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Divernan's Journal
Divernan's Journal
April 14, 2016

An iconic candidate in an iconic location.

I'd love to have been there for that magical New York moment.
Cue the Piano Man:

April 13, 2016

On Anniversary of Rwandan Genocide, Bill Clinton’s Words Ring Hollow

This powerful HuffPo article condemns Bill Clinton & his administration for his actions in pushing to remove 90% of the United Nations peace-keeping force, and watering down the mandate of those remaining from peace keeping to merely observing. It is written by two black survivors of the Rwandan genocide & war. They have impeccable credentials. I would have preferred to post this in the AA forum but have been banned from there. Will any of their approved members cross-post this article? I hope they do, and look forward to their comments on this article and the role Bill Clinton played. The article points out that "first lady Hillary Clinton" joined Bill in visiting the State Department to congratulate its task force on evacuating white Americans. As the authors forcefully point out, Rwandan black lives didn't matter to the Clintons.

Alice Gatebuke is a Rwandan genocide and war survivor, Cornell University graduate, and a human rights advocate. She serves as the communications Director for AGLAN. She can be reached at [email protected].

Claude Gatebuke is a Rwandan war and genocide survivor. He is the executive director and co-founder of the African Great Lakes Action Network. He can be reached via email at [email protected], Facebook at the African Great Lakes Action Network (AGLAN) page, and on Twitter @AGLANglr.


During the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, President Bill Clinton and members of his administration pushed for the reduction of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda from over 2,500 troops to 270, with the remaining troops’ mandate being reduced to a mere observers’ role. The U.S. government evacuated foreign (read: white) personnel from Rwanda, and pretty much ensured the total success of the 100-day slaughter that occurred. President Clinton later told Rwandans that he “did not act quickly enough after the killing began” in his 1998 address in Rwanda.

President Clinton did not fail to act as he told the world then. Actually, he actively pushed for a particular course of action. The genocide began after the April 6 assassinations of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents. By April 11, U.S. government and foreign personnel were successfully evacuated from Rwanda. Once the evacuations were completed, President Clinton, along with then-First Lady Hillary Clinton, “visited the State Department task force in charge of evacuating American citizens to congratulate them on finishing their job.” President Clinton’s administration then strongly and successfully pushed for the reduction and evacuation of the peacekeeping force, by April 21, 1994.

On the day the Rwandan Genocide is generally commemorated, former President Clinton’s words rang hollow both in material and delivery. Instead, they conjured up images, of white foreigners being evacuated from Rwanda to safety at the outset of the genocide. The rest of us, the innocent civilians, were provided with neither the option of evacuation, nor the decency of protection, but were left, amidst a bloody war and genocide, come what may.

What about our black lives made them immaterial to President Clinton and his administration? The cynicism of his utterance “Black Lives Matter” in Africa juxtaposed to his administration’s comments and actions goes even deeper. In discussions about whether to call the events occurring at the time in Rwanda genocide, Clinton National Security Council staff member Susan Rice, who went on to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., and as current National Security Advisor, said, “If we use the word ‘genocide’ and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [congressional] election?”

It is almost impossible to articulate the depth of betrayal felt at this profound sense of political expediency. While our lives were being slaughtered, at least somewhere in the United States, elections were being won. And in exchange, 800,000-1,000,000 casualties of black lives that apparently did not matter more than mid-term elections were lost.
April 13, 2016

Pittsburgh P-G endorses Sestak: "toughest challenger to Toomey"


Joe Sestak for the Dems: He’d be the toughest challenger to Pat Toomey

Democrats who want a formidable challenger to take on U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey in November should nominate the person who nearly beat the Republican six years ago: former congressman and three-star admiral Joe Sestak.

Mr. Sestak, 64, spent two terms in the House after a 31-year career in the Navy that was capped by service under President Bill Clinton as a defense policy adviser. In 2010, after defeating newly minted Democrat Arlen Specter for the party nomination, he narrowly lost the general election to Mr. Toomey — by just two percentage points in a year that Republicans were ascendant. The Delaware County resident has spent the last several years crisscrossing Pennsylvania, denouncing an obstructionist Republican Congress, defending the merits of the Affordable Care Act and seeking a rematch with Mr. Toomey.

Like other candidates, he believes that creating jobs must be Washington’s top priority. He also wants a strong homeland defense, new investment in infrastructure and a ban on fracking — a position that the Post-Gazette, which supports tough regulation of deep gas drilling, wishes he would reconsider. He endorses the Iranian nuclear accord and condemns the Trans-Pacific Partnership on trade, although he’d like to see a “principled compromise.” His voting record on Capitol Hill earned a 100 percent rating from the Sierra Club and a zero from the National Rifle Association.

Of the leading pair for this key nomination, both of whom have had distinguished careers in public service, one (McGinty) can showcase her high-profile political allies and the other can highlight his independence, his call for accountability and his promise to restore integrity in government. If this is truly the year of the political outsider, the Democrats’ best bet for the U.S. Senate is Joe Sestak, who has earned the Post-Gazette endorsement.

This endorsement joins that of the state's largest newspaper, the Phillie Inquirer on the other side of the state.

Will the $1.5 million the DSCC just recently pumped in to this primary for false, lying ads attacking Sestak, trying to destroy his 16 point lead in polls, let them buy the primary? Not if major newspaper endorsements have anything to say about it! The press are also calling out McGinty's campaign for blatant lies about Sestak's voting record!

The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial included the following reasons for endorsing him:
“his willingness to put principle above party”

“the best credentials and experience to immediately serve Pennsylvania and the nation”

“he can maneuver beyond partisan politics to help the middle class rebound from years of stagnant wages”​

“Sestak’s refusal to be put into a partisan box”

“a deep understanding of government and foreign policy that Katie McGinty and John Fetterman cannot match.”

And just to remind you all, in 2010 Sestak lost to Toomey by only 2 %, despite it being a year when the GOP swept congressional races across the nation, and DESPITE THE FACT THAT TOOMEY OUTSPENT SESTAK 4 TO 1.
In that primary, for the first time ever, the DSCC gave over a million to a primary candidate, Arlen Specter and not one red cent to the primary winner, Joe Sestak, in the general election. This year they're pulling the same shit - giving $1.5 million to a primary candidate which should have been made available to whichever Dem. wins the primary.
April 13, 2016

"Bill Clinton, Eternal Campaigner. . grabbing political 3rd rail and refusing to let go."

SOURCE: April 12, 2016 edition of The New Yorker

Former President Clinton apparently was not expecting, when he appeared last week at a campaign event in Philadelphia on behalf of his wife, the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to be confronted by Black Lives Matter protesters over the consequences, intended and not, of one of his Administration’s signature bills—the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. Clinton, his voice raised, wanted protesters to believe that it was thanks to this bill that the nation’s crime rate went down, police forces became more diverse, and a federal assault-weapons ban became law, at least until the ban expired, a decade later; he was able recite a fusillade of statistics without it always being clear where they came from or what, exactly, they referred to. The shouting, Clinton’s finger-wagging replies, and the reluctance to accept what others were saying provided a fascinating glimpse of a group with a deeply felt point of view and of a major political figure repeatedly, even stubbornly, grabbing a political third rail and refusing to let go. For all that, as a political actor, he never broke character, never stopped trying to connect, reminding witnesses of his enormous talent as a campaigner, as well as his potentially volatile role in his wife’s race for the Presidency.

Last week’s confrontation must have been especially hard for Bill Clinton, who loves to speak, hold forth, speak some more, and further explain—none of which is possible when you can’t be heard and you don’t listen. What must have made it harder was listening to his wife’s challenger, Senator Bernie Sanders, whose supporters include Spike Lee and Harry Belafonte, say that “the President owes the American people an apology for trying to defend what is indefensible.” Clinton later said that he was “almost” ready to apologize for the angry tenor of the occasion, which, after all, was intended to bolster black support for his wife generally, and specifically in the now-competitive April 19th New York primary. However much he is helping or harming his wife’s campaign, he’s visibly enjoying his work (on Sunday, he spoke at three Harlem churches), even if his enthusiasm sometimes pushes him over the rhetorical line. His encounter with Black Lives Matter protesters, though, did not help the campaign at all.

Clinton did not exactly reprise his “Sister Souljah moment,” of 1992, when, as the Democratic candidate for President, he offended some supporters (and won many others) by comparing a rap singer’s remarks to the views of the Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. It was, rather, more of an anti-Souljah episode, showing impatience and irritation with people whose views he seemed unable to acknowledge. It was, above all, a case of the present confronting the past—modern awareness confronting yesterday’s mistakes, such as Hillary Clinton’s use of the term “superpredator” to refer to some of the juvenile criminals who would be most affected by the crime bill’s harsh sentencing provisions. The former President did not say much about how the legislation led to a very bad outcome—the imprisonment of African-Americans, in alarming numbers, for nonviolent crimes.
April 11, 2016

The argle-bargle from HRC supporters is knee deep & rising!

I know, we're used to their deflect, dodge, distort, & disrupt posts - pulling "facts" out of thin air or their posteriors - going completely off-topic with non sequitors, refusing to document their bizarre claims as if their mothers were terrified by citations while pregnant, etc., but my god! - it's well beyond flood stage in their posts this morning.

Internal polling must be disastrous for HRC in New York, Pennsylvania and California. I'm torn between doing my Snoopy happy dance or, as a scuba diver, donning my gear and tanks to keep from gagging and drowning on their distortions, bile and vitriol.

OK - picture a scuba diver in full gear doing an underwater version of Snoopy's happy dance.

April 10, 2016

Largest PA paper endorses Sestak 4 Senate: "He puts principle above party"

I've been actively supporting him & am absolutely delighted at this endorsement. In my 50+ years of political involvement in the Democratic party, he ranks at the very top when it comes to ability, intelligence, experience and most of all, integrity. He will hit the ground running as a new Senator, and I believe be the finest Senator the Keystone State has ever sent to Washington.

The fact that he has been opposed by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (which just pumped $1.5 million into his pro-fracking opponent's campaign fund in hopes that media ads will erase Joe Sestak's 16 point lead in the polls) tells you for sure that he is not for sale to the Third Way Dems.

The Philadelphia Inquirer's editorial included the following reasons for endorsing him:
“his willingness to put principle above party”

“the best credentials and experience to immediately serve Pennsylvania and the nation”

“he can maneuver beyond partisan politics to help the middle class rebound from years of stagnant wages”​

“Sestak’s refusal to be put into a partisan box”

“a deep understanding of government and foreign policy that Katie McGinty and John Fetterman cannot match.”


The perceived vulnerability of Sen. Pat Toomey in the general election, in which the Republican presidential nominee may be more liability than asset, has produced three competitive Democratic candidates to challenge the incumbent.

JOE SESTAK, a former Navy admiral who served two terms in the House, has the best credentials and experience to immediately serve Pennsylvania and the nation. His unrelenting intellectual curiosity has helped Sestak, a notoriously hard taskmaster, form a deep understanding of government and foreign policy that Katie McGinty and John Fetterman cannot match.

Sestak, 64, makes the most persuasive argument that he can maneuver beyond partisan politics to help the middle class rebound from years of stagnant wages. Like his opponents, he wants to close tax loopholes that encourage companies to send jobs overseas, but his plans are more detailed. He also wants to fine-tune the Affordable Care Act to lessen its impact on small businesses.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/opinion/20160410_Inquirer_editorial__Sestak_is_the_better_choice_for_Democrats.html#hDYCqeaQFUZReJO5.99

April 9, 2016

Sestak/Senate debate tonight at Penn State - link to live stream

My email from Joe Sestak:

Tonight, I will be returning to Penn State (where I taught for a year as a law school professor) to participate in one of the last few debates of this primary election.

The debate will begin at 8 p.m., and I was hoping that you might watch it after your Saturday night dinner. Penn State's public broadcasting channel has informed us that they will be streaming it live online, at the link below:

April 8, 2016

McGinty no-show at PA. Senate debate on national security!

The concept of reporting for duty is totally unfamiliar to Katie!


Fetterman was there.
Sestak was there.

Where's corporate sweetheart, pro-fracking Katie? Nowhere to be seen. Guess she was too busy counting the $1.5 million in out-of-state money just poured into her campaign - money from the
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which traditionally would have been reserved for whomever ended up the Democratic candidate in the general election.

Here's my email from Joe Sestak:

The most important vote a Senator can take is the decision to go to war.

Last night, we had the televised Senatorial foreign policy debate – and my primary opponent did not show up.

North Korea, Russia, Iran, Syria, China, ISIS, terrorism, Libya, Pakistan… what’s the plan to secure the peace but avoid another Iraq? Being absent is not leadership or serving the people – who now won’t know what she might know, or not.

31 years in the Navy; over 80 countries; war in Afghanistan, from the skies and on the ground; combat in Iraq; and service as President Clinton’s Director of Defense Policy taught me militaries can stop a problem, but they cannot fix a problem. Too few understand this – and as a result, the tragic misadventure in Iraq has cost our American Dream $3 trillion in direct and enduring costs.

Please watch what I had to say on the debate stage in the video below, but before you do, please contribute $20, $45, $60 or $100 to send to the Senate someone who knows from experience the proper engagement of America in the world – because our security, our jobs, our economy, and our future prosperity depend upon it in an increasingly dangerous world.

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania — A national Democratic Party committee is spending $1.5 million on TV ads in the final three weeks of Pennsylvania's U.S. Senate primary campaign in a bid to boost Katie McGinty over Joe Sestak.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee officials confirmed the spending Thursday. It'll push outside spending past $2.5 million in the primary to help McGinty.

Sestak has an icy relationship with party leaders, but is leading polls. The former Navy vice admiral and congressman is seeking a rematch against first term Republican Sen. Pat Toomey after losing to him in 2010.

The seat is seen as crucial to winning Senate control.

April 8, 2016

In Pennsylvania, Clinton's crumbling; Bernie's surging!

In Pennsylvania, the state's main newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, has been consistently dismissive of the Sanders campaign, but the morning after the Temple rally, the paper's front page featured a large photo showing a crush of young supports struggling to shake Sanders' hand over a headline that read "Sanders stirs a frenzy in visit to Temple." With less than a day's advance notice on social media, some 17,000 crowded in to the main venue and an overflow venue to hear Bernie!


Philadelphia -- Something "YUGE" is happening in the Democratic presidential campaign, and perhaps in the broader American body politic. It's hard to put your finger on it, but like that feeling of your neck hairs rising off your skin as a big thunderstorm approaches, you know it's big and it's coming.

For me it was going with my wife and a friend to join a line of people waiting to get into Temple University's 10,000-seat basketball arena for a hastily planned address by Democratic candidate for president Bernie Sanders. When we got to the campus early yesterday, there was already a crowd of young people camped out by the entrance to the Liacouras Center. They told me they had been there since 6:30 am for an event that was scheduled to start at 8 pm, with doors opening at 5 pm. Already a line stretched back to the corner of Broad Street, around the corner and halfway down the block on Montgomery. Most of those in the line were students from Temple or from one or another of Philadelphia's many other universities. They were white, black, latino and Asian, with a smattering of older folks. I went off to do some work, with plans for our little band to join the line around 4:30.

Big mistake! By the time we headed out to get in line, it was winding around the huge sports complex, snaking up and down several alleys and back to Broad, and then down Broad for another six blocks -- about half a mile of people in all with more piling on all the time. At many places this line of people was eight to 10 across, and fairly densely packed, as people tried to shelter each other from a biting cold wind.

As we were heading back to our car with from the rally, my wife and I found ourselves walking behind the head of Temple University's police department, which had largely handled the security and traffic issues caused by the huge all-day line of people coming to attend the rally. A tall crew-cut wearing guy who looked 100% cop, when we complemented him on how his officers had handled the crowd management issue, he told us his own 21-year-old son was a "Bernie supporter."

What was astonishing in all this was that there had been no long build-up to the event. No advance news reports, no posters, no organizations arriving with buses. It all seemed to have come together via social media in a day's time.
April 7, 2016

I'm number 791 ! ! !

Although I have avoided posting in the Hillary Clinton group, yesterday I inadvertently responded briefly, politely and factually to a post there. I was admonished for sticking in my nose where I was not wanted and promptly blocked, of course.

But the one place that Hillary is surging is on her DU group's list of blocked members. They're now up to 797 ! ! !

With any luck, they'll hit 800 today!!!
That should be grounds for a great celebration over there, shouldn't it? God knows they are in dire need of a reason to celebrate.

Let us all join in congratulating them on this record-breaking accomplishment and cheer them on to reach ONE THOUSAND blocked DUers in the very near future!

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