Bill’s back..

But he’s not staying long.. apparently it’s a three day visit.. just time for a quick chat with Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and then to business – passing the hat round for donations to Hillary’s presidential campaign. As the RTÉ report points out, it’s the first fund-raising event for a US presidential candidate to be held in Ireland, and no wonder, as most reports point out only US citizens and green card holders are legally permitted to donate.. Be interesting to check the official donations list against the actual attendees.. Miriam Lord in the Irish Times picks up on that theme. [subs req]

Such has been the demand for tickets to the Hillary Clinton fund-raiser at a private house in Dublin 4 this evening, the organisers made a last-minute decision yesterday to erect a marquee in the back garden.

The big draw is former US president Bill Clinton, who will be rattling his collection tin at a cocktail party in the Raglan Road home of barrister Brian Farren and his solicitor wife, Linda O’Shea-Farren. Mr Farren is an American citizen, and will be one of the few people at the party eligible under US electoral law to contribute to Hillary’s campaign kitty.

But this is politics, the art of the possible, particularly where money is involved. Guests who can’t vote in America are not entitled to make campaign contributions, so Hillary’s Irish supporters will have to channel their admission fee of €1,600 through an American citizen. The law is strict in this regard and it’s not as easy to do as it sounds.

Continued

However, around 150 people are more than willing to shoulder the expense and inconvenience in return for a chance to meet Bill, and there are many more waiting in line in the hope of making the guest list.

Clinton’s grip ‘n’ grin appearance, organised by Irish-Americans for Hillary, is expected to raise in the region of a quarter of a million dollars. The fundraising group includes communications consultant Declan Kelly, hotelier John Fitzpatrick and publisher Niall O’Dowd.

Bill Clinton is flying in from London today, and hopes to get in some Christmas shopping during his three-day visit. His first port of call this evening is Government Buildings, where he will meet the Taoiseach for an hour before attending the fund-raiser.

He has no plans to play golf, but it’s unlikely he will leave Ireland without getting in a round or two. The former president’s preferred golf partner here is former Labour leader Dick Spring – the two men have scorched around the Ballybunion links on many occasions. However, when Bill rang Dick Spring to say he was coming to town, he was disappointed to hear the former tánaiste would be away on business in Vietnam.

After tonight’s fund-raiser, the former president will have dinner in a Dublin hotel with poet Seamus Heaney and his wife Marie.

New York-based lawyer Brian O’Dwyer, who flies in this morning for the Ballsbridge event, is very close to the Clintons and is being spoken of as a possible US ambassador to Ireland if Hillary gets into the White House. Democratic Party fund-raiser Stella O’Leary is coming in from Las Vegas for the evening. She is currently working on a book on Hillary Clinton, in association with Irish publisher, Norah Casey.

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  • jerryp

    Seems only right that Bill should seek advice from Bertie, the king of the ” digout “.

  • Dawkins

    Ugh. The Clintons are exporting their shabby politics to Ireland.

    There again…

    Fitting too that the hosts are a barrister and a solicitor.

  • joeCanuck

    You mean the lady barrister who lost so many briefs, she took up soliciting?

  • Greenflag

    Money makes the world go around the world go around etc etc etc .

    America is undergoing a paradigm shift in it’s politics . The country has had enough of ‘compassionate’ conservatism Bush/Cheney style . Might as well get ready for President Hilary . Irish American Catholics and Prods will vote overwhelmingly for the Methodist Clinton – Giuliani the Catholic Republican has now got the backing of the Evangelical ‘nutter’ Pat Robertson in a last attempt to shore up social conservatives .

    The Irish donors see a winner and are backing her early . Anyway why not? NI would not enjoy it’s relative peace had it not been for Senator Mitchell and his American entourage . Had it been left to Major and Co – McGuinness and Paisley would not be the ‘chuckie brothers’ they appear to be today .

  • Nevin
  • Dawkins

    Greenflag,

    You’re absolutely right, mate. Funny how I’d forgotten that important aspect of the peace talks.

    So, yes, grudgingly I salute Bill Clinton for the good job he did here. Senator Mitchell of course will be the hero history remembers.

  • Wilde Rover

    Greenflag

    “America is undergoing a paradigm shift in it’s politics”

    You were right up to this point.

    Ron Paul is the epicenter of that shift.

    And for those of you not familiar with the good doctor, it’s not Ru Paul. The only (known) candidate running for the Republican nomination with a track record of “going drag” is Rudy Giuliani.

    The way Senator Clinton’s campaign has been tacitly endorsed by President Bush indicates that this route is merely more of the same and it serves to bolster the grassroots campaign for the message Dr. Paul is delivering.

    Black, white, left, right, Americans of all kinds are waking up to Congressman Paul’s message of liberty, freedom and peace and mainstream media simply cannot cope.

    They are finding it difficult to label his supporters “domestic terrorists” because that would imply that large numbers of the troops fighting overseas are “domestic terrorists” by virtue of the fact he is the number one candidate of choice, Republican or Democrat, for the military men and women of the Republic of the United States of America.

    And even if he ends up food-poisoned, heart attacked, suicided, car accidented, plane crashed, assassinated, etc, the whole thing isn’t about Ron Paul the man, it’s about the ideas.

    And ideas are bullet proof.

  • Wilde Rover

    Nevin,

    The Faux News link was very amusing.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Black, white, left, right, Americans of all kinds are waking up to Congressman Paul’s message of liberty, freedom and peace and mainstream media simply cannot cope.

    Ron Paul is not a serious politician, he’s about stunts and soundbites, such as uncosted plans to abolish income tax (which he patronizingly describes as “getting rid of the IRS”), or trying to buy off workers in the service industry by suggesting that tips should not be taxed. Your description of him does not do justice to his views on Roe vs Wade, either. This bullshit about the gold standard takes the biscuit. Show me what serious legislation he has ever managed to get through ?

    Looking at the state of the USA right now, embroiled in an expensive war from which they cannot escape, investors abandoning the national currency, and teetering on the brink of a serious recession, I cannot see how anyone could conclude that the Republicans are fit to govern.

  • Nevin

    A poll with an intriguing title: Clinton would cream Giuliani

  • Wilde Rover

    “Ron Paul is not a serious politician, he’s about stunts and soundbites, such as uncosted plans to abolish income tax (which he patronizingly describes as “getting rid of the IRS”),”

    Ron Paul is a constitutionalist, Comrade, and Americans have no constitutional obligation to pay an income tax. He is merely pointing out the obvious. As for the stunts and soundbites barb, he is only candidate, with the exception of Mike Gravel and Dennis Kucinich, who isn’t about stunts and soundbites.

    “or trying to buy off workers in the service industry by suggesting that tips should not be taxed.”

    Again, the man is a strict constitutionalist. If you really knew anything about this constitutional republic you would not make remarks like these.

    “Your description of him does not do justice to his views on Roe vs Wade, either.”

    Yes, Ron Paul is anti-abortion personally, and given the fact that he has delivered over 4,000 babies has probably influenced him. His political position is that the states should decide, not the federal government. The fact that Democrats are registering as Republicans to vote for him despite the fact that they do not agree with his personal position on abortion is a more telling indicator.

    “his bullshit about the gold standard takes the biscuit.”

    A fiat money system can only lead to the hyperinflation seen in the Confederate States of America, Weimar Germany, and present day Zimbabwe. Printing money without having any backing is, as you say, bullshit.

    “Show me what serious legislation he has ever managed to get through ?”

    Considering the fact that he is surrounded in Washington by bought shills he has been unable to get good legislation through. The rise of Ron Paul Republicans running for Congress and the Senate may alter that situation.

    “Looking at the state of the USA right now, embroiled in an expensive war from which they cannot escape, investors abandoning the national currency, and teetering on the brink of a serious recession, I cannot see how anyone could conclude that the Republicans are fit to govern”

    If you knew anything about Ron Paul you would never allow yourself such a gaffe. Ron Paul is the only Republican candidate who is anti-war and if he does not get the nomination a pro-war candidate is sure to win. He is the only candidate offering a solution to the coming economic crisis.

    And the neo-cons who run the Republican party, who are nothing like Ron Paul, are not fit to govern. On that we can agree.

  • Nevin
  • Comrade Stalin

    Wilde Rover,

    If you really knew anything about this constitutional republic you would not make remarks like these.

    If you knew anything about Ron Paul you would never allow yourself such a gaffe.

    If stupid people like me are too thick to understand Paul’s argument, then what hope does he have of being elected ? If people are required to have a detailed understanding of the US constitution in order to properly interpret Paul’s policies, then how can people understand the justification for his point of view ?

    I’ll say this though, you definitely deserve an award for using both the Chewbacca defence and the Emperor’s New Clothes argument at the same time.

    A fiat money system can only lead to the hyperinflation seen in the Confederate States of America, Weimar Germany, and present day Zimbabwe. Printing money without having any backing is, as you say, bullshit.

    Don’t you think that the economic problems in those countries might have had something to do with the mitigating circumstances rather than whether or not their currency was backed by gold ? Do you really think that people will buy into such simplification ?

  • Wilde Rover

    Don’t be so hard on yourself Comrade. I was merely implying that you were taking a position based on a lack of knowledge, not your level of intelligence.

    The US Constitution isn’t rocket science.

    And as for “mitigating circumstances,” yes, borrowing $2 billion a day to pay for war and paying compound interest to a private bank laughingly called the “Federal Reserve” are involved, and Ron Paul also covers these issues.

    And as for my use of the “Chewbacca defence and the Emperor has no clothes argument” at the same time, well, you are implying above that Ron Paul’s message is too complicated and too simplified at the same time, and that must also merit an award.

  • Aaron McDaid

    Chill out you two,
    Money doesn’t need to be backed by gold – the US, eurozone, EU et cetera have done fine with fiat money. A currency is only as good as the confidence in the state supplying it, so once there is confidence there’s no point in actually getting the gold.

    The US constitution is interesting. I guess Paul is calling for the Federal Income Tax to be scrapped (it can be argued that it’s unconstitutional as the relevant constitutional amendment may not have been ratified correctly!) and for the individual states to set their own taxes and spending – is that what he’s talking about?

    So maybe you’re both wrong in different ways.

  • Wilde Rover

    “Money doesn’t need to be backed by gold – the US, eurozone, EU et cetera have done fine with fiat money.”

    The US dollar is doing fine? I imagine if you were to say that to any American tourists you would get a gruff response.

    “A currency is only as good as the confidence in the state supplying it, so once there is confidence there’s no point in actually getting the gold.”

    And that confidence in the dollar is rapidly evaporating. Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Dr Paul is the only one diagnosing the problem and calling for change, while the other candidates seem to think repeating past actions will yield dividends.

    Ron Paul has consistently voted against raiding Social Security funds, and he is the only candidate who is proposing policies that would ensure older people coming close to retirement have some sort of a chance of actually seeing any of the money they paid in.

    “I guess Paul is calling for the Federal Income Tax to be scrapped and for the individual states to set their own taxes and spending – is that what he’s talking about?”

    Ron Paul intends to get rid of federal income tax and replace it with nothing. His point is that the founding fathers of the USA never intended for people to work for six months of the year to pay for government.

  • Aaron McDaid

    I shouldn’t have said:
    “A currency is only as good as the confidence in the state supplying it”
    there are too many ambiguous words in it.

    Anyway, if the US want the dollar to rise again, they’ll just have to raise interest rates and take money out of the economy. These are just the same steps they would need to keep any confidence in any gold standard. Remember Britain was forced to devalue by 15% overnight (to $2.40) because their arbitrary target value ($2.80) was seen to be unsustainable.

    I was about to submit an even longer comment, but it’s hard to do all these issues justice in such a short space.