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This is a great recollection of that famous day and what led up to the historic speech by Hillary’s Senior Strategic Communications Advisor, Karen Finney.

5 Things You Might Not Know About Hillary Clinton’s Famous Beijing Speech

Hillary Clinton at the United Nations Fourth World Conference On Women, 1995

20 years ago, I got the chance to be part of a moment that would change the world. I was in Huairou, China, a small town outside of Beijing, where representatives from non-governmental organizations who couldn’t attend the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women had gathered. When Hillary Clinton stood before delegates from 189 countries to call attention to women’s rights, it was electric.

Women from every corner of the planet had come to Beijing and Huairou for the conference. Everywhere I looked, I saw women translating ideas across languages and cultures. I remember watching women lift up colleagues in wheelchairs when meeting spaces didn’t have elevator access.

We were all determined to be there.

Read more >>>>

 

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Hillary Clinton will sit down with veteran NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell on Friday for the third national interview of her presidential campaign.

The exclusive interview, which will first air on Mitchell’s 12 p.m. MSNBC program, comes one day ahead of the 20th anniversary of Clinton’s Beijing speech on women’s rights, which Mitchell covered for the network in 1995.

“Mitchell will ask the former Secretary of State about her presidential campaign, the GOP field, her email controversy” as well as the Beijing speech, NBC News said in a press release.

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Melissa Mark-Viverito is ready for Hillary even if hizzoner the mayor is still sitting on a fence.  This endorsement comes as no surprise since Melissa has been close to Hillary at every NYC appearance,   Today it is official,  and later this week Hillary heads to PR.

Hillary Clinton Is Endorsed for President by New York City Council Speaker

Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York City Council speaker, endorsed Hillary Rodham Clinton for president on Wednesday, a move that consolidates Democratic support in Mrs. Clinton’s home state and may offer a boost in Ms. Mark-Viverito’s native Puerto Rico.

Ms. Mark-Viverito announced her support for Mrs. Clinton in the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia, ahead of Mrs. Clinton’s planned visit to the island this week.

The speaker, a staunchly liberal Democrat who maintains an active presence in Puerto Rican politics, said in a column that it was time to “send a woman to the White House.” Ms. Mark-Viverito cited Mrs. Clinton’s support for allowing Puerto Rico to address its debt crisis by declaring bankruptcy, as well as her views on immigration and criminal justice reform.

Read more >>>>

07-24-15-Z-02

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There is nothing unusual about televising Congressional hearings.  When I was in elementary school, I came home to find my mom watching the Army-McCarthy hearings.  I did not understand what was happening, but TV was new to our house. Anything on the screen was miraculous and gripping to me. My mom believed what she was hearing from Joe McCarthy even though she was a Democrat.  Sometimes religion overpowered politics in our house.  McCarthy was Irish Catholic so he could not possibly be leading us all astray, could he?

McCarthy operated under a belief system that had nothing to do with the Vatican.  His credo was that the military and government agencies were infiltrated with “card-carrying” Communists.  Not only did he believe that the State Department, the Pentagon, information services, and military research facilities were crawling with seditious moles, he was an evangelist as powerful as Billy Graham at the time.

Of course he was wrong. He was wrong in his beliefs and in his methods, and he came to a sorry end but not before instilling an undercurrent of fear and paranoia among ordinary, patriotic Americans.  Perhaps some petition signed years ago,  maybe a union affiliation,  possibly an offhand remark at a party or in a bar – any innocent past action or comment could boomerang and become one’s undoing.  They spoke of him – the grown-ups did – in hushed tones.

Following an investigative report about the senator on his program, See It Now, Edward R. Murrow offered the following.

No one familiar with the history of this country can deny that congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating, but the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior Senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly. His primary achievement has been in confusing the public mind, as between the internal and the external threats of Communism. We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men—not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate and to defend causes that were, for the moment, unpopular.

Joseph R. McCarthy maintained a vise-like grip on the psyche of the nation until Army representative Joseph N. Welch finally stood up to him with the famous, “Have you, at long last, no sense of decency?”  Only then did his influence begin to erode.  Only then could our long national recovery commence.

Records of closed sessions, the ones we did not see on TV, were made public in 2003-2004, a full 50 years after they were held.  Senators Susan Collins and Carl Levin prefaced the documents thus.

Senator McCarthy’s zeal to uncover subversion and espionage led to disturbing excesses. His browbeating tactics destroyed careers of people who were not involved in the infiltration of our government. His freewheeling style caused both the Senate and the Subcommittee to revise the rules governing future investigations, and prompted the courts to act to protect the Constitutional rights of witnesses at Congressional hearings … These hearings are a part of our national past that we can neither afford to forget nor permit to reoccur.

Congress is always investigating something. Our two houses have a multitude of committees and subcommittees all busily pursuing information.  Sometimes committees work in tandem.  When the secretary of defense has a budget proposal to present, both armed services and appropriations committees need to hear the proposal and ask their questions.  Now that we have C-SPAN, our government at work – or not – has become more accessible than back in the day when McCarthy and Kefauver interrupted the soap operas.  It seems that important testimony should, in our information age, be easily accessible and visible.

Last night, Politico shared this.

Benghazi panel denied ex-Hillary aide’s request to publicly testify

Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff Cheryl Mills had requested a public session to thwart GOP leaks.

09/01/15

The House Benghazi Committee rejected a request from Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s former chief of staff at the State Department, to have her testimony occur in a public session later this week, a source close to Mills said.

Mills’ desire for open testimony — a request made because she fears Republicans will leak selected information that casts her in a negative light — is just the first disagreement in what’s likely to be a tense session Thursday, when she appears before the panel a day before Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s top policy guru, is also hauled in for questions.

The private interviews with Clinton’s top brass represent the highest-profile grillings yet for the panel probing the cause of, or avoidable factors that could have led to, the 2012 terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Libya that left four Americans dead.

Lawmakers — who don’t often attend the closed-door interviews with Benghazi witnesses, allowing staff investigators to take the lead — are making the rare move of returning to Washington, D.C., early from their summer break to be present for the interviews with Mills, who no longer works for Clinton, and Sullivan, who remains Clinton’s No. 1 policy staffer on the campaign.

Read more >>>>

Wow! That’s one way to get them all back to DC and on the job. But what, exactly, is the job?  Originally, the Select Committee on Benghazi was assembled to find out what went wrong there and how to avoid similar incidents in the future.   That commission has been retrofitted for political reasons as Democrats on the committee made clear in a July 15 letter.

Select Committee Dems Call Out Republicans for Turning Political Turrets on Hillary Clinton

July 15, 2015
An article in The Hill today reveals a letter from Select Committee Democrats to their GOP counterparts accusing them of refitting the objectives of the committee from inquiry and prevention into a political weapon aimed at the former secretary of state.

Read more and see letter >>>>

So, while public, televised testimony is as old as TV networks in this country, the GOP is using its leadership power to prevent the public from hearing a witness.  This is unfair to Ms. Mills and to the nation.  Certainly all parties, including the media, are well-versed in cutting into broadcasts when sensitive testimony arises.  What is to be feared from broadcasting Cheryl’s testimony?

Given the true GOP agenda, throwing a veil of secrecy wholesale over the proceedings succeeds in accomplishing one objective, promoting the false and toxic allegation that Hillary Clinton and her staff have something to hide.

Hillary has made 55,000 pages of email available, has agreed to testify and answer all of the questions the committee might have, and has explained time and again her decision to use a private server.

Cheryl Mills is an accomplished attorney who served as legal counsel at the State Department and was referred to by another witness in hearings at the House Oversight Committee as the person who reminded him of the rules of engagement for department staff interacting with members of Congress.

Benghazi-Spin: Myth-Busting and Reality Check

May 10, 2013

Spin: Gregory Hicks, demoted for speaking out. Leaving aside for the moment that you chose to speak to a Congress person without a lawyer present as that terrible witch Cheryl Mills pointed out to be State Department protocol….

Read more >>>>

Note:  Hicks did not name her, but we all knew who advised him.

She knows her stuff.  She also knows theirs, and that is why she asked for her testimony to be public. The GOP, and in particular, Trey Gowdy, should honor that request.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, leaves the White House after a national security team meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, leaves the White House after a national security team meeting with President Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2010, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Someone should give us a reason why we should trust that we will see and hear all that we should.  When I see this in the Politico article,  I remember that statement above from Senators Collins and Levin.  I have a fear that it will be a 50 year wait before closed session documents are released.

Republicans did not wish to comment specifically on the Mills request but have said they’ll release the information after they’re completed their entire investigation and issued their final report.

Let Cheryl Mills testify publicly!

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On a day heavy with emails at the State Department FOIA reading room – some of which were light reading and fun – I thought I would share the funniest story I saw all day.  This rivals the hPad exchanges and how to figure out if you have wi-fi.

Sprinklers drench guests at swanky Hillary Clinton fundraiser

Hillary was fêted by a high-fashion crowd at Tory Burch’s majestic Hamptons mansion on Sunday — but well-heeled guests got drenched by the designer’s sprinkler system as the presidential candidate stood up to speak.

Guests at Burch’s palatial, $38 million “Gatsby”-era estate, which sits on 15.4 lush acres in Southampton, included Anna Wintour, Martha Stewart, Donna Karan, Barneys owner Richard Perry and his designer wife, Lisa. But as Hillary, who was on a covered terrace, tarted to speak to 200 guests who fanned out into the garden, Burch’s sprinkler system suddenly went on, soaking some of the well-attired attendees.

08-30-15-Hamptons-fundraiser
One told us, “It was really very funny. Tory’s home is gorgeous … Everything was perfect. There were so many impeccably turned-out fashion people there. Anna Wintour looked like she could have been cut out of her own magazine: beautiful summer dress, not a hair out of place.”

Read more >>>>

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Hillary Clinton Headshot
Sen. Tammy Baldwin Headshot

To Restore Trust in Government, Slow Wall Street’s Revolving Door

Posted: 08/31/2015

One of our nation’s greatest strengths is that we are governed by each other — what President Lincoln celebrated as “a government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

But increasingly, Americans’ trust in government is eroding. And a big reason for that is the so-called revolving door between government and the private sector.

Inviting outside voices into government is often a good thing. When public servants have experience beyond Washington, they bring new ideas, new perspectives, and new knowledge to the work of governing this huge, complicated country of ours. Some of America’s most dedicated public servants got their start in technology, business, academia, or other fields. Most of the time, that private-sector experience is an asset, not a liability.

But in some cases, it can affect the public trust — for example, if a public servant’s past and future are tied to the financial industry. That’s when people start worrying that the foxes are guarding the hen house.

SNIP

Tammy — has introduced legislation in the Senate to help close that revolving door. The other of us — Hillary — strongly supports this bill, and as president would crack down on conflicts of interest in government.

Here’s what this bill would do.

Read more >>>>

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It is the media.  It is not the mainstream media, and it is not some post-hip sobriquet like the lamestream media which, face it, along with Repugnican, wingnut, Freeper, Faux News, and a host of other tired old terms has passed its hour to be purged from the language.  It is the media’s job to report.  As citizens, our job is to communicate among ourselves on what and how they report, which is another reason to avoid slangy terms.  There is nothing hip or particularly communicative about acting like teens speaking in adult-proof code.

Marshall McLuhan said, “The medium is the message.”  All of the media, these days, seem to be sending one message which, so far, only theSkimm has actually articulated.

 

theSkimm makes it easier to be smarter.

We’re the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you – across subject lines and party lines – and break it down with fresh editorial content.

We read. You Skimm.

The idea is arguable, no laughable, that consuming what has been read and broken down for you makes you smarter.  At least theSkimm comes out and says it has put your veggies in a KitchenAid with apples, pears, and high fructose corn syrup.  All of the media do it, and it is a little like reading Lamb’s Tales but not as elegant or as much fun.  At its worst, it leaves huge information gaps that abound among the electorate and presents an exercise in frustration for those who prefer their asparagus and brussels sprouts whole and unadulterated.

There was a time, in the early days of this blog,  so,  not that distant in the past, when I could go to media sources and find an entire interview to post.  Today, a mere seven plus years into this work, all I can find are media bytes.  Little 1.5 – 3.5 minute spoonsful.  As theSkimm unabashedly tells you,  it is all cut up and pre-chewed for you – like baby food.  Unfortunately, they are the only ones telling you that,  leaving the impression that you are getting the whole story from other sources, but that is not the case.  Most of what you find today is Gerber’s in another guise, and it no longer seems to matter whence the source – there no longer is a mainstream.  The media has achieved true social, if not economic, democracy.

When I posted, two days ago, about Fareed Zakaria’s stroke of genius in dividing his interview with Helen Mirren in two and asking her how she would portray Hillary Clinton, I gave credit where it was not due.  That was not Fareed’s fault entirely, although he did supply the mini-clip of the conversation.  Throughout yesterday, additional stories about Dame Helen’s remarks arose, and I added one of those to that post.  Nothing I read or posted prepared me for the whole, real story.  Nothing rectified my initial misconception.

Who, then, had the brainstorm and should have received the credit?  It was not the interviewer.  It was Dame Helen herself who brought up the subject of Hillary Clinton, along with her own appetite to play that role should a script appear.   She did insert a disclaimer that there was some self-interest,  but that was not really why the subject came up.  The topic was roles for women on stage and screen.

Dame Helen has long been an advocate for broader, deeper, more complex longitudinal portrayals of women in drama.  In an age when sustainability is a buzzword and even, somehow, an area of academic pursuit, female actors have less sustainable careers than their male counterparts, and, as Mirren points out, ever has it been so.  The Bard did not provide much in the way of roles for mature women which is why Mirren portrayed Prospero as Prospera in Julie Taymor’s fantastic production of The Tempest.  It is a matter of taking on and refitting the male roles for the mature woman.  She stopped short of suggesting she would ever play Lear.  Here is how Hillary and 2016 actually entered the conversation.

ZAKARIA: Over the span of a 50-year career in acting, Helen Mirren has done a lot of things. She has done everything from high Shakespearian theater to the scandalous 70s film of “Caligula,” played everything from a queen to a Mossad agent, and won everything from an Oscar to a Tony to an Emmy. But the one thing she has never played is a Bond girl. Is she bitter? Not Dame Helen.

ZAKARIA: You said we’ve all sat and watched as James Bond has become more and more geriatric. While his girlfriends —

HELEN MIRREN, ACTRESS: Get younger and younger. That was the case for a while, wasn’t it? I mean, it was like embarrassing. I thought it was ridiculous.

ZAKARIA: But do you think it’s — is it a big problem in Hollywood that men get cast for roles well into their 60s and 70s, and for women it’s more of a struggle?

MIRREN: It is more of a struggle. But even Shakespeare did that to us, you know. As you get older, even the Shakespeare roles become — that’s why we have to start stealing the men’s roles, you know. Doing like I did “The Tempest,” Prospero. And it’s great that a lot of women are, you know, doing Hamlet, doing “Henry V.” I’m a sure there will be a female Othello soon. And I love that. I think it’s absolutely great. Because, why not.

Video >>>>

But it’s changing. I’ve always said, don’t worry about roles in drama — well, do — moan and complain, and I do. But really spend your energies on changing roles for women in real life, because, as night follows day, as the roles for women in real life change, they will change in drama. And I really hope that we’re going to see a female president in the next — when are the elections?

ZAKARIA: 2016.

MIRREN: 2016. Oh, not till then. A while. Oh, next year! So I hope we see a female president next year. That would be absolutely fantastic, and that would make a huge difference to the understanding of what women can be.

ZAKARIA: Do you think you could pull off the accent for Hillary Clinton?

MIRREN: She would be a wonderful person to play. Somewhere down the line, someone will do a story. Because she has had — well, it was an extraordinary trajectory, and the brilliance, brilliance at handling her world.

helen-mirren-honored-hollywood-walk-of-fame-03And what unbelievable challenges she’s had over the years.

ZAKARIA: If you were to compare the two, the queen and Hillary, what is the defining character of Hillary Clinton that you, as somebody playing her, imagine to be playing her, what would you be trying to capture?

Video >>>>

MIRREN: That’s a very interesting question. I mean, the enormous intelligence, the brain that I think is very, very, very fast-moving. And I think the incredible tenacity. The queen of — Elizabeth Windsor, I call her, is — it’s a different — hers is I just — put my head down, I do what I’m supposed to do, I do it as well as I can, and I don’t argue, and I don’t complain, and I just do it. Hillary is much fiercer than that. It’s, you know, she is a lioness of a kind. A lioness. And the — Elizabeth Windsor is not, you know. I don’t know what animal she is. I’ll have to think about that one.

Read more >>>>

08-18-15-OZ-12

No run up to this interview prepared me for Dame Helen being the one who brought up Hillary and the election.  Everything that was out there – and ended up in the earlier post – led me to think it all Fareed’s idea.  These two videos are all that CNN offers.  Not the entire interview.  Only these.  Important content has been skipped,

The real story was much deeper than an interviewer with a campaign cycle agenda.  It was a woman  with a much bigger agenda, changing the roles of women in the world.

Why did I not know that this was Helen’s subject to raise?  Because of the piecemeal nature of reportage.  The story was cherry-picked for me by the host and by those who wrote about the interview in advance having seen it in advance.  This was not at all about a smart anchor raising a brilliant question, as the promos had me believe.  It was about a brilliant female leader perceiving the value of expanding the roles of women in general and, as an example and role model, promoting one brilliant woman in particular.

Why was that not the message we all received as we looked forward to this interview?  Because the media adulterated it, masticated and strained it for our consumption, just like baby food, and all the good stuff stayed in the strainer and went into the compost bin.

This was less about Helen Mirren wanting a role and therefore wanting Hillary Clinton to ascend to that role than it was about Helen Mirren wanting to boost all women and recognizing Hillary’s ascendancy for its value in that social revolution.

Maybe the fault in the previews had something to do with men having provided all the promotional reports I saw about this interview. Not that they necessarily meant to, but they edited out those crucial first words on the subject.  Men are used to Hillary being brilliant and fierce and many men support her.  Is it possible that, to more men than I would hope, this was somehow scary?  “Spend your energies on changing roles for women in real life.”   Why was that part of the story excised?

Thank you, Dame Helen Mirren for your wise advice.  You are one of the most brilliant people around, and I cannot imagine two better role models and leaders for women than you and Hillary Clinton.

We women, especially,  should be wary.  When we see clips of Hillary, we miss some of the context.  That original clip of Helen lacked important context.  So much of the time all we see, and all I can find, are the little pre-digested bytes, bits,  and pieces.  I have always tried to find full transcripts and videos of Hillary’s speeches and remarks, but even at her campaign site they are few and far between.  All the information comes in memes, clips, and shorthand.  If the medium is the message, as McLuhan said,  we are all being shortchanged.

APB, Media!!!   We do not really need you to do the hunting for us. Lionesses come in prides!  We hunt.  We have teeth!  We can rip the meat off the bone and chew it for ourselves.

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