Daily Archives: June 8, 2008

Clinton and Obama ‘laughing’ after secret late-night meeting

clinton_obama_laugh

Feinstein said yesterday she left them alone in her living room while she went upstairs. When she came down, she said they were laughing and seemed to be getting along well. “It was a good first step,” she told reporters. She said she did not hear any shouting from upstairs.

The Guardian | Jun 7, 2008

Ewen MacAskill and Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington

Hillary Clinton will lavish praise on Barack Obama today when she formally concedes the race for the Democratic nomination at a rally for her supporters after the two held a secret meeting in Washington.

Her campaign has chosen a grand venue in Washington for today’s event, allowing her to make a farewell to supporters as well as a formal endorsement of Obama.

The endorsement follows the first direct meeting between Obama and Clinton for months after an often acrimonious campaign, at the home of a Democratic senator, Dianne Feinstein. The candidates arrived alone for their late-night meeting – without spouses or staff – and met for about an hour.

Feinstein said yesterday she left them alone in her living room while she went upstairs. When she came down, she said they were laughing and seemed to be getting along well. “It was a good first step,” she told reporters. She said she did not hear any shouting from upstairs.

They went to extraordinary lengths to hold the meeting out of sight of the media. Obama, in a diversionary tactic, sent his travelling press corps to Chicago while he remained in Washington.

CNN and other news stations spent hours showing live footage from outside Clinton’s Washington home, with commentators saying Obama had made a significant compromise in going there, only to discover they were meeting at Feinstein’s home.

The first sign the press had that something was afoot was when Obama failed to appear at Washington’s Dulles airport.

Robert Gibbs, his communications director, told the press that there had been a change of plan and Obama would not be accompanying them.

A television reporter managed to send a text message to her office as the engines started and the Washington press corps fanned out across the city hunting for the two candidates. The favoured location was the Clintons’ home near the British embassy on Massachusetts Avenue, but others headed for Obama’s flat on Capitol Hill, as well as the homes of the candidates’ friends.

When the travelling press corps landed in Chicago, Gibbs told them there was a meeting but gave no further information. Calls to other press aides resulted in silence, in part because they did not know where the candidates were either.

Clinton made the first move, phoning Obama on Thursday afternoon suggesting they meet. Obama had been campaigning throughout the day in Virginia and had been looking forward to returning home to Chicago for a three-day break.

After the meeting, Obama and Clinton put out a short joint press statement saying it had been a productive meeting about working for victory in November.

It was the first sign of cooperation between the camps for months. In an indication of the depth of bad feeling between the two camps, Congressman Rob Edwards, a Clinton supporter claimed a senior member of her team had discussed with him exploiting tensions between Jews and African-Americans.

“There have been signals coming out of the Clinton campaign that have racial overtones that indeed disturb me,” Andrews told the New Jersey Star-Ledger. “Frankly, I had a private conversation with a high-ranking person in the campaign … that used a racial line of argument that I found very disconcerting. It was extremely disconcerting given the rank of this person. It was very disturbing.”

A Clinton campaign official denied any attempt to stir such tensions.

The two are looking at how to unite the Democratic party after a 16-month campaign marked by bitter exchanges. The party split along lines of race, age, class and gender.

Obama won the overwhelming support of African-Americans, young people and professionals while Clinton took a majority of women, Hispanics and white, working-class males.

Clinton was on the receiving end of a party backlash all week after failing to congratulate Obama when he secured the majority needed for the nomination Tuesday. Aides said yesterday she would remedy that today. She will also speak about the difficulties of running as a woman and about the issues on which she will continue to fight, such as the introduction of universal healthcare.

“She wants to do everything she can to bring the party together,” Feinstein told reporters. “She wants to do everything she can to see the people who voted for her have their voices heard … And she wants to have a working relationship with Senator Obama, and I think it’s a very positive thing.”

One of her leading supporters, fellow New York senator Charles Schumer, said yesterday she would accept the vice-presidential slot if offered it. “She has said if Senator Obama should want her to be vice-president … she will accept that. But on the other hand if he chooses someone else she will work just as hard for the party in November,” he told ABC television.

But hopes among her supporters that Obama would offer her the slot were receding yesterday. One aide speculated that a cabinet post was also unlikely, saying she would be better off in the Senate.

John Edwards, a contender for the Democratic nomination until he quit in January, ruled himself out as a vice-presidential candidate in interviews published in Spanish papers yesterday. He said he had been the vice-presidential candidate in 2004 and did not want to repeat the experience.

One of the topics high on Clinton’s agenda is seeking Obama’s help in paying off the $30m (£15m) in campaign debts she accumulated.

Related

Hillary & Obama In Secret Bilderberg Rendezvous

Poll: British public supposedly backs 42-day detentions without charges

Poll boost for PM as he defies the threat of defeat by rebel MPs over stricter terror laws

The Observer | Jun 8, 2008

by Jo Revill

Gordon Brown will refuse to offer any new concessions to Labour MPs who oppose plans for a 42-day detention period for terrorists, even though the Prime Minister could be defeated in the Commons for the first time over the issue this week.

While his leadership could be undermined if the anti-terror legislation vote is lost, Downing Street was buoyed last night by a poll that showed widespread public support for the move.

The Prime Minister set out his case in a letter to Labour MPs yesterday, saying the need to extend pre-charge detention for terror suspects from the present 28 days was driven by new technology which meant that it took longer to investigate suspects.

‘The challenge has been to make sure that, through proper judicial and parliamentary oversight, we both keep the public free from the threat to our security and secure the fundamental liberties of the citizen,’ he wrote.

Last night, it emerged that one of Tony Blair’s closest political allies, Lord Falconer, could lead the peers’ revolt against Gordon Brown’s anti-terrorism measures if MPs back the Prime Minister this week. The former Lord Chancellor has warned that the bill is ‘unacceptable’, and said that ministers’ concessions have not gone far enough. ‘It doesn’t look like the amendments quite do the job,’ Falconer said.

About 50 Labour MPs have voiced concern about the proposal, enough to inflict a defeat. The Prime Minister and Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, were expected to spend the weekend calling backbench MPs and assuring them that the safeguards they offered last week are enough to prevent arbitrary use of the new powers.

The position of the nine Democratic Unionist MPs, still undecided, could prove vital. But even if they back him and the vote is passed, the bill will face stiff opposition in the Lords.

A Sunday Telegraph poll last night showed the public firmly behind plans for 42-day detention. Some 65 per cent of those questioned backed Brown’s plan, against just 30 per cent who supported Tory leader David Cameron’s position of retaining the 28-day limit. However, the poll by ICM also showed that Labour is trailing 16 points behind the Conservatives just days ahead of Gordon Brown’s toughest parliamentary test since becoming Prime Minister.

Home Office minister Tony McNulty said the government had gone as far as it could. ‘This is about having a reserve power,’ he said. ‘It is not capricious, it is not arbitrary and it is not remotely like internment. I remain very, very hopeful for the vote.’

Brown has made clear that he does not regard Wednesday’s vote as one of confidence, but defeat would deal another blow to his authority after Labour’s humiliation in the local elections and the Crewe and Nantwich byelection.

Australia Proposes Asia-Pacific Union, United States Included

Rudd recently outlined a plan to organize a new regional body of Asia-Pacific countries, similar to the European Union. Rudd envisions the Asia-Pacific bloc to be in place by 2020; China has already expressed support.

Informify | Jun 6, 2008

by Sean Conneely

In an address to the Asia Society Australasia in Sydney, Australia, Wednesday, the prime minister called for cooperation among the countries of this growing region. Rudd added that he wants the new bloc to include, among many other countries, the United States, China, Japan, India, and Indonesia. Critics view the proposal as overly ambitious and unnecessary.

Cooperation Among Asian and Pacific Nations Key

Rudd, who was elected last November, stressed the importance of Asian and Pacific countries working together now for mutual benefit. Waiting would not be prudent.

“I believe it’s time that we started to think about where we want to be with our regional architecture in 2020,” Rudd said. (The Australian, 6/5/08)

Rudd envisions the new organization cooperating on economic and political issues. Experts say that the region’s economic influence could grow exponentially, especially with the exploding middle-class in countries like India and China.

Politically, the new Asia-Pacific union could work to ease regional conflicts. Rudd pointed to the following territorial disputes as examples:

▪     Taiwan  Strait
▪     Korean  Peninsula
▪     Kashmir  Region

Is an Asia-Pacific Union Necessary?

Critics of Rudd’s proposal deem it unnecessary.

Dennis Jensen, a member of Australia’s House of Representatives, said he didn’t see the need for an Asia-Pacific bloc. “We actually have or had very good relationships with all of the nations in the region so no, it’s not necessary,” Jensen said. (Australian ABC News, 6/5/08)

Australia’s opposition party foreign affairs spokesperson, Andrew Robb, called the plan ‘presumptuous.’

“His first job is not to be making pronouncements about grand architecture for the region, telling China, Indonesia and Japan and India how they will be organized as a region by Australia in the next 20 years,” Robb said. (BBC, 6/5/08)

Rudd has admitted his proposal is bold, but vital to the region’s economic growth and political stability. And he doesn’t appear to be alone.

China on Board with Australia Proposal

While Rudd’s critics voiced their concern, one of the major players in the proposed Asia-Pacific union expressed its support.

Chinese officials said Thursday that they would back any plan that promotes cooperation in the region.

“We hope countries in the Asia-Pacific can make joint efforts to enhance exchanges, political mutual trust and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation so as to promote common development. Any proposal that’s in line with this goal, we will support it,” said Qin Gang, China’s foreign ministry spokesperson.

The Australian prime minister has tapped former ambassador to Indonesia, Richard Woolcott, to spearhead the ambitious plan.

Hillary & Obama In Secret Bilderberg Rendezvous

Campaign spokespeople refuse to disclose location of meeting, but reports admit Democratic candidates convened at “an event in Northern Virginia”

Prison Planet | Jun 6, 2008

By Paul Joseph Watson

According to news reports, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton went out of their way to hold their long-awaited private meeting in a very specific location – not at Hillary’s mansion in Washington – but in Northern Virginia, which also just happens to be the scene of the 2008 Bilderberg meeting.

Obama’s spokesman Robert Gibbs told the media that Obama and Clinton held a private meeting last night but he refused to disclose where it taken place, except that it was not at Clinton’s home in Washington, as had been widely reported. Hillary campaign managers also refused to disclose the location of the rendezvous.

“Reporters traveling with Obama sensed something might be happening between the pair when they arrived at Dulles International Airport after an event in Northern Virginia and Obama was not aboard the airplane,” reports the Associated Press.

Dulles just happens to be walking distance from the Westfields Marriott hotel in Chantilly where Henry Kissinger, David Rockefeller and the rest of the Bilderberg globalists are convening.

“Asked at the time about the Illinois senator’s whereabouts, Gibbs smiled and declined to comment,” the reports adds.

What is the only political “event” taking place in Northern Virginia at the moment? The Bilderberg Group meeting of course. Rather than taking the easier option of meeting at Clinton’s Washington mansion, Obama and Hillary went out of their way to grace the Bilderberg elitists with their presence.

The neo-liberal website Wonkette, which had previously ridiculed “conspiracy theorists” for ascribing power to Bilderberg, seemed to take a somewhat different tone when it made the connection between Obama and Hillary’s meeting and the Bilderberg Group.

“Guess who had a very private talky-talk in (maybe) romantic Northern Virginia tonight, probably at the Bilderberg Group meeting in Chantilly? Your Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton!,” states the blog. “They really met and talked, in private, Thursday night. And really, it sounds like they did this at that creepy Bilderberg Group meeting, which is happening now, and which is so secret that nobody will admit they’re going, even though everybody who is anybody goes to Bilderberg.”

To have the potential future President and Vice-President of America attend a conference that debunkers have dismissed as a mere talking shop for old white men once again underscores the real influence that Bilderberg enjoys.

Not one U.S. corporate media outlet has made the connection between the location of the Bilderberg Group conference this year and Obama and Hillary’s decision to venture out to Chantilly for their confidential “tet a tet”.

Not one U.S. corporate media outlet has yet uttered one word about 125 of the world’s most influential power brokers meeting behind closed doors to discuss the future of the planet on U.S. soil – while being met by the probable future President of the United States.

Both Hillary and Obama have deep rooted connections to the Bilderberg elitists.

Bill Clinton attended the 1991 meeting in Germany shortly before becoming President and he attended again in 1999 when the conference was held in Sintra, Portugal (despite Clinton’s lie that he had not attended in 15 years).

Hillary herself was rumored to have attended the 2006 meeting in Ottawa, Canada.

As we reported last month, Bilderberg luminary and top corporate elitist James A. Johnson will select Democratic candidate Barack Obama’s running mate for the 2008 election and in turn potentially act as kingmaker for America’s future President.

Johnson also selected John Kerry’s running mate John Edwards in 2004 after Edwards had impressed Bilderberg elitists Henry Kissinger and David Rockefeller with a speech he gave at the globalist confab in Italy that year.

Johnson, who attended last year’s Bilderberg meeting in Turkey, is a representative for Friends of Bilderberg, an offshoot group that organizes Bilderberg’s annual meeting.

Hillary and Obama’s attendance of the 2008 Bilderberg meeting, and the complete failure of the mainstream media to report on the fact, once again betrays the super-secretive nature and influential reputation that the 54-year-old organization still maintains.

Irish voters likely to sink EU treaty, poll shows

The Guardian | Jun 7, 2008

Ian Traynor in Brussels

The European Union is bracing itself for a fresh bout of doom and gloom as the Irish look increasingly likely to reject the new Lisbon treaty, wrecking years of efforts to reshape the way the community is run.

The latest opinion poll shows those intending to vote against the EU’s reform treaty doubling in strength in recent weeks, soaring to a five-point lead over the Yes camp.

A vote against the treaty would sink the ambitions of Berlin, Brussels and Paris to reshape the EU by giving it a sitting president, foreign minister, a diplomatic service, a new voting system and decision-making powers, and streamlining the European commission.

After previous negative referendum results in Ireland, France, and the Netherlands over the past seven years, an Irish rejection would also be hailed – at least by Eurosceptics – as a massive vote of no confidence on the way the EU is run.

Ireland’s governing and main opposition parties, all strongly in favour of the treaty, were panicking yesterday, despite the news earlier in the week that Ireland’s farmers would finally back the treaty.

An Irish Times poll showed the treaty opponents have made meteoric gains, doubling from 17 to 35% in recent weeks, while the treaty’s supporters slumped from 35 to 30%. With just five days to go before the only popular vote on the treaty in a union of 27 countries, the Yes camp faces an uphill struggle to reverse the momentum for ditching the treaty.

“The referendum is heading for defeat,” said an editorial in the pro-EU Irish Times. “There is a dramatic shift in public opinion towards a No vote … The government and its allies may find it impossible to turn the tide. The Lisbon treaty may not be passed.”

Treaty opponents believe loopholes will mean Ireland loses control in areas such as tax, trade, abortion and military neutrality. Pro-treaty parties have accused them of scaremongering.

As an amending treaty, augmenting and revising previous European treaties, the document is an indigestible compendium of articles, legalisms, and protocols. It matters. But it is not an easy read. This factor is contributing hugely to the No campaign’s success in turning the Irish against the new dispensation.

Analysis of Friday’s poll results showed that confusion was the key to turning voters against the treaty. Many voters said they were voting no because they could not understand the treaty.

The Lisbon treaty, masterminded last year by Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, and signed by EU leaders in December, is the response to the failed attempt to craft a constitution for Europe, a campaign wrecked by French and Dutch No votes in 2005.

The new treaty retains most of the institutional innovations mooted in the draft constitution, but is stripped of the symbolism of constitutionality.

In Brussels, Irish officials are worried the vote will be lost. Dick Roche, the Europe minister, has warned friends his government is in trouble. “He felt it could go badly. He’s worried about losing,” said a source who spoke to Roche this week.

The referendum campaign contributed to the resignation of the Irish prime minister, Bertie Ahern, last month. A No vote could bring down his replacement, Brian Cowen, who said on Friday that he would take responsibility for the result.

Ireland, uniquely in the European Union, is constitutionally bound to stage referendums on EU treaties, meaning that less than 1% of the EU’s population of more than 450 million has the power to determine the fate of European treaties.