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Monday, September 22, 2014

Read Hillary Clinton’s Letters to Saul Alinsky?

Law student Hillary Rodham apparently had quite a thing for left-wing organizer Saul Alinsky — more than she seems willing to publicly admit.

The Washington Free Beacon has been diligently uncovering pieces of the former first lady and presumed 2016 presidential contender’s past, on Sunday publishing letters between the young Hillary Clinton and Alinsky, the author of the community organizing handbook ”Rules for Radicals.”

’The Prince’ was written by Machiavelli for the Haves on how to hold power,” Alinsky wrote in the 1971 book. “’Rules for Radicals’ is written for the Have-Nots on how to take it away.”
The newly published letters date from 1971, four years before Hillary Rodham married the man who would become the 42nd U.S. president, and reveal some of the depth of Clinton’s admiration for Alinsky.

“Dear Saul,” she began one letter. “When is that new book ['Rules for Radicals'] coming out—or has it come and I somehow missed the fulfillment of Revelation?”

As the Free Beacon noted, Clinton in her memoir seemed to downplay her connection with Alinsky, mentioning him in a single paragraph saying that in 1969 she chose law school over a job with him.
But her correspondences revealed she stayed close with the author after hitting Yale.

“The more I’ve seen of places like Yale Law School and the people who haunt them, the more convinced I am that we have the serious business and joy of much work ahead—if the commitment to a free and open society is ever going to mean more than eloquence and frustration,” Clinton wrote.
The regard was apparently reciprocated: Alinsky’s longtime secretary Georgia Harper wrote back after Clinton requested to meet with Alinsky in Berkeley, California.

“Since I know [Alinsky’s] feelings about you I took the liberty of opening your letter because I didn’t want something urgent to wait for two weeks,” Harper wrote in 1971. “And I’m glad I did.”
She went on to inform Clinton how she might see Alinsky in person.
Read the letters here:

Hillary Clinton says economic stats were 100 times better under Bill Clinton than Ronald Reagan


With the nation mired in a long, slow recovery from the Great Recession, the past tends to have a rosy glow. Republicans like to tout the halcyon days of President Ronald Reagan, while Democrats fondly remember the era of President Bill Clinton.

During a recent interview on the Charlie Rose show on PBS, Hillary Clinton -- who had a front-row seat for the Bill Clinton era as first lady -- made clear her economic role model as she continues to weigh a 2016 presidential run.

"If I just were to compare Reagan’s eight years with Bill’s eight years, it’s like night and day in terms of the effects," Clinton said during the July 17, 2014, interview. "The number of jobs that were created, the number of people lifted out of poverty, a hundred times more when Bill was president. And did policies have something to do with that? I would argue that they did."

Really? Were the Clinton years, statistically, 100 times better than the Reagan years? A reader suggested we check out this claim, so we did.

The comparison is actually pretty fair. Both presidents entered office during a weak economic time and exited before the economy went into a downturn.

We’ll analyze employment first, and then poverty. We looked at two different date ranges, each of which could plausibly be defined as the duration of their presidency. One was 1980 through 1988 for Reagan and 1992 to 2000 for Clinton. The other was 1981 through 1989 for Reagan and 1993 through 2001 for Clinton. For simplicity, we’ll only write below about one option -- the latter one. The patterns are broadly similar regardless of what range of years you use.

Job creation
For job creation, we looked at the two most common yardsticks for employment tracked by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics -- total nonfarm employment, and the unemployment rate. For consistency, we used January’s monthly figures for each year.

During the eight years under Reagan, the number of employed people went up by 16.1 million, or an increase of 18 percent over the eight-year period.

During the eight years under Clinton, the number of employed people went up by 22.9 million, or an increase of 21 percent over the eight-year period.

So while both presidents did well, the number of employed people rose faster under Clinton, both in raw numbers and by percentage.

What about the unemployment rate? Under Reagan, it fell from 7.5 percent to 5.4 percent -- a drop of 2.1 percentage points. Under Clinton, it fell from 7.3 percent to 4.2 percent -- a drop of 3.1 percentage points.

So here, too, both presidents chalked up good marks over eight years, but Clinton’s record on job creation over Reagan was modestly superior.

For poverty, we looked at figures from the U.S. Census Bureau, which has tracked poverty figures for decades. We looked at both raw numbers of people in poverty and the poverty rate.
During the eight years under Reagan, the number of Americans in poverty declined by 294,000, or a drop in raw numbers of about 1 percent.

During the eight years under Clinton, the number of Americans in poverty declined by 6.5 million, or a drop in raw numbers of about 17 percent.

So both presidents oversaw a decline in the raw numbers of people in poverty, but the decline was bigger under Clinton.

Next, we looked at the poverty rate -- the percent of all Americans who are impoverished.
During the eight years under Reagan, the poverty rate fell from 14 percent to 12.8 percent, or a decline of 1.2 percentage points.

During the eight years under Clinton, the poverty rate fell from 15.1 percent to 11.7 percent, or a decline of 3.4 percentage points.

So, once again, the poverty rate declined under both presidents, but the decline was bigger under Clinton.

Was the improvement ‘a hundred times’ better under Clinton?
Put it all together and it’s a vast exaggeration to say Clinton’s record is 100 times better than Reagan’s. Even allowing for some over-enthusiasm on Clinton’s part, the differences are fairly modest.

The biggest gap comes from the percentage decrease in impoverished Americans. The decline in raw numbers under Clinton was 17 times greater than under Reagan. But the other metrics are closer. The poverty rate fell close to three times faster under Clinton; the unemployment rate fell 50 percent faster under Clinton; and the number of employed Americans rose 17 percent faster under Clinton.
We did not hear back from Clinton’s camp. However, we would be skeptical of the argument that her claim was simply a harmless exaggeration for rhetorical effect. She posits a massive difference in economic improvement under Clinton as opposed to Reagan. In reality, both saw notable improvements, even though Clinton’s were stronger across the board.

We also reviewed the video of the interview and didn’t detect any obvious sign that Clinton said it facetiously.

Our ruling
Clinton said the number of jobs created and people lifted out of poverty during Bill Clinton’s presidency was "a hundred times" what it was under President Ronald Reagan.
Clinton’s record does outpace Reagan’s on the four statistical measures we looked at. But the differences are not like night and day, as her phrasing claims. Both presidents saw improvements, with Clinton’s being incrementally better -- not 100 times better. We rate the claim False.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Jim Webb: The Democrat Hillary Clinton Should Fear Most?

The Democrat Hillary Clinton should fear the most has no chance of winning the party's presidential nomination. 

And that is why if former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb somehow, perhaps even on a whim, decides to enter the 2016 field, he would pose the biggest problem for Clinton, who returns to Iowa for the first time on Sunday since her 2008 debacle when she appears with her husband at Sen. Tom Harkin's final Steak Fry.

Webb, who refused to run for reelection after his only Senate term, would have nothing to lose. Freed from the interest groups and power brokers that he loathes and reluctantly played ball with in the Senate, he would instantly bracket Clinton from the right on cultural issues and the left on economic issues.

He could hammer Clinton on Benghazi like Jerry Brown pestered her husband about Whitewater--one can argue that Bill Clinton may never have been impeached had it not been for Brown's 1992 presidential campaign. And he would champion his brand of populism for working Americans, especially poor whites, that would force ethnic special interest groups that demand Democrats pander to them to face tough truths about diversity, amnesty, and affirmative action polices gone amok.
During a 26-minute interview in Iowa last month, Webb--who already has plenty of "street cred" for warning President George W. Bush against invading Iraq before Howard Dean electrified the anti-war left that four years later powered Obama to the nomination and speaking about income inequality long before anyone knew about Elizabeth Warren--displayed the combination of economic populism and cultural conservatism that would make him more than a nuisance to Team Clinton.

In that Iowa Press interview, Webb slammed Obama's executive actions as unprecedented and said he needed a whole show to critique all of Hillary Clinton's foreign policy failures, especially in the Middle East. Unlike Clinton, who took more than a week to issue a generic, bland and carefully crafted statement about Ferguson, Webb was unafraid to tell Democrats that they needed to be very careful before rushing to judgments. He also spoke about income inequality, saying "the stock market has almost tripled since March 2009" while "real income for workers actually has decreased in the same period."

How would Clinton respond if Webb hammered her associations with corporate America and her husband's centrist economic team that the left-wing despises? On Sunday, Harkin, the Steak Fry's host, told ABC's "This Week" that, "we're always nervous about people moving too far to the right." Harkin, who is retiring after his term ends, said "a lot of us believe the center ought to be moved back" because "the center has moved too far right." And Harkin said he once thought Obama, whose presidential ambitions were taken more seriously after his Steak Fry appearance in 2006, was a great populist but conceded "some things have happened" that has led him to question his initial

impressions. On NBC's "Meet The Press," a female Iowa Democrat blasted Clinton for her cronyism and ties to Wall Street and said her "progressive values" were more important to her than whether a female wins the nomination. Another Iowa Democrat accused Clinton of being "malleable" like Romney. In other words, she stands for nothing except whatever it takes to get elected.

One issue that represents arguably the biggest divide between the bipartisan permanent political class in Boomtown and the Acela Corridor and the more populist, pro-American worker sentiment in the rest of America is immigration. On immigration, would Webb's stance be that massive, unchecked immigration hurts the very blue-collar white workers that have been left behind and he champions? Would he blast Clinton, who reportedly asked the 1% in the Hamptons about how about "to tackle income inequality without alienating businesses or castigating the wealthy," for her connections to the financial elite that benefit from amnesty legislation? Would he call out union leaders for their hypocrisy on illegal immigration? Would he oppose amnesty in a party that increasingly panders to Latinos? Would he denounce massive increases in high-tech visas while there is a surplus of American high-tech workers when elite Democrats are asking Silicon Valley plutocrats for more donations?

In the 2008 Democratic primary, the late Tim Russert's questions about Clinton's support for driver's licenses for illegal immigrants arguably started Clinton's demise. And Webb's presence in debates could give Clinton even more fits on an issue that she has never handled particularly well as she painstakingly and carefully tries to calibrate every answer to not offend Hispanics and blue-collar whites.

The Redskins nickname controversy will surely be an issue, and Hillary Clinton and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, another potential candidate, have already said the team should change its name. What will the Virginian's position be on this cultural issue should he enter the fray? What would Webb have to say about the Second Amendment to activists who want to politicize every tragedy to push more gun control despite the wishes of the American people?

Webb won't win the nomination, of course. He said Obamacare would be a disaster before voting for it and then regretting it. He voted for TARP. He published an essay in which he argued that women can't fight (good luck in the party that loves to gin up the phony "war on women" rhetoric) and has some disturbingly filthy passages in his novels that opponents would surely use against him again.  The left doesn't adore him like Warren. He lacks O'Malley's apple-polishing skills. And he just doesn't seem to like even campaigning.

But while all the other potential Democrats would be like uglier background dancers who are on stage to make Clinton more attractive, Webb's candidacy has the potential to make Clinton's life miserable, especially since Clinton is always the most uncomfortable when she tries to court liberals without offending moderates. And Webb--and his general unpredictability--has the potential to make Clinton seem more phony and out of touch.

The other Democrats won't pose such a threat.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who insists that she is not running, talks a big game against Wall Street but often comes across as a bumbling and timid politician who is already schooled in repeating talking points and filling up air time without saying anything. Warren won't be able to sweep the black vote like Obama did and she has shown no indication that she possesses the  fortitude to even confront Clinton. All indications are that should Warren even challenge Clinton, she would be mousy and meek, despite the loud voices of her supporters.

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, the pandering plodder who is a hybrid of Bob McDonnell and Tim Pawlenty with advisers desperately trying to make him the elite media's favored candidate like Jon Huntsman, may run solely to show the country that there is someone more boring and uninspiring than Clinton.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) can be the court jester who entertains the easily distracted and vapid mainstream press who look down on Iowans and would rather be somewhere more "hip" and urbane, but she'll be no match for Clinton, who'll just stiff-arm her away and move along.

Vice President Joe Biden would make Clinton seem more coherent while Bernie Sanders only makes Clinton seem less "socialist" and zany.

California Governor Jerry Brown, who said illegal immigrants are "all welcome in California," could also decide on a whim to run and cause problems for Clinton in a state like Nevada. He could again torment the Clintons on the stump, but his 1992 candidacy actually shows why Webb would be more dangerous for Clinton. Benghazi is Clinton's Achilles' heel, and Webb can expose her liabilities like Brown did with Watergate, especially since Webb's loyalty has always been to veterans and those who fight--like he did--for the country's freedoms.

As the Chicago Tribune reported in March of 1992, "voters in Illinois and Michigan witnessed the nastiest moments thus far of the Democratic presidential campaign Sunday night when former California Gov. Jerry Brown accused Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary, of unethical behavior and funneling state business to her Little Rock law firm":

With former Massachusetts Sen. Paul Tsongas standing by during a one-hour TV debate in Chicago, Brown launched a harsh, personal attack on the Democratic front-runner, citing a Washington Post story published Sunday that raised questions about the relationship between the state of Arkansas and the law firm of which Hillary Clinton is a partner.

As the Spokesman Review later noted two years later, "one Clinton opponent who wasn't silenced about Whitewater and related issues in 1992" was Brown, but "a key reason the elite media dropped the story in 1992 was that the only newsmaker pushing it was Jerry Brown -- an anti-establishment candidate." The paper noted "he was silenced in much of the press," especially after he called for the release of "all papers pertaining to his ties to the failed Madison Guaranty" and accused Clinton of "funneling money to his wife's law firm for state business."
That was before new media and Matt Drudge. It only takes one candidate to hammer Clinton on Benghazi for it to gain traction in this age.

Webb can also cause Clinton a world of problems with blue-collar voters. During the 2008 campaign, blue-collar workers in places like West Virginia supported Clinton because she wasn't Obama, much like "somewhat conservative" voters backed Romney by default in 2012 because there was no viable alternative. And Democrats who watch Fox News in red states were probably more likely to support Clinton in 2008 after near-sighted Republican tacticians started praising her and playing up her laurels against Obama.

In 2006, two years before a nimble Team Obama ran circles around Hillary Clinton, Webb won a race he had no business winning largely because of George Allen's "Macaca" moment, which ushered in the YouTube era of politics for which Clinton--and her husband--were not prepared.

In the Senate, though, Webb was a team player who was often no different from a California Democrat on the most important votes. He could get a do-over if he decides to run a "born fighting" 2016 campaign, and his past writings suggest he would also give Clinton fits in three of her most vulnerable areas: racial politics, war, and inequality.

In a 2010 Wall Street Journal op-ed titled "Diversity and the Myth of White Privilege," Webb called out the salad-bowl, racial preferences wing of the Democratic Party, writing that a "plethora of government-enforced diversity policies have marginalized many white workers" and declared that "present-day diversity programs work against that notion" of equal opportunity because they have "expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white."

He said that it was an "odd historical twist" that "many programs allow recently arrived immigrants to move ahead of similarly situated whites whose families have been in the country for generations."
"These programs have damaged racial harmony. And the more they have grown, the less they have actually helped African-Americans, the intended beneficiaries of affirmative action as it was originally conceived," he wrote. "Affirmative action was designed to recognize the uniquely difficult journey of African-Americans. This policy was justifiable and understandable, even to those who came from white cultural groups that had also suffered in socio-economic terms from the Civil War and its aftermath."

Webb concluded that the "injustices endured by black Americans at the hands of their own government have no parallel in our history, not only during the period of slavery but also in the Jim Crow era that followed." But he also emphasized that the "extrapolation of this logic to all 'people of color'—especially since 1965, when new immigration laws dramatically altered the demographic makeup of the U.S.—moved affirmative action away from remediation and toward discrimination, this time against whites."

He also pointed out that salad-bowl policies have "also lessened the focus on assisting African-Americans, who despite a veneer of successful people at the very top still experience high rates of poverty, drug abuse, incarceration and family breakup."

"Nondiscrimination laws should be applied equally among all citizens, including those who happen to be white. The need for inclusiveness in our society is undeniable and irreversible, both in our markets and in our communities," he continued. "Our government should be in the business of enabling opportunity for all, not in picking winners. It can do so by ensuring that artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes."

Before Howard Dean, there was Jim Webb.
In 2002, Webb wrote a Washington Post op-ed in which he warned that while "our country remains obsessed with Saddam Hussein, other nations have begun positioning themselves for an American war with Iraq and, most important, for its aftermath." He specifically mentioned China, Russia, and Iran.

He also noted that "American military leaders have been trying to bring a wider focus to the band of neoconservatives that began beating the war drums on Iraq before the dust had even settled on the World Trade Center" and, "despite the efforts of the neocons to shut them up or to dismiss them as unqualified to deal in policy issues, these leaders, both active-duty and retired, have been nearly unanimous in their concerns" about a war with Iraq.

"Is there an absolutely vital national interest that should lead us from containment to unilateral war and a long-term occupation of Iraq? And would such a war and its aftermath actually increase our ability to win the war against international terrorism?" Webb asked. "America's best military leaders know that they are accountable to history not only for how they fight wars, but also for how they prevent them. The greatest military victory of our time -- bringing an expansionist Soviet Union in from the cold while averting a nuclear holocaust -- was accomplished not by an invasion but through decades of intense maneuvering and continuous operations."

Webb said there was "little discussion of an occupation of Iraq, but it is the key element of the current debate":
The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years."Those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade and stay. In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets.
"China will view as a glorious windfall," he continued. "Unilateral wars designed to bring about regime change and a long-term occupation should be undertaken only when a nation's existence is clearly at stake."

And before there was Elizabeth Warren, there was Jim Webb on income inequality.
In his 2007 response to President George W. Bush's State of the Union address, Webb spoke about his military family and blasted Bush for mismanaging the Iraq War. But, in arguably the most successful State of the Union response from either side of the aisle in the last 14 years, Webb also mentioned thatprofits were not being fairly shared and the stock market was only benefiting the rich.

"When one looks at the health of our economy, it's almost as if we are living in two different countries. Some say that things have never been better. The stock market is at an all-time high, and so are corporate profits. But these benefits are not being fairly shared," Webb said in 2007. "When I graduated from college, the average corporate CEO made 20 times what the average worker did; today, it's nearly 400 times. In other words, it takes the average worker more than a year to make the money that his or her boss makes in one day."

Sound familiar?
Webb continued to speak about how "wages and salaries for our workers are at all-time lows as a percentage of national wealth, even though the productivity of American workers is the highest in the world." He spoke about a manufacturing base that "is being dismantled and sent overseas" and taking good American jobs with them.

"In short, the middle class of this country, our historic backbone and our best hope for a strong society in the future, is losing its place at the table. Our workers know this, through painful experience," he said, even predicting that white-collar workers would experience more job insecurity (What would Webb's stance be on more guest-worker visas for foreigners?). "Our white-collar professionals are beginning to understand it, as their jobs start disappearing also. And they expect, rightly, that in this age of globalization, their government has a duty to insist that their concerns be dealt with fairly in the international marketplace."

Webb, in the State of the Union response, noted that Andrew Jackson "established an important principle of American-style democracy--that we should measure the health of our society not at its apex, but at its base. Not with the numbers that come out of Wall Street, but with the living conditions that exist on Main Street. We must recapture that spirit today."

Webb went to NPR in May to enter himself in the presidential conversation in an interview with guest-host Susan Page of USA Today. He has traveled to Iowa, will go to New Hampshire, and is set to speak at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. And he could decide that he may want to represent the "Jacksonian wing of the Democratic Party" on the national stage in 2016, when new media outlets will allow him to disseminate and discuss his message more easily than at any time in history while a conflict-obsessed mainstream press will be more than willing to cover him when he hurls barbs.

This is one fight Hillary Clinton does not want. If Republicans nominate a non-elitist candidate, a Webb candidacy has the potential to could cost Clinton, if she gets the nomination, the general election.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What would Hillary Clinton’s Energy Policy Look Like?

At Senator Harry Reid’s seventh National Clean Energy Summit held in Las Vegas on Thursday, September 4, Hillary Clinton said: “This is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and a world.” She wasn’t talking about ISIS or the growing terrorist threat, but about climate change.
Her spot on the program has been referenced as: “her first energy and climate speech of a publicity tour that many believe is the springboard to a presidential campaign.”
In addition to the obvious misperception about “the challenges we face as a nation and a world,” her speech had several subtle, but instructive, misperceptions to explore.
For example, when addressing “unpredictable” subsidies for green energy projects, she claimed that $500 billion is spent every year subsidizing fossil fuels. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), in 2012, global fossil fuel subsidies did, in fact, total $544 billion, however, citing that figure in the same breath as U.S. tax incentives and subsidies for renewable energy is deceptive at best.
Most global subsidies for fossil fuels are from oil rich countries that use low cost to keep the kingdom happy. A study from The Institute for Energy Research on global energy subsidies concludes: “Many Americans are confused by the large amount of global fossil fuel consumption subsidies that the IEA calculates, not realizing that these subsidies have nothing to do with tax policy, research and development or loan guarantees, where most U.S. programs are directed.”
Let’s look at those “incentives” for renewables and why they are “unpredictable.” Germany and Spain led the world in green energy subsidies but have since considerably dialed back on them.
In Germany, after more than a decade of green-energy subsidies, its electricity rates and carbon-dioxide emissions have gone up. According to a September 4 Reuter’s report, Germany’s reliance on coal has gone up each of the past four years. Germany is looking at levies for residential photo-voltaic system owners—something also being considered (and, in some cases, implemented) in the U.S.
After nearly100 billion U.S. taxpayer dollars have gone to green-energy projects, the stimulus-funded program has been plagued with failure, corruption, and illegal activity. Meanwhile—as has happened in Germany—utility bills have gone up and public support for subsidies has declined. After more than twenty years of taxpayer funding, theProduction Tax Credit (PTC) for wind energy finally expired on December 31, 2013—though forces that benefit from it are still hoping to extend it retroactively. The PTC is “unpredictable” at best.
In her Q & A session, Clinton said: “One day last summer, Germany got 74 percent of its energy from renewables.” Like the comment about $500 billion in global subsidies for fossil fuels, her speech writers did their homework—but they plucked data without looking deeper and as a result made her look foolish. The 74 percent figure is fact. But it represents a fraction of only one day, not recent history, or even a pattern. One month later, Germany got 50 percent of its electricity demand from solar—but six months earlier, in the January cold, it got only 0.1 percent. In his post in the Energy Collective, Robert Wilson, a PhD Student in Mathematical Ecology at the University of Strathclyde, calls Germany’s situation: “more of a coal lock-in than a solar revolution,” as the need for electricity, especially in the cold, grey days of January, requires the steady supply of coal-fueled electricity.
One other item to question: Clinton clearly collaborates with her former boss on his Clean Power Plan—which has a growing coalition of opponents.
The Clean Power Plan is about reducing carbon-dioxide emissions from existing power plants. In her speech, Clinton repeated a falsehood Obama likes to reference: reducing CO2 emissions will improve children’s’ respiratory health.
“Hillary apparently doesn’t know the difference between soot and CO2,” quipped Jane Orient, MD, and president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She continued: “And the American Lung Association pretends it doesn’t. No one can claim that the tiny increase in CO2 from coal-fueled generating stations increases asthma—just being indoors with other breathing humans increases CO2 much more and doesn’t cause asthma.”
Clinton took a couple risks for which she deserves some credit. She strayed from the safe turf, when she admitted that Obama’s trajectory on climate change policy hit “a brick wall of opposition” at the 2009 United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen.
She also acknowledged: “Energy is a major part of our foreign policy.” As such, she supports development of American natural gas and oil, calling it an example “of American innovation changing the game.”
Addressing the benefits of producing and exporting natural gas and oil, she said: “Assuming that our production stays at the levels, or even as some predict, goes higher, I do think there’s a play there.” Noting it could help Europe and Asia, she added: “This is a great economic advantage, a competitive advantage, for us. …We don’t want to give that up.”
America does have an energy advantage—and Clinton is correct: “We don’t want to give that up.” Why then, does she (and President Obama) support policies that would take that away—or at least, not encourage our energy growth?
That fact that Clinton chose to start her publicity tour, the perceived springboard to her presidential campaign, with a speech on energy should signal to all of America how

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hillary aides unsheathe stiletto and slip it into 'passive' Obama

Barack Obama may derail Hillary Clinton’s express train to the presidency one more time, following his 2008 humiliation of the former first lady.  This time it is his own foreign policy incompetence and her supporting role as his first term secretary of state that threatens her lust to return to the White House, this time as president.
Naturally, it’s all being done anonymously, by aides, so that none of the blood appears on Hillary’s hands and she is spared the “out, out, damned spot” monologue. Amie Parnes reports in The Hill:

Allies to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are casting a stark distinction between a decisive, assertive Clinton and a pragmatic, deliberative President Obama on foreign policy.

As Obama seeks to make the case for military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria in a prime-time address on Wednesday, Clinton supporters are saying that she would have approached the battle with ISIS in a completely different way if she were commander in chief.

“You never want to be a Monday morning quarterback on these issues because who knows how things would ultimately turn out, but Obama has been passive on these issues,” one former aide to Clinton said. “She would have taken a more aggressive approach

Another former Clinton aide took it a step further: “It’s the very notion of decisiveness,” the former aide said. “She’s not gnashing her teeth the way we’re seeing time and time again with Obama.” 

This is beyond hilarious. Good luck, Hillary. Oh, and just think about the black turnout in 2016 as you trash the First Black President.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Tale of the six Annex Security Team: 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi

Five minutes, we’re ready. It was thumbs up, thumbs up, we’re ready to go.”
Kris “Tanto” Paronto, member of the six man Annex Security Team in Benghazi on 9/11/12

After a delay of nearly 30 minutes, the security team headed to the besieged consulate without orders. They asked their CIA superiors to call for armed air support, which never came.

Now, looking back, the security team said they believed that if they had not been delayed for nearly half an hour, or if the air support had come, things might have turned out differently.
“Ambassador Stevens and Sean [Smith], yeah, they would still be alive, my gut [says] yes,” Paronto said. Tiegen concurred.
Fox News report
“Was it because of a protest or because of guys out for a walk one night who decide to kill some Americans—what difference at this point does it make?”—Then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaking about the Muslim attack on the Benghazi annex

Bret Baier’s special on Benghazi was a real eye-opener—at least it was for me. Like most of us, I had long accepted the narrative that former SEALs Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods held off an attack by Muslim extremists, while the US government let them hang on the vine until they, along with Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, were killed.

No disrespect to Woods and Doherty, who beyond a doubt acted heroically during the attack in Benghazi, but apparently they were not the only Americans who responded to the attacks with vigor and valor.

Turns out that six other men fought the Muslim attackers, and although they were left to twist in the wind and perish by the Pentagon, CIA, State Department, and the Obama Administration at large—they didn’t die. They were quietly flown home, swept under the rug, and ignored. Their bravery and self-sacrifice were hidden from “we the people”—unreported, unknown, and unsung.

The tale of the six Annex Security Team members is told in Mitchell Zuckoff’s book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” due to go on sale shortly. Bret Baier interviewed three of the men from the security team for his Fox News Special: Kris “Tanto” Paronto, John “Tig” Tiegen, and Mark “Oz” Geist. (Let me mention David Ubben as well, who nearly died from a severe wound he received while fighting the Muslim attackers, and security agent Scott Strickland, who moved Stevens and Smith to the annex’s “safe haven,” and tried to help them escape).
The story that Paranto, Tiegen, and Geist told Baier left me even more disgusted with, and ashamed of, our deceitful, corrupt, supercilious U.S. “leadership” than I was before—and that’s saying something.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Hillary's Organizing Principle

In her now famous Atlantic interview, Hillary Clinton let it be known that the president’s foreign policy lacks an “organizing principle.”  She’s right about this, but what about her own organizing principle?  What is it, and how did it evolve?

The answer to those questions lies buried deep in the past.  Long ago, when she was still a wide-eyed teenager, Hillary Rodham discovered a truth that she would cling to for the rest of her life.  Growing up in a staid conservative family in suburban Chicago, Hillary must have been struck by the awesome responsibility entrusted to her.  Here was a secret knowledge granted to only a few, and now she, Hillary Rodham of Park Ridge, Illinois, was among the enlightened.  It was knowledge that would grant purpose to her otherwise unimportant existence.  It was the knowledge that she could save the world. 

Following that revelation, Hillary’s thinking on politics evolved very quickly.  She migrated from the Republican to the Democratic Party – and from a supporter of Barry Goldwater to an admirer of the radical community organizer Saul Alinsky, on whom she wrote her senior thesis at Wellesley College.  She also fell under the spell of Don Jones, the liberal youth pastor whom she met at Park Ridge United Methodist Church.  Jones was a passionate admirer of FDR’s New Deal and a crusader for social justice.  As Hillary admitted, Jones “opened up a new world” for her.  That “new world,” liberation theology with a focus on universal equality, was hostile to the traditional American values of individualism and free-market capitalism.  Inevitably, Hillary’s newfound organizing principle set her at odds with America itself.

The remarkable fact about Hillary’s organizing principle is how soon it emerged and how little it changed over the next half-century.  Not that it was new, even in 1969, when she graduated from Wellesley.  Liberation theology is merely a hackneyed reiteration of the stale tradition of radical thought that originated in the European Enlightenment and continued through the Romantic Age down to the Progressive Movement of the early 20th century.  Anyone familiar with Percy Bysshe Shelley’s “Ode to the West Wind” knows where Hillary is coming from, and from whence she came.  It is heady stuff when one is fourteen: “Be thou, Spirit fierce, / My spirit! Be thou me, impetuous one! / Drive my dead thoughts over the universe / Like wither’d leaves to quicken a new birth!”

Shelley was not by any means the only writer or politician to fantasize that his words would “quicken a new birth.”  There was Mary Wollstonecraft, Shelley’s second wife.  There was Lord Byron, crusader for the Greek revolution.  There was Emma Goldman, the anarchist whose words inspired the assassination of William McKinley.  And then there was Robespierre, and his violent progeny, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, and Kim Il-sung.  And now there is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

There is little that separates Hillary Rodham Clinton’s liberation theology from the radical eschatological faith of each of these figures.  And while Hillary does not advocate violence, her naïveté can result in violence.  Much of the Middle East is now spinning out of control as a result of her impulsive cheerleading for the Arab Spring.  Hillary’s organizing principle may be liberation, but she doesn’t seem to have a clue as to what comes next.   

The scary thing is that while Obama’s policies are driven by narrow political self-interest – hardly an effective basis for policymaking – Hillary Clinton’s are based on an organizing principle that is potentially more destructive.

In the pseudo-religious language she often employs, Hillary stresses the role of “sharing and caring” – the theme of her failed 2008 presidential campaign.  “Sharing” comes up a lot in her speeches, always with the veiled assumption that she, Hillary Clinton, will be deciding who gives and who receives.  It will take a lot of sharing to arrive at Hillary’s goal of global equality, and since some, especially those who she likes to call “greedy corporations,” do not wish to share, it will be necessary to use force.  As she put it in 2007, “something has to be taken away from some people” (June 4, 2007, CNN Presidential Forum).  Or, on another occasion, “we’re going to take things away from you [the rich] on behalf of the common good” (June 2004, California fundraiser).

This is the dark, authoritarian side of Hillary’s compassion.  It reveals itself in comments like her response to Exxon-Mobil’s 2007 earnings report: “I want to take those profits, and I want to put them into a strategic energy fund.”  There is something particularly mean and callous about stealing the dividends of hardworking investors and pensioners and squandering them on projects like Solyndra, but that is exactly what Hillary spoke of doing.  What makes her think she has the right to do so?  Presumably her organizing principle: her belief that she is the world’s savior.

Hillary spends a lot of time talking about what she will seize from businesses and affluent individuals and redistribute to the less fortunate.  Like all leftists, Hillary despises the rich, who, she says, “don’t contribute to the growth of their countries.”  The problem is, Marxists have repeated that line for a hundred years now, and it has produced only misery and death.

Hillary has nothing new to bring to the table.  She is another Lenin, another Mao, and potentially another Pol Pot.  Unlike the hapless Barack Obama, who doesn’t even have a strategy, much less an organizing principle, Hillary knows who she is.  She is the savior of all who are downtrodden.  Let them approach her with votes in hand.  She will liberate them.  She will bestow salvation.  Her organizing principle is nothing more than warmed-over Marxism.

As for those obstructionists who refuse to share, she has a plan as well.  It goes by many names – taxation, appropriation, nationalization, collectivization – but all of these amount to the same thing.  “Something has to be taken away from some people.”  That is the key takeaway from her organizing principle.
Yes, Hillary Clinton is better organized than Barack Obama.  That is what makes her more dangerous.