Saturday, October 31, 2015

Hillary's surging poll numbers!

A busy day ahead, but I had to take time out to post this great news!  The Hill's Jesse Byrnes has the story:

Cameron Lancaster (via the Hill)
Hillary Clinton has hit 50 percent support for the Democratic presidential nomination for the first time since April, around the time she launched her campaign, according to a new national poll. 
Clinton's support among Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters has ticked up 9 points since mid-September, based on the latest NBC News/Survey Monkey online poll
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Clinton's primary rival in the Democratic race, now stands at 30 percent support in the poll, relatively unchanged over the past six weeks.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig took 1 percent apiece in the online poll released Friday.
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Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A well-deserved standing ovation for Hillary Clinton

Hi Katalusis friends, I'm a little late in calling your attention to the Hill's piece about Hillary Clinton's "hero's welcome" at the DNC Women's Leadership Forum the day after the Benghazi hearing last Thursday, Oct. 23. But I'm sure you'll share the joy I experienced at the thought of women in the audience giving the soon to be first woman president a standing ovation - and some of them stood throughout her speech!

 Hillary Clinton was greeted like a returning war hero at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) forum the morning after a long day of Republican interrogation at a hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi. 

“As some of you may know, I had a pretty long day yesterday,” Clinton told a whistling, cheering audience of several hundred Democratic women who were on their feet to greet her arrival at the DNC's Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday morning.
“I wanted to rise above partisanship and reach for statesmanship, and that is what I tried to do,” Clinton said of her 11-hour Benghazi performance. 

Clinton received the most ecstatic reception of all the Democratic candidates who addressed the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, with some audience members staying on their feet throughout her speech. 

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Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Benghazi Committee sets "one of the most dangerous precedents in American history"

Hillary Clinton dared suggest statesmanship as a worthy goal to the members of the Benghazi Committee who have obviously been dedicated to destroying her politically. And Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald puts the Committee's single-minded purpose in perspective:

The consequences, however, are worse than the manipulation of the electoral process. By using Benghazi for political advantage, the Republicans have communicated to global militants that, through even limited attacks involving relatively few casualties, they can potentially influence the direction of American elections. The Republicans sent that same message after the Boston Marathon bombing, where they condemned Obama for failing to—illegally—send the American perpetrators to Guantánamo, among other things. They slammed the president because federal law enforcement agents read the failed underwear bomber his rights after they arrested him in 2009. Never mind that federal agents did the exact same thing under President George W. Bush when they arrested the failed shoe bomber years earlier. Republicans even lambasted Obama when he spoke about ISIS decapitating journalists, saying the president did not sound angry enough.

But there is an enormous difference between politicizing tragedy and using the levers of government to achieve that goal. Put simply, the transformation of the Benghazi attacks into a political drama now serves as one of the most dangerous precedents in American history, one whose absurdity and irrationality can be seen just by reviewing the past. This single Benghazi committee has been “investigating” the attack for longer than Congress conducted inquiries into Pearl Harbor, 9/11, Iran-Contra, Watergate and intelligence failures in Iraq.

Worse still, Congress convened 22 hearings about the 9/11 attack that killed almost 3,000 citizens working in the World Trade Center in downtown Manhattan; this week, Congress will be holding its 21st hearing about an attack that killed four people working in Libya, with many more sessions left to come. Do Republicans actually think that terrorists killing four agents of the government who willingly assumed the risks of residing in one of the most dangerous places in the world is more important than terrorists murdering 3,000 unsuspecting civilians who were working at their offices in New York City?

In fact, no previous assault on a diplomatic outpost has received this kind of relentless expression of congressional outrage. There weren’t investigations that were anything on this scale about the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 (63 killed), on the U.S. Embassy annex northeast of Beirut in 1984 (24 killed) or on the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, in 2008 (18 killed). Republicans didn’t believe these exact same scenarios that took place under Republican presidents merited similar zeal to dig down to some unexposed, imaginary “truth.”

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gloria Steinem addresses Hillary Haters, Democratic Party leaders, and the rampant misogyny in 2008

Reading an excerpt from Gloria Steinem’s book, My Life on the Road, brought back all of the angst I experienced in 2008 when Hillary Clinton was dissed by many in the media; thrown under the bus by Democratic Party leaders; and assaulted by a contingent of the electorate that came to be known as Hillary Haters. The stench of misogyny became overpowering throughout the 2008 Democratic primary.

In her usual incisive style, Steinem effectively portrays Hillary’s 2008 experience:

I know Hillary Clinton mostly in the way we all do, as a public figure in good times and bad, one who became part of our lives and even our dreams. I once introduced her to a thousand women in a hotel ballroom. Standing behind her as she spoke, I could see the binder on the lectern with her speech carefully laid out – and also that she wasn’t reading from it. Instead, she was responding to people who had spoken before her, addressing activists and leaders she saw in the audience, and putting their work in a national and global context – all in such clear and graceful sentences that no one would have guessed she hadn’t written them in advance. It was an on-the-spot tour de force, perhaps the best I’ve ever heard.

But what clinched it for me was listening to her speak after a performance of Eve Ensler’s play Necessary Targets, based on interviews with women in one of the camps set up to treat women who had endured unspeakable suffering, humiliation, and torture in the ethnic wars within the former Yugoslavia. To speak to an audience that had just heard these heartbreaking horrors seemed impossible for anyone, and Hillary had the added burden of representing the Clinton administration, which had been criticised for slowness in stopping this genocide. Nonetheless, she rose in the silence, with no possibility of preparing, and began to speak quietly – about suffering, about the importance of serving as witnesses to suffering. Most crucial of all, she admitted this country’s slowness in intervening. By the time she sat down, she had brought the audience together and given us all a shared meeting place: the simple truth.

When she left the White House and decided to run for the US Senate from her new home in New York State – something no first lady, not even Eleanor Roosevelt, had dared to do – I was blindsided by the hostility toward her from some women. They called her cold, calculating, ambitious, and even “unfeminist” for using political experience gained as a wife. These were not the rightwing extremists who had accused the Clintons of everything from perpetrating real estate scams in Arkansas to murdering a White House aide with whom Hillary supposedly had an affair. On the contrary, they mostly agreed with her on the issues, yet some were so opposed to her that they came to be called Hillary Haters. It took me weeks of listening on the road to begin to understand why.

In living rooms from Dallas to Chicago, I noticed that the Hillary Haters often turned out to be the women most like her: white, well educated, and married to or linked with powerful men. They were by no means all such women, but their numbers were still surprising. Also, they hadn’t objected to sons, brothers, and sons-in-law using family connections and political names to further careers – say, the Bushes or the Rockefellers or the Kennedys – yet they objected to Hillary doing the same. The more they talked, the more it was clear that their own husbands hadn’t shared power with them.
If Hillary had a husband who regarded her as an equal – who had always said this country got “two presidents for the price of one” – it only dramatised their own lack of power and respect. After one long night and a lot of wine, one woman told me that Hillary’s marriage made her aware of just how unequal hers was.

Other recently published, truth-telling articles on Hillary Clinton:

Republicans Leveled By Bombshell Report That Clears Hillary Clinton On Benghazi

Monday, October 19, 2015

The unraveling of the Benghazi Committee

Kevin McCarthy: Next Speaker of the House?
Nailed for its purpose of bringing down Hillary Clinton, the best qualified candidate in the 2016 race, the Benghazi Committee continues to unravel. Most thoughtful members of the electorate believe this disgraceful and slanderous Committee should be under investigation for wasting millions of dollars of taxpayer money on their fool's mission of trying to destroy HRC.

Steve Benen has the scoop:

At last count, two congressional Republicans and a notable GOP staffer have admitted that their party’s Benghazi Committee is a partisan political exercise intended to undermine Hillary Clinton. The pressure’s starting to get to the panel’s chairman, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who said yesterday that Republicans not on the committee need to “shut up.”

But as Clinton herself prepares to testify this week, the political conditions surrounding the controversial panel appear to be going from bad to worse. The Huffington Post reported yesterday:

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the House Select Committee on Benghazi, alleged in an Oct. 7 letter that Clinton used her private email account to release the name of a CIA source on Libya. An email sent by adviser Sidney Blumenthal that she then forwarded to a member of her staff reportedly contained the name of that source, which would have suggested that Clinton used her private email server to disseminate classified information.
But on Sunday, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the committee’s ranking member, revealed that the CIA investigated the email and found that the information was not classified.

Cummings’ letter explained, “The CIA [on Saturday] informed both the Republican and Democratic staffs of the Select Committee that they do not consider the information you highlighted in your letter to be classified. Specifically, the CIA confirmed that the State Department consulted with the CIA on this production, the CIA reviewed these documents, and the CIA made no redactions to protect classified information.”

Cummings asked that Gowdy apologize for making a bogus anti-Clinton claim, though the former Secretary of State probably shouldn’t hold her breath.

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Friday, October 16, 2015

More than half registered Democrats declare Hillary the winner in Tuesday's debate

Like wow, Hillary!
Hi Katalusis friends, I have to leave shortly for cataract surgery this morning, but can't resist posting this good news as proclaimed enthusiastically this morning at the Huffington Post:

Tuesday's Democratic presidential debate on CNN did what debates usually do, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll. It allowed the two leading candidates to make a positive impression on an audience of millions. 

More critically, however, the debate allowed front-runner Hillary Clinton to boost her standing among a far bigger base of support, making her the clear winner in the eyes of most Democratic voters.  

A 55 percent majority of registered Democratic voters who watched the debate said Clinton won. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who saw a surge in online interest and fundraising, was a distant second, with only 22 percent saying he was the best of the night 

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    Thursday, October 15, 2015

    Sanders' democratic socialism vs. Hillary's progressive capitalism

    In his thoughtful column about the first Democratic debate, E. J. Dionne gives his readers some food for thought regarding Hillary Clinton's candidacy and the difference between Sanders' democratic socialism and Hillary's progressive capitalism:

    WASHINGTON -- At some point during Tuesday night's Democratic debate, many people in living rooms across the country undoubtedly turned to each other with the same basic thought about Hillary Clinton: Oh, so that's why she's the front-runner.
         They also experienced something historic: For the first time in the modern political era, Americans got to watch leaders of a mainstream political party debate the relative merits of capitalism and democratic socialism. And for once, socialism was cast not as the ideology that produced a brutal dictatorship in the old Soviet Union, but as a benign and, yes, democratic outlook that has created rather attractive societies in places such as Denmark and Sweden.
         Whatever happens to Bernie Sanders' candidacy, he will deserve credit for having widened our political horizons.
         Anyone who compares this encounter with the Republican debates will learn a great deal. Democrats are far more united than Republicans, who are in a shambles. Democrats are the party of what the political consultants like to call kitchen-table issues -- family leave, higher wages, and kids being able to afford college -- while Republicans are the party of ideology and abstractions. And, if I may borrow from Politico's puckish writer Glenn Thrush: "A Trump-less debate is a smarter debate."
         Clinton won several victories on Tuesday. She was in command throughout and seemed happy to be there. This has not always been her disposition in the long slog since the story broke about her email server. She maintained her good mood and big smile in the face of repeated challenges from CNN's questioners, deploying the classic Clinton strategy of insisting that the campaign is about what the voters need, not what the media and the GOP want to talk about.

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    Wednesday, October 14, 2015

    Hillary won big!

    Photo courtesy of CNN.
    I knew the vibrant Hillary Clnton won after watching the debate online last night and shutting down my laptop before checking out the responses from the media.

    I scanned online news sources this morning and sure enough, even Frank Bruni, op ed columnist at the NY Times agrees with me. In a column titled "Hillary Clinton's Democratic Debate Magic," Bruni writes:

    I never doubted that Hillary Clinton had many talents.

    I just didn’t know that seamstress was among them.

    There were moments in the first Democratic presidential debate on Tuesday night when she threaded the needle as delicately and perfectly as a politician could.

    The debate’s moderator, Anderson Cooper, noted that she’d told some audiences that she was a progressive but extolled her moderation in front of others. Wasn’t she just a chameleon, flashing whatever colors suited her at a given moment?

    “I’m a progressive, but I’m a progressive who likes to get things done,” she said strongly but not stridently. “I know how to find common ground and I know how to stand my ground.” It was a practiced line — so practiced that she used it, somewhat awkwardly, a second time an hour later. But it was also a well-crafted line.
    Like her main rival onstage, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, she had complaints about our country. Unlike Sanders, she communicated an unshakable pride in it nonetheless.

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    Tuesday, October 13, 2015

    APA members sued by two former CIA prisoners and family of another

    Go here for a list of torture tactics.
    The story in today's Christian Science Monitor by staff member Molly Jackson brings back the shock and horror I felt when I first learned about the CIA's egregious practice of torturing suspected terrorists. Can any civilized human being read the stuff below without blanching:

    Two former CIA prisoners and the family of another who died in detainment filed a lawsuit on Thursday, alleging that they suffered torture at one of the Agency’s secret “black site” prisons for terrorism suspects.

    They allege that the black sites often used so-called “enhanced interrogation” methods condemned by a 2014 Senate Intelligence Committee report, including beatings, exposure to extreme cold, and confinement in small boxes.

    But the target of their lawsuit is not the CIA itself, but the two psychologists responsible for shaping the Agency’s interrogation policies: James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, both retired Air Force psychologists.

    Recommended: Waterboarding and other 'Decision Points' in Bush's war on terror
    The accusations come just months after the release of the Hoffman report, a separate investigation requested by the American Psychological Association (APA) that found the professional organization guilty of collaborating with the Department of Defense and contorting its ethical guidelines to permit members to advise on interrogations, which the American Medical Association and American Psychiatric Association had forbidden for their own members.

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    Saturday, October 10, 2015

    The loose-lipped Kevin McCarthy and yet another Clinton non-scandal

    Rep. Kevin McCarthy
    Even as the Democratic Party takes seriously the possible candidacy of loose-lipped, gaffe prone Joe Biden, the Republican Party is picking up the pieces after the loose-lipped Kevin McCarthy tells us what most of us already knew: the Benghazi Hearings were yet another attempt to bring down Hillary Clinton.

    Over at the NY Times, economist Paul Krugman gets the word out:

    So Representative Kevin McCarthy, who was supposed to succeed John Boehner as speaker of the House, won’t be pursuing the job after all. He would have faced a rough ride both winning the post and handling it under the best of circumstances, thanks to the doomsday caucus — the fairly large bloc of Republicans demanding that the party cut off funds to Planned Parenthood, or kill Obamacare, or anyway damage something liberals like, by shutting down the government and forcing it into default.

    Still, he finished off his chances by admitting — boasting, actually — that the endless House hearings on Benghazi had nothing to do with national security, that they were all about inflicting political damage on Hillary Clinton.
    But we all knew that, didn’t we?

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    Tuesday, October 6, 2015

    Here's your chance to help end this racist assault on voting rights!

    Martin Luther King, Jr. shaking hands with President Lyndon Johnson at the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965. (Wikipedia)

    Hey, Katalusis readers, how about this for racism in 2015? Alabama first required voters to present an ID in order to vote; then it closed 31 driver's license offices throughout the state. Now get this: "Every single county where African Americans constitute 75% or more of registered voters had its office closed. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE."

    We don't have to put up with this outrageous example of racism and voter suppression. Here's your chance to act - check out this email from the DCCC and sign your name:

    ***Since we alerted you to Alabama’s outrageous voter suppression effort, you and 25,133 others have taken action! Thanks so much.

    Please help us keep the pressure on by forwarding this email to 3 friends and asking them to sign: With your help, we’ll reach 100,000 signatures by midnight***

    Since the Supreme Court eliminated critical voting rights protections two years ago, state legislatures have passed a torrent of laws designed to make it harder to vote.

    But none of them have been quite as insidious as what is happening in Alabama.

    Like many states, Alabama recently made voting harder by requiring voters to present an ID at the polls. But then, they went a step further, by closing 31 driver’s license offices throughout the state.

    Every single county where African Americans constitute 75% or more of registered voters had its office closed. EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.

    This overt voter suppression cannot be allowed to continue. Demand that Congress act now to restore the Voting Rights Act >>

    Democrats in Congress have offered a new bill to restore the Voting Rights Act and prevent this kind of attack on our democracy from ever occurring.

    In fact, states that repeatedly violate voting rights (Alabama included) would be required to submit any change to voting procedure to the federal government for approval.

    Right now the bill has only one Republican co-sponsor. That’s unacceptable.

    Tell Republicans in Congress to join Democrats and end the assault on voting rights >>

    Friday, October 2, 2015

    Go Get 'em, Hillary!

     It's about time someone stood up to the gun supporters in this country. How many more young people and children have to die before our government puts a stop to it? Check out this piece from the First Draft at the NY Times:

    Hillary Clinton on N.R.A.’s Hold Over Republicans: ‘It Is Sickening’

    Hillary Rodham Clinton campaigning Friday at Broward College in Davie, Fla
    .Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images
    DAVIE, Fla. — A day after the deadly shootings in Oregon, Hillary Rodham Clinton used a campaign appearance here on Friday to begin an impassioned attack on the National Rifle Association and Republican members of Congress who she said did the group’s bidding.
    “It is sickening to me,” she told a crowd of supporters packed into a gymnasium on the campus of Broward College here. “People should not have to be afraid to go to college like this one, or to a movie theater, or to Bible study. What is wrong with us that we can’t stand up to the N.R.A.?”
    Mrs. Clinton’s remarks followed a similarly forceful address Thursday by President Obama, who lamented that mass shootings like the one earlier that day at a community college in Roseburg, Ore. — and the responses to them — have become routine.

    “We don’t just need to pray for these people,” Mrs. Clinton said. “We need to act. It’s infuriating: Every time there’s another massacre, the Republicans and the N.R.A. say, ‘It’s not the time to talk about guns.’ Yes, it is. It is time to act, but Republicans continue to refuse to do anything to protect our communities. They put the N.R.A. ahead of American families.
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