“A Special Place in Hell”… For Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright?

By Gloria La Riva
Global Research, February 09, 2016
Liberation 7 February 2016
Region: USA
Theme: Crimes against Humanity, US NATO War Agenda
In-depth Report: IRAQ REPORT, U.S. Election

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Hillary Clinton screaming…

130612.jpgFeatured image: Albright, a fanatical advocate for genocidal sanctions and bombing campaigns, is in no place to lecture young women on “feminism.”

I am writing as a working woman, feminist, socialist, and candidate for President of the United States, and I want to condemn in the strongest possible terms the outlandish attacks by Hillary Clinton and Madeleine Albright on any woman working in support of the political campaign of Bernie Sanders. This attack, particularly on young women who are supporting Sanders in such large numbers, is a shameful and opportunist attempt to use the historic struggle for women’s rights for the narrowest political gains.

In a desperate attempt to reverse the growing support among young women and men for her opponent in the Democratic Party primaries, Hillary Clinton has enlisted the support of notorious war monger and advocate of mass murder, Madeleine Albright.

As Clinton looked on laughing and clapping, Albright told the media on February 6: “There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!”

If indeed there were such a “special place,” Madeleine Albright would most assuredly be going. And going along with her would be candidate Clinton.

As UN Ambassador and the Secretary of State in the Bill Clinton regime, Albright was a fanatical advocate of the genocidal sanctions blockade that killed more than a million women, children and men in Iraq, and of the 1999 U.S./NATO bombing war against Yugoslavia.

On May 12, 1996, nearly six years into the U.S./UN sanctions, Albright was interviewed on CBS “60 Minutes” by Lesley Stahl, who had just returned from Iraq, about the impact on the Iraqi population:

Lesley Stahl: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?”

U.S. Ambassador to the UN Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.”

Albright’s astoundingly flippant answer was nothing less than a confession to one of the most horrific war crimes in history, indicting not just herself but all the leaders of the Bush I, Clinton and Bush II administrations who were fully aware of the lethal impact of sanctions on the people of Iraq.

In 1999, Albright played a key role in the war on Yugoslavia, engineering the failure of the negotiations that preceded the war. Albright presented the Yugoslav government with an “agreement” that would have allowed NATO to forces to occupy the entire country, with the unheard of provision that Yugoslavia would pay for the expenses of the occupation!

After the talks broke off, a “top official” (Albright) told reporters in an off-the-record session: “We intentionally set the bar too high for the Serbs to comply. They need some bombing, and that’s what they are going to get.” When the Yugoslav government predictably rejected the ultimatum disguised as a “proposal,” the bombing began and continued for three months.

Thousands of civilians were killed, wounded and made homeless. As was true in Iraq, the entire population was traumatized, with women and children most severely impacted.

Like the assault on Iraq, the attack on Yugoslavia was a war crime, a “crime against peace,” the most serious of all violations of international law, a war of aggression against another state that poses no threat to the country launching the war.

According to her own words, Hillary Clinton joined in the war chorus: “I urged him [President Clinton] to bomb.”

In 2003, Senator Clinton supported invasion and occupation of Iraq. In 2011, as Secretary of State, she was chief advocate in the Obama administration in calling for the bombing war that killed, wounded and displaced unknown numbers of Libyans and devastated the country.

After the torture and murder of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi, Clinton laughingly told a CBS interviewer: “We came, we saw, he died.”

Albright and Clinton thus share much in common both with each other and their far more numerous murderous male counterparts in the top levels of the U.S. imperialist state machine. That they who have worked to destroy the lives of so many millions of women would now presume to lecture young women on “feminism” and attempt to shame them into supporting Clinton is a despicable travesty.
The original source of this article is Liberation

Copyright © Gloria La Riva, Liberation, 2016

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

VOX POLICY AND POLITICS: We asked 6 political scientists if Bernie Sanders would have a shot in a general election

Updated by Jeff Stein on February 5, 2016, 3:00 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders has gone from long-shot candidate to a real contender for the Democratic nomination for president.

Were Democrats to make the “democratic socialist” from Vermont their nominee, would he have a chance of winning a general election?

We posed that question to six of the country’s top political scientists, and their answers were broadly consistent: Under some unlikely circumstances, Sanders could win a general election. But nominating him would make it significantly more difficult for Democrats to keep the White House.

“[Sanders’s] political views are more toward the ideological pole than the average voter’s,” said John Sides, a professor in political science at George Washington University, in an email. “Absent a very favorable set of conditions, nominating a candidate like Sanders as opposed to a more moderate Democrat creates the risk of a penalty at the ballot box.”
The famous social science experiment that shows why Sanders would be easy to beat

But that in turn raises another (perhaps more obvious) question: What turns people off from extreme ideas? Why are voters less likely to support candidates who propose more radical solutions?

That question may be answered by a series of famous social science studies conducted several decades ago by Princeton University professor Daniel Kahneman, according to Bruce Miroff, a political science professor at the University at Albany.

The researchers found that people were much more upset by the prospect of losing some amount of their money than they were made happy by the prospect of gaining the same amount. The upshot: People have a strong psychological fear of loss — even when they know it might result in a better long-term outcome.

“If you offer people the opportunity for gain against the fear of loss, the fear of loss is twice as psychologically powerful as the hope for gain,” Miroff said.

This phenomenon is called “loss aversion,” and it holds true for political psychology as well as behavioral economics, according to Miroff.

There are many of good examples of this at work in our political system: the revolt against “Hillarycare” in the 1990s, the panic over George Bush’s plans to privatize Social Security in the early 2000s, and, more recently, the public souring on Obamacare. (Obama’s promise that people who liked their plan could keep it was dubbed the lie of the year.)

This dynamic could hurt Sanders, who proposes policies that promise a big upside — but only through serious disruption that the other side will portray as fundamentally dangerous and risky, Miroff said.

“Once the opposition starts saying, ‘That may help some people, but most of you are going to lose what you already got,’ the polls start plummeting,” Miroff said.

In a general election, for instance, Republicans could effectively (and accurately) portray Sanders’s single-payer health care proposal as one that would lead many people to lose what they already know and like. The long-term gains of reducing national health spending and increasing overall insurance rates would be abstract gains for many voters, and thus hard to sell against the fear of loss.

“Anyone who stakes out positions that will affect huge numbers of people — in that, the advantage goes to the opposition, because they can stoke fear,” Miroff said.
How voters decide who to vote for in elections

Fear of sudden, dramatic change could impede Sanders in a general election. But just as powerfully, Republicans could also successfully portray Sanders as out of step with the average American’s political views, according to the academics interviewed for this story.

There isn’t a lot of doubt that this would have a big impact in an election. Political scientists have had a pretty good idea since the 1950s of how voters tend to make their choices: by identifying which candidate fits closest to them on an ideological spectrum.

“They look and identify themselves on a liberal-conservative dimension, and they pick who is closer to them,” said Andrew Reeves, a professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis. “From that perspective, Sanders is positioned fairly far out there on the left.”

There is some evidence that this year might be different, and that an unprecedented level of dissatisfaction with American government could lead the public to choose candidates who promise to break with the status quo. But even that force is very unlikely to override our most basic models for how voters act, Reeves said.

“Are [voters] going to abandon someone who is most close to them ideologically to go with someone who will shake things up?” Reeves said. “I don’t think there’s evidence to that effect yet.”

As Vox’s Matt Yglesias writes, President Barack Obama won in 2012 even though most voters found themselves more ideologically aligned with Mitt Romney. Sanders would have an even bigger ideological gap to close.

Chart from professors Lynn Vavreck and John Sides.
The history of “movement candidacies” in American presidential politics isn’t encouraging for Bernie fans

The social science research on voter tendencies is supported by modern American political history, which most of the experts referenced in expressing doubt with Sanders’s general election chances.

The two most frequently cited examples were the failed candidacies of George McGovern, the Democratic nominee who lost in a 24-point landslide to Richard Nixon in 1972, and Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee who carried just six states in 1964.

George McGovern speaks to many ILGWU supporters at an open-air campaign rally, Oct. 15, 1972

George McGovern at a campaign rally on October 15, 1972. McGovern’s defeat should give pause to liberals thinking Bernie Sanders could realign the electoral map overnight, political scientists say. (Courtesy of the Kheel Center at Cornell University)

None of the professors thought Sanders would, if nominated, lose by such huge margins. But they saw the historical comparison as telling of the steep odds facing anyone who breaks sharply from the political consensus, especially if the Republicans nominate a candidate — like Marco Rubio — perceived as within the mainstream.

“I think Sanders-Rubio is McGovern-Nixon,” said Seth McKee, a political science professor at Texas Tech University. “I think it’d be a blowout: I’d discount [Sanders] maybe 10 percent.”

Jedediah Purdy, a Duke University law professor who has written about American political identity, said that Sanders is trying to pull off something largely unprecedented in so quickly shifting his party’s platform.

Purdy framed it like this: Some presidential candidates really can transform the electoral landscape and capture the White House. But to do so successfully, these candidates are normally building on the groundwork laid by similar, prior campaigns.

“Goldwater’s movement campaign and the lessons mainstream Republicans took from it afterward made [Ronald] Reagan’s campaign possible in 1980 by rearranging the whole political landscape,” Purdy said in an email.

There’s not a lot of reason to believe Sanders could bring about this degree of change with his profoundly different platform, Purdy said.

“Sanders is trying to achieve realignment much more quickly than that,” Purdy said. “In terms of the suddenness and degree of his break with the mainstream, he looks like Goldwater in 1964 more than like Reagan.”
How much, exactly, would Democrats be hurt by nominating Sanders?

Let’s say you’re a Democrat who prefers Sanders to Clinton, but you worry that nominating Sanders would throw the presidency to a Republican. Is there a way to quantify the risk you’d be taking in rolling the dice with the less electable candidate?

Seth Masket, a political science professor at the University of Denver, said his best “ballpark estimate” is that Sanders would cost the Democratic Party 2 to 3 percentage points in a general election compared with a more conventional nominee.

“It’s not as big an effect as flipping a growing economy to one in recession,” Masket said. “It’s more like flipping a growing economy to a stalled one.”

Miroff, a political science professor at the University at Albany, said he thinks Masket’s estimate is likely too conservative.

“I’d say it’d have to be considerably higher than 2 to 3 points. I’m thinking the loss would be in the vicinity of 6 to 10 points,” Miroff said.

Republicans would find it easy to tie Sanders to the “socialist” label, Miroff said, adding that only 25 percent of the public trusts the government to carry out policies effectively.

“(Sanders) really has made radical, socialistic statements in the past about the redistribution of wealth and the expropriation of the oil industry,” Miroff said. “The full force of a Republican attack would find Sanders to be a convenient target.”

bernie sanders sentences

Bernie Sanders announces his campaign. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Why those head-to-head general election polls are “absolutely worthless”

In defense of their candidate’s electability, Sanders supporters have often turned to general election polls that show him doing well in head-to-head matchups with potential Republicans.

Sanders himself has recently embraced this argument, telling ABC News that he was the most electable candidate in part because of a poll showing him beating Donald Trump in a general election.

“Take a look at recent polls in which Bernie Sanders is matched with Republican candidates Trump on down [and] Hillary Clinton is matched with Republican candidates,” he said.

But it’s regarded as blindingly obvious among political scientists that these findings are essentially illusory, and that general election polls this far out are about as predictive now as a weather forecast for Election Day.

“The impressions people have of the eventual nominees months from now will be so different from today,” said McKee, the Texas Tech professor. “That’s a nice thing to point to, but what does a head-to-head poll mean in early February? … It’s worthless. It’s absolutely worthless.”
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NO. I’d never vote for a president that lies, and has a shameful history in foreign policy, was involved in the Whitewater case [Memos show Hillary ‘guilty of criminal fraud’ in Whitewater.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/memos-show-hillary-guilty-of-criminal-fraud-in-whitewater/#xffBdd9Be6xRSWpP.99received millions of dollars from big corporations, while bodies of Americans like the ambassador to Lybia Chris Stevens who had a horrific death because Mrs Clinton didn’t respond to Stevens his request for more protection. / Laura Bilbao

NEW YORK – Washington-based watchdog Judicial Watch has released 246 pages of previously undisclosed internal memos from Ken Starr’s Office of Independent Council investigation in 1998 showing prosecutors had evidence that Hillary Clinton and her associate Webb Hubbell at the Rose Law Firm in Little Rock, Arkansas, were guilty of criminal fraud in the Whitewater affair.

Judicial Watch said the newly released documents also show Clinton and Hubbell engaged in a criminal cover-up conspiracy that included destroying material documents and lying under oath to federal authorities.

Their efforts, Judicial Watch said, were aimed at preventing the Whitewater affair from denying Bill Clinton the White House in 1992 and from derailing his presidency in its first term.

The ‘Stop Hillary’ campaign is on fire! Join the surging response to this theme: ‘Clinton for prosecution, not president’

In an presage of the drama unfolding as the FBI investigates the private email server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state, the newly released documents also show that Starr declined prosecution in 1998 only out of concern a jury would not convict the first lady.

“These new Hillary Clinton prosecution memos are damning and dramatic,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Hillary Clinton’s bank fraud, obstruction, lies and other fraud began in Arkansas, continued in the White House and actually accelerated because of the suicide of her friend Vincent Foster.”

The memos suggest that if Clinton weren’t first lady, she would have been successfully prosecuted in federal court.

“As we continue the court fight to get the actual draft indictment of Hillary Clinton we first uncovered in this investigation, Americans would do well to read these memos,” Fitton said. “If you want to understand the deplorable ethics and corruption at the Clinton State Department, these documents provide important background.”

Criminal scheme

An April 20, 1998, memo by the “HRC (Hillary Rodham Clinton) Team” addressed to “All OIC Attorneys” outlines the conclusions reached by the federal prosecutors:

Hillary Clinton’s legal work at the Rose Law Firm with Webb Hubbell included a criminal scheme to defraud a local savings and loan bank arranging fraudulent loan purchases in a real estate transaction known as “Castle Grande.”

The criminal fraud committed by Clinton and Hubbell was further complicated by a criminal cover-up scheme.
The criminal cover-up perpetrated by Clinton and Hubbell was accomplished by the following acts: (1) destroying legal files regarding the fraudulent transaction, (2) lying under oath to federal investigators, including the FDIC and Congress, (3) removing incriminating records from Vince Foster’s office after his death, and (4) destroying other records, including Rose Law Firm records that would provide incriminating evidence against Clinton and Hubbell in the Whitewater scandal.

The memo said that during the 1992 campaign for president, media inquires caused Hillary Clinton, Hubbell and Foster to collect additional Rose Law Firm records relating to Hillary Clinton’s work for Madison Guarantee Savings and Loan.

Judicial Watch noted Hillary Clinton, according to Starr’s federal prosecutors, drafted an option agreement that concealed from federal bank examiners a fraudulent $300,000 cross-loan in the Castle Grande transaction.

Judicial Watch said Clinton’s subsequent concealment of her role in the fraudulent transaction, including the hiding of her Rose Law Firm billing records concerning her legal work for Madison, were the subject of an Office of Independent Council, or OIC, obstruction of justice probe.

Finally, Judicial Watch found that the 1998 memo included substantial evidence Clinton and her former Rose Law Firm partners Hubbell and Foster – both of whom went on to senior positions in the Bill Clinton presidency – as complicit in activities that “facilitated crimes.”

Vince Foster’s office

The memo confirmed that when Foster died, on or about July 20, 1993, Hillary Clinton, most likely with the complicity of White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum, removed from Foster’s office Whitewater-related documents that Clinton did not want disclosed to the public.

Subsequently, Clinton managed to move the documents to a hiding place adjacent to her White House office, where they were found two years after Foster died.

Regarding the removal of documents from Foster’s office after his death, the OIC prosecutors’ memo stated:

On the evening of July 22nd [1993], Thomas Castleton, an intern in the White House, assisted [Maggie] Williams [Hillary Clinton’s chief-of-staff] in carrying the box of personal documents [removed from Foster’s office] up to the 2nd floor of the Residence of the White House. Williams told Castleton that the documents were going to be given to the Clintons’ attorney, after they had been reviewed by Hillary Clinton and the President. Castleton placed the box in a closet in Hillary Clinton’s office, Room 323. That closet is approximately 30 feet from the table in the Book Room, Room 319A, where the billing records were found two years later.

The memo said two copies “of the most significant of these records, Hillary Clinton’s billing records for the work she did for MGSL, are known to exist – one set was discovered in a briefcase in Vince Foster’s attic in July 1997; the other set was the Book Room adjacent to Hillary Clinton’s office in August 1995 and publicly released in January 1996.”

The memo said Clinton and Hubbell committed perjury under oath, prefiguring the criminal offense that caused Bill Clinton to be impeached over the Monica Lewinsky affair.

A key paragraph reads:

Between January 1994 and February 1996 both Hillary Clinton and Hubbell made numerous sworn statements to the RTC [Resolution Trust Company], the FDIC, the Senate and the House of Representatives, and to OIC. Each of these reflected and embodied materially inaccurate stories relating to: how the RLF [Rose Law Firm] came to be retained by MGSL; Hillary Clinton’s role in the IDC/Castle Grande venture; Hillary Clinton’s role in representing MGSL before state agencies; Hubbell’s representations to the RTC and FDIC regarding Hillary Clinton’s role in the IDC/Castle Grande venture; and the removal of records from RFL.

Judicial Watch further said the newly released documents proved Hubbell received several “jobs” from Clinton supporters for which he apparently did little or no work.

Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/02/memos-show-hillary-guilty-of-criminal-fraud-in-whitewater/#xffBdd9Be6xRSWpP.99

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

 

Sorry, Hillary: Women care more about their president than his (or her) gender

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Hillary Clinton speaks in Washington. Photo: Getty Images

 

Hillary Clinton was counting on voters — particularly American women — to salivate at the prospect of shattering the highest glass ceiling by electing a woman president. She’ll need a backup plan. It turns out women aren’t nearly as gender-obsessed as Hillary thinks they are, or wants them to be.

Clinton’s strategy does make some sense. After all, President Obama was buoyed by the widespread sense that his election wasn’t just his personal triumph, but all of ours, in burying the vestiges of America’s racist past. Given that women were also once treated as second-class citizens, why shouldn’t Hillary expect a similar wave of excitement and sense of history?

Perhaps the string of female secretaries of state and Supreme Court justices, as well as presidential candidates like Carly Fiorina and Clinton herself, has made the idea of a female president seem less than revolutionary. The feminist movement — which appears unwilling to acknowledge women’s gains — may also have overplayed its victim status. Young men with few job prospects and a lifetime of being bested by female schoolmates may not be overjoyed to applaud yet another sign of women’s ascendance.

The person of Hillary Clinton herself undoubtedly helps dampen enthusiasm about the prospect of a female president, and not just among Republicans who disagree with her political philosophy. The media is currently pondering how the re-emergence of her husband’s brutal treatment of ex-lovers impacts voters’ opinion of Hillary.

But Mrs. Clinton’s role as the long-suffering first lady to a roguish leading man is just one of her problems; her reputation as a scandal-drenched, corporate-backed and largely failed public servant has always made her an awkward feminist heroine.

Regardless of the explanation, the simple fact is most voters aren’t particularly anxious to see a woman — let alone Hillary Clinton — in the Oval Office.

Pew Research Center’s new report explored attitudes about women in leadership, and found that most Americans see women as just as capable political leaders as men. Women scored about equally on some key leadership traits such as intelligence and capacity for innovation, and received higher marks on attributes such as honesty, ability to compromise, compassion and organization.

Pew found big differences between how Democrats and Republicans viewed the sexes as potential political leaders. But before liberals start lamenting sexist conservatives’ “war on women,” Republicans didn’t see women as less capable, rather Republicans “are more inclined to say there isn’t any difference between men and women,” while “Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to say that women do a better job than men.” In other words, Republicans were more likely to truly see women and men as equals, while Democrats see one sex — men — as inferior.

But just because Americans see women as just as qualified and capable political leaders doesn’t mean they’re eagerly awaiting a female president. Just four in 10 (38 percent) of all adults “say they hope the US will elect a female president in their lifetime,” while a majority (57 percent) “say it doesn’t matter to them.”

Women are more likely to want to see a female president, but even that doesn’t translate into big support for Hillary. Take New Hampshire, where the latest poll shows just 38 percent of Democratic women voters plan to vote for Hillary compared to 52 who favor Sen. Bernie Sanders. Clinton is losing women’s support not just in Iowa and New Hampshire: A nationwide poll just released by Monmouth University found that Clinton’s edge among women has fallen from plus-45 percentage points in December to just 19 now.

Feminists may take the lack of excitement as more evidence that the deck is stacked against women. But this phenomenon can also be seen as progress: Women have come so far that it’s no longer big news for women to advance to a higher level of power. People really are judging others based on the content of their character and the skills they bring to the position rather than as a representative of any particular demographic group.

This makes it more likely that when we get a woman president (and three out of four surveyed by Pew expect to see it during their lifetime) she’ll have reached that position based on her qualifications, not out of a sense of obligation among voters. Now that’s something to be excited about.

Carrie Lukas is the managing director of the Independent Women’s Forum and vice president for policy of the Independent Women’s Voice.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s).  Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

The Clinton Chronicles

hillary-clinton-winking-AP-640x480

Madame Clinton winking…

Clinton’s presidential chances threatened by her own blundering

A popular theme on Planet Clinton is that poor Hillary is always in danger of being undone by her charming cad of a hubby. Michael Goodwin argues there might be more to the story.

On a long list of possibilities, that scenario must be included. But my reading of the Clinton Chronicles points to a much bigger threat to the restoration of the family monarchy.

That would be the stumbling performance of the lady herself.

Human Abedin, Clinton’s long time top aide, said her boss is “often confused” and needs plenty of guidance to understand her schedule according to fresh  e-mails revealed . Who would vote for a president that is “often confused” ? Most likely the terrorists would be willing to vote for her, even meeting with her at the White House.

Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, released new e-mails from Abedin that show concern among State Department staff that then-Secretary of State Clinton didn’t know who to call.  In one-email exchanged from June 26, 2013, Abedin asks fellow staffer Monica Hanley whether Clinton knows to call then-Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

On top of the tactical blunders, there was an overarching reason why sure victory eluded Hillary Clinton in 2008. She simply was not a very appealing candidate, offering neither charisma nor a compelling message. She ran with a sense of entitlement that the Oval Office was owed to her. Abedin stresses the importance of reviewing the schedule with Clinton: “Very imp to do that. She’s often confused.”

It’s not the first time the word “confused” has been used to describe the Democratic presidential front-runner. Clinton herself has admitted in e-mails that she gets “confused” and even apologized to her staff for mix-ups while she was secretary of state.

If anything has changed, it’s a well-kept secret. Already, her run this time is marked by mistakes, gaffes and reports of ethical corner-cutting, which adds up to watching the same bad movie twice.

It’s a strange way to make a fresh start given the dreary end of her time as secretary of state. To describe her four-year tenure as empty of accomplishment doesn’t do justice to the damage. She was complicit in the foreign-policy disasters now erupting around the world.

Remember her clever Russian reset? Benghazi, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Israel, China — the list of things that got worse on her watch is long, while it is a challenge to name one significant advance in America’s favor.

That record is who she is. Once viewed as a smart, passionate woman whose brilliance would shine when she was liberated, she is, at 67, getting long in the tooth to be talked of in terms of potential.

To justify faith in a big upside from here, there should be abundant evidence of recent “excellence”. But what has she accomplished other than winning two elections as senator and losing one for president?

There’s no breakthrough doctrine or novel idea or even a successful policy or law identified with her. After 25 years in the circus, she’s still a celebrity guest, not a star performer.

Her new campaign is more of the same. Instead of offering coherent principles and establishing a message, she’s running the Rose Garden strategy of a favored incumbent.

Let the other candidates scrape for attention by responding to the world’s woes. She’s still giving paid speeches, believing she can float above it all like a giant balloon in the Thanksgiving Day parade.

In another sign that she sees herself as president-in-waiting, she’s got a reported 200 advisers, suggesting she’s already staffing an administration.

I wouldn’t bet the house she’ll get the chance. Sure, she’s a lock for the nomination — unless another Barack Obama comes along. Far-lefty firebrand Sen. Elizabeth Warren says she’s not running, but any more head-shaking revelations about the Clinton Foundation’s sleazy fund-raising could change her mind.

The foundation accepted millions of dollars from foreign governments while Hillary was America’s top diplomat, The Washington Post found. It said that at least one gift, $500,000 from Algeria, violated loose ethics rules drawn up by the Obama administration to separate her duties from the foundation.

The Wall Street Journal also found a suspicious pattern of corporate giving. General Electric, Exxon Mobil, Microsoft and Boeing were among 60 companies that lobbied the State Department during her tenure and donated a combined $26 million to the family foundation, the paper reports.

It found several cases where her lobbying of foreign governments on behalf of specific American firms came just before or after those firms made hefty donations to the Clinton Foundation or another nonprofit she created, Vital Voices. Walmart gave to both groups, and to a separate fund Clinton established at the State Department.

Any claim that there was no quid pro quo should be made under oath. Most of the corporations have their own foundations, so why would they give their money to the Clintons to spend? Who suggested they do so?

Because a black hole doesn’t yield much information, Clinton beat reporters often turn spin into news. A New York Times story went big with the “news” that Clinton would “spotlight gender” this time.

Wow, stop the presses. The Times must have missed that 2008 movement to “shatter the glass ceiling” and the talk of the “pantsuit posse.”

In fact, gender pitch redux shows Clinton once again waving group identity as her chief qualification. In that case, she should go all the way and just say this: I want to be president because I deserve it.

That at least has the virtue of honesty.

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Madame Clinton

 

 

Hillary Clinton’s Stonewalling of Peace Agreement with Libya: Bombshell Tapes Confirm Citizen Commission’s Findings on Benghazi

 

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Hillary Clinton, 68 yrs old

 

As Hillary Clinton further delays the announcement of her 2016 run for the White House, more news has broken regarding her role in the 2011 disastrous intervention in Libya, which set the stage for the 2012 Benghazi attacks where we lost four brave American lives.

Two new stories from The Washington Times expose some of the infighting among government agencies and branches of government on this controversial decision, and highlight the key role that Clinton played in initiating the war. You can listen to tapes of discussions between Pentagon staffers, former Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), and the Qaddafi regime for yourself.

This news also validates the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi (CCB) 2014 interim report, which exposed that Muammar Qaddafi had offered truce talks and a possible peaceful abdication to the United States, which Washington turned down.

“[The article] also makes it clear that the Benghazi investigation needs to be broadened to answer the question: ‘Why did America bomb Libya in the first place?’” commented Rear Admiral Chuck Kubic (Ret.), a key source for the CCB’s interim report who was also quoted by the Times.

“Despite the willingness of both AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham and Muammar Qaddafi to pursue the possibility of truce talks, permission was not given to Gen. Ham from his chain of command in the Pentagon and the window of opportunity closed,” reads Kubic’s statement for our report from last year. You can watch here, from a CCB press conference last April, as Admiral Kubic described his personal involvement in the effort to open negotiations between Qaddafi and the U.S. government.

Now we learn that the likely source of the stonewalling came from the State Department—and Secretary Clinton—herself. “On the day the U.N. resolution was passed, Mrs. Clinton ordered a general within the Pentagon to refuse to take a call with Gadhafi’s son Seif and other high-level members within the regime, to help negotiate a resolution, the secret recordings reveal,” reported the Times on January 29.

Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates indicated in his book, Duty, that he was opposed to the war for national security reasons. He highlighted a division among White House advisors—with Susan Rice, Ben Rhodes, and Samantha Power “urging aggressive U.S. action to prevent an anticipated massacre of the rebels as Qaddafi fought to remain in power.” Add to that list the former Secretary of State.

“But that night, with Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s forces turning back the rebellion that threatened his rule, Mrs. Clinton changed course, forming an unlikely alliance with a handful of top administration aides who had been arguing for intervention,” reported The New York Times on March 18, 2011, the day after UN Resolution 1973 authorizing a “no fly” zone in Libya was voted on and passed.

“Within hours, Mrs. Clinton and the aides had convinced Mr. Obama that the United States had to act, and the president ordered up military plans, which Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, hand-delivered to the White House the next day.”

The Washington Times now reports that “In the recovered recordings, a U.S. intelligence liaison working for the Pentagon told a Gadhafi aide that Mr. Obama privately informed members of Congress that Libya ‘is all Secretary Clinton’s matter’ and that the nation’s highest-ranking generals were concerned that the president was being misinformed” about a humanitarian crisis that didn’t exist. However, one must wonder just how much President Obama implicitly supported Clinton in her blind push to intervene in what was once a comparatively stable country, and an ally in the war against al Qaeda. While this new report is certainly damning of Mrs. Clinton’s actions, and appears to place the blame for the unnecessary chaos in Libya—which ultimately led to Benghazi—on her shoulders, President Obama shares the blame as the ultimate Decider-in-Chief.

“Furthermore, defense officials had direct information from their intelligence asset in contact with the regime that Gadhafi gave specific orders not to attack civilians and to narrowly focus the war on the armed rebels, according to the asset, who survived the war,” reports The Washington Times in its second of three articles. Saving those in Benghazi from a looming massacre by Qaddafi seems to have been a convenient excuse made by the administration for political expediency. Could it be, instead, that President Obama, as well as Mrs. Clinton, put greater value on the rise to power of an “Arab Spring” government with Muslim Brotherhood connections? And, as the CCB interim report shows, the U.S. government was willing to go so far as to facilitate the provision of arms to al-Qaeda-linked rebels in Libya in order to ensure that Qaddafi fell.

Will the mainstream media pick up on these new revelations, or will they cast them aside as another “phony scandal” to throw into their dustbins filled with other stories that might possibly embarrass the Obama administration, or prove to be an impediment to Mrs. Clinton’s path to the White House?

“It’s critical to note that Qaddafi was actively engaged with Department of Defense officials to arrange discussions about his possible abdication and exile when that promising development was squashed by the Obama White House,” noted CCB Member Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer, regarding the failed truce talks. “The Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi has been asking, ‘Why?’ for well over a year now.”

“It is time the American people and the families of those who fought and gave their lives at Benghazi in September 2012 were told why those brave Americans had to die at all, much less die alone with no effort made to save them,” she said.

Clinton, through House Democrats, has indicated that she is willing to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi. But Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) recently indicated that the Committee must first examine her emails from the State Department before questioning his witness. This complicates the issue of her testifying, since Mrs. Clinton is in the process of calculating when she will announce her presidential run.

Do the emails that Gowdy has requested from the State Department even extend back to 2011?

Chairman Gowdy identified three “tranches” that his potential questioning would fall under in an interview with Fox’s Greta Van Susteren:

  • Why was the U.S. Special Mission Compound open in the first place?
  • What actions did Clinton take during the attacks?
  • What was Clinton’s role during the talking points and Susan Rice’s Sunday morning talk show visits?

A fourth tranche should be: Clinton’s push to intervene in Libya and how it set the stage for an insecure country and strong jihadist movement willing—and able—to attack the Americans posted there. And while he’s at it, Rep. Gowdy should ask Mrs. Clinton to explain why all of the very legitimate requests for increased security in Benghazi were turned down, and why were Ambassador Chris Stevens’ personal security staff, from the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS) directed to store their weapons in a separate location—not on them—on the night of September 11, 2012?

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at roger.aronoff@aim.org.

The Democratic debate’s Wall Street fight left Clinton and Sanders looking bad

Updated by Ezra Klein on November 14, 2015, 11:58 p.m. ET

Two things are true about Hillary Clinton on financial regulation:

1. She has the most detailed, and arguably the strongest, financial regulation plan of the three Democratic candidates.
Wall Street skeptics don’t really trust her to implement said plan.

2. Wall Street skeptics don’t really trust her to implement said plan.

Understanding those two points helps make sense of a fairly confusing, but important, exchange at the second Democratic debate — an exchange in which both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders played into their critics’ hands.

Hillary Clinton: Once again she played the 9/11″ card.

It began when moderator John Dickerson asked Hillary Clinton, “You have received money from Wall Street. How will you convince voters you will level the playing field when you’re indebted to some of its biggest players?”

Clinton initially tried to talk about her financial regulation plan, but Sanders wouldn’t let her escape the issue of donations.

“Let’s not be naive about it,” Sanders said. “Why, over her political career, has Wall Street been the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? Now, maybe they’re dumb and they don’t know what they’re going to get, but I don’t think so.”

In response, Clinton, unwisely, played the 9/11 card.

“I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked,” she replied. “Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

But Mrs Clinton didn’t mention Wall Street’s donations to her. And to mention it was good too for Wall Street

Clinton’s answer was bizarre — she doesn’t believe Wall Street has backed her many campaigns primarily because of 9/11, and it’s borderline insulting that she thinks anyone else would believe it, either.

Clinton didn’t trust the audience with the truth. Wall Street supported her candidacy because both she and her husband often backed legislation Wall Street supported, because Wall Street routinely tries to buy favor with prominent politicians of both parties, and because many on Wall Street are Democrats who supported Clinton for other reasons.

That doesn’t mean Clinton always backed Wall Street’s priorities, or even that Wall Street was unusually positive toward Clinton — the financial industry also funneled a massive amount of money to Barack Obama in 2008.

Voice: “Helping” Hillary Clinton with little-watched Saturday debates was a terrible plan

Democrats are holding a primary debate tomorrow, much to the annoyance of political journalists everywhere whose Saturday nights are being ruined. Most galling off all, this appears to be a deliberate tactic to minimize viewership taken by the Democratic National Committee as a favor to Hillary Clinton, who wanted to minimize the number of debates. If that’s right, though, the party has done its frontrunner no favors. It makes sense for Clinton to want to have fewer debates rather than more, but as long as Democrats are going to debate, she should want said debates to be seen by as many people as possible.

The problem, most likely, is the calendar was set months ago, before the first Democratic debate reminded everyone of how friendly the debate format is to Clinton’s political skills.

She eclipsed Obama on the debate stage in her previous run, but as one Hill Democrat put it to me, “that was seven years ago,” so her allies worried that she might be rusty and wanted to keep her rivals out of the spotlight. “The thinking that Hillary is awesome at debates really only became prevalent again after her strong performance in the first debate.”

Consequently, by underestimating their own champion, the Democratic establishment has ended up doing Clinton a disservice.
Debates have a downside for Clinton

The Clinton campaign’s basic impulse to minimize the number of debates, though not great for the media, makes perfect sense. She is the overwhelming favorite to win the Democratic nomination, and anything she says or does can basically only hurt her — not so much by jeopardizing her shot at the nomination as by getting her to make commitments that could hurt her in the general. Debates are, among other things, a mechanism through which party stakeholders force candidates to make public commitments to pursue controversial policy goals.

To the extent that Clinton can reduce the quantity of opportunities stakeholders have to put her through this, it makes sense for her to do so.
Minimizing viewership makes no sense

But the idea — whether inferred by Clinton’s campaign or by her allies at the DNC independently — that fewer viewers is better for Clinton is a mistake. The main problem is that all the downside risks of the debate are present no matter how few people are watching. One Democrat speculated to me that the goal was not just to minimize viewership but to make the event look “insignificant” in the eyes of the media. But the reality is that if Clinton commits a gaffe, all bets are off, and it will be replayed online and on cable endlessly no matter how little-watched and insignificant the original event was.

In policy terms, too, the risk for Clinton has nothing to do with how many people watch Saturday night’s debate. Any unpopular commitments she makes will be recorded by the media and by her future opponents. The Republican nominee and his allies will bring it up during the general election, and the media will be on hand to verify that she really said it. Footage will be available. The size of the live audience will be irrelevant.

Debates are, structurally speaking, bad for primary election overdogs like Clinton. But Clinton also happens to be a candidate who tends to shine in debates. She is not a first-rate orator, and her consensus-oriented leadership style tends to make it impossible for her speechwriters to craft truly excellent rhetoric for her. But she is much wonkier than the typical elected official, and she’s certainly a better public speaker than your average policy wonk. Very few politicians — and certainly nobody who is running in 2016 — can match the sheer range of issues she can talk about in a well-informed, reasonably persuasive way.
Clinton is good at debating

Clinton’s depth of knowledge and breadth of experience is a huge advantage in the rambling, unpredictable context of a debate.

But this really only comes across if you actually sit down and watch the debate. Everyone who watched the first Democratic primary debate agreed that her performance was impressive. But it lacked a signature moment like the showdown where Marco Rubio humiliated Jeb Bush. Clinton didn’t deliver a knockout punch to Bernie Sanders. She simply looked a little more comfortable and a little more conversant across a range of topics over an extended period of time. It’s something you genuinely had to see for yourself to appreciate.

A Saturday night debate sticks Clinton with the worst of both worlds. If she gaffes or decides to come out in favor of slavery reparations, the damage will be done even if nobody’s watching. But if she delivers another display of consistent competence and command, few people will be around to appreciate it.
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The Democratic debate’s Wall Street fight left Clinton looking bad

Updated by Ezra Klein on November 14, 2015, 11:58 p.m. ET

Two things are true about Hillary Clinton on financial regulation:

1. She has the most detailed, and arguably the strongest, financial regulation plan of the three Democratic candidates.
Wall Street skeptics don’t really trust her to implement said plan.

2. Understanding those two points helps make sense of a fairly confusing, but important, exchange at the second Democratic debate — an exchange in which both Hillary Clinton and Two things are true about Hillary Clinton on financial regulation:

Understanding those two points helps make sense of a fairly confusing, but important, exchange at the second Democratic debate — an exchange in which both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders played into their critics’ hands.

Hillary Clinton: Once again she played the 9/11″ card.

It began when moderator John Dickerson asked Hillary Clinton, “You have received money from Wall Street. How will you convince voters you will level the playing field when you’re indebted to some of its biggest players?”

Clinton initially tried to talk about her financial regulation plan, but Sanders wouldn’t let her escape the issue of donations.

“Let’s not be naive about it,” Sanders said. “Why, over her political career, has Wall Street been the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? Now, maybe they’re dumb and they don’t know what they’re going to get, but I don’t think so.”

In response, Clinton, unwisely, played the 9/11 card.

“I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked,” she replied. “Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan, where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”

But Mrs Clinton didn’t mention Wall Street’s donations to her. And to mention it was good too for Wall Street

Clinton’s answer was bizarre — she doesn’t believe Wall Street has backed her many campaigns primarily because of 9/11, and it’s borderline insulting that she thinks anyone else would believe it, either.

Clinton didn’t trust the audience with the truth. Wall Street supported her candidacy because both she and her husband often backed legislation Wall Street supported, because Wall Street routinely tries to buy favor with prominent politicians of both parties, and because many on Wall Street are Democrats who supported Clinton for other reasons.

That doesn’t mean Clinton always backed Wall Street’s priorities, or even that Wall Street was unusually positive toward Clinton — the financial industry also funneled a massive amount of money to Barack Obama in 2008.