WELL, WE KNOW HE LIKES GUNS FOR HIMSELF. Ex-Sen. Jim Webb Seriously Looking At 2016 Run. Hillary’s looking weak.
BUT HOW’S THE CREASE? THAT’S THE IMPORTANT THING. Hillary Clinton, an empty (pant)suit?
STANLEY KURTZ: Why Hillary’s Alinsky Letters Matter. An explanation for Glenn Thrush, et al.
2016 IN A NUTSHELL, FROM FRANK J. FLEMING: “Hillary has to be careful to not let the fact that she’s not particularly good at anything distract from how she’s a woman.”
#NARRATIVEFAIL: The Rape Epidemic Is A Fiction: Sexual assaults today are a third of what they were twenty years ago. Remember, none of this is about reality, or the welfare of women. It’s about Hillary battlespace preparation, and jobs and power for “social justice warriors.”
THE WASHINGTON FREE BEACON UNEARTHS Hillary Clinton’s correspondence with Saul Alinsky. On Twitter, the reaction from pro-journalists seems to be “Who’s Alinsky again?”
Plus: “We’re not even close to 2016 and just tonight we’ve had: 1) CBS run a Hillary hero show 2) Politico smugly dismiss new Hillary info.” Think of them as Democratic operatives with bylines and you’ll never be far wrong.
Though whether Hillary will benefit from being compared to Tea Leoni isn’t entirely clear. . . .
MEGAN MCARDLE: How Many Rape Reports Are False?
The number of false accusations is what statisticians call a “dark number” — that is, there is a true number, but it is unknown, and perhaps unknowable. For a deep dive into the reasons it’s so hard to know, I commend you to Cathy Young’s new piece at Slate, in which she details all the problems that confound investigations into false rape accusations.
Here’s what we do know: The 2 percent number is very bad and should never be cited. It apparently traces its lineage back to Susan Brownmiller’s legendary “Against Our Will,” and her citation for this figure is a single speech by an appellate judge before a small group of lawyers. His source for this statistic was a single area of New York that started having policewomen conduct all rape interviews. This is not data. It is an anecdote about an anecdote.
The 41 percent number beloved of men’s-rights activists is better; it involves a peer-reviewed study by Eugene Kanin of a police department in some unknown small city. False reports could only be declared if the victim herself withdrew the charge. However. We’re talking about one city, in which 109 rapes were examined over a period of nine years. As feminists point out, victims might have withdrawn the charges simply because they found it too traumatic to engage with the police department, not because the accusation was false. And the study itself is now pretty elderly. A lot has changed in 20 years, including, possibly, the number of false rape accusations in this city and the rest of the nation. This number should be used only with grave caution.
But so should any other numbers, such as the 8 percent figure that is commonly attributed to the FBI. When you dig into the research itself, you find it is often heavily inflected with the authors’ prior beliefs about what constitutes the “real problem”: unreported cases of rape or false reports? So Kanin is frequently chided for accepting the results of a police department investigation that included offering the victims a polygraph, because this is intimidating for true victims as well as women making false reports, and it could raise the incidence of false negatives. On the other hand, if the rate of false rape reports is quite high — much higher than that of other crimes — then this might be a reasonable precaution. It’s possible that by encouraging police departments not to polygraph rape victims, we have fixed a cruel system in which innocent victims are bullied into recanting. It’s also possible that we’ve increased the number of false accusations that proceed to investigation and conviction.
Shorter: You cannot treat “percentage of reports that were found to be false by investigators” as “percentage of reports that were actually false.” Some women may simply have recanted to disengage from the system. Some police officers may decide a case was false when it wasn’t. On the other hand, we also know that false accusations can make their way through the system pretty far — witness the Duke lacrosse players and Brian Banks.
What we know is that we don’t know.
Thing is, all the rape-talk isn’t about getting justice for victims. It’s about stirring up female voters for Hillary, while demonizing, marginalizing, and silencing men, and about justifying policies that generate employment and self-esteem for “social justice warriors.” Given that these are generally execrable people, any policy that enlarges their power or perks should be viewed with deep suspicion.
AS THE ADMINISTRATION FLOUNDERS ON IRAQ, let’s remember a time when Democrats were more forceful. Here’s a flashback to what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:
“MEANWHILE, THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY HAS TURNED INTO PEYTON PLACE.” Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Hillary Clinton, and the Democrats’ War On Women. “If the targets of back-biting were Republican women I have little doubt that the media would hop on the ‘war on women’ bandwagon. Really, why is poor Wasserman Shultz taking blame when the male president is responsible for the party’s bad fortunes? And how [many] of these ‘personal questions’ about Clinton have to do with her age — a sign of sexism in a world in which men grow distinguished and women grow old? (If you think this is pure silliness, you know how Republicans feel when accused of misogyny.)”
UPDATE: From the comments: “More like The Harper Valley PTA, it would seem.” Heh.
SHARYL ATKISSON: Hillary Cronies Sanitized Benghazi Files Before Accountability Review Board Got Documents. “As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to ‘separate’ damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya. According to former Deputy Assistant Secretary Raymond Maxwell, the after-hours session took place over a weekend in a basement operations-type center at State Department headquarters in Washington, D.C. This is the first time Maxwell has publicly come forward with the story. At the time, Maxwell was a leader in the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, which was charged with collecting emails and documents relevant to the Benghazi probe.”
We used to call it “vacuuming” the files back in the day.
MICHAEL BARONE: Obama forced by events to reverse course — and disillusion base.
One of his chief advantages over Hillary Clinton in 2008 was her vote for the Iraq war resolution in 2002 and Obama’s opposition to it, albeit as a state senator from an overwhelmingly Democratic district.
In the late 1960s Democrats switched from being the more hawkish of our two parties, more likely to support military interventions and commitments, to being the more dovish. Visceral opposition to military action, and suspicion that even the most limited such action will lead to massive war, is deeply implanted in many Democratic voters.
You can expect, therefore, a skittish reaction to Obama’s announcement of a military escalation from senatorial and congressional candidates in states with dovish Democratic electorates like Colorado and Iowa. We also may also see depressed turnout of Democratic doves all over the country in November.
It is apparent that Obama’s decision to take military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, however limited, came despite his deep-seated feelings and was forced on him by events. American voters do not take kindly to videotaped beheadings of Americans. It unleashes a Jacksonian impulse to wipe the people who do these things off the face of the earth.
Obama, like his predecessor, likes to depict Islam as a religion of peace. An unhappily large number of Muslims, however, have other ideas. Their aggression and immunity to appeasement have forced the president to take actions that he, like many of his fellow Democrats, abhors.
Yeah, that keeps happening.
HEY, THIS SOUNDS LIKE WHAT OBAMA AIDES ARE SAYING TODAY! Flashback: Bush Aides Say Iraq War Needs No Hill Vote; Some See Such Support As Politically Helpful. “Lawyers for President Bush have concluded he can launch an attack on Iraq without new approval from Congress, in part because they say permission remains in force from the 1991 resolution giving Bush’s father authority to wage war in the Persian Gulf, according to administration officials. At the same time, some administration officials are arguing internally that the president should seek lawmakers’ backing anyway to build public support and to avoid souring congressional relations. If Bush took that course, he still would be likely to assert that congressional consent was not legally necessary, the officials said.”
Bush was smart to get Congress on board — even though by 2006, many, including Hillary, were pretending they’d never voted for the war — and Obama would be smart to do the same now.
“IRON DISCIPLINE:” Politico gives soft-soap treatment to Hillary backup Elizabeth Warren. The more puff pieces like this you see, the more likely it is that Hillary won’t run.
YEAH, THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” STUFF ISN’T LOOKING SO GOOD: Becoming secretary of state could be Hillary’s biggest political mistake. “Hillary Clinton enjoyed remarkably high approval ratings during her time as secretary of state under President Obama, but those numbers have evaporated as the Middle East burns and Moscow continues its expansion westward — leaving her legacy in tatters. This development is occurring at a terrible time for Clinton, months before she is expected to announce her 2016 presidential ambitions.”
OPERATION I-TOLD-YOU-SO: What Is Mitt Romney Up To?
My reading of Romney is that he’s a man who doesn’t lack an ego, but that he has far less ego than most politicians. I think he actually is interested in public service, and that right now he’s been casting about—after over a year of laying low and thinking, and recovering from his defeat—for the role he can take on to best serve the nation and even the world.
If that’s grandiose, so be it. And the conclusion I think he may have come to is that he can serve as a guide to the party and as a symbol of solidity, a “what might have been” for the American people to compare and contrast to Obama and other Democrats. As such, he can remind them that the current decline and chaos weren’t inevitable, and needn’t be inevitable for the future, if they are smarter next time and elect a more conservative candidate than Hillary Clinton or whoever will be the Democratic nominee.
Will it work? I don’t know. But I think that’s his plan, and so far he’s executed quite nicely.
Plus, it’s always fun to say “I told you so.”
WELL, THIS MIGHT BE CONVENIENT FOR HILLARY, IF TRUE: New Book Says C.I.A. Official in Benghazi Held Up Rescue.
ANNALS OF “SMART DIPLOMACY:” America’s confused foreign policy in the post-Soviet sphere.
Washington seems to have developed an imperative to engage when it is too late, if at all, in reaction to Moscow’s assertive actions and has excelled in sending mixed messages. Azerbaijan is arguably the most pivotal nation in Eurasia today. It is a key transit point for NATO operations in Afghanistan, the only nation bordering both Russia and Iran, and one of the very few secular and tolerant Muslim societies in the world. Yet instead of intensively reaching out to Azerbaijan, Washington constantly criticizes or alternately ignores Baku.
In contrast to Russia and Iran, which both frequently send top level delegations to convince Baku to turn away from its pro-Western course, Washington has been MIA, with Hillary Clinton being the last high-level Administration official visiting in 2012. Compare this to the Moscow: Putin personally visited Baku just before the presidential elections in 2013 to court Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev. Now consider this through the prism of regional perceptions and the global outcry about the lack of American leadership.
Failing to offer a credible security commitment to their allies in the post-Soviet space, the United States and Europe are unable to address their most immediate and present threats. Offering some vague European prospects peppered by heavy criticism and diluted by the constant bickering and lack of leadership among the Europeans, the West comes across as weak in the face of Russia’s decisive, instant and brutal force. The much touted EU Association agreement doesn’t even offer clear support to Azerbaijan for its territorial integrity, unlike the other candidates. This is a sign of strategic confusion in the European ranks.
When you elect feckless leaders, you get feckless leadership.
RICH BAEHR: Hillary Is In No Rush.
WASHINGTON POST: Why Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy’ gaffe stings. “Polls have increasingly shown that Americans view Obama as a weak commander in chief without much direction or heft t0 his foreign policy. . . . And as a series of overseas foreign policy crises have popped up in recent years, the White House has remained largely hands-off — a decision that rightly or wrongly feeds the narrative of it not having a real strategy. And it certainly didn’t help that the White House set a so-called ‘red line’ of the Syrian government using chemical weapons on its people, but didn’t actually do anything when it crossed the red line. And then Obama goes and says something like he did Thursday.”
But I love how the Post still can’t write about an Obama gaffe without taking a jab — make that two jabs — at Romney along the way.
UPDATE: Points And Figures: “When the world is crashing around you, that’s not an answer. The time to answer the question with, ‘We don’t have a strategy yet.’ was was a year ago.”
A year ago, Obama was calling ISIS “junior varsity.” Plus:
Supposedly, with Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State, we had an A team working on these problems. She has pretty much screwed the pooch and I would hate to see how badly she could do as President. At the same time, where has Obama been? It’s not just that he is golfing, but goes deeper than that. It’s not political party differences either, because in a time of crisis, elections shouldn’t matter. CEO’s and Presidents make decisions for the good of the country; not minutiae or teacher’s pets.
His investors and his Board of Directors are looking for some definitive action that can bring some calm before the world goes spinning out of control. But, his brain is vacant. America feels listless, and also it feels like dominoes are falling that could bring us to a situation we don’t want to be in. There are parallels to both WW1 and WW2, but every new chapter has its own twists and turns. The future requires its own imaginative thinking.
Great leaders have core values. When things go nuts, they can rely on those core values. They are bedrock that help to speedily build a plan to get the ship right. This is why when an early stage company starts to grow, one of the things great CEO’s do is build a corporate culture. When in doubt, they can rely on the core values of that culture to seize the day, and employees internalize it to put out fires.
What are Obama’s core values, and do they mesh with the American culture we have created over 200+ years?
Yeah, I don’t think anybody considers Obama a “great leader” anymore, and nobody wants to talk about his core values.
UPDATE: Ten Obama Press Conference Lowlights. “It is hard to tell which was worse — the substance of the president’s remarks on Thursday or that he thought it was a good idea to go out there, with no real news on anything. He confirmed what many of us have long suspected — there is no strategy for dealing with the Islamic State, which his own advisers — but not the president — say is a real threat to the homeland. Obama would only say the Islamic State is a threat to Iraq. It leaves one wondering if he really thinks a jihadist state in the Middle East is no big deal for the U.S.”
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Michael Schrage corrects me — it wasn’t a year ago that Obama was calling ISIS junior varsity, it was just last January.
AMAZING, GIVEN THE DIFFERENCE IN MEDIA HYPE: Paul Ryan’s book beats Hillary Clinton’s ‘Hard Choices’ on New York Times Bestseller list.
SMART DIPLOMACY: Russia invades Ukraine, Obama expresses ‘concern.’ “There is no better example of the ruinous Obama foreign policy than Ukraine. The president has issued empty threats, diminished sanctions and refused to allow Ukraine to protect itself. If you are the leader of a Baltic state, you’re probably and justifiably panicked. The president will no doubt issue more empty threats. But that doesn’t do Ukraine any good, and it surely won’t protect other potential victims. Hillary Clinton‘s reset policy, it seems, has been a complete failure. Or is she going to blame others for this one as well?” If I were the Poles, I’d be trying to obtain nuclear weapons.
“ANYONE BUT OBAMA” SENTIMENT DOESN’T EXTEND TO HILLARY: YouGov poll: Most Americans, and most Democrats, do not wish Hillary had won in 2008.
BUT OF COURSE: Hillary Is Already Insisting On Staying In Presidential Suites. “The former first lady is already insisting on staying in the ‘presidential suite’ of the world’s finest hotels, typically traveling to them on nothing less than a $39 million private Gulfstream G450 jet before collecting a $250,000-plus speaking fee, a new report says. Just like the president, she sends an ‘advance’ team to check out her accommodations and speech set-up before she touches down, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which reviewed her standard speaking contract and other documents related to an upcoming Nevada visit.”
I still think that if we’d gone ahead with the Oil Trust idea back in 2003, Iraqis would have had a much better reason to hang together. But despite backing not only from me, but from Hillary Clinton, Milton Friedman, and Michael Barone, it never happened. Too bad.
RICHARD FERNANDEZ: Looking For The Attractor.
There’s a crisis in punditry. Disasters have become altogether too predictable. . . .
Nobody really believes that the leaders of the nation or the West in general can find their way out of the mess they’ve created. Not after all that huffing and puffing about climate change, transgender initiatives, Obamaphones, “getting engaged with your disease” and other varieties of trivial pursuit.
The Big Ticket problems they’ve pooh-poohed for so long are here. Food, energy, security and demography. In a short, the world of things. Boo. Your design margin has been canceled. Politicians are running for cover. . . .
That the current system is in flux is no longer in doubt. What everyone wants to know is where the attractor is. “In dynamical systems, an attractor is a set of physical properties toward which a system tends to evolve.” Where is the world going? Who is going to lead it? The conventional wisdom is that it was Barack or Hillary who would do the leading. But it looks more like no mas!
What punditry needs now is not someone who can interpret the past — that’s easy — but someone who can glimpse the further future. But even the greatest minds have no crystal ball. The mists of uncertainty shroud all. One can only repeat what Winston Churchill said: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”
Like the folks in Europe 100 years ago, I think we’re going to miss the Gay 90s.
IT’S ALMOST LIKE EVERYONE SPIES ON EVERYONE ELSE: German agents secretly recorded Hillary Clinton conversation. “German security agents recorded a conversation involving Hillary Clinton while she was secretary of state, German media reported Friday, a potential embarrassment for Berlin, which has lambasted Washington for its widespread surveillance. Clinton’s words were intercepted while she was on a U.S. government plane, Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and German regional public broadcasters NDR and WDR said, without giving details of where she was or when the recording was made.” It’s kind of embarrassing to the US, though, that they were able to do so.
CLINTON MACHINE TAKES OVER THE “allegedly nonpartisan (but actually left-wing) watchdog group, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).” “CREW, which plans to add a more explicitly political arm in order to target Republican politicians, donors, and other enemies of David Brock, is the latest addition to Brock’s stable of aggressive political attack outfits, such as Media Matters, American Bridge, and the recently announced American Independent Institute and American Democracy Legal Fund.”
UPDATE: Ethics watchdog to become Democratic lapdog: report. “Vogel reports that a greatly expanded CREW will now become part of Brock’s web of partisan organizations that provide opposition research and attack services for Democrats independent of the official party structure. His organizations have spent a lot of time preparing for a possible Hillary Clinton candidacy in 2016, by fending off attacks on her.”
If you’re out of line it’s your bang-pop.
INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY: Impeach Obama? He’s The Best Asset The GOP Has. “Obama is Republicans’ greatest political asset and Democrats’ greatest political liability. And for Republicans, he promises to be an asset that continues to pay dividends.”
SO SHE’S A T-1000? Huh. I thought she was a T-888. Hillary Clinton, expert shape-shifter.
SPECIAL GUEST EDITORIAL: Obama’s Foreign Policy Failures, By Hillary Rodham Clinton.
MEGAN MCARDLE: When Obama Beat Hillary, We All Lost.
I think that Hillary Clinton would have been more cautious when dealing with Republicans, and therefore ultimately more successful in some ways. At the very least, she would not be facing the same level of vehement opposition in Congress.
I think liberals really do not understand emotionally the extent to which the Tea Party was created by the Affordable Care Act and the feeling that its government was simply steamrolling it. From the Tea Party’s perspective, you had an unpopular program that should have died in the same way, and for the same reasons, that Social Security privatization did: because sensible politicians saw that, no matter how ardently they and their base might desire it, this was out of step with what the majority of the country wanted (and no, you cannot rescue the polls by claiming that the only problem with the law was that it wasn’t liberal enough; when you dig down into what people mean when they say that, the idea that there was ever a majority or a plurality that was secretly in favor of Obamacare collapses). . . .
I think that Hillary Clinton would have pulled back when Rahm Emanuel (or his counterfactual Clinton administration counterpart) told her that this was a political loser and she should drop it. I’ve written before about how my Twitter feed filled up with comparisons to 1932 the night that Obama took the presidency, and it’s quite clear to me that the Obama administration shared what you might call delusions of FDR. It thought that it was in a transformative, historical moment where the normal rules of political caution didn’t apply. The administration was wrong, and the country paid for that.
They’ve been wrong about a lot of things, and we’ve paid — and will pay — for that. But the sheer “I won” in-your-face immaturity of the Obamaites — remember the “Hey, Hey, Goodbye” chant to Bush at the inauguration — ensured that people would be angrier than normal. And they did that on purpose because a sharply divided nation suited them politically. Now Ron Fournier wonders if Americans would rally behind Obama after another 9/11 the way we rallied behind Bush, and I think the answer is no — because Obama has spent his entire time in office flicking boogers at half the country.
As I’ve said before, the reason why presidents traditionally act “presidential” isn’t because they’re stiffly formal, it’s because acting presidential, rather than purely political, lets you appeal to the whole country in ways that a pure partisan can’t. Obama doesn’t care, and we may very well pay for that, too. But elections have consequences, and when you elect a guy like Obama, the consequences are bad ones.
NOT SO HAPPY WITH HILLARY: Exclusive: Obama Told Lawmakers Criticism of His Syria Policy is ‘Horsesh*t.’
SAME AS IT EVER WAS. SAME AS IT EVER WAS. Philip Klein: Nothing Hillary Clinton Is Now Saying About Foreign Policy Matters. “If history has taught us anything, especially when it comes to foreign policy, it’s that Clinton doesn’t have positions — she has positioning.”
DEMOCRATIC PARTY OPERATIVES WITH BYLINES: Mediaite: From ISIS to Health Care, Hillary’s Media Allies Rewriting History.
HOW’S THAT “SMART DIPLOMACY” WORKIN’ OUT FOR YA? (CONT’D): Obama’s plan to stop ISIS panned by both sides of aisle. Hillary’s first to plunge in the knife:
“Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle,” said Clinton, who served as Obama’s first secretary of state.
She made the comment to The Atlantic in response to a question about one of the administration’s blunt mantras to observe caution – an approach critics say has led to disengagement as events exploded in the Middle East.
Clinton, in a new interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in the magazine, blasted the administration’s failure to arm Syrian rebels in the early phase of their uprising against President Bashar al Assad – a policy she tried to change.
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.
Her strategy appears to be to run against Obama the way Obama ran against Bush. Maybe a bit awkward that she was in charge of his foreign policy for most of the time.
NATIONAL JOURNAL: The World Will Blame Obama If Iraq Falls.
Well, yes. It was stable and relatively peaceful — so much that Obama and Biden were bragging about it — and then he blew the Status Of Forces Agreement negotiations because, fundamentally, he didn’t want troops to stay.
Related: What Kind Of Iraq Did Obama Inherit?
Plus, I’m just going to keep running this video of what the Democrats, including Harry Reid and Hillary Clinton, were saying on Iraq before the invasion:
Because I expect a lot of revisionist history over the next few months.
Plus: 2008 Flashback: Obama Says Preventing Genocide Not A Reason To Stay In Iraq. He was warned. He didn’t care.
And who can forget this?
FACT: President Obama kept his promise to end the war in Iraq. Romney called the decision to bring our troops home “tragic.”
— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) October 22, 2012
WHY, HOWEVER COULD THAT HAVE HAPPENED? The crusade against Iraq War supporters has forgotten someone: Hillary Clinton.
Barack Obama used a similar line of attack on Hillary Clinton during the 2008 primary campaign:
[People] should ask themselves: Who got the single most important foreign policy decision since the end of the Cold War right, and who got it wrong?
And yet less than two weeks after his election, Obama made the person who was doggedly wrong on the “most important foreign policy decision” in a generation his secretary of State.
That convenient amnesia is exactly what is going to happen in 2016, when many of those who are willing to shout “baby killer” at Paul Wolfowitz will make it their full-time job to elect Hillary Clinton commander in chief. Clinton has given a totally implausible account of her evolving views on Iraq, even as she continues her hard-line hawkishness. Her entire career has been peppered with urging presidents to bomb, whether the target was Serbia in the ’90s or Libya and Syria this decade.
I also predict that Obama’s supporters won’t be focusing on his right/wrong-call ratio much . . . .
BECAUSE HILLARY ISN’T RUNNING IN 2016? Why Democrats Are Ditching Their “War On Women” Rhetoric.
Maybe it’s starting to chase younger women away.
Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S.
The documents also show that in June 2011, the State Department approved a consulting agreement between Bill Clinton and a controversial Clinton Foundation adviser, Doug Band.
The consultancy with Band’s Teneo Strategy ended eight months later following an uproar over Teneo’s ties to the failed investment firm MF Global.
State Department legal advisers, serving as “designated agency ethics officials,” approved Bill Clinton’s speeches in China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Panama, Turkey, Taiwan, India, the Cayman Islands and other countries.
The memos approving Mr. Clinton’s speeches were routinely copied to Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s senior counsel and chief of staff.
“SMART DIPLOMACY” AGAIN, I GUESS: Hillary Clinton: Hamas Operates in Civilian Areas Because Gaza is a Small Place or Something. They had to put their HQ in a hospital! There was nowhere else!
FLASHBACK, 2012: Hillary Clinton criticizes Romney’s remarks on Russia.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hit back Sunday against Mitt Romney’s comments this week that Russia is America’s main “geopolitical foe.”
Labeling Romney’s words as “dated,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN there were more pressing matters of concern in global affairs.
“I think it’s somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don’t agree,” Clinton told CNN Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jill Dougherty.
On Monday, Romney set off a firestorm of criticism when he described Russia as the country’s primary enemy.
“In terms of a geopolitical foe, a nation that’s on the Security Council, and as of course a massive nuclear power, Russia is the geopolitical foe,” Romney said on CNN’s “The Situation Room.”
Romney’s rivals, Republicans and Democrats alike, immediately jumped on his remarks and used them as an opportunity to paint the candidate as out of touch on foreign policy issues.
Well, someone was out of touch.
WAPO: Hillary Clinton still hasn’t found a good answer to questions about her wealth. And Chris Cilizza is eager to offer advice, and point out that she’s not that awful Mitt Romney. Which is true. He earned his money by building businesses; she earned hers by selling access. In WaPo-land, the latter is morally superior.
GEE, DO YOU THINK? CNN: Is foreign policy a liability for Hillary Clinton?
HOW’S THAT RUSSIAN RESET GOING FOR YA, HILLARY? Russians’ Test Called Breach Of Missile Pact. “The United States has concluded that Russia violated a landmark arms control treaty by testing a prohibited ground-launched cruise missile, according to senior American officials, a finding that was conveyed by President Obama to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in a letter on Monday.”
The Russian fear is that we’d scrap the treaty and push new weapons systems. Putin knows that Obama won’t do that, so why stick to the treaty?
A PROBLEM FOR 2016? Hillary’s Domestic Violence Record.
NOT SURE I BUY THIS DIAGNOSIS OF HILLARY’S PROBLEMS IN 2008: “They did not let Hillary be Hillary.”
KURT SCHLICHTER: Conservatism Is The New Punk Rock. Actually, that’s more libertarianism. But:
Look at ancient Hillary Clinton, that improbable Millennial heroine. She’s the Bachman Turner Overdrive of American politics, out there literally taking care of business – especially the businesses who take care of her by paying her hundreds of thousands a pop to come talk to them.
There’s no energy left in liberalism, no excitement, just more rules, more controls, everything the punks hated. You can’t say this, you can’t think that, everybody read the memo – today we’re scheduled to be angry at people don’t want to subsidize our birth control! Oh, and make sure you obtain a videotaped, notarized consent form before you kiss your cisgender hook-up.
Yeah. The Dems are looking like that crazy preacher in Footloose.
HILLARY CLINTON: Hey, you know who was a great President? George W. Bush. “George W. Bush is very popular in Sub-Saharan Africa. Why? Because of the president emergency program for AIDS relief whether you agree or disagree with a lot of what else he did — and I disagree with a lot of it — I am proud to be an American when I go to Sub-Saharan Africa and people say, ‘I want to thank President Bush and the United States for helping us fight HIV/AIDS.’”
Throw in the resulting civil war in Mali and the scattering of insurgents and weapons to the four winds, and you have a classic exhibition of reckless incompetence—of American arrogance, ignorance, carelessness and moralism combining in a toxic stew to sink a fragile country we never understood.
Luckily for America’s self-esteem, it was liberal Democrats that produced this particular shambles. If Republicans had done this, the media would be on the administration non-stop, perhaps comparing Samantha Power to Paul Wolfowitz—a well-meaning humanitarian way over her head who wrecked a country out of misguided ideology. There might also be some pointed questions for future presidential candidates who supported this fiasco. But since both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have their fingerprints all over Libya, there isn’t a lot of press hunger for a detailed, unsparing autopsy into this stinking corpse of policy flub.
If Obama were a Republican, the press and the weekly news shows would be ringing with hyperbolic, apocalyptic denunciations of the clueless incumbent who had failed to learn the most basic lessons of Iraq. Indeed, the MSM right now would be howling that Obama was stupider than Bush. Bush, our Journolist friends would now be saying ad nauseam, at least had the excuse that he didn’t know what happens when you overthrow a paranoid, genocidal, economically incompetent Arab tyrant in an artificial post-colonial state. But Obama did—or, the press would nastily say, he would have done if he’d been doing his job instead of hitting the golf course or yakking it up with his glitzy pals at late night bull sessions. The ad hominem attacks would never stop, and all the tangled threads of incompetence and failure would be endlessly and expertly picked at in long New Yorker articles, NYT thumbsuckers, and chin-strokings on all the Sabbath gasbag shows.
Why, the ever-admirable tribunes of a free and unbiased press would be asking non-stop, didn’t this poor excuse for a President learn from what happened in Iraq? When you upend an insane and murderous dictator who has crushed his people for decades under an incompetent and quirky regime, you’d better realize that there is no effective state or civil society under the hard shell of dictatorial rule. Remove the dictator and you get chaos and anarchy. Wasn’t this President paying attention during the last ten years?
Some of the criticism would be exaggerated and unfair; the Monday morning quarterbacks never really understand just how complicated and tragic this poor world really is, not to mention how hard it is to make life and death decisions in real time in the center of the non-stop political firestorm that is Washington today. And the MSM attracts more than its share of deeply inexperienced but entitled, self-regarding blowhards who love to pontificate about how stupid all those poor fools who have actual jobs and responsibilities actually are.
But luckily for Team Obama, the mainstream press would rather die than subject liberal Democrats to the critiques it reserves for the GOP.
This is why, if you want accountable government, you should always vote Republican.
DON’T BE RIDICULOUS: CLINTONS AND THEIR HANGERS-ON CAN DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO WOMEN. War on Women, Clinton Style: Democrats must disavow a Clinton operative’s anti-woman remark.
OOPS: Sight-Impaired Millionaire Still Not Cleared to Drive: Hillary Clinton flees baby-talking event in five-car motorcade. Nobody trolls better than Andrew Stiles.
FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION wants to regulate conservative books. Fat advances to Dems like Hillary? That’s just business.
YOU BECOME “READY FOR HILLARY?” What Happens When An Amoeba “Eats” Your Brain?
“SMART DIPLOMACY:” Hillary: This Plane Thing Is Really Europe’s Problem.
Related: More Mush From The Wimp.
HILLARY’S PROBLEM IS THAT SHE’S POLITICALLY CUNNING, BUT SHE’S NOT ACTUALLY ESPECIALLY BRIGHT: Hillary’s pollyanna foreign policy. “Each new crisis around the world, including the scab scraping problems in Ukraine following this week’s plane downing, seem to demonstrate that foreign policy will be a much bigger factor in the next presidential election than I’d once imagined. Americans will still focus on a host of domestic issues, but it’s impossible to ignore the deteriorating state of affairs around the globe and America’s place on that larger stage. This made it all the more curious to examine Hillary Clinton’s statements about American foreign policy given on, of all places, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Setting jokes aside for a moment, Stewart asked Hillary, what is our foreign policy anymore? Her answer was remarkable for its lack of depth.”
SOMEBODY WILL TOP THIS BEFORE 2016, I PREDICT: Read the Puffiest Hillary Clinton Puff Piece of All Time.
ALSO, NO GREEN M&Ms. University Contract Details Hillary Clinton Speech Demands. “On top of the $225,000 she is charging the UNLV Foundation to speak at an event in October, former first lady Hillary Clinton is requiring an additional $1,250 to pay for a stenographer to transcribe her speech and may request a teleprompter if she so chooses. . . . Clinton also agreed to a 30-minute photoline, which will take place before her remarks. But strict rules apply to it as well. It is ‘not to exceed 50 photos with up to 100 people,’ the contract reads. . . . Clinton’s press agency will also maintain strict control over the event’s optics.”
TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY: Here’s an ad slamming Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin for paying women on his staff less than men. I imagine we’ll see a lot of these, since so many Dems are vulnerable, and since they’ve fertilized the field with all this #waronwomen talk. It’ll probably reduce the intensity of female voters’ support, and complicate the war-on-women narrative for Hillary.
DESPITE THE POLITICAL PRESS’S BEST EFFORTS: GOP Candidates Avoiding Big Gaffes So Far. Hillary, on the other hand. . . .
VICTOR DAVIS HANSON: All Clintoned Out. “Hillary Clinton seems to be interested in running on the elite progressive themes of equality and fairness. The problem here is obvious. Few Americans have more enriched themselves by trading on their public service than have she and her husband. A George Marshall in retirement Hillary is not. . . . The second problem with Hillary’s candidacy is Obama. In 2009, the betting was close on whether her secretary of State (she had no particular foreign affairs experience prior to her appointment) billet was a deft Obama move (keep your enemies closer than your friends) or a Clintonian wise political gambit (keep in the limelight for 2016). The problem is that her four years as secretary of State coincided with a collapse of U.S. foreign policy unseen since 1979-80.”
Plus: “We can be certain of one fact: If the Republican candidate campaigns according to the Marquess of Queensberry rules in the fashion of John McCain or Mitt Romney and politely deflects each hour the insinuation that as a rich, old white guy de facto he is culpable for some –ism or -ology, Hillary will be elected. But if such charges are either inapplicable to the Republican candidate or are answered in slash-and-burn Lee Atwater style — who was so despised by establishment Republican political operatives — then nothing is certain.”
WAR ON WOMEN: Hillary Clinton Refuses To Apologize For Laughing About 12-Year-Old Rape Victim She Maligned In Court. The thing is, all the “war on women” talk is aimed at energizing wealthy white women. The rape victim didn’t fit the demographic, so she’s disposable.
WAR ON WOMEN: Hillary Clinton Speaks About Defense of Child Rapist: “I fulfilled that obligation.” Was there an obligation to chortle gleefully? Or was that just a bonus?
Plus: “The question of why and how Clinton ended up serving as the attorney for accused child rapist Thomas Alfred Taylor in 1975 is still murky.” As are so many questions about her past.
Hillary Clinton gave a Luskin Thought Leadership lecture at UCLA last March for which she raked in $300,000 in speaking fees. The appearance was one of at least eight lectures she gave at various universities throughout the past year. Her minimum speaking fee at said universities was reportedly $200,000.
There has been outrage among some students of these universities, who lambaste their administrators for doling out stratospheric speaking fees while students are left to grapple with tuitions that have increased by 500 percent over the last thirty years.
In defense of Clinton’s exploits, it’s been noted that the fees she was paid did not come out of the pot of money funded by tuition but rather from privately donated grants. For instance, at UCLA, the Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership fund established in 2011 by benefactors Meyer and Renee Luskin paid her fee.
The nascent Luskin Lecture for Thought Leadership program has thus far brought in three speakers: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, and Kofi Annan, all of whom are, incidentally (or not?), of the liberal bent.
It is correct to point out that, because she was paid by a private donation, it is not as if her speaking fee directly diminished the school’s ability to pay for classroom resources and the like.
But I have always thought the excuse by university administrators that building the new conference center, or the new campus restaurant, or the new LGBT center is justified because various private donors have earmarked their donations for these express purposes, is rather dubious.
In an age when students are crushed by debt, it is conceivable that administrators with any concern for their students could tell potential benefactors that they would love to accept their donation for the new Muslim Cultural Center, but that because of the dire straits their students find themselves in vis-à-vis tuition costs, they would kindly ask that donors make their donations to the university’s general fund instead.
Once when I was in Las Vegas, a guy stopped me on the street and asked to borrow a thousand bucks for his mother’s operation.
I was skeptical. “How do I know you won’t just gamble the money away?”
His indignant response: “I’ve already got gambling money!”
I’m sure he was a college administrator of some kind. And I’ll be here all week; try the veal.
JIM TREACHER: Easy Choice: Read Hillary’s Book, Or Do ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING ELSE? Even those people who’ve bought it, apparently, are choosing option #2. “It almost makes you wonder what dark secrets are lurking inside Hillary’s book, just waiting for someone to do the unthinkable and actually read it.”
UNDER PRESSURE, HILLARY IS DONATING ALL HER (UNIVERSITY) SPEAKING FEES TO HER OWN FOUNDATION. But Ann Althouse has questions:
What is her salary from the foundation? How much of her expenses are covered by family foundation money? How many members of her family make salaries from that foundation? To what extent is the foundation an income tax dodge? And didn’t Hillary Clinton recently portray herself as not truly rich because she and Bill pay income tax on their money?
Taking from your foundation and putting it in my foundation… what a lovely, arrogant metaphor for a liberal’s view of government! I can spend your money better than you can. The universities have money that they might spend to improve education for their students and to advance scholarship, but it could be shifted into the Clinton Foundation which does whatever it does, some charitable things that maintain and advance the Clintons’ political fortunes.
One New Class hand washes the other. And is Hillary channeling George Costanza?
THE HIGHER EDUCATION SECTOR SEEMS HAPPY TO COVER FOR DEMOCRATS: SUNY Buffalo Refuses To Reveal Hillary’s Speaking Fee.
More on Hillary’s speaking fees here.
THOSE CLAIMS THAT HILLARY HAS RECOVERED FROM HER HEAD INJURY? Not helped when she thinks the two main parties in Britain are the Conservatives and the Tories.
IT’S BASICALLY THE ACADEMIC ESTABLISHMENT LAUNDERING CONTRIBUTIONS FOR AN ALLY: WaPo: At time of austerity, eight universities spent top dollar on Hillary Clinton speeches. “In one previously undisclosed transaction, the University of Connecticut — which just raised tuition by 6.5 percent — paid $251,250 for Clinton to speak on campus in April. Other examples include $300,000 to address UCLA in March and $225,000 for a speech scheduled to occur in October at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas.”
UPDATE: A reader notes that the President of the University of Miami, another Hillary-subsidizing school on the list, is none other than “Donna Shalala … Bill Clinton’s HHS secretary.”
JIM TREACHER: Has Hillary Clinton Apologized Yet To The Rape Victim She Dragged Through The Mud And Laughed About? “I realize this question doesn’t narrow things down. Specifically, I’m referring to that 12-year-old Arkansas girl in the mid-’70s, whose assailant Hillary got released with time served.” Hillary’s defenders say she was just doing her professional duty. But there was no professional duty to gloat and laugh.
NEW YORK TIMES: How Hillary Is Like John McCain.
MERE “FANTASY ROLE-PLAY.” ‘Cannibal Cop’s Conviction for Plotting to Kidnap & Cook Women is Overturned. But read this story closely, and you’ll quickly figure out that the answer is to elect Hillary President!
REGRETS: Hillary deeply disturbed that Supreme Court upheld statute signed into law by her husband. So there’s this, DOMA, and Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell. . . .
KEVIN WILLIAMSON ON BILL, HILLARY, CHELSEA AND THE NEW OLIGARCHY: “No society can long thrive by making its innovators subservient to its bureaucrats.” But in the short-run, the opportunities for graft are amazing.
BORGIAS, ANYONE? Roger Simon reviews Ed Klein’s book about the Clintons and the Obamas, Blood Feud. “What we have here is a portrait of narcissism gone berserk. And maybe that’s what most politics is.”
Hillary Clinton claimed that, at the moment she and her husband were signing up for $18 million in book deals, that they were “dead broke.”
Harry Reid (who lives in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel) said liberals are getting bullied by Republican billionaires but the Democratic Party “doesn’t have many billionaires” behind it.
Joe Biden (family earnings: $407,000 last year plus a free house, driver, meals, etc.) claims he “I don’t own a single stock or bond. . . . I have no savings accounts . . . I’m the poorest man in Congress.” (Triple fail: Joe isn’t poor, isn’t in Congress and wouldn’t be the poorest member of it if he were.)
Right here in New York, we’ve learned that City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the daughter of a wealthy doctor who left a $6.7 million inheritance, took advantage of a no-interest loan intended for underprivileged New Yorkers to buy a Harlem townhouse. Then she forgot to declare the rental income on required city disclosure forms. The townhouse you and I helped buy her for $240,000 is today worth $1.2 million.
The more Democrats insist on their proletarian cred, the more absurd it gets. They’re no longer just holier than thou: Now they’re prolier than thou.
SO THIS ARTICLE BY OLGA KHAZAN IN THE ATLANTIC makes a big deal about women doing more household chores than men — “by 51 minutes per day, according to the 2013 Time Use Survey numbers. That’s almost an entire Game of Thrones episode” — but if you actually go to the American Time Survey and move on to the second page — the one that includes “work and work-related activities” — you find that men spend a lot more time, you know, working than women do. But that’s not the the point. The point is to spread #waronwomen resentment as battlespace prep for Hillary. A woman President will show those stupid, lazy men!
I think we should get 50% of federal tax revenues from each sex, and adjust the rates until that happens. Because fairness.
ADVERTISING GENIUS: This billboard of Hillary Clinton has her supporters in full-on freak out mode.
THAT’S RACISM, STRAIGHT UP: Hillary “Disrespects” Obama. To people clucking that the First Black President deserves more respect, may I suggest that you should have done a better job of picking the First Black President? I mean, Jackie Robinson was a really good ballplayer. If he’d instead, well . . . thrown a baseball like Barack Obama, it would have been different.
RUTH MARCUS on Hillary Clinton’s Money Problems. “You are truly well-off by anyone’s definition of the term. And hard work is the guys tearing up my roof right now. It’s not flying by private jet to pick up a check for $200,000 to stand at a podium for an hour. . . . Which gets me to the second set of issues: how you’re continuing to vacuum up the money, and the aura of greediness it exudes. Madam Secretary, enough already. This behavior borders on compulsion, like refugees who once were starved and now hoard food. You’re rich beyond your wildest imaginings! You don’t need any more!”
Well, after she had to make that dress out of drapes, Hillary swore she’d never be poor again. And if Hillary doesn’t actually plan to run, then dangling the possibility of her candidacy still helps her rake in more money now.
UNLV STUDENT GOVERNMENT: Hillary Should Return Her Outrageous Speaking Fee.
ED DRISCOLL: Hillary, Chelsea, and America’s Ruling Class.
THE HILLARY TAPES, PART TWO: Bill Clinton in the 1980s: ‘I think I’ve Been Able to Change My Bad Habits.’
Plus, Hillary’s thoughts on moving: “As long as they speak English, I could be comfortable.”
Because the Clintons are often viewed in tandem, a lot of people have mistakenly transposed Bill’s political acumen onto Hillary. But in reality, her political career has involved winning a Senate seat in New York over a weak Republican opponent in a year that Al Gore carried the state by 25 points — and squandering a massive lead against candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic nomination battle. . . .
There’s no doubt that if Hillary doesn’t find a better way to answer it, questions surrounding her wealth could become an issue. Liberals have been arguing that it won’t be, because unlike Mitt Romney (whose wealth was damaging) she’d be supporting policies to provide more benefits to lower income Americans. But that isn’t necessarily going to save her from attacks on her hypocrisy. Just consider how much the story of John Edwards’ $400 haircuts damaged his whole “son of a mill worker” poverty-fighting persona.
Related: Millionaire Chelsea Clinton can’t bring herself to care about money. Well, not caring about money is one of the main perquisites of wealth. I remember one of my friends at Skadden saying “I don’t like this job because of the money. I like this job because I never have to think about money.”
HE REALLY SEEMS TO THINK HE’S GOT A SHOT IN 2016: Biden Hits Hillary: ‘Don’t Hold It Against Me’ I’m Not Rich.
RICH ENOUGH? Daniel Drezner: Hillary Clinton Suffers From Status-Income Disequilibrium. So does most of the press, which explains a lot. But how much status do you have to think you have to feel that a net worth exceeding $100 million isn’t enough?
FATCAT CRONY INSIDERS — THEY’RE JUST LIKE US! Hillary Clinton Says She Isn’t ‘Truly Well Off.’ “Because we pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work.”
At one percent of the Clintons’ net worth, most Americans would consider themselves well off. But here’s how they’re struggling:
Clinton earned an $8 million advance for her 2003 book “Living History” and her publisher is rumored to have paid “significantly more” for “Hard Choices.” Additionally, Clinton reportedly earns $200,000 in speaking fees each time she makes a speech. Bill Clinton has reportedly made over $100 million in speaking fees since leaving office.
Earlier this month, Clinton caused controversy when she said she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were “dead broke” when he left the White House in 2000 and subsequently “struggled” to buy homes and pay for their daughter, Chelsea’s, education. Chelsea Clinton’s wealth also made headlines earlier this month after Politico reported she earned a $600,000 salary as a “special correspondent” for NBC News, a sum Business Insider noted seems to amount to $26,724 for each minute she was on air.
Working class all the way. She and Bill are walking, talking (for a fee) arguments for my revolving-door surtax.
Related: WaPo: Some Democrats fear Clinton’s wealth and ‘imperial image’ could be damaging in 2016. “She’s been living 30, going on 40 years with somebody bringing your coffee to you every morning. Is it more ‘Downton Abbey’ than it is America?”
OBAMA OPERATIVES DENY HILLARY’S WAR-ON-WOMEN CHARGE: Clinton Wasn’t Told to Attack Palin, Obama’s Plouffe Says.
WAPO: CNN’s Town Hall: Clinton-Friendly. “To add ‘energy’ to its show (attended by the Erik Wemple Blog), CNN deployed an enthusiastic stage director who coached the audience to applaud at various points throughout the broadcast.”
When the Washington Post thinks you’re too much in-the-tank for Hillary. . . .
MODERN FEMINISM: Apparently, it’s about men bashing other men for being men, in pieces edited by men. “Solution: Female Power. Hillary Clinton stands ready to restructure the old stratifications. This woman has amazing experience, including that time she sent a rape victim ‘through hell.’”
From the comments: “In Hillary Clinton’s America, child rapists are entitled to a vigorous defense and straight white men in college are subject to guilty without a trial.”
THE FRENEMY OF MY FRENEMY IS, ER, . . . Inside the jealous feud between the Obamas and ‘Hildebeest’ Clintons.
I love this: “And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications . . . and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’”
WAR ON WOMEN: Rape Victim of Clinton Client Speaks Out: Hillary ‘Took Me Through Hell.’ You know, I think it would have been better for the GOP if Hillary had waited until 2016 to implode.
UPDATE: The Free Beacon responds. A pretty major slap-down from the folks at Covington & Burling.