Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hillary News & Views 6.2.16: Military Families, Trump's Fraud, Patsy Mink, and Support

Bon Jovi and Corey Booker appear with Clinton in New Jersey: June 1, 2016 (Julio Cortez/AP)

Guest post by aphra behn

Good morning to the Hillary Clinton-supporting community! As always, it’s great to be with you.
Some campaign news: Hillary Clinton campaigned with Bon Jovi and Corey Booker yesterday during campaign events in New Jersey. (Booker riffed on the singer’s hits, saying that Clinton gives love “a  good name.”) She will be in San Diego today, delivering a major foreign policy speech. The campaign has announced a weekend rally in Fresno.
Clinton continued to distinguish herself from Trump in terms of her service to veterans:
Mr. Trump assailed reporters on Tuesday while detailing a list of his contributions his foundation had made to veterans’ charities, most of them with money raised from his supporters. He also announced a $1 million contribution of his own, made last week to a veterans’ group connected to one of his employees. That check, originally pledged by Mr. Trump in connection with a nationally televised telethon shortly before the Iowa caucuses in January, did not materialize until after a reporter for The Washington Post inquired about whether Mr. Trump had followed through on his commitment.
While Mr. Trump’s single belated contribution now dwarfs the money donated to veterans’ groups by Mrs. Clinton and her family, a Clinton spokesman contrasted the two candidates’ style and sincerity in fighting for veterans.
“It took Donald Trump getting caught making fraudulent statements for him to follow through on his empty campaign claims about supporting veterans,” said the spokesman, Josh Schwerin. “While Trump needed to be shamed into honoring his commitments, Hillary Clinton has quietly made personal donations in addition to spending her career fighting for veterans through legislation, fund-raising and the work of the Clinton Foundation.”
She has also released concrete plans to help military families, as reported by the Virginian Pilot:
The former secretary of state proposes that members of the military be able to more easily switch between active-duty, National Guard and reserve service “to make decisions good for their family and maintain a career with the military.”
She also would make permanent the Career Intermission Program that allows some military members to temporarily leave active duty for an extended period to pursue more education, care for children or tend to an ailing family member.
Given the greater number of married couples who both are in uniform, Clinton wants the duty assignment process overhauled so that more spouses can serve near each other with neither losing ground in their careers.
Clinton proposes that the Defense Department and federal Department of Education focus attention on public school divisions, like those in Hampton Roads, where significant segments of the student population are members of military families. The departments should work with local educators to “track, assess and improve” the education of military members’ children.
In addition to criticizing him on veterans-related issues, Clinton also hit Donald Trump hard Wednesday over his fraud at Trump University:
"His own employees testified that Trump U -- you can't make this up -- that Trump U was a fraudulent scheme where Donald Trump enriched himself at the expense of hard working people," Clinton said.
"Trump and his employees took advantage of vulnerable Americans encouraging them to max out their credit cards, empty their retirement savings, destroy their financial futures, all while making promises they knew were false from the beginning," she said. "This is just more evidence that Donald Trump himself is a fraud. He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump University."
Trump’s campaign apparently tried to make some weak sauce comparisons between Trump U and the Clinton Foundation. Writing at Blue Nation Review, Melissa McEwan had a few things to say about that:
Louden’s absurd claim that “the Clinton Foundation hangs onto more than 80 percent of the money that is raised” is fact-checked by CNN’s Carol Costello, who easily finds it to be false: “The bulk of the Clinton Foundation’s charitable work is actually performed in house. And last year, one independent watchdog did an analysis of the foundation’s funding and found that 89 percent of its funding went to charity, earning it an ‘A’ rating.”
By contrast, Trump University was a for-profit institution accused of bilking people out of their money by fraudulent claims—and Donaldlined his pockets: “The records indicate, for example, that Trump University collected approximately $40 million from its students–who included veterans, retired police officers and teachers–and that Trump personally received approximately $5 million of it, despite his claim, repeated in our interview, that he started Trump University as a charitable venture.”
So, to sum: Donald said he started Trump University for charity, but instead walked away with $5 million, and is now being sued by unhappy students alleging they were defrauded. The Clinton Foundation, on the other hand, is an international charity with an A rating that has saved and improved millions of lives
The Clinton campaign also unleashed a barrage of Tweets (including a retweet of a Mitt Romney critique) about Trump’s wrongdoings. A sampling:
This seems like a good juncture at which to remind regular HNV readers that Hillary Clinton easily has the most comprehensive policies relating to education of any candidate in the race. If you haven’t looked, check out what her campaign has to say about early childhood education,  on issues in K-12 education,  and on college. She is the only candidate in the race to give the problem of campus sexual assault its own dedicated page on their campaign website. And that doesn’t even count her address of educational issues as part of her policy for LGBTQ Americans, as a part of addressingracial justice, or as part of improving benefits for veterans.

And now a break for some Thursday Herstory!
Patsy Mink with LBJ 1966
Patsy Mink with LBJ in 1966
Speaking of educational issues, today I’d like to introduce an amazing woman who changed educational access for generations of Americans: Patsy Takemoto Mink of Hawaii.  She was the first woman of color elected to Congress, the first Democratic woman to give a response to a State of the Union address, and Title IX’s primary author.  She spent her life fighting for human rights in many different ways, blazing a trail that any intersectional progressive can be proud to follow. For Hillary Clinton supporters who don’t know her, I think you’ll enjoy learning about her place in American herstory.
The granddaughter of Japanese immigrants, Patsy Matsu Takemoto  was a freshman in high school when the Japanese Empire bombed Pearl Harbor, making her everyday experiences with racial prejudice even uglier. It is a testament to her personal political skills that in an atmosphere of wartime hate, she not only graduated at the top of her class in 1944, but also was elected the first female president of the student body. She attended the University of Hawaii before transferring to the mainland, where she attended the University of Nebraska, helping to organize student protest against racial segregation.
After her graduation, Takemoto applied to twenty different medical schools, but all had filled the tiny number of slots they allotted female students.  While working at the Honolulu Academy of the Arts in a clerical position, Takemoto was encouraged by a female boss to apply to law school as an alternative. She eventually obtained her law degree from the University of Chicago. While there, she met and married John Mink, a white man. Although Mink had been born and raised in Hawaii, as a  woman who had married a mainlander, by law she was assigned her husband’s status. No longer legally Hawaiian, she found that she was ineligible to take the bar exam in Hawaii. After successfully fighting this prohibition, she was admitted to the bar in 1953, the first Japanese-American women to become a Hawaiian attorney.
All that would be impressive enough—but we’re still not finished with Patsy Mink! In 1956, she successfully ran for a seat in the Hawaii House of Representative, becoming the first Asian-American woman elected to that body. There, she helped author Hawaii’s “equal work for equal pay” law. In 1960, she was a delegate to the Democratic Party National Convention, were her speech on civil rights drew favorable comment for linking Asian American issues to those being raised by the black civil rights movement. Mink became a member of the NAACP, viewing the struggle against racial prejudice as one that linked all people of color.
In 1964, Mink was elected to the U.S. Congress after running a grassroots campaign with very little support from the state Democratic party. She was  the first woman of color, and the first woman of Asian descent, to serve in the House of representatives.  (In 1968, Shirley Chisholm, about whom  Denise Oliver Velez has brilliantly written, became the second woman of color and the first woman of African-American descent to serve in Congress.)
Mink got busy with work. According to her biography:
In the House, Mink successfully sought a seat on the Committee on Education and Labor…she also joined the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and, in the 93rd (1973–1975) and 94th Congresses, served on the Budget Committee. Mink’s committee assignments allowed her to concentrate on the same issues that had been the focus of her attention in the Hawaii legislature. Among the education acts Mink introduced or sponsored were the first childcare bill and legislation establishing bilingual education, student loans, special education, and Head Start. As a member of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, she supported the economic and political development of the Trust Territory in the Pacific. As chair of the Subcommittee on Mines and Mining, she helped author the landmark Surface Mining Control and Reclamation (Strip Mining) Act of 1975 and the Mineral Leasing Act of 1976. …During the Johnson presidency, Mink strongly supported the administration’s domestic programs that were part of the Great Society legislation, but she was a critic of the Americanization of the Vietnam War.
Mink felt she had a special responsibility to speak out on issues relating to gender equity:
“…because there were only eight women at the time who were Members of Congress, that I had a special burden to bear to speak for [all women], because they didn’t have people who could express their concerns for them adequately. So, I always felt that we were serving a dual role in Congress, representing our own districts and, at the same time, having to voice the concerns of the total population of women in the country.”
Perhaps her most lasting legacy on behalf of American women was her work on Title IX of the United States Higher Education Amendments of 1972, guaranteeing gender-equitable access to education. It begins:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance…
Mink was the principal author of Title IX; Rep Edith Green of Oregon and Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana also played key roles in supporting it and securing its passage. While many people may think of Title IX as relating primarily to athletic opportunities,  Mink’s vision was for women and girls to have truly equal access to all publicly-funded educational activities. To that end, Mink also authored the Women’s Educational Equity Act of 1974.
Like many other people who attended school after the passage of Title IX, I have benefited personally from her work. As the daughter of a sometime phys ed teacher who played women’s basketball pre-Title IX, I’m very aware its important application in women’s athletics, which have had enormous implications for the physical health of girls and women. But Title IX has meant  much more than athletic opportunities (as important as those are). It helped end the quotas that barred Patsy Takemoto and other women from medical school, from law school, and from every form of higher education. (It is worth noting that it not only protects women, but people of all genders, from sex-based discrimination.) It helps protect the rights of pregnant or parenting students. Under the administration of President Obama, Title IX has become an important tool for addressing the poor job universities often do of dealing withcampus sexual violence. Title IX is also now interpreted to protect the rights of trans students, and has also been used against anti-gay bullying. Mink’s work on Title IX continues to matter, very much, to many different people.
In 1976, Mink gave up her seat in Congress for an unsuccessful run for the Senate. She returned to private law practice until 1990, when she was re-elected to her old seat. There she continued to champion the cause of human rights. She supported abortion access, opposed restrictions on gay couples adopting, worked on establishing a national holiday to honor Native Americans, condemned anti-Muslim bigotry, and much more. She served in office until her sudden death in 2002.  In her honor, Congress officially re-named Title IX the  Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act).  The American Bar Association called her a “human rights hero”: 
Patsy Mink official Congress picture
Mink in later years
She sponsored the Early Childhood Education Act, the Women’s Education Equity Act, and Title IX of the Higher Education Act Amendments. …With her colleagues, she marched up the Senate steps demanding fairness for Anita Hill in 1991. Patsy was an early opponent of the Vietnam War and was especially concerned with the neglect of social needs in times of war. She participated in a boycott of French President Jacques Chirac’s speech to Congress to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific. She warned that the 1996 welfare reforms could hurt children. She spoke against racial profiling whether it involved African Americans on the street or Asian Pacific Americans at nuclear defense labs or campaign funding investigations.
…Whenever a voice of courage and strength was needed, Patsy Mink was there. To call her an advocate for any of the many groups she fought for is simply inadequate to reflect her dedication to the common good. She is truly a Human Rights Hero.

And now, back to our regular Hillary programming!
At Shakesville, Melissa McEwan [again—please indulge me!] breaks down just how bad the polling is for Trump, and how good it is for Hillary Clinton:
Not only did Hillary Clinton have higher favorables in way more demographic categories, but Donald Trump doesn't break 50% favorability in a single one of Gallup's dozens of demographic categories. NOT ONE.

The closest he came in any of their dozens of demos was 49%.

Clinton was 50+ in 14 categories.

Now, there's a ton of overlap in these numerous categories, but still. It's notable that he didn't break 50% in a single one of them.  
The Washington Post reported on the way that Democratic Party leaders have begun to rally to Clinton. I found the quotes from Howard Dean especially interesting:
The challenge is one that former Vermont governor and presidential contender Howard Dean knows well. He recalled coming to his own recognition of the need to unify after he lost the Democratic nomination in 2004 — and spoke to former vice president Al Gore.
“After my ranting and raving, he just said: ‘Look, it’s not about you. It’s about the country,’ ” Dean recalled. “That’s where Jerry Brown is — it’s where most of us are.”
Dean, who supports Clinton, said that there has been a ferment of calls for unity among progressives so early because of the mathematical near-impossibility that Sanders could overtake Clinton. And, he added, unification will take time.
“They are going to have to get to a place where Hillary Clinton is the candidate that they are going to support, having supported somebody else in a contested, occasionally bitter primary,” Dean said. “And that’s a hard thing to do, to climb down from your position. It takes time.”
Finally. As we’re speaking of the Democratic party establishment, it’s worth knowing that in 2004, Clinton swam against the tide in order to give support to Gavin Newsom, then-mayor of San Francisco. He drew the ire of leading Democrats for issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. But in a ringing endorsement on his Facebook page, he explains that she literally stood by him:
In 2004, after I ordered the city clerk to give same-sex couples marriage licenses, I quickly became a pariah in the Democratic Party. I was accused of endangering Sen. Kerry's campaign for president, my speech at the national convention was cancelled, and most hurtful, major democratic candidates and elected officials -- some of whom were my friends -- refused to be photographed with me or even be in the same room with me. I was being demonized by the left and the right. Only one major figure in the Dem party was willing to be photographed with me: Hillary Clinton. In 2004, we did an event together down at Delancey Street in San Francisco. I'll never forget that moment -- that when I was being attacked for my position on same sex marriage and what we did in San Francisco, she was willing to stand with me in public when no one else was. #‎ImWithHer
What an important story. Thanks to Gavin Newsom for letting me say with even more pride: #ImWithHer too.
(originally posted at Daily Kos)

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