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BlueMTexpat

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Gender: Female
Home country: USA
Current location: Switzerland
Member since: Wed Oct 29, 2008, 04:01 PM
Number of posts: 11,516

Journal Archives

Hillary Clinton Just Delivered the Strongest Speech of Her Campaign—and the Media Barely Noticed

Nothing sums up the high-drama, low-substance nature of 2016 race coverage more than the underplaying of a serious speech about the Supreme Court.

http://www.thenation.com/article/hillary-clinton-just-delivered-the-strongest-speech-of-her-campaign-and-the-media-barely-noticed/

This is an excellent article - more substantive than most on the subject - and is a very Good Read. But because just about anything laudatory about HRC is shot down quickly or sneered at other than in this group, I am only posting here. Here are a couple excerpts:

“By Election Day, two justices will be more than 80 years old—past the Court’s average retirement age. The next president could end up nominating multiple justices,” she explained. “That means whoever America elects this fall will help determine the future of the Court for decades to come.”

Then Clinton worked her way through the Court’s docket for this term:

* “The Court is reviewing how public-sector unions collect the fees they use to do their work. The economic security of millions of teachers, social workers and first responders is at stake. This is something the people of Wisconsin know all too well, because your governor has repeatedly attacked and bullied public sector unions, and working families have paid the price. I think that’s wrong, and it should stop.”

* “The Court is reviewing a Texas law imposing unnecessary, expensive requirements on doctors who perform abortions. If that law is allowed to stand, there will only be 10 or so health centers left where women can get safe, legal abortions in the whole state of Texas, a state with about 5.4 million women of reproductive age. So it will effectively end the legal right to choose for millions of women.”

* “The Court is also reviewing whether Texas should have to exclude non-voters when drawing its electoral map. That would leave out, among others, legal residents, people with felony convictions and children. The fair representation of everyone in our society—including 75 million children—hangs in the balance.”


Etc., etc., etc. This is definitely worthwhile and only cements my already strong support for HRC.

WaPo's take on upcoming delegate math

Bernie Sanders’s insurmountable delegate problem, in one simple graph

There's actually more than one graph, but ...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/03/31/bernie-sanderss-insurmountable-delegate-problem-in-one-simple-graph/

Whether or not New Yorkers view as one of their own, they clearly prefer Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee. Polling has repeatedly shown Clinton with a lead in the state; a new survey from Quinnipiac University, released on Thursday, has Clinton up by 12 percentage points.

This comes on the heels of a survey showing Sanders stretching out his lead in Wisconsin. Sanders is up four points in that state, according to a Marquette Law School survey released this week.

But we must be clear: These states are not equivalent. This is not a tie, with Clinton winning one state and Sanders winning another. It is, instead, a clear demonstration of why Bernie Sanders almost certainly won't be the Democratic nominee.

After all, it comes down to delegates. Wisconsin has 86 delegates; New York has 247. Since the party distributes its delegates proportionally, that means that Sanders's slight Wisconsin lead would earn him a slightly bigger portion of the state's small delegate haul. Clinton's larger New York lead would earn her a larger portion of the state's large delegate haul.


But we should take no vote anywhere for granted.



I'm Backing Hillary Because I Hate Simple and Shallow Caricatures

This is a long essay and worthwhile reading. Not all is complimentary to Hillary and I don't necessarily agree with all that the writer says. But that is perhaps what makes the conclusion stronger.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/03/28/1507316/-I-m-Backing-Hillary-Because-I-Hate-Simple-and-Shallow-Caricatures

I’m a proud member of the Obama generation. Swept up by his soaring rhetoric during my college days, I recall the early conversations about how the little-known senator from Illinois was going to be the next president. I bought his books before he was Obama the candidate. I worked on his campaign when he fought Hillary for the Democratic nomination in a race that turned the day then-candidate Obama spoke at Clemson, my historically racist university.

I don’t remember vilifying Hillary then. I just remember sitting in small classrooms listening to people like Kal Penn tell me why the president had inspired them to spend his afternoons visiting with small groups of college students in some South Carolina backwater. I was inspired in my very naive way by the way Obama’s campaign brought me in close contact with black students who I didn’t often have the chance to work with during my childhood in a still very segregated part of the world. Of course my expectations for the Obama presidency were outsized and childlike, believing that the election of a black president might excise the racism that I’d grown to hate through decades of exposure therapy. The last decade has been a revelation in growth — the learning to disagree with the President who inspired me so. Learning, as a person heavily invested in the public defense, to disagree with the president when he declared in his Merrick Garland nomination speech that the fourth amendment was a mere technicality. Learning to disagree with the president’s use of drones and mass surveillance. More than disagreement, it’s been learning to deal with the disappointments brought on by the president’s pragmatic, incremental approach to change.
...
Something nasty’s happened since Sanders rose from political obscurity to his current place in the mainstream. Along the way, he’s attracted and cultivated a following that’s engaged in the same sort of demagoguery endured by President Obama. The empty caricatures of the president — that he’s a socialist, that he’s the “worst president in the country’s history,” and that he’s a shill for the corporate middle — have long since failed to fully encapsulate the man or the politician. They’ve failed to describe easy-to-muster reasons why the president’s tenure has been a mild disappointment to some of his supporters. They’re devoid of nuance, of flavor, of the sort of political spice that lifts the conversation to a constructive place. And so, too, have the most recent critiques of Hillary Clinton.
...
It’s not Hillary’s imperfections that pressed me into her corner. Nor is it just her advocacy on an issue that strikes a real emotional place for me. It’s the deceitful caricatures that have plagued the last few months of this primary. I don’t like to be pissed on and told it’s raining. When you tell me that Hillary’s a liar, or evil, or a shill, or no better than Ted Cruz, I go further than not believing you. I go as far as not wanting to support you in your advocacy. It’s clownish, cartoonish even. To create a caricature of Bernie Sanders that would equal the one thrown at Hillary Clinton, you’d have to call him Stalin. He’s not, and neither is she the incarnation of evil.

That the Democratic Party has two candidates whose core values represent the movement forward should be exciting. But that’s not cool enough. Not edgy enough. In our rush to run from the simplistic, us v. them rhetoric of the Republican Party, we’ve created a similar (albeit more palatable version) on our side. The snide insults and simplistic portrayal of Clinton are reminders to all of us who’ve been paying attention of the way Republicans painted President Obama. It’s made me run into the corner of a candidate whose core has been maligned in a way that no longer squares. And truly, it’s the fault off the less constructive supporters of Senator Sanders. They can shoulder the blame for highlighting in Hillary what would otherwise be only mildly remarkable traits. Taking a Yale Law School education and using it to fight the evil of your day should be the expectation. It’s what I’d want my kids to do. But when you tell me Hillary possesses malignant insides, evidence of her goodness is magnified in the face of incessant and obnoxious misdirection.

Op-ed: I'm a radical, and I support Hillary Clinton

The writer makes some excellent points.

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/oped/bs-ed-progressive-clinton-20160330-story.html

Bernie Sanders has strong support among liberal, educated, young white voters, which makes perfect sense. Who stands to benefit from his policies? The truly poor already have free health care in the form of Medicaid. Poor mothers — and I was one — have free health care for their children in the form of the Children's Health Insurance Program, thanks in part to Ms. Clinton's work as a first lady. I thank her for every urgent care visit that was covered for the three years I needed CHIP to pay for my children's health care and my own. Move up into the middle class, and health care costs are a real burden, which Bernie promises to alleviate. What about free college tuition at public universities? Don't kid yourself that this is aimed toward those with no resources. In order to be in school you need a place to live and food to eat, free time and child care. Those with the fewest resources in our society, low income single mothers with children to care for, will not be the primary beneficiaries of this improvement, but middle class kids will be able to escape the burden of debt they pay every month for their education.

Hillary Clinton talks about and works for the least privileged in society, not middle class millennials and their parents who worry about health insurance and college loan payments every month. Low income women need free and easy access to birth control and family planning. If a woman becomes unintentionally pregnant and doesn't have the resources or desire for a child, she needs to be able to terminate that pregnancy in a safe, low cost, nearby facility. Giving women the power to choose their number and timing of children has been linked to improved levels of literacy, infant and maternal mortality, women's and family health, education and income. Every child deserves to be loved, wanted and well cared for. Hillary Clinton is a powerful proponent of women's health care access and calls for reversing the Hyde Amendment that blocks many low income women's access to abortion.

Here in Baltimore city guns and gun violence blew up last year with an alarming number of murders. If you live in the wrong neighborhood, firearms are a much bigger problem than Wall Street or the corporations Mr. Sanders rails against. Low income children and families desperately need the changes in gun regulation that will hold gun manufacturers responsible, require locks and safe gun technology, and tighten the market both for legal and illegal firearms. This violence is a waste and a burden that should be a primary concern of any Democratic candidate, and I believe Hillary is absolutely in step with my feelings on this issue.

None of this means I wouldn't vote for Bernie Sanders for president if he wins the Democratic nomination. But I'm tired of being told that Hillary plays it safe and Bernie stands for real change. I don't agree, and if his policies will only help my privileged, middle class family and friends, then it's not my revolution.

Maryland governor expected to ban bee-killing pesticides in US first

While I support this, I dislike the fact that Larry Hogan (R) seems to be given full credit for it if he signs this when the bill was actually passed my MD's Democratic-controlled legislature.

http://inhabitat.com/maryland-governor-expected-to-ban-bee-killing-pesticides-in-us-first/

The declining bee population on Earth has been linked with widespread use of a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids. While the chemicals have already been banned in several countries, they are still widely used in the United States. Maryland, however, is the first state poised to approve a measure that bans the pesticides, after losing 60 percent of its hives last year. The pending legislation has passed the state’s upper and lower chambers, and now awaits the signature of Governor Larry Hogan, which is expected.


Still, it is a step in the right direction, however achieved. There is also a good slideshow at the link.

I Saw Hillary Clinton in Person. I Was Surprised.

This is an absolutely lovely read!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rebecca-kraus/i-saw-hillary-clinton-in-_b_9559208.html

...
The first thing she (Hillary) does is show gratitude to the people who got her onstage: the elected officials, her staff, and volunteers. She says she’s proud of the school’s accomplishments and the crowd goes nuts! The golden rule of public speaking is to know your audience and Hillary is no slouch in this department.

I watch closely in a way only a close-up view allows. I’m struck by her elegance, in part because a young fan next to me exudes, “She’s beautiful.” It’s not just her stature and that coat, her scarf, and pumps. I’m also struck by her emotion. Her face shows passion and anguish at times, as in when she talks about the horrific terrorist attack in Brussels just hours before. I’ve heard her talk about terrorism before, but this night it feels decidedly urgent.
...
When the microphone stops working, she handles it like a champ. She says this would be a good opportunity to be quiet. Then off the cuff, she remarks about how she gets criticized for speaking too soft, or too loud, smiling too much, or not enough. All this judgment seems to be launched at her, in no small measure, because of her gender.

Looking around at the range of eager faces in the crowd, I reject the way she and her supporters have been simplified and demonized. I know of hundreds of staffers and volunteers who are working their hearts out, and millions (not just millionaires) have already voted for her.
...


OK, So Hill lost the WA caucus. I do not believe that she will lose WA state in the GE. Not at all.

Clinton Digs In as Trump Moves On

Democrat keeps her Iowa office open while Trump operation shuts down; looking to the general election

http://www.wsj.com/articles/clinton-digs-in-as-trump-moves-on-1459208576

As Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Trump aim to clinch their parties’ nominations, the former secretary of state is poised to start the general-election campaign with a far more sophisticated operation in key swing states than the businessman.

“It unequivocally is helpful for a campaign that spent a year-plus working in Iowa to keep some people in play,” said David Oman, a former Iowa state GOP co-chairman and senior political adviser to former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who quit the race last month. “It would be a mistake to let people go…and then have to put the team back together again to marshal a general-election campaign.”

Mr. Trump has largely eschewed implementing a traditional ground game, instead relying on large rallies and his star power to turn out voters. As a consequence, strategists in Iowa and New Hampshire say there’s little left of his already-sparse operations in the states.


That's our candidate - seriously digging in and already planning for the next phase!

Clinton camp on Sanders: 'What kind of a campaign is that?'

http://www.politico.com/blogs/2016-dem-primary-live-updates-and-results/2016/03/hillary-clinton-bernie-sanders-tone-debate-221328

Clinton's chief pollster Joel Benenson stoked the ire of Sanders boosters on Monday afternoon during a CNN interview in which he remarked that any future debate participation on the part of their campaign would depend on the "tone" set by their opponent. Later in the day, press secretary Brian Fallon called the Sanders campaign's letter over the weekend calling for a debate in New York a "stunt" for attention.

“I think what Joel was getting at a couple of things — we had a process whereby we were talking about adding additional debates," senior Clinton adviser Karen Finney told CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday. "That seemed to be working just fine. And then we see this kind of stunt, as Brian Fallon pointed out yesterday, they send this public letter about let’s — you know, demanding a debate. At the same time, we see reports about how they’re doing polling on new lines of attack on Hillary Clinton."

"And so it just felt like — hold on, here — you don’t get to set the terms and conditions around when or where we debate," Finney continued. "We’ve had a process. Let’s stick to that process rather than public stunts, particularly at a time when you had said at the beginning of this campaign, ‘I don’t do negative attacks.’ I think at one point Sen. Sanders also said, ‘I’m not really into polling.’ Well now it’s all about polling and how to attack Hillary Clinton? What kind of a campaign is that?”


All these created tempests! The Sanders campaign should be very careful what it wishes for and how it proceeds in NY. NYers know and LIKE Hillary. NY is also a closed primary. These tactics can backfire.

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor Updates Educational Video Game 'Win the White House' for 2016

https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-03-28-justice-sandra-day-o-connor-updates-educational-video-game-win-the-white-house-for-2016

Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has released an updated version of her campaign simulator game Win the White House, one of three games in her iCivics suite, for the 2016 election. The game was first released in 2012 and is designed for grades four through 12. The game tasks players with raising funds, poling voters, conducting media campaigns and making personal appearances to garner electoral support. The update includes tablet and mobile compatibility, more player customization and an expanded participation in the election primaries.
...
The game teaches players about the processes by which candidates conduct a campaign and garner support. It taught us a few things about how states swing back and forth for one or another candidate. Unlike real politics, the campaign deals in binary situations: your statements either help you or they don't. There are few freak outcomes. Our biggest takeaway was learning about the typical sides taken on each issue, i.e. how does the GOP normally talk about energy independence? What do the Democrats usually have to say about global cooperation?


The NYT also has a good article about this: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/technology/sandra-day-oconnor-supreme-court-video-games.html

This may shock you: Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest

I’ve investigated Hillary and know she likes a ‘zone of privacy’ around her. This lack of transparency, rather than any actual corruption, is her greatest flaw. --Jill Abramson

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/mar/28/hillary-clinton-honest-transparency-jill-abramson

For decades she’s been portrayed as a Lady Macbeth involved in nefarious plots, branded as “a congenital liar” and accused of covering up her husband’s misconduct, from Arkansas to Monica Lewinsky. Some of this is sexist caricature. Some is stoked by the “Hillary is a liar” videos that flood Facebook feeds. Some of it she brings on herself by insisting on a perimeter or “zone of privacy” that she protects too fiercely. It’s a natural impulse, given the level of scrutiny she’s attracted, more than any male politician I can think of.

I would be “dead rich”, to adapt an infamous Clinton phrase, if I could bill for all the hours I’ve spent covering just about every “scandal” that has enveloped the Clintons. As an editor I’ve launched investigations into her business dealings, her fundraising, her foundation and her marriage. As a reporter my stories stretch back to Whitewater. I’m not a favorite in Hillaryland. That makes what I want to say next surprising.

Hillary Clinton is fundamentally honest and trustworthy.
...
The connection between money and action is often fuzzy. Many investigative articles about Clinton end up “raising serious questions” about “potential” conflicts of interest or lapses in her judgment. Of course, she should be held accountable. It was bad judgment, as she has said, to use a private email server. It was colossally stupid to take those hefty speaking fees, but not corrupt. There are no instances I know of where Clinton was doing the bidding of a donor or benefactor.

As for her statements on issues, Politifact, a Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking organization, gives Clinton the best truth-telling record of any of the 2016 presidential candidates. She beats Sanders and Kasich and crushes Cruz and Trump, who has the biggest “pants on fire” rating and has told whoppers about basic economics that are embarrassing for anyone aiming to be president. (He falsely claimed GDP has dropped the last two quarters and claimed the national unemployment rate was as high as 35%).


Excellent read!
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