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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
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“Did you read it?” the woman screamed.

As for the former Secretary’s famous “wonkishness,” there’s evidence, as Peter Beinart noted in The Atlantic in 2014, that Clinton didn’t even review the NIE report on Iraqi weapons of mass destruction before voting to authorize the war in October 2002.

That is correct. When asked whether she read the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate, she would only state that she 'was briefed' on it. (Old archived thread here.)

From the NYT, May 29, 2007:


But it’s not clear that she was equally diligent when it came to the justifications for the war itself. So far, she has not discussed publicly whether she ever read the complete classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate, the most comprehensive judgment of the intelligence community about Iraq’s W.M.D., which was made available to all 100 senators. The 90-page report was delivered to Congress on Oct. 1, 2002, just 10 days before the Senate vote. An abridged summary was made public by the Bush administration, but it painted a less subtle picture of Iraq’s weapons program than the full classified report. To get a complete picture would require reading the entire document, which, according to a version of the report made public in 2004, contained numerous caveats and dissents on Iraq’s weapons and capacities.

According to Senate aides, because Clinton was not yet on the Armed Services Committee, she did not have anyone working for her with the security clearances needed to read the entire N.I.E. and the other highly classified reports that pertained to Iraq.

She could have done the reading herself. Senators were able to access the N.I.E. at two secure locations in the Capitol complex. Nonetheless, only six senators personally read the report, according to a 2005 television interview with Senator Jay Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia and then the vice chairman of the intelligence panel. Earlier this year, on the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire, Clinton was confronted by a woman who had traveled from New York to ask her if she had read the intelligence report. According to Eloise Harper of ABC News, Clinton responded that she had been briefed on it.

“Did you read it?” the woman screamed.

Clinton replied that she had been briefed, though she did not say by whom.

The question of whether Clinton took the time to read the N.I.E. report is critically important. Indeed, one of Clinton’s Democratic colleagues, Bob Graham, the Florida senator who was then the chairman of the intelligence committee, said he voted against the resolution on the war, in part, because he had read the complete N.I.E. report. Graham said he found that it did not persuade him that Iraq possessed W.M.D. As a result, he listened to Bush’s claims more skeptically. “I was able to apply caveat emptor,” Graham, who has since left the Senate, observed in 2005. He added regretfully, “Most of my colleagues could not.”

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2002, Senate Democrats, including Clinton, held a caucus over lunch on the second floor of the Capitol. There, Graham says he “forcefully” urged his colleagues to read the complete 90-page N.I.E. before casting such a monumental vote.

In critical issue after critical issue, her judgment is not adequate to serve at the level of the presidency.

Obama: I have Wasserman Schultz's back

The Hill, June 3, 2016

(via The Hill)

President Obama reiterated his support for DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz on Friday, saying he has her back.

"I don't know how she does it because she’s everywhere all the time, non-stop, and she’s a mom and a wife, and has been just an incredible supporter of my agenda. She’s taken tough votes when they’re the right thing to do, and she is somebody who I have counted on consistently," Obama said at a DNC fundraiser in Florida Friday, according to a White House release. "She’s had my back. I want to make sure we have her back — Debbie Wasserman Schultz."

Some Democratic lawmakers have openly discussed dropping Wasserman Schultz, saying that she has become too divisive within the party.


The president gave his remarks at a fundraiser where tickets went for between $10,000 and $30,000. It was hosted by Robert Rubenstein.

The punching of progressives and all those who care about free and fair elections seems never to go out of style.

US intelligence officials concerned about briefing Trump, Clinton

Source: The Hill

Some U.S. intelligence officials are worried about providing a routine intelligence briefing to Donald Trump once he becomes the official Republican presidential nominee, according to a report.

Eight senior security officials told Reuters they were concerned that Trump's "shoot from the hip" style could pose national security risks, as they prepare to give him a routine pre-election briefing for presidential nominees.

They also cited his lack of foreign policy experience, and his little known team of foreign policy advisers.


Current and formal officials also expressed concern over briefing Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, according to Reuters.

They cited the scandal over her use of emails when she was secretary of State and her handling of sensitive information. She is currently facing an FBI probe over whether she compromised security and broke laws over her use of a private email server for government work at State.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/defense/282012-us-intelligence-officials-concerned-about-briefing-trump-clinton

Just thrilled with confidence, here.

Where did all of that Foundation money go? Apparently, not to Haiti.

The Clintons’ Haiti Screw-Up, As Told By Hillary’s Emails, Politico, September 2, 2015

Tuesday marked six years since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti, killing an estimated 300,000 people. Tens of thousands of Haitians are still living in tents. Here in New York City, a group of Haitians gathered in front of the Clinton Foundation to protest former President Bill Clinton’s role as head of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. Activist Dahoud Andre was among them.

Dahoud Andre: "Today is the 12th of January 2016, six years after the earthquake. And for us, it was important to be in front of the Clinton Foundation, because Bill Clinton, as head of the IHRC, Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, was responsible for the $6 billion that came into his hands. He had unlimited control of this money. Six years after the earthquake, not much has changed, and as a matter of fact, Haiti is in worse condition than it was in 2010. Only Bill Clinton can tell the world what happened with this money."

Perhaps the FBI will have some information for us soon. We have been very patient, but the window of opportunity for a better direction for this country is closing rapidly.

The Foundation is, indeed, the smoking gun.

As damaging to our national security that her decisions to circumvent secured State Department servers for the entire four years of her tenure have been, it will probably not loosen her hands from the wheels of power as effectively as the hard look at the Foundation's worldwide operation and subsequent public exposure of it.

The Clinton Foundation investigation is where the rubber meets the road.

This also explains why Terry McAuliff is breaking his neck to deny that the new FBI investigation into his campaign donations from Chinese ultra-wealthy donor Wang Wenliang has ANYTHING to do with the Clinton Foundation.

But, it has everything to do with it.

McAuliff has gone from "I'm not sure I've ever met this person" to "I didn't bring the donor in" to I didn't bring him into the Clinton Foundation" to the evidence that McAuliff invited Wenliang to Hillary Clinton's home in 2013 for a fundraiser. Not surprisingly, a donation to the Clinton Foundation followed, weeks later.

The fundraiser was one of at least three interactions between Wang and McAuliffe, according to the businessman’s representative. McAuliffe initially told reporters this week he could not remember ever meeting Wang, though he later clarified that his staff had informed him of several likely meetings. “I did no deals,” McAuliffe said Wednesday in a radio interview. “I would not know the man if he sat in the chair next to me.”

WASHINGTON — (WMAL) Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe now says he probably met with the Chinese businessman whose $120,000 in donations to his 2013 campaign are part of an investigation by the FBI. That’s an about face from Tuesday when McAuliffe said he didn’t think he’d ever met Wang Wenliang.

“I think we probably met one or two occasions. I think, I’m not sure if he came to the inaugural. He may have come to the inaugural,” McAuliffe told reporters Wednesday.

He said Wenliang did come by once with his secretary of agriculture to talk about a deal to buy billions of dollars in Virginia soybeans. McAuliffe said that agreement was made before he took office and denied having done any business with Wenliang himself.

The investigation has also scrutinized McAuliffe’s time serving on the board of the Clinton Global Initiative. McAuliffe is a member of the Clintons’ inner circle and had several donors in common with the foundation.

In 1999, McAuliffe helped the Clintons, who had massive legal debts, purchase their new home in Chappaqua, N.Y., by guaranteeing the mortgage. The move raised ethical questions about the president’s relationship with his deep-pocketed supporters.

Getty Images, via The Hill

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.

Judge orders Obama administration to release new Clinton emails

Source: The Hill

A federal judge has ordered the Obama administration to release new emails connected to Hillary Clinton before Democratic convention in July.

In an order late on Wednesday, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson told the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to hand over to the Republican National Committee (RNC) whatever records it could as part of an RNC’s open records lawsuit on July 11.


The RNC sued the aid agency in March, seeking two sets of communications: those between USAID officials and key former aides at the State Department, as well as those between USAID and private domain names associated with Hillary Clinton, former President Bill Clinton and others including the Clinton Foundation. The effort appeared to be investigating allegations that the former secretary of State’s family foundation had undue influence on USAID.


Before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, USAID has claimed that it has discovered approximately 3,300 pages of records that it might be able to hand over to the Republican Party organization. But roughly 2,600 of those reportedly need to be cleared with the State Department before they can be released.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/281973-new-clinton-emails-due-out-in-days-before-convention

This is not good for her prospects.

"Draining politics of its meaning, too, has its costs."

Yes, that is a great line from the op-ed piece. Bernie Sanders is fighting to restore it.

Another piece I ran across gets into the gritty details even more:


How openly perverse a mockery of democracy is it that a significant portion of Hillary’s convention delegate lead over Sanders – enough to give her the nomination without a contest on the convention floor – derives from the 525 explicitly unelected and so-called superdelegates pledged to her before Sanders even declared his candidacy?

Adding more insult to insult and injury, Hillary plays the timeworn elite Democratic game of fake-progressive and pseudo-populist posing, trying to steal Sanders’ rhetorical thunder on her left while smilingly knifing him in the back.


Why are the Hillary campaign and its allies in the DNC so arrogantly disrespectful towards Sanders and his followers, even as the Senator from Vermont continues to rack up primary victories and come in with more than 40 percent of the vote? Don’t they worry that their contempt will make it more difficult for them to garner votes from Bernie’s millions of followers in the general election? (By some polling estimates, close to a third of Bernie’s backers won’t vote for her). “Unless Clinton is able to convince a large proportion of Sanders supporters to vote for her,” a progressive Democrat writes in the liberal weekly The Nation, “she’s unlikely to win in November.”

The Clintonites are calculating, I think, that identity politics and Trump’s related high negatives will hold the day. They expect The Donald to be so toxic to female, nonwhite, and immigrant voters as to make his victory impossible. They are banking also on lots of crossover votes and funding from Republicans who can’t stand Trump. They are counting on enough Bernie supporters acting in accord with Sanders’ advance promise to deliver his voters to the party’s eventual nominee (Hillary) in the name of blocking the horrible Republican Party (recently described by Noam Chomsky as possibly “the most dangerous organization in human history”) – a promise they expect Sanders to deliver on soon and during the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this summer. And they expect the ugliness they’ve spewed at Sanders and his supporters and the related hostility that many progressive Democrats feel for the Clintons and the DNC to slip down Orwell’s memory hole once the quadrennial extravaganza boils down to either Hillary or Donald (two of the most widely disliked people in the nation and on Earth).

But don’t forget the hate – the sheer unmitigated contempt that elite corporate Democrats from the Clintons on down feel for progressives in the ranks of “their” party, and indeed for anyone who challenges their superior wisdom and right to rule. As Ron Fournier noted in The Atlantic last February, “there has always been a (dark) side of the Clintons. They can’t fathom why anybody would challenge their motives, doubt their veracity, or criticize their policies. The Clintons’ self-conceptions are yoked to their sense of public service and joint commitment to making lives better—and they believe their ends justify their means…If you’re not for them, you’re not just an opponent—you’re beneath contempt.”

(Making lives better? As the economist Robert Pollin noted in the progressive Democratic journal The Nation earlier this year: “Clintonomics was a disaster for most Americans…Under Bill Clinton, Wall Street created a ruinous bubble, while workers lost wages and power… Bill Clinton’s presidency accomplished almost nothing to improve conditions for working people and the poor on a sustained basis. Gestures to the poor and working class were slight and back-handed, while wages for the majority remained below their level of a generation prior. Wealth at the top exploded with the Wall Street bubble. But the stratospheric rise in stock prices and the debt-financed consumption and investment booms produced a mortgaged legacy. The financial unraveling began even as Clinton was basking in praise for his economic stewardship.”)


That toxic, viciously circular, and self-fulfilling game is part of how to we got in current big tangle of a situation wherein the top 1 percent owns more than 90 percent of the nation’s wealth along with most of government and the media while their soulless and cancerous profits system (capitalism) pushes humans and other living things over the edge of economic, military, authoritarian, racist, sexist and (last but not least) ecological catastrophe. “If voting changed anything,” the great American anarchist Emma Goldman once said, “they’d make it illegal.”


'We welcome their hatred.'

The Sanders Revolution is just beginning.

The Sanders-Clinton distinction: Running to do, not to be something

From today's Raleigh News and Observer:


The first reason is obvious. Sanders and Clinton have dramatically different visions of politics.

Sanders is potently ideological. He has pressed the same economically egalitarian agenda for decades. He runs to do something, not to be it. If someone else could trigger a populist revolt as effectively, he’d likely have given way. I doubt he’s “berned” to be president. He has, though, I’m sure, longed to help create a different kind of society. Forever.

Clinton, like her husband and probably most politicians, has had her eye on the levers of power. She’d say she’s pragmatic, she’s effective, she knows how to get things done. This has meant, for decades, that she has been as flexible and shape-shifting as the desert sand.

She’s one of America’s leading globalists, until, reportedly, she’s not. She hawks international pipelines until she’s horrified by them. She votes for war, then declaims for peace. She demands mass incarceration until she’s appalled by it. She’s Wall Street’s best friend until she detests it. She sells the Lincoln bedroom and embraces super PACs, as she commits to strain money out of politics. It’s a different approach.

So different, in fact, that its rejection comprises a core component of the Sanders revolution. The intense loathing of chameleon politics is, perhaps, the main procedural plank of the platform. Clinton and her cadre seemingly believe this to be naïve, unschooled – saying one thing while doing another is, after all, politics. Maybe so, the Sandersistas reply. If it is, it’s like a bath in warm creosote. They want nothing to do with it.


In fact, concern for those at the bottom was standard Democratic fare until … the Clintons. They were triangulating, third way, deregulating, corporatist, New Democrats – famously “ending” big government, crushing welfare, demanding NAFTA, linking the party to a marriage with Wall Street and Hollywood that mirrored Republican economic policy and removed the interests of the bottom third from the American political agenda.

In this sense, Clinton is a more pointed and specific adversary of the Sanders’ movement than even Republicans like Mitt Romney and, now, Donald Trump.


The Clintons, on the other hand, are likely more responsible for the Democratic Party’s modern drift than any other humans. They looked hard at a traditional party commitment to low-income people, concluded it jeopardized their electoral fortunes and determined to abandon it.

It’s understandably nauseating, therefore, for the Sanders folks to be told it is their obligation to make the nomination process easier for Clinton. When that includes lectures about the high ground, it is more than activists ought be asked to bear.

North Carolinians may be in the jaws of GOP governance, but they see clearly what is afoot.

Interesting choice of words by Obama

.....when addressing the whole Clinton email controversy, recently.

"As far as I know."

Those are the same words Hillary Clinton used in March, 2008, when she was asked whether she thought Obama was a Muslim.

“You said you'd take Senator Obama at his word that he's not…a Muslim. You don't believe that he's…,” Kroft said.

“No. No, there is nothing to base that on. As far as I know,” she said.

So when, again, did the birtherism eruption begin?

Just noticing.

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