On Women’s Equality Day, 2015

HMZ (8)My grandmother was nineteen years old on August 26, 1920 when the 19th Amendment, giving all U.S. women the right to vote, was added to the United States Constitution.  It had been 144 years since Abigail Adams in 1776 had asked her husband, John, to “remember the ladies” in the laws of our fledgling country, and 72 years since the Seneca Falls’ Declaration of Sentiments demanded that all women “have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.”  The fight was long and the victory hard won.  Women on the forefront of this movement suffered public ridicule, physical violence, and jail time.

Ninety-five years later many doors have opened to women, but there is still much to be done. Many women still earn less than men for doing the same job, with the gap widest for women of color.  We still need the Paycheck Fairness Act to become law which gives women the legal tools they need to fight workplace discrimination. We are still the only developed country without paid leave of any kind, and when 2/3 of minimum wage workers are women, many of them single parents struggling to provide for their families, we need to give them a raise.

I am not ashamed to admit that my dream is to stand on the National Mall, with my mother and my daughter, to witness Hillary Clinton sworn in as President of the United States.   For when she takes the oath of office, not only will we be ending the 44-0 shutout at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, we will have a champion in residence who has spent her lifetime fighting for the rights of women and families.

It’s time.

 

I’ll keep trying. But we need voices louder than mine.

She broke no laws. For crying out loud, while she was using a private server, government email systems were being hacked all over the place. Hers? Not at all.

Yes, she deleted her personal emails. Think about it: Would you want everyone rummaging through your personal emails? I wouldn’t.

Have we come to the point that public figures are not allowed to have a private life at all?

And I have to wonder, what would be echoing across the media desert now if she had used two emails? One for personal correspondence and one for professional?  I suspect the same people would still be speculating that she was trying to “hide” something by having two emails. Because, you know: Clinton Rules. How much would she have to prove that she didn’t conduct any government business using her private account?  I venture it would be the same.

And another question. She was Secretary of State for four years. Certainly the people screaming the loudest now about her private server received emails from her during those four years. Her email extension was no secret. Why no questions then? Oh. Right. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. But now, she wants to be President. And She Must Be Stopped

She has asked that all her professional emails be released – hence the review to make sure that there is nothing sensitive in them. “Sensitive” should not be misconstrued as “classified.” Any classified and/or top secret information and communications came through an entirely different system. In government, be it federal, state or local, lots of documents that were originally NOT deemed classified when distributed among government officials, is often reclassified or redacted when distributed to the public. Ask anyone who has ever made a request through the Freedom of Information Act. The information redacted or classified after the fact is not “top secret.” It is information that might prove embarrassing for an ally or someone else.

And yet, we’ve got the press not letting this go – smearing Hillary by innuendo and rumor. At the same, no similar questions have been asked of Jeb Bush’s email habits while governor of Florida, nor the GW Bush’s use of the RNC email system for their government communications. Why is that?

No, Peter, you’re not the only one.. I, too, remember the 2004 swiftboating of John Kerry and am having horrible deja vu.

Wolf Blitzer’s Outrageous Attack: Why Hillary Needs an Army of Digital Defenders (Peter Daou)

One of those media offenders  was CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the same Wolf Blitzer who just spent an entire segment discussing with a Republican guest whether Hillary Clinton had committed a felony or a misdemeanor by using a private email server. This, without a single allegation of criminality or a scintilla of evidence supporting those claims.

Blitzer follows in the footsteps of the New York Times and other major media outlets, whose pathological need to bring down the most popular and powerful woman in American politics has undermined any claim to real journalism in the 2016 race. Another egregious example is Bob Woodward on MSNBC’s Morning Joe comparing Hillary’s emails to Watergate.

The irresponsibility and journalistic turpitude of speculating about criminal charges where none exist boggles the mind. Imagine pondering on the air what charges Jeb Bush would face if he shot someone. On what grounds and by which standards does Blitzer allow an unfettered discussion of a felony by Hillary Clinton? This is not reporting facts, it is hardly reporting at all, it is indoctrinating the public by innuendo. It is smearing Hillary’s image by planting negative thoughts in the minds of voters.

[ . . . ]

When I referenced PTSD at the top of this piece, it was less about the media’s behavior and more about the lack of a robust defense of Kerry. At the time, the Democratic establishment was in the dark about the strategy and ramifications of swiftboating.

[ . . .]

The Kerry campaign, Democratic Party, surrogates and supporters failed to hold the media accountable for their role in propagating the attacks against him.

Analogously, it is astonishing that in 2015, with a vast array of digital tools at our disposal, Hillary doesn’t have 10,000 supporters immediately expressing outrage at Blitzer’s unacceptable segment.

[ . . .]

Hillary cannot directly engage every reporter and every publication when they smear her. Her campaign can’t get caught up in endless spats with the press. It is the job of supporters, donors, outside groups, surrogates, and party leaders to build the army of digital defenders that Hillary needs.

I’ll keep trying. But we need voices louder than mine.

 

 

From my inbox

Carissa —

You might hear some news over the next few days about Hillary Clinton’s emails. Because you are an important part of this team, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk through the facts — we need your help to make sure they get out there.

There’s a lot of misinformation, so bear with us; the truth matters on this.

Here are the basics: Like other Secretaries of State who served before her, Hillary used a personal email address, and the rules of the State Department permitted it. She’s already acknowledged that, in hindsight, it would have been better just to use separate work and personal email accounts. No one disputes that.

The State Department’s request: Last year, as part of a review of its records, the State Department asked the last four former Secretaries of State to provide any work-related emails they had. Hillary was the only former Secretary of State to provide any materials — more than 30,000 emails. In fact, she handed over too many — the Department said it will be returning over 1,200 messages to her because, in their and the National Archives’ judgment, these messages were completely personal in nature.

Hillary didn’t send any classified materials over email: Hillary only used her personal account for unclassified email. No information in her emails was marked classified at the time she sent or received them. She viewed classified materials in hard copy in her office or via other secure means while traveling, not on email.

What makes it complicated: It’s common for information previously considered unclassified to be upgraded to classified before being publicly released. Some emails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now. And sometimes government agencies disagree about what should be classified, so it isn’t surprising that another agency might want to conduct its own review, even though the State Department has repeatedly confirmed that Hillary’s emails contained no classified information at the time she sent or received them.

To be clear, there is absolutely no criminal inquiry into Hillary’s email or email server. Any and all reports to that effect have been widely debunked. Hillary directed her team to provide her email server and a thumb drive in order to cooperate with the review process and to ensure these materials were stored in a safe and secure manner.

What about the Benghazi committee? While you may hear from the Republican-led Benghazi committee about Hillary’s emails, it is important to remember that the committee was formed to focus on learning lessons from Benghazi to help prevent future tragedies at our embassies and consulates around the globe. Instead, the committee, led by Republican Representative Trey Gowdy, is spending nearly $6 million in taxpayer money to conduct a partisan witch-hunt designed to do political damage to Hillary in the run-up to the election.

Hillary has remained absolutely committed to cooperating. That’s why, just as she gave her email server to the government, she’s also testifying before the Benghazi committee in October and is actively working with the Justice Department to make sure they have what they need. She hopes that her emails will continue to be released in a timely fashion.

It’s worth noting: Many of the Republican candidates for president have done the same things for which they’re now criticizing Hillary. As governor, Jeb Bush owned his own private server and his staff decided which emails he turned over as work-related from his private account. Bobby Jindal went a step further, using private email to communicate with his immediate staff but refusing to release his work-related emails. Scott Walker and Rick Perry had email issues themselves.

The bottom line: Look, Carissa, this kind of nonsense comes with the territory of running for president. We know it, Hillary knows it, and we expect it to continue from now until Election Day.

It’s okay. We’ll be ready. We have the facts, our principles, and you on our side. And it’s vital that you read and absorb the real story so that you know what to say the next time you hear about this around the dinner table or the water cooler.

Take a look at more details here, including a complete Q&A, and pass them along:

https://www.hillaryclinton.com/email-facts/

Thanks,

Jennifer

Jennifer Palmieri
Communications Director
Hillary for America

The New York Times, Hillary, and Anonymous Sources

NYT Public Editor, August 1, 2015

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A reader responds:

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Not to mention Jeb!’s role in the Florida debacle of 2000.

Public Editor:

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So why just her? Why not the same “blessing” for the others?  Oh, right. The Clinton Rules.

But I really like this comment. It echoes how I read anything that quotes anonymous sources without revealing why anonymity has been granted with a skeptical eye, even (or should I say, especially) when it comes to the New York Times.

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Brushing away the cobwebs

Expect to see a bit of a face-lift, probably a name change, a cleaning up of the side bar, and a reactivation of this blog. Here’s why.
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I’m doing this because, rather than just save items to my “Favorites,” I’d like a more visual aggregate of articles, blog posts, position papers, etc, that I find pertinent and that can be tagged and shared. Of course, I will have something to say as well. I’ll be posting rules of engagement in a few days.

Charlie Pierce on last night’s election results

He pretty much sums it up. (Emphasis mine)

Let us dispense with some conventional wisdom before it petrifies. First of all, the president’s basic unpopularity was unquestionably a factor, but not anywhere near as much of a factor as was the reluctance of the Democratic party — from the president on down — to embrace the actual successes that the administration has achieved. The economy is, in fact, improving. It is the responsibility of the president and his party that we have the paradoxical polling that indicates that the elements of the Affordable Care Act are popular, while “Obamacare” is not. (Mitch McConnell told a transparent lie that Kentucky could get rid of the ACA and still keep its very popular state exchange. He didn’t suffer at all for that.) The senatorial candidates who lost were senators who ran away from the administration. Alison Lundergan Grimes wouldn’t say if she’d voted for the president. Kay Hagan endorsed the Keystone XL pipeline. Michelle Nunn practically ran as an independent. How much worse could it possibly have been for all of them had they stood by the president and his record? How much worse could it possibly have been for them had the president come to campaign for them?

Second, it was a great night for voter-suppression, which has been central to the Republican response to the fact that the president has been elected twice. Kris Kobach, the architect of the strategy, was re-elected as Secretary of State in Kansas, and Jon Husted won the same office in Ohio, over Democratic candidate Nina Turner, on an election that was a referendum on Husted’s voter-suppression tactics in that state. Thom Tillis, who piloted North Carolina’s incredibly stringent voter-suppression law through the state legislature, is going to the Senate, and Scott Walker, who oversaw the same kind of effort in Wisconsin, is going back to his day job, running the state into the ground and dodging subpoenas, until it’s time for him to run for president. It’s going to take days to sort out the overall effect of these laws on the general electorate, even if anyone cares to do so, which I’ve come to doubt, because the Supreme Court created a new normal when John Roberts gutted the Voting Rights Act and declared the day of jubilee, and the people in the country who are not those inconvenienced by these laws, and who are not those against whose franchise these laws were directly aimed, seem perfectly content with this situation.

Last, and I hate to break this to Tom Brokaw, and to Kasie Hunt, who talked about how the Republicans know they have to “govern,” but this election couldn’t have been less of a repudiation of the Tea Party. As the cable shows signed off last night, it was dawning even on the most conventional pundits that the Republicans had not elected an escadrille of Republican archangels to descend upon Capitol Hill. It was more like a murder of angry crows. Joni Ernst is not a moderate. David Perdue is not a moderate. Thom Tillis is not a moderate. Cory Gardner — who spiced up his victory by calling himself “the tip of the spear” — is not a moderate. Tom Cotton is not a moderate. And these were the people who flipped the Senate to the Republicans. In the reliably Republican states, Ben Sasse in Nebraska is not a moderate.  James Lankford in Oklahoma is not a moderate. He’s a red-haired fanatic who believes that welfare causes school shootings. Several of these people — most notably, Sasse and Ernst — won Republican primaries specifically as Tea Partiers, defeating establishment candidates. The Republicans did not defeat the Tea Party. The Tea Party’s ideas animated what happened on Tuesday night. What the Republicans managed to do was to teach the Tea Party to wear shoes, mind its language, and use the proper knife while amputating the social safety net. They did nothing except send the Tea Party to finishing school.

 

http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/Election_Night_2014

From my inbox: Stop the FACT Act

Knowing ALEC is behind this is why I am posting, word-for-word, an email I received today regarding the FACT Act.

Hi Blue Lyon Blogger,

My name is Susan Vento, and I am writing to you about a cause very close to my heart. My husband, Bruce, was a Democratic member of the US House of Representatives until October 10th, 2000 when he died of pleural mesothelioma––a rare disease caused by asbestos exposure. Recently, asbestos companies are using their political influence to push a new bill in Congress, led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). It is called the “Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act.” In short, this bill would delay and, in some cases, deny justice to people suffering from asbestos-related diseases. The FACT Act marks the beginning of a state-by-state strategy to dismantle the rights of victims. We must take action to protect these victims before it’s too late, like it was for my husband.

In the name of so-called “transparency,” the bill places burdensome reporting requirements on victims applying to the bankruptcy trusts. Yet, the companies who knowingly caused the asbestos exposure have no comparable requirements. The legislation is a one-sided and unfair effort designed to harm those who have already been injured. You can find more information on the bill here. This legislation is not an effort to make the legal system more responsive. Instead, it is merely the latest attempt by companies  and individuals like the Koch brothers to avoid responsibility for their wrongdoings.

Because of your influence and experience in the political blogosphere, I am asking for your help. I am a spokesperson for the Asbestos Cancer Victims’ Rights Campaign. The ACVRC is a national campaign dedicated to protecting the rights and privacy of cancer victims and their families.  I hope that you will join our fight to defeat this unfair legislation and the potential precedent it sets. Here are a couple of simple steps you can take to make a difference:

1.     Sign the petition to stop legislation that threatens cancer victims!

Go to www.CancerVictimsRights.org/take-action/sign-the-petition/ and follow the instructions to sign the petition at the bottom of the page.

2.     Spread the word!

Share your thoughts on the bill and our cause with your blog audience. Place a link to our petition on your blog to allow your readers to sign and showcase their public support––every signature matters!

Thank you in advance for your time. Individuals and families affected by cancer already have enough on their plate. With your help, the ACVRC is committed to fighting legislation that further burdens them.

Best,

Susan