Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Chelsea Catches Softballs for Clinton.com

The lead story in this massive post-Thanksgiving catch up is the tale of how Chelsea Clinton (almost) sat down with Politico for some pre-staged questions: 

CNN "Journalist" Caught Red-Handed Doing Media Favors for Hillary; Politico's Mike Allen Caught Red-Handed Promising Hillary's People a "No Surprises" Interview of Chelsea, in Which Questions Would Be Worked Out Beforehand
Hillary wanted some self-serving quotes publicized, and CNN's "journalist" -- the same one who just got suspended for her liberal angst about concerns about Syrian refugees -- duly complied.

She also hit Rand Paul for not attending all the hearings -- just as she was seemingly asked.

Here's that journalist reporting back to Team Hillary about the anti-Rand-Paul tweet she'd tweeted out at their apparent behest . . .
 Go follow the links. More evidence that the media is completely bought by the Clintons.

“It’s not Politico’s policy to offer interview subjects the questions in advance but I did it anyway. Nevertheless, I will pay no price at Politico or from our so-called competitors in the DC Media because when it comes to electing Democrats, we all do it, we all know we do it, and if anyone comes after me I will expose them. In short, Democrats sure got it good.”
Related: “A July 2009 email to [Hillary] reads, ‘I just heard from a friend who is wired at Meet the Press that David Gregory is going to ask you about…’”
When caught, what's a reporter to do? Downplay it, and hope the rest of the media will cover: Politico reporter downplays 'clumsy' Chelsea Clinton request
Politico reporter Mike Allen on Monday downplayed his attempt to offer Chelsea Clinton a "relaxed" interview, and instead chalked it up to a "clumsy" email he wrote.

A 2013 email trail showed that Allen told Clinton aide Philippe Reines that if Chelsea Clinton agreed to an interview, the questions would be pre-screened. Allen said his offer amounted to a "no risk" interview opportunity for Clinton.

Allen didn't offer an explicit apology for the email, but did tell his readers "My bad!" in his Monday morning email. He then implied that he never really offered cushy interview terms to Clinton, since his employer doesn't allow him to make that offer.

"You may have missed a Gawker post last week that rightly took me to task for something clumsy I wrote in an email to Philippe Reines in 2013, seeking an interview with Chelsea Clinton at a Politico brunch," he said, referring to the site that first published the emails. "In the email, I said I'd agree to the questions in advance."

"I have never done that, and would never do that," he wrote.

"The email makes me cringe, because I should never have suggested we would," he added. "We retain full, unambiguous editorial control over our events and questioning. My bond with readers and newsmakers is built on knowing I don't pull punches."

Allen said Politico's policy is never to promise editorial control to an interview subject, and defended his past interviews as "spontaneous, conversational and news-driven."
But when that fails, Plan B is to blame the Republicans for making an issue out of it. 
From the Department of You Can’t Make This Up comes this Post headline: “Politico just handed Republicans a ‘liberal media’ conspiracy theory“.

First off, the headline is a lie. If it really happened, there is no conspiracy, and this really did happen.

And as you would expect, even though the Washington Post and Politico pose as competitors, the Post covers for Politico when it should be putting a boot to its competitor’s neck:
One interpretation of Allen’s e-mail to Philippe Reines, the Clinton aide, goes something like this: Hey, I’m looking for just a few minutes with Chelsea during an important time for her mom. This isn’t a probing, “60 Minutes”-style sit-down, so don’t worry about fielding anything out of left field.
Not so bad, right?
Uhm, the emails in question show Mike Allen outright, declaratively promising Chelsea Clinton a “no risk … no surprises … something she would like” interview where all the questions would be agreed upon in advance. He also offers to let her choose the topic of the interview.
. . .
If you’re wondering what proof I have that the Washington Post coordinates with Democrats to advance their agenda, all I can say is that I am a Washington Post subscriber.
Me too.

AP: Clintons earned $35 million from speeches to financial industry since 2001
In other words, maybe Bernie Sanders has a point. The Associated Press did some digging into the public records of Bill and Hillary Clinton and discovered that a significant part of their post-“dead broke” wealth came from the financial services industry. In fact, it would appear that revenues from speeches to the giants of that sector accounts for about a quarter of all their income after leaving the White House:
Hillary Rodham Clinton and husband Bill Clinton have made $35 million from 164 paid speeches to financial services, real estate and insurance companies since leaving the White House in 2001.
That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of public disclosure forms and records released by her campaign.
. . .
Her backers in the financial industry say they have little expectation her family’s personal profits will influence her policymaking, noting their own opposition to her plan to raise taxes on hedge fund and private equity gains known as carried interest.

“She and Bill were both government servants all of their life, and there was a set period of time when they could make money,” said venture capitalist Alan Patricof, a longtime Clinton fundraiser, of the Clintons’ paid speechmaking. “She had to maximize her earning potential.”
I can't imagine why: Hillary Clinton’s anti-Wall Street pitch wearing thin with skeptical liberals
After collecting $17 million in donations from big banks over the years, Mrs. Clinton is at risk of being seen as too cozy with Wall Street — an image Sen. Bernard Sanders, her chief competitor for the Democratic nomination, is hoping to capitalize on.

He’s running ads in Iowa and New Hampshire, home of the first caucuses and primaries, warning voters: “The truth is, you can’t change a corrupt system by taking its money.”

Mrs. Clinton was indignant at the charges at the last Democratic debate, citing the 9/11 terrorist attacks in saying Mr. Sanders impugned her integrity by suggesting her financial reforms were weak because of her campaign donations.
But would it be illegal if done by a Republican? Clinton made State awfully cozy for Foundation — and political — donors
Cozy, yes … but illegally so? Not exactly, says the Associated Press, but the confluence of Hillary Clinton’s power and a number of donors to her family foundation and political campaigns, as well as potential conflicts of interest over business opportunities, gives the impression of corruption. And it might be just that no one has yet uncovered a quid pro quo yet … or more than one:
The woman who would become a 2016 presidential candidate met or spoke by phone with nearly 100 corporate executives and long-time Clinton political and charity donors during her four years at the State Department between 2009 and 2013, records show.
Those formally scheduled meetings involved heads of companies and organizations that pursued business or private interests with the Obama administration, including with the State Department while Clinton was in charge.
The AP found no evidence of legal or ethical conflicts in Clinton’s meetings in its examination of 1,294 pages from the calendars. Her sit-downs with business leaders were not unique among recent secretaries of state, who sometimes summoned corporate executives to aid in international affairs, documents show.
But the difference with Clinton’s meetings was that she was a 2008 presidential contender who was widely expected to run again in 2016. Her availability to luminaries from politics, business and charity shows the extent to which her office became a sounding board for their interests. And her ties with so many familiar faces from those intersecting worlds were complicated by their lucrative financial largess and political support over the years — even during her State Department tenure — to her campaigns, her husband’s and to her family’s foundation.
Government of the Clintons, by the Clintons and for the Clintons. . .

And we have new revelations from Hillary's emails, as another tranche was released over the Thanksgiving weekend, officially making it old news.

The first should come as no shock by now: More Hillary Emails Turn Out to be Classified
Wonder of wonders The State Department released another batch of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server, and with that more indications Clinton possessed classified information on her unsecured private account according to Ed Henry.
"The bigger picture, the broader point here is Hillary Clinton back in March said no classified information on this server and as we continue to see the drip-drip there are indications, of course, that there are dozens of those emails already come out that did have classified information," Henry said.
Because, get this, she's a liar.

The number of emails containing classified information has been raised from about 600 to 700, Politico estimates.
But this one is kind of amusing: Emails show Clinton staff asked NFL for help spinning her concussion, the State Department blacked out its list of Hillary's 'achievements' and Madame Secretary couldn't find 'Homeland' on her TV
Hillary Clinton needed help finding the Showtime network on her cable box – so she could watch 'Homeland' – according to an email the State Department released Monday.

Her chief communications guru asked National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell for help spinning the press on the dangers of her December 2012 concussion, according to another message.

The State Department completely censored a third, which appeared to consist of a bullet-pointed list of four Clinton 'accomplishments' as secretary of state, determining it wasn't fit for disclosure under the Freedom Of Information Act's guidelines.
A brain-damaged Secretary of State is unable to operate simple electronics, and seeks advice from the experts at the NFL on how to mislead the public about the possible long term effects of her concussion. And the State Department is concealing her four accomplishments because they are embarrassing in the light of history?

Do Hillary's Emails Confirm Clinton-Obama Emnity?
The current batch of emails, along with those previously produced, suggest a better reason why Obama didn’t want Blumenthal inside his administration’s tent. Blumenthal’s emails display an open contempt for the president and his closest advisers. A good example is this one, sent on September 28, 2010. It concerns the upcoming midterm elections, in which, by late September, everyone anticipated a Republican victory. The email begins with Blumenthal’s assessment of what is going on among the Republicans, whom he hates with a venom that is, on the written page, creepy. More interesting are his comments on the Obama administration. . . .

This is what Sid Blumenthal said about Barack Obama and his minions:
1. A group of Democrats, including Paul Begala and David Brock, have given up on the White House, raised some money on their own, hired pollsters, drawn in Mike McCurry and others, and are plotting last minute desperate strategies. Welcome to Fort Apache. Begala says that after floating constant ideas to Rahm they are all knocked down by Obama himself.
2. Obama, as you have noticed, is on a nostalgia binge, campaigning on campuses, and sending cabinet secretaries to school gymnasiums across the country, attempting to relive the concert tour of 2008.
3. Rahm, as you know, is almost certainly leaving on Friday. Dutiful dolt (too kind a description) Jim Messina has taken over the politics. Politically, therefore, there is now no White House.
4. Stan Greenberg’s frantic gambit to get the House Democrats to take up tax cuts has collapsed, leaving them worse off than before, appearing ineffectual and divided. Nobody, it seems, anticipated this predictable outcome, not to mention that this approach wouldn’t help Democrats much and might marginally hurt them by raising tax cuts to the center of the campaign.
5. David Axelrod is whining about Rahm and Obama not following his wisdom, whining that he hates Washington, isn’t part of it, doesn’t get it, doesn’t want to get it, and yearns to leave. The inner circle loyalist turns disloyal, but in a miracle of utter obliviousness has no idea he’s damaging his principal and tarnishing the reputation (his own) he’s trying to save, unintentionally proving his larger point that he doesn’t fit in Washington—-all laid out in excruciating detail in an article in The New Republic. My friend, John Judis, at TNR, tells me that Axelrod backgrounded the writer of the piece. I’ve included it below. Skip the bio parts; just read Axelrod’s Complaint. Only Philip Roth could do this tragicomic justice.
Tick, tick, tick…
The reference to Portnoy’s Complaint is amusing, but Blumenthal’s deep contempt for Barack Obama and his closest allies comes through clearly.
As Hillary said of Sid "the Shiv's" previous emails, "keep 'em coming." No wonder he keeps getting paid by the Clinton Foundation.

Of course Hillary hates Obama; he stole the presidency from her fair and square. As the watermen like to say about crabs, oysters and fish: "We was owed "em."

Grassley worries about legal coordination on Clinton email server
Sen. Chuck Grassley appears to be worried that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is coordinating the legal defense of her unusual email system with former aides and outside companies.

According to an invoice from September, the Colorado-based firm that handled Clinton’s private email server billed her for “legal defense” and “PR” related to the device. The company reportedly billed $22,000 for the two line items.

“The invoice raises questions as to whether Secretary Clinton has similar arrangements with other people or entities associated with her email server,” Grassley (R-Iowa), who leads the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to lawyers for Clinton and her former top State Department aides on Wednesday.

“In light of this, it is important for the committee to know whether Secretary Clinton and her attorneys are providing financial support, legal support, or other coordination to those associates of hers who are involved in congressional committee and federal law enforcement inquiries relating to her email server.

“In particular, the committee needs to know whether the parties involved have participated in any third-party fee arrangements or joint defense agreements,” he added, warning that those arrangements could pose a conflict of interest.

Grassley noted that Bryan Pagliano, the former State Department employee who helped set up and maintain Clinton’s server, has discussed legal immunity in exchange for testimony about Clinton and her former advisers.

As such, his participation in possible joint legal arrangements “would raise substantial concerns,” Grassley warned.
Of course they're coordinating.

How NASA crushed Hillary Clinton’s dreams of being an astronaut
 Never let a day go by without learning something new if you can. For instance, I glanced through the news this morning and discovered something amazing: Hillary Clinton wanted to be an astronaut. This came as a bit of a shock, because from all the previous reporting I’d noticed regarding the presumptive Democrat nominee’s childhood dreams, I thought she wanted to be a Marine. (Before The Man crushed her hopes and dreams because she was a girl, that is.) But as it turns out, before she longed to storm the beaches at Iwo Jima, the future First Lady wanted to go into space. Sadly, she was once again informed that that the He Man Woman Hater’s Club wasn’t having any of that either. (Washington Post)
“Now, some of you may know that when I was a little girl growing up in Illinois, I was interested in all kinds of stories about women. And my mother … actually told me about Amelia Earhart. And then when we decided, under President Kennedy’s leadership, that our nation was going to go to the moon and we were going to have an astronaut program, I wanted to be an astronaut. So when I was about 13, I wrote to NASA and asked what I needed to do to try to be an astronaut. And of course, there weren’t any women astronauts, and NASA wrote me back and said there would not be any women astronauts. And I was just crestfallen. But then I realized I couldn’t see very well, and I wasn’t all that athletic, so probably, I wouldn’t be the first woman astronaut anyway.”
— Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speech at event celebrating Amelia Earhart, March 20, 2012
The fact checkers at the WaPo find themselves struggling with this one because, well… nobody seems to keep track of letters from half a century ago. But the overall tone of the supposed letter seems questionable
. . .
I’ll have to go with the Post on this one, at least to a point. She’s been telling the story for so long (not that I’d heard it) that perhaps she actually did write a letter, or at least believes she did. And they clearly weren’t taking women into the program at that point because it was pretty much just the men of steel test pilots who were chosen to go into space. But did NASA really smack her down in a dismissive fashion and tell her that there would not be any women astronauts? That sounds a bit too convenient to the 2016 edition of Hillary and the narrative she’s weaving for her base.
Dem primary over? Hillary snubs MoveOn.org
In the beginning of the year, Hillary Clinton had to stave off challenges, real and potential, from her Left. Bernie Sanders jumps in the race? Hillary becomes even more progressive than the Socialist from Vermont. Elizabeth Warren considers tossing her hat in the ring? Hillary becomes the Occupy in Occupy Wall Street, despite the Clintons having accepted more than $35 million in speaking fees from the financial industry over the past 14 years. Team Hillary couldn’t pander enough to progressives over the past several months, as long as they felt threatened by those challenges.

Now that Hillary looks like she can cruise to the nomination, all of a sudden progressive groups can’t get on her busy schedule. And not just any progressive group, mind you, but the one that originally formed to defend her husband:
Hillary Clinton declined to participate in a virtual presidential candidates’ forum hosted by MoveOn.org, snubbing one of the largest progressive groups that claims 8 million members.
. . .
“It’s a shame that Secretary Clinton declined to participate in the MoveOn member forum,” said Anna Galland, the executive director of MoveOn.org Civic Action, in a statement to MSNBC. “She missed an opportunity to speak directly to and energize the progressive base she’ll need in her corner not just to win the nomination but also the general election, if she is the party’s nominee.”
Team Hillary still remembers that MoveOn.org endorsed Barack Obama in 2007, fueling his prodigious fundraising in his challenge to Hillary Coronation 1.0. This time around, Hillary’s campaign has locked up much of the establishment donor base, so perhaps they’re less concerned that MoveOn’s fundraising will go to Sanders or O’Malley.
Two Hillary's in One!
Hillary Clinton calls for more ground troops as part of hawkish Isis strategy.
—The London Guardian, November 19th.

Clinton can’t “conceive” any condition for combat troops in Iraq, Syria.
—CBS, yesterday.

Unless she’s quietly added extra reinforcements to the exoskeleton, a Hillary divided against itself cannot stand!
Foolish consistency and all that. . .

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