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Hillary Clinton

30 Minutes with Ken Martin

by JeffStrate on January 13, 2017 · 0 comments

State DFL Chair Ken Martin and Tim O’Brien take measure of the 2016 election and the future of Democrats in Minnesota and the nation on this half hour Democratic Visions special. Martin and DFL Vice Chair Marge Hoffa took office in 2011 and are seeking a third term as DFL Party leads. Martin and Hoffa have a campaign website.

 

As of the publication of this post, only former State DFL Associate Chair Donna Cassutt (2005-2011) is challenging Martin. Cassutt served with state party Chair Brian Melendez who announced his retirement two days after the guberantorial vote recount that confirmed in December 2010 Mark Dayton’s win.   Cassutt has a campaign venue on Facebook.

 

Democratic Visions is an independent community access CableTV and internet program handcrafted by southwest suburban, lefty volunteers. I’m in my ninth year of producing the thing.

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In mid-October Hillary Clinton was ahead of Donald Trump by 11 points, as of this morning, 11/6/16, most of that lead had dissipated thanks to the latest batch of e-mails, which may have been inappropriately released, many of which may in fact be duplications. That gnawing question about Clinton’s honesty and trustworthiness just won’t go away and with it the outcome of the election is no longer a given. Meanwhile the number of woman who have accused Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior has reached double digits. Serial adulterer Newt Gingrich harangued Meygn Kelly about her “obsession with sex” suggesting that her animosity towards Trump, founded on his poor behavior towards her during the presidential debates, impeded her ability to honestly cover his candidacy. Against this backdrop of tawdry and salacious news, Roger Ailes at Fox News is forced off the stage which has been the fountain of truth for America’s conservative rank and file for decades, and that as a result of his own sexual misconduct. Rudy Giuliani told us that Trump was a “genius” for not paying taxes for 18 years, leaving the rest of us to conclude that we’re just suckers.

 

If you’ve been watching Fox News it’s ironic to see Bill O’Reilly and Bret Baier have to swallow the reality of Trump as the conservative standard bearer even if he’s not even remotely close to being a genuine conservative. Barry Goldwater’s granddaughter, Carolyn Goldwater Ross, said that Trump violates all of her grandfather’s core values. Ironically Miss Ross made that statement while appearing onstage with Michelle Obama at a pro Clinton rally in Phoenix. Mr. O’Reilly went so far as to say that Trump was not “seasoned enough to understand the geopolitical world” while at the same time bemoaning “Clinton is too far to the left.” It’s safe to say that this acceptance of Trump is more a function of a deep seated disdain for all things progressive than it is for a true affinity for Trump himself. Fox News has apparently looked past Trump’s fact free messaging, his dishonest twisting of those facts that he does employ, his foreign policy ignorance and his baseless economic positions, apparently concluding that the election of Hillary Clinton would be the greater of two evils. Some have even suggested, sardonically, that we should return to being ruled by the British. I could go on with the examples but if you’ve been paying any attention to politics over the past year I think you get the point and that point is that this country is on the threshold of a very unsettling immediate future.

 

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I’m not even remotely a fan of the Clintons, but with regard to how things are shaping up of late, one thing seems to be certain, 2015 has already been a bad year for America’s conservatives and the Benghazi Hearings could just become the latest setback in what is shaping up to be a year of setbacks. With two prominent Republican lawmakers and one staffer coming out and publicly declaring that the Benghazi investigation is nothing more than a anti-Hillary Clinton witch-hunt, to Ms. Clinton’s performance last week in her testimony, Republicans find themselves in the midst of another self inflicted predicament. Some of Fox News’s most vociferous critics: Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard and Tucker Carlson among them, appearing on Brett Baier’s Special Report Friday admitted that Clinton was the clear winner in last week’s Benghazi hearings. The moderately conservative David Books, commenting on Friday’s PBS News Hour, alluded to a “certain psychosis” that has held the G.O.P. in it’s grip since 1991 as it relates to repeated attempts to tie the Clintons to one scandal or another. His counterpart, the liberal Mark Shields added that, on every occasion, conservatives have overshot their mark only helping the Clinton’s grow stronger. Is this psychosis ridden G.O.P. capable of charting a viable path to America’s future, not likely.
 

This was to be the year that a new Republican Congressional majority was supposed to prove to the American people, in the run up to the 2016 presidential elections, that it could actually govern. Yet as we enter the 10th month of their new year, precious little has been accomplished. Instead of a track record of legislative accomplishments we have seen an inordinate amount of time spent chasing Hillary Clinton, voting to repeal the A.C.A., threatening to shut down government, avoiding coming to grips with the seismic shifts underway in modern day America, be it same sex marriage, climate challenges, guns, Obamacare or the festering problems of race and income inequality.

 

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Poll suggests GOP outreach not reaching

by Eric Ferguson on November 26, 2013 · 2 comments

unhappy elephantRepublicans spoke after the 2012 election of recognizing their large gap with some Democratic-leaning demographic groups (DLDGs) and their poor long-term electoral prospects as a consequence. Republican outreach efforts, for all that Democrats have found such efforts laughable, have … justified the laughter*.

 

OK, I’m a strange one to engage in a bit of snark considering I wrote that whole series on the need for Democrats to win more white voters. I still think that’s the case, but part of the case has not materialized, specifically the part about Republicans cutting into that gap with DLDGs. The assumption was actually a refusal to assume, namely refusing to assume Republicans would have no success.  There was a chance they would make a serious effort, wouldn’t bumble it all, wouldn’t undermine themselves at every turn, and might enjoy some success. Not a lot of success, not like flipping young voters or women voters, but they didn’t need to. Cutting off a few percent would be enough to flip election results, and couldn’t count on them not doing it.  Except it looks like they haven’t trimmed a few percent and have bumbled it all, judging by this Quinnipiac poll on the 2016 presidential election in Florida.

 

Readers who follow politics regularly can probably fill in the caveats, but just so nobody gets left behind, that poll is just about Florida. It’s about only the presidential election. The 2016 election is a long way off.  The pollster asked about a bunch of Republican candidates but only about Hillary Clinton in the head-to-head matchups, so she could muck up the whole thing by not running.

 

However, Florida is the third biggest state and a swing state, the biggest contested prize in the electoral college (unless Democrats make Texas competitive sooner than reasonably expected), so we do care. Candidates have to care about the poll results because they have to decide in about a year whether to run, and what’s most important to our main point, the demographic fundamentals still matter. They’re the interesting part, in terms of what changed since last election, or, as readers might have inferred from the first couple paragraphs, haven’t changed.

 

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Feminism Without Feminism

by Invenium Viam on September 20, 2013 · 6 comments

I work with some folks who fall easily into the category of Obama-hating, liberal-hating, Tea Party-supporting rightwing reactionaries. You needn’t rely on my judgment: they’ll tell you the same. They consider it a badge of honor.
 
In their view, as a progressive I’m a deeply mysterious individual and not to be trusted. They don’t get me at all. Veteran/small business owner/Democrat. It doesn’t make sense. Also, beliefs they take for gospel, I often challenge as unfounded fallacies. Things they call common sense, I sometimes deconstruct to reveal a false set of assumptions. They hate me for it – not that I care.
 
One of the things they find most mysterious and confounding is my preference for women candidates for public office. This came to fore the other day when one among them asked me who I’d be supporting for president in 2016.
 
“Oh, I’ll probably support Hillary Clinton, if she runs, which I don’t think is by any means certain.”
 
This admission was met with slack-jawed disbelief, a noticeable shrinking posture and a discernable pallor. I got the same reaction when they learned I was supporting Margaret Anderson-Kelliher for governor a few years ago.
 
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Chicken or Turkey, and a lot of Bull

by Dog Gone on August 15, 2013 · 1 comment

Preibus proposes chicken moderation with a lot of bull

As noted by Jason Easley at PoliticusUSA.com, apparently not only has Reince Preibus threatened a boycott of debates on any source affiliated with TV bio-pics about Hillary Clinton, Preibus is now claiming he will limit debate moderators to figures from extreme right wing talk radio and television, like Limbaugh and Hannity.  The GOP should drop their iconic elephant, and go with a chicken or a turkey for their party animal.

 

Presumably that would be programming that would air on Fox News? Which is hilarious, given that Fox Entertainment is one of the distributors AND producers of the proposed biopic over which Preibus is having his little temper tantrums.  Entertainment weekly notes:

The politics and motivations seemed simple enough, but NBC, it turns out, is in talks to farm out the production of its Clinton miniseries to another company… Fox Television Studios. That’s the same Fox that also runs Fox News, the conservative cable news channel that is perceived as a friendlier room for Republican candidates. Would the RNC hold Fox News accountable with the same threat it levied at CNN and NBC? Well, no. Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Candy Crowley yesterday, Priebus explained that his party’s animus extended only towards the networks that air the Clinton programming and that focusing on some “little connection” between NBC and Fox Television on the Clinton project was “ridiculous and stupid.”

 

AND as noted by the New York Times which fleshed out that role of Fox in the Hillary bio-pic, the role of Fox is far from a ‘little connection’ when you combine being the production company with being the distributor:

While NBC has come under heavy fire, especially from Republican critics, for agreeing to broadcast the series, the project may wind up being produced by another company: Fox Television Studios, the sister company of the conservative favorite, Fox News.

Leslie Oren, a spokesman for FTVS, as the studio is known, confirmed that NBC is in “the early stages” of discussions to bring the Fox unit in as the production company on the as yet unnamed mini-series, which will star Diane Lane as Mrs. Clinton.

“There is no deal yet,” Ms. Oren said. But should a deal be completed, FTVS would become the distributor of the film internationally. FTVS is the production arm of 21st Century Fox’s entertainment group.

 

Facts are consistently NOT the friends of the right, and less so the more extreme right one goes.  The tin foil hat wearing crowd breezily ignores any facts which are inconvenient little truths for them.  But this exemplifies the depths of the fear felt by the right, verging on abject terror, not only of the formidable opponent that Hillary Clinton presents, but also how utterly stupid and foolish their candidates look to the general electorate when faced with serious questions in place of soft-ball preaching to the choir debate moderation and challenges.  Turkeys are renowned for being bred to be fat-chested like Rush Limbaugh, and to be correspondingly stupid when bred in captivity as distinct from wild survival.  Chickens have, fairly or otherwise, gained a reputation both for being so stupid, they continue to run around even when deprived of their heads (and yes, they really DO that), and are the personification for lack of courage.

 

Reince Preibus is scared to death of Hillary Clinton, and of what her running in a national election could do to nationalize local an state races, and he looks stupid as well in his fear of honest debates moderated by legitimate news figures who won’t put up with the fact-deficient nonsense promulgated by the right wing media echo-chamber. Preibus doesn’t want to see people paying attention to a smart Hillary, and then be confronted by stupid presidential wannabees like the last bunch in 2012.  It makes for a sharp contrast that is unfavorable to his party and the party’s candidates.

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When we have our first female president

by Eric Ferguson on July 10, 2013 · 0 comments

Hopefully, the blatant racism we’ve seen since Pres. Obama’s election disabused all of us of the notion that overcoming prejudice enough to elect a president from a disadvantaged group means prejudice will wither away. It seems anecdotally that racism has gotten worse. Not that there are more racists around, but the troglodyte right seems to feel freer to express itself. Maybe psychologists can explain why bigots come out from under their rocks when progress gets made, but we don’t need an explanation of why that happens to be able to predict it.

 

So Americans may look aghast at how the first female PM of Australia was treated, but then we must ask if we’re any more advanced. Hillary Clinton is expected to win the Democratic nomination if she runs, with a good chance to win the presidency. Will that be the end of misogynistic attacks on female politicians, or will it be more like open season. We need to break the glass ceiling eventually, but prepared for what follows:

 

As her popularity dropped — especially among men — Ms. [Julia] Gillard’s failings were unfairly pegged to the fact that she had dared to talk about the perils of female leadership. With gender dominating front pages for months, the media described her daily as a failed experiment. Even her fiercest critics conceded, in the final weeks, that no other prime minister was ever treated with such vitriol.

At her last news conference, Ms. Gillard said being the first woman “does not explain everything about my time in the prime ministership, nor does it explain nothing.” Her voice quavered when she said, “What I am absolutely confident of is that it will be easier for the next woman and for the woman after that and the woman after that, and I’m proud of that.”

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We’re doing the top Michele Bachmann lies of 2012. Not all of her lies in 2012, just the top ones–in no particular order. Today’s installment:

Telling people that she had credible evidence that a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy has penetrated the US State Department and is shaping American policy.

Congressmember Michele Bachmann has a seat on the US Congress’ Intelligence Committee. That means that she has access to some very sensitive national security information. That has made her more effective than ever as national demagogue to the paranoids, because that access lends credence to any nutty conspiracy claim that Bachmann makes.

Early this year, Bachmann claimed that she had seen credible evidence of a Muslim Brotherhood conspiracy operating within the Obama administration and influencing US foreign policy. She called for an official government investigation.

Here’s an account by conservative evangelical columnist Cal Thomas, explaining her charge against the State Department and defending it:

Suppose Michele Bachmann is right?
By Cal Thomas (July 26, 2012)

Like the ghosts of Shakespeare’s Banquo or Dickens’ Jacob Marley, the specter of the late commie-hunting congressman from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy, will always be with us. It is summoned up today, by some on the left, who use it as a tool to thwart legitimate questions about people and ideologies that seek to destroy America.

(CONTINUED)

According to many commentators, the McCarthy spirit has inhabited Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). In several letters to high-ranking government officials, Bachmann has raised questions about Huma Abedin, a Muslim-American, who is deputy chief of staff to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Bachmann’s concern is Abedin’s relatives in the Middle East some of whom — such as Abedin’s mother — she claims “are connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations.” Abedin’s job, according to Bachmann, “affords her routine access to the secretary and to policy-making.” And, as a result of that access, says Bachmann, “The State Department, and in several cases, the specific direction of the secretary of state, have taken actions recently that have been enormously favorable to the Muslim Brotherhood and its interests.”

Sen. John McCain says Abedin is “a dedicated American.” Even if he is correct, the larger issue is being obscured. Many in government and the media don’t want to face the possibility that infiltration is a tactic of Islamic extremists who repeatedly say they want to destroy not only Israel but the “Great Satan” America. Such objectives should be taken seriously, given their violent history.

http://jewishworldreview.com/c…

Thomas is a nationally syndicated political columnist. The problem with his defense of Bachmann’s behavior and integrity: she has since dropped the charge, backtracking in the debates this fall by saying that she had only been “asking questions.”

If there was ever any credible evidence to support a charge that the US State Department had been infiltrated by radical Islamists, it was Bachmann’s duty as a member of Congress and American to produce it–and pursue a congressional investigation vigorously to a conclusion.

She didn’t, she hasn’t, and–bowing to political pressure–she’s backed off her call for an investigation. She just dropped it.

So there is a conclusion we can draw from this Bachmann behavior dichotomy:  “There’s credible evidence of enemy spies inside our government!/Oh, the political pressure on me for saying that is too much, let’s just drop the whole investigation thing…for now…”

That behavior indicates that Bachmann’s charge against the Obama administration nothing but McCarthyism all along.

A la McCarthy: a demagogue in office, pointing to an unsubstantiated, imaginary  domestic conspiracy inside American government–in an attempt to foster panic, an attempt to discredit the White House and the GOP’s political opponents. A demagogue willing to undermine American national security–by discrediting American foreign policy and the State Department, here and abroad.

Unlike McCarthy, Bachmann bowed to political pressure and backed off quickly. This was her de facto admission that her assertions were never anything more than a reckless, cynical, and potentially devastating smear.

But just like McCarthy, Michele Bachmann had significant allies backing her. Like McCarthy: Bachmann had allies in congress, in the conservative movement and media, in the conspiratorial end-times world of the national Christian Right. All these were willing to lend credence to a dangerous, unfounded smear–all were willing to vouch for Bachmann’s trustworthiness and character as she made the charge.

And Bachmann had (and still has) the support of the millions of voters on the American right. They applauded her for “having the courage to speak out.” And after she backed down and dropped the call for an investigation–peeping that she had “only been asking questions”–they applauded her again.

They weren’t applauding her for backing down. (Most of her fans believe Bachmann when she claims that she’s courageous and would never back down.) They applauded her for “asking the questions” about an internal government conspiracy…

…exactly what McCarthy was doing, when he was smearing the government of the United States and undermining American national security.

So these represent two of the top Bachmann lies of 2012–1) the charge that an Islamic terrorist conspiracy operating inside the US government, and 2) the claim that she had “merely been asking questions.” Just like McCarthy, she was doing more than “just asking questions.” Like McCarthy, she was trying to sow an American panic and discredit American foreign policy at home and abroad–for political gain.

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I fully understand that Mitt Romney and his lieutenants want to capitalize on any and every political opportunity that comes their way, but in the case of the Benghazi deaths have they gone too far?

Ambassador Chris Stevens’ father has come out and asked that the Romney campaign cease and desist in politicizing his son’s death. To wit Jan Stevens: “It would really be abhorrent to make this into a campaign issue. The security matters are being adequately investigated. We don’t pretend to be experts in security. It has to be objectively examined. That’s where it belongs. It does not belong in the campaign arena.” Just last week the mother of the slain Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, Barbara Doherty, asked Romney to stop using he son’s death as a political prop with the following statement: “I don’t trust Romney. He shouldn’t make my son’s death part of his political agenda. It’s wrong to use these brave young men, who wanted freedom for all, to degrade Obama.” Republican candidates have a long history of using the American military as a political backdrop during campaign season but Romney’s use of the Benghazi tragedy is beyond the pale of politics as usual and that’s why it’s become so controversial. Moreover, with Romney having made some many missteps in the foreign policy arena one would think that he would pick his fights somewhere else.

I think we’ve come to a point of “enough already” especially as the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has taken responsibility for events and in doing so, has pointed out that requests for security aren’t the sort of issues that would go across the president’s desk. That said, it’s more than a bit disingenuous to try to pin failures in day to day embassy operations on the president. Its analogous to trying to tie the price of a gallon of gasoline to Barack Obama when gas and oil prices are set in a worldwide market controlled by hundreds of traders and economic factors and not in the offices of world leaders.

The other great irony in the Republican attack on the issue of diplomatic security is that they themselves voted to cut funding for it. When asked in an interview with CNN’s Candy Crowley about Republican votes that cut funding for embassy security Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), a Romney Surrogate said: “Absolutely. Look we have to make priorities and choices in this country. We have… 15,0000 contractors in Iraq. We have more than 6,000 contractors, a private army there, for President Obama, in Baghdad. And we’re talking about can we get two dozen or so people into Libya to help protect our forces. When you’re in touch economic times, you have to make difficult choices. You have to prioritize things.” What’s even more ironic about Chaffetz’s spin is that he sits on two committees that are directly involved in terrorism and security; Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security and the Subcommittee on National Security, Homeland Defense and Foreign Operations. Chaffetz is Chairman of the latter. Should he have known better than to cut this type of funding, I would say so. If anything a guy who seems to be so in touch with the dangers arising in post-revolutionary Libya should have had the presence of mind to speak up against funding cuts then rather than to serve as a mouthpiece for ill considered criticism by the Romney campaign now. Rather than question Barack Obama’s judgment in commenting on the deaths in Benghazi recently, Congressman Chaffetz ought to look in the mirror and question his own lack of judgment and his current contribution in this crass politicizing of the four unfortunate American deaths in Libya.

No matter how you analyze this issue one thing is for sure, the Congressional Republicans look like the pot calling the kettle black and Romney and Co. look like a bunch of crass political operatives in continuing to use the Benghazi tragedy as a political prop. As I said above, enough is enough.

Steven J. Gulitti
10/16/12

Sources:

Ambassador’s dad says son’s death in Libya shouldn’t be politicized; http://www.cleveland.com/natio…

Fox News, Stephanie Cutter, And The Politicization Of Benghazi; http://mediamatters.org/mobile…

Mother Of Navy SEAL Killed In Libya Demands Romney Stop Talking About Him In Stump Speech; http://thinkprogress.org/secur…

Honoring Slain SEAL’s Mom’s Request, Romney Will Drop Story On Stump; http://www.capradio.org/news/n…

Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for Libya US deaths; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/worl…

Rep. Chaffetz says he “absolutely” voted to cut funding for embassy security; http://cnnpressroom.blogs.cnn….

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