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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Obama Bypasses Congress, Allows Funding for Palestinian Authority

In foreign policy, Global News, Israel, Palestinians, Politics, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, State Deptment, United States on April 27, 2012 at 6:28 am

WASHINGTON, April 25 (UPI) — President Obama, citing the United States’ national security interests, Wednesday waived restrictions on funding for the Palestinian Authority.

In a memorandum sent to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Obama cited his authority under section 7040(b) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2012 section 7040(a) of the Act, to provide appropriated funds to the Palestinian Authority.

The president directed Clinton to inform Congress of his action.

State Department officials last month expressed concern the department had been unable to provide full funding to the Palestinian Authority for institution-building projects as the United States seeks to rejuvenate Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., had questioned the Obama administration’s request for $147 million for the Palestinian Authority at a time when P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas has demanded preconditions for returning to the negotiations while also pushing a unilateral statehouse plan at the United Nations. She also expressed concern that $26.4 million had been requested for projects in Hamas-run Gaza.

“The administration also says we need to help ‘rebuild the Palestinian economy’ — this at a time when our economy is facing serious challenges and Americans are suffering,” Ros-Lehtinen said.

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2012/04/26/Obama-frees-PA-funding

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Clinton: Done with the ‘high wire’ of politics. Really.

In Global News, HILLARY 2012, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, United States, Washington on January 27, 2012 at 2:11 pm

President Obama greeted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at his State of the Union address earlier this week

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton meets with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on January 25, 2012. State Department photo/ Public Domain

Karen DeYoung

Like President Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says she hasn’t been watching the Republican primary debates. But at least Clinton has an excuse for tuning out — she says she’s quitting government after the election no matter who wins.

“What could we do to persuade you to run for vice president?” a staffer asked at a State Department town hall meeting Thursday, referring to  cyclical rumors  and the wishful thinking of some supporters. “Oh, my goodness,” Clinton replied.

“I will certainly stay on until the president nominates someone and that transition can occur,” said Clinton, who has insisted repeatedly that she will be a one-term secretary. “But I think, after 20 years …of being on the high wire of American politics, and all of the challenges that come with that, it would probably be a good idea to just find out how tired I am.”

The famously workaholic secretary said she has “no idea” what she will do in the future, and doesn’t want to think about it because it might divert attention from today’s diplomatic tasks. The election, she said, is going to “suck up a lot of the attention from following areas that we think are so important,” including “trying to resolve frozen conflicts” and “trying to build up America’s reputation” in the world.

But that might be good thing, she said, because “maybe we can even get more done” if the rest of the country is fixated on the polls.

“It’s a little odd for me to be totally out of an election season,” Clinton said. “But, you know, I didn’t watch any of those debates.”

And what about that vice president question? Although friends and colleagues say neither she nor the White House is interested, Clinton took a pass.

“I am happy to work with Vice President Biden, who does an excellent job and is a huge advocate and support for this department,” she said.

WP article link

Hillary Clinton visits statue of husband Bill in Kosovo

In Afghanistan, HILLARY 2012, Pakistan, Politics, PRESIDENT HILLARY, Smart Power, the Taliban and al Qaeda on October 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

Secretary Clinton is in Kosovo today, and many people there love the Clintons. In the capital, Pristina, Clinton visited an 11-foot statue of her husband Bill, who as U.S. president backed the 1999 NATO air campaign that stopped a crackdown by Serbian forces on Kosovo’s ethnically Albanian majority. When he attended the unveiling of the statue last year, he was greeted with a giant cake bearing his portrait. And, both Hillary and Bill have been lauded on billboards in Pristina.

Update, 5:09 p.m.: At a “townterview” today, Clinton said the statue’s bronze hair reminds her of how Bill Clinton looked when she first met him, back in the 1970s:

I have to say it’s quite a statue. And my husband — it still looks like he has bronze-colored hair, which I like. Because when I met him — you know we’ve been married as of Monday 35 years — so when I met him when we were in law school, he had very brownish, reddish hair. And the statue reminds me of that, so of course I like the statue. Nobody should paint it white. Don’t paint it white. Keep it that color.

Secretary Clinton visits Kosovar clothing boutique named ‘Hillary’

Clinton: It’s ‘unacceptable’ that Pakistani elites aren’t paying more taxes


Secretary Clinton blasted Pakistan’s government today for not taxing its rich more, yet expecting developed countries to aid the country. She declared, “It is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people while the taxpayers of Europe, the United States, and other contributing countries are all chipping in to do our part.”

Clinton made the remarks at a news conference in Brussels with EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton (seen above) in which they discussed flood-recovery efforts in Pakistan. Clinton mentioned that a stable Pakistan is essential to the fight against terrorism, which is when she started on her pet peeve: poor countries that don’t tax their elite. Here are her demands of the Pakistani government, which you can also listen to in the video below at link:

http://hillary.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/10/14/clinton_its_unacceptable_that_pakistani_elites_arent_paying_more_taxes

“We also believe that stability in Pakistan is essential to our shared fight against terrorism and to protect the security of the people of our country and friends and allies like those in Europe. Now, of course, the international community can only do so much. Pakistan itself must take immediate and substantial action to mobilize its own resources, and in particular to reform its economy.”

The most important step that Pakistan can take is to pass meaningful reforms that will expand its tax base. The government must require that the economically affluent and elite in Pakistan support the government and people of Pakistan. We have been very clear on that, and I am pleased that the government is responding. I know how difficult this is, but it is absolutely unacceptable for those with means in Pakistan not to be doing their fair share to help their own people while the taxpayers of Europe, the United States, and other contributing countries are all chipping in to do our part. The government must also take steps to alleviate the crippling power shortages that stifle economic growth while making life difficult for the Pakistani people.

If U.S. President Barack Obama is having such a hard time repealing the Bush tax cuts on America’s rich, his administration is going to have an even harder time getting another country’s government to increase taxes on its rich (or begin collecting taxes from the rich in the first place). Clinton is certainly right that Pakistan’s elite should pay its fair share of taxes — the rich there pay laughably small amounts or none at all, Clinton pointed out last month. But, the United States has limited influence on the country’s government. Just two weeks ago, Pakistan closed the Torkham Gate crossing into Afghanistan after U.S. forces accidentally killed several Pakistani border guards. The crossing has since been reopened, but the multiday closure held up trucks that supply international forces in Afghanistan. So, who’s really in a position to be calling the shots?

Clinton supports making peace with Taliban who meet clear conditions

Secretary Clinton said today that she and the U.S. government support reintegration and reconciliation with Taliban members who meet specific criteria. We are “willing to support what’s called reintegration — namely, people on the battlefield coming off and going back into their society — and reconciliation, which is a much more political process to work out terms of peace with people who [have] led the Taliban, but only on very clear conditions,” she told ABC’s Robin Roberts during an interview in Brussels, where she attended a NATO ministerial meeting.

Those “clear conditions” are:

* Renouncing violence and laying down arms.
* Renouncing al Qaeda.
* Abiding by Afghan laws and the Afghan Constitution.

Clinton was cautious with her remarks and said she’s unsure how many Taliban leaders would agree to these conditions. In fact she said, “I think it’s highly unlikely that the leadership of the Taliban that refused to turn over bin Laden in 2001 will ever reconcile. But stranger things have happened in the history of war, but it can only happen if they [are] willing to abide by the red lines that we and the Afghan government have established.”

Other the other hand, Clinton sounded somewhat optimistic about lower-level Taliban members who likely joined in the first place just to get a paycheck. “I am increasingly convinced that many of the lower-level Taliban, young men who frankly went to fight for the Taliban because they got paid more than they could make anywhere else — I believe that they are, in increasing numbers, laying down their arms and coming back into society.”

She also told Roberts, “What we are seeing is a move by the lower-level fighters, many of them, to leave the battlefield, which is all to the good because they are being convinced that this fight is no longer one they want to be part of.”

Anything about the Taliban joining peace talks or becoming part of the Afghan government will make most Americans nervous. Anyone can pay mere lip service to meeting the three “red line” conditions listed above; how do you tell whether someone isn’t surreptitiously supporting violence and al Qaeda on the side? I also wish Clinton had reiterated that no political reconciliation should come at the price of Afghanistan’s women — which is one of the scariest things about involving the Taliban in peace talks and the government. Back in July during her visit to Kabul, Clinton made it starkly clear that Afghan women can’t be marginalized in the reconciliation process, saying:

” I don’t think there is such a political solution that would be a lasting, sustainable one that would turn the clock back on women. That is a recipe for a return to the kind of Afghanistan — if not in the entire country, in significant parts of the country — that would once again be a breeding ground for terrorism. So we’ve got our red lines, and they are very clear: Any reconciliation process that the United States supports, recognizing that this is an Afghan-led process, must require that anyone who wishes to rejoin society and the political system must lay down their weapons and end violence, renounce al Qaeda, and be committed to the Constitution and laws of Afghanistan, which guarantee the rights of women.


Clinton to Ahmadinejad: ‘We reject any efforts to destabilize’ Lebanon

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was greeted with rose petals in Lebanon today, but Secretary Clinton has a message that the Iranian president might find less rosy:

The United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon.
Clinton made the remarks, reported by AFP, while in Kosovo. The U.S. government is concerned that Iran is trying to draw Lebanon closer into its orbit and that Iranian support for Hezbollah militants in Lebanon weakens Lebanese sovereignty.

Update, 2:05 p.m.: Here is Clinton’s complete remark on Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon:
With respect to President Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon, the United States supports the integrity and sovereignty of Lebanon. We reject any efforts to destabilize or inflame tensions within Lebanon. We are very committed to supporting the Lebanese Government as it deals with a number of challenges in its region. And we would hope that no visitor would do anything or say anything that would give cause to greater tension or instability in that country.

And I don’t know whether anything I might say would have any influence; I highly doubt it. But I believe that it’s a message that the world needs to convey to the Iranians because of the balance within Lebanon that needs to be maintained.

http://hillary.foreignpolicy.com

Secretary Clinton in the Balkans

This Just In: Australia setting the example to Muslims…

In news, Politics, Sharia Law, United States on November 17, 2009 at 8:18 pm

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – Australia

Muslims who want to live under Islamic Sharia law were told on Wednesday to get out of Australia , as the government targeted radicals in a bid to head off potential terror attacks..

Separately, Rudd angered some Australian Muslims on Wednesday by saying he supported spy agencies monitoring the nation’s mosques. Quote:

‘IMMIGRANTS, NOT AUSTRALIANS, MUST ADAPT. Take It Or Leave It. I am tired of this nation worrying about whether we are offending some individual or their culture. Since the terrorist attacks on Bali , we have experienced a surge in patriotism by the majority of Australians. ‘

‘This culture has been developed over two centuries of struggles, trials and victories by millions of men and women who have sought freedom’

‘We speak mainly ENGLISH, not Spanish, Lebanese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Russian, or any other language. Therefore, if you wish to become part of our society . Learn the language!’

‘Most Australians believe in God. This is not some Christian, right wing, political push, but a fact, because Christian men and women, on Christian principles, founded this nation, and this is clearly documented. It is certainly appropriate to display it on the walls of our schools. If God offends you, then I suggest you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part of our culture.’

‘We will accept your beliefs, and will not question why. All we ask is that you accept ours, and live in harmony and peaceful enjoyment with us.’

‘This is OUR COUNTRY, OUR LAND, and OUR LIFESTYLE, and we will allow you every opportunity to enjoy all this. But once you are done complaining, whining, and griping about Our Flag, Our Pledge, Our Christian beliefs, or Our Way of Life, I highly encourage you take advantage of one other great Australian freedom, ‘THE RIGHT TO LEAVE’.’

‘If you aren’t happy here then LEAVE. We didn’t force you to come here. You asked to be here. So accept the country YOU accepted.’

Clinton reprimands Pakistan over lack of action finding al-Qaida leaders…

In bombing, Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, the Taliban and al Qaeda, United States on October 29, 2009 at 8:46 pm

Hillary risks her life for us visiting terrorists countries and all the media can come with is reporting how blunt she is with her criticism, taking the side of leaders hostile to our Foreign Policy representative speaking TRUTH to hypocrisy..I ask you, is msnbc any better than al-Qaida?

Says she finds it ‘hard to believe’ that government can’t find terrorists.

The Peshawar bombing in a market crowded with women and children appeared timed to overshadow her arrival. It was the deadliest attack in Pakistan since 2007.

Hill in Pac

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is escorted by Pakistani Rangers at the Iqbal Memorial in Lahore, Pakistan, on Thursday during a three-day state visit to Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton chided Pakistani officials Thursday for failing to press the hunt for al-Qaida inside their borders, suggesting they know where the terrorist leaders are hiding.

American officials have long said that al-Qaida mastermind Osama bin Laden and senior lieutenants of the network accused in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks operate out of the rugged terrain along the border with Afghanistan.

But Clinton’s unusually blunt comments went further in asserting that Pakistan’s government has done too little about it.

“I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are and couldn’t get them if they really wanted to,” Clinton said in an interview with Pakistani journalists in Lahore. “Maybe that’s the case. Maybe they’re not gettable. I don’t know.”

There was no immediate reaction from Pakistani officials, but the thrust of Clinton’s comments were startling, coming after months of lavish public comments from her and other American officials portraying Pakistan’s leaders as finally receptive to the war against militants inside their own country.

As a political spouse, career public official and recently as a diplomat, Clinton has long showed a tendency toward bluntness, sometimes followed by a softening of her comments. But her remarks about Pakistan’s lack of action against al-Qaida comes at a particularly sensitive moment — amid a major Pakistani offensive against militants and a deadly spate of insurgent violence.

Hill in Pak 2

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton addresses a news conference at the Foreign Ministry in Islamabad, Pakistan, Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009. Offering sympathy for victims of Wednesday's terrorist bombing, Clinton praised Pakistan's offensive against extremists and pledged U.S. support at a critical point in the country's history.

With Pakistan reeling from Wednesday’s devastating bombing that killed more than 100 people in Peshawar, Clinton also engaged in an intense give-and-take with students at the Government College of Lahore. She insisted that inaction by the government would have ceded ground to terrorists.

“If you want to see your territory shrink, that’s your choice,” she said, adding that she believed it would be a bad choice.

Terrorist ‘masterminds’

Richard Holbrooke, the special U.S. representative on Afghanistan and Pakistan, told reporters that Clinton planned to meet late Thursday with the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, to get an update on the offensive that began Oct. 17 against Taliban forces in a portion of the tribal areas near the Afghan border.

“We want to encourage them,” Holbrooke said of the Pakistanis. “She wants During her exchange with the Pakistani journalists, one reporter asked Clinton why the fight against terrorism seemed to put Pakistan at the center and why other countries couldn’t do more. Clinton noted that al-Qaida has launched attacks on Indonesia, the Philippines and many other countries over the years.

“So the world has an interest in seeing the capture and killing of the people who are the masterminds of this terrorist syndicate. As far as we know, they are in Pakistan.”

On Clinton’s flight to Islamabad after the interview with Pakistani journalists, U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson said Clinton’s remarks approximate what the Obama administration has told Pakistani officials in private.

“We often say, `Yes, there needs to be more focus on finding these leaders,'” Patterson said. “The other thing is, they lost control of much of this territory in recent years, and that’s why they’re in South Waziristan right now.”

Hill with Islamist pres

This handout picture released by Pakistan?s Press Information Department on October 28, 2009 shows Pakistan?s President Asif Ali Zardari (R) speaking with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (3L) during a meeting in Islamabad. A huge car bomb ripped through a crowded market in Pakistan on October 28 killing 92 people and underscoring the gravity of the extremist threat destabilising the nuclear-armed Muslim state. The explosion brought down buildings in the northwestern city of Peshawar just hours after US Secretary Hillary Clinton arrived in Pakistan to bolster the two countries' troubled alliance against Taliban and Al-Qaeda militants.

No guarantee

In Lahore, dozens of students rushed to line up for the microphone when the session with Clinton began. Their questions were not hostile, but showed a strong sense of doubt that the U.S. could be a reliable and trusted partner for Pakistan.

One woman asked whether the U.S. could be expected to commit long term in Afghanistan after abandoning the country after Russian occupiers retreated in 1989.

“What guarantee,” the woman asked, “can Americans give Pakistan that we can now trust you — not you but, like, the Americans this time — of your sincerity and that you guys are not going to betray us like the Americans did in the past when they wanted to destabilize the Russians?”

Clinton responded that the question was a “fair criticism” and that the U.S. did not follow through in the way it should have. “It’s difficult to go forward if we’re always looking in the rearview mirror,” said Clinton, on the second of a three-day visit, her first to Pakistan as secretary of state.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HILLARY!

In fabulous women, foreign policy, Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Rise Hillary Rise, Smart Power, United States, Washington on October 26, 2009 at 4:12 pm

This One’s For You Hillary…

Best Wishes for a Happy Memorable Day!

Madame Secretary Clinton to Attend Berlin Wall Anniversary…

In foreign policy, Germany, Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics on October 16, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Hillary in BlueUS President Barack Obama has shelved his plans to attend festivities marking the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will reportedly take his place at the Nov. 9 celebrations.

Germany is going to have to wait longer than expected for US President Barack Obama’s first official visit. Citing government sources in Berlin, Reuters reported on Friday that Obama will not attend the anniversary festivities marking two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The event will take place on Nov. 9 — just two days before Obama embarks on a long-planned trip to Asia on Nov. 11.

According to the German television channel n-tv, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will stand in for the president. It is considered unlikely that her husband, the former President Bill Clinton, will accompany her.

Berlin is going all out for the anniversary, with such luminaries as Kofi Annan, Mikhail Gorbachev and Lech Walesa expected to be in attendance. German Chancellor Angela Merkel is pushing hard to complete ongoing coalition negotiations soon so that her government is fully formed in time for the festivities.

Despite Obama’s absence, however, Merkel will get some face time with the US president in early November. She is planning to travel to Washington and will be addressing a joint session of US Congress on Nov. 3.

Obama has not visited Berlin since taking power. He was in Germany briefly in June, when he made stops in Dresden and at the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial. It was during that trip that Merkel extended the invitation for Obama to help Germany celebrate the fall of the Wall.

Link

Hillary’s huge fan base disappointed… as well as many disgusted with Obama!

In Global News, Madame Secretary Hillary Clinton, Politics, Washington, White House bid on October 13, 2009 at 6:02 am

hillary pretty pic

Hillary Clinton Rules Out White House Bid, Says She’s ‘Totally Secure’ in Current Role

In the middle of a diplomatic mission through Europe, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made headlines at home this morning when she closed the door on another bid for the presidency.

In an interview on the “Today” show, Ann Curry asked if Clinton ever wishes she, rather than Barack Obama, was setting U.S. policy as the commander-in-chief. “I have to tell you,” Clinton said, “it never crosses my mind.”

Curry followed up, “Will you ever run for president again?”

“No,” Clinton said.

“No?”

“No, no” Clinton insisted, laughing. “This is a great job. It is a 24-7 job. And I’m looking forward to retirement at some point.”

Curry and Clinton spent the rest of the interview discussing President Obama’s decision-making process for Afghanistan, his award for the Nobel Prize, and whether Clinton, as the highest serving woman in the administration, is being marginalized by her 2008 adversary.

“I find it absurd,” she said. “I find it beyond any realistic assessment of what I’m doing every day. I think there is such — you know, maybe there is some misunderstanding which needs to be clarified. . . . Now, maybe that is a woman thing. Maybe I’m totally secure and feel absolutely no need to go running around in order for people to see what I’m doing. It’s just the way I am.”

Link

Who would be doing better? Hillary or Baby Boy Barack?

In Hillary Clinton, Politics, President Bill Clinton, Presidential Election on October 6, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Hillary poll****TALK ABOUT SKEWING THE POLL… ADDING THE WORSE COLUMN TOGETHER

divide by 3= 26.67%**** (not 28%) Hillary Wins by a slight margin

A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics telephone survey of 900 registered American voters conducted Sept. 29 and 30 found that 27 percent think Hillary Clinton would have been doing a better job than Barack Obama had she won last year’s presidential election. On the other hand, 28 percent said she would be doing worse.

The margin of error is 3 percentage points, so that’s probably not a statistically significant difference. Overall, it appears people, regardless of their political affiliation, are more or less divided on who would be a better president, though Republicans skew a bit toward Clinton and Democrats a bit toward Obama.

If this poll is even half accurate, then the so called Democrats are just plain jealous of Hillary’s success. If 27% say that she would do worse than Obama as president, then I have to seriously question their judgment.

Independents are right down the middle, which I pretty much expected. The Republicans surprised me however. 34% said that she would do a better job than Obama would. That’s showing some surprising strength for a party that hounded her and her husband for eight years. Then again, the Republicans hope the Democrats keep doing what they are doing and they will happily remove the Democrats from their seats in November. Bwaaaahaha!

If you missed Hillary on FACE the NATION- video here

In Face the Nation, news, Politics, Secretart of State Hillary Clinton, United States on September 28, 2009 at 8:50 am