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Breaking: Journalist observes Hillary, finds she is not so bad after all


How we see Hillary, as General Leia, vs…

This profile of Hillary Clinton by Rebecca Traister in NYMag is as close as I’ve seen in 25 years to an honest report on Hillary Clinton. Some of it is more complimentary than I would have expected but for completely unexpected reasons.

It’s not that Traister gushes too much about the first female nominee, although both she and Hillary discuss what I call the “More Deserving Man” Syndrome.

It’s not because Traister doesn’t go on and on and on about Hillary’s email problem, which turns out, not to be much of a problem, provided you don’t cherry pick only a few phrases from the IG report.

No, it’s because of this:

When Clinton rolled out a progressive set of policies for families at her May events in Lexington and Louisville, her explanation went something like this: We need a national system of paid family leave because too many women don’t even get a paid day off to give birth; workers don’t have a federal requirement for paid sick days; meanwhile, many dads and parents of adopted children don’t get any time off at all, and sons and daughters don’t get time to take care of aging parents. We also need to establish voluntary home-visiting programs, where new parents, especially those facing economic adversity, can get assistance in learning how to care for their children and prepare them to succeed in school, thus taking aim at unequal outcomes in the earliest years. Relatedly, we need to raise wages, because two-thirds of minimum-wage workers are women, which has an impact on single-parent and dual-earning homes and, when combined with high child-care costs, inhibits women’s ability to earn equal benefits, save for college, and put away for retirement. Minimum-wage workers currently spend between 20 and 40 percent of their income on child care; Clinton has a plan whereby no family would pay more than 10 percent on child care, but she also believes we need to increase pay for child-care providers and early educators, who in some places are paid less than dog trainers and who have their own families to take care of. All of this is tied to the need to strengthen unions and make health care more affordable through revisions to the Affordable Care Act as well.

Clinton’s holistic view of intersecting challenges and multi-tentacled solutions — tax incentives, subsidies, wage hikes, pay protections — is weirdly thrilling in its expansive perspicacity. But it does not fit on a T-shirt. It does not sound good at a rally. You cannot even really show it on the local news, because it is not as simple as, say, “Free college!”


I tried to explain this in 2008 but it’s hard to put into words. She sees the model. She understands what happens when you change parameters. And Traister is right, it doesn’t translate to bumperstickers or T-Shirts. You need to go hear Hillary in person and ask her about infrastructure right after a bridge in Minneapolis collapsed to see how that is connected to better broadband nationwide. YOU think you’re talking about rusting bridges and mass transit but she is way ahead of you.

Anyway, just go read the whole thing.


… how the media see Hillary, as Cersei Lannister

Let this be a lesson to the press that is having a miserable time following her around. If you stop asking her about stupid email servers that almost no one cares about so you can make her do a Cersei Lannister Walk of Shame that no other candidate will be forced to do, you might get to hear something worth writing about. No one wants to give an interview to people who are listening for “sins” for which they can force you to atone.

In other news, Jerry Brown endorses Clinton in California.



A Tale of Two Ads: Bernie and Hillary





Today, Katiebird caucuses in Kansas for Bernie Sanders. I talked to her last night and I’m so excited for her. And she seems really happy and enthusiastic about her choice. I know what is driving Katiebird. Her priority is healthcare reform. But I think she also wants to be part of something bigger and she feels the Bern. I can’t wait to hear what her caucus was like and who won.

I’m comfortable with my choice as well. I’m going with my head, not my heart so I identify with Al Franken’s point of view. But I would be remiss if I didn’t admit that I wish Hillary was running a campaign like Bernie’s. I think she will get there eventually. Rebecca Traister in a recent interview at Fresh Air made the same observation. Hillary can stir the emotions and project her vision.

Anyway, I’d just like Bernie fans to know that they are more than welcome here. We have so much more in common than we have differences and I can’t imagine us not being friends. Every time Bernie wins a state, I feel good. It’s a very good sign that Americans are waking up.

And I’m not counting Bernie out. It’s still too early, you never know what’s going to happen and I think he makes the party stronger in a year that feels ripe for real change.

So, Go, Katie! Go Katie!



I don’t have any patience for this crap anymore and I’m not going away

Jonathan Capehart in the Washington Post is the latest pundit to tell us to stop pining for Hillary and give Obama some slack.  He agrees with Rebecca Traister at Salon who just wishes the rest of us would STFU already.  Capehart puts the blame on the Republicans who thwarted Obama’s first term, even though he started said first term with a solid majority in one house and a filibuster proof majority in the other.  But these are the two paragraphs that caught my eye because they border on the absurd:

By agreeing with Traister, though, I’m not giving Obama a pass on some of the anger and frustration the base has with him. The president has made mistakes. He pursued priorities that I believe will be judge kindly by history but are being judged negatively right now by the American people. And Obama hasn’t been as effective weaving the narrative of his administration as he was at reminding us of who we were as a country at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

The president needs to do a better job of focusing on the near-term priorities the American people have been clamoring for and the long-term issues that will leave this country better than he found it, fighting for those issues and story-telling. With Obama trying out themes on his bus tour that we’re bound to hear in the fall, delivering those themes with a snap in his voice that surely thrilled his supporters hungry for him to fight and leaking news of a post-Labor Day speech on jobs and the deficit, it appears he has already begun.

Obama’s going to try out “themes” with a “snap in his voice”.  Has Capehart been paying attention to the less than thrilled supporters who have abandoned Obama lately?  They’re not coming back.  They’ve finally seen the light like I did three years ago.  Once you see what’s going on, it’s hard to unsee it.   If there has been one thing Obama has been good at it’s disillusioning the leftist activists who worked so hard for him last time.  I’m hoping we can get the band back together and reunite the two coalitions of the party before Obama rolls out too many “themes”.

Does anyone really believe that just because Obama tests out some campaign themes that he’s going to rally the troop?  How come he didn’t test those themes out in January of 2009?  I’ll tell you why.  He didn’t believe in using the force of government to head off a lingering Lesser Depression.  He had his chance to do it and … he didn’t.

This is why the calls for Hillary Clinton to jump in are not going to go away.  The buyer’s remorse has to do with the very reasonable expectation that Hillary would have been a lot more proactive than Obama was in January 2009.  Do we really believe that she would have taken office and let the economy languish during her first year in office, that she wouldn’t have aggressively championed a bigger stimulus package and a mortgage program to help struggling homeowners?  Can any of us see her getting the news from Christina Romer to ask for $1.2 trillion in stimulus and have her say, “Ehhh, that’s probably too hard to get through Congress.  Let’s go with what Tim proposed and the market will take care of itself”

No, nobody who has been paying attention to the way Hillary and Obama conduct business that she would have been as passive and inept as this president has been.  And the thought of what might have been is deeply frustrating and maddening to those of us who have lost our jobs and are about to lose everything else.

Now, a lot of political party operatives will tell you that it is impossible to change the nominee, that’s it’s unheard that an incumbent is not entitled to a second term.  But to leave Obama in place risks losing the White House.  And I suspect that he has very short coattails.  I sure as hell don’t want to see him campaigning with any of my Congressional delegation members.  I live in an area where high tech jobs have been smashed to smithereens and all I ever hear about is how we have to retrain ourselves to take the jobs of the future.  How much more futuristic do we have to get???

What the political environment needs right now is something completely unpredictable.  Voters are getting really tired of not having a choice.  If Hillary jumped in, she’d be where all of those pent-up, frustrated votes would go.  It could be electric.  She is the most logical candidate to field, seeing as she appeals to a large number of voting constituencies.  But if there is another candidate with her viability and appeal, I’d consider him/her.

But all I ever hear is how I should stop whining about it because we’re stuck with Obama, who if he wins, will have even LESS incentive to take on the Republicans or do anything that will put government to work for us.  Yes, I’m supposed to just suck it up while my savings dwindle and my family falls out of the middle class while he tests his “themes” and makes more promises he does not intend to keep.  (We’ve been paying attention)  This campaign is not about the success of Obama’s “themes”.  It’s about correcting inequity, writing new rules and getting people back to work.  That Obama responds to our plight with a series of “themes” does not thrill me or make me want to vote for him any more than the first time he rolled out his marketing campaign in 2008.

I’m not voting for any of the candidates presented to me so far.  I will choose a third party candidate.  And I’m not shutting up or going away.

Monday: Hits and Misses

There are a couple of posts around the web that got my attention last night. You might have already seen some of them. We have a few hits and a few misses. One is tempted to say, “I told you so” to the middle one but it probably wouldn’t do any good. {{sigh}}

  • Rebecca Traister kind of misses in her Salon piece Why Clinton Voters Say They Won’t Support Obama. The biggest miss is that she assumes that Hillary lost. We don’t believe there was any reason for Hillary to lose. The problem is that the process was flawed, the game was rigged and the superdelegate system failed to give us the stronger candidate. The superdelegates could still give the nomination to Clinton. If FL and MI are counted in full, the delegate count narrows to less than 100 and is statistically insignificant. For whatever reason, supers are not inclined to do this but there is still time for them to change their minds. What we need is a fair and transparent convention. With the DNC unable to pay its convention bills, we can hope they will come around in time to realizing that behaving badly will not open the money spigots. But she’s also totally clueless about whether we’ll come around in November. She thinks we’ll come crawling back because we have no where else to go. It’s all about reproductive freedom. Ok, we went over this last week in The Roe Ruse. The SCOTUS already has enough justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and this will not change unless one of the conservative justices quit, which will be like… never. Anyway, the real issues revolve around business, commerce and civil liberties and we have already seen what Obama feels about privacy in his FISA position. So, please, trust us Rebecca, we’re not coming back. Really.
  • Regarding Obama and FISA, Big Tent Democrat tries to make sense of it John Cole’s mysterious poker metaphor in On FISA, The Media and Poker while Hunter at the Big Orange Cheeto finally has a “Soylent Green is People!” epiphany in Even Barack Obama Thinks You’re Stupid. (Sorry, no link, we’re honoring the strike) Yes, Hunter finally wakes up and smells the coffee. Except, in Hunter’s case, I don’t believe he ever bought the Unity Pony shtick in the first place. He went along to get along. It wasn’t that he loved Obama so much as he absolutely couldn’t stand Hillary for reasons that are probably still a mystery, even to himself. But I suspect it goes something like this: the Kossack buzz words were carefully played, first by Joe Trippi and then by David Axelrod. Oh, yeah, she was an establishment corporate toadying, lobbyist money sucking harlot of the first degree. And she liiiiiiiiiies. But the final straw was that damn Kyl-Lieberman amendment thingy that was a symbolic, no-committment vote that whipped Kossacks into a shrieking, hysterical frenzy and one she no doubt probably felt she had to vote for in order to establish her national security creds. (Do we have a vote for that for Obama? No, we do not. How conveeeenient.) And now, Obama goes out of his way to vote for FISA for I suspect the same reasons that Clinton chose to vote for Kyl-Lieberman: he needs national security creds. So what if it’s your civil liberties in jeopardy? Isn’t winning important to Kossacks? This is apparently where Hunter draws the line, like all the other $&*( Obama campaign pulled during the primary season wasn’t enough. As if using the term ‘racism’ as a weapon against half of the Democratic base wasn’t sufficient reason to be completely disgusted with the arrogant lightweight. I’d say it was better late than never but frankly, as much as Hunter loathes him now, he’s probably going to still vote for him because I’m betting he still thinks Hillary would have been worse. No need to ask for proof of this. Psychological conditioning is complete.
  • Finally, Anglachel gathers up some of Bob Somerby’s recent posts on the death and glorification of Tim Russert, aka Pumpkinhead, in The Heart of Their Culture. I have to admit that I only recently started to notice the Irish Catholic Parochial School Graduate phenomenon at MSNBC. It was pretty clear with Maureen Dowd though. It’s not so much the prudery or the prosecutorial manner in which the MICs do their jobs at MSNBC as much as the obedience and devotion to it. Somerby touches on the intersection of Jack Welch and the MICs only tangentially but they are actually quite harmonious. The rank and yank system that Welch created a way to promote the aggressive employees who excel from the losers who need to be cut free depends on pleasing the person who will ultimately rank you. It encourages slavish devotion and obedience and there’s no better training for that than with the Sisters who subscribe to group punishment and zero tolerance. It makes perfect sense. (And lay off the pearl clutching over the MIC label. My Dad was from a MIC family and they never shied away from the label. Anyways, they always told me that there was a gun in the basement of Saint Joe’s church with my name on it and any time I was ready to join the IRA, I was welcome to it. I’m kidding!, Kidding)