Yo….it’s been a jungle of a day!
I have been in Atlanta for most of the day and this is the first time I have gotten online since early this morning. Other than a little excitement just up I75, during my time in the Northside Hospital waiting room at the Neurologist office…I have no clue what is going on in the world.
So…I will post one single thing that I find fits my mood perfectly. A cartoon by Randall Enos. Enjoy!
Yeah, open thread…right?
And I am too tired to do anything else. See you tomorrow.
I realize Chris Matthews is famous for coming out with bizarre remarks, but this one just might take the cake. On Wednesday night’s edition of Hardball, Matthews was interviewing Andrea Mitchell about Hillary Clinton’s political prospects. This was in the context of a discussion about Hillary’s speech at the Vital Voices Awards on Tuesday night. Vital Voices is an organization that Hillary co-founded with Madeline Albright in 1997.
Matthews’ blunders began when he welcomed Mitchell by saying, “You’re one of the great feminists of your time, but you don’t push it.”
Mitchell said that many women, including her 95-year-old mother want to see Hillary win the presidency–want to see a woman in the White House. Nevertheless she noted that Joe Biden was also on-stage with Hillary at the event and got a very good reception.
Mitchell said that Biden, in particular, has “street cred” with women because of his advocacy for women on many fronts, including the Violence Against Women Act. In his speech on Tuesday, Biden called it the “ultimate abuse of power” for a man to strike a woman or a child.
At this point Matthew went completely off the rails. He actually asked Mitchell if “wife beating” is “something women really worry about.”
Here’s the transcript of the interaction from Real Clear Politics.
CHRIS MATTHEWS: Is that close to the bone, the idea of wife beating some old — or beaters?
ANDREA MITCHELL: That was part of it.
MATTHEWS: Yeah, but is that something that women really worry about –
MATTHEWS: — men being brutal?
MITCHELL: The Violence Against Women Act –
MATTHEWS: At home? In the home?
MITCHELL: Yes, domestic violence.
You have to listen to Matthews’ tone of voice to understand how outrageous this was. He sounded incredulous. Unfortunately I couldn’t embed the video, but you can watch it at RCP. How Andrea Mitchell remained calm through all this, I can’t imagine. I really have to hand it to her. I think I would have been tempted to start screaming and keep screaming until NBC security dragged me off the set.
I hope someone sits Matthews down and forces him to read some of the statistics on violence against women–most of which takes place within families or romantic relationships. Here is some basic stats from DomesticViolenceStatistics.org:
Every 9 seconds in the US a woman is assaulted or beaten.
Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than car accidents, muggings, and rapes combined.
Studies suggest that up to 10 million children witness some form of domestic violence annually.
Nearly 1 in 5 teenage girls who have been in a relationship said a boyfriend threatened violence or self-harm if presented with a breakup.
Everyday in the US, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends.
Ninety-two percent of women surveyed listed reducing domestic violence and sexual assault as their top concern.
Men who as children witnessed their parents’ domestic violence were twice as likely to abuse their own wives than sons of nonviolent parents.
And here is some more in-depth information from the American Bar Association.
Is Chris Matthews getting senile? Either that or he is so completely ignorant that he should retire immediately or be fired.
According to Republican David Frum, it would be a huge mistake for Democrats to nominate Hillary Clinton for President in 2016, because 1) she’s the obvious choice and picking her would be doing what Republicans have done–nominating the next person in line; 2) she’s too old, 3) Her husband has made speeches in foreign countries and has “ethics problems,” and 4) she would prevent the party from reassessing and renewing itself.
Obviously, past performance is no guarantee of future results. Democrats chose the next guy in line in 2000 — Vice President Al Gore — and they may well do so again. But speaking from across the aisle, it’s just this one observer’s opinion that Democrats would be poorly served by following the Republican example when President Obama’s term ends.
Hillary Clinton is 14 years older than Barack Obama. A party has never nominated a leader that much older than his immediate predecessor. (The previous record-holder was James Buchanan, 13 years older than Franklin Pierce when the Democrats chose him in 1856. Runner-up: Dwight Eisenhower, 12 years older than his predecessor, Thomas Dewey.)
I have no idea why Frum thinks that’s a serious argument against a Clinton nomination.
Relying on Hillary Clinton’s annual financial disclosure reports, CNN reported last year that former President Bill Clinton had earned $89 million in speaking fees since leaving the White House in 2001. Many of these earnings came from foreign sources. In 2011 alone, the former president earned $6.1 million from 16 speeches in 11 foreign countries.
Is it an ethical problem for the husband of the person charged with the foreign affairs of the United States to earn so much foreign-sourced income? Let’s rephrase that question: How much time do Democrats wish to spend arguing the ethics of Bill Clinton’s foreign earnings over the 2016 political cycle?
Um…Bill Clinton is not in the running for the nomination.
The rest of Frum’s post is so ludicrous that you need to go read it for yourself to get a sense of how out of touch he is. Basically, he argues that nominating Hillary would “shut down” any discussion of where the Democratic party is going. Instead, it would be “a debt long owed, now collected. If successful, it would arrive in office without a platform and without much of a mandate.”
I wonder why Frum supposedly cares about what happens to the Democratic Party? His “advice” is useless, primarily because he doesn’t even begin to understand that nominating the first woman to lead a U.S. presidential ticket would electrify the world and a woman president would radically change U.S. politics.
That Frum completely misses any reference to women, girls, the tapping of an economic stream that could ricochet around the globe through the activism of more women rising to lead, none of this makes a dent.
Republicans never cease to amaze me when it comes to underestimating the importance of women’s leadership and what the Hillary Effect’s continued reverberation could mean to the world, especially if she became the first female Democratic nominee in American history.
If Hillary Clinton became president, the impact on women’s rights and the ability for women of every culture to take a step forward would rebound exponentially.
Nothing is a bigger nightmare for Republicans than Hillary Clinton as the 2016 Democratic nominee.
Furthermore, as Ed Kilgore points out: Hillary Clinton Is No Mitt Romney.
I’ve always thought the “next-in-line” explanation for Republican presidential politics was a considerable over-simplification, and actually wrong if it was used to suggest ideology matters less to conservatives than we’ve been led to believe. But even if you buy it entirely, comparing HRC to such next-in-line Republican pols as Poppy Bush in 1988, John McCain in 2008, and Mitt Romney in 2012 just doesn’t pass the smell test.
The three Republicans just mentioned never had overwhelming grassroots support in their own party and eventually prevailed over weak fields after relentlessly repositioning themselves to the Right. Both McCain and Romney, in particular, survived what can only be described as demolition derbies, and had to spend precious general-election resources pandering to the party “base.”
HRC’s immensely popular among grass-roots Democrats, not just because she is the last candidate not named Barack Obama who ran an effective presidential nomination contest, but because of the personal capital she’s built up over the years, her performance as a very popular Secretary of State, and the widely shared belief among progressives that it’s far past time for a woman to serve as president. Plus she is crushing every named Republican in early general-election trial heats.
Even if Frum means well, which I seriously doubt, I think we can confidently ignore anyone who can’t see America’s changing public attitudes and demographics. Just look at the polls showing support for marriage equality, immigration reform, and gun control. Women represent 51% of the population. Meanwhile Republicans are working overtime to limit women’s rights and individual freedoms. David Frum and his clueless party just don’t get it.
It’s amazing what people will do to children and it’s amazing what kind of people think assaulting children with belts is just okey dokey. This is one of those stories that’s actually hard to believe.
A Dollar General employee arrested in Wrightsville last week for hitting a child with a belt has now been charged with aggravated assault and cruelty to children. The charges were upgraded from simple battery because store video showed the woman hitting the 8 year old at least 25 times.
After initially saying they were looking into the details of the case before acting, Dollar General told 11Alive News Monday afternoon the employee, Emilia Graciela Bell, had been fired. “We are deeply shocked and saddened by the reported incident at our store in Wrightsville, Georgia,” read the statement, ”And have expressed our sincere apologies to the child’s family.”
Investigators have not yet released the video, but the boy’s family told WMAZ Macon over the weekend it was more severe than a spanking.
“It was more or less a beating than a spanking the way she was hitting him,” said Logan Ivey’s father Jody. “I don’t know how to explain it, and I don’t want to think about it.”
Eight-year-old Logan said it was very painful.
“I felt like I had five needles sticking in me; it really hurt, I was screaming ‘Momma,’” he said. “And I was crying real bad because she had actually hurt me…when she stopped whipping me my pants were actually a little bit warm.”
Wrightsville Police Chief Paul Sterling said Logan Ivey was running around in the store and got into a confrontation with 39-year-old store clerk. Bell told investigators the boy threw a cookie at her and that’s when she removed her belt, chased the boy down and spanked him behind the counter.
What’s even more interesting is that Eric Erickson seems to think it’s perfectly appropriate. Any one with children or small animals should keep them far away from the Red State Zombie Sadist.
Fox News contributor Erick Erickson wrote that a Dollar General employee deserves “a medal” for reportedly responding to an eight-year-old child who threw a cookie at her by hitting the child with her belt dozens of times.
A 16 page memo has been obtained by NBC and outlines the Justice Department case for drone attacks.
A confidential Justice Department memo concludes that the U.S. government can order the killing of American citizens if they are believed to be “senior operational leaders” of al-Qaida or “an associated force” — even if there is no intelligence indicating they are engaged in an active plot to attack the U.S.
The 16-page memo, a copy of which was obtained by NBC News, provides new details about the legal reasoning behind one of the Obama administration’s most secretive and controversial polices: its dramatically increased use of drone strikes against al-Qaida suspects, including those aimed at American citizens, such as the September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed alleged al-Qaida operatives Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan. Both were U.S. citizens who had never been indicted by the U.S. government nor charged with any crimes.
The secrecy surrounding such strikes is fast emerging as a central issue in this week’s hearing of White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan, a key architect of the drone campaign, to be CIA director. Brennan was the first administration official to publicly acknowledge drone strikes in a speech last year, calling them “consistent with the inherent right of self-defense.” In a separate talk at the Northwestern University Law School in March, Attorney General Eric Holder specifically endorsed the constitutionality of targeted killings of Americans, saying they could be justified if government officials determine the target poses “an imminent threat of violent attack.”
But the confidential Justice Department “white paper” introduces a more expansive definition of self-defense or imminent attack than described by Brennan or Holder in their public speeches. It refers, for example, to what it calls a “broader concept of imminence” than actual intelligence about any ongoing plot against the U.S. homeland.
You can watch Micheal Isikoff speak with Rachel Maddow on the white paper at the link above.
I’ve written a lot about some of the Nordic Countries–like Finland and Norway–that show strong economies while still maintaining strong social nets and a commitment to income equality. The Economist this week has a special on the countries and shows how they’ve carved a middle path between markets and government.
Denmark has one of the most liberal labour markets in Europe. It also allows parents to send children to private schools at public expense and make up the difference in cost with their own money. Finland is harnessing the skills of venture capitalists and angel investors to promote innovation and entrepreneurship. Oil-rich Norway is a partial exception to this pattern, but even there the government is preparing for its post-oil future. This is not to say that the Nordics are shredding their old model. They continue to pride themselves on the generosity of their welfare states. About 30% of their labour force works in the public sector, twice the average in the Organisation for Economic Development and Co-operation, a rich-country think-tank. They continue to believe in combining open economies with public investment in human capital.
You can read more about these countries and their initiatives throughout the magazines pages.
Hillary Clinton may not be our SOS but she is still thinking about how to better the lives of people in the US and around the world. Here’s one of her initiatives that partners Silicon Valley with the developing world.
One of those new initiatives, the Alliance for an Affordable Internet, barely got a mention in Clinton’s speech. But it merits attention. If successful, the project—a public-private partnership among the State Department, the World Wide Web Foundation, and tech companies such as Cisco Systems (CSCO), Google (GOOG), Microsoft (MSFT), Yahoo (YHOO) and Intel (INTC)—could end up helping many people in poor countries get onto the Web. It could also cement long-term ties between the State Department and the companies—while opening new markets and reaching new customers for Silicon Valley. “We’re going to help the next billion people come online,” said Clinton, quickly announcing the project before going on to talk about clean cook stoves for women in the developing world.
Only a quarter of people in developing countries are online, compared to three-quarters of those in developed nations. If the U.S. is to play a role in changing that equation, credit will go in part to a State Department employee named Ann Mei Chang.
Chang, a 25-year veteran of Silicon Valley—most recently she was a senior engineering director at Google—joined the State Department in November 2011 to be an adviser on technology and women’s issues. Now she lives in Nairobi, Kenya, a city recently billed by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt as Africa’s soon-to-be Silicon Valley. Chang has been spending her time studying Kenya’s technological success and teaming up diplomats with U.S. tech companies to figure out how other countries can follow its example.
Chang says that in most developing countries, an entry-level Internet connection costs the equivalent of the average person’s monthly income. One reason is high taxes. In many places, computers, mobile phones, modems, and other software are taxed as luxury goods. “It’s one of the few things they can tax,” says Chang. The effect is that fewer people can afford to log on. “That’s short-sighted,” she says.
Here’s some interesting political speculation on Janet Napolitano. Would she run if Hillary chooses to stay retired?
So, what happens if Hillary Clinton doesn’t run in 2016?
It is hard to imagine the presidential field without a woman contender, and here’s one to keep your eye on: Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano is quietly making it known that she is considering the race, and there is reason to take her seriously.
Before coming to Washington, Napolitano was a highly regarded and very popular governor in Arizona, a state not known as a hospitable one for Democrats. In 2005, Time Magazine named her one of the nation’s five best governors, noting: “Positioning herself as a no-nonsense, pro-business centrist, she has worked outside party lines since coming to office in January 2003 to re-energize a state that, under her predecessors, was marked by recession and scandal.”
While in Arizona, she was criticized for not being aggressive enough in dealing with the influx of illegal immigrants. But her more recent job gives her an opportunity to change that image. This week, for instance, finds her on a high-profile tour of the southwest border, where she will highlight the stepped-up resources that the Obama administration has been devoting to reducing the flow of illegal entrants to this country.
Still, running for the White House from the cabinet is not an easy thing to do. Not since then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover did it in 1928 has anyone successfully made the leap from the president’s cabinet to the Oval Office.
So, there’s a few things to get us started off today. What’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson has really raised his media profile in the past couple of day. Yesterday he was humiliated by Hillary Clinton during the Senate Benghazi hearings and today it was John Kerry’s turn to make a fool out of Johnson during Kerry’s confirmation hearings for Secretary of State. Sadly, Johnson doesn’t understand that he’s getting all this attention because he’s a complete loon.
Why is this man so obsessed with whether or not there was a spontaneous protest in Benghazi on the day of the attacks on the American consulate there? He can’t even explain why it matters except to say that the American people deserve “the truth.” For Pete’s sake, we didn’t get any kind of investigation of 9/11/2001 for a couple of years after the attacks!
Hasn’t Johnson noticed that even John McCain and Lindsey Graham stopped harping on the protest vs. terrorist attack “issue” after it came out that Susan Rice’s talking points were prepared by the intelligence community and that former CIA Director David Petraeus signed off on them? Unfortunately, Johnson is just too stupid and too full of himself to realize everyone else has moved on.
Wisconsin blogger Ed Garvey got a kick out of the way Hillary handled Johnson yesterday:
Had the Hillary Clinton-Ron Johnson episode been a prize fight they would have called it after a couple of exchanges between the bright, articulate and gutsy secretary of state and Ron Johnson, the inarticulate, not-so-gutsy Wisconsin senator. I almost felt sorry for the guy. He reminded me of a kid who can’t swim being pushed into into the deep end of the pool.
You have to see it to believe it. Advice to Senator Johnson: Spend some prep time before taking on someone much smarter than you. And, dear Ron, your effort to win the debate after it was over placed you in the rube category.
This morning CNN’s Soledad O’Brien tried to get Johnson to explain why after being smacked down by Clinton in the Senate, he ran to right wing media outlets and accused the outgoing Secretary of State of faking emotion over the deaths of four State Department employees in order to evade his (Johnson’s) questions.
Johnson used his amazing stupidity to evade O’Brien’s questions.
During Kerry’s confirmation hearing, Johnson tried to get Kerry to agree to work with him to get “the truth” about the Benghazi attacks.
Sen. Ron Johnson started his tea party what really happened at Benghazi shitick today, but like Hillary Clinton yesterday, John Kerry was having none of it. Kerry responded to Johnson’s repeat performance of what really happened at Benghazi by asking, “Were you at the briefing at the tapes?” Johnson answered, “No.” Kerry continued, “Well, there was a briefing with tapes, which we all saw, those of us who went to it, which made it crystal clear. We sat for several hours with our intel folks, who described to us precisely what we were seeing. We saw the events unfold. We had a very complete and detailed description.”
Senator Stupid still doesn’t get it, but surely some of his constituents in Wisconsin must be kicking themselves for electing this moron. Back to Politicus:
Johnson and the other tea partiers in Congress are obsessed with Benghazi because they are trying to create a political opportunity to exploit. For them, these hearings aren’t about finding out what really happened in order to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Sen. Johnson and others of his ilk are trying to use the murder of four Americans for political gain.
Sen. Johnson is embarrassing himself and his state, and the only fact that has been uncovered by his line of questioning is that Ron Johnson doesn’t belong in the United States Senate.
I can’t wait to see if Johnson goes running to Politico to brag about how he handled John Kerry.
Please used this as an open thread.