B12 Solipsism

Spreading confusion over the internet since 1994

Archive for the ‘Clinton’ tag

Impeachment Proceedings

without comments

Obama Man
Obama Man Grinning.

This was a parenthetical statement in a troll-baiting OpEd from Peter Schuck

Impeachment proceedings against Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton involved criminal conduct more egregious than Mr. Obama’s policy unilateralism.

(click here to continue reading The Impeachment of Obama on Immigration May Be Legal — But It’s Wrong – NYTimes.com.)

Really? Really? I was never a supporter of Mr. DLC Triangulation, a/k/a Bill Clinton, even going so far as voting for the Green Party candidate1 in 1996, but the whole impeachment travesty over testifying about receiving oral sex from Monica Lewinsky was not equal to Richard Nixon’s criminal conduct. Was there some other criminal conduct besides that perjury? Or just a man trying to keep his blowjobs out of the news media?

As to the more immediate question, will Congress actually impeach Obama? Can they? and should they? Is Obama guilty of treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors? What exactly does misdemeanor mean in this context? I guess we’ll see soon enough, as the Republican Party is gearing up to lead the US down the banana republic road…

House Republicans filed a long-threatened lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration over unilateral actions on the health care law that they say are abuses of the president’s executive authority.

The lawsuit — filed against the secretaries of Health and Human Services and the Treasury — focuses on two crucial aspects of the way the administration has put the Affordable Care Act into effect.

The suit accuses the Obama administration of unlawfully postponing a requirement that larger employers offer health coverage to their full-time employees or pay penalties. (Larger companies are defined as those with 50 or more employees.)

House Republicans struggled to find a law firm willing to take their case. Two withdrew, but on Tuesday, Mr. Boehner hired Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University.

(click here to continue reading House G.O.P. Files Lawsuit in Battling Health Law – NYTimes.com.)

Footnotes:
  1. Ralph Nader []

Written by Seth Anderson

November 22nd, 2014 at 10:02 am

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

You Try to Tell Me With Consternation was uploaded to Flickr

without comments

corner of Clinton and Kinzie

embiggen by clicking
http://flic.kr/p/nCezsV

I took You Try to Tell Me With Consternation on May 09, 2014 at 09:20PM

and processed it in my digital darkroom on May 13, 2014 at 01:40AM

Written by eggplant

May 13th, 2014 at 8:35 am

Syrian Intervention Is A Bad Idea, Mr. President

without comments

California Army National Guard FMS # 5
California Army National Guard FMS # 5

Speaking of the foolish idea of the US sending our military to Syria, Ramzy Mardini makes some good points:

AMMAN, Jordan — ACCORDING to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama risks looking like a “fool” if he decides not to intervene militarily in Syria’s continuing civil war. Likening the situation to his decision to intervene in Kosovo in 1999, Mr. Clinton said Tuesday that if he hadn’t used force to stop Serbia’s campaign of ethnic cleansing, critics might have said: “You could have stopped this by dropping a few bombs. Why didn’t you do it?” Mr. Clinton believes that Mr. Obama could end up looking like a “total wuss” if he doesn’t intervene. And it seems he’s going to act.

(click here to continue reading Bad Idea, Mr. President – NYTimes.com.)

Guns Or Butter

Guns Or Butter 

Why is America so hell-bent upon getting involved in another nation’s civil war? What interest does it serve? I have yet to hear a compelling reason the US should be involved.

For nearly two years, the Obama administration has described the Syrian regime as having “lost all legitimacy” and “clinging to power.” And yet, it has surprisingly endured. That’s because neither assertion is really accurate. Mr. Assad still has strong support from many Syrians, including members of the Sunni urban class. While the assistance Syria receives from its external allies, like Iran and Russia, is important, it would be inconsequential if the Assad regime were not backed by a significant portion of the population.

Interventionists tend to detach their actions from longer-term consequences. This myopia is often coupled with a prevalent misunderstanding of the political and cultural context of where they want to intervene. Both problems are present in the current American approach to Syria.

The Syrian revolution isn’t democratic or secular; the more than 90,000 fatalities are the result of a civil war, not a genocide — and human rights violations have been committed on both sides.

Moreover, the rebels don’t have the support or trust of a clear majority of the population, and the political opposition is neither credible nor representative. Ethnic cleansing against minorities is more likely to occur under a rebel-led government than under Mr. Assad; likewise, the possibility of chemical weapons’ falling into the hands of terrorist groups only grows as the regime weakens.

And finally, a rebel victory is more likely to destabilize Iraq and Lebanon, and the inevitable disorder of a post-Assad Syria constitutes a greater threat to Israel than the status quo.

Not since the 2003 invasion of Iraq has American foreign policy experienced a strategic void so pervasive.

The responsible role of a lone superpower is not to pick sides in a civil war; it’s to help enable conflict resolution while maintaining a policy of neutrality. Instead, the United States came down on one side of a regional sectarian conflict, inadvertently fomenting Sunni hubris and Shiite fear — the same effects (but in reverse) caused by America’s involvement in the Iraq war.

I sincerely hope President Obama comes to his senses, and ignores the warmongers.  

Written by Seth Anderson

June 16th, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , , , ,

Bill Clinton: Infrastructure Bank and BUILD Act

without comments

Halfway To Discontent
Halfway To Discontent

Charles Pierce and Mark Warren interview Bill Clinton, well worth a read. I had many disagreements with President Clinton, but I admire his political savvy and intelligence.

I like this idea:

ESQUIRE: Where’s the demand from outside, though? Where are the people insisting, “Hey, my bridge is falling down, and ‘We can’t afford to fix it’ is not a good enough answer for me. And if you can’t come up with a better one, then you’re back in the private sector”?

CLINTON: One of the things that I think should be done is the infrastructure bill that Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Kerry proposed, which sets up an infrastructure bank which would be seeded with U. S. taxpayers’ money, but it would be open to investors. Like, you and I could buy a $1,000 infrastructure bond, or the Chinese sovereign wealth fund, Saudi sovereign wealth fund, anybody could invest in it, and the returns on infrastructure are significant enough that in an uncertain stock market, I think you could get a lot of private capital.

And then it would be really interesting, it’d be a great opportunity — all this dispute about the one tenth of 1 percent of America that Paul Krugman’s always talking about. I believe that people of my income group should pay more, and I explained why, but that won’t necessarily lift overall wage levels. To do that, you’ve gotta have more jobs, a tighter labor market, different job mix. This is one way that wealthy Americans could really contribute. They could put hundreds of millions of dollars into the infrastructure bank, be a good investment for them, for their children, for their grandchildren, and they would directly contribute to revitalizing a big sector of middle-class wages in America and making our country more productive, so that we could create more opportunity. But I think that we could get a lot of grassroots support from, like, local chambers of commerce and other things if they understood exactly how this infrastructure bank would work. I hope that the president will make more of this, and I wouldn’t be as sure as everyone is now that nothing will be done next year. If we get this done, then I think he ought to challenge them to make a deal on corporate taxes and establishing the infrastructure bank that can take private capital, and you can make some slice of that deal repatriating a bunch of that money that’s overseas now at a lower tax rate, and put that money directly in the infrastructure bank. That’s the federal government’s contribution, and then open it up for other investment. And I think, you know, you might have $100 billion by the time you get done — that could put people to work right away.

(click here to continue reading Print – Bill Clinton: Someone We Can All Agree On – Esquire.)

Is this privatization? or just investment. If it is the latter, I’m for it. Our national infrastructure is crumbling, and the Republicans, for the most part, seem to be pleased about this. Repairing bridges, water mains and the like is also an employment boon – you can’t outsource that kind of work so easily.

Decline and Fall of Empire
Decline and Fall of Empire

I had never heard of this concept, turns out Senators John Kerry and Kay Bailey Hutchison proposed it back in March 2011, but I guess it went nowhere.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011 WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a press conference today, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Ranking Member of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), Member of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, announced legislation to create an infrastructure bank that would help close America’s widening infrastructure funding gap, create millions of American jobs in the next decade, and make the United States more competitive in the 21st century.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who also attended the event, underscored the unique coalition of business and labor uniting around this initiative.

“This is a bi-partisan moment to make a once bi-partisan issue bi-partisan once again,” said Sen. Kerry.  “Democrats and Republicans, business and labor, are now united to create an American infrastructure bank to leverage private investment, make America the world’s builders once again, and close the deficit in our infrastructure investments.  The BUILD Act will create good jobs, strengthen our competitiveness, and do more with less.  Most of all, this bill breaks a partisan stalemate to get America back in the game.  When you’ve got a Massachusetts Democrat, a Texas Republican, the Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO preaching from the same hymnal, you’ll find a sweet spot that can translate into a major legislative step forward.”

“I have been working to overhaul our nation’s aging infrastructure for nearly 20 years. This national infrastructure bank is an innovative way to leverage private-public partnerships and maximize private funding to address our water, transportation, and energy infrastructure needs. It is essential to think outside the box as we work to solve national challenges, particularly in this fiscal crisis. We must be creative to meet the needs of our country and to spur economic development and job growth while protecting taxpayers from new federal spending as much as possible,” said Sen. Hutchison, who served on the Commission to Promote Investment in America’s Infrastructure in 1993 as State Treasurer of Texas and is the Ranking Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee.

“The United States is spending less than two-percent of its GDP on infrastructure, while India spends five-percent and China spends nine-percent,” said Sen. Warner. “As a matter of global competitiveness, we need to find additional ways to upgrade our nation’s infrastructure, and this bank will help us strike the right balance between near-term discipline and investment in future growth.”

“A national infrastructure bank is a great place to start securing the funding we need to increase our mobility, create jobs, and enhance our global competitiveness,” said Donohue. “With a modest initial investment of $10 billion, a national infrastructure bank could leverage up to $600 billion in private investments to repair, modernize, and expand our ailing infrastructure system. While private capital is badly needed, we must also recognize our public financing mechanism is broken. Receipts to the Highway Trust Fund have fallen dramatically, funds are being diverted to non-infrastructure projects, and the gas tax has not been increased in 17 years. We need a multiyear highway bill to meet immediate needs, but we have to figure out a way to ensure we have adequate public investments for years to come.”

The Building and Upgrading Infrastructure for Long-Term Development (BUILD) Act would establish an American Infrastructure Financing Authority (AIFA) – a kind of infrastructure bank – to complement our existing infrastructure funding.  This institution, which would provide loans and loan guarantees, would be both fiscally responsible and robust enough to address America’s needs.

 

AIFA is independent of the political process.  It would fund the most important and most economically viable projects across the country, our states, and our communities.

AIFA is also fiscally responsible.  While AIFA will receive initial funding from the government, after that it must become self-sustaining.

Finally, AIFA relies on the private sector.  It can never provide more than 50 percent of a project’s costs, and in many cases would provide much less, just enough to bring in private investment.

(click here to continue reading John Kerry – United States Senator for Massachusetts: Press Room.)

Division Street Bridge
Division Street Bridge

More:

Earlier this year, Sen. John Kerry introduced the BUILD Act as new legislation to tackle the problems of jobs, economic growth and our declining infrastructure simultaneously. The centerpiece of the legislation calls for the creation of an American Infrastructure Financing Authority, or what is coming to be known as an “infrastructure bank.” This essay will touch on the fundamentals of the bill and the problem it attempts to solve, explain ways it could be improved, argue that it is a good idea, and advocate political support for it. The BUILD Act creates a financial institution modeled after the Export-Import Bank, which was created by FDR during the Great Depression. The bill would require a small amount of start-up capital financed by the federal government, but it would conduct its business as an independent agency. A CEO and a seven-member board of directors would be appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Although the initial start-up capital ($10B) would be provided by the federal government, the bank would be required to become self-sufficient in five years.

(click here to continue reading Daily Kos: Building on the BUILD Act.)

So, we’ll see. Apparently John Boehner’s House minions don’t like the idea of country first over party victory, so have refused to move the bill forward.

Written by Seth Anderson

January 22nd, 2012 at 9:45 am

Posted in Business,government

Tagged with ,

Taxes at the Top

without comments

Shouldn't That Be a Right Turn?
Shouldn’t That Be a Right Turn?

Mitt Romney isn’t the only clown who pays too little in taxes.

Paul Krugman writes, in part:

Defenders of low taxes on the rich mainly make two arguments: that low taxes on capital gains are a time-honored principle, and that they are needed to promote economic growth and job creation. Both claims are false.

When you hear about the low, low taxes of people like Mr. Romney, what you need to know is that it wasn’t always thus — and the days when the superrich paid much higher taxes weren’t that long ago. Back in 1986, Ronald Reagan — yes, Ronald Reagan — signed a tax reform equalizing top rates on earned income and capital gains at 28 percent. The rate rose further, to more than 29 percent, during Bill Clinton’s first term.

Low capital gains taxes date only from 1997, when Mr. Clinton struck a deal with Republicans in Congress in which he cut taxes on the rich in return for creation of the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And today’s ultralow rates — the lowest since the days of Herbert Hoover — date only from 2003, when former President George W. Bush rammed both a tax cut on capital gains and a tax cut on dividends through Congress, something he achieved by exploiting the illusion of triumph in Iraq.

Correspondingly, the low-tax status of the very rich is also a recent development. During Mr. Clinton’s first term, the top 400 taxpayers paid close to 30 percent of their income in federal taxes, and even after his tax deal they paid substantially more than they have since the 2003 cut.

So is it essential that the rich receive such a big tax break? There is a theoretical case for according special treatment to capital gains, but there are also theoretical and practical arguments against such special treatment. In particular, the huge gap between taxes on earned income and taxes on unearned income creates a perverse incentive to arrange one’s affairs so as to make income appear in the “right” category.

And the economic record certainly doesn’t support the notion that superlow taxes on the superrich are the key to prosperity. During that first Clinton term, when the very rich paid much higher taxes than they do now, the economy added 11.5 million jobs, dwarfing anything achieved even during the good years of the Bush administration.

(click here to continue reading Taxes at the Top – NYTimes.com.)

Just seems like greed to me, and short-sightedness on the part of the 1%. If the US continues its slow, inexorable decline into a banana republic, that can’t bode well for the rich. Hard to stay wealthy when the risk of kidnapping and robbing is real, and omnipresent. America did the best when the middle class had enough money to spend on things…

Written by Seth Anderson

January 22nd, 2012 at 9:25 am

US-TransCanada E-Mail Trail Reveals Corruption

without comments

Free to Change Your Mind.
Free to Change Your Mind.

A little insight into how Washington corruption works – not necessarily with a suitcase of cash, though that is implied, but rather with government officials having a cozy relationship with industry. The Obama administration is better than the prior regime, but not by much…

A State Department official provided Fourth of July party invitations, subtle coaching and cheerleading, and inside information about Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton’s meetings to a Washington lobbyist for a Canadian company seeking permission from the department to build a pipeline that would carry crude from the oil sands of Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

E-mails released Monday in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the environmental group Friends of the Earth paint a picture of a sometimes warm and collaborative relationship between the lobbyist for the pipeline company, Trans-Canada, and officials in the State Department, the agency responsible for evaluating and approving the billion-dollar project.

The exchanges provide a rare glimpse into how Washington works and the access familiarity can bring. The 200 pages are the second batch of documents and e-mails released so far.

They also offer insight into the company’s strategy, not revealed publicly before. TransCanada lobbyists exchanged e-mails with State Department officials in July about their intention to drop their request to operate the Keystone XL pipeline at higher pressures than normally allowed in the United States to win political support, but then suggested they would reapply for the exception once the project had been cleared.

“You see officials who see it as their business not to be an oversight agency but as a facilitator of TransCanada’s plans,” said Damon Moglen, the director of the climate and energy project for Friends of the Earth. While the e-mails refer to multiple meetings between TransCanada officials and assistant secretaries of state, he said, such access was denied to environmentalists seeking input, who had only one group meeting at that level.

Environmental groups argue that the 1,700-mile pipeline, which could carry 700,000 barrels a day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast of Texas, would result in unacceptably high emissions and disrupt pristine ecosystems.

(click here to continue reading Pipeline Foes See Bias in U.S.-TransCanada E-Mail – NYTimes.com.)

Behind the Scenes at the Garfield Conservatory

From the Friends of the Earth website:

We have received a new round of documents from the State Department in response to our Freedom of Information Act request. These documents are deeply disturbing in that they provide definitive evidence of pro-pipeline bias and complicity at the State Department — including one “smoking gun” email (PDF) in which State Department employee Marja Verloop literally cheers “Go Paul!” for pipeline lobbyist Paul Elliott after he announces TransCanada has secured Senator Max Baucus’ support for the pipeline.

The most interesting emails in this tranche are between Elliott and Verloop, a member of the senior diplomatic staff at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa, with responsibility for energy and environment issues. In one back and forth, Elliott and Verloop discuss TransCanada’s July 2010 decision to abandon its efforts to obtain special permission to pump oil through the Keystone XL at higher-than-usual pressures. The same exchange contains a reference to reassurances from the State side that the 90-day review would “delay…State’s recommendation of a presidential permit but such a delay won’t be as long as the one advocated for by the EPA.” (PDF)

The exchange indicates an understanding between the State Department and TransCanada that TransCanada would be in a position to apply for a pressure increase after getting the permit. The tacit understanding on the permit and NID timing was even relayed by Verloop to her boss, U.S. Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, in an email where she says to him: “TransCanada is comfortable and on board.” The revelation of the understanding between State and TransCanada on the pipeline pressure issue could be unwelcome to Senator Jon Tester, who announced his support for the pipeline only after he was reassured by TransCanada’s decision to lower the pressure.

 

(click here to continue reading New FOIA docs reveal smoking gun regarding State Department bias | Friends of the Earth.)

Written by Seth Anderson

October 5th, 2011 at 8:46 am

Danny Davis Tells Bill Clinton to Stay out of Chicago politics

without comments

Guarding

Or what? Congressman Davis will sic his good buddy the Rev Sun Moon on Clinton? Empty threat.

Congressman Danny Davis has a message for former President Bill Clinton: Don’t take sides in the Chicago mayor’s race — or else.

Davis, a longtime friend of Clinton, warned the ex-president on Tuesday that he could jeopardize his “long and fruitful relationship” with the black community if he campaigns for former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel instead of one of the two black candidates running — Davis or former Sen. Carol Moseley Braun.

The warning highlights the stakes in what is gearing up to be a contentious race for mayor in the nation’s third-largest city. About a dozen people have made it on to the ballot to replace retiring Mayor Richard M. Daley, who is bowing out after more than 20 years in office, giving candidates their first real shot at Chicago’s top job for the first time in two decades.

In a news release, Davis, a Democrat from Chicago’s West Side, said Clinton’s relationship with the black community may be “fractured and perhaps even broken” if he comes to town to stump for Emanuel, who moved back to Chicago this fall to run for mayor and is leading in the polls.

Davis later told The Associated Press that he intended the news release to be a personal appeal to Clinton, friend to friend.

(click to continue reading Congressman to Clinton: Stay out of Chicago politics – Bill Clinton – Salon.com.)

I don’t see Congressman Davis beating Rahm Emmanuel, now that Emmanuel is officially in the race.

Written by Seth Anderson

December 28th, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Sex, Drugs and Bill Clinton

without comments

Sounds like the perfect task for former President Clinton: he seems to genuinely love campaigning, kissing babies and shaking hands. The Democratic Party would be foolish not to give Clinton free reign to create a Never-Ending, Traveling  Campaign Circus. Give him a bio-fuel bus like Willie Nelson, and send him around the nation…

V O T E

[Bill] Clinton is getting credit for helping to resurrect the candidacy of Congressman Kendrick Meek, who gave up his safe seat to bid for the Democratic Senate nod. Meek was the presumed nominee for months, but then he got hit with a free-spending challenge from real-estate billionaire Jeff Greene, who made his money by buying credit default swaps that rose in value when subprime borrowers defaulted on their home loans. The “meltdown mogul”—as Meek dubbed him—pumped roughly $25 million into television and radio ads and mailings to likely primary voters. Not surprisingly, he surged in the polls.

Greene’s spending overwhelmed Meek and it appeared that another wealthy newcomer—like California Republican gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman, California Republican Senate nominee Carly Fiorina and Connecticut Republican Senate nominee Linda McMahon—might beat a buy a nomination that had been expected to go to a candidate with more experience but less money.

When Meek was at his weakest point, however, Clinton stepped in to campaign for the congressman, stumping in a state where the former president remains extremely popular with Democratic voters.

Then came a series of revelations about wild parties on Greene’s former home in Los Angeles—complete with appearances by boxer Mike Tyson and Hollywood madam Heidi Fleiss—and intoxicated romps aboard the billionaire’s private yacht.

The combination of Clinton’s campaigning—the ex-president attended five fundraisers for the congressman, sent two fundraising e-mails on his behalf, and then appeared at rallies in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties—and the sin-at-sea stories swirling around Greene shifted the dynamic of the race at the close.

 

(click to continue reading Sex, Drugs and Bill Clinton: Florida’s Ugly Senate Primary | The Nation.)

Clinton was never my favorite Democrat, but nobody can deny he is good ((usually) at campaigning.

Written by Seth Anderson

August 24th, 2010 at 2:45 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Clinton Vs. Starr Et Al revisited in new book

without comments


“The Death of American Virtue: Clinton vs. Starr” (Ken Gormley)

I’ll admit to remembering, with somewhat guilty pleasure, that I read every word of the Starr Report and related texts when it was dominating the American news back in the late 1990s. Seems like so long ago, but it really wasn’t. The show trial was so obviously partisan even Republican rubes in the office I worked at during this time admitted as such. We still talked about it a lot during our “water cooler” moments.

At the end of “The Death of American Virtue,” Ken Gormley’s tough, labyrinthine account of the legal nightmare that beset Bill Clinton’s presidency and led to his impeachment trial, Paula Jones takes stock. Ms. Jones, the woman who accused Mr. Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, of sexual harassment and saw her lawsuit snowball its way to the Supreme Court and take on constitutional ramifications, complains about “the mud they’d drug me through” and about being called trailer-park trash. “I never lived in a trailer in my life,” she says.

In a book that will surely rivet those willing to revisit such byzantine material, the legal handling of Ms. Lewinsky emerges in a new light. Mr. Gormley provides a detailed account of her initial entrapment by investigators from Mr. Starr’s office and raises serious procedural questions about how she was treated. Lured to a mall for a lunch date by Linda Tripp, who in this book sounds even more troubled and delusional than she used to, Ms. Lewinsky was ambushed by agents and essentially held hostage in a hotel room while they tried to extract information from her. The book provides participants’ accounts of this showdown and describes the agents’ efforts to dissuade Ms. Lewinsky from calling a lawyer. The agents would later insist they had not tried to frighten or browbeat her.

“So if I was allowed to call a lawyer, why didn’t I?” the sharp-sounding Ms. Lewinsky now asks Mr. Gormley. “Period. End of story. I’m not that stupid.” This book startlingly claims that a report critical of the conduct of the agents, who were eager to discuss the minutiae of Ms. Lewinsky’s sexual behavior, has been withheld from the public for reasons of privacy — their privacy. It contains many a bombshell of that magnitude.

[Click to continue reading Books Of The Times – Ken Gormley’s ‘Death of American Virtue’ – Clinton on Trial – Review – NYTimes.com]

So will I read this book? Probably yes, eventually, though I’ll wait until it comes out in remainder bins first. The whole affair was so juvenile in retrospect, especially when contrasted to the lack of impeachment proceedings against George Bush for much worse crimes than lying about receiving a blow job or two.

This book’s readers will quickly think of water. Facts overwhelm you like Niagara. And when you’ve finished reading about President Clinton and special prosecutor Ken Starr, you may want to take a long shower. Gormley, a professor of law at Duquesne (Archibald Cox), reviews the entire sordid business of Clinton’s foolishness and his enemies’ efforts to bring down his presidency. It’s not an edifying tale. Very few of the book’s cast come off well, except for Secret Service officials and a judge or two. If there’s a sympathetic character, it’s Susan McDougal, who refused to rat on her friends. Starr makes error after error and confuses vindictiveness with duty. While not altering the basic story in any way, Gormley gains much from effective interviews 10 years after with participants and his use of newly available documents. While his book is too long, Gormley remains in control of the details, and this riveting first look at events that only future history will put into full relief shows how affairs of sex and enmity can become affairs of state. 24 pages of b&w photos.

Ten years after one of the most polarizing political scandals in American history, author Ken Gormley offers an insightful, balanced, and revealing analysis of the events leading up to the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton. From Ken Starr’s initial Whitewater investigation through the Paula Jones sexual harassment suit to the Monica Lewinsky affair, The Death of American Virtue is a gripping chronicle of an ever-escalating political feeding frenzy.

In exclusive interviews, Bill Clinton, Ken Starr, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones, Susan McDougal, and many more key players offer candid reflections on that period. Drawing on never-before-released records and documents—including the Justice Department’s internal investigation into Starr, new details concerning the death of Vince Foster, and evidence from lawyers on both sides—Gormley sheds new light on a dark and divisive chapter, the aftereffects of which are still being felt in today’s political climate.

Written by Seth Anderson

February 14th, 2010 at 7:58 pm

Posted in politics,Suggestions

Tagged with , , ,

I’m not a racist…I’m a Democrat.

without comments

I’m glad I’m not the only who was bothered by this statement uttered by President Clinton1

Romans Discussing Motor Scooters 1993

But the part of the interview that worries me comes next, when President Clinton said,

“While I have devoted my life to getting rid of racism, I think this [health care] is a fight that my president and our party — this is one we need to win on the merits.”

This statement required a double take. President Clinton said that he has devoted his life to getting rid of racism? And no one challenged this assertion?
President Clinton has a very checkered past involving racial innuendo, stereotypes, and racialized political strategies. When he first ran for President in 1992 Bill Clinton attacked hip-hop artist Sister Souljah during his speech to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow Coalition. He likened her to former Klansman David Duke. After the 1984 and 1988 defeats of Democratic candidates, Clinton knew he needed to signal his independence from Jesse Jackson and the racially progressive wing of the Democratic Party. His unprovoked attack on Souljah was part of that active distancing. But, Clinton’s strategy was complex. During that same election, he also appeared on the Arsenio Hall show where he played the Saxophone. Clinton has always been masterful at both embracing and pushing away from black communities, black voters, and black interests based on his own political needs at the moment

Clinton used welfare reform and crime legislation to cement his position as a moderate “new” Democrat. Clinton’s policies made life substantially more difficult for poor black mothers and led to the incarceration of tens of thousands more black men. Repeatedly during his presidency Clinton found his way to the center by ignoring the material needs of black communities. He refused to fight for his nominee and law school friend Lani Guinier who was viciously and inaccurately labeled a “quota queen.” And when his wife was battling Barack Obama for the Democratic nomination last year, President Clinton’s own voice sounded shrill in precisely the same ways as some of Obama’s current opponents.

Despite his office in Harlem and his efforts in Africa, I am unconvinced by President Clinton’s assertion of a lifetime commitment to battling racism.

[Click to continue reading I’m not a racist…I’m a Democrat.]

An opportunist politician, in other words. Not claiming Bill Clinton is a racist, don’t misread me, but not deserving of the laurel he awards himself either.

Footnotes:
  1. in italics below []

Written by Seth Anderson

September 24th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

Reading Around on September 21st through September 23rd

without comments

A few interesting links collected September 21st through September 23rd:

  • ejshea.com » Blog Archive » Why You Should Protest That Tucker Max Movie – “Earlier today, I made a comment that we all should ignore Tucker Max and the movie adaption of his book, I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell.

    The very spot-on Whet Moser corrected me over Twitter, as soon as I said it, and he backed his reasoning with this post:

    Tucker Max Hates Fun.

    You all should read it right now.

    And after I finished reading it, I realized what a horrible, stupid, unreasoned response I made, thinking that the right response to misogyny is to be quiet and hope it goes away. It doesn’t and it never has and it never will. I have known that since I was a teenager, and discovered feminism, and identified as such”

  • lust Monster 1965.jpg
    [Lust Monster, 1965]

  • Inside Google Books: LIFE magazine now available on Google Books – starting today, visitors to Google Books will be able to search and browse even more magazines on Google Books. We’ve partnered with Life Inc. to digitize LIFE Magazine’s entire run as a weekly: over 1,860 issues, covering the years from 1936 to 1972. Most of us are familiar with the term “American Century,” but chances are few of us have been able to read Henry Luce’s defining editorial in its original context, a 1941 issue of LIFE. You’ll be able to find and read Leonard McCombe’s iconic cover and photo essay on a Texas Cowboy and Richard Meryman’s famous last interview with Marilyn Monroe. You can find a 1968 cover story on Georgia O’Keeffe
  • First Draft: Party On, Boris – He [Clinton] also relayed how Boris Yeltsin’s late-night drinking during a visit to Washington in 1995 nearly created an international incident. The Russian president was staying at Blair House, the government guest quarters. Late at night, Clinton told Branch, Secret Service agents found Yeltsin clad only in his underwear, standing alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and trying to hail a cab. He wanted a pizza, he told them, his words slurring.
  • Pinup_WWII.jpg
    [WWII pinup]

Written by swanksalot

September 23rd, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Reading Around on June 3rd through June 6th

without comments

A few interesting links collected June 3rd through June 6th:

  • Paying For Coffee by digby This post… – Those coffees and the Lincoln Bedroom were among the stupidest of the Clinton scandals — The DOJ said that the two events were unrelated, but that’s very hard to believe. If you were around during that time, we were in the grip of an hysteria not sen since the Salem Witch Trials. As far as the Village was concerned those coffees were worse than Watergate. I don’t believe for a minute that that the withdrawal of Tiller’s protective service was related. The prevailing narrative was that anyone who contributed to Clinton and attended those coffees had no legitimate claim to government services. It was automatically corrupt.

    You can’t blame Tiller’s assassination on this, of course. It was over ten years ago. But it underscores the fact that the culture wars are inherently political and that you can’t separate the conservative movement from the fringe. It’s a seamless system.

  • MenuPages Blog :: Chicago: Kevin Pang And The Infinite List Of Dick Jokes – [Pictured: Not the penis pho at Tank Noodle; rather #47; swanksalot / Flickr]
  • Pho - Number 47 and Rice Number 125

  • Thomas lawyer: court must ban all MediaSentry evidence – Ars Technica – “MediaSentry found Jammie by (1) using KaZaA to request a file transfer from Jammie’s computer to a MediaSentry computer; (2) using a separate program or programs to intercept the Internet packets being sent from Jammie’s computer to the MediaSentry computer as a result of this request; (3) reading the IP address of Jammie’s computer from these packets; and (4) tracing this IP address back to Jammie. This kind of investigation of network traffic is lawful only after certain procedures are followed: when there is prior approval by a court and when the person conducting the investigation is properly licensed. When these procedures are not followed, such investigation constitutes criminal wiretapping and the illegal collection of evidence by an unlicensed private investigator.”

Written by swanksalot

June 6th, 2009 at 5:05 pm

Why Clinton Lost

without comments

I read Howard Wolfson’s confession last Sunday, and burst out laughing. No wonder Clinton lost, Drudge is no longer relevant, if he ever was, but Wolfson and Penn et al, were still obsessed with Drudge’s nonsense.

Imperial Men's Wear

By the end of the campaign, I was seeing the Drudge siren in my sleep. As people in politics know all too well, Matt Drudge, the Internet provocateur who runs the Drudge Report Web site, posts a flashing siren whenever he wants to alert readers to major campaign news or rumors. The siren haunted my dreams and was always in the corner of my eye — except when it was in plain sight, on my computer screen, signifying success or, more often, terrible failure and impending doom. As soon as that siren started flashing, instant messages would pop up, just below the siren, one after another — each one beginning with “Seen Drudge?” until my entire computer screen was filled with instant-message boxes illuminated by the light of Drudge’s siren. It might have been beautiful if it hadn’t been so frightening.

HOWARD WOLFSON (communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign)

[From The Screens Issue – Moments That Mattered – NYTimes.com]

Clinton deserved to lose, in other words.

Written by Seth Anderson

November 28th, 2008 at 10:12 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with ,

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

without comments

More on the point of Clinton’s alleged baggage: after all the concern trolls1 in the media gnashing their collective teeth over Clinton and his conflicts of interest, turns out to be not worth concern.

Barack and Hillary wonder about Swank Franks

Whether Obama’s appointments make sense can only be judged when those he has chosen have an opportunity to perform — a caveat that applies to Clinton along with all the others, from Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff to Eric Holder as attorney general. But it should now be clear that the president-elect does not share the jaundiced view of the Clinton administration — or the Clintons — held so insistently by some of his own supporters.

For one thing, it should be plain that the exhaustive “vetting” process brought to bear on Bill and Hillary Clinton, and especially on his foundation and his business dealings, must have revealed nothing of grave concern to the Obama transition officials assigned to examine him. If it is true, as reported, that he will no longer accept certain speaking engagements that might pose an appearance of conflict with his wife’s position, that would be appropriate. It is equally likely, however, that the good work of his foundation will continue, since the Obama administration could scarcely wish to deprive a million or more impoverished people of the medicine and care that the former president has brought to them.

It will be interesting to see whether those who have raised the darkest suspicions about the former president will accept the benign assessment conferred on him by Obama.

[From Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Get over it, Clinton haters | Salon ]

Yeah, don’t hold your breath.

Footnotes:
  1. a term referring to those who pretend to worry about an issue, but are actually arguing from the other side. Explained more fully here []

Written by swanksalot

November 22nd, 2008 at 3:54 pm

Posted in politics

Tagged with , ,

When did experience become a flaw?

without comments

Lest we forget, the national media will be looking for any controversy to build their coverage of the new administration around. If there isn’t any drama, they will manufacture it.

Jamison Foser of Media Matters writes:

Midway through Bill Clinton’s first year as president, Time magazine reported that among the new president’s problems was “a staff that has almost no White House or executive experience,” pointing to then-political director Rahm Emanuel as a prime example.

Fast-forward 15 years: President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Emanuel to serve as his chief of staff. With years of high-level White House work under his belt, not to mention the connections and clout that come from having been one of the most powerful members of Congress, it would be quite a stretch to say that Emanuel lacks the experience to effectively serve Obama. So this time, some in the media have a different complaint. As CNN’s Anderson Cooper put it, Emanuel is “probably the ultimate Washington insider. … [T]he critics will say, well, look, if Obama is talking about change, why is he having a Washington insider?”

So: Emanuel was insufficiently experienced to serve as political director in 1993 — and now we’re to believe that he’s too experienced in Washington to serve as chief of staff? What gives? Was there a brief window in 2003 in which Emanuel’s level of experience was just right? Or is there something strange about the media’s assessment of President-elect Obama’s staffing decisions?

That Time assessment of Emanuel in 1993 was not unique. For 16 years, there has been near-universal agreement that the Clinton administration’s early struggles (real and perceived) were in large part due to a lack of White House and Washington experience on the part of Clinton’s staff.

[Continue reading Media Matters – Media Matters: When did experience become a flaw?]

Just like the public vetting of the Clintons, which turned out to be mostly based on allegations that there was dirty contributions to Bill Clinton, any little angle will be relentlessly hyped. Is it too soon to write off the corporate media?

Written by Seth Anderson

November 22nd, 2008 at 10:20 am