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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bad news: Clintons not happy with being compared to Anthony Weiner and Huma

I can’t believe anyone, especially people as politically savvy as Billary, think a guy like Weiner who’ll be a distant memory come 2016 poses any serious problem for the Clinton machine. The annoyance here likely derives from the stature gap between the two couples, the way the royal family might be annoyed to be called “Britain’s Kardashians.” As Dave Weigel said last week, the Weiners are to the Clintons as “Sharknado” is to “Jaws”: Fun in their own pathetically tawdry way, but really just a hollow, farcical imitation.
“The Clintons are upset with the comparisons that the Weiners seem to be encouraging — that Huma is ‘standing by her man’ the way Hillary did with Bill, which is not what she in fact did,’’ said a top state Democrat.
Weiner and his campaign aides have explicitly referred to the Clintons as they privately seek to convince skeptical Democrats that voters can back Weiner despite his online sexual antics — just as they supported then-President Bill Clinton in the face of repeated allegations of marital betrayals.
“The Clintons are pissed off that Weiner’s campaign is saying that Huma is just like Hillary,’’ said the source. “How dare they compare Huma with Hillary? Hillary was the first lady. Hillary was a senator. She was secretary of state.”…
Meanwhile, at least one prominent Hillary Rodham Clinton political operative was described as close to “going public’’ with a sharp criticism of Weiner — in order to send the message that the Clintons, fearing longtime damage to Hillary, want him out of the mayor’s race.
After the trauma of 2008, maybe Hillary’s determined to take even the tiniest potential pitfall seriously, which puts Huma in a bind. His wife’s continuing support is the only thing that gives Weiner even a whisper of a chance at a meaningful political comeback somewhere down the road. The more of a political liability he is, though, the less the Clintons will presumably want anything to do with her. By speaking up at that press conference, she basically adopted the Weiner brand, which was an awfully dumb thing for someone allegedly so smart to have done. Maybe Hillary will let bygones be bygones, but if Huma becomes a peg for the media to occasionally revisit Bill’s troubles during the next campaign, why put her on staff? There must be plenty of other overrated Democratic apparatchiks who could do her job for them just as well. Crunch time for Mrs. Weiner, then: Is it time to save her own skin by demanding of her husband that he drop out? Or is she ready to gamble her role as top Clinton lackey on Carlos Danger’s continuing political viability?
If nothing else, the “Hillary confronts Huma and demands that she tell Anthony to drop out” scene in the new miniseries will make for heart-stopping “Godfather”-esque drama. Or better yet, per the last paragraph of that excerpt, imagine the scene of today’s big Obama/Hillary sitdown where they discuss ways to politically whack him. Starring David Axelrod as Luca Brasi?
Exit question: If, as many have speculated, his current run for mayor is really just a way to flush the rest of his indiscretions into the public eye so that they’ll be old news by the time he runs for real in 2017, then he has to stay in this thing until the bitter end, no? His candidacy is doomed, but if he drops out he’s tacitly admitting that his flaws have rendered him unviable. If he stays in and loses, no matter how badly, he’s just another also-ran candidate who can try again in four years. He can’t signal in any way that this stuff is disqualifying. He has to shrug it off, lose by 30 points, and then spin it by claiming that “the time wasn’t right” or whatever. Tough break for Huma.
Update: Like I said:
Embattled New York City mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner said he doesn’t care what people say or how critics respond — he’s not leaving the race.
“You’re stuck with me,” he told the Staten Island Advance in an interview published Sunday.

Clinton News Network! joins the parade with a new documentary

The major motion picture, the mini-series, and now — the documentary:
CNN Films has tapped documentary filmmaker Charles H. Ferguson to direct a feature-length documentary about former Hillary Clinton, POLITICO has learned.
“CNN is very pleased to be working with Academy-Award winner Charles Ferguson on the film, which will be released in theaters and air on CNN,” Allison Gollust, the network’s senior vice president of communications, told POLITICO on Monday. The release date has yet to be determined.
The film adds yet another installment to the growing list of Hillary-related television projects and books slated for release before the 2016 presidential campaign. But is also presents a potential image problem for CNN’s News division as it covers Clinton in the run up to her highly anticipated bid for the White House.
Gollust told POLITICO, “CNN’s editorial side has no role in the production of the film, just as it has no role in any of the films produced or acquired by CNN Films.”
The powers that be are really going for it on solidifying The Woman, The Myth, The Legend that was/is Hillary Clinton, although I have rather a funny feeling that all of this biographic-entertainment coverage is going to miraculously manage to skating right over the many past moments at which she wasn’t so very trusted and exalted a political figure and end happily in triumph. And it isn’t just the media gunning to beautify her political image; the pro-Clinton PAC formed earlier this year is hauling in some serious dollars in her name, many of which are coming from some of President Obama’s usual mega-donors, again via Politico:
Ready For Hillary, the super PAC with close ties to Clinton confidants, has raised more than $1 million dollars since its inception this year— with a good chunk of the cash coming from mega-donors to President Barack Obama.
While it’s hardly a breathtaking amount of money by today’s standards, the effort drives home the painful message to other potential Democratic presidential hopefuls that Clinton controls the field three years before any votes are cast. …
Political operatives close to Vice-president Joseph Biden, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley say privately that the men will not run if Clinton gets into the race. “He doesn’t have a death wish,” said an advisor to one.

The Clinton/Weiner Comparisons

At risk of being the skunk at the Clinton's garden party, I'd suggest that the Clintons have little reason to climb upon their high moral horse.  Sure, Huma Abedin is "standing by her man" in much the way Hillary Clinton did, but even in 1992 -- as we all know in mind-numbing detail from the '90's -- Bill was well-known to have a way with the ladies . . . in a much more up-close-and-personal way than Weiner.

Weiner has not been credibly accused of rape.  Bill Clinton has.
Weiner has not been been credibly accused of workplace sexual harassment.  Bill Clinton has.
Weiner has not received oral sex in the Oval Office while serving as our nation's president.  Bill Clinton has.
Weiner has not, while Commander-in-Chief, received oral sex when on the phone with a congressman discussing troop deployments in Bosnia.  Bill Clinton has.
Weiner has not lied to the country while serving as its highest elected official.  Bill Clinton has.
Weiner has not been credibly accused of perjury, obstruction of justice, and witness-tampering while serving as the nation's chief law enforcement executive.  Bill Clinton has.
Finally, Weiner's wife hasn't sought to minimize his conduct, mislead the country and destroy his accusers for decades -- despite having every reason to suspect that at least some of the charges leveled against him might be true.  Bill Clinton's wife has.
Weiner's behavior is repugnant and appalling.  He sounds like a deviant creep who has no business anywhere near public office.  But the Clintons are, once again, unbelievable in their utter shamelessness.  By any sensible measure, their conduct has been far worse and far more damaging to the country than anything Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner have done.  Yet they are the ones who are "livid" about the Weiner/Clinton comparisons?
Without Bill and Hillary Clinton's example, Anthony Weiner would never even have thought about seeking the New York mayoralty.  The Clintons -- both of them -- are the ones who taught a generation of up-and-coming would-be presidents that it is possible to behave in the most unbecoming ways imaginable without that behavior becoming a bar to high office.
Especially if the predatory politician husband is lucky enough to have a wife who is power-hungry enough to enable him.
The sad truth: The Clintons aren't "livid" about Weiner's behavior because it's wrong, inimical to the national interest, and unbecoming in one who would seek to be elevated as a leader.  History proves that neither of them could care less about any of that. They're "livid" because it reminds Americans about just how repellent their own behavior has been, and risks upsetting the careful rehabilitation of their own images in the run-up to 2016.
And America deserves better than the Clintons OR the Weiners.

Cory Booker for president? Not a completely crazy idea.

Citing an upcoming trip to Iowa, the Daily Beast asks: “Is Cory Booker already running for President in 2016?” This, of coursesounds absurd. He’s currently the mayor of Newark. He would be in the Senate for a cup of coffee before having to launch a presidential campaign.
Taking a more moderate approach, Taegan Goddard writes, ”It’s probably safe to assume Booker will be on the short list of possible Democratic vice presidential picks in 2016.”
To be sure, the speculation is overwrought. Going to Iowa does not a presidential candidate make. But I think it’s utterly possible (not likely, but possible) that Booker could run for president now. After all, both sides of the aisle have thrown away the notion that tenure is a prerequisite.

True, Booker would be greener than the other potential Republican candidates, but at some point — once you’ve thrown away the notion that seniority counts — what does it matter? It’s not like Rand Paul could talk about Booker not having enough experience. The issue would be taken off the table.
(Nobody ever mentions this, but Mitt Romney was also just a one-term governor.)

s Benjy Sarlin tweets,
So here’s how I think it could potentially play out. Cory Booker runs as a sort of “safety” candidate. He runs in case Hillary either bows out or implodes. If that happens, Democrats won’t want to be stuck with Biden or O’Malley or Cuomo — all are flawed, boring, white guys with a certain amount of baggage.
This would be especially important if the Republicans were to nominate someone like Marco Rubio (a young candidate who would be the first Hispanic president) or Bobby Jindal (also young — and potentially the first Indian-American president.) But even if Hillary stays in, Booker could increase his likelihood of being her running mate by getting in (if he runs the right kind of campaign against her). Again, I’m not predicting this. But crazier things have happened.

Read more:

Monday, July 29, 2013

Are you ready for the Hillary Clinton mini-series?

Whether they’re not-so-subtly gunning for her candidacy, or merely capitalizing on all of the already rampant speculation about her candidacy, isn’t quite clear. I’m going to go ahead and venture a wild guess that it’s a good bit of both.
Comcast Corp.’s NBC broadcast network is developing live-event programs and mini-series to draw audiences when programs air as opposed to recording them to watch later on DVRs.
NBC is developing four mini-series, including a four-hour show based on Hillary Clinton, who will be played by Diane Lane, Bob Greenblatt, chairman of entertainment, said yesterday at a TV critic conference in Beverly Hills.
… Live events and high-profile mini-series draw more live viewers than TV series, Greenblatt said. With DVRs now in more than half of U.S. TV homes, the programs are a way to limit viewing on the devices, which allow audiences to skip commercials.
“We have to do everything we can to get as many people to watch a show when it airs as possible,” Greenblatt said. …
But, could this little project violate FEC rules, you might ask? Nope — not if they get to it while the speculation about Clinton’s 2016 candidacy is still just speculation.
Will NBC run afoul of campaign laws that require equal time for presidential candidates? Not if the network gets the project on in a hurry.
“She’s not going to probably declare her candidacy for two more years,” NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt said, “so this could well have aired before that.”
The chronology of the mini-series will reportedly begin in 1998, smack in the middle of the high-profile and surely high-drama moments surrounding her presidential husband’s scandalous affair. That means that we’ll be getting heavy doses of his impeachment scenario, her successful Senate bid, and then her loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary — but John Fund has a great breakdown over at National Review of what we’ll very likely be missing. Ahem.
Incidentally, by the way, this is happening today, too:
President Obama will host Hillary Rodham Clinton, his one-time campaign foe who later served as his secretary of state, at lunch Monday at the White House.
Obama and Clinton will meet for a lunch in the president’s private dining room, the White House announced Sunday. Their meeting will be closed to the press. …
As she weighs another campaign, Clinton has been traveling the country giving dozens of speeches, both paid and pro-bono, and is working on a new book.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Harry Reid: Hillary Clinton may have a bigger fan than me, I just don’t know who it would be

Add Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to the list of Democrats unequivocally throwing all of their complimentary predictions as well as predictable compliments behind the possible — or, depending on who you talk to, probable — candidacy of Hillary Clinton 2016. Not only would she win and make a splendid president, says Reid, but “she’ll handle things probably even better than [Bill Clinton] did”:

Hillary Clinton may have a bigger fan than Harry Reid; I just don’t know who it would be. I think that what she did as a senator, what she did as secretary of state will go down in history books as a remarkable, remarkable job that she did. I, of course, have such admiration for the president. Remember, the last three or four years he was here we reduced the debt and created 22 million jobs – pretty good deal. And I think that they’re a pretty good team, but she’ll handle things probably even better than he did. … I don’t know what more I can say than — to be a cheerleader for — than what I’ve already said in this interview.
The “remarkable job that she did” as secretary of state? Er… debatable, but try telling that to a Democrat, and anyway, Clinton is of course topping the race in all of those Quinnipiac2016 hypothetical match-up polls. The big rejoinder for Clinton’s potential presidency, however, is that it isn’t as if plucking a candidate from relative obscurity has never worked for the Democrats before, ahem, and Hillary might be a little too much on the old side of the old guard come 2016; Chris Cilliza at WaPo made a list the other day sussing out some of the other possible Democratic options we might be looking at come the next presidential campaign cycle. If it isn’t going to be Hillary, maybe it’ll be one of these guys? Maybe?
7. Howard Dean: It’s been a decade since the former Vermont governor lit the Democratic world on fire with his remarkable if ultimately flawed presidential candidacy. While Dean hasn’t been an active candidate since then, he retains something of a following among liberals, and if there is a segment of the party looking for an alternative to Clinton, he could be it.
6. Martin O’Malley: On paper, the Maryland governor looks great. He’s built a governing record in the Old Line State — guns, the death penalty, gay marriage, etc. — that liberals will love. He’s handsome. And, he badly wants to be president. Like, really badly. But, as the New Republic’s Alec MacGillis noted in a recent piece on O’Malley: “For all his gym-rat, pub-rock credentials, O’Malley is not a very charismatic politician.” There is a “Democratic Tim Pawlenty” narrative building around O’Malley at the moment. …

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


During an appearance on The Capitol Hill Show with Tim Constantine, Congressman Steve Stockman said he believes Hillary Clinton perjured herself in her testimony before Congress and that there is an active effort to hide the facts in order to cover this up. Stockman wants a special prosecutor to look into the entire Benghazi debacle and determine what really happened and who knew what when.

DHS nominee under investigation for allegedly helping Hillary Clinton's brother.

Authorities are investigating the man President Obama tapped to take over the second highest spot at the Department of Homeland Security for allegedly using his position and power to unfairly obtain U.S. visas for foreign investors in a company run by Hillary Clinton’s brother, has confirmed. 

Alejandro Mayorkas, director of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was named by Homeland Security's Inspector General's Office as a target in an investigation involving the foreign investor program run by USCIS, according to an email sent to lawmakers late Monday.

The investigation was opened in September 2012 following a referral from an FBI counterintelligence analyst. The probe was first reported by The Associated Press.

The investigation into Mayorkas is based on allegations he helped secure U.S. visas for Chinese businessmen after they had been denied by his own agency’s officials. The visas had been sought by Gulf Coast Funds Management, a financing company headed by then-Secretary of State Clinton’s brother Anthony Rodham, according to an aide to GOP Sen. Charles Grassley, who had received internal USCIS emails about the matter from a department whistle-blower.
According to an email sent to lawmakers Monday, the IG's office said, "At this point in our investigation, we do not have any findings of criminal misconduct." The email did not specify any criminal allegations it might be investigating.
White House press secretary Jay Carney referred questions to the inspector general's office, which said that the probe is in its preliminary stage and that it doesn't comment on the specifics of investigations.

The program, known as EB-5, allows foreigners to get visas if they invest $500,000 to $1 million in projects or businesses that create jobs for U.S. citizens. The amount of the investment required depends on the type of project. Investors who are approved for the program can become legal permanent residents after two years and can later be eligible to become citizens.

If Mayorkas were confirmed as Homeland Security's deputy secretary, he probably would run the department until a permanent replacement was approved to take over for departing Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The email to lawmakers said the primary complaint against Mayorkas was that he helped a financing company run by Rodham  to win approval for an investor visa, even after the application was denied and an appeal was rejected.
Mayorkas, a former U.S. attorney in California, previously came under criticism for his involvement in the commutation by President Bill Clinton of the prison sentence of the son of a Democratic Party donor. 

Another of Hillary Clinton's brothers, Hugh Rodham, had been hired by the donor to lobby for the commutation. Mayorkas told lawmakers during his 2009 confirmation hearing that "it was a mistake" to talk to the White House about the request.

Hillary Clinton, who stepped down as secretary of state on Feb. 1, is considered a possible contender for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016.

According to the Inspector General's email, the investigation of the investor visa program also includes allegations that other USCIS Office of General Counsel officials obstructed an audit of the visa program by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The email did not name any specific official from the general counsel's office.
The email says investigators did not know whether Mayorkas was aware of the investigation.

The FBI's Washington field office was told about the investigation in June after it inquired about Mayorkas as part of the White House background investigation for his nomination as deputy DHS secretary.

The FBI in Washington has been concerned about the investor visa program and the projects funded by foreign sources since at least March, according to emails obtained by The AP.

The bureau wanted details of all of the limited liability companies that had invested in the EB-5 visa program. Of particular concern, the FBI official wrote, was Chinese investment in projects, including the building of an FBI facility.
"Let's just say that we have a significant issue that my higher-ups are really concerned about and this may be addressed way above my pay grade," an official wrote in one email. The FBI official's name was redacted in that email.
Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent the FBI a lengthy letter Tuesday asking for details of its review of the foreign investor visa program and Chinese investment in U.S. infrastructure projects.

Chinese investment in infrastructure projects has long been a concern of the U.S. government. In September, the Obama administration blocked a Chinese company from owning four wind farm projects in northern Oregon that were near a Navy base used to fly unmanned drones and electronic-warfare planes on training missions. In October, the House Intelligence Committee warned that two leading Chinese technology firms, Huawei Technologies Ltd. and ZTE Corp., posed a major security threat to the U.S. Both firms have denied being influenced by the Chinese government.
The most routine users of the EB-5 program are Chinese investors. 

According to an undated, unclassified State Department report about the program obtained by the AP, the U.S. Consulate in Guangzhou, China, processed more investor visas in the 2011 fiscal year than any other consulate or embassy. 

The document says "applicants are usually coached and prepped for their interviews, making it difficult to take at face value applicants' claims" about where their money comes from and whether they hold membership in the Chinese Communist Party. Party membership would make an applicant ineligible for the investor visa.
Anthony Rodham is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC in McLean, Va. The firm is one of hundreds of "Regional Centers" that pool investments from foreign nationals looking to invest in U.S. businesses or industries as part of the foreign investor visa program.

There was no immediate response to an email sent to Gulf Coast requesting comment.
It is unclear from the IG's email why the investor visa application was denied. Visa requests can be denied for a number of reasons, including a circumstance where an applicant has a criminal background or is considered a threat to national security or public safety.

Read more:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Really? like we didn't know this all ready! man are a dumd ass! Biden Hints at 2016 White House Bid

Vice President Joe Biden hinted he would make a bid for the White House in 2016, reinforcing speculation about a Democratic primary face-off with former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In an interview with GQ
, Biden also compared himself to former Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, both of whom served as vice president before moving up to the Oval Office.

"I can die a happy man never having been president of the United States of America. But it doesn't mean I won't run," Biden told the magazine in an interview released Thursday. 

"The judgment I'll make is, first of all, am I still as full of as much energy as I have now — do I feel this? No. 2, do I think I'm the best person in the position to move the ball? And, you know, we’ll see where the hell I am."

Biden's mention of Jefferson and Adams suggested they serve as inspiration to him for a possible candidacy. 

"If you come in the office, I have two portraits hanging — one of Jefferson, one of Adams. Both vice presidents who became presidents," he said. 

"I joke to myself: I wonder what their portraits looked like when they were vice presidents."

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You’re darned right I’m thinking of running for president, says … Peter King of New York

Seems crazy at first blush, but when you think about it, it seems slightly less crazy. Then, when you think about it some more, it seems full-blown crazy again.
A new burning question for 2016: Can Peter King top Thad McCotter’s vote haul from 2012?
“I’m going to certainly give it thought. I’m going to see where it goes,” King said during an interview with ABC News today. “My concern right now is I don’t see anyone at the national level speaking enough on, to me, what’s important – national security, homeland security, counterterrorism.”…
“I would hope that our party is not defined by Rand Paul and Ted Cruz,” King said, taking aim at conservative Republican senators from Kentucky and Texas, respectively. “I’m not crazy about Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. But on the other hand, you know, guys like Chris Christie and Jeb Bush, I have a lot of regard for.
“The big debate that Republicans seem to have in the Senate on foreign policy is whether or not, you know, the CIA was going to use a drone to kill an American in Starbucks,” he said. “To me, we should be going beyond that and we should go back to being a party – whether it’s Eisenhower, Reagan, Bush – of having a strong national defense, and that should be, to me, an essential part of the presidential debate. And so far, that’s missing.”…
“Obviously, the economy is important, but the first requirement in the Constitution is to defend the country against foreign attack and provide for national defense,” he said. “The only way that’s been brought up [so far by other contenders] is to how quickly we can withdraw troops and whether or not drones can be used to kill Americans. That, to me, is not a debate that a party of national defense should be leading with.”
First-blush crazy: He’s an obscure northeastern Republican who’ll be running against a vastly better field than the party had last year. Who’s passing over Rubio, Bush, Paul, Christie, Jindal, Ryan, and/or Walker to vote for Peter King? Take the under on the question I posed above.
Not-so-crazy rethink: He appears to be under no illusions that he’ll win. (“It does give me, at the very least, a forum to get my views out there on the direction I think the Republican Party should be following on foreign policy…”) This is a boutique candidacy aimed at ventilating an important issue, not a bona fide attempt at the nomination. If the GOP trends left on gay marriage before 2016, you may well see a social conservative candidate jump in with the same idea in mind, to keep that issue on or near center stage. Beyond that, King might be sensing that the GOP establishment is going to want a boutique foreign-policy hawk in the race to do damage to Rand Paul, just in case he’s more formidable than they expect. I made that same point about John Bolton’s nascent candidacy. There is space in this field for a hawkish stalking horse (stalking hawk?) who’s willing train his fire chiefly on Paul so that more electable establishment candidates like Rubio don’t have to. Just as it’s risky for Cheney fans and Paul fans to assume too much about which way Wyoming Republicans are leaning on foreign policy, it’s risky for a hawkish candidate who’ll need to unite the party as nominee in 2016 to brawl with Paul about interventionism in the primary. Even if you win that battle and defeat him, you risk alienating more of his libertarian supporters than you can afford to. Better to farm that task out to someone like Bolton or King who’ll enjoy jousting with an isolationist and has little to lose by doing so.
Pretty-darned-crazy re-re-think: How on earth is Peter King the best available person to play “stalking hawk”? The minimal requirement for someone who’s running a boutique campaign is that he not have liabilities that could be used to divert attention from his boutique issue. Just for starters, every time King pounds the table about enabling terrorists, Paul is going to throw his longtime exception-making for the IRA back in his face. You can fill that argument out yourself: “This is what always happens with interventionists — they end up in bed with the sort of people they claim are our enemies.” King is also the guy who dismissed conservative concerns about domestic surveillance after PRISM was revealed bycomparing them to Michael Moore. And if you want to go way, way back, simply as a matter of cultural/ideological synchronicity with the base, he once told a New York newspaper that the House majority under Gingrich had “a Southern, anti-union attitude that appeals to the mentality of hillbillies at revival meetings.” How receptive will the base be to him as a salesman for hawkishness, do you think?
Speaking of unlikely 2016 candidates, Joe Biden also might be running. Exit quotation from his interview with GQ: “‘I never speak about anything I don’t know a great deal about,’ he says. ‘That I haven’t worked like hell for. But that’s not what you’d expect. You might expect Clinton to do that.’”

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

TWA Flight 800: Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Benghazi warm-up

Seventeen years ago today, the lives of 230 men, women and children were snuffed out and the lives of their families and friends were forever changed. At 8:31 p.m. ET on July 17, 1996, TWA Flight 800 fell from the sky in a sickening fireball of debris and human carnage, plunging into the Atlantic Ocean about 8 miles off the southern coast of Long Island, New York. It was only twelve minutes into its flight from John F. Kennedy International Airport en route to Rome, Italy, with a scheduled stopover in Paris when the flight, like the lives of those aboard, was abruptly and prematurely terminated.

The evening was clear and the weather calm as the large passenger plane climbed to 13,700 feet and was traveling parallel to Long Island. Many people were outside on patios, beaches, and boats enjoying this pleasant summer evening when the serenity of the approaching twilight was shattered by an explosion in the sky that was TWA Flight 800. Not only did they witness the explosion and events leading up to it, but they also bore witness to much more.

They had front row center seats to yet more death; the death of honor, integrity and truth by the very people who had taken an oath to uphold it. Sadly, the only thing that has changed over the last 17 years is the depth of the depravity by those who have chosen to deceive, the exponential rise of the criminally complicit, and the number of the willfully clueless clinging to a compromised corporate media.
We must not forget that 1996 was an election year and incumbent William Jefferson Clinton was running for a second term. The opening ceremonies for the Olympics were just days away, and the national political conventions were scheduled for the following month. Peace and prosperity was the forced ambiance in the U.S., reality be damned.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the nation’s first co-President, was as much a powerful political influence and purveyor of false reality then as she is today.  In fact, the parallels between her role in the narrative of TWA Flight 800 and the official story behind the murders of four Americans in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012, are strikingly similar.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, in conjunction with Bill Clinton and former deputy National Security Adviser Sandy Berger led the charge to construct the official account of TWA Flight 800 to insure that nothing would interrupt or interfere with the Clinton power structure or the false reality of peace and prosperity, including the ‘inconsequential’ lives of 230 innocent people aboard a U.S. aircraft. The Clinton response team was in full damage control mode on that fateful night, assembled in the White House residence where the Clintons and their personal point man Sandy Berger busily created a viable alternative to the reality of the events relating to the downed airliner. Hardly any imagination is necessary to compare her rabid machinations of revisionism of the events of July 17, 1996, with those of September 11, 2012. It’s all about power and perception, the former held by a Hillary death-grip and the latter fabricated through the use of whatever might be convenient and available. The names, faces and numbers of those forever lost might be different, but the objective to maintain power has remained unchanged.
What difference does it make whether it’s the murder of four Americans or the death of 230 passengers aboard a commercial airliner when the reins of power are at stake? What’s the difference between a center fuel tank or an obscure internet video when it comes down to a gullible public, placated into submission and a cooperative mass media running interference against any difficult or stubborn questions? What difference does it make as royalty reigns supreme over the facts?

Witnesses to history

There were 270 documented eyewitnesses to the events of that night, each observing what can best be described as a missile striking the aircraft. Of those 270 witnesses, 96 individually described their observations in more detail, stating that a missile-like object rapidly ascended from the horizon, or ground level, toward the doomed flight. According to top-rated researcher and author Jack Cashill, many of the witnesses provided nearly identical accounts of an object, a ” a red tip, a plume trail after it, gray, and then it gets near the plane and it arcs over, zigzags, hits the plane, [and] blows up.”
These people are indeed witnesses to history. Not only did they witness death on a wholesale level, they witnessed history being revised to suit an official narrative designed and decided by those in power, victims and their families… the truth be damned.

Like the events in Benghazi, truth is as relative as the morality behind it, or its absence. Despite the compelling accounts of eyewitnesses hovering in the three digit range to missile activity on the night of July 17, 1996, we were told that they were all mistaken as to what they saw. To negate the observations of the subjugated masses, the collective intelligence of a thinking American public was further insulted by a contracted CIA animation of an event that not only defied logic, but physics as well. Ripping a page from the Warren Commission, the infamous animation depicted Flight 800 climbing from 13,700 feet to 17,000 feet, minus the front of the plane.

Whether it’s 17,000 feet or 17 years, a center fuel tank or an obscure internet video, the process of revising the official account of inconvenient history has not changed. The official account of any event necessary to achieve certain objectives, regardless of its inherent insanity, will be brazenly foisted upon the public at will.

Radar reports vanish from the radar

Concurrent with the eyewitnesses, FAA radar operators operating out of Islip, Long Island, observed an unidentified object on their radar screens that was visibly “merging with TWA Flight 800.” As indefatigable investigative journalist and author Jack Cashill reported several years ago, Ron Schleede of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) admitted that radar data “showed this track that suggested something fast made the turn and ‘took’ the airplane.”

In addition to the airborne object, FAA radar also documented a large ship positioned directly under TWA Flight 800 at the moment of impact. In a most unusual move, the ship immediately and inexplicably turned away from the expanding debris field, speeding away at 30 knots.

Interestingly, some of the key sections of radar data have since been deleted, while other data remains suppressed. As for the presence of the ship, the FBI publicly denied its existence for at least six months of their investigation.

Perhaps the missing portions of the radar data can be found in the possession of Clinton confidante Sandy Berger, along with the classified documents he allegedly removed from the National Archives in 2003, just prior to testifying before the 9/11 Commission. Maybe they are with the missing computers and files taken from the law offices of Schulman & Mathias during a burglary last month - the law firm representing state department whistleblowers of events that occurred under her tenure as Secretary of State.

Perhaps the unidentified ship situated immediately below Flight 800 was re-commissioned by Hillary Rodham Clinton in her role as Secretary of State to ship arms from Libya to Syria. But then, “what difference does it make?” Whether they are lies by omission, lies by commission, they are lies just the same.

Takeover of an investigation, Clinton style

Cooperation with Hillary Rodham Clinton, even at the expense of the truth, certainly has its perks. Conversely, being uncooperative might be perilous. In matters relating to civilian transportation, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), an ‘independent’ U.S. government investigative agency, assumes the lead in investigations involving incidents and accidents. Under congressional mandate, the NTSB has full authority to take the investigative lead over and above any other law enforcement body unless the incident is officially declared a crime scene.

That scenario informally changed with Jim Hall, the head of the NTSB on the night of the TWA Flight 800 takedown. Hall, an attorney from Tennessee with no aeronautical experience but with very close political and personal ties to Al Gore, offered no resistance when former U.S. Attorney Valerie Caproni arrived on scene with a troop of FBI agents and snatched the investigation away from Hall, despite refusing to identify the incident as a crime or the area as a crime scene.  Caproni’s boss, then U.S. Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, served as the trusted eyes and ears of William Jefferson Clinton and his closest aides.

The reasoning behind this investigative power grab, posits Mr. Cashill, was simple in its strategy. Regarding Flight 800, the FBI would report directly to Gorelick who would ultimately control the flow of information to the public about the events of July 17, 1996. Her direction and oversight began on August 22, 1996 with a meeting of the lead FBI agents. According to at least one report, she reportedly provided the narrow investigative parameters which directed the investigation to a predetermined cause.

The investigation conducted by the FBI, as thoroughly documented by Mr. Cashill in the book co-authored with James Sanders titled “First Strike, TWA 800 and the Attack on America,” was troubling and appeared scripted in advance. Based on numerous accounts of witnesses and others who encountered the FBI, the agents under the Gorelick umbrella seemed to have little interest in seeking truthful accounts that did not fit into an already established official narrative. Witnesses who became persistent were deemed uncooperative, and others were reportedly threatened.
Gorelick did her job of controlling the investigation and the flow of information very well. Less than a year later, Gorelick was rewarded by being selected to be the vice chair of Fannie Mae at a salary of about $4 million annually, a position she held for six years. Not bad for a lawyer with no related experience. Having cut her teeth on the TWA “investigation” and later for constructing a legal wall that prevented cross-agency sharing of intelligence data, Jamie Gorelick was later tapped by former President George W. Bush to be a member of the 9/11 Commission.

To be sure, her service on that commission warrants an investigative report of its own, as does the reason for her selection. Valerie Caproni, meanwhile, was tapped to serve as the FBI’s general counsel from 2003 to September 2011. Presently, she is vice president and deputy general counsel, litigation and investigations, for Northrop Grumman, a U.S. defense contractor.

While under FBI control, the NTSB remained in the background as window dressing, only stepping back into the “investigation” after the FBI bowed out on December 8, 1997.  It was the determination by the FBI that the downing of TWA 800 was unrelated to terrorism or any other crime. Following that announcement, the investigation was turned back over to the NTSB which began public hearings.
As noted, those who cooperated were handsomely rewarded by positions of power and wealth. In the end, a 50,000-page report was published and the case was conveniently closed. Well, almost.

TWA Flight 800: The documentary

Today, a documentary produced by Tom Stalcup and Kristina Borjesson is being released to the public. Tom Stalcup, a Ph.D. physicist by background, dedicated the last sixteen years of his life to exposing what is arguably the most flagrant government cover-up in American peacetime history, according to author Jack Cashill. Ms. Borjesson was a producer at CBS in 1996 when TWA 800 was destroyed, and as noted by Mr. Cashill,  “sacrificed her future at CBS to get at the truth.”

Despite the compelling presentation of facts, the identification of inconsistencies, and the introduction of witnesses coming forward in this documentary, the video is being criticized by some officials involved in the original investigation faster than the video trailer “Innocence of Muslims” was elevated to a cult favorite within the Obama regime. Such reviews serve as catalysts to ward off an unthinking public, and are already relegating the video to the dustbins of conspiracy tales.

From TWA Flight 800 to the attack in Benghazi on September 11, 2012, it appears that the corruption by those in power has only deepened. It is because we have permitted it, again and again. To quote Jack Cashill:

“Too many ordinary citizens have reconciled themselves to an enduring heart of American darkness, one that can swallow reputations and bank accounts whole and possibly even lives.”

We must not allow legitimate questions to remain unanswered. We must not be deterred by accusations of having a conspiratorial mindset. Between TWA 800 and the Benghazi attacks, there are 234 individual reasons that cry out for answers and demand justice in place of a shrill, rhetorical “what difference does it make” response to legitimate questions. Seventeen years is far too long.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Does Marco Rubio really have an immigration problem in 2016?

Jill Lawrence of National Journal says no, not really, and Conn Carroll of the Examiner says yes, absolutely. For the first time and probably last time, I think she’s closer to the truth than he is. Lawrence says that Rubio’s on safe-ish ground because, let’s face it, all of his likely opponents in the 2016 field (with the possible and notable exception of Ted Cruz) are also pro-reform. Carroll grants her point but argues that being pro-reform and being pro-crappy-Gang-of-Eight-bill are two different things:
Christie has not endorsed the actual bill Rubio produced, while Jindal and Perry have both recently come out against it. And while an erroneous AP report first suggested that Walker supported the Senate bill, The Weekly Standard quickly confirmed Walker did not, in fact, support it.
The reality is that the Schumer-Rubio bill is toxic among conservatives. Leaving the path to citizenship issue aside for a second, it creates a brand new government agency with the power to set wages for the entire agricultural sector of the economy. It also creates multiple slush funds that will funnel taxpayer dollars to leftist activist groups like La Raza and Casa de Maryland. There is nothing conservative about any of that.
Lawrence does admit that “Rubio’s favorability rating among Republicans nationally had dropped 15 points since February,” but, she says, “it is still at 58 percent.” But those numbers will continue to go down as long as Rubio is the face of the wretched Senate bill. And the Washington Post has tracked a similar tanking of Rubio’s popularity, from a 54 percent favorability rating last August to just 43 percent today…
But those Republicans most engaged on immigration are also those who are most informed on the issue and the most likely to influence their less-informed counterparts. And when any Republican finds out what is really in the bill, support for it craters.
Fair points all, but let me ask the Hot Air faithful: How confident are you that Christie, Jindal, Walker, Perry, or Paul Ryan would veto the Gang of Eight bill if they were president? Rubio isn’t the only Republican who posed as an immigration hawk earlier in his career, when it was advantageous for him to do so, only to reveal the amnesty fan within now. So did Kelly Ayotte. So did Dean Heller. So, to some extent, did McCain, who ran absurdly as a border hawk in 2010. As far as I can tell, the Republican establishment is passionately and almost monolithically in favor of immigration reform, and doesn’t seem to care terribly about the policy details in their haste to impress Latinos by getting something passed and commencing the big “re-branding.” There have been so many betrayals on this issue — and I say this as someone who’s reasonably well engaged on immigration, to borrow Conn’s phrase — that unless a particular pol has been doggedly outspoken against the Gang bill, as Jeff Sessions has, I assume they have no real objection to it. Maybe that’s unfair to particular pols, but that’s how it is. My trust in prominent Republicans to deal with this issue intelligently instead of caving in a blind political panic is down to zero unless they’ve given me good reason to think otherwise. Does Rand Paul, for instance, really object to the Gang bill because it’s too weak on border security, or is he simply maneuvering that way because he needs to get to Rubio’s right on a big issue ahead of 2016? On what planet are libertarians typically hard-asses about border control and amnesty?
That’s not to absolve Rubio of his sins in all this. He, more than anyone else in the party, helped make “legalization first” reform viable this year. His reversal so soon after running as an anti-amnesty tea-party candidate is a terribly cynical betrayal, one that won’t be forgotten. But when push comes to shove, I don’t think he’s any more ardently pro-reform than virtually any other 2016 contender. He saw a political opening here — achieve something big policy-wise that would impress moderates and burnish his “electability” credentials — and he took it. The rest of the field is now reacting to him. He’s going to lose some conservative votes over it, but not for a minute do I think that we’re going to get someone who’s appreciably more hardline on immigration if we nominate Christie or Walker instead. (Maybe we would with Jindal. I need to read more.) And for all the conservative votes he loses, he’s going to use the electability argument to offset them with moderates. He already had a strong peg for that before he took up immigration — as the party’s (and America’s) first potential Latino nominee, he could reach Latino voters in a way no one else could. Now that he has immigration and bipartisan cred on top of it, he’s that much more “electable.” That’ll win him some votes, even if it doesn’t win yours. “Electable” Republicans fare famously well in GOP primaries, and the last guy who benefited from that was a lot less charismatic (and conservative on balance) than Rubio. If polls circa 2015 show him pulling significantly more Latino votes in a hypothetical race against top Democrats, he’ll be just fine.
Semi-related exit question via Charles Cooke: Where’s the Scott Walker 2016 boomlet coming from among conservatives? Is he mainly a “none of the above” choice at this point?

Monday, July 15, 2013

The Watergate of Whistleblowers that could bring down Hillary Rodham Clinton

Being a whistleblower under the tyrannical rule of Barack Hussein Obama seems to be getting a bit “dicey” these days. So too is being a law firm representing such whistleblowers. If you’re not subjected to extravagant 21st century NSA surveillance technology, you just might end up being the victim of a less-glitzy, low-tech 1970s Watergate-era style burglary. According to the mainstream media under Obama, of course, these things simply don’t happen. Oh, except that they do, but you’re just not supposed to know about them.

Behind the Watergate whistleblower curtain

While Americans were mesmerized by the Zimmerman trial, a law office in Dallas, Texas, was burglarized—twice in two days over the June 29-30th weekend. It was no ordinary burglary, either. And, it was no ordinary law office. The law office of Schulman & Mathias, one of many offices situated in a large office building within a business park in Dallas represents a high-level whistleblower by the name of Aurelia Fedenisn, a long-time investigator for the State Department’s Inspector General’s (IG) office. Ms.  Fedenisn’s duties included investigating fraud, corruption and mismanagement possibly constituting either criminal wrongdoing or internal violations of State Department regulations involving some 260 embassies and diplomatic outposts across the globe.

She did her job well—perhaps too well, and found a number of instances of alleged wrongdoing and reported them, except the allegations were covered up at the highest levels of the U.S. Department of State. Among the criminality includes but is not limited to prostitution and sex crimes involving diplomats and minor children, and also included numerous instances of one U.S. ambassador who allegedly visited prostitutes as a matter of routine after bypassing a perimeter of security.
When nothing was done by the Department of State 

and the alleged criminality was covered-up, she reported her findings to Senator Cruz of Texas. After that, not only was Ms. Fedenisn herself harassed, but so were her children. Such harassment included agents of the U.S. Department of State IG’s office approaching her children and asking them about their mother, her current workplace, and her cell phone number. They never once identified them as government officials and engaged in this behavior to harass or intimidate, according to some reports.
The situation becomes even more convoluted, however, when concurrent with the claims of Aurelia Fedenisn, Fox News reporter James Rosen reported that two top officials of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DS), the federal law enforcement agency that protects American diplomats and investigates allegations of criminal misconduct by State Department employees, provided sworn testimony that could possibly lead to perjury charges against them.

At the epicenter of this case is DS agent Richard Higbie, a 15-year veteran of the force presently detailed to the U.S. attorney’s office in Dallas. Mr. Higbie is suing Hillary Rodham Clinton in her official capacity as former U.S. Secretary of State, alleging that DS sought to demote Higbie after he declined an overseas position due to a chronic and terminal illness of his daughter. The most curious aspect of this is that Richard Higbie, like Aurelia Fedenisn, is represented by the law firm of Schulman & Mathias—the firm that experienced a most unusual burglary, or series of burglaries.

The unusual burglary of Schulman & Mathias

It was 8:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, June 29, 2013, when two burglars—an unidentified man and a woman, entered the office building where the law offices of Schulman and Mathias are located. Security cameras caught footage of the pair entering and leaving the office building.

After gaining entry, the pair then made their way to an upper floor where they reportedly entered the law office through an adjacent empty office by cutting or punching a hole through the wallboard. Once inside, they stole three computers and files from a locked file cabinet they broke into using some type of crowbar-like device, never touching valuable silver bars and other items of significant, if not untraceable monetary value.

Hours later, at approximately 3:30 on the morning of June 30, the man returned to the law office was observed leaving with a large box, although the contents of that box were not disclosed. The story does not end there and becomes even more puzzling.

Although the burglars left many other valuables untouched and focused only on the computers and files, one of four credit cards was also reportedly stolen from one of the adjacent desks. But here’s a real head-scratcher… that credit card was reportedly used for several retail purchases at Dallas’ Valley View Center mall around 4:45 p.m. on June 29… some four hours before the security cameras caught the burglars entering the office building.

According to Dallas police, the crimes remain unsolved, but detectives are seeking to acquire store surveillance footage in an effort to determine the identity of the individual who went on the shopping spree. Due to the potential political ramifications of the burglary, the FBI has also been called in to investigate.

Second rate burglary?

This was no second rate burglary, stated one investigative source close to this writer with knowledge about the case. “While you have two people who look very ordinary and unprofessional, it was likely set up to look that way. This was a very precise burglary—the perpetrators knew exactly what to look for and take , and were likely told what to take,” stated this source. Also, there was an unlocked office full of valuable items right across the hall of the law office. They could have hit a burglar’s lottery, but they chose not to. In fact, they were quite obvious as to what they were after, and the connection here is to the State Department whistleblower records,” added this source.
“It’s surreal to think that it was that brazen.”