“Hillary’s record includes supporting the barbaric “contras” against the Nicaraguan people in the 1980s, supporting the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia, supporting the ongoing Bush-Iraq War, the ongoing Afghan mess, and as Secretary of State the destruction of the secular state of Libya, the military coup in Honduras, and the present attempt at “regime change” in Syria. Every one of these situations has resulted in more extremism, more chaos in the world, and more danger to our country. Next will be the borders of Russia, China, and Iran. Look at the viciousness of her recent AIPAC speech (don’t say you haven’t been warned). Can we really bear to watch as Clinton “takes our alliance [with Israel] to the next level”? Where is our sense of proportion? Cannot the media, at the least, call her out on this extremism? The problem, I think, is this political miasma of “correctness” that dominates American thinking (i.e. Trump is extreme, therefore Hillary is not).”- Oliver Stone
It’s Official: Hillary Clinton Wins The Democratic Presidential Nomination/ Jeffrey Sachs Destroys Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Speech
What was supposed to be an all-important California primary tomorrow just became moot moments ago, when in a surprising announcement, AP just called the race for Hillary who according to the newswire’s calculations has earned enough delegates to become the presumptive Democratic nominee, making her the first woman ever to win a major party nomination.
Striding into history, Hillary Clinton will become the first woman to top the presidential ticket of a major U.S. political party, capturing commitments Monday from the number of delegates needed to become the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.
The victory arrived nearly eight years to the day after she conceded her first White House campaign to Barack Obama. Back then, she famously noted her inability to “shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling.”
Campaigning this time as the loyal successor to the nation’s first black president, Clinton held off a surprisingly strong challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. He mobilized millions with a fervently liberal message and his insurgent candidacy revealed a deep level of national frustration with politics-as-usual, even among Democrats who have controlled the White House since 2009.
Clinton, the former secretary of state, New York senator and first lady, reached the 2,383 delegates needed to become the presumptive Democratic nominee on Monday with a decisive weekend victory in Puerto Rico and a burst of last-minute support from superdelegates. Those are party officials and officeholders, many of them eager to wrap up the primary amid preference polls showing her in a tightening race with presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
Clinton has 1,812 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. She also has the support of 571 superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count.
The AP surveyed all 714 superdelegates repeatedly in the past seven months, and only 95 remain publicly uncommitted.
While superdelegates will not formally cast their votes for Clinton until the party’s July convention in Philadelphia, all those counted in her tally have unequivocally told the AP they will do so.
“We really need to bring a close to this primary process and get on to defeating Donald Trump,” said Nancy Worley, a superdelegate who chairs Alabama’s Democratic Party and provided one of the last endorsements to put Clinton over the top.
Clinton outpaced Sanders in winning new superdelegate endorsements even after his string of primary and caucus wins in May. Following the results in Puerto Rico, it is no longer possible for Sanders to reach the 2,383 needed to win the nomination based on the remaining available pledged delegates and uncommitted superdelegates.
Sanders said this past weekend he plans to fight on until the convention, promising to make the case to superdelegates that he is better positioned to beat Trump in November. Superdelegates can change their minds. But since the start of the AP’s survey in late 2015, no superdelegates have switched from supporting Clinton to backing Sanders.
Indeed, Clinton’s victory is broadly decisive. She leads Sanders by more than 3 million cast votes, by 291 pledged delegates and by 523 superdelegates. She won 29 caucuses and primaries to his 21 victories.
That’s a far bigger margin than Obama had in 2008, when he led Clinton by 131 pledged delegates and 105 superdelegates at the point he clinched the nomination.
Echoing the sentiments of California Gov. Jerry Brown, who overcame a decades-long rivalry with the Clinton family to endorse her last week, many superdelegates expressed a desire to close ranks around a nominee who could defeat Trump in November.
“It’s time to stand behind our presumptive candidate,” said Michael Brown, one of two superdelegates from the District of Columbia who came forward in the past week to back Clinton before the city’s June 14 primary. “We shouldn’t be acting like we are undecided when the people of America have spoken.”
Though she marched into her second presidential primary campaign as an overwhelming favorite, Clinton could not shake Sanders until its final days. He campaigned aggressively in California ahead of the state’s Tuesday election, unwilling to exit a race Clinton stood on the cusp of winning.
Beyond winning over millions of Sanders supporters who vow to remain loyal to the self-described democratic socialist, Clinton faces challenges as she turns toward November, including criticism of her decision to use a private email server run from her New York home while serving as secretary of state. Her deep unpopularity among Republicans has pushed many leery of Trump to nevertheless embrace his campaign.
“This to me is about saving the country and preventing a third progressive, liberal term, which is what a Clinton presidency would do,” House Speaker Paul Ryan told the AP last week after he finally endorsed Trump, weeks after the New Yorker clinched the GOP nomination.
Yet Clinton showed no signs of limping into the general election as she approached the milestone, leaving Sanders behind and focusing on lacerating Trump. She said electing the billionaire businessman, who has spent months hitting her and her husband with bitingly personal attacks, would be a “historic mistake.”
“He is not just unprepared. He is temperamentally unfit to hold an office that requires knowledge, stability and immense responsibility,” Clinton said last week in a speech that was striking in its forcefulness, previewing a brutal five-month general election campaign to come.
Even without the nomination, Sanders can claim ideological victory. His liberal positions pushed the issue of income inequality into the spotlight and drove Clinton to the left on issues such as trade, Wall Street and campaign finance reform.
But she prevailed, in part, by claiming much of the coalition that boosted Obama. She won overwhelming support from women and minorities, catapulting her to decisive victories in diverse, delegate-rich states such as New York and Texas.
When Clinton launched her campaign last April, she did so largely unopposed, having scared off more formidable challengers by locking down much of the party’s organizational and fundraising infrastructure. Vice President Joe Biden, seen as her most threatening rival, opted not to run in October.
Of the four opponents who did take her on, Sanders was the only one who emerged to provide a serious challenge. He caught fire among young voters and independents, his campaign gaining momentum from a narrow loss in Iowa in February and a commanding victory in New Hampshire. His ability to raise vast sums of money online gave him the resources to continue into the spring.
But Clinton vowed not to repeat the failings of her 2008 campaign and focused early on winning delegates, hiring help from Obama’s old team before launching her campaign. They pushed superdelegates into making early commitments and held campaign appearances in areas where they could win the most pledged delegates.
Her victory in Nevada in late February diminished concerns from allies about her campaign operation. Decisive wins in Southern states on Super Tuesday and a sweep of March 15 contests gave her a significant delegate lead, which became insurmountable by the end of April after big victories in New York and in the Northeast.
She now moves on to face Trump, whose ascent to the top of the Republican Party few expected. The brash real estate mogul and reality TV star has long since turned his attention from primary foes to Clinton, debuting a nickname — “Crooked Hillary” — and arguing she belongs in jail for her email setup.
After a long primary campaign, Clinton said this past weekend in California she was ready to accept his challenge.
“We’re judged by our words and our deeds, not our race, not our ethnicity, not our religion,” she said Saturday in Oxnard, California. “So it is time to judge Donald Trump by his words and his deeds. And I believe that his words and his deeds disqualify him from being president of the United States.”
* * *
And just because good news never travels alone:
Understandably, Bernie Sanders is unhappy with this oddly timed announcement, less than a full day before the critical CA primary…
- SANDERS SAYS CLINTON DOESN’T HAVE THE PLEDGED DELEGATES: AP
… but, well, Bernie should have delivered more speeches to Goldman Sachs.
And just like that all that planning (and funding) to obtain those much needed superdelegates has paid off.
The memo to Californians: don’t even bother showing up tomorrow. The only question left now is how will Bernie’s volatile supporters react.
And now, it’s time for the show we’ve all been waiting for…
… and the jokes too.
from Zero Hedge: Jeffrey Sachs Destroys Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy Speech
Hillary’s record includes supporting the barbaric “contras” against the Nicaraguan people in the 1980s, supporting the NATO bombing of the former Yugoslavia, supporting the ongoing Bush-Iraq War, the ongoing Afghan mess, and as Secretary of State the destruction of the secular state of Libya, the military coup in Honduras, and the present attempt at “regime change” in Syria. Every one of these situations has resulted in more extremism, more chaos in the world, and more danger to our country. Next will be the borders of Russia, China, and Iran. Look at the viciousness of her recent AIPAC speech (don’t say you haven’t been warned). Can we really bear to watch as Clinton “takes our alliance [with Israel] to the next level”? Where is our sense of proportion? Cannot the media, at the least, call her out on this extremism? The problem, I think, is this political miasma of “correctness” that dominates American thinking (i.e. Trump is extreme, therefore Hillary is not).
Jeffrey Sachs has been on a roll lately. His latest might be his best one yet.
Published at the Huffington Post, Clinton’s Speech Shows That Only Sanders Is Fit for the Presidency, is an absolute must read. Here it goes:
Hillary Clinton’s recent foreign policy speech was an attack on Donald Trump but was also a reminder that Clinton is a deeply flawed and worrisome candidate. Her record as Secretary of State was one of the worst in modern U.S. history; her policies have enmeshed America in new Middle East wars, rising terrorism and even a new Cold War with Russia. Of the three leading candidates, only Bernie Sanders has the sound judgment to avoid further war and to cooperate with the rest of the world.
Clinton is intoxicated with American power. She has favored one war of choice after the next: bombing Belgrade (1999); invading Iraq (2003); toppling Qaddafi (2011); funding Jihadists in Syria (2011 till now). The result has been one bloodbath after another, with open wounds until today fostering ISIS, terrorism, and mass refugee flows.
In her speech, Clinton engaged in her own Trump-like grandiose fear mongering: “[I]f America doesn’t lead, we leave a vacuum — and that will either cause chaos, or other countries will rush in to fill the void. Then they’ll be the ones making the decisions about your lives and jobs and safety — and trust me, the choices they make will not be to our benefit.”
This kind of arrogance — that America and America alone must run the world — has led straight to overstretch: perpetual wars that cannot be won, and unending and escalating confrontations with Russia, China, Iran and others that make the world more dangerous. It doesn’t seem to dawn on Clinton that in today’s world, we need cooperation, not endless bravado.
Clinton professed her belief “with all my heart that America is an exceptional country — that we’re still, in Lincoln’s words, the last, best hope of earth.” Yet surely President Lincoln was speaking in moral terms, not in Clinton’s militaristic terms. Lincoln did not mean that the last best hope of earth should send NATO bombers into Libya, the CIA into Syria, and Special Ops forces into countless other countries. Surely Lincoln would have been more prudent than to push NATO expansion to Russia’s very doorstep in Ukraine and Georgia, thereby triggering a violent response from Russia and a new Cold War.
Clinton lacks all self-awareness of how poorly she performed as Secretary of State. She trumpets her “successes” as follows:
Unlike [Trump], I have some experience with the tough calls and the hard work of statecraft. I wrestled with the Chinese over a climate deal in Copenhagen, brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, negotiated the reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia, twisted arms to bring the world together in global sanctions against Iran, and stood up for the rights of women, religious minorities and LGBT people around the world.
Pure braggadocio. While Clinton “wrestled with China” over a climate deal, she failed to achieve one. While she “brokered a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas,” she failed to head off the disastrous Gaza War in the first place. While she “negotiated the reduction of nuclear weapons with Russia,” she championed a remarkably confrontational approach with Russia based on NATO expansion to Ukraine and Georgia and a new nuclear arms race that will cost American taxpayers more than $355 billion over a decade. While she claims to have “stood up for the rights of women [and] religious minorities,” her Syrian adventurism left Syria devastated, displaced 10 million people, and destroyed the religious minority communities she claimed to defend.
Clinton declared that she has a plan to defeat ISIS, but ISIS wouldn’t even exist were it not for Clinton’s “regime change” policy in Syria. ISIS emerged as a result of the US policy to partner with Saudi Arabia to topple Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. This mistaken policy created the chaos in which ISIS gained ground and weaponry, including US weaponry that was diverted from American-backed jihadists.
Of course, there’s more. Recall what we learned last year about the Clinton Foundation in the post, How Donations to the Clinton Foundation Led to Tens of Billions in Weapons Sales to Autocratic Regimes:
Even by the standards of arms deals between the United States and Saudi Arabia, this one was enormous. A consortium of American defense contractors led by Boeing would deliver $29 billion worth of advanced fighter jets to the United States’ oil-rich ally in the Middle East.
Israeli officials were agitated, reportedly complaining to the Obama administration that this substantial enhancement to Saudi air power risked disrupting the region’s fragile balance of power. The deal appeared to collide with the State Department’s documented concerns about the repressive policies of the Saudi royal family.
These were not the only relationships bridging leaders of the two nations. In the years before Hillary Clinton became secretary of state, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia contributed at least $10 million to the Clinton Foundation, the philanthropic enterprise she has overseen with her husband, former president Bill Clinton. Just two months before the deal was finalized, Boeing — the defense contractor that manufactures one of the fighter jets the Saudis were especially keen to acquire, the F-15 — contributed $900,000 to the Clinton Foundation, according to a company press release.
Now back to Sachs…
Clinton rightly accused Trump of being unpredictable, yet Clinton is dangerously predictable. She is always trying to prove how tough she is, how tough America is, how exceptional is America’s power. Trump is unqualified to be President because he lacks both the necessary experience and good judgment. Clinton, by contrast, has the extensive experience that proves that she too lacks the good judgment to be President.
Bernie Sanders, by contrast, not only offers a vastly better economic program than Clinton, but also a foreign policy based on wisdom, decency, and especially restraint. As a result, the American people trust Sanders rather than Clinton. She wins the closed primaries while he wins the open ones, that is, primaries that include the independent voters who will decide the November elections.
The Democrats would be foolhardy to accept Clinton as the “inevitable” nominee; she is the voice of foreign policy failure, while Sanders is the voice of hope, the young, and the future, and who is far more likely to beat Trump this fall.