically viable until the late 1990s, when a Texas wildcatter named George Mitchell hit on a novel extraction method that involved drilling wells sideways from the initial borehole, then blasting them full of water, chemicals, and sand to break up the shale—a variation of a technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Besides dislodging a bounty of natural gas, Mitchell's breakthrough ignited an energy revolution. Between 2006 and 2008, domestic gas reserves jumped 35 percent. The United States later vaulted past Russia to become the world's largest natural gas producer. As a result, prices dropped to record lows, and America began to wean itself from coal, along with oil and gas imports, which lessened its dependence on the Middle East. The surging global gas supply also helped shrink Russia's economic clout: Profits for Russia's state-owned gas company, Gazprom, plummeted by more than 60 percent between 2008 and 2009 alone.
Clinton, who was sworn in as secretary of state in early 2009, believed that shale gas could help rewrite global energy politics. "This is a moment of profound change," she later told a crowd at Georgetown University. "Countries that used to depend on others for their energy are now producers. How will this shape world events? Who will benefit, and who will not?…The answers to these questions are being written right now, and we intend to play a major role." Clinton tapped a lawyer named David Goldwyn as her special envoy for international energy affairs; his charge was "to elevate energy diplomacy as a key function of US foreign policy."
"Countries that used to depend on others for their energy are now producers," said Clinton. "How will this shape world events? Who will benefit?…The answers to these questions are being written right now, and we intend to play a major role."Goldwyn had a long history of promoting drilling overseas—both as a Department of Energy official under Bill Clinton and as a representative of the oil industry. From 2005 to 2009 he directed the US-Libya Business Association, an organization funded primarily by US oil companies—including Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and Marathon—clamoring to tap Libya's abundant supply. Goldwyn lobbied Congress for pro-Libyan policies and even battled legislation that would have allowed families of the Lockerbie bombing victims to sue the Libyan government for its alleged role in the attack.
According to diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, one of Goldwyn's first acts at the State Department was gathering oil and gas industry executives "to discuss the potential international impact of shale gas." Clinton then sent a cable to US diplomats, asking them to collect information on the potential for fracking in their host countries. These efforts eventually gave rise to the Global Shale Gas Initiative, which aimed to help other nations develop their shale potential. Clinton promised it would do so "in a way that is as environmentally respectful as possible."
But environmental groups were barely consulted, while industry played a crucial role. When Goldwyn unveiled the initiative in April 2010, it was at a meeting of the United States Energy Association, a trade organization representing Chevron, Exxon Mobil, and ConocoPhillips, all of which were pursuing fracking overseas. Among their top targets was Poland, which preliminary studies suggested had abundant shale gas. The day after Goldwyn's announcement, the US Embassy in Warsaw helped organize a shale gas conference, underwritten by these same companies (plus the oil field services company Halliburton) and attended by officials from the departments of State and Energy.
In some cases, Clinton personally promoted shale gas. During a 2010 gathering of foreign ministers in Washington, DC, she spoke about America's plans to help spread fracking abroad. "I know that in some places [it] is controversial," she said, "but natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today." She later traveled to Poland for a series of meetings with officials, after which she announced that the country had joined the Global Shale Gas Initiative.
"We are very firm on this," insists the State Department's Paul Hueper. "We do not shill for industry."That August, delegates from 17 countries descended on Washington for the State Department's first shale gas conference. The media was barred from attending, and officials refused to reveal basic information, including which countries took part. When Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) inquired about industry involvement, the department would say only that there had been "a limited industry presence." (State Department officials have since been more forthcoming with Mother Jones: In addition to a number of US government agencies, they say attendees heard from energy firms, including Devon, Chesapeake, and Halliburton.)
During the cursory press conference that followed, Goldwyn, a short, bespectacled man with a shock of dark hair, argued that other nations could avoid the environmental damage sometimes associated with fracking by following America's lead and adopting "an umbrella of laws and regulations." A reporter suggested that US production had actually "outpaced the ability to effectively oversee the safety" and asked how we could be sure the same wouldn't happen elsewhere. Goldwyn replied that attendees had heard about safety issues from energy companies and the Groundwater Protection Council, a nonprofit organization that receives industry funding and opposes federal regulation of fracking wastewater disposal.
Goldwyn and the delegates then boarded a bus to Pennsylvania for an industry-sponsored luncheon and tour of some shale fields. Paul Hueper, director of energy programs at the State Department's Bureau of Energy Resources, says the tour was organized independently and that energy firms were only invited to the conference itself to share best practices. "We are very firm on this," he insisted. "We do not shill for industry."
While the meeting helped stir up interest, it wasn't until 2011 that global fracking fever set in for real. That spring, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) released its initial estimate of global shale gas, which found that 32 countries had viable shale basins and put global recoverable shale gas at 6,600 trillion cubic feet—enough to supply the world for more than 50 years at current rates of consumption. This was a rich opportunity for big oil and gas companies, which had largely missed out on the US fracking boom and were under pressure from Wall Street to shore up their dwindling reserves. "They're desperate," says Antoine Simon, who coordinates the shale gas campaign at Friends of the Earth Europe. "It's the last push to continue their fossil fuel development."
The industry began fighting hard for access to shale fields abroad, and promoting gas as the fuel of choice for slashing carbon emissions. In Europe, lobbyists circulated a report claiming that the European Union could save 900 billion euros if it invested in gas rather than renewable energy to meet its 2050 climate targets. This rankled environmentalists, who argue fracking may do little to ease global warming, given that wells and pipelines leak large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. They also fear it could crowd out investment in renewables.
By early 2011, the State Department was laying plans to launch a new bureau to integrate energy into every aspect of foreign policy—an idea Goldwyn had long been advocating. In 2005, he and a Chevron executive named Jan Kalicki had published a book called Energy and Security: Toward a New Foreign Policy Strategy, which argued that energy independence was unattainable in the near term and urged Washington to shift its focus to energy security—by boosting global fossil fuel production and stifling unrest that might upset energy markets. Goldwyn and his ideas had played a key role in shaping the bureau, so some observers were surprised when he quietly stepped down just before its launch.
When I approached Goldwyn following a recent speaking engagement in Washington, DC, to ask about his time at the State Department and why he left, he ducked out a side door, and Kalicki blocked the corridor to keep me from following. Goldwyn later said via email that he had simply chosen "to return to the private sector."
Around the time of his departure, WikiLeaks released a slew of diplomatic cables, including one describing a 2009 meeting during which Goldwyn and Canadian officials discussed development of the Alberta oil sands—a project benefiting some of the same firms behind the US-Libya Business Association. The cable said that Goldwyn had coached his Canadian counterparts on improving "oil sands messaging" and helped alleviate their concerns about getting oil sands crude to US markets. This embarrassed the State Department, which is reviewing the controversial Keystone XL pipeline proposal to transport crude oil from Canada and is under fire from environmentalists.
After leaving State, Goldwyn took a job with Sutherland, a law and lobbying firm that touts his "deep understanding" of pipeline issues, and launched his own company, Goldwyn Global Strategies.
In late 2011, Clinton finally unveiled the new Bureau of Energy Resources, with 63 employees and a multimillion-dollar budget. She also promised to instruct US embassies around the globe to step up their work on energy issues and "pursue more outreach to private-sector energy" firms, some of which had generously supported both her and President Barack Obama's political campaigns. (One Chevron executive bundled large sums for Clinton's 2008 presidential bid, for example.)
As part of its expanded energy mandate, the State Department hosted conferences on fracking from Thailand to Botswana. It sent US experts to work alongside foreign officials as they developed shale gas programs. And it arranged for dozens of foreign delegations to visit the United States to attend workshops and meet with industry consultants—as well as with environmental groups, in some cases.
US oil giants, meanwhile, were snapping up natural gas leases in far-flung places. By 2012, Chevron had large shale concessions in Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, and South Africa, as well as in Eastern Europe, which was in the midst of a claim-staking spree; Poland alone had granted more than 100 shale concessions covering nearly a third of its territory. When the nation lit its first shale gas flare atop a Halliburton-drilled well that fall, the state-owned gas company ran full-page ads in the country's largest newspapers showing a spindly rig rising above the hills in the tiny village of Lubocino, alongside the tagline: "Don't put out the flame of hope." Politicians promised that Poland would soon break free of its nemesis, Russia, which supplies the lion's share of its gas. "After years of dependence on our large neighbor, today we can say that my generation will see the day when we will be independent in the area of natural gas," Prime Minister Donald Tusk declared. "And we will be setting terms."
But shale was not the godsend that industry leaders and foreign governments had hoped it would be. For one, new research from the US Geological Survey suggested that the EIA assessments had grossly overestimated shale deposits: The recoverable shale gas estimate for Poland shrank from 187 trillion cubic feet to 1.3 trillion cubic feet, a 99 percent drop. Geological conditions and other factors in Europe and Asia also made fracking more arduous and expensive; one industry study estimated that drilling shale gas in Poland would cost three times what it does in the United States.
By 2013, US oil giants were abandoning their Polish shale plays. "The expectations for global shale gas were extremely high," says the State Department's Hueper. "But the geological limitations and aboveground challenges are immense. A handful of countries have the potential for a boom, but there may never be a global shale gas revolution."
"They're desperate," says Antoine Simon of Friends of the Earth Europe. "It's the last push to continue their fossil fuel development."The politics of fracking overseas were also fraught. According to Susan Sakmar, a visiting law professor at the University of Houston who has studied fracking regulation, the United States is one of the only nations where individual landowners own the mineral rights. "In most, perhaps all, other countries of the world, the underground resources belong to the crown or the government," she explains. The fact that property owners didn't stand to profit from drilling on their land ignited public outrage in some parts of the world, especially Eastern Europe. US officials speculate that Russia also had a hand in fomenting protests there. "The perception among diplomats in the region was that Russia was protecting its interests," says Mark Gitenstein, the former US ambassador to Romania. "It didn't want shale gas for obvious reasons."
Faced with these obstacles, US and European energy companies launched a lobbying blitz targeting the European Union. They formed faux grassroots organizations, plied lawmakers with industry-funded studies, and hosted lavish dinners and conferences for regulators. The website for one industry confab—which, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, featured presentations from Exxon Mobil, Total, and Halliburton--warned that failure to develop shale gas "will have damaging consequences on European energy security and prosperity" and urged European governments to "allow shale gas exploration to advance" so they could "fully understand the scale of the opportunity."
US lobbying shops also jumped into the fray. Covington & Burling, a major Washington firm, hired several former senior EU policymakers—including a top energy official who, according to the New York Times, arrived with a not-yet-public draft of the European Commission's fracking regulations.
In June 2013, Covington staffer Jean De Ruyt, a former Belgian diplomat and adviser to the European Commission, hosted an event at the firm's Brussels office. Executives from Chevron and other oil and gas behemoths attended, as did Kurt Vandenberghe, then one of the commission's top environmental regulators. These strategies appeared to pay off: The commission's recently released framework for regulating fracking includes recommendations for governments but not firm requirements. "They chose the weakest option they had," says Simon of Friends of the Earth Europe. "People at the highest level of the commission are in the industry's pocket."
Goldwyn was also busy promoting fracking overseas—this time on behalf of industry. Between January and October 2012, his firm organized a series of workshops on fracking for officials in Bulgaria, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine, all of them funded by Chevron. The events were closed to the public—when Romanian journalist Vlad Ursulean tried to attend the Romanian gathering, he says Goldwyn personally saw to it that he was escorted out.
David Goldwyn at a 2006 NATO conference NATO photos
Goldwyn told Mother Jones that the workshops featured presentations on technical aspects of fracking by academics from the Colorado School of Mines and Penn State University. Chevron, he maintains, had "no editorial input." But all of these countries—except Bulgaria, which was in the midst of anti-fracking protests—would later grant Chevron major shale concessions.
In some cases, the State Department had a direct hand in negotiating the deals. Gitenstein, then the ambassador to Romania, met with Chevron executives and Romanian officials and pressed them to hand over millions of acres of shale concessions. "The Romanians were just sitting on the leases, and Chevron was upset. So I intervened," says Gitenstein, whose State Department tenure has been bookended by stints at Mayer Brown, a law and lobbying firm that has represented Chevron. "This is traditionally what ambassadors do on behalf of American companies." In the end, Romania signed a 30-year deal with Chevron, which helped set off massive, nationwide protests.
When the government began weighing a fracking ban, it didn't sit well with Gitenstein, who went on Romanian television and warned that, without fracking, the nation could be stuck paying five times what America does for natural gas. He added that US shale prospectors had "obtained great successes—without consequences for the environment, I dare say." The proposed moratorium soon died.
A few weeks later, Chevron was preparing to build its first fracking rig near Pungesti, a tiny farming village in northeastern Romania. According to a memo from the prime minister's office, a Romanian official met with Chevron executives and an embassy-based US Commerce Department employee to craft a PR strategy for the project. They agreed to organize a kickoff event at Victoria Palace in Bucharest. As a spokesman, they would tap Damian Draghici, a charismatic Romanian lawmaker who was a "recognized personality among the Roma minority," which had a "considerable presence" around Chevron's planned drilling sites. "It was really extraordinary—the level of collaboration between these players," says Ursulean, who has written extensively about Chevron's activities in Romania. "It was as if they were all branches of the same company."
"The Romanians were just sitting on the leases, and Chevron was upset," says former US ambassador to Romania Mark Gitenstein. "So I intervened."The strategy did little to soothe the public's ire. When Chevron finally did attempt to install the rig in late 2013, residents—including elderly villagers who arrived in horse-drawn carts--blockaded the planned drilling sites. The Romanian Orthodox Church rallied behind them, with one local priest likening Chevron to enemy "invaders." Soon, anti-fracking protests were cropping up from Poland to the United Kingdom. But Chevron didn't back down. Along with other American energy firms, it lobbied to insert language in a proposed US-EU trade agreement allowing US companies to haul European governments before international arbitration panels for any actions threatening their investments. Chevron argued this was necessary to protect shareholders against "arbitrary" and "unfair" treatment by local authorities. But environmental groups say it would stymie fracking regulation and point to a $250 million lawsuit Delaware-based Lone Pine Resources has filed against the Canadian province of Quebec for temporarily banning fracking near a key source of drinking water. The case hinges on a similar trade provision.
Despite the public outcry in Europe, the State Department has stayed the course. Clinton's successor as secretary of state, John Kerry, views natural gas as a key part of his push against climate change. Under Kerry, State has ramped up investment in its shale gas initiative and is planning to expand it to 30 more countries, from Cambodia to Papua New Guinea.
Following the Crimea crisis, the Obama administration has also been pressing Eastern European countries to fast-track their fracking initiatives so as to be less dependent on Russia. During an April visit to Ukraine, which has granted concessions to Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell, Vice President Joe Biden announced that the United States would bring in technical experts to speed up its shale gas development. "We stand ready to assist you," promised Biden, whose son Hunter has since joined the board of a Ukrainian energy company. "Imagine where you'd be today if you were able to tell Russia: 'Keep your gas.' It would be a very different world."
This story was supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.