Thursday, September 8, 2016

Hillary News & Views 8/9/2016: Veterans' Forum, Trump Contrasts, Endorsements, Sexism, Fun Stuff

Hillary Clinton in Tampa, Florida, Sep 6 2016

Guest post by aphra behn

Good morning Hillary supporting community! It is great to be with you.
Last night, Hillary Clinton and Lord Trumpemort both sat down with Matt Lauer in front of a crowd of veterans. The Washington Post has an annotated transcript.
A few highlights:
We have to defeat ISIS. That is my highest counterterrorism goal. And we've got to do it with air power. We've got to do it with much more support for the Arabs and the Kurds who will fight on the ground against ISIS. We have to squeeze them by continuing to support the Iraqi military. They've taken back Ramadi, Fallujah. They've got to hold them. They've got to now get into Mosul.
...They are not going to get ground troops. We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again. And we're not putting ground troops into Syria. We're going to defeat ISIS without committing American ground troops. So those are the kinds of decisions we have to make on a case-by-case basis.
...We also have to do a better job combating ISIS online, where they recruit, where they radicalize. And I don't think we're doing as much as we can. We need to work with Silicon Valley. We need to work with our experts in our government. We have got to disrupt, we have got to take them on in the arena of ideas that, unfortunately, pollute and capture the minds of vulnerable people. So we need to wage this war against ISIS from the air, on the ground, and online, in cyberspace.
 "I view force as a last resort, not a first choice. I will do everything in my power to make sure our men and women in the military are fully prepared for any challenge they may have to face on our behalf, but I will also be as careful as I can in making the most significant decisions any president and commander and chief can make about sending our men and women into harm's way."
Trump, who has struggled on foreign policy questions, was predictably erratic, light on details, and often inaccurate. Clinton fell short of a far higher bar set by her stature and experience, a concern in a political environment in which — rightly or not — candidates are often graded against expectations.
So….let’s get this straight. Candidates “are often graded” by “expectations.” And because Clinton is better, she fell short? Even though she was demonstrably better. Oh yes, this sounds terrific. I was not the only on who noticed that there was a distinct difference in the way host Matt Lauer treated the candidates: namely, in interrupting them. A few comments from Liss McEwan on that:
Let me editorialize for a moment. For anyone wondering if the difference in interruptions really matters: yes. Lauer’s interruptions created the impression for the viewer that Clinton was somehow breaking the agreed-upon rules, that she talked too much, and that she was out of bounds in an ill-defined way. By contrast, we received a subtle message that the words of the Dark Lord  were of worth, measured, and well within the rules of discourse. Even when they were ridiculous or flatly untrue. It’s not a small thing when you consider how many people will not be listening actively or critically—these vague impressions are important. And frankly, it rewarded the fact-free, reality tv, crowd-pleasing approach favored by the Walking Dumpster Fire, as opposed to the thoughtful answers from Clinton...and truly, which approach is more reflective of the desired qualities of a commander-in-chief?
I had not taken seriously the possibility that Donald Trump could win the presidency until I saw Matt Lauer host an hour-long interview with the two major party candidates. Lauer’s performance was not merely a failure, it was horrifying and shocking. The shock, for me, was the realization that most Americans inhabit a very different news environment than professional journalists. I not only consume a lot of news, since it’s my job, I also tend to focus on elite print news sources. Most voters, and all the more so undecided voters, subsist on a news diet supplied by the likes of Matt Lauer. And the reality transmitted to them from Lauer matches the reality of the polls, which is a world in which Clinton and Trump are equivalently flawed.
While I don’t want to dwell on you-know-who and his performance, let me say that, as a female veteran, my personal wtf moment of the night was this:
Donald Trump stood by his past comment that military sexual assaults should be expected "when they put men and women together" in the US armed forces during an NBC-hosted forum Wednesday night...
"26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?" Trump had tweeted in 2013.
When asked about the tweet by moderator Matt Lauer, Trump didn't back down.
"I think that that's absolutely correct," he said during the forum.
The Dark Lord denied that this meant he would bar women from service, but refused to address his tweet, with no pressure to do so from Lauer. As Liss McEwan tweeted:
Sooo...what are your reactions to the forum? Or have you read other useful commentaries?  Please share in comments.
From non-forum news:
Hillary Clinton has some big-name surrogates on the trail, and the Wall Street Journal has taken notice. From Colleen McCain Nelson and Peter Nicholas:
President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama will be making the case for Mrs. Clinton in the next several days, as will Democratic Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former President Bill Clinton and daughter Chelsea Clinton.
Surrogate events help generate coveted coverage in the local media and provide opportunities for the campaign to sign up volunteers and collect voter information, said Bill Burton, a Democratic strategist and former Obama aide. “The impact is subtle, but it’s meaningful,” Mr. Burton said.
They also free up the candidate to raise funds and prepare for debates. For example, Mrs. Clinton spent much of Wednesday out of public view, preparing for a televised forum in the evening and conducting an interview. But her husband and daughter were delivering her message in swing states.
Holton says Hillary Clinton has a plan to help families further their children's education, without accruing crippling debt. "I heard from a young woman in her 30s - mid 30s - making a choice between does she pay back her student loan debt or does she start her family," Holton said. "People shouldn't have to make those choices, and Hillary has come up with some concrete proposals, including proposals how to pay for them, that would make community college tuition free."
...Holton is the only person to live in Virginia Governor's Mansion as both a child and adult.  When Holton's dad was governor in 1970, he made a controversial decision to send his children to a newly desegregated school. Holton says it had a profound impact on her and taught her all people have more similarities than differences.
"We were much more interested in what was the math homework and is our team going to win the game tonight than we were in all of the politics that were swirling around us," she said. "It was really an honor as a 12-year-old to be part of something larger than myself, something that really mattered, and I'd like to think it started me on my career in public service."
Hillary for Wisconsin on Sept. 7 announced the launch of Wisconsin Women for Hillary, a  statewide coalition of "women uniting around Hillary Clinton’s record of fighting for women and girls her entire career."
“Hillary knows that America is strong when a woman is positioned to make her best contribution to our country and when our daughters and granddaughters know their ambition must stop at nothing, even to serve as president of the United States,” said former Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton in a news release. “Her record of leading the fight to empower women and girls speaks for itself.  Hillary will be a true champion for women’s rights in the White House, and I’m proud to join Wisconsin Women for Hillary in supporting her historic candidacy.”
Hillary racked up another endorsement from a former GOP cabinet secretary: Louis Sullivan, the only African-American cabinet secretary to serve under George H.W. Bush:
Sullivan said he has been a lifelong moderate Republican, though he cast a vote for Democrat John F. Kennedy in 1960.
...He added that both Hillary and Bill Clinton have worked with the black community over the years on a number of issues, noting he is confident their relationship with the black community is "genuine."
“On the other hand, I’m not aware of anything that Trump has done positive with the black community," he said.
Clinton also has a new Spanish-language ad featuring Carlos Guiterrez, secretary of Commerce under George W. Bush. From Hanna Kozlowska at Quartz:
Hillary Clinton is doubling down on her appeal to Latino voters. Her campaign released two ads in Spanish, accompanied by a clip from a pro-Hillary super PAC. One of the ads features Carlos Gutierrez, the secretary of commerce under George W. Bush.
“Vote for Trump? I can’t,” Gutierrez says in the ad, according to a translation by the Washington Post. “It’s dangerous and we don’t want to go back. Hillary Clinton has the experience and I trust her. For me, country first, and then party.”
...“Donald Trump doesn’t have the qualities necessary to be president,” Gutierrez says in the new ad. “I know, because I served in the Cabinet of George W. Bush for four years. I was born in Cuba, but this country gave me my success. I’ve been a Republican my entire life, but first I’m an American.
Brian Beutler at new Republic has noticed that media coverage of Hillary Clinton is out of whack. After some liberal bashing, he gets on with the meat of the problem:
What alarmed liberals last week is that, amid a feeding frenzy over newly released Clinton emails, the political press didn’t bother to apply any kind of analogous judgment. The same week that the Times andPost were “raising questions” about Clinton—questions with simple answers like “no evidence of corruption”—Trump, among other things, gave one of his most extreme immigration speeches yet, in which he detailed his plan for an “ideological certification” for immigrants. 
This is not unlike leading a newscast with a weather report, or a story about firefighters pulling a kitten out of a tree, in the midst of an ongoing national emergency. As Greenwald argues, journalists shouldn’t treat Clinton and Trump’s “various sins and transgressions as equivalent: nothing in the campaign compares to Trump’s deport-11-million-people or ban-all-Muslim policies, or his attacks on a judge for his Mexican ethnicity, etc.” But news consumers gauge the relative importance of stories through their framing, and the weight news outlets place on them. Last week, a casual news consumer wouldn’t have come away thinking Clinton’s and Trump’s sins were equivalent; they would have instead learned that Clinton’s sins were real and Trump’s trivial or non-existent. 
For instance: Only this week has the media rediscovered the fact that Trump donated $25,000 to Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi days before she dropped her office’s investigation into Trump’s fraudulent real estate “university.” The Clinton Foundation story is ripe with quids, but the quos, such as they are, generally amount to the continuation of some status quo ante. Clinton met with the Crown Prince of Bahrain, a foundation donor—as had previous secretaries of state. Clinton oversaw arms sales to Gulf states, which have donated to the Clinton Foundation—consistent with U.S. policy that preceded her and continues to this day. In the case of Trump and Bondi, the appearance wasn’t of pay-to-play, but of bribery—the quid—and the quo is right there—Bondi dropped the investigation. The only thing we can’t prove without telepathy is the “pro.”  
Over at Salon, Amanda Marcotte has a pretty great piece dissecting the “Hillary is a lesbian” rumors, and what they meant to different parts of the electorate:
At their core, the lesbian rumors were about delegitimizing the Clinton marriage. From the day the Clintons set foot on the national stage, conservatives set out to portray Hillary Clinton as something other than a genuine wife to Bill Clinton because in their minds real wives are subservient to their husbands and the patriarchal order in general.
...“When Hillary Clinton, would-be first lady, spoke of ‘staying home and baking cookies’ and ‘standing by your man’ as if they were deadly sins for modern women, I was stunned,” Alcestis R. Oberg wrote in a huffy op-ed for USA Today that same month. “How can the Clintons make motherhood, monogamy and now cookie baking politically incorrect and expect to win?”
It was in this context that the “Hillary is a lesbian” rumors flourished, as a quick shorthand for the conservative assumption that heterosexuality for women is inherently a submissive pose. But while conservatives were clearly trying to insult Clinton by calling her a lesbian, for LGBT people the idea that the first lady was secretly sapphic had a campily fun appeal.
If you haven’t seen this story, it will confirm that Hillary Clinton is not only an excellent presidential candidate, she is a profoundly decent human being who walks the walk of her feminism and her empathy. On Augusta 29, blogger Ella Dawson posted a piece at Medium about her advocacy for acceptance of those with genital herpes, the vicious, misogynist attacks she has received in turn from the alt-right, and her admiration for Hillary Clinton for taking the alt-right seriously, and and for unflinchingly laying bare their violent misogyny and other vile bigotry at her speech in Reno.
Turns out, Hillary not only read the piece, she wrote to Dawson in return:
Speaking personally, again, for a moment, I can’t even express what it means to see that Hillary really “gets it” about the vicious and violent misogyny so many women face just for having an opinion on the internet.
I like to end with something fun, so here’s a piece from Amber Jamieson in the Guardian about Clinton’s fashion-show fundraiser hosted by Anna Wintour:
“The collection is both stylish and distinctive, and unlike the Republican candidate’s unspeakably hideous ties, our collection is made in America by union workers,” announced the Vogue editor, to laughter and applause at the reference to Donald Trump.
Both Wintour and Abedin were dressed in a print of the individual US states by Jason Wu, designer of both of Michelle Obama’s inauguration gowns. Clinton herself did not attend, but her daughter Chelsea was there.
Having trouble imagining all this Dem fashion? Never mind. Here’s a flashback to Hillary leading quite the VOGUE-ing session in 1996:


(originally posted at Daily Kos)


  1. AGAIN....FLAWED. REALLY. Hey Cohn. Trump is the one who is FLAWED. Get it bleeping Straight. Hillary....Flawed.....MY A$$.

  2. curves?

    yes, he gave the impression she was breaking his 'no trash talk' rules, when she didn't call Trump names or trash him, but gave facts, and then he gave Trump a pass to trash her with no facts. I am sure Lauer does not see himself as prejudiced, does not see sexism in that difference, but it bothered him that she didn't "obey" him inasmuch as obeying him meant his own subjective response to her fact-checking Donald.

    And yet, when Donald told him Hillary had lied about him, that he'd always been against the war in Iraq, that was fine, both the trash talk and the lying about his own objective record. It didn't bother him hearing a Man trash a girl, but a girl smart-alecking a Man with facts felt like 'trash talk' to him.

    this election may be used in a new 'sexual stereotypes and the unconscious: those who don't know' text.

    And Trump brought up emails too, but then so did the moderator.

    And in a way I am glad, because he said drones, and that is what Comey meant when he said that writing about a classified program even without using classified data was, to his mind, a violation, so he left the question of why those who did that were not prosecuted, in the collective mind.

    The Drone program is classified, but it isn't secret, they can be seen in the air, they kill people, these drone attacks and the deaths are reported in international newspapers. Drones isn't just policy, it's concrete objects flying through space, and firing stuff. Since outside the US there are newspaper reports, and State personnel get asked, they needed direction on how to answer within what is permitted.

    Maddow spoke to that, in the restraints, that were strange she said, because everyone knew, everyone was talking about them, but it could not be officially acknowledged that such a program was going on.

    That was one of Comey's oddest charges against the State Department and one that, for the same reason their people needed that advice, she couldn't answer because he couldn't say 'drone program either, he spoke in generalities. She had to be asked about the drones by someone allowed to say drones, so that she could give the non top-secret answer.

  3. to continue, the personnel could refer to the newspaper reports, without acknowledging the program exists, in the same way that Hillary could answer the moderator who specifically referred to drones, but she could not have been the first one to say drones.

    And her answer was perfect, she explained without acknowledging the drone program exists. So of course she's 'trashed' for parsing words, you gotta laugh or you gotta cry, what has happened to the collective IQ?

  4. I just read Ella's piece, thank you for the link. She's a tough young cookie to stand up for those who share a viral infection that at last can be treated with some decent medicine. The nasty boys get very excited when the talk is lady parts, makes them aggressive, reminds them of all lady parts they have been denied access to. Never thinking they might do better in romance if they weren't obvious creeps and misogynists.

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