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Member since: 2002
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That's why, in the long run, I don't think HRC will run.

Both Clintons' primary motivation is personal wealth, allowing them to hang with the rich and famous. We know because of Bill's heart surgery that his health is quite frail. HRC has kept her medical records secret - I for one would like to know what caused the fall (stoke? loss of consciousness? as opposed to "fainting")which resulted in her hospitalization. She has continued to gain weight, despite saying she planned to get in shape after resigning from Secretary of State. I am not dissing her for being what is clinically labeled morbidly obese - simply recognizing that as a fact, along with all the serious health issues accompanying being that heavy in one's late 60's. Bill recognized it - that's what motivated him to serious life style changes and losing major weight.

The only reason the two of them can manage their jet-setting life style is that they travel the world in total, pampered luxury - private jets, at least 5 personal assistants, staying in presidential suites, etc. You know she can afford to have both a personal trainer and dietician - so why isn't she getting "back in shape"? One of my close family members has chronic health problems requiring major medications, and despite the most rigorous dieting, cannot lose weight. Again, where are HRC'shealth records? What medications does she take?

People at the level of the Rothschilds/One Percenters would not lower themselves to be elected "public servants". They know they can buy whatever political influence serves their purposes - elected officials are well dressed servants to the One Percenters. Why would the Clintons want to spend the decade of their seventies in the public fishbowl of the White House, with all the 24/7 stress involved? They already know exactly what that's like. Nope. She'll back out from her faux, undeclared race as soon as she's milked every possible million from the special interests hoping for future political favors resulting from paying her outrageous speaking fees and making contributions to the glitzy family non-profit.

US DOJ drags out Tesoro investigation for 4 years; no criminal charges vs. Big Energy

This is the kind of crap result you'd expect from the Bush Administration. The goddamn faulty equipment was FORTY-TWO YEARS OLD, AND HAD NEVER BEEN INSPECTED FOR THE CORROSION WHICH LED TO THE EXPLOSION KILLING SEVEN WORKERS.


No Criminal Charges In Deadly Tesoro Refinery Explosion
By John Ryan
The U.S. Department of Justice has closed its 4 year criminal investigation into whether environmental and worker safety laws were broken leading up to the fatal Tesoro refinery blast. The result: No one will face criminal charges in connection with the blast, which killed seven Tesoro workers in Anacortes, Washington, in 2010.

A Friday afternoon press release from the Justice Department said its investigation found the evidence “does not reach the exacting bar for criminal prosecution.” The announcement brings to a close the Obama Administration’s response to the deadliest industrial accident in Washington state in 50 years.

The federal Chemical Safety Board wrapped up its investigation in April. That inquiry found Tesoro was complacent about safety, routinely putting workers in dangerous situations next to leaky, poorly maintained equipment

“Tesoro got off easy,” said Gordon Janz of Anacortes. His brother, Lew Janz, was one of seven Tesoro employees killed by an exploding heat exchanger. It had never been inspected for the type of corrosion that led to the explosion, according to the Chemical Safety Board report. “They simply didn't want to spend the money to do what they needed to do,” Gordon Janz said of Tesoro management. “That heat exchanger was installed the same year Lew and I moved here with our parents, back in ’72. The only way these things are going to change is if people in those jobs, who are in charge of those inspections and what not, are held criminally responsible for not doing their jobs,” he said.

Wall St./Koch Bros. would not let her choose someone like Clark for VP

Given the amount of HRC's personal income and campaign funding coming from Big Money interests; that she has not released her medical records in general, let alone regarding her fall/concussion; and that she would be 69 on taking office - her funders would want a solid insurance policy of having a neocon Blue Dog on the ticket as VP.

I increasingly think she will not run, but is simply milking corporate expectations of quid pro quos from her in the Oval Office, to get every penny she can during this "waiting-to-declare" game she plays. From her physical appearance, i.e., weight gain - she lacks either the physical ability or good sense to spend some of her millions on hiring a personal trainer and dietician to "get back in shape" (which she announced she planned to do after retiring as Secretary of State). Her husband's health is even more precarious. She is well aware of the 24/7 stress and pressure of holding the office of President.

Then consider how important increasing their personal wealth and hanging around with powerful members of the One Percent has been to both Clintons since Bill left office. They are quite aware that One Percenters look down on politicians as people whose services you buy - basically well-dressed servants. One percenters well understand that if they want to control policies and influence world affairs, they do it with their checkbooks. Why would either Clinton want to spend their 70's in the White House, with all the public scrutiny entailed, when they could be living the high life with those the Clintons most admire?

On the other hand, as long as HRC delays officially becoming a candidate, the Clintons' tax returns remain secret; the salaries and five star perks they award themselves and their daughter from the "non-profit" Clinton Foundation remain secret, and Big Money keeps paying her outrageous speaking fees. And although she claims some of her speaking fees are turned over to the Clinton Foundation, no proof of that has been provided to organizations monitoring charitable organizations. The day she states she will not run, those speaking fees will drop like a stone, as will fat contributions to the Clinton Foundation from parties interested in quid pro quos if HRC became president. And her latest, preposterous excuse for not declaring? "I want to try on being a grandmother first." Way to set the women's movement back about a century, Hillary! This from a woman who ridiculed staying home to bake cookies! I'm hoping my fellow Dems will nominate the likes of Elizabeth Warren or Maryland governor Martin O'Malley.

HRC: "fog of war"blah, blah "anguish"blah blah "difficult to sort through to the truth".

Oh, oh! I detect some anguish in this thread! And posters blaming this man's mental condition on serving as a US soldier in Afghanistan! You must keep in mind that militarist, militant, war hawk HRC has spun this for you once, and she has better things to do ($200,000 speeches to Goldman-Sachs, sucking up to Bibi, trashing Obama) than repeating the official line to you whiners! I'll include it for you once again, but let this put an end to it! The interpretation of the "facts" by She Who Must Be Elected is the only truth you need. Don't you go trying to sort reality out for yourself! Print it out, memorize it, and we'll have no more criticism of the US mission of endless war. Just shut up and enlist! (channeling the spirits of Bob gone-but-not-forgotten Boudelang and Rumpole of the Bailey)

“It’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war," Clinton said. "Some reports say, maybe it wasn’t the exact U.N. school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets. And I do think oftentimes that the anguish you are privy to because of the coverage, and the women and the children and all the rest of that, makes it very difficult to sort through to get to the truth.


(If someone is challenged at recognizing sarcasm, yes I am being sarcastic.)

On edit: Rest in peace, soldier. Your life was too short and completely fucked over by the country you strove to serve.

HRC:"natural proclivity for hawkishness in foreign affiars"+"political opportunism"

Excellent article/analysis of HRC's "slow moving but accelerating break with Obama."

Look, I'd like to see a woman in the White House, but not at the cost to our country and the rest of the world of installing an extreme war hawk. I offer these three comments which followed the Nation article, which present an interesting and civil debate on how to convince HRC's supporters that the US can't afford electing anyone, male or female who would be a hawk in the Oval Office.

George Hoffman
Hilllary's a very slick and savvy politician with her eyes on the prize, the White House, and she picked the perfect public venue to bolster her street creed as a war hawk at the perfect publication, The Atlantic. It is a bastion of fellow war hawks such as Jeffrey Goldberg, David Frum, who coined the infamous phrase "The Axis of Evil" for his boss, George W. Bush, and Peter Beinart, former executive editor at The New Republic, a "liberal hawk," who endorsed Bush's Iraq War resolution during his tenure there at the publication. But she's really a cynical and duplicitous war hawk. That's where the big-money campaign contributors are and the hardcore voters are among the war hawks on both parties she wants so desperately to attract in her second run for the presidency. Her operative word is expediency. I wonder if she really believes anything once you scrap off that patina of feminist rhetoric that has conned the Hillary groupies. .

antym George Hoffman • 14 hours ago
I so agree with you, George. The "Hillary groupies" are just amazing: seemingly intelligent middle-aged Democratic women who lose all objectivity when it comes to Hillary. No matter how excruciatingly evident her lack of honesty, ethics, and morals, they adore her. No matter how obvious her allegiance to the 1% and militaristic views, they adore her. In public venues, they always seem just one breath away from (shouting) "Hill-ar-y!" It's as if she were the fifth Beatle.

David L. Allison antym • 13 hours ago

Wait, antym: Attacking those who support Hillary is the stuff of the right wing trolls. Instead, I encourage you to inform them, to be positive with them and continue explaining to them and to the rest of us who fear the crazies of the right wing as much as we fear the neo-liberals like Hillary.

Many women see Hillary as the final break in the US "glass ceiling" where they can see but cannot reach the top, just because they are women. These are voters, who like me, want a woman President. They are not wrong or bad for wanting that and seeing Hillary as their chance to see a Democratic woman as President in their lifetime. And it is not just middle-aged but women of all ages in both parties who are supporting her just as it is not all old white men who are supporting the radical right wing.

Explain why these voters should prefer someone other than Hillary rather than bashing the voters who support her. We have to all pull together to find real and honest alternatives within the Democratic Wing of the Democratic party and to promote them for their policies and principles. Otherwise we run the risk of young activists and old pacifists having to make a choice among likely winners Hillary, or Rand Paul or likely losers like third party candidates.

Democratic wing voters have a deeper bench than ever among the governors and senators and a few outside of current politics. Let us look and decide who we want to support and then work hard to elect one of them.

Big News! UK govt. to block arms exports to Israel if military action resumes

The British government will suspend some of its arms exports to Israel if hostilities resume in Gaza due to concerns that the British-made products could be used by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).

The business department said a review of UK exports to Israel had identified the 12 licences for "components which could be part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza". They include equipment for military radar, combat aircraft and tanks.

Vince Cable, the business secretary, said: "We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza and hope that it will lead to a peaceful resolution. However, the UK government has not been able to clarify if the export licence criteria are being met. In light of that uncertainty we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licences in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.

"No new licences of military equipment have been issued for use by the Israeli Defence Forces during the review period, and as a precautionary measure this approach will continue until hostilities cease."

What next? Will Bibi have his BFF, Hillary, give the Brits a stern talking-to?

Neither. She MAY know her health will preclude her, & MAY want to rake in as much $$$ as possible

without declaring she is a candidate. As long as HRC is not an official candidate, her income from these speeches and her use of the fees does not have to be declared in the financial disclosure reports that are required of candidates. (And since the Clintons' personal income tax returns are not public knowledge, we have no idea what salaries and benefits they receive from their foundation, but which ultimately originate with these huge "donations".) Please note that I use the qualifier "MAY". I could be totally wrong; she could be bound and determined to run again, and she is simply delaying declaring her candidacy so she can hide the identities of the individuals and corporate/business interests who have paid her off with millions and millions of dollars, in the expectation of substantial consideration from her in the Oval Office.

These $$$ can be in the form of speaking fees or book income to her as an individual, or donations to the Clinton Foundation. Please note that if she is paid $$$ for speaking engagements and then "donates" it back to the Foundation (although she has provided no documentation to back up this claim), which pays the Clintons' salaries and for 5 star accommodations (hotel/private jet/first class airfare/5 star restaurants, etc. whenever and wherever they travel, as long as it involves Clinton foundation activities - which the 3 Clintons totally control, she gets a very substantial personal income tax deduction.

What I am saying is that if she has decided not to run, basically because of her age, energy level, poor health, her husband's fragile health or some combination thereof - it is in her financial interest to delay revealing this decision as long as possible, to prolong charging the exorbitantly high fees she is receiving for speaking, as well as to encourage wealthy individuals and business interests to make large donations to the Clinton foundations, all in anticipation of quid pro quos should she become president.

The only reason I have seen reported that she gives for not announcing her candidacy is that whether she runs depends upon her health. Does anyone have any other explanation she has given? The "health" reason has reinforced my belief that she may be lining up her ducks for NOT running. I can just hear her: "As I said all along, my health would be the determining factor." And meanwhile, one expects that her super PAC is raising money, as well. I gave a link in my other response detailing that candidates keep their PAC money should they not run. Bottom line: the Clintons have shown themselves to be all about increasing their personal wealth, and the wealth of the family foundation they completely control. They are both brilliant, and they've hung around with the One Percenters long enough to understand that with money comes power, and if you have enough money, you don't have to "lower yourself" and make yourself available to public scrutiny by being a politician. You can buy and control all the politicians you need. We don't see Bill Gates running for the Senate, do we?

Whether she runs or not, here is an interesting article about the lack of transparency about the millions and millions she and Bill have raked in and continue to rake in. It is from the Nonprofit Quarterly, July 11, 2014.

The Philanthropic Problem with Hillary Clinton’s Huge Speaking Fees

Written by Rick Cohen
Created on Friday, 11 July 2014 14:16


Because the foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity, however, it is not required to reveal the names of its donors and the amount they are giving the Clinton Foundation. For Hillary Clinton to fulfill her pledge of transparency, the foundation would have to take a step that it is typically not required to do. In light of the political backdrop of the Clinton Foundation, this additional voluntary transparency is very important. ]Disclosure of donations to charities and foundations controlled by powerful political figures should be done as a matter of course, whether they are the Clintons’ speaking fees or the six- and seven-figure contributions of corporate and other donors who might have expectations of something in the future.

One issue may be the ultimate sources of the payments for the Clinton speaking fees, who might be anticipating a good word, a positive reaction, or a business-world endorsement from the most powerful political couple in the nation. But there is another issue: These donations to Hillary Clinton’s income that are then transferred to her family foundation are not simply private contributions. In many cases, and particularly the most recent, these mammoth speaking fees are not from individual (or corporate) charitable donors, but from universities. Hillary Clinton defended the dynamic:

“I have been very excited to speak to many universities during the last year and a half, and all of the fees have been donated to the Clinton Foundation for it to continue its life-changing and lifesaving work,” Clinton told ABC. “So it goes from a Foundation at a university to another foundation.”

In other words, through her speeches, Hillary Clinton is in a way “repurposing” the donations others are making—or taxpayers are making—to these colleges and universities. The universities, like UNLV, take pains to suggest that, according to Michael Wixom, a member of the Nevada Board of Regents, “no student funds, no tuition funds, no state dollars are being used in any way to pay her fee,” but that only works in cases like UNLV’s where the venue is a fundraiser at which moneyed interests pay big sums, partially tax-deductible, for the honor of hearing Clinton’s speech. In other instances, the universities point to privately funded endowments or trusts that pay for Clinton and perhaps other speakers as well—or in many cases, they don’t even reveal how much they are paying or where the money for the speaking fees comes from.

Nonetheless, the optics aren’t good. Money is largely fungible. Students and their parents are hard-pressed by tuition increases—a four-year increase of 17 percent in the Nevada higher education system, a 6.5 percent increase announced this year for the University of Connecticut, the imposition of “student success fees” at many University of California system campuses as substitutes for formal tuition increases—making the Clintons’ speaking fees look problematic. Universities have squirmed under Congressional scrutiny but largely left unchanged such policies as amazingly high salaries for university presidents (41 of whom had compensation packages of more than $1 million as of 2011) and very low spending rates despite huge growth in their endowments in many cases, an issue constantly raised by Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa, pressing universities, much like foundations, to spend more from their endowments.

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation may be doing extraordinarily wonderful things for communities around the world, but additional transparency is needed, especially now that Hillary Clinton is just about guaranteed the Democratic nod for the presidency; her speaking fees from nonprofit and public universities raise questions about what the universities (or some of their well-healed donors) might want from the Clintons.

I agree - this is her major play for $$$ from American Israeli-sympathizers.

Speaking as someone who: is just a couple of years older than HRC; who has NOT had the major health problems she has had; who is in better physical condition, at least as far as health being a function of maintaining healthy weight; and who worked the last ten years before retirement in the heart of the political process at a state legislature and therefore has observed in person the 24/7 stress for top elected officials - this is what I think is a very real possibility.

HRC, along with her husband and daughter, are commanding very top dollars both for their speaking gigs, as well as soliciting hefty contributions to their gold-plated family corporation - oh, I mean non-profit "charity" - only as long as the world perceives HRC as having a shot at occupying the oval office. Those top dollar Quids will come to a screeching halt without the prospect of Quos from a US President.

So IF she pragmatically admits to herself that her age, health history and overall poor physical condition (as well as her cherished husband's very poor physical condition) mean that another 4 year stint in the White House could be more than either or both of them could handle, what would she do? Would she announce it immediately following her fall/concussion/blood clot? That would be the right thing if she cared about the Democratic party having time to come up with a strong candidate. That would be the right thing to do if she didn't want to siphon off available political donations from the eventual candidate. Or would she drag out as long as possible announcing she would not run, thereby socking away millions more in the Clinton coffers.

Certainly be interesting to see how this all plays out, both on DU and in the world at large.

Oh, and FYI, politicians who leave office/retire/whatever can hang on to all those campaign contributions/war chests for a variety of uses. Here's an article from 2010 on that topic:

Senators and House Members Can Keep Campaign Funds When They Retire.
Between these two sources of money, authorized campaign committee funds and leadership PACs, and considering that there are very minor restrictions, I would say that any retiring lawmaker with even an ounce of common sense can do just about anything they want with the unspent money," said Meredith McGehee, policy director at the Campaign Legal Center in Washington

HRC trashes Hamas, Obama, the U.N. & anyone anguished over dead women & kids.

It’s impossible to know what happens in the fog of war," Clinton said. "Some reports say, maybe it wasn’t the exact U.N. school that was bombed, but it was the annex to the school next door where they were firing the rockets. And I do think oftentimes that the anguish you are privy to because of the coverage, and the women and the children and all the rest of that, makes it very difficult to sort through to get to the truth.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Hamas initiated this conflict," she added. "So the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made.”

Clinton was asked about President Obama's recently-coined slogan (“Don’t do stupid s---") to describe his administration's foreign-policy doctrine. “Great nations need organizing principles," Clinton replied, "and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”

HRC is surely on a rampage. In addition to trashing Obama's foreign policy (now, remind me, WHO was his Secretary of State?), she dismisses the United Nations' protests about bombing civilians in pre-identified shelters because it's "impossible to know what happens" "in the fog of war". Would that be the same bogus "fog of war" wherein she claimed she had to duck and run for cover under sniper fire at a Bosnia airport? The difference being she was never shot at, but hundreds of children were blown to bits in their sleep. You know the Clintons : It depends on what your definiton of "is" is, or in this case your definition of "fog of war".

And she trashes those of us who, because we feel anguish at the coverage of the plight of "women and children and all the rest of that" - well we softies are unable to sort through to get the truth. Interesting turn of phrase "all the rest of that", which is meant to cover the vast destruction of whole blocks of residences, destruction of the infrastructure, bombing of hospitals, and all the other facts documented by news coverage.

But to me her most offensive comment was that there is "no doubt in her mind that Hamas initiated this conflict". Let us consider the opinion of one of the world's leading and most respected and most quoted intellectuals, MIT professor emeritus, Noam Chomsky. And I remind you that he is an American of Askenazi Jewish family heritage. Even HRC would not dare state that this brilliant man lets concern for "women and children and all the rest of that" keep him from sorting through to the truth. Or perhaps she would.

"A Hideous Atrocity": Noam Chomsky on Israel’s Assault on Gaza & U.S. Support for the Occupation
download: Video Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
Noam Chomsky: Israel’s Actions in Palestine are "Much Worse Than Apartheid" in South Africa

Hideous. Sadistic. Vicious. Murderous. That is how Noam Chomsky describes Israel’s 29-day offensive in Gaza that killed nearly 1,900 people and left almost 10,000 people injured. Chomsky has written extensively about the Israel/Palestine conflict for decades. After Israel’s Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009, Chomsky co-authored the book "Gaza in Crisis: Reflections on Israel’s War Against the Palestinians" with Israeli scholar Ilan Pappé. His other books on the Israel/Palestine conflict include "Peace in the Middle East?: Reflections on Justice and Nationhood" and "The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians." Chomsky is a world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, Institute Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has taught for more than 50 years.

(In reply to Amy Goodman's request that he comment on the current Israeli assault on Gaza.)

NOAM CHOMSKY: It’s a hideous atrocity, sadistic, vicious, murderous, totally without any credible pretext. It’s another one of the periodic Israeli exercises in what they delicately call "mowing the lawn." That means shooting fish in the pond, to make sure that the animals stay quiet in the cage that you’ve constructed for them, after which you go to a period of what’s called "ceasefire," which means that Hamas observes the ceasefire, as Israel concedes, while Israel continues to violate it. Then it’s broken by an Israeli escalation, Hamas reaction. Then you have period of "mowing the lawn." This one is, in many ways, more sadistic and vicious even than the earlier ones.

(Next, co-host, Juan Gonzalez asked Chomsky to comment on the pretext Israel used to launch its attacks, and to comment if Chomsky felt it had ANY validity.)

NOAM CHOMSKY: As high Israeli officials concede, Hamas had observed the previous ceasefire for 19 months. The previous episode of "mowing the lawn" was in November 2012. There was a ceasefire. The ceasefire terms were that Hamas would not fire rockets—what they call rockets—and Israel would move to end the blockade and stop attacking what they call militants in Gaza. Hamas lived up to it. Israel concedes that.

In April of this year, an event took place which horrified the Israeli government: A unity agreement was formed between Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and Fatah. Israel has been desperately trying to prevent that for a long time. There’s a background we could talk about, but it’s important. Anyhow, the unity agreement came. Israel was furious. They got even more upset when the U.S. more or less endorsed it, which is a big blow to them. They launched a rampage in the West Bank.

What was used as a pretext was the brutal murder of three settler teenagers. There was a pretense that they were alive, though they knew they were dead. That allowed a huge—and, of course, they blamed it right away on Hamas. They have yet to produce a particle of evidence, and in fact their own highest leading authorities pointed out right away that the killers were probably from a kind of a rogue clan in Hebron, the Qawasmeh clan, which turns out apparently to be true. They’ve been a thorn in the sides of Hamas for years. They don’t follow their orders. But anyway, that gave the opportunity for a rampage in the West Bank, arresting hundreds of people, re-arresting many who had been released, mostly targeted on Hamas. Killings increased. Finally, there was a Hamas response: the so-called rocket attacks. And that gave the opportunity for "mowing the lawn" again.


I urge you all to read the entire interview. Chomsky does not leave the Israeli apologists for the Palestinian holocaust a scintilla of a justification for Israeli's actions.

POWERFUL SPEECH. Will make the Israeli apologists furious.

The Irish Senate was called back into special session to address the current I/P bloodbath and particularly Ireland's abstaining from voting on a UN resolution. Specifically, The UN Human Rights Council voted to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate violations of human rights and it also condemned Israel for potential infractions of international law. Ireland abstained from this vote, which abstention went against the majority of Irish public opinion.

There is a brief shot at about 2'43" into the video of the Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Charlie Flanagan, sitting in the "hot seat" in the front of the Senate chamber. That is the person she's addressing. One of the great beauties of the Irish Senate, and one I had the privilege to personally observe at a different emergency closed session, is that the relevant Cabinet Minister for the topic under discussion, is required to sit in the front while any Senator who wishes to can address him directly, and basically, ream him a new one.

It's a beautiful sight to see. Imagine if we did that in our Senate. Imagine if then Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld were to be publicly, personally, in-his-face, excoriated by senator after senator for Abu Ghraib and the his role in the US war on Iraq & involvement in Afghanistan - broadcast live.

As John Lennon said, imagine.
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