Monday, June 9, 2014

Pithy Reflections, Dirt Cheap



Yesterday's ABC News interview with Hillary Clinton tossed her a softball about her $200,000-a-pop speaking engagements before various business groups. She defended her speaking fees this way:

"Let me put it this way," Clinton told [Diane] Sawyer. "I thought making speeches for money was a much better thing than getting connected with any one group or company as so many people who leave public life do."

Since leaving the State Department, Clinton has spoken before a wide-variety of businesses and trade groups -- from corporations like Goldman Sachs, to a scrap recycling conference in Las Vegas, to a group of Silicon Valley technology leaders. However, not all of the speaking appearances have been paid. For example, earlier this year, Clinton waived her fees and travel expenses to address the United Methodist Women Conference in Kentucky.

Wow, that was nice of Hillary to waive her usual fee for the Methodist ladies. Good thing there is always a multinational investment banking firm willing to pick up the slack.

Speaking of investment bankers, Hillary has had a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Goldman Sacks. That's been noted by journals of opinion on both the left (Mother Jones: Hillary Clinton's Goldman Sachs Problem - she talks populism, but hobnobs with Wall Street) and the right (National Review Online: Hillary Clinton’s Lucrative Goldman Sachs Speaking Gigs).

The left-populist Mother Jones published a list of Hillary's paid and unpaid speaking engagements (here) in yet another article critical of her money-for-access-and-influence business. That article also had this tidbit about what exactly it is that Hillary speaks about during these engagements:
The New York Times reported last summer that Clinton's typical speech features "pithy reflections" and lessons from her tenure as secretary of state such as "Leadership is a team sport," "You can't win if you don't show up," and "A whisper can be louder than a shout."

Those are "pithy?" Pithy like a fortune cookie, maybe, and just as trite. The Methodist ladies ought to be relieved that Hillary didn't charge them anything for that wisdom.

84 comments:

Anonymous said...

TSB: I am thrilled that you are kicking off Hillary book tour week with a post about how she will take money from almost anyone. I'm looking forward to seeing if this big week helps or hurts her current #7 rank on Amazon... and extending my boycott of Amazon indefinitely. I'm betting this book does not inspire a movie. gwb

James said...

Re: the clip. I didn't know Tonto was still alive, doing movies, and branched out into mid east philosophy!

Anonymous said...

TSB: That cool video got me thinking. Mr.Ed, (the horse,of course) never said anything profound or really pithy but he had me fooled. And look how popular he was!
I think Hillary has the same effect on women whereas Kerry just looks like Mr. Ed. with that long face.gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: JAIL BREAK!! AQ has captured Mosul !! I keep forgetting, are we for or against AQ? And didn't you say they wouldn't be able to take over major cities in Iraq? gwb

http://rt.com/news/165044-militants-seize-mosul-iraq/

Anonymous said...

TSB: That was an effective post!!

https://twitter.com/tobyharnden/status/476379781647179777

By Friday they might be paying us to buy the book? gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: A great post today by Diplopundit about the way FSO'S with
ptsd were treated at Kabul Embassy.

One of our best ptsd therapists applied for the Kabul job, was accepted, but then didn't get to go due to various screw ups in DC. My wife and I helped her pack and then unpack everything. I'm so glad she didn't go because she would have been crushed in attempting to help the FSO's by State. gwb

TSB said...

GWB: I don't think I predicted anything about Iraq and AQ; they aren't much of a movement in that majority-Shite country. Mosul (and Fallujah, which went to the Islamic State of Iraq last month) are majority Sunni living under a hostile government in Baghdad, so I understand why they would align with a Sunni Syrian rump state.

Actually, I think that sort of enclaving by mutually congenial groups is a good thing, and promotes peaceful coexistence. The Alewites of Syria should do the same.

TSB said...

James: The Sphinx and Mr. Furious were the best parts of that movie. Whenever I hear somebody utter a faux profundity at work or in the news media - which happens everyday around here - I can't help but hear it in The Sphinx's voice.

James said...

For "faux profundity" I have found this rare video of our State Department, illuminating the the Clinton-Kerry early years. As you can see late in the clip they are a little rusty on the recognition of danger approaching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC7iUM9L1l4

Anonymous said...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-10/al-qaeda-militants-capture-us-blackhawk-helicopters-iraq

TSB: Do you think AQ can fly those Blackhawks? (I bet James could!)gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Congratulations to you and Virginia for electing a well educated citizen with no establishment backing who believes in conservative, ethical small government and can talk about economics without lying. gwb
(this is kind of hard to believe but a lot of people are getting tired of money deciding everything.)

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-11/cantor-slayer-meet-david-brat

Anonymous said...

Way to go James with that pithy silver bullet! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Yesterday Mosul, today Tikrit, tomorrow Baghdad?? Those look like pretty good machine guns on the trucks. Did we supply them? I wonder what's going on at the Embassy? Are we backing the Turks here or just hoping this blows over? gwb

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2654861/Escape-Mosul-150-000-Iraqis-overnight-refugees-flee-terror-al-Qaeda-splinter-group-taken-countrys-second-biggest-city.html

Anonymous said...

TSB: Everybody, including Assad and Obama is 'standing ready' to assist Iraq in this crisis. (UK says NO WAY!) I think if I was at the embassy I would be getting awful nervous about the beheadings in Mosul and Tikrit. Is it maybe time to evacuate? gwb

TSB said...

GWB: I can't take credit for that primary election, since it wasn't in my district, but it sure was an enormous shock to the beltway types. The media buzz about the winner is how - now that they have paid attention to him for the first time - he's such a well-spoken reasonable character. He'll run against another economic professor - from the same university even - in the general election, so I expect plenty of Econ 101 language when they debate each other.

On the ISIS victory in Mosul, I expect it's going to stay within heavily Sunni areas. I saw a Baghdad militia recruitment center making explicitly Shiite appeals for volunteers, which I take as a sign that the conflict is now mainly Sunni-on-Shia. The Shia being the majority, my money's on them to contain the ISIS.

Anonymous said...

TSB: I really like this guy for his ethics background and for being outspent 5-1. This could be the start of a revolution against the crony capitalists and the phony interventionists. (That's you Hillary!.. and JFKetsup) gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Turkey has called for an emergency NATO meeting about the 80 Turkish citizens kidnapped from their consulates in Mosul and Tikrit. And Ibrahim-Al-Douri is back! He says the Baathists have been planning this for 2 yrs and are headed for North Baghdad. gwb

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/12/world/middleeast/iraq.html?hp&_r=0

James said...

GWB: I expect Baghdad to fall. I also expect direct Iranian intervention. You're right TSB it's a Sunni vs Shiite shootout. The wild card is the Iranians, these ISIS guys will be sitting right on their Syrian-Hezbollah supply line, I can't see them tolerating that.
GWB: Nah, can't drive those helos.

TSB said...

GWB: Cantor is one of those Republicans who might have started out as pro-free enterprise, but over multiple terms in office become merely pro-big business. Sad case.

Anonymous said...

TSB;James: Now they are saying Cantor outspent him $5 million to $100,000. Maybe we are turning the corner on the 'Glory of the SuperPac' era. Word is Kerry has been ordered to go windsurfing for a while. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Pakistani court allows ex-President Musharraf to leave country
(rt)

Of course a military leader accused of murder should be allow to visit his sick mother in Dubai! Maybe we can put a mask on him and get him to help out the cause in Iraq. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: The militants offered safe passage to some 250 men guarding the refinery on the outskirts of Baiji, about 200 kilometers south of Mosul, on condition they leave.

The word is that the offer was taken
and the security force left. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: It's time for a new movie. Think sequel to 'The Russians are Coming'? The plot could be that WWIII has already started but somehow the whole thing has fallen in Joe Biden's lap and the 'intelligence community' has no clue
what is going on. Sec State has been captured by terrorists but insists on being allowed to make diplomatic pronouncements while in captivity. I think it's time! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Al-Maliki had asked parliament to declare a state of emergency that would give him and his Shiite-led government increased powers to run the country, but the lawmakers failed to assemble a quorum on Thursday.
He should have scheduled the meeting in London to get a quorum! gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I guess Wolf Blitzer didn't get this report.
IRAQI AIR FORCE EVACUATING BESIEGED AMERICAN CONTRACTORS
No help from U.S. military as escape routes cut off.
Looks like we rely on contractors because if we decide to 'take no military casualties' we can just leave them behind and quash the story. If ISIS takes Balad Air Base that would be a pretty big deal. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I think there is something wrong with your bitly link on embassy design. You should do a post on your favorite museums! gwb

TSB said...

GWB: DOD has reported 3,200 contractors supporting the Iraqi government as of the first quarter of 2014, mostly in foreign military sales. The total count of official and unofficial U.S. cits in Iraq is about 10,000. So there will be evacuations, but, you're right, contractors are not the political 'tripwire' that U.S. troops would be.

Anonymous said...

TSB: James; Things are going really smoothly at the Afghan polling places as they vote for Karzai's successor. Abdulla Abdulla though is probably going to need a new car after a little mishap. gwb
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/06/afghan-presidential-election-candidate-survives-assassination-attempt-kabulo

TSB said...

GWB: Sorry about the link. You Architect magazine article is underwhelming anyway; just a rehash of the recent CBS story about cost overruns at the new London Embassy Under Glass. I'll wait for Chaffetz's oversight hearing before I update on that matter.

Anonymous said...

TSB;James: Prediction: Monday the
'Soup Nazi' will say "No gas for you
Ukraine!" and the Russian embassy will burn in Kiev. gwb

http://rt.com/news/165952-ukraine-russia-embassy-protest/

Anonymous said...

TSB: Here is your Sunday funnies! gwb (I'm sure George Bush would agree.)

New York Times Says "Lack Of Major Wars May Be Hurting Economic Growth"
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/14/2014 - 16:02

James said...

GWB: "No gas for you
Ukraine!" and the Russian embassy will burn in Kiev."
That's not a bad guess GWB, not bad at all.

TSB said...

GWB: That NYT article by Durden is at least commendably honest. Also quite clear. At one time, you had to read dense anarcho-capitalist philosophers like Murray Rothbard to get that same information. Now you can just read the NYT.

One of the Marine generals in Full Metal Jacket said, regarding the Vietnam war, we have to keep our heads about us until all this peace shit blows over. I'm amazed at how useful parody is for understanding reality.

James said...

TSB and GWB: A dedication to the administration and Mr. Bergdahl.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ECtee15j6Ew

Anonymous said...

TSB: The Russians Are Coming! I wonder if they are planning to seize the unpaid gas they have pumped to Ukraine and pump it back to Russia?
That would settle the debt quite nicely and put some egg on the face of the grand 'sanctioneers'. gwb

http://inforesist.org/en/convoys-of-military-vehicles-and-equipment-are-moving-towards-ukraine/

Anonymous said...

TSB: I'm no art critic but the Russkies have added some to the old US Embassy in Moscow that I judge to be superior to the job done on the Russian Embassy in Ukraine. What I would have done is added a facing image of Potus playing golf for better artistic balance and comic relief. gwb
http://bit.ly/1iAEZTJ

Anonymous said...

TSB: The Supreme Court (The Supe- Nazis) has decided: NO 1ST Amendment for you! So it looks like James Risen will be going to jail for failing to check with politburo before writing a sensitive story. gwb
http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175856/tomgram%3A_peter_van_buren%2C_rip%2C_the_bill_of_rights/

Anonymous said...

James,TSB: A dedication to 'Kerry Superstitious' with humorous photo of same. gwb
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-16/kerry-superstitious

Anonymous said...

TSB!! The Americans Are Coming!!
Explosions at Baghdad Airpuerto!
Maybe to help evacuate the Embassy as State Dept. tries to maintain calm?

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-16/obama-considers-special-boots-ground-forces-iraq-explosions-rock-baghdad-airport

TSB said...

GWB: People have been reporting rumors of attacks on the Baghdad airport for days now. Sometimes adding photos from back in January when three rockets really did hit the airport. So far as I can tell, airport operations are going on as normal today. We'll know there's a problem if foreign carriers stop their flights.

Anonymous said...

Thanks TSB! I like the story of the tunnel that was dug under the airport all the way from the river and the US was attacking the airport from outside trying to liberate it.
These rumors are something else, like RT and the Russian tanks rolling toward Ukraine.. they dropped that story w/o explanation.
gwb

Anonymous said...

James: You have been right on about the goings on in Iraq. Now do you think Obama will be sending the boots back to Iraq in big numbers before long to avoid being the guy who lost the whole middle east? gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: This seems like the likliest summary of what's happening to me.
The Maliki government unceremoniously rejecting US demands and condemning the Saudi's and Americans for arming and training ISIS. It looks like the old Messopotamia (pre-Churchill) is the wave of the future?
gwb
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-17/not-going-planned-iraq-prime-minister-defies-us-accuses-saudi-arabia-genocide

TSB said...

GWB: If I lived there, I would want the old Mesopotamian arrangement back. Same for Syria and Lebanon and (Trans)Jordan. It was much more peaceful and lasted much longer than the current arrangement, which was drawn up a century ago in Paris by a long-gone coalition of outside powers.

Anonymous said...

TSB: Your advice to always expect only the best from our elected and appointed officials was prescient.
Being disparaging is no longer covered by the 1st amemdment! gwb

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-18/us-patent-office-strips-washington-redkins-name-being-disparaging

Anonymous said...

TSB: DiFi is not going to let the Empire go down without a fight. She is now insisting on regime change in Iraq! (Enough with this democracy nonsense!)gwb

James said...

GWB: I really don't know. This though is what I think is going on. The ISIS campaign has done two big things. 1) It's cut land communication and supply lines between Iran and their allies Hezbollah and Syria. 2) There is now no creditable air defence between Iran and Israel. The Iranians cannot let these two things stand. If they can entice the US to re-enter with air power they ensure Baghdad does not fall and gain a de facto air defense against the Israelis. This will also give the Shia forces time to draw breath reorganize and perhaps regain the initiative. Everything Obama and the Democrats ever do is in subservience to political considerations. The last time the Dems got tough with "boots on the ground" we got Viet Nam.

TSB said...

GWB: If the Redskins' owner had a sense of humor, he'd change the name to "The Landover Redskins" in honor of the town where they are actually located.

Anonymous said...

TSB: That's a good one! I'm no patent atty but isn't 'patent pending' just as good for protecting merchandise sales?
James:Iran has definitely decided swift action is in order to support the Maliki government while the US is flying F-18's around to make a lot of scary noise while telling Maliki he needs to make concessions to the Sunnis. With a growing cable news chorus of 'Maliki must go'I'm afraid we might be preparing for a Saudi inspired invasion for regime change. gwb

Anonymous said...

James: The only guy I can think of for the role is our guy
Allawi who helped get us into this in the 1st place. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Kind of a news blackout about the Baiji Refinery battle but I'm suspecting it's at the center of Maliki calling for air support and Dempsey saying we need intelligence to do it. I think they are all lying to cover that US sent in 'defense contractor types' to fight the ISIS guys. gwb

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jun/18/iraq-request-us-air-strikes-isis-baiji-oil

Anonymous said...

TSB;James: Instant analysis after 2 min of latest Presidential
re-statement on Iraq.
'We can't play whackamole'
with these problems! (That means we have been playing whackamole and it isn't working... so we need to shift to playing 'WhackemALL'instead. This
will take a long time but we are going to start by sending John Kerry to the Middle East to explain something he will later say he never agreed with!
gwb

Anonymous said...

James: Secretery Kerry has been dispatched to Iraq on an important
mission! He will meet with key leaders including Saad Maan, the Interior Ministry spokesman and possibly his predecessor 'Baghdad Bob'! If you can get the truth of of this trio before you fall down laughing you win and Iraqi Dinar for 2 from the tourist bureau! gwb

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-19/forget-baghdad-bob-meet-saad-maan-iraqs-military-spokesman

Anonymous said...

TSB: Pepe points out that one group of the ISIS force was famously trained and supplied by the US in Jordan. Juan Cole points out that sending Green Berets to work in an Iraqi Army intelligence center sounds like and un-serious move. And
our intelligence community can't imagine what has happened? Pepe says Prince Bandar was the architect of all of this. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB shares rise on debut with Lloyds making £455m from float

James: TSB is going public with Lloyds of London! Shouldn't we get some small consideration? gwb

Anonymous said...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-21/1-million-month-what-ex-nsa-chief-alexander-charges-wall-street-advice
gwb

Anonymous said...

JOLT: HILLARY BOOK FALLS OUT OF TOP 10 AMAZON AFTER ONE WEEK...

Heck TSB, I didn't even get to read
it. That has to be the worst book anyone ever got a $14 million advance for. It would be fun to see the list of people who bought it who weren't women. gwb

James said...

GWB: With Putin's public support and recent statements from the Iranian government it is clear Maliki is an Iranian man. With the Iranians providing the ground support I think Maliki stays.
You could very well be right about the refinery and contract workers, but that refinery produces for domestic consumption (I think) which will effect crude export, but only in the long term. I think the Iranians are trying to coax Obama into providing them a de facto air force. They are now wide open to Israeli air strikes, but if they got the US to cooperate in striking the ISIS that would also close Iraqi airspace to Israeli transit.
As for TSB I advise caution for he is a shadowy character (the only known likeness the Eisenstein sketch made just before Sergei went inexplicably mad.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

TSB: Saddam Hussein verdict overturned! gwb

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/06/report-judge-who-sentenced-saddam-hussein-to-death-captured-executed-by-isis/

TSB said...

GWB: I accidentally deleted your comment about the Neo-Zangid state that's emerging out of the wreckage of Iraq and Syria. (Lesson: I shouldn't use an iPad while eating tortila chips and drinking iced tea. Too much to juggle.)

The new map of the middle east looks a lot like the old maps, which pleases my inner historian but causes much human damage to the people living there.

TSB said...

James, GWB: I won't go public on Lloyd's any time soon. Why bother with that when I can try to get hired as Hillary's new ghostwriter? After that last book of hers sunk like a stone, I think she's in the market for a re-write man.

TSB said...

GWB: That was bad news about the judge who hanged Saddam. Someone wrote a book at the time of Saddam's trial comparing it to the trial and execution of King Charles I after the English Civil War. Well, this is another parallel: when the English gave up on republican government and restored the monarchy, Charles II executed everyone who had signed his father's death warrant.

James said...

TSB: Ghost writing for Hillary? Well, at this point, "What difference does it make?".

Anonymous said...

TSB;James: Excellent analysis, both
current and historical. I loved that
photo of the ISIS duck hunter and didn't know til yesterday that only 7 people showed up for Karl Marx' funeral. I think Groucho is in Forest Lawn in a silver casket. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: I'm still reading 'Peter The Great' and it's so difficult to keep these monarchs straight. The Swede's
did the same thing after their monarch took a Russian musket ball thru the noggin...Those old time guys liked to lead the charge then their successors would kill off all their important supporters right after the funeral. gwb

TSB said...

GWB: That duck hunter in the bad ghilley suit keeps cracking me up. Those guys are a laugh riot, assuming of course that you aren't living in the country formerly known as Iraq.

Anonymous said...

TSB: The Secretary of State's whirlwind diplomatic effort in response to ISIS has certainly impressive. (I think he's in the Congo today.)
Meanwhile King Abdullah has headed to the summer palace in Morocco with
his new best friend Prince Bandar because if Iraq and Jordan collapse there could be a revolt in the Saudi Oil areas in which case my cat is thinking of wearing solar panels.
gwb

Anonymous said...

James: DC has just passed a 6% yoga tax! Those yoga parlors are starting
all over around here with all the vacant buildings. You were smart to keep the profits overseas.
TSB:I was wrong. Kerry was in Brussels today updating EU officials
on how the 'ISIS CRISIS' creats new opportunities for peace. Also, Japan introduced the first robot newscasters and Hillary is going to try one for her next book tour.
gwb

TSB said...

GWB: The best thing about the yoga tax was hearing the renowned former Major and current city councilman Marion Barry (slogan: "I'm addicted ... to public service") criticize "the yogurt tax" on a local drive-time radio program.

Regarding Kerry's location on any given day, who can tell anymore? I've given up trying to keep track of him.

Anonymous said...

TSB: The Russian Revolution by Alan Morehead (1958) is really good! Have you read any of his prolific stuff?

It's amazing how the roots of that revolution go back to the 1860's.gwb

James said...

GWB: Kerry's on a beggars tour at the moment. Just look for a place of little or no importance (Brussels is an excellent candidate) and he's either there now or soon to be.

TSB:"I'm addicted ... to public service" That made my week. I'm going to steal and shamelessly use that like a Catskill's comedian.

James said...

GWB: Re: Morehead, I've read both "the White Nile" and "The Blue Nile" by him, I highly recommend these books. Also you should read about Sir Richard Burton the explorer. An extraordinary person and very insight into the Islamic world (especially his account of his pilgrimage to Mecca disguised as an Afghan Sufi).

TSB said...

James: Toronto's mayor might have stolen the media spotlight for the moment, but it was Washington DC's Marion Berry who started the whole crack smokin' mayor craze, old school.

Anonymous said...

Thanks TSB! I'm gonna read those! gwb

James said...

TSB: Yeah, I remember the hotel room video.

TSB said...

The video was pretty incredible. I was traveling in Colombia when it came out; the entire above-the-fold of the daily newspaper in Bogota that day was one big blowup of Barry hovering up that crack pipe, and the headline was "DRUG ADDICT MAYOR OF WASHINGTON." I tell you, it was not a good day to be a gringo in Colombia.

Anonymous said...

TSB: The former Balad/Anaconda air base was surrendered by Iraqi Special forces yesterday. I guess they are called special because they got to leave behind the new Shia volunteers they took in there to defend the place. The Sunnis are closing in on Haditha dam and the crew there has been told to keep the doors locked and prepare to blow the dam. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Wait, this just in! According to my sources James is negotiating with 'The Perfect Angelz' to go in and defend Haditha Dam. He's asking for donations. gwb

http://martinfrost.ws/htmlfiles/aug2006/dancers1.html

Anonymous said...

TSB: If Mexico can get by the Dutch
on Sunday they could go all the way with 'Chicharito'! gwb

James said...

Actually GWB the way we are currently handling things, we might be forced to use the "one size fits all" weaponry we have.

Anonymous said...

King Abdullah calls up Saudi armed forces on high preparedness. Egyptian troops ready to fly to kingdom Saudi special operations force on the ready.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report Jun 26, 2014, 6:49 PM (IDT)
TSB: Looks like the King had to fly back from summer vacation. gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: James sent me some footage of Kerry reacting to the latest events.

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=I%27m+the+leader%21+I+say+when+we+go.+Here+we+go%21+

gwb

Anonymous said...

TSB: Hurrah for Anna Marie Harpf! Kangarooing thru her briefing (about minute 56:00) while saying USG was hoping to supply F-16's to Iraq by fall a reporter reminded her that the base they were to fly from has been taken over by ISIS she said: "There are some logistical challenges" and everyone laughed. So now we know that Balad AFB is now ISIS AFB. gwb