Archive for the ‘111th Congress’ Category

John Bolton doesn’t like Hillary Clinton.  He really, really doesn’t like her,  and he will grab any chance before him to remind us of that.  While his attack on her in an Op-Ed published today in the UK Guardian holds no surprises,  it does deserve a reproach from the Department of Homegirl Security along with a correction.

Although the main target of the piece is Barack Obama,  the opportunist Mr. Bolton not only seizes the moment to go off topic onto Secretary Clinton, but, in doing so,  misinterprets and twists her words (or reads them selectively) and inappropriately places the entire blame for what he sees as an inadequate response by the Obama administration to the Wikileaks document dump on her lovely and already overburdened shoulders.   Of course this kind of textual cherry-picking is a big reason why the Still4Hill blog * depends upon the Secretary’s own words rather than articles about them, and DeHoS does not single out every article for analysis.  Most often, they are accurate if unnecessarily unbalanced.  In this particular case, not so.

On 29 November, secretary of state Hillary Clinton lamented that this third document dump was “not just an attack on United States foreign policy and interests, [but] an attack on the international community”. By contrast, on 1 December, the presidential press secretary, Robert Gibbs, said the White House was “not scared of one guy with one keyboard and a laptop”. Hours later, a Pentagon spokesman disdained the notion that the military should have prevented the WikiLeaks release: “The determination of those who are charged with such things, the decision was made not to proceed with any sort of aggressive action of that sort in this case.”

Clinton is demonstrably incorrect in being preoccupied with defending the “international community”, whatever that is. Her inability to understand WikiLeaks’ obsession with causing harm to the US is a major reason why the Obama administration has done little or nothing in response – except talk, its usual foreign-policy default position.

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First of all, he ignores her use of the word “just” meaning “only.” Of course she recognizes this as an attack on the U.S., but, given her post as Secretary of State (as opposed to Secretary of Defense or Director of Homeland Security) as well as the sources of the documents released by WL she is absolutely correct in pointing out the implications for the foreign governments and populations with which her Department communicates.

Further, it is erroneous to charge that she shapes the administration response.  The last time I looked, when Robert Gibbs spoke, he did so from the White House press room and was speaking for the White House not for the State Department or the Secretary of State.

When the Secretary of State releases a statement, provided she does not deliver the message herself, she does not do so through Gibbs, but, most often, through P.J. Crowley.  He makes his announcements, not  from the White House press room, but rather from the press room at the State Department.

To call her “preoccupied with defending the international community” is senseless and inaccurate.  The international community is her purview.  Bolton would be the first  to attack her if she dipped her little pinkie toe into a domestic situation.   What we have seen over the past week is not a defense of that community so much as an attempt to reassure friends,allies, and also those we would like to have as friends, that we are trustworthy partners.

As for “preoccupation,”   Bolton’s preoccupation with the popular, respected, diligent Secretary Clinton has all the earmarks of sour grapes.  HIs Wikipedia entry reads thus.

He served as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations from August 2005 until December 2006 on a recess appointment.[1] He resigned in December 2006 when his recess appointment would have ended[2] [3] because he was unable to gain confirmation from the Senate.[4][5]

Coming from an unconfirmed, short term, place-filler the allegations seem rooted more in envy than in  reasoned inquiry.  Bolton’s interest in Secretary Clinton’s career betrays  less the character of serious patriotic rebuttals and more the behavior of the fourth-grade boy who,  frustrated that the Tracy Flick of the class always gets it right, dips her pigtail in the inkwell.   (OK, I know, we don’t have inkwells anymore.  We don’t even use ink! We have power wells in the most up-to-date classrooms, but you catch my drift.)  Usually, the boys who do things like that harbor a secret crush,  but the behavior is abusive, and Bolton can take his hard-on for Hillary Clinton and, well, shove it!  She does not deserve this attack and has responded to the WL situation most appropriately and admirably.  She has had a rough week what with WL, North Korea, and a four-day trip thrown in for good measure, and she has come out of it glowing.    Thank you for your hard work,  Mme. Secretary!  And thanks for nothing,  Ambassador Bolton.  It is pretty clear why the Senate withheld that title from you.

Now you KNEW I would not end this without a picture of the Homegirl-in-Chief!  Here she is at her Kennedy Honors Gala Dinner last night.

*The full text of the Secretary’s statement can be found here>>>>

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images News

The original raison d’etre and mission of this blog was to cover Hillary Clinton’s back in light of the media’s antipathy toward her candidacy and just about anything she does. We extended that mission to include all women – candidates or not – faced with any kind of sexist rancor, misogyny, or violence.

Of course Hillary herself, while victimized, has always been a strong advocate against sexism and misogyny. As she enters what are very probably her final weeks in the Senate during these opening weeks of the 111th Congress, Hillary may strike a blow for all of us. The Lily Ledbetter Law, extending the window within which an employee may take legal action for pay disparity based on gender, is being revived and expected to pass. Hillary is sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act ensuring equal pay for equal work.

Hillary is awesome in the Senate, and we will miss her there sorely. If she were to stay, I have no doubt that we would see the revival and passage of the Equal Rights Amendment as well. I cannot escape the nagging feeling that there is a hidden agenda in the State Department appointment. I hope I am wrong, and I sure hope she succeeds there, but I also hope this was not a ploy to move her out of the Senate where she has done and would continue to do such important work and in huge quantities. She is the best Senator I have ever seen. Godspeed, Hillary. We’ve got your back. We see that you also have ours.

January 8, 2009

Senator Clinton Reintroduces The Paycheck Fairness Act

WASHINGTON, DC –Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today reintroduced her landmark legislation to address the continuing pay gap between women and men. The Paycheck Fairness Act would take critical steps to help empower women to negotiate for equal pay, to create strong incentives for employers to obey the existing laws, and to strengthen federal outreach and enforcement efforts. Twenty-two senators have joined Senator Clinton as original cosponsors of the legislation. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has introduced the bill in the House of Representatives.

“Every American deserves equal pay for equal work. It is disgraceful that four decades after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, women in this country still earn only 78 cents on the dollar. The Paycheck Fairness Act is an attempt to right this historic wrong and I am proud to reintroduce it today,” Senator Clinton said.

Women working full time, year-round jobs still make only 78 cents for every dollar made by a man. Women of color fare even worse: African-American women earn only 62 cents, and Latinas only 53 cents, for every $1.00 earned by white men. Studies have shown that this wage disparity will cost women an average of more than $400,000 over a lifetime, a difference in pay that cannot be fully explained by experience, education, or other qualifications. Unequal pay also hurts families. Single women who are heads of households are twice as likely to be in poverty as single fathers. And most families depend on women’s wages to make ends meet, with women’s pay constituting about two-fifths of family income.

The Paycheck Fairness Act would address this reality through a number of needed reforms. The Act would create a training program to help women strengthen their negotiation skills; enforce equal pay laws for federal contractors; and require the Department of Labor to work with employers to eliminate pay disparities by enhancing outreach and training efforts. Also, the bill would prohibit employers from retaliating against employees who share salary information with their co-workers; and strengthen the remedies available under the Act to include compensatory and punitive damages.

Senator Clinton has long been a champion of securing equal pay for equal work. In addition to introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act, Senator Clinton joined with Senators Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), as well as Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), to request that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) study the role that the federal government has and can play in remedying pay inequities in the workplace. In September, the GAO issued a highly critical report finding that federal agencies had been doing an inadequate job at enforcing and monitoring their enforcement of the equal pay laws. In 2006, Senator Clinton co-hosted a “Pay Equity for Women” seminar with Stony Brook University that drew hundreds of students as well as leading educators and experts in gender equity business issues. At the seminar, Senator Clinton unveiled a resource guide titled, “Know What to Ask & Know Your Rights: A Pay Equity Guide on How to Help Yourself in the Workplace.” The guide is an informative tool for young women entering the workforce and can be found on Senator Clinton’s web site: here.


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