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Archive for the ‘2012 Election’ Category

Various and sundry have garnered big bucks over the years writing books about Hillary Clinton, and there are,  assuredly,  more in the pipeline, so it is no surprise that the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of campaign gossip are releasing a sequel to Game Change, their autopsy of the 2008 campaign.   In anticipation of  Mark Halperin and John Heilemann’s Double Down: Game Change 2012, content leaks are few but explosive.

CNN is busily trumpeting the news that a tiny but mighty group within the White House examined the effect of replacing Joe Biden on the 2012 ticket with Hillary Clinton. What is interesting in their presentation are the key questions:  Did President Obama know?  (Strong probability.)  Did VP Biden know? (Probably not.  Their ticker reads that he dodged a bullet he did not see coming.)

Absent among the questions is whether Hillary knew.  We do not know the answer.   The question, apparently,  is not considered relevant.   That alone is telling.  Hillary Clinton is not a game piece.   Like the rest of us, she is flesh, blood, bone, and brain (a lot more brain than the other 99% and I am not talking financial assets).  Her knowledge of and stance on the switch-off Halperin and Heilmann refer to certainly deserves some discussion.

Anita Finlay reminds us that women are not cardboard cutouts.  That includes Hillary Clinton who is not Betsey McCall or a piece of illegal ivory on a chess board.   Surely one of the people whose life would have been most heavily impacted  merits some consideration by pundits so concerned about whether the two top guys knew about Bill Daley’s focus groups.  (Obama appears to know very little about what goes on in the whirlwind around him – but that is not the point,)

hillgrope

The story CNN and its pundits ignored, emanating from a second book due out soon, is that following the election Obama tried, perhaps more than once, to convince Hillary to remain for another year as Secretary of State and that she declined stating that it was time for her to leave public office.

Make of it what you will.  As stated above, these new publications join a library of gossip surrounding Hillary Clinton who is, after all, a human being whose feelings, opinions, and considerations on these issues that would have hugely impacted her life should be taken into account.

Personal take:

1) Hillary had mapped out a four-year plan of action as Secretary of State.  She had accomplished what she set out to do and never intended to remain with the administration longer than she did.

2)  I am sick of Hillary Clinton being used as a political football.  She is sweet and kind and has her own true concerns and issues that supersede those of this or any administration.  She is addressing those effectively in her current role as private citizen and that is worth watching.

3) Hillary Clinton, after 40 years of public service, deserves the kind of private life most of us consider our due.

4)  What Anita said.

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Nothing glamorous here – not even a picture of our always beautiful SOS.

Both the State Department and the United Nations make the calls on terrorists.  When their information indicates that a person or organization has a terrorist agenda,  DOS makes what is called a designation and the U.N, “lists” – i.e. that entity is added to their terrorist list.   State Department designations  are made public in press releases.   Designation sets forth a panoply of legal options against the entity,  none of which are military I should add, as exemplified by this one from October 4, 2012.

Terrorist Designations of Ansar al-Sharia as an Alias for Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 4, 2012

The Department of State amended the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) and E.O. 13224 designations of al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula to include the new alias, Ansar al-Shari’a (AAS). The Department of State previously designated AQAP as an FTO and under E.O. 13224 on January 19, 2010.

AAS – which is based in Yemen and is a separate entity from Ansar al-Shari’a in Libya – was established to attract potential followers to shari’a rule in areas under the control of AQAP. However, AAS is simply AQAP’s effort to rebrand itself, with the aim of manipulating people to join AQAP’s terrorist cause. AAS has publicly stated that the particular brand of shari’a they hope to implement is the same as that espoused by the Afghan Taliban and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group and designated Foreign Terrorist Organization that includes al-Qa’ida in Iraq.

AAS has taken responsibility for multiple attacks against Yemeni forces. One such attack, which took place in May 2012, killed more than 100 Yemeni soldiers in a suicide bombing during a parade. In March 2012, a series of attacks and armed assaults by AAS in southern Yemen killed 100 people, many of whom were Yemeni soldiers.

The consequences of adding the new alias for AQAP include a prohibition against knowingly providing material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, Ansar al-Shari’a, and the freezing of all property and interest in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States, or the control of U.S. persons. The Department of State took these actions in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.

In addition, today the United Nations 1267/1989 Al-Qa’ida Sanctions Committee listed AAS. As a consequence the group now faces a worldwide assets freeze, a travel ban, and an arms embargo. The actions taken today against AAS support the U.S. effort to degrade the capabilities of its parent organization, AQAP. We are determined to eliminate AQAP’s ability to execute violent attacks and to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat their networks.

That is the way it works.  These are the folks listed by the U.N. as of now.   If you go to this website, you can see all the entities designated by the State Department.  Related press releases are here.

Late last month there was great pressure upon Hillary Clinton to delist an Iranian organization known as MEK which she ultimately did delist.

Delisting of the Mujahedin-e Khalq

Media Note

Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 28, 2012

The Secretary of State has decided, consistent with the law, to revoke the designation of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) and its aliases as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under the Immigration and Nationality Act and to delist the MEK as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224. These actions are effective today. Property and interests in property in the United States or within the possession or control of U.S. persons will no longer be blocked, and U.S. entities may engage in transactions with the MEK without obtaining a license. These actions will be published in the Federal Register.

With today’s actions, the Department does not overlook or forget the MEK’s past acts of terrorism, including its involvement in the killing of U.S. citizens in Iran in the 1970s and an attack on U.S. soil in 1992. The Department also has serious concerns about the MEK as an organization, particularly with regard to allegations of abuse committed against its own members.

The Secretary’s decision today took into account the MEK’s public renunciation of violence, the absence of confirmed acts of terrorism by the MEK for more than a decade, and their cooperation in the peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, their historic paramilitary base.

The United States has consistently maintained a humanitarian interest in seeking the safe, secure, and humane resolution of the situation at Camp Ashraf, as well as in supporting the United Nations-led efforts to relocate eligible former Ashraf residents outside of Iraq.

There were good reasons for this as witnessed by the statement and by this article, however that is not the point of this post. The point is that if you wade through that list of press releases, you see some forty designations by Secretary of State Clinton.  Compared with the previous administration,  where I counted nine, that is huge!  Several of those designations, certainly not all, are Al Qaida related.

With the foreign policy debate coming up,  I wanted to point  out that killing Osama Bin Laden hardly amounts to Al Qaida or terrorists in general being “on the run.”  If anything they might be multiplying (see Lara Logan on this).   Either that or our Hillary is one helluva terrorist hunter.  Possibly both premises are true.  But I thought I would toot a heads-up.   If, on Monday night, anybody tries to tell you the bad guys are gone, don’t believe it.  They are not.  Someone in the administration happens to know that,  even if the White House, on the subject of terrorist threats,  claims to know nothing and appears to be telling the truth.  Someone is finding the terrorists and freezing their assets.  If they are on the run, it is from her.

So, OK, I give up.  I will not disappoint my friends, colleagues, comrades in the battle.  Here’s our Joan of Arc at Georgetown U. yesterday.

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This is the birthday note I posted to President Clinton at his foundation.

Dear President Clinton,

As president you improved the lives of people here in the U.S. and, with your foreign policy, people the world over. Your work today with your foundation expands on those exceptional accomplishments. Thank you for your dedication to all who need a hand up and do not ask for a hand out.

I recognition of your birthday this year I am contributing $20.12 to HillaryClinton.com. I wish it were she whom you were nominating on September 5 because she is the only one who can lead this nation in the same spirit as you did for eight years. As Secretary of State we have seen her continue initiatives you began, work hand in hand with your foundation and other NGOs in places like Haiti where life is hard, short, and disasters abound, and start new initiatives to deepen and broaden partnerships to improve lives.

I wish you the happiest of birthdays with your lovely family, continued good health, and perpetual success in the help you provide to people all over the globe.

Sincerely,

Still 4 Hill

(It would be the height of absurdity to expect someone blogging under my screen name to be 4 anyone else.)

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More than a year ago I began posting, on these pages, roundups of media stories proposing that Hillary Clinton challenge Barack Obama in a 2012 primary.  Based on Bobby Kennedy, one of a few past politicians with whom she shares a variety of values and issues, having declared his own candidacy on St. Patrick’s Day, some of us figured that she could still get into the race that late.  Ironically, that was the day I posted the last in the series Media Reads on a Hillary Run.   The central reason why that was the last was the shift of attention from 2012 to 2016.

Suggestions that she run in 2016 have come from the media as well as other politicos.  I refuse to place her name in the same sentence or context with 2016 because I believe that meme is a ploy to get Hillary Clinton Democrats to support Barack Obama.  The tricky-dickyness of such a prediction alone is a put off.  The probability that having succeeded to get the Hillsters on the bandwagon,  the Dem Party,  in two years,  would begin touting some new “star,” is strong enough to evoke a good deal of  skepticism.  Therefore,  until it became clearly too late for her to enter primaries,  this blog stayed with the 2012 version which is where it remains.  Until the last second of the last minute of the last hour I retain hope that somehow she will top that ballot.  I just sent her another $20.12.

I refer to the top of the ballot with emphasis because  meme 2016’s little brother,   “the great Joe/Hillary switcharoo” has followed its older sibling like  a tail on a puppy dog.  The suggestion comes largely from Republican quarters with Sarah Palin, John McCain, and most recently his daughter Meghan suggesting that this would be a great move for the Obama campaign.  That alone should make Democrats suspicious.

There was a hysterical flurry of excited speculation yesterday in Hillary Facebook groups and even in the office where I work based on her schedule showing a meeting at the White House with the president and perhaps also the VP.  “OMG!  What’s happening?”  “I’m on pins-and-needles!” (Some of what I heard.)

So let us return to earth as Hillary had over the weekend after racking up thousands of additional air miles.  She had been away nearly two entire weeks pushing our “alternative to China” agenda all over Africa and capping off the trip with a conference in Turkey on the escalating situation in Syria.  Barack and Joe, on the other hand, were off campaigning when she returned.  Yesterday was the first day  that all three were in D.C. since she returned from that marathon farewell tour of Africa.  She had been to the White House every day briefing officials on her trip.  Yesterday was the first day she had the chance to brief the two top guys.  With the Israeli ambassador talking an attack on Iran,  common sense  indicated that this was not a meeting about a campaign ticket.

Many refused, however, to listen to reason and protocol.   She always meets with the  president after her trips.  There was nothing awkward at all to be derived from her meeting with Joe Biden (as one news source worded it).  When she is in D.C. she has breakfast with him every Tuesday at his house.  It was a lot of  wrong-headed chatter over a dead duck.  Here is why.

According to Ed Klein, who may well have reliable sources in the Clinton camp,  the position of Veep was offered before Hillary Clinton ever left for Africa.  She turned it down.  The Clinton sources might also enjoy feeding Ed a lie or two just for fun.  He, on the other hand can never guess which piece of the pie is tainted, so he is obliged to report all he is given.  I doubt strongly the part about Bill Clinton favoring this.  He knows that quicksand makes a lousy launching surface.

So, the Veep meme is dead, and,  unless you are Hillary Clinton herself (you have my number and email addy, Hilary), in which case I will be the first to jump on board, leave all 2016 speculation at the door here.

Author Ed Klein on CNBC: Hillary Clinton Dismissed VP Possibility Two Weeks Ago

Amateur author Ed Klein tells Larry Kudlow that a conversation about Sec. of State Hillary Clinton replacing Joe Biden took place at the White House with Obama senior adviser Valerie Jarrett. Klein says the WH was putting out “feelers” see if Hillary would be interested. But in the end, Hillary declined.

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This is a pretty reliable source, and it was correct last year.

The Clintons rent in East Hampton

Bill and Hillary return to Elie Hirschfeld’s house for the second year in a row

August 10, 2012 12:00PM
By Katherine Clarke

The presidential race is heating up, but Bill and Hillary Clinton are taking some time out to relax in the Hamptons.

The political power couple has rented an East Hampton house owned by real estate mogul Elie Hirschfeld and will be staying there for the whole month of August, The Real Deal has learned.

The Clintons rented the house, at 211 Lily Pond Lane, for a week last year during Hurricane Irene. Their longer stay this year will include the former president’s 66th birthday on August 19th. The vacation precedes the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, where Bill Clinton is slated to give a speech on September 3rd.

SNIP

Hirschfeld previously told The Real Deal that the former president reorganized his library by subject matter during his last stay; perhaps he’ll clean out his garage this time.

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LOL!  The library comment.  Mr. President,  it’s a vacation!  You’re supposed to rest!  Have fun!  Take your beautiful wife out for dinner and dancing!

We had heard that the speech was scheduled for September 5, but maybe it has been moved.  At any rate, with almost half of the month of August elapsed, we hope Mme. Secretary went straight to her summer rental upon return from her extensive farewell tour of Africa over the past two weeks.  She always manages to look so fresh and beautiful no matter how grueling the schedule,  and she appeared to have had a lot of fun in some of the countries she visited,  but still, she needs a break since very little of her travel time consists of partying and relaxing.  Most of her travel hours on the ground are spent in difficult diplomatic negotiations, some in very dangerous places.  We are joyful that she is safely home and wish her fair weather and a lovely vacation with her family and friends.

We also wish President Clinton a very happy 66th birthday and the best of luck with his speech.  We wish he were nominating the Secretary of State,  however.

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Having secured victories in the primaries for Hillary Clinton supporters Kathleen Kane,  for Attorney General,  and Mark Critz, for 12th District Rep,  in Pennsylvania late last month,  former president Bill Clinton has set his sights on the New Jersey June 5 primary endorsing Bill Pascrell, another HRC loyalist,  for the recently redrawn  9th District in New Jersey.  Pascrell, who has served the 8th District since 1997, is in a battle with current 9th District Rep Steve Rothman who supported Obama in the hotly contested 2008 presidential primary.

Bill Pascrell

After the dust settled in 2008, WJC promised to support those who had remained staunchly loyal to Hillary, and has been as good as his word.   Although never given the attention the divide in the Republican party receives,  the schism in the Democratic Party, engendered by what many felt was unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton delegate assignments by the Rules and Bylaws Committee on May 31, 2008, as well as by the convention itself in late August of that year which ended with a roll call that was aborted when Hillary herself appeared on the convention floor requesting Obama’s nomination by acclamation, has not healed in the way that the party and the media portray.

The victories in PA are seen as clear endorsement of the Clinton wing of the party.  As the battle crosses the Delaware, Clinton Dems in north-eastern NJ are gearing up to fight the Rothman forces.  Pascrell, a past NJ Assemblyman and former mayor of Paterson has a strong following.  Unlike the 2008 contest,  the 2012 primary theater plays out downticket where the Clinton wing of the party is alive and fierce.

Bill Clinton endorses Bill Pascrell over Steve Rothman in Congressional race

Published: Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:30 PM     Updated: Friday, May 04, 2012, 12:35 PM

Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau By Matt Friedman/Statehouse Bureau

clinton.jpgAFP PHOTO/Robyn BeckFormer President Bill Clinton threw his support behind Rep. BIll Pascrell in his primary battle against Steve Rothman.

Former President Bill Clinton today endorsed U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8th District), who’s locked in a tight primary against fellow incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9th Dist).

Pascrell endorsed Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, while Rothman was President Obama’s highest profile New Jersey supporter.

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Lesson: Never count a Clinton out.  Obama may be at the top of the ticket, but some of these primary battles can turn out to be death-by-a-thousand-cuts to those who scorned  HRC in favor of the inspirational half-term senator from Illinois four years ago.   Some Dems will dutifully campaign and vote for the Clinton loyalists.  Many will also be writing in Hillary at the top of the ticket.

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We figured Secretary Clinton probably knew about the viral Tumblr meme initiated and moderated by Adam Smith and Stacy Lambe and based on a photo of her on a C-17 texting in sunglasses.   We also figured she was finding it funny.  Today she verified that speculation by submitting her own Tumblr Text.  Adam and Stacy posted proof positive here, at I’m With Kanye

She also treated them to a meet-up and a photo shoot posted at the Tumblr Texts from Hillary.

If you have not been over there in a few days, go take a look.  The fun continues!

 

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