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Posts Tagged ‘John Kerry’

Monday I posted this: #WatchThis Space: Arctic Activity.  Well you really have to watch! Things are moving fast, and there are a lot of moving parts. This, from Michael Grunwald in Politico.

Rex Tillerson Tried to Get This Rule Killed. Now Congress Is About To Do It For Him

Should oil companies disclose payments to foreign governments? The GOP, and former Exxon CEO, think not.

February 01, 2017

… back in 2010, ExxonMobil’s then-CEO, Rex Tillerson, was deeply worried about Section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street reforms, a bipartisan amendment that required drilling and mining companies to disclose any payments they make to foreign governments. So Tillerson and one of his lobbyists paid a half-hour visit to the amendment’s Republican co-author, then-Senator Richard Lugar, to try to get it killed.

Tillerson argued that forcing U.S. oil firms to reveal corporate secrets—such as paying foreign governments—would put them at a competitive disadvantage. He also explained that the provision would make it especially difficult for Exxon to do business in Russia, where, as he did not need to explain, the government takes a rather active interest in the oil industry.

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Today, seven years later, Republicans confirmed Tillerson as President Trump’s Secretary of State, despite allegations that he’s too cozy with Russia. At the same time, the GOP is preparing to try to kill the disclosure rule created under Section 1504, despite warnings from international aid groups that the move would provide a wink-and-nod blessing to hidden corporate payments to petro-thugs. The House is expected to act this afternoon, and since the move relies on a special mechanism for reversing rules enacted late in a presidential term, Senate Republicans will need a mere majority rather than a filibuster-proof 60 votes to follow suit.

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As you probably could have guessed …

U.S. House Passes Resolution to Kill Extractive Anti-Graft Rule

Four years to the day since Hillary Clinton exited the State Department, Tillerson will occupy Foggy Bottom, and Congressional Republicans have blown smoke and fog over corporate payments to foreign governments. This in conjunction with the Arctic activity slips past much of the MSM while they occupy themselves with Trump thinking Frederick Douglass is still alive.

Just a reminder: The Benghazi-cum-server-cum emails Oversight Committee railed and wailed a lot in the course of their hearings about Hillary’s State Department initiatives promoting American businesses overseas.  That is part of the Secretary of State’s job, and all of those initiatives were transparent.

John Kerry’s successor enters with a cloak of invisibility ready made.

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Keep watching this space!  The war in Urkraine is escalating.  Remember that plank in the Republican platform that Trump had removed?

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In late January, 2013, only days before she left office, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was joined by former Secretary James Baker to launch the State Department Diplomacy Center.

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In early September 2014, she returned to the State Department again joined by predecessors Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, and Colin Powell as well as her successor, John Kerry, for a ceremonial ground-breaking 0f the U.S. Diplomacy Center.

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Hillary returned once more today to celebrate the completion of U.S. Diplomacy Center Pavilion, the first floor of which was dedicated and named the Hillary Rodham Clinton Pavilion. Best compliments, Mme. Secretary! You earned this!  We cannot wait to visit this impressive new landmark museum!

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Proud the U.S. is signing the Paris climate deal. What better way to celebrate Earth Day than taking action to help save our planet? -H

This picture is everything!  John Podesta shared this photo of Secretary Kerry at the UN signing of the Paris Accord.

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On a gloomy Sunday in the northeast, and gloomy in America at the heartbreaking, untimely loss of a promising young American leader,  I took my own sweet time going through the newsfeeds.  I really just wanted the post about Beau Biden to sit there for awhile.  I added John Kerry’s touching statement and a link at the bottom of the page so readers can sign the White House condolence book and send thoughts to the grieving family.  That was all I did today.  It was a day of shocked mourning for the big-tent Democratic family that probably has not been this united since December 2000.

Republicans, too, felt and shared the grief of this tragedy. From Jeb Bush  to Donald Trump, the sentiments poured in.  Sarah Palin, whose son, like Beau, served in Iraq,  quoted scripture.  I am sure Joe’s former Senate colleagues from the other side of the aisle also offered thoughts and prayers, even if I did not see them.

I did see Maureen Dowd’s latest RPG against Hillary and the Clintons.  Writers can have a “got you when” moment.  Umberto Eco got me when he explained in the foreword of The Name of the Rose  that,  although this foreword is long and tedious, you will have trouble following the story if you fail to read it.  I then pursued him through about 100 encyclopedic pages of doctrine and heresy that years later I still consider the most valuable information in the book.

Writers can also have a “lost you when” moment.  MoDo lost me when she compared Hillary to the Jennifer Jason Leigh character in Single White Female.  I will not link to her op-ed.   If you really want to know who the Bridget Fonda character is in Maureen’s scenario, you will have to go find it yourself.

Amid all the gloom, both meteorological and existential,  of this difficult Sunday, at the close of the day, I found a little gem glimmering at the end of the dark tunnel.  It was this reasoned and encouraging piece by Susan Estrich.  She makes a great point.  I do not share many op-eds here unless Hillary has written them, but this one is worth a read.

Susan Estrich: At a Time of Malaise, Hillary Clinton Brings Out Smiles While Republicans Frown

By Susan Estrich |

It’s “June gloom” in Southern California, that period well known to locals when the sunshine you expect doesn’t show until the end of the day, if at all. This year, the gloom couldn’t wait until June, and so it came in May.

That may also be true for the country

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The Democrats have a one-word answer to the national sense that our cup today is, sadly, half-empty: Hillary.

People smile when they say it. The idea of a woman who has paid her dues and then some and is so clearly qualified for the job finally getting that job is definitely a half-full cup.

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I think Estrich has hit something here.  The idea of Hillary has positive power.   When I attended my county grassroots organizing event I heard 150 people joyfully and confidently share the words they associate with her.  In the small group I learned that they really do not know very much about her – and these are the activists.  Even the facilitator did not grasp that in this listening phase of the campaign there would not be any broad, sweeping messages.  But there was an optimism in the air about Hillary – about the idea of Hillary.

Hillary’s Strategic Communications Adviser and Senior Spokesperson, Karen Finney, has said “People think they know her,  but she’s the most unknown well-known person in the world.”  Most American voters will probably never come to know Hillary the way Karen does.  Getting them to know her that way – or feel that they do –  is Karen’s challenging  job.  Maybe, though, the optimism around her  – the idea of her – is really what the country needs – at least for now.  Look at this.  It is worth 1000+ words and descriptors.

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Many of us know that Hillary is patient, warm. concerned, understanding, dedicated, value-driven, empathetic, generous, sweet, and kind.  (I could go on.)  All of us here also know that she is brilliant, experienced, tested, adroit, prepared, and ready.   No 150 or 1,500 words  can sum up Hillary Clinton or portray her.  Maybe, though, if the idea of Hillary makes people smile  – maybe that, right now, is the important thing.

Susan Estrich is right.  Things are gloomy.  Hillary is the bright spot in a dreary season.  She has been listening.  Another thing we know about Hillary is that the listening continues, even when the listening tour ends.

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Hillary Clinton was back at the State Department today to join predecessors Henry Kissinger, James Baker, Madeleine Albright, and Colin Powell as well as her successor, John Kerry, for a ceremonial ground-breaking.  The U.S. Diplomacy Center, located near the Harry S. Truman Building, will be a museum and education center that will ‘demonstrate the ways in which diplomacy matters now and has mattered throughout American history

What an amazing lineup of exceptional leaders and public servants!

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Right now, this is all I have.  If a transcript comes through, I will add it here.

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Once again, Hillary has been named among the most influential by Time Magazine.  Her entry was penned by Malala Yousafzai who also was named and celebrated by Gabrielle Giffords.

 

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton TIME 100
Larry Marano—Getty Images

The advocate for women leaders

Hillary Clinton is a symbol of strength for women across the world. It was she who famously said, “Women’s rights are human rights.” She not only spoke those words, but also dedicated her life to empowering women around the world through politics and philanthropy. She has been a source of strength for many women leaders, including myself, my family and those who stood by me after I was attacked. “Continue your mission, be strong, we believe in you” is what she said to me, my father and the rest of the Malala Fund team when we met her last year at the Clinton Global Initiative awards. Her life and leadership show women what we can achieve if we believe in our own strength and if we channel our inner creativity, compassion and determination. A world with more women leaders will be a better world, and Hillary Clinton is helping make that possible.

Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist who defied the Taliban to attend school and is a co-founder of the Malala Fund

Chelsea Clinton wrote the entry about her friend Jason Collins who was named to the list.

 

Jason Collins

Jason Collins TIME 100
Paola Kudacki for TIME

The NBA player who went first

I met Jason Collins when we were freshmen at Stanford. Not surprisingly, the first thing I noticed was his height. The second thing I noticed was his kindness off the court — and his fierceness on it. Kindness to his friends, his family and fans. Fierceness in his drive to win. Jason has always been focused on others, on what’s right for those he loves, and on helping those whose jersey is the same as his.

When Jason called to talk about his forthcoming Sports Illustrated cover story, “The Gay Athlete,” I realized at some point that I wasn’t surprised we were having the conversation we were. Not because I knew what we were going to talk about when I answered the phone. Rather, because it made eminent sense that it would be Jason becoming the first openly gay, still active pro athlete in a major U.S. sports league.

Jason’s kindness and fierceness alike derive from that word too often bandied about and too rarely true: integrity. Jason has always maintained he’s first a basketball player. He is. But he’s also a leader and an inspiration. For Michael Sam, Derrick Gordon and others whose names we may never know. And also for those of us lucky enough to be fans — or to call him our friend.

Hillary wrote the tribute for her successor at the State Department, John Kerry.

 

John Kerry

John Kerry TIME 100
The Secretary of State visiting Riyadh in January to discuss the conflict in Syria. Brendan Smialowski—The New York Times/Redux

The relentless negotiator

Diplomacy is in John Kerry’s blood. As the son of a foreign-service officer, he grew up understanding that America’s destiny is entwined with that of the wider world.

Diplomacy takes stamina, passion and perspective, and John embodies these traits. He is relentless in the face of the most persistent obstacles — keeping alive the dream of peace in the Middle East, standing up to Russia’s ongoing aggression in Ukraine, negotiating the removal of chemical weapons from Syria and signing an interim nuclear deal with Iran. And his work on climate change exemplifies these qualities. Addressing the dangers posed by global warming has long been a personal commitment for him. I know from experience just how hard this is. There’s nobody better suited to carry the cause forward than John Kerry. The people of the United States can be proud he’s representing America and its interests abroad. I know I am.

Clinton served as the 67th U.S. Secretary of State

 

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Aside from all the obsessive polling and GOP strategizing over a candidacy that remains undeclared,  Hillary is making news rather than always having news made up about her.  While day one of her latest swing through California yielded not even a single twitpic (that I could find), it has caused something of a stir.

As a former secretary of state, she is expected to comment on current events and foreign policy from time to time.   When Secretary Kerry was forging his Iran deal, she remained silent while media folk clamored for a comment.  She has proven far less reticent on the unfolding situation in Ukraine and specifically more recently in Crimea.

Last week, at a conference in Orlando, she responded to a question about Putin’s plans and actions in Ukraine.  Apparently yesterday,  at a Boys and Girls Club fundraiser in Long Beach, she elaborated a bit on Putin’s latest moves in Crimea causing the ripple effect we see in today’s headers.

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In early June, 2012, referring to the “avalanche” of news leaks that may or may not have originated in the White House, Dianne Feinstein used the word “Anchluss.”   Yesterday in California,  Hillary did not use that word,  but unmistakably was comparing Putin’s behavior toward Ukraine, specifically the autonomous republic of Crimea,  and conceivably his plans for other former SSRs  (keep an eye on Georgia and Moldova) to Hitler’s absorption of Austria (the Anschluss of 1938) and subsequent annexation of the Sudetenland in 1938.

Hillary did not compare Putin to Hitler.  She compared his behavior to Hitler’s in 1938.  It is an important distinction.  She was comparing tactics and their bases not personalities.

Report: Hillary Clinton Says Putin Behaving Like Adolf Hitler

Putin has justified the Russian incursion into the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea by saying that ethnic Russians there need to be protected from attacks.

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An attendee at the fundraiser, Harry Saltzgaver, a newspaper executive, told Buzzfeed that Clinton clarified that “while that makes people nervous, there is no indication that Putin is as irrational as the instigator of World War II.”

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Putin “believes his mission is to restore Russian greatness,” Clinton said, according to the report. “When he looks at Ukraine, he sees a place that he believes is by its very nature part of Mother Russia.”

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It is unremarkable that a retired secretary of state might comment on a situation in which she has insight and familiarity.  That these remarks should have incited a flurry of mocking tweets is a concern since there is historical accuracy in what Hillary said, even if she used neither of the A-words.  We all knew (or should have) what she was talking about, and she is right.  It makes people nervous.

On a bright note, I thought I would share this little gem from HuffPo excerpted from Lisa Rogak’s “Hillary Clinton in Her Own Words.”   It has wonderful quotes and is illustrated with some cute and amusing pics and gifs.  Enjoy!

The Hillary Clinton Guide To Being An Empowered Woman

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