Hillary Clinton

SC Senate: Primary challenger ties Lindsey Graham to Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton and Lindsey Graham

A conservative primary challenger has rolled out an ad that ties Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a likely contender for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The ad — a product of Bill Connor’s campaign — calls Graham’s purported conservative credentials into question with clips of the South Carolina senator saying that Clinton is “dedicated to her job” and “one of the most effective secretary of states, greatest ambassadors for the United States” that he’s ever seen:

“I was at the TEA Party debate when I first saw this footage of Graham praising and hugging Hillary. I thought it represented what’s most frustrating to South Carolina conservatives about Lindsey Graham–the inherent hypocrisy of calling himself a conservative when he campaigns, but acting like and voting like a moderate or liberal the rest of the time,” Connor said in a statement from his campaign. “My plan was always to get on TV first and to stay there.”

NSA Story Causes Politicians to Break Ranks, Gives Voters Hope

The story of Edward Snowden/NSA data collection is difficult for anyone who understands the need for surveillance as a security measure, but who also abhors the thought of living under a “surveillance state.” Whistleblowing takes great courage but carries the unfortunate side effect of exposing anything that may have been good about the program — which, in this case, is, admittedly, hard to find given the domestic thrust of the NSA’s activities.

But what’s particularly interesting is how the program has not only gotten the average citizen to reexamine what they’ll live with in the name of security, but how it has started to align and divide lawmakers and politicians who must take a stance on behalf of their constituencies and — hopefully — their own consciences.

Bloomberg’s Businessweek offers an interesting piece detailing just how the NSA fiasco has gerrymandered the usually predictable party lines:

While some leading Democrats are reluctant to condemn the dragnet surveillance of Americans’ phone records, the Republican Party has begun to embrace a libertarian shift opposing the spy agency’s broad powers. But the lines are not drawn in the traditional way.

The Republican National Committee and civil libertarians like Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul have joined liberals like Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren on one side of the debate — a striking departure from the aggressive national security policies that have defined the Republican Party for generations.

Today in Liberty: Tea Party group endorses Amash, Hillary silent on NSA, 3,000 Americans dumped citizenship last year

“Government should stay the hell out of people’s business.” — Barry Goldwater

— The rant that started it all: It was five years ago today that Rick Santelli went into an epic rant against President Obama’s mortgage bailout proposal. “We’re thinking of having a Chicago Tea Party in July,” Santelli said in his rant. “All you capitalists that want to show up to Lake Michigan, I’m gonna start organizing.” That rant served as a catalyst for the Tea Party movement, not in July, but a few days later, on February 27, 2009. We’ll have more on this later today.

— Afghanistan problems linger: With a new Gallup poll showing that the number Americans who believe the nearly 13-year war in Afghanistan was a mistake at an all-time high, Washington is now staring down a “no-win legacy” in the country that once gave safe-harbor to al-Qaeda. “At the moment, they’re losing and losing badly, as Washington is plumbing new depths of pessimism about the outlook for the nation that President George W. Bush and his team once vowed to transform,” Politico notes this morning. “There’s no talk of ‘victory,’ or how the U.S. should spend its share of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, or how to use the peace dividend from a world made safe from Al Qaeda. Instead, the discussion has boiled down to a debate over whether the future will bring a quick implosion or a slow-motion collapse — and whose fault it would be.”

Report: CIA knew within three days that Benghazi attack wasn’t a protest

In the hours following the 2012 attack on the American outpost in Benghazi, during which four Americans were killed, senior Obama administration officials — including Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, and White House Press Secretary Jay Carney — tried to advance a talking point that the incident was a protest over an anti-Islam YouTube video that had gone awry.

Even President Obama focused on religious tolerance in the days after the attack, giving passive mention to it as an “act of terror.” Eight days later, however, administration officials conceded that the incident in Benghazi was a terrorist attack.

It’s not hard to figure out why the administration didn’t want to immediately admit that the incident was a terrorist attack, after all, 2012 was a presidential election year and the Obama campaign was trying to boost his foreign policy credentials against Republican criticism. As it turned out, Mitt Romney’s campaign mishandled Benghazi at a presidential debate, and the issue was a nonfactor in the election.

Harvard professor: “the children belong to all of us”

Paul Reville

In 1996, then-First Lady Hillary Clinton raised eyebrows with the released of her book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. The theme of the book, as the title suggests, is that it takes the communities working together raise America’s children.

The book was met with outrage from the political right, with some pointing to far-leftist collectivist notions. Then-Republican presidential nominee Sen. Bob Dole (R-KS) was among those who blasted the notion presented by Clinton.

[A]fter the virtual devastation of the American family, the rock upon which this country was founded, we are told that it takes a village, that is collective, and thus the state, to raise a child,” said Dole in his acceptance speech at the 1996 Republican National Convention.

“The state is now more involved than it ever has been in the raising of children. And children are now more neglected, more abused and more mistreated than they have been in our time,” he said. “This is not a coincidence. This is not a coincidence. And with all due respect, I am here to tell you it does not take a village to raise a child. It takes a family to raise a child.”

Poll: 46% say Benghazi will hurt Clinton in 2016

Most voters believe that the Benghazi terrorist attacks could come back to haunt Hillary Clinton if she decides to run for president in 2016, according a poll released on Monday by Rasmussen Reports.

A bipartisan report released last week by the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded that the Benghazi terrorist attack — which claimed the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Christoper Stevens — could have been prevented. The report implicated elements of al-Qaeda in the attack and faulted the State Department for not addressing security concerns in Libya.

The Rasmussen poll found that 46% of voters believe that the events that led up to Benghazi will hurt Clinton, who served as Secretary of State when the attack occurred, up from 43% in October. Four percent (4%) believe it will help her.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) don’t believe Benghazi will have any impact on Clinton’s candidacy, down from 41% in October.

While the Senate report noted that the terrorists who used furor over an anti-Islam YouTube as an opportunity to carry out the attack on the American compound, it concluded that the incident was not a protest gone awry as the White House and administration officials, including Clinton, initially claimed or intimated.

Report: al-Qaeda elements involved in Benghazi attack

The claims recently made by The New York Times about the 2012 Benghazi terrorist attack continues to crumble. Just last month the “paper of record” stated that there was “no evidence” that suggested al-Qaeda was involved in the attack on the American outpost in the Libyan city.

But a declassified, bipartisan report released this morning by the Senate Intelligence Committee lays waste to that claim by implicating regional affiliates of al-Qaeda —including Ansar al-Sharia and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) — in the attack:

The administration initially claimed the attack sprung out of a protest, but has since given a more complicated assessment. Still, administration officials all along have downplayed Al Qaeda involvement, recently seizing on a New York Times report that supported those claims.

While the report does not implicate Al Qaeda “core” — the leadership believed to be in the Pakistan region — it does blame some of the most influential Al Qaeda branches, including Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).

“Individuals affiliated with terrorist groups, including AQIM, Ansar al-Sharia, AQAP, and the Mohammad Jamal Network, participated in the September 11, 2012, attacks,” the report said. The militant Ansar al-Sharia was, separately, labeled by the State Department as a terror group last week, in part over its alleged involvement in the Benghazi strike.

Hillary Clinton has a list — and she’s checking it twice

Prominent Democrats who endorsed Barack Obama or remained neutral in the 2008 Democratic presidential race may find themselves in a place they don’t want to be — on Hillary Clinton enemies list.

Aides who worked on Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 campaign kept a running hit list of Democrats who they believe betrayed their boss, according to allegations made in a new book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton:

Inside a cramped third-floor office of Hillary Clinton’s once-bustling presidential campaign headquarters in the Ballston neighborhood of Arlington, Virginia, Kris Balderston and Adrienne Elrod put the finishing touches on a political hit list.
Almost six years later most Clinton aides can still rattle off the names of traitors and the favors that had been done for them, then provide details of just how each of the guilty had gone on to betray the Clintons—as if it all had happened just a few hours before. The data project ensured that the acts of the sinners and saints would never be forgotten.

Susan Rice defends Benghazi interviews and NSA spying

We know things are much worse than we could have ever imagined once we learn that even mainstream media is having a hard time swallowing anything National Security Advisor Susan Rice has to say about Benghazi, NSA or Edward Snowden.

Rice was interviewed for CBS’s 60 Minutes where she talked about what she thought were then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s reasons for not appearing for interviews following the attacks against the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of four people, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

When asked about the Sunday talk shows she appeared on following the attacks to defend the White House’s line, Rice responded by saying that she doesn’t have time to think about the “false controversy.” The line she repeated throughout that Sunday after the attacks was later confirmed as, at best, misleading.

“In the midst of all of swirl about things like talking points, the administration has been working very, very hard across the globe to review our security of our embassies and our facilities. That’s what we ought to be focused on.”

During the Sunday shows, Rice defended the White House’s original talking points by claiming that the attacks had occurred spontaneously as a response to an anti-Muslim video. At the time, Rice confirmed that the attack wasn’t aimed at the United States or its policies.

Self-described “socialist” senator considering presidential bid

Bernie Sanders

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), who describes himself as a “democratic socialist,” is thinking about jumping in the 2016 presidential race if a candidate willing to push far-left political views doesn’t emerge.

“There are enormous problems facing this country…income and wealth inequality, massively high unemployment, the fact that we’re the only country in the industrialized which doesn’t guarantee healthcare to all people, global warming,” Sanders told MSNBC’s Ed Schultz.

The comments come over some dissatisfaction among the far-left in the Democratic Partyover what has been perceived as the coronation of Hillary Clinton as the 2016 presidential nominee, assuming she does indeed run. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has been touted by some as a potential alternative candidate, but she has declined to run.

“It seems to me, it would be a real disgrace if we had a campaign where those issues — the needs of working families, the needs of the middle class, the needs of the elderly — were not front and center,” he said. “We need people out there fighting for ordinary people, not simply taking huge campaign contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.”

“What I have said is that candidate is needed, and if somebody else doesn’t step up, I am prepared to do it,” Sanders added.

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