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

Hillary Rodham Clinton


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, 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 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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Ready for Hillary Super PAC:

Ready For Hillary Clinton for President 2016

Ready For Hillary | Facebook

President Bill Clinton Facebook page:

Chelsea’s Facebook page:

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”


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. –

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.


Hillary Clinton to Announce 2016 Run for President on Sunday –

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.


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!

Wednesday Wonk: Not Ready to Make Nice, March on Washington, and the Achy Breaky Patriarchy

1268899_212689705572726_66084798_oFasten your seat belts, newsjunkies. I’m feeling very much like Natalie Maines in her song/video, “Not Ready to Make Nice.”

I have a couple questions for us as a society.

To the right [via NYC Light Brigade]: The night before the 50th anniversary celebrations of the March on Washington, the NYC Light Brigade travelled to DC to shed light on Dr. Martin Luther King’s message to End Militarism, and contrast that with the current administration’s drone warfare policy which has resulted in the death of untold civilians throughout the world.

For what exactly are we marching and showing solidarity for this 28th of August in the year 2013?

I know it’s terribly disturbing-of-all-things-party-unity, which is all the more reason why I must ask you all to think seriously about what happens to a feminist dream deferred?

What feminist dream, you ask?

Let’s go with the Hollie McNish spoken word poem I shared with y’all a couple months ago. To refresh, here’s both the transcript and video (scroll down for the latter)… I know it’s long, but it’s worth it (especially if you just scroll down, click play, and listen for yourself):

Poem: Reverse:

I would love to reverse things for a day
A short break for those who say its all ok
I’d have an MTV where every male celebrity was dancing on a pole in pants
While all the female, fully clothed, stood back, just singing
As they can, cos that’s their talent
For just one day
The women’s lifestyle section of the magazine rack stands would
See a sea of choice of topics
Not just cooking, home or looking grand
But politics and sport and art, design and science, top shelf porn perhaps
And watch as men look all forlorn and wonder why their lifestyle section is full of naked pouting men on cover
Licking gadgets in their underwear
For just one day I swear I’d scream
To see young male celebrities standing on tv next 2 50 year old female copresenters
Watching as this token eye candy giggles politely at everything she says
I said for just one day I would pay to see a newspaper take a double spread about what the president eats for tea
ten pages to talk about David Camerons choice of socks and hand cream
While focusing on Kate Middletons degree and how she feel about personal freedom
Next to images of Price Williams top ten jackets worn this Summer
For just one day I’d read the sports pages and undercover news reporting without watching as men gawp at 18 year old tits while I’m trying to make the point that women can be more than this
And page three licks should be in specialist magazines not newspapers anyone can grab and read and
For just one day I wonder what would happen
If there were airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every women’s magazine and airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every mans magazine
And airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every shop window
And airbrushed half dressed posed male teens on the front of every tv screen
And loads of fully dressed women in photos everywhere
Cameras staring at their faces in shoulder shots, their wrinkles photoshopped deeper like every male magazine man feature
For just one day
Music award ceremonies would award
Rihanna for her singing
And think about not giving awards to Chris brown
And women with amazing voices would be awarded for their amazing voices and they would show their amazing voices on stage by singing
And Men with amazing voices would be awarded for their amazing voices and they would show their amazing voices on stage by singing whilst also shaking their crotch and pretending to shag the floor, snogging other men with amazing voices while dancing around poles in gold stringed jock straps and swimming trunks
And lunging forward
And bending over with cameras pointed at their arses
For just one day I’d go to parties where the women, like the men, dressed for the weather and walked the high street to the club in coats and jumpers as the rain and snow fell down
For just one day
And for just one day
I might those men around me say:
For fuck sake,
I don’t like gay porn so why do I have to watch naked fucking men all day
I might hear those men say
Is it really ok to show two men in g strings pretending to fuck one another in a dance routine on X factor at 7 oclock in front of my sons
And I might hear those men say
Is it not enough that he is an amazing singer or rapper or songwriter and musician, why does have to wear a flashing crocodile toothed jock strap everytime he performs on stage
And I might hear those men say
Maybe, I might hear those men say,
Ok, I get it,
You’re not just on your period.
Perhaps you have a point.
Maybe you’re not just jealous of her tits
Maybe there’s more to this than you being annoyed by the way women are portrayed in the media.
And for just one day
I might wake up and not worry about my daughter growing up to be a women in this place where newspapers prey on teenage tits and tell me this is all ok
For just one day.
I’d like to see what those men who mock me say
If everything was the other way around.

So, what happens to this feminist dream deferred exactly?

If you guessed the Miley Cyrus[-Robin Thicke] Twerk performance at the VMAs on Sunday night, ding ding ding, you’d be correct.

I swear to Durga, I was just here on Sky Dancing not but a few weeks ago posting up women-powered parodies of Robin Thicke’s Blurred BS and his even more ridiculous claims to be the founder of a new feminist movement.

Let’s revisit Hollie McNish for a second, though — specifically:

Licking gadgets in their underwear

And bending over with cameras pointed at their arses

Ponder the entire poem and those two lines in particular, spoken by McNish nearly a year ago.

Compare to present-day Twerkgate, pretty much obsessed with Miley Cyrus and not-so-much Robin Thicke’s longstanding nonsense.

Then read this sexologist’s two cents on the 2013 MTV VMA’s:

Dear Society,

If you think a woman in a tan vinyl bra and underwear, grabbing her crotch and grinding up on a dance partner is raunchy, trashy, and offensive but you don’t think her dance partner is raunchy, trashy, or offensive as he sings a song about “blurred” lines of consent and propagating rape culture, then you may want to reevaluate your acceptance of double standards and your belief in stereotypes about how men vs. women “should” and are “allowed” to behave.

Dr. Jill

Any questions?

(Hint: The problem starts with a P ends with a Y and rhymes with Achy Breaky….and don’t even get me started on those creepy Vanity Fair photos her father Billy Ray Cyrus posed for with daughter Miley…if that doesn’t say Father failure, I don’t know what else much will.)

Now, let’s take a look at another late August milestone/anniversary, August 26, 1970 [via Haymarket Books]:

1185746_595393833844199_827582056_nThe Women’s Strike for Equality was a National strike which took place in the US on August 26, 1970—the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Nineteenth Amendment. The rally was sponsored by the National Organization for Women (NOW). Defying mounted police, almost 50,000 marched down NY City’s Fifth Avenue. Dutch women marched on the US embassy in Amsterdam to show support, while French feminists demonstrated at the Arc de Triomphe, carrying a banner that read, “More Unknown Than the Unknown Soldier: His Wife.”

The strike primarily focused on equal opportunity in the workforce, political rights for women, and social equality in relationships such as marriage. It also addressed the right to have an abortion and free childcare.

In the words of the late Dr. King himself:

All we say to America is, “Be true to what you said on paper.”

When is America going to be true to what it said on paper? All men created equal and a more perfect union?

Right now, in the year 2013, our Texas khaleesi Wendy Davis is collecting our signatures in support of Equal Pay for Equal Work.

So, I ask of you, why are we still in the same eternal battle? Women’s rights vs. War?

Alice Paul and Herstory, anyone?:

National Woman’s Party:

Alice Paul was chair of a major committee (congressional) of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) within a year, in her mid-twenties, but a year later (1913) Alice Paul and others withdrew from the NAWSA to form the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage. This organization evolved into the National Woman’s Party in 1917, and Alice Paul’s leadership was key to this organization’s founding and future.

Alice Paul and Militancy:

In England, Alice Paul had taken part in more radical protests for woman suffrage, including participating in the hunger strikes. She brought back this sense of militancy, and back in the U.S. she organized protests and rallies and ended up imprisoned three times.


Equal Rights Amendment (ERA):

After the 1920 victory for the federal amendment, Paul became involved in the struggle to introduce and pass an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The Equal Rights Amendment was finally passed in Congress in 1970 and sent to the states to ratify. However, the number of states necessary never ratified within the specified time limit and the Amendment failed.

Alice Paul and Peace:

Paul also was active in the Peace movement, stating at the outbreak of World War II that if women had helped to end World War I, the second war would not have been necessary.

And, in the direct words of the Iron Jawed Angel herself:

Mr. President how long must women wait to get their liberty? Let us have the rights we deserve.

Women’s Liberation Now.

Not World War III.

What is going on in Syria is harrowing.

There’s also a humanitarian crisis right here in these United States of America.

In the words of the late Coretta Scott King:

If American women would increase their voting turnout by ten percent, I think we would see an end to all of the budget cuts in programs benefiting women and children.

In the words of Dr. Dorothy Height (from her memoir Open Wide the Freedom Gates, p. 200-1):

As economic pressures tightened, the black woman found herself trapped in a triple bind of racism, sexism, and poverty.

America, be true to what you said on paper. And, connect some dots already.

If it’s not Miley’s buttcheek, it’s Rihanna. If it’s not Rihanna, it’s Britney. If it’s not Britney, it’s Janet Jackson’s tit.

If it’s not Janet Jackson, it’s Honey Boo Boo Child and her mom or whatever their names are. (I thought we loved those very same characters in Little Miss Sunshine, but I guess that was only for Hollywood’s benefit.)
If it’s not the Honey Boo Boos, it’s the entire Real Housewives franchise cast of Bravo TV trying to keep up with those evil Kardashian women… (But, never ever Ryan Seacrest…)

Or, it’s Paula Dean:1234979_435679589881967_1417955754_nI’ve tried to connect some dots and vignettes here for you, that I think present a social and political commentary/context for discussing what we should be marching for–I’m going to stop here, because if I haven’t made my point clear by now, you’re probably not reading anymore anyway 😉

Also, I want to stop just short of offering my explicit answers so you can fill in the blank(s) yourself, below in the comments:

Today I march/pledge my solidarity for                                                               .

And, with that I’m going to turn the soapbox over to you Sky Dancers. Do your thing!

Sisterhood…Solidarity, forever.

Oh, and… Hillary 2016:

Wednesday Wonk: Watch out, haters

1175623_429013850548541_816965767_nHi, I’m baaaack. How have you been, newsjunkies? As you know, a week is a whirlwind in sex and politics, so… prepare yourself for a very un-fancy link feast…starting with some items on Our Gal Gals, of course.

Wendy 2014, Hillary 2016

  • The Liberal Agenda posted the meme to the right on Tuesday. What a difference five to six years makes… with pieces like The Atlantic’s “How the Left Wing Learned to Love Hillary.”  As evidenced by Daily Kos’ hilarity in the forms of diaries titled “Hillary Clinton will be a very, very cool president” and such.
  • I really am wary of this “perceived inevitability” crap in the progressive feeding trough, though. We’ve been to that rodeo before–pass on Meet the Beast all over again. Hillary’s likely running–we see all the political movement opening the way for her to essentially be drafted into doing so. But, she’s not inevitable, thank you very much David Axelrod and co.
  • Please, remember as a true Hillary stalwart–Peter Daou–has cautioned in his “A Reader’s Guide to Anti-Hillary Themes.” Repeat after me, Sky Dancers: Hillary is not inevitable. “No matter what she says about working hard, staying focused and not taking anything for granted, detractors create this perch then try to knock her down from it.” –Daou
  • And, though I can’t see the lovely Liz Warren primarying Hillary, damn the debates we could have from a match-up of that kind would be epic and exhilarating. If only the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones were still alive (not that she would primary Hill either). Now, that would really be a primary season to savor.
  • Wonkgirl daydreams aside… I *welcome* a healthy primary contest. May the best shero win–it will only make her stronger as a candidate and Madame president. Maybe good ol’ Joe can change his name on the ballot to Robinette BidenI know, bad Wonk. Just can’t help myself. I still remember his philosopher king distinction on the campaign trail in ’08 that “girl-girls are tougher than boy-girls.” (I would link if I could find a source that wasn’t batshit rightwing. Google at your own peril. I do remember Joe Biden saying this, though. Just nobody on the left wanted to look at it because he was on the Obama ticket by then.) Seriously, I can’t wait for a healthy primary debate.
  • And, don’t forget. Before 2016, we’ve got the 2014 election cycle with which to smash and weaken the hell out of the patriarchy first. I’ve got a bunch of Stand With Texas women links up on Sisterhood of the Pink Sneaks. A very small taste, via Burnt Orange Report: Texas Democratic Organizations Urge Wendy Davis to Run for Governor. Draft Wendy. Draft Hillary.
  • I know, we’re all preparing for the onslaught of backlash. We’ve already seen some claws come out–iron my shirt slapping Hillary and such. I know Fox News et stupid al. still can’t shut up about the Weapons of Mass Destruction they found in Benghazi. Channeling my best Kiki McLean here to say: They’re STUPID. And, they are bleeding anybody who doesn’t have political derangement psychosis. Let them eat their Joker cake…
  • If they think Hillary fatigue is a concern this far out, they ought to actually worry about Hillary/Woman hater fatigue. The more desperate they get in their respective Hillary and Obama derangement, the more they will “radicalize hundreds of thousands of us” that will turn into millions and millions of us scary hairy feminists who “don’t give a flying frigidaire about your Boehners, Weiners, or Spitzers” at the national ballot box or elsewhere. Or, you know. Just normal everyday people who don’t want a bunch of Newt Gingrich clones on stupid-steroids running this country into the ground with a Second Contract against America.

Chris Christie: Teanderthal extraordinaire

  • Flashback to last August:

“For instance, I hear people talk all the time about female voters. I think it’s condescending to women to say we have to have a different message for women than we have with men. I’m going to lay out a message for our party tonight [at the Republican convention] that I think will resonate just as much with women voters as it will with men voters.”

–Chris Christie


Be-YOU-tiful, Sky dancers! Have at it in the comments. I’ll talk to y’all later tonight.

Right now, I’m off to go take care of a few things before my doctor sister’s White Coat ceremony this evening. This is the girl who rolled her little eyes at me for making her do “really hard” book reports on pandas when I played teacher and she, reluctant/only teacher’s pet. Well, look at her now. My Little Sweetheart forever, all grown up! I may be older than her by a gazillion years, but she inspires me to keep going…

…not unlike Hillary or Harriet Tubman. (“If you hear the dogs…keep going.” –Hills, DNC 2008.)

Saturday: Smash the Patriarchy, Extinct Political Birds, Blurred Feminism, and Mental Illness as Rebellion

extinct_birdsNewsflash: Conservative dodo bird Jonah Goldberg finds Hillary Clinton boring.

(So boring, in fact, that recall Goldberg and/or his wife ghostwrote fed stale old anti-Hillary canards about tea, cookies, and bra-burning for Palin’s America by Heart.)

In other news…

Keep your popcorn bowls handy, newsjunkies, as we continue to watch the heads explode on all the dodos.

Next up… Two patriarchy-smashing parodies of the misogynist-yet-insidiously catchy earworm that is Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines.” I recommend taking the time to view the videos below at some point this weekend if you haven’t seen them already. (Especially after Thicke went on the Today show this week claiming his original track to be “great art” and a “feminist movement in itself.”)

First up, Mod Carousel’s gender role reversal “Sexy Boys”:

From the video’s description:

Mod Carousel, a Seattle based boylesque troupe, does a sexy parody of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines music video.

It’s our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and do everyone a disservice. We made this video specifically to show a spectrum of sexuality as well as present both women and men in a positive light, one where objectifying men is more than alright and where women can be strong and sexy without negative repercussions.

The other video is Melinda Hughes’ “Lame Lines”:

From the lyrics, as transcribed in Hughes’ youtube description:

You think I want it
I really don’t want it
Please get off it
You’re a douchebag
You’re a little flacid
Your dance is spastic
Should go get tested
I hate your lame lines
You think I want it
I really don’t want it
Please get off it
You’re a douchebag
Hey don’t you grab me
Look at me, I’m classy
I said don’t grab me

There are a lot of other parodies out there, but these two had a distinctly gender bender vibe to them. So, what do you think Sky Dancers? Did these versions succeed?

Switching gears a bit, here’s an interesting piece from AlterNet by Bruce E. Levine, called “Why Life in America Can Literally Drive You Insane” with the byline “it’s not just Big Pharma” underneath:

In “The Epidemic of Mental Illness: Why?” (New York Review of Books, 2011), Marcia Angell, former editor-in-chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, discusses over-diagnosis of psychiatric disorders, pathologizing of normal behaviors, Big Pharma corruption of psychiatry, and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications. While diagnostic expansionism and Big Pharma certainly deserve a large share of the blame for this epidemic, there is another reason.

A June 2013 Gallup poll revealed that 70% of Americans hate their jobs or have “checked out” of them. Life may or may not suck any more than it did a generation ago, but our belief in “progress” has increased expectations that life should be more satisfying, resulting in mass disappointment. For many of us, society has become increasingly alienating, isolating and insane, and earning a buck means more degrees, compliance, ass-kissing, shit-eating, and inauthenticity. So, we want to rebel. However, many of us feel hopeless about the possibility of either our own escape from societal oppression or that political activism can create societal change. So, many of us, especially young Americans, rebel by what is commonly called mental illness.

Ah, yes, I believe I called it when I first coined the phrase, “Political Affective Disorder.”

It’s a long read, and not one I can yet say I fully endorse or not, particularly on the issue of diagnosis and the author’s attitude toward the DSM as nothing more than “pseudoscience.”

As a student of the psychological discipline, I am still taking my sweet time to form an opinion on the DSM-5 and the food fight between its proponents and detractors. The DSM in all its versions thusfar has been far from a perfect venture, but having  gotten to hear directly from one of the Work Group chairs that was at the frontlines of changes for her respective category at a mental health conference last month, I have to say it makes a difference to hear from the horse’s mouth the reasoning that went into each change, as opposed to reading about it in an op-ed. That’s a rant for another time, though!

Suffice it to say, Levine’s essay is thought-provoking and raises important points for debate. I have long-thought there was a social rebellion aspect to mental illness. (Cassandra, anyone?)

Excerpt from the piece, with some relevant survey trends and research stats on the current state of the American Dream/Nightmare:

Returning to that June 2013 Gallup survey, “The State of the American Workplace: Employee Engagement,” only 30% of workers “were engaged, or involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their workplace.” In contrast to this “actively engaged group,” 50% were “not engaged,” simply going through the motions to get a paycheck, while 20% were classified as “actively disengaged,” hating going to work and putting energy into undermining their workplace. Those with higher education levels reported more discontent with their workplace.

How engaged are we with our schooling? Another Gallup poll “The School Cliff: Student Engagement Drops With Each School Year” (released in January 2013), reported that the longer students stay in school, the less engaged they become. The poll surveyed nearly 500,000 students in 37 states in 2012, and found nearly 80% of elementary students reported being engaged with school, but by high school, only 40% reported being engaged. As the pollsters point out, “If we were doing right by our students and our future, these numbers would be the absolute opposite. For each year a student progresses in school, they should be more engaged, not less.”

Life clearly sucks more than it did a generation ago when it comes to student loan debt. According to American Student Assistance’s “Student Debt Loan Statistics,” approximately 37 million Americans have student loan debt. The majority of borrowers still paying back their loans are in their 30s or older. Approximately two-thirds of students graduate college with some education debt. Nearly 30% of college students who take out loans drop out of school, and students who drop out of college before earning a degree struggle most with student loans. As of October 2012, the average amount of student loan debt for the Class of 2011 was $26,600, a 5% increase from 2010. Only about 37% of federal student-loan borrowers between 2004 and 2009 managed to make timely payments without postponing payments or becoming delinquent.

In addition to the pain of jobs, school, and debt, there is increasingly more pain of social isolation. A major study reported in the American Sociological Review in 2006, “Social Isolation in America: Changes in Core Discussion Networks Over Two Decades,” examined Americans’ core network of confidants (those people in our lives we consider close enough to trust with personal information and whom we rely on as a sounding board). Authors reported that in 1985, 10% of Americans said that they had no confidants in their lives; but by 2004, 25% of Americans stated they had no confidants in their lives. This study confirmed the continuation of trends that came to public attention in sociologist Robert Putnam’s 2000 book Bowling Alone.

Oh dear, this makes me want to get into a dialectic with me and myself about Tonnies’ small town Gemeinschaft and big city Gesselschaft and Durkheim’s Anomie.

I’ll spare you and just quote another paragraph from Levine’s piece on Alter Net before I close:

The reality is that with enough helplessness, hopelessness, passivity, boredom, fear, isolation, and dehumanization, we rebel and refuse to comply. Some of us rebel by becoming inattentive. Others become aggressive. In large numbers we eat, drink and gamble too much. Still others become addicted to drugs, illicit and prescription. Millions work slavishly at dissatisfying jobs, become depressed and passive aggressive, while no small number of us can’t cut it and become homeless and appear crazy. Feeling misunderstood and uncared about, millions of us ultimately rebel against societal demands, however, given our wherewithal, our rebellions are often passive and disorganized, and routinely futile and self-destructive.

taintor-idiot-no-longerI can attest to that much personally, having gone through the self-destructive, passive slow suicide of anorexic rebellion in my adolescence and into my twenties and the process of recovery and trying to reclaim my identity now into my thirties (as a patriarchy-smashing-archery-goddess-witchy-woman-feminist of course!)

Give Levine’s article a read in full if you have the time. I would love to hear everyone’s thoughts, especially from Dr. Bostonboomer, our resident psychologist.

Alright, well that’s all I’ve got for you this morning.

What’s got your blogger juices going this Saturday, Sky Dancers? Let us have a listen in the comments, and have a great weekend!

Throwback Thursday: Those ‘Dog Days of Summer’ primary debates


Democratic presidential hopefuls Sens. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., talk onstage during a break in the ABC News Democratic candidates debate Sunday at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. (Photo by Charlie Neibergall/AP Photo)

Good evening, newsjunkies!

Since it’s the first of August, my memory has jogged back to those primary debates from way back when, the ones before the total loss of my innocence about the Democratic party as a young whippersnapper 20-something — one who Hillary Clinton was starting to win over in those debates with her masterful debate skills and just the simple plain-as-day fact that not only was Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton the diametric opposite of the BITCH warmonger stereotype that the Huffington Post, Daily Kos, et al. had been feeding in the trough up until then…But, also the growing evidence with each debate that she was the best candidate standing on that stage. Time and time again, and the more the good ol’ boy network ganged up on her, the stronger she became…sheer baptism by fire! And, myself–a radical feminist in the making. Like Sarah Slamen told our Texas ‘all asshat, no cattle’ legislature: “Thank you, for being you, Texas legislature. You have radicalized hundreds of thousands of us…” . The experience of 2007-2008 radicalized my feminism… or at least, cemented a process that had already started to unfold as I came of age politically.


In a sea of male empty suits, the workhorse in the pantsuit with the spirit of Eleanor Roosevelt at her side. (Click pic for HQ)

Mind you, I did so in a time where a faux cowboy running off of nepotism and Forrest Gump like charm first took the election Al Gore essentially dropped on the floor, with the media laying banana peels on the floor for him to trip over every step of the way. Four years later, Cowboy Clueless unarguably claimed the election from one John F. Kerry who let it slip clear through his hands as he windsurfed his way through being swiftboated. I saw the worst of presidential matchups and media shenannigans in both of the first presidential elections in which I was old enough to vote–and here came Hillary Clinton, like a breath of fresh air. Not a saint by any means, but a Joan of the American political arc nonetheless compared to the fallen over cliff-view I’d seen in the decade prior. She laughed, she cried, and she honed her debate points like a laser as the chatter of the male suits on stage became even more obvious for the shallow, insular horse manure it was.

I’ve been poring over transcripts from the summer of ’07 for the past hour or so, for a throwback moment to spotlight tonight, and here’s what I settled on…Hillary’s response to the closing question asking all the candidates, what the decisive moment was in their life, with George S. opening the final round by saying, “You know, presidential biographers are always looking at the turning point in a life, the moment where an ordinary person went on the path to the presidency, the decisive moment.” Hillary, August 19th, 2007, Des Moines, in the fateful state of Iowa:

CLINTON: Well, when I was growing up I didn’t think I would run for president, but I could not be standing here without the women’s movement, without generations of women who broke down barriers, the civil rights movement that gave women and people of color the feeling that they were really part of the American dream.

So I owe the opportunity that I have here today to many people; some of whom are known to history and many who aren’t.

But more personally, I owe it to my mother, who never got a chance to go to college, who had a very difficult childhood, but who gave me a belief that I could do whatever I set my mind…

STEPHANOPOULOS: And that is the last word.


…and the spirit of Dorothy Rodham living through her.

All eyes on Iowa 2016.

A few Hillary-links for you to peruse tonight:

At the Golden Heart  Awards on October 16,  Michael Kors will present his inaugural award for Outstanding Community Service to Hillary Clinton who clearly needs a museum in which to store and display the many awards and honors she continues to collect.

FILMMAKER and Academy Award winning documentarian Charles H. Ferguson has signed on to a CNN Films project about Hillary Rodham Clinton, which will have a theatrical release before it hits television.

This is a double-edged sword, because the scrutiny Hillary will receive will be more intense than her Republican rivals or a Democratic challenger, who will likely get to throw everything at her. While she will be expected to be above it all, starting with not punching down, as the saying goes, acting presidential while working to get the presidential nomination for the first time in American history.

CNN will surely be once again dubbed the “Clinton news network” whether they stay objective, accusations of going soft inspiring them to do the opposite. The cross promotion of the feature on CNN is likely to set Republican teeth on edge.

For women and girls of all ages it’s not possible to hedge or try to be coy about what this means. It is an exciting moment in American history, because women have waited a long time to see such building fanfare over a potential female presidential candidate with the viability and star power of Hillary Clinton. She’s getting the exact same due that a man of her stature would demand and it’s been a long time in waiting for this moment.

Documentarian Charles Ferguson already has one Oscar to his credit, for a movie about the financial meltdown (“Inside Job”) and another Oscar nomination for his film about the Iraq War (“No End in Sight.”) He’s now going to be making a full-length documentary about Hillary Clinton. Given his track record, I doubt it will be a puff-piece.

As for that biopic, it’s very pointedly going to be called “Rodham.” Directed by James Ponsoldt, whose film “The Spectacular Now” opens this weekend, “Rodham” will focus on Hillary’s earlier years. In the Watergate era, Hillary Rodham was in her mid-20’s and working with a group of fellow D.C. lawyers on how to legally impeach a President. The movie will focus on how she wrestled with her personal and professional prospects: a brilliant political career in D.C. versus moving to no-count Arkansas to be with the man she loved. We all know what path she ultimately chose but a lot of us may wonder why she made that choice.

  • Thinking now is as good a time as any to post this primer Peter Daou wrote in April of this year, for all your Hillary diehard ninja needs in the coming election cycles– A Reader’s Guide to Anti-Hillary Themes:

Now, as the floodgates open on 2016 speculation, and despite her high standing in public polls, commentary about Hillary Clinton is following predictable patterns. Several pervasive anti-Hillary themes are being dusted off for yet another political cycle; these are carefully-crafted and patently false talking points designed to dehumanize and demean her. Many of the themes are rooted in the sexism that permeates our culture.

During the 2008 campaign, under withering fire for allegedly being, among other things, too ambitious, too polarizing, and willing to “say or do anything to win,” Hillary refused to play into stereotypes. She told her staff, “I don’t want to succeed because I’m a woman, I want to succeed because I’m the best at what I do.” Whatever she chooses to do in the future, as a former advisor and current supporter, I sincerely hope she is judged based on her actions, not on other people’s inventions. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of anti-Hillary themes so that readers, viewers and listeners recognize them for what they are.

Rooted in decades-old Clinton conspiracy theories from the fringe, this catch-all attack has been adopted by mainstream critics and is designed to portray her as unscrupulous, unethical and even sinister.

Another way of saying she doesn’t know a woman’s ‘place,’ this is designed to undermine her achievements and to frame her actions and goals in an unsavory light.

Any popular figure generates strong feelings, but in Hillary Clinton’s case, it is ascribed to her as a negative personal trait. The irony is that it’s most often peddled by people who are busy bashing her, thus creating the very polarization they are lamenting.

A way to strip her of humanity and to deny that she has genuine feelings, this portrays her as a machine, methodically scheming to attain predetermined goals.

Used disingenuously by people who want to call her a liar but are too timid.

No matter what she says about working hard, staying focused and not taking anything for granted, detractors create this perch then try to knock her down from it.

Translation: she is old. Ageism in various forms.

Often used in faux-jest, it is still a potent and all-too-common way to undercut a successful woman by highlighting appearance over accomplishments.

See #8.

When all else fails, attack her family.

I just LOVE this list, it is so perfectly reflects the experience of 2007-2008.

And, with that…

This is your Thursday evening/late owl overnight thread, and it’s an open one for you to use until Dakinikat’s Friday morning post. Do your thing in the comments, Sky Dancers!