Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Hillary the Populist?

Pop quiz: Of the leading Democratic presidential contenders, who's the most populist?

Judging from the speeches they delivered at this week's Take Back America conference--an annual gathering of thousands of progressive activists--it's not Senator Barack Obama, the former community organizer who called for hope-driven political transformation. Nor is it former Senator John Edwards, the onetime corporation-suing trial attorney who pointed out his recent antipoverty work. It's Senator Hillary Clinton.

Her speech was loaded with us-versus-them, I'm-on-your-side, anti-corporate references. Before she took the stage, she was introduced by Ellen Malcolm of EMILY's List (a political action conference that funds Democratic women candidates), and Malcolm exclaimed that Clinton, as a young professional, "instead of joining a big law firm...joined the Children's Defense Fund." (But wasn't she a partner in the Rose Law Firm, a prominent corporate law firm in Arkansas?) "She takes on the power," Malcolm declared.

Clinton told the crowd that many Americans these days "feel invisible." And she feels their invisibility. Families, she said, are working harder for less. Productivity is up 18 percent in recent years, yet the average family income is down. She decried "growing economic inequality" and pointed to the expanding gap between CEO and worker pay. She called for a "new generator of jobs." She demanded that the revolving door between corporate lobbyists and the government be closed. The top 2 percent in America, she complained, control 22 percent of the nation's wealth--the highest concentration of wealth in the United States since 1929. "Enough with corporate welfare and golden parachutes," she nearly shouted. She vowed to stand up for unions.

Most of the news coverage of the speech focused on the moment when she was booed. That came when she was discussing the Iraq war. She promised that she would end the war in Iraq if elected president. "The best way to support our troops is to bring them home," she said. Then Clinton added, "The American military has succeeded; it is the Iraqi government that has failed." That's when the hooting came. A slice of the audience was offended by her blame-the-victim stance. Rather than concede that she had been wrong to vote for the war and then to support it, she was suggesting the real problem was those darn Iraqis who cannot get their act together in the aftermath of a poorly-planned U.S. invasion and occupation. But Clinton was not put off by the jeers. "I love coming here every year," she quipped. "I see the signs [that say] 'Lead us out of Iraq.' That's what I'm trying to do." The booing subsided, and the many HRC fans in the audience cheered her on.

That moment was the money shot of the day. But as--if not more--interesting was Clinton's depiction of herself as the anti-corporate savior of working Americans. "Their needs and their lives....are not invisible to me," she proclaimed. While Obama had tugged at the hearts of the Take Back America crowd and Edwards had pitched a cerebral case (see my posting from yesterday), Clinton had grabbed the audience members by

This sales pitch would ring truer were the Clinton campaign not fueled and staffed by corporate-geared lobbyists and consultants. My Nation colleague Ari Berman recently detailed Clinton's corporate connections in an extensive piece. He wrote:

Her chief strategist, Mark Penn, not only polls for America's biggest companies but also runs one of the world's premier PR agencies. A bevy of current and former Hillary advisers, including her communications guru, Howard Wolfson, are linked to a prominent lobbying and PR firm--the Glover Park Group--that has cozied up to the pharmaceutical industry and Rupert Murdoch. Her fundraiser in chief, Terry McAuliffe, has the priciest Rolodex in Washington, luring high-rolling contributors to Clinton's campaign. Her husband, since leaving the presidency, has made millions giving speeches and counsel to investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. They house, in addition to other Wall Street firms, the Clintons' closest economic advisers, such as Bob Rubin and Roger Altman, whose DC brain trust, the Hamilton Project, is Clinton's economic team in waiting. Even the liberal in her camp, former deputy chief of staff Harold Ickes, has lobbied for the telecom and healthcare industries, including a for-profit nursing home association indicted in Texas for improperly funneling money to disgraced former House majority leader Tom DeLay. "She's got a deeper bench of big money and corporate supporters than her competitors," says Eli Attie, a former speechwriter to Vice President Al Gore. Not only is Hillary more reliant on large donations and corporate money than her Democratic rivals, but advisers in her inner circle are closely affiliated with unionbusters, GOP operatives, conservative media and other Democratic Party antagonists.

I commend the entire article. After reading it, you might want to exclaim, "Populist Hillary, heal thyself."

WHAT MAKES Ds and Rs DIFFERENT? An interesting moment came during House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's address to the Take Back America gang. It was a standard-fare address. She cited her accomplishments as speaker and called on the activists to pressure the Bush administration and Republicans to end the war. Decrying the "tragedy" of Iraq, she noted the loss of 3500 American soldiers there, and the crowd respectfully applauded. And don't forget, she added, the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians who have been killed during the war: "They're all God's children." The audience responded with a standing ovation. Could you see a conservative crowd applauding such a recognition of the full tragedy of Iraq? That's a rhetorical question.

Posted by David Corn at June 20, 2007 03:09 PM


David B. Benson said...

Hillary, a populist?

David Corn, its a good thing I wasn't sipping coffee when I read that. Would have snorted it all over the screen...

capt said...

Mr. David Corn,

Hill would be a bit more believable if she wasn't on the board of directors at Walmart for six years union busting. She might have been a bit more believable if she would do the one thing that Bush has never been able to do: Admit her vote to authorize the war was wrong. It was wrong then and she had a chance to come clean - she (like Bush) cannot.

We need more honesty less union busting - in other words no more DLC.

I wonder can HRC cite her accomplishment in favor of the employees at Walmart? Did she try to help them get healthcare (Her pet issue) or better wages and working conditions? Did she work for keeping jobs in the USA?

In short - when she had the chance to do something for the little people did she just collect her salary and invite the employees and American manufacturing to "go Cheney themselves"?



capt said...

"We are the ruling race of the world. . . . We will not renounce our part in the mission of our race, trustee, under God, of the civilization of the world. . . . He has marked us as his chosen people. . . . He has made us adept in government that we may administer government among savage and senile peoples." : Sen. Alfred Beveridge

"I firmly believe that when any territory outside the present territorial limits of the United States becomes necessary for our defense or essential for our commercial development, we ought to lose no time in acquiring it." : Sen. Orville Platt of Connecticut 1894.

"Between 1898 and 1934, the Marines invaded Cuba 4 times, Nicaragua 5 times, Honduras 7 times, the Dominican Republic 4 times, Haiti twice, Guatemala once, Panama twice, Mexico 3 times and Columbia 4 times," Washington has intervened militarily in foreign countries more than 200 times."

"If the people are not convinced (that the Free World is in mortal danger) it would be impossible for Congress to vote the vast sums now being spent to avert danger. With the support of public opinion, as marshalled by the press, we are off to a good start. It is our Job - yours and mine -- to keep our people convinced that the only way to keep disaster away from our shores is to build up America's might." -- Charles Wilson, Chairman of the Board of General Electric and Truman appointee to head the Office of Defence Mobilization, in a speech to the Newspaper Publishers Association, 1950

The quotes above are from the book, "Addicted To War"


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

"In order to get power and retain it, it is necessary to love power; but love of power is not connected with goodness but with qualities that are the opposite of goodness, such as pride, cunning and cruelty.": Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi - (1828-1910) Russian writer

"A tyrant... is always stirring up some war or other, in order that the people may require a leader.": Plato - (429-347 BC) - Source: The Republic

"Every collectivist revolution rides in on a Trojan horse of 'emergency'. It was the tactic of Lenin, Hitler, and Mussolini. In the collectivist sweep over a dozen minor countries of Europe, it was the cry of men striving to get on horseback. And 'emergency' became the justification of the subsequent steps. This technique of creating emergency is the greatest achievement that demagoguery attains.": Herbert Hoover - (1874-1964), 31st US President

"What experience and history teach is this -- that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it.": Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel - (1770-1831) German philosopher


Thanks ICH Newsletter!

capt said...

Confronting Queen Hillary Clinton

Seems HRC might be a bit touchy about her many years on the board of directors of Walmart.

capt said...

Bin Laden may have helped family flee US

OSAMA bin Laden may have chartered a plane that carried his family members and Saudi nationals out of the US after the September 11, 2001 attacks, the FBI says.

The papers, obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, were made public by Judicial Watch, a Washington-based group that investigates government corruption.

One FBI document referred to a Ryan Air 727 airplane that departed Los Angeles International Airport on September 19, 2001, and was said to have carried Saudi nationals out of the US.

"The plane was chartered either by the Saudi Arabian royal family or Osama bin Laden,'' according to the document, which was among 224 pages posted online.

The flight made stops in Orlando, Florida; Washington, DC; and Boston, Massachusetts and eventually left its passengers in Paris the following day.

In all, the documents detail six flights between September 14 and September 24 that evacuated Saudi nationals and bin Laden family members, Judicial Watch said.

"Incredibly, not a single Saudi national nor any of the bin Laden family members possessed any information of investigative value,'' Judicial Watch said.

"These documents contain numerous errors and inconsistencies which call to question the thoroughness of the FBI's investigation of the Saudi flights.

"For example, on one document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 20 of 23 passengers on the Ryan International Airlines flight ... on another document the FBI claims to have interviewed 15 to 22 passengers on the same flight.''

Asked about the documents' assertion that either bin Laden or the Saudi royals ordered the flight, an FBI spokesman said the information was inaccurate.

"There is no new information here. Osama bin Laden did not charter a flight out of the US,'' FBI special agent Richard Kolko said.

"This is just an inflammatory headline by Judicial Watch to catch people's attention. This was thoroughly investigated by the FBI.''

Mr Kolko pointed to the 9-11 Commission Report, which was the book-length result of an official probe into the attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York and the Pentagon in Washington that killed nearly 3000 people.

"No political intervention was found. And most important, the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals that left on chartered flights. This is all available in the report,'' Kolko said.

On the issue of flights of Saudi nationals leaving the United States, the 9-11 report said: "We found no evidence of political intervention'' to facilitate the departure of Saudi nationals.

The commission also said: "Our own independent review of the Saudi nationals involved confirms that no one with known links to terrorism departed on these flights.''

Meredith Diliberto, an attorney with Judicial Watch, said her group had seen a first version of the documents in 2005, although the FBI had heavily redacted the texts to black out names, including all references to bin Laden.

Nevertheless, unedited footnotes in the texts allowed lawyers to determine that bin Laden's name had been redacted. They pressed the issue in court and in November 2006, the FBI was ordered to re-release the documents.

Ms Diliberto said mention that "either'' bin Laden or Saudi royals had chartered the flight "really threw us for a loop".

"When you combine that with some of the family members not being interviewed, we found it very disturbing.''


*****end of clip*****

Dear Crusader Bunnypants,

How did this happen? Why have we forgotten about Osama? Are you guys still in this together?


capt said...

The FBI's Post-9/11 Helping Hand to Osama bin Laden

Larisa Alexandrovna: New reports suggest Osama bin Laden may have chartered Saudi flight out of U.S. after 9/11.

This post, written by Larisa Alexandrovna, originally appeared on The Huffington Post

According to newly obtained documents - through FOIA - by the Conservative watchdog, Judicial Watch, eight days after September 11, 2001, "A 727 PLANE LEFT LAX, RYAN FLT #441 TO ORLANDO, FL W/ETA (estimated time of arrival) OF 4-5PM. THE PLANE WAS CHARTERED EITHER BY THE SAUDI ARABIAN ROYAL FAMILY OR OSAMA BIN LADEN...THE LA FBI SEARCHED THE PLANE [REDACTED] LUGGAGE, OF WHICH NOTHING UNUSUAL WAS FOUND."

Furthermore, from the Judicial Watch Web site:

"According to the FBI documents, incredibly not a single Saudi national nor any of the bin Laden family members possessed any information of investigative value.

Moreover, the documents contain numerous errors and inconsistencies which call to question the thoroughness of the FBI's investigation of the Saudi flights. For example, on one document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 20 of 23 passengers on the Ryan International Airlines flight (commonly referred to as the "Bin Laden Family Flight"). On another document, the FBI claims to have interviewed 15 of 22 passengers on the same flight.

"Eight days after the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, Osama bin Laden possibly charters a flight to whisk his family out of the country, and it's not worth more than a luggage search and a few brief interviews?" asked Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "Clearly these documents prove the FBI conducted a slapdash investigation of these Saudi flights. We'll never know how many investigative leads were lost due to the FBI's lack of diligence."

But my favorite part of this whole FBI OBL farce is as follows:

"Incredibly, the FBI had previously redacted Osama bin Laden's name from the records in order "to protect privacy interests.""

Can you say fuck you very much?

At least this might finally explain a nagging problem I have had with the FBI's most wanted poster of OBL, which makes no mention of September 11, 2001 among the crimes OBL is wanted for:

"Usama Bin Laden is wanted in connection with the August 7, 1998, bombings of the United States Embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. These attacks killed over 200 people. In addition, Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world."

Who has been fired for these oversights and likely criminal negligence, at best? Anyone? Apparently no one needs to be, seeing as how the US media is busy chasing Paris Hilton in and out of jail. Perhaps the Senate should ask Alberto Gonzales on his next visit to Congress if he may have asked the FBI to back off looking into who authorized these flights, the OBL redaction in the FOIA document, and why the FBI's OBL wanted poster does not appear to be up to date? Did I mention that Judicial Watch is a Conservative watchdog?

While you are holding your breath, you can see the full FOIA files HERE.


*****end of clip*****

So they redacted OBL's name for privacy but they wiretap all of us and read our emails because of terrorists?

Any question who is being played here?


capt said...

World's refugee population increases for first time in 5 years, largely due to Iraq war

GENEVA (AP) The number of people driven from their homes by violence, natural disasters and poverty increased last year for the first time since 2002 and is almost certain to rise further due to deepening conflicts across the world, the U.N. refugee chief said.

``We are very concerned that many conflicts today are not being solved and are becoming worse and worse, resulting in many displacement situations,'' U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said.

In a report released Tuesday, the UNHCR said the number of refugees reached 9.9 million at the end of 2006 a 14 percent increase over the 8.7 million refugees recorded in 2005. It was the highest number since 2002, when there were 10.6 million refugees.

The report said the increase was largely due to the war in Iraq, which by the end of 2006 had forced up to 1.5 million Iraqis to seek refuge in other countries. The report said some 50,000 Iraqis continue to flee the country each month, mostly for Jordan and Syria, which complain that the refugees are exhausting their limited resources.

Tariq Ziad, a former Iraqi civil servant who fled to Jordan after receiving death threats, said he exchanged problems linked to war and violence with the misery of being an illegal alien.

He said he faced the ``constant threat'' of being sent back to Iraq, and struggled to feed his six children because he has had no regular income.

The UNHCR report said the largest group of refugees were the 2.1 million Afghans still living outside their homeland. The Iraqis were second, followed by 686,000 Sudanese, 460,000 Somalis, and about 400,000 apiece from Congo and Burundi.

The refugee total omits the 4.3 million Palestinians living in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza, who are under the auspices of a separate agency, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA. The total number of refugees under both agencies is more than 14 million.

Guterres said Wednesday in Nairobi, Kenya, that the rising number of Sudanese returning to their homes in southern Sudan is a hopeful sign. A 2005 peace deal ended a 21-year civil war between the government and southern rebels, allowing the refugees to head back to the region.

He said a comprehensive peace deal is the key to ending the violence in Sudan's Darfur region, where a separate war between the government and rebels has killed more than 200,000 people and driven 2.5 million from their homes since 2003. He said the peace deal was just as important as plans to send a joint U.N.-African Union force to the region.

``Without a comprehensive peace agreement with all the actors, even a very strong force will not be able to guarantee security for all concerned,'' Guterres said.


*****end of clip*****

If a person has nothing they have nothing to lose. That is where terrorism starts. Turn their humble homes to rubble, turn off the electricity or water, let sewerage run around the piles of garbage in the streets and make certain there are no jobs so the people have no option - leave as a refugee or stay and be a terrorist. What other options do the Iraqis have?


capt said...

Check Out the March of the People

capt said...

The list: Journalists who wrote political checks

And their explanations, from ‘Yikes!’ to ‘They’re all in somebody’s pocket’

The following 144 journalists made campaign contributions from 2004 through the first quarter of 2007, according to Federal Election Commission records studied by


(D) contributed to Democrats or liberal causes.
(R) to Republicans and conservative causes.

Click on "details" next to each name to see the amounts and what the journalists have to say.


*****end of clip*****

It is about integrity and the appearance of impropriety.

Like being honorable or trustworthy and truthful, it seems integrity has fallen by the wayside too.


capt said...

New Thread