Is a nod as good as a wink when it comes to Hillary’s health?
In August I was quick to dismiss the sillier blogosphere attempts to suggest that Hillary Clinton has enough health issues to push her through death’s door. But now, new sources are suggesting she does have one major problem. Already adopted as the Democratic candidate, Spinton could set off a constitutional bomb. It’s the last thing America needs at the moment.
We all get some things wrong, and it looks like I may have made a 180° bad call on Hillary Billary’s health when I posted about it just over a month ago. I wrote at the time, “For myself, I suspect her mental health is destitute – but that’s just an opinion, and I am not a shrink. By contrast, I’ve spent a fair proportion of my day today trying to stand up the story of her ‘failing health’. It is, dear reader, a straw in the growing wind of media distortion.”
But last week a favoured and trusted Slog source in New York gave me an update. I went back over what was left of my notes, and followed up two reports I’d used at the time. I now think it highly likely the two authors involved work for the Spinton machine.
Then yesterday, Hillary Spinton herself had to be rushed away from a 9/11 memorial gathering. Early US paper editions and news sites are declaring with a degree of unanimity that her health is now the biggest issue in the campaign.
Describing the Clinton camp’s post-incident “explanations” yesterday as ‘incomplete’ and ‘contradictory’, the US media for once emerged from its anti-Trump denialism, speculating at length about previous hypothyroid, blood coagulation, concussion and allergy diagnoses admitted by the HillBillary campaign.
The Democrats have plenty on their plate as it is: this morning’s Poll of Polls in the New York Times has the popular vote as 43% for Clinton and 41% for Trump….so Trump is catching up, although Clinton remains the favourite based on the College votes she is likely to get.
However, the new information I’ve been fed could change all that very quickly.
It’s now two months since the Right-wing American Spectator ran a piece suggesting very strongly that Hillary Clinton is a bit of a Swillary. In fact, it seems, she’s been swilling down the laughing liquid for quite a few years.
At the time, I wrote it off as a classic election year smear. But my thus far ever-reliable source now insists it isn’t: Hillary Clinton, she tells me, is a lush. And she points to the following features of the Candidate’s behaviour:
- All the incidents seem to involve wobbly legs and falling over rather a lot
- She is always seen with a mega-sized fast food soft drink in her hand – a ploy her advisors talked her into because it makes her look “more everyday American”. But for Hillary, the ploy is an equally effective way of drinking vodka covertly
- She has had two bad falls in the last three years – both involving stairs, and both in the evening. One left her with double vision for six months.
- Clinton herself told the New York Times that her willingness to “schmooze over booze and use alcohol as a political lubricant” is one reason why she would be a “better dealmaker” than President Obama.
- Both John McCain and Obama describe her respectively as “a guy” when it comes to drinking and “a surprise Party animal”.
- A senior Democrat Mayor ‘boss’ smiles as he admits that “somehow I always wind up drunk when socialising with Hillary”.
- A senior Russian official close to Putin described Clinton earlier this year as “an unpredictable, drunken foreign policy hawk”.
The latest incident is bound to intensify speculation about her health – and ultimately involve her reputation for drinking heavily. Wisely, Trump is staying well away from the issue….a decision which (says my source) reflects the conviction in his camp that the Swillary factor will sink her while they remain a respectful distance from it.
There are two (among many) significant outcomes possible from this development:
- A large seed of doubt gets planted in many voters’ minds, and Trump continues to attract support on the back of it
- Somebody finds an empty bottles stash and a physician report confirming her condition, and Clinton is forced to withdraw.
In the entire history of US Presidential elections, option 2 has never happened.
So either way, the US could be thrust into an unexpected Maverick victory
a Constitutional crisis.
Not the sort of thing to steady the nerves of business, markets and consumers already rapidly reaching the conclusion that the neoliberal monetarist model in general – and the US Fed in particular – has run out of the ammunition required to dig the world out of recession.
Last January, former US Fed Bigwig Larry Summers told stunned Bloomberg viewers,
“It’s sort of OK to say in twenty-ten or twenty-eleven that the world’s had a nasty shock, but when things are still giving off all the wrong signals in twenty-sixteen, well….it’s not just a transient thing….For me, it feels like we’re going to pay for things we really should’ve done at least a decade ago”.
Now – after a grand total of 1 (one) rate hikes are under its belt – there were going to be ‘at least three’ this year – the Yellen Fed has put out a paper. Over the last week, everyone who’s anyone in the States has been reading it. This time, Summers says,
“…the implication of the Fed paper is that the rates would have to be anywhere from minus 6% to minus 9% to extract the US from a deep recession, and there is no plausible way to mimic such rate cuts with other monetary weapons in the Fed’s armoury. I find the idea that forward guidance and QE could do anything like the work of 600, let alone 900, basis points of rate-cutting close to absurd.”
He was the only commentator last January to give a direct answer on the question of rates: “Of course the Fed will have to backtrack on three rate hikes. No way can they avoid doing that”. He has been proved exactly right.
Now we’re just over a week away from the next Fed rates meeting. Six weeks ago, the hike was a cert. Four weeks ago it was likely. Ten days ago it was off the table. Now Yellen says it’s back on again.
Yesterday, Fed Board member Peter Boockvar told it like it is on the subject of a September hike going ahead:
“For a stock market that is wholly unprepared for that, not only could it get messy, it will get messy. The only reason why we’re at these [stock market] levels is because of low interest rates and central bank policy. … When the Fed removes accommodation, things are seen for what they really are, not for what people want them to be.”
That is my view entirely. Some very interesting times may be dead ahead.