Friday Afternoon Reads: Whispering Tweet Nothings to Terrorists and Crazies

Good Afternoon Sky Dancers!

The world is a dangerous place and international relations are challenging to even the most skilled world leaders. Then, there is Kremlin Caligula. Tweeting all things ‘unhelpful’ at all times. This time it was about a terrorist attack in London.

An “improvised explosive device” was detonated on a Tube train in south-west London during Friday’s morning rush hour, injuring 29 people.

The blast, at Parsons Green station on a District Line train from Wimbledon, is being treated as terrorism.

So-called Islamic State says it carried out the attack, which Prime Minister Theresa May condemned as “cowardly”.,

A hunt is under way for the person who placed the device and the area around the station has been evacuated.

Speciralist officers there securing the remains 0f the improvised device and ensuring it is stable.

Chris Britt / Illinois Times

Trump never offers condolences or the proverbial thoughts and prayers. Instead, he tweets verbal bombs.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday said speculation about those behind the terror attack at London’s Parsons Green subway station was unhelpful, a clear reference to a tweet by U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I never think it is helpful for anyone to speculate on what is an ongoing investigation,” May told the BBC, without naming Trump. “The police and security services are working to discover the full circumstances of this cowardly attack and to identify all those responsible.”

Earlier Friday, Trump implied authorities were monitoring those responsible for setting off explosives.

“Another attack in London by a loser terrorist. These are sick and demented people who were in the sights of Scotland Yard. Must be proactive!” Trump tweeted.

He added in a second tweet that “loser terrorists must be dealt with in a much tougher manner. The internet is their main recruitment tool which we must cut off & use better!”

The explosion in southwest London, which authorities are calling a “terrorist incident,” left 29 people wounded. None of the injuries are thought to be life-threatening. Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley told reporters that most of the injuries appeared to be flash burns.

Rowley said police believe the explosion, at about 8:20 a.m. local time, was caused by an improvised explosive device.

Pictures of the alleged explosive device — a white bucket inside a plastic bag in an underground train carriage — circulated on social media but the blast did not seem to have caused major damage, according to the BBC.

“Londoners particularly can expect to see an enhanced police presence, particularly across the transport system across the day,” Rowley said

Meanwhile, North Korea has fired another ballistic missile over Japan. This came after a flurry of threats from its rogue leader that sounded like a big ol’ return fire to Trump. Thursday saw NK threaten to “sink Japan and turn America to ashes” which sounds similar to “fire and fury” to me.

North Korea has fired a ballistic missile across Japan, creating new tension in the region after its nuclear bomb test less than two weeks ago.

The missile reached an altitude of about 770km (478 miles), travelling 3,700km before landing in the sea off Hokkaido, South Korea’s military says.

It flew higher and further than one fired over Japan late last month.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said his country would “never tolerate” such “dangerous provocative action”.

South Korea responded within minutes by firing two ballistic missiles into the sea in a simulated strike on the North.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also condemned the launch and the UN Security Council will meet later on Friday in New York at the request of the United States and Japan.

Guess who did have substantive comments on North Korea?

Now read the twitter responses to that!

Hillary Clinton may have lost the 2016 presidential election, but MSNBC host Rachel Maddow declared she “is not a retired politician” after an hour long interview with her Thursday.

Her assessment was echoed by many on Twitter as well, with many users agreeing with Clinton’s take on last year’s election, the Donald Trump presidency and current political situation around issues such as the Russia Investigation, North Korea, and DACA.

The interview with Maddow was a part of a book tour for Clinton’s “What Happened,” which follows her journey during the 2016 election.

Speaking about the situation in North Korea, Clinton said it was important for the country to work with allies like South Korea, which she thought the Trump administration was alienating; she also said Trump was failing to braing in experts to deal with the situation.

“We have decimated our state department. I don’t believe that people who have decades of experience with North Korean diplomacy are being brought to the table, even though they should be,” she said.

Speaking on the contentious Russian meddling in the presidential election, she summed up what Trump aspired toward. “I do believe Trump admires authoritarians. He doesn’t just like Putin, he wants to be like Putin. He wants to have that kind of power that is largely unaccountable,” she said.

Following Clinton’s interview, many users on Twitter commented how different the country would have been if Clinton had been elected the president of the U.S.

A Twitter user by the name Joy Reid was quick to draw comparisons between Trump and Clinton. “Excellent @HillaryClinton interview by #Maddow, and what a reminder of the contrast between the president we have and the one we could have,” she tweeted.

Bob Cesca from the Stephanie Miller Show called Clinton an exceptional woman. “Watching HRC on @Maddow and growing furious (again) at whoever first said presidents should be like us. They should be exceptional like her,” he tweeted.

There were many other tweets which hailed Clinton’s clear headedness and articulateness, with many users asserting she should have been the president of the U.S. instead of Trump.

There is no joy in MAGAville today. “‘You will never make America great again!‘: Watch angry Trump fans burn their MAGA hats over DACA deal.”

Supporters of President Donald Trump are still furious about his decision to work with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on helping to shield undocumented immigrants who were brought into the United States as children from being deported.

 Now some Trump fans have taken their displeasure a step further and have started setting their “Make America Great Again” hats on fire to protest Trump seemingly going soft on his signature campaign issue.

Angry Trump fan Luis Withrow posted a video of himself on Twitter angrily telling Trump that he will “never make America great again” if he didn’t “drain the swamp” in Washington, DC. He then set his MAGA hat ablaze.

Burn baby burn!

Last night was another reminder that we should have had a President Hillary! What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

 and if you liked Cat Stevens you may want to read ‘The Unlikely Return of Cat Stevens’ by Howard Fishman at The New Yorker.
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Monday Reads: Reclaiming our Time

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

I just got the notice that the Blog Bells and Whistles bill is coming up in a few weeks which means I’m making one of my twice a year pitches to keep the bling in the blog.  It’s also giving me pause as I realize how long we’ve been together as a community.

This is blog post #5,673. The first post dates from this week in 2008. It’s been awhile hasn’t it? Yet, the basic reason we exist and the blog exists still stands.  It’s our safe place as Hillary supporters.

Hillary Clinton’s latest book has just been released and she’s out on the promotion trail.  I imagine it’s very cathartic and hard for her. I imagine her loyal audience of those of us that have put that book on the bestseller list for quite some time are looking foward to its release tomorrow. We are all checking to see if she’s coming near us on her tour.

Excited Utah headlines announce that failed candidate Mitt Romney is likely to run for Orin Hatch’s senate seat if Hatch chooses retirement. No one has asked Mitt Romney to sit down and shut up and to go away. Yet, even though Clinton has announced she will never be a candidate again, the folks that just want to keep women down come at her. She continues to just threaten their hairy, dangling, crooked balls right off of them.

I wish Bernie Sanders would shut up and sit down.  I wish BD McClay would shut up. I wish Steve Bannon –attack poodle of the Mercer Klan–would shut the fuck up.  This could be a really long list but I digress …

 Susan Chira can keep her column space at NYT.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) greets Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee prior to receiving the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas June 4, 2015. REUTERS/Donna Carson

 

In whatever role she carves out for herself, she will have to contend with the vitriol she has drawn throughout her public life. She and Donald Trump went into Election Day with historically low favorability ratings, a distinction they have both maintained after the election. In fact, a Gallup poll conducted this June noted that Mrs. Clinton was the first defeated presidential candidate since 1992 whose favorability ratings had not risen by the June after the election (with the exception of John Kerry, for whom Gallup did not have comparable data). Her highest ratings in multiple polls came after her husband was impeached in 1998 and while she was secretary of state. In a review of 10 polls conducted after the election through this summer, in every case a majority of respondents held an unfavorable view of Mrs. Clinton.

Loathed as she may be in some quarters, many Americans do seem to have understood, and to some extent accepted, that Mrs. Clinton is not going to be on an endless hike in the Chappaqua woods.

To probe deeper into attitudes about Hillary Clinton now, and the role of women in politics, we turned to Morning Consult, a polling, media and technology company. It surveyed 2,000 registered voters online from Aug. 24 to 28.

The survey asked respondents to weigh in on a variety of possible roles for Mrs. Clinton: continue to influence the Democratic Party; raise money for Democrats; raise money for charitable causes; lead efforts to help women and girls; write books; and give speeches. Overall, 74 percent thought at least one of those roles was acceptable; 26 percent said she should play all those roles, and 15 percent vetoed all those activities.

Those of us that worked to get her elected and that voted for her–and remember the vast majority of voters voted for her–still want her in public life.  Her amazing bouncebackability is an inspiration to this off us that have to keep fighting our minor fights and truly are tired and want to sit home. She shows us how to rise up and go back to it.

You can google Hillary Clinton Book tour, check the news links, and find that white hot hatred of the right wing burning its way right through your screen. You can also experience the vile bestial nature of Bernie bros and their patron saint of White male Privilege.  You can also go straight back to all those hidden Hillary Groups of Facebook that purged the Russian trolls and whiny, needy white men and enjoy the comments of the millions of us that will never find Hillary Clinton irrelevant.  Bernie Sanders has never been relevant.

“I think it’s a little bit silly to be keeping talking about 2016. We’ve got too many problems,” Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said this week of Clinton’s book tour.

Excerpts of “What Happened” suggest Clinton plans to argue that Sanders’ insurgent challenge during the Democratic primary rested on unrealistic promises and ultimately paved the way for President Trump’s successful “Crooked Hillary” attacks.

Clinton’s book has reinvigorated debate among Democrats about how much of the blame for President Trump’s victory lies with external forces, such as Russian interference and former FBI Director James Comey’s 11th hour letter to Congress, and how much responsibility lies with Clinton herself.

The focus of her memoir on dissecting the 2016 election has highlighted the lack of consensus on the left about why Democrats failed to capture the White House and fell short of claiming a Senate majority.

“Clinton is right: Sanders’ attacks on her character fed the same narrative as Trump’s. They hurt her in the general election,” wrote Jill Filipovic, a liberal author, in an op-ed for CNN. “And she’s right that running on the Democratic ticket when you’re not a Democrat isn’t just hypocritical, it can be incredibly damaging. For one thing, it gives a candidate a platform to trash the very party he says he wants to lead.”

WASHINGTON, DC – JUNE 07: Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) questions witnesses from the Trump Administration Justice Department and intelligence officials during a hearing in the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill June 7, 2017 in Washington, DC. The intelligence and security officials testified about re-authorization of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is the law the NSA uses to track emails and phone calls of non-US citizens. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Democrats may think they dread her tour but they should seriously be thinking about their grass roots because it’s the women that voted, worked for, and love them some Hillary. If they chase the elusive white male, they lose their base and their base is hugely made up of black women. The one thing that I have learned living in the south and working for both the Mary Landrieu Campaign and helping deliver the Louisiana primary votes that sent the Clinton candidacy to the winner circle is the now and future power of black women.

If black women sat home, Democrats would never win anything again and I advise them to piss black women off at their own risk.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters is not a unique feature in the Democratic party. She–not Bernie–is the face of the Democratic Party and the future is Kamala Harris.  Remember, it was a black woman that first refused to move to the back of the bus and do remember what all that set off.   This is the voice of Vanessa Williams.

More than two dozen African American women, including political activists and elected officials, have signed an open letter to Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez criticizing him for seeming to take for granted the party’s most loyal base of support.

The letter, published Thursday on nbcnews.com, comes as Perez, who was elected chairman of the DNC in February, is traveling around the country meeting with party leaders in an effort to regroup after last fall’s upset victory by Republican Donald Trump.

In the letter, the authors say that black women have consistently supported the party, but have been ignored by Democratic leaders who seemed to be more focused on winning back white voters who rejected Hillary Clinton in November.

“The data reveals that Black women voters are the very foundation to a winning coalition, yet most Black voters feel like the Democrats take them for granted,” the letter reads. “Since taking office, you have met with and listened to key constituencies. But you have yet to host a Black women leaders convening.”

Tammy Duckworth, Candidate for the US House of Representatives walks off stage after her speech to the Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, 04 September 2012. Duckworth was a helicopter pilot who lost both her legs in combat injuries in Iraq. US President Barack Obama will be nominated to run for a second term at the convention. EPA/TANNEN MAURY

To many, identity politics cost us the 2016 election. The problem is that the media, the election process, the entire she-bang is surrounded by, promotes, and panders the white male identity. It’s only a source of grief when we leave the realm of that paradigm.  Mychal Denzel Smith writes on this misinterpretation and wrong view of identity politics today in The Atlantic.

That term, identity politics, has been hotly debated in recent years, most notably in reaction to the 2016 election. For some, the Democratic Party’s insistence on focusing on identity politics—or at least, a certain definition of identity politics—is what cost them the election. The most prominent and vocal critic of identity politics has been Columbia University professor Mark Lilla, who declared in a New York Times op-ed published ten days after the election “that the age of identity liberalism must be brought to an end,” because it had been “disastrous as a foundation for democratic politics in our ideological age.” Lilla expanded this argument into a book-length polemic entitled The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics, released in August of this year. His main complaint is that identity politics is having a pernicious effect on the Democratic Party’s ability to win votes from “the demosliving between the coasts.” He finds that a focus on identity politics at the university level is to blame, since young people are not being taught that “they share a destiny with all their fellow citizens and have duties toward them.”

Except Lilla’s argument has nothing to do with identity politics. At least, not as the Combahee River Collective, which coined the term and theorized its meaning, originally laid out. In fact, Lilla spends very little time engaging the collective’s meaning of the term, instead devoting his energy to his own interpretation of identity politics. The one time he does mention their work he is dismissive. In the book he writes: “With the rise of identity consciousness, engagement in issue-based movements began to diminish somewhat and the conviction got rooted that the movements most meaningful to the self are, unsurprisingly, about the self. As the feminist authors of the Combahee River Collective put it baldly in their influential 1977 manifesto, ‘the most profound and potentially most radical politics come directly out of our own identity, as opposed to working to end somebody else’s oppression.’”

Lilla’s spin on this statement would make identity politics sound like a selfish political theory. But his bad interpretation is not the same as a bad theory. When the collective writes that the “most radical politics come directly out of our own identity,” Lilla reads this as applying to each individual group’s identity when the Combahee River Collective meant “our own” to apply specifically to black women. It is a result of their belief, as they write later in the statement, that, “If Black women were free, it would mean that everyone else would have to be free since our freedom would necessitate the destruction of all the systems of oppression.” The original intent of identity politics was articulating black women’s struggle at the nexus of race, gender, sexual, and class oppressions, and then forming strategies for dismantling each of these, both in black feminist spaces and in coalition with other groups.

How Lilla misses this is beyond me, since if he read the collective’s statement in full he would have to challenge his own definition of a selfish identity politics against the group’s statements.

The radical act the bernie bros should seek is to vote in more women of color.  Their acts just prop up the white male status quo.

They want to silence each and every one of us.  That want us all to disappear.  They want to only see an endless loop of The Donna Reed show where gays are in the closet, women are in the kitchen, and racial minorities stay in servitude to white male dominion.  The Silencing of Hillary Clinton is the main stage attraction. Oh what would they do if they couldn’t focus on her?

Once again, Hillary Clinton is offering some opinions, and, once again, she is being told to keep quiet. This is a familiar pattern for us, no less for her, so perhaps it shouldn’t be so surprising to see it recur. But I’d like to push back a bit on this one.

The occasion for this current dust-up is, of course, the release of Clinton’s new book What Happened. Disclosure: I haven’t read it. (Honestly, I don’t find many candidate narratives of their own campaigns all that interesting.) Nor have many of those who are currently criticizing her for writing it. But the main criticisms seem to be:

  1. Clinton shouldn’t be criticizing Bernie Sanders right now because that’s just causing Democratic divisions at a time when the party need unity.
  2. She lost to a vulnerable candidate and thus must be an even worse candidate herself.
  3. Her general election loss means it’s time for her to go away and stop “consuming oxygen.”

 

At some point, we need to assess the role of media in the 2016 witch hunt that ended with the most unfit president ever sitting in the Oval Office.  They need to walk in the woods, do some yoga, play with their dogs, and drink chardonnay.  But her emails …

But Clinton was also so dogged by the email story that it wound up being the main thing people thought of when they heard her name, above any and all policy considerations, while her opponent received more coverage of his issues and less coverage of any respective scandal – even though his improprieties were, I would argue, far more consequential in terms of showing his character and leadership deficiencies. Trump benefited from scandal diffusion, if you will, as well as the press’ belief that Clinton would win – and thus needed to be held to account for every little error she’d committed.

A lot of Clinton’s recent activities have been met by jeering from conservatives and hand-wringing from Democrats; the former think any discussion about what went down in 2016 is just Clinton being a sore loser, while liberals want to move on from an electoral result that is still pretty embarrassing. But figuring out what happened regarding Clinton’s media coverage and whether it had an effect on the election isn’t “moaning,” as conservative outlets put it, but necessary soul-searching in the wake of an electoral result that few in the press saw coming. The role the media played in elevating a plainly unqualified reality television actor to the White House, even if it wasn’t decisive, needs to be examined.

I once thought that Clinton’s email mess wouldn’t really matter come Election Day, and I’m certainly not going to argue that coverage of it tipped the scales to Trump, that if she hadn’t used a private server she’d be madam president today for sure. In an election that was as close as was the 2016 edition, any little thing could have changed the equation. And none of this is to diminish the role that former FBI Director James Comey’s last-gasp intervention or the meddling of Russia played in getting Trump elected.

However, there’s going to be another election soon enough. What rises to the level of all-encompassing scandal coverage matters. Every day it’s more apparent that “her emails!” didn’t.

So, her book is available tomorrow.  I’m going to hug my dog, put on my yoga pants, drink some chardonnay and read it.  I’m willing to take any bit of her that makes me feel better than what’s going on right now.  If I have to read one more article about how no on pays attention to the poor white working man, I will blow it out my nostrils and tell the writer to blow it out his white male ass or their white male ass kissing lips.   The many, many women and men that worked for Hillary’s campaign that had hoped for a more perfect union where all of us would be safer and more valued deserve a few hours of rest from the Trumpian nightmare. Our vision didn’t not include a daily assault on the right to vote, the civil rights of the GLBT, and a return to the glory days of the confederacy and Jim Crow.  We are glad she’s still standing and fighting and it gives us some hope.

I am glad that Hillary will still be fighting for a more perfect union and that it’s one that enfranchises all of us and gives us all the respect we are due.    Do something radical today. Write a check.  Volunteer on a campaign.  Support a candidate that truly reflects the diversity and gifts of our nation. Don’t let any one sit the next one out.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


Wednesday Evening: Yup, Even Squirrel Topped Trump Finds A Nut 

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Evening

This is going to be quick and to the point. I am in a bad mood and probably should not be making any statements on these matters, because I’m not gonna be logical or even coherent…I’m just gonna be someone who is tired of all the shit.

I’m gonna pretty much tell Sanders and his league of misogynistic twats to fuck off.

(That includes Bernie’s women supporters too…cause if they still are gun ho…yeah, I said gun…after all the shit he has said the past 48 hours, they are in a true sense. The Ladies Auxiliary of Cunts in Sander’s League of Misogynistic Twats.)

Wait, I have to put this quote up…my very favorite of course:

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So by know you probably know what I am talking about.

 

 

Sanders dismisses major women’s group as ‘establishment’ | MSNBC

Asked by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday evening about the fact that Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the Human Rights Campaign endorsed Clinton, Sanders replied, “We’re taking on not only Wall Street and the economic establishment, we’re taking on the political establishment. So I have friends and supporters in the Human Rights Fund [sic], in Planned Parenthood. But you know what, Hillary Clinton has been around there for a very, very long time and some of these groups are part of the establishment.”

Hillary’s response:

 

 

Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards,tweeted, “disappointing to hear this.” The Planned Parenthood Action Fund tweeted, “We respect @SenSanders. Disappointed to be called “establishment” as we fight like hell to protect women’s health.” HRC echoed the remarks:

 

 

Jessica Morales Rocketto, the Clinton campaign’s digital organizing director, elaborated on her own Twitter account why the campaign took offense.

 

 

NARAL’s president, Ilyse Hogue, also weighed in on a call with reporters. She praised Clinton for “not just committing to expanding funding for Planned Parenthood, but also to take on the Hyde amendment, which is nothing more than discrimination against low income women trying to access vital health care and their constitutional rights …. Unfortunately, directly in opposition to Bernie’s unfortunate comments last night on Rachel Maddow, the anti-choice minority has become the establishment at state legislatures and is becoming the establishment at our federal level.”

In an interview with NBC News, Sen. Claire McCaskill, another Clinton surrogate, said, “I think that for Planned Parenthood, or NARAL, or the Human Rights Campaign to be considered the establishment, someone’s not paying close attention to the way American politics works.”

As far as the Sander’s campaign…this is what Bernie’s campaign had to say:

 

 

 

Earlier on Tuesday, Sanders campaign Michael Briggs responded to the Human Rights Campaign’s Clinton endorsement by saying, “It’s understandable and consistent with the establishment organizations voting for the establishment candidate, but it’s an endorsement that cannot possibly be based on the facts and the record.”

Asked by MSNBC if the Sanders campaign wanted to clarify his remarks on “The Rachel Maddow Show,” Briggs said, “He said it better than I could.”

 

Peter Daou had more to say:

 

 

 

 

 

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Other links:

Bernie Sanders attacks Planned Parenthood and Human Rights Campaign after they endorse Hillary —www.dailynewsbin.com/opinion/bernie-sanders-attacks-planned-parenthood-and-human-rights-campaign-after-they-fail-to-endorse-him/23614/

Now that they’ve both endorsed his opponent, Bernie Sanders is openly attacking two of the most widely respected groups fighting for the liberal causes he claims to believe in. Earlier this month leading women’s health group Planned Parenthood endorsed Hillary Clinton for President, and this week leading LGBT rights group the Human Rights Campaign did the same. In response, Sanders went on national television and accused both groups of being part of the “establishment” that his campaign is fighting against.

It’s an almost inexplicable turn of events for candidate who insisted all along that he didn’t engage in “personal attacks” and was only interested in focusing on the issues. But in the past week Bernie Sanders has referred to Bill Clinton as “deplorable” while comparing Hillary Clinton to Dick Cheney, thus abandoning the high road in favor of the lowest personal attacks he can think of. And now, he’s not merely attacking his opponent or his opponent’s spouse. He appears to have concluded that anyone who doesn’t endorse his campaign it the enemy and must be destroyed, issues be damned. What on earth happened?

With Bernie Sanders As Their Nominee, Democrats Can Kiss The Presidency Goodbye – Blue Nation Review

 

 

Bernie Sanders calls Planned Parenthood part of the “political establishment.” | New Republic

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Hillary Clinton hits Bernie Sanders over Planned Parenthood comments – CNNPolitics.com

 

I copied this from Dakinikat’s Facebook page. I thought it was excellent response:

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I really believe that the true Bernie Sanders is showing himself. I’ve felt all along the dude was off when it came to women’s issues. There was something about him, can’t specifically say what, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

He never has stood up to his asshole sexist supporters who lob those awful remarks Hillary’s way.

 

Ben Ferguson on Twitter I want BernieSanders to beat Hillary so bad it s almost unhealthy 😳

 

That is nothing…y’all have seen worse shit out there.

Oh, there are other examples that we have discussed here many times. Like I’ve said. I am in a bad mood and too pissy to go into details.

 

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To me that is the typical Bernie supporter. And I would bet money that is also how Sanders feels himself…to some extent.

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Just a couple thoughts there….

As for the idiot with the squirrel’s ass on top of his head:

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That says it all!


Really Late Monday Reads

Good Afternoon!

Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Hard Choices' In New YorkWell, I still haven’t gotten used to my triple life. One of the symptoms of that and advanced age appears to be continually forgetting what day it is and feeling like it’s a lot earlier than the actual time.  I guess I’m still longing for regular time since it feels like afternoon here so late into the evening.

Well, the news is mostly focused on Hillary and her announcement.  She’s mostly drowned out the yawn inducing announcement of Rubio who–while not completely crazy go nuts–is just another right wing male with a misogyny complex. Brian Beutler calls him the “most disingenuous”candidate in the clown car.

Senator Marco Rubio, who will announce his candidacy for president on Monday, was supposed to lead a GOP breakaway faction in support of comprehensive immigration reform, but was unable to persuade House Republicans to ignore the nativist right, and the whole thing blew up in his face. In regrouping, he’s determined that the key to restoring Republican viability in presidential elections is to woo middle class voters with fiscal policies that challenge conservative orthodoxy.

His new basic insight is correct. The GOP’s obsession with distributing resources up the income scale is the single biggest factor impeding it from reaching new constituencies, both because it reflects unpopular values and because it makes them unable to address emerging national needs that require spending money.

His new basic insight is correct. The GOP’s obsession with distributing resources up the income scale is the single biggest factor impeding it from reaching new constituencies, both because it reflects unpopular values and because it makes them unable to address emerging national needs that require spending money.

It also happens to be the raison d’être of the conservative establishment. Challenging the right’s commitment to lowering taxes on high earners, and reducing transfers to the poor and working classes, will encounter vast resistance. Where Paul can appeal to the moral and religious sensibilities of elderly whites who might otherwise oppose criminal justice reforms, a real challenge to GOP fiscal orthodoxy will get no quarter from GOP donors.

If Rubio were both serious and talented enough to move his party away from its most inhibiting orthodoxy, in defiance of those donors, his candidacy would represent a watershed. His appeal to constituencies outside of the GOP base would be both sincere and persuasive.

But Rubio is not that politician. He is no likelier to succeed at persuading Republican supply-siders to reimagine their fiscal priorities than he was at persuading nativists to support a citizenship guarantee for unauthorized immigrants. In fact, nobody understands the obstacles facing Marco Rubio better than Marco Rubio. But rather than abandon his reformist pretensions, or advance them knowing he will ultimately lose, Rubio has chosen to claim the mantle of reform and surrender to the right simultaneously—to make promises to nontraditional voters he knows he can’t keep. My colleague Danny Vinik proposes that Rubio wants to “improve the lives of poor Americans” but he must “tailor [his] solutions to gain substantial support in the GOP, and those compromises would cause more harm to the poor.” I think this makes Rubio the most disingenuous candidate in the field.

Rubio took a swing at Hillary along with suggesting he was “the one”.video-heres-marco-rubio-awkwardly-grabbing-for-a-drink-of-water-in-his-state-of-the-union-rebuttal  Rubio really hasn’t accomplished much in the District or in Florida.  It’s hard to seem him as qualified or really able to handle the high office.  This is from a Cizilla interview with “Tampa Bay Times political boss (not his official title) Adam Smith.”

FIX:  Are you surprised that Rubio is going to run, given the Jeb candidacy? Why or why not?

Adam: Not really. He’s been been moving in that direction almost since he came to Washington, assembled a large and strong campaign team, and never sounded interested in becoming a longtime, senior senator.

I doubt he expected Jeb Bush to run, and was told as much by his paid advisers. But given Bush’s weakness with the base, the public’s appetite for a fresh face, and the potential for a billionaire to ensure Rubio has sufficient resources, Bush is not the insurmountable obstacle he would have been in a “normal” election cycle.

FIX:  For most people, the story of Marco Rubio starts in 2010, when he won a Senate seat. What’s the story of Marco Rubio in Florida state politics before that?

Adam: Not much. He was a talented, young legislator who clearly had a lot of ambition. But he could point to few big legislative achievements as Florida House speaker. On most big issues, he was rolled by then-Governor Charlie Crist and the more moderate Florida Senate.

FIX: Why is he giving up his Senate seat?  Is this up-or-out mentality consistent with what you know about him?

Adam: A lot like Jeb Bush, Rubio is an impatient guy. It was always hard to see him as a lifer in the Senate. Nor has he shown much enthusiasm for the slow, nuts-and-bolts work of actually legislating. He’s more about announcing big policy ideas than actually crafting bills and corralling votes to implement them.

Personal finances, I think, probably also played a role. Four kids in private school, and living in both west Miami and D.C. is not easy financially.

Hillary continues to take hits from the so-called “progressive” brodudes hillary_clinton_young-620x412and from the Republicans.  It’s going to get so ugly–as BB has written–that it’s difficult to watch and read.  The reviews of her video announcement have been interesting.

Atlantic writer Peter Beinart expects Clinton to be ‘unabashedly liberal’ this time out.

All that cultural conservatism is gone in the video she issued last night. It’s not just the image of a gay male couple holding hands while announcing their impending wedding, followed later by what appears to be a lesbian couple. It’s not just the biracial couple. Or the brothers speaking Spanish. It’s also the absence of culturally conservative imagery: no clergymen, no police, one barely noticeable church. Instead, the video starts with a woman who is moving so her daughter can attend a better school. A bit later it features a woman who after staying home with her kids is going back to work. In both cases, there’s no father in sight. Whether or not Clinton and her advisors were trying to showcase single mothers, they certainly weren’t afraid of being accused of showcasing them. In 2000, in the wake of a welfare reform debate in which single mothers were made symbols of the moral irresponsibility the Clintons campaigned against, these positive depictions would have been unimaginable.

The video Hillary released yesterday was also devoid of soldiers. And it contained no discussion of foreign policy. Compare that to Hillary’s 2007 video, the first substantive words of which were: “let’s talk about how to bring the right end to the war in Iraq and to restore respect for America around the world.” Later in that video, she championed her work “protecting our soldiers.”

In 2007, while backpedalling from her vote to invade Iraq, Hillary was still intensely focused on convincing Americans she was tough enough to be commander in chief. In 2003, she had called for expanding the military.

In 2004, she had been one of only six Senate Democrats to support the deployment of an untested missile defense system. In 2006 she toldother senators, in explaining her opposition to setting a deadline for the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, that “I face the base all the time.” And in the days before announcing her presidential candidacy, she had travelled to Afghanistan and Iraq.

Today, Republicans still see foreign policy as politically central. Jeb Bush dwelled on it in the video he released in response to Hillary’s. And, of course, Clinton will spend plenty of time talking foreign policy as the campaign wears on. But the message of yesterday’s announcement video, unlike the one in 2007, is that international affairs are secondary. The core of Hillary’s campaign will be economics. More specifically, it will be championing the “everyday Americans” who face a “deck still stacked in favor of those at the top.” That kind of swipe at the ultra-rich was absent from Hillary’s announcements in 2000 and 2007 too.

This is from Greg Sargent writing for WAPO.6a00d8341c730253ef01b7c77838dc970b-500wi

Behind all the sentimentality lies some fairly serious signaling about where Clinton’s campaign is headed and what it will be about.

Notably, all the people in the video express cautious optimism about the next chapter in their lives. The key here is the tone. Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that Clinton’s advisers, after pondering how to handle GOP efforts to link her to Obama, had concluded that her best bet is not to distance herself from Obama’s record, but to praise the economic progress he has made, and promise a “new chapter” designed to build on it, one focused on giving those “everyday Americans” a better shot at getting ahead.

That’s because internal Clinton polling shows frustration with Washington gridlock but not necessarily a desire for a wholesalebreak from Obama’s policies. Public polling has shown a desire for such a break, but Clinton’s pollster, Joel Benenson, is known to put much more stock in his own nuanced, fine-grained research.

I strongly suspect the Clinton campaign has concluded that Americans are exhausted by the ideological death struggles of the Obama presidency, and that swing voters and independents don’t see the Obama years as quite the smoking apocalyptic hellscape Republicans continue to describe. With the GOP hoping to terrify voters with the prospect of Hillary-as-Obama-third-term, and with the 2016 GOP hopefuls zealously vowing to roll back the Obama presidency, Republicans will likely continue re-litigating how awful the Obama years have supposedly been. The Clinton gamble is that swing voters don’t want to hear this argument anymore; that they agree Obama’s policies have not turned the economy around fast enough, but think this was understandable given the circumstances and don’t see those policies as an utter, abject failure.

XXX 20150412__APS_351.JPGFrankly, I found the Clinton video to be compelling, inclusive, and inspiring.  Compare this to Rubio’s words.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio is running for president in 2016, the Florida senator told ABC News’ Chief Anchor and “This Week” host George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview in West Miami on Monday.

“I think this country’s at a generational moment where it needs to decide not what party it wants in charge but what kind of country are we going to want to be moving forward,” Rubio told Stephanopoulos in an interview at the Florida senator’s home. “I think the 21st century can be the American century, and I believe that I can lead this country in that direction. I can help lead it there from the Senate. I can lead it there as president.”

The interview came just a few hours before Rubio will speak to supporters at an evening event at the Freedom Tower, a downtown Miami building with historical significance for thousands of Cuban-Americans.

When asked if Rubio believed he is the most qualified candidate to be president, he said: “I absolutely feel that way.”

“We’ve reached a moment now, not just in my career, but the history of our country, where I believe that it needs a Republican Party that is new and vibrant, that understands the future, has an agenda for that future,” Rubio said, “and I feel uniquely qualified to offer that. And that’s why I’m running for president.”

I wonder if he’ll mind being the second banana to confederate banana republican Rand Paul?  Perhaps “Heb” and Rubio can discuss their struggles as Hispanic Americans?  Either way, I spot failure in his future.  Hasta 2023 amigo!

All I can say is keep reaching for that glass of water Rubs because you’re gonna need a lot of hydrating to try to play in the same ball park as Hillary Clinton.

What’s on you reading and blogging list today?


Sunday: Breaking News…Holy Sh!t Thank Goddess It’s #Hillary2016 {Finally and about damn time too, open thread.}

Hillary Rodham Clinton

hill

Hot Damn & Yes Yes Yes!!!!!!

And the Lady is about to make it official.

From the Guardian:

Clinton: ‘I’m running for president’

Clinton’s campaign website, the creatively named HillaryClinton.com, has just gone live with her first campaign ad placed at the top.

The ad pitches hard to the middle-class – the theme of choice among Republican and Democrat candidates – and meshes with Podesta’s call to “make the middle class mean something again.”

“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.

“So you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.

“So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey,” Clinton says.

I’ve got the https://twitter.com/HillaryClinton set on Twitter to notify, so when Hillary tweets, my cell phone will start screaming like a banshee!

Hillary Rodham Clinton Signs Copies Of Her Book 'Hard Choices' In New York

The social links are as follows:

Her website:

 It just went live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hillaryclinton.com

The Ready for Hillary Super PAC:

Ready For Hillary Clinton for President 2016

Ready For Hillary | Facebook

President Bill Clinton Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/billclinton

Chelsea’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/chelseaclinton

Live video feed of the announcement can be seen here:** I will put the link and/or feed here when it is available.

Live updates: Hillary Clinton to announce 2016 presidential campaign – live updates | US news | The Guardian

Hillary Rodham ClintonI thought we’d have a live blog of this tremendous occasion. My daughter is so proud that she is going to be able to cast her first vote evah for Hillary. I am fucking proud that I have raised a daughter who realizes the importance and significance that vote for Hillary Rodham Clinton really means.

Now for some links…

Updates can also be found here of course, Still4Hill | HILLARY CLINTON: MAKING FEMININITY PRESIDENTIAL!

Stories that hit the web last night and this morning:

President Obama: Hillary Clinton Would be an “Excellent President”

Hillary+Clinton+Hillary+Clinton+Addresses+bRhtRQ_q3wGl

President Barack Obama on Saturday said Hillary Clinton would be “an excellent president” who would “have some strong messages to deliver” if she decides to run for the White House.

Obama made the comments a day before Clinton is expected to announce a presidential bid.

“She was a formidable candidate in 2008, she was a great supporter of mine in the general election, she was an outstanding secretary of state, she is my friend,” Obama said. “I think she would be an excellent president.”

Clinton lost the Democratic nomination to Obama in 2008. Obama made the comments on Saturday after a summit in Panama.

“The one thing I can say is, she’s going to be able to handle herself very well in any conversation or debates around foreign policy,” Obama said. “And her track record with respect to domestic policies is I think one that cares about working families.”

“If she decides to run and she makes an announcement, she’s going to have some strong messages to deliver,” Obama said.

467347382A memo sent to Clinton’s staff by her soon-to-be campaign manager, Robby Mook, said her message will be “about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families.”

Former Boss Gives Hillary Clinton a Good Reference – First Draft. Political News, Now. – NYTimes.com

Whether Mrs. Clinton would embrace Mr. Obama, whose approval rating is around 50 percent, or try to distance herself from him has been a persistent question as she been building her campaign apparatus. Republicans are hoping voters will choose a new direction.

Mrs. Clinton’s advisers say that she intends to praise the Obama administration for its economic progress while also promising a “new chapter” with policies aimed at stagnant wages and a squeezed middle class.

2015-03-23t155744z65326264gf10000035835rtrmadp3usa-clinton-economy

Hillary Clinton to Announce 2016 Run for President on Sunday – NYTimes.com

The prolonged prologue to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s second run for the White House will reach its suspenseless conclusion on Sunday: The former secretary of state, senator and first lady is to announce that she will indeed seek the Democratic nomination for president.

[…]

A fresh epilogue to Mrs. Clinton’s 2014 memoir, “Hard Choices,” posted on The Huffington Post Friday morning, signaled a number of elements of what is very likely to be a familiar feature of her campaign message: evoking her new status as a grandmother to talk about creating opportunities for all Americans.

“I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande Valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will,” Mrs. Clinton wrote, referring to her new granddaughter.

Mrs. Clinton will begin testing that and other themes in earnest beginning on Sunday and stretching through next week when she travels to Iowa and later this month to New Hampshire for a series of small-scale events where she can field questions and address the concerns of the voters her campaign calls “everyday Americans,” people made aware of her plans said.

You can read the whole epilogue here, but I’ve pick out a few paragraphs:

11HILLARY-master675A New Chapter | Hillary Clinton

I was delighted to find that Charlotte’s birth seemed to strike a chord with a lot of Americans. Chelsea and I received letters and gifts from moms and grandmothers across the country – stuffed animals, tiny sweaters, hand-knitted socks and hats, even some baby-sized sports jerseys from various teams. One gift we treasured was “Charlotte’s Web,” the classic children’s book by E.B. White. As I’ve recently rediscovered, it’s a wonderful read. At one point, when the wise family doctor is asked what he makes of the mysterious messages in the spider web, he observes, “When the words appeared, everyone said they were a miracle. But nobody pointed out that the web itself is a miracle.” That’s how I’ve come to think about Charlotte (our Charlotte, not the spider.) Every day with a new child is a miracle. Her smallest gestures sweep me off my feet. And while I am completely convinced that Charlotte is far and away the most beautiful, smart, and accomplished infant anywhere, I also understand that the true miracle here is universal. That’s why so many other grandmothers have reached out to me. They all feel the same way I do. They’re just as proud of their little ones and they have just as many dreams for their futures.

I have always believed that every child should have the chance to live up to his or her God-given potential. That principle has animated my entire career, from my earliest days as a young attorney with the Children’s Defense Fund straight through to my service in the Senate and as Secretary of State. Now that I’m a grandmother, I believe it even more passionately. Unfortunately, too few of the children born in the United States and around the world today will grow up with the same opportunities as Charlotte. You shouldn’t have to be the granddaughter of a President or a Secretary of State to receive excellent health care, education, enrichment, and all the support and advantages that will one day lead to a good job and a successful life. That’s what we want for all our kids. And this isn’t just idealism. It’s a recipe for broadly-shared prosperity and a healthy democracy. The notion of equal opportunity has been at the heart of the American experiment since the very beginning. It’s part of what made the United States exceptional and it attracted generations of immigrants determined to work hard and provide their families with that same chance at success. I’m more convinced than ever that our future in the 21st century depends on our ability to ensure that a child born in the hills of Appalachia or the Mississippi Delta or the Rio Grande Valley grows up with the same shot at success that Charlotte will.

Becoming a grandmother has made me think deeply about the responsibility we all share as stewards of the world we inherit and will one day pass on. Rather than make me want to slow down, it has spurred me to speed up. As Margaret Mead said, children keep our imaginations fresh and our hearts young, and they drive us to work for a better future. I’ve also returned again and again to this question of universality – how much we all have in common even if the circumstances of our lives may be different. As you’ve seen throughout this book, one of the defining themes of my time as Secretary of State was our increasing global interdependence. Despite all the division and discord in the world, which sometimes can seem overwhelming, the basic fact of the 21st century is that we’re more connected than ever. If the United States continues to lead the world in the years ahead, as I believe it can and must, it will be because we have learned how to define the terms of our interdependence to promote more cooperation and shared prosperity and less conflict and inequality. As we’ve seen since the first edition of this book was published in June 2014, the negative side of interdependence remains potent — whether it was the spread of virulent new strands of extremism in the Middle East or old-style nationalism in Europe or a deadly epidemic in Africa. Our job is to build up the positive side. The United States and the other great democracies have to redouble our efforts to empower moderates and marginalize extremists everywhere, and to stand firmly and united in pursuit of a more just, free, and peaceful world. That’s the world I want for Charlotte and for all our kids.

11HILLARY-articleLarge

Geez, I love this woman.

Clinton campaign memo: No drama this time – Annie Karni – POLITICO

During an hour-long meeting where bagels were served, Robby Mook, who will serve as campaign manager, distributed a mission statement to all aides in which he detailed the core values the campaign organization will be based on: diversity, discipline and humbleness, according to a Democratic operative who attended the meeting.

The memo can be seen as an attempt by Mook and senior staffers to set the campaign off on the right collaborative note — last time, Clinton’s operation was crippled by infighting and disagreement among the top aides.

“We are a team: we are committed to helping each other succeed to deliver on our core purpose,” the memo states. “We are a diverse, talented family: we work together, empower and respect each other, and have each other’s backs, especially our volunteers.”

Mook encouraged the group, many of whom arrived dressed in jeans on the first real Spring day of the year, to keep a copy of the bullet-pointed sheet on their desks, and pin it to their walls. The memo also reveals what appears to be the name of Clinton’s official committee: the title of the document obtained by POLITICO is “We are Hillary for America.”

Give this Nate Silver article a read, Clinton Begins The 2016 Campaign, And It’s A Toss-up | FiveThirtyEight

There’s already plenty of bad punditry regarding the chances of Hillary Clinton, who is expected to officially announce her candidacy on Sunday, to become the 45th president. You can find Democrats boasting about their “blue wall” in the Electoral College and how hard this will make it for any Republican to win. Or Republicans warning that the Democratic Party rarely wins three elections in a row.

Most of this analysis is flimsy. So is the commentary about the ups-and-downs in early swing state polls. And when you see some pundit declaring a minor misstep to be a “game changer,” find someone else to follow on Twitter.

The truth is that a general election with Clinton on the ballot — she’s very likely to become the Democratic nominee — is roughly a 50/50 proposition. And we’re not likely to learn a lot over the rest of 2015 to change that. Here’s why:

Silver is not predicting doom and gloom…at least. Interesting.

Why does Hillary Rodham Clinton want to be president? – The Washington Post

When Hillary Rodham Clinton arrives in Iowa next week as a candidate for president in 2016, every statement, gesture, laugh, outfit, facial expression and interaction with voters will be put under a microscope the likes of which few, if any, previous candidates have experienced.

Her every step will be analyzed for signs of change or continuity. Has she learned from her loss to then-candidate Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries? If so, what? Does she act entitled or hungry? Has she shifted on foreign policy issues since she was Obama’s secretary of state? Are her economic views the same as Obama’s or Bill Clinton’s or Elizabeth Warren’s? Does she appear to like campaigning or see it as a necessary duty to reach her ultimate goal? Is she rusty or sharp, chilly or warm? The list is endless.

[…]

Where Clinton’s candidacy is likely to rise or fall is on how the American people respond to her personally. She is a divisive and polarizing figure — not just because of her own history but because that is the nature of politics in this period of history. She can’t completely erase that, but her task will be to offer reassurances to voters who are at least open to her candidacy but who nonetheless have questions or reservations about who she really is.

This demands more than a biographical reintroduction for someone described as the least-known well-known woman in the world. She talked regularly in her first campaign about her own biography, her Midwestern roots, her mother and father and life in the Chicago suburbs and beyond.

She may do that again, but the questions voters have about her go beyond where she came from. Her initial trips will be watched for what she says and how she says it. Another measuring stick should be how well she listens and what she learns from the voters. Can she identify what people really want to know about her as a possible president and supply answers they find credible? That is the challenge as she starts the campaign.

The Twenty-Year Hillary Clinton Humanization Project – BuzzFeed News

….one summer morning in 1999, in upstate Elmira, N.Y., Carl and Cindy Hayden served their houseguest a light breakfast and a cup of Earl Grey tea — and asked if she’d mind participating in the family’s “little ritual,” marking her height on the kitchen wall, just as the Haydens’ children had done years ago.

Hillary Clinton, their overnight company, readily agreed.

When Cindy joked that Clinton was “cheating” by wearing heels, the couple couldn’t believe it as they watched the first lady, in their kitchen, laugh and kick off her shoes. And when Cindy went on, asking if her guest’s hair might also provide an extra inch or two, Clinton instantly patted it down flat.

“There were few of the trappings of royalty that one would assume would accompany a first lady,” said Carl Hayden, 74, who still remembers every detail from the night that Clinton stayed as their guest while campaigning for U.S. Senate.

The overnight stay was one of about an estimated 15 or 20 such visits with local Democrats, most of them in upstate New York, according to a former aide. The idea was straightforward: introduce those counties to Clinton, in a setting that best suited to her — with word spreading by mouth of the visit from neighbor to neighbor.

Hosts would typically receive a visit two days early from the Secret Service, who would vet the house — and on the afternoon of the overnight, Clinton would arrive, with just one or two aides who would stay over, too. (The Haydens put Clinton up in their bedroom, while they slept in his son’s twin bed.) Secret Service typically stayed in a hotel nearby, taking shifts outside the house and or in nearby parked cars.

When the campaign first pitched the idea of overnights, Clinton was resistant, two former staffers said. It sounded uncomfortable. Maybe awkward. She didn’t know if people would want her there. But she eventually relented. And after eight years in the White House, she got to be a normal guest: She cleared the table, stripped the bed. “We were all on pins and needles about how it would go,” said one of the aides.

“She loved it.”

[…]

Carl Hayden, Clinton’s host, had no doubt he saw the real Clinton that night in 1999.

“She was very down-home, very natural. You’d be surprised how comfortable the visit was — and how comfortable an individual she was,” said Hayden, who is active in local politics and served at the time as chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents.

Clinton engaged him a lengthy conversation on his porch about policy. “She let me prattle on when it was obvious that she knew about five, or 50 times, more about educational policies than I did.” Later, they went to a neighborhood bar for dinner. (“Nothing shi-shi.”) And at the end of the night, Hayden recalled, an aide carried up some “zonky-looking” equipment to his and Cindy’s bedroom — where Clinton was staying the night — so that before bed, she “was able to have confidential and coded” conversation with her husband, who happened to be in Bosnia at the time.

“When folks connect with her and she with them, it really has an impact,” Begala said.

He recalled a line Clinton used to repeat during the 1992 race about the conversations she’d have with voters: “‘I hear these people and their stories… It’s like a movie that plays in my head.’”

You can read the analysis at the link, I just liked the story.

Robert Reich: To win, Hillary needs to be honest that Wall Street is ‘still out of control’

’s a paradox.

Almost all the economic gains are still going to the top, leaving America’s vast middle class with stagnant wages and little or no job security. Two-thirds of Americans are working paycheck to paycheck.

Meanwhile, big money is taking over our democracy.

If there were ever a time for a bold Democratic voice on behalf of hardworking Americans, it is now.

Yet I don’t recall a time when the Democratic Party’s most prominent office holders sounded as meek. With the exception of Elizabeth Warren, they’re pussycats. If Paul Wellstone, Teddy Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, or Ann Richards were still with us, they’d be hollering.

The fire now is on the right, stoked by the Koch brothers, Rupert Murdoch, and a pocketful of hedge-fund billionaires.

Today’s Republican firebrands, beginning with Ted Cruz, blame the poor, blacks, Latinos, and immigrants for what’s been happening. They avoid any mention of wealth and power.

Which brings me to Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Some wonder about the strength of her values and ideals. I don’t. I’ve known her since she was 19 years old, and have no doubt where her heart is. For her entire career she’s been deeply committed to equal opportunity and upward mobility.

Some worry she’s been too compromised by big money – that the circle of wealthy donors she and her husband have cultivated over the years has dulled her sensitivity to the struggling middle class and poor.

But it’s wrong to assume great wealth, or even a social circle of the wealthy, is incompatible with a deep commitment to reform – as Teddy Roosevelt and his fifth-cousin Franklin clearly demonstrated.

The more relevant concern is Hillary Clinton’s willingness to fight.

Read the rest at the link.

Hillary Clinton faces months of hits from GOP, liberals – NY Daily News

This time she really is the inevitable candidate.

In 2008, Hillary Clinton held big, carefully staged rallies designed to create the impression of a juggernaut to the nomination. It didn’t work out that way.

As she prepares to announce Sunday, Clinton is hitting the reset button on her image and gearing up for the onslaught of ferocious attacks from the GOP.

After a rough month during which she faced bad headlines over her private emails and Clinton Foundation donations from foreign powers, Clinton is planning a carefully controlled rollout with small-scale events in early primary states.

[…]

4UNT5rGShe has assembled a fresh-faces campaign team — mostly younger staffers without the baggage of her infighting ’08 team.

Democrats believe that bodes well.

“They are very focused on staying focused. She has a team who knows what it takes to win,” said Democratic strategist and Clinton ally Hilary Rosen. “She will make it clear that choosing her over any of the GOP challengers is the best way to keep the country moving forward. In other words, they are going to stay engaged on what matters.”

“We are Hillary for America.”

This is a hells fucking yeah open thread!


Saturday: Comet to light up the sky, helping women to succeed, the pebble and a string

9f4b7a6fbd51ef7870c68b869046edb5Good Morning Y’all

Yes, it may be a bit late…but at least I remembered that I was bringing you this morning’s reads! With Dak making a trip to the cloudy territory of the Northwest…Boston Boomer and I have switched days for the weekend post. So here are your morning reads for this Mid-November Saturday.

Hillary had a great speech this past week. I know that I can’t bring you the special kind of “Hillary Post” that Mona is so well know for, I would not even attempt it…but just look at some of the things our Hillary had to say:

Clinton: Helping women succeed is the ‘great unfinished business of the 21st century’

The latest in a series of high-profile honors and speeches, Hillary Clinton said America must set an example on the global stage with women at the forefront of conflict negotiations and in leadership roles.

“Too many women around the world still face ceilings that hold them back from participating fully in every aspect of life, which, in turn, holds back entire societies,” the former secretary of state said at an event in Washington on Thursday. “And the great unfinished business of the 21st century is helping women and girls break through those ceilings, once and for all.”

“Over and over, in country after country, women have proven themselves a powerful source for peace, even in places where their political power is slight or nonexistent,” she said. “They’re often the ones who are saying ‘to end conflict we need to think about jobs and housing and schools and policing’ – all the things we know to be critical to any stable society.”

She is wonderful.

Clinton pointed to women’s’ involvement in instances of crucial crisis management throughout history – from protecting civil rights in post-apartheid South Africa to working across ethnic lines to help survivors of the Rwandan genocide.

[…]

Clinton will join Secretary of State John Kerry and former first lady Laura Bush for an event at Georgetown University on Friday focused on sustaining progress for women in Afghanistan after American troops withdraw next year.

“We cannot afford to stand by silently while the hard-won gains of the past decade are squandered and the United States must stand firmly for the rights of all afghans, women, first and foremost,” she said.

And at that event yesterday…Kerry’s advice on how to marry women like Clinton

Appearing at Georgetown University on Friday with predecessor Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State John Kerry gave some tips to the men at the school, where former President Bill Clinton also studied. “For all the men…who sat in or who sit in classrooms where Bill Clinton sat so many years ago, my advice to you is this: Study hard, go to Oxford, become governor of your state, and then maybe you can marry one of the country’s remarkable Secretaries of State,” he joked.

Kerry was full of praise for Hillary Clinton after she introduced him at the event, which focused on progress made by women in Afghanistan. Referring to her as “Madam Secretary slash Senator slash First Lady slash everything,” Kerry thanked her for her work in advocating for women and girls.

That was pretty much all there was to say about the events over at the CNN blog where those two links are from, and it was fortunate that the comments were closed early…allowing under 25 idiots to make their usually remarks.

This next link is from The New Statesman, by Samira Shackle: Can you be a Muslim and a feminist?

It is astonishing that “Muslims”, and Muslim women, are so frequently spoken about as a monolithic block. If you actually listen to what Muslim women have to say on the subject, you find that many of them have no difficulty reconciling their faith with their conviction that they, as women, should be equal citizens.

You should read the article, it is not very long, but a couple of paragraphs to note:

There is a particular breed of internet troll whose favoured technique is to take selective quotes from the Qur’an or to answer any article on Islam with “The Prophet married Aisha when she was a child!!!”. Yet this cherry-picking proves nothing. The Prophet lived in the 6th Century, and the advent of Islam vastly improved the situation for women in pre-Islamic Arabia. Moreover, most religious texts contain misogynistic elements. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam respectively originated 3,000, 2,000, and 1,450 years ago, and elements of the scripture and lore of all three reflect the times they were written in. The Torah, Bible, and Qur’an all agree that women are unclean during menstruation. The Bible says that “a woman should learn in quietness and full submission”. This is not to play tit-for-tat, but to point out that it is intensely reductive to claim that any single religion is inherently woman-hating. The Bible and the Torah are comparable to the Qur’an in their statements on women; yet one does not commonly hear that “Judaism and feminism are a contradiction in terms” or that “you cannot be a Christian and a feminist”.

[…]

In writing this article, my intention is not to detract from the very real problems suffered by many Muslim women, or to argue that sexism in Islam does not exist. It does exist, as threats against women activists in Asia and the Middle East demonstrate. As is often the case, the conservative minority shouts the loudest and essentially drowns out the liberal voices. But by saying that “Islam and feminism cannot co-exist”, you are handing a victory to that conservative faction. My intention – and this may be too nuanced for the trolls who I can already hear queuing up – is to point out that Islam and feminism are not mutually exclusive. To claim that they are is – far from “saving” these victims – to deny women their voices all over again.

Trolls…like the ones trolling those Hillary blog post over at CNN.

Anyway, that was not the only point of Shackle’s piece, but it connected to me at least, as Hillary was talking about the importance of women succeeding in the very areas that Shackle mentions.

Alright. The rest of this will be quick.

Be sure to look for the Comet ISON…I know that we have talked about this thing since last year. Comet ISON Visible To Naked Eye After Outburst Of Activity, Observers Say

Get ready for a stellar show. The much-anticipated Comet ISON is now visible to the naked eye according to reports from many observers.

Comet ISON — the potential “comet of the century” — has suddenly brightened in an outburst of activity with just two weeks to go before it literally grazes the surface of the sun.

In recent months, Comet ISON has repeatedly befuddled forecasters trying to anticipate just how bright it will ultimately become. But earlier this week, the comet’s brightening trend again seemed to sputtering and stalling, but more recent observations suggest a sudden and radical upsurge in brightness. [Photos of Comet ISON: A Potentially Great Comet]

comet ison visible

An hour before sunrise on Monday morning, November 18, catch a sight of the elusive planet Mercury, with brightening Comets ISON and Lovejoy as a bonus.

Comet ISON lightens up, literally

Comet ISON is now in full outburst mode, becoming many times brighter over just the past few days. Astronomers measure the brightness of objects in the night sky as magnitude, in which the brighter an object is, the lower its magnitude number. The human eye can perceive objects as faint as magnitude +6.5.

According to veteran comet observer, John Bortle, Comet ISON was shining only at magnitude +8.5 on Monday (Nov. 11) morning — more than six times too dim to be visible to the unaided eye. But by Wednesday morning, the comet’s brightness had increased three-fold brightening to +7.3. [8 Essential Facts About Comet ISON]

Comet ISON in outburst | Today’s Image | EarthSky

Full moon, Leonid meteors, Comet ISON on November 16-17 | Tonight | EarthSky

Before dawn on peak night of leonids

Before dawn, use binoculars to see if you can spot Comet ISON near Spica, the brightest star in the constellation Virgo the Maiden. Finally, as darkness begins to give way to dawn, watch the planet Mercury finally climb above the horizon.

Did you all hear about this survey from Pope Francis? Pope Francis sends out survey to ask Catholics about gay sex, abortion and contraception (Shame there was nothing there about pedophile priest and cover-ups but..)

Pope Francis is urging members of the Catholic church to fill in a survey on the Vatican’s current teachings regarding contraception, homosexuality and access to communion for the divorced, to see how hard it is to practice what the church preaches in a modern day world.

The unique questionnaire, launched earlier this month, aims to determine how Christians feel about issues such as gay marriage and whether they feel such teachings are practical.

Feedback is expected to highlight the difference between Church teachings and the behaviour of its followers.

Read more details about the survey at the link.

Which is funny when you see what Bill Maher does with it:

Maher Acts Out Pope v. Palin: ‘Listening to You, I’m Reconsidering My Stance on Birth Control’ | Mediaite –

Sarah Palin made some provocative remarks about how liberal the Pope is this week, and despite her apology, Bill Maher found the whole thing way too amusing, and proceeded to show off a mock Twitter feud between Pope Francis and the former Alaska governor.

Video at that link…

Or, you can read about it at this link…Maher: If Palin thinks the Pope is too liberal, ‘wait until she sees what Jesus has been saying’ | The Raw Story But this “tweet” from the Pope to Palin is perfect:

“Dear Sister,” Maher’s Pope replied, “how about a little more silent meditation from you? #AmIRightPeople?”

Last week, on TCM showing of Chapter 11: The story of Film one of the people interviewed was screenwriter/poet Javed Akhtar  who co-wrote the famous epic Sholay with Salim Khan. He was talking about the film and innovation and he said something so poignant, poetic and simple that it gave me goosebumps. I tried to find the clip, but I could not…however I did find someone who must have felt that his description of art was as powerful as I did.

The Pebble and the String: an allegory for art | Lost in the Movies (formerly The Dancing Image)

excerpted from an interview with writer Javed Akhtar in Mark Cousins’ documentary “The Story of Film” (2011)

“You must have seen children playing with a string and a pebble. They’re tying a string to a pebble and they start spinning it over their head. And slowly they keep leaving [makes motion of lowering grip] the string, and it makes bigger and bigger circle. Now, this pebble is the revolt from the tradition. It wants to move away. But the string is the tradition, the continuity of the tradition. It is holding it. But if you break the string, the pebble will fall. If you remove the pebble, the string cannot go that far. This tension of tradition and revolt against the tradition are in a way contradictory but as a matter of fact it is a synthesis: you will always find the synthesis of tradition and revolt against the tradition together in any good art.”

I wish you could hear him say it…it makes it even more beautiful.

Let us end with some pictures that show Beauty in the Everyday from the Lens blog at the New York Times

There is something so poignant about Saul Leiter’s work that looking at it can feel like taking a dart to the heart. Drenched in luxuriant, saturated colors, the images instantly transport the viewer into the photographer’s shoes: peeping from beneath an awning to a snow-swept street, or through a befogged cafe window, weeping with condensation, to a man taking pause on a wintry sidewalk. Intimate and empathetic, Mr. Leiter’s photographs relay what all New Yorkers know about their roaring, daunting home: that life in the city is filled with stolen glimpses and fleeting, quietly personal and often gorgeous moments.

Flipping through a book of Mr. Leiter’s work about seven years ago, Tomas Leach, a commercial film director based in London, fell in love with the pictures. Though many of the images were more than a half-century old, Mr. Leach was struck by their timelessness and “curious, encrypted feel.”

He assumed that Mr. Leiter was a “recognized giant of photography,” but instead discovered that Mr. Leiter, now 89, was an elusive artist whose work was not widely known outside the photography world. “I was amazed,” Mr. Leach recalled. “There was nothing about this guy who’d done this clearly amazing, beautiful work.”

Be sure to take a look at that gallery of images, and have a wonderful day!


Caturday Reads: A cure to PAD*

Friday Night Ohana: my kittos, Lily and Rue, last night having “facetime” that defies the space-time continuum… the dog on my Macbook Air is my angeldog on the other side, Callie. The kittos are resting on my foot (under the covers).

Morning, news junkies… it’s been awhile, so welcome back to Caturday!

Please Note: *PAD=Political Affective Disorder.

So, I’d like to start by getting some election season political ranting out of the way as a housekeeping matter. I hope y’all don’t hate me after this, but here goes:

  1. Can we just take it as a given that Republican pols are generally very skeery people with skeery politics and lying faces (Exhibits A-Z: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan)? Obviously. Especially to a more liberal (and correctly so, in my liberal opinion) crowd such as Sky Dancing. But, I am kind of tired of this being used as a reason itself to vote for Oprecious, as if he is not guilty of being kinda “skeery moderate Repub” himself on more than a few issues, frankly. Just me personally, ok? I understand this is a stinky lesser of evils game and everybody just tries to make the best decision they can where their voting and advocacy is concerned in an election year. So I’m not judging or pointing any fingers here, but I am asking if maybe we could try to elevate the conversation that is going on *elsewhere* in the blogosphere and offline. I think there are plenty valid reasons to vote *for* Obama (as opposed to *only* against Rom/Ry)–I’m voting FOR O too (and against R/R for that matter), albeit, begrudgingly, and I’ll be glad to devoting a post or three to making that case in the days ahead. But, I’m not going to chalk it up to Dems being saviors, while the GOP is satanic. I mean, they are kinda satanic 😉 but, it’s not a compelling argument (to little ol’ me anyway)! Because while upwards of 99% of Republican pols scare the bejeebers out of me, upwards of 90% of pols that claim to be Democrats scare me as well. They’re almost all owned by the Oligarchy/Wall Street/War Party. Even Bill and Hillary, much as I love ’em, are working within that system, not outside of it. To improve the system, of course, but nonetheless they are part of it.
  2. I think it is really remarkable that the first time I’ve ever heard so-called Mr. Economy Romney say anything remotely (note: I am not saying fully, just remotely…) intelligible on the economy was yesterday when he pointed out that the job numbers don’t include people who have stopped looking for work. Well, gee, golly, were you just born yesterday, Mr. Romney? Of course, Mittens only said this because all his usual trickle down lies wouldn’t have served his case and telling the semi-truth (see The Note’s Zunaira Zaki and her Fact-Checking Mitt Romney Job Claims) here was actually beneficial to him. And, worse it was compounded by his general inability to make sense on the economy and his wingnut surrogates and their bizarro world conspiracies. The truth is, both the ostensible “left” and “right” made me tune out yesterday with their reaction to the unemployment stats. Neither side cares about unemployed people, period. It’s all tribal and it’s all my guy rulez, your guy droolz.
  3. It reminds me of Hillary saying, And, some people think elections are a game, they think it’s like who’s up or who’s down…it’s about our country, it’s about our kids futures…and it’s really about all of us together.”
  4. Here’s your Lazy Persons, Sununu: Almost 2,400 Millionaires Pocketed Unemployment Benefits (h/t Delphyne)

Alrighty, now that I’ve gotten those doozies out of the way. Are you still with me? I hope so… ’cause I’ve got a few links and discussion for you that I hope bring some relief for you during this political season of suck.

First up… Paticheri: Ethno,Graphic.Food. Go read it. It’s AWESOME. I’ve linked you to the post I’m currently savoring (“A Taste of Salt: Marakkanam, Bar Nuts, and Roasted Tomatoes”) and that I left comments on. It is an incredible trip that will take you around the world on a grain of NaCl!

This next one is a gem of a youtube that I am very very narcissistically proud of myself for digging up this week (go me and my googling abilities!)…

“This Little Light of Mine” was my absolute favorite song in choir as a kid (back when I used to sing…shhhhh! 😉

I love this song even more as an adult and being able to appreciate all the history of human resilience behind it. And, of course it’s a youtube of the wonderful Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon, Lizz Wright, and Toshi Reagon singing from Harlem… what is not to love?

Another DIVINE youtube (which I snagged from the delectable Owl Report on facebook last week) of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, France 1960. BEHOLD the wonder:

Next up, a reminder to check out PBS Independent Lens’ “Half the Sky” while its up (till October 9th) if you haven’t already… Part 1Part 2:

A couple more links…

Happy News about an Unhappy (Degaying…) Practice…via Joyce Arnold’s Queer Talk over at Taylor Marsh’s: New California Law Bans ‘Conversion’ Therapy. Please check it out! Hopefully this is the start of a trend, and eventually kids will be talking about these conversion ‘therapies’ in school the way they now talk about Jim Crow.

I’d like to end with a really wonderful blog by my friend, Marie–a young woman who is so gorgeously candid in her recovery! This is a personal request to check it out and help spread the word to any young (or really, any-aged!) people you know suffering from eating disorders and/or addiction.

Alright, the comments are yours to soapbox all over, Sky Dancers. Make it worth it — and, have a lovely autumn weekend!