Policy Watch: Jill Stein, the Clintons & Black Voters

by David Samuels
This column appears in the August 25 – September 1 edition of the Hartford News…
Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio
Commentary on urban issues from a grassroots perspective. First, third and fifth Tuesday of each month. 8:00 PM Eastern Time 7:00 PM Central 5:00 PM Pacific. Tune in! Replays on the Tuesdays that we’re not on live and every Wednesday. Next show: August 30. Dan Durso, who was a delegate for Bernie Sanders at the tumultuous Democratic National Convention, will talk about his experience at the event. Co-host Mary Sanders and I will discuss Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s proposed Green New Deal federal jobs program. http://sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog for info on the rest of our Community Party Media lineup, including False Choice: the Bipartisan Attack on the Working Class, the Poor and Communities of Color. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2015/12/20/community-party-media-3/
Community Party Radio Podcasts
Josh Elliott, Candidate for State Representative
Check out CP’s No Sellout blog Election 2016 Candidate Tracker for a profile provided by Josh Elliott, who is running for a seat in the Connecticut General Assembly. Includes info on making a donation to his campaign. Election Day is November 8. https://hendu39.wordpress.com/2016/05/14/election-2016-candidate-tracker-josh-elliott/
Policy Watch
Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a Community Party Policy Watch series on Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein’s campaign platform. Our analysis will include Community Party Radio on So-Metro Radio reports, and Hartford News columns. The Community Party is not affiliated with the Green Party, or Jill Stein’s campaign.
Race for the White House: Urban Policy
“Imagine being so white that voting for a third party just to ‘prove a point’ is a risk you can afford to take.” ~ Comedian Terrence Newman, bashing supporters of Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein.
If you’re a Black Hillary Clinton supporter who loses a fact based argument about the Clintons’ despicable urban policy record, take it like an adult. Newman, a C-list comic, recently dissed supporters of Dr. Stein on Twitter. His tweet was included in a U.S. Uncut piece by Tom Cahill about President Bill Clinton’s racist crime and welfare bills (enthusiastically supported by Hillary). http://usuncut.com/black-lives-matter/clinton-presidency-black-communities/  I confronted Newman on his Twitter page. Newman said the article was “garbage”, and included “misleading numbers” about how Clinton’s legislation fueled Black mass incarceration, and extreme poverty in urban neighborhoods. I repeatedly challenged Newman to produce statistics to debunk the numbers in the article. He repeatedly ducked the question, and like all idiots who are losing a fact based argument, attempted to make things personal. Newman then stalked me on social media, crying like a psychotic ex. I deal in facts. Statistics support my contention that the Clintons are neoliberal racists, who have done catastrophic damage to the Black community. 

Cahill broke it down. “The data is clear that the last time a Clinton was in the White House, minorities were jailed at higher rates than during any of Clinton’s predecessors, with 673,000 new inmates in state and federal prisons. Black poverty and unemployment rates also skyrocketed during the Clinton years. As Ohio State University law professor and acclaimed author Michelle Alexander wrote in The Root, Clinton’s presidency ushered in the mass incarceration epidemic:

‘Human Rights Watch reported that in seven states, African Americans constituted 80 to 90 percent of all drug offenders sent to prison, even though they were no more likely than whites to use or sell illegal drugs. Prison admissions for drug offenses reached a level in 2000 for African Americans more than 26 times the level in 1983. All of the presidents since 1980 have contributed to mass incarceration, but as Equal Justice Initiative founder Bryan Stevenson recently observed, ‘President Clinton’s tenure was the worst.’
Bill Clinton’s landmark legislation in his second term was the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act, which gutted federal welfare programs by providing welfare in block grants not tied to inflation. As a result, 20 years after Clinton’s welfare reform bill became law, families on welfare receive one-third less in assistance.”
Newman is the personification of the clueless voter. After initially denying that his tweet referenced Dr. Stein’s supporters, Newman made his agenda clear with a passionate defense of Bill Clinton that was totally devoid of facts. Newman said hey, HE was happy when Clinton was president (the ultimate house negro response). Newman also said that Clinton was no more racist than any other president. His characterization of Stein only being supported by privileged whites is bs. Blacks on the far left have gotten behind Dr. Stein and her running mate Ajamu Baraka, a man who has devoted his life to organizing for Black liberation. Black Agenda Report commentators Glen Ford and Margaret Kimberley, journalist Marc Lamont Hill and professor Cornel West are all enthusiastic supporters of Dr. Stein. While Newman’s nonsensical defense of President Clinton must first and foremost be attributed to his own stupidity, it’s also emblematic of the power of the Clinton machine, and the corporate media. So-called journalists trade truth for access, which Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman calls the Access of Evil. The Clinton machine uses Black ‘community leaders’ and local elected officials to spread the Clinton gospel.
Incredibly, Newman claimed that President Clinton could not be blamed for the 2008 economic meltdown; Clinton’s 1999 repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was the direct cause. Robert Reich, who served as Clinton’s Secretary of Labor, recounted the history in a recent blog post.  “Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating a bank break-up law known as the Glass-Steagall Act — at least according to Alan Blinder, an economist who has been advising Clinton’s campaign. ‘You’re not going to see Glass-Steagall,’ Blinder said after her economic speech Monday in which she failed to mention it. Blinder said he had spoken to Clinton directly about Glass-Steagall.
This is a big mistake.
It’s a mistake politically because people who believe Hillary Clinton is still too close to Wall Street will not be reassured by her position on Glass-Steagall. Many will recall that her husband led the way to repealing Glass Steagall in 1999 at the request of the big Wall Street banks.
It’s a big mistake economically because the repeal of Glass-Steagall led directly to the 2008 Wall Street crash, and without it we’re in danger of another one.
Some background: During the Roaring Twenties, so much money could be made by speculating on shares of stock that several big Wall Street banks began selling stock along side their traditional banking services — taking in deposits and making loans.
Some banks went further, lending to pools of speculators that used the money to pump up share prices. The banks sold the shares to their customers, only to have the share prices collapse when the speculators dumped them.
For the banks, it was an egregious but hugely profitable conflict of interest.
After the entire stock market crashed in 1929, ushering in the Great Depression, Washington needed to restore the public’s faith in the banking system. One step was for Congress to enact legislation insuring commercial deposits against bank losses.
Another was to prevent the kinds of conflicts of interest that resulted in such losses, and which had fueled the boom and subsequent bust. Under the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, banks couldn’t both gamble in the market and also take in deposits and make loans. They’d have to choose between the two.
‘The idea is pretty simple behind this one,’ Senator Elizabeth Warren said a few days ago, explaining her bill to resurrect Glass-Steagall. ‘If banks want to engage in high-risk trading — they can go for it, but they can’t get access to ensured deposits and put the taxpayers on the hook for that reason.’
For more than six decades after 1933, Glass-Steagall worked exactly as it was intended to. During that long interval few banks failed and no financial panic endangered the banking system.
But the big Wall Street banks weren’t content. They wanted bigger profits. They thought they could make far more money by gambling with commercial deposits. So they set out to whittle down Glass-Steagall.
Finally, in 1999, President Bill Clinton struck a deal with Republican Senator Phil Gramm to do exactly what Wall Street wanted, and repeal Glass-Steagall altogether.
What happened next? An almost exact replay of the Roaring Twenties. Once again, banks originated fraudulent loans and sold them to their customers in the form of securities. Once again, there was a huge conflict of interest that finally resulted in a banking crisis.
This time the banks were bailed out, but millions of Americans lost their savings, their jobs, even their homes.”
Dr. Stein’s  platform would clearly benefit Black people. Black unemployment is currently at Depression era levels. Dr. Stein has proposed a Green New Deal, a revival of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal that created over eight million jobs during the Great Depression. Dr. Stein also wants to end the racist so-called War on Drugs, legalizing marijuana and decriminalizing other drugs, release nonviolent drug offenders from prison, and treat drug abuse as a public health issue instead of a criminal matter. Dr. Stein’s plan to address police violence includes implementing community control of the police, and empowering independent outside legal representatives to investigate all deaths and serious injuries suffered at the hands of police. Currently use of force cases are investigated by prosecutors (who work closely with the police), which is a total conflict of interest. Eliminating mandatory minimum jail sentences, abolishing private prisons, free health care/college and cancelling student debt are also a part of the Stein platform.
Donald Trump breezed through carrying Play-Doh, and wrote a check. Hillary hasn’t set foot in the state yet. Monday Dr. Stein was in Louisiana working on the ground with local volunteers, helping flood victims. She talked about climate change and the disparity in aid to communities of color following catastrophic weather events, such as Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.   http://www.truthdig.com/avbooth/item/jill_stein_is_bringing_attention_to_victims_of_flooding_in_20160822
Terrence Newman has been duped by the Democrats. I won’t follow him off the cliff. The Jill Stein platform is clearly the plan that is needed in urban neighborhoods.
Resources
Please help communities affected by the Louisiana flood.
LINKS TO VOLUNTEER/DONATE:

North Baton Rouge Disaster Relief
https://www.gofundme.com/northbatonrouge
Louisiana Environmental Action Network
http://www.leanweb.org
Volunteer in Denham Springs:
email lekedra@micamped.com
Jill Stein 2016 platform: http://www.jill2016.com/platform
Jared Ball interviews Green Party vice presidential nominee Ajamu Baraka: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqGfXF28wps
TANF’s ineffectiveness has contributed to rise in deep poverty:  https://twitter.com/dlthomasCT/status/765574098063859712
Black Agenda Report commentator Glen Ford goes in on Hillary Clinton:   http://www.blackagendareport.com/hillary_big_nasty_tent
Follow CP on Twitter for state, national and world news headlines. https://twitter.com/CommunityParty1 Check out my Facebook page for daily news commentary. https://www.facebook.com/david.samuels.948   Listen to WQTQ 89.9 FM for CP’s public service announcements on our racial justice initiatives https://www.facebook.com/wqtqfm and So-Metro Radio the first, third and fifth Tuesday of each month at 8:00 PM for commentary on urban issues http://www.sometroradio.com/  Check out our No Sellout blog (https://hendu39.wordpress.com/) for the complete archive of CP columns and Northend Agent’s archive for selected columns (http://www.northendagents.com/). Contact us at 860-206-8879 or info.community.party@gmail.com
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