Of which the State Department became damn near a branch, ‘natch.
ABC News has obtained State Department e-mails that shed light on Bill Clinton’s lucrative speaking engagements and show he and the Clinton Foundation tried to get approval for invitations related to two of the most repressive countries in the world — North Korea and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State, Bill Clinton earned speaking fees around the globe totaling more than $48 million — speeches that had to be vetted by the State Department to ensure there were no conflicts of interest with his wife’s work as America’s top diplomat. These newly revealed emails show speech requests that the State Department refused to approve.
The emails — which have come to light because of a public records request by the conservative group Citizens United, which sued the State Department to get the documents — show just how far Bill Clinton was willing to go to earn those lucrative fees — seeking approval for appearances with ties to two of the most brutal countries in the world.
I’ll bet he’s drooling like a rabid dog at what he can do from the White house, without all the fussy interference from another administration.
…so how’s about I save you some time when you get home?
— TalesoftheCocktail (@totc) August 24, 2015
I made sure I had our playoff tickets for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos ALL PAID UP ahead of time.
…Satellite fixes indicate that Danny is now moving west-northwestward
or 295/10 kt. The latest model guidance remains in very good
agreement on Danny moving west-northwestward for the next 48-72
hours toward a weakness in the subtropical ridge along 60W
longitude. A mid- to upper-level trough north of Bermuda is forecast
by the global models to begin lifting out to the north in 96-120
hours, which should allow the subtropical ridge to the north of
Danny to build back westward, forcing Danny on a more westward track
on days 4 and 5. The NHC official forecast track is essentially an
update of the previous advisory through 72 hours, but was shifted a
little north of the previous track after that in agreement with the
consensus model TVCN.
…with prayer rugs available. NOT good enough, ‘twould seem.
OIA to open Muslim prayer room
Emirates Airlines will begin flying from OIA
Orlando International Airport will soon open a Muslim prayer room.
…Currently at OIA, many Muslims pray in public or even in restrooms.
There is also a non-denomination chapel where prayer rugs are available.
Lemme get this straight. You HAVE a room available to pray, WITH your prayer rugs, but I guess it’s NOT GOOD ENOUGH, so you have to pray…in the BATHROOM?
I will have to see who forked over the $250K to erect this monstrosity, but the fact of the matter is, it’s on PUBLIC PROPERTY, where there was already a perfectly adequate, INCLUSIVE, space at hand. NOW the airport has constructed a EXCLUSIVE room…for Muslims. Tell me again how that works?
Somebody ‘splain me, please.
Odierno: Army ‘dangerously close’ to being cut too deep
As the Army prepares to cut 40,000 more soldiers in order to fit into a shrinking budget, the service is in danger of becoming too small for an increasingly dangerous world, the Army’s top officer said, and that may embolden our enemies to act.
“If we get small enough where some of these [world] leaders don’t believe the Army can respond or deter them, if you can’t … deter them from believing they can accomplish something … that increases the threats and danger to the United States,” Odierno said in an exclusive sit-down with Army Times. “And I don’t know what that level is, but I think we’re getting dangerously close to that level now.”
And this weekend has been a hoot, sitting back, eating popcorn and watching the circus.
In all honesty, I do have a horse in the race I’m already working for, but, that aside, I canNOT imagine a better evening for almost ALL of the GOP candidates, from the breakout girl on the undercard, to the stage full of fellas at the main event. With one notable exception, they were well spoken, informed, intelligent, empathetic, committed, personable, FUNNY and determined. Not to mention, the VERY PICTURE of diversity.
Then there’s Hillary and Bernie as front runners. Fires you right up, doesn’t it?
What a GREAT start to the Silly Season. I can’t WAIT.
…for a New York Times correction on this teensy point of contention.
“…the full video was in fact posted at the same time as the edited version. It is not the case that the full video was released “after Planned Parenthood complained of selective, misleading editing.”
— Neal Dewing (@Neal_Dewing) August 6, 2015
THAT’S rich coming out of Obama’s mouth not two sentences after he derides Republicans and “lobbyists who suddenly have become nuclear scientists” for not bending over on Iran and his great plan.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 6, 2015
Look how they brought their boy home. How everyone came to say good-bye.
Semper Fi, LCpl Wells.
…Washington, you have a problem.
Keep the Cuban trade embargo
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be in Miami today — and reports are that she’s going to tackle Miami’s Cuban exile community’s historic third rail question: Should the 50-plus-year-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba be lifted?
…Mrs. Clinton’s support for lifting the embargo reflects a political calculation about the evolution of the Cuban exile community in Miami. It has indeed evolved, which is why we support the normalization process.
But at some point there must be evolution on the other side, as well. One does not have to be a hardliner to expect a quid pro quo of some kind as this process moves forward. Simply put, Cuba hasn’t earned the embargo’s end. Far from it.
Despite months of talks between the two countries that began in December with President Obama’s announcement that relations would be normalized, we have yet to see any significant actions by the Castro regime that will benefit the United States or enhance the civil liberties and freedoms of the Cuban people.
Internally, the regime maintains the same repressive attitude that has allowed it to stay in power for decades. That includes harassment of peaceful groups like the famed Ladies in White for a series of successive Sundays, when they engage in peaceful marches. The daily arrests, acts of repudiation and censorship of any person or group that questions the official line are still in place…
At least they’re a few centrifuges short of a bomb.
…you’d NEVER guess one of them to be the delightful Ted Rall, would you?
Ted Rall, Los Angeles Times cartoonist, dropped after blog post appears to stretch the truth
A left-wing cartoonist’s recent depiction of a 14-year-old encounter with the LAPD has gotten him canned as a freelance contributor to the LA Times after the paper said it had “serious questions” about the accuracy of the encounter.
Ted Rall, whose illustrator’s pen has targeted the intellect of U.S. troops in Iraq and the widows of terror attack victims, was dropped by the Times after a May 11 blog post in which he said he was “roughed” up by police for jaywalking in 2001.
“An audiotape of the encounter recorded by the police officer does not back up Rall’s assertions; it gives no indication that there was physical violence of any sort by the policeman or that Rall’s license was thrown into the sewer or that he was handcuffed,”
the Times wrote on Thursday in the space above where Rall’s blog post was originally published. “Nor is there any evidence on the recording of a crowd of shouting onlookers.”
Rall “stands by his blog post,” according to the Times.
Rall defends himself in a nearly 2,500-word post on anewdomain.net, including why, when his encounter with the LAPD was over, he asked the officer for dining recommendations.
“Listening to the tape now, I can’t imagine what I was thinking,” Rall writes.
“The only explanation I can fathom is that I had classic Stockholm Syndrome. I was stunned at the time. Not that I’m comparing myself with a rape victim — far from it — but now I better understand why sometimes a raped woman will question pressing charges or call a date-rapist at home hours after he left her. I was blathering nonsense, I guess.”
No, you are “blathering nonsense” NOW, Teddy.
…reality check last night before, of course, bringing in Mark Kelly.
…JUDY WOODRUFF: And yet we saw — and in fact what we saw in the last week, killings that didn’t get the kind of publicity that the shootings in Chattanooga, this one in Louisiana, there were family — families involved.
MEGHAN HOYER: Exactly. Yes.
There were five mass killings this week. That doesn’t include the shooting in the theater last night. Again, the majority of those were family killings, a family found dead in Modesto, a woman and her children, a family in Oklahoma where two teenagers have been arrested and the rest of their family has — was stabbed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, again, these are the kinds of things that often don’t get the kind of attention.
MEGHAN HOYER: Right, they might get the regional attention, but they don’t get the national buzz.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What about the guns that are used? What did you learn about whether they are gotten legally or not?
MEGHAN HOYER: Well, in terms of mass killings, about three-quarters of them are committed with guns. That means the other quarter of them are not gun-related at all.
Of the gun killings, what we have seen are that most guns are handguns. They are not these high-capacity assault rifles or high-capacity assault weapons that we hear so much about. We looked a little bit at legal vs. non-legal acquisition. In a majority of cases, they’re acquired legally.
And even in cases where they’re not, what experts say is that these are people who tend to be very determined. And where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Even if they have been banned from getting guns, if they have a prior record, generally, they find a way to find a weapon.
…but of COURSE we should be worried about…anxious MUSLIMS.
Chattanooga Muslims mourning, anxious after shootings
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — As the death toll rose to five, a handful of governors ordered National Guardsmen to take up arms in response to the brazen attacks on two Tennessee military sites.
In Chattanooga, a city that prides itself on strong ties between people of different faiths, some Muslims feared the community’s perception of them had changed after the shooting rampage Thursday. A 24-year-old man and fellow Muslim killed four Marines and wounded three others, including a sailor who died Saturday from his wounds.
Mohsin Ali, a member of the Islamic Society of Greater Chattanooga, said he hoped the local community didn’t dissolve into turmoil the way others have in the region over the building of mosques and other matters. Peaceful coexistence has largely prevailed here.
“We, our kids, feel 100 percent American and Chattanoogan,” said the Pakistani-born Ali, who is a child psychiatrist. “Now they are wondering if that is how people still look at them.”
Personally, I think they should be looking at themselves…but that’s just me.
…and just feel ill.
Your heart is simply torn out, seeing their faces and learning more about these slaughtered Marines.
Slain Marine’s last words to girlfriend: “ACTIVE SHOOTER”
The Marine Corps has identified the four men killed in an attack on two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
They were identified Friday by the Marines as Gunnery Sgt. Thomas J. Sullivan of Hampden, Massachusetts; Staff Sgt. David A. Wyatt of Burke, North Carolina; Sgt. Carson A. Holmquist of Polk, Wisconsin; and Lance Cpl. Squire K. Wells of Cobb County, Georgia, who a family spokesman says went by Skip.
Lance Cpl. Squire Wells was swapping text messages Thursday with his girlfriend of 2 1/2 years, excited that she had booked a flight to visit him in Chattanooga after months apart.
“Can’t wait anymore,” Wells texted. “Yes you can honey,” his girlfriend, Caroline Dove, replied.
His next two words would be the last she’d ever hear from him.
“ACTIVE SHOOTER,” he wrote.
She thought he was kidding: “You are so weird,” she replied.
Hours of silence. “I love you,” she tried. Hours more passed, the news out of Chattanooga becoming clearer. “Hon, I need you to answer me please,” she wrote.
It would not be until Friday that she learned his fate…
Ripples of grief were apparent as a stream of visitors brought flowers, food and gifts Friday to the Hampden, Massachusetts, home of Jerry and Betty Sullivan, the parents of Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan. A police officer was stationed outside to keep reporters and onlookers away. Masslive.com said Sullivan, 40, grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts.
The Pentagon said he had been enlisted nearly 18 years, serving two tours of duty in Iraq and earning two Purple Hearts.
His hometown mayor, Dominic Sarno, called Sullivan a man who “dedicated his life in brave service.” Gov. Charlie Baker ordered flags to half-staff as he proclaimed “Terror comes home to Massachusetts.” Sullivan’s unit – India Battery, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines – called him “one of our own” on its Facebook page. A giant U.S. flag and another representing the Marine Corps hung outside a Springfield restaurant owned by Sullivan’s brother Joseph.
“He was our hero,” read a post on the Facebook page of Nathan Bill’s Bar and Restaurant, “and he will never be forgotten.”…
So proud a Marine was Sgt. Carson Holmquist that when he finished boot camp, he returned to his hometown of Grantsburg, Wisconsin, and paid a visit to his high school dressed in his formal blues. Grantsburg High School Principal Josh Watt, who was one of Holmquist’s football coaches, remembers the day his former cornerback showed up, the pride in his accomplishment apparent.
“When he became a Marine he was very proud of that,” Watt said Friday…
Tony Ward remembered Staff Sgt. David Wyatt as the young Boy Scout who would run up mountains, just for fun, seeking to best the time of others.
Ward, who now lives in Helena, Montana, was Wyatt’s scoutmaster when he was in high school in Russellville, Arkansas. Wyatt and Ward’s son were good friends and worked together at a Boy Scout camp. He said Wyatt attained the Eagle Scout rank and graduated from high school in 1991. He was married with young children, Ward said.
“He’s the kind of man that this country needs more of,” he said.
Lord knows that was true of every single one of these tremendous Leathernecks. God bless you guys and hold your families close.
The membership is apparently pissed the union endorsed Hillary without asking…the membership. So WHO is the default choice?
— Tara Molloy-Grocki (@tmgrocki) July 12, 2015
Iran, world powers agree to nuclear deal
…”Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” Obama said, claiming it provides for extensive inspections. “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.”
…While some members of Congress had urged comprehensive inspections of Iran’s nuclear sites, the deal in hand gives Iran much leverage over that process. The agreement requires international inspectors to ask Iran’s permission first, after which Iran has 14 days to decide whether to grant it. If not, the same group of nations that struck the deal would have another 10 days to make their decision about what to do next. While the international group may have final say, the set-up essentially gives Iran 24 days to drag out the process, though officials say this is not enough time to hide all evidence of illicit conduct.
If EVER there was a time for the GOP majority Congress to ACT like it had a clue, I would vote for NOW.
SHUT. THIS. ABOMINATION. DOWN.
…I kill you.
“A young French Muslim shouts in Paris restaurant “People can’t eat because it’s the ramadan“. After he reverses tables, and throws food on the ground.”
Sun-Times Breaking UPDATE: 7 dead, 38 injured in July 4th weekend shootings.
Fourth of July weekend shootings have left EIGHT people dead — including a 7-year-old boy — and at least 42 others injured since Thursday evening.
ths update redux: WHAT was that I was saying below…?
Supt. McCarthy: Slain Boy’s Dad A ‘Ranking’ Gang Member, Not Cooperating With Authorities
Including a seven year old, precious baby boy, shot in the chest while watching fireworks.
This is ONE. Frickin’. WEEKEND. In the city.
But let’s all piss and moan about cops, as if this carnage happened every weekend at the hands of police officers, shall we? Let’s totally abrogate our responsibility as a community to look in the mirror and act, instead of blame the world for what happens in your own household, in the street in front of your house and to your children. Let’s blame every white person in the United States for the fact that the predators in your community prey on you and yours unimpeded, while the perpetual, professional victim grievance committees point everywhere but in the mirror.
No cop killed those people this weekend. Or the weekend before. Or the one before that. No confederate flag flew as they gunned down a child. And, once his family wails in anguish and the sobs subside, no one will remember that baby boy at all. Because I guarantee you, there will be another shortly to take his place.
And no one will march for them, nor will their names become a national symbol of the disgrace that this violence against each other truly is, yet many of you will jump yet again behind the usual attention whores when a police shooting goes horribly wrong. Or the rare nutcase goes on a rampage. Without ever demanding of those bombastic, self aggrandizing “leaders” of yours accountability for their absence in the face of the internecine war in your own front yard.