Tuesday Reads


Good Morning!!

I’m getting a slow start again today. We’re having another heat wave here, and its throwing my circadian rhythms off. It’s hard to get to sleep at night because it’s so hot, and then I wake up at around 5AM when it has cooled down some, then fall back into a deep sleep and wake up a few hours later feeling drugged. I’m just drinking my iced coffee now and trying to get myself going. The good news is that at this time of year it does cool down quite a bit at night.

Hillary Clinton is in the news this morning, and as usual, even when she does something positive like requesting the release of all of her State Department emails or hold a meeting with activists and then release the video, the media reports it in a negative light. Here’s the video:

Part 1

Part 2

I hope Hillary supporters will watch the videos and not just read the media reports; because she gives intelligent, sensible answers. I linked to a blog post by Oliver Willis a few days ago in which he suggests that the activists are focusing on getting Hillary to say she’s sorry for things her husband did in the 1990s instead of pushing for real changes in policies. He was right.

The Hill reports: Clinton tells Black Lives Matter activists: ‘You’re not going to change every heart.’

“All I’m saying is, your analysis is totally fair, it’s historically fair, it’s psychologically fair, it’s economically fair. But you’re going to have to come together as a movement and say, ‘Here’s what we want done about it,’ ” Clinton says to a few members of the movement in the video posted by GOOD Magazine.

“Because you can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it,” Clinton adds later. “Even for us sinners, find some common ground on agendas that can make a difference right here and now in people’s lives.”

Clinton met with the group of Boston-area Black Lives Matter activists last week after they were shut out of an event in the early voting state of New Hampshire that they planned to protest. A spokesman said they watched from an overflow room and met with Clinton afterward.

“I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate,” Clinton continues later in the exchange.

Activists who spoke with Clinton appeared on MSNBC last night to criticize her for “ducking responsibility” for policies of Bill Clinton’s administration that led to mass incarceration of black people.

Why is it that no one seems to understand that Bill and Hillary Clinton are two separate people with separate views of the world? Do they really believe that the wife of a president makes the laws of the land?

Still, Hillary did respond to the accusations. CNN:

Daunasia Yancey

The activists, led by Daunasia Yancey, founder of Black Lives Matter in Boston, pressed Clinton on her family’s role in promoting “white supremacist violence against communities of color.”

Clinton acknowledged during the conversation that laws put into place by her husband, former President Bill Clinton, did not work out as planned.

“I do think that there was a different set of concerns back in the ’80s and the early ’90s. And now I believe that we have to look at the world as it is today and try and figure out what will work now,” she said. “And that’s what I’m trying to figure out and that’s what I intend to do as president.”

But Clinton also told the protestors that she was “not sure” she agreed with the activists that her husband’s policies were racist.

“I do think that a lot of what was tried and how it was implemented has not produced the kinds of outcomes that any of us would want,” she said. “But I also believe that there are systemic issues of race and justice that go deeper than any particular law.”

But for some reason all the activists wanted was for Hillary to show contrition in some way. Was she supposed to break down sobbing? I’m not sure what they wanted. Read more about it at CNN.

New York Magazine has more:

Julius Jones is the man on the right.

Julius Jones is the man on the right.

The first video starts with [Julius] Jones spending three minutes going over America’s history of violence toward black people, ending with Clinton’s role in perpetuating mass incarceration. He concluded with a thoughtful question on what that means to Clinton personally — “Now, they may have been unintended consequences, but now that you understand the consequences, what in your heart has changed that’s going to change the direction of the country?” he asked — and a Clinton aide interrupted before she could answer.

Specifically, what was Hillary’s role in this? Do they believe she was actually running the country with Bill as just a figurehead? Continuing,

Clinton started off with a standard politician answer, recapping her lifelong advocacy for minority children, then offered some insight into how she wants to frame the issue on the campaign trail. “Once you say that this country has still not recovered from its original sin, which is true, the next question by people who are on the sidelines, which is the vast majority of Americans, is ‘So, what do you want me to do about it?'” she said. “I’m trying to put together in a way that I can explain it and I can sell it, because in politics if you can’t explain it and you can’t sell it, it stays on the shelf.” ….

Jones objected to Clinton suggesting that Black Lives Matter needs to have clearer policy goals to get the rest of the country onboard. “I say this as respectfully as I can: If you don’t tell black people what we need to do, then we won’t tell you all what you need to do,” Jones said, adding that “this is and has always been a white problem of violence” and there isn’t much black people can do to stop it.

Really? So candidates and activists should not communicate about changes in legislation and policy? As Oliver Willis noted, the activists don’t seem focused on policies for the future. I really hope this analysis is wrong, but it does sound like this movement may go the way of Occupy Wall Street if they don’t start telling candidates what policies they would support.

Hillary and Julius Jones

Hillary and Julius Jones

I know you’ve probably seen the headlines suggesting that Hillary is no longer the most likely candidate to get the Democratic nomination, so I won’t bother posting them. Here’s a response from Nate Silver, based on actual data: Hillary Clinton’s Inevitable Problems.

Clinton’s favorability rating has, in fact, fallen quite a lot, to an average of about 42 percent favorable and 48 percent unfavorable in recent polls.

Numbers like those, when combined with the “emailgate” scandal and Sen. Bernie Sanders’s position in the polls (he’s now running very close to Clinton in New Hampshire, although not in Iowa or nationally), have a lot of commentators saying Clinton’s campaign has had an unexpectedly rough start. “Hillary is probable, but no longer inevitable,” wrote David Horsey of the Los Angeles Times, assessing her chances to win the nomination.

Horsey is right to deal in probabilities rather than certainties. Personally, I give Clinton about an 85 percent chance of becoming the Democratic nominee. (The general election is a whole different story.) That’s a pinch higher than betting markets, which put her chances at 75 to 80 percent.

But those betting markets, unlike some pundits, haven’t changed their assessment of Clinton much. In the markets, her probability of winning the nomination is still close to its all-time high and has barely budged in the past few months, rarely falling much below 75 percent or rising much above 80 percent.

Emailgate? #feelthebern? Clinton’s declining favorables? The betting markets think everything that’s happened to Clinton so far in the campaign is pretty much par for the course. It’s not that these markets are clairvoyant; they presumably didn’t know there would be a scandal involving Clinton and her email server, for instance. But it was a pretty good bet that there would be some scandal involving Clinton. (It’s not as though there is an absence of them to pick from.) Likewise, while you might or might not have identified Sanders as the person to do it, it was a pretty good bet that somechallenger to Clinton would be situated about where Sanders is in the polls. So events like these were “priced in” to her stock. Let’s look at each of them in a bit more depth.

Please go read the rest at the FiveThirtyEight link above.

Valerie Tarico

Valerie Tarico

I’d like to call your attention to an essay by Valerie Tarico published at Raw Story: Republicans want 10-year-old girls to give birth to ‘rape’ babies — here’s what the Bible sas about that. Tarico is a former evangelical christian who is now a psychologist who writes about “the intersection between religious belief, psychology and politics, with a growing focus on women’s issues and contraceptive technologies that she thinks are upstream game changers for a broad range of challenges that humanity faces.”

In her lengthy essay, Tarico demonstrates that in the Bible women have no function except to bear children and serve men. They are not seen as autonomous human beings who should have choices about any aspect of their lives. We all know this, but reading the biblical examples she gives is still highly enlightening.

More interesting reads, links only:

The Intercept: Why Did the FBI Spy on James Baldwin?

Raw Story: ‘Women get equal pay’: Rick Perry doesn’t want a bunch of girly fair wage laws ‘jumbling up our code’

People: Donald Trump Reports for Duty (Jury Duty That Is!) After Five Summonses.

Business Insider: ‘Dilbert’ creator: There’s a ‘clown genius’ behind Donald Trump’s campaign — and it’s why he’s unstoppable.

Washington Post: State Department flags 305 more Clinton e-mails for review. (Go down several paragraphs and you’ll learn that none of the emails were classified at the time and Clinton is not being accused of any wrongdoing. The review of the emails is simply for the purpose of deciding what material should be released under the Freedom of Information Act.)

Reuters, via Raw Story: Scott Walker tries channelling Trump in attempt to kick-start sinking campaign.

Bankok Post: Bangkok blast: the Hindu shrine beloved by Buddhists.

USA Today: Police release footage of suspect in Bangkok bombing.

Matter: I Watched 14 Police Officers Take Down a One-Legged Homeless Black Man Outside Twitter HQ.

NPR: For The First Time, Women Will Graduate From Army’s Rigorous Ranger School.

What stories are you following today?


34 Comments on “Tuesday Reads”

  1. janicen says:

    Geez, I know I’m as biased a Hillary fan as they come, but I thought her answer was brilliant. I learned something.

    Real change happens when there is a specific goal or piece of legislation that represents the change people are asking for. The women’s movement was able to coalesce around women’s right to vote, women’s right to choose, women’s right to equal pay. The gay rights movement was able to coalesce around same sex marriage and ending discrimination in the workplace. The black lives matter movement needs a legislative starting point. It might be something as simple as requiring accurate reporting of police killing unarmed citizens or something else entirely, but a cornerstone of the movement is needed. Her saying some words that people in the movement want to hear is meaningless. The only real change that will make a difference in people’s lives has to be better defined than just changing what’s in people’s hearts.

    Hillary is a roll-your-sleeves-up, nuts and bolts, gitter done politician and that doesn’t come across as warm and fuzzy. Barack Obama would have given a vague, meaningless, lofty response to the same question and people would have swooned. It’s the difference that rubs people wrong about Clinton, she doesn’t make it sound pretty, but the end result will be real substantive change. Obama has given one lofty speech after another about gun control but hasn’t accomplished anything.

    • bostonboomer says:

      And the Civil Rights Movement fought for voter registration, integration of schools and other public places, the Voting Rights Act, and the Civil Rights Act. They went on to fight the Vietnam war, and support workers’ rights.

      What is it with these millenials? It seems as if they just want symbolic actions instead of concrete change. I couldn’t believe it when Julius Jones told Hillary not to tell them what to do and they wouldn’t tell her what to do–right after she asked them what they WANT her to do!

      • janicen says:

        She schooled him. You don’t have a movement which people can support and elected officials can act on unless you have some concrete things you want done. Otherwise, just like she said, ten years from now we’ll be having the same convo.

  2. Fannie says:

    I know what you mean, I have been sleeping hard, and sleeping later, and when I wake I feel the same effect, like I’ve been drugged.

    Thank you, for sharing these video’s and I am going to share them for others to see. You nailed when you pointed out they want her to say she’s sorry for what she did in 1990, when she wasn’t in office, and wasn’t making policy. That Oliver Willis article is spot on.

    Bill Clinton did say he was sorry for supporting laws that really hurt the black communities too.

  3. Fannie says:

    For sure. I’m pissed that Eugene Robinson wrote a letter saying Hillary should say she is sorr over emailgate, and that it was her own fault that this is happening, and people want the truth.

    I need to find the letter, think it was Washington Post. Who was Hillary’s boss when she served as SOS? Hillary didn’t make policy about the way the train was running, she followed as closely and accurately. Where is the email from the president reprimanding her? She volunteered to give the emails up so that people could see what she was doing while in office.

    You got Snot in Morning telling everybody, three words: FBI………..and she’s done. The other thing I see going on is the BS camp, has moved on from “coronation” of Hillary, to all the “baggage” she carries. And it’s like we need Hillary to get up and scream, and fight fire with fire, which is does, but the media is waterboarding her.

    • janicen says:

      Can we get a peek at Colin Powell’s emails from when he was SOS? Oh no we can’t because he destroyed them all.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        You men Colin, “I saw the evidence myself” Powell? The GWB administration, White House Staffers, including Bush’s brain, Karl Rove, used a private server that was owned and operated by the RNC. They sent millions of business emails through that system then destroyed them.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    I watched the BLM interview with Melissa Harris-Perry on TRMS last night. As much as I’ve supported their actions to this point I was totally disappointed that they want to hold Hillary responsible and accountable for legislation that happened while Bill was POTUS. I’m not sure the movement will survive without specific proposals and an actions agenda. I don’t expect BLM to treat Hillary any differently than they treat Bernie or anyone else, but I do expect them to treat her as Hillary, not as Bill. And she should not apologize for legislation that happened while she was First Lady. She was his wife, not his brain, not his VP, not a U.S. Senator. I suppose because she was a serious First Lady, more in the mold of Eleanor Roosevelt than Mamie Eisenhower, they see her as a force in the White House, but the truth is she wasn’t in regards to criminal justice legislation. BLM really needs to get this right, not for Hillary’s sake, but for their own credibility. IMHO, this will not affect Hillary negatively in the black community.

    As for the polls, I’m actually feeling a bit better about what I’m seeing because Hillary is now beginning to take it to the voters. Hillary needs to stay front and center. No retreat. And I believe the bogus email hysteria will begin to fade after the 1st debate. I don’t think there’s any THERE, there, despite the shriveled up, washed up old Bob Woodward trying to make something out of nothing. In case you haven’t read Woodward’s piece of shit hit piece. Don’t read this if you have BP issues.


    • List of X says:

      It’s not just BLM – i’ve seen right wing memes blaming Hillary for basically every White House hiring decision between 1992 and 2001. But at least I would expect to see this kind of misinformation in the right-wing memes (my favorite was that Hillary killed an American ambassador), not from our own side.

  5. List of X says:

    I agree that BLM needs to go from talking about goals (“stopping white violence”, “ending institutional racism” which sound as great in theory and as iffy in practice as world peace or Jeb!’s promise of sustained 4% GDP growth) to actual doable proposals.
    Some suggestions might be mandatory bodycams for all cops on duty (two or three for those cops whose cameras tend to “malfunction”), end of mandatory minimum sentencing, independent agency to investigate and prosecute police shootings, violence complaints and municipalities where law enforcement shows highest probability of racial bias, decriminalization of at least certain amounts of marijuana and possibly other drugs, ending prison sentences for those who don’t pay or pay late various civil tickets, returning prison system to public control, and so on. None of this will change any hearts, though, but at least it could change the actions and outcomes.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I agree X. They have to start offering proposals, that’s what Interest Groups do. The only difference for BLM is they don’t need lobbyists, they’re doing their own lobbying.

      • List of X says:

        Funny, apparently, BLM website does have concrete proposals (some similar to what I suggested), but these particular activists didn’t seem to know them.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    From #HillaryMen: Wolf Blitzer’s Outrageous Attack: Why Hillary Needs and Army of Digital Defenders.

    Wolf Blitzer…just spent an entire segment discussing with a Republican guest whether Hillary Clinton had committed a felony or a misdemeanor by using a private email server. This, without a single allegation of criminality or a scintilla of evidence supporting those claims.

    Blitzer follows in the footsteps of the New York Times and other major media outlets, whose pathological need to bring down the most popular and powerful woman in American politics has undermined any claim to real journalism in the 2016 race. Another egregious example is Bob Woodward on MSNBC’s Morning Joe comparing Hillary’s emails to Watergate.

    The irresponsibility and journalistic turpitude of speculating about criminal charges where none exist boggles the mind. Imagine pondering on the air what charges Jeb Bush would face if he shot someone. On what grounds and by which standards does Blitzer allow an unfettered discussion of a felony by Hillary Clinton? This is not reporting facts, it is hardly reporting at all, it is indoctrinating the public by innuendo. It is smearing Hillary’s image by planting negative thoughts in the minds of voters.

    • ANonOMouse says:

      I watched it, it was pathetic. For 2 days running Wolf has been on this email jag implying that Hillary is guilty of something. I didn’t realize that he hates Hillary so badly. Perhaps Hillary needs to do an interview with Wolf on CNN. That might settle him down a bit.

      • bostonboomer says:

        She was on CNN yesterday and walked off the set. I can’t remember who the interviewer was.

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Hillary was on CNN yesterday? I haven’t seen that story and I can’t find anything about it. Do you have a link?

    • Beata says:

      She made a decision to join the Roman Catholic Church’s Ecclesial Order of Virgins.

      • dakinikat says:

        How’s that different from nuns?

        • ANonOMouse says:

          Basically she belongs to no order that has living, working and financial requirements. She can stay at her current job, live in her own home, and do whatever she like with her income.
          Other than that she is for all other purposes a nun/sister.

          • dakinikat says:

            Sounds like an ideal set up for a woman in the closet.

          • ANonOMouse says:

            Yes it does. I think the only requirement is being a virgin and remaining a virgin. That along with I’m sure all of the outwardly religious trimmings that goes along with being married to the savior.

  7. ANonOMouse says:

    Hillary came out today AGAINST the Shell Arctic Drilling. This goes against the Obama admins position. I’m glad Hillary is addressing these issues and getting her position on the record before the debate.

    • NW Luna says:

      Yet another example of how Hillary is more liberal than Obama! The progbros must be clenching their teeth.

      And she interacts with BLM by discussing policies and concrete actions, rather than platitudes. What nerve. /s

      I am continually flabbergasted by people assuming Hillary = Bill, and thus Bill’s policy decisions. 2015, and wives still aren’t individuals (in some people’s minds). Not to mention that she will be an even better POTUS than her husband was.

  8. NW Luna says:

    The Tarico article reminds me of another example — during the European Middle Ages, a raped woman could recover her “honor” by being married to her rapist. Marriage by rape was a tactic employed by some rejected suitors or by men coveting an heiress’s property (which of course would become the man’s property upon marriage).

  9. Ron4Hills says:

    I thought Hills was dead on in her comments to BLM. I am glad that the Secret Service denied them the “Bernie Sanders photo-op”, and I am glad she refused to be pushed around.

    I am sympathetic to the BLM movement in general, but I am appalled that they should say to someone who has been on the front lines fighting for progressive change for decades, often against hostile media, “YOu don’t tell us what we need to do…” Who better to try to help you accomplish your goals?

    “Really?” “So you came here for a one way conversation?” Isn’t BLM telling the world what they think the world needs to do? “Whitey better listen to what I have to say, but whitey better not tell me sh*t!” I shake my head in despair sometimes. The arrogance of youth.
    Someone ought to tell them what to do. BLM is rapidly loosing its focus, energy and relevance. Many were offended at the Bernie Sanders protest, but I would not ask BLM, “How dare you steal Bernie’s microphone, I would ask them, “How dare you have nothing to say once you took it.”

    How much more powerful would these disruptions have been if the BLM activists had embraced Bernie and embraced Hills, and acknowledged, “We recognize that you are our friends. It is important that we all understand that the policies that have been used to hurt us, often come from well meaning friends. Giving in to “lock’em up and throw away the key impulses” doesn’t solve the problem and even causes new problems. We have to use our heads and think through all potential consequences. But we know that we have always been in this together, and we will continue forward TOGETHER.”

    We have cursed the darkness, let’s light a candle already.