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Archive for June, 2010

Well, it is a slow Hillary-news day, so I thought I would go back a few days to two more stories both of which  developed and got little attention in the media over the past several days,  although they did receive some mention on the interwebs.

First, we have a link to a video that I cannot embed of Bill Clinton talking about the oil gusher in the gulf wherein he defends Barack Obama while laying out a plan of action.  Clinton: How to deal with BP spill.   The plan of action is not my central reason for visiting this video , and the plan has received moderate attention and discussion already.  I do want to deal with how Obama’s personal reaction plays out with an entire country angry about the situation (not well) and  point out that while Bill Clinton defends Obama thus: “I think he’s done a better job than he’s given credit for.   I feel very strongly about this.”   He also said “Until people feel good about their own lives, they’re not going to feel good about their president”

Well, in light of that,  it appears Obama is missing the boat on two fronts.  He has no plan for repair and recovery, and neither is he helping people feel better.  Every day we sink further into the doldrums of a hot, oily summer depression, especially under threats of tropical depressions developing.

All of which brings me to another story that received even less attention.  This is the header  a Sunday Op-Ed in the Irish IndependentLet the people who really know run our affairs — women.  If the title smacks a bit of the missing piece in the discussion above,  Hillary Clinton, then it will come as no surprise that the author, Celia Larkin starts right out with this.

IT mystifies me why Hillary Clinton isn’t used more often as a role model by female politicians. Here’s a woman who served her apprenticeship as a New York senator. Not that long an apprenticeship, but smartly managed nevertheless, and managed in a particularly female way. Instead of in-your-face conflict, she did negotiation. Instead of driving leadership on issues, she did collaboration.

She learned the system and worked it. Because she’s pragmatic, knows not to fixate on humiliation but concentrate instead on recovering from defeat, she’s now secretary of state.

Using Hillary as a launching pad, she goes on to argue for a greater place for women in politics using examples we have heard many times from Hillary herself. Embedded further down in the article, I came across this zinger.

If you’re a man, the chances are that your eyes will roll at the notion of changing politics to include soft and fuzzy stuff like emotion. Men feel most comfortable with data and statistics, but the emotional well-being of individuals in society is every bit as important as their financial health.

Does this not relate to what is wrong right now in this country with this oil gusher not only unstopped, but with weather and choppy seas involved,  occasionally completely unchecked? I think it is.

I do not want to be one of those “I told you so” people (although I did). Many of us did point out that while one candidate gave good speeches, the other got stuff done. I have no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton would have had a one-two-three plan on day one. I also have no doubt that if it were her smiling sympathetic face we were looking at people would feel better right now, and with good reason since I do not think the spill would have been allowed to arrive at this proportion. *sigh* But that’s just my two cents.

You didn’t think I would end it with out our down-to-business Head Homegirl, did you?

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Over the past week there was a huge noisy story, and a huge quiet one.  Is there anyone who has not by now,  heard the saga Of General Stanley McChrystal, his wise-cracking mouth, and Barack Obama’s “Truman Moment”  in either accepting McChrystal’s resignation or in firing him, depending on the story you heard or read?  No, I figured not.

The “Truman Moment” of course refers to President Harry S. Truman’s firing of the very popular General Douglas MacArthur in 1951 for his direct, written opposition to Truman’s strategy  in Korea.  McChrystal, of course, did not oppose, in writing or otherwise, tactical or strategic policy in Afghanistan.   He merely wise-cracked about certain government officials.  The fact that one comment, really simply an opinion, was aimed at the head guy, the Commander-in-Chief, was less than prudent.  But if one is going to make comparisons, MacArthur is not as appropriate as George Patton.  Maybe FDR should have fired Patton for his battle-hardened, wiseacre remarks.   That battle-hardened officers might make off-the-cuff comments should come as no surprise to an experienced commander.  To elevate the comments to the level of insubordination Truman saw from MacArthur is the height of hyperbole.

As for FDR (who did not fire Patton for his profanities), there was Rachel Maddow this week comparing her American Idol Rock Star, Barack Obama,  to FDR himself, citing the many Rooseveltian bills Obama has jammed through Congress.  Well, the jury is still out on that, and while replacing McChrystal with David Petraeus appears roundly popular, the degree to which it was fair or wise is questionable.  Will this make a difference on the ground? The jury is still out on that, too.  The bottom line is that Obama’s numbers continue to tank which brings us to the huge quiet story of the week.

It is a cautionary tale.   Pictured above with our wildly popular Head Homegirl and Secretary of State, is Kevin Rudd,  Prime Minister of Australia beleaguered by low approval ratings up until June 24 (Thursday) 2010 when he was summarily replaced as head of Australia’s Labor Party (and thus as PM) by his Deputy PM, Julia Gillard.

She is Australia’s first woman Prime Minister, and in the land of Germaine Greer, some women are wondering why it took so long.  Sex war rages on as Sheila takes a bow.  The cautionary part of this tale is that the way parliamentary democracy works is that the majority party chief stands as PM.  This is not comparable to a challenge to Obama by Sarah Palin.  The challenge to Rudd came from within his own party.  Got that?  Rudd and Gillard are both members of the Labor Party.  The more popular one replacing the guy whose popularity slid down the tubes.

So, as we welcome a new female world leader on the scene, I’m just sayin’.

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Well, J.C. at Team Hillary Clinton suggested that team members post “Go Hillary in 2012” messages to encourage Hillary Rodham Clinton to run.  Whenever there is a big decision to be made, it is wise to employ a PCI (Pro-Con Inventory) in order to evaluate the situation.   Thus, before I go ahead and endorse this very pretty lady,  I should do a PCI!  Here it is.

PROs      vs. CONs

Demonstrates strong leadership skills.            Has boobs.

Best qualified: U.S. voters.*                                  Has ovaries.

Gets stuff done.  (e.g. START)                                Has a vagina.

Inspires confidence.                                                  Wears high heels.

Brilliant, logical mind.                                              Wears lipstick.

Shows empathy, sympathy.                                   Has shown cleavage.

Listens to America.                                                  Wears earrings.

Favors human rights for all.                                Must be a lesbian.

Works diligently.                                                   Must have a hidden agenda.

Cares deeply about the USA.                             Cried in NH.

Team player.                                                            Played baseball = lesbian.

Promotes women, girls, gays.                            Told ya! Lezzie!

Won back Russia’s friendship.                            AND a COMMIE!

Charm offensives save the day.                         And a flirt & a tease!

*Voters Say Hillary More Qualified To Be President Than Obama, Romney, Gingrich, Palin

Bear in mind, this is not complete, but it is enough for me  to make my assessment.  Decision:  I want a POTUS in 2012 who fits that description on the left even if she does have boobs & curves (very nice ones, I’ll submit – call me what you will), female external & internal plumbing,  cute shoes, banging jewelry,  an agenda for America that is anything but hidden, and a huge skills set in her pink toolbox.  And, no, she really isn’t a lezzie (who would be happy to claim her, but see Hillary Clinton and the Men) or a Commie, although I do have to admit, she is a flirt.   Yes, she did cry at a memorial for a Foreign Service Officer who was killed, and I love her for that.  The Pros outweigh the Cons.

Conclusion:  Hillary!  We’re all ready!  Let’s make this happen!

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A rolling stone may gather no moss, but Rolling Stone magazine sure gathered its share of media attention today in the run-up to its release on the newsstands this coming Friday of an article about chief of Afghanistan Ops General Stanley McChrystal entitled The Runaway General.  You can read the advance net release at the link below and judge for yourself the degree to which McChrystal may or may not deserve to feel the tip of Obama’s Commander-in-Chief  boot.  There certainly seems to be a plethora of off-the-cuff remarks that appear as quotes from the general,  but there is a back story here as well that has less to do with him and more to do with the CIC and the one member of his cabinet and staff that not only did not receive criticism but rather won praise from McChrystal’s men.  If you have guessed by now that I refer to our esteemed Head Homegirl, Hillary Rodham Clinton, you would be correct. This excerpt tells the story succinctly enough.

Part of the problem is structural: The Defense Department budget exceeds $600 billion a year, while the State Department receives only $50 billion. But part of the problem is personal: In private, Team McChrystal likes to talk shit about many of Obama’s top people on the diplomatic side. One aide calls Jim Jones, a retired four-star general and veteran of the Cold War, a “clown” who remains “stuck in 1985.” Politicians like McCain and Kerry, says another aide, “turn up, have a meeting with Karzai, criticize him at the airport press conference, then get back for the Sunday talk shows. Frankly, it’s not very helpful.” Only Hillary Clinton receives good reviews from McChrystal’s inner circle. “Hillary had Stan’s back during the strategic review,” says an adviser. “She said, ‘If Stan wants it, give him what he needs.’ ”

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Defense Secretary Robert Gates does not appear in an antagonistic role in the article as others do, but neither is he singled out for the praise the Secretary of State is accorded.  In all fairness, Secretary Gates has accompanied the SOS to The Hill to help argue against the budgetary imbalance referred to in that first sentence.  But it is the incomparable Hillary Rodham Clinton who floats off the pages not only unscathed, but applauded by McChrystal’s aides.

Now,  none of this  surprises the Homegirls and Homeboys at all since we well remember scenes like these in Afghanistan.

All of this comes accompanied by this, also tearing up the interwebs today.  Voters Say Hillary More Qualified To Be President Than Obama, Romney, Gingrich, Palin.  Amusingly, for me and my Homies, since she neither instigated nor encouraged any of this, she cannot be assigned any blame for it unless you care to blame her for doing her job diligently and efficiently and for being charming and attentive to the troops.  I would so have enjoyed being a fly on the wall in that cabinet meeting today, or perhaps in one of the other two meetings she attended at the White House today, since she is simply an innocent bystander who apparently is doing so much that is right.

She has the highest approval rating, and consistently has had, among the people in that room, and she is untouchable!  You see, we like her, we really, really do.  She is the one shining star there.  Hmmmmmm … is she likable enough for you now?  Full disclosure:  I always liked her.   This night, I fell head-over-heels in love, not for the first time,  (along with millions of others).

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Laura Bush’s new book has a picture of Dubya sitting across the table (maybe at Camp David) from Putin and raising his arms. According to Mrs. Bush, he was telling Putin to lift weights. Evidently, Putin took the advice leading to his current penchant for publishing odd he-man, calendar-like photos of himself that Rachel Maddow never fails to find. Despite his obviously enhanced strength, Hillary Clinton, who does not lift weights as far as we know, managed to wrangle an unscheduled audience out of him when she was in Russia in March.

But here is just the sort of thing that makes you want to bang your head against the wall, except that it’s your head, so that is not a good idea.  According to this Washington Post article By John B. Bellinger III, Without White House muscle, treaties left in limbo, the White House is racking up a really lousy record for pushing ratification of treaties.

Snip

Despite the presence of 59 Democrats, the Senate has approved only one treaty (a tax agreement with France) during the 112th Congress.

Snip

Even if the Senate approves START and several other bilateral tax conventions this year, the Obama administration will have presided over Senate approval of the smallest number of treaties during a two-year Congress in more than 50 years.

This is my issue.  I spend every spare moment there is in my life, following and logging the tenure of one highly competent, super-diligent (not to mention bright-eyed, brilliant, cheerful, and adorable) Hillary Rodham Clinton at the State Department.  If I could do that for a living , I would be a very happy camper.  Unfortunately, I also need to hold down a full-time-plus job, but, trust me, I know what Hillary Clinton is up to.    In a nutshell, she spends a great deal of time in the air, lands in exotic places, participates in countless summits, conferences, and a huge number of bilaterals, in addition to her signature outreaches to the general population everywhere she goes.  So when I see that the White House is doing the worst job in half a century of supporting the tireless work of my Secretary of State, I am NOT a happy camper.  I have witnessed this before.

In 2000, my Governor, Christine Todd Whitman (with whom I was not enchanted as Governor) was appointed by the Bush White House head of the EPA.  She accepted, and was nice enough not only to present the President with his current best friend (whom I miss) that adorable little guy named Barney, but she also introduced him  to the breeder from whom Dubya later purchased Ms. Beasley who is Laura Bush’s current BFF.  This appointment set in motion, in the state of N.J. a remarkable effect.  In Whitman’s absence, we had an Acting Governor (having no Lieutentant Governor at the time, the N.J. provision was that the President of the Senate acted as Governor).  DiFrancesco was Acting Governor on 9/11, and he managed the situation very well, but the GOP in N.J. failed to back him in the next gubernatorial race.   Jim McGreevy, who later became famous as a Gay American, was elected and lasted about two years until he announced his orientation and again we had a quite competent Acting Governor Codey. Fast forward two years and we elected Corzine who neglected to wear his seatbelt, launching Codey back into the State House, and now we are learning to live with another Christie, but this time it is his last name. That’s N.J. for ya!

Here’s the point. Christie Whitman would not have been Governor ad infinitum (thank heavens), but, having been drafted, she accepted and tried to serve. But the White House (HER ADMINISTRATION!) cut her off at the knees and she lasted only two-and-a -half years at the post. I am not saying N.J. would not have gone through these biennial transitions had she not accepted the EPA post, that could have happened anyway. Even though I was not a fan or supporter, I was insulted by the way her White House treated her.  She gave that post an honest try, and they blocked her at every pass.

Similarly, if what Bellinger is saying in WaPo is true, I am insulted and angered for Hillary Clinton, for me (virtually shadowing her), and for the American people for whom this SOS works so hard. What? These treaties she is hammering out are NOT receiving White House support? You mean that in addition to being weak against BP in the Gulf Gusher situation, the White House is feeble in supporting treaties the SOS is bringing home? It is the gusher that needs capping, not the treaties!

Wow! I am reaching the point. It will not be long! That New START had better be supported and ratified, Hillary and Lavrov worked very hard to get that written. But further, what about the other treaties? I know my Hillary, and I can tell you she is like a little cobbler hammering these agreements out behind closed doors. The White House had better get behind her! I am looking at my watch.

(Seriously, she is working very hard. I love her too much to watch her keep driving herself the way she does if they are not going to support her. Hillary, let’s set a deadline. One more year. If they do not put some muscle behind you, resign and run. Please! PLEASE!!! WE’RE ALL READY FOR YOU!)
UPDATE:  PCFS sent me this article which complements the WaPo one.

Clintons Stand Up For Colombia

“First, let me underscore President Obama’s and my commitment to the Free Trade Agreement,” she told RCN Television. “We are going to continue to work to obtain the votes in the Congress to be able to pass it. We think it’s strongly in the interests of both Colombia and the United States. And I return very invigorated … to begin a very intensive effort to try to obtain the votes to get the Free Trade Agreement finally ratified.”

She also made an interesting point unofficially. To demonstrate that Colombia’s cities are now safe, she unexpectedly met up with her husband in the sleek northern half of the capital for cappuccinos and then a steak dinner, a move that delighted Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, who explained that it showed how his capital has been transformed over eight years from a violent hellhole into a perfectly normal city where anyone can go out to dinner.

Both deeds were the right things to say and do, given the failure of the White House and its Democratic congressional allies to pass the U.S.-Colombia free trade pact.

But this won’t happen with even the best of just words — someone needs to be there in Congress making the effort to bring in the votes. Hillary Clinton, by her statement above, showed she knows this, but Obama doesn’t seem to realize that this is what it takes and has always taken to get a treaty to pass. He still hasn’t gone to bat for this pact.

If Obama can’t do it, maybe this is a task he could ask the former president to take on. The Man from Hope could play a powerful role in getting the Colombia treaty moving in Congress if he were asked, and given his interest in the country, it’s a mission he might be likely to accept.
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Does Obama actually, like DO anything? Besides look for ass to kick? Oh, hey, why not kick some Congressional ass and get some treaties ratified? Nah! If he does ask Bill Clinton to do this, it will not be the “brilliant move” the author here conditionally accords Obama. It will be the desperate act of a completely ineffectual head of state. I will not use the term “leader” since daily he proves he is not one. Pathetic!

(Thanks for the article, pcfs!)

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I have been avoiding this story like the Plague or H1N1 or BP Gas Stations – whatever – but it not only is not going away,  it is expanding like the oil in the Gulf so I have decided that the Homegirls must address it head-on for two reasons.

1. Its purveyors  appear to be coming from a particular quarter.

2. Its purveyors are increasingly appearing to be not only anti-Hillary Homegirl-in-Chief Clinton, but increasingly appear whacked!

SO!  When I saw this sweet little entry pop up on a news feed,  I suited up, picked up my my bat and glove,  and marched out to the dugout.  I’m up now.

Here is the header that caught my eye:   Bye-bye Vice President Biden?

I will not quote from this insulting article by Liz Peek except for this line.

Nor has Hillary Clinton showed great skill in foreign policy and foreign affairs in her tenure as Secretary of State.

Well, I beg to differ, and that is one big reason this blog exists – to differ with people who attack, insult, or belittle our Head Homegirl.  So that is Miss Peek’s assessment of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure at State while providing no evidence whatsoever for the statement.  Well, Miss Peek, since reading and text do not appear to be strong points of yours, here, in pictures are Hillary Clinton’s accomplishments  – just a few – as our top diplomat.

Since taking over from Condi Rice she has accomplished the following, not necessarily in this order.

Reset, quite successfully, our relationship with Russia.  This was last year.

NOW!

Resulting in a New START Treaty

She has successfiully preserved our Special Relationship with the UK.

She rescued the Armenia-Turkey Accords without taking credit at all.

As well as having worked indefatiguably behind the scenes to salvage and ensure the success of the Devolution and the Hillborough Agreement.

Domestically,  a year ago she secured domestic partners of her State Department employees benefits.  This year, she provided transgendered persons a path to passport revision.

Of course, Miss Peek, FAUXNEWS, Dick(head) Morris and other promulgators of this meme that somehow reminds me of the ones that cropped  LAST year at this time, do not care much for giving the LGBT community any rights.

This week will be the anniversary of Hillary’s Broken Elbow from which she recovered winningly.

They tried to put her in the shadows then.  One has to wonder why the spotlight now!  Never trust a Republican!  Hillary will shine wherever she is.  It’s her character!  She sucks up all the light wherever she is.  She glows, glimmers, sparkles.  Homegirl-in-Chief is Wonder Woman, Turbo-Secretary, and waaaaayyyy competent.

So cut it out you right-wingnut manipulators.  Speculate all you want, but do not try to disparage her tenure at State where she has been awesome!

Now having said all that, I have to admit that I would not be averse to VP Hillary Clinton at all for a couple of reasons.

1.  Give a girl a break!  She needs to get off the travel carousel at some point.  She does it phenomenally well,  but that can’t last ad infinitum.

2. Even if VEEP has traditionally been a rather invisible job, Hillary would transform it into a VERY visible position using social networking.  So we would still SEE her ( I ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ that!) , and I will still be here blogging about her!  YES! 😉

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