Thursday, July 7, 2016

Hillary News & Views 7.7.16: Trolling Trump, College Plan, Thursday Herstory, Fierce Advocate

Hillary Clinton with a supporter in Atlantic City, July 6 2016.

Guest post by aphra behn

Good morning to the Hillary supporting community! It’s great to be here with you.
Hillary was on FIRE in Atlantic City Wednesday.  Per CBS:
Hillary Clinton warned voters gathered in the sun on Atlantic City's seaside boardwalk on Wednesday against electing Donald Trump, who she said would "bankrupt America."
"He said, and I quote, 'I'm going to do for the country what I did for my business,'" Clinton said. "What he did for his businesses and his workers is nothing to brag about. In fact, It's shameful." Clinton accused Trump of profiting off of putting "hundreds of people" out of jobs, stiffing contractors that then went under and cheating shareholders and investors in his hotels and casinos in Atlantic City. Visible behind Clinton as she spoke was the faded outline of Trump's name on the marquee of the now-closed Trump Plaza Casino and Hotel.
"He had the letters taken down a few years ago, but his presence remains," she said, "and not far from here is the old Trump Marina Hotel Casino. A few years ago, it was sold at a 'huuuge' loss."
The exhibition was the most conspicuous foray yet into a new territory for Mrs. Clinton: the art of the troll. For weeks, since Mrs. Clinton fully turned her attention to Mr. Trump after becoming the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, she and her aides have seemed to take delight in trying to torment him.
...There was a campaign video project last week, when staff members ventured from their Brooklyn headquarters to the lobby of Trump Tower, musing about the origin countries of Trump-branded products and quizzing strangers.
In her remarks Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton provided the punch line: “He wants to make America great again. Maybe he should start by actually making things in America again.”
Here’s a snippet from her Atlantic City speech that was posted from her Twitter account—well worth the watch.

Great stuff. I'm sure we can’t wait to see her in Scranton tomorrow with Joe Biden!
There was a lot of buzz yesterday about Clinton’s college tuition plan, which may have shifted somewhat in response to a meeting she had with Bernie Sanders. I honestly haven’t had time to parse what’s new and what’s old. Her campaign tweeted a link to Buzzfeed’s story, so here is a campaign-approved link about the topic:
Hillary Clinton supports eliminating public college tuition for students whose families make less than $125,000 a year, she announced Wednesday, a move that would make four-year public colleges free for large swaths of the population.
It is a significant shift toward Bernie Sanders’ higher education platform — the result, the Clinton campaign said, of a private meeting with Sanders.While Sanders has called for eliminating tuition entirely at public universities, Clinton had previously advocated only “debt-free” college, which would have required students with more means to pay some money out of pocket at four-year public universities.
In a move to further woo young voters, Clinton said she would call for a three-month “moratorium” on federal student loan payments — a time period she said would be used to move borrowers into plans that have them paying only a small slice of their incomes or paying at lower interest rates, and to rehabilitate the loans of those in default. The Obama administration has so far struggled to get some of the country’s neediest borrowers into such programs.
Clinton also took the time Wednesday to personally reach out to Muslims reeling from attacks on cities around the Islamic world (Tweets signed with an “H” are directly from the candidate):

Praying for a safe Eid Al-Fitr. My heart breaks for families struck by terror in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and Bangladesh this Ramadan. -H
In “duh” news from Wednesday, Loretta Lynch officially announced there would be no charges in the Hillary Clinton email probe. So, of course, the Republicans have announced they will be investigating. What a  shock!
Writing at Shakesville, Melissa McEwan has an important observation on the email story:
Today, at a State Department press briefing, State Department spokesperson John Kirby said two emails marked classified were the result of "human error." This is really important, because:
Comey had said in his statement: "Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information." The New York Times nailed down that "very small number" to two.
So, if there were only two emails marked classified, and two emails were marked classified erroneously, well, I think we can all do the math.
Now all that is left is FBI Director James Comey's contention that "even if information is not marked 'classified' in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it."

So let us note that if Hillary is being held to a standard where she was expected to identify every unmarked piece of information as classified, then surely it should work the other way, too—and she shouldn't be held at fault for recognizing that a piece of information erroneously marked classified did not, in fact, contain classified information.

Her critics don't get to have it both ways: Either she was competent enough to correctly assess every piece of information irrespective of its security marking, or she wasn't.
And now a break for some Thursday herstory!
In these Thursday posts, I’ve tried to look at some milestones on the path to electing a woman president—important turning points in the quest for women’s full inclusion in American political life. Barring women from the legal profession has been a significant barrier in this quest. The law is not the only path to a political career—but it sure does help. Over half of United States presidents have been lawyers; Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama are the only First Ladies to have law degrees. Until the late 19thcentury, no woman had ever been formally admitted to a state bar. Today, let’s look at a few of those women who paved the way for Hillary Clinton and other female lawyers.

Arabella Mansfield

Women had engaged in different sorts of legal work in the Anglo-American law system since the 17th century, when Margaret Brent of Maryland  functioned, essentially, as Lord Baltimore’s attorney. But women entering the profession under more formal circumstances?  That was a post-Civil War phenomenon. The first woman admitted to a state bar in the United States was Belle (she preferred “Arabella”) Babb Mansfield, who, at the age of 23, was admitted to the bar in Iowa.  Although she had not attended law school, she had apprenticed with her brother’s law firm and studied with both her husband and her brother. Her performance in the bar exam was so impressive that her examiners wrote:
“Your committee takes unusual pleasure in recommending the admission of Mrs. Mansfield, not only because she is the first lady who has applied for this authority in the state, but because in her examination she has given the very best rebuke possible to the imputation that ladies cannot qualify for the practice of law.”
Arabella never practiced law; instead she taught at Iowa Wesleyan and later at DePauw University, where she served as Dean of the Schools of Art and Music. She spent asignificant amount of time working for the cause of women’s suffrage, promoting women as university administrators, and promoting the activities of the National League of Women Lawyers before her death in 1893.
Myra Bradwell of Illinois  also fought to be admitted to her state’s bar, but was initially less successful than Mansfield.  Her husband, James, was a lawyer, and Myra studied informally with him while raising the couple’s four children (two of whom died as minors). She founded the Chicago Legal News in 1868, becoming the first woman to edit a law-related publication in the United States. It was one of the most widely circulated legal newspapers in the United States. In August of 1869, she passed the Illinois bar exam.

Myra Bradwell
But the Illinois Supreme court denied her admittance because she was a married woman. Under the law at that time, married women were still legally appendages of their husbands. In most states they could not own property (even their own wages) and had no custodial rights over their children. Bradwell appealed, and again, the judgement was against her...but specifically on the grounds of her gender, not her marital status.  From the Northern Illinois University library:
The first reason was that the Illinois legislature was silent about women entering the profession; hence it was concluded that women would not be allowed to practice law. The second reason was that the state worried about "opening the floodgates." If one woman was allowed into a civil office, then all civil offices would be filled with women. The third reason was that some of the brutal cases would not be appropriate for a woman. The final reason was that the state was worried about the effect women would have on the administration of justice.
Bradwell took her case to the United States  Supreme Court, which also ruled against her. But she won a significant moral victory when the Illinois legislature amended the law in 1872 in order to permit women to practice law in Illinois. Bradwell did not re-apply for her license, but returned to editing the Chicago Legal News, which she used to promote her opinions about on legal issues and social cases across the country, as well as promoting women’s suffrage, employment rights, and educational access.  In 1890, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed itself and retroactively approved her application to the bar; in 1892 the Supreme Court did the same. Bradwell had little time to enjoy her triumph, unfortunately, as she died of cancer in 1894.
It was a struggle for women to even formally study law. Two of the first to be admitted to law school were Lemma Barkaloo and Phoebe Wilson Couzins. They entered Washington University in St. Louis in 1869, after being rebuffed by Eastern schools. After completing only a portion of her courses, Barkaloo passed the Missouri bar in 1870. Sadly, she passed away six months after becoming the nation’s second accredited female lawyer. Couzins decided to complete the course at Wash U before taking the exam; she graduated in 1871, and passed the bar in 1871 in the same year, It is not clear if she ever practiced; she threw herself into the struggle for woman suffrage full-time.

Public Domain sketch of Charlotte Ray

One of the first women to actually practice law was also the nation’s first African-American female lawyer, Charlotte E Ray.  A native of New York, she moved to Washington DC to study at  the Institute for Education of Colored Youth, from which she graduated in 1869. She then studied law at Howard University, focusing on commercial lawn and writing her thesis on corporations. She graduated in 1872, with the distinction of graduating Phi Beta Kappa, and soon became the first woman admitted to the bar in Washington D.C., and the first African-American woman admitted to the bar anywhere in the United States.
She hoped to practice corporate law, but in her only surviving pleading shows her representing an illiterate woman in a domestic violence case. She eventually had to abandon her practice for want of clients. Writing in the Chicago Legal NewsMyra Bradwell empathized, saying that “Miss Ray, although a lawyer of decided ability, on account of prejudice was not able to obtain sufficient business and had to give up... active practice." Ray moved to New York in 1879, where she earned a living by teaching in public schools. She remained active in various causes and was a delegate to the 1876 conference of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association. In1895, she joined the newly formed National Association of Colored Women.  She died in 1911.
Perhaps the boldest pioneering female lawyer in the 19th century was Belva Ann Lockwood, a widowed single mother who earned a college degree in order to better provide for her daughter. She remarried in 1866, but her second husband’s poor health meant that Lockwood was still in the position of being the primary financial provider for her family. In 1873, she graduated from National University Law School, but only after appealing to President Ulysses S. Grant; she asked  him to overrule the trustees of the school, who had balked at granting her the degree because of her gender. She was admitted to the DC bar and practiced in lower courts, but the Supreme Court was a harder nut to crack. Lockwood tackled their prejudice head-on.Her biographer, Jill Nogren, writes:
Three years later, in 1876, when the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court refused to admit her to its bar, stating, "none but men are permitted to practice before [us] as attorneys and counselors," she single-handedly lobbied Congress until that body passed "An Act to relieve certain legal disabilities of women," an effort that a reporter described as having required "an unconscionable deal of lobbying." Lockwood agreed, writing later that to succeed, "nothing was too daring for me to attempt." On March 3, 1879, on the motion of Washington attorney Albert G. Riddle, who had long been her champion, she became the first woman admitted to the Supreme Court bar, sworn in amidst "a bating of breath and craning of necks." A year later, she argued Kaiser v. Stickney before the high court, the first woman lawyer to do so.
Belva practiced law out of the family living room, taking a wide variety of cases, including probate claims and pension claims. She represented people of all races; few were wealthy, being comprised of “ laborers, painters, maids, tradesmen, veterans, and owners of small real estate properties.” She was willing tot ravel throughout the District, to Maryland, Virginia, and even further to represent clients.  In August 1874 the Washington Evening Star reported that she had legal business in the Southwest:

Belva Lockwood

"Mrs. Lockwood, the lawyeress, leaves for Texas tomorrow, to be absent some forty days for the purpose of settling up the estate of the late Judge John C. Watrous, of that state, who died some two months ago in Baltimore. Judge Watrous was a large landed proprietor in southwestern Texas."
In 1880, she sponsored Samuel Lowreyto the Supreme Court Bar, where he became the first African American attorney to argue before the Supreme Court.
In 1884, Lockwood became the second woman to run for President of the United States, hoping to draw support for woman suffrage and other social justice issues:
She believed that her bid for the presidency would help women gain the right to vote and to be accepted into partisan politics. She could not vote, she told reporters, but nothing in the Constitution prevented men from voting for her. She outlined a 12-point platform, later refined and presented as 15 positions on a broad range of policy issues including foreign affairs, tariffs, equal political rights, civil service reform, judicial appointments, Native Americans, protection of public lands, temperance, pensions, and the federalization of family law.
Local newspapers and the national press loved the story of a lady candidate. Puck, a mass circulation weekly known for its satiric cartoons, put "Belva" on one of its covers along with Greenback Party candidate Ben Butler. Lockwood financed her campaign by arranging to give paid speeches and even tried to arrange a debate with Grover Cleveland and James Blaine, the Democratic and Republican party candidates. She won fewer than 5,000 votes but was not discouraged. When she ran for the presidency for a second time in 1888, she told reporters, "Men always say, 'Let's see what you can do.' If we always talk and never work we will not accomplish anything."
One of the last great cases Lockwood pursued was representing members of theEastern Band of the Cherokee Nation in  an epic legal battle that ultimately ended with a 5 million settlement in favor of the Eastern and Emigrant Cherokee against the United States. The protracted case proved ruinous to Lockwood’s finances, however. She continued to practice law and pursue social justice, particularly in the areas of woman suffrage and world peace. She died in 1917.
When I think of women like Belva Lockwood and other early female lawyers, I can’t help but think that they played a special role in paving the way for women like Marian Wright Edelman, who used the law to seek social justice, and who also gave Hillary Clinton her first job out of law school. Lockwood, Ray, Bradwell, and the others would be pretty thrilled, I think, with the way Hillary Clinton got her professional start— and that being a crusading “lady lawyer” is now a legitimate path to a political career.

Speaking of pioneering women, Slate comes up with an all-female cabinet for Clinton. I don’t see it happening, nor do I agree with all the picks, but it’s really nice to see some of these names get recognition!
Secretary of the Treasury: Anat Admati, the Stanford economistfamous for saying that “the bankers have no clothes.”
Secretary of Defense: Michèle Flournoy, who will likely actually get the job.
Attorney General: Kamala Harris, the California attorney general who “is trying to chart a middle course on the Democratic Party’s most contentious issue: criminal justice,” as the Times Magazine has written.
Secretary of Agriculture: Michelle Obama, the only person we trust tomake our nation healthier.
Secretary of Commerce: Jeanne Shaheen, ranking member of the Senate’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Annise Parker, former Houston mayor and among the first openly gay mayors of a major U.S. city.
Secretary of Transportation: Janette Sadik-Khan, former commissioner of the New York City Department of Transportation.
Read the whole list—it’s thought-provoking! Also writing at Slate, Dana Goldstein has a thoughtful consideration of Clinton as the teacher’s candidate:
Following eight years of federally driven closures and turnarounds of schools with low test scores, which have put union jobs at risk, it was music to the NEA’s ears when the presumptive Democratic nominee promised to end “the education wars” and “stop focusing only on quote, ‘failing schools.’ Let’s focus on all our great schools, too.” And in a big departure from the school-reform rhetoric of President Barack Obama, the only time Clinton referenced “accountability” was to refer not to getting rid of bad teachers, but to giving unions a bigger voice in education policy. “Advise me and hold me accountable,” she said. “Keep advocating for your students and your profession.”
...Clinton expressed some of what teachers talk about among themselves by turning her attention to parents—not to excoriate them for allowing their kids to fail, but to acknowledge the challenges they face in providing for families in today’s economy. A “world-class education,” she said, means “supporting parents to be their child’s first teachers, something you all have talked to me about a lot; expanding access to ... child care, and universal preschool for every child.”
Bringing up homelessness, hunger, day care, and pre-K when talking about K-12 education is not an excuse for poor teaching, but rather an acknowledgement of the evidence. Home and family are a child’s foundational educational setting. Anti-poverty and early childhood policies stand to increase test scores as much or more than teacher reforms have.
And finally, Jon Aravosis over at Americablog has taken a  look at the Wikileaks info dump of Hillary Clinton’s emails. And what he’s discovered is that Hillary Clinton cares about LGBT rights even when no one is looking:
It was July of 2009, and Hillary’s chief of staff at the State Department, Cheryl Mills, emailed Hillary a BBC story about how gays in Iraq were faring even worse than they did under Saddam Hussein. Mills sent the story from her State Department email account, and to Clinton’s personal email.Hillary then responded to Mills:
So sad and terrible. We should ask Chris Hill to raise this w govt. If we ever get Posner confirmed we should emphasize LGBT human rights.
Chris Hill was the US ambassador to Iraq, at the time. Hillary was suggesting that Hill raise the issue with the Iraqi government. And Posner is Michael Posner, Obama’s then-nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. Posner was ultimately confirmed by the Senate.
This is really a key email, because it shows, early on, Hillary Clinton’s desire to use the State Department to push for LGBT rights internationally...So when I read this leaked email, presumably intended to hurt Hillary, I see a woman who decided early on to make a difference on our issues. And that’s what a fierce advocate looks like.
Fierce advocate: that’s what my next president looks like.
(originally posted at Daily Kos)


  1. she pays attention to the desire of students to have no tuition, but she'll go beyond that, because the lower income to no income kids also need help with fees and books and living, and also need help with trade schools, and private colleges if there is no space in public institutions, and she's for preparation schools, so that kids from substandard high schools can catch up.

    1. She could be the greatest education/early childhood president ever!

  2. Great! Another good summary, thanks.

    1. We're lucky to have such great writers contributing. I certainly can't do all this alone!