Saturday, March 9, 2013 - Volume 4, Number 2

© Copyright 2013, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

Hillary Clinton in 2016: Recent Past Light Shed on Far Future

What the Benghazi Hearings Suggest About a Future Second Clinton Era


·         The Strange Apathy on a Most Consequential News Story

·         The Service to America Done by Senator Rand Paul

·         Obama’s Prospects Will Soon Turn

·         Cartoon “Sequester Tales ” by Nate Beeler

·         Asteroid 2012 DA14 Closest Pass in Non-Dramatized View



Clinton 2016 Redux

Benghazi Hearings Bring to Light Possible Dark Inclinations


Negative Criticism Evaporates


Mrs. Hillary Rodham Clinton’s supposedly strong prospects for returning to the White House in 2017, this time as president, got much play in the general media in her last days as Secretary of State in the Obama administration.  This was particularly so following her delivery of testimony before Congress on January 23, on the Benghazi attacks and killings of four American service personnel, including the ambassador to Libya (the first time an ambassador has been killed in the line of duty since 1979).


The congressional hearings attempted to get details on how it was that the U.S. consulate in Benghazi was almost defenseless despite earlier warnings of looming danger and requests for fortifications; and why the pre-election explanation offered by the Obama administration erroneously, but firmly (and coincidentally helpfully for the campaign) pointed to a spontaneous reaction to a U.S.-made video as the cause even though there was no certain evidence for it, while there was early evidence of a pre-meditated assault.  Initial reactions to Ms. Clinton’s evasive, but unapologetic answers seemed critical of her responses.  But soon, that initial negative view quickly came to evaporate in the face of strong support for her testimony expressed in various media outlets, pointing criticism instead to Republicans as being hostile and overly aggressive. 


Did She Just Say That?


Our assessment, having witnessed video of the testimony, is that most of the Republicans were actually largely timid, with the possible exception of two or three senators, and only one Republican senator actually pursued a strong and also cogent line of questioning (that would be Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin). Other senators with tough questions, like John McCain of Arizona, seemed directionless. Meanwhile, we found Secretary Clinton’s answers to be uninformative of what happened, and her demeanor to be dismissive and defiant, particularly when faced with Senator Johnson’s questions.  In fact, it was in responding to Senator Johnson’s persistent (in our view legitimate) queries that Mrs. Clinton indignantly (imperiously?) let loose her signature line of the hearings:


The fact is we had four dead Americans! Was it because of a protest? Or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided they'd go kill some Americans? What difference, at this point, does it make!?


The outburst displayed astonishing daring and contempt for the people the secretary was addressing (and even for the people that would be covering the story).  To paraphrase, ‘why does it matter why people are dead!?”  Our reaction was “Really, did she just say that!?”


Why, Under Any Other Name…


Imagine, if under any other circumstances, a serious security lapse occurred killing American servicemen including a major U.S. official, and then public official explanations were offered prior to an election that just happened to minimize the electoral fallout that might damage the incumbent, and these explanations later turn out to be false.  What would people say to any government official under George W. Bush if he had answered “what difference does it make why X or Y happened?  People are dead!”


Or, imagine in a case where we don’t know the facts yet, if someone asked a CEO of a major corporation how client funds had gone missing, and he replied under oath “the fact is the money is missing.  Was it because of a mistake?  Did some guys just throw it in the trash?  What difference, at this point, does it make?”


Likewise, consider in a case where we do know the facts, if BP officials replied to investigations of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig disaster that killed eleven people with “the fact is we had eleven dead oil workers. Was it because of an unforeseeable explosion?  Was it a rogue wave?  What difference, at this point, does it make?”


Notice one thing about these replies (our imagined samples as well as Mrs. Clinton’s actual words): what is purposely not mentioned at all in the replies is what actually caused the crisis at issue.  In Mrs. Clinton’s real case and real answer, she carefully did not say “Or, was it because there had been a pre-meditated terrorist attack for which we failed to properly anticipate? What difference, at this point, does it make?”  Putting it this way, it becomes obvious why she did not say that – it answers her own question.  But many observers, even those critical of the secretary, failed to note this clever omission. 


Mrs. Clinton offered two possible scenarios, one known to be false, one ridiculous, before asking why it mattered which one it was.  This was genius, and most certainly planned (no way she was that careful off-the-cuff) – and it worked far better than even we here would have predicted.


Why, Indeed, Does it Matter?


In any case, in our view, this exchange was merely the prominent capstone of a hulking edifice of mis-direction and obfuscation, and clear example of what this woman is capable of doing.


‘Why do we spend time on this now, and what does it have to do with 2016?’ you are likely asking. Or, in Mrs. Clinton’s words “what difference, at this point, does it make?”   We would answer, precisely because people died it makes a big difference what the truth is.  We should be  interested in what actually happened behind the scenes that made it so that no help ever came for the Americans at Benghazi, even after several hours of attack, and why the president did not stay actively engaged with his cabinet once he was informed of the attack.  And, we do think it is important for Americans to know if administration officials were knowingly told to lie to the American public in an effort to influence a presidential election.  Maybe it was an honest error, but we won’t know if we are simply told “what difference does it make?” And, we do have a right to know.


Beyond that, we think that Mrs. Clinton’s opaque answers at the hearing, her almost cavalier dismissal of the serious questions; and the way she held her head in her right hand as she appeared in a strangely relaxed thrall to words offered to her in praise, these offer a view into the personality of Secretary Hillary Clinton.


Continued column 2 >



Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review

Ultrapolis Project – ultrapolisproject.com



Editor: Marco Antonio Roberts

Copy Editor: Michael Alberts

Contributing Editors:

Mark Eastman

Mark Steele






< From column 1


Still No Fire in View,

But Isn’t That Smoke Familiar?


This view should not be new, but it seems so because people have long forgotten about the never-resolved Whitewater deal controversy, the mysterious deaths surrounding so many that have come across Mrs. Clinton’s path, the strange appearance of Whitewater documents at the White House that Mrs. Clinton said she did not have, the known connections to people who in turn had connections to organized crime (noted with concern by President Bill Clinton’s own FBI Director Louis Freeh), and on and on.  We know of at least one writer, writing for The New Republic, a liberal-leaning magazine, claiming he was knocked unconscious in his hotel room and had all his Whitewater notes stolen while he was investigating in Little Rock, Arkansas, the Clinton’s home turf.


Now, no one has ever proved that the Clintons had anything to do with any of the untimely deaths of several of their former associates, and these could be nothing more than just an unusual series of unfortunate events (unfortunate for some, anyway).  Some of the connections to dark personalities are real, but even here, most politicians inevitably come across people of ill-repute or even criminal ties in the course of fund-raising and political manoeuvring. No one item of suspicion raised in the last twenty years against Mrs. Clinton has proved anything.  But, over those last twenty years we have formed a view of Mrs. Clinton that seems to have remained consistent throughout, and appears to have been re-affirmed this January.


What Will “It Take” in 2016?


In UWFR’s assessment, Hillary Clinton very intensely wants to become president of the United States, and has for a very long time.  She has advocated, cajoled, charmed, lied, threatened, helped, blessed, and endured her way past every obstacle that has presented itself before her.  We think many of the Republican senators really did not want to take her on because they do fear her more than they do any other politician, including the current president himself.


Mrs. Clinton has been reported to be America’s most popular politician, a remarkable transformation for someone who not that long ago had high negative ratings.  We suspect this is mainly due to her image of strength, and the general dissatisfaction with the state of America’s affairs.  Historically, in times of growing unease and economic disarray, nations have been known to gravitate to a leader that appears particularly strong, willing to do ‘what it takes.’ (It may also be worth remembering that all too often ‘what it takes’ turns out be worse than what was before.)


2016 is too far for any hard predictions; too many unforeseeable events can change the direction of the country or individual careers. Nonetheless, we tentatively forecast that, barring illness or some new very damaging revelation (both very possible), Mrs. Clinton will run in 2016 – and will be desperately opposed by some within the Democratic Party.  If they do not stop her early on, they will not at all.  And if somehow she manages to win the presidency, we will find ourselves with our own connection to a dark personality, this one sitting in the Oval Office.


Latest Major News Story Stirs Little Interest

Americans Remain Unconcerned


A Strange and Stubborn Apathy


The most serious news story since our last issue back in January was not about the non-event of the sequester.  In terms of practical, on-the-ground, real, concrete consequences, the news story with the most ominous omen for the future, even more so than our remarks in this issue on the rise of second Clinton presidency (really, there are too many Bushes and Clintons in the country’s political space for our taste), was the report on the new massive hacking of America’s most secure computers within many of our prominent public and private institutions.  These reports are not new, but they have increased in frequency and scale.  Still, Americans remain strangely uninterested.


We have seen this same disinterest with the stories of China eclipsing the U.S. for the first time in certain categories, such as car manufacturing, and becoming the world’s largest purchaser of commodities.  We even saw this lack of care when newspapers had front page headline stories in 2009 of China stealing the plans for our most advanced jet fighters.  And, when the media dutifully reported experts’ concerns of Chinese factories, controlled by the Red Army, placing malicious code in computers and other computerized products destined for the U.S., Americans remained un-aroused.


Continued column 3 >


< From column 2


The Future Comes Anyway


In 1996, in our last print issue of The Scannapiecan Times (see portion of cover below) we predicted that China would become the world’s largest economy by 2025, with potential serious consequences to how we experience our daily lives.  At the time Japan was a distant number two, after the United States, and China had the 7th largest economy, just a bit larger than Canada’s.  Then, the U.S. economy was eleven times the size of the Chinese economy. In the ensuing seventeen years China has surpassed Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Japan, to become second largest economy in the world, behind only the U.S.  The U.S. economy is now less than twice as large as China’s.  There are now twelve years left before 2025.  Enjoy them.


Senator Rand Paul Does the Nation a Service

Filibuster Forces Needed Clarity on Core Principle of Liberty


To Kill or Not to Kill in U.S.


Last week libertarian Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky staged an old-fashioned filibuster, the first in Congress since 2010, to oppose what seemed a reluctance by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to make clear that the U.S. president does not have the authority to order the killing of any American citizen, even if he is declared an ‘enemy combatant’ by the president, on U.S. soil, without trial.  President Barack Obama has done this on foreign soil, with support that crosses the political spectrum.  But, in a letter to the senator dated March 4, Mr. Holder said that this could “theoretically” and under “extraordinary” circumstances be done on U.S. soil. 


Reading the letter, we believe Mr. Holder was truly sincere in indicating the unlikelihood of such a circumstance, and intended only to not needlessly and unduly tie the president’s hands.  However, the letter could have been better worded to make clear that no one not in the act of actual combat, regardless of presumed culpability, could be executed without a trial.  This is a basic principle of liberty, and it was remarkable how many conservatives defended this option on the grounds that no American president would ever misuse it.  What they completely missed is that the legal principles preserving personal liberty are aimed at constraining police power that may fall into the hands of corrupt individuals, and do not assume it will always be wielded by the noble and benign.


We disagree with much Senator Paul has to say, but on this occasion, we applaud the attention and clarity he brought to this principle.



Obama’s Prospects

Tables Will Turn


The ‘Chicken’ Game Paradigm


Our late 2012 predictions, for what President Obama’s post-election strategy - and the Republican reaction to it - would be, have borne out. He would talk compromise, but offer little, while Republicans would struggle to find a coherent and united response, and find their backs against a wall.  Now, things will change. 


Having successfully extracted tax hikes without promised cuts in January, the president continued to drive hard against the Republicans with his sequester strategy.  But now the Republicans are seemingly willing to take a hit in the polls to fight back.  In the short term, the president, especially when he is personally liked, always has the upper hand in these contests with opposition party legislators.  And, when playing ‘chicken’ it is much harder to keep several hundred legislators on course than when you are just one executive.  However, if the contest goes on too long, the dynamics turn on the executive. Regardless of how much more easily a president can initially place blame on opposition legislators for an impasse, eventually the public expects the president to fix things; and if he does not, it won’t matter who they think was initially at fault – the president’s prospects will fall.



Our forecast record cannot be beat.  One can follow the herd chasing the latest hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend on Facebook and Twitter, or one can be wisely and judiciously in front of it with UWFR. 


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 Front cover of The Scannapiecan Times, fall edition of 1996.


Sequester Tales



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© Copyright 2013, The Ultrapolis Project – All Rights Reserved.