Category ►►► Hillary Hilarity
March 18, 2013
The Worm Turns
I see that Hillary Rodham Clinton Rodham (as Rich Galen of Mullings dubs her) has reversed herself on same-sex marriage: Before, she was for it before she was against it; but now she was against it before she was for it. Or something like that. Regardless of twisty turns, in her doomed 2008 run for president, she opposed it; but in her equally doomed 2016 presidential run, she supports it.
She has to: All the other Democrats do, and supporting traditional marriage (with which she has little experience anyway) would be apostasy.
Do you suppose anybody will ever have the guts to ask Ms. Rodham whether her rejection of Moslem-style polygamy and Pharaonic-style sibling marriage are as rock-solid and heartfelt as her previous rejection of same-sex marriage? After all, those are a couple of special-interest groups still untapped even by the endorsement-obsessed Obama administration!
May 6, 2009
Obamic Apology Tour Crawls to Kabul
In a burst of enthusiastic self-abasement, the One the World Has Been Waiting For has dispatched his Clintonian emissary to (once again) apologize profusely -- "deeply, deeply" -- for American military actions... this time in Afghanistan; and this time knowingly without knowing what really happened (a "known unknown!"), whether anything happened, and if so, who was at fault:
Meeting with Afghanistan President Harmid Karzai and Pakistan's Asif Ali Zardari in a prelude to their talks with President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Washington "deeply, deeply" regrets the loss of life, apparently as a result of a bombing there on Monday.
"Any loss of innocent life is particularly painful," Clinton said. Karzai responded before the cameras that he appreciated Clinton "showing concern and regret." The visiting leader also said he hoped Washington and Kabul could "work together to completely reduce civilian casualties in the struggle against terrorism."
State Department spokesman Robert A. Wood said later that Clinton's remarks were offered as a gesture, before all the facts of the incident are known, because "any time there is a loss of innocent life we are going to be concerned about it, and we wanted to make that very clear."
The Telegraph offers a more complete version of Secretary of State Clinton's apology:
"I wish to express my personal regret and certainly the sympathy of our administration on the loss of civilian life in Afghanistan," Mrs Clinton said at a joint meeting with Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president, and Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistani president.
"We deeply regret it. We don't know all of the circumstances or causes. And there will be a joint investigation by your government and ours," Mrs Clinton said.
"But any loss of life, any loss of innocent life, is particularly painful."
Of course, the Telegraph also accepts the word of "Afghan officials" from "a Taliban-controlled district," that our military is to blame -- in fact, the British newspaper claims a much higher toll of "innocent life":
Afghan officials said up to 120 non-combatants were killed when US warplanes dropped bombs on two villages in Bala Baluk, a Taliban-controlled district in the western province of Farah.
Is it just I? Doesn't the very fact that "all the facts of the incident" are not known mean that we have no idea whether the lives lost were, in fact, "innocent?" We are told that women and children were slaughtered; according to the AP article:
The bombing issue arose earlier Wednesday, when Karzai ordered a probe into allegations by local officials that more than 30 civilians were killed by U.S.-led troops battling militants in western Afghanistan. The International Committee of the Red Cross said a team it had sent to the area saw "dozens of bodies in each of the two locations," including women and children.
Karzai's office said he was going to raise the issue with Obama. And the U.S. has sent a brigadier general to investigate.
One presumes that most children would indeed be innocent; but does "children" include 15, 16, and 17 year olds? If so, they could very well be Taliban killers or al-Qaeda terrorists and every bit as guilty as their compadres a few years older.
But in any event, the mere existence of "dozens of bodies"... "including women and children" does not actually prove that they were killed by any action of the United States military forces -- or indeed by any direct action of anybody -- even if we were to accept the Red Cross' assertions at face value, which I'm not prepared to do. Nor does it prove that we were in any way culpable. Even the generally less forgiving Telegraph article admits the possibility that it is the Taliban, not NATO, that is directly responsible for the deaths:
Abdul Ghafar Watandar, the provincial police chief, said Taliban militants used villagers as human shields by herding them into houses during the US air attacks.
We cannot yet even say how many people, innocent or guilty, were killed. We know from the Pallywood revelations that anti-American, anti-West Moslem activists -- would the Taliban qualify? -- see nothing wrong in faking deaths (e.g., the Mohammed al-Dura case), raiding morgues for long-dead corpses, or even toting the bodies of dead children from site to site, in full view of the elite news media, yet passing them off as different victims each time (à la Green Helmet Guy).
The press is typically complicit in such lies, of course. Reporters often hire local "stringers" with suspect loyalties, if any; such stringers, familiar with the location and culture, cannot possibly fail to notice the fakery and stagecraft in these sick melodramas.
Nor can the Western and even American "journalistic" bosses fail to be aware of the opportunism and ideology-based deception their stringers routinely practice... any more than the top reporters and news readers could ever have been unaware that what Iraqis said in the Hussein era -- when accompanied by "minders" just outside camera range -- was worth less than zero.
Evidently, in both cases, many putative reporters considered the end (damaging America or the Bush administration) sufficiently vital to justify the means: degrading and slandering the United States and our military and jeopardizing American national security.
But let's suppose that many innocents really did die in Bala Baluk. The collapsing prosecutions of a number of Marine Corps officers and enlisted men for the supposed "Haditha massacre" demonstrate the terrible risk of humiliation and blowback run by those who go off half-cocked and conclude that if innocents are killed, Americans (or NATO) must be to blame. I refer here to accusers such as Rep. John Murtha (D-PA, 85%), to pick the most egregious example.
Murtha, congressman and poster-boy for the Democratic culture of corruption, so despised the American victories in Iraq and Afghanistan that he flatly announced that the Marines (his own branch of the service!) were guilty of wartime atrocities. (In this, he only mimicked Sen. John F. Kerry, D-MA, 100%, in a previous war.) On May 17th, 2006, speaking at a press conference, Murtha thus demonstrated his committment to a fair and impartial trial for the Marines accused in the Haditha case:
Murtha, a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq, said at a news conference Wednesday that sources [secret sources!] within the military have told him that an internal investigation [hidden evidence!] will show [precognition!] that "there was no firefight, there was no IED (improvised explosive device) that killed these innocent people. Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." [Marines are bloodthirsty monsters!]
On December 21 of that year, eight Marines were charged with murder, negligent homicide, conspiracy, filing false reports and failure to investigate, and other UCMJ crimes; in the last two plus years, however, charges against seven of them were dropped, leaving only SSGT Frank Wuterich's case (seven counts of negligent homicide) still pending. But even if he is convicted -- which seems increasingly unlikely, as more evidence exonerating the Marines surfaces -- there is no way in which negligent homicide can honestly be described as having "killed innocent civilians in cold blood"; that is practically the definition of premeditated murder.
This cautionary tale directly applies to Hillary Clinton's crawlfest in Afghanistan. Here is what we do not yet know about the supposed American massacre in western Afghanistan:
- Whether the "local officials" were telling the truth or lying, accurate or mistaken about 30 to 120 civilians killed in a bombing; who are these officials anyway? What is their general attitude towards the American presence? That they are "officials" in "a Taliban-controlled district" immediately makes me skeptical of their claims.
- What, exactly, did the International Committee of the Red Cross see? And who showed it to them? Did they actually examine the bodies to ensure (a) that they had wounds consistent with the airstrike claim (as opposed to having been shot in the head at close range, a favorite tactic of militant Islamists holding human shields); and (b) whether they were actually dead? Or was the Red Cross simply shown shrouded lumps and told that they were bodies? Or were they shown anything at all, as opposed to being told about it by local Red Crescent affilliates? I'm not necessarily inclined to give the Red Cross the benefit of the doubt here, as they have lied, for political reasons, about American "massacres" in the past. Show us the bodies!
- Assuming those twin hurdles are overcome, how do we know it was American munitions that killed them? Perhaps the Taliban holding them in the buildings either decided to blow themselves up or else detonated their own explosives by accident.
- How many of those "dozens" or 30 or 120 were actually "innocent?" It's hardly uncommon for "local [Taliban-supporting] officials" to claim that all persons killed by NATO forces in Afghanistan have been innocent -- even if they are later identified as al-Qaeda or Taliban members or leaders.
- How do we know they were killed deliberately? They could have been caught in crossfire, they could have been "human shields," they could have died by a tragic accident (such as trying to salvage an unexploded bomb and accidentally triggering it).
If the answer to any of these questions falls out on the side of the American or NATO military, then Secretary Clinton's premature apology is a grotesque insult to our own armed forces: We should not apologize for fighting against the murderous evil of others, even if innocents die; those deaths are on the heads of the terrorists who precipitated the bloodshed -- in this case, by assassinating three government workers in Bala Baluk -- not on our heads for trying to stop them.
By "regretting," Clinton and Obama encourage the spread of the despicable meme that we are no better than the Taliban, that we massacre innocent people, that there is a moral equivalency between a mass murderer and the cops who try to stop him: Hey, they both have guns -- they both engage in violence -- they both kill... therefore, they're two sides of the very same coin, no?
A final point that I shouldn't even have to debunk: Some on the Left will surely point out -- rather gleefully, as if this is a rhetorical capper that completely clears the administration of any wrongdoing -- that Hillary Clinton did not actually say she "apologized" for the deaths, only that she "deeply, deeply regretted" them. But this is classic Clintonian deconstructionism, hair splitting, word parsing. Nobody in the Moslem world is going to care that she regretted rather than apologized; everyone will see it as an apology and an admission of guilt. Instead of regretting or apologizing, she should have said something along these lines:
That would have commemorated all deaths of innocents at the hands of terrorists without drawing moral equivalency between our military and our country, which has done more than any other nation in history to fight the horror of the Islamist holocaust, and refocused blame on those committing human sacrifice themselves. Evidently, that was too much to ask of Hillary Clinton and her Capo di Tutti Capi.
February 17, 2008
That's So Hillary
Associated Press, yesterday:
Harold Ickes, a top adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign who voted for Democratic Party rules that stripped Michigan and Florida of their delegates, now is arguing against the very penalty he helped pass.
In a conference call Saturday, the longtime Democratic Party member contended the DNC should reconsider its tough sanctions on the two states, which held early contests in violation of party rules. He said millions of voters in Michigan and Florida would be otherwise disenfranchised -- before acknowledging moments later that he had favored the sanctions.
A man -- or woman -- is known by the company he keeps.
Or in this case, hires.
November 30, 2007
Ouch, What a Nickname!
Because of her propensity for dodging reporters, ducking questions, and avoiding any substantive answers even when she's cornered, Washington Post staffer Howard Kurtz has now given Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%) a new nickname: She's officially the "Catch me if you can" candidate:
ABC correspondent Kate Snow was ready to push through the crowd and ask Hillary Clinton a question until an aide blocked the path of Snow's sound man as he aimed his boom mike in the senator's direction.
"Sorry, we've gotta go," the woman said, though it was clear that Clinton would be shaking hands for some time....
Such is life spent trailing the Clinton juggernaut, where reporters can generally get close enough to watch but no further, as if separated from the candidate by an invisible sheet of glass.
Hillary Clinton and especially her handlers seem to do everything they can to prevent any sort of meaningful exchange between "Milady de Winter" and the fourth estate, even physically throwing a block, as in this case. Except for carefully controlled, coordinated, and (I suspect) carefully scripted events -- such as an interview with CBS's Katie Couric earlier this month -- Team Hillary allows only canned communications from the candidate: speeches, e-mails, and blog posts that can be vetted by the staff.
They provide no bus or van for the press, who are forced to chase the senator around the campaign trail like paparazzi pursuing Princess Di. Even reporters for major national media resources are "frustrated by a lack of access to Clinton."
Unlike her husband -- who loved to talk to the press and routinely made a beeline for the nearest media gaggle -- Hillary is aloof and solitary, and she shies away from questions far more than a typical politician. All candidates (except Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, 65%) are wary; but Clinton's press paranoia seems virtually Nixonesque:
Newsweek's Andrew Romano says the press didn't even get to take the tour when Clinton visited a Las Vegas sheet-metal factory. "The way we were herded into a small area to watch her walk into a room and meet with union officials just seemed slightly absurd," he says. When a colleague asked the staff for a chance to question Clinton, "they just kind of laughed it off."
Clearly, Hillary does not think much of freedom of the press or the accountability of public officials. Worse, she is actually starting to sound spooked by the upcoming primaries; while talking with Katie Couric -- her only press contact scheduled that day -- Clinton did not sound like a confident candidate at all, according to Kurtz:
After the Concord event, Clinton retreated to a previously scheduled taping with Katie Couric, her only sustained encounter that day with the national media. The CBS anchor asked how disappointed she would be if she isn't the nominee. "Well, it will be me," Clinton said. When Couric pressed, Clinton insisted -- not terribly convincingly -- that she hadn't even considered the possibility she could lose.
Perhaps she sees mere voters, not just the press, as peons to be avoided, except insofar as they can help her -- and are screened in advance to make sure they'll ask the "correct" questions. (If they're not sure what they're allowed to ask, I'm sure a Hillary staffer will be quick with a stack of hand-out questions for audience members to memorize.)
The reason she is so insulated seems obvious to me: Her people know that whenever she opens her mouth, she offends another group of potential voters. She's condescending, her voice grates, and she can barely conceal her radical hatred of much of traditional American culture, as when she sneered at the First Lady of Country Tammy Wynette and denigrated housewives who stayed home and "baked cookies."
Even in this short piece about her unavailability to the press, Kurtz manages to quote something she said that will infuriate a whole segment of the voting public:
For more than an hour, 30 journalists watched from the small, darkened living room as Clinton chatted, awkwardly at first, with the five preselected guests. Her rhetoric against health insurance companies was harsher than might have been expected. They give patients the "runaround," deny care, "slow-walk" the payment of bills, she declared. "This is all part of their business model. This is how they make money. . . . The small-business health-care market is really rigged."
I wonder if she realizes that doctors themselves are also part of "the small-business health-care market?" Is Hillary Clinton saying that your family doctor is part of a get-rich-quick scheme to systematically deny you health care?
I don't think she can sustain this campaign model; it may have worked in New York in 2000 and 2006, but New York is not all of America. Sooner or later, she will either have to come out from her bubble and face the consequences of her radicalism and her Leona Helmsley-like condescention towards the "little people"... or else face equivalent wrath from voters for refusing to engage, for acting like the office is hers by right.
That will be "el momento de la verdad," the greatest test she has ever faced. And given what we know about her response to flunking the Washington D.C. bar exam -- she married Bill and fled to Arkansas -- I eagerly anticipate that moment of truth in the campaign.
Catch me if you can!
October 30, 2007
Dem Prez Candidates Find Unanimity - Opposing Presidential Authority!
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL, 95%), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%), and ex-Sen. John Edwards have three things in common:
- Each is a current (or former) member of the Senate;
- Each is running for president... a.k.a. "chief executive";
- Each claims he wants presidential power curtailed, making the president little more than a congressional catspaw.
The Attorney General is the chief defender of the rule of law in our country. After Alberto Gonzales's troubled tenure, we cannot send a signal that the next Attorney General in any way condones torture or believes that the President is unconstrained by law.
What exactly does this mean? The Democrats made the meaning explicit a few days ago, as we faithfully reported in Mucking About With Mukasey: When Democratic senators write "condones torture," you should read "refuses to declare the use of waterboarding anathema, forbidden under any or all circumstances, no exceptions."
Attorney General Designate Michael Mukasey, in his Senate confirmation hearings, has so far refused to declare waterboarding to be torture or to agree to forbid the president to order it (though how Mukasey -- who works for the president, not the other way around -- could enforce such a ban is left hanging). Thus, Clinton and Obama have both declared they will not vote to confirm him. Can't have an Attorney General who thinks the president is "unconstrained by law!"
But wait -- how is waterboarding related to the "rule of law," of which the Attorney General should be "the chief defender?" No bill declaring waterboarding to be an act of torture has ever been enacted into law in the United States. In fact, Congress has never sent such a bill to the president to be vetoed. While "torture" is banned, it is left up to the president to determine how to execute that law -- specifically, to determine what does and does not constitute torture, using broad guidelines contained in various acts and treaties.
But these Democratic candidates want to remove that task from the president's plate. Rather, they want the president's understanding of the laws banning torture -- Title 18, part I, chapter 113C, § 2340 of the United States Code, for example -- to shift with every shift of the majority wind blowing from Congress, without the tedious necessity of Congress passing bills that the president is willing to sign... or (in a pinch) overriding the president's veto.
What these candidates demand is that President Bush declare waterboarding torture for no other reason than that a majority of Congress considers it torture -- as if the president himself should have no say in the matter. The so-called Commander in Chief and Chief Executive becomes a congressional spokesman, fit only to echo the understanding of the law as enunciated by congressional leaders.
The president thus becomes Chief Executive Secretary to the majority leader of the Senate and the squeaker of the House.
On a related point, recall that Democratic senators routinely ask judicial nominees, during their confirmation hearings, how they will rule on various cases. In particular, they invariably ask nominees to federal district courts, circuit courts, and the Supreme Court whether they will uphold a woman's "right" to get an abortion, with the clear understanding that if they will not, or if they refuse to answer, that senator will oppose their confirmation. This is just as improper as demanding that an incoming Attorney General agree to congressional policy decisions that will bind the president as a condition of his confirmation; and it indicates a very disturbing pattern:
Democrats evidently believe that, while we have three coequal branches of government, one is more coequal than the others.
But it's not just my inference here; we can take the direct word of John Edwards. While Edwards has become almost a fringe candidate, he speaks for a great many other Democrats in the Senate and House. In his own statement rejecting Mukasey (though he has no say in that question), he included this paragraph:
Mukasey has also said that the president doesn't necessarily have to abide by acts of Congress. We need an Attorney General who will put the rule of law above the administration's short-term political interests, and Mukasey has already shown that he's unwilling to do that.
Sadly, Edwards actually appears to believe that a president must "abide by acts of Congress"... all of them. (The statement makes no sense unless we assume that Edwards meant to allow no exceptions; if exceptions are allowed, then anything can be an exception!) But what if a runaway Congress enacts a patently unconstitutional law? Must the president abide by it anyway?
Here is the scenario: Suppose John Edwards becomes president; and because of the Silky Pony's feckless policies, we are hit with another terrorist attack -- but this one is a widespread, distributed attack on America's malls. In 12 Gallerias across the country, a series of coordinated bombings kill 23,000 last-minute shoppers during Christmas week.
Al-Qaeda swiftly claims credit for the attacks, and within a couple of days, the attacker are identified; all are Arab Americans. In a spasm of rage, Congress passes a law ordering the immediate arrest and detention of all Americans of Arabic descent. President Edwards valiantly tries to stop the madness, but Congress overrides his veto.
He is now faced with a constitutional crisis: The act is clearly unconstitutional and should be overturned when the courts get around to hearing it. But they're in no hurry, just as they were not in 1942. So should President Edwards go ahead and implement this obviously unconstitutional act of Congress? Or should he exercise his authority -- and duty -- as a coequal branch of the government to ignore the act, on his own authority?
The point of the exercise is that "the law" is not solely determined by statutory law enacted by Congress: It also includes the Constitution, the bedrock law of our government, along with caselaw.
Likewise, Congress is not the sole arbiter of what the Constitution and the law require, either. The Supreme Court obviously plays a role; but so too does the president, in his capacity as the executor of the laws of the land -- including the most basic law, the Constitution of the United States of America.
But while Congress seems willing to include the Court into the club of those who get to determine what is constitutional, it is equally pleased to include the president out of that fraternal order. And since many senators also believe they should only confirm judges who agree in advance to decide certain cases in favor of the senator's position, these members of Congress quite clearly believe that Congress should be preeminent in determining what "rule of law" means. This tendency crosses party lines, by the way; cf. Sens. Arlen Specter (R-PA, 43%), Lindsay Graham (R-SC, 83%), and everyone on the Gang of Fourteen.
This is almost an attempt at a slow-moving, bloodless coup d'état... well, "bloodless" in the sense that they do not openly espouse killing the president; but they do push policies that are likely to get a lot of Americans killed, in the guise of protecting their "civil liberties." From Hillary again:
We need to restore the nation’s confidence in the Department of Justice. The Department must once again defend our Constitution and the rule of law without regard to ideology and partisanship. And we need to protect the country from terrorism while also respecting Americans’ civil liberties.
It's not quite clear to me how waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- a Kuwaiti on the lam, who was captured by Pakistani troops in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, with or without CIA participation, and was transferred to CIA custody -- impacts "Americans’ civil liberties." Perhaps Hillary Clinton will elaborate when she's asked that tough question during tonight's Democratic candidates' debate. [Note for the irony impaired...]
In fact, I do not believe there is any evidence that any American citizen or legal resident has ever been waterboarded in order to obtain information. However, we have waterboarded many American soldiers and CIA interrogators as part of their training for either resisting that interrogation technique (in the case of soldiers) or using it on captured terrorists (in the case of CIA interrogators).
Also, at least one reporter, Fox News Channel's Steve Harrigan, voluntarily underwent three of the reputed five stages of waterboarding for a video report. Harrigan pronounced it "torture," but he also noted that just a few minutes after each session, he felt perfectly fine -- which makes his pronouncement a bit dicey, as all definitions of psychological torture I've seen, including the legal one above, require "prolonged mental harm" resulting from the session.
Others who have undergone it, including many military and CIA personnel, say it's not torture. The point is not to prove one way or another (though I believe it is not torture, and I would happily undergo it just out of curiosity) but to prove a much easier point: That waterboarding is a controversial issue with people of good faith and strong experience landing on both sides.
In other words, it's a perfect candidate for a case by case determination whether it's legitimate to use waterboarding to obtain intelligence information, based upon the criticality of the information sought, the particular person it's sought from, and any prevailing exigent circumstances. Implementation like this is precisely the purview of the Executive branch, not the Legislative -- which creates one size fits all rules for everyone -- or the Judiciary -- which decides ex-post facto whether information gathered can be used at trial; nobody has ever attempted to use a "confession" obtained by waterboarding in court as evidence at the confessor's criminal trial.
Whether or not to use waterboarding to obtain critical intelligence is a job for Super President, not Glacially Ponderous Judge or Mealy-Mouthed Congressman. But to the top three Democratic candidates for Chief Executive Secretary of the United States Congress, branches one and two need only ask Congress what they think, and then rubber-stamp the congressional leadership's decision... the president as puppet.
I wonder: How much of this do they truly believe and would actually follow through on if elected... and how much is just electoral hype in the never-ending Democrat hit single, "The Bushies Have Bushwhacked America"?
October 12, 2007
Le Duc Tho, Jimmy Carter, Yassir Arafat - and Al Gore?
As you've all no doubt seen, the whispers turned out to be correct, for a change: Algore, in conjunction with the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, has won the Nobel "Peace" prize.
Now perhaps someone can explain to me what on earth global warming has to do with "world peace"...
Oh, wait; here we go:
The Norwegian Nobel Committee said global warming, "may induce large-scale migration and lead to greater competition for the earth's resources. Such changes will place particularly heavy burdens on the world's most vulnerable countries. There may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states."
Well! Who can argue with that?
Drudge has already linked to speculation that this will propel Algore into the presidential race, a possibility that Friend Lee and I were kicking around recently:
All of Gore's body language and every answer he has given to questions about running have been to discourage the idea that he would become a candidate. But for whatever reason, he has declined to make a definitive statement taking himself out of the running.
Only he knows the reason for that. Is it just to play with the press and the political community and then revel in the absurdity of all the speculation or is it because he actually believes there might be a set of events that would make is possible for him to run and win?
I assume that if Gore does decide to run, his entire campaign will more or less revolve around implementing some draconian, Luddite shutdown of industry in order to appease the Globaloney gods. Will that, combined with his status as the angriest dog in the world, be enough to knock Hillary off her pedestal of clay?
"Rantin'" Al vs. "Hell-to-Pay" Hill -- the main event!
I have long believed that Hillary Clinton's only political asset is the "aura of inevitability" that surrounds her like a foggy, opalescent soap bubble; a serious campaign kafuffle could puncture it. Within the soap bubble, an old and familiar dust-devil still swirls around Sen. Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%), like the cloud constantly following around Pig Pen in Peanuts: a curious Clintonian cacophany of coincidence, inside of which weird things just... happen.
- A thousand dollars of aimless investment miraculously turns into $100,000 worth of cattle futures;
- Billing records vanish, then just as mysteriously reappear after the statute of limitations has run;
- The Attorney General of the United States abruptly cannot bear to appoint an independent counsel to investigate even the most well-founded allegations of gunpowder, treason, and plot;
- Documents disappear from the National Archives and are destroyed, and the miscreant -- former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger -- not only gets off with a slap on the well-padded wrist, he ends up advising Hillary on national-security issues. Son of a gun! Wonder how that just happened to... happen?
None of these incidents has any real cause, and certainly nobody is to blame; they're just -- amazing coincidences. Nobody in the elite media would dream of questioning the First Lady or the senator (now) from the great state of New York; and like Mary Poppins, she never explains anything.
But this is possible only because of the magic bubbles that others have always lent her, hiding the cacophany of coincidence: First, President Bill prevented those prying eyes, for his own reasons, by coarse and vulgar threats. Then she was shielded by being the senior junior senator from New York, with all the political power that carries.
And now, the aura of her inevitable presidency -- created by the press, the Democratic primary voters, and even the other Democratic candidates -- shields her from questions she shies from answering and arguments she shrinks from debating, even during a so-called "candidates' debate."
But now, if Mr. Inconvenient Truth decides to ride his Oscar, Emmy, and Nobel steed into the Democratic primary (campaign slogan: "Re-elect Al Gore!"), how long before his rusty sword lances that boil of inevitability? There is real bad blood between the Clintons (especially Hillary) and the Gores (especially Tipper -- mee-ow!); I think the latter believe that all the money, political muscle, and attention lavished upon the former played a major role in the latter winding up unemployed and overweight in 2001. All the king's Carvilles and all the king's Begalas were so busy getting Hillary the Roman toga she was promised, in exchange for not divorcing Bill, that they were unavailable to help push Vice President Gore over the top.
I believe there is at least a 50% chance that the Democratic race for the nomination is about to go from Clintonian coronation to globaloney Gore-gasm in sixty seconds. If Rantin' Al Gore decides to throw his head into the ring, then all bets are off.
And who knows? I might even pull an incredible victory out of a prediction I had long since written off as failed. And that would make it all worthwhile.
October 3, 2007
New Hsus for Old
So Hillary swamped the field by raising $27 million in the third quarter for her presidential coronation.
But I'm driven to wonder: How much of that money comes from actual contributers carefully weighing the alternatives and deciding on the Divine Mrs. C.... and how much comprises Norman Hsu-like bundled donations from reimbursed contributers, extorted contributers, and fake people?
Inquiring minds want to know -- and so should the Federal Elections Commission!
August 4, 2007
A Lame Duck Beats a Full House (and Senate)
And in the fullness of time, both the Democrat-controlled House and the Democrat-controlled Senate broke with longstanding Democratic tradition and decided to support the United States of America.
Silly bit of business, really; foreigners calling foreigners whose calls happen to be routed through nodes in Los Angeles or New York, and the National Security Agency was listening in when it appeared that one or the other foreign party was a terrorist, a terrorist supporter, or a terrorist harborer. But the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opened the Devil's gate by deciding that this violated some obscure clause of the Constitution of which we were all previously unaware: the constitutional right of privacy for all foreigners living abroad. A judge -- they won't say who -- struck down the program.
Gleeful Democrats charged into the breach and demanded that President Bush submit all proposed "wiretaps" to a judge, present their "probable cause," and sit back and wait two or three weeks until he makes his decision. And if the four hundred year old judge doesn't understand why it's important to "wiretap" some radical cleric in Waziristan talking to young Moslems in Westminister, then it's back to the drawing board for the NSA.
But the Old Texan called their bluff. He argued that protecting Americans from terrorism required gathering intelligence. He pronounced that foreigners living outside the United States have no rights whatsoever under the American Constitution. And he insisted that the people's business was more important than Congress' vacation plans.
Bush proposed that the decision to surveil be made by (here was the compromise) both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence... thus keeping it within the Executive branch, which has sufficient energy to make a decision and act upon it, rather than endlessly debating the question (as the Legislative branch does) or consulting accumulated decades of hoary "wisdom" (à la the Judicial branch); but also not leaving the decision solely to the discretion of Alberto Gonzales, the Democrats' current Great Satan.
And Bush insisted that Congress enact the reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA, which predates both commercial cell phones and the modern version of Islamist terrorism) before adjourning for Congress' traditional August recess. This trapped the Democrats between Scylla and Charybdis:
- They're driven by the nutroots to dismantle any and every program to collect intelligence about pending terrorist attacks (while simultaneously demanding to know why we haven't gone right in and gotten bin Laden yet)...
- Yet they daren't be seen putting off American national security so they can go home and scarf up more campaign contributions and distribute more pork-laden earmarks.
At last, Democrats in both chambers of Congress arrived at the same conclusion, which they enacted and sent on to the president for signature: They caved to the Bush plan to reform the nearly three decade old FISA, thus betraying the MoveOn, George Soros, Daily Kos wing of the Democratic Party (they've been flying on one wing for seven years now).
But then, in an agony of cleverness, they set things up so their surrender to the Bush plan will only last six months... at which point they'll have to go through the entire nightmare all over again, navigating the narrow passage between the six-headed snake and the greedy whirlpool, to finally arrive right back to the same bill they just approved six months down the road (with or without yet another sunset clause).
That means that the next time Congress faces either infuriating "the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party," or else alienating those Americans who care anything about national security, it will be at the end of January and beginning of February 2008: Exactly when more than 50% of American voters go to the polls to decide the presidential nominees -- in the states of Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, Florida, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Utah.
Brilliant planning, Democrats; somebody didn't have his PDA turned on when the donkey party agreed to that calendar!
I'm sure a massive debate about whether or not the Democrats care a fig about national security won't affect people's primary voting; just as I'm equally certain that the looming primaries won't in any way affect how Sens. Hillary Clinton (D-Carpetbag, 95%) and Barack Obama (D-IL, 95%) will vote on the terrorism-intelligence bill.
How do the Democrats always manage to get themselves into a pickle like this? Oh, wait -- maybe their complete lack of "the vision thing" or any set of moral principles has something to do with it.
April 5, 2006
A Clinton Campaign Tough-Love Letter
It's spring, when a young journalist's thoughts lightly turn to campaigning for the Democrats. Here is one such campaign commercial for Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY -- "have carpet, will travel"), masquerading as a "news article." But if this is a love letter, it's a bit of tough-love:
It was a case of Clinton deja vu. "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right about America," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady who seems to be aiming for a return to the White House, said Wednesday as she wrapped up her speech to a Hispanic organization.
Excuse the crowd if they had heard it before. The New York Democrat, who clearly took good notes, had very slightly revised her husband's old standard, from his inaugural address on Jan. 20, 1993.
"There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America," President Clinton told the nation then.
Note, however, that we cannot accuse Sen. HIllary of plagiarism: she did not say that "there is nothing wrong with American that cannot be cured"... she said "that cannot be fixed." See the difference, the originality?
Here's the campaign part in the story (written by Donna Cassata and Ron Fournier). Alas for Sen. Hillary, it's mostly campaign nostalgia:
Policies aside, the Clintons' political skills and style were on display Wednesday.
The former president's smoothness - even rival Republicans marveled at it through two terms - quickly captured his crowd. Conversational, self-deprecating, largely extemporaneous, he was part tutorial, part lecturer, part comedian.
With one hand in his pocket and the other for gesturing, he joked that he missed his introduction because he was "backstage and half deaf" and recalled John Quincy Adams' dismissive comment that "there's nothing so pathetic as a former president...."
He explained that an inability to play on golf's senior tour, limited saxophone skills and a hardworking ethos forced him to created the William J. Clinton Foundation to take on the challenges of global interdependence.
Alas for Sen. Hillary, Ms. Cassata and Mr. Fournier can't find a whole lot to praise about Milady's delivery; they pass along broad, "nudge nudge wink wink" hints for her to pick up and run with:
Addressing the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's legislative conference, the former first lady held the side of the podium or rested her hands on a folder containing notes or texts. In the first few minutes, she looked down to find a number or a name in a speaking style that resembled a law school professor....
About halfway through the speech, she stopped touching the podium. Her hands came together in the form of a steeple but often broke free to gesture. She did not do the famous Bill Clinton thumbs-up, but she held both her hands out, palms up - a gesture that seemed to be an invitation to join her on the stage.
The pair even gently try to steer Milady towards the issues that (they believe) are the Democrats' strong suits for 2008:
She focused on the major problems facing the country - immigration, global competition, health care - that she said Republicans have not tackled....
She revisited the better economic days of her husband's presidency, arguing that work needs to be done after President Bush's term ends.
Yep, that's the burning issue that animates the voters of America today: global competition! Health care for immigrants! And there's yet another backward-look, yearning for the glory days of Bill Clinton -- let's all party like it's still 1999.
The writers gloss over this final point, but I think it's really the core of the story and should have been the lede. This is very, very bad for Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's prospects in the presidential race:
Deep into a speech with several partisan riffs, she delivered her first significant applause line, saying immigrants are hardworking, law-abiding people who deserve our respect.
Let's ponder that: Sen. Hillary was only able to get a "significant applause line" when she was "deep into [her] speech." And how amazing it was to get applause for praising immigrants -- when speaking to the legislative conference of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
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