Add to the list of horribles from the Clinton years the Financial Services Modernization Act, passed at the president's insistence, and his refusal to even threaten a veto of it if a strong privacy provision that he half-heartedly requested were not included. It wasn't, and as a result, your private financial, health and other records held by previously segregated stockbrokers, insurance companies and banks were merged, along with those respective corporate entities.
This law represents the dismantling of the major market regulations instituted by Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression, but don't look for Democrats or Republicans to be bragging about their vote for that one, in this time of the subprime mortgage meltdown.
Finally, there is the Telecommunications Act, which permitted media merger mania -- and all one needs to say about that assault on the diversity of ownership needed for a free press is that Rupert Murdock is a big buddy of the Clintons.
And that's hardly just because they both shared an enthusiasm for the now widely discredited invasion of Iraq. Nope. Hillary Clinton, as she brags in her meetings with her financial backers, has faithfully carried water for the corporate elite while making appropriate noises about the little people.
But that is a time-honored tradition in the Democratic Party, and while I remain hopeful that Obama will break the mold, I never expected him to do so in his choice of a vice president. Despite being a moderate centrist, Obama has been tagged as something of an egghead in the mold of Adlai Stevenson. No match as a demagogue for John McCain, who has proven in the primaries that for the sake of election he will readily disregard logical consistency or factual accuracy.
That is particularly true in McCain's positions on the reckless expansion of the American empire, beginning with, but certainly not ending at, the ambition to colonize Iraq. So intent is he on waving the flag of mindless militarism that he will even betray his own experience and undermine the constitutional safeguards against torture. In his 1974 paper for the National War College on his prisoner experience, McCain wrote of "prisoners being ordered to sit, kneel or stand for long periods of time deprived of rest or sleep" as "torture."
Yet, praising Chief Justice John Roberts for his dissent from the Supreme Court's extension of habeas corpus protection to Guantanamo prisoners who have experienced much worse, McCain dismissed the pleading of the tortured: "These are people who are not citizens." Well, neither was he a citizen of Vietnam when he attacked that country, and wouldn't it have been a good thing if his captors had been held accountable by an independent judiciary? Whatever Sen. McCain thought then, presidential candidate McCain does not believe that judicial due process is a human right to be universally honored. Obama, who strongly supported the court's 5-4 majority decision, clearly does.
Whether he picks Clinton or not, the push is on for a Democratic ticket that can win -- a victory critical to the honor of this nation, given that one-vote Supreme Court majority.
© Creators Syndicate
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Albion Monitor June
19, 2008 (http://www.albionmonitor.com)
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