Tag Archives: Benghazi

And then there were three…

Democratic presidential candidates Sanders, Clinton and O'Malley react to the crowd before the start of the first official Democratic candidates debate of the 2016 presidential campaign in Las Vegas

Reuters photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, former U.S. Secretary of State Billary Clinton and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (pictured above at last week’s first primary-season debate) are the three remaining candidates for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination. While the Democratic presidential field has narrowed, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential field remains a train wreck in which neither of the top-two candidates ever has held elected office. 

So the field of Democratic presidential aspirants has shrunk dramatically since last week’s first Democratic Party presidential primary-season debate.

Out of the running are Jim Webb (he dropped out on Tuesday) and Lincoln Chafee (he dropped out today), who, I easily had predicted while I live-blogged the debate, would drop out soon. And, of course, non-candidate Joe Biden announced the day before yesterday that he indeed is a non-candidate.

As I’ve written, Martin O’Malley appears to intend to hold on for a while longer, to, perhaps, at least get a vice-presidential bid out of it.

So we won’t have Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee to kick around at the second Dem debate, which is on Saturday, November 14, in Des Moines, Iowa. (The full Dem debate schedule is here.)

Billary Clinton’s performance yesterday before her “Benghazigate” inquisitors has been widely portrayed by the media as a win for her. I don’t know that that will increase her poll numbers, however; in fact, I doubt that it will.

As I’ve noted, it seems to me that the vast majority of voters know Billary well already and thus know already whether or not they support her. Therefore, I could have seen her performance yesterday harming her in the polls had she made any great stumble or stumbles, but, as others have noted, all that she really needed to do was not erupt like a volcano. This was the case probably especially in the wake of dipshit Repugnican Tea Party Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s on-air admission that the whole thing is a Repugnican Tea Party political witch hunt in the first place, which we’d all known all along anyway (well, those of us who have a grasp on reality have known all along, anyway).

So, again, I don’t see Billary having survived yesterday’s hearing giving her a significant increase in her polling, as well before yesterday most voters already knew whether or not they’re supporting her.

Again, what I’m waiting for now is to see how the polls shake out in the coming weeks with only Bernie Sanders, Billary Clinton and Martin O’Malley left in the running. Mostly, I’m interested in seeing how Joe Biden no longer being listed as a polling choice affects the polling between top-two contenders Bernie and Billary.

As I’ve noted, for some time now Biden consistently has come in at third place in nationwide presidential preference polls of Democrats and Democratic leaners (and in polls of Iowans and New Hampshirites). While he didn’t have a shot at winning the nomination – which is why, I’m confident, he ultimately decided not to run – at third place he’d been polling around 17 percent nationally (and also around 17 percent in Iowa and around 12 percent in New Hampshire), most of which now will be divvied between Bernie and Billary.

While the Democratic presidential race has settled to two main candidates, the Repugnican Tea Party presidential race remains a train wreck.

Donald Trump, who wasn’t supposed to last this long (he was supposed to be just a summertime fling – remember?), still leads the nationwide presidential-preference polling for his chosen party. Real Clear Politics (as I type this sentence) shows him around 27 percent among Repugnicans and Repugnican leaners, with Ben Carson in second place at 21.4 percent, Marco Rubio a distant third with 9.2 percent, and Ted Cruz at fourth with 7.8 percent.

Jeb! Bush is in fifth place nationally, with 7.2 percent (and reportedly, Jeb! today ordered his campaign to “cut payroll costs by 40 percent, downsize its Miami headquarters by more than 50 percent, reduce travel costs by 20 percent and cut 45 percent of spending on things other than media and voter contact”).

The members of the Repugnican Party establishment must be shitting their pants, with the presidentially unelectable Trump and Carson, who never have held any elected office before, having held on to the top two spots in the nationwide, Iowa and New Hampshire polls for a while now. (Carson now tops Trump in Iowa polling by four points, and Trump trumps Carson by 12 points in New Hampshire.)

Iowans caucus on February 1, and the New Hampshire primary is on February 9, so there are only about 14 weeks left before Iowa weighs in. Can the struggling campaigns of Jeb! Bush and Ted Cruz hold on that long? Maybe Cruz’s campaign can – I understand that he’s doing OK on money – but can Jeb!’s?

My money still is on Marco Rubio emerging as the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate – a candidate who is acceptable enough to both the establishmentarian Repugnicans and the “tea-party” nut jobs – but again, we have only 14 weeks to go, and Rubio’s nationwide polling – and his polling in Iowa and in New Hampshire – aren’t even at double digits, and Trump and Carson show no signs of slipping from their top-two perches. So if it’s going to be Rubio, the party’s establishmentarians have a lot of work to do over the next three months.

In the meantime, I still support Bernie Sanders, as I believe he’d be the best (that is, the most progressive) president of all of the viable presidential candidates.

The prediction markets favor Billary, the corporate punditry’s choice, over Bernie, but I stand behind Bernie, win or lose.

Minimally, Bernie’s candidacy has shifted the Democratic Party to the left, where it belongs.

Not that that would last all that long at all with a President Billary.

It was just on September 10 that Billary declared while campaigning in Ohio: “You know, I get accused of being kind of moderate and center. I plead guilty.”

During the October 13 Democratic debate, Billary claimed, “I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.”

I have little doubt that as far to the left Bernie could push Billary’s current campaign rhetoric, as president she’d actually deliver to us the same old corporate-ass-kissing, center-right bullshit that her husband did in the 1990s.

If Billary wins the White House – which, yes, I could see her losing to Marco Rubio (current polling match-ups have Clinton leading Rubio by not even two percentage points) – the best that we could say of Bernie Sanders’ candidacy, hopefully (even if he wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination but loses the White House), would be that he was to the Democratic Party in 2016 what Barry Goldwater was to the Republican Party in 1964: He set the stage for his party’s later resurgence.

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October should be good for Bernie

In this Oct. 3, 2015, photo, Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt, speaks during a campaign rally in Springfield, Mass. Sanders and his campaign team have a relatively simple plan for his debut appearance in a nationally televised debate:

Associated Press photo

The dynamics of the Democratic Party presidential primary race thus far — that the more people get to know Bernie Sanders, the better he does, while the more they get to know Billary Clinton, the worse she does — should be on dramatic display as this month unfolds. (Sanders is shown above at a rally in Springfield, Massachusetts, earlier this month.) Just by being himself, last fundraising quarter Sanders took in $26 million, only $2 million less than did Billary Clinton and more than did any of the many Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes.

The first of the too-few Democratic Party presidential debates is on Tuesday.

How is my candidate, Bernie Sanders, doing?

Fairly well.

The polls have been a bit stagnant as of late, although Billary Clinton continues to drop. Consider that nationally, she once led in the 60s, but that as of late nationally she’s in the low 40s (see here too).

She’s still polling ahead of any other candidate for the Democratic Party presidential nomination on the national level, but that she has fallen considerably short of having even half of her party members’ support is, methinks, significant, as is the fact that last fundraising quarter Billary raked in $28 million while her chief opponent, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, took in a very competitive $26 million.

While 77 percent of billionaire-unfriendly Sanders’ donations came from small donors, only 13 percent of billionaire-friendly Billary’s did.

So many people (real people, not corporations) parting with money for Sanders instead of Billary should scare the shit out of Team Billary. These same people who are giving Sanders what they can afford to give him will show up at the caucuses and primaries, whereas Billary’s main “people” — corporations — can give mountains of money but they can’t vote (not yet, anyway).

You need cash to run a presidential campaign, of course, but, in the end, you also have to get the votes.

Polling in first-in-the-nation Iowa, which caucuses on February 1, shows Billary only about 6 percent ahead of Bernie right now. Bernie, who has tied with Clinton in Iowa in past polling, has plenty of time to close that gap.

While I would love Bernie to beat Billary in Iowa — I hope that he does, and if I were to bet money on it, I would bet that he will — I expect him to come in at least at second place in Iowa.

Billary at one time polled at least in the low 60s in Iowa but now doesn’t poll at even 40 percent. Joe-Come-Lately Biden — if he ends up coming at all — polls at about 15 percent in Iowa right now, while Bernie polls around 31 percent. Add Biden’s and Bernie’s support together and that’s 46 percent of likely Iowa caucus-goers who don’t want Billary — to the about-37-percent support that Billary has in Iowa right now.

Should Biden not run after all — and time for him to jump into the race is running out — it will be interesting to see how much of Biden’s support Bernie inherits in Iowa and elsewhere.

I fully expect Bernie Sanders to win New Hampshire (which holds the nation’s first presidential primary election, on February 9), where he has held a significant lead over Billary for some time now. Right now he hovers around a lead of 9 percent over Billary (he’s around 39 percent and she is around 30 percent — she used to approach 60 percent in New Hampshire).

As I have written, if Sanders wins both Iowa and New Hampshire in February, I expect it to be over for Billary. Mathematically, yes, of course she still could win enough delegates from the subsequent states, especially in the South, where she is much more popular than is Sanders (because, as a Democrat in name only, she’s much further to the right than is Sanders; I mean, I wouldn’t brag about being popular among the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging Southerners).

But the presidential primary election battle isn’t based upon math alone; it’s based upon human nature, and human nature is such that the early winner spirals upward while the early loser spirals downward. As I’ve noted, if all 50 states voted on the same day in February, Billary probably would win, but that’s not how it will play out. The voting will roll out over several weeks, and over those weeks I see Berniementum mounting — and Hillary hemorrhaging.

You can’t quantify human nature, not really, and predicting it can be even more difficult, but, again, should Bernie Sanders win Iowa and New Hampshire — as in come in at first place in both states — I still don’t see Billary recovering from that. (She lost Iowa to Barack Obama in 2008, but at least then went on to beat Obama in New Hampshire.)

We’ll see how the debates go. Thus far Sanders has been fairly cordial to Billary; we’ll see if he continues that tack (I expect him to) and if so, how far it carries him. (And, if Billary actually attacks Bernie in the debates, we’ll see whether that works for her or whether it backfires on her. I would expect that it would backfire on her more than help her, and that even she might realize that and thus tread carefully.)

I don’t expect “Benghazigate” — Billary is scheduled to testify before the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress on the topic of Benghazi on October 22 — to sway very many people.

To those who hate Billary, Benghazi has always been a “scandal” — note that these same “people” pretending to care so very much about the deaths of four Americans in Libya never have given a flying fuck about the more than four thousand (4,000) of our troops who died in the unelected, treasonous Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — and to those who for some reason wuv Billary, Benghazi has been what it was: an unfortunate incident that happened in a dangerous part of the world, that may or may not have been preventable.

(And, of course, if Billary was a bad secretary of state for having “allowed” Benghazi, what of former “President” George W. Bush, who allowed almost 3,000 Americans to die on September 11, 2001, after the August 6, 2001 presidential daily brief titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”? Um, yeah. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors, being uber-hypocrites, refuse to acknowledge that their own shit reeks much, much worse than does any Democrat’s.)

We didn’t need wingnutty dipshit Kevin McCarthy to incredibly stupidly admit on television that “Benghazigate” all along has been a political witch hunt meant to bring down Billary Clinton. That was glaringly obvious from the beginning. Again, if these craven traitors of the right actually gave a shit about Americans and our troops, they would have investigated war criminals George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, et. al. by now.

But at the same time it’s hard for anyone who actually has paid attention to Billary Clinton’s political career to feel sorry for her. “Benghazigate” is (mostly) bullshit, but her home-brewed e-mail server is not, and it points to her being a power monger and it points to her character: Queen Billary is to be held accountable to no one.

To me, that Billary voted for the obviously bogus Vietraq War in October 2002 alone disqualifies her for the presidency. Thousands upon thousands of Iraqis and thousands of Americans have died — and the U.S. treasury was emptied — at least in part because then-U.S. Sen. Billary Clinton had calculated on that day in October 2002 that voting for the Vietraq War would be the best thing for her political future.

(The state that she represented as a carpetbagger in the U.S. Senate, New York, had been hit the worst on 9/11, you see, so apparently Billary went along with the Bush regime’s painting of the Vietraq War as Revenge for 9/11!, even though Iraq had had nothing, zip, zero, nil, nada, zilch to do with 9/11.)

Bernie Sanders voted against the Vietraq War when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was an incredibly important vote, and, as he usually does, he got it right. Billary, of course, got it incredibly wrong, and yes, that one vote should have ended her political career by now.

I digress a little — my point is that “Benghazigate” is unlikely to sway a significant chunk of voters to Billary (out of sympathy) or away from Billary (out of stupidly siding with her congressional inquisitors). Again, that Kevin McCarthy so helpfully publicly admitted that it’s a political witch hunt has only confirmed what we’ve long already known. I mean, Mittens Romney tried to make political hay out of Benghazi way back in 2012, for fuck’s sake. This is some stale fucking shit.

Speaking of stale fucking shit, Billary is so inherently unlikable (no, a stint, even a self-deprecating stint, on “Saturday Night Live” isn’t enough to change that fact) that I don’t expect scads of people to run to her side after her appearance before the “Benghazigate” assholes in Congress later this month.

However, Billary’s appearance before the “Benghazigate” assholes in Congress later this month will/would remind us how the Clintons are scandal magnets. That’s not entirely fair, as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors largely have attacked the Clintons grossly unfairly over the past decades (I mean, a blow job?), but scandal fatigue is scandal fatigue, and that fatigue persists within the electorate regardless of who is more at fault for it.

I see nothing on Billary’s horizon to reverse her drop in the polls. It seems safe to conclude that the more people get to know her, the less they like her — thus, her drop in the national polls from the 60s to the low 40s. Therefore, I don’t see the upcoming debates helping her. More exposure is worse for her, which is why the pro-Billary, DINO head of the Democratic National Committee, the God-awful Debbie Wasserman Schultz, rigged the game for Billary by scheduling so few presidential primary debates.

The opposite is true for Bernie Sanders: the more exposure he has, the higher he climbs. He never was supposed to be doing this well, pulling in $26 million to Billary’s $28 million and out-polling her in New Hampshire and being competitive with her in Iowa at this point in the game.

Sanders has nowhere to go but up. I expect even the too-few debates to help him, and he won’t be called to testify before the wingnuts in Congress in any witch hunt. And he has no ongoing e-mail scandal.

By this month’s end, I expect Sanders to overtake Billary decisively in the Iowa polling and I expect his polling in New Hampshire and in the nation as a whole to increase while Billary’s drops.

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Billary probably can’t survive losing both Iowa and New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) takes a question during a news conference

Reuters photo

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is seeking the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, appears at a news conference in Washington, D.C., today. A new poll for the first time shows him beating Billary Clinton in the pivotal early state of Iowa, albeit within the poll’s margin of error. He wasn’t supposed to ever do even that well against the “inevitable” Billary, on whom he has been maintaining a solid lead in the also-pivotal early state of New Hampshire already.

For the first time, Bernie Sanders has taken a lead over Billary Clinton on the first-in-the-nation-to-weigh-in state of Iowa (the Iowa caucuses are on February 1). True, his lead is within the margin of error – he polled at 41 percent to Billary’s 40 percent – but still, it is the strongest that he has polled thus far in Iowa. A series of recent polls already has him leading Billary well outside of the margin of error in the second-to-weigh-in state of New Hampshire (the New Hampshire primary is on February 9).

Team Billary is under the assumption – or at least wants the rest of us to believe – that Billary can lose both Iowa and New Hampshire yet still win the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Can she?

Probably not.

The only Democrat who won the party’s presidential nomination without having won, that is, come in at No. 1 in at least Iowa or New Hampshire, was Bill Clinton, in 1992. Since the Democratic Party went to its current system of selecting its presidential candidate in 1976, the he-Clinton remains the only candidate who did not win Iowa or New Hampshire yet still won the party’s presidential nomination.

Bill Clinton had come in at third place in Iowa and second place in New Hampshire in 1992, so his eventual win of the nomination perhaps was a statistical outlier, but it was not shocking.

Can Billary – if she doesn’t come in at first place in Iowa or New Hampshire in February – repeat her hubby’s 1992 performance?

Methinks not.

In 1992, the Clintons were unknown to the majority of the nation. Bill Clinton was fresh back then. Since then, The Mountain of Clinton Baggage has only grown, and Billary Clinton never has been as popular as has been her spouse. She’s always only ever been a cheaper knock-off of him.

Perhaps it goes back, at least in part, to the fact that before Billary, no former first lady ever had sought the White House herself; perhaps this is considered (fairly or unfairly) by some if not even most Americans to be an unseemly thing to do.

But the No. 1 factor that is harming Billary is Billary. She is unlikeable. She comes across as wooden and insincere, as cold and calculating – because she very apparently is – and whether it’s “fair” or not, superficial factors harm her, such as her voice, which aptly has been compared to the sounds of fingernails on a chalkboard. Unlike Elizabeth Warren, for example, who comes across as wise and reassuring (the strong, good mother archetype – an actual pit bull with lipstick), Billary comes across as shrill and self-serving (the shrieking harpy, the bad mother archetype).

As far as her record is concerned, human (well, we think she’s human) weather vane Billary’s politically (mis)calculated October 2002 vote for the Vietraq War in the U.S. Senate (Sanders wisely voted against the war in the U.S. House of Representatives) is reason enough to keep her from ever occupying the Oval Office.

Team Billary’s plan, the media have reported, is to be able to lose Iowa and New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders but then come back resoundingly on “Super Tuesday,” which is March 1, when a dozen states will hold caucuses and primary elections. (Only four states hold primaries and causes in February: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, in that chronological order.)

This “comeback plan” assumes that E-mailgate won’t continue to take its toll on Billary between now and “Super Tuesday,” but expect unflattering Billary-related news to roll in over the coming months – the Repugnican-Tea-Party-controlled Congress really wants to talk to the man whom Billary paid to set up her home-brewed e-mail server, and Billary is scheduled to testify again before Congress regarding Benghazi next month, for instance – and expect this news to remind us of what it means to have a scandal/“scandal”-magnet Clinton in the White House.

Don’t get me entirely wrong; Benghazigate is mostly bullshit, and it’s interesting that the same Repugnican Tea Party traitors who never have cared about the more than 4,000 of our troops killed in the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War suddenly care so much about the lives of four Americans in the Middle East, but nonetheless, what Billary faces now that her husband did not face in 1992, when he eked out a victory in the Democratic Party presidential primary season, was Clinton Fatigue.

Will the Democratic and left-leaning primary-season voters still be able to surmount Clinton Fatigue and make Billary the nominee if she doesn’t win Iowa or New Hampshire?

Or will Billary implode if she doesn’t win Iowa or New Hampshire? Will she bleed out fatally, as voters suddenly finally realize how weak a presidential candidate she truly, actually is?

My money would be on the latter.

And as I’ve noted, it’s awfully interesting that the conventional-“wisdom” pundits and the Clintonistas assert, when winning Iowa alone gives a big boost to a candidate — the last time that the Democratic winner of Iowa didn’t go on to become the party’s presidential nominee was in 1992 (which was an odd year for the Democratic presidential race in general) — that Bernie Sanders might win both Iowa and New Hampshire yet still not win the nomination.

In the meantime, my dream ticket for 2016 would be Bernie Sanders and his fellow U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The No. 2 spot would position Warren nicely to be president of the United States of America after President Sanders.

We’re long overdue for our first female president, but our first female president should not be the dynastic, center-right, Democrat-in-name-only Billary Clinton.

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E-mailgate might give Elizabeth Warren an opening

Hillary Clinton Email Servers Home Scandal Private Email Secretary of State

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E-mailgate may not be enough to sink the U.S.S. Billary – and create a fabulous opening for the person who should be the next president of the United States, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren – but the scandal does, at the minimum, demonstrate that Billary Clinton has more baggage than does O’Hare International Airport.

Worse than the fact that Billary never even had a -.gov e-mail address during her tenure as U.S. secretary of state, but used a personal e-mail address instead*, is the fact that Billary’s personal e-mails were stored on her own Internet server entirely under her own control. Reports The Associated Press today (emphases are mine):

Washington — The computer server that transmitted and received Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mails — on a private account she used exclusively for official business when she was secretary of state — traced back to an Internet service registered to her family’s home in Chappaqua, New York, according to Internet records reviewed by The Associated Press.

The highly unusual practice of a Cabinet-level official physically running her own e-mail would have given Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate, impressive control over limiting access to her message archives. It also would distinguish Clinton’s secretive e-mail practices as far more sophisticated than some politicians, including Mitt Romney and Sarah Palin, who were caught conducting official business using free e-mail services operated by Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc.

Most Internet users rely on professional outside companies, such as Google Inc. or their own employers, for the behind-the-scenes complexities of managing their e-mail communications. Government employees generally use servers run by federal agencies where they work.

In most cases, individuals who operate their own e-mail servers are technical experts or users so concerned about issues of privacy and surveillance they take matters into their own hands. It was not immediately clear exactly where Clinton ran that computer system.

Clinton has not described her motivation for using a private e-mail account — hdr22@clintonemail.com, which traced back to her own private e-mail server registered under an apparent pseudonym — for official State Department business.

Operating her own server would have afforded Clinton additional legal opportunities to block government or private subpoenas in criminal, administrative or civil cases because her lawyers could object in court before being forced to turn over any e-mails. And since the Secret Service was guarding Clinton’s home, an e-mail server there would have been well protected from theft or a physical hacking. 

But homemade e-mail servers are generally not as reliable, secure from hackers or protected from fires or floods as those in commercial data centers. Those professional facilities provide monitoring for viruses or hacking attempts, regulated temperatures, off-site backups, generators in case of power outages, fire-suppression systems and redundant communications lines.

A spokesman for Clinton did not respond to requests seeking comment from the AP [yesterday]. Clinton ignored the issue during a speech [last] night at the 30th anniversary gala of EMILY’s List, which works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights.

It was unclear whom Clinton hired to set up or maintain her private e-mail server, which the AP traced to a mysterious identity, Eric Hoteham. That name does not appear in public records databases, campaign contribution records or Internet background searches. Hoteham was listed as the customer at Clinton’s $1.7 million home on Old House Lane in Chappaqua in records registering the Internet address for her e-mail server since August 2010.

The Hoteham personality also is associated with a separate e-mail server, presidentclinton.com, and a non-functioning website, wjcoffice.com, all linked to the same residential Internet account as Clinton’s e-mail server. …

E-mailgate indeed speaks to Billary’s respect for transparency, as well as (further) exposes her apparent issues over power and control. I mean, fuck: she eschewed a federal government Internet server for her own Internet server, as though it weren’t about the U.S. government, but were All About Billary.

Further, as fellow left-wing commentator Ted Rall writes (links are Rall’s):

… Under the Federal Records Act of 1950, which has been amended several times, “all government employees and contractors are required by law to make and preserve records containing adequate and proper documentation of the organization, functions, policies, decisions, procedures, and essential transactions of the agency.”

During his first full day as president in January 2009, President Obama directed federal agencies to preserve all e-mails relating to government business so that agencies could add them to paper and other non-digital records requested as part of Freedom of Information Act requests, subpoenaed by judges for judicial reasons, and for eventual transfer to the National Archives for study by historians.

Clinton served as Secretary of State between 2009 and 2013. So clearly her e-mails and fell under the purview of the law.

It is difficult to imagine that, as a high-level politician and recent presidential candidate, Clinton was unaware of this requirement. In 2007, the scandal over the Bush administration’s dismissal of eight U.S. attorneys centered around precisely the same issue: the destruction of up to 5 million e-mails authored by Bush administration and Republican Party officials, which were either lost or intentionally deleted because they weren’t sent using government e-mail accounts.

Upon taking charge of the State Department, Clinton made the same exact move as the Bush people caught up in the U.S. attorney scandal two years before. Whereas Bush and Republican party operatives created a private domain, gwb43.com, in order to keep prying Democratic and journalist eyes out of their correspondence, Clinton’s staff registered the domain that she used, clintonemail.com, on January 13, 2009 – one week before Obama’s inauguration, on the day of her confirmation hearings.

Millions of Americans go to work at new jobs where, as part of the standard human resources package, they receive a new company e-mail account. This happens at countless federal, state, and city government agencies as well. For some reason, however, Hillary Clinton not only never used her state.gov e-mail address – she was never issued one. …

Rall later asks in his column, which you should read, “The question isn’t how many e-mails [Billary] has turned over; the question is, where are the rest of them?”

Again, E-mailgate shows us, I think, what Billary is all about: power for power’s sake, and more and more power for herself. (Not that we didn’t already know that.)

Is anyone above Billary? Is she accountable to anyone? I mean, as secretary of state she very apparently violated the directive of her boss, President Barack Obama, regarding the retention of e-mails related to U.S. government business.

We know – we have known for some time now – all that we need to know about Billary Clinton. If we let her into the White House, we’ll get the president that we deserve.

*Here is the New York Times reportage from Monday that brought E-mailgate to light: (emphases are mine):

Washington — Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal e-mail account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Clinton did not have a government e-mail address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal e-mails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal e-mails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of e-mails were given to the department. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

A spokesman for Clinton, Nick Merrill, defended her use of the personal e-mail account and said she has been complying with the “letter and spirit of the rules.”

Under federal law, however, letters and e-mails written and received by federal officials, such as the secretary of state, are considered government records and are supposed to be retained so that congressional committees, historians and members of the news media can find them. There are exceptions to the law for certain classified and sensitive materials.

Clinton is not the first government official — or first secretary of state — to use a personal e-mail account on which to conduct official business. But her exclusive use of her private e-mail, for all of her work, appears unusual, Baron said. The use of private e-mail accounts is supposed to be limited to emergencies, experts said, such as when an agency’s computer server is not working.

“I can recall no instance in my time at the National Archives when a high-ranking official at an executive branch agency solely used a personal e-mail account for the transaction of government business,” said Baron, who worked at the agency from 2000 to 2013.

Regulations from the National Archives and Records Administration at the time required that any e-mails sent or received from personal accounts be preserved as part of the agency’s records. But Clinton and her aides failed to do so.

How many e-mails were in Clinton’s account is not clear, and neither is the process her advisers used to determine which ones related to her work at the State Department before turning them over.

“It’s a shame it didn’t take place automatically when she was secretary of state as it should have,” said Thomas S. Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, a group based at George Washington University that advocates government transparency. “Someone in the State Department deserves credit for taking the initiative to ask for the records back. Most of the time it takes the threat of litigation and embarrassment.”

Blanton said high-level officials should operate as President Obama does, e-mailing from a secure government account, with every record preserved for historical purposes. “Personal e-mails are not secure,” he said. “Senior officials should not be using them.”

Penalties for not complying with federal record-keeping requirements are rare, because the National Archives has few enforcement abilities.

Merrill, the spokesman for Clinton, declined to detail why she had chosen to conduct State Department business from her personal account. He said that because Clinton had been sending e-mails to other State Department officials at their government accounts, she had “every expectation they would be retained.” He did not address e-mails that Clinton may have sent to foreign leaders, people in the private sector or government officials outside the State Department.

The revelation about the private e-mail account echoes longstanding criticisms directed at both the former secretary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, for a lack of transparency and inclination toward secrecy.

And others who, like Clinton, are eyeing a candidacy for the White House are stressing a very different approach. Jeb Bush, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president, released a trove of e-mails in December from his eight years as governor of Florida.

It is not clear whether Clinton’s private e-mail account included encryption or other security measures, given the sensitivity of her diplomatic activity. 

Clinton’s successor, Secretary of State John Kerry, has used a government e-mail account since taking over the role, and his correspondence is being preserved contemporaneously as part of State Department records, according to his aides.

The existence of Clinton’s personal e-mail account was discovered by a House committee investigating the attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi as it sought correspondence between Clinton and her aides about the attack. …

As I’ve written before, Benghazigate is bullshit – the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who wish to make the deaths of four Americans in Libya into a huge issue have, puzzlingly, had no problem whatsofuckingever with the deaths of more than 4,000 of our troops in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War – but it was skeezy of Clinton to use personal e-mail for her public office’s business and then decide which personal e-mails – which very apparently are in her sole possession (with the exception of the recipients of those e-mails) – to ultimately turn over for the record or for any other legitimate purpose.

I am a huge advocate of privacy, and in general I oppose anyone reading anyone else’s e-mails, but most of us never were or ever will be U.S. secretary of state. And Billary apparently did break the law, which apparently her successor John Kerry has not had a problem following.

It’s too early, it seems to me, to know whether or not E-mailgate will grow legs, but for the time being, it seems to me that if E-mailgate is Billary’s biggest scandal between now and 2016 presidential primary season, she probably will be OK in her quest for the White House if she presses on with that quest, as E-mailgate isn’t exactly very sexy. But E-mailgate does demonstrate that Billary is so embattled and so controversial that she might never get to the White House.

And I hope that she doesn’t, of course.

Even if I have to pick between Billary and a Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate on November 8, 2016, at this point – with the Democratic Party having sold out at least since Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office – I can’t see myself ever casting a vote for Billary. I most likely would vote for the Green Party candidate, whoever that is, if my Democratic Party choice for president in November 2016 is Billary.

(Let me remind you that the U.S. president is not chosen by popular vote, but by the Electoral College, and that if Billary is on the November 2016 ballot for U.S. president, she’ll win California and all of its 55 electoral votes, whether I vote or not. [Billary won California over Barack Obama in their protracted fight for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Billary is a DINO sellout, but she wins in California, coasting on her surname.])

I still don’t believe that President Billary is Inevitable. Widespread Billary Fatigue, should Billary win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, just might win the Repugnicans the White House next presidential election, it seems to me, so Repugnican attacks on Billary might backfire on them if Billary doesn’t run after all, if she begins to run but then drops out, or runs but actually is beaten by a challenger, as she was by Obama in 2008.

If a candidate who is stronger than Billary – like, oh, say, Elizabeth Warren (who doesn’t have nearly the amount of baggage and who, entirely unlike Billary, is credible on the issue of boosting the middle class and the working class and tackling the obscene income inequality in the United States) – ultimately is the 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate, the Repugnicans easily could lose the White House that they could have won had it been Billary on the ballot.

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It’s (probably) Billary’s if she wants it

FILE - In this April 2, 2013, file photo Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton are seen in Washington. Clinton, whose popularity is high when out of public office and who carries the scars of being seen as inevitable in 2008, is trying to strike the right careful balance between staying out of the daily political maelstrom and setting herself up for a possible second presidential run. Her fans and foes are making that difficult. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Associated Press photo

Recent polls put Billary Clinton (photographed above with Vice President Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., in April) at 50 (yes, fifty) or more percentage points ahead of Biden for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, and show her beating her toughest potential Repugnican Tea Party challenger, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, an average of 6 percentage points in the November 2016 presidential election. If Billary runs for president in 2016, she most likely will be our nation’s first female president, so it’s too fucking bad that her record indicates that as president she’d be little to no more progressive than the dismally disappointing Barack Obama has been…

Admittedly, I have wondered if Billary Clinton would have been a better president that President Hopey Changey has turned out to be. In 2017 and the following years, most likely, we’ll find out.

Smug individuals point out that Barack Obama for 2008 campaigned as a moderate and that thus the way that his presidency has unfolded could have come as a surprise to no one. My response to that, in a word, is: bullshit.

It’s true that Obama did not campaign as a radical. Crucial to his 2008 victory, I think, was the fact that he didn’t come off as “threatening” to too many white voters, as though once in the Oval Office he’d orchestrate the violent overthrow of the white ruling class by blacks, a revolution that many whiteys, at least in the back of their minds, still fear even today (they’re still talking about the New Black Panthers non-scandal, for fuck’s sake), a revolution that never could be successful any year soon, given the fact that the 2010 U.S. Census put whites at 72.4 percent of the American population and blacks at only 12.6 percent (not to mention the giant gap in wealth and power between white Americans and black Americans as groups).

It’s true that in his first presidential campaign Obama’s mantra was so-called “bipartisanship,” and that his stated goal was that he basically wanted to induce all of us to hold hands around the national campfire and sing rounds of “Kumbaya” until we all dropped of exhaustion.

It’s true that I cringed when Obama repeatedly publicly evoked the name of Ronald Fucking Reagan as A Model President, as though a Repugnican president would publicly praise Bill Clinton or even Jimmy Carter. (The last Democratic president that any of the Repugnican Party set have viewed as remotely OK to praise publicly is John F. Kennedy, probably because he’s dead and because the way that he died made him a bit of a martyr.)

But Obama in his first campaign for the White House also promised “hope” and “change” — ubiquitously and relentlessly — and promised to turn the nation around, promised to undo the damage of the eight long years of the unelected Bush regime.

The word “change” means something, and it does not mean “status quo.” Obama had talked and written about the “audacity of hope.” We were to bravely dare to hope. Just like he claimed he did.

And while Obama never promised to be a left-wing radical, we progressives understood that, politically, he probably couldn’t afford to do so, not if he wanted to actually win the White House, but while Obama was campaigning at least as a progressive lite, Billary Clinton, as her quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination became more and more desperate, acted as though she weren’t a limousine liberal.

After Obama had taken some heat for having stated during a private fundraiser in San Francisco (!) in April 2008 that some Americans “cling” to their “guns or religion” (which is, um, true*) — audio of which was leaked to the public (probably by the Clintonistas)  the desperate Billary saw an opportunity and so she took some shots: an actual shot of whiskey to show what a bad-ass redneck she actually is, and a shot at Obama, calling him “elitist and out of touch” and remarking, “I was taken aback by the demeaning remarks Senator Obama made about people in small-town America.”

Jesus fuck, I thought at the time (and still think). Which party’s presidential nomination is it that she wants?

Seriously: Billary was using the same rhetoric that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors were using against her own party. (Well, OK, this was in 2008, before the rise and fall of the so-called “tea party,” but still…) Billary painted Obama as an “out-of-touch” “elitist,” as though she weren’t a carpetbagging Beltway hack herself, and as though the state she had dragged her carpetbag to, New York, were a red state (indeed, New York is bluer than is Obama’s Illinois).

Given Billary’s mad dash to the right as she became more and more desperate in her losing quest for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, given her vote for the unelected Bush regime’s obviously bogus Vietraq War in October 2002, and given her husband’s destruction of the Democratic Party through the now-thank-Goddess-defunct “Democratic Leadership Council,” which dragged the party to the right to the point that the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Tea Party now pretty much are the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — two plutocrat-and-corporation-loving parties that, like Coke and Pepsi, are hard for many if not most of us to differentiate — Barack Obama to me was the obvious choice in 2008.

But now, five years later, admittedly, I have to wonder if Billary would have been a better president than Obama has been.

It wouldn’t have taken much for Billary to have done a better job as president than Obama has, given that as president Obama has done little, that he squandered his best opportunity to push through an actually progressive agenda (which was in 2009 and 2010), that instead of tackling the nation’s in-its-death-throes economy head on, he spent all of his initial political capital on “Obamacare” (I have to wonder if he had wanted to accomplish what Billary had tried but failed to accomplish when she was first lady — to reform health care), and that because Obama squandered his initial wealth of political capital, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors regained the House of Representatives in late 2010 and probably will retain it after the November 2014 election, thus ensuring that Obama will have no legacy other than the dubious “legacy” of “Obamacare.”

Would Billary Clinton as president have spectacularly squandered the political opportunity of 2009 and 2010 like Obama, with both houses of Congress controlled by his own party, did?

Sure, you might say, she would have tried again with health-care reform, and perhaps she would have, but at the same time, her husband’s mantra for his 1992 presidential run was the James-Carville-credited “It’s the economy, stupid!”

My guess — and, admittedly, it’s just a guess, just a hunch — is that as president, Billary would have worked to fix the economy first, and then focused on health-care reform later (if she ever took it up at all).

Consequently, my further guess is that had Billary been elected as president in 2008, the Democrats would have kept the House of Representatives after the November 2010 elections, allowing Billary to continue pushing for an actually progressive agenda beyond her first two years in office.

Barack Obama has been such a fucking failure and such a dismal disappointment, and already is a lame duck so early into his second term that already the 2016 presidential speculation has heated up; all of us already are looking to what comes after him, knowing that the rest of his second term will be, at best, a wash.

I mean, Billary Clinton is getting her own fucking miniseries on NBC, for fuck’s sake.

Yes, today.com reports:

Betting on Hillary Clinton’s second candidacy for president, NBC has ordered a four-hour miniseries based on the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state’s life.

“Hillary,” starring Diane Lane [as Billary], will recount Clinton’s life from 1998 to the present and will be written by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Courtney Hunt (“Frozen River”). NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt announced the miniseries [yesterday] at the Television Critics Association summer press tour.

“I think she’s one of the most fascinating women of our time and this world,” Greenblatt [said]. “And on the precipice of what we all assume will be her running for president, we think it’s an interesting story to tell with classy producers and a great star.”

The script, which has not been written, will begin with Clinton living in the White House during her husband’s second term and will likely include her second run at becoming the nation’s first female president. It is not based on a book and Clinton is not involved with the project, Greenblatt said. Lane was already attached to the mini-series when NBC bought it, Greenblatt said. …

The miniseries would likely air before Clinton would announce her candidacy if she decides to pursue the nation’s highest office. …

Since Bill Clinton was impeached by the Repugnican-controlled House of Representatives over the (literally…) messy Monica Lewinsky scandal in December 1998 (and was acquitted in February 1999 by the Repugnican-controlled Senate, which could not muster the 67 votes necessary to remove a president from office), presumably the miniseries will begin with the bullshit, uber-partisan Lewinsky affair, but I expect the miniseries to get it over with fairly quickly.

Anyway, I get it that the NBC bigwig is shilling the show, but how, exactly, is Billary Clinton “one of the most fascinating women of our time and this world”?

What, exactly, has this whiskey-guzzling, supposedly “elitist”-hating, carpetbagging, Vietraq-War-rubber-stamping woman accomplished? Does not pretty much everything that she has “accomplished” stem from the fact that she has been married to William Jefferson Clinton?

Would the voters of New York have elected her as their U.S. senator in 2000 had she not first been first lady? Or, like almost anyone else would have been, would she have been rejected by New York’s voters as the shameless carpetbagger that she was?

How is gaining success via your spouse “fascinating”? Or inspiring? And what, exactly, does it do for feminism?

I’m more than ready for our First Female President, but I can’t say that I’m ready for President Billary Clinton.

I’m much more impressed by a woman who made it without having ridden her husband’s coattails. How about my own Sen. Barbara Boxer for president?

I have much more respect for her than I do for Billary. Not only did Boxer have the brains and the balls to vote against the Vietraq War in October 2002, but in January 2005 she had the balls to be the only U.S. senator to stand with U.S. representatives in their objection to the certification of Ohio’s Electoral College votes in light of the serious problems at Ohio’s polls. (Like Florida was crucial to George W. Bush’s “win” in 2000, Ohio was crucial to Bush’s “re”-election in 2004, and like Florida’s chief elections officer in 2000 [Katherine Harris] was openly supporting Bush’s campaign [no conflict of interest there!], so was Ohio’s chief elections officer in 2004 [Kenneth Blackwell].)

Boxer also in early 2005 famously took on then-U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza “You Know She’s Lying When Her Lips Are Moving” Rice during a hearing in D.C., stating, “I personally believe – this is my personal view – that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell the war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth.” Hell yeah!

When did Billary Clinton ever do anything as courageous as these things?

Much like Barack Obama used to be, Billary to a large degree still is a political rock star, even though, like Obama, she has accomplished little to nothing in D.C. and thus doesn’t deserve the status.

But, just like in a high-school student-council election, it’s popularity, not accomplishment, that gets you into the White House. (Well, unless you’re George W. Bush; when, like Gee Dubya, you don’t have enough popularity, you have swing states’ chief elections officials who are of your party and the right-wing members of the U.S. Supreme Court and your governor brother help you out…)

And while Billary Clinton has little to no actual accomplishment, she does have popularity aplenty.

Billary shows a whopping 50 (yes, a five-oh)-point lead above Vice President Joe Biden in recent polls of 2016 Democratic presidential candidate preference. Biden consistently comes in at second place in only the low double digits. Yes, Billary consistently is hitting more than 60 percent in these polls.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors, on the hand, have no clear front runner for the White House for 2016, with not one member of the possible field of Chris Christie, Pretty Boy Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Prick Perry, Prick Santorum and yes, Jeb Bush, able to reach even 20 percent in recent partisan 2016 presidential-preference polls.

And in recent hypothetical matches against Repugnican Tea Party traitors for the 2016 presidential election, Billary handily beats them all. She beats even her thus-far most formidable opponent, Chris Christie, by an average of 6 points. (Recent polls, by contrast, have Biden losing not only to Christie but even to the likes of Jeb Bush…)

In a Bloomberg poll taken not too terribly long ago (May 31-June 3), 40 percent of those polled said they “probably” or “definitely” would vote for Billary if she were the Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, while only 34 percent said they “definitely” would not vote for her. Twenty-three percent said they “might” vote for her and 3 percent said that they were “unsure,” so if you give her the support of only half of those individuals (which is 13 percent), that’s 53 percent before she’s even declared her candidacy.

Fifty-three percent is not bad. (And it’s what Obama got in 2008 — 52.9 percent of the popular vote.)

So, while I never have been and never will be enthusiastic about Billary Clinton, whom I consider to be just another Democrat in name only, just another Repugnican Lite, the numbers very apparently are behind her.

Add to this the probability that Billary’s mere official announcement of her candidacy probably would effectively or perhaps even literally, totally clear the Democratic field, saving her a primary fight and thus allowing her to focus her time, energy and money on the November 2016 election, while we’ll probably see another crowded Repugnican Tea Party primary field, as we did in 2012.

Not only will these Repugnican Tea Party candidates have to focus on the presidential primary elections (and caucuses) and the presidential general election, but if they have a particularly nasty primary season, the eventual winner could come out of the process fairly bruised, battered and tarnished.

And my guess is that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ “Benghazigate” bullshit** has been helping Billary more than it has been hurting her, in that those (34 percent or so) who already solidly hate her already solidly hate her, and in that if the Repugnican Tea Party traitors attack Billary viciously and frequently enough, they could induce even unenthusiastic-about-Billary people like me to support her.***

And that’s a feat that only morons of the magnitude of those who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party could accomplish.

*The fuller quote is:

“… You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are [going to] regenerate, and they have not.

“So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations. …”

Again, there is a word for these remarks: the truth.

Indeed, the “tea party’s” best accomplishment is blaming the wrong people for the nation’s problems (feminists, immigrants, non-heterosexuals, progressives [a.k.a. “socialists” or “Commies”], labor unionists [also a.k.a. “socialists” or “Commies”], Muslims, et. al.) while those who actually are responsible for the nation’s problems (the plutocrats, corporatocrats [Wall Street weasels and many, many others] and militarists, mostly) get off scot-fucking-free.

**Statistician god Nate Silver, who I hope writes about the 2016 presidential election despite the fact that he soon is leaving the New York Times for ESPN, wrote this about “Benghazigate” and Billary’s popularity back on May 31:

… So, are Americans carefully parsing through the details of the Benghazi attack — and finding Mrs. Clinton more culpable than Mr. Obama?

Probably not. Instead, the decline in her ratings was likely just a matter of time — and if the Benghazi hearings had not triggered it, something else would have.

… It’s easy to be popular when nobody is criticizing you — and there was a long period, from the closing stages of the 2008 campaign through most of her tenure as secretary of state, when Republicans had little interest in attacking Mrs. Clinton directly. Now that Republicans have chosen to engage her again, her numbers are coming down. … This is what happens when a politician returns to being in the partisan fray after having drifted above it for some time.

But if Mrs. Clinton were to run for president in 2016, Republicans would undoubtedly have found any number of other ways to criticize her — from her policy proposals, to concerns about her age or health, to gaffes that she might make on the campaign trail, to controversies recycled from her tenure as secretary of state.

Mrs. Clinton, if she runs in 2016, is highly unlikely to win by the double-digit margins that some polls have given her over prospective Republican opponents. But the same would have been true regardless of Benghazi. The main circumstances in which a presidential candidate wins by double digits are when that candidate is an incumbent running in a time of exceptional economic growth, or when the other party’s incumbent is viewed as having performed terribly. Or, every now and then, the opposing candidate might be viewed as extreme or incompetent, and swing voters will feel as though they have no real choice. …

I expect Billary, if she runs for president in 2016 (and I put it at more than a 75-percent chance that she will), to do about as well as Obama did in 2008 and in 2012 (Obama in 2008 beat John McCainosaurus 52.9 percent to 45.7 percent and in 2012 beat Mittens Romney 51.1 percent to 47.2 percent).

In fact, again, Billary’s polling against the most-popular-thus-far potential 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate, Chris Christie, has her, on average, 6 percentage points ahead of him, and Obama’s average popular-vote victory over his Repugnican opponents in the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections was 5.55 percent, which to me suggests that we’re seeing about a 6-percent gap between those Americans who prefer a Democratic president and those who prefer a Repugnican Tea Party president.

This to me appears to be a demographic (and not a situational) gap that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors cannot close, which would explain why they want to further rig our future elections, such as through even further voter suppression (especially in the name of preventing “voter fraud”) to the greatest extent that they humanly possibly can.

***That said, about the only way that I could see myself casting a vote for Billary for president in November 2016 would be if her Repugnican Tea Party opponent, whoever it is, actually were close to winning California and its huge chunk of electoral votes, which is quite unlikely, given that Billary beat even Barack Obama in California’s 2008 Democratic presidential primary election, 51.5 percent to 43.2 percent. She’s quite popular here in California.

However, were Billary’s campaign actually struggling nationally and her Repugnican Tea Party opponent actually within range of winning the White House in November 2016, I cannot, as I type this sentence, rule out holding my nose and giving her campaign some money…

As much as I’m not a fan of Billary, of course, when push comes to shove, I’d prefer her in the White House over any Repugnican Tea Party traitor.

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‘IRSgate’ is just yet another pathetic right-wing pseudo-scandal

“Benghazigate” is on life support, so, thankfully for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who can’t win presidential elections anymore, there’s a new “scandal.” Reports the Associated Press today:

Washington — Republicans said [today] that the Internal Revenue Service’s heightened scrutiny of conservative political groups was “chilling” and further eroded public trust in government.

Lawmakers said President Barack Obama personally should apologize for targeting tea party organizations and they challenged the tax agency’s blaming of low-level workers. [Emphasis mine. Note that long before any actual fair investigation has been done, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors already have convicted President Barack Obama of wrongdoing.]

“I just don’t buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees,” said Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “After all, groups with ‘progressive’ in their names were not targeted similarly.”

If it were just a small number of employees, she said, “then you would think that the high-level IRS supervisors would have rushed to make this public, fired the employees involved, apologized to the American people and informed Congress. None of that happened in a timely way.”

The IRS said Friday that it was sorry for what it called the “inappropriate” targeting of the conservative groups during the 2012 election to see if they were violating their tax-exempt status. The agency blamed low-level employees, saying no high-level officials were aware.

But according to a draft of a watchdog’s report obtained [yesterday] by The Associated Press that seemingly contradicts public statements by the IRS commissioner, senior IRS officials knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011. …

Now, before I go on, let me inconveniently-for-the-right-wing remind you that the anti-Obama wingnuts in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009 specially singled out the left-leaning, progressive group ACORN for defunding (and the spineless “Democrats” in D.C., not wanting to be deemed “guilty” by association with ACORN, let them).

ACORN in turn sued the U.S. government, correctly, in my book, calling the act of Congress a bill of attainder — “an act of a legislature declaring a person or group of persons guilty of some crime and punishing them without privilege of a judicial trial,” per Wikipedia — but ultimately, per Wikipedia, in 2010 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a ruling on the matter “cited a study finding that only 10 percent of ACORN’s funding came from federal sources and stated, ‘We doubt that the direct consequences of the appropriations laws temporarily precluding ACORN from federal funds were so disproportionately severe or so inappropriate as to constitute punishment.'”

Wow. I didn’t know that whether or not something is a bill of attainder has to do with the percentage of government funding that’s involved in the matter, but, in any event, that relatively small percentage of federal funding shows you what “ACORNgate” actually was all about: attacking the organization that, according to the right-wing conspiracy theorists, had stolen the 2008 election for Barack Obama, who, like the employees of ACORN were, once had been a community organizer.

(While voter registration fraud apparently was committed by some ACORN workers who were paid per voter registration — a reason why voter registration never should be linked to payment, in my opinion — only the casting of fraudulent votes, not fraudulent voter registration, ever could affect the outcome of an election. Duh.)

In terms of whether or not the Congress punished ACORN appropriately when it stripped ACORN of its federal funds, here is what Wikipedia reports of the actual criminal investigations of ACORN (the wingnuts in Congress, of course, were not interested in a fair investigation, but in scoring a political “victory” over Obama and his supporters):

On December 7, 2009, the former Massachusetts attorney general, after an independent internal investigation of ACORN, found the [“undercover”] videos [made by a right-wing punk and convicted criminal] that had been released appeared to have been edited, “in some cases substantially.” He found no evidence of criminal conduct by ACORN employees, but concluded that ACORN had poor management practices that contributed to unprofessional actions by a number of its low-level employees.

On March 1, 2010, the District Attorney’s office for Brooklyn determined that the videos were “heavily edited” and concluded that there was no criminal wrongdoing by the ACORN staff in the videos from the Brooklyn ACORN office.

On April 1, 2010, an investigation by the California Attorney General found the videos from Los Angeles, San Diego and San Bernardino to be “heavily edited,” and the investigation did not find evidence of criminal conduct on the part of ACORN employees.

On June 14, 2010, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released its findings which showed that ACORN evidenced no sign that it, or any of its related organizations, mishandled any federal money they had received.

But by then, of course, it was too late. The right wing already had destroyed ACORN, which apparently disbanded primarily because it so successfully had been smeared, not because it needed the federal funding so much. The right wing had had no interest in whether or not ACORN actually was guilty as charged. The right wing had interest only in destroying an organization that stood in effigy of Barack Obama.

(And Obama, being the political reptile that he is, just like he didn’t defend the Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Shirley Sherrod or Van Jones from race-based, right-wing attacks, didn’t defend ACORN, because he never has wanted to be associated with the “bad,” “radical” black Americans who frighten! white Americans.)

The case of ACORN is a perfect example of representatives of the U.S. government singling out an organization for destruction out of purely political motives. Apparently this is perfectly A-OK if it’s a left-leaning/progressive organization that is unfairly targeted for destruction, but it’s an abomifuckingnation (or should I say Obamifuckingnation?) if a right-leaning organization ever is so targeted.

So back to “IRSgate.”

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ charge, apparently, is that Barack Obama, or at the very least someone very close to him (with his full knowledge and approval, of course), had the Internal Revenue Service unfairly single out “tea party” groups for heightened scrutiny in an attempt to at least harm, if not destroy, those groups.

I don’t see the need to stretch this out like I usually stretch shit out. This seems pretty simple to me:

The “tea party” groups have made their feelings about having to pay any taxes to the federal government quite well known. The “tea” in “tea party,” recall, is supposed to mean “taxed enough already,” ha ha ha.

So — as opposed to other political and supposedly non-political and actually non-political groups, you have some groups that quite publicly have stated that their opposition to the federal government’s collection of federal taxes is one of their chief reasons for even existing.

So — would it really be a shock that the IRS would take more interest in these anti-federal-tax groups than it would take in other groups?

Really?

Would it be a shock that the young man wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with a large marijuana leaf might attract more attention from the narcotics cop than would others in the crowd?

I’m shocked that I have yet to see any “coverage” of “IRSgate” that points out that duh, of course an anti-tax group might get heightened scrutiny from the nation’s tax collectors.

Slate.com’s David Weigel points out what should be two other fairly obvious reasons why the “tea party” groups might get heightened scrutiny from the IRS:

One: Tea Party groups flowered quickly [indeed, they fairly exploded overnight], and in situations like that you want to see where the money went. Two: As Ezra Klein explains, the rules governing non-profits are increasingly ill-suited to the reality of non-profits. The secrecy accorded to 501(c)4s has made them incredibly attractive for people who want to stack money away without having to disclose their donors.

All of this pesky logic and reason and facts and reality aside, what needs to happen in “IRSgate” (or whatever “-gate” we’re calling this one) is exactly that which did not happen in “ACORNgate”: The facts need to be examined very carefully and methodically, and it needs to be determined, very carefully, whether or not anyone within the IRS violated any actual laws or rules or regulations regarding the work that the IRS does.

If IF — any laws or rules or regulations were violated, the violators need to be dealt with in a fair manner. (No, they probably don’t need to be shot or hanged, as the “tea party” dipshits might recommend as the appropriate punishment.) And the IRS would need to make the necessary changes to prevent any future such violations.

And the right wing won’t shut up, of course, until and unless it is determined how far up the chain of command any decision to single out “tea party” groups for any actually illegal heightened scrutiny by the IRS went. (I don’t use the term “improper heightened security” because “improper,” of course, is an opinion, and, of course, most “tea party” dipshits probably would view any scrutiny of “tea party” groups by the IRS to be “improper.”)

But, of course, the right wing won’t ever actually shut the fuck up about “IRSgate.”

Just as no facts or actual investigation was going to change their minds about ACORN, they’ve already written their “IRSgate” narrative with their troglodytic chisels in stone: Barack Obama had the IRS crack down on “tea party” groups in a blatant attempt to crush his political opponents.

The only question now, it seems to me, is whether or not the rest of us are just going to allow the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to get away with this one, just like they got away with their ACORN bullshit.

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Why ‘Benghazigate’ never will catch fire

Updated below

Apparently we’re actually supposed to believe that the members of the Repugnican Tea Party are very, very concerned about preventing the preventable deaths of Americans in the Middle East. The preventable death of even one American in the Middle East is absolutely unfuckingacceptable, right?

After all, “Benghazigate,” in which four Americans (including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens) were killed in Libya in September when the American consulate in Benghazi was stormed by militants — even though Mittens Romney failed comically miserably to make political hay out of it during the presidential debates — like Freddy or Jason, just won’t go the fuck away.

Today the do-nothing, sleazy and slimy, Repugnican-Tea-Party-controlled U.S. House of Representatives held yet another so-called “hearing” in D.C. on “Benghazigate” because the party just doesn’t want you to forget about “Benghazigate.”

But the same Repugnican Tea Party traitors who have expressed no real problem whatsofuckingever over the wholly unnecessary and wholly preventable deaths of more than 4,ooo U.S. military personnel in the unelected Bush regime’s wholly bogus Vietraq War have zero fucking credibility when they cry, incessantly, that we have to get to the bottom! of “Benghazigate.”

They don’t care about American deaths in the Middle East, of course. If they did, they wouldn’t have supported the Vietraq War. But the Vietraq War was launched by a white Repugnican president, you see, and that fact alone makes it all A-OK.

“Benghazigate” is all politics — and if it had happened under a Repugnican president, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors of course would lecture us about how you shouldn’t shamelessly politicize a tragedy like this — and “Benghazigate” is meant to give the Repugnican Tea Party traitors a twofer: an attack upon Democratic President Barack Obama and an attack upon former Secretary of State Billary Clinton, who probably will run for the presidency in 2016.

I don’t allege that the September attack on Benghazi was unpreventable. I don’t allege that there wasn’t any negligence where security was concerned. There might have been. I wasn’t there, wasn’t in the situation.

But preventing another incident like the one in Benghazi in September isn’t the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ main goal. That should be what comes out of the incident, but what the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want, more than anything else, is control of the White House, and if they can shamelessly politicize the deaths of four Americans in Libya (while they have ignored the deaths of more than a thousand times that number of Americans in Iraq) to help them achieve that, they will do so.

But “Benghazigate” never will be the “scandal” that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have wanted it to be. The reason that Mittens couldn’t turn “Benghazigate” into an Obama-damaging scandal last fall in order to help his presidential bid is that enough American voters know that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are fucking chickenhawks who don’t actually give a flying fuck about the deaths of Americans abroad. Enough Americans know that Mittens and his ilk are sociopaths who are lying through their fangs when they claim to care so fucking much about the lives of even just a handful of Americans in the Middle East.

Enough Americans recall how cavalierly the unelected Bush regime sent thousands of our troops to their pointless deaths in Vietraq for Dick Cheney’s Halliburton’s war profiteering to be able to buy for a nanosecond that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors now are being sincere when they claim to care so much about the four Americans who were killed in Benghazi. And enough Americans identify how sick and fucking twisted it is for these sociopathic hypocrites to be using the violent deaths of others for their own political gain.

That’s why “Benghazigate” hasn’t caught fire outside of the right-wing echo chamber and why it never will. It fizzled out in the fall, when Mittens’ sad and pathetic attempt to use it for his own political gain fell flat, but the Repugnican Tea Party traitors still are huffing and puffing on those long-spent ashes that they delusionally believe still actually are embers.

All of this isn’t to say that Barack Obama has been a great president. He has not. His continued slaughter of civilians with his killer drones in Pakistan and in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East only ensures more anti-American sentiment in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world, which makes us Americans less safe, not safer.

Apparently afraid of being branded “soft” or “weak” on “terror,” Obama repeatedly has trounced all over the law, both international and domestic, in order to demonstrate what a bad-ass he is (even though no matter what he does, the wingnuts still are going to call him “soft” or “weak” on “terror”).

Yes, even the Obama administration’s assassination — its extrajudicial execution — of Osama bin Laden on another sovereign nation’s (Pakistan’s) soil without that sovereign nation’s knowledge or approval was a violation of international law, and we know that at least three U.S. citizens (one of them a 16-year-old) thus far have been killed by one of Obama’s drones and that at least four U.S. citizens have been killed altogether by drone strikes in the so-called “war on terror.”

(And before you cry, “Yeah, the war on terror!” I will pronounce right now that the “war on terror” is as bullshit now as it was when the unelected Bush regime declared the “war on terror.” A war is only a conflict between two nations, and the United States of America is not at war with another nation.)

As much as President Hopey-Changey has not delivered upon his promises of (positive) change and has not given us much, if any, reason to hope for a better future — which is why I could not vote for him again in November — one thing that we cannot say about him is that overall he has not kept Americans safe.

We’re five years into the Obama presidency and we have yet to see anything like the almost 3,000 who were killed on September 11, 2001, or the almost 2,000 who were killed in late August 2005 by Hurricane Katrina. Even if we give George W. Bush a pass on 9/11 — despite the August 6, 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.” — there is no excuse for the fact that with at least two or three days’ warning that the approaching Hurricane Katrina could be catastrophic to New Orleans and the surrounding areas, the unelected Bush regime basically allowed hundreds of (predominantly black) Americans to drown.

So for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to act now like their party actually is the party with the actual track record of keeping Americans safe is way beyond ludicrous.

As incredibly fucking stupid as Americans can be, not nearly enough of them are stupid enough to believe, after the catastrophic George W. Bush years and the comparatively very peaceful Obama years, that the best thing that we could do for our own safety is to put another Repugnican in the White House.

So keep it up, Repugnican Tea Party traitors. Your repeatedly bringing up the issue of national security can only remind everyone of the facts of recent U.S. history, and those facts, to put it mildly, do not favor you.

Update: In a pretty good piece on Salon.com about how fucktarded it is to compare everything to Watergate, I followed a link to a piece on the wingnutty website townhall.com. In the piece, written by apparently fairly well-known wingnut Neal Boortz, Boortz proclaims that this is the reason why Benghazi isn’t a Watergate (this is a copy and paste; my comments are in brackets):

… Let me tell you what the American people are concerned with right now – and we’re talking about those who aren’t gunched up with 24/7 discussions about college football recruiting and gay NBA players. In a nutshell (and thank goodness for the few exceptions we DO have) the majority of the American people are more worried right now about acquiring and keeping their monthly checks from the government than they are about 0bama’s [sic — apparently the uber-patriotic Boortz and/or townhall.com refuse to capitalize the name of the duly elected president of the United States of America] lies or foreign policy failures. [“The majority of the American people” are preoccupied with their handouts from the government. So we’re beyond a mere “47 percent” now, apparently.] They think a Benghazi is a small yappy dog.

These people are more concerned about next Winter’s [sic — you don’t capitalize the seasons] home heating assistance checks than they are about dead ambassadors. They’re worrying about getting more federal dollars for child care to help them take care of the next tricycle motor they’re fixin’ to download without the benefit of a husband. [A “tricyle motor,” apparently, is a baby, and while the members of the right wing say that women can’t have abortions or even contraception, at the same time they’re going to slam the wrong women for giving birth. (And “wrong,” of course, means non-white, non-conservative, non-“Christian” and/or poor and/or the like.)] They’re wondering who is going to pay their medical bills, and how they can get their hands on one of those great Section 8 housing vouchers. Some are looking to upgrade their 0bamaPhones.

How many people do we have on Social Security disability right now? The figure is nearing 12 million Americans. These 12 million are principally worried about how to keep those checks coming, while another 12 million (at least) are wondering how to get on this bandwagon as well. After all, their backs hurt and you surely can’t expect them to get out there and work for a living, can you? (Apologies to those of you with actual disabilities, but we could probably cram every one of you into a Jai Alai Fronton somewhere in Miami if we had to.)

Then there’s millions more who’s [sic — why can’t wingnuts get basic fucking English correct? It’s “whose,” not “who’s”] main concern is making sure their unemployment benefits don’t run out (Me? Get a job?) and others who are waiting for 0bama to make their boss pay them more than they’re actually worth on their jobs. …

There you have it. The “small yappy dog” joke is funny, admittedly, but what we have here is a restatement of Mittens Romney’s “47 percent” rhetoric: More Americans don’t care about Benghazi than the number of Americans who actually do because these lazy Americans care only about getting their next handout from the guvmint.

Wow. Seriously. The “47 percent” bullshit hasn’t been working out for the wingnuts very well, but they only are going to continue it? Your stock response to those who disagree with your politics is to claim that they’re living off of the guvmint even when most of them quite demonstrably are not?

True, many if not most Americans are more concerned about their personal economic situations than they are about what happens abroad. Benghazi might indeed, to them, be a “small yappy dog.” But did we not have a pretty good economy under Bill Clinton, only to see George W. Bush destroy it with his Vietraq War, which has cost us trillions of dollars (it’s a huge chunk of our federal budget deficit), and with his tax cuts for the super-filthy-rich (which also is a huge reason for our federal budget deficit)? Does the Repugnican Party have no responsibility for the fact that Americans might be more concerned about their personal economic situations right now than they do about foreign affairs?

And might Americans be quite understandably numb to the bloodshed that they — we — witnessed (and some of us were touched by personally) during the eight very long Bush years?

I mean, fuck: Almost 3,000 dead from 9/11. More than 4,000 dead in the bogus Vietraq War. Almost 2,000 dead from Hurricane Katrina.

After you serially are assaulted with shit like this, are you really supposed to be all fucking bent out of shape over the deaths of four Americans? Really?

It’s interesting, though, I think, to compare my answer to the question of why Benghazi never will be Benghazigate with Boortz’s “answer” to the question.

It wasn’t long ago enough that the wingnuts falsely accused those of us on the left of “hating Americans.”

Being that the wingnuts, probably first and foremost, are fucking hypocrites, I guess that it doesn’t come as a huge shock to see that now it’s fairly apparent that it’s the wingnuts who actually hate Americans — “the majority” of whom, you know, care only about their guvmint handouts. (Ironically, as I have noted, it’s the red states, not the Obama-loving blue states [whose denizens love Obama so much that they actually capitalize his name], that are the welfare states. Of course.)

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