Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hillary News & Views 5.25.16: California, Here We Come!

Hillary gestures to supporters, IBEW union hall, Commerce, CA, May 24, 2016 (Lucy Nicholson/Reuters)

Guest post by rugbymom

It’s Wednesday, but a strange one because this week we have no new primary results to report or chew over (except Hillary's non-binding Washington win, of course! -Scott). One of the oddities of the primary calendar is that the early states separate their Presidential primary from their regular state primary — Rhode Island’s state primary isn’t until mid-September — while some of the later states combine the two. Combining elections makes it easier for voters (as well as much less expensive). But with the Presidential contest starting so early, states are less likely to want to hold their state primary as early. So we have a lull of almost three weeks between the KY and OR contests last week, and the eight contests between June 4 and June 7.
The number-crunchers over at 538, by the way, calculate that by the morning of June 7, Hillary will be within 51 delegates of clinching the nomination, counting superdelegates as well as pledged delegates. That means that winning 40% of New Jersey’s 126 delegates will put her over the top — with the networks likely to call that long before the polls close in California. Those of us who prefer to declare victory based on pledged delegates alone will likely have to wait for California.     
On Tuesday, Hillary did several events in California. (If you want more details, check out floridageorge’s photo-rich diary.) She appeared with local Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA-37) in South Los Angeles focussed on foster care. (Bass, who is African-American, was California co-chair of Obama’s 2008 campaign, a former Speaker of the California Assembly, and former chair of the Assembly’s subcommittee on foster care.) She then spoke at a “boisterous” rally at an IBEW union hall in Commerce, an industrial area outside of LA. According to blogger Alain V Berrebi,

Clinton supporters cheering at union hall Commerce, CA, May 24, 2016, with sign "Hillary
Marlena Steinbach, 9, cheers for Clinton at IBEW union hall in Commerce, CA, May 24, 2016

Hillary was at her best. She spoke to the people about their problems and their needs. She explained in detail how her policies will help the middle class get its footing back. She told the union workers that their numbers are no longer going to go down under a Hillary Clinton administration. She said the attack on the unions has to stop. I’ve gotta tell you that got the loudest shouts and Applause from the crowd. They started chanting Hillary Hillary Hillary.
In the Commerce speech, on Twitter, and in a new ad, Hillary is also testing a new line of attack against Trump, pointing out that before the stock market and real estate crash of 2007-8, Trump said that he hoped real estate would crash so he and other investors could swoop in and scoop it up at low prices and then make money reselling it.
As CNN’s Dan Merica and MJ Lee put it, “The message is simple: Trump is pretending to be a defender of middle class Americans when in fact, he has sought to personally benefit from their losses.” They note that Clinton’s attack has been echoed and reinforced by a number of members of Congress (including Sen. Elizabeth Warren) and by the DNC, in a unified effort to dent the presumptive GOP nominee’s populist appeal.
Clinton finished the day at the Johnson Family Practice Center at the University of California at Riverside. She also taped an appearance on Ellen, including an extra segment on Facebook Live! Today and tomorrow she will be in Orange County, Salinas, and San Jose. Meanwhile Bill Clinton has been campaigning and fundraising in San Francisco and Fremont, CA, and in New Mexico, which also votes on June 7.
Following the good example of our friend aphra behn, I’d like to take a short detour. I spent ten days this month in eastern Cuba, in several communities I’ve visited multiple times (all legally) since 1993. It’s always interesting to see what’s changed — and what hasn’t.

Bicycle taxi in front of Calixto Garcia Park, Holguin, Cuba
Calixto Garcia Park, Holguin, Cuba

“Bicitaxis” — leg-powered taxis — are still a common way of getting around, as are horse-drawn carts (for people and merchandise), some holding up to six or eight people with an awning. Gasoline and diesel fuel are much more available than they were twenty years ago, but apparently the alternatives are economically attractive (as well as climate-friendly).

Public library, Gibara, Cuba
Municipal library, Gibara, Cuba

Since the temperature was up to 35º C (95º F) during the day, and often remained above 25º C (77º F) at night, air conditioning is a much-appreciated luxury. Even many of my Cuban friends are coming to see it as a basic. They insist that the temperature is higher than it used to be, and more oppressive. I was told that some enterprising people have added air conditioning to their carefully maintained ‘40s-’50s vintage cars to make them more attractive to tourists.
Cuba has nearly universal literacy, thanks to a strong commitment to universal primary and secondary education since 1960. Higher education slots are determined by central planning. For example, I was told that the government estimates the need for various types of medical professionals five years hence, and opens that many slots for the coming year, by competitive examination. When you get out, you are guaranteed a job, though not necessarily your first choice. The education is tuition-free. But as one orthodontist friend pointed out, you will be paying for it for many years because your earnings are a fixed — low — government salary, for long working hours.
The US political question I heard most about was anxiety about US immigration policy, and especially whether the liberalization (normalization) of relations between our two countries will also mean removing Cubans’ special immigration privileges. People were generally familiar with Trump and Clinton, but at least those I spoke with didn’t seem to understand that there is a Democratic Party primary first. No one mentioned Sanders, and I didn’t ask.
Cuba is also the original locus of the term “filibuster” (per Wikipedia): 
The English term "filibuster" is derived from the Spanish filibustero, itself deriving originally from the Dutch vrijbuiter, "privateerpirate, robber" (also the root of English "freebooter"). The Spanish form entered the English language in the 1850s, as applied to military adventurers from the United States then operating in Central America and the Spanish West Indies such as William Walker.
The term in its legislative sense was first used by Rep. Albert G. Brown, (D-MS) in 1853, referring to Abraham Watkins Venable's speech against "filibustering" intervention in Cuba.
So a filibuster is basically a hijacking.
Back to Hillary-land: I’d like to close with wise words from Peter Daou at Blue Nation Review:
Hillary-bashing is one of the ugliest permutations of American politics and the most toxic part of the 2016 election. It pervades the national media. . . .
If you are a Hillary supporter who simply wants a better future and can’t understand why so much venom is directed at her, it’s hard to process all this negativity.
So trust me on this. I worked for Hillary for years, I know who she is and how she deals with it. She puts her faith in you. She ignores the pundits and prognosticators. She smiles at the haters.
 . .
Hillary knows that you’ve been there for her and that you’ll continue to be there for her. She looks past the vitriol and stays focused on what matters. She relies on her own sense of self. She draws on her inner fortitude. She is disciplined; she knows that love and kindness trump hate and fear. That’s not just a slogan for her — it’s her compass in the storm that always seems to surround her. . . .
You can make Hillary bashers disappear by focusing, the way she does, on the end game. Trust yourself. Trust her faith in you.
Go read the whole piece, which also has a wonderful photo gallery of enthusiastic glowing Hillary supporters — young and old, black, Latino, Asian, white, women and men. Bookmark it to reread when you get stressed out over the next weeks and months. And remember:


  1. My hope is that a lot of the hate burns off with Bernie, it's been more than awful. And she's always high road and professional and working, working, working.

    we put our faith in her.

    1. She certainly has my faith AND confidence!

  2. Secretary Clinton has to treat this debate for what it is Reality TV and continue to run the inclusive, professional campaign she has from the beginning. Donald Trump lured Bernie Sanders right into "Who is Going to be President" reality show. It is sad to see him debase himself in this manner. Finally in the end what has he become?