Posted tagged ‘Hillary Clinton’

Weiner’s Popularity Goes Flacid; Will Resign House Seat…

June 16, 2011

According to coverage on CNN this morning, Representative Anthony Weiner has told House leaders as well as his friends that he plans to resign his seat after coming under growing pressure from other Democrats.

After initially claiming that his Twitter account had been hacked, Weiner finally admitted that he sent the lewd picture of his…um…well…yeah…and had engaged in inappropriate relationships with a number of women he had met online.

From CNN:

Weiner, 46, was considered a possible front-runner to succeed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2013 until the revelation of his online communications, including lewd photos of himself he sent to women he befriended on Facebook and Twitter.

Last year, Weiner married Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton in the White House, Senate and now in the State Department. Former President Bill Clinton officiated at the ceremony, and Abedin is pregnant with the couple’s first child.

Weiner has been in the spotlight since late May, when a lewd photograph of him became public after it was sent to a woman over the Twitter social networking service.

Advertisements

Hillary Clinton Makes Surprise Visit to Afghanistan

November 18, 2009

Hillary Clinton made a surprise visit to Afghanistan today as she landed in Kabul at 4:46 p.m. local time.

She met with embassy staff before going into a meeting with U.S. Ambassador Karl Eikenberry and General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

From Reuters:

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Afghanistan on Wednesday for her first visit as America’s top diplomat, on the eve of President Hamid Karzai’s inauguration after a fraud-tainted election.

Clinton’s visit comes at a time when President Barack Obama‘s administration is in the final stages of deciding whether to send tens of thousands of extra troops, and election fraud has battered the veteran leader Karzai’s reputation in the West.

From CNN:

Her first visit to Afghanistan as secretary of state comes as President Obama is deciding whether to send up to 40,000 more troops to the nation, as requested by McChrystal.

Clinton will attend Karzai’s Thursday inauguration to a second term, showing U.S. support for his government, after an election that was tainted by fraudulent balloting.

Karzai is under intense international pressure to clean up corruption within his government, and Clinton is expected to deliver a tough message on the need to show results.

A major factor in Obama’s decision on how many troops to send to Afghanistan centers on the Afghan government’s ability to partner with the United States to fight the Taliban.

US Hikers to Face Espionage Charges

November 9, 2009

According to reports, Iran is planning to charge three American hikers with espionage.

From CNN:

The three Americans have been detained since July 31 on charges of illegally crossing the border from Iraqi Kurdistan into Iran. Their family and friends say it was an innocent mistake.

The announcement of the charges comes only days after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met privately with the families of Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, who were detained along the Iran-Iraq border at the end of July.

Tehran’s prosecutor general, Abbas Ja’afari Dolatabadi, announced the charges in an interview with the official Iranian news agency IRNA.

“The charge against the three U.S. citizens who were arrested on the Iran-Iraq border is espionage. Investigation of their cases is in progress,” he told IRNA, adding: “There will be more to say [about them] soon.”

Comedian Criticized For Limbaugh Remarks

May 11, 2009

The White House, and others, are keeping their distance from entertainer Wanda Sykes  joke comparing commentator Rush Limbaugh to a terrorist.

From CBS News:

It’s a good thing Barack Obama didn’t have comedian Wanda Sykes write the jokes for his White House Correspondents Association dinner speech on Saturday.

While the president’s quips went over fairly well – he joked about his teleprompter use, chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel’s propensity for profanity, “fresh young face” Arlen Specter and Hillary Clinton offering a kiss after returning from swine-flu infested Mexico – Sykes’ speech has prompted an outpouring of anger from conservatives upset over her comments about right-wing talk show host Rush Limbaugh.

Much of the speech, it should be pointed out, involved Sykes poking fun at Mr. Obama and members of his administration. (At one point, she quipped that she didn’t need to see Mr. Obama’s nipples – a reference to shirtless pictures of the president.) But the speech also included shots at Republicans, including Sarah Palin, and at one point veered into a relatively personal and vitriolic attack against Limbaugh.

Barack Obama Becomes Nation’s 44th President

January 20, 2009

A historical moment indeed this morning as Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation’s 44th President.

I’ll never forget where I was on the morning of Tuesday, January 20, 2009. I’ll be able to tell my children that I was a witness to history. Barack Obama, the first African American elected to the highest office in the land.

Now, its my hope that President Obama can step into office and begin to fix the many problems that we are seeing in the United States today.

Thoughts?

From the New York Times:

Barack Hussein Obama became the 44th president of the United States Tuesday, and called on Americans to join him in confronting what he described as an economic crisis caused by greed but also “our collective failure to make hard choices.”

“Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real,” Mr. Obama said in his inaugural address minutes after he took the oath of office on the same bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inaugural in 1861. “They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America — they will be met.”

Mr. Obama, the first African American to serve as president, spoke to a sea of cheering people, hundreds of thousands of Americans packed on the National Mall from the Capitol to beyond the Washington monument. The multitude was filled with black Americans and Mr. Obama’s triumph was a special and emotional moment for them.

With his wife, Michelle, holding the Bible, Mr. Obama, the 47-year-old son of a white mother from Kansas and a black father from Africa, was sworn in just after noon, a little later than planned, and spoke immediately thereafter.

In his speech, Mr. Obama promised to take “bold and swift” action to restore the economy by creating jobs through public works projects, improving education, promoting alternative energy and relying on new technology.

“Starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America,” Mr. Obama said in a prepared copy of his remarks.

The new president also noted the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the “far-reaching network of violence and hatred” that seeks to harm the country. He used strong language in pledging to confront terrorism, nuclear proliferation and other threats from abroad, saying to the nation’s enemies, “you cannot outlast us, and we will defeat you.”

But he also signaled a clean break from some of the Bush administration’s policies on national security. “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals,” he said, adding that the United States is “ready to lead once more.”

He acknowledged that some are skeptical of his ability to fulfill the hope that many have in his ability to move the nation in a new direction.

“What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them – that the stale political arguments that have consumed us for so long no longer apply,” said Mr. Obama, who ran for stressing a commitment to reduce partisanship. “The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works – whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.”

Hundreds of thousands of people packed the National Mall from the West Front of the Capitol to beyond the Washington monument, buttoned up against the freezing chill but projecting a palpable sense of hope as Mr. Obama becomes the first African American to hold the nation’s highest elected office. It was the largest inaugural crowd in decades, perhaps the largest ever; the throng and the anticipation began building even before the sun rose.

After his speech, following a carefully designed script that played out all morning, Mr. Obama was to head inside the Capitol and sign nomination papers for the Cabinet members he chose in the weeks following his Nov. 4 victory. The Senate is to confirm some of those new Cabinet secretaries this afternoon, but Republicans planned to delay the confirmation of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state for at least one day.

Mr. Obama, who attended church earlier in the day, had coffee with President Bush and his wife, Laura, and then rode with them in a motorcade to Capitol Hill, will then join Congressional leaders and other dignitaries at a luncheon in Statuary Hall. That will be followed by a review of the troops — his first as commander-in-chief — before he travels back downtown at the front of the inaugural parade, which he will then watch from the reviewing stand at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

The crowd, before noon, was easily well into the hundreds of thousands.

From the Associated Press:

Braving frigid temperatures, an exuberant crowd of hundreds of thousands packed the National Mall on Tuesday to celebrate the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama as America’s first black president. He grasps the reins of power in a high-noon ceremony amid grave economic worries and high expectations.

It was the first change of administrations since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Crowds filled the National Mall from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol for a glimpse of the proceedings and, in the words of many, simply “to be here.” Washington’s subway system was jammed and two downtown stations were closed when a woman was struck by a subway train.

Two years after beginning his improbable quest as a little-known, first-term Illinois senator with a foreign-sounding name, Obama moves into the Oval Office as the nation’s fourth youngest president, at 47, and the first African-American, a barrier-breaking achievement believed impossible by generations of minorities.

Around the world, Obama’s election electrified millions with the hope that America will be more embracing, more open to change.

The dawn of the new Democratic era — with Obama allies in charge of both houses of Congress — ends eight years of Republican control of the White House by George W. Bush. He leaves Washington as one of the nation’s most unpopular and divisive presidents, the architect of two unfinished wars and the man in charge at a time of economic calamity that swept away many Americans’ jobs, savings and homes.

Bush — following tradition — left a note for Obama in the top drawer of his desk in the Oval Office.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the theme of the message — which Bush wrote on Monday — was similar to what he has said since election night: that Obama is about to begin a “fabulous new chapter” in the United States, and that he wishes him well.

The unfinished business of the Bush administration thrusts an enormous burden onto the new administration, though polls show Americans are confident Obama is on track to succeed. He has cautioned that improvements will take time and that things will get worse before they get better.

Culminating four days of celebration, the nation’s 56th inauguration day began for Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden with a traditional morning worship service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, across Lafayette Park from the White House. Bells pealed from the historic church’s tower as Obama and his wife, Michelle, arrived five minutes behind schedule.

The festivities won’t end until well after midnight, with dancing and partying at 10 inaugural balls.

Barack Obama Inauguration Schedule

January 19, 2009

For those looking for it, the Associated Press has a full schedule of Barack Obama’s inaugural events and it can be found below.

From the article:

MONDAY, JAN. 19

  • National Day of Community Service event: To honor Dr. King’s legacy, Obama, Biden and their families, joined by Americans across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others in communities across the Washington, D.C. area.
  • Black Tie & Boots Inaugural Ball, sponsored by the Texas State Society, at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.
  • Green Inaugural Ball at the Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. Ball hosted by former Vice President Al Gore.
  • Huffington Post preinaugural ball at the Newseum.
  • Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts. Hosted by the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network, Russell Simmons, LL Cool J, among others.
  • A children’s evening concert at the Verizon Center honoring military families. Event hosted by Michelle Obama, who will attend. Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers are among the entertainers.
  • Obama to attend three private dinners to honor former secretary of State Colin Powell, Biden and Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee, for their public service. Dinners at the Hilton Washington, National Building Museum and Union Station.

TUESDAY, JAN. 20 (INAUGURATION DAY)

  • Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8 a.m. The inaugural festivities are scheduled to start at 10 a.m. on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. They will include:
  • Musical selections of The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein provides call to order and welcoming remarks.
  • Invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren.
  • Musical selection of Aretha Franklin.
  • Biden will be sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
  • Musical selection of John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).
  • Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible, administered by Chief Justice John Roberts. Scheduled around noon.
  • Obama gives the inaugural address.
  • Poem by Elizabeth Alexander.
  • Benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.
  • The National Anthem by The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters.”

After Obama gives inaugural address, he will escort outgoing President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host 10 official inaugural balls:

  • Neighborhood Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
  • Obama Home States (Illinois and Hawaii) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
  • Biden Home States (Pennsylvania and Delaware) Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
  • Midwest Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
  • Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
  • Western Inaugural Ball at the Washington Convention Center.
  • Commander in Chief’s Ball at the National Building Museum.
  • Southern Inaugural Ball at the National Guard Armory.
  • Eastern Inaugural Ball at Union Station.
  • Youth Inaugural Ball at the Washington Hilton.

Unofficial balls include:

  • Congressional Black Caucus Inaugural Ball at the Capitol Hilton.
  • Creative Coalition Inaugural Ball at the Harman Center for the Arts.
  • Recording Industry Association of America’s ball for Feeding America.
  • BET’s Inaugural Ball at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
  • Africa on the Potomac inaugural celebration at Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.
  • American Music Inaugural Ball at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel.
  • Inaugural Purple Ball at the Fairmont Hotel.
  • Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Ball at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel.
  • Inaugural Peace Ball at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.
  • Impact Film Fund ball.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21

  • The president, vice president and their families will participate in a prayer service at the Washington National Cathedral.

Newsday also has an in depth look at the festivities.

From the article:

With Barack Obama set to be inaugurated Tuesday as the nation’s 44th president, the day figures to be one of the most-covered live events ever — on television, radio or online.

Estimates put the potential worldwide audience for Obama’s swearing-in in the billions, a figure that could dwarf viewership numbers for the Super Bowl and Academy Awards and reach heights ordinarily seen only by the Olympics and the World Cup.

Following is an hour-by-hour account of what to look for as you keep up with the day’s proceedings:

5 a.m.

CNN kicks off the day’s live event coverage from Capitol Hill. C-Span and the other broadcast and cable networks begin their day at 6 a.m., so expect to see a lot of talking heads doing a lot of talking. There will also be copious live shots of empty stages and digital maps of the parade route as the anchors and correspondents fill hours talking about what their viewers are about to see.

8 a.m.
Security gates open for ticketholders for the swearing in and the National Mall. Expect to see shots of cold, but excited attendees slowly making their way through security gates at entrances to the swearing-in viewing areas and on the National Mall. Inauguration officials have advised anyone with tickets to arrive no later than 9 a.m. to get through security. Nonetheless, expect to see people in lines well before and after the official program starts.

10 a.m.
Now the show starts for real. The swearing-in ceremony begins with music from the Marine Band, the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) will issue the call to order and make brief welcoming remarks before making way for probably the day’s most controversial figure, Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.

Obama infuriated gay and lesbian groups when he announced earlier this month that Warren, a conservative evangelical megachurch minister, would deliver the invocation. The Obama camp attempted to defuse the situation by naming Gene Robinson, an openly-gay Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, to give the invocation at Sunday’s inauguration opening ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial.

Warren, 54, has a long record of staunchly opposing same-sex marriage, though he most certainly will deliver a nondenominational prayer today.

10:30 a.m.
After a song by Aretha Franklin, who also sang at President Bill Clinton‘s first inauguration, Joe Biden will be sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. Stevens, 88, is the court’s oldest and most liberal justice and, to put it gently, since the justices have lifetime appointments, the most likely to be replaced during Obama’s term.

This will be Biden’s second swearing-in ceremony in as many weeks. He took the oath for his seventh term in the Senate Jan. 6, then officially resigned the seat Jan. 15.

11 a.m. The third musical interlude features composer and Floral Park native John Williams (noted for his “Star Wars” scores, among other accomplishments), violinist Itzhak Perlman, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Gabriela Montero and clarinetist Anthony McGill.

Once Williams and the foursome are through playing, Obama and John Roberts, the Supreme Court’s chief justice, will take center stage.

The swearing-in duties will be Roberts’ first, making him the 14th chief justice to swear in a president.

Every elected president since John Adams has been sworn in by the chief justice. (In 1789, George Washington was sworn in by Robert Livingston, the New York state chancellor, and William Cushing, an associate justice, in 1793.)

When presidents have died in office, the oath has been administered by an available judge or, in Calvin Coolidge‘s case, by his father, a notary public.

Obama, placing his hand on Abraham Lincoln‘s inaugural Bible, will recite the same oath as his 43 predecessors, as prescribed by the Constitution: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Noon
Obama’s inaugural address is perhaps one of the most anticipated political speeches in modern American history. It will be televised on scores of television networks worldwide, giving Obama an unprecedented platform to deliver his message to the world. Expectations for the speech are understandably enormous, so look for Obama to give a speech heavy on soaring language, and light on specifics.

The address will be followed by a poem composed and read by New York-born poet Elizabeth Alexander. The Rev. Joseph E. Lowery will follow with a benediction and the program concludes with a playing of the national anthem by the U.S. Navy band Sea Chanters.

12:30 p.m. After Obama, now President Obama, finishes his inaugural address, he will accompany now-former President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony at the Capitol and then attend a luncheon at the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. The three-course meal featuring stewed and scalloped oysters and an apple desert, is inspired by Lincoln’s culinary favorites. Obama, Biden and their families, the Supreme Court justices, cabinet designees and the congressional leadership are expected to attend.

At 1:25 p.m., Bush will make “brief remarks” at a departure ceremony.

2:30 p.m.
The 56th Inaugural Parade will make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, with groups including the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids, from Alabama, and the University of Delaware Fightin Blue Hen Marching Band, having traveled from all over the country to participate.

Despite the predicted cold weather — forecasts are calling for highs near 30 and chance of snow — expect Obama to emerge from his limousine to walk a stretch of the route.

In doing so, he would follow a tradition established by Jimmy Carter that now seems ingrained in presidential inauguration. Carter’s 1.5-mile walk, which he made with his wife, Rosalynn, was designed to show that the country had emerged from the stain of the Watergate scandal. The symbolism struck home, and President Bill Clinton and both Presidents Bush also walked a stretch of the parade route.

6 p.m. The parade marks the end of the inauguration ceremonies, but Washington parties begin at 6 p.m., when the inaugural balls begin with the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball and the Eastern States Ball.

There’s also a ball that touts itself as “the largest gathering of peace activists without a protest” (Harry Belafonte and Joan Baez are attending), a Funk 4 Peace ball and a ball thrown by the D.C. municipal government to highlight the capital’s lack of representation in the federal government.

The Obamas are expected to attend 10 official inaugural balls: The Commander-in-Chief’s Ball, the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, a Youth Ball, five official regional balls — including the Mid-Atlantic ball at the Washington Convention Center, for invitees from New York and four other states and the District of Columbia — and Home States Balls thrown by Hawaii and Illinois for Obama and Delaware and Pennsylvania for Biden.

Obama Selects Lobbyist as Deputy Defense Secretary

January 9, 2009

President-elect Barack Obama appointed a defense contractor’s lobbyist, William J. Lynn III, this morning to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department.

Don’t get me wrong, I voted for Obama, but didn’t he pledge to stay away from lobbyists? Thoughts?

From CNN:

President-elect Barack Obama, who campaigned on lessening lobbyist influence in government, has chosen a defense expert who is currently a vice president and lobbyist for one of the country’s biggest defense contractors to be his deputy secretary of defense.

Obama’s transition office announced that William Lynn, an undersecretary of defense in President Bill Clinton’s second term, has been nominated as Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ deputy.

Lynn is currently a senior vice president at Raytheon, which has billions of dollars in Defense Department contracts and is the maker of the Army’s Patriot Missile system and the Tomahawk missile used by the Navy. The company is also developing a global positioning satellite communication system with the Air Force.

As deputy secretary, Lynn would be involved in the process of budgeting and acquisitions, in addition to running the day-to-day operations of the Defense Department.

Obama’s transition office acknowledged that appointing a lobbyist did not, on the face of it, seem in line with the president-elect’s ethics stance but that Lynn’s qualifications and the recommendations that came from both Republicans and Democrats made him the top candidate.

“Because Mr. Lynn came so highly recommended from experts across the political spectrum, the president-elect felt it was critical that he fill this position,” said Obama transition spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Vietor said Lynn and the transition team would create guidelines that would fit the ethics standards of the new administration.

From the Associated Press:

William J. Lynn III, Obama’s choice for deputy defense secretary, is a former Pentagon official who now is senior vice president for government operations at Raytheon Co. Lynn hasn’t been a registered lobbyist since July, meaning he can’t personally lobby Congress or the White House.

In the first three months of 2008, his lobbying team reported spending $1.15 million to influence issues including missiles, sensors and radar, advanced technology programs and intelligence funding.

Obama has vowed that no political appointees in his administration would be permitted to work on areas that “directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.” Although Lynn heads Raytheon’s division for government operations and strategy and was personally registered as a Raytheon lobbyist until July — both within that two-year period — Obama plans to give him the job.

“We are aware that Mr. Lynn lobbied for Raytheon, and are working with Mr. Lynn to craft a role for him that is consistent with the President-elect’s high standards while balancing the need to fill this critical national security position,” Obama spokesman Tommy Vietor said.

Vietor declined to comment further on whether Lynn would have to remove himself from involvement on any issues.

Some government watchdogs questioned the revolving-door aspect of Lynn’s appointment even while acknowledging his qualifications.

“He left public service and went into lobbying for one of the largest defense contractors in the nation. And that’s the part that’s troubling,” said Bill Buzenberg, executive director of the Center for Public Integrity. “Even if he’s completely above board and ethical, it raises questions about his loyalty.”

During his presidential campaign, Obama took pains to tell voters he wouldn’t tolerate influence-peddling.

“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over,” Obama said in November 2007 in Des Moines, Iowa. “I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president.”