Posts Tagged ‘Barack Obama’

I have said it before here, the Obama administration has a miserable record of pushing treaties through the Senate.  I keep a record of Hillary Clinton flying all over the world signing treaties, but back here at home, precious few get pushed to a ratification vote in a Senate that, for now, has a Democratic majority.

When I posted Secretary Clinton’s remarks at a women’s leadership event at UNGA yesterday, little did I know that the U.S. is the only industrialized nation that has not rung in on the women’s rights treaty.  But here it is, thanks to HuffPo.  Signed by Jimmy Carter 30 years ago, CEDAW has been languishing without Senate ratification all these years.

It is time for this White House get moving on treaties, and this one would be a good start.  It needs a push!

Clinton Un Cedaw

Posted: 9/20/11 07:55 PM ET

NEW YORK — On the eve of high-level meetings for the United Nations’ general assembly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attended an event on Monday afternoon designed to highlight the importance of women’s participation in public life.

Together with a selection of major female world leaders, including Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top diplomat, and Michelle Bachelet, the former president of Chile and the head of U.N. Women, Clinton put her name to a document calling for developing countries — especially in the changing Middle East — to clear the way for women to hold leadership roles.

The joint statement read:

We call upon all States to ratify and fulfill their obligations under the UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and to implement fully Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women and Peace and Security and other relevant UN resolutions

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Elizabeth Warren Out: Report


Harry Hamburg, File / AP Photo

Elizabeth Warren Out: Report

There’s no better way to ruin a weekend than having somebody replace you at work. President Obama has reportedly chosen his nominee for chief of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and it’s not early favorite Elizabeth Warren, a source told Bloomberg News Friday.

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Why do I have a nagging thought at the back of my head that this announcement, coming at this particular time, is inextricably tied to conversations going on behind closed doors at the White House between the Republicans and the erstwhile POTUS?

Did I require yet ANOTHER reason not to support Barack Obama for any additional time leading from behind?  No!  Leading from behind whom?  My guess, from behind the GOP!

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Just got an email from Robby Mook saying that my DCCC membership has expired and all I need to do to renew it is contribute.

With the Federal Election Commission (FEC) deadline just days away, there has never been a more critical time to show your support for President Obama’s agenda….

Really, Robby?  And what agenda would that be?  The one that has yet to advocate for full civil rights for gay Americans? The one that extended unemployment benefits for 13 months but the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans for two years?  The one that, instead of fighting for the single payer option simply allowed it to be excised from the health care bill?  The one that still does not firmly, once and for all say that LGBT rights are human rights, and human rights are LGBT rights?  That among those rights is the right to serve one’s country, and to die for it,  as openly gay?  As who you are?

That agenda?

Dear Robby,

When the Democratic Party listens to its membership, I will renew my membership.

The party refused to provide a fair and transparent roll call vote in Denver in 2008, and the RBC  reassigned Hillary Clinton delegates to Barack Obama in a move that, if not illegal, was at least unethical.

I, as a registered Democrat resent the way the party treated me and my 18 million pro-Hillary cohorts.  My contributions since 2008 have gone and until further notice will continue to go to Hillary Clinton.

What will it take for me to make future contributions?  Put Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket where she belongs.


S4H (my real name here)

Happy Pride Day, everybody!

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One of the reasons why, unlike some of my friends, I did not de-register from the Democratic Party after the 2008 spectacle/debacle,  is because once in awhile they actually contact me to ask for something besides money.  (Another reason is because the Clintons are both still Democrats, and I like being in their party.)  Yesterday, Patrick Gaspard sent me a question and a questionnaire.  Being a responsible Democrat, I responded to both.

Here is my response to the question:

April 30, 2011 email question:

What should democrats be doing to prepare for 2012?

The Democratic Party should wake up and realize that Barack Obama campaigned on rhetoric, built a coalition that has fallen apart and, like Humpty Dumpty, cannot be put back together again, not with all the king’s horses and all the king’s men.

In forcing Barack Obama on us, the party managed to fracture itself. It shot itself in the foot. His approval ratings are low for a good reason: He fails to act. He folds to the GOP. He hesitates. This is not leadership. This is weakness.

Hillary Clinton is a strong leader, and the DNC failed to give her a fighting chance in Denver. Right now, she is the only one who exhibits the kind of leadership this party needs and the country needs.

It is time to stop making this campaign about re-electing a feeble candidate. It is time to be realistic and make the campaign about doing the right thing for America. The RIGHT thing: Put Hillary Clinton on the ballot. Get on your knees and beg her to run. Give Obama his walking papers, and pray that Hillary Clinton says yes. I know she will… for her country.

The questionnaire is a typical survey, but there are places to write text.  It looks like this:

How do you feel about the work the Democratic Party is doing now?:1 Extremely Negative
5 Extremely Positive
How do you feel about the work the Democratic Party has done in the past?:1 Extremely Negative
5 Extremely Positive
How important would you rate the following issues?
Job creation and strengthening the economy:1 Least Important
5 Most Important
Health insurance reform:1 Least Important
5 Most Important
Clean energy:1 Least Important
5 Most Important
Education reform:1 Least Important
5 Most Important
Wall Street reform:1 Least Important
5 Most Important
Immigration reform1 Least Important
5 Most Important
Which issue is the most important to you?:
If “Other”, please tell us which issue is most important to you:
How would you rate the quality of the Democratic Party website (www.democrats.org)?:1 Very low quality
5 Very high quality
Do you know or work with your local Democratic Party?:Yes
How likely are you to participate in the Democratic Party’s next online activity (letter to the editor, online petition) on an issue that’s important to you?:1 Very unlikely
5 Very likely
Do you identify yourself with any of the following groups? (Check all that apply):

  African Americans
Americans Abroad
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders
Business Owners/Entrepreneurs
Healthcare Professionals
Native Americans
People of Faith
People with Disabilities
Young Professionals
How would you categorize yourself politically?:
Are you a fan of the Democratic Party on Facebook?:Yes
No, but I use Facebook
I don’t use Facebook
Do you follow the Democratic Party on Twitter?:Yes
No, but I use Twitter
I don’t use Twitter
How would you describe the current political climate? (Optional):
What do you believe the Democratic Party stands for? (Optional):
Why are you a Democrat? (Optional):

Here is how I answered the optional questions:

Which issue is the most important to you?:   (There is a drop-down menu with choices.  I chose “other.”)
If “Other”, please tell us which issue is most important to you:

Choosing the right leader to take the party in the right direction. That would be Hillary Rodham Clinton whom the party kicked to the curb in 2008. We need a real leader, not a hesitant, weak, do-nothing. All Obama does is talk. Hillary acts. I am sick of this gutless, self-centered weakling. Many thousands of Democrats, former Democrats, and Independents agree with me. His coalition is gone. He cannot be re-elected. It is time for the party to wake up to that. I did not vote for him, and I will not. I will write in Hillary Clinton’s name, if I have to.

How would you describe the current political climate? (Optional):

Very dangerous for the middle class and the poor. The Democratic Party used to stand for those groups, but,  under Obama’s leadership (if you can call his paralysis in the face of every crisis leadership),  these groups are hurting.  He simply folds to the GOP every time. ENOUGH! Get Hillary Rodham Clinton on the ticket. She is decisive, strong, and smart. Her heart is with the people.

What do you believe the Democratic Party stands for? (Optional):

Right now? There is nothing democratic about the way Barack Obama became the nominee and plenty of us are angry about that. The party stands for manipulation, caucus fraud, sexism, and disenfranchisement.
Why are you a Democrat? (Optional):

Why am I STILL a Democrat? After what I saw in the last general election?  To continue to receive questionnaires like this from you. I want my party back! The Democratic Party I grew up with did not tolerate thuggery. Primaries were civilized. Roll call votes on the convention floor were genuine,  and a candidate would emerge after several ballots. Hillary Clinton and her delegates (for whom we voted) were not given a fair vote. I want my party back!

Unfortunately, there was no way to put my poster on their survey. 😦

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I cannot let the day pass with out addressing this Forbes article:  The Presidency Is “Too Big For One Man”

I have no argument with the header as I have two corollaries:

  • It is too big for one man, the man who currently occupies the post.  It is clearly too big for Baby Bear.  (Sorry, I just cannot resist incorporating Hillary’s “Goldilocks” analogy.)
  • It is not too big for one woman.   I think we all know who that particular woman is.

I do, however, have a huge problem with the conclusion.

Electing someone else to sit in the White House isn’t necessarily going to bring about a federal government that functions better. For that to happen, we need to give our presidents fewer tasks to perform well….

Wait a minute!  Because this president cannot handle the whole job we should water it down?  Farm out the duties?  (He does have a cabinet, after all.)  That is the job.  It is what it is.  We should, because of his incompetence,  initiate what a community college or university would call a “Developmental Presidency?”   Really?

While I agree that  “electing someone else to sit in the White House isn’t necessarily going to bring about a federal government that functions better,” it certainly can meet that objective.   I direct your attention to the newly unveiled QDDR draft here:   Hillary Clinton’s Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR) **Consultation Draft**

I have said it before (some will *sigh*  – yes, endlessly), but I will say it again.  Hillary Rodham Clinton will (I am so finished with the subjunctive on this subject)  order reviews like this in every department and overhaul the Executive Branch in doing so.  SHE will bring the government into the 21st century.

So, yes, it is clearly too much for one man, but not for one woman.  This one. 

Of course, as my header points out, it appears she was not on the radar of Professor Glenn Reynolds nor his Forbes “refudiator”  (Ha! still underlined in red) at Forbes.   The preponderance of masculine markers in the article speaks for itself.

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It is a phenomenon all women experience sooner ot later, married or single,  with a brood or childless.  You say (or think) a sentence, and you realize that your mom has just popped out of your mouth.  It has happened to me before, and this morning, on opening my email, it occurred once again.  There was this compelling product of wordsmithing:

Still4Hill — (My real name here)

We all have a choice to make in the next seven days.

It’s not just a choice to vote, or a choice to knock on one more door, make one more call, talk to one more voter.

Together, the choice we must make is to continue what we started.

The outcome of this election will determine not just who holds power in the halls of Congress. The decision we make in this election is going to set the direction of this country for years to come.

I need you fired up in Metropolis. (My real city here)

Still4Hill, I need you to give it everything you got. And I need your help to power our work until we reach that finish line.

Democrats are running the most ambitious get-out-the-vote program ever attempted in an election like this. Every dollar you can give today will be put right to work to get our message out, to provide the tools our volunteers need.

And every donation will be doubled because it will be matched by another supporter who is giving what he or she can afford.

Will you donate $3 today — and fund the final push?

I know this is a difficult election. It’s because we have been through an incredibly difficult time as a nation, and many are still hurting.

But our opponents in this election are some of the very people who got us into this mess — some of the very people who stood on the sidelines while we worked to clean it up. Now they are promising to pursue the exact same agenda that led us into this crisis.

It’s an agenda that was written by and for the special interests that have fought this movement at every turn. Worse, these groups that stand to profit from the Republican agenda are spending hundreds of millions of dollars to influence this election — flooding the airwaves with misleading ads to attack our best allies.

It’s up to each of us to raise our voices to beat them back.

So if you care about the critical reforms we made to a broken health care system, I need your voice.

If you care about fighting for middle class families, and building a country where opportunity is shared by everyone — I need your voice.

If you care about climate change — and a future where clean-energy technology is built right here in America — I need your voice.

If you share a vision of America that says I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper — I need your voice.

I did not run for this office for the sake of winning an election. And you did not join me in this fight two years ago to quit now.

I know we’ve asked a lot of you in the last few months. You have come through time after time. But I can promise you this: There is one week to go — what all of you do right now will decide this election.

So, if you believe in the change we have made together, I need you to stand behind it. If you believe we are not finished seeking that change, I need you to choose to fight for it.

Please donate $3 or more — and let’s finish strong in the last seven days:


Thank you,


“Lord give me patience!” Voice of mom came out of my mouth.  Of course I had not expected that the previous post here about the lost art of etiquette would change the insistently rude and ignorant path these folks have chosen, and I was floored to see, in my own mailbox, a request like the one Uppity Woman referred to in the comment thread on that post: Three ($3) dollars?  Seriously?  Can he BE any more pitiful?

First, let’s take a look at the vehicle, and you need a little history here.  I joined Moveon.org in 2004 and never bothered to rescind my membership since they promised when they endorsed Obama that they would leave me, a Hillary supporter, alone.  Weeellllll (voice of Lucy Ricardo) not really.  They did bother me again after Denver, and they gave my email addy to Organizing for America the agency serving as the collection arm for my requested $3.

Moveon.org served as the vehicle to deliver my invitation to Obama Camp in 2008.  They seemed to think I had the mentality of a fifth grader (a male one, at that, based on some Ralphie Parker prototype) who would be impressed by having the title “Field Organizer,”  and there was a not-so-veiled threat of ominous consequences should I accept this weekend of training on their dime,  and then go AWOL when ordered to my assigned battleground state.  Just charming.  How could  possibly resist?

I should not be surprised if they now think I am in Middle School and can scrape together $3 somehow.

Secondly, let’s take a look at the content.  I need to get this one off my plate ASAP:

“I did not run for this office for the sake of winning an election.

Really? Somehow that does not quite jell with the fact that  Obama has spent months (I have not been counting, but the past 18 is a conservative estimate), not weeks, Rachel Maddow, months “campaigning” which often consists of barking and yelling at the American people. Once again, charming.

As Hillary Clinton departs again today and enters her 22nd month of tireless travel signing treaties all over the globe,  her administration does not lift a single pinkie-finger to push those treaties through Congress.  Monumental among these is the New START Treaty which Hillary and Sergei Lavrov and their teams hammered out over a long series of months and meetings.  Obama was happy enough to fly off to Prague to sign it last April, but where is the follow-up?  (I won’t bother you with his picture here.  I didn’t save any.  Hillary was radiant at what she and Lavrov had accomplished, and for my $3 … or more, she is MUCH easier on the eyes.)  Vital here is the protective nature of this treaty.  But, of course, I suppose it is too much to expect START to get in the way of campaigning.

The Obama administration has the worst record for treaty ratification in fifty years.  The president has been so busy campaigning and telling us we have to “do better” that while he had a majority in both houses, he failed to use it to the advantage of his supposed platform

Now, I receive these marching orders.  Before I jump ten feet in the air, what does his platform consist of?

  • Shared opportunity
  • Climate change
  • I am my brother’s/sister’s keeper. (Wha’?????)

I have no idea what that last is supposed to mean,  but as my sister’s keeper, I would like to see something on there about how her hard work COULD be protecting us IF he would just mount an effort to push START through.

If anyone thinks it will be an easier push after November 2, dream on.  That is when he will likely try to call in Big Dawg to get a bipartisan approval of Hillary’s treaties.

Third, and finally, there is grammar.  It is bad enough that the niceties of correspondence are once again ignored.  I thoroughly understand politicians using colloquialisms on the (flawed) theory that it better frames their messages to “the common man (and woman).”  I fail, however, to understand why a supposedly well-educated official would write a sentence like this:

Still4Hill, I need you to give it everything you got.

Everything I got? Got from where, from whom?  As a member of the Nitpicker Society I would have preferred “everything you’ve got” or even the more British “everything you have. ”   But “everything I got?”  So far, I got nothing except a bad impression from a man who purports to stand as a role model for youth.  If these folks really do think I have a seventh grade mentality,  it would be exemplary of them to mind their tense usage in writing to such simple and immature recipients as me (and Ralphie Parker).

Finally, about this upcoming trip to India:  It is rude not to sample the food in a country you are visiting.  The chefs  and owners take great pride in having served you well.   Your Secretary of State knows this very well, not from her whirlwind months of zipping around the globe for you, but from many years of experience in D.C.  Of course I should know better than to expect better since I know what I “got”:  a rude and arrogant POTUS who is the polar opposite of the populist he makes himself out to be.

So Lord, give me patience, to accept the things I cannot change.  Do not make me go down there!

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I have written on this subject on these pages in the past, and as the runup to the mid-terms foreshortens, the subject rears its exasperating head once again.  Party leaders and functionaries are rattling off emails at an amazing rate in efforts to collect funds for battleground contests.  In the process, they have allowed common manners to fall by the wayside.

The character of communications from arms of the Democratic Party went through a transition that I noted long ago,  specifically in August 2008,  when the leadership of the party changed.  The morning after Michelle Obama spoke at the convention (and apparently to the writer, less notably, Teddy Kennedy who appeared despite disapproval from his family and doctors), I received an email from Barack Obama addressing me by my first name with no salutation asking me if Michelle was not the most electrifying speaker at the convention thus far.  I was appalled!  First by the lack of regard for Teddy’s gallant gesture (even though I disagreed that he should ever have endorsed Obama) and secondly by the shameful lack of etiquette. I was more accustomed to the courteous ways of the Clinton campaign.

Well, the behavior remains intact.  While Gentleman Bill is out there trying his best to set an example of how to approach voters, the Democratic leadership continues on its insistently rude path.  Here are three examples of communications in my inbox over the past two days.  There were many more, but these three are sufficient, I think, to make my point.

First this, from I-am-the-POTUS himself.  N.B. This is edited to break the links and a live-linked graphic has been removed.  If being addressed in this way motivates you to contribute, you will have to seek out the website.  I will not provide the link here.

Still4Hill — (of course my real first  name was here)

Two years ago, you joined millions of Americans to assemble a grassroots movement to move this county forward.

Even though we’ve made extraordinary progress, entrenched power concedes nothing without a fight. Thanks to a Supreme Court decision called Citizens United, the very same special interests that we are finally holding accountable are now spending unlimited amounts of money on political attack ads to try and take our country back.

That’s why we’ve got to fight their millions of dollars with millions of grassroots supporters who are ready to finish what we began in 2008.

Right now, my Democratic allies in the House are preparing for the final days of this campaign. Your support to help them raise $1 million before Tuesday will determine how many doors they can knock on, how many phones they can dial, and how many Democratic voters they can get to the polls.

Contribute before Tuesday’s deadline to fund our final get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of my great Democratic partners in the House. Your support will be matched by a group of generous Democrats.

My partners in the House led by our remarkable Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have done extraordinary work to get our economy back on track and clean up the mess left over by the other side.

But rather than remind ourselves of all that we have accomplished, now is the time to recognize all of the things that will remain undone unless we are just as focused, just as energized, and just as excited as we were in 2008. That is what will make the difference in the days ahead.

Contribute before Tuesday’s deadline to fund our final get-out-the-vote efforts on behalf of my great Democratic partners in the House. Your support will be matched by a group of generous Democrats.

If you can dig a little deeper, knock on a few more doors, talk to a few more of your friends and neighbors, we will be successful in this election and continue working to reclaim the American Dream for the next generation.

I am grateful for all that you’ve done already in this election. But now I need you to do a little more. When polls close on Election Night, we cannot have a single regret, not when the stakes are this high.

Barack Obama

P.S. Right now, my Democratic allies in the House are preparing for the final days of this campaign. Your support will help to determine how many doors they can knock on, how many phones they can dial, and how many Democratic voters they can get to the polls. Contribute before Tuesday’s deadline to fund our final get-out-the-vote efforts.

Then there was this charming piece of correspondence.

hey everyone- the great polling we’ve seen this week had an inevitable consequence. Karl Rove just announced another $4 million of spending into 4 key races: WA, IL, NV, CO. This is a significant amount of money and threatens the gains we’ve made in these states.

we’re are on the cusp of a complete turnaround from a month ago, but we need money to fend this off. There are 9 races within 2 percentage points, so Rove’s move here could very easily tip the balance. We can’t let this slip away only 12 days out.

If we get $60,000 in the bank by midnight tonight we will counter the GOP through the weekend. if we don’t, attacks will go unanswered.

chip in $5 so we can fight them thru the weekend

Thanks for helping us fight.

Martha McKenna
Political Director
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC)

Hey? No uppercase initial letter? What? Well, at least she said “thank you,” but this hardly motivates me to dedicate my hard-earned cash.

Here is a final example, and a fine one, from Gentleman Bill, Hillary Clinton’s country squire who is doing his best to repay her supporters with his own backing while exemplifying the way some of us are accustomed to being asked to help.

Dear Still4Hill, (again, my real first name was here)

12 days from Election Day, and you’ve got to hand it to the Republicans — they’re honest. They say in no uncertain terms what they’d do if they get control of Congress.

Exactly what they did before. All that bad economic policy that got us into this mess? There’ll be a lot more of it if they win. So we need to come together right now and stop these guys before it’s too late. I need your help immediately.

The pundits say we’re going to get clobbered — but there are 15 Senate races that could go either way. If they win 10, they take control of the Senate. Yes, it’s that close.

That’s why what you do this second matters. Please make an immediate contribution to the DSCC. The DSCC must raise $300,000 by midnight tonight to move some of these tight races our direction, and they can’t do it without your help.

Please click here and make an immediate $5 donation to the DSCC. There’s no path to victory unless the DSCC raises $300,000 by midnight tonight. Meeting this goal is so important that if you give today, your gift will be matched—doubling your impact. Let’s stop all the prognosticating and prove we can win.

We Democrats have a sensible plan to create jobs in small business, manufacturing, clean energy, and infrastructure, and to bring the budget back into balance as the economy grows.

Republicans are resting their political hopes on three things: anger, apathy and amnesia. We Democrats don’t work that way. We come up with solutions. So why don’t we come up with a solution to this problem we’re facing right now—the problem of this upcoming election? How are we going to stop the anger, apathy and amnesia and get people to look at the issues?

The answer is for each and every one of us to remember what it’s like to live under Republican control. And when we do that, we’ll realize that we have to give as much as we can right now to the DSCC, which can help bring the issues to the fore and get our Democratic candidates elected.

Click here to make an immediate $5 contribution to the DSCC. They simply must raise $300,000 by midnight tonight so Democratic candidates have the resources they need to compete in these tight races. Meeting this goal is so important that if you give today, your gift will be matched—doubling your impact.

Remember, folks, if we don’t win in November, here are some of the Republicans’ “solutions” to our current economic crisis that we’ll have to live with: cut taxes for the wealthy, give handouts to corporations and deregulate the financial sector. That’s right. They want to repeal our financial oversight bill that limits risky, job killing lending and bans future bailouts. They want to add $100 billion to the debt by repealing health care reform and giving control back to health insurance companies. They want to repeal landmark student loan reform, to make college more expensive, loans harder to repay, and add $60 billion to the debt. They want to cut $100 billion from education, the environment, clean air, food safety, air traffic control and homeland security and still increase the debt another $1 trillion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t we seen all this before? Aren’t these the kinds of policies that put us in this hole to begin with?

If I can leave you with one thought, it’s this: You can make a difference. You can give $5, $10 or $20 to the DSCC. You can get out and talk to your friends. And you can hold your head up high and work for a better America.


Bill Clinton

Salutation: “Dear”
Complimentary closing: “Sincerely”

“Please click here….”

“If I can leave you with one thought….”

(I can see why Hillary loves her Bill.)

Is it the digital revolution that has provoked this disconcerting lack of common courtesy?  I tend to think so.  Obama’s youth coalition may have been impressed by his young techie team’s use of the “social” networks,  but their mastery of social skills leaves a lot to be desired.  Before anybody goes calling me a nitpicky old fogey, let me point out that crucial in this bad job market is the impressive letter of recommendation.  Yes, these are still required along with resumés and applications, both for jobs and for university programs – you want to know someone who can write a good one!

As a person who writes a good many letters of recommendations on a regular basis, I refer the current Democratic leadership to the following very simple to follow model with terminology.  Or, you can just actually look at and read Bill Clinton’s lovely example before simple-mindedly hitting “send” and zooming it all over cyberspace.

Old American proverb: You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar.

If you want my money,  and you want my vote, respect me.  I am not a cash cow.  I am a citizen, voter, and to you, Mr. POTUS,  your employer!  Treat me with some common human courtesy, please.  It is very simple, a matter of a few words.  You see, as I am always saying, words are important.  They mean something.  It is very easy to use a magic few and,  in doing so, acknowledge human respect.  It is ill-bred not to.  The Clintons know this.  They always have.  There is a place for the niceties in life.

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They are all there In Sean Wilentz’s Bringing It All Back Home

The title caught my eye, as it would have anyone who grew up when and where I did.  Any of us would have recognized the title of that album.  I still have it – in vinyl – the original.  Even now I find it a bit exciting that I live only blocks from where Allen Ginsberg grew up and where he and he crew of “beats” would come home to roost in his parents’ parlor.   My friends and I would take the bus to NYC and haunt The Eighth Street Bookstore, The Cafe Wha, Cafe Au-Go-Go.   But I am getting ahead of myself.  It was this book review by Christopher Shea in The Chronicle of Higher Education that grabbed me.

Sean Wilentz, Bringing It All Back Home

With a new book on Bob Dylan, the historian again defies expectations

Clintonistas will remember Wilentz for his loyal defense of President Clinton during impeachment proceedings as well as for his support of our Head Homegirl Hillary during the 2008  Primary Season.  Yep, Sean is one of  the Homeboys.  That being the case, and having found Shea’s review entertaining and informative, I thought I would give both Shea’s review and Homeboy Sean’s new book a shout-out here.  I am posting a few of the snips I found salient or just plain entertaining here.

This first one comes under the heading of “stuff we should not forget.”

Respected and yet also contentious, as anyone who followed the last presidential election closely will recall. Wilentz, a supporter of Hillary Clinton during her 2008 campaign, enraged a number of supporters of Barack Obama with his harsh attacks on the candidate, in both The New Republic, Wilentz’s longtime outlet, and Newsweek. In February 2008, after some Obama supporters accused Bill and Hillary Clinton of having injected race into the campaign by comparing Obama’s South Carolina victory to Jesse Jackson’s eventually inconsequential ones there, in 1984 and 1988, Wilentz turned the tables with a vengeance. By framing the Clintons as “race baiters,” he wrote, the Obama campaign had “purposely polluted the contest with a new strain of what historically has been the most toxic poison in American politics.”

As late as that August, when Obama had all but sewn up the nomination, Wilentz was still writing, in Newsweek, that “millions of … Democrats still find his appeals wispy and unconvincing,” and slamming liberal intellectuals for having “abdicated their responsibility to provide unblinking and rigorous analysis instead of paeans to Obama’s image.” Rigorous analysis of what? Among other things, “Obama’s rationalizations of his relationship with his pastor.”


This one I am including for the sheer hilarity of the interdepartmental territoriality of it.  I LOLed.

“One would have to be blind not to see all the connections that bind this mood and the new Lincoln boom to the rise of Barack Obama.” He even jabbed at interlopers into history from English departments—”To say that Lincoln ‘became what his language made him’ is an English department conceit”—and decried “the balefully influential works of Howard Zinn,” guilty of leftist oversimplification.

*wipes away tears of laughter* “…an English Department conceit.” Will English professors ever get any respect?

Lastly, there is this very serious issue which served as a basis for Hillary supporters to be shouted down (loudly and regularly).

He casts his writings about Obama as a question of principle. “I very much knew that I was in the minority, but because I have the ability to get this stuff published and printed, I thought it was all the more important to get it out there, even if only as a historical record.” Two issues stood out for him: “the ways in which intellectuals were just enraptured by a political figure,” one they knew little about, and “the way race drives people crazy,” shutting down critical thought.

Corollary to this, I only recently saw a comment by a Hillary supporter, I think on Facebook, who remembers and resents that we were called “low information voters.” Hillary’s Army, more than any group of people I have ever encountered, knew information, did the research, got the facts (many from Hillary herself – you cannot listen to her without learning – if you don’t want to know stuff, don’t listen to Hillary). Note: We are still together,  and we know even more stuff now!

Of course the book itself is not about Hillary or Bill, it is about Bob Dylan, and yes, I was AT that concert at Philharmonic Hall in 1964, so was my sister and a bunch of our friends. It was far out!

I encourage you to read the whole review. It might even make you want to read the book.


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For the record, Hillary Clinton has not “turned over the state of Arizona to the U.N.”  She has merely stated, very accurately,  a fact.  Here is the “offending paragraph.”

95. A recent Arizona law, S.B. 1070, has generated significant attention and debate at home and around the world. The issue is being addressed in a court action that argues that the federal government has the authority to set and enforce immigration law. That action is ongoing; parts of the law are currently enjoined.

Here is the whole Report of the United States of America Submitted to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights In Conjunction with the Universal Periodic Review.

I have read the whole report.  I encourage you to as well.  Now, without further ado, here,  new from Team Hillary Clinton:  ARIZONA GOV JAN BREWER FIERCELY ATTACKS SECY HILLARY CLINTON & THEN FIERCELY FREAKS OUT AT A DEBATE

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What is it about the summer season that causes pundits to initiate wild tales about Hillary Clinton that are patently unlikely or untrue?    Do their brains cook in the heat?  Last summer, on these pages, we dealt with a series of Vampire Tales that refused to die.

Vampire Tales: The Story That Will Not Die

Vampire Tales II: The Return of the Toxic Memes!

Vampire Tales III: The Attack of the Unattributable

Vampire Tales IV: The Gov Myth

Vampire Tales V: I have a silver cross. Does anybody have a stake? Some garlic? Anything?

As you can see, these tales that would not die started in early July and did not die out until late January.  Now the whole circus begins again.

I left untouched, and probably should not have, the speculation that Hillary Clinton would replace Robert Gates at Defense.  It was a ridiculous scenario.  For once we have Secretaries of Defense and State who genuinely are a tight team, respect and like each other aaaannnd AGREE!  Why would ANYbody break that up?   But, of course, that little unfounded rumor had to spawn something bigger.  I present, for your careful inspection, the Hillary as VP meme.

First, we need to consider the source.  The earliest attribution I can find came from David Gewirtz on Anderson Cooper’s 360 Blog in late May.  Gewirtz describles himself politically thus:

Gewirtz claims to have voted for both Democrats and Republicans and acknowledges voting for Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. According to Gewirtz, “At various times in my life, I’ve called myself a Republican and at other times, a Democrat. These days, both parties have sufficiently pissed me off that I’m pretty much an independent.”


Seems non-partisan enough. By mid-June this meme was drop-kicked first by Sally Quinn at the Washington Post and then by Colleen O’Connor at the San Diego News Network.  I do not know anything about O’Connor, but I do know that the waters have never been calm between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sally Quinn since the former FLOTUS first set foot in D.C.  One has to wonder what her agenda is in moving this story forward.

The biggest splash came with Douglas Wilder’s Op-Ed at Politico.  By last week, the story had made it all the way to the Wall Street Journal having made a stop a week ago at Chris Matthews Sunday morning network TV spot – serious discussion, I am told.  I missed it because I was watching my friend Will Bower on Fox discussing the Democratic Party’s “Change Commission” on Primary reform (which is code for no change/no reform).

So what of these sources?  All but Wilder have not held elected office,  and what his motivation might have been has borne speculation itself.  Several of the others (Quinn, Matthews & Co.) have shown protracted, open hostility to our Homegirl-in-Chief in the past.  Why would they tout her for VP?

The obvious answer is Obama’s tanking approval rating.  Their boy is in trouble, and they want one-time lifeguard, Hillary Clinton, whose approval ratings are the highest in the administration to keep him afloat.  The story has survived for more than two months and continues to make news – the mark of a truly strong Vampire Tale.

If the DNC were smart (and we know they are not), they would realize that the problem is not the Vice President.  It is Obama’s pitiful performance in office.  Would Hillary on the ticket keep him afloat? Maybe.  Maybe NOT!  If she were VP certainly she would transform that post as we all stood by dazzled.  It would assure Hillary-watchers of years of spectacle.  But, you see, neither is the Vice Presidency in need of transformation, no, not any more than Joe Biden as VP is the problem.

If Hillary Clinton were president, she would transform the executive branch in the same way that she is tranforming the State Department.  She would order reviews at all departments like Defense’s QDR and the QDDR she initiated at State.  These reviews would result in recommendations for streamlining and updating agencies and practices that have been allowed to stagnate.  She would bring the executive branch, finally, into the 21st century.  Ironic, is it not, that the candidate everyone said would be transformative is not.  But the Secretary of State, she is a change-agent extraordinaire!

Our American practice seems to be that if you fail, we provide tutoring and remediation.  We need to rethink that as an application to the highest office in the land.  We might start by killing off this vampire tale of Hillary as VP with a mighty stake,  and replacing it with a real prospect for this country, that of a truly transformative, brilliant, hard-working, and creative, dedicated candidate at the top of the ticket where she has always belonged  but now more than ever.

(I believe the adorable gifs are the handiwork of Homegirl Conanincharge. If they don’t play, try clicking on them, and they will open in a new window and play.)

From Team Hillary Clinton just for this blog:

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