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Friday, February 12, 2016

Gail Collins, "Republicans, Widows and Porn": Sisters in Arms



"There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!"

- Madeleine Albright, speaking on behalf of Hillary Clinton's candidacy

Yesterday I observed that The Washington Post, MSNBC, CNN, Yahoo News, Bloomberg and UPI had all published articles concerning the State Department subpoena served on the Clinton Foundation, but The New York Times decided to ignore the matter entirely. I asked whether the Times is still a newspaper or if it has become a highly politicized, self-serving propaganda machine. Well, maybe I was too harsh on the Times. After all, during the PBS "NewsHour" Democratic debate on Thursday, Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff remarkably failed to ask Hillary a single question about the subpoena.

I supposed that it should come as no surprise that in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Republicans, Widows and Porn," Gail Collins also fails today to mention the subpoena. Instead she reserves most of her criticism for Ted Cruz ("The run-up to this weekend’s Republican debate was greatly enlivened by the news that Amy Lindsay, an alum of 'Animal Lust' and 'Whose Thong Is It Anyway?,' was starring in a Cruz campaign ad") and Donald Trump ("it might provide the opportunity for someone to recall that the widow in question once referred to the man who is now the leading Republican presidential candidate as 'a maggot, a cockroach and a crumb'").

So what is more important? The pulling of a Cruz advertisement or service of a subpoena upon the Clinton Foundation? We obviously know what's more important for Gail.

But don't worry, Gail! You've got good company! In a guest Times op-ed entitled "My Undiplomatic Moment," Madeleine Albright attempts to explain away her "special place in hell" comment supporting Hillary's candidacy. Albright writes:

"However, I do want to explain why I so firmly believe that, even today, women have an obligation to help one another. In a society where women often feel pressured to tear one another down, our saving grace lies in our willingness to lift one another up. And while young women may not want to hear anything more from this aging feminist, I feel it is important to speak to women coming of age at a time when a viable female presidential candidate, once inconceivable, is a reality."

Hillary is a "viable" candidate? Sorry, Madeleine, but the State Department subpoena (you remember the State Department, don't you, Maddy?) served on the Clinton Foundation did away with that viability. As Chris Cillizza wrote in a Washington Post article entitled "Hillary Clinton’s week just went from bad to worse":

"There is, without question, a desire on the part of many Republicans to cast Clinton in the worst possible light using almost any means necessary. But it strains credulity to believe that Republicans somehow concocted a way to get the State Department and the FBI to look into Clinton's tenure at State."

Hillary's candidacy will unravel when the FBI makes its recommendations. She would be doing the United States, the Democratic Party and women a favor by ending her presidential bid now and not later, unless it is her intention to demonstrate conclusively that female politicians are just as despicable as male politicians.

David Brooks, "Livin’ Bernie Sanders’s Danish Dream"; Paul Krugman, "On Economic Stupidity": The Times Ceases to Be a Newspaper?



Let's play a game: Do a Google search using the words "state department," "subpoena," "Clinton Foundation" and "New York Times." What do you see? I see links to Washington Post (a "top story" on the home page), MSNBC, CNN, Yahoo News, Bloomberg and UPI articles concerning the State Department subpoena served on the Clinton Foundation, but nothing from The New York Times. I also did a search using Yahoo: Again, no sign of the Times.

The significance of the subpoena? Chris Cillizza writes in a Washington Post article entitled "Hillary Clinton’s week just went from bad to worse":

"There is, without question, a desire on the part of many Republicans to cast Clinton in the worst possible light using almost any means necessary. But it strains credulity to believe that Republicans somehow concocted a way to get the State Department and the FBI to look into Clinton's tenure at State."

Indeed, something is rotten in the State of Clinton. But more to the point, is the Times ("All the News That's Fit to Print") a newspaper or has it become a highly politicized, self-serving propaganda machine?

Meanwhile, in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Livin’ Bernie Sanders’s Danish Dream," David Brooks takes aim at the socialist from Vermont:

"American values have always been biased toward individualism, achievement and flexibility — nurturing disruptive dynamos like Bell Labs, Walmart, Whole Foods, Google and Apple — and less toward dirigisme, order and economic equality.

It’s amazing that a large part of the millennial generation has rejected this consensus. In supporting Bernie Sanders they are not just supporting a guy who is mad at Wall Street. They are supporting a guy who fundamentally wants to reshape the American economic system, and thus reshape American culture and values."

Okay, I'm no fan of Bernie Sanders, but it's Hillary Clinton who held herself above the law and who would reshape the American criminal justice system. (Why should she deign to use a secure State Department email address for official business?) Needless to say, no mention of service of the State Department subpoena on the Clinton Foundation in Brooks's opinion piece.

David's colleague, Paul Krugman, writing today in a Times op-ed entitled "On Economic Stupidity" also lashes out at Sanders:

"On the Democratic side, both contenders talk sensibly about macroeconomic policy, with Mr. Sanders rightly declaring that the recent rate hike was a bad move. But Mr. Sanders has also attacked the Federal Reserve in a way Mrs. Clinton has not — and that difference illustrates in miniature both the reasons for his appeal and the reasons to be very worried about his approach."

Krugman, who sang paeans to Occupy Wall Street, is telling us that we should be "very worried" by Sander's approach? Fascinating.

More to the point, Krugman also fails to mention the subpoena served upon the Clinton Foundation. You see, Hillary, having received the Times's endorsement, is now a sacred cow and appears to be immune from criticism. If the FBI recommends indicting Hillary and her aides, I can only wonder if the Times will choose to cover that story.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Gail Collins, "Hillary, Bernie and History": Women Can Be Just As Rotten as Men?



Yesterday, in the aftermath of comments from Madeleine Albright ("There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other!") and Gloria Steinem ("When you’re young, you’re thinking: 'Where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie,'"), Ruth Marcus declared in a Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Hillary Clinton needs to figure out how to talk to women — and fast":

"Feminism doesn’t mean imposing a moral obligation on women to vote a certain way. It means trusting them, not demeaning them, when they choose the candidate they like best, male or female. Even if their mothers disagree."

Marcus's opinion piece followed on the heels of Frank Bruni's New York Times op-ed entitled "Feminism, Hell and Hillary Clinton":

"Clinton’s gender indeed matters. Just as you couldn’t properly evaluate Obama’s arc without factoring in race, you can’t see her accurately without recognizing that she’s a woman of her time, with all the attendant obstacles, hurts, compromises and tenacity.

That informs — and, ideally, illuminates — her perspective. And her presidency would carry a powerful, constructive symbolism that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.

But those are considerations among many, many others in taking her measure and in casting a vote. To focus only or primarily on them is more reductive than respectful, and to tell women in particular what kind of politics they should practice is the antithesis of feminism, which advocates independence and choices."

Well said, Frank.

Gail Collins's "contribution" to the debate over Albright's and Steinem's remarks? In her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Hillary, Bernie and History," Collins concludes (my emphasis in red):

"It took almost 40 more years before a woman won a major presidential primary. That was, of course, Clinton in 2008 in New Hampshire. She didn’t win the election, but she was so credible, and finished so strong, that the nation came away believing a woman in the White House was a completely normal idea.

If the younger voters who are flocking to Bernie Sanders don’t share their elders’ intense feelings about needing to elect a woman president right now, it’s partly because Hillary Clinton helped create a different world. So no matter what comes next, everybody’s a winner."

Hillary "helped create a different world"? Yeah, right. No mention by Collins of the acceptance by the Clinton Foundation of millions of dollars in donations from Saudi Arabia, a country which whips and imprisons gang rape victims.

And no mention by Collins of Hillary's tweet on November 22, 2015:

"Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported."

Which was followed by Juanita Broaddrick's tweet on January 6, 2016:

"I was 35 years old when Bill Clinton, Ark. Attorney General raped me and Hillary tried to silence me. I am now 73....it never goes away."

In addition, there's the small matter of Hillary's honesty as perceived by the American electorate. As reported by Chris Cillizza in Washington Post article entitled "Hillary Clinton has a major honesty problem after New Hampshire":

"Hillary Clinton has an honesty problem.

That point is driven home hard in the exit poll following Clinton's 22-point drubbing at the hands of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. More than one in three (34 percent) of all New Hampshire Democratic primary voters said that honesty was the most important trait in their decision on which candidate to support. Of that bloc, Sanders won 92 percent of their votes as compared to just 6 percent for Clinton."

Bottom line, Hillary Clinton has proven that female politicians can be just as despicable as male politicians. Collins writes:

"Strong as the emotions are in the Clinton and Sanders camps, both sides have to feel sort of chipper when they look over at the Republicans, who are engaged in something between professional wrestling and Godzilla Versus Rodan."

In fact, the real battle between Godzilla and Rodan will arrive if Hillary is nominated by the Democrats and runs against Trump in November. And in this case, no matter what comes next, everybody’s a ... loser.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Frank Bruni, "Feminism, Hell and Hillary Clinton": Will Anyone Ever Again Pay Her $500,000 to Speak? No Way in Hell!



Following Hillary's New Hampshire primary debacle, Frank Bruni writes in a New York Times op-ed entitled "Feminism, Hell and Hillary Clinton":

"Clinton’s gender indeed matters. Just as you couldn’t properly evaluate Obama’s arc without factoring in race, you can’t see her accurately without recognizing that she’s a woman of her time, with all the attendant obstacles, hurts, compromises and tenacity.

That informs — and, ideally, illuminates — her perspective. And her presidency would carry a powerful, constructive symbolism that can’t and shouldn’t be ignored.

But those are considerations among many, many others in taking her measure and in casting a vote. To focus only or primarily on them is more reductive than respectful, and to tell women in particular what kind of politics they should practice is the antithesis of feminism, which advocates independence and choices."

Thank you, Frank!

Hillary is toast. Will anyone ever again pay Hillary $500,000 for a speech? No way in hell.

The real loser in New Hampshire? Anyone who ever paid money to the Clinton Foundation, hoping to gain influence over or access to the next president. Sorry, boys and girls, a bad bet. Your horse just came up lame.

Joe, opportunity is knocking.

David Brooks, "I Miss Barack Obama": I Don't



In an editorial entitled "North Korea’s rocket launch shows that Mr. Obama’s ‘strategic patience’ has failed," The Washington Post responds to North Korea's recent launch of a long-range rocket by observing:

"The three-stage rocket launched Sunday, which supposedly put a satellite into Earth’s orbit, could also serve as an intercontinental missile. If North Korea has succeeded, as it claims it has, in miniaturizing a nuclear warhead, Mr. Kim could target Hawaii and Alaska, or perhaps even the western U.S. mainland. The threat is not imminent — and yet it is likely to become so if the United States does not devise a more effective strategy for containing and deterring the Kim regime.

President Obama’s policy since 2009, 'strategic patience,' has failed. The policy has mostly consisted of ignoring North Korea while mildly cajoling China to pressure the regime. As the supplier of most of the isolated country’s energy and food, Beijing has enormous leverage. But Chinese President Xi Jinping appears even more committed than his predecessors to the doctrine that it is preferable to tolerate the Kim regime — and its nuclear proliferation — than do anything that might destabilize it."

WaPo's conclusion: "'Strategic patience' is no longer a viable option."

North Korea is Obama's only overseas failure? What about Iran, which promptly engaged in ballistic missile tests in violation of UN Security Council resolutions subsequent to entering into the unsigned nuclear agreement with Obama and friends. The agreement unfroze more than $100 billion of Iranian assets, which, according to even John Kerry, will be used to finance terrorism.

And then there's also the Syrian mess. Remarkably, Roger Cohen, who supported the nuclear deal with Iran, did not mince his words when lambasting Obama's inaction in a New York Times op-ed entitled "America’s Syrian Shame,":

"Obama’s Syrian agonizing, his constant what-ifs and recurrent 'what then?' have also lead to the slaughter in Paris and San Bernardino. They have contributed to a potential unraveling of the core of the European Union as internal borders eliminated on a free continent are re-established as a response to an unrelenting refugee tide — to which the United States has responded by taking in around 2,500 Syrians since 2012, or about 0.06 percent of the total."

All of which brings me to David Brooks's Times op-ed of today's date entitled "I Miss Barack Obama." Brooks concludes:

"No, Obama has not been temperamentally perfect. Too often he’s been disdainful, aloof, resentful and insular. But there is a tone of ugliness creeping across the world, as democracies retreat, as tribalism mounts, as suspiciousness and authoritarianism take center stage.

Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I’m beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him."

"[D]isdainful, aloof, resentful and insular"? Sounds to me like a narcissistic personality disorder.

Integrity and humanity? Pardon my French: Horseshit!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Paul Krugman, "The Time-Loop Party": Hillary Clinton Good, Marco Rubio Bad



In a New York Times op-ed entitled "The Time-Loop Party," Paul Krugman savages Marco Rubio's performance during Saturday's GOP debate:

"Mr. Rubio’s inability to do anything besides repeat canned talking points was startling. Worse, it was funny, which means that it has gone viral. And it reinforced the narrative that he is nothing but an empty suit. But really, isn’t everyone in his party doing pretty much the same thing, if not so conspicuously?

The truth is that the whole G.O.P. seems stuck in a time loop, saying and doing the same things over and over."

Saying the same thing over and over, like Obama repeatedly declaring "No matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor or health care plan, you can keep it"?

More to the point, Krugman honestly believes that Hillary, whom he deems "a genuine policy wonk," does not make a habit of repeating canned tripe, or even worse, flip-flopping on key issues?

Krugman continues his opinion piece by observing:

"Meanwhile, on foreign policy the required G.O.P. position has become one of utter confidence in the effectiveness of military force. How did that work in Iraq? Never mind: The only reason anybody in the world fails to do exactly what America wants must be because our leadership is lily-livered if not treasonous. And diplomacy, no matter how successful, is denounced as appeasement."

Let there be no mistake: unlike Hillary, I opposed the Second Gulf War. However, how is Obama's "diplomacy" working out in Syria? Answer: More than 250,000 people dead, and over nine million people who have abandoned their homes.

Perhaps you recall Hillary's inexcusable 2011 defense of Syria's homicidal president, Hafez al-Assad:

"Many of the members of Congress of both parties who have gone to Syria in recent months have said they believe he’s a reformer."

Hillary is a "genuine policy wonk"? Sorry, Paul, but there is nothing "genuine" at all about a candidate who cannot bring herself to release transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs.

Shame on you, Paul.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Maureen Dowd, "Hillary Battles Bernie Sanders, Chick Magnet": Hillary Headed for the Showers?



Bernie Sanders, chick magnet? I don't think so. I look at Bernie and see his capitalist alter ego, Mr. Burns from "The Simpsons."

But when was Maureen Dowd every really interested in the improbable socialist candidate for president? And not surprisingly, in her latest New York Times op-ed entitled "Hillary Battles Bernie Sanders, Chick Magnet," Dowd devotes most of her "sweetness" to Mrs. Clinton. Dowd writes:

"She was in on sliming her husband’s ex-girlfriends who told the truth about liaisons. She has long been driven by a fear of being 'dead broke,' as she put it — and a conviction that she deserved the life and perks she would have had if she had gone into the private sector. That led her to do her suspiciously lucrative commodity trades while Bill was Arkansas attorney general and to make Wall Street speeches on the cusp of her 2016 campaign, even though she and Bill had already made more than $139 million between 2007 and 2014."

Hillary's perks? Dowd goes on to say:

"The Wall Street Journal calculates that since the Clintons first entered national politics in the early ’90s, Wall Street has given more than $100 million to their campaigns, foundation and personal finances.

When Anderson Cooper asked why Hillary had taken the obscene Goldman Sachs windfall, she gave a stupefyingly bad answer to a predictable question. 'Well, I don’t know,' she said, throwing up her hands and shrugging. 'That’s what they offered.'"

"That's what they offered"? I suppose that's also the reason that the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars from Saudi Arabia, which whips gang rape victims and beheads persons accused of engaging in witchcraft.

I suppose it's also why the Clinton Foundation accepted millions of dollars in donations from banks which were convicted not too long ago of rigging the value of world currencies.

And I suppose it also explains Colbert King's Washington Post opinion piece entitled "Clinton email scandal: Why it might be time for Democrats to draft Joe Biden," which he concludes by observing, "the manager in the White House dugout might consider telling the bullpen to start warming up Joe Biden."

I suppose we'll just have to wait and see if it's New Hampshire or the FBI that sends Hillary to the showers.