Jon Stewart Mocks Egypt For Taunts, Tomatoes Pelted At Hillary Clinton

On Tuesday night, Jon Stewart zoned in on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s recent trip to Egypt, where her motorcade encountered some resistance. Really? An incredulous Stewart wondered how Egypt can have it both ways, being mad at us regardless of our actions — and went on to chronicle other things “the most powerful leaders in the world bend to.”

Clinton’s motorcade “was pelted with tomatoes and shoes as she left the newly reopened U.S. consulate,” Stewart reminded us, before offering us his take. “What is going on, Egypt?” he asked. “You’re mad at us when we prop up your dictator for 30 years, and now you’re mad at us when we go visit the guy you voted for?”

Ah, conundrums. But insulting high-ranking U.S. officials won’t trigger a policy change, Stewart advised — because there’s only one thing America’s powerful leaders respond to: The Kiss Cam. As recently proven by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, who were caught on the Kiss Cam while at a basketball game with daughter Malia. May not have worked the first time, but second time’s the charm.

Take a look, via Comedy Central:

Hillary Clinton Talks Hostile Reception In Egypt And Her Starring In Romney Ad

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sat down in Jerusalem Monday afternoon with CNN’s Elise Labott to discuss her hostile reception in Egypt, the ongoing strife in Syria, and the recent Mitt Romney campaign ad that repurposes her own 2008 words for an attack on President Barack Obama.

When asked about her hostile welcome upon visiting Egypt, in which bottles and tomatoes were thrown at her caravan while protestors shouted “Monica, Monica!” in reference to husband’s sexual affairs, Clinton chalked it up to “a lot of uncertainty and anxiety in Egypt right now. They’re doing something they’ve never done in 5,000-plus years of history. They’ve had elections, they’ve elected a president, but they still don’t have a government.”

“I knew very well there would be a lot of passion and conviction expressed,” she continued, “which i think demonstrates how invested Egyptians are in trying to make sure their democratic transition works out for the benefit of all the Egyptians — men and women, Muslim and Christian, everybody.”

When pressed on whether she’d like to use U.S. aid to ensure that transition happens, Clinton responded that “until there’s a government in place, until there’s a finance minister and a prime minister — people with whom we can talk specifics — we won’t be able to know exactly what we can offer or… what kind of accountability to seek.”

Labott then challenged Clinton on the situation in Syria: “A year ago when you were in Lithuania, you said time was running out for the [President Bashar al] Assad regime. There were 1,000 people dead. When you were in Tokyo, you said the sands were coming out of the hourglass. Now there are 10,000 people are dead. What is the threshold, Madame Secretary, that these don’t become empty words and there will be an intervention to get rid of President Assad?”

“We are trying to intervene,” Clinton responded. “We’re trying to intervene in a way that brings about an end to the violence, and a transition to a democratic future, that doesn’t require adding to the violence, further militarizing the conflict, perhaps killing more people and pushing them across the borders. I think everybody is very wary, for good reason, of that kind of intervention.”

Clinton added that she has tried to get other skeptical nations on board with the United States, particularly Russia and China, and has worked to reassure that humanitarian assistance is provided to neighboring countries that have absorbed Syrian refugees.

“Everybody is as outraged as I am, for very good reason, at what we see happening. It’s horrific what’s happening,” Secretary Clinton added, but then restated her hesitance to use military force: “You have to look at all the consequences of any action that the outside could take. And there are many instances that I could point to where you could make things worse, you could add to the violence through some kind of military intervention.”

“The regime is not going to survive,” she concluded. “I wish it would end sooner instead of later.”

When questioned about GOP nominee Mitt Romney’s recent campaign ad which features a 2008 clip of Clinton speaking negatively of then-candidate Obama, the Secretary responded:

I am out of politics, and I haven’t seen any of the ads that you’re talking about. But I have to say: I think it’s a waste of money. Everybody knows I ran against President Obama in 2008 — that’s hardly news. Everybody knows we ran a hard-fought campaign, and he won. And I’ve been honored to serve as his Secretary of State, working with him to advance America’s interest, values, and securities.

Check out the interview below, via CNN:

>> Follow Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) on Twitter

Don Imus Blasts Sally Kohn For Dismissing Drudge During Interview

On Fox Business Network on Monday, host Don Imus called out liberal columnist Sally Kohn for expressing skepticism that a story Imus read in the Drudge Report was true. When a producer pointed out that Drudge only linked to a news services wire story, Kohn said if she did not express skepticism over the Drudge headline she could later be accused of validating a misleading story.

RELATED: Hannity Moderates Heated Clash Between Michelle Malkin And Sally Kohn

Imus asked Kohn about Sec. Hillary Clinton’s visit to Egypt where her motorcade was attacked by protesters who hurled fruit and chanted “Monica” at her. Imus said that he had read about the story on The Drudge Report, which Kohn said she took at face value.

“I got up this morning and popped on Drudge,” said Imus.

“There’s your first problem,” interjected Kohn.

Imus went on to describe how he regards the Monica Lewinsky scandal which still resonates around the world and haunts Sec. Clinton abroad as regrettable. Kohn said that she had not read the story for herself and questioned its veracity.

Imus went after Kohn for expressing skepticism about the story because it came from Drudge. “You can’t keep talking when I’m talking,” said Imus. “Because if you keep talking when I’m talking, you’re not going to be on the program.”

“I’m saying, I always take everything I hear from ‘grudge’ worth a grain of salt,” said Kohn. She said that the story dovetails with what she calls a conservative ‘anti-Arab Spring’ bias and is thus skeptical of the report.

Imus asked her if Drudge made up the story, to which Kohn said “I want to get both sides.”

When one of Imus’ producers said that Drudge linked to Reuters which had originally reported the story, Kohn changed her mind on the subject.

“I was skeptical about Drudge and him as a source,” said Kohn, not the story itself.

“Here’s why the liberals are going to lose this time,” said Imus. “It’s because of people like you and President Obama who talk out of both sides of their mouth.”

“Did you want to talk about anything else,” said Kohn. “Or you wanted to try to make me look like a buffoon?”

“I didn’t want to make you look like a buffoon, you did that yourself,” replied Imus.

Watch the exchange below via Fox Business Network:

Editor’s note: This post has been edited since its original posting – Jon Nicosia

h/t SallyKohn.com

> >Follow Noah Rothman (@Noah_C_Rothman) on Twitter

Egyptian Protestors Taunt Hillary Clinton With Chants Of ‘Monica, Monica’

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is currently on a diplomatic trip to Egypt, and during a visit to the port city of Alexandria earlier today, she was confronted by angry Egyptian protestors. One security official explained they were chanting “Irbal Clinton” (“Get out, Clinton”) and “Monica, Monica,” a not-so-subtle reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

RELATED: Chris Matthews: The Economy Is Worse Than Monica Lewinsky

According to the AFP, protests erupted outside of the U.S. consulate as Clinton traveled there in a motorcade.

Tomatoes, shoes and a water bottle were thrown at part of Clinton’s motorcade as it pulled up, protected by riot police, although a US official said Clinton’s own vehicle was not hit.

The protest appears to have been the result of suspicions that Washington had helped the Muslim Brotherhood win elections in Egypt in the wake of last year’s ouster of president Hosni Mubarak after 18 days of massive street protests.

“I want to be clear that the United States is not in the business, in Egypt, of choosing winners and losers, even if we could, which, of course, we cannot,” Clinton said at the opening of the consulate.

During her visit, Clinton met with newly-elected Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi and pledged that the United States would help support Egypt’s democratic transition.

h/t Yahoo

—–

Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

Conservative Bloggers Are Dead Wrong: Condoleezza Rice Would Make A Spectacular Vice President

If National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar is correct, and the leak that hit the Drudge Report Thursday night claiming Mitt Romney‘s campaign is seriously considering former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for their vice presidential nominee is a float to see how the conservative political establishment would react, that reaction has been decidedly lackluster. Conservative pundits, with exceptions, have greeted the news with a mix of disbelief and despair – they feel Rice would be a liability rather than an asset on the ticket and, what’s more, she augments the problems that conservatives have with the moderate Romney. They are wrong. Rice would make a spectacular addition to the ticket and would make a powerful president, let alone VP.

RELATED: Palin: Condoleezza Rice Would Be Good VP Choice For Romney, Despite Being ‘Moderately Pro-Choice’

“I don’t know who is hitting the crack rock tonight in the rumor mill, but bull shiitake mushrooms,” writes RedState.com pundit Erick Erickson reacting to the Drudge story. He says that Rice is a problem for the ticket for a number of reasons – at the top of his list, she is pro-abortion.

Romney himself has said he underwent an “evolution” that moved him from his position as pro-choice, blue state governor to a conservative, pro-life Republican presidential nominee in recent years. That’s a dubious claim to make, but let’s take it at face value. Does adding a pro-choice vice presidential nominee to the ticket mean that pro-life GOP voters are going to stay home? In an election against President Barack Obama, whose administration has made a virtue of opposing legislation that would block Planned Parenthood from performing sex-selective abortions? Or whose health care reform legislation forces religious employers to provide abortifacients to their employees in their health insurance coverage over their objections guaranteed by the First Amendment? Come on. Those voters that value pro-life issues über alles will gripe, briefly, before Rice grows wings and flies like an angel when compared to the legislative priorities of the Obama White House.

“She worked for George Bush for eight years,” Erickson continues. “In those eight years at National Security and then at State, our relations with Russia deteriorated though she was an expert in that field.”

Nonsense. Did Erickson suppose that Rice could have parachuted into the Kremlin and forced Russia’s leadership to abort what has been their historical predilection to balance against the preeminent power of the day all on her own? Russia has been a balancing power for the last 300 years. First they balanced against France as St. Petersburg sought to join the ranks of great European powers, and later they balanced against Great Britain than Germany and finally the United States. But for the historical aberration that immediately followed the collapse of the Soviet Union – where the Kremlin was forced to cooperate with the West out of financial necessity – Russia has had a consistent foreign policy of serving as a persistent thorn in the side of the regional/global hegemon.

Even today, Moscow is doing its best to protract the civil war in Syria – sending armaments to the Bashar al-Assad government and blocking any consensus on the international community’s course of action to halt the bloodletting. There is no better person to manage the U.S. response to the threat that Moscow is determined to pose in the 21st Century than the former Sovietologist, Dr. Rice.

Erickson is not alone in his objections to Rice from the right. AllahPundit at HotAir posted an extensive list of the political liabilities that a Rice nomination poses to the Romney ticket. One, she is pro-choice. Two, she is closely affiliated with the Bush administration. Three, her choice opens Romney up to liberal criticisms that she has been chosen for either her race or her gender to appeal to demography.

Having already dealt with the pro-choice issue, let’s tackle her links to the Bush administration. This may be her largest political liability. More Americans continue to blame Bush for the persistent economic crisis than Obama – though that is steadily changing. Rice is not, however, associated with Bush’s domestic but foreign policy. Furthermore, should Romney’s team really be that averse to reminding voters of the trajectory the nation was on during the “bad old days” of the Bush administration when the U.S. was adding, in 2004 and 2005, more than 350,000 jobs per month in certain cases. Is it a liability to remind voters how a a 2006 report that showed an average of just 160,000 jobs were being created per month inspired shrieks of horror from the left, but today’s recovery, which produces half that number, is characterized as a step in the “right direction?” That doesn’t seem like much of a liability to me.

As for her gender and race, and the inevitable cries from liberals that Rice was brought on board purely to attract a persuadable black and single female voter, that’s not something that could be avoided. But I say let them make that charge. It only highlights how the Democratic left cannot see beyond Dr. Rice’s race and gender to her stellar qualifications and extensive background in public service. Polls show that her favorability ratings rival those of Hillary Clinton’s, and she appeals uniquely to independent voters. She would appeal to a small slice of those voting blocs, although not enough to offset the President’s advantage in those groups. Nevertheless, in a close election that could certainly make a difference.

Rice is no politician – she is actually averse to game playing that characterizes national politics. For that reason alone, I think she will not be the VP choice. If there is any one qualification required to run for president that rises above all others, it is that the individual must have the unqualified desire to want the job. Rice does not want the gig. But it is for that reason that she would also make a great vice president and, for that matter, president. A policy wonk with a deep and abiding knowledge of how government functions at the highest levels, she is uniquely qualified to be the nation’s chief executive.

Of course, it must be said that Rice’s nomination is highly unlikely. The criticisms that the leak to Drudge that started the speculation around Rice is an attempt by the Romney campaign to change the subject from his tenure at Bain Capital. But it would be a welcome development if Rice was chosen to be Romney’s running mate. With a deep and exciting bench of Republican talent eligible for the job, Rice rises to the top. She would make a great choice.

> >Follow Noah Rothman (@Noah_C_Rothman) on Twitter

NY Post Columnist: Hillary Clinton Already Transitioning Into Vice Presidency

New York Post columnist and supporter of President Barack Obama in 2008, Michael Goodwin, told Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade on Monday that he believes Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is already in the process of transitioning from Cabinet Secretary to vice president.

RELATED: Hillary Clinton Spices Up Swearing-In Ceremony In Purple Cat-Eye Sunglasses

Goodwin said that last week was a conspicuously high-profile week for the Secretary and it is part of her “transition” to replacing Vice President Joe Biden on President Barack Obama’s ticket in November.

“The President is in trouble,” said Goodwin. “This is going to be a very tough election right now. Things are not getting better – they are actually getting worse.”

He says that Clinton is the most obviously way to buoy Obama’s reelection chances. Kilmeade backed up Goodwin’s assertion by showing a USA Today/Gallup poll from early May which put Clinton’s favorability rating at 66 percent to Biden’s 42 percent.

Kilmeade challenged Goodwin for not factoring in Clinton’s potential residual animosity towards Obama due to their contentious 2008 Democratic primary fight.

“I don’t think she wants to do it and I don’t believe he wants to have her,” said Goodwin. He said that if Obama asks Clinton cannot say no.

“If he asks her and she says no and he loses, she’s finished,” said Goodwin. “She will not get the nomination the next time. If she helps him and they lose together, at least she was a good soldier.”

Goodwin says that Clinton is a great asset among blue collar and women voters and could deliver those Rust Belt states where former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is currently running competitively with President Obama in head-to-head polls.

“She would really have to love her party,” said Kilmeade.

“I think she loves the ambition more than the party,” Goodwin replied.

Watch the segment below via Fox News Channel:

> >Follow Noah Rothman (@Noah_C_Rothman) on Twitter

State Department postpones Kindle press conference

On Friday the State Department announced that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos would hold a press conference to announce the Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative this Wednesday, June 20. Now the event has been postponed until an unspecified “later date.”

In the press release sent out on Friday afternoon, the program was described as a “public-private partnership with Amazon and the U.S. government” designed to create “a global e-reader program that introduces aspects of U.S. society and culture directly to young people, students, and international audiences in new ways and expands English language learning opportunities worldwide.”

I have asked the State Department why the event was postponed and will update this post when I hear back. Update: State Department spokesman Philippe Reines says the event had to be postponed due to Clinton’s schedule at the G-20 Mexico Summit and Rio+20 conference this week.

Here’s the full e-mail sent to press:

Please be informed that The Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative event scheduled for this Wednesday, June 20th has now been postponed until a later date.

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please do not hesitate to contact us at ProtocolRSVP@state.gov if you have any questions.

Earlier today, Marc Maurer, the president of the National Federation for the Blind, sent a letter to Hillary Clinton stating that because e-readers are not accessible to the blind, “any agreement by the United States to procure inaccessible Kindle, or other, e-readers is a violation of the law, including Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.” Infodocket has the full letter. It’s unclear whether the letter is the reason the event was postponed. In 2009, the NFB and other advocacy organizations for people who are blind sued public universities over pilot projects that would bring the Kindle to classrooms. Those cases, litigated by the United States Department of Justice, settled in early 2010.

Last week, State’s no-bid contract with Amazon became public. State spokesman Philippe Reines told me on Wednesday that the contract wasn’t official yet and that State was waiting for Amazon’s response to its proposal. Reines told me on Friday that “there’s no deal,” still just a pilot program. “Amazon has to respond. The two sides need to work out details. The event isn’t to announce a deal. It’s to talk about the initiative.”

According to the information we have so far, the State Department would spend $2.29 million in the first year of the program, including a purchase of 2,500 Kindles, and the maximum cost of the program over five years would be $16.5 million, including a maximum of 7,000 Kindles per year. As I reported last week, the potential program’s non-device costs are substantial but we don’t know yet which e-books will be preloaded on the Kindles.

See also

State Department speaks out on Amazon Kindle deal

Why is the U.S. State Department paying Amazon $16.5 million for Kindles?