Archive for December, 2009

April, you’re the Easter Bunny when you smile!
(Neil Sedaka)

April inspires songwriters like Neil Sedaka, and poets.

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
-T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land


by Edna St. Vincent Millay

To what purpose, April, do you return again?
Beauty is not enough.
You can no longer quiet me with the redness
Of little leaves opening stickily.
I know what I know.
The sun is hot on my neck as I observe
The spikes of the crocus.
The smell of the earth is good.
It is apparent that there is no death.
But what does that signify?
Not only under ground are the brains of men
Eaten by maggots.
Life in itself
Is nothing,
An empty cup, a flight of uncarpeted stairs.
It is not enough that yearly, down this hill,
Comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers.

Well, okay, it seems the poets I like are were inspired to rather gloomy views of Spring rooted in consciousness of mortality, and I guess we can all admit that when the magic of Spring begins there is an underlying sadness tied to the temporal nature of what unfolds around us. Most of us, though, spend more time appreciating the emerging sprouts of green and pastel buds than ruminating over the fleeting character of the show and its darker implications.

And so it was, last April, as the snows receded and the crocuses and hyacinths emerged from the earth, that Hillary Rodham Clinton began to emerge as the lovely Hillary Clinton Tulip (named for her) that would, as she famously said, “bloom where she was planted.”  We were transfixed by the spectacle!

She was very busy in April, and swept into Europe like an April shower, charming one and all. She visited the Middle East and made a surprise trip to Iraq. We began to see the Hillary who was soon to earn the title (apparently an official tag on some blogs): Secretary of Awesome, and that she is!

Fortunately,  it appears I was blogging somewhat more responsibly at this point.  This is one of my very favorite pictures ever, and it was taken last April, of Hillary arriving in Germany and being greeted by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

And here are the archives from this blog for April 2009.

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It was obviously “closed press coverage” (which drives Hillary bloggers nuts!), but P.J. Crowley was kind enough to provide a little insight into the nature of the broad range of issues discussed. Neither was there a camera spray after the meeting. So this photo of the principals will have to suffice.
Merry Christmas Hillary

MR. CROWLEY:…a few of you have asked about the schedule of the Secretary of State over the next few days. I can tell you this morning the Secretary departed Washington and she stopped at the North Pole for an important bilateral meeting with a well known international figure. During the meeting, in a formal demarche, sung to the tune of Twelve Days of Christmas, the Secretary outlined her aspirations for the new year. They include, and feel free to hum along: open and accountable governments, Middle East negotiations, more civilians in Afghanistan, empowerment of women, fewer nuclear weapons, respect for human rights, resolution of historic grievances, treaties through the United States Senate, Six-Party Talks, dialogue with Iran, enough food for people of the world to eat, climate change legislation, and lastly, a championship for the Boston Red Sox. Okay, that last one’s not on her list, but Harold Koh and I thought it was important that we mention that here.

QUESTION: And it’s gotten that bad, huh? She’s got to go ask Santa for this stuff? (Laughter.) That’s a pretty damming statement.

MR. CROWLEY: Whatever it takes….

Whatever it takes to get Boston a championship? Ho-Ho-Ho!!!! We KNOW our NY girl did NOT ask Santa for that!

No mention either of whether she sat on Santa’s lap. Santa, you’re a lucky guy!

**UPDATE**12/23/09 Just for Jen: Well it seems someone DID manage to get a photo.  Paparazzi apparently alive and thriving at the North Pole!

**UPDATE** Here is CNN’s rather cute take on this story. The article gives some particularly nice kudos to our girl’s handling of holiday parties at State (in contrast to past practices).

She didn’t depart Washington on a sleigh led by nine reindeer, but Clinton spread her own dose of Christmas spirit throughout the halls of Foggy Bottom before taking off, hosting no fewer than seven holiday parties at the State Department during the holiday season….

This year the parties were smaller and much more intimate than the parties of Christmas past. Clinton held court in the cozy Thomas Jefferson diplomatic reception room, rather than the large and ornate Benjamin Franklin room where parties are traditionally held. As is customary, the Secretary of State mingled among the crowds, smiling and posing for pictures.


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Well, it seems I have some ‘splaining to do.  I have an older blog (A Rose for Hillary at Blogger) where I followed Hillary through her primary campaign, the GE, and finally into State.  (But don’t go looking for that earlier stuff – I took it down.)  In order to comment on someone’s blog, I had to start a WordPress account.   WordPress has nice templates, and they spotlight their blogs.  So I started using this as a mirror for the other which I have kept since Blogger allows certain applications WordPress does not accept,  and it is tied to Google so it comes up on Google searches.

As you might have noticed, all I was doing last winter was commenting. As the year rolled out, I began to be disappointed in the media coverage of Hillary’s work and travel, and I began reporting.  It was at that point that the two blogs began fully to mirror each other.

Back in March, for some reason,  A Rose for Hillary had more entries than this one did.

March 2009 was when our lovely new Secretary of State traveled to Mexico and the Middle East. My favorite highlights from March.

  • The Middle East:
    • She visited an EFL class on the West Bank and taught (lucky kids, lucky teacher!).
    • Video of Shimon Peres giving flowers to  our flower.  She was adorable – both of them were.
  • St. Patrick’s Day:  The Irish Foreign Minister visited her at the State Department.   Hillary always does something special on St. Patrick’s Day.  She was in the Scranton parade the year before, and Scranton will never forget.
  • Mexico:  She spontaneously decided to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe,  and the monsignor who is the rector was clearly delighted.  He gave her a rose and I changed the name of a blog.

Something else interesting:  That Rainbow entry.  Well, not long ago, I think in September, we DID, as Hillary put it, “go into the arena” and rejoin the UN Human Rights Council.  If it was not her idea, she certainly did a yeoman’s job of making it sound like her idea.   Also, in the interim, Hillary and Susan Rice appear to be marching in lockstep and getting along just fine regardless of predictions to the contrary.  I do not know how she is getting along with Samantha Powers.  It seems from what I wrote there that this was the beginning of the “Hillary in the Shadows” meme that survived for months and I combated frequently at The Department of Homegirl Security through Spring and into the Summer.

March, I’m gonna march you down the aisle. (Neil Sedaka)

Still4Hill Archive for March 2009

There is more  here:  A Rose for Hillary Archive for March 2009

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Two posts from February comprised  a video wherein Hillary speaks about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and gives a send-off to artist-diplomats,  including Herbie Hancock.  The traveling artists were headed to various locations  in India as special representatives of the U.S.  She made this video on my birthday, so I took the liberty of accepting it as her birthday gift to me;)  I found this video positively enchanting. It was the first one I had seen of her functioning as Secretary of State, and she was so pleasant, relaxed, and funny, not to mention pretty in that blue pantsuit that I love.  I especially remember how beautiful her voice sounded.  It was a different voice from the one on the campaign trail and on the Senate floor.

Here is a picture of Hillary with Martin Luther King’s sister at a different event honoring Dr.King.

The second post was about the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Law.  This bill marked the beginning and the end of Hillary’s service in the Senate.  It was the first she worked on when she entered in 2000, and she reintroduced it shortly before resigning to accept her post at the State Department.  Here are a few pictures from that day that did not accompany that post.  The woman behind the President is Lilly Ledbetter.

Standing to her right, but not in the picture was Joe Biden.  The triptych below shows what HE was up to at some point during this ceremony.

Well, we all know Joe loves Hillary. Even Jill and Bill know. Clearly he enjoys making her laugh. He also seems to like to hug her. He cannot be faulted for that, since she is most huggable!

February,  you’re my little Valentine. (Neil Sedaka)

Here is the link to February 2009 on this blog.

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As of this morning, there were 12 days left in 2009.  There are 12  Days of Christmas, and 12 months in the year.  So the magic number 12 gave me the idea to re-post from the archives here.  Starting tonight, with January 2009, and continuing through New Year’s Eve, I will re-post,  here,   items from the archives.  This is my humble gift to my readers.  There are no Lords a Leaping, no Pipers Piping and, no Ladies Dancing.  No, not even ONE Partridge in a Pear Tree.  But there IS the AMAZING Hillary Rodham Clinton in her premiere year as Secretary of State – a performance not to be missed! 

Happy Holidays to one and all, and, of course, to our dear Madame Secretary!  All the best for the New Year!


January 2009 -You start the year out fine:    The highlight, hands down,  was Hillary Clinton’s spectacular confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee which prompted Chris Matthews (of all people) to comment that he had never seen anyone “know so much.”  (Not a surprise to Hillary loyalists.)  Here are three January posts about that awesome performance.

January,  you start the year off fine. (Neil Sedaka)

Still4Hill – January 2009 Archives

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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton scheduled to visit New Zealand and Australia next month.

According to the Sunday issue of the New Zealand Herald,  a trip to New Zealand and Australia is on the agenda.

Madame Secretary

The Herald on Sunday understands Clinton’s trip is pencilled in for the week starting January 11 and will involve two days of official engagements and meetings. She is also expected to visit Australia.

The State Department has not confirmed this report, however, in keeping with past practice.

Official word on the visit isn’t expected until the new year. When former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice came to New Zealand last year, her visit was confirmed only a week before her arrival.

A spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully said: “We’re not saying anything about her visit at the moment.”

The spokesman said that was at the behest of Washington: “The Americans like to play things in a very low-key way.”

A press officer at the State department in Washington said: “The only time we discuss the Secretary’s trip is when we make an announcement – and we haven’t yet.”

Read the whole article at – HERALD ON SUNDAY

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Here is our lovely Secretary of State in Copenhagen today.

Well, some kind of agreement was reached. It does not have the teeth many hoped for. Here is the text of The Copenhagen Accord, such as it is.  It was posted at Grist with this disclaimer:

The text was distributed as a PDF file to the news media. An optical character recognition tool was used to convert that file to text, so errors may have occurred in that process.

Errors did occur because an optical character recognition tool is art rather than a science, but we should all be able to deal with the errors, and we all should be able to read this accord.   I did edit where is was clear what the word was supposed to be.  Other “errors” that came up underlined in red were simply British forms that actually are not errors.  Bolded emphasis herein is my own.

The Heads of State, Heads of Government, Ministers, and other heads of delegation present at the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen,

In pursuit of the ultimate objective of the Convention as stated in its Article 2,

Being guided by the principles and provisions of the Convention,

Noting the results of work done by the two Ad hoc Working Groups,

Endorsing decision x/CP.l5 that extends the mandate of the Ad hoc Working Group on Long-term cooperative action and decision x/CMP.5 that requests the Ad hoc Working Group on Further Commitments of Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol to continue its work, Have agreed on this Copenhagen Accord which is operational immediately.

1. We underline that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time. We emphasise our strong political will to urgently combat climate change in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. To achieve the ultimate objective of the Convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, we shall, recognizing the scientific view that the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees, on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development, enhance our long-term cooperative action to combat climate change. We recognize the critical impacts of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures on countries particularly vulnerable to its adverse effects and stress the need to establish a comprehensive adaptation programme including international support.

2. We agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required according to science, and as documented by the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report with a view to reduce global emissions by 50 per cent in 2050 below 1990 levels,taking into account the right to equitable access to atmospheric space. We should cooperate in achieving the peaking of global and national emissions as soon as possible, recognizing that the time frame for peaking will be longer in developing countries and bearing in mind that social and economic development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countries and that a low-emission development strategy is indispensable to sustainable development.

3. Adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures is a challenge faced by all countries. Enhanced action and international cooperation on adaptation is urgently required to ensure the implementation of the Convention by enabling and supporting the implementation of adaptation actions aimed at reducing vulnerability and building resilience in developing countries, especially in those that are particularly vulnerable, especially least developed countries, small island developing States and further taking into account the need of countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods. We agree that developed countries shall provide adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, technology and capacity-building to support the implementation of adaptation action in developing countries.

4. Annex I Parties to the Convention commit to reducing their emissions individually or jointly by at least 80 per cent by 2050. They also commit to implement individually or jointly the quantified economy-wide emissions targets for 2020 as listed in appendix l, yielding in aggregate reductions of greenhouse gas emissions of X per cent in 2020 compared to 1990 and Y per cent in 2020 compared to 2005. Annex I Parties that are Party to the Kyoto Protocol will thereby further strengthen the emissions reductions initiated by the Kyoto Protocol. Delivery of reductions and financing by developed countries will be measured, reported and verified in accordance with existing and any further guidelines adopted by the Conference of Parties, and will ensure that accounting of such targets and finance is rigorous, robust and transparent.

5. Non-Annex I Parties to the Convention will implement mitigation actions, including those listed in appendix II, consistent with Article 4.1 and Article 4.7 and in the context of sustainable development. Mitigation actions subsequently taken and envisaged by Non Annex I Parties shall be communicated through national communications consistent with Article l2.1(b) every two years on the basis of guidelines to be adopted by the Conference of the Parties. Those mitigation actions in national communications or otherwise communicated to the Secretariat will be added to the list in appendix II. Mitigation actions taken by Non Parties will be subject to their domestic measurement, reporting and verification the result of which will be reported through their national communications every two years. Non Annex I Parties will provide biennial national inventory reports in accordance with revised guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties. [Consideration to be inserted US and China]. Nationally appropriate mitigation actions seeking international support will be recorded in a registry along with relevant technology, finance and capacity building support. Those actions supported will be added to the list in appendix II. These supported nationally appropriate mitigation actions will be subject to intenational measurement, reporting and verification in accordance with guidelines adopted by the Conference of the Parties.

6. We recognize the crucial role of reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation and the need to enhance removals of greenhouse gas emission  by forests and agree on the need to provide positive incentives to such actions through the immediate establishment of a mechanism including REDD-plus, to enable the mobilization of financial resources from developed countries.

7. We decide to ptusue various approaches, including opportunities to use markets, to enhance the cost-effectiveness of; and to promote mitigation actions. Developing countries, especially those with low emitting economies should be provided incentives to continue to develop on a low emission pathway.

8. Scaled up, new and additional, predictable and adequate funding as well as improved access shall be provided to developing countries, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, to enable and support enhanced action on mitigation, including substantial finance to prevent deforestation (REDD-plus), adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity-building, for enhanced implementation of the Convention. The collective commitment by developed countries is to provide new and additional resources amounting to 30 billion dollars for the period 2010 – 2012 as listed in appendix lll with balanced allocation between adaptation and mitigation, including forestry. Funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing states and countries in Africa affected by drought, desertification and floods. In the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation, developed countries support a goal of mobilizing jointly 100 billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries. This funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including altemative sources of finance. New multilateral funding for adaptation will be delivered through effective and efficient fund arrangements, with a governance structure providing for equal representation of developed and developing countries.

9. To this end, a High Level Panel will be established under the guidance of and accountable to the Conference of the Parties to assess the contribution of the potential sources of revenue, including alternative sources of finance, towards meeting this goal.

10. We decide that the Copenhagen Climate Fund shall be established as an operating entity of the financial mechanism of the Convention to support projects, programmes, policies and other activities in developing cotmtries related to mitigation including REDD-plus, adaptation, capacity- building, technology development and transfer as set forth in decision -/CP.l 5.

ll. In order to enhance action on development and transfer of technology we decide to establish a Technology Mechanism as set forth in decision -/CP.l5 to accelerate technology development and transfer in support of action on adaptation and mitigation Composethat will be guided by a country-driven approach and be based on national circumstances and priorities.

12. We call for a review of this Accord and its implementation to be completed by 2016, including in light of the Convention’s ultimate objective. This review would include consideration of strengthening the long-term goal to limit the increase in global average temperature to 1.5 degrees.

OK. I know I know I know! It’s non-binding and has no consequences in an of itself, but it IS something, and we all know the REAL consequences. It is countries like China, India, and Brazil that will suffer those consequences most severely if they do not act on this. In fact they already are, especially China with its pollution. They can no longer claim that they do not know what the results will be.

Anyway, there it is, the baby the President preceded by the Secretary of State helped mid-wife into the world. It does not have teeth, that’s true. No newborn does.

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I could not close for the night without posting this.  Hillary gets it, Oxfam (I belong to this organization) gets it, and I sure hope the rest of the world does!

Oxfam’s Reaction to Secretary Clinton’s Copenhagen Announcement

WASHINGTON, Dec. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Oxfam America President Raymond C. Offenheiser made the following statement in reaction to today’s announcement by Secretary Hillary Clinton that the US is prepared to work with other developed countries to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries:

(Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20080221/DC14723LOGO )

“Secretary Clinton’s announcement could be one of the missing keys that unlock the international negotiations in Copenhagen. Her recognition that substantial resources are needed to help developing countries weather the negative impacts of climate change could truly move us closer to a fair and adequate global deal on climate change.

“Around the world, millions of people are facing the fact that the impacts of climate change are here to stay and due to get worse before they get better, no matter how quickly we cut emissions. From Benin to Bangladesh, the poorest people are hit first and worst by climate change, but are least responsible for causing it.

“This welcome development was bolstered by Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s impressive bipartisan congressional delegation to Copenhagen, which demonstrated that the Administration’s proposals have strong support in the US Congress.

“To ensure a strong path forward, we hope President Obama will build on Secretary Clinton’s announcement and the demonstrated Congressional support and firm up the US commitment to meet this goal with public funding that is new and additional to current development assistance. Hard-hit communities around the world must not face a trade-off between health clinics and early warning systems for disasters.”

Oxfam America is an international relief and development organization that creates lasting solutions to poverty, hunger and injustice. www.oxfamamerica.org.

SOURCE Oxfam America


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Well, I posted her remarks earlier today, but when I did, these pictures were not yet available.  A day or two ago (I work all day, teach some nights, and blog all night. The days run together, and I lose track), I posted a link to a New York Times article calling Hillary’s (sudden, and apparently previously unplanned)  agenda in Copenhagen a “charm offensive.”  Well, we all know our Hillary can do that!  So here,  in photos,  is Hillary in action.  I happen to think her charm is irresistible!

Well, it is charm and a little bit more. From Foreign Policy Morning Brief: Clinton’s last-minute bid to save Copenhagen

Top story: In an 11th hour proposal to save the ailing UN Climate talks in Copenhagen and have some agreement on the table by the time U.S. President Barack Obama comes to town tomorrow, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton proposed that developed countries including the United States come up with $100 billion per year over the next decade to help poor countries fight climate change.

And from Sphere.com Clinton Offers Surprise Deal at Climate Conference

(Dec. 17) — With the clock winding down and the hosts of the Copenhagen climate conference reportedly abandoning hope of a deal, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a possibly game-changing U.S. push to facilitate a $100 billion per year fund to help developing countries pay for measures to mitigate and adapt to global warning. Her remarks threw the spotlight on China and set exhausted negotiators back to work on salvaging a conference still teetering on the edge of failure.

“The U.S. is prepared to work with other countries to jointly mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020,” Clinton told a packed news conference at Copenhagen’s Bella Center. But her offer came with a major caveat: that the recipients of such funds agree to strict and open accounting of how they are spent. China in particular, the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, has strongly resisted provisions for international review of its progress, and it has considerable support for that position among other developing countries.

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Here is a video of Hillary Clinton with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown today in Copenhagen. This was just after their bilateral.

Also in Copenhagen with the U.S. Delegation are Hillary’s old friend (and mine) Congressman Charlie Rangel,  Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Majority Leader, Steny Hoyer.

Well, no I have no idea WHY they are there, but there they are!

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