Showing posts with label Hillary Clinton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hillary Clinton. Show all posts

Friday, December 16, 2016


Dahlia Lithwick of Slate and law Professor David S Cohen from Drexel University in The New York Times:
There's no shortage of legal theories that could challenge Mr. Trump'a anointment, but they come from outsiders rather than the Democratic Party. Impassioned citizens have been pleading with electors to vote against Mr. Trump; law professors have argued that winner-take-all laws for electoral votes are unconstitutional; small group of Hamilton Electors is attempting to free electors to vote their consciences; and a new theory has arisen that there is legal precedent for courts to give the election to Mrs. Clinton based on Russian interference, All of these efforts, along with grass-roots protests, boycotts and petitions, have been happening without the Democratic Party. The most we've seen is a response to the C.I.A revelations, but only with Republicans onboard to give Democrats bipartisan cover.
Clinton won nearly 3 million more votes than Trump. Trump won by 1% in Pennsylvania, but he received all 20 electoral votes, which disenfranchises the people who voted for her in the state and in all the other winner-take-all states. Why not support the Hamilton electors in the Electoral College in doing the job as described in The Federalist Papers #68? Why have the Electoral College at all if it's never to be used for it's proper purpose?
It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture.

It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief.
Tumult, disorder, and mischief abound in Trump's leadership and in his team. Democrats generally fight fairer according to Marquess of Queensbury-like rules and traditions, and Republicans take off the gloves and fight unbound by tradition and unwritten rules, which makes the fight assymmetrical, leaving Democrats at a disadvantage. As witness, during the writers' joint appearance on Chris Hayes' All In, Lithwick notes the 300 days the nomination of Merrick Garland languished in the Senate with no forward movement. Sorry, I can't get the embed link for the video to work, but you can try this link and look for the title Should Democrats act more like Republicans?.

If electors choose not to vote for Trump and write in another name besides besides Clinton, and no candidate receives the required 270 votes, the decision would go to the House of Representative. Of course, the majority will vote for Trump, but then the responsibility for the Trump presidency and its consequences will rest entirely in the hands of Republicans.

My post is not about laying blame for what's past, but rather about what Democrats do now. The electoral vote is on Monday, November 19, so there's very little time. Is there a way to stop the Putin-Trump co-presidency of the world?

Friday, November 11, 2016


Top aides to Hillary Clinton believe the press and FBI Director James Comey contributed to her surprise election night loss, according to a Hill report out Thursday.

In a private conference call with supporters, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, communications director Jennifer Palmieri and other senior staffers struggled to explain how their well-oiled campaign machine ultimately failed.

Voter suppression, Comey, media bothsiderism, and the media banging away at Clinton emails, (State Dept. and Wikileaks), and, in comparison, ignoring Trump's many scandals all played a part, but honest self-examination would indicate that the DNC is a troglodyte and needs an overhaul starting at the top.

When African-Americans in Louisiana, who turned out in lower numbers than previous elections, were asked why, their response was that neither Clinton nor Kaine were a presence in the state, so they felt the two didn't care about Louisiana.

Local Democrats worked hard and did their best, but they received scant support from national Democratic organizations such as the DNC, the DSC, and the DCCC.  Even if blacks had voted in higher numbers, Trump would probably have won the electoral votes in the state, but that does not negate the fact that Democrats, win or lose, need an ongoing 50-state strategy, starting now.  A political party that wants to be a national party does not have the liberty to write off even deeply red states. To build a national party, Democrats must have a presence in every state, as Howard Dean told us over and over and tried to do when he was head of the DNC.  Alas, he was thrown out for a scream.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Correction: Howard Dean offered his resignation as Chairman of the DNC after Barack Obama was elected in 2008, because the president traditionally appoints the DNC chair, not because of the scream.  In 2004, Dean was a candidate for president.  The scream was an attempt to rally his supporters after his loss of the Iowa caucus that he had expected to win. Wide media coverage of the scream was followed by loss of support from party insiders, and John Kerry ultimately became the Democratic nominee.

Saturday, August 6, 2016


Usually, I admire what Charles Pierce writes, but when he wrote about the question and answer period following Hillary Clinton's speech at the Conference of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, he was obviously still feeling the Bern. Apparently, he can't get past his Sanders love to give Hillary Clinton a break, for this is one of a series of blog posts in which he, at best, damns Clinton with faint praise, or, at worst, is outright critical, often about trivia.  Read his post; it's not long. I repost my comments to his blog post below; they are long:
Oh my gawd, Charlie. You sound like nitpicking Chuck Todd. Is this your version of bothsiderism? Clinton is who she is, and she's not going to have a personality change to suit you or anyone else before the election. Get over your issues, or at least write about something else so you do no harm.
Further, still me:
By the end of the primaries, I liked watching Clinton speak a lot more than I liked watching Sanders speak. If I chose my candidate by likability or by which one I wanted to have a beer with, Clinton would have won hands down. But, if Sanders had won the primary vote, I'd have supported him without thinking twice.

What I would not have done is suggest that if he just changed this or that about his personal style, or if he'd just say something in a different way, he'd gather more support. Sanders is who he is, and expecting him to be other than he is, would have been completely unrealistic. It's the same with Clinton. If you don't like her, vote for Trump, write in a name, or vote for Stein or Johnson, and enable a Trump victory, but stop the bloody nitpicking about style.

TV talking heads do that stuff every day on TV, and I don't understand why a usually sensible blogger would join in. This is not even a serious policy discussion, which would be different and welcome from what we see all day, every day on TV. Yeah, I'm way down in a long thread of comments in a reply, at that, and I expect few people will read what I typed, but I sure feel better for having written.
Though my comments were way down in a long comment thread, I do have a Facebook page of my own and a blog, and I thought my comments worth sharing. I share; you decide.

Thursday, July 28, 2016


Progress is often slower than we'd like.  I never thought I'd see an African-American as president in my lifetime, but I thought I might see a woman. The order will be reversed if Clinton is elected, but boys and girls growing up will know the reality that African-Americans and girls can grow up to be president. That may not be a revolution, but it's enormous progress.

Also, I never thought I'd see a 74 year old senator lead a movement that drew many enthusiastic young people into politics to work hard and contribute to his candidacy. Bernie Sanders will not be the nominee of the Democratic Party, but I hope Sanders supporters do not view their efforts as having failed. The platform is the most liberal/progressive in history, thanks to their hard work. Sanders will be a force in the Senate working to implement his policies.

From now on, the campaign is not about Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, but rather about the people of the country working together for the election of politicians, from the presidency, to the Congress, to state and local offices, who are focused on implementing liberal/progressive policies, which the president cannot do alone. Last night on MSNBC, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) reminded us that some of President Obama's legislation was blocked even during the two years when Democrats had a majority in both houses.

Also, the Supreme Court could have as many as three vacancies during the term of the next president, and a Democrat in the White House is vital to prevent a conservative court that could pull us backward for decades to come.

UPDATE: Sanders announced he will return to the Senate as an independent, because he was elected as an independent.  My thought is he could have effected more change from within the party, but he was only a Democrat for the sake of convenience, so I'm not too surprised.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Hillary Clinton, 1992
Excellent and eloquent piece by Savannah L Barker that expresses what I think and feel about Hillary Clinton. I emphasize once again that I'm not in love with Clinton, but I see her as the best choice in this election. I've learned it's best not to fall in love with politicians, unless you plan to marry them. All are human and imperfect, and, if you're in love, they will break your heart. Read it all, but only if you want to.
The question as to why many Millennials —and millennial feminists in particular— seem to have turned their backs on Hillary Clinton has been explored at length this primary season. The Daily Beast, Huffington Post, and Los Angeles Times have all come to varying conclusions: Hillary is “not feminist enough,” Hillary is “part of the establishment,” and Bernie’s youthful idealism is more appealing than Hillary’s less sexy pragmatism.

All of these factors undoubtedly play a large role in the overall negative perception some Millennials have of Hillary Clinton, but the more obvious answer is simply this: we Millennials are coming to know Hillary Clinton after 20 years of relentless personal and political attacks.

Whatever you may think of her, you cannot deny that no other public figure has been subjected to the kind of merciless scrutiny that Hillary Clinton has endured throughout her career. It has become nearly impossible to distinguish fact from fiction with respect to the many accusations that have been leveled at Hillary Clinton. To put it blatantly, we Millennials aren’t familiar with the Hillary Clinton that our parents know.
Keep in mind that Sanders has, thus far, been only mildly attacked.  The ugly vetting process by the GOP would begin only if he is the nominee, because they'd much prefer to run against Sanders, than Clinton.  There's much to be explored in Sanders' background, and that's not counting the lies that will come from the Republicans.

The money quote:
At the end of the day, no matter how aggressively her opponents have tried to destroy her, Hillary Clinton is still standing and that means something.
Clinton is still standing.  Her strength, stamina, and composure in the face of 25 years of attacks are amazing.  If Clinton seems guarded and lacking in spontaneity, she has reason, and her demeanor has little to do with what she will accomplish if she is elected.

Photo from Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Josh Marshall in an editorial at Talking Points Memo:
For months I'd thought and written that Sanders campaign manager Jeff Weaver was the key driver of toxicity in the the Democratic primary race. Weaver has been highly visible on television, far more than campaign managers tend to be. He's also been the one constantly upping the tension, pressing the acrimony and unrealism of the campaign as Sanders actual chances of winning dwindled.

But now I realize I had that wrong.

Actually, I didn't realize it. People who know told me.

Over the last several weeks I've had a series of conversations with multiple highly knowledgable, highly placed people. Perhaps it's coming from Weaver too. The two guys have been together for decades. But the 'burn it down' attitude, the upping the ante, everything we saw in that statement released today by the campaign seems to be coming from Sanders himself. Right from the top.
Josh Marshall is spot on.  Even as my concern about the Sanders revolution had risen over several months, last night I lost all respect for the senator when I watched his lame commentary about the disruption of the Nevada Democratic convention by his delegates and his absolute refusal to take responsibility.  The disrupters were not people off the street; they were Sanders' delegates to the convention, and he is indeed responsible for their actions.

Later, I  watched parts of Sanders' speech at the rally in California.  He continues to lie to his supporters and tell them he has a path to win the nomination of the Democratic Party.  Not for one minute do I believe Sanders can control his Sandernistas, now that he's whipped up their emotions about the coming Sanders revolution, nor do I think he wishes to.  I won't hold my tongue any longer for fear of alienating the extremist obstructionists among his supporters, because I expect none of them will vote for Clinton; they will either stay home or vote for Trump.

Though he doesn't mention her by name, rather than scale back his criticism of Hillary Clinton, who will be the nominee, in order to unite the party, Sanders upped the nastiness in his speech, pitting himself against her though he has no chance to win.  If Sanders ever campaigns for Clinton, I'll be surprised.  Perhaps he will eventually pay lip service to endorsing Clinton, but by then it may be too little, too late.

Sanders took advantage of the Democratic Party to run for president, and now he is determined to have his way or destroy the party.  It's obvious that however he labels himself, he is no Democrat.  At first, I thought he served the party well by highlighting issues that need attention.  Now I see him as a sore loser and a spoiler.  Whatever you think of the Democratic Party, and it is far from perfect, it is the only institution that stands in the way of a Trump presidency.

Sen. Sanders and Sandernistas, good luck with the revolution.  Sadly, it will be Trump's revolution, not your revolution.  Enjoy.  The rest of us will pay the price for your recklessness.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


Atrios makes a good point at Eschaton.
If Bernie had dropped out a month ago (or, frankly, if he dropped out yesterday), there would be no horse race to cover, and no "both sides" (on the Democratic side) necessitating some balance between critical pieces of Clinton and critical pieces of Sanders. So any press coverage of Clinton would be one sided and critical, elevating nonsensical stuff into front page news.
My comment to the post:
Probably no reason to leave the 819th comment, but you make a point, Atrios.  If Sanders left the race, the media and Republicans would continue to minutely pick apart Clinton's every statement and bash her at every opportunity.  With Sanders in the race, the media will focus on the horse race and give the two candidates equal scrutiny and picking apart.  Republicans leave Sanders alone now, because they see the handwriting on the wall and also because they'd prefer their candidate to run against Sanders.  If Sanders should surprise us all and become the candidate, of course, the GOP will be merciless.
When I posted the link on Facebook, one of my friends who is a Sanders supported noted that the GOP will be merciless to either candidate.  The difference is that Sanders has not yet been scrutinized for 25 years, as Clinton has. Does anyone see the GOP bashing Sanders now? I don't. Why is that? I'd hope he and his family and his campaign are prepared if he is the nominee, because the attacks won't be pretty.  Also, a candidate who has less to lose feels freer to make negative comments about his Democratic opponent, comments that will attract the attention of the media and keep him in the spotlight.

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Jane Sanders told CNN that she thought the candidate's hour-long interview with the tabloid's editorial board was "odd."

"We commented on that afterwards, that it was more of an inquisition, hurry, hurry, interrupt, let's ask the questions don't let you even finish your answers," Sanders said. "We didn't realize they had planned to release the transcript. So it became a little bit more evident what they were trying to do."
The media is mean, and they ask probing questions, even gotcha questions, alas.  Welcome to the world of presidential politics. I'd have thought Sen. and Ms Sanders understood that transcripts happen when public figures give interviews.

What the hell. I'll pile on.  Dr Paul Song, a speaker at the Bernie Sanders rally in Washington Square last night:
"While I agree with Secretary Clinton that Medicare for All will never happen if we have a president who never aspires for something greater than the status quo.
Not true.  Clinton aspires to build on the status quo.  See?  Not the same thing.  
Medicare for all will never happen if we continue to elect corporate Democratic whores who are beholden to big Pharma..."
Yikes!  The tone deafness in the Sanders campaign is appalling. Of course, Song was not referring to Clinton. No, not at all.  More than half the voters in the New York primary are women.  To women: nothing to see here.

The rally attracted quite a large crowd, between 15,000 and 27, 000, depending upon law enforcement estimate or campaign estimate.  In any case the large number of supporters at the rally should have been the Sanders news story today, but attention is now focused on the offensive comment, on Sanders' repudiation of his out-of-control speaker, and on Song's lame, tweeted non-apology apology.
I am very sorry for using the term "whore" to refer to some in congress who are beholden to corporations and not us. It was insensitive.
— Paul Y. Song (@paulysong) April 14, 2016
Who is Dr Paul Song?
Thursday afternoon, Courage Campaign, a California-based progressive group that Song chairs, distanced itself from his remarks in a statement.

"Courage Campaign does not endorse political candidates. Dr. Paul Song, acting in his own capacity as a health care advocate, and separate from Courage Campaign, made comments at a rally in New York for Senator Bernie Sanders last night that are contrary to the values of Courage Campaign," the statement said. "These comments were unacceptable and that sort of rhetoric has no place in our political dialogue."
Do we know him?

Dr Song is also one half of a celebrity couple.  He's married to Lisa Ling, host of This Life with Lisa Ling on CNN.

Post inspired by Rmj at Adventus, but he is in no way responsible for the content.

Monday, April 4, 2016


Several weeks ago,  I decided I would not write anything negative about either of the Democratic candidates for president, but I'm on my last nerve with Bernie Sanders.  Sanders is not clean, and he's not pure. No candidate is.  He's beginning to sound like a Republican when he criticizes Clinton, and I've had enough. If Sanders ends up as the nominee, I will vote for him, but I've reached the point where it will be hold-my-nose-and-vote.

Sanders does not campaign for nor does he contribute to down ticket candidates, but he is trying to woo super delegates to support him. I guess he doesn't know that a number of super delegates are running for reelection to Congress or for governor of their respective states.  Sanders is about Sanders and how he will save the country because millions will rise up. If his millions don't rise up to elect Democratic candidates, then he will accomplish nothing if he is elected. He is not and never has been a team player. He became a Democrat to run for president, because it was to his advantage.

Michael A. Cohen says it well in the Boston Globe.
The candidate who pledged last May that his campaign would not be about Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, but “about the needs of the American people”; the candidate who boasted he’d never run a negative political attack in his life; the man who said he would be “driven by issues and serious debate . . . not reckless personal attacks of character assassination,” has begun to run a very different race.

Sanders is increasingly embracing the tactics he once decried. Rather than trying to unify the Democratic Party behind its almost certain nominee, Hillary Clinton, he is ramping up the attacks against her. While once Sanders refused even to mention Clinton’s name, now he doesn’t go a day without hitting her.
When Rachel Maddow asked Sanders in an interview about Trump's comments on punishing women who have abortions:
SANDERS: But because media is what media is today, any stupid, absurd remark made by Donald Trump becomes the story of the week. Maybe, just maybe, we might want to have a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America. Donald Trump will not look quite so interesting in that context.

MADDOW: Are you suggesting, though, that the media shouldn't be focusing on his call to potentially jail women who have abortions? Because that's another stupid --

SANDERS: I am saying that every day he comes up with another stupid remark, absurd remark, of course it should be mentioned. But so should Trump's overall positions. How much talk do we hear about climate change, Rachel? And Trump? Any?
Now Sanders is whining that Clinton took his comments about whether abortion is a serious issue out of context. The senator didn't pay much attention to Louisiana during the primary, but I'd like him to know that ongoing efforts to limit access to abortion and health care provided by Planned Parenthood to both women and men is a deadly serious issue in my state.

Sanders is on the right side on many of the issues, but his Medicare for All plan as described on his campaign website is no such thing.

As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges. 
Our primary health care provider is Medicare with supplementary insurance from the State of Louisiana, as my husband is a retiree.  We pay both deductibles and and co-pays, so the information on Sanders' campaign website calling his single payer plan Medicare for All is deceptive.  I'm surprised neither the media nor the Clinton campaign has picked up on the mistake.

I could go on, but my post is long enough to explain why I'm losing patience with Sanders.  At the beginning of the campaign, I supported him and contributed to his campaign, but, more and more, I came to see a number of his promises as pie-in the-sky that will not happen if he is elected president, and I switched my support to Clinton several months ago.  Since then, nothing has changed my mind, and I'm even more convinced that I made the right decision.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016


From TalkingPointsMemo:
After The Washington Post published a lengthy investigation into the origins of Hillary Clinton's email scandal, including the bombshell revelation that 147 FBI agents were looking into her private server, the newspaper corrected its report late Tuesday to note the number of agents looking into Clinton’s emails as actually fewer than 50. 
The recently edited version of the 5000 word article by Robert O'Harrow in the WP has the following correction at the very end for those who have the stamina to read that far.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said that Clinton used two different email addresses, sometimes interchangeably, as secretary of state. She used only as secretary of state. Also, an earlier version of this article reported that 147 FBI agents had been detailed to the investigation, according to a lawmaker briefed by FBI Director James B. Comey. Two U.S. law enforcement officials have since told The Washington Post that figure is too high. The FBI will not provide an exact figure, but the officials say the number of FBI personnel involved is fewer than 50. 
When I read about the nearly 150 FBI agents in the original article, the number sounded incredible to me. Since the article has been linked several times, the number 150 will stick despite the correction. My guess for the anonymous source in the original is a GOP congressional staff member who had incomplete information or who passed on incorrect information to Robert O'Harrow, and - surprise! - the reporter fell for the story.  (Added note: I did not need to guess about the anonymous source; the statement "a lawmaker briefed by FBI director James Comey" appears in the article and in the correction.)

What those who hope for an indictment don't understand or don't care to understand is that Clinton would have had to knowingly send classified emails on an insecure server. Emails that were classified after being sent would not lead to an indictment. Who knows but that Clinton's server was more secure that the State Department server? Colin Powell said he set up a private server when he was Secretary of State because the Department's server was so old and clunky.

Chris Cillizza could not resist chiming in on his WP blog, and, as of now, his blog has not been corrected.  Cillizza noted the following:
Both stories make clear that, according to legal experts, Clinton is very unlikely to be punished for her exclusive use of a private email server during her time at State since the practice was not forbidden. (Worth noting: Lots of other secretaries of state used private email accounts to supplement their official accounts; none used only a private email account and server.)
But then Cillizza goes on to add:
Potentially more problematic for Clinton is her insistence that she never knowingly sent or received any messages that were marked classified at the time. It’s been shown in the year-plus of investigations into her server that there were a number of items on Clinton’s server that were classified after the fact, but there is no evidence to make her initial statement untrue.  (My emphasis)
If there is no evidence that Clinton's initial statement is untrue, why is her insistence that she never knowingly sent classified emails problematic?  It is a puzzlement.

Full disclosure: I skimmed through most of the article in the WP, because I've already read so much about the email "scandal", and I watched much of Clinton's 11-hour grilling in which she made fools of the six Republican members of the Benghazi!!! committee. 5000 words was just too much of the same old, same old.  How unfortunate that with all that work, the reporter made such a mistake.   A source who will not go on the record is problematic, too.

Update from NBCNews:
But a former federal law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the Clinton investigation tells MSNBC an estimate anywhere near 50 agents is also off base.
"There are currently about 12 FBI agents working full-time on the case," says the source, who would only speak anonymously about an open investigation.
More anonymous sources, and the plot thickens.

Friday, February 12, 2016


The debate tonight was the best thus far in the presidential campaign, in no small part due to the excellence of Gwen Ifil and Judy Woodruff as moderators and that the sponsor was PBS.  The two asked intelligent, probing questions without venturing into easy gotcha territory.  The contrast between Democratic and Republican debates is stark.  What I saw on the stage were two adults engaged in a civil debate.  I admit that with only two candidates in the race, the appearance of a free-for-all is easier to avoid, but, even if the GOP narrows the field down to two, I doubt we'll see a debate of this caliber.

To me, Clinton looked strong and won the debate, though Sanders got in a few good licks about her vote in favor of the Iraq war and her reference to Henry Kissinger's compliment on how well she ran the State Department.  By now, Clinton probably hopes young people don't know who the hell Kissinger is.

Once again, Sanders answered a number of questions by turning away from the substance of the question to commentary about Wall Street, thus reinforcing the impression of a Johnny One-Note.  Of course, he is not, but, with the Wall Street repetitions, he's beginning to remind me of Young Marco Rubio and his repetitions about President Obama.  Clinton scored with the reference to Sanders' votes on gun regulations and his recent and not-so-recent criticisms of President Obama. Though Sanders often caucused and voted with Democrats, he remains a newly-minted Democrat.

Clinton appeared calm and composed, while Sanders seemed impatient and even agitated at times, waving his hands with his face turning red.  A number of people call Clinton cold, and I understand how calm can translate to cold, but I'm not looking for a BFF for president, and I prefer calm to agitation. When Sanders repeatedly raised his hand as a signal that he wanted to speak, I couldn't help but think, "Teacher, teacher!  Call on me!"

Both candidates favor health care coverage for everyone, but they have different approaches to get there.  Of Sanders' plan for a single payer plan, economist Paul Krugman notes that the numbers don't add up.

Also, while Sanders calls his plan "Medicare for All", it is no such thing because on his campaign website, he says:
As a patient, all you need to do is go to the doctor and show your insurance card. Bernie’s plan means no more copays, no more deductibles and no more fighting with insurance companies when they fail to pay for charges. 
Sounds great, but Sanders' plan is not "Medicare for All".  I know because my health insurance coverage is through Medicare, and I pay deductibles and copays, even with a supplemental insurance policy. So, is it "Medicare for All" or something entirely different?  Also, as Krugman notes, getting a single payer plan through the House of Representatives is likely to be a non-starter, even if Democrats regain a slim majority in the Senate.  The GOP will retain a majority in the House after the election because so many hold safe seats due to gerrymandered districts.

Clinton's health plan takes a more gradual approach, building on Obamacare to universal coverage, rather than replacing it and starting from scratch. Though there is no guarantee that her plan will pass in Congress if Clinton is elected, it seems somewhat more possible and definitely more realistic.

Clinton's closing statement was powerful and served to define her campaign.  A quote is below:
We agree we've got to get unaccountable money out of politics. We agree that Wall Street should never be allowed to wreck main street again.

But here's the point I want to make tonight.  I am not a single-issue candidate and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country. I think that a lot of what we have to overcome to break down the barriers that are holding people back, whether it's poison in the water of the children of Flint or whether it's the poor miners who are being left out and left behind in coal country, or whether it is any other American today who feels somehow put down and depressed by racism, by sexism, by discrimination against the lgbt community against the kind of efforts that need to be made to root out all of these barriers, that's what I want to take on.
Below is a quote from Sanders' closing statement, which also defines his campaign.
This campaign is not just about electing a president. What this campaign is about is creating a process for a political revolution in which millions of Americans, working people who have given up on the political process, they don't think anybody hears their pains or their concerns.
 Young people for whom getting involved in politics is as, you know, it's like going to the moon. It ain't going to happen. Low income people who are not involved in the political process.
 What this campaign is not only about electing someone who has the most progressive agenda, it is about bringing tens of millions of people together to demand that we have a government that represents all of us and not just the 1 percent, who today have so much economic and political power.
Yes, "like going to the moon."  In the real world, the only revolution we're likely to see in the near future is if Republicans take the presidency, the majority in the Senate, and the majority in the House (which is certain), and it will not be pretty.

Keep in mind that when Sanders first entered the race, I favored his candidacy and contributed to his campaign, but, over the course of time, I've come to favor Clinton.  I still believe that having Sanders in the race is a net positive, but I hope the supporters of the two candidates don't tear each other apart before the election.  From my experience, Sanders supporters have been much more intemperate in their criticism of Clinton and her supporters than the other way around, even to the point of declaring that if she is the nominee, they will not vote, or they will vote for Trump.  That, in my opinion, is madness.  The stakes in this election are high, and the country will be in a very bad way with Republicans in control of Congress and the presidency.  Make no mistake: If Sanders is the nominee, he will surely have my vote.

Friday, October 16, 2015


After reconsidering his first impression following a storm of disagreement from his readers, John Cassidy at The New Yorker still thinks Hillary Clinton won the Democratic debate. Clinton had the most to lose going into the debate, because her numbers were down due to the persistent media focus on the private email server "scandal". Her performance in the debate was stellar, and she came across as much more likable than in previous media appearances.

Bernie Sanders was Bernie Sanders, the same person we know (and love?) from his frequent speeches and media appearances, and few, if any of us, expected him to be other than the man we already know. He was himself, and he performed excellently in the debate.

My less than expert opinion is that neither of the two principal candidates won or lost, and both did very well. Sanders gave Clinton an enormous boost when he said:
 The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!
Martin O'Malley had several good moments in the debate, and his final statement was superb. In a few words, he summed up the difference between the candidates in the GOP and the Democratic candidates. I like having him on the stage as a foil for both Sanders and Clinton.

I'm not sure why Jim Webb and Lincoln Chaffee were on the stage, but neither gained from their inclusion in the debate.

Monday, September 14, 2015


Will we now see the end of the coverage of Hillary Clinton's email "scandal" in which there is no there there? Don't count on it. This is Whitewater all over again. Remember the hearings in the House are supposed to be about Benghazi. I guess Republicans won't be satisfied until they find the deleted email in which Clinton personally ordered the attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi.

Jayne O'Donnell at USA Today:
The Justice Department said in a court filing this week that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was allowed to delete personal emails from her personal server.

"There is no question that former Secretary Clinton had authority to delete personal emails without agency supervision — she appropriately could have done so even if she were working on a government server," the Justice Department's civil division attorneys wrote.
Lest you think I am so wedded to Clinton's candidacy that I can't form an unbiased opinion, please know that my favorite candidate is Bernie Sanders, but I will surely vote for Clinton, if she is the nominee. It seems pretty clear to me that Clinton as "uppity" woman plays into the coverage of her of campaign.

The so-called liberal media, especially the New York Times, appears to have a grudge against Clinton for reasons I can't fathom. Negative, biased coverage has been the rule from the beginning of her candidacy, and I find it despicable. The NYT, in particular, should issue a public apology to Hillary Clinton for the inaccuracies in their stories and for continuing to pound away at the email "scandal". Let's not forget it was "The Newspaper of Record" that gave us Judith Miller and her lying sources about WMD in the runup to the Iraq War. The newspaper's decline began a long time ago.

UPDATE: The story about Clinton's exoneration by the Justice Department finally appeared in the NYT yesterday, but I don't see an apology to Clinton. I note the newspaper included in the article Bryan Pagliano's statement that he would take the Fifth if the House committee subpoenaed him, although that news had been reported in the paper earlier on Sept. 3. Why? To imply that there was still something sinister going on with the emails? Oddly enough, the Times was not in any great hurry to report on the statements by the Justice Dept.

Monday, August 18, 2014


President Obama has long ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion.

Well, his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, isn’t buying it. In an interview with me earlier this week, she used her sharpest language yet to describe the "failure" that resulted from the decision to keep the U.S. on the sidelines during the first phase of the Syrian uprising.
While there's much to admire about Hillary Clinton, she made several statements in her recent interview with Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic that worry me.
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.
I remember my doubts about the suggestion to arm "vetted rebels" in Syria. What could possibly go wrong?

As I see it, Clinton is not wise to so quickly distance herself from President Obama. As you may recall, Al Gore hardly, if ever, mentioned President Clinton during his campaign to succeed him, nor did he allow Bill Clinton to campaign on his behalf, even in carefully chosen locations where Clinton was quite popular. Still, the president was always the ghost on the stage of every campaign event. I've always believed that Al Gore would have won by a large and indisputable margin, had he not run such a poor campaign and had he not so obviously run away from Bill Clinton. Hillary Clinton ought perhaps to take a lesson.
Of course, Clinton had many kind words for the “incredibly intelligent” and “thoughtful” Obama, and she expressed sympathy and understanding for the devilishly complicated challenges he faces. But she also suggested that she finds his approach to foreign policy overly cautious, and she made the case that America needs a leader who believes that the country, despite its various missteps, is an indispensable force for good.
How's that for damning with faint praise?  Au contraire, Madame Secretary, the president is wise to step away from the fantasy of American exceptionalism in which we bear the burden of setting the world to rights, as we see the right.  Also, for a Democratic would-be candidate to criticize the Democratic president in these difficult and tumultuous times seems disloyal.  I realize that she will inevitably differentiate her policies from those of the president, but she seems to be making serious mistakes in her statements in the interview.

If Clinton is the candidate, I believe she could lose the election by taking the anti-Obama track.  She cannot win without an enthusiastic turnout by African-American voters, and Obama still retains a fair amount of support among Democrats of all colors. She appears opportunistic, and, even worse, ruthless in her ambition.

Clinton takes a harder line against Iran than Obama, but negotiations require some wiggle room unless one's position is, "My way or the highway."
HRC: I’ve always been in the camp that held that they did not have a right to enrichment. Contrary to their claim, there is no such thing as a right to enrich. This is absolutely unfounded. There is no such right. I am well aware that I am not at the negotiating table anymore, but I think it’s important to send a signal to everybody who is there that there cannot be a deal unless there is a clear set of restrictions on Iran. The preference would be no enrichment. The potential fallback position would be such little enrichment that they could not break out. So, little or no enrichment has always been my position. 
Not much wiggle room there.

Clinton's seemingly unreserved support for the policies of the present Israeli government is worrisome, too.
Much of my conversation with Clinton focused on the Gaza war. She offered a vociferous defense of Israel, and of its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well. This is noteworthy because, as secretary of state, she spent a lot of time yelling at Netanyahu on the administration's behalf over Israel’s West Bank settlement policy. Now, she is leaving no daylight at all between the Israelis and herself.

“I think Israel did what it had to do to respond to the rockets,” she told me. “Israel has a right to defend itself. The steps Hamas has taken to embed rockets and command-and-control facilities and tunnel entrances in civilian areas, this makes a response by Israel difficult.”
While it's true there is wrong on both sides, Israel's response seems disproportionate, as is indicated by a comparison of the numbers of Palestinians and Israelis killed and wounded.  Also, if the Israeli government truly wants peace, perhaps the leaders might consider a bold, unilateral, admittedly risky move to lift the blockade of Gaza, remove the checkpoints which make travel so difficult for the Palestinians, and stop the spread of Israeli settlements on the West Bank.  So long as Israel's neighbors in Gaza live in miserable conditions, Israel will not have peace.

Note: To disagree with the present policies of the Israeli leadership does not make me antisemitic any more than disagreement with the policies of my own government makes me un-American.

If the interview is Clinton's pre-season launch of her candidacy for the presidency, and I think it is, then she's made several missteps, and, I hope she sets herself aright.  I don't think any candidate, except in certain circumstances, a sitting president, is entitled to anointment as the chosen candidate for a political party, but I fear the stage is being set for anointing Hillary Clinton as the Democratic candidate.  I hope other prominent Democrats in the party rise to challenge Clinton, so we have a real contest and open discussions of various policies for moving the country forward and winning the election in 2016.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


Secretary Hillary Clinton was hospitalized today after a doctors doing a follow-up exam discovered a blood clot had formed, stemming from the concussion she sustained several weeks ago.

She is being treated with anti-coagulants and is at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital so that they can monitor the medication over the next 48 hours, Deputy Assistant Secretary Philippe Reines said.

Her doctors will continue to assess her condition, including other issues associated with her concussion. They will determine if any further action is required, Reines said.

Prayers for restoration to full health for Secretary Clinton.  I admire her greatly for her tireless dedication as Secretary of StateShe's done an outstanding job.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


PRESIDENT OBAMA: Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job. But she works for me. I’m the president. And I’m always responsible. And that’s why nobody is more interested in finding out exactly what happened than I did (sic).

The day after the attack, Governor, I stood in the Rose Garden, and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened, that this was an act of terror. And I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime. And then a few days later, I was there greeting the caskets coming into Andrews Air Force Base and grieving with the families.

And the suggestion that anybody in my team, whether the secretary of state, our U.N. ambassador, anybody on my team would play politics or mislead when we’ve lost four of our own, Governor, is offensive. That’s not what we do. That’s not what I do as president. That’s not what I do as commander in chief.

No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.  Today we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America.  We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act.  And make no mistake, justice will be done.
Complete video and transcript of the Rose Garden speech.

Yes, "offensive", Governor Romney.  Your comments were offensive.  You persisted in your claim that Obama did not call the attack on the diplomatic compound an act of terror on the morning after the tragedy, despite the video.  You persisted despite the fact that Ambassador Chris Stevens' father, Jan Stevens, requested that his son's death not be politicized.

Republicans and even certain of the MSM are spinning the exchange as a victory for Romney because on the morning after the attack, President Obama did not say "attack on our diplomatic post" and "act of terror" in proper sequence in his speech in the Rose Garden.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Hillary Clinton gave a great speech at the UN meeting in Geneva on Human Rights Day. Watch the video and read the transcript at the Advocate. Perhaps Clinton would have given the same speech three years ago, but since she holds her position at the pleasure of the president, she may not have been permitted to give the speech by the Obama administration. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton came late to support the repeal of DOMA. During her campaign for the Democratic Party's nomination, she supported repeal of only Part 3 of DOMA.

Now we are heading into an election period, and you will hear many brave speeches by members of the administration, so pardon me if I'm a bit cynical and don't join in the celebration with unalloyed joy. Pardon me if I think, 'Better late than never'.
Now, there is still, as you all know, much more to be done to secure that commitment, that reality, and progress for all people. Today, I want to talk about the work we have left to do to protect one group of people whose human rights are still denied in too many parts of the world today. In many ways, they are an invisible minority. They are arrested, beaten, terrorized, even executed. Many are treated with contempt and violence by their fellow citizens while authorities empowered to protect them look the other way or, too often, even join in the abuse. They are denied opportunities to work and learn, driven from their homes and countries, and forced to suppress or deny who they are to protect themselves from harm.

I am talking about gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, human beings born free and given bestowed equality and dignity, who have a right to claim that, which is now one of the remaining human rights challenges of our time. I speak about this subject knowing that my own country’s record on human rights for gay people is far from perfect. Until 2003, it was still a crime in parts of our country. Many LGBT Americans have endured violence and harassment in their own lives, and for some, including many young people, bullying and exclusion are daily experiences. So we, like all nations, have more work to do to protect human rights at home.

Now, raising this issue, I know, is sensitive for many people and that the obstacles standing in the way of protecting the human rights of LGBT people rest on deeply held personal, political, cultural, and religious beliefs. So I come here before you with respect, understanding, and humility. Even though progress on this front is not easy, we cannot delay acting. So in that spirit, I want to talk about the difficult and important issues we must address together to reach a global consensus that recognizes the human rights of LGBT citizens everywhere.

The first issue goes to the heart of the matter. Some have suggested that gay rights and human rights are separate and distinct; but, in fact, they are one and the same. Now, of course, 60 years ago, the governments that drafted and passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights were not thinking about how it applied to the LGBT community. They also weren’t thinking about how it applied to indigenous people or children or people with disabilities or other marginalized groups. Yet in the past 60 years, we have come to recognize that members of these groups are entitled to the full measure of dignity and rights, because, like all people, they share a common humanity.

This recognition did not occur all at once. It evolved over time. And as it did, we understood that we were honoring rights that people always had, rather than creating new or special rights for them. Like being a woman, like being a racial, religious, tribal, or ethnic minority, being LGBT does not make you less human. And that is why gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.
Secretary Clinton strikes all the right notes, and her words will be quoted time and again, as they well deserve to be. The words were spoken, and they cannot ever be blotted out from history. Congratulations due, Madame Secretary.