Archive for November, 2009

Well this story, like the Vampire Tales also seems loathe to die, but perhaps that is a good thing.    The story of the now infamous party crashers at the India State Dinner Wednesday night continues to fly around the interwebs and TV and print media.  I do not want to provide these self-centered fools with additional attention, since, like other Hillary bloggers I spent  a good deal of time from Wednesday night forward  looking for pictures of our very lovely Secretary of State looking like a goddess in her midnight blue gown.   I have found only one, and from what I see at other Hillary sites, this is the only one.

Meanwhile, those two clowns who crashed the dinner are all over the place.   My biggest problem (aside from not being able to find a front shot of Hillary in this beautiful gown which is fabulous on her) is that these two made it through so many layers of security and past the Secret Service.  I keep hearing that they went through metal detectors so there was no danger.  Excuse me?  In a room full of cutlery there was no danger?

I do not know what other layers of security are involved in being waved in, but I am most disappointed, and not for the first time, in the Secret Service.   Outside of the State Department, with its own security team, the Secret Service is charged with protecting one very precious Hillary Rodham Clinton, and this failure on their part does nothing to make me feel that she is safe in their hands.

Last year it was the shoe-throwing at President Bush that they failed to stop, and now it is this.  They let a couple of publicity-seeking nobodies into the tent  with the entire succession of power.  The woman even succeeded in having her picture taken with Vice President Biden – with her hand on his chest!  And there was “no danger?”

And while they were busily being photographed with every official who would give them a tumble,  the pretty SOS was NOT photographed?  In case the photo above is the only one you have ever seen of her in this dress, this is how she looks from other angles in this masterpiece of a dress.


So that’s my gripe for today. Rant over –  for now, anyway.

UPDATE: This was just tweeted.    Source: Secret Service agent didn’t check couple.  NBC News is also told that they were not cleared as their lawyer contends.

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How ironic is it that these little nuggets from the Monday cabinet meeting arrive via none other than Maureen Dowd? (That’s a rhetorical question, btw.)

Here is what she wrote in her Op-Ed  Thanks for the Memories which appeared in today’s New York Times.

At his Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon, President Obama took a moment to give thanks to his team.

Sipping a glass of water, the president offered special gratitude to the woman on his right.

“I advised this hard-working Cabinet to get a little bit of rest this week,” he said, looking at Hillary Clinton, “particularly the people who have been traveling around the globe day-in and day-out and don’t know what time zone they’re in.”

The secretary of state, with a china cup and saucer in front of her, smiled.

We do not really get much of a glimpse into what is said in cabinet meetings. I think it was nice of the President to single out our Homegirl who clearly has been working very, very hard.

Dowd goes on to contrast Hillary Clinton’s position, both physically in the meeting room, and figuratively within the cabinet, with the recently resigned White House counsel, Greg Craig, a Yale Law classmate of Hillary’s and friend of both Clintons who turned on Hillary to support Barack Obama in the primary race.

Only a year after he had helped Barack Obama get elected by eviscerating his close friend, Clinton White House colleague and Yale Law School classmate, Hillary Clinton, Craig was himself eviscerated by the Obama inner circle.

She speculates as to whether he or Susan Rice, whose role in the primary campaign was to attempt to derail Hillary’s claims of foreign policy experience, ever dreamt they would be working on the cabinet with her.

I often wondered if Craig and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, the other former Clinton official who helped undermine Hillary’s foreign policy record, would have done so if they had known that after turning on Hillary they would once more end up working beside her; if they had known that Obama can often be more interested in wooing opponents than tending to those who put themselves on the line for him.

Well, for all that, Susan and Hillary seem pretty tight lately, and indeed work together like a well-oiled machine. Greg, though, ends up under the proverbial bus which is the real point of Dowd’s Op-Ed, that Obama’s supporters still do not seem to get that he is more interested in forming alliances with former adversaries than in gifting supporters with important posts.

That it is Maureen who delivers this message with nary a single negative comment about Hillary is indeed a shock – stunning! Congrats, Mo! Looks like the 12-Step Program might be working.

None of this comes as any surprise to those of us who have watched for many years as Hillary characteristically threw herself into projects without a care as to whether or not anyone noticed her hard work. As Secretary of State, her dynamo approach to her duties have not gone unnoticed. To know that the President so appreciates it, and to learn of this from Maureen Dowd satisfies rather sweetly a karmic debt.

Read the whole Op-Ed here.

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“Elimination of Violence Against Women” Day

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
November 25, 2009

“Today, a woman somewhere in the United States will be physically assaulted by her husband. In a remote village on the other side of the world, traffickers will lure a young girl away from her family and sell her into sexual slavery. In towns in every region of the globe, groups of men will harass young women as they attempt to go to school. And in a conflict-ravaged land, armed men will brutally rape a mother and her daughter, part of a deliberate strategy of war. Today and every day, women and girls all over the world will face violence simply because they are female. This gender-based violence not only harms the victims and their families, it shreds the fabric that weaves us together as human beings.

“Violence against women cannot be accepted as ‘cultural’ — it is criminal. Today, as we mark Elimination of Violence Against Women Day, let us recommit ourselves – men and women in every country – to work together to end these atrocities, to hold those who commit them accountable, and to support the survivors. No woman or girl anywhere in the world should have to walk in fear or live under the threat of violence.

“When women are accorded their rights and afforded equal opportunities in education, health care, employment, and political participation, they drive social and economic progress. They lift up themselves, their communities, and their nations. But none of these benefits is possible unless girls are able to learn without fear and women are able to have autonomy and decision-making over their own lives, and those are the very things that violence and the fear of violence take away.

“The United States will continue to stand with women around the world to ensure that their rights are protected and respected, and that they have the opportunity to pursue an education, find a good job, live in safety and fulfill their own God-given potential.”

The Obama Administration has made women’s empowerment a core pillar of American foreign policy. Earlier this year, the President appointed Melanne Verveer to be the first ever Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. In August, Secretary Clinton traveled to the Democratic Republic of Congo to shine a spotlight on the use of rape as a tactic of war. And in September, she chaired a United Nations Security Council session that passed Resolution 1888 to prevent and respond to sexual violence in armed conflict.

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This today in the Boston Globe:  Sexism knows no political bounds by Joan Vennochi

Written by  a WOMAN, yet, begins thus.

THERE’S A new girl in town to kick around.
Hillary Clinton used to be everyone’s favorite target. Now it’s Sarah Palin, who is younger, sexier, and easier to trivialize.

The emphasis is mine.  Sarah Palin is sexier than Hillary? Based on what?  You know, when somebody  just throws a comment like that out there as if it is a statement of fact all the alarms and sirens start going off in my head.  The only comparative that is fact up there is “younger.”   Yes, Sarah Palin is younger than Hillary.   That is a fact.   The other two comparatives are opinions, not fact.

I think sexiness starts between the ears. That’s my opinion, and it makes Hillary the sexier one. Sarah Palin is very inner-directed. It all about her, and she seems to crave being the center of attention even though she does not seem to have much to bring to the party. Hillary, on the other hand, is outer-directed. She is a problem-solver, and cares more that the problem gets solved than that she gets credit for it. To me, the one who is not self-absorbed is much sexier than the one who is.

As far as being easy to trivialize, well I do not think it is possible to trivialize Hillary, and Palin has done a good job of trivializing herself.

Vennochi ends her article with this:

The two would have a lot to talk about if they ever had that cup of coffee Clinton said she would be willing to share.

They could discuss hardball politics and sexism. Liberals and conservatives both know it when they see it.

The Hillary Clinton who keeps telling everyone that you can’t move forward by looking in the rearview mirror – that Hillary Clinton? She is going to sit down for coffee and discuss stuff that happened two years ago?

Reality check: Hillary has moved on! This is her fourth day home this month, and she has a ton of stuff to read and attend to.

There is no comparison between these two – none!  Last week, Hillary was the covergirl for Time magazine.  They did not seem to think it was necessary to sex her up.   She looks pretty and sexy without stripping down.

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Man!  Or anyway THIS man!  Right on the heels of all the cute body language stuff in the previous post, this comes up on one of the news feeds,  and I am amazed since heretofore Dennis Miller has been pretty positive about our Head Homegirl.

Speaking with Palin, Dennis Miller transitions from calling Newsweek cover ’sexist’ to insulting Hillary Clinton.
Earlier this week, Sarah Palin wrote on her Facebook page that Newsweek’s choice to use a Runner’s World photo of her in running shorts for its cover was “unfortunate” and “sexist.” Palin’s criticism has since been echoed on both the left and right. Interviewing Palin on his radio show yesterday, Dennis Miller added his voice to those calling the cover “sexist.” But he then did something that most of the other critics haven’t done. He immediately followed it with a joke about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that could also be easily characterized as sexist:

MILLER: Listen, Sarah, I have to ask you. This Newsweek cover. First off, I have two thoughts on this. To me it seems blatantly sexist and secondly I’m just glad they didn’t decide to do it with Hillary during the primaries. But your thoughts on it. You a little POed at this? I mean this was for another magazine, right?

Well, it is sexist, Dennis,  and now you are on my list that includes Bill Maher, Dana Carvey, and Robin Williams, for making  nasty comments or innuendo about our Homegirl’s appearance. Actually, Dennis and cohorts, physical features and their appeal are very much a matter of taste. I, for one, just do not think Sarah Palin is all that attractive, although it seems a lot of guys think she’s hot on that Newsweek cover.

I have, but will not post, two very hot pictures of Hillary Clinton wearing less than what Sarah is on that cover – in a bathing suit – and she is very beautiful. She has a very curvy figure, a tiny waist, nice bust and hips, and yes, pretty legs and looks smashing – very feminine. So, Dennis, I do not know what you mean.

I am really sick of men who think they are so hot (and are not) making remarks about women’s physical appearance. This goes for you, Dick Morris, and for you too, Lame Cherry, too cowardly to come out from behind your screen name making negative comments about Michelle Obama’s appearance.

These women (all women) have their own personal styles. The cover picture on Newsweek (I will not give them the satisfaction of a link) was an inappropriate choice, and I believe Mrs. Palin (she is not Governor of anything anymore) should have been allowed input as to what picture went on the cover.

But, reality check, Dennis and the rest of you: You and your “parts” (that includes the parts between your ears) are none too attractive to me! You are not going to make headway with women by speaking with forked tongues – by petting Sarah then slamming Hillary. I am boycotting the appearances of all these guys on my list and invite my Sistah Homegirls to do he same. The portrayals by all of them of Hillary were shameful. Shameful!

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Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton is our third female Secretary of State, the first ever to have been a First Lady, a U.S.Senator, and a strong Presidential candidate prior to taking command at Foggy Bottom.  She swept in with a new arsenal of diplomatic tools she dubbed “smart power” and included Special Envoys to critical regions, purposeful outreach to populations in countries she visits, including TV and radio interviews, “Townterviews,” visits to venues like markets, schools, factories, and, in dealing with her ministerial hosts and visitors, flirting.  Now Maddie Albright was something of a flirt as SOS (Condi was not), but no one has used this particular diplomatic instrument quite as effectively (or entertainingly) as our current top diplomat.

Her clumsy primary campaign managers thought, it seemed, that de-sexing her was a necessity in order make her seem presidential.  They did not exactly succeed, but now that she is out of that arena, she is clearly all re-sexed up.  She flirts openly and unabashedly, is extremely good at it, and uses it to great diplomatic advantage.  It was bound to gain notice, and it has with the advance internet posting of Jonathan Van Meter’s very nice article about her in the December issue of Vogue magazine.  Here is the passage that has caused a volcanic eruption of gossipy feeds  across the interwebs.

I was also happy to see her taking delight in a favorite new colleague, David Miliband, the tall and dashing 44-year-old British foreign secretary. When I mentioned to her over lunch that I had spoken with him, she lit up. “Oh, my God!” I joked that I got a crush over the phone in about five seconds partly because of his accent, and she said, “Well, if you saw him it would be a big crush. I mean, he is so vibrant, vital, attractive, smart. He’s really a good guy. And he’s so young!”

For his part, Miliband seems smitten, too. “She applies intellect but also psychology to the dossiers that she’s studying. She uses her experience in a very impressive way. She brings it to bear in a way that enriches a conversation but doesn’t swamp it. She learns from history without being trapped by it. I think it’s also important to say that she’s delightful to deal with one on one. She’s someone who laughs and can tease, and she’s got perspective as well.”

You have noted, of course, that it was Jonathan and not Hillary who claimed to have a crush. Hillary, for her part, encourages his crush, fans the flames with additional information, but she does not say she has a crush.  I am not saying she does not, but she did not say she did, so let’s get that straight right.  What I like about this little conversation is that Jonathan felt so comfortable saying that to Hillary.   It validates what I said back on June 3 (Sit! Stay! Under the Porch!) when Hillary not only preempted the POTUS with her Gay Pride Month message, but put her money where her mouth was (having charmed  extra bucks from Congress for her 2010 budget)  and came back to the issue raised in February regarding benefits for domestic partners of State Department employees with an affirmative response.  Essentially she said that they had looked into it, and yes, they could and would do it.  That was Hillary, following through.

At the time, I began seeing passionate love tweets about Hillary on Twitter and the tweeters were all young, handsome guys.  Until I followed a link,  I did not really catch it.  They were young gay guys loving Hillary for according recognition of their right to be equal.  On one site, I saw some expressions of regret for not having supported her since her actions were speaking volumes that words never could.

Well, back to Jonathan and his “crush,”  and I am only guessing here,  he called David Miliband to get some background for the article,  and that made sense.   David and Hillary obviously have a great rapport,  and David speaks English.  I have the impression that Hillary’s reaction was about the idea that Jonathan would go so far as to contact the U.K. Foreign Minister for a story about her.   It took the romantic turn because of Jonathan’s remark.

Now all that having been said, has Hillary flirted with David?  Of course!  I don’t think there is a male head of state or foreign minister with whom she has not flirted.  It’s one of her big guns.  It is why he said she’s a tease.  Quite frankly, after fighting off such dark shadowy Tales from the Darkside as I have for months on this blog, I find this little flurry of light gossip a relief.   Hillary in the news for being sexy?  Yeah, I can deal with that.  When was the last time a Secretary if State kept you this entertained?

Oh the world problems are still there,  and they are serious,  and she has to deal with them, but sometimes you just need to flip to the Lifetime Channel for an afternoon.  It gives everything perspective.

Does Hillary have a crush?  I don’t really think so.  Does she flirt? Whoa!  Does she!

Here are a few versions of the “crush” story.  No, I am not perpetrating it.  You have seen more of these than I.

Hillary Clinton’s Lighter Side

‘Tease’ Hillary Clinton gushes over ‘crush’ on British Foreign Minister

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hillaryoutofpolitics_03Maybe I should have used a bigger stake back on September 10 (Governor Hillary Rodham Clinton? R U nuts?) when I thought I had put this one out in the daylight, and it had burned up.  On This Week this morning, George Stephanopoulos asked our Homegirl-in-Chief  if it is true that she is thinking of running for governor in New York State. Oh, puhleeze! I have patiently explained why that makes no sense at all, but evidently my silver crucifix, garlic, and voudou ouanga were insufficient,  and Homegirl Hillary had to ask Steph to put this one in a box and send it away.

Now I see the story of the denial popping up here:  Clinton: I’m Not Running for NY Governor and on other feeds which in an oblique and ironic way serves to help perpetrate it.   So, one more time: There is no logical reason why she would or should step off the world stage and into the Statehouse in Albany.

She’s out of politics, folks! Drop it!

(Thanks to Conanincharge at Hillary Daily for the terrific GIF)

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Sooner or later I was going to have to address this issue here.  Some of what our Homegirl has been dealing with this past week is the angry backlash from the Palestinians and the Arab states, even those closest to us, due to her remarks in Jerusalem and in Morocco last week.  She has been right in front of the onslaught all week, and since she’s our Homegirl, this has been disturbing to us.  There have been many, many articles flying around the internet attacking her and her remarks.  Some of these have emanated from Israeli sources.  But the reaction is by and large, international and erupted, of course, here in the U.S. on blogs and in the press.

So, in defense of my Homegirl, I would like to argue that while her words were indeed her words, the policy is the policy,  and our policy of demanding a freeze on settlements was one that she stated firmly over and over again last Spring.   If she has conceded anything here, I believe the concession is not of her making alone.  President Obama met with Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu in September at UNGA.    At that time, our firm anti-settlement growth policy began to dissolve.  A month later, in her report commissioned by the President during UNGA, our Homegirl passed on the reports by her special envoy, George Mitchell, that the negotiations were at an impasse and would not be getting off the ground soon.

Then came her trip to Pakistan, Abu Dhabi, Jerusalem, Morocco, and the adjuncted extension to Egypt.  In Abu Dhabi, she did not throw any praise or support toward Abbas. In Jerusalem she praised Netayahu’s “unprecedented” agreement to stop building settlements  after these last 3,000, and in Morocco, she faced anger  necessitating the ad hoc stop in Egypt.

Well, I cannot deny that she said those things any more than anyone can deny how firmly against settlement growth she was back in the Spring, so there has to be more to this than Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State,  single-handedly and in isolation, shifting U.S. Policy re: settlements.  I will not pretend to know what goes on in the Situation Room during high-level NSC meetings, but IF our policy has changed (I am not certain that it has),  I am not sure the Secretary of State alone has the power to make such a revision independently.

She depends heavily on her staff for briefings and updates, and wisely has chosen to employ special envoys to regions at risk.  Certainly their input, from the ground, has a certain impact.  I just cannot believe that her brush is the only one painting this canvas.

As I said above, I will not link here to all of the articles critical of Hillary this week.  I will link only to this one. 

November 6, 2009: An Ode to Light a Fire: In The House and Secretary of State

Two paragraphs there caught my attention, especially given who her special envoy to the Middle East is. First this:

All the settlements are illegal under international law and the precedent of US failure to act was well established by 1973, when Ariel Sharon bragged to Winston Churchill III, “We’ll make a pastrami sandwich of them. We’ll insert a strip of Jewish settlement, right across the West Bank, so that in 25 years time, neither the United Nations, nor the United States, nobody, will be able to tear it apart.”

This creates a Northern Ireland situation in one generation. Sharon was savvy enough to know that once the populations were mixed in the occupied territories a two state solution was about as likely as the Six Counties ever becoming part of the Irish Free State. If anybody in the Obama Administration and the Clinton State Department recognizes this, it has to be George Mitchell. The question of freezing settlements might not only be moot, but it may well have been moot for many years.

The paragraph that immediately follows that one rang a bell with this Irish-Catholic-American Homegirl:

Back in 2005, top U.S. law enforcement officials attended a briefing organized by the Council for the National Interest regarding how charities “such as B’nai B’rith and Hadassah were in direct control of the World Zionist Organization and directly linked to a massive money-laundering operation…and the settlements are an indirect generator of terrorism against the United States.”

Speaking of Northern Ireland, remember NORAID? They were collecting money right in Catholic churches here in the U.S., and it ended up buying guns and ammo for the IRA. Many knew this, and gave willingly anyway! I would not be surprised if they bought some arms and ammunition from Israel.

So! I cannot, and will not try to spin what our Homegirl said. The Palestinian people deserve a united state of their own. Not a land divided. Not a land criss-crossed with 30-foot walls and checkpoints (if you have ever been anywhere with checkpoints, you know just how intimidating that is). Not a second-class nation with all of its necessities controlled by another. I believe our Homegirl is dedicated to that.

But I wonder if she, or anybody can undo what began when Sharon made that statement 36 years ago. Israel has successfully created a two-county replica of the Six Counties of Northern Ireland with the same kind of religious division. Two generations have grown up in this political structure. As George Mitchell, and our Homegirl, so involved in the Northern Ireland peace process, must know, Ireland will never be, as the song so hopefully rings, A Nation Once Again. And it is looking bleaker and bleaker that Palestine will ever be a nation. We should have been much more careful in 1947. We should have predicted what was sure to happen. We should have listened to our then Secretary of State George C. Marshall who counseled circumspection. But we did not, and here we stand, with his successor, our Homegirl, in a tight spot – not entirely of her making.

Stacyx of Secretary Clinton blog had a great idea today.  I do not want to share it without her permission.   If  she decides to post it here,  I would be happy to see it.

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Representing the Obama Administration, and, as none of us are likely to forget,  having been Senator from New York when the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center occurred, our Homegirl Hillary gave the keynote speech today at the commissioning ceremony for the battleship USS New York today near the Intrepid Sea, Air, & Space Museum.   As you know,  the bow of this beautiful ship is forged of steel salvaged from the Twin Towers.  A brief snippet of her speech was played on CNN, but so far no complete video is available.  When it is, I will post it as a current event on A Rose for Hillary and Still4Hill.

In the clip I saw on CNN,  I thought something was wrong – terribly wrong.  It was very brief, but Hillary seemed unusually subdued.   She was not her exuberant self,  not the cheerful, vigorous, Hillary we are used to,  not the forceful voice and happy face we saw just yesterday, and I am concerned.    Something is wrong.  I snatched eleven pictures off of Daylife.  She is smiling in only one.  I confided this to stacyx of Secretary Clinton blog, and she sent me this: Monotone and bland Hillary Clinton.

Now, the Homegirls know that Hillary would NEVER consider an event like this “beneath her.”  On the contrary,  Hillary feels honored to keynote events like this, especially when they are in New York.  She always makes that clear with her enthusiasm, good cheer, humor, and beautiful smile that was pretty much missing in action today.  Given that this event is tied to very sad, tragic events and memories,  a degree of solemnity is appropriate and understandable.   It also is a celebration of our resilience, strength, and ability to keep going. I believe Hillary remarked upon this today.   So something is wrong.  I do not think she is sick, but she looks preoccupied, and not in a good way.  She looks like she needs a hug.

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…much less “no more.”   The Indiana Daily Student article,  Presidential candidate no more provides a fair amount of criticism  of our Homegirl. Lord knows she has been to Hell and back these past few days.

Secretary Clinton would have earned a lot more respect from the Pakistanis she was conversing with if she had responded with sympathy and understanding instead of immediately striking a harsh defensive stance.

Hillary does have a heart, and she does wear it
on her sleeve. She does feel for the Pakistani people. But I guess you’ll just take my word for that – or her actions.

Presidential? Oh my! Were any of you actually LOOKING at Sarah Palin? Mitt Romney? Huckabee? Hillary is blunt and sometimes makes mistakes, but she has a huge store of information in her head that I don’t think they can contain.

She’s blunt. I find her very Presidential.

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