The Washington Post claims today that Hillary Clinton won't be able to fulfill her promise to increase domestic infrastructure spending, because House Republicans will insist on cuts elsewhere to pay for it. But that would only be the end of the story if we assumed - as the Washington Post apparently does - that the bloated Pentagon budget is sacrosanct.
Not every House Republican votes in lock-step with the Pentagon. Forty House Republicans - many of them members of the House Liberty Caucus - voted with the overwhelming majority of House Democrats to stop the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.
Urge Democrats and Republicans in Washington to put cuts to the bloated Pentagon budget on the table to pay for domestic infrastructure spending by signing our petition at MoveOn.
"Unions want one thing from Hillary tonight: A stake in TPP’s heart," The Hill reports. If Hillary denounces the TPP tonight in her acceptance speech at the DNC in Philadelphia, "labor officials believe it would kill any chance of moving the pact in a lame-duck Congress after the election."
Call your Senator now at (202) 224-3121. When you reach a staffer or leave a message, you can say something like:
"I urge you to press Secretary Clinton to clearly state her opposition to the TPP in her acceptance speech tonight."
When you've made your call, please report it below.
And if you haven't yet signed our petition to Senate Democrats, urging that they press Secretary Clinton to oppose the TPP in her speech tonight, you can do that here.
Now that Hillary Clinton is the "presumptive Democratic nominee," some inside-the-Beltway supporters of Clinton who want more war are being more open about their pro-war agenda. Michele Floury, the former Defense Department official whom Defense One calls "the woman expected to run the Pentagon under Hillary Clinton," this week advocated for "sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit." Floury said she would "direct U.S. troops to push President Bashar al-Assad's forces out of southern Syria and would send more American boots to fight the Islamic State in the region."
It's not a done deal that Flournoy will be Secretary of Defense; at the very least, we should have a public debate over whether a Secretary of Defense who advocates for more war is the kind of Secretary of Defense that we want to have. As the Democratic primaries and caucuses have just shown, in order to have a real debate, we need to have an alternative candidate.
Hillary Clinton will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's policy conference in Washington March 20-22.
Urge Hillary to tell AIPAC that settlements are not Israel by signing our petition at MoveOn:
Just because Hillary is speaking at AIPAC, doesn't mean that she has to pander to AIPAC. When President Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice spoke at AIPAC last year, she told them things that they didn't want to hear: that their demands that Iran cease all enrichment of uranium were unrealistic, and that their demands that the U.S. walk away from negotiations with Iran and increase sanctions on Iran instead were unrealistic. AIPAC didn't like it, but Susan Rice didn't let that stop her from telling the truth.
In an interview from Davos with Bloomberg TV on January 20, Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, a top lobbyist for the pro-corporate-power Trans-Pacific Partnership [TPP] agreement, assured viewers that if Hillary Clinton wins the Presidential election, she will support the TPP, even though she opposes it now.
Urge Members of Congress to take a stand now on the TPP and pledge to keep the same position after the election by signing our petition at MoveOn:
Inside U.S. Trade reported: "The Chamber president said he expected Hillary Clinton would ultimately support the TPP if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president and is elected. He argued that she has publicly opposed the deal chiefly because her main challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has also done so. 'If she were to get nominated, if she were to be elected, I have a hunch that what runs in the family is you get a little practical if you ever get the job,' he said."
Donohue also said TPP will not be voted on prior to the election because Senate Republicans do not want to do anything that could jeopardize Republican Senators in close races. But he said he believed there was a 75 percent chance that TPP would get done in the lame-duck session after the election.
People have noticed the silence of former Secretary of State and widely presumed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. Where does she stand? How long can she dodge? And how long can former President Bill Clinton dodge?
It's not like the Clintons have gone into seclusion on public affairs in general or U.S. foreign policy in particular.
More than 1500 prisoners are currently observing an open-ended hunger strike in defense of basic human rights: the right not to be detained without charge, the right not to be subjected to sustained solitary confinement, the right to be visited by one's family. Two of the prisoners have been on hunger strike for more than 70 days and have been widely reported to be "near death."
Is it possible that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton could say a few words about this situation?
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon finally said something under pressure. So did the European Union. The International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch have spoken up. There was a report in the New York Times; before that, there was a report in the Washington Post.
But so far, Secretary of State Clinton hasn't said boo. Is it impossible that she could say something?
What might happen if a bunch of Americans tried to put pressure on Hillary to speak up?
Following my post about my plans to participate in the Gaza Freedom Flotilla in opposition to the blockade of Gaza, "Why We Must Sail to Gaza," David Harris, the executive director of the American Jewish Committee, responded by challenging me to answer his concerns about Hamas and Israeli security.
Of course, I welcome the opportunity to respond to David's concerns, and I thank David for giving me the opportunity to do so. Moving the focus of attention from the arena of violence to the arena of engagement and dialogue -- that's a key component of what nonviolent resistance is all about.
The overall thrust of David's piece appears to be that Hamas is a monster, and therefore whatever the Israeli government does -- including the blockade of Gaza -- which is claimed to be "in defense against Hamas," is justified.
The logic of the argument that the blockade of Gaza is automatically justified by the threat of violence to Israel from Hamas should be familiar to Americans. It's essentially the same logic that the Bush-Cheney Administration used in justifying its decisions to torture detainees -- ignore the Geneva Conventions and the right of habeas corpus, and invade Iraq after 9/11: your concerns about human rights and international law are very pretty. But now we are facing a terrible enemy, so your pretty concerns about human rights and international law are no longer relevant.
Secretary of State Clinton defended the State Department budget in Congress this week by pointing out that diplomatic interventions can prevent expensive wars. Now the State Department has a spectacular opportunity to demonstrate Secretary Clinton's argument by example. It can support robust diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Libya without a further escalation in violence.
Pipe dream? The Wall Street Journal reports today that the price of oil fell on world markets when Al Jazeera reported that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had accepted a plan proposed by Venezuela that called for a multinational commission to mediate the conflict with rebel groups; Reuters reports that Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said the peace plan was "under consideration."
Of course, this doesn't mean that peace is about to break out. For example, a leader of the rebels has reportedly rejected the call for peace.
But here are some facts that should create an opening for diplomacy: the armed rebels seem to have very little military prospect of taking Tripoli. The Libyan government seems to have very little military prospect of retaking most rebel-held territory.
Back in 1969, when Secretary of State Clinton was writing her senior thesis at Wellesley on Chicago community organizer Saul Alinsky, she must have come across this line on page 9 of Alinksy's book "Rules for Radicals":
"Revolution by the Have-Nots has a way of inducing a moral revelation among the Haves."
"The region's foundations are sinking into the sand," Clinton said, calling for "political reforms that will create the space young people are demanding, to participate in public affairs and have a meaningful role in the decisions that shape their lives." Those who would "prey on desperation and poverty are already out there," Clinton warned, "appealing for allegiance and competing for influence."
As Secretary Clinton made her remarks, the Times noted, "unrest in Tunisia that threatened its government while serving to buttress her arguments" was among the events that "echoed loudly in the background."
Friday, Tunisian president Ben Ali has reportedly fled the country and the Tunisian prime minister says he is now in charge.
Popular protest can bring down the government in an Arab country. Who knew?