Why Carly Fiorina wants you to ditch your flip phone

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A curtain almost crashed on Carly Fiorina this weekend.

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina defended the intelligence-gathering tactics used by government agencies following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina has endorsed waterboarding, the controversial interrogation method that has been called torture, as an important tactic that was used only “when there was no other way to get information that was necessary”.

The New York Times has published an article titled “Carly Fiorina Both Repels and Enthralls Liberal Feminists,” but instead of opening directly on Fiorina, writer Amy Chozick kicked things off with an unexpected cameo—from Jennifer Weiner: When the novelist Jennifer Weiner watched the second Republican presidential debate with her two daughters on Sept. 16, she felt a sense of pride at seeing the lone woman on stage, Carly Fiorina, hold her own against Donald J. In an interview with Yahoo News, Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who surged in recent polls of Republican primary voters, said: “I believe that all of the evidence is very clear – that waterboarding was used in a very small handful of cases [and] was supervised by medical personnel in every one of those cases.” The 2014 Senate report that called waterboarding – in which water is poured over a cloth on a prisoner’s face in order to simulate the feeling of drowning – tantamount to torture and said it produced little useful intelligence. Rick Perry, who argued that it would be “inhumane” to not torture detainees if “we know for a fact that there are individuals that are going to kill maybe millions of Americans,” folded up operations earlier his month. The curtain began swaying and then crashed down around Fiorina, who finds herself a top GOP contender for the presidential nomination according to recent polls after strong debate showings. Off sides for telling lies!” and “women are watching, and we vote!” (RELATED: Fiorina Blasts Editorial About He Planned Parenthood Claims [VIDEO]) At one point, some in the crowd began hurling unopened condoms at Fiorina.

A Senate report released last year compared waterboarding to “near drownings.” As Yahoo reported, Fiorina has been setting herself apart from the vast field of other Republican presidential contenders when it comes to foreign policy — especially after the CNN GOP debate earlier this month. Fiorina called the report “disingenuous” and “a shame” that “undermined the morale of a whole lot of people who dedicated their lives to keeping the country safe”. But the void left by Perry’s exit has been more than filled by Carly Fiorina, who is surging in the polls thanks to her proprietary “lie about everything all the time” campaign strategy, and who firmly believes in the wisdom and efficacy of torturing terrorism detainees.

Fiorina also detailed how, as head of Hewlett-Packard, she provided the National Security Agency with a significant number of computer servers in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Fact-checkers might find some flaws in those claims, perhaps noting that there is no record of me ever being awarded a Pulitzer Prize, or rudely pointing out that I’m a 44-year-old white man named Rex Huppke working at a newspaper in Chicago, while Frank Gore is a 32-year-old black man named Frank Gore working as a running back for the Indianapolis Colts. She handled the scare with grace and returned to making her comments to the crowd of business owners almost immediately after the incident, according to reports. Talking to reporters at the event, Fiorina joked that Planned Parenthood supporters “can’t deny what’s going on, so they shout slogans instead… I think they’re scared that the people of America are starting to look at what’s really going on in a Planned Parenthood clinic.”

Patrick Svitek, a Texas Tribune reporter, said that someone shouted “Trump!” after the curtain fell. “Trump, Hillary — it could’ve been lots of people,” said Fiorina, jokingly, he reported. She added that, while she supports the checks and balances system of the NSA that ended the bulk collection of phone records, she said she was “not aware of circumstances” when the agency “went too far.” Weiner, who in addition to being a best-selling author is an influential feminist with a large social-media following. “You’re on the bus with her until she starts talking about Planned Parenthood.” This minor appearance—somewhat akin to Chris Rock showing up briefly as a fearsome drug lord on Empire—raises a few questions, namely: Why Jennifer Weiner? In spite of the national media’s refusal to cover the videos, Fiorina forced the issue onto the national agenda with a powerful, moving indictment of Planned Parenthood in the CNN debate. The CIA insists that it only waterboarded three detainees, but Senate investigators found photographs of “a waterboard with buckets of water around it at a detention site where the CIA has claimed it never subjected a detainee to the waterboard” – something the CIA was unable to explain.

She has publicly called on Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to defund Planned Parenthood and force President Obama to shut down the government if he refuses to go along. Weiner is a well-known writer of commercial fiction and, yes, a feminist gadfly, but she is a pretty jarring namedrop for the opening of an NYT politics story. She has called both of them out publicly and repeatedly for a) not delivering on the promises they and GOP candidates made to voters in the 2014 election, b) betraying grassroots conservatives and Republicans by continuously caving to President Obama; and she has c) told them if they continue to do so they should step aside. After strong performances in the first two Republican debates, Fiorina is now in third place in national polls of GOP primary voters and questions are being raised about her business experience after she was ousted from Hewlett-Packard in 2005.

The larger problem with Fiorina focusing on waterboarding is that it excludes all the other horrific techniques – some authorized, some not – employed against terrorism detainees: chaining them in stress positions, holding guns to their heads and threatening them with power drills, and “rectal feeding.” At least one detainee died in custody after being chained to the floor in a frigid room overnight. By its own count, the CIA interrogation program wrongly detained over two dozen people, and the program’s recordkeeping was so slipshod that the precise number of people detained and interrogated isn’t known. She has consistently said securing our borders comes first before anything else with regard to immigration; she wants to do away with runaway spending and start with zero-based budgeting so every aspect of the federal government would have to justify its funding – no more automatic increases.

In the most recent presidential debate, Fiorina endorsed a major build-up of the United States’ armed forces and a far more confrontational approach with Russia and Iran. Chris Wallace of Fox News later asked Fiorina: “First of all, do you acknowledge what every fact-checker has found, that as horrific as that scene is, it was only described on the video by someone who claimed to have seen it?

And now the Gray Lady, invoking her opinions on Fiorina, has essentially bought into her self-framing as a feminist everywoman while still withholding critical attention from her books. This is the program that Carly Fiorina is defending – a brutal, mismanaged, chaotic system of interrogation that violated American principles and, according to critics and official investigations, didn’t produce anything of value that couldn’t have been obtained through other means.

She has an A rating from the NRA, emphatically supports the Second Amendment and she believes in pro-growth policies: reducing the tax code to just three pages, lowering rates and closing loopholes. She continues to advocate for choice and competition in education and has passionately railed against cronyism telling the Road to Majority Conference earlier this year: “It’s not big business that is hurting. It was later used on at least two other CIA detainees during the Bush administration, including Khalid Shiekh Mohammad, a top lieutenant of Osama bin Laden, who was waterboarded 183 times, according to a 2005 Justice Department memo. Weiner’s career as a public advocate for “middlebrow,” woman-oriented writing—not to mention her critiques of Big Male Authors like Jonathan Franzen and “Unsisterly” Success Stories like Claire Messud and Adelle Waldman—has led her from controversy to controversy.

For those of you keeping score at home, the 2016 Republican candidates who have either defended torture and/or won’t rule out its future use include: Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina. It’s called crony capitalism.” It was nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas who was almost prophetic when he wrote about Carly back in April: “But watch her in the coming debates and see if you don’t notice a little Margaret Thatcher in her. The 2014 report by the Senate Intelligence Committee condemned the CIA’s use of waterboarding and found that the tactic was not an effective interrogation method. It seems highly likely that the Republican nominee for president will at least be open to the idea of torturing people in the name of national security. Fiorina is tough and smart.” What also has been most unfortunate is the complete mischaracterization of Carly’s work at Hewlett-Packard where she was the first woman CEO of a Fortune 50 company.

So Chozick could be trying to highlight the ways in which Fiorina strays from the populist aspirations of the Republican Party by juxtaposing her with the “lil ol’ me” bestseller. On Sunday, NBC’s Chuck Todd asked Fiorina: “Are you willing now to concede that you exaggerated that scene?” To be clear, it absolutely does not exist. Maybe the Times would like to appoint Weiner spokeswoman for the brand of softly-lit, weak-kneed femininity that may be beneath their book critics but is still sociologically relevant to this political moment.

Maybe they are suggesting that what makes Fiorina formidable—different—is the kind of invulnerable rigor that the Weiners of the world find both entrancing and alienating. Whereas Fiorina has held firm to one pronounced whopper, Clinton has utilized micro-lying to counter the slow drip of facts regarding her use of a personal email account and a private server during her time as secretary of state. Five years after the merger Craig Barrett, the former chairman of the board of Intel, wrote: “The merger of HP and Compaq was an unqualified success. It helped transform HP into the largest computer manufacturer in the world and provided a strong foundation for HP’s current success under its very capable management team.” Carly’s critics are wrong, as Holman Jenkins noted in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago: “Look at HP’s stock chart under Ms.

Perhaps her function in an article about the ambivalence Fiorina churns up in feminist hearts is simply intended to show the reach and depth of this confusion: If Jennifer Weiner, who has made “us vs. them” the ethos of her whole public image, can’t decide whether or not she’s “on the bus” with someone, the rest of us probably won’t be able to either. Fiorina, who had the misfortune to arrive eight months before the tech bubble burst: It’s indistinguishable from Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Cisco, etc. By the idiotic standard her critics apply, John Chambers is the worst CEO in history, since in 15 years he never made back the wealth Cisco lost in the crash.” What’s perhaps the most intriguing about Carly is her take-no-prisoners attitude towards likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Clinton has repeatedly said her decision to turn over her work-related email last year was “a response to a routine-sounding records request” sent to her and other secretaries of state. A world where fact-checkers are replaced by lie-checkers who scrutinize statements to be sure they are sufficiently dishonest and not grounded in any verifiable information.

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