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If it were not obvious from the outset, guess what?  The political nature of the Benghazi Select Committee is gaining notice!  Wow!  It has taken only three years and a wasted $4.5 million not to find out what went wrong so that we can prevent similar attacks in the future.  Correct the Record shared this today, for those who need a picture.

benghazi-cmmittee-chart
But we have known it all along. We knew it less than a month after the attacks when the House Oversight Committee accused State Department officials of a political agenda.

Representatives Darrell Issa and Jason Chaffetz of the House Oversight Committee, on October 2, sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a letter listing attacks in Libya  over the six months prior to the deadly September 11 attack on our Benghazi consulate.

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Issa Flips The Coin And The Game Is On

Today was the first public session of the House Committee Oversight and Government Reform hearings on diplomatic security in Libya.  In closing today’s more than four-hour long session,  chairman Darrell Issa noted that although this is an election year, his committee wants to find out what went wrong in Benghazi in order to prevent it from happening anywhere again.  If you buy that,  I have a bridge for sale.

His admonishing tone, suggesting members of the panel might have an election year agenda,  was startlingly inappropriate.

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Resoundingly missing from the cover of the Interim Progress Report  on the Benghazi, Libya consulate attack published yesterday by the House Republican Conference is the name Harold Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations committee that twice slashed the State Department’s diplomatic security budget.   That committee was apparently excused from reporting to the conference in the zealous crusade being waged by Tea Party Republicans,  led by Darryl Issa and Jason Chaffetz, to pin blame on then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.  Issa’s name is listed as a co-author of the report while Media Matters reports that Chaffetz appeared with Megyn Kelly to discuss the report released to great hullabaloo in right-wing circles.

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In astoundingly transparent fashion, the Republicans on the Select Committee on Benghazi have abandoned all pretense plans for investigating departments and agencies outside the State Department and individuals other than Hillary Clinton.

An article in The Hill today reveals a letter from Select Committee Democrats to their GOP counterparts accusing them of refitting the objectives of the committee from inquiry and prevention into a political weapon aimed at the former secretary of state.  Thank you, Karen Finney, for sharing this because regardless of what “we all knew all along,” here is the evidence. In the end evidence is all that really counts.  It is our only weapon.

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When something like this appears I just wonder what rock people have been sleeping under and how many opioids they took.

The Benghazi panel is a scandal of a committee

Seriously?  So not news!

*******************Edited 09/30/15 to add this**********************

mccarthy

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In the wake of the first Republican double-header in August, having heard a great deal about walls and fences, this page celebrated Hillary Clinton as a builder of bridges.  As we look forward to the next round of Republican face-offs, we can predict that the humanitarian crisis that has erupted in Europe will probably arise in some form.  Preparing for such a field, however, may have a lot more to do with the game plan itself rather than the particular issues.  How can you know what the game is?

Some games are obvious.  Donald Trump’s one-man show of coming out swinging is clearly a boxing match.  You might think the same of Christie, but I have a hunch his game is Five-Card Stud.  Ben Carson keeps a poker-face and plays close to the chest.  Jake Tapper, the dealer, might be preparing for several of the candidates to be Blackjack players, but Carly Fiorina likely is basing her game on Serena Williams and improving on that last match.  Jeb Bush, with the family castle to defend and the armies against him, had best be good at chess.  Only a fool would go to the roulette table, so we will probably see a few of them do that.  Other than that, it’s a crap shoot.

To be ready to face Hillary Clinton, whichever candidate comes out of these debates and primaries as the nominee  ought to be brushing up on bridge. Not only is Hillary a bridge builder,  she plays the game according to Hoyle. She excels at it.

Bridge is a game of partners.  No one develops partners like Hillary Clinton does  – unless it is Bill Clinton –  and no one values them more.  Her formidable record as a senator is rooted in partnerships within her own party as well as with Republicans.  Even before her first moments at the podium behind the seal of the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton stressed partnership as key to progress.  This is from her confirmation hearing.

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President-Elect Obama and I seek a future of cooperative engagement with the Russian government on matters of strategic importance, while standing up strongly for American values and international norms.

China is a critically important actor in a changing global landscape. We want a positive and cooperative relationship with China, one where we deepen and strengthen our ties on a number of issues, and candidly address differences where they persist.

But this not a one-way effort – much of what we will do depends on the choices China makes about its future at home and abroad.

With both Russia and China, we should work together on vital security and economic issues like terrorism, proliferation, climate change, and reforming financial markets.

As secretary of state, she did have a lot of salvage work to do among our offended friends and allies.  But the big project in front of her was the partnerships.  If you do a search for the word “partner” here, these are the pages that come up.

There were strategic dialogues and understandings with major world powers and memoranda of understanding with emerging democracies.  Not only did she develop important partnerships at the State Department, her work afterwards with the Clinton Foundation, like Too Small to Fail, and No Ceilings  which has spawned #NotThere Yet, was driven by partnerships.

In short, Hillary Clinton is a skilled contract player.  Partnering with France’s President Sarkozy on Libya, she masterfully bid our way to the dummy hand allowing France to play out the hand as declarer.  Her skill was so stunning that commentators called her the “acting president.”

In her speech on the Iran agreement on Wednesday, the word “partner” or “partnership” appeared seven times.  Also in that speech, she had this to say about the plight of the Syrian refugees, a situation she has been warning the world about for years.

 

With respect to the refugees, I have said I think that, you know, we’re
coming up on the U.N. General Assembly, I think there should be an emergency global
gathering where the U.N. literally tries to get commitments. You know, we did that with
Haiti. After the Haiti earthquake we had a huge gathering at the U.N., where literally it
was like a pledging conference, where we said what are you going to do? You know,
what can you contribute?
And little countries to big countries all stepped up, and it was a
great show of support in the face of a terrible natural disaster.
We need to do something similar. And I’ve publicly called on the U.N. to

convene such a gathering. I do it again today in front of all of you. The United States

has to be at the table, has to be leading it. We were in a strong position to do that on
Haiti. I think even though it’s not on our doorstep, we have a real interest in working not
just with our European friends, I think this is a global responsibility. And if you’re too far
away or for whatever reason you don’t think you can take refugees, then you have to
contribute money. You should be supporting not only those refugees fleeing, but the
incredible work that Jordan and Lebanon and Turkey have been doing, and they have not
gotten the financial support they need. In fact, the last I checked the U.N. appeal had
only reached 37 percent

Bridge is Hillary Clinton’s signature game.  The Republicans can practice any games they want to play with each other, but when it comes to facing Hillary Clinton, if they do not hone their bidding and partnering skills, Hillary Clinton will take every trick.  The GOP will be left standing there like Rick Perry, who withdrew this week.  Oops!

Hint to GOP candidates:  You cannot master this game without reaching out to others and nurturing trust.

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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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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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I deliberated long and hard about posting these, and they are not the only examples bouncing around on the web.  In the end, they are Hillary news, so I suppose they merit some attention.

The first one, by Maureen Dowd, appeared days ago.  I first saw it in the New York Times.   This particular publication came from The Seattle Times.  Alluding to remarks HRC delivered last week at the Women in the World Summit,  Dowd postulates thus.

Originally published Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 3:30 PM

A riled Hillary is a formidable foe

The attempt by Republican men to wrestle American women back into chastity belts has not only breathed life into President Obama, writes Maureen Dowd, it has roused and riled Hillary Rodham Clinton — not a wise thing to do.

By Maureen Dowd

Syndicated columnist

Hillary Clinton has fought for women’s rights around the world. But who would have dreamed that she would have to fight for them at home?

“Why extremists always focus on women remains a mystery to me,” she told an adoring crowd at the Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center on Saturday. “But they all seem to. It doesn’t matter what country they’re in or what religion they claim. They want to control women. They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act. They even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and bodies.

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The war on women in this country is genuine. We need our women leaders, and I am sure most American women see Hillary Clinton as the most powerful and vocal of these, particularly on women’s issues, but Hillary cannot do it alone.  She needs her army behind her.  Women need to recognize the level of threat to their personal freedom, get mad, and get active.

Men, even those on our side of the aisle,  do not share the sense of urgency Dowd telegraphs.  They put forth her name but… not now.

From The Gothamist.

Hillary Clinton 2016: Pundit Put Likelihood At 99.4%

2012_02_clintonh.jpg
Secretary Clinton at the 2012 Global Chiefs of Mission Conference yesterday (AP)

Will the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pantsuits come back in four years? Game Change authors John Heilemann and Mark “Obama is a dick” Halperin were on Morning Joe this morning predicting that Secretary of State is interested in running for President again.

Heilemann, who covers politics for New York magazine said the chances were “99.4. I think very high,” while Halperin, an editor at Time, said, “A little lower. I think that if Joe Biden wins re-election and runs, she’s much less likely to run.”

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Then there is Ed Koch, former Mayor of New York, who sometimes pals around with Republicans.  As Politico reports.

Ed Koch pushes Clinton on 2016 run

By BYRON TAU |

3/15/12 5:21 PM EDT

(AP Photo)

Former New York City mayor and Hillary Clinton booster Ed Koch wants to see a Clinton 2016 run, and he made his feelings clear to the Secretary of State at Wednesday’s state dinner, according to the New York Times:

Mr. Koch also said he spoke with the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and encouraged her to run for president in 2016.

“I said, ‘Everybody’s running you for president again — count me in!’” he said. “And there were other people there who applauded.”

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I have been addressing the issue of the war on women primarily at The Department of Homegirl Security , which is a defense blog,  and not in the context of Hillary making another presidential run.  But in this  particular post,  Falling Short,  I did state a position similar to what Dowd said.  Women leaders, acting as surrogates for Obama on this issue inspire far more confidence in me than he who prefers to lead from behind.  Dowd’s questions mirror my own thinking.  She ends her op-ed thus:

Women who assumed that electing Obama would lift all minority boats are beginning to think: Maybe he’s not enough.

If the desire of all these conservative male leaders to yoke women is this close to the surface, if they are perversely driven to debase women even though it could lead to their own political demise, then women may require more than Obama.

If women are so vulnerable, they may need one of their own.

Is she inevitable?

It is possible that she is, but generals do not win wars without troops.  She needs her army.  I know you are all still here.  We have been together for almost five years now and never left her side.  Join Americans Elect.  Be a delegate for Hillary because, no, Obama will not be or do enough and we cannot afford to lose this war.

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On this day in 2008, Hillary Rodham Clinton won primaries in Ohio and  Rhode Island.  I thank my friend Christian Kautz for this great picture.

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Hillary Clinton was the best candidate then, and she remains America’s best hope  – better than any declared candidate.today.  We know that our beloved Hillary does not like to look back.  So while we are celebrating her victory of four years ago, we should be doing so by looking ahead into the future that we can form.

We do not have to be limited by the candidates the major parties are putting forth.  Through Americans Elect we can choose our own candidates.  I joined about a month ago and am a delegate for Hillary.  Today, I celebrated “Hillary Day” by recruiting my friend.  Now, she, too is a delegate for Hillary.

It would be nice if every delegate could recruit one more delegate for Hillary today.  Let’s celebrate “Hillary Day” by looking ahead and not back.  Let’s bring along friends and family to the Americans Elect online convention in June!

Let’s choose her – again!

Hillary's page at Americans Elect

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According to information given to a poll worker directly from the Michigan Democratic Party, there will be a write-in option on the ballot tomorrow, however, write-in votes will not be counted.  The other two possibilities on the ballot are Barack Obama, of course, and “uncommitted.”   Those will be counted.  So, as difficult as it may be, you should probably resist the temptation to write Hillary in and vote “uncommitted” if you oppose Obama as the nominee.  That way you can send uncommitted delegates to Charlotte.

On another note, we need to get 1000 Hillary delegates ( or more!)  from each state at Americans Elect for the online convention in June.  You cannot be validated as a registered voter if you register using fake information.  The site is very secure and trustworthy.  I know the questions are very specific, but they are trying to assure that all delegates are eligible to vote.

Here is the link where you can register.  After you do that, you must go through a few more steps to be a validated voter.

Here is Hillary’s page, but to track and support her, you need to start with the link above.

 

Let’s get those numbers up!

 

 

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