Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

A Clinton-hater’s wise observation

I’m a Clinton supporter, as you know. But what may not be entirely clear is that I don’t just support her because the alternative is Trump.

That is a sufficient reason to support Clinton. That is a sufficient reason to support anyone. If the Democrats were running a chimpanzee against Trump, I’d support the chimpanzee.

And yet there’s more to it with me and Clinton. I think she’ll be a good president. Or, to be more precise, I think she has the POTENTIAL to be a good president. Maybe even one of our greatest Presidents, on a caliber with the Roosevelts and Harry S. Truman.

I got in a conversation with a Clinton-hater the other day, who declared that she is the most paranoid Presidential candidate since Richard Nixon, and her administration would quickly, like Nixon’s second term, become paralyzed by scandals of her own invention.

Since then, I’ve surprised myself to find I agree with my friend. She IS paranoid. Justifiably so, given her career of being dogged by Republicans who make up lies about her and spread them to millions of willing supporters. Republicans lied that she’s a closet lesbian, they lied that she murdered Vince Foster, they lied that she made money on insider real estate deals in Arkansas (in fact the Clintons LOST money). They lied that she faked being sick during the first Benghazi hearings, and they are lying now that she is faking being essentially healthy other than pneumonia that she’ll get over. Republicans lie that she has somehow coopted three Republican prosecutors who have cleared her of wrongdoing that would get anybody else thrown in prison. Etc. etc. etc. I’m sure there’s a list somewhere of all the Republican lies about Hillary Clinton.

And yet paranoia would be Clinton’s undoing. Even if it is justified.

There’s an old joke that goes: Are you paranoid if they really ARE out to get you? That’s supposed to be a rhetorical question, with the answer: No. Paranoia, according to the premise of the joke, is the DELUSION of persecution. No delusion, no paranoia.

But the reality is you can be both paranoid and persecuted. And that’s Clinton’s problem.

As Trump decries Clinton’s “hate-filled campaign” at rally, his supporters and protesters scuffle

Trump condemned Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” remark. (Sean Sullivan, The Washington Post)

The headline on the original story says “violence flares up” at the rally, which is technically accurate but leaves the impression of bloodshed. The article makes it sound more like some shoving and punching.

Fox & Friends lament media’s refusal to engage in Clinton health conspiracies 

Fox & Friends is echoing a Trump talking point: That Clinton is very, very sick and the media is covering it up.

Problem with this conspiracy theory: Complete lack of evidence of Clinton’s bad health, and presence of evidence that Clinton is actually in good health. Coughing jags are a thing that happens to healthy people.

Media Matters

Hillary Clinton gets the Al Gore treatment

Journalists are gearing up for a repeat of the 2000 election, where a crooked candidate (Bush in 2000, Trump in 2016) gets graded on a curve, while the honest candidate (Gore in 2000, Clinton in 2016) gets overscrutinized until the candidate looks shady. (Paul Krugman, The New York Times)

The Clinton Foundation is clean.

Emailgate is a peccadillo, deserving of a slap on the wrist and nothing more.

Benghazi is a result of 60 years of failed US Middle Eastern foreign policy. Clinton was a part of that policy, so she should not be exonerated. But she was no more guilty than any other of the hundreds of people who have shaped that policy over the decades.

Also, Al Gore never claimed to have invented the Internet. Never, ever. It just didn’t happen. That still pisses me off, 16 years later.

Covering Hillary Clinton, a candidate forged in the crucible’ of conflict

Terry Gross, Fresh Air podcast:

As a reporter for The New York Times, Amy Chozick’s beat is Hillary Clinton. But, Chozick says, it’s hard to get to know a candidate who “has been so scarred” by her decades in the public eye.

Hillary Clinton hides from the spotlight, Donald Trump bathes in it.

No, the World Won’t Go Back to Normal After Trump

Jason Tanz, Wired:

If  recent polls are right, Hillary Clinton is probably going to win the race for president in November. Did you feel a sense of relief as you read that sentence? As if, in just a few short months, this protracted battle for the future of our country will finally come to an end? As if we will wake up on November 9 like it’s the last episode of Newhart, shake off the bizarre dream of the Trump candidacy, and resume with our normal lives? (Oops. Spoiler alert.)

Well, too bad. The world won’t return to normal after the election, no matter who wins. And this is not just because Trump has unleashed political forces that won’t be easy to contain, or because a Republican-led Congress may be no more likely to cooperate with Clinton than they were with President Obama. It’s because elections are not the end of the argument, but the beginning of a new one.

Even if Trump loses the election and concedes gracefully — and neither of those outcomes are assured, not by a long shot — he still leaves behind a network of supporters that will make it difficult for Clinton to govern.

Clinton is terrible at building the kind of grass roots network that supports Trump, and that supported Sanders.

Moreover, Trump is already laying the groundwork for not conceding, with his claims that the election is “rigged.”

Moreover, do we even WANT Clinton to be able to govern effectively? She represents the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush/Obama establishment that’s been running the country for the past 35 years. No, I am not saying there is no difference between all those administrations. There are significant differences. But what they have in common is that they serve D.C. and Wall Street, and leave the rest of us picking up table scraps.

Trump is just a figurehead. His supporters will go on without him. When he inevitably disappoints them, they’ll find some other figurehead, or, like the Tea Party, get co-opted.

Meanwhile the Republican establishment is gearing up to fight the Clinton White House in 2017 and beyond,, ready to claim that her election is not a mandate for her or her policies, but against Trump. Which may well be the case but it’s even MORE true that this election is already a mandate against conservatism. The Republican voters rejected conservatism when they voted for Trump, and the American people as a whole seem likely to reject Trump too. Conservatism has gotten its ass kicked twice in 2016. The Goldwater/Reagan revolution is over, it’s done, the American people have spoken decisively on that ideology and said Do Not Want.

And as for Goldwater: He got clobbered in the election, but he shaped political discourse for decades after. He continues to be a powerful political force today.

So don’t count Trumpism out, even if he loses.

Julian Assange has become a full-blown Hillary conspiracy theorist

Assange is suggesting that the Clinton campaign may have been behind the recent murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

According to Eric Kleefeld, The New Republic, Assange told Dutch TV:

“Whistleblowers go to significant efforts to get us material, and often very significant risks. There’s a 27-year-old that works for the DNC who was shot in the back, murdered, just a few weeks ago, for unknown reasons as he was walking down the streets in Washington.”

Van Rosenthal interjected that the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich was a robbery. After Assange dug in further, the host asked him what he was suggesting. “I’m suggesting that our sources take risks—and they become concerned to see things occurring like that,” Assange answered. He added that WikiLeaks is looking into this. The group has also posted a $20,000 reward for information leading to conviction for Rich’s murder.

Trump resurrects worries on his character and nation’s violent past

Sahil Kapur, Bloomberg Politics:

Donald Trump’s latest controversial comments did more than make it harder for him to win over undecided voters concerned about his temperament—it resurrected an ugly history of U.S. violence at the presidential level.

An impromptu comment Tuesday about “Second Amendment people” stopping a President Hillary Clinton from appointing judges was described as a dog-whistle call to violence by critics even after Trump dismissed those interpretations, saying, “Give me a break.”

Accusing her of trying to undermine the Second Amendment, Trump said at a rally in North Carolina, “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know. But I’ll tell you what. That will be a horrible day.”

A wave of condemnations—including from the daughter of Martin Luther King Jr., a U.S. congresswoman who retired after surviving an assassination attempt, and a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency—delivered yet another worrisome example to voters concerned about Trump’s temperament.

The Trump campaign’s defense is that the candidate was simply referring to the famous organizational abilities of gun rights advocates. This is bullshit. Not even Trump’s supporters believe that, based on conversations I’ve seen on social media. They are ready to kill anybody who comes for their guns, and they believe Clinton is ready to do just that.

Trump knew or should have known how his statements would be interpreted.

“Clinton Republicans” are a 2016 trend

Amie Parnes, The Hill:

Just as Reagan Democrats emerged three decades ago to catapult Ronald Reagan to the White House, a crop of unexpected cross-party supporters has surfaced during this election cycle.

And they are helping Democratic nominee

The steady trickle of Republicans coming out for Clinton have boosted her campaign and drawn attention to a divided GOP….

Republicans for Clinton include top GOP fundraiser and former tech company executive Meg Whitman, former Michigan governor William Milliken, former MGM CEO and GOP donor Harry Sloan along with retiring Rep. Richard Hanna (N.Y.).

A Clinton aide said each defection could cause a domino effect of sorts, allowing for other rank and file Republicans to endorse Clinton.

And one Clinton ally noted that the GOP diaspora has less to do with an affecting among GOP voters for Clinton, and more about distaste for Trump.

“We don’t have to do much,” the ally said. “Donald Trump is doing all the work for us.”

But what will those Clinton Republicans do when they no longer have Trump driving them to the Democrats? Reagan Democrats stayed Republican for a generation; that won’t be the case with the Clinton Republicans. But neither will Trump simply disappear and the Clinton Democrats return to the Republican party just as it was before.

Emails renew questions about Clinton Foundation and State Department overlap

Eric Lichtblau, The New York Times:

WASHINGTON — A new batch of State Department emails released Tuesday showed the close and sometimes overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary Clinton served as secretary of state.

The documents raised new questions about whether the charitable foundation worked to reward its donors with access and influence at the State Department, a charge that Mrs. Clinton has faced in the past and has always denied.

In one email exchange, for instance, an executive at the Clinton Foundation in 2009 sought to put a billionaire donor in touch with the United States ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s interests there.

These allegations are enormous, pointing to potential criminal activity on the part of the Clintons. Or activity that should be criminal — but, sadly, US election laws have legalized bribery.

In a normal election, this would be the most important issue and would prove fatal to the Clinton campaign. However, this is no normal election — to put it mildly — and I’m currently expecting a blowout victory for Clinton. And this election is so crazy that I expect I will actually be happy about that victory.

Trump attacks Clinton after Iran executes nuclear scientist

Elise Labott and Ryane Browne, CNN:

The execution of an Iranian nuclear scientist accused of spying for the US is reverberating from Tehran to the presidential campaign trail.

Critics, including opponent Donald Trump, are slamming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for having received emails mentioning him on her controversial personal email server.

Trump took to Twitter on Monday to link Clinton to Shahram Amiri’s death, writing, “Many people are saying that the Iranians killed the scientist who helped the U.S. because of Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails.”

The emails mentioning Amiri were were part of a tranche released by the State Department last year pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request in the wake of the revelation that Clinton used a personal server to conduct official business. The FBI has said there is no direct evidence the server was hacked, noting such evidence would be hard to come by.

Maybe it’s just that I’m tired but I’m having trouble following the logic here:

  1. Clinton had email about this Iranian scientist on her private server.
  2. A Republican-led investigation required Clinton to disclose that email.
  3. Therefore, it’s Clinton’s fault.

By that logic, if a Republican punches me in the face, it’s my fault because I have a nose.

There is a real problem here but the Republicans are missing it. It’s not email. The Clinton email server scandal is done. The GOP lost. But they will not let it go. Which is not surprising. The GOP never learns anything and never forgets anything.

The problem is that the nuclear deal with Iran is starting to look rotten. It’s looking like a foreign policy blunder. If it is in fact a good deal, Clinton and Obama need to do a better job explaining why.

As senator, Clinton promised 200,000 jobs in Upstate New York. Her efforts fell flat.

Jerry Markon, The Washington Post:

In her presidential bid, Hillary Clinton has made job creation a centerpiece of her platform, casting herself as a pragmatist who would inspire “the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.’’

Her argument that she would put more Americans to work has focused on her time in the Senate, when she took on the mission of creating jobs in chronically depressed Upstate New York. As her husband, former president Bill Clinton, put it recently, she became the region’s “de facto economic development officer.”

But nearly eight years after Clinton’s Senate exit, there is little evidence that her economic development programs had a substantial impact on upstate employment. Despite Clinton’s efforts, upstate job growth stagnated overall during her tenure, with manufacturing jobs plunging nearly 25 percent, according to jobs data.

The former first lady was unable to pass the big-ticket legislation she introduced to benefit the upstate economy. She turned to smaller-scale projects, but some of those fell flat after initial glowing headlines, a Washington Post review shows. Many promised jobs never materialized and others migrated to other states as she turned to her first presidential run, said former officials who worked with her in New York.

Clinton’s self-styled role as economic promoter also showcases an operating style that has come to define the political and money-making machine known to some critics of the former first couple as Clinton Inc. Some of her pet economic projects involved loyal campaign contributors, who also supported the Clinton Foundation, The Post review shows.

As New York Senator, Clinton sent lucrative business to private companies to deliver jobs to upstate New York. The jobs didn’t materialize, and the companies contributed financially to the Clinton campaign and foundation.

Unlike the mailgate and Benghazi nonsense, this matters. It might make me support the Republicans — but sadly the Republican candidate is a crazy shouty homeless guy.

FBI Director James Comey did say Clinton was truthful about classified email. Pretty much.

Peter Daou, Blue Nation Review:

Out of 110 emails that Comey testified contained classified information (which constituted only 0.2% of Hillary’s 55,000 emails), only three had any markings indicating the presence of classified material. And Comey conceded that those three were improperly marked.

He further testified that it would be a “reasonable inference” for Hillary to assume that those three emails were not classified.

The Clintons have been slimed by the opposition for 25 years, but the simple truth is they are more honest than most politicians. On the other hand, politics is a dirty business.

The Democrats are the party of competence. The Republicans are the party of chaos.

Scalzi weighs in: Clinton and the Convention and Where We Go From Here

Great points, and my title for this post is a paraphrase from him. Trump and the Republicans were unable to “even handle a four-day self-advertisement,” Scalzi notes. All the GOP had to do was put a parade of luminaries on stage who would all praise and endorse Trump and attack the Democrats. Instead, they had a line-up of reality TV freaks, D-list celebrities, and has-beens (Scott Baio? Chachi Loves Donnie?). One of their headliners — Ted Cruz — pointedly failed to endorse Trump, which Trump’s campaign was shocked, shocked to discover, even though they had approved his speech in advance.

By contrast, the Democratic convention got off to a pratfall, but then operated like clockwork. As Scalzi notes: That doesn’t prove Clinton will make a good president, but at least she and her team could run a successful convention.

Scalzi errs by labeling Trump supporters as crazies, bigots and haters. They’re not. They’re desperate — and rightly so. Hillary Clinton is the culmination of 30 years of American leaders’ failure to serve the American people. I’ll vote for her — and do it hopefully — because the alternative is crazy incompetence. Or maybe I’ll just vote for the Libertarian ticket, not because I’m a libertarian, but because they’ve got two guys there who seem to have done a good job of running their states pretty well.

A person who is dying of cancer, and who has been failed by Western medicine may turn to alternative medicine not because they’re a believer, but because they don’t think they’ve got anything to lose.

FBI suspects Russia hacked Democratic National Committee emails to get Trump elected.

Or maybe the White House planted this story to get the email leak discredited? Or maybe both? Ow my head.

FBI Suspects Russia Hacked DNC; U.S. Officials Say It Was to Elect Donald Trump – Shane Harris, Nancy Youssef, the Daily Beast

The FBI suspects that Russian government hackers breached the networks of the Democratic National Committee and stole emails that were posted to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks on Friday. It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.

The theory that Moscow orchestrated the leaks to help Trump, who has repeatedly praised Russian President Vladimir Putin and practically called for the end of NATO, is fast gaining currency within the Obama administration because of the timing of the leaks and Trump’s own connections to the Russian government, the sources said on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing and developing quickly.