Michael Reagan and me on the USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Why I will not Vote for Hillary Clinton

In 1965, Clinton enrolled in Wellesley College, where she majored in political science. She wrote her senior thesis about the tactics of radical community organizer and author of Rules for Radicals Saul Alinsky. Years later while she was first lady, her thesis was suppressed at the request of the White House and became the subject of speculation as to its contents. Saul Alinky Alinsky was a critic of a passive and ineffective mainstream liberalism. In Rules for Radicals, he argued that the most effective means are whatever will achieve the desired ends. Basically, the end justifies the means even if the means were not legal. He also urged liberals to work within the system to make the masses feel "so frustrated, so defeated, so lost, so futureless in the prevailing system that they are willing to let go of the past and chance the future". (The fact that this was one of her early heros should frighten everyone in this country.)

After Law school she failed the District of Columbia bar exam. She did not tell even close friends of her failure until revealing it thirty years later in her autobiography. This speaks volumes of her character. (Somehow, being a failure makes you a better democrat.)

She later lowered her expectations passed the Arkansas bar exam and married Bill Clinton.

Later when Bill Clinton was Attorney General of Arkansas she joined the venerable Rose Law Firm, a bastion of Arkansan political and economic influence, in February 1977.

She most likely got that job as a kick-back to her husband to garnish favor for the firm with the State's Attorney General. Most accounts indicate that she was a poor to fair lawyer that rarely performed litigation work in court. She was only made a full partner at the firm after her husband was elected Governor. Bill Clinton's Republican opponent in his 1986 gubernatorial re-election campaign accused the Clintons of conflict of interest, because Rose Law did state business.

Clinton used her ties to the firm and suspected insider information to make a spectacular profit from trading cattle futures contracts; her initial $1,000 investment generated nearly $100,000 when she stopped trading after ten months. Her and her husband also began their ill-fated investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation real estate venture with Jim and Susan McDougal at this time. Jim McDougal would later be convicted of eighteen felony counts of fraud and conspiracy charges when this scandal broke while Bill Clinton was President.

The Clintons borrowed $203,000 to buy land in the Ozark Mountains for vacation homes. When the development failed, Jim McDougal attempted to cover the losses with S&L funds. McDougal was prosecuted for fraud in 1984 and hired the Mrs. Clinton's Rose Law Firm to defend him. Questions remain in regard to Mrs. Clinton's Rose Law Firm billing records on Madison Guaranty and how much work she actually did. McDougal also held a fundraiser that paid off Clinton 's then campaign debt of $50,000. Madison cashier's checks accounted for $12,000 of the funds raised.

McDougal died of a heart attack in federal prison in Fort Worth, Texas. The circumstances of his death remain questionable: he was apparently denied access to his heart medication, and he was placed in solitary confinement without the medication.

As First Lady of Arkansas, Hillary Clinton chaired the Arkansas Educational Standards Committee from 1982 to 1992, where she sought to bring about reform in the state's court-sanctioned public education system. One of the most important initiatives of the entire Clinton governorship, she fought a prolonged but ultimately successful battle against the Arkansas Education Association to put mandatory teacher testing as well as state standards for curriculum and classroom size in place. Once again failure makes you a better democrat.

Hillary's main job as First Lady was to deal with bimbo eruptions, Before the New Hampshire primary in 1992, tabloid publications printed claims that Bill Clinton had had an extramarital affair with Gennifer Flowers, an Arkansas lounge singer. In response, the Clintons appeared together on 60 Minutes, during which Bill Clinton denied the affair but acknowledged he had caused "pain" in their marriage. (Years later, he would admit that the Flowers affair had happened, but to lesser extent than she claimed.) Hillary Clinton made culturally dismissive remarks about Tammy Wynette and baking cookies and having teas during the campaign that were insulting to married women by her own admission.

Most critics called it inappropriate for the First Lady to play a central role in matters of public policy. Supporters pointed out that Clinton 's role in policy was no different from that of other White House advisors and that voters were well aware that she would play an active role in her husband's Presidency. Bill Clinton's campaign promise of "two for the price of one" led opponents to refer derisively to the Clintons as "co-presidents", or sometimes "Billary". The pressures of conflicting ideas about the role of a First Lady were enough to send Clinton into "imaginary discussions" with the also-politically-active Eleanor Roosevelt. (Can you say "nut-job".)

In 1993, the Bill appointed his Hillary to head and be the chairwoman of the Task Force on National Health Care Reform to try to make steps to socialize the American health care system. The plan was quickly derided as "Hillarycare" by its opponents; some protesters against it became vitriolic, and during a July 1994 bus tour to rally support for the plan, she was forced to wear a bulletproof vest at times. The plan did not receive enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate, although both chambers were controlled by Democrats, and proposal was abandoned in September of 1994. Clinton later acknowledged in her book, "Living History", that her political inexperience partly contributed to the defeat. (Inexperience and failure the two best traits of being a democrat?)

Hillary Clinton traveled to over eighty countries during this time, breaking the mark for most-travelled First Lady held by Pat Nixon. (Wasting tax payer money another trait of democrats.)

The Whitewater controversy was the focus of media attention from the publication of a New York Times report during the 1992 presidential campaign, and throughout her time as First Lady. The Clintons had lost their late-1970s investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation; at the same time, their partners in that investment, Jim and Susan McDougal, operated Madison Guaranty, a savings and loan institution that retained the legal services of Rose Law Firm and had been improperly subsidizing Whitewater losses. Madison Guaranty later failed, and Clinton 's work at Rose was scrutinized for a possible conflict of interest in representing the bank before state regulators that her husband had appointed; she claimed she had done minimal work for the bank. Independent counsels Robert Fiske and Kenneth Starr subpoenaed Clinton 's legal billing records; she claimed to be unable to produce these records.

The records were found in the First Lady's White House book room after a two-year search, and delivered to investigators in early 1996. The delayed appearance of the records sparked intense interest and another investigation about how they surfaced and where they had been; Clinton attributed the problem to disorganization that resulted from their move from the Arkansas Governor's Mansion and the effects of a White House renovation. After the discovery of the records, on January 26, 1996, Clinton made history by becoming the first First Lady to be subpoenaed to testify before a Federal grand jury. After several Independent Counsels investigated, a final report was issued in 2000 which stated that there was insufficient evidence that either Clinton had engaged in criminal wrongdoing.

Other investigations took place during Hillary Clinton's time as First Lady. Scrutiny of the May 1993 firings of the White House Travel Office employees, an affair that became known as "Travelgate", began with charges that the White House had used alleged financial improprieties in the Travel Office operation as an excuse to replace the office staff and give the White House travel business to Arkansas friends of theirs. Over the years the investigation focused more on whether Hillary Clinton had orchestrated the firings and whether the statements she made to investigating authorities regarding her role in the firings were true. The 2000 final Independent Counsel report found that there was substantial evidence that she was involved in the firings and that she had made "factually false" statements, but that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute her.

Following deputy White House counsel Vince Foster's July 1993 "suicide", allegations were made that Hillary Clinton had ordered the removal of potentially damaging files (related to Whitewater or other matters) from Foster's office on the night of his death. Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr investigated this, and by 1999 Starr was reported to be holding the investigation open.

In March 1994 newspaper reports revealed her spectacular profits from cattle futures trading in 1978–1979; allegations were made of conflict of interest and disguised bribery, and several individuals analyzed her trading records, but no official investigation was made and she was never charged with any wrongdoing. An outgrowth of the Travelgate investigation was the June 1996 discovery of improper White House access to hundreds of FBI background reports on former Republican White House employees, an affair that some called "Filegate"; accusations were made that Hillary Clinton had requested these files and that she had recommended hiring an unqualified individual to head the White House Security Office.

In 1998, the Clintons ' relationship became the subject of much speculation and gossip when it was revealed that the President had had an extramarital affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. Events surrounding the Lewinsky scandal eventually led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton. When the allegations against her husband were first made public, Hillary Clinton stated that they were the result of a "vast right-wing conspiracy", characterizing the Lewinsky charges as the latest in a long, organized, collaborative series of charges by Clinton political enemies, rather than any wrongdoing by her husband. She later said that she had been misled by her husband's initial claims that no affair had taken place. After the evidence of President Clinton's encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible and he admitted to her his unfaithful behavior, she still maintained her "vast right-wing conspiracy" theory. (Denial is not a river in Egypt .)

Throughout her 1st Senate campaign and during it's debates, Clinton was accused of carpetbagging by her opponents, as she had never resided in New York nor participated in the state's politics prior to this race. Most people know that she would have never been elected in either her home start, Arkansas or her birth state, of Illinois . The contest drew national attention and both candidates were well-funded. Clinton secured a broad base of support, including endorsements from conservation group sand organized labor, but not the New York City police and firefighters' unions.

On a visit to Iraq in February 2005, Clinton noted that the insurgency had failed to disrupt the democratic elections held earlier, and that parts of the country were functioning well. In late 2005, Clinton said that while immediate withdrawal from Iraq would be a mistake, Bush's pledge to stay "until the job is done" is also misguided. Her centrist and somewhat vague stance caused frustration among those in the Democratic party who favor immediate withdrawal. Later she would change her stance on the Iraq War to shore up support from Democrats during her 2006 Re-election in order to win the Democratic nomination over opposition from anti-war activist Jonathan Tasini. This produced her now infamous sound bite. "I was for the war in Iraq before I was against it." Clinton spent $36 million towards her reelection, more than any other candidate for Senate in the 2006 elections. She was criticized by some Democrats for spending too much in a one-sided contest. (Fiscal reasonability is not a Clinton strong suit.)

Her voting record speaks volumes about her tax and spend mentality and her support for the liberal agenda. Senator Clinton voted against the tax cuts introduced by President Bush, including the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. Clinton voted in 2005 against the confirmation of John Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States, and in 2006 against the nomination of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court; both were confirmed. In July 2004 and June 2006, Clinton voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment that sought to prohibit same-sex marriage.

Clinton opposed the Iraq War troop surge of 2007 and supported a February 2007 non-binding Senate resolution against it, which failed to gain cloture. In March 2007 she voted in favor of a war spending bill that required President Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within a certain deadline; it passed almost completely along party lines but was subsequently vetoed by President Bush. In May 2007 a compromise war funding bill that removed withdrawal deadlines but tied funding to progress benchmarks for the Iraqi government passed the Senate by a vote of 80-14 and would be signed by Bush; Clinton was one of those that voted against it.

Since her announcement that she was seeking the Democratic Party nomination for president, she set records for fundraising. In April 2007, the Clintons liquidated a blind trust that had been established when he became president in 1993, in order to avoid the possibility of ethical conflicts or political embarrassments in the trust as Hillary Clinton undertook her presidential race; later disclosure statements revealed that the couple's worth was now upwards of $50 million. However, ethics in fundraising has never been a Clinton strong suit.

In late August 2007, a major contributor to, and "bundler" for, Clinton's campaign, called a "HillRaiser", Norman Hsu, was revealed to be a 15-years-long fugitive in an investment fraud case. He was also suspected of having broken campaign finance law regarding his bundling collections. The Clinton campaign first said it would donate to charity the $23,000 that Hsu personally contributed to her, then said it would refund to 260 donors the full $850,000 in bundled donations raised by Hsu. Hsu was subsequently indicted on new investment fraud charges.

The Bottom Line?

National Journal's 2004 study of roll-call votes assigned Clinton a rating of 30 in the political spectrum, relative to the then-current Senate, with a rating of 1 being most liberal and 100 being most conservative.

A 2004 analysis by three political scientists found her to be likely the sixth-to-eighth-most liberal Senator.

The Almanac of American Politics, edited by Michael Barone and Richard E. Cohen, rated her votes from 2003 through 2006 as liberal or conservative, with 100 as the highest rating, in three areas: Economic, Social, and Foreign; aggregated for the four years, the ratings are: Ec.. 75 liberal, 23 conservative; Social = 83 liberal, 6 conservative; Foreign = 66 liberal, 30 conservative. Average = 75 liberal, 20 conservative. Various interest groups have given Senator Clinton scores or grades as to how well her votes align with the positions of the group: Through 2006, she has a lifetime 96% "Liberal Quotient" from Americans for Democratic Action. ProgressivePunch gives her a 91.4% lifetime progressive rating, ranking her the 28th most progressive of current senators. Through 2006, she has a lifetime 9% rating from the American Conservative Union. The American Civil Liberties Union has given her a 75% lifetime rating through September 2007. NARAL Pro-Choice America consistently gave her a 100% pro-choice rating from 2002 to 2006. Americans for Better Immigration has given her a lifetime grade of 'D-' (very near failing) through October 2007 on their Immigration-Reduction Report Card. The National Rifle Association gave her an 'F' (failing) rating in 2006 for her stance on Second Amendment issues.

My take?

I have to agree with 50% of America : I would never vote for this woman regardless of who she is running against.

No comments:

Well, that just about sums it up!