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    • Do Great Men and Women Change the World?
      Most of us, when we were young, were taught history as a series of events, with the names of important men and women attached. In effect, we were taught the “Great Man” theory of history, that history is the result of the actions of the great. Do the great matter?  Do they make a difference? […]
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Hillary, Diana and Journalists

article-2438612-186681b100000578-241_634x421Last week, in another unguarded moment, the Slate Political Gabfest trio revealed what the deal was with Hillary’s emails. Go to about the 21 minute mark of their latest episode “I Threw a Chair in Reno Just to Watch it Fly” where they start to discuss why it is that The Donald can get away with not revealing his tax returns but Hillary damaged herself seriously because she didn’t want journalists filing FOIA requests to go sifting through her emails to find stupid little things and turns of phrases that could be made into gigantic, distracting nothings.

They sound like whiny little children. They’re going to camp on these emails and the unreleased transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs and they readily acknowledge that all they and their journalist droogs are going to do is make a mountain of something as trivial as “thank you all for allowing me to talk to you today”.

It reminds me of the papparazzi that regarded it as their right to follow Princess Diana around. Everything she did was documented to death. Literally. Oh sure, you could blame the chauffeur for driving while intoxicated but he wouldn’t have been speeding through a Paris Tunnel in the first place if there weren’t a posse of photographers hot on Diana’s tail. If reports from other bystanders are correct, they took pictures of her while she was dying in the backseat of the car.

It would be incorrect to assume that because Hillary Clinton is a former first lady, twice elected Senator and former Secretary of State that she has too much experience and gravitas to be permanently damaged by this. Somehow, the pundits think, she will pull herself out of this. She’ll take a hit in the polls, only weeks away from the biggest delegate prize in the primaries, and it will be a nail biter all the way to the convention, but she will still, somehow, emerge triumphant.

I’m not so sure. I’ve seen up close and personal how women in professional life are always more harshly criticized for stuff that their male counterparts can get away with. Men are allowed to be human. Women have to be Dianas, either chaste  or chased. They get away with nothing. And while it is encouraging that some men are starting to appreciate just how presidential she is compared to Mr. Can’t Pick a Right Shade of Self Tanner, they fail to acknowledge that in order for women to BE Presidents, they have to somehow transcend being mortal human beings.

At the moment, Donald Trump can do and say anything and get away with it. His persistent attacks on Hillary this week for everything she has ever done or said in her entire life illustrates why she might be motivated to put her email on a separate server that wouldn’t be subjected to FOIA requests by “journalists” on a fishing expedition for “gotcha” emails, and wouldn’t be the target of hacking because no one outside of her address list would know that it existed.

One tantalizing tidbit that came up last night when CNN was discussing it was why didn’t the President know she was using an unauthorized email server? Presumably, he knew she wasn’t contacting him from Hillary.Clinton@State.gov. Why didn’t HE insist she use a government email server?

In any case, there were no laws broken, she didn’t send email that she knew ahead of time was classified and the server was never hacked, unlike the other state department servers. This is simply a case of a woman who knows that everything she thinks, writes and says is has the potential to become twisted and misused for political purposes or just for fun, as Emily Bazelon and John Dickerson admit.

The timing is right, now that she is being attacked relentlessly by Trump who seemingly has spent a lot of money for opposition research portraying her in the worst possible light to his voters, for her to give her “ask forgiveness rather than permission speech”. And then, if the Democrats really want to win in November, it’s crucial that they close ranks behind her and defend her vigorously to give her the mantle of superhuman invincibility she needs to get elected.

But if history is any guide, they’ll be bystanders at the car wreck while the butterflies take selfies next to the corpse.

Update: OMG, the Gabfest trio are at it again, (the “Weiner” edition) blaming the victim and repeatedly asking for some unattainably high standard of humility from Clinton before they let it go. What would it take guys? A Cersei Lannister naked walk of repentance thru Georgetown?  Why isn’t an apology enough? You admit she had a good reason to do what she did because you also freely admit you can’t control yourselves. So what is this never ending pursuit about? When will it be enough?

Media people have a real problem and they sound a little defensive about it in this podcast. Good.  They are the ones who should be repenting.

I blame the Democrats. They are not saying that after 25 years and upending her underwear drawers, it is time for the “journalists” to move on.

This podcast was simply unlistenable. They are so out of touch and so brazen in their admissions that I can’t listen without wanting to smack someone. Listening discretion is advised.

 

When Hillary met Bernie

 

Sorry, Katiebird, I couldn’t resist.

Invalidation or Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

John Oliver’s recent take on the primary process was on the mark, especially the part about how Clinton can’t do anything right:

Yes, the process definitely needs to change. For one thing, we need to cut down on the incredibly undemocratic caucuses that cut out anyone who can’t stick around for hours to listen to speeches, vote, revote, line up, line up outside, etc, etc. Katiebird shared her caucus experiences with me from 2008 and 2016. 2008 sounded like a nightmare. 2016, when she voted for Bernie was much easier. But it was still very time consuming. The elderly, working people and mothers with kids ain’t got time for that.

ahem, those would be the Clinton voters.

Then there are open primaries where anyone who has a grudge against one of your party’s candidates can game them. Independents say that if open primaries didn’t exist, they wouldn’t be able to vote in a primary.

Yes. and?

I’m not saying I’m unsympathetic to independents. I was one after 2008 for 5 years. I was extremely angry with what happened in 2008. But as we all know, the parties are private entities (that use public tax dollars for their primaries and caucuses) and they aren’t beholden to us. They hardly listen to their own voters. Why should pay any attention to independents?

But the thing that drives me nuts about Oliver’s piece and Greg Sargent asking if the primary process needs to be reformed yadayadayada, is why now? Why now, guys? This process was exponentially worse in 2008. We saw it on C-Span during the rules committee hearing when reapportionment of one candidate’s pledged delegates gave the other candidate the win.

You know, no one heard a peep from these same belligerent assholes about how unfair the system was in 2008. It’s only this year when their “more deserving male” candidate is losing by a wider margin because of closed primaries that we’re all supposed to have conscioussness raising sessions to talk about the primary system clustrfuck. When WE pointed out how the assholes were definitely, undeniably and in full daylight rigging the system against Clinton in 2008, we were called “bitter knitters”.  Now, we have to be careful not to upset the fee-fees of the same bad actors.

Yeah, that’s not going to happen.

Atrios says nobody remembers 2008, that we are being silly, {{rolling his eyes}}.

You know, we don’t see it that way. And we’re really tired of having our votes and experiences of both of the horrible primary seasons for the Clinton voters invalidated.

Do not tell us that our experiences were unimportant.

Some of us are living with the consequences of that nasty 2008 primary season where Clinton still managed to get more of the popular vote and managed to lose the primary by the slimmest of margins. She had every right to take the fight all the way to the convention. She wasn’t harshing his mellow. HE was harshing HERS.

Do not invalidate her actions in 2008 when she tried with all her might to be recognized as being the first female candidate who had a legitimate right to the nomination and a real roll call vote.

Elections have consequences. We got the “liberal messiah” who wasn’t a liberal. And we got an very weak economic recovery and not one banker went to jail. And Clinton is stuck with an ACA that she can’t get rid of and can only tweak around the edges. Imagine how thrilled she is to take that on. And let’s not forget that there was no guarantee he was going to win in 2008. He wasn’t that far ahead in the polls, until the financial catastrophe in Sept 2008. He didn’t win the presidency in a landslide.

If there are people in the Clinton camp who are unsympathetic to the plaintive wails of the most persistent and aggressive Bernie supporters, it’s because they’ve been there before. These guys have no respect for Clinton or her voters. A Clintonista is a non-person. His or her votes are unimportant. They can be swept into the trash bin with impunity. The objections of a Clintonista doesn’t merit their attention. They are silly. The 2008 primary was so five minutes ago.

You know, that’s bullshit. We’re not having it this year. You might have come to Clinton begrudgingly this year but we aren’t going to forget any time soon. We see the sexism lurking beneath the surface of the “no one remembers 2008” crap.

Face up to it. There is still bitterness in the party over it because those guys who gamed the system in 2008 think they can still do it in 2016 and they think they can get away with it because the Clintonistas don’t count. The fact that they are wrong this year doesn’t mitigate the damage they are doing to the legitimacy of Clinton voters or the respect for the nominee that the party needs to project going into the fall.

Is that really the message we want to send to the country in the general election? Stop it.

Tidbits and GoT Predictions

1.)I’m a bit sad this morning over Bernie Sanders’ self-immolation of his brand. Bernie was on to something. His message resonated with me strongly. He made a strategic misstep when he identified too much with the more paranoid supporters in his constituency. Bernie supporters will always be welcome here. Your opinions *do* matter to us and your vote is still important if you haven’t had a chance to participate in a primary yet. You shouldn’t be ignored just because your champion temporarily lost his f&*(ing mind. (Just don’t expect us to argue every point with you. Our focus is forward, getting Hillary elected)

And anyway, no revolution is going to happen until we put more people like us in Congress, the Senate and statehouses. If Hillary is elected president, the tide of bad voting laws can be rolled back. That right there is a good reason to vote for her because you can’t change anything if you can’t vote. So, I hope we can concentrate on downticket Democrats that both sides of the party can get behind. (Yeah, we don’t like Debbie Wasserman-Shultz and her student body president types either)

2.) We had a sustained attack on this blog on Friday. I have reason to believe it was not just a Bernie Bros production. The Bernie Bros are occasionally more earnest burning swamp monsters flailing and broadcasting high anxiety to the blog. (Calm your tits, guys, Hillary isn’t nearly as Satanic as you think). But I don’t think they are the most destructive trolls. I mean, who has the most to lose this election really? Who is more motivated to try to diminish and marginalize the pro-Hillary contingent?

Let’s just say that I’ve been tracing some of the commenters to their original sources and my curiosity is piqued. Would there be a concerted effort to bombard Hillary positive blogs with comments that looked like they came from unhinged Bernie Bros but are actually right wing disrupters who got their hands on what should be defunct domain addresses? I wouldn’t be surprised. Someone with more time and network skills on their hands should look into this. I can provide the information if you interested.

3.) Jane Caro, my favorite Australian, is writing a trilogy of books about Queen Elizabeth I of England and what sacrifices women in power have to make. She touches briefly on what Hillary is going through at about the 35 minute mark when she talks about how men are ok with women playing second fiddle. But the minute a woman politician decides to go for the top spot, she suddenly morphs into a “heinous bitch” in the media. There’s some speculation that there is an ancient physical taboo involved. Donald Trump has already tapped into this. I’m really intrigued by Jane’s hypothesis here.

Jane used to be in advertising and she’s very perceptive about what motivates people as well as what turns them off. Jane talks about why virgins are more powerful. We should probably try to understand this if we ever expect to make progress. Is she on to something? Discuss.

The whole video is really good. If I were Hillary, I’d add Caro to the campaign advisors.

 

4.) Ok, who out there hates to clean? Don’t be shy, raise your hands. I have some podcast gold for you that are truly sponge worthy and will take your mind off the chores that never end and don’t seem to stay done. These are about Hollywood’s early years and they are fascinating.

Stuart Waterman has two amazing podcasts. Pick one depending on your mood.

Attaboy Clarence podcasts are about an hour long and feature biographies of the stars, old timey ads and Lux Theater rebroadcasts of movies, along with Stuart’s sardonic commentary delivered in a Jude Law drawl.

The Secret History of Hollywood is more like an ongoing deep dyve narrative. These podcasts must take months to put together but they are so well done you can’t wait for the next one to come out. He has podcasts that cover Alfred Hitchcock, Universal Pictures’ horror genre and the beginnings of Warner Bros. and their gangster film franchise. I’m on part two of Bullets and Blood. Start with Bullets and Blood part 1. You won’t be sorry.

You Must Remember This is Karina Longworth’s podcast on the history of Hollywood. Her podcast also has biographies of the stars starting with the silent screen right up to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski. These podcasts are shorter, about 30 minutes long. Karina always finds an angle that you might not have thought about and leaves you thinking long after the podcast is over. Hollywood has had an enormous effect on our culture.

Both podcasters discuss the pre-code Hollywood era. That was a revelation to me and may explain why your grandparents were so much cooler than your parents.

5.) Alright, on to what you really wanted to talk about: Game of Thrones predictions. To recap this season (don’t read if you haven’t seen season 6 episodes yet. Spoilers ahead.):

Jon Snow is not dead. Melisandre brought him back with a sponge bath, haircut and some funky prayers in what sounds like Hebrew. He executed the Watch brothers who executed him, which just goes to show you that characters are not dead until you burn the bodies, assuming they can be burned (I’m getting to that).

Sansa escapes with Theon’s help. She and Theon are rescued in the woods by Brienne who offers her sword to Sansa. This time, Sansa has finally bought a clue and accepts the help. Theon departs for the Iron Islands where he offers to help make his sister queen after their father’s untimely murder at the hands of his brother.

Sansa reaches Jon at Castle Black and there is a touching reunion. Tormund Giantsbane locks eyes with Brienne. It’s love at first sight. (Bow-chicka-bow) Ramsay Bolton has Sansa and Jon’s(?) little brother and sends a taunting letter to Jon and Sansa at Castle Black saying “Come and get him”. Sansa channels her inner badass and tells Jon that if he doesn’t help her take back Winterfell, she’ll do it herself. Jon and the Wildlings are all in.

Arya is still in Braavos training to become a faceless man. But is she really “no one”? By the way, did anyone else notice that during the “beat the confession out of her” scene the Waif got Arya to reduce the number of brothers she has? Has Arya always known in some instinctive way that Jon wasn’t her brother even though both Arya and Jon are the most Stark like of all the Winterfell children?

Bran has greenseer visions with Bloodraven about the Tower of Joy. We still have no confirmation that R+L=J but, c’mon, what else can these visions mean? Unless there’s something we don’t yet know…

Cersei and Jaime hatch a plot to get the Tyrell’s to take on the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. Sparrow has Margaery, King Tommen’s wife, and her brother Loras. The idea is to bring the Tyrell army to King’s Landing. What could *possibly* go wrong?

Dany escapes from the Dosh Khaleen and burns the right wing trolls and Bernie Bros, the worst collection of obnoxious, threatening, small minded barbarians that ever gave rape culture a bad name and emerges from the flames as an unburnt fiery demi-goddess.

Predictions:

High Sparrow got Loras to crack. Loras told Sparrow that is grandmother had King Joffrey poisoned. Then, Sparrow tells Tommen this, and he tells his mother Cersei. Cersei and Jaime hatch a plan to pit the Tyrell’s against the Faith Militant and hope to take both of them out at the same time by having the Lannisters show up and clean up the aftermath. Not sure how the much anticipated Cleganebowl comes out of this but expect to see Mountainstein take on The Hound in about episode 7.

Sansa is going to lead the army to Winterfell. She’s going to be the one to make herself a widow by slamming one of her embroidery needles into Ramsay’s brain. Being eaten by wolves is too good for him. He’s got to die by Sansa’s hands. Die, Die, Die, Ramsay, DIE! Ahem, got carried away there.

Arya took an antidote before she drank from the cup that Jaquen H’gar offered her. She’s still Arya under there.

Bran is going to go diving too deeply under the sea and almost loses himself. He sees The Others coming and Meera helps him sound the alarm. Will Howland Reed deliver Robb Stark’s will to the other bannermen of the North in time to take back and fortify Winterfell in time for the onslaught?

The wall will come down in episode 10.

Valar Morghulis.

 

 

 

 

 

Hillary in Australia 2010 and the End of World War II

There is a point to this post. Wait for it…

Let’s start with this clip from an Australian morning show in 2010. Hillary met with Hamish and Andy for a very funny piece about the “gift” she received from the Australian people as Secretary of State. She’s relaxed, has a good sense of humor, seems genuinely authentic to me, Jon Stewart. But it gets better. Listen to the banter between the morning show hosts at the end of the clip and ask yourself what they must be thinking of Americans this year.

 

The reason I bring up this clip is because I read the editorial in the NYTimes International version this morning about the tempest brewing in the South China Sea. The piece, titled “Playing Chicken in the South China Sea“, is about a American surveillance plane’s “near miss” with two Chinese fighters while over the area recently. China has been building up islands and atolls and installing military bases on them. It’s making Indonesia and the Phillipines nervous.

Back in 2010, Clinton was an early advocate of staring down the Chinese before the tensions in the South China Sea got too touchy. That’s why she was in Australia. Her job as Secretary of State was to forge a better working partnership with the Australians to take a strong interest in area.

Why is the South China Sea so important? According to the NYT editorial:

“China has been behaving in a bellicose fashion in the South China Sea for some time as part of a sustained and increasingly dangerous effort to assert sovereignty over a vital waterway in which other nations also have claims. In a few weeks, an international arbitration court is expected to rule in a case brought against China by the Philippines. The outcome could have a profound effect on the struggle for control of the sea, which is rich in resources and carries $5 trillion in annual trade.”

That’s right, the South China Sea sees $5,000,000,000,000.00 worth of trade each year passing through its waters.

We children of the 60s, 70s and 80s know that the world is mostly water but we seem to ignore the part of the geography class that taught us about ‘straits’ and ‘canals’ and ‘trade routes’. Those trade routes haven’t changed since Magellan circumnavigated the globe nearly 500 years ago.

It’s why Hitler wanted control of the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean. It’s why the Japanese wanted the Spratley Islands in the South China Sea, why it invaded the Phillipines and why Iwo Jima was such a big deal.Take a look at the map:

resource_flows

 

That map shows liquified natural gas trade routes through the region and I think we could all make a good case that maybe increasing oil and gas trade is not such a good idea because of global warming. We should be working on energy alternatives. But it is also true that we probably don’t want someone abruptly turning the spigots on and off in order to manipulate markets and bring us to our knees before we have time to boot the Republicans out of power and get on with alternative energy research in earnest.

Plus, presumably, there’s more to trade than fossil fuels.

I think you get my point. But if you don’t, it’s this: World War II never ended. It never ended in the North Atlantic, it never ended in the Eastern Mediterranean and it certainly hasn’t ended in the South China Sea. These areas are always going to be flashpoints as long as the world’s continents stay put.

You are free to disagree with me but you can’t argue with geography.

Who would you rather see in the White House? Someone who doesn’t think we should spend money on NATO or the woman who was proactively diplomatic on the South China Sea issues 6 years ago?

To me, it’s a no brainer. But at this point in time, the rest of the world is probably getting very concerned that there are a significant number of Americans who have no brains.

 

Clinton Cocktail Party: Give me GREEN HOPE!

ist1_3546928_bartender3Welcome to the first official cocktail party to celebrate our Democratic nominee for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton! Why wait?

Yes, everyone should still get out there and vote. And yes, your voice is important. But we’ve got a hard campaign ahead of us and we Clintonistas would like to show our enthusiasm for Hillary.

Believe it or not, we are very enthusiastic for her. Where others might see just a woman, particularly if they are suffering from “More Deserving Man Syndrome”, we see genuine presidential material.

Are we bothered by the innuendos of wrongdoing over {{name your favorite scandal}}? Heck no. It’s Republicans that want to spend millions and millions of dollars chasing down some pseudoscandal that will result in nothing- again- rather than fund Zika and Ebola research at the same time. Ain’t nobody around here got time for that.

We’re ready for change. And we are going to get it. There hasn’t been a candidate this experienced and qualified for decades. Plus, if she helps sweep more women into Congress and the Senate, and we break the 30% representative number, we can look forward to a better standard of living for everyone. The United States is nowhere near 30%. This is the ultimate apartheid, to keep women out of decision making process and to keep their voices from being heard.

Will Hillary change all that? I don’t know. But I can’t think of a woman I admire and respect more than Hillary to give it her best effort.

So, come on in. We were able to snag Rico to tend bar tonight. Tonight, Rico has whipped up some Green Hope cocktails.green-cocktail-splash-13708343 That’s because he’s looking forward to more mass transit to his suburb and better broadband when Hillary makes it to the White House. But you can order anything you like.

Our entertainment tonight is an old favorite of mine. It’s Eddie Grant and friends. Everyone has to get up and dance and sing along. There are so many Clinton supporters out there of all ages, shapes and sizes. I phone banked with some of them. The idea that all  of us are sitting in our wheelchairs shaking our Geritol bottles in time to the music is silly. Only some of us do that. The vast majority of us get up and shake our ample bottoms.

Our servers tonight are circulating with some orange chili pork belly bites and General Tsao’s cauliflower. There’s also a selection of crudities and smoked salmon for our regulars. Please tip your servers.

Speaking of tips, if you feel inclined to send Hillary Clinton some hope, here’s the link to her fundraising page. Might I suggest some multiple of $4 because HOPE is a four letter word.

Cocktail Party challenge: come up with a good, snarky bumpersticker for Hillary.

Finally, we all like a good argument but take it outside before it gets rough.

Woot! GO!

FWIW JMHO: Hillary vs Bernie

pie-fight-primaryDisclaimer: In the following, I’m not referring to all Bernie people. There are plenty of Bernie people who are pretty good people who just want to make sure their issues are addressed.

So, the NYTimes says that Bernie is going to try to damage Hillary all the way to California and beyond. Encouraging his supporters to vote for him because <list of reasons why Bernie would be better, include significant accomplishments> is just not enough. California is a big prize and it would indeed be a plum to take it away from Hillary.

But Bernie should be aware that you *can* win California (NY, NJ, PA, OH, FL, MI, TX, MA etc), win the popular vote and still lose the nomination. Go ask Hillary.

Bernie wants another debate before the California primary. If I were Clinton, I’d give it to him. What I think some voters want to see is an anti-Dukakis moment from Hillary. I think she can do this.

Finally, the left has to step up and make the Bernie Bros behave. Yes, it’s time to cut the sexist shit out and step up and do the right thing guys. These assholes are out of control. They think that they can use intimidation and breath holding and harrassment and everyone is going to give into them because they infiltrated caucuses and flipped some delegates in an backdoor strategy and generally made a nuisance of themselves.

This is unrealistic.

It’s unrealistic because as I pointed out before, you can still win California by 10 points and lose the nomination. If the media is on your side, you can be carried to the nomination in a sedan chair. And although the media is having a field day watching this pie fight, I see no indication that they are backing Bernie the way they slavishly fellated Obama in 2008.

No, the media is saving its worst work for the general between Hillary and Trump.

Secondly, Bernie Bros need to realize that there are other people who exist who prefer their own candidate and it is not Bernie. Even if the party does decide to ditch Hillary- again- that doesn’t mean that her voters are going to pivot and support Bernie in the fall if he gets the nomination via a coup. They were asked to do that for a man they didn’t believe in for the 2008 campaign and they’re not going to do it again. These guys need to understand this. There will be a fury they won’t see coming. We do have feelings and anger is one of the ones they don’t want stir. Don’t even. I’m serious.

I’m calling on all left blogosphere guys to tell these assholes to stop. Stop the dehumunization of Hillary Clinton.

Stop the double standard.

Stop the stupid hand wringing about whether a senator who has been elected twice, can run a campaign.

Stop believing the crap about the 2008 campaign that doesn’t acknowledge the piling on, the media collaboration, the flood of Wall Street money to Obama and the party back stabbing.

Stop abetting the overt sexism.

Stop sitting on the sidelines without commenting on the truly bad behavior and ridiculous intimidation.

Stop pretending that this is the same crap any male candidate opposing Sanders would get.

It’s on YOU to rein in these assholes. Some of you were these assholes in 2008 and how did that go for you? Did Obama give you everything you wanted? Is it possible that you weren’t entirely accurate?

If you don’t rein them in and crack down, you bear some of the responsibility for what comes next.

Step up and act like decent human beings.

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