Thursday, 31 January 2008
THE ILLEGAL ALIEN FOLLIES (CONT.)
I'm not a fan of Lou Dobbs, but I concede he is the go-to guy when it comes
to watching how illegal aliens are addressed in this country.
Here's what I mean, courtesy of "the crypt" blog from www.politico.com:
In their bipartisan zeal to quickly cut a deal on
an economic stimulus bill, GOP lawmakers overlooked something that
will certainly inflame the conservative base _ illegal immigrants could receive
a tax rebate check from the government.
But late Wednesday, the Senate Finance Committee
was scrambling to fix the problem _
contained in the House bill _ by only allowing taxpayers using legitimate Social
Security numbers to receive rebates.
The text of the House passed bill contains
language making "non resident aliens" _ illegal immigrants _ ineligible for the
tax rebates. But every year, hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants
use individual taxpayer identification numbers, known as ITINs, to file income
tax returns with the IRS. These ID numbers are used instead of Social Security
numbers. There are no exact statistics for how many illegal immigrants file tax
returns, but this New York Times story from last year
details the significant increase in use of ITINs. This story also lays out the
Immigration advocates point out that many legal
immigrants use ITINs, so it would be impossible to tell who is legal and who is
not from those who use these IDs. The Senate version of the bill would prohibit
use of ITINs, meaning some legal immigrants would not receive
Republicans who were involved in negotiating the
bipartisan economic stimulus package would like to avoid the illegal immigration
debate as the $146 billion bill comes to the Senate this week. Congressional
aides say the problem is that the IRS is not a law enforcement agency, so it
doesn't check immigration status when people file tax returns.
"The reality is that those who filed a tax return
will be eligible" for tax rebates of $600 to $1,200, said Sen. Ken Salazar
(D-Colo.). "This [issue] has not been addressed" by the senators writing the
The issue has certainly caught on in the
conservative blogosphere, though,
and you can bet a few conservative senators will bring this up as the stimulus
bill hits the Senate floor. CNN's Lou Dobbs will probably have a field day with
the issue as well.
A spokesman for House Minority Leader John A.
Boehner (R-Ohio) points out that illegal immigrants are ineligible for any
rebates and are committing tax fraud if they fraudulently obtain taxpayer ID
numbers to file tax returns. Republicans also issued a memo Wednesday trying
to defuse any controversy over immigrants and tax rebates.
"The bill includes language similar to the
provisions included in the 2001 and 2003 tax relief bills designed to prevent
illegal immigrants from receiving benefits," Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said.
"There is no language in the measure that would enable illegal immigrants to
receive a tax rebate.
Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for
Immigration Studies, a conservative organization, says the problem is not with
the economic stimulus bill but with the lack of coordination between the IRS and
immigration enforcement agencies.
"If the IRS was cooperating with Social Security
or DHS [Homeland Security] ... they would know who the illegal immigrants are
who file tax returns," Krikorian said.
It's not clear if the Senate fix will stay in the
bill as the legislation heads to the Senate floor tomorrow.
Well, at least they're trying to fix it. If the effort is for real (a
big "if" for some, especially from the Democratic side of the aisle) then
we can smile, chalk it up to an honest mistake made in haste and thank Mr. Dobbs
for his eyes and ears.
But this is congress and it is controlled by Democrats. So you'll
pardon me if I wait until it is fixed before assuming the effort is
legitimate. I'll keep you posted.
CAL THOMAS ON THE OBAMA/CLINTON MATCH-UP
Here is Cal Thomas, writing at www.townhall.com, with his opinions about the
comparison between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Very well worth reading:
The Fall of the House of
By Cal Thomas
January 31, 2008
The man of hope has beaten the man from Hope (and
possibly his wife).
The endorsement of Barack Obamas presidential
campaign by three Kennedys from different generations was a political trifecta
for the young upstart from Illinois. He is not to be confused with Sen. Hillary
Clinton who is from Illinois, Arkansas, New York, or wherever you want her to
The contrast of sincerity (Obama) with insincerity
(Hillary and Bill Clinton) could not be starker. Critics can say that Camelot
was a myth created after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, but it is a
powerful myth and to see Ted, Caroline and Patrick Kennedy standing on the same
stage together at American University endorsing Obama brought the myth back for
those of us old enough to have lived through it. It also inspired younger people
who want to believe that politics can still have purpose.
There is nothing wrong with myth so long as it
does not obliterate reality. We like our fairytales. The film Enchanted is
doing well at the box office. But the Kennedy endorsement is more than myth. It
represents a potential divorce between the Democratic establishment and the
Recall the early 1990s. Democrats were desperate
for a presidential candidate who could take back the White House after 12 years
of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. They rejected the establishment and chose
a little known governor from a small state who Republicans would have difficulty
sliming as a card-carrying member of the ACLU. Clinton was part of the new
Democratic Leadership Council, which bills itself on its Web page as an idea
center, catalyst, and national voice for a reform movement that is reshaping
American politics by moving it beyond the old left-right debate.
It was a shotgun wedding between the old Left and
new moderates within the party, some of whom hid their liberalism behind
moderate rhetoric for political gain. Now the old Left wants the party back and
the endorsement by the Kennedys is the opening salvo.
The trouble with using people is that when someone
better comes along, you get dropped like a bad habit, or like a woman who
believes Bill Clinton will call her in the morning. Liberal Democrats dont need
the Clintons anymore. They think the Republican field is weak and the time to
re-take their party and the government is now.
There can be no question that Obama is the most
exciting political orator for Democrats since JFK. Notice in Caroline Kennedys
endorsement how she skipped over Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter and even Bill
Clinton (not to mention, which she also didnt, Ronald Reagan) as inspirational
leaders. What a slap in the face that was to the Clintons. Caroline Kennedy,
though a liberal, has class, but the Clintons know little about such things, as
they troll for power and personal advancement, obliterating all who get in their
way. They define the politics of personal destruction.
Will this split have the same result as the
Kennedy-Carter clash in 1980, which involved another former Southern governor
and ended with a Republican victory? Its too soon to tell, but Super Tuesday on
Feb. 5 will make things clearer.
In an email to me, author and liberal Democrat
Neal Gabler says, Frankly I dont think it is so much the bona fides (Kennedy)
provides that could help Obama as the network and infrastructure. Kennedy has
the best staff and the best connections of any politician in America and if
Obama is able to tap those he will get a real boost.
Former Clinton aide Dick Morris has accused the
Clintons of using race in the South Carolina primary in an attempt to energize
white voters. Clinton cynically used blacks during his runs for president and
two terms in office. They are just now awakening to the fact that Clinton was
not Americas first black president, as writer Toni Morrison once dubbed him,
but rather a flimflammer and exploiter of things blacks care about.
On his blog, Morris writes, The boldness of Obama
in accepting the Clintons injection of race as an issue and his insistence on
an enlightened answer challenges us all. Even as ones head warns that the
strategy will fail, ones heart hopes that it will succeed. Either way, Obama
has made the Super Tuesday vote more about who we are than who the candidates
running for president are.
While its a long way to November and Obamas lack
of experience has yet to be fully tested and his background fully vetted, it
might almost be worth his election if he could force the Clintons to finally
leave the stage. Almost.
It should be remembered that Cal Thomas is a conservative who will probably
support either Romney or McCain over Obama. But you never know, do
His point is that Obama, maybe more than anyone else on the horizon, could
finally push the Clintons out of the picture.
While I doubt this will happen (I expect Hillary to win the nomination),
there is no guarantee. A lot can change by - and on - Super Tuesday.
We'll see. And I'll be thinking about Mr. Thomas' analysis as the votes come
THE REPUBLICAN DEBATE
I don't know about you, but I'm pretty much debated out by now.
Still, I did watch a lot of the Republican debate in California last night;
if for no other reason to see how McCain and Romney would duke it out now
that there is a virtual certainty one of them will be the nominee.
The debate was contentious - at some points it was very contentious
- though most of the ground has already been covered (how could it not have
been, since this is debate number #46,923 or so it seems). But two things
stick out in my mind:
One of them was CNN moderator Anderson Cooper's first question to Romney and then the other
candidates (yes, Huckabee and paul are still hanging around for no good reason).
He pointed out that candidate Ronald Reagan asked voters in 1980 whether
they felt they were better off over the previous four years (i.e. jimmy carter's
term of office). Cooper asked Romney to tell people if they were
better off than they were 8 years ago, in 2000 (i.e. the start of President Bush's
term of office).
Since the debate took place at the Ronald Reagan Library, I suppose you could
see this as Cooper's clever way of injecting Mr. Reagan into the
debate. I don't.
I thought it was, at best, a clumsy stupid question. And, at worst, it
was an insidious way of putting every Republican at a disadvantage right
from the start.
If President Bush were running the question would have made sense,
because the issue would have been whether voters would want four more years of
the man whose record was being invoked.
But President Bush is not running. So the sum total result of Cooper's question was
to force every Republican candidate to start the debate by either talking up
a President who is low in the popularity polls or talking him down and angering a
large segment of the Republican base.
If Cooper had led off a Democratic debate
by asking the candidates if voters were better or worse off since the
Democratic congress took control, I'd see it as a logical question. Mr. Obama and Ms.
Clinton are both part of that congress right now. By contrast, the
question asked last night was asked for no good or logical reason.
On the other hand, why expect that kind of question for Democrats? This is
CNN. They didn't have enough time to formulate a tough question
relating to the congress Obama and Clinton are part of. They were too busy
stacking the Democratic debate with Hillary suckups and the Republican debate
with anti-Republican activists.
Mr. Romney did exactly what he should have done. He said he would
prefer to answer how people made out in the state where HE was elected,
Massachusetts. Good for him. But Cooper wouldn't let go of his
planned, oh-so-clever question and kept nagging Mr. Romney until he got some
kind of an answer. What a professional.
Yes, CNN is a highly trusted name. You can trust it to be unbelievably
biased time after time after time.
The other part of last night's debate that sticks with me is this exchange
between Mr. Romney and Senator McCain, which was taken from CNN's web site:
The sharpest exchange in the
debate came when Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, was asked about
the McCain campaign's charge that he once said he favored a strict timetable
for removing troops from Iraq.
Romney has consistently denied
ever having backed a timetable and said McCain was taking a small portion of a
quote out of context.
"It's simply wrong,"
Romney said. "By the way, raising it a few days before the Florida primary,
when there was very little time for me to correct the record, falls in the
kind of dirty tricks that Ronald Reagan would have found reprehensible." Watch the candidates trade barbs
But McCain, the Arizona
senator who has strongly backed President Bush's Iraq policy, accused Romney
of hedging after public support for the war waned.
"I was on the front lines with
my friends saying we not only can't withdraw but we've got to have additional
troops over there in order for us to have a chance to succeed," he
What a point of difference this is!
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are
each trying to prove that they will cut and run from Iraq faster than the
other. It's like a grotesque game of "name that tune" set to the war in
Iraq. "I'll get the troops out in a year". "Oh yeah, I'll get them
out in a couple of months". "Oh yeah, I'll get them out the day I take
office". "Oh yeah....." ad infinitum.
The actual conditions in Iraq that would or would
not make withdrawing sensible? Irrelevant 'n immaterial. We can't
tick off george soros or the daily kos people or cindy sheehan or the other
LAMBs for god sake, can we?
But on the Republican side, instead of running from
the war in Iraq (which would have made good political sense less than a year
ago) the two candidates were actually trying to prove which one of them would
more strongly stay the course. Romney and McCain were fighting to prove
which of them would be least likely to withdraw troops on any
timetable/before conditions on the ground made it militarily and strategically
That is a clear demonstration of just how well
the troop surge has worked, isn't it? Last year, who would have thought
that either party would be running on our continued presence in Iraq? But
there it is, right out there for you to see.
KWAME KILPATRICK (? - MI)
Here, courtesy of Geoffrey Dickens at www.newsbusters.com, is the way the Today
show reported on Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's steamy scandal:
'Today' Fails to Call Democrat
Caught in Sex Scandal - a Democrat
Republican gets caught in a sex scandal the GOP party affiliation is permanently
affixed to that person's name in the media - think most recently of Larry Craig
and Rudy Giuliani. However when it comes to labeling Democratic politicians
caught in affairs, reporters often suffer from brief bouts of amnesia. Such was
the case on the Thursday "Today" show where co-host Ann Curry forgot to note the
party affiliation of the Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick in her report on his
See if you can spot the (D) label in the following
January 31 "Today" show story:
ANN CURRY: A scandal involving private text
messages forced a popular mayor of a major, a major U.S. city to make a very
public apology last night and to beg for forgiveness.
[On screen headline: "Detroit Mayor Apologizes,
Begs For Forgiveness"]
MAYOR KWAME KILPATRICK [No party label noted on
screen]: Good evening Detroit, I want to start tonight by saying to the
citizens of this great city, "I'm sorry."
CURRY: With those words Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick,
Wednesday night, began a seven minute apology for what he called the
"embarrassment and disappointment" of the last few days.
KILPATRICK: Finally and most important I want to
make a public apology to my wife Carlita, who I fell in love with when I was
19-years-old. This dynamic, strong, caring woman has been forced to go through
this very difficult experience because of me. I truly apologize to you.
CURRY: First elected seven years ago, Kilpatrick
and his former chief of staff, Christine Beatty are under investigation for
allegedly lying under oath. Last summer two police officers filed a lawsuit
saying they were fired for investigating whether the mayor used his security
detail to cover up extramarital affairs. During the trial the mayor and Beatty
denied being lovers.
ATTORNEY: Were you and the Mayor Kilpatrick
either romantically or intimately involved with each other?
CHRISTINE BEATTY: No.
CURRY: But last week a Detroit newspaper
revealed a series of steamy text messages exchanged between the two. In those
text messages they professed that they were madly in love with each other.
Beatty also asked the mayor if he missed her sexually. He responded by telling
her quote, "I want some more." Wednesday night the mayor's wife Carlita, stood
by her man.
CARLITA KILPATRICK: Yes I am angry, I am hurt
and I am disappointed but there is no question that I love my husband. Most
couples who work through problems in their marriage are able to do so
privately. Unfortunately that option is not available to us.
CURRY: The mayor has said he will not resign but
the county prosecutor has vowed to get to the bottom of the
So tell me, is Mr. Dickens right? When it was Rudy Giuliani or Larry Craig, or for that matter Mark Foley,
did they forget to mention that Republican affiliation?
This is not an isolated instance, folks. It is a pattern -- and one
that is repeated by numerous other major media. Republicans in a scandal
are Republicans. Democrats in a scandal are ?.
But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them
UPDATE: Arrrgghhhhh. In the original post
I made mention of "Tom Foley" as a Republican involved in a sex scandal.
That is a mistake. Tom Foley is the former Democratic speaker of the
house. As reader "Al" has pointed out, the person I meant was MARK
Foley, the former Republican congressperson from Florida. I have changed
this in the body of the post. Thanks Al!!
GOOD NEWS FROM PAKISTAN
Now there's a title I don't get to use very often. But I'm always happy
when I can.
Why is today the day? Let me show you, by way of the Associated
Top al-Qaida figure killed in
By ROBERT H. REID, Associated Press
Writer 21 minutes ago
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - One of al-Qaida's top
figures, Abu Laith al-Libi, has been killed in Pakistan,
an Islamist Web site announced Thursday. Pakistani officials and residents said
a dozen people, including seven Arabs, died in a missile strike in northwestern
Pakistan near the Afghan border.
Al-Libi was believed to be the key link between the
al-Qaida and was blamed for masterminding the bombing an American base while
Vice President Dick
Cheney was visiting Afghanistan last
year. He was listed among the Americans' 12 most-wanted men with a bounty of
$200,000 on his head.
Pakistani officials denied any knowledge of
al-Libi's death. The killing of such a major al-Qaida figure is likely to
embarrass President Pervez
Musharraf, who has repeatedly said he would not sanction U.S. military
action against al-Qaida members believed to be regrouping in the lawless area
near the Afghan border.
A Web site that frequently carries announcements
from militant groups said al-Libi had been "martyred with a group of his
brothers in the land of Muslim Pakistan" but gave no further details.
However, Pakistani intelligence officials and
residents said a missile struck a compound late Monday or early Tuesday about 2
1/2 miles from the Pakistani town of Mir Ali in North
Waziristan, killing 12 people, including seven Arabs as well as
Pakistanis and Central Asians.
Residents said they could hear U.S. Predator
drones flying in the area shortly before the explosion, which destroyed the
The Pakistani newspaper Dawn said the victims were
buried in a local cemetery.
Rumors spread Thursday in the border area that
al-Libi or his deputy died in the missile strike. But Pakistan's Interior
Ministry spokesman, Javed Iqbal Cheema, insisted authorities had "no
information" indicating al-Libi was dead.
One intelligence official in the area, who spoke
on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said the
bodies of those killed were badly mangled by the force of the explosion and it
was difficult to identify them. The official estimated 12 people were killed,
including Arabs, Turkomen from Central Asia and local Taliban
In Washington, a Western official said that "it
appears at this point that al-Libi has met his demise," but declined to talk
about the circumstances. "It was a major success in taking one of the top
terrorists in the world off the street," the official said. He added that the
death occurred "within the last few days."
Defense Secretary Robert
Gates said he did not "have anything definitive" to say on reports of
The Libyan-born al-Libi was among the most
high-profile figures in al-Qaida after
its leader Osama bin Laden
and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri.
In spring 2007, al-Qaida's media wing, Al-Sahab,
released a video interview with a bearded man identified as al-Libi. In it, he
accuses Shiite Muslims of fighting alongside American forces in Iraq, and claimed
that mujahedeen would crush foreign troops in Afghanistan.
The U.S. says al-Libi was likely behind the
February 2007 bombing at the U.S. base at Bagram in Afghanistan during a visit
by Cheney. The attack killed 23 people but Cheney was deep inside the sprawling
base and was not hurt.
The bombing added to the impression that Western
forces and the shaky government of Afghan President Hamid
Karzai are vulnerable to assault by Taliban and al-Qaida
Al-Libi also led an al-Qaida training camp and
appeared in a number of al-Qaida Internet videos.
He was known to maintain close ties with tribes
living on the Pakistani side of the mountainous border, where U.S. officials
believe al-Qaida has been regrouping.
A Pakistani intelligence official said that
al-Libi was based near Mir Ali until late 2003 when he moved back into Afghanistan to
take charge of al-Qaida operations on both sides of the border area. But he
retained links with North Waziristan,
the official said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the
Mir Ali is the second-biggest town in North
Waziristan and has a strong presence of foreign militants, mostly Uzbeks with
links to al-Qaida who fled to Pakistan's tribal
regions after the fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in 2001.
The U.S. has in the past sought to kill top
al-Qaida leaders but with limited success.
Al-Zawahri, al-Qaida's second-in-command, was the
target of a U.S. airstrike in Pakistan near the Afghan border on Jan. 13, 2006,
but he was not at the site of the attack. Pakistan condemned the missile strike
that killed at least 17 people in the village of Damadola in the Bajur tribal
area, about four miles inside Pakistan.
Pakistani security officials said four top
operatives were believed to be killed in that strike. The officials said the
operatives included Midhat Mursi al-Sayid Umar, who the U.S. Justice Department
called an explosives and poisons expert; Abu Obaidah al-Masri, the al-Qaida
chief responsible for attacks on U.S. forces in eastern Afghanistan; and Abdul
Rehman al-Maghribi, a Moroccan and relative of al-Zawahri, possibly his
Some of the officials also said a fourth man,
Khalid Habib, the al-Qaida operations chief along the Afghan-Pakistan border,
was believed to be dead.
Radical islamists like to talk about a "merciful Allah". I hope they're
right. Because if Allah truly is merciful, he will take one look at this
murdering terrorist subhuman scumbag and send him straight to hell.
And the last thing he'll hear on the way down is "and if you think YOU got it bad,
wait until you see what I do with bin laden and
NANCY PELOSI'S PRESS RELEASE ON IRAQ
"You never know what is enough until you know what
is more than enough": William Blake.
Nancy pelosi apparently doesn't know even
when it IS more than enough. I can tell that by her negative, disparaging
press release regarding the Iraq troop surge:
Brendan Daly/Nadeam Elshami
For Immediate Release
Pelosi Statement on Halting U.S. Surge Troop
Washington, D.C. --
Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today in reaction to news
reports that gradual reductions in U.S. surge troops in Iraq could be halted
"Halting the modest reduction inU.S. surge
troop levels that has been underway in Iraq demonstrates the President's
insistence on a war without end and will further undermine our military
"The President's Iraq policy will result in the same number of
troops committed to an endless war in Iraq at the end of this year as were
there at the end of 2006. And the President continues to
ignore the calls of the American people to wind down the war with the
responsible redeployment of our troops.
"Meanwhile, as a report by former NATO commander
General James Jones makes clear, NATO 'is not winning' the real war against
terrorism in Afghanistan.' And an Army study reportedly
reveals that suicides among Army personnel are at record levels.
"The President's failure to end the war in
Iraq influences both of these
threats to our security and neither is likely to improve until there is a New
Direction in Iraq.".
Despicable. Not one word about the
success of the surge. Not one word about the dramatic reduction of
military casualties, the dramatic reduction of civilian casualties, the dramatic
upgrade in Iraqi troops engaging terrorist insurgents rather than US troops and
not one word about the refugees streaming back into the country because they
feel safe enough to do so.
Nothing but a disparaging wet-blanket
attack that ignores all successes and desperately latches onto any and
every negative, even the suicide rate, to prop up pelosi's cut-and-run
Can you show me any part of this press
release that al qaeda would be unhappy with?
For the record, here is the real story on
the military suicide rate, from the Associated press just three months
ago. It was pulled from the left wing huffington post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2007/11/01/suicide-rates-increase-am_n_70702.html).
I have put a part-sentence in bold print to show just how low she sank when
invoking it in this press release:
Hundreds of troops have come home from war, left
the military and committed suicide.
That is the finding of preliminary Veterans
Affairs Department research obtained by The Associated Press that provides the
first quantitative look at the suicide toll on today's combat veterans. The
ongoing research reveals that at least 283 combat veterans who left the
military between the start of the war in Afghanistan on Oct. 7, 2001, and the
end of 2005 took their own lives.
The numbers, while not dramatically
different from society as a whole, are reminiscent of the increased
suicide risk among returning soldiers in the Vietnam era.
Got that? Not dramatically different than the general
population. But pelosi is so desperate to have the USA lose a
war it is winning that she will clutch at any straw, she'll even exploit
the tragedy of suicides. Is anything beneath her?
What is "more than enough" when it comes to nancy pelosi? Maybe
nothing. As a San Francisco Democrat I suppose she can do this all she
wants and probably will gain rather than lose votes. But I wonder how the
rest of the country feels.
We'll find out in a matter of months.
SLEEP ON THE CHEAP
Need some sleep? Then why pay for Sominex or Ambien? Just read
by Associated Press
Wednesday, January 30,
WASHINGTON Ralph Nader is seeking the
The consumer activist and political gadfly kicked
off an exploratory presidential campaign Wednesday with the launch of a new Web
site that promises hell fight corporate greed, corporate power, corporate
control and asks people to donate $300 each.
Nader sought the White House in each of the last
three presidential elections: He ran on the Green Party ticket in 1996 and 2000,
and as an independent in 2004.
Has anyone seen Ralph Nader and Harold Stassen in the same place? (Yawn), I know that I nev.........
I SEE YOUR RACE CARD AND RAISE YOU A UNION CARD
With a major assist from Barack Obama's campaign, the folks at ABC news (as reported by www.sweetness-light.com, complete with its commentary
about it) have unearthed
this material about Hillary Rodham Clinton's tenure on the board of
January 31st, 2008
From a shocked and outraged ABC
Clinton Remained Silent As Wal-Mart Fought
Tapes Reviewed by ABC News Show Clinton As a
Loyal Company Woman
By BRIAN ROSS, MADDY SAUER and RHONDA
Jan. 31, 2008In six years as a member
of the Wal-Mart board of directors, between 1986 and 1992, Hillary
Clinton remained silent as the worlds largest retailer waged a major campaign
against labor unions seeking to represent store workers.
Clinton has been endorsed for president by more
than a dozen unions, according to her campaign Web site, which omits
any reference to her role at Wal-Mart in its detailed biography of
Wal-Marts anti-union efforts were headed by one
of Clintons fellow board members, John Tate, a Wal-Mart executive vice
president who also served on the board with Clinton for four of her six years.
Tate was fond of repeating, as he did at a
managers meeting in 2004 after his retirement, what he said was his favorite
phrase, Labor unions are nothing but blood-sucking parasites living
off the productive labor of people who work for a living.
Wal-Mart says Tates comments were his own and
do not reflect Wal-Marts views.
But Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton and other
company officials often recounted how they relied on Tate to lead the
companys successful anti-union efforts.
An ABC News analysis of the
videotapes of at least four stockholder meetings where Clinton appeared shows
she never once rose to defend the role of American labor unions
A former board member told ABCNews.com
that he had no recollection of Clinton defending unions during more than 20
board meetings held in private.
The tapes show Clinton in the role
of a loyal company woman. Im always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the
way we do it better than anybody else, she said at a June 1990 stockholders
Weve got a very strong-willed
young woman on our board now; her name is Hillary, said Wal-Mart founder Sam
Walton at a 1987 stockholders meeting in describing Clintons role in
pushing for more women to be hired in management positions.
Critics say Clintons efforts produced few
tangible results, and Wal-Mart is now defending itself in a lawsuit brought by
16 current and former female employees
Sen. Clinton has recently sought to distance
herself from Wal-Mart.
In a campaign speech last year in New Hampshire,
Sen. Clinton said, Now I know that Wal-Marts policies do not reflect
the best way of doing business and the values that I think are important in
Her Senate campaign returned a $5,000
contribution from a Wal-Mart Political Action Committee, although ABCNews.com
discovered another $20,000 in contributions from Wal-Mart executives and
Clinton spokesperson Howard
Wolfson said, There is no basis to return the money.
According to the New York Times,
Sen. Clinton maintains close ties to Wal-Mart executives through the
Democratic Party and the tightly knit Arkansas business community. The May
20, 2007 article also reported that her husband, former President Clinton,
speaks frequently to Wal-Marts current chief executive, H. Lee Scott Jr.
and held a private dinner at the Clintons New York home in July 2006 for
President Clinton defended his wifes role on
the Wal-Mart board last week after the issue was raised by Sen. Barack Obama
in a CNN debate.
His wife did not try to change the companys
minds about unions, the former Arkansas governor said.
We lived in a state that had a very weak labor
movement, where I always had the endorsement of the labor movement because I
did what I could do to make it stronger. She knew there was no way she
could change that, not with it headquartered in Arkansas, and she agreed to
serve, President Clinton said
This information has been out there for decades
Funny how it took Mr. Obamas playing of the
Wal-Mart card to jar the memories of our watchdog media, such as it is.
Probably some 20 year old intern who has a thing
for BHO decided to look into it.
(And of course they couldnt be bothered to note
that up until very recently the Clintons still owned Wal-Mart stock.)
She knew there was no way she could change that,
not with it headquartered in Arkansas, and she agreed to serve, President
And yet this self-same woman is now telling us
there is nothing she cant do.
Still, the videotape ABC has
unearthed is quite entertaining in its own
right, as are some of the photos they have lifted from it:
On the campaign trail, President Bill Clinton
has defended Hillarys role on the Wal-Mart board even though he said she knew
there was no chance of changing the companys stance on unions.
In a written statement, Sen. Clintons
spokesperson said, As President she will fight alongside labor to promote the
economic growth of Americas middle class. He said Clinton believes Wal-Mart
workers should have the right to unionize and bargain collectively.
Clintons Senate campaign also returned a $5,000
Although there is no mention of it in her
official biography, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton
served for six years on the board of Wal-Mart, the huge retailer criticized by
many for its treatment of workers and its strident opposition to
Factories featured in Wal-Marts Buy America
television spots were closed down a short time later as Wal-Mart abandoned the
program and jobs shifted overseas.
As the wife of then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton,
Hillary also took a role in supporting a Buy America program to create
You know one of the reasons that we want to buy
America is because we love America, she said at the time.
While Hillary Clinton has since denounced
Wal-Marts policies, nowhere on the tapes reviewed by ABC News, including at
this 1990 meeting, did she speak up to defend the role of Americas labor
You know, as a shareholder and director of our
company, Im always proud of Wal-Mart and what we do and the way we do it
better than anybody else, she said.
Clinton would not agree to be interviewed on the
subject but now says she no longer shares.
Videotapes obtained by ABC News from the
archives of a production company hired by Wal-Mart to record its meetings
reveal just how strident Wal-Marts opposition to unions was as well as what a
loyal company woman Hillary Clinton was.
Nevertheless, it is quite naive for the folks at
ABC News even to suggest that Hillary should have put her oft-proclaimed
principles before a chance to make herself richer.
Mrs. Clinton hasnt never been that
Y'know, maybe it wasn't such a great idea to use the race card on
Senator Obama. He seems to know how to fight back. And,
after decades of being given a free pass on scandal after
scandal, Senator Clinton has plenty of material for him to draw from.
I wonder how the unions supporting Ms. Clinton feel about
What's next? What's, er, in the cards now? Stay