Thursday, May 26, 2016

Hillary News & Views 5.26.16: Slamming Trump, Endorsements, Early Pantsuits, and Diversity

Hillary supporters in California (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Guest post by aphra behn

Good morning Hillary-supporting community! Lots to cover today.
Hillary Clinton campaigned in California on Wednesday, hitting Donald Trump hard:
Clinton portrayed Trump as greedy and out of touch, criticizing the real estate developer for his personal business decisions and his tax plan, which she said would benefit the wealthiest Americans.
“Donald Trump's tax plan was written by a billionaire for a billionaire. as far as I can tell,” Clinton said, drawing boos from union members gathered at the Commerce headquarters of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 11. Clinton also slammed Trump for comments he made a few years before the 2008 economic crisis that a housing market crash would be a good thing for him.
"He actually said he was hoping for the crash," Clinton said. "All because he thought he could ... make some money for himself." Calling into question Trump's self-touted business acumen, Clinton reminded the crowd that several of Trump's casino and hotel businesses have filed for bankruptcy.
“I don't know how you lose money running casinos,” Clinton said, drawing laughter.
“I must acknowledge that I’m deeply biased towards my mother,” Chelsea Clinton said, before touting the former Secretary of State’s record and taking questions from friendly audiences of about 400.
… At both events on Tuesday — the first at the Passaic County Democratic headquarters, the second at the Fort Lee Senior Citizen Center — Clinton sat on a stool, explaining that she is “quite pregnant” with her second child due in the summer. Voting has become more important to her as a mother of a 19-month-old, she said, adding, “I can just hope that my children someday feel about me the way that I feel about my mom.”
She mostly spoke in praise of her mother and her record, touting her work creating the Children’s Health Insurance Program that makes it easier to adopt children from the foster care system and co-sponsoring, as a senator, the DREAM Act that would allow people who entered the United States illegally at a young age to attain legal status.
UAW President Dennis Williams says Clinton "understands our issues on trade, understands the complexities of multinational economies and supports American workers, their families and communities."
The union is praising Bernie Sanders as "a great friend of the UAW, and of working men and women in this country." But it says Clinton "has shown under pressure her ability to lead and get elected in November."
The announcement criticizes Republican Donald Trump for comments in which he proposed moving UAW jobs to non-union, lower-paying states in order to compete with Mexican wages. Williams says Trump "clearly does not support the economic security of UAW families."
Nineteen members of the California Latino Legislative Caucus, including the president of the state Senate and speaker of the state Assembly, on Wednesday endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for President.
“I am proud to personally support former Secretary Hillary Clinton in her candidacy for President of the United States,” said Assembly Member Luis Alejo, a Democrat from Salinas who serves as chair of the caucus.
“For decades, California’s Latino legislators have fought to build bridges of opportunity for Californians,” he said. “Hillary Clinton has been a lifetime champion for the same things we fight for in California’s Latino community.
The campaign tweeted support for LGBT kids and Vermont Governor Shumlin’s determination to ban “conversion therapy”:
And now in news I am sure you have not heard anything about (/sarcasm): a newly released Inspector General’s report has revealed details of Hillary Clinton’s email use, along with those of other Secretaries of State going back to  Albright. Although you wouldn’t know it from most headlines, Charles Teifer at Forbes argues that the report actually vindicates Clinton:
...where the report does add to our knowledge, is about Colin Powell, who served from 2001-2005. Powell did all his email business on a private account. All of his emails on official business were apparently in a private account. It is not clear why a great deal of what is said against Clinton’s emails, could not be said against Powell’s. Moreover, Powell’s similar practices can hardly be blamed on his being a novice about security. He not only had been Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, he had been National Security Adviser. He had jurisdiction over all the intelligence agencies. Since Powell, with unimpeachable security credentials, felt fine using private email for official business, why are we climbing all over Clinton? It is, to be blunt, a double standard.   
Fourth, the big criticism in the report is regarding the failure to print and file email in a retrievable way. But as the report shows, the Office of the Secretary of State has rarely succeeded in doing that. They either always have better things to do, or it is not a high enough priority, or there are technical difficulties, or turnover. Very likely a stingy Congress does not want to hire enough personnel to have crews doing that throughout the government. In any event, they rarely get that done. Since that is a general problem, why pin it particularly on Clinton?
Fifth, to the extent that she is criticized because “she did not comply with the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act,” the report is making a legal judgment that is not particularly strong. Note how she is not labeled as violating any statute, but rather, a real mouthful of mush – “the Department’s policies that were implemented in accordance with the Federal Records Act.” So we are talking about obscure, dull, bureaucratic policies. Not a criminal statute. Not even a civil statute – just the bureaucratic policies.
So, Clinton, like a whole lot of other people, did not follow protocol. In part, this seems to have been because State’s tech is terrible. I don’t know about you, loyal HNV readers, but to me that sounds like the real story is not OMG CLINTON IS EEEEVIL but rather what the hell, State Department? Are our state secrets being loaded by audiotape onto a TSR-80? Zork was fun and all, but I am concerned if that’s the era that State is operating in, tech-wise.
Writing at Shakesville, Melissa McEwan has more on this point:
[O]ne of the crucial differences between Bush-era violations, and Clinton's violation—which became clear as additional information emerged—is that Clinton wasn't fundamentally deviating from practices and habits of former Secretaries of State. While I still believe that Clinton made a mistake here, I'm much less annoyed about it than I was in March 2015.
Which, in case it's not already abundantly clear, isn't because I am a Clinton supporter—since I was then, too—but because I have carefully followed this story, even down to reading her emails, and further information has reshaped my position.  What strikes me the most about this situation is that Clinton occupied the office at a time—and I don't think this time has yet passed—when best practices governing sensitive electronic communications are still emerging.
...And that's a point I made in March of last year, too: "Because I so keenly remember the yawning indifference, of the media and of average USians, to the Bush administration email scandal, I will note that, if this turns into a massive story for Clinton, a potentially presidential-derailing story, it is not because people give a shit about compliance with the Federal Records Act, unless people have suddenly developed an inexplicable fondness for it in the intervening eight years."
Which is a great shame, really. That Clinton's mistake will lead to, bluntly, the even bigger mistake of ignoring the root security issues in order to turn this entire thing into a political football, with no objective but harming the person who might be keenest to fix it.
in lighter news, Clinton appeared on Ellen, where she enjoyed Kate McKinnon doing impressions of them both and played “Who'd you rather” in order to pick her VP.
Hillary also spoke of her rivals, slamming Trump and declining to tell Sanders to drop out
Earlier in her appearance on the show, which was taped Tuesday, Clinton was asked about Trump and his comments that he would be good for women.
"I would need a lot more information based on what I hear him say because he has been very derogatory towards all kind of women," Clinton argued, adding, "I think, overall, there is just no evidence that he has an understanding of what women’s lives are like today."
When asked whether Sanders should drop out, Clinton answered, "he has to do what he chooses to do. I understand that."

And now a break for some Thursday Herstory!
As we move towards Memorial Day weekend, let me introduce you to a figure from  American military herstory. Dr. Mary Edwards Walker  could be called a “pantsuits pioneer,” and she knew a little about glass ceilings. This  Civil War Army surgeon is  first and only woman to be distinguished with the Medal of Honor; she was also an abolitionist, feminist, and opponent of American imperialism in the Pacific.


Born in 1832 in Oswego, New York, Walker graduated from Syracuse Medical college in 1855, the only woman in her class. Raised in a  fiercely abolitionist family, when the Civil War broke out, she traveled to Washington hoping that the Union cause would soon become the cause of liberation. Secretary of War Simon Cameron was none too keen on this strange, bloomers-wearing woman when she presented herself to him and requested a job as an army surgeon. Rejected, she served as a nurse at the Battle of Bull Run before finding an unpaid surgeon’s assistant position with Dr. J.N. Green of the Indiana Hospital in the Patent Office.
Walker traveled at her own expense to treat soldiers when and where she could. She served at the Battle of Chickamaugua and worked as a volunteer out of a Chattanooga hospital, dressed in a pseudo-military uniform of her own design. The New York Tribune took note:
Dressed in male habiliments...she carries herself amid the camp with a jaunty air of dignity well calculated to receive the sincere respect of the soldiers...She can amputate a limb with the skill of an old surgeon, and administer medicine equally as well. Strange to say that, although she has frequently applied for a permanent position in the medical corps, she has never been formally assigned to any particular duty.
Walker finally won the position of acting assistant surgeon in 1864, officially assigned to the 52nd Ohio Volunteers. Sometimes leaving the safety of Union lines to treat Confederate civilians in Georgia with Union medical supplies,  she was captured by Confederate forces in April 1864. Walker was then imprisoned in the notorious Castle Thunder prison:
The guards were equally infamous, particularly in the female ward where Walker would spend the next four months. She no doubt heard about another female spy had been chloroformed, raped, and killed there. Walker's reputation preceded her, and the imprisoned "female Yankee surgeon" who believed in the emancipation of African Americans was openly ridiculed in Virginia papers. "Miss Doctress, Miscegenation, Philosophical Walker, who has so long ensconced herself very quietly in Castle Thunder, has loomed into activity again," wrote a reporter in The Richmond Examiner.


The stay was disastrous for Walker’s health, leaving her with diminished eyesight and other medical problems that later prevented her from working as a surgeon. She was released in a prisoner exchange in August, 1864.  By then her celebrity was such that Abraham Lincoln himself interviewed her about her story. She was able to assist in the Battle of Atlanta, and was finally assigned to provide medical care in a POW facility for female Confederate prisoners. After the war, Walker was recognized with a  Medal of Honor for her service. Her citation reads:
Whereas it appears from official reports that Dr. Mary E. Walker, a graduate of medicine, "has rendered valuable service to the Government, and her efforts have been earnest and untiring in a variety of ways," and that she was assigned to duty and served as an assistant surgeon in charge of female prisoners at Louisville, Ky., upon the recommendation of Major-Generals Sherman and Thomas, and faithfully served as contract surgeon in the service of the United States, and has devoted herself with much patriotic zeal to the sick and wounded soldiers, both in the field and hospitals, to the detriment of her own health, and has also endured hardships as a prisoner of war four months in a Southern prison while acting as contract surgeon; and Whereas by reason of her not being a commissioned officer in the military service, a brevet or honorary rank cannot, under existing laws, be conferred upon her; and Whereas in the opinion of the President an honorable recognition of her services and sufferings should be made. It is ordered, that a testimonial thereof shall be hereby made and given to the said Dr. Mary E. Walker, and that the usual Medal of Honor for meritorious services be given her.
Walker had hoped to work for the Freedman’s Bureau after the war, in order to assist the newly emancipated, but was turned down. She did receive a small pension and  also worked in the pension office as a clerk for some years.  She continued to be active in the cause of women’s rights, such as suffrage, educational opportunity, and dress reform, writing in 1897:
I am the original new woman...Why, before Lucy Stone, Mrs. Bloomer, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony were—before they were, I am. In the early '40's, when they began their work in dress reform, I was already wearing pants...I have made it possible for the bicycle girl to wear the abbreviated skirt, and I have prepared the way for the girl in knickerbockers.

Walker, later in life.

 She became critical of American imperialism in Hawaii, serving as an unpaid lobbyist in Congress for Queen Liliuokalani against Sanford Dole. She later  risked her pension criticizing President McKinley posthumously for annexing the Philippines. In 1907, she published  her "Crowning Constitutional Argument," a pro-suffrage work that argued women’s suffrage was already inherent in the federal Constitution, a view she promoted to Congress in person in 1912 and 1914. In 1917 she suffered a blow to her pride when Congress revised the Medal of Honor requirements so that it could be awarded only for valor in combat. Along with over 900 other recipients, Walker was officially stripped of the award. She refused to send her medal back, however, wearing it every day until her death in 1919.  In 1977, after years of lobbying by her grand niece, her Medal of Honor was reinstated.In 1982, she was honored with a postage stamp, and in 2012, her home town of Oswego, NY unveiled a statue of her, one of the most singular physicians ever to serve the United States Army.

And now, back to our Hillary news! Speaking of sexism…
Peter Daou shares some terrific insight into why Donald Trump is aiming at Bill Clinton—and it’s not because he’s some great political genius:
There’s a reason Donald’s attention is focused more on Bill Clinton — and even Bernie Sanders — than on Hillary. It’s because he desperately wants to run against a man. He’s the proverbial schoolyard bully who joyfully sucker-punches other boys but is secretly petrified of the girls. He needs a man in the race, named Bill or Bernie (or both), to shield him from a head-to-head contest with Hillary.
For a deeply insecure male like Donald, whose degrading attitude toward women will be his downfall, being defeated by a woman is the ultimate humiliation. Women are objects to him, not worthy rivals….For Donald, a woman is something you own, not someone you respect. Women know men like Donald, which is why he polls so abysmally with them.
… Here’s my point: Hillary is not Bill and Bill is not Hillary. When Donald lumps them together and attacks her for his actions, when he treats them as a single entity, he’s doing it out of desperation and deep insecurity, not because he’s got some devious master plan. Donald isn’t the hard-punching, straight talker the media are dutifully painting him to be. He is a coward and a liar who fears women and demeans them at every turn, while protesting that he “respects them.” He is essentially hiding behind Bill Clinton and Bernie Sanders, hurling pathetic insults at Hillary while she focuses on issues that actually matter to voters.
“We want to have the most representative staff,” Coleman told The Huffington Post. “We’re always trying to crush it.”
And by all accounts they are: Thirty percent of the 700 or so people on the Clinton campaign staff are non-white and 52 percent are women, according to data provided to The Huffington Post by Inclusv, a group that finds diverse candidates for political campaigns, advocacy groups and policymakers and also is pressing for candidates to report their staffs demographic data. (Former Obama campaign staffers founded the group last year.) 
...“Clinton is really hitting diversity and it’s not by accident,” said Erikka Knuti, a political strategist who’s worked on Democratic campaigns and currently is a communications director for the United Food & Commercial Workers International Union. “The fact that she is doing it speaks to who she is and lessons learned,” she told HuffPost.
And with that, we end today’s edition of HNV, with a reminder:

We’re stronger together. When we embrace immigrants, not denigrate them. When we build bridges, not walls.
(originally posted at Daily Kos)


  1. your posts are sooo cool (and entertaining/informative)

    1. I particularly like the Herstory segments. I'm starting to look forward to them every week!

    2. can you cross-post the one by Mark Lippman?

      I just noticed something that ought not to have surprised me. I belong to jewish voters for peace and i was glad that Bernie picked people who are known to favor Palestinian rights for the platform committee, I saw that as only from him, but showing that we are balanced and we're doing our best, with competing fears and injustices and not a lot of cooperation for the two-state solution.

      but bernie's real plan is as usual, slash and burn, he demands their elected PM be charged with war crimes. To destroy the Democratic Party and if a side effect is setting back the peace process, he doesn't care, he wants to be right, everyone must lose for him to be 'right.' This is even bigger than screwing up 'chair of the vet's committee' and that was big, vet's died while on the wait list Bernie denied existed.

      So I must say the resolution he voted for prevented George Bush from being impeached, and tried as a war criminal. After Bush violated the terms of the iraq authorization, by pulling out the international inspectors, and so not 'exhausting all peaceful means,' and not finding evidence of WMD so not bringing that evidence to the UN and getting UN authorization, Bernie Sanders voted for a resolution that allowed Bush legal cover under the Afghanistan/terror war authorization, by thanking him for invading on behalf of the American people and putting into the record two 'authorization facts' that were not established, both the claim of ties to 9/11 and the claim of WMD.

      Bernie protected Bush but now that he is out to destroy the Democratic Party, he is fine with insisting a foreign elected prime minister must be named a war criminal in the DNC platform or he'll disrupt the convention. (He would anyway, but he's asked for something he for sure won't get, and so he will have his purpose, what a awful person is Bernie Sanders!)

      The man is a walking disaster.