I’m having one of those mornings when I feel completely unsettled and discombobulated about current events. All my life I’ve felt like an “outsider,” because I didn’t see the world in the same ways so many other people did.
As I have gotten older, I’ve realized that I’m far from unique; I know many people have this feeling. But when national and world events get as crazy as they are now, that feeling comes back to me. Why are so many people seemingly brainwashed by cultural memes?
We constantly hear and read that Hillary Clinton is a horrible, terribly flawed person who is constantly “struggling” to overcome her opponents because of her awful “speaking style,” her “inauthentic” personality, her “secrecy”–and that’s just from people who are not over-the-top Clinton haters.
From the Bernie bros and the GOP, we hear that she is practically the Devil incarnate–“cozy” with Wall Street and Walmart, a “criminal,” an “enabler,” and on and on. And yet, Hillary has millions more popular votes in the primaries than either Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump.
Why is it that millions of people have no difficulty seeing Hillary’s “humanity,” her kindness, her love for children, her intelligence, her competence, her basic decency when so many in the media can’t? It seems that once people are part of the media in-crowd, they feel they must adopt certain Clinton stereotypes. Why is it that even wholehearted Clinton supporters like Joan Walsh feel compelled to write in every article that she is a “flawed candidate?” What candidate does not have flaws?
What got me started on this train of thought–for the umpteenth time–is a long piece by Rebecca Traister in New York Magazine: Hillary Clinton vs.Herself. There’s nothing simple about this candidacy—or candidate. I’ll be honest: I couldn’t even finish reading the article. This whole approach to Hillary–that somehow she is her own worst enemy–has just gotten so tired. I can’t take it anymore. Here’s Traister describing the “problem” with Hillary:
All the epic allusions contribute to the difficulty Clinton has long had in coming across as, simply, a human being. She is uneasy with the press and ungainly on the stump. Catching a glimpse of the “real” her often entails spying something out of the corner of your eye, in a moment when she’s not trying to be, or to sell, “Hillary Clinton.” And in the midst of a presidential campaign, those moments are rare. You could see her, briefly,letting out a bawdy laugh in response to a silly question in the 11th hour of the Benghazi hearings, and there she was, revealed as regular in her damned emails, where she made drinking plans with retiring Maryland senator and deranged emailer Barbara Mikulski. Her inner circle claims to see her — to really see her, and really like her — every day. They say she is so different one-on-one, funny and warm and devastatingly smart. It’s hard for people who know her to comprehend why the rest of America can’t see what they do.
“The rest of America?” Isn’t this really a media problem? About 12 million people have voted for Hillary in the Democratic primaries. Around 18 million voted for her in the 2008 primaries. She was elected twice to the Senate from New York. She is well known and admired around the world. Personally, I have no problem seeing Hillary as likable, even when she gives speeches. She has a beautiful smile and to me her personality comes through in debates, interviews, and speeches. But reporters and writers insist on denying my view of reality.
Far from feeling like I was with an awkward campaigner, I watched her do the work of retail politics — the handshaking and small-talking and remembering of names and details of local sites and issues — like an Olympic athlete. Far from seeing a remote or robotic figure, I observed a woman who had direct, thoughtful, often moving exchanges: with the Wheelers, with home health-care workers and union representatives and young parents. I caught her eyes flash with brief irritation at an MSNBC chyron reading “Bernie Sanders can win” and with maternal annoyance as she chided press aide Nick Merrill for not throwing out his empty water bottle. I saw her break into spontaneous dance with a 2-year-old who had been named after her, Big Hillary stamping her kitten heels and clapping her hands and making “Oooh-ooh-ooh” noises. I heard her proclaim, with unself-conscious joy, from the pulpits of two black churches in Philadelphia, that “this is the day that the Lord has made!” and watched the young campaign staff at her Brooklyn headquarters bounce up and down with the anticipation of getting to shake her hand.
Why these observations, the crowd reactions, and the fact that Hillary is winning do not convince Traister that the problem is somewhere else than with her, I cannot explain. And that’s why I couldn’t finish the article. Perhaps I’ll go back and read the rest later on.
A good antidote to the fixed media “narrative” about Hillary can be found at Cannonfire these days. Joseph Cannon has been on a mission to expose Bernie and his bros as well as the media memes about “the Clintons.” Today he exposes one of those wacky Bernie bros who have been writing for Huffington Post and Salon throughout the campaign: Meet Crazy Frank Huguenard, a CLASSIC BernieBro. Huguenard is in the news because he posted a piece at HuffPo that was deleted. In it he claimed that Hillary was about to be indicted.
“Huffpo has yet to respond to my request for an explanation,” Huguenard tweeted at this Breitbart News reporter Monday morning. “I’ve got my sources, they never asked.”
Huguenard later told Breitbart News, “I want to do another story but my HuffPo account has been temporarily disabled. Not sure what’s happening with them.”
I think I know why the thing was deleted: Huguenard is a liar. He falsely claimed that Hillary is being indicted because an official investigation revealed the Clinton Foundation to be a criminal enterprise.
Here is the actual wording:
James Comey and The FBI will present a recommendation to Loretta Lynch, Attorney General of the Department of Justice, that includes a cogent argument that the Clinton Foundation is an ongoing criminal enterprise engaged in money laundering and soliciting bribes in exchange for political, policy and legislative favors to individuals, corporations and even governments both foreign and domestic.
The truth: There is NO GODDAMNED INVESTIGATION OF THE CLINTON FOUNDATION and thus NO INDICTMENT.
Huguenard has no secret sources. If the DOJ were looking into the Clinton Foundation, would a little-known New Age whackadoodle find out before the New York Times or the AP or the Washington Post? If Huguenard has a source, why didn’t he name that source in his HuffPo piece? Why didn’t he offer a name to Breitbart?
Read the rest at Cannonfire, and while you’re there, check out some of Cannon’s other recent posts. He’s on a roll!
California Governor Jerry Brown has endorsed Hillary Clinton in an open letter to California Democratic primary voters. An excerpt:
On Tuesday, June 7, I have decided to cast my vote for Hillary Clinton because I believe this is the only path forward to win the presidency and stop the dangerous candidacy of Donald Trump….
Hillary Clinton has convincingly made the case that she knows how to get things done and has the tenacity and skill to advance the Democratic agenda. Voters have responded by giving her approximately 3 million more votes – and hundreds more delegates – than Sanders. If Clinton were to win only 10 percent of the remaining delegates – wildly improbable – she would still exceed the number needed for the nomination. In other words, Clinton’s lead is insurmountable and Democrats have shown – by millions of votes – that they want her as their nominee….
The stakes couldn’t be higher. Our country faces an existential threat from climate change and the spread of nuclear weapons. A new cold war is on the horizon. This is no time for Democrats to keep fighting each other. The general election has already begun. Hillary Clinton, with her long experience, especially as Secretary of State, has a firm grasp of the issues and will be prepared to lead our country on day one.
Now, a couple of Trump stories:
I love this headline at The Telegraph: Donald Trump is a ‘vulgar, demented, pig demon’ says Hillary Clinton’s ex adviser.
Alec Ross, who was senior aide to Clinton during her term as Secretary of State, was speaking at The Hay Festival in Wales about the industries of the future.
Ross, said that the most open countries would have the greatest success in the coming decades because the biggest emerging markets were big data and genomics. But he warned that America could become a more closed society if Donald Trump was elected president.
“We’re having this struggle very publicly in the United States right now where a vulgar, demented, pig demon named Donald Trump is trying to make the United States a more closed society.
“We’ll be saying, no more brown people, no more Muslims, let’s get women back in the kitchen. Let’s make America great again.
“What he’s talking about is taking emasculated men in their forties, fifties and sixties who are not living the life they hoped for in their teens and twenties and saying, ‘you know what? there are people to blame for this. And we’re going to build a wall and we’re going make America great again.
“At the core of that is the struggle between being an open society and a closed society. And so if you want to know where the trillions of dollars of wealth creation that are going to come with the commercialisation of genomics, and the creation of big data companies, and the AI machine learning companies and all of the industries of the future my overarching line here is it’s going to be the most open societies.
Please go read the rest. It’s great.
This is a right wing source, but it answers a question that has puzzled me: Byron York: Why Trump attacked Martinez.
Many observers were mystified when Donald Trump attacked New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez. But the story was really very simple: Martinez hit Trump, so Trump hit back. Especially now that Trump is the GOP’s presumptive nominee, he attempted to make an example of a Republican who won’t get with the program. It might work, or it might not, but from Trump’s perspective it’s the tactic he used to beat 15 rivals for the GOP nomination.
The Trump-Martinez bewilderment focused on four factors: Martinez is Hispanic, she’s a woman, she’s a Republican (head of the Republican Governors Association), and she’s popular. “I think it sent all the wrong signals,” said Newt Gingrich, who has generally been pro-Trump. “You particularly don’t want to see your candidate who needs to…get stronger with Latinos, and stronger with women, attack a Latina woman Republican governor.” ….
“[Martinez] continues to attack him publicly and privately,” one person in TrumpWorld told me recently. Trump has made a principle of hitting back harder than he is hit. And he has been so effective that many Republicans, elected and not, have decided the smart thing is to refrain from taking on Trump, even if they oppose him.
My guess is the fact that Martinez is a woman who dared to stand up to him had something to do with Trump’s angry response.
What else is happening? What stories are you following today?
Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s the day we set aside to honor those who died in service to our country. The day was originally known as Decoration Day. It was recognized in 1868 when a organization of Union veterans established the day as a day to decorate the graves of Union Soldiers. It is believed that former slaves were the first to actually have a Memorial Day type event in 1865 which inspired Northerners to do similar things.
This occurred in Charleston, SC to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp. They dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom. Together with teachers and missionaries, Black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony that year which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers.
The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 Black school children newly enrolled in Freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, Black ministers, and White northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to be placed on the burial field. Years later, the celebration would come to be called the “First Decoration Day” in the North.
I still find it intriguing that states like Mississippi don’t recognize the day as a holiday–other than Federal Agencies that follow Federal Holiday Schedules–since it’s considered a “Yankee” Holiday. There was a competing Confederate holiday but the two were eventually merged for all but neoconfederates like those in Mississippi. Our family used to use the day to picnic at family cemetery plots to do general all purpose gardening and clean up. I can remember mother’s personal fight to keep the peonies off the grave stones in Kansas City and various small towns in Kansas and Missouri.
A lot of people confuse Veteran’s Day with Memorial Day which in a way is a bit sad. Memorial Day is specifically a remembrance to those who died while in the military in either battle or in support of those in battle. They used to sell little red poppies to honor the World War 1 dead. We always got one in remembrance of my Dad’s Uncle Jack for whom he was named. Uncle Jack made it home but died within a few years from the effects of mustard gas. I’m not sure that we do much of anything like that any more but given we still lose many active service members to war and military excursions, we should remember their sacrifice uniquely. Veteran’s Day for those who lived through their service. Armed Forces Day for those serving now. Memorial Day for those who died while in service to our country.
Of course, what week could go by without another crazed mass shooting? Here’s the local headline from Houston: “TWO DEAD, 6 INJURED AFTER TERRIFYING MASS SHOOTING IN WEST HOUSTON.”
A man came into a west Houston auto detail shop and began shooting, killing a man known to be a customer and putting a neighborhood on lockdown Sunday before being killed by a SWAT officer, police said.
You can read the details but I’m beginning to think that we’ve got civilians in our country that are dying in battlefields too. Unfortunately, the battlefields are shopping centers, movie theatres, and all kinds of places in American Cities.
I hesitate to bring this story up because I find it super upsetting but I know we have folks here that love our furry relations as much as I do. A child fell into a zoo enclosure last week which resulted in the shooting of a rare lowland gorilla. There are a number of videos out that I don’t have the heart to watch. Grief is turning to outrage over the gorilla’s death. Here’s a story on that.
The killing of an endangered gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo to rescue a boy who fell into a dangerous enclosure unleashed an outpouring of grief on over the holiday weekend.
Within hours, that grief had turned to fury as critics questioned the zoo’s decision to kill the endangered 17-year-old gorilla, named Harambe, and called for the boy’s parents to be punished for not adequately supervising their child.
A Facebook page called “Justice for Harambe” received more than 41,000 “likes” within hours of its creation. The page’s description says it was created to “raise awareness of Harambe’s murder” and includes YouTube tributes and memes celebrating the western lowland gorilla and admonishing zoo officials.
“Shooting an endangered animal is worse than murder,” a commenter from Denmark named Per Serensen wrote on the page. “Soooo angry.”
Lt. Steve Saunders, a spokesman for the Cincinnati Police Department, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that they have no plans to charge the child’s parents.
That news didn’t stop tens of thousands from signing multiple online petitions calling for Cincinnati Child Protective Services to investigate the boy’s parents — who have not been identified — for negligence.
“I’m signing because a beautiful critically endangered animal was killed as a direct result of her failure to supervise her child,” one signee wrote. “I don’t blame the zoo staff for the decision they made, I’m sure they’re heartbroken.”
“If she’d watched her child he wouldn’t have been in the gorilla enclosure in the first place,” the commenter added.
A petition on Change.org asks for legislation to be passed that creates “legal consequences when an endangered animal is harmed or killed due to the negligence of visitors.” The petition has amassed more than 40,000 signatures.
Here’s another take on the situation including the videos. Witnesses say the boy wanted to go into the water inside the enclosure. They also indicated that entering the enclosure was not an easy task.
The incident drew widespread attention as dramatic video spread across the Internet showing Harambe dragging the boy like a rag doll through the water across the habitat.The boy climbed through a barrier and fell some 15 feet to a shallow moat in Harambe’s enclosure, Maynard said.Kimberley Ann Perkins O’Connor, who captured some of the incident on her phone, told CNN she overheard the boy joking to his mother about going into the water.Suddenly, a splash drew the crowd’s attention to the boy in the water. The crowd started screaming, drawing Harambe’s attention to the boy, O’Connor said.At first, it looked like Harambe was trying to help the boy, O’Connor said. He stood him up and pulled up his pants.As the crowd’s clamors grew, Harambe tossed the boy into a corner of the moat, O’Connor said, which is when she started filming. Harambe went over to the corner and shielded the boy with his body as the boy’s mother yelled “Mommy’s right here.”The crowd’s cries appeared to agitate Harambe anew, O’Connor said, and the video shows him grabbing the boy by the foot. He dragged him through the water and out of the moat atop the habitat, O’Connor said.By that point, “It was not a good scene,” she said. When the boy tried to back away the gorilla “aggressively” pulled him back into his body “and really wasn’t going to let him get away,” she said.O’Connor left before the shooting. When asked if the the barrier could be easily penetrated by a child, she said it would take some effort.
The Supreme Court is being asked to take up a bankruptcy dispute involving the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City and to decide whether to restore the health and pension benefits of more than 1,000 casino workers.
At issue is a conflict between labor laws that call for preserving collective bargaining agreements and bankruptcy laws that allow a judge to reorganize a business to keep it in operation.
“This is about how a bankruptcy was used to transfer value from working people to the super-rich,” said Richard G. McCracken, general counsel for Unite Here, the hotel and casino workers’ union that appealed to the high court.
Billionaire Carl Icahn stepped in to buy the casino – founded by Donald Trump – after it filed for bankruptcy in 2014.
As the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals said in January, Trump’s “plan of reorganization was contingent on the rejection of the collective bargaining agreement,” also known as the CBA, with the union. Icahn promised a “capital infusion of $100 million” to keep the casino in operation, but “only if the CBA and tax relief contingencies are achieved.”
With that understanding, the Philadelphia-based appeals court upheld a bankruptcy judge’s order that canceled the health insurance and pension contributions called for in the union’s contract. “It is preferable to preserve jobs through a rejection of a CBA, as opposed to losing the positions permanently,” wrote Judge Jane Roth.
The union is urging the Supreme Court to review and reverse that ruling, arguing the labor laws call for preserving collective bargaining agreements, even if they expire during a bankruptcy. The National Labor Relations Board agreed and filed a brief in the support of the casino workers union when the case was before the 3rd Circuit.
Anyway, I’m going to make this short today because most of the stories I’m reading aren’t exactly pleasant. Seems we have a streak of violence going around the country and the headlines reflect that. Chicago is having an extremely violent few days. I was thinking that the violence here might be isolated but it doesn’t appear to be.
June 2nd is “Wear Orange Day” which is a day to commit to ending gun violence. The day started in 2013 when some Chicago kids asked every one to wear orange in remembrance of a friend killed by gun fire. Maybe this holiday will become the Memorial Day for those civilians killed in the battle in our streets.
So, what’s on your reading and blogging list today?
Donald Trump has really stepped in it now. At a campaign rally in San Diego on Friday, he trashed the federal judge who is overseeing a lawsuit against Trump’s phony “Trump University.” Think Progress reports:
The case against the real estate mogul’s now-defunct company, which has been accused of scamming students who were misled into paying money for insight from business experts they thought were hand-picked by Trump, is scheduled to go to trial in San Diego federal court shortly after the presidential election. According to his lawyer, Trump is planning on testifying.
In what the Wall Street Journal characterized as an “extended tirade,” Trump spent 12 minutes of his 58-minute speech focused on the case and the California judge who will hear it.
“I have a judge who is a hater of Donald Trump, a hater. He’s a hater. His name is Gonzalo Curiel,” Trump told the crowd. “I think Judge Curiel should be ashamed of himself.”
Trump told his supporters he believes Judge Curiel should be removed from the case, citing the fact that Curiel was appointed to the bench by President Obama. Trump also said he believes Curiel is “Mexican.” The crowd — which had previously shouted “build that wall” — booed loudly.
In previous statements about the case, Trump has pointed to Curiel’s Hispanic heritage to insinuate that he won’t be able to approach the case impartially. Asked on Fox News what exactly Curiel’s ethnicity has to do with the case against him, Trump responded, “I think it has to do perhaps with the fact that I’m very, very strong on the border, very, very strong at the border, and he has been extremely hostile to me.”
Trump University — which was not actually an accredited university and did not hand out degrees — has several fraud cases proceeding against it.
Yesterday Judge Curiel ordered the release of documents that Trump had requested be sealed. From Politco:
Just hours after Trump used a campaign speech at a San Diego convention center to unleash a remarkable verbal fusillade against U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the judge — who also happens to be based in the same Southern California city — acknowledged in a much more measured fashion the criticism Trump has aimed at the court.
“Defendant became the front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 2016 presidential race, and has placed the integrity of these court proceedings at issue,” Curiel said in an order unsealing a series of internal Trump University documents that Trump’s lawyers asked be kept from the public.
The judge’s order didn’t make reference to Trump’s 12-minute tirade Friday afternoon in which the all-but-certain Republican nominee called Curiel a “hater” and again invoked his Latino heritage. However, the judge cited a series of news stories from earlier in the campaign, including an NBC story which noted Trump called Curiel “extremely unfair” and an Associated Press story titled, “Trump: Judge’s ethnicity matters in Trump University suit.” ….
Curiously, the Republican candidate laid into the judge at about the same time the judge was holding a hearing less than a mile away on a motion by the Washington Post seeking unsealing of the Trump University-related files. The judge’s order was released a couple hours after the hearing.
Meanwhile a number of news organizations are reporting that a Canadian version of Trump Tower is in financial trouble. Huffington Post: Trump Tower Toronto To Be Sold Off After Debt Default: Report.
Toronto’s Trump Tower has seen one disaster after another since it opened four years ago, but its latest debacle may be its last.
The Globe and Mail reports that the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto is on the verge of being sold to an unnamed new owner after its current one failed to pay back a $260-million construction loan last year.
The sale will likely mean the Trump name will disappear from the building.
Donald Trump himself doesn’t own the Toronto tower — it belongs to Talon Developments, which licensed the Trump brand for the skyscraper, and hired a Trump-owned company to run the property.
Talon’s clients are “no longer interested in the Trump brand” because Trump himself has damaged it, company lawyer Symon Zucker said.
“It’s more important for him to be president than run a successful business,” Zucker told the Toronto Star last month.
The right-wing Washington Examiner is reporting that Trump’s campaign is “low on money.”
Donald Trump’s campaign has alerted Senate Republicans that he won’t have much money to spend fending off attacks from Hillary Clinton over the next couple months.
The notice came when Paul Manafort, Trump’s senior advisor, met with a group of Senate Republican chiefs of staff for lunch last week, sources familiar with the meeting told the Washington Examiner. The admission suggests that Trump will be far more dependent on the GOP brass for money than he has led voters to believe, but it’s consistent with his reliance on the Republican National Committee to provide a ground game in battleground states.
“They know that they’re not going to have enough money to be on TV in June and probably most of July, until they actually accept the nomination and get RNC funds, so they plan to just use earned media to compete on the airwaves,” one GOP source familiar with Manafort’s comments told the Examiner.
That’s a far cry from Trump’s public insistence that he signed a fundraising agreement with the RNC in order to help the party, not himself. “The RNC really wanted to do it, and I want to show good spirit,” he said last week. “‘Cause I was very happy to continue to go along the way I was.” ….
The preemptive fretting about how the RNC plans to spend its money this fall makes some Republicans think that Trump, who has repeatedly insulted Mitt Romney for failing to defeat President Obama in the 2012 presidential election, is preparing to protect his reputation if Hillary Clinton wins.
“He’s going to blame it on the RNC if he doesn’t win in November,” the first source said. “They’re laying that groundwork now.
You have to go to right wing sources to find these kinds of reports, because supposedly “liberal” outfits like The New York Times are too busy trying to tear down Hillary Clinton. I’m not going to excerpt from their latest report on how Hillary is supposedly “struggling,” but you can go read it at the link if you want to.
The Washington Post has been hammering Hillary too, but they did manage to publish an interesting article about internal troubles in Trump’s campaign: In campaign chaos, Donald Trump shows his management style.
Interviews with current and former Trump associates reveal an executive who is fond of promoting rivalries among subordinates, wary of delegating major decisions, scornful of convention and fiercely insistent on a culture of loyalty around him….
Honed over decades in business and now suddenly under the glare of a national contest, Trump’s style offers a glimpse of the polarizing management techniques he would carry into the White House. In fashioning his campaign after his real estate and entertainment projects, the mogul has inspired supporters and alarmed critics with his brazen moves.
“He’s always the man in charge,” said Edward Rollins, the veteran Republican strategist who is working for a pro-Trump super PAC….Rollins pointed to the relationship between Trump’s 42-year-old campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, and his 67-year-old campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as a prime example of how Trump handles people. While they have worked just steps from each other in recent weeks at Trump Tower in New York, the pair — contrasts in age, experience and personality — have a simmering rivalry over stature and responsibilities within the candidate’s orbit. And Trump doesn’t seem to mind.
Last week, Trump abruptly fired national political director Rick Wiley, who had only worked for the campaign since April. According to insiders, it happened because Wiley didn’t
suck up to get close enough to Trump.
From his 26th-floor office in New York, Trump — who through a spokeswoman declined to be interviewed for this article — is attempting to bend the nature and norms of a presidential campaign to his unpredictable and outsize personality, eschewing the top-down, consultant-heavy mode used by most candidates.
Rather, Trump functions simultaneously as his own big-picture strategist and micro-managing chief executive. He has gotten involved in intramural skirmishing that has engulfed his campaign, both stoking and calming tensions depending on the circumstances.
“His style can be what I call ‘hands off, hands on.’ He gives people space to think and work and doesn’t get involved in everything each day, but he is the kind of person who can swoop in in a second and change everything,” said Sam Nunberg, a former aide who was let go from the campaign last year following disagreements with Lewandowski and controversy over past racially charged posts on Facebook. “He monitors it all and he comes to check in on things when you don’t expect him.”
Read much more at the link. This doesn’t sound like a very good management style for a presidential campaign, but then Trump will apparently have big media on his side. It’s going to be very important for Democrats to get out every possible vote. Hillary has been very wise to cultivate relationships with local newspapers around the country.
Hillary does have a few defenders in the media, and Joe Conason is one of the best. Conason co-wrote The Hunting of the President: The Ten-Year Campaign to Destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton. From the NY Daily News: The truth about Donald Trump’s old mud: The facts about Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton.
Assisted by Nixon-era dirty trickster Roger Stone, Trump is promoting the absurdly sexist message that Hillary Clinton deserves blame for her husband’s alleged misconduct. To make that case, they have been recruiting — and sometimes paying — women who claim that Bill Clinton victimized them.
One of these women is Juanita Broaddrick, an Arkansas nursing home owner who came forward in 1998 to claim that Clinton assaulted her, after signing a sworn affidavit denying that any such incident had occurred. Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr investigated her case, found the evidence “inconclusive” and declined to include her charges in his impeachment brief. Now Broaddrick accuses Hillary Clinton of attempting to “silence” her — even though she said the opposite in a famous NBC News interview.
“Did Bill Clinton or anyone near him ever threaten you, try to intimidate you, do anything to keep you silent?” asked Dateline correspondent Lisa Myers in 1999. “No,” replied Broaddrick firmly. What did Broaddrick tell Starr about Hillary when he put her under oath? An enterprising reporter might ask.
Another former Starr witness excavated from obscurity by Trump and Stone is Kathleen Willey, a former White House aide who claims that Clinton made “unwanted advances” toward her in the Oval Office. Willey’s story too has shifted repeatedly during the 23 years since that incident allegedly occurred.
How she recalled what Clinton had supposedly done — and how she reacted — first began to change when she appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” Having sworn in a lawsuit deposition that she didn’t recall Clinton kissing her, she assured CBS correspondent Ed Bradley several months later that the President “kissed me on the mouth.” Suddenly, she remembered lots of salacious details — and forgot facts and statements that undermined her dramatic account.
Her memory improved around the time that her lawyers secretly began to seek a $300,000 book contract. It is improving faster now that Stone is soliciting donations for an online fund to pay Willey’s mortgage.
There’s more at the link. I’m keeping a link to this story to use between now and November. Conason has updated the information about attacks on Hillary in the book and made it available as a free download at his website The National Memo.
What stories are you following today? Please share your thoughts and links in the comment thread and have a great Sunday!
It is with heartfelt sadness that we announce the loss of our son, brother, uncle, nephew and friend: Dennis M. Lopez Jr. aka Denny aka Uncle Gordy aka the “G” Man. Our house sits quite now….We will miss the cackling of laughter from the rear bedroom or wisecracks from what our family comically phrased, “The peanut gallery.” We will no longer hear sounds from the wheels of his overburdened office chair as he moved the casters along the wood floors, adjusting himself at his desk while he watched his favorite TV show Bonanza. Many in the Blairsville Community may remember seeing Denny during his daily outing with his dad, the afternoon trip into town for French Fries! Denny was a unique and wonderful human being. His love for family and friends could only be outdone by the generosity of innocence and affection held within his spirit. Denny was born in Tampa, FL on Nov. 12, 1971. He was of the Catholic Faith. He graduated from LaVoy Exceptional Center in 1992. He was a busboy, employed by Marriott-Host for eight years in the Tampa International Airport and two years at Pappy’s Restaurant in Blairsville . He is survived by his loving parents, Linda J. Traina Lopez and Dennis M. Lopez, his beloved sister JJ Lopez Walts and brother-in-law Dan Walts, his devoted niece and nephew Bebe Walts and Jake Walts, his Aunts and Uncles Roseann Buning, Bob Buning, Celeste Mell, Darren Mell, Daryl Lopez, Johnny D Gonzalez, his cousins David Buning, Loren Mell and Santana Mell, his other family members John Gonzalez, Rob Dobbins, Cindy Dobbins, Brett, Sean and Drew, his “other ones” Tori Craig and Nathan Stanley. Memorial service to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Denny’s name to the Union County Schools Special Education Department, 124 Hughes St., Blairsville GA 30512, phone(706) 745-2322 fax(706) 835-4545 . To help pay for the extra supplies teachers often pay for out of their own pockets in order to educate children like Denny.
As an aside, while we were at the funeral home today…we learned that the only eye bank in all of Georgia was there at that time…harvesting Denny’s corneas. That his corneas were okay, and they were in condition to be used as transplants to help someone else see.
It made us so happy, to think that in some way, Denny will continue to see on into another life, through someone else’s eyes.
For my family and myself, thank you for your thoughts and prayers.
This is the weekend when we reflect on the costs of war. The holiday is rooted in our own civil war but it gives us a chance to think on those who have come and gone before us. Memorial Day used to be the day my family would go on picnics to the family plots in all these little towns around Kansas and Missouri armed with every imaginable gardening tool. I don’t think we were unique in that but I do think it might’ve been a regional thing to do.
I spent a good deal of yesterday in St. Louis Cemetery #1 standing by a shady palm tree near the crypt memorializing those who died in the Battle of New Orleans from the Orleans Battalion. You’ll see that there were very few dead in this battle on the side of the Republic.
The cemetery dates back to the late 1700s. It’s probably best known as the resting place of Marie Laveau and a crazy movie scene in Easy Rider. I was actually there for a funeral for a favorite professor of a friend. His family were some of the first French folks to settle here. The process of adding new family members to a crypt is an interesting one.
There were tours all around us yesterday. So, the tourists got to hear the piper, the brass band music, and the burial service provided by a priest. I’m always happy when a few of them get to see that the traditions here continue and that we all have to live around the folks who come to visit us. They get to see that we’re actually a living, breathing city and not just a place of old buildings and bars.
While Marie Laveau is probably the most famous inhabitant of crypt space, I’d suggest you read up on Dr. John Montanee who is the father of New Orleans Voodoo. Dr. John actually taught Marie.
Sometimes when a person becomes legendary they cease to be human beings and instead become the legend themselves. Dr. Jean is remembered according to his legend, as a powerful gris gris man who was rich, got a lot of women and who was the teacher of Marie Laveaux. The whole context of the trauma of the Diaspora is left completely out of his-story, and this is not only unfortunate, but it is highly disrespectful. My belief is that his goal from the onset of becoming a slave would have been to reclaim his personal power and power within the community (whatever community he ended up in), and to do so using his strength and charisma. This internal fortitude was enough to achieve his eventual freedom from slavery; it is said that his West Indian master taught him to be an excellent cook and grew quite fond of him, and eventually gave him the gift of freedom. As a result, Dr. Jean left Cuba to be a cook on a ship and eventually ended up in New Orleans where these characteristics of strength, charisma and fortitude landed him as a gang leader of cotton rollers. Within that community, he began to be known for his apparent supernatural powers and fortune telling abilities. This set the tone for his eventual great success in New Orleans. All through the various narratives of his-story, we can see his ability to transcend the normal performance of a given task and exceed all expectations.
Dr. Jean was likely a man who liked to make grand entrances in an effort to make his presence known. But, he more than likely retreated from this showy demeanor to a very warm and gregarious human being. People probably liked him more than not and he likely had many friends, and at least as many acquaintances. He would have been someone who would have started a family as soon as possible and given the culture from which he came, would likely have had more than one wife and many children. Family would have been very important to him and he would have taken his role as provider very seriously – yet another mechanism to drive his entrepreneurial spirit.
In addition to being successful in his various jobs and as a provider, he would have taken his role as a leader of the Voudous quite seriously, as well. As gris gris is a religiomagical system originating in Senegal and practiced by the priests, it makes perfect sense that he would have brought knowledge of the tradition with him to New Orleans. Gris gris is one of the most unique characteristics of New Orleans Voudou and a tradition that persists to this day – his contribution to the New Orleans religion is unsurpassed. He expected to be noticed and he was, as his legacy lives on in the heart of the Mysteries and can be heard and felt in the beat of every drum.
I’m using all of this to lead up to some sad news. JJ’s brother Denny lost his struggle last night after her eldest son received his high school diploma. This is one of those days where milestones can be bittersweet. We love you JJ and wish all the best as you and your family make these transitions.
So, here’s some suggested reads for today.
Here’s a follow up to my post on the collapse of Venezuela from the NYT:”Venezuela Drifts Into New Territory: Hunger, Blackouts and Government Shutdown.”
Venezuela’s government says the problems are the result of an “economic war” being waged by elites who are hoarding supplies, as well as the American government’s efforts to destabilize the country.
But most economists agree that Venezuela is suffering from years of economic mismanagement, including over-dependence on oil and price controls that led many businesses to stop making products.
Some Venezuelans are channeling their frustrations into demonstrations against the government. Mr. Maduro’s opponents, who now control the National Assembly, have been staging weekly protests in support of the recall referendum.
Last Wednesday, protesters clashed with police officers who fired tear gas at the demonstrations and were attacked with bottles and rocks.
“The economic situation of this country is collapse,” Pablo Parada, a law student, who was participating last week in a hunger strike in front of the O.A.S. office in Caracas. “There are people who go hungry now.”
Mr. Parada said the purpose of his hunger strike was to pressure the O.A.S. to push Venezuelan officials to allow the referendum to take place this year, the only way he felt the country could recover.
There is often little traffic in Caracas simply because so few people, either for lack of money or work, are going out.
On a recent day in the downtown government center, pedestrians milled about, but nearly every building — including several museums, the public registry office and a Social Security center — was empty, giving the appearance of a holiday.
Only the guards were at work.
“It’s in God’s hands now,” said one, Luis Ríos, echoing a common phrase heard here.
Here’s an interesting article in Slate on “White washing” in the Asian American Community and the “bamboo” ceiling in America. We’ve discussed before this via the whiter-than-white portrait of Bobby Jindal that once hung in his office.
But I have a somewhat different and darker thought: What if Asian Americans are underrepresented in media because non-Asians have yet to reconcile themselves to Asian overrepresentation in the uppermost echelons of U.S. society? Don’t see that many Asian Americans as CEOs or in other leadership roles? Just give it time. Whether you look in Silicon Valley, Wall Street, elite academia, or America’s burgeoning medical-industrial complex, you’ll find a disproportionately large and fast-growing number of Asian Americans. Earlier generations of Asians often found themselves stymied by the so-called “bamboo ceiling,” which largely reflects the fact that new arrivals in America tend not to have the social connections they need to reach the highest rungs of the organizational ladder.
Sanders continues to be a busybody loser. This time he’s suggesting what Hillary should do for a running mate choice.
“If Hillary Clinton were to win and Hillary Clinton were to bring onboard a conservative or moderate-type Democrat, I think politically that would be a disaster,” Sanders said in an interview with The Young Turks’ Cenk Uygur.
Uygur asked if Sanders had any suggestions for VP — specifically citing Sen. Elizabeth Warren(D-Mass.), whose name has been floating as a possible running mate for months.
Sanders said policy and a track record for fighting against Wall Street were the most important factors in a running mate.
I really have an intense, white-hot dislike of this man.
Here’s another one that’s a great read: “Japanese American internment survivor hears troubling echoes in Trump rhetoric.”
Sugimoto, now 80, finds herself thinking a lot about those three years she spent in internment camps in Arkansas. The spirit of that deeply disturbing part of her childhood, an episode she believes has been all but forgotten within the narrative of American history, appears to be raising its ugly head once again.
“I think it’s dangerous the way he spouts off,” she said. “Not knowing any history, making no connections with what he says should be done today – it’s worrying and upsetting.”
She’s talking about Donald Trump, and his mass targeting of ethnic and religious groups. It’s not Japanese Americans this time: it’s the 11 million undocumented immigrants, mostly Hispanic, he has threatened to round up and deport. It is alsoMuslims, who he has vowed to ban from entering the country just by dint of their faith.
And, no that’s not a ghost up there, although I do profess to being one pale white woman. That’s just whacky little me in funeral attire resplendent with some vintage stuff.
Have a good weekend! Remember, this is an open thread so share links profusely!!!