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Member since: 2002
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It's demeaning to Thatcher to refer to HRC as "The American Thatcher".

Powerful article. When I first read the reference to HRC as an American Thatcher, I thought - right! she's so conservative. But upon reflection, I decided it was a disservice to Maggie Thatcher to identify her with HRC. I have never agreed with Thatcher's political positions/philosophy, but she did have the courage of her convictions, had a long and loving marriage, and succeeded in breaking through the glass ceiling on her own efforts. Here's some history.

1. Margaret Thatcher was a lifelong conservative. What you saw was what you got. She didn't flip-flop from Barry Goldwater Girl/president of Young College Republicans over to supporting McGovern and end up as a 3rd Way/corporatist/pro-war/Big Bank enabler. Y'all remember George McGovern's objections to Vietnam? One assumes HRC was familiar with them when she campaigned for him:
"It doesn't require any particular bravery to stand on the floor of the Senate and urge our boys in Vietnam to fight harder. And if this war mushrooms into a major conflict and a hundred thousand young Americans are killed, it won't be U.S. Senators who die. It will be American soldiers who are too young to qualify for the Senate." And also, "I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in."

I remember him saying that because I had the privilege to hear him speak when I campaigned for him. I'm still anti-war. HRC? not so much.

"On Friday in England, Clinton boasted that two years ago she had favored a proposal by a top British General to train 100,000 “moderate” rebels to overthrow the Assad regime in Syria, but Obama had turned her down. The American Thatcher?" http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/hillary_clinton_flaunts_her_surveillance_state_baggage_20140707

2. Thatcher had a solid, 50+ year marriage, with not a whiff of scandal, betrayal or adultery. "Sir Denis Thatcher died of heart failure on 26 June 2003 and was cremated on 3 July. She had paid tribute to him in The Downing Street Years, writing "Being Prime Minister is a lonely job. In a sense, it ought to be: you cannot lead from the crowd. But with Denis there I was never alone. What a man. What a husband. What a friend."

3. Thatcher made it politically on her own - not on her husband's influence, connections or coat tails, and she started at the bottom and hung in through several initial defeats. She ran for Member of Parliament as a Conservative for a safe Labour seat. That's called flying the flag for your party, when there's no chance of victory, but you get your party's point of view out there. It's called paying your dues and working your way up. She was defeated in 1950, 51 and 54. She was finally elected an MP in 1959. From 1970 to 1974 she served as Secretary of State for Education & Science. From 1975 to 1979, she served as Conservative party leader, i.e., Leader of the Opposition. Finally, after 29 years directly serving her party - on her own, not as first spouse - she ran for and was elected Prime Minister, where she served from 1979 to 1990.

"Hillary Clinton Begins to Move Away From Obama Ahead of 2016"

Well, this puts the fox in the henhouse, DU-wise. Although I am not the least bit surprised to know that HRC plans to woo Republicans, i.e., Big Corporate Interests. We already know she favors more trade agreements, the Keystone Pipeline, Wall Street in general and Big Banking in particular. Hence this overall rah-rah-Hillary article in the Wall Street Journal.

Hillary Clinton has begun distancing herself from President Barack Obama, suggesting that she would do more to woo Republicans and take a more assertive stance toward global crises, while sounding more downbeat than her former boss about the U.S. economic recovery.

In another contrast, Mrs. Clinton has said U.S. presidents must never stop courting Congress. Mr. Obama has questioned whether such efforts make any difference. Mrs. Clinton expressed skepticism of candidates with "beautiful vision," while Mr. Obama still hammers on his 2008 campaign mantra: "Hope." "I mean, some people can paint a beautiful vision," she said at a CNN event last month. "And, thankfully, we can all learn from that. But then, can you, with the tenacity, the persistence, the getting-knocked down/getting-back-up resilience, can you lead us there?"

As she mulls a presidential bid, Mrs. Clinton also has suggested that her husband's administration offers a more viable model for governing in polarized times than Mr. Obama's.
Partisanship in the 1990s was as grave as it is today, she suggested at the Colorado event. Nevertheless, Mr. Clinton made inroads with hostile Republican lawmakers, Mrs. Clinton said.

"My husband had some really serious problems with the Congress when he was in office," she said. "They shut down the government twice. They impeached him once. So it was not the most pleasant of atmospheres. But I will say this: Bill never stopped reaching out to them."
Building those relationships on Capitol Hill "is something there is no rest from," she added.


Corbett's no-good, very-bad week: the lonely quacking of a lame duck

It's sing along time: "Oh, it's a long, long time . . . . from July to November" but that quacking sound out of the governor's mansion is only going to get louder!
The whole article is worth a read - relishes detailing how clueless Corbett is when it comes to dealing with a legislature controlled by his own party!


That "Holy Cow" moment came on Tuesday -- when a House of Representatives controlled by the governor's own party -- voted to send Corbett's favored pension proposal to the House Human Services Committee, chaired by Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-Bucks. The suburban Philly Republican has opposed Corbett on most everything, but notably on Medicaid expansion and a controversial county human services block grant program.

It was the functional equivalent of strapping the bill to a rocket and shooting it directly into a black hole. It will never escape. And you could practically hear the peals of Democratic laughter when it happened.

"It was pretty spectacular — what happened," Rep. Patty Kim, D-Dauphin, said in an interview just outside the House chamber on a long, slow Tuesday afternoon. "The bill was 100 pages. It wasn't fully vetted. I applaud Gene DiGirolamo for having it recommitted to his committee."

Then, with some relish, Kim added, "If I know , he loves hearings," she said, foreshadowing the long, slow death of the hybrid plan authored by Rep. Mike Tobash, R-Schuylkill, that would have allowed existing state employees to stay in the current pension program and shifted new hires into a 401(k)-style retirement program. And when it came to Corbett, events Tuesday were "a real black eye for ," Kim said. "He got into the boxing ring ... and he got hit. It's kind of sad

Live Blog of Opinions, June 30, 2014 LIVE

Source: Supreme Court of the United States blog

At 9:30 a.m. on Monday we expect orders from the June 26 Conference, followed by opinions in argued cases at 10:00 a.m. We will begin live-blogging at this link at approximately 9:15 a.m. The only remaining undecided cases of the Term are Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Harris v. Quinn. - See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

Both decisions from Alito. Harris is first. In Harris, the Court refuses to extend Abood. These employees can't be required to contribute to unions. This case does not involve full-fledged public employees, the Court notes.
The majority opinion is 39 pages. The dissent is 25.
The Court recognizes a category of "partial public employees" that cannot be required to contribute union bargaining fees.

Kagan writes for the dissenters. The four liberal Justices are the dissenters. The vote is 5-4.
It remains possible that in a later case the Court will overturn its prior precedent and forbid requiring public employees to contribute to union bargaining. But today it has refused to go that far. The unions have lost a tool to expand their reach. But they have dodged a major challenge to their very existence.

The opinion is here: www.supremecourt.gov
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

How shocked would you be, on a scale of 1 to Andy-Kaufman-Is-Alive, if Justice Alito writes an opinion where Hobby Lobby loses?

Kagan dissent in Harris is strongly critical of dicta re Abood's supposed weaknesses. - See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

(Here is Hobby Lobby)
This is a 5-4 opinion.
The Breyer and Kagan opinions are, to be clear, separate dissenting opinions.
Breyer and Kagan each filed a dissenting opinion.
Ginsburg joined by Sotomayor and joined in part by Breyer and Kagan.
There are three dissenting opinions.
Ginsburg dissents; it is 35 pages.
Decision looks like a monster: 49 pages for the majority, four for Kennedy concurrence.

Here is more qualification: It does not provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discrimination as a religious practice.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf
Here is a further attempt at qualification: This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to mean that all insurance mandates, that is for blood transfusions or vaccinations, necessarily fail if they conflict with an employer's religious beliefs.

Justice Kennedy's concurring opinion says that the government could pay for the coverage itself, so that women receive it.

The Court says that the government has failed to show that the mandate is the least restrictive means of advancing its interest in guaranteeing cost-free access to birth control.
RFRA applies to regulations that govern the activities of closely held for-profit corporations like Conestoga, HL and Mardel.

Closely held corporations cannot be required to provide contraception coverage.

Here is Hobby Lobby.
- See more at: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014#sthash.vXje5Qmc.dpuf

Read more: http://live.scotusblog.com/Event/Live_blog_of_opinions__June_30_2014

NOTE: All the entries in "Excerpt" portion are from the link - not my opinions or comments.

HRC charges $225,000 fee to Univ. which just had to raise tuition 17%

Yes, she's charging this speaking fee to a university which just announced a 17 percent tuition increase over the next four years! Way to win the youth vote, HRC! And this aspect cannot be emphasized too much: Although the engagement was confirmed on behalf of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, a university spokesperson is quoted below as stating that "the money will not go to the family philanthropy."Remember that huge New York Times expose on the problems in the Clinton Foundation because no clear lines were being drawn between work for the foundation and work being done for personal and/or campaign activities? Well, that problem has obviously not been addressed.

Elias Benjelloun, UNLV’s undergraduate student body president, told the Las Vegas Sun this month that the school's trustees were trying to improve its offerings 'on the backs of students.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2667421/225-000-Thats-obscene-Hillary-Clinton-collect-massive-speaking-fee-Nevada-university-students-grapple-tuition-hikes.html#ixzz35mrJuxHo


Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will collect a $225,000 speaking fee from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in October, it emerged on Tuesday.

The massive expense was confirmed just weeks after the university formalized a 4 per cent tuition increase for each of the next four years. Rate hikes have nearly tripled tuition costs there since 2004.

Clinton will deliver the keynote address at an invitation-only gala for philanthropists and other high-dollar donors who support UNLV. The university said private funds are being tapped to pay her speaking fee.The event was confirmed on behalf of the Bill, Hillary, & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, but a UNLV spokesperson confirmed on Tuesday that the money will not go to the Clintons' family philanthropy.

But students see a zero-sum financial gain in which that money could have chipped away at tuition increases. $225,000? That's obscene!' UNLV student Jordan Mason told MailOnline. 'And the money is all fungible, right? Even if some CEO is writing the check, that's money that the person probably would have given to the university in some other way. I like Hillary,' Mason added, 'but if she's not willing to support us without all that money changing hands, maybe they should book someone else who won't add to the reasons we're paying more for school.'


The UNLV Foundation Board of Trustees is paying Clinton's $225,000 speaking fee to the Harry Walker Agency, which books her public appearances, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The $200 per plate dinner will include some attendees paying as much as $20,000 for special sponsorships that include a private photo session with Hillary Clinton.


Urgent Recommendations For Tesoro Refinery Safety Were Suppressed

Source: KUOW Radio,based in Seattle,serving Puget Sound

In the months following a deadly refinery explosion in Anacortes, Washington, in April 2010, federal investigators with the U.S. Chemical Safety Board were ready to issue urgent safety recommendations. But management at the agency blocked the release of their urgent alert.

It then took the Chemical Safety Board another three and a half years to issue recommendations for making the Tesoro refinery in Anacortes safer.

Those are some of the scathing conclusions of a Congressional inquiry into mismanagement at the Chemical Safety Board.

The independent board investigates explosions and other chemical accidents and is modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board. The Chemical Safety Board issued its report in May on the Tesoro blast in Anacortes, four years after the explosion killed seven.

Read more: http://kuow.org/post/report-urgent-recommendations-tesoro-refinery-safety-were-suppressed

This explosion killed SEVEN people.

The report details that an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology found:

* A “toxic and abusive” workplace that led to an exodus of the agency’s skilled investigators.

* Retaliation against whistleblowers.

* Chemical Safety Board Chair Rafael Moure-Eraso’s use of personal email accounts for official business.

* Moure-Eraso’s refusal to release documents to an inspector general investigating agency

The Congressional inquiry found that Moure-Eraso and Chemical Safety Board managing director Daniel Horowitz blocked the recommendations from release in September 2010, even though they had already been peer-reviewed.

That incident is a fascinating glimpse of how dysfunctional the Clinton family is.

Everything is seen through the lens of gaining economic or political advantage. Given the bizarre marriage of convenience between Bill & Hillary, i.e., her enabling (through constantly ignoring them or, when publicly confronted with them, ridiculing & blaming Bill's victims) her husband's serial adulteries, Hillary is unable to grasp that announcing a pregnancy can be a tender, romantic, proud moment shared between a husband and wife. Apparently, Chelsea, having grown up in this dysfunctional family, and believing that her mother always knows best, went right along with this staged announcement. And although Hillary was not then an official candidate, boy howdy, she managed to spin her impending grandparent hood to drive home how this proves how much she will now care about the future of American kids.

HRC even had the balls to claim that if the project under discussion at the Microsoft sponsored (BIG CORPORATION DOES FAVOR FOR HILLARY - WHAT IS EXPECTED IN RETURN?) event was successful enough, " so that maybe our grandchild will not have to be worried about some of the things that young women and young men worry about today.

Will some of her adoring supporters get through to HRC that a Clinton grandchild, being raised by multi-millionaire parents, and in line to inherit tens of millions of dollars, will no way in hell be "worried about some of the things that young men and women worry about today."


In a joint appearance, Chelsea and Hillary Clinton announced Thursday that Chelsea is expecting her first child later this year.

Speaking at a No Ceilings event, sponsored by the Clinton Foundation and Microsoft, the Clintons addressed women’s issues with moderator and actress America Ferrera at the Lower Eastside Girls Club in New York City. At the end of the event, Chelsea Clinton expressed how inspiring she found the audience of women — for multiple reasons.

The former secretary of state beamed as her daughter announced the news of her grandchild, “which I’m really excited about,” she said.

Connecting the news to the topic of the day, Hillary Clinton said it made the efforts of No Ceilings more pressing. “It makes this work even more important,” Clinton said. “Even in the course of my life, I’ve seen a lot of progress, but I want to see us keep moving, and certainly for future generations as well, so that maybe our grandchild will not have to be worried about some of the things that young women and young men worry about today. So obviously, we are very excited about what’s happening in our family, but we’re also very excited because of what we’re doing that we hope gives confidence and support to so many of you across our country.”

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/chelsea-clinton-pregnant-105791.html#ixzz35b2T0200

That little 6th grade girl in Arkansas never got justice, did she?

Hillary Rodham Clinton often invoked her “35 years of experience making change” on the 2008 campaign trail, recounting her work in the 1970s on behalf of battered and neglected children and impoverished legal-aid clients.

But there is a little-known episode Clinton doesn’t mention in her standard campaign speech in which those two principles collided. In 1975, a 27-year-old Hillary Rodham, acting as a court-appointed attorney, attacked the credibility of a 12-year-old girl in mounting an aggressive defense for an indigent client accused of rape in Arkansas – using her child development background to help the defendant…

(from Newsday, via http://sweetness-light.com/archive/hillary-versus-the-allegedly-raped-child#.U6C1YUB5uSq

Two years into her career of making change and having Day One-readying experience, 27 year old Hillary Rodham was appointed a public defender in a rape case, and played out deep in the gray areas of morality by attacking the 12-year old victim's credibility. Though nobody involved in the case can recall a shred of evidence that the victim had any sort of history of making false claims, Hillary argued it as a centerpiece of her case anyway. And conveniently omitted this aspect of the case from her 2003 book, "Living History."


Hillary believed her 41 year old client to be guilty of luring a 12 year old girl into his automobile, plying her with alcohol and sexually assaulting her.

“I had him take a polygraph, which he passed—which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs,” she is heard telling Reed, punctuating her comment with a laugh.

In a July 28, 1975 affidavit, "Clinton attacked the credibility of the young alleged victim, claiming that she was 'emotionally unstable' and had a 'tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing.'

Isn't that pretty much how she dismissed Monica Lewinsky's allegations? We all know what happened to Monica. I wonder what happened to that poor 12 year old girl in Arkansas. She sure as hell never got justice, did she?

HRC gets a child rapist a reduced sentence (2 months for time served), laughs about it, and there are people here who, even with the ready excuse of it being a long time ago, cannot bring themselves to criticize Clinton. Amazing. Incredibly disturbing, but amazing.

The defense prevailed, Clinton told Reed, when she realized that the crime lab had woefully mishandled the girl’s bloody underwear—a key piece of evidence.

“The crime lab took the pair of underpants, neatly cut out the part that they were gonna test, tested it, came back with the result of what kind of blood it was what was mixed in with it—then sent the pants back with the hole in it to evidence…Of course the crime lab had thrown away the piece they had cut out.”

Clinton said she traveled to New York City and found a renowned forensic expert who would testify that the remaining material lacked a sufficient amount of blood to test. Clinton said she catalogued the expert’s intimidating resume and handed it to the prosecutor. “I said, ‘Well, this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.’”

At which point, on the recording, she’s heard bursting into laughter.


and from another source:

Clinton recounts how she took what remained of the (bloodied) underwear to a renowned forensics expert in New York to have him confirm that the remnants were unsuitable for confirmation testing. She tells the interviewer how she returned to Arkansas with a letter from the expert and a clip of his biography from “Who’s Who.”

“I handed it to , and I said, ‘Well this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice,” Clinton says with sarcastic laughter. “So we were gonna plea bargain.”

Facing an evidentiary disaster, and the prospect of defense testimony by a celebrity witness, the prosecutor caved. Instead of a hefty prison sentence, the accused rapist got off with time served – which Clinton recalled was about two months in the county jail.

see also, http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2658801/I-never-trusted-polygraph-Hillary-Clinton-LAUGHS-recalls-helped-suspected-child-rapist-walk-free-prosecution-lost-crucial-evidence.html

Clinton’s job at the time was defending those accused of crimes who couldn’t afford to pay for their own defense; her client was a factory worker whom she believed to be guilty. I had classmates who worked for our county's public defender's office. Believe me, it was pulling teeth to get the budget to pay for a local expert witness. So how many other clients of the Arkansas public defender's office got short shrift for funding to develop evidence for their cases so HRC could fly into NY and hire an expert (we in the biz call them hired guns). Air fare, hotel, expert witness fee - that cost a pretty penny. If he was a "celebrity" expert witness, his fees would have been quite high, even back then.

When you hear her voice describing it, and the laughter, it's not hard to picture the air quotes around “miscarriage of justice”. It was never about justice if she believed her client was guilty, it was about going to extreme lengths to win.

You can still vote for her if you’d like. But don't justify her actions, either at the time she went to extraordinary lengths to get a guilty man a greatly reduced sentence, or years later in this interview when she violated the attorney's code of professional responsibility by making these comments about her client. It’s an insult to those who have been victims and it's an insult to lawyers who actually follow the rule of attorney-client confidentiality, and would never disclose to ANYONE the results of a client’s polygraph and guilt (since that is a violation of attorney-client privilege) let alone bragging to a reporter about getting rape charges dropped from a client they believed to be guilty.

"Historical revisionism" is a generous description of her many "Misspeaks"

“I actually write about Rahm in the book,” Clinton said. “I asked him not to read it before we sat and did our interview! But it was in the very first chapter, the chapter I rightly call ‘Team of Rivals’ because that’s what it was in the beginning. A senator from Illinois ran against a senator from New York just as had happened way back with a senator from Illinois named Lincoln and a senator from New York named Seward. And it turned out the same way.”

Lincoln never was a senator. He lost that election to Stephen A. Douglas after the Lincoln-Douglas debates.


Then we have the dodging sniper fire when landing in Tusla. “I certainly do remember that trip to Bosnia,” she said, in remarks that aides described Monday as not being part of her prepared speech. “I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base.”


Admitted "Misstatements"
• Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.)
• Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.)
• She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A little girl presented her with flowers and read her a poem at the foot of the ramp.)
• She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn't cover the market back then.)

"Historical Revisions" she has never admitted to or corrected

• She didn't know about the FALN pardons.
• She didn't know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.
• Taking the White House gifts was a clerical error.
• She didn't know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.
• She didn't know that the Peter Paul fundraiser in Hollywood in 2000 cost $700,000 more than she reported it had.
• She opposed NAFTA at the time.
• She was instrumental in the Irish peace process.
• She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.
• She played a role in the '90s economic recovery.
• The billing records showed up on their own.
• She thought Bill was innocent when the Monica scandal broke.
• She was always a Yankees fan.
• She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).
• She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).


Now all the HRC supporters may take umbrage at these examples, but these will all be thrown in her face and spread across the net if she is the presidential candidate. Some of her errors are mundane, but many are not, and all are self-serving. With her Harvard law degree and her training and work as a lawyer, she well knows that words matter. Or as another well-trained and experienced lawyer famously said, "It depends on what the meaning of "is" is. Add to this the to-be-expected, painstaking review of why she was fired from the House Judiciary Committee staff investigating Watergate. She could have learned from that experience. Too bad she didn't.


Hall of Famer Chuck Noll dies at 82

Source: ESPN

- Pittsburgh Steelers icon Chuck Noll, the only coach to win four Super Bowls, died at his Pittsburgh-area home Friday night. He was 82. The Allegheny County Medical Examiner said Noll died of natural causes at 9:45 p.m. ET.

Noll went 209-156-1, including the postseason, while coaching the Steelers from 1969-91. The hiring of Noll, a one-time assistant coach to Sid Gillman and Don Shula, set the Steelers on a path to greatness.

He led the team to four Super Bowl titles from 1975-80, and he became every bit as revered in Pittsburgh as stalwarts from those teams such as "Mean" Joe Greene and Franco Harris.

"Chuck Noll is the best thing to happen to the Rooneys since they got on the boat in Ireland," Art Rooney Jr., the oldest son of Steelers founder Art Rooney Sr., said, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.

Read more: http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/11080732/legendary-pitsburgh-steelers-coach-chuck-noll-dies-82

Those were indeed Glory Years here in the Burgh and for the Steelers Nation fans around the globe.
RIP, Coach.
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