Archive for Hillary Clinton

At a Certain Point, You’ve Made Enough Money

There goes Obama again, bashing the Clintons:

The Clintons’ annual income easily puts them in the top 1% of Americans. But they may have reached the top 1% of the top 1%, according to publicly disclosed income data.

As we reported recently, according to their 2012 income disclosed in government forms, the Clintons made at least $16.7 million in income that year, largely from Bill Clinton‘s speeches. That total is based on income disclosed in forms that provide income ranges, and the $16.7 million total uses the minimum amount from each stated range.

The nationwide level to make the top 1% of households in 2012 was $567,719, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center, a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute. And the level for the top 0.1% was about $2.9 million, a bar the Clintons easily surpassed.

The Tax Policy Center data stop there, at the top 0.1% — or the top 10% of the top 1% of Americans.

Did the Clintons reach the top 1% of the top 1%, based on their 2012 income? A different measure offers a strong clue. The Tax Policy Center says that IRS data for 2011, the most recent numbers available, show 11,500 total tax returns with adjusted gross income over $10 million that year, out of 145 million total returns. So a $10 million adjusted gross income puts one in the top 0.007% of all tax returns, and the Clintons’ income was well above that — likely putting it into the top 1% of the 1%.

Not bad for a couple who left office “dead broke”. Horatio Alger smiles down approvingly.

But not everyone does:

You are truly well-off by anyone’s definition of the term. And hard work is the guys tearing up my roof right now. It’s not flying by private jet to pick up a check for $200,000 to stand at a podium for an hour.

Which gets me to the second set of issues: how you’re continuing to ­vacuum up the money, and the aura of greediness it exudes. Madam Secretary, enough already. This behavior borders on compulsion, like refugees who once were starved and now hoard food. You’re rich beyond your wildest imaginings! You don’t need any more! Just. Stop. Speaking. For. Pay.

In the midst of a book tour (and with the ample cushion of a multimillion-dollar advance), you don’t need to be hustling for another $200,000 or so from the United Fresh Produce Association and Food Marketing Institute. On the verge of a potential presidential bid, please feel free to say yes to the University of Nevada at Las Vegas if you want to speak there. But you don’t have to hit its foundation up for a $225,000 fee, even one you plan to donate to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation.

What an effed-up world. The Clintons should be free to part fools from their money, and fools should be free to be parted from it for the “privilege” of hearing from them. Hillary should be free to run for President, and people should be free to vote for her (or not). There is no inherent value in poverty and no vice in wealth. It is for no one else to decide when you’ve made “enough money”.

And then there’s politics, where only appearance matters. It’s easy to see how Hillary’s “inartful” language hurst her politically. But hasn’t it always? Think of her comments over the years. On Bill’s affairs, she wasn’t “some little woman standing by her man like Tammy Wynette.”

On her life in public: “I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas…”.

On Bill’s candidacy, “Elect him, you get me.”

More on Bill’s affairs: “The great story here for anybody willing to find it, write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president.”

On partisanship in politics: “I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, ‘We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!’”

On her friends across the aisle: “I wonder if it’s possible to be a Republican and a Christian at the same time.”

On her trip to Bosnia: “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…. There was no greeting ceremony and we were basically told to run to our cars. That is what happened.”

On the passing of Moammar Qaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.”

On the passing of Chris Stevens, Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, and Sean Smith: “What difference at this point does it make?”

It’s no wonder she’s mangled her book tour so completely. When it comes to politics, she’s deaf, dumb, and blind. And rich as Croesus, God bless her.

PS: Of course, my favorite Hillary Clinton quote is someone else’s. But it proves the same point:

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Who Said It?

Oprah or Hillary?

Let’s play!

The thing with Obama is that he can’t be bothered and there is no hand on the tiller half the time. That’s the story of the Obama presidency. No hand on the f***ing tiller.

Obama has turned into a joke.

You can’t trust the motherf***er.

His word isn’t worth sh*t.

[E]ven when the Obamas think they are being charming, they hold you at arm’s length.

It slowly dawned on [her] that the Obamas had absolutely no intention of keeping their word and bringing her into their confidence. [... She] was hurt and angry and will never make up with the Obamas. [...] She knows how to hold a grudge.

Does it really matter? Either one said them all, according to Edward Klein’s new book.

Except for this. Bill said this:

I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived.

A rare moment of truth from 42.

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Read Any Good Books Lately?

I said good books.

And I said read:

Hillary Clinton’s new memoir “Hard Choices” experienced a 43% drop in sales in its second week on bookshelves, according to numbers from Nielsen BookScan.

After 85,721 copies of “Hard Choices” were purchased in the book’s first week, 48,227 copies of the memoir sold in the second week, according to Nielsen numbers, which make up roughly 85% of all retail book sales and were provided to CNN by a publishing source.

There is good and bad news in the numbers for Clinton and her allies.

The good news: While her first memoir, “Living History,” sold 438,000 copies in its first week, it experienced a 62% drop off in the second week. So comparatively, “Hard Choices” didn’t have as big a fall.

“Living History” would go on to sell 1.1 million copies, according to Nielsen.

The bad news is that Clinton critics who have been closely watching how her 656-page tome to American diplomacy and her time at state will likely be given ammunition with this first to second week drop off.

Moi?

But Pinter said no matter how much Clinton sells the book, the “reviews were tepid enough to squelch interest from everyone but hardcore Hillary devotees.”

“Hardcore Hillary devotees”? That’s an image I didn’t need. But it’s hard for Hillary to compete with a better book:

On Wednesday, “Hard Choices” was No. 21 among Amazon’s best-sellers. (“Blood Feud: The Clintons vs. the Obamas” by Edward Klein is No. 3.)

When given a choice between fiction and nonfiction, most readers will choose nonfiction every time.

Blood Feud—in which we learn…

Valerie Jarrett runs the White House

While followers of the White House are aware of Jarrett’s sway as the president’s closest consigliere, the extent of this closeness is somewhat staggering…

Hillary attempted to physically intimidate Obama as Secretary of State

“Some of Hillary’s arguments with the president actually turned physical. Once, according to a source close to Valerie Jarrett, Hillary jabbed Obama’s chest with her finger to make a point. When Obama reported the finger-jabbing incident to Michelle, he said that he couldn’t believe Hillary had done that to the president of the United States. He was more amazed than angry about the impulsive attack.”

Bill Clinton commissioned (and threatened to leak) a poll prior to the 2012 election that would have shown Hillary Clinton to be more popular than the president, and potentially led to a challenge to his nomination

Obama stabbed the Clintons in the back for 2016

“‘Obama cut right to the chase,’ Clinton’s associate continued. ‘He said he wasn’t prepared to turn over his campaign’s digital operations, data mining, and social media juggernaut to the Clintons. Instead, he said he was going to fold that operation into Organization for Action, his second-term political pressure group. Hillary would have to build her own data and analytics system. Bill listened, said, ‘Okay,’ and let it go at that.

‘Then Obama said it was too early to make a decision about 2016 and who he was going to support of the Democratic Party nomination. He wasn’t prepared to back Hillary now. He was keeping his options open. He was reneging on his promise.

‘Bill’s blood began to boil. He was speechless with rage.

What really happened when Hillary initially postponed testifying on Benghazi

[A]s soon as Bill appeared on the scene and was able to assess Hillary’s condition for himself, he ordered that she be immediately flown to New York-Presbyterian Hospital in…Manhattan. When Reines subsequently released a statement confirming that Hillary was being treated…it naturally intensified speculation about the seriousness of her medical condition.

While she was at the hospital, doctors diagnosed Hillary with several problems.

She had a right transverse venous thrombosis, or a blood clot between her brain and skull…

To make matters worse, it turned out that Hillary had an intrinsic tendency to form clots and faint [Klein goes on to recount several other past fainting spells].

…According to a source close to Hillary, a thorough medical examination revealed that Hillary’s tendency to form clots was the least of her problems…Put into layman’s language, her heart valves were not pumping in a steady way.”

Who Obama is going to hand-select for 2016

“‘It’s going to be a dogfight,’ replied Bill [...] ‘They say he’s looking around for a candidate who’s just like him. Someone relatively unknown. Someone with a fresh face. He’s convinced himself that he’s been a brilliant president, and he wants to clone himself–to find his Mini-Me.

He thinks that your mother and I are what he calls ‘so twentieth century.’ He’s looking for another Barack Obama.’”

I skipped the part about Michelle Obama and Valerie Jarrett carrying on a permanent campaign after the administration. While Michelle isn’t as pretty as he (thinks he) is, she might do.

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Passing the Hat for the Clintons

It depends on the meaning of “dead broke”:

An April Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that the Government Services Administration (GSA), which is in charge of supporting federal disbursements, budgeted $950,000 for former president Bill Clinton in the 2014 budget.

Clinton will collect a $201,000 pension in 2014, a figure four times larger than the median family income in the United States. The Clintons have received a total of $15,938,000 in federal money since 2001.

Hillary Clinton recently described the poverty her family experienced upon exiting the White House while promoting her book. They were “dead broke,” Hillary said, adding that she and her husband “struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education, you know, it was not easy.”

Clinton’s pension is just a small portion of the costs the former president will incur over the next year. GSA budgeted $450,000 to pay for Clinton’s office space, the highest total of the four living presidents.

CRS noted that America has not always taken financial care of their former heads of state. Harry S. Truman, for example, died in poverty in his Missouri home after leaving the White House.

Sixteen million dollars over 13 years—sounds like we’re getting off cheap at 950k. You’d think the Clintons could afford a place of their own in Arkansas out of their own pockets.

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Are the Clintons the Waltons?

Both families may have been dirt poor, but at least the Waltons had a mountain named after them:


Which one’s Roger?

Chelsea Clinton lives a charmed life, but don’t be fooled: secretly, she’s not attached to the oodles of money she and her hedge fund manager husband make each year, the former first daughter said in an interview published over the weekend.

Philanthropy is her true passion, Clinton said, and that’s why she permanently left Wall Street to join the Clinton Foundation, which she runs with her parents, former first couple Bill and Hillary Clinton.

‘I was curious if I could care about [money] on some fundamental level, and I couldn’t,’ Clinton told The Telegraph. ‘That wasn’t the metric of success I wanted in my life.’

Despite Chelsea’s self-proclaimed disinterest in money-making, a report last week surfaced that she was paid $600,000 by NBC last year to do a smattering of reporting.

NBC News has aired two stories by Chelsea Clinton so far in 2014, both on education programs targeting the underprivileged that were shown on Nightly News in January.

By comparison, her salary is higher than both of the last two editors of the New York Times.

The paycheck from her NBC contract has helped Chelsea and her husband Marc Mezvinsky buy a $10.5 million apartment next to New York’s Madison Square Park last spring.

Where does this dingbat get the idea that a $600k no-show job and a mega-millionaire husband is “not caring” about money?

Oh, that’s where:

‘We came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt. We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to piece together the resources for mortgages for houses, for Chelsea’s education. You know, it was not easy,’ Hillary said.

Thanks to eight years in the White House and lucrative speaking gigs and book deals afterward, Bill and Hillary were able to pay for Chelsea to attend Sidwell Friends private school as a teenager and Stanford and Oxford universities.

She graduated from Columbia in the spring of 2010 and married Mezvinsky that summer.

A smart and capable woman furthers her own ambitions by marrying an enterprising guy—just like her mom! That’s what makes America great. Who would have heard of Dolly if she hadn’t married James Madison? Eleanor without Franklin? Just about the only historic American woman who earned her renown on her own was Betsy Ross. For sewing.

But that’s not really my point. This is my point:

For starters, she and her husband were obviously well positioned to quickly capitalize on the post-presidential custom of cashing in.
She left that part out.

Hillary Clinton had a massive book advance in the works and, along with the former president, the prospect of making millions. This is what fueled cries of hypocrisy.

After quickly trying to clean up the comments, though, Clinton swung and missed again on Sunday when questioned about her own financial standing and wealth inequality in an interview with The Guardian.

Clinton compared herself to others and noted her situation is different, too.

“We pay ordinary income tax, unlike a lot of people who are truly well off, not to name names; and we’ve done it through dint of hard work,” she said.

One reason Clinton’s two missteps on wealth are surprising is that questions about the issue are not new and shouldn’t have come as a surprise.

Liberal websites like Mother Jones began asking questions about her speaking fees — upwards of $200,000 — in early May.

Again, America the Beautiful. You don’t want to pay Hillary $200 Gs? You don’t have to. But if you want to hear the Heroine of Herzegovina tell war stories from Tuzla, it’s going to cost you.

But to hear these gold-diggers (and God bless ‘em for it!) claim to be flat busted from their Manhattan penthouses and Scarsdale manses is a bit…rich.

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US Open (to Failure)

Baghdad is about to fall to the Islamistest militants since Abu Musab al-Zarqawi last drew breath; the population of refugees in the world today has spiked to more than 50 million people, the most since WWII; all of teen Central America is holding a slumber party on our southern border; computer hard drives at IRS HQ are spontaneously combusting like Spinal Tap drummers—and what’s Obama doing?

It’s another Saturday golf outing, this time at Fort Belvoir. Obama is with a typical group of mid-level White House aides – Marvin Nicholson, Sam Kass and Joe Paulsen.

It’s the 21st time he had played this year and the 178th of his presidency.

Always the same few guys. Is Marvin Nicholson an expert on Middle East Affairs? Does Sam Kass have invaluable insight on spurring economic growth?

Why doesn’t Obama play golf with someone who might offer experienced advice?

Oh. Never mind:

“I hate that man Obama more than any man I’ve ever met, more than any man who ever lived,” Bill Clinton said to friends on one occasion, adding he would never forgive Obama for suggesting he was a racist during the 2008 campaign.

The feeling is mutual. Obama made ­excuses not to talk to Bill, while the first lady privately sniped about Hillary.

On most evenings, Michelle Obama and her trusted adviser, Valerie Jarrett, met in a quiet corner of the White House residence. They’d usually open a bottle of Chardonnay, catch up on news about Sasha and Malia, and gossip about people who gave them heartburn.

Their favorite bête noire was Hillary Clinton, whom they nicknamed “Hildebeest,” after the menacing and shaggy-maned gnu that roams the Serengeti.

“I’ve had two successors since I left the White House — Bush and Obama — and I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama. I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever,” Clinton said.

“I really can’t stand the way Obama ­always seems to be hectoring when he talks to me,” Clinton added, according to someone who was present at the gathering and spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Sometimes we just stare at each other. It’s pretty damn awkward. Now we both have favors to ask each other, and it’s going to be very unpleasant. But I’ve got to get this guy to owe me and to be on our side.”

“Bill got into it right away,” said a Clinton family friend. “He told Obama, ‘Hillary and I are gearing up for a run in 2016.’ He said Hillary would be ‘the most qualified, most experienced candidate, perhaps in history.’ His reference to Hillary’s experience made Obama wince, since it was clearly a shot at his lack of experience when he ran for president.

“And so Bill continued to talk about Hillary’s qualifications .?.?. and the coming campaign in 2016. But Barack didn’t bite. He changed the subject several times. Then suddenly, Barack said something that took Bill by complete surprise. He said, ‘You know, Michelle would make a great presidential candidate, too.’

“Bill was speechless. Was Barack comparing Michelle’s qualifications to Hillary’s? Bill said that if he hadn’t been on a mission to strike a deal with Barack, he might have stormed off the golf course then and there.”

Listen, Bill, I hold Obama in the same contempt that you do (or I try). But if you want something from somebody, you have to butter him up. Treating him like a “coffee boy” is not the way.

It’s not like the little ball-and-chain is a shoo-in:

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We Are Such Losers!

This is a news flash, I know, that the people who gave Ted Kennedy, Barney Frank, and John Kerry to the nation (you drew the line at Mike Dukakis) would be such saps that they would line the streets for this occasion:

Hillary Clinton was perched on a chair Monday evening at the Harvard Book Store where hundreds of people had gathered to meet her. Others lined the streets hoping to catch a glimpse of the woman many hope will become the next president.

Clad in a bright turquoise suit, she showed no sign that she has spent the last week on the first leg of a grueling cross-country tour to publicize her recent book, “Hard Choices,” which chronicles her years as secretary of state. The frenzied trip already has taken Clinton from bookstores to a Costco warehouse to a public library.

But if you read a little further (the things I do for you!), you find that we’re not quite as lemming-like as we may seem:

Hundreds of people lingered on the sidewalk for hours forming a line that wrapped around the bookstore along Plympton and down Bow Streets. Outside on Bow Street, a “Ready for Hillary” bus emblazoned with large photographs of Clinton was parked on the street. The bus has followed the former Secretary of State from coast to coast carrying supporters to each stop on the tour.

It was to be expected, given the well oiled Clinton campaign apparatus, that the event was minute orchestrated to the tee.

Attendees had received emails days before the event, demanding that they leave large purses and personal items at home and informing them about the precise time interval when Clinton would be available for book signings. They also passed through security checkpoints that resembled those of Logan Airport.

I didn’t get an email, did you, Aggie? Not that I would have gone, but who are the people in Hillary’s address book?

This isn’t the first we’ve heard about how Hillary’s tour is staged. The nation may be “Ready for Hillary”, but she’s not ready to ride no bus. Buses are for little people.

She rides it, she doesn’t ride it—what difference at this point does it make?

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The Obama Doctrine

You have to listen to Hillary and Harry Reid to discern it: What difference does it make?

MANU RAJU, POLITICO: Looking back at the way this was rolled out, do you think the White House could have been a better job looping in Congress during these negotiations?

SEN. HARRY REID: Listen, Manu [Raju], and everyone here, the timeline was very, very brief here. This has nothing to do with briefing this down in the classified briefing. We all know that the president had a very short period of time to make a decision. He made the decision to bring him home, and I’m glad he did because in my opinion, based on nothing in the classified briefing, in my opinion, every day that he was there was a day closer to his dying.

RAJU: How come you were the only one who got a heads-up the day before?

REID: I’m not sure I’m the only one. I mean, this is making a big deal over nothing. The whole deal, is it Friday or Saturday? What difference does it make? What difference does it make?

Sound like someone else you know?

Hillary said that after Americans were killed by Islamist terrorists; Reid said it before. I guess that’s the difference.

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“Bite Me” Bites

Having gone to public schools back in the day, I’ve seen my fair share of schoolyard fights. I wasn’t a fan back in the day.

But today, I’m making popcorn:

A panel of political analysts on CNN’s New Day on Monday observed that Vice President Joe Biden took a veiled shot at former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton over the weekend by criticizing former President Bill Clinton’s time in office. The political reporters on CNN detected that Biden is behaving like a 2016 candidate, whereas Clinton is not. They further noted that Biden is making some of the same arguments against Clinton that President Barack Obama made during the 2008 Democratic primaries.

Speaking at a Democratic fundraiser on Saturday, Biden told the audience that the divide between the rich and the middle class in America did not begin to expand to the rate it has today in the Bush years but during the Clinton administration.

“This is sort of the case that then Senator Barack Obama made against Hillary Clinton back in ’08,” The Atlantic’s Molly Ball said. “Biden, in public settings, makes the same sort of argument for like the blue-color, economic populist strain.”

“All the stuff that Hillary Clinton is not doing right now, Joe Biden is doing,” New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin asserted. “Is he doing it because he’s going to run, or is he doing it because he wants to be positioned in case she doesn’t run? Probably the latter.”

Speaking of people not running:

Vice President Joe Biden appeared at a closed-door fundraiser in South Carolina Friday and delivered what one attendee called “an Elizabeth Warren-type speech” about the struggles of America’s middle class, remarks that were well-received by a room full of influential primary state Democrats.

What does that mean? A hackneyed, cringe-making spiel that employed the word “hammered” more than “If I Had a Hammer” and “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” combined? Hillary must be laughing.


What difference, Joe, at this point, do you make?

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Textbook Definition of Conflict of Interest

Hillary.

ROBIN ROBERTS, ABC NEWS: Benghazi, the new investigation. Are you satisfied with the answers and are you content with what you know what happened?

HILLARY CLINTON: Absolutely. I mean, of course there are a lot of reasons why — despite all of the hearings, all of the information that’s been provided — some choose not to be satisfied and choose to continue to move forward. That’s their choice. And I do not believe there is any reason for it to continue in this way, but they get to call the shots in the Congress.

What’s satisfying about “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

Speaking of Hillary’s machinations:

Lynne Cheney said it’s more likely than not that Hillary Clinton herself was the prodding force behind Monica Lewinsky telling her side of the Bill Clinton affair in a penned Vanity Fair essay.

“I really wonder if this isn’t an effort on the Clintons’ part to get that story out of the way,” Mrs. Cheney said, during a Fox News appearance on Tuesday evening. “Would Vanity Fair publish anything about Monica Lewinsky that Hillary Clinton didn’t want in Vanity Fair?”

But Mrs. Cheney did raise an interesting point: Sen. Rand Paul, who is possibly running for president himself in 2016, has already started bringing up the past of Mr. Clinton and painting it in a seedy light, portraying him as a “sexual predator,” various media reported. That gives rise to the notion that the Clintons likely want to get this story fully vetted, pre-Mrs. Clinton run, Ms. Cheney suggested, The Hill reported.

“[The essay’s] happened at a time when Rand Paul has been criticizing the Clintons,” she said, on the broadcast. “It’s happened at a time when Hillary’s getting wrapped up to run, getting it out of the way so we can say one more time, ‘It’s old news’ seems to me like a strategy or a tactic perhaps.”

Monica tried to blow out any candles of conspiracy:

Ms. Lewinsky actually went out of her way in the essay to mention that Mr. and Mrs. Clinton had nothing to do with her public address of the affair.

“The buzz in some circles has been that the Clintons must have paid me off; why else would I have refrained from speaking out? I can assure you that nothing could be further from the truth,” Ms. Lewinsky wrote.

I suppose that’s the one failing of this conspiracy: what’s in it for Monica?

Hillary would make a great president with her manner of turning a memorable phrase: what difference does it make; I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies; I don’t feel no ways tired; vast right-wing conspiracy. If only they didn’t come back to haunt her.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Benghazi

They lied.

That clear it up for you? Sigh. Very well…

Here is the main point: The rioting at the American embassy in Cairo was not about the anti-Muslim video. As argued here repeatedly (see here and here), the Obama administration’s “Blame the Video” story was a fraudulent explanation for the September 11, 2012, rioting in Cairo every bit as much as it was a fraudulent explanation for the massacre in Benghazi several hours later.

We’ll come back to that because, once you grasp this well-hidden fact, the Obama administration’s derelictions of duty in connection with Benghazi become much easier to see. But let’s begin with Jay Carney’s performance in Wednesday’s exchange with the White House press corps, a new low in insulting the intelligence of the American people.

The explosive e-mails that have surfaced thanks to the perseverance of Judicial Watch make explicit what has long been obvious: Susan Rice, the president’s confidant and ambassador to the U.N., was strategically chosen to peddle the administration’s “Blame the Video” fairy tale to the American people in appearances on five different national television broadcasts the Sunday after the massacre. She was coached about what to say by other members of the president’s inner circle.

The State Department knew there was going to be trouble at the embassy on September 11, the eleventh anniversary of al-Qaeda’s mass-murder of nearly 3,000 Americans. It was well known that things could get very ugly. When they did, it would become very obvious to Americans that President Obama had not “decimated” al-Qaeda as he was claiming on the campaign trail. Even worse, it would be painfully evident that his pro–Muslim Brotherhood policies had actually enhanced al-Qaeda’s capacity to attack the United States in Egypt.

Let’s stop here for a minute. So far, all Hillary—or, fairly or unfairly, the buck stops at State. Chris Stevens had been asking for increased security, but the State Department needed new china, so he had to make do with Sgt. Schultz from Hogan’s Heroes and Carlton the doorman from Rhoda. If State knew there was trouble for 9/11, where the [bleep] was the Secretary of State in anticipation of trouble?

Speaking of where the [bleep] she was, where the [bleep] was she on that Sunday morning Susan Rice danced like Janet Jackson (minus the nipple-slip) on the morning talkers? Was the deputy assistant undersecretary in Commerce unavailable?

Who sends a UN Ambassador to answer for four dead Americans? That’s un-[bleeping]-believable!

Speaking of cabinet secretaries, we wrote this post almost 15 months ago:

There was a fiery exchange between Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Republican Sen. John McCain on Thursday during Panetta’s testimony about a deadly attack last September in Libya.

Panetta said the response to the attack was “timely and appropriate, but there simply was not enough time given the speed of the attacks for armed U.S. military assets to have made a difference.”

McCain, who has constantly lambasted the Obama administration’s response to the attack, forcefully challenged Panetta’s assertion that the Defense Department did everything it could.

McCain asked why the Defense Department did not send forces based at Souda Bay, Crete, to Benghazi. He said the flight is an hour and a half and that it was “simply false” for Panetta to testify that all resources couldn’t reach Libya in time.

“I stand by my testimony,” Panetta replied.

McCain testily countered, “Perhaps you can give me some facts.”

Panetta then said that a contingent was not sent because the State Department didn’t request it.

“So it’s the State Department’s fault,” McCain challenged.

In opening remarks, Panetta said he received no imminent threats in the hours leading up to the attack.

He explained that the first reports that an attack was happening were given “almost immediately” to the U.S. Embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

Within 17 minutes, Panetta said, unarmed, unmanned surveillance aircraft were dispatched for a better idea of what was happening on the ground.

“Was any airplane launched in the world before the attack was concluded,” Graham asked.

No, Panetta and Dempsey answered.

“Was there any soldier en route before the attack was concluded,” Graham asked.

It seemed to me then as now that Panetta would have been a convenient fall guy. He was the liaison to the president. If there was anything to be done for Stevens, Woods, Smith, or Doherty, Panetta, Secretary of Defense, would have been at the top of the decision tree. If we exclude Obama.

Why should we do that?

Within 17 minutes, Panetta said, unarmed, unmanned surveillance aircraft were dispatched for a better idea of what was happening on the ground.

Soon, Panetta and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey met with President Obama, the secretary explained to lawmakers.

Obama ordered that the Defense Department respond to the attack and try to protect U.S. personnel.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked how many times President Obama talked with Panetta and Dempsey after he knew about the attack.

Once, they answered. That conversation lasted for 30 minutes and Obama did not personally get back in touch with them to ask how the mission to help personnel in Benghazi was going.

What would have trumped American personnel under fire? What possibly could have monopolized the president’s attention?

Regular readers know my delight in posing this answer:

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, September 12, 2012
by KEITH KOFFLER on SEPTEMBER 11, 2012, 10:09 PM

10:45 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
1:15 pm || Departs White House
3:00 pm PT || Arrives Las Vegas, Nevada
5:25 pm PT || Delivers remarks at a campaign event; Cashman Center, Las Vegas
6:40 pm PT || Departs Las Vegas, Nevada
9:10 pm MT || Arrives Aurora, Colorado

Prepare for a huge fundraise-a-palooza. That’s what he had to do instead.

Look, I gave this to you in two words at the top. They lied. Why? Because they had to. Wouldn’t you lie if you effed up this badly? And the best way to cover up a lie is to tell more lies. We barely know where to start sorting them out.

A useful summary: they knew there was trouble coming, and they did nothing; on the night in question—9/11, remember—they were in full visual and audio contact throughout, and did nothing; they reported to he president once, who did nothing (but prepare to play Vegas); afterwards (as the new emails tell us), they coordinated a cover-up to lay the blame on a YouTube video that had fewer hits than a demo on steamed brussels sprouts.

Or: they lied.

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Bloodthirstan Book Club! [UPDATED]

Move over, Oprah (sorry, I didn’t mean anything, there’s plenty of room, really). BTL is launching a book club.

Half of you read Hillary’s new book, Chard Choices (I guess it’s a cookbook), and the other half read Elizabeth Warren’s tome, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee—no, sorry, A Fat Chance. Aggie and I will facilitate discussion (w/o reading either one).

We’ll want particularly to examine how each woman faced up to hardship in her life. Like when Lieawatha got called anti-Indian epithets by the white kids or Hillary got a blue dress not her own back from the dry cleaners.

To call these books does a disservice to Hemingway and Flaubert. They’re manifestos (With apologies to Marx and Engels). Most ambitious candidates write one. This was my favorite:

Oops. My mistake. He has better hair.

Btw, if you think Warren isn’t running, you’re as dumb as she thinks you are. She’s got to fly under the Clinton radar as long as possible or draw fire.

UPDATE:

An excellent retelling of Fauxcahantas’ Fable in US News. The trail of tears recounts not only the number of times she casually slipped into and out of her buffalo hides, but how cynical the whole affirmative action game is. Harvard touted her as their first law prof of color. (I wasn’t aware that clear was a color.) In one swing of a tomahawk, her career and the racial diversity shell game are laid bare.

UPPERDATE:

Did Crocagawea plant this question?

MATT LEE, AP: I have a brief question on the QDDR [Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review]. Off the top of your head, can you identify one tangible achievement that the last QDDR resulted in?

JEN PSAKI, State Department spokesperson: Obviously its an extensive expansive process.

LEE: Just one.

PSAKI: The Secretary wants it to be focused on a more narrow range of issues, its always to look at how we can improve things, and we’ll see where we come out in the end.

LEE: So, can you off the top of your head identify one tangible achievement that resulted from the last QDDR?

PSAKI: I am certain that those that were here at the time worked hard on that effort and could point out one.

LEE: Since you’ve come on board that you’ve noticed, that you noticed that you can point to and say wow the first QDDR identified this as a problem and dealt with it.

PSAKI: As you know, I’ve only been here since it was concluded. I’m sure there are a range of things that I’m not even aware of results.

LEE: I won’t hold my breath.

C’mon man, what difference, at this point, does it make?

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