Friday, April 1, 2016

Hillary News & Views 4.1.16: Abortion, Workers With Disabilities, Endorsements and Enthusiasm

Guest post by aphra behn

Welcome to the HNV! I’ll be your host today; the incomparable Lysis will be back from vacation next week. Big thanks to Scan, Swiffy, and Rugbymom for also picking up the series, and to those who have been hosting Hillary-friendly afternoon/evening threads. There will be more Hillary-supportive open threads over the weekend!  Today’s has Hillary centering abortion rights, talking about minimum wage discrimination against workers with disabilities, some great endorsements, a hit back at the false “enthusiasm gap” frame, millennials for Hillary, and (my favorite) more personal stories from Americans who support Hillary Clinton. And of course, there will be a bit of herstory (with Michelle Obama) and a recipe bite. Let’s go!

On Thursday, Hillary Clinton hit back hard on against Donald Trump’s despicable disregard for women’s bodily autonomy.
At a campaign event in Purchase, New York, Clinton emphasized the importance she places on abortion rights:
“Last night, Senator Sanders agreed that Donald Trump’s comments were shameful but then he said they were a distraction from, and I quote, 'a serious discussion about the serious issues facing America,’” the Democratic presidential candidate told the crowd of roughly 700 people at an event here in Purchase, New York -- prompting boos from some in the crowd.
"To me, this is a serious issue. And it’s a very serious discussion,” she continued. “Look, I know Senator Sanders supports a woman’s right to choose, but I also know Planned Parenthood Action and NARAL endorsed me because I have led on this issue. I have fought on this issue. And I know, given what’s happening in states across our country, we need a president who is passionate about this."
In other campaign issues, Clinton was asked on the trail about a loophole that allows employers to pay disabled workers less than minimum wage. She responded:
When it comes to jobs, we've got to figure out how we get the minimum wage up and include people with disabilities in the minimum wage. There should not be a tiered wage, and right now there is a tiered wage when it comes to facilities that do provide opportunities but not at a self-sufficient wage that enables people to gain a degree of independence as far as they can go. So I want us to take a hard look at raising the minimum wage and ending the tiered minimum wages, whether it's for people with disabilities or the tipped wage. … When people talk about raising the minimum wage, they don't always talk about the legal loopholes that we have in it and I want to get rid of those and I want to get rid of that for people with disabilities too.
Hillary Clinton is appearing in Syracuse, New York today. The campaign event will feature a manufacturing roundtable discussion at the Institute of technology. In Wisconsin,  Bill Clinton will be campaigning for Hillary in Appleton.
In other campaign news, Clinton has hired former Elizabeth Warren staffer Nick Black to run her Rhode Island campaign. And as diaried by dhonig yesterday, her Indiana campaign will be run by Peter Hanscomb, a Hoosier LGBTQ rights activist.
Writing at The People’s ViewAllan Brauer has some interesting analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Maddow interview, saying she “clarified” the race for Democrats:
Viewers who watched the Democrats' interviews back-to-back found them compelling, intelligent, and clarifying. Once again, both Democratic candidates are operating in an entirely different, reality-based sphere than the GOP's Cuckoo Cloud Land; and either Democrat would make a better, saner choice for president than anyone the Republicans are left with. You can find transcripts by following these links to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. They are well worth reading in their entirety.
… Clinton is sending a very clear message to primary voters. In a nutshell, this will be a contrast election, and Clinton is the true Democrat running for the nomination, and the best prepared to keep a laser-like focus on the contrasts between parties, which not only benefits Clinton but also boosts other Democrats on the ballot. 
Turning to endorsements, the venerable Amsterdam News, one of the oldest African-American owned newspapers in the country,  has endorsed Hillary Clinton with ringing words:
Hillary has always delivered for New York. Both as first lady and as senator. She made the State Children’s Health Insurance Program a reality, as well as spearheading the Zadroga act.
We applaud her desire and determination not to build walls, but to remove the barriers that keep us apart or limit our aspirations. Her foreign and domestic policies are realistic and attainable, and they are consistent with the outlook and hopes of most Americans.
During Hillary’s recent appearance at the Apollo Theater, she recounted many of the issues that are germane to Black Americans. She recalled her tenure as the state’s senator, when she joined parents, doctors and community leaders on the epidemic of children’s asthma here in Harlem. It was not about “making points, but making a difference,” she said to thunderous ovation.
And, in many respects, throughout her political career, Hillary has made a difference. Thankfully, she is still in place to make a difference, but some of that difference will not occur unless we join her and help her to continue to make a difference.
Clinton also received an endorsement from Fair Wisconsin FPAC , an LGBTQ rights group:
In the U.S. Senate, Clinton championed hate crime legislation, fought for federal non-discrimination legislation to protect LGBT Americans in the workplace, and advocated for an end to restrictions that blocked LGBT Americans from adopting children. As Secretary of State, she advanced LGBT rights abroad and enforced stronger anti-discrimination regulations within the State Department, declaring on the global stage that “gay rights are human rights, and human rights are gay rights.”

And now, a quick break for Herstory Bits and a Recipe Bite!

Official portrait of First Lady Michelle Obama in the Green Room of the White House
I love this woman!

I’m really going to miss Michelle Obama, who has made herstory as the United States’ first African-American First Lady. She’s done so with grace, aplomb, and —famously— with style. She’s often compared to Jackie Kennedy for her superb fashion sense, which is a nice compliment. But Michelle Obama is more than that.
A sociology major and African-American studies minor, she is only the third FLOTUS to hold a degree beyond the B.A., the second to hold a law degree, and the first to hold both of her degrees from Ivy League schools. She wrote hersenior thesis on racial divides in the Princton community. While she and Barack carefully avoid the Clinton-style construction that they are “two-for-one,” the very intellectual Michelle Obama has carved out her own path as an advocate and social critic.
She was a driving force behind the 2010 School Lunch Act, which sought to improve the quality of school-provided food across the country.  She has strongly  critiqued the U.S. record on Native issues. She has not hesitated to talk about her own experiences with racial discrimination, talking frankly and sympathetically with Tuskeegee gradsabout racism in the United States:
[Y]ou might remember the on-stage celebratory fist bump between me and my husband after a primary win that was referred to as a “terrorist fist jab.”  And over the years, folks have used plenty of interesting words to describe me.  One said I exhibited “a little bit of uppity-ism.“  Another noted that I was one of my husband’s “cronies of color.”  Cable news once charmingly referred to me as “Obama’s Baby Mama.”
…The world won’t always see you in those caps and gowns.  They won’t know how hard you worked and how much you sacrificed to make it to this day — the countless hours you spent studying to get this diploma, the multiple jobs you worked to pay for school, the times you had to drive home and take care of your grandma, the evenings you gave up to volunteer at a food bank or organize a campus fundraiser.  Instead they will make assumptions about who they think you are based on their limited notion of the world.  And my husband and I know how frustrating that experience can be.
I can’t do justice to her entire remarks, which are fully included at the link.
One of my favorite causes that Michelle and Barack Obama have embraced is  Let Girls Learn, focusing on keeping girls in school both in the U.S. and in the world. It’s a cause that has been near and dear to Hillary Clinton’s heart as well, so I hope to see her continue the program as president.  Writing in the Atlantic last year, Michelle pulled no punches about the source of the problem:

First Lady Michelle Obama delivers a speech at North Point Community Church in Alpharetta, Ga., Feb. 9, 2011. Mrs. Obama highlighted the impact parents and other supporters have had on fundamentally shifting the conversation on childhood obesity this year
Speaking truth.

Right now, 62 million girls worldwide are not in school. They’re receiving no formal education at all—no reading, no writing, no math—none of the basic skills they need to provide for themselves and their families, and contribute fully to their countries.
Often, understandably, this issue is framed as a matter of resources—a failure to invest enough money in educating girls. … But while these investments are absolutely necessary to solve our girls’ education problem, they are simply not sufficient. Scholarships, bathrooms, and safe transportation will only go so far if societies still view menstruation as shameful and shun menstruating girls. Or if they fail to punish rapists and reject survivors of rape as “damaged goods.” Or if they provide few opportunities for women to join the workforce and support their families, so that it’s simply not financially viable for parents struggling with poverty to send their daughters to school.
In other words, we cannot address our girls’ education crisis until we address the broader cultural beliefs and practices that can help cause and perpetuate this crisis.
It is a damn fine piece of feminist analysis, and I encourage you to read the whole thing.
Michelle and Barack Obama will still be relatively young for an ex-First Couple. I can’t wait to see what they do. I have a strong feeling that Michelle Obama, like Eleanor Roosevelt and Hillary Clinton, is going to break some new ground post-White House. It’s what she does!

Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton laughing
Bill seems okay with smart, accomplished women!

And speaking of breaking new ground, let me give a few words and a recipe to Bill Clinton. I know that regular readers of the HNV join me in hoping that Bill will be taking over Michelle’s offices in January 2017, making history while Hillary makes herstory. Many individual Americans, especially progressives, are ready for this. As a whole, though, our culture doesn’t offer very many role models for a husband taking on the supportive role while his wife wields political power. It’s going to be interesting, to say the least, to watch them navigate that territory.
In the meanwhile, while we’re figuring out what to call Bill (First Spouse? First Gentleman? First Dude?) I’ll offer him a recipe, just in case someone asks him to make cookies. The suggested title comes from my late Scottish-descended mother, who very much hoped to see him in this office one day:
“First Laddie” Scottish Shortbreads
½ lb salted butter
½ lb unsalted butter
½ c brown sugar
½ c white sugar
½ tsp vanilla        
4 c flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C). Cream butters and sugars. Add vanilla and mix well. Add flour and mix with a wooden spoon. Use hands to thoroughly mix into a soft dough.  If it’s a little too sticky, add up to ½ cup additional flour, mixing small amounts in gradually until desired consistency is achieved.
Press into a jelly roll pan, to about ¾ inch thickness. Prick with a fork all over; make sure fork hits the bottom and the pricks are close together.
Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300 and continue to bake for 40 minutes more. Wait 2 minutes then cut into finger size bars. Cool thoroughly in pan.

And now back to our Hillary programming!
Gallup did what (apparently) none of the people repeating ad nauseamthe “enthusiasm gap” narrative could be bothered to do: They simply spoke to Clinton voters and asked them if they are enthusiastic about her. And, as it turns out, they are
…. So why is it, then, that this particular media narrative took hold? Why, in spite of the safe assumption that primary voters casting their votes for Hillary were enthusiastic for her, and in spite of the fact that it was easy enough to discern by asking, have the media continued to cling to this narrative about an “enthusiasm gap” haunting Hillary?
There is certainly a gendered aspect to it, as “enthusiasm” and “likeability” go hand-in-hand—and likeability is a frame designed explicitly to diminish and discredit women.
And there is certainly a racialized aspect to it, as it takes a special kind of diligent commitment to ignoring that, as examples, 93 percent of Black women in Alabama and 82 percent of Black men in North Carolina and 72 percent of Latina women and 69 percent of Latino men in Texas supported Hillary Clinton.
That is some solid enthusiasm.
It just so happens to be concentrated among populations who are not well represented among the media influencers primarily responsible for driving this narrative.
Melissa also has more on the Zombie Frame That Will Not Die, very much worth the read.
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.
Millennials for Hillary do exist, are enthusiastic, and pretty enterprising about finding ways to let the world know that. From Wired:
As the narrative about Sanders’ millennial base builds, Clinton’s young supporters can feel similarly left out of the conversation. That’s one reason why Ashley Beale, a 30-year-old entrepreneur who attended Clinton’s event yesterday, launched the grassroots organizing app #ImWithHer.
Beale was working on another startup last September when she and her co-founder Vekrum Kaushik decided to put the company on hold and launch the app, which is a kind of social network for Clinton supporters. They can use it to connect with other Clinton supporters, catch up on news about her, find local events, peruse her platforms, and, take and share a “Hilfie,” which, roughly translated, means a selfie with Hillary (at least, with a Hillary filter).
“There’s a lot of misconception that there aren’t young people for Hillary and Bernie has all this momentum online,” Beale says. “This app is supposed to combat that.”

Trans United for Hillary
Finally, if you want yet more enthusiasm, meet 12 trans Americans who are proudly supporting Hillary Clinton! Here are words from just a few:
Blossom Brown, of Jackson Mississippi:
What do you tell friends or family who may not have made up their mind about who to support?
That they should vote for Hillary because she is inclusive of all communities, and that she can continue to make the positive progress in Washington. I always remind them that we do not need bigots of any kind in the White House and we also do not need a candidate who thinks that certain groups should be banned from the United States. We need to have Hillary in office fighting for the rights of all American people!
Zackary Drucker of Los Angeles, California:
Why do you support Hillary?
I feel like beyond my personal rooting for Hillary and being a long-term supporter since her first senate race, as a member of the trans community, Hillary Clinton has such a solid plan for how to cement the rights of trans people in America, and women around the world. The rights of trans people and women is my number one priority in voting.
Diego Sanchez of Boston, Massachusetts:
Why do you support Hillary?
I support Hillary because I want our next president to be brilliant and brave, and she is both. Hillary will be a president who won't have to be taught to say the words "transgender" or "equality." I feel blessed to be a naturalized U.S. citizen, and I feel responsible for doing all I can to improve our nation for the people who will be here when I'm not. Supporting Hillary is an affirmative step toward that goal, part of plotting a path to make our nation safer for people who reflect the many intersecting aspects that comprise me.
“I want our next president to be brilliant and brave.”
Me too, Diego. Me too.
And please: Donate Today


  1. Great! My mom passed away in 2014; she loved Hillary. She was smart and educated and a successful teacher before she gave it up to be a wife and mom. I think there's a lot of women out there who are really going to get some satisfaction when Hillary wins!

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