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Posts Tagged ‘Hillary Clinton

The Kennedy Myth Is Over

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it's not easy being royalty

it's not easy being royalty

And ironically, not with a bang but a whimper.

After generations of dramatic exits, it’s ironic that Caroline Kennedy’s withdrawal from contention for the open Senate seat in New York should be so lacking in it.

It was so obviously a ruse (and a self-serving one at that) to use the timely collapse of her beloved uncle at the Inaugural luncheon as a way out of a hasty and ill-considered decision to seek the seat, that it makes a mockery of the Kennedy reputation for bravery and grit.

Of course, there was much talk of nannies with no papers, and a few other hiccups along the way, such as Caroline Kennedy’s apparent struggles with the English language, but in the end, the idea just petered out. And Governor David Patterson of New York ended up being the last person ever to pander to a Kennedy, and badly denting his reputation in the process.

Because the myth is finally over, Ladies and Gentleman. It seems, that the cult of personality, or in this case, the cult of family, indeed has a limited shelf life. Perhaps the American obsession with aristocracy is finally coming to an end. And not a moment too soon.

Written by coolrebel

January 26, 2009 at 1:31 am

Bush Laterals to Obama. Mid-East Peace

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don't fumble my legacy, dude

don't fumble my legacy, dude

Among all the other total disasters Bush is handing over to Obama is the small matter of finding peace in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But the current attacks on Gaza are part of an old school of thought. The future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will have a completely new landscape.

Benny Morris, a prominent historian of Israeli History wrote a superb primer on Israel’s current predicament in the New York Times. To sum it up, Israel faces unconventional enemies in both Hezbollah in Lebanon, and Hamas in Gaza, as well as the looming threat of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the demographic ticking time bomb of the increasingly radicalized and fast growing Arab-Israeli population that is likely to outnumber the Israeli Jews by 2040 or 2050. Read the rest of this entry »

Enough With The Kennedys Already

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you wanna see my resume?

you wanna see my resume?

Ted Kennedy, one of the scions of the family, is sadly unlikely to serve much longer in the Senate. Before this week when his niece Caroline decided she’d kind of like to be a Senator too, that would have left only one Kennedy left in Congress, Ted’s son Patrick, elected as a Congressman for Rhode Island in 1994, at the highly qualified age of 27. Since then he’s driven drunk into the Capitol building, and checked in to rehab for an Oxycontin addiction, both sterling qualificiations to be a Kennedy in Congress, no doubt. His signature achievement appears to be, well, being a Kennedy.

To suggest there are double standards for the Kennedys is just too shocking for words to many, but at least the raw political savegery that put Sarah Palin into a position of prominence has nothing whatsoever to do with her name or family. Caroline Kennedy just gets to make a phone call to be considered for an “appointment” to office. Palin at least had to be elected Governor of Alaska. One can understand LBJ’s feelings about the Kennedy’s. He was a poor boy from Texas made good. The Kennedys were America’s blessed, for reasons which to some extent remain a mystery. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

December 18, 2008 at 3:18 pm

The Senate. Some Want Out and Some Even Want In.

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united-states-capitol_cb065526

been there. done that.

It’s been a busy few weeks in the Senate. Apart from the few Republicans that got beat in the November election, other Senators are leaving of their own accord. Headlined by Barack Obama himself, his Vice President, Joe Biden, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton are all shipping out. Others like Chuck Hagel had had enough. Mel Martinez isn’t standing for re-election in 2010, and Ted Stevens, would like to have stayed but just failed to be the first convicted felon to get re-elected to the Senate. You got to love Alaska’s taste in uncles. As for John McCain, one could easily get the impression that he’s glad to be back, so he can go gently into the night.

Then there are those who are desperate to get in. Everyone from Caroline Kennedy to Jesse Jackson Junior to Al Franken, still counting votes in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The idea that Jesse Jackson Jr. appears at least to some extent to have been prepared to risk the extreme toxicity of Rod Blagojevich to get his shot strikes me as risky in the extreme. But in all these cases, the candidates seem to me to have been captivated by the majesty and history of the place, but forget that the Senate is basically one big, and frankly boring, compromise. It revels in its sham bipartisanship, and unlikely, awkward alliances. It’s no surprise the place is so ineffective in so many ways. A place where Barack Obama can co-sponsor legislation with the most right wing Senators in the Republican Caucus, Tom Coburn, is a place where cooperation trumps the quality of policy making. Read the rest of this entry »

The Young And The Not So Restless

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s-facebook-large

regrets, i've had a few.

The man holding a cardboard Hillary Clinton’s breast is Obama’s chief speechwriter, Jon Favreau, 27. This photo appeared on Facebook, and since its discovery has prompted a contrite and totally unsurpising apology by Mr. Favreau to the future Secretary of State of the United States of America.

Youthful indiscretion is something we all go through, but it’s not something we usually expect from the senior echelons of American political life. However, my guess is that scanning Facebook for more examples of drink + youth = stupidity inside the Beltway will probably turn up a much larger crop these days than in the distant past. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by coolrebel

December 7, 2008 at 7:47 pm

Using Peace as a Weapon. Dealing With Iran.

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ahmadinejad

hey, barack, you wanna like talk or something?

To paraphrase Clausewitz, “Peace is war by other means”. It sounds nutty, but in certain situations, extending the hand of peace and cooperation is far more devastating to our adversaries.

In April, Hillary Clinton was quoted as saying on Good Morning America of all places that if Israel was attacked by Iran, “we would be able to totally obliterate them”. Now this was said during the heat of a brutal primary campaign that Hillary was in the process of losing to Obama, and the primaries she was fighting at that moment were in Pennsylvania, where muscle flexing is valued highly. But it also happens to be the same a quote from Hillary Clinton that has just been nominated as the nation’s next chief diplomat. And dealing with Iran will be one of her top priorities.

President Ahmadinijad is the kind of sly propagandist who can take the “obliterate” comment and turn it into more opportunities for mischief than Baskin Robbins has flavors. Hate-talk about Iran is a big fat BP fastball to the Iranian President. Every angry word about Iran can be used to keep the Iranian population fired up. It’s an old trick in the Middle East. When your people have no jobs, high inflation, a stagnant economy, a crumbling infrastructure, and no political freedom, just blame it on Israel or the Great Satan. This kind of stuff has been Iran’s second-most effective export after oil. It’s used it to finance it’s highly effective proxy networks in Lebanon, and to a lesser extent in Iraq. It’s used it to drive forward it’s nuclear policy. They all perform one profound function. Preservation of domestic power. Read the rest of this entry »

Obama versus his Cabinet

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glazed_maple_kitchen_cabinets_1

eahhh. i've seen better.

So what exactly is Obama thinking with his cabinet picks?

Everyone from Joe Lieberman to Pat Buchanan is delighted with Obama’s top job choices. Joe says they’re “perfect”, which suggests Obama is doing something very, very wrong. Pundits are torn. Is Obama a closet centrist who sold us a bill of goods with all that ‘change’ stuff? Or is he a progressive who’s going to browbeat all his experienced Clintonians into doing his bidding.

My guess is the answer is neither. Obama said today that the ‘change’ is going to come from his desk and filter downwards, but that’s easier said than done. If Obama truly is a progressive (and he really needs to be to define this historical economic moment), a more likely outcome is that the cabinet could quickly descend into ideological squabbling as the President talks up real change, and the cabinet talk up real caution. Obama is known as a consensus builder. If the cabinet is moderate, the consensus will be moderate, and real ‘change’, well that will have to wait.

It would certainly help the President’s ‘change scenario’ that at least one of his major cabinet picks was someone, well, new. But there isn’t really one guy in the top team that offers a totally new perspective on anything at all. So far moderation and predictability has been the order of the day, except in the case of HRC for State, which strikes me more as either fear or plain stupidity.

Time will tell, of course. But there’s one word that definitely wouldn’t be used to describe the new cabinet.

And that’s transformative.