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Archive for the ‘2016 Election’ Category

Those watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu cannot be faulted for thinking they might be living a cyncial version of the old 1940s “Road” pictures with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. (Who gave her that name?!) A movie called “The Road to Gilead.” Emily Peck has other ideas, but there are portents that cannot be denied.

Women In The U.S. Don’t Live In A Dystopian Hellscape. Yet.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” resonates, but there’s reason for hope.

Peck is pretty optimistic positing that the road to Gilead is fraught with lots of potholes and obstructions, but we do well not to focus too narrowly on the falling rock on one side of the highway thereby missing the sheer cliff on the other side.

I am not watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” much as I would like to. I simply refuse to pay another dollar beyond my already expensive FiOS service, so Hulu and Netflix are out for me.  I have, however, read the book. The coincidence of the airing of the mini-series with the Democratic “Unity Tour” should set off some bells and whistles.

This is the axiom Peck offers that Bernie supporters continue to reject.

“Progress does not happen in a straight line. Setbacks are inevitable. What’s critical is what comes next.”

They rejected it during the 2016 primaries renouncing any and all incremental policies proposed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and stubbornly continued their opposition during the general election.  They persist in their unwillingness to allow the Democratic Party to evolve naturally and have set out to take it over and overturn the common sense principles that have been its warp and woof since the groundbreaking days of FDR.  Rather than empowering women, the party is rolling back its liberating positions on women under the influence of a man who refuses to join the party.  No, this is not a relitigation or extension of the 2016 primaries.  It is a fight for the future.

The parallels between the dystopia Atwood projected and perceived potential effects of the new administration are not limited to Trump’s positions and those of his cronies. The BernieBros continue to have a hand in suppressing female issues, concerns, and voices within the only party likely to continue to highlight them.

Women have a stake in resisting efforts on either side to curtail our rights and freedoms. Resisters must do it for ourselves.  But we must be careful not to lose the party.  That is where the strength is.  The reason the BernieBots are fighting to usurp that power is because they know that a third party will have no muscle except to do what they have done in 2000 and 2016 – split the progressive vote.

We must remember that there was a reason why, at the end of her senior thesis, Hillary Clinton spurned Saul Alinsky’s methods (i.e. change from without the system rather than within) as well as the job he offered her and opted for the discipline of law school instead.  We have to be in it to win it.

Leaving the party  is no solution.  Think hard before you do that because it is not only the Trump crowd that would happily see us in shades of red, blue, green, and stripes according to their designations of how we serve.  We cannot determine our fate from the outside.  The Bernie crowd knows this, and that is why they fight to take over the party.  Let’s not just abandon it to them.

Crossposted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

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Ten days into the new administration, a Russian military push in the Arctic was the subject of concern and a post here. At the time, both Russian appropriation of Arctic waters for drilling and Russian control of Arctic sea routes as those waters thaw (guess why) were the issues. Days later, on Thursday February 2 came this post: Throwback Thursday: I TOLD You to #WatchThisSpace!!!  The issue there was disclosure of oil company funds going to foreign governments.

Here we are 13 weeks later, and oh what a tangled web we see described by Dr. Vanessa Neumann in The Daily Beast today.  Dr. Neumann, Daily Beast points out, is “a Venezuelan-American and president of the trade integrity and political risk consultancy Asymmetrica.”

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast

Double Deal

Russia Gave to Citgo, Then Citgo Gave to Trump

Many big oil companies funded Trump’s inauguration. Only one is deeply in debt to the Kremlin.

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

Dr. Vanessa Neumann

04.27.17

The oil company’s half-million donation to Donald Trump’s Inaugural Committee wasn’t illegal. But it certainly wasn’t moral. And the cash may have come from the Kremlin, at least indirectly.

Recently released Federal Election Commission filings show that Citgo, the U.S. subsidiary of the Venezuelan oil company Petróleos de Venezuela (known as PDVSA) gave Trump more money than Shell or Walmart. The donation is unusual for PDVSA: Citgo had not donated to previous presidential inaugural committees.

Citgo’s donation to the Trump Inaugural Committee and the horrifying images emerging from Venezuela’s weeks of brutally repressed protests (26 killed, 437 injured, and 1,289 arrested—according to Venezuela’s attorney general; Venezuelan prisoner rights NGO Foro Penal says 1,536 have been “detained” as of April 25) are connected: Russian money and influence is behind both of them. Some of those detained are tortured in Venezuela’s equivalent of CIA headquarters, known as “The Tomb,” for its subterranean torture chambers. The Inaugural Committee donation came days after Citgo (a Delaware-incorporated company with operational headquarters in Houston) mortgaged 49.9 percent of its holdings to Rosneft, an oil company controlled by the Kremlin. That enabled Citgo’s parent company PDVSA to make its bond payments. Rosneft is sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Department. So is its CEO, Igor Sechin, “Russia’s Darth Vader.” One of the most feared men in Russia, Sechin is close to Vladimir Putin and is one of Putin’s key instruments of geopolitical power. Net net: If Venezuela defaults on its bond payments, Rosneft (i.e., Putin & Co.) could own several refineries, nine pipelines, and distribution terminals all across the Eastern U.S., from Texas to Maine, without any government oversight. If the Russians end up owning Citgo, they will be using American consumers to fund their autocracy and Assad’s brutality in Syria.

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Yes, you read that correctly.  No, your eyes do not deceive you.  Holy moly!  Sechin’s name comes up as does, in a very disturbing way, Rosneft.  Where did we see those names before?  Oh, right!  The Christopher Steele memos!  Those documents were highlighted in a second, then seemingly unrelated, post here also on February 2:  Throwback Thursday Part II: The Russians, the Memos, the Sanctions – The Art of the Steal.

Dr. Neumann has pulled the whole cat’s cradle into a coherent web that reaches, now, from the Arctic to the Caribbean to the Middle East and remains about Russia, oil, money, Syria, and elections, and threatens a new refugee crisis.

As we approach the 100th day, remember this from 13 weeks ago?  We still do not know who bought those shares. It’s a good guess that Carter Page knows.

The deal on the sale of a 19.5 percent stake in Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft will bring Moscow some $11.1 billion in revenues, the company announced Saturday.

Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us. But, you know, emails, wikileaks, ‘flawed,’ ‘ill,’ and ‘shrill.’ Not the perfect (female) candidate – which is the enemy of not just the good, but of the best yet.

10-19-16-z-15

Keep watching this space!  Here’s a pretty picture for #ThrowbackThursday.

 

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Hillary for America’s Communications Director, Jennifer Palmieri, penned this op-ed for the Washington Post.

Democrats can still fight back now. Here’s how.

March 24

Jennifer Palmieri was communications director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

At the Democratic convention in Philadelphia last summer, Jake Sullivan and I took to our golf carts one afternoon to make the rounds of the television networks’ tents in the parking lot of the Wells Fargo Center. It is standard for presidential campaign staffers to brief networks on what to expect during that night’s session. But on this day, we were on a mission to get the press to focus on something even we found difficult to process: the prospect that Russia had not only hacked and stolen emails from the Democratic National Committee, but that it had done so to help Donald Trump and hurt Hillary Clinton.

Sullivan was Clinton’s policy adviser. He had been Vice President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, a deputy to then-Secretary Clinton at the State Department and a lead negotiator of the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran. He is a widely respected national security expert and, as he does every day, he spoke carefully, without hyperbole. All we had to go on then was what had been reported by the press. We weren’t sure if Russia was doing this to undermine Americans’ faith in our political process or if it was trying to make Trump the next president. But we wanted to raise the alarm.

We did not succeed.

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ser·en·dip·i·ty

[ˌserənˈdipədē]

the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way:

“a fortunate stroke of serendipity” ·

[more]synonyms: (happy) chance · (happy) accident · fluke · luck · good luck · good fortune · fortuity · providence · happy coincidence
Oxford Dictionaries · © Oxford University Press

 

The FBI has a way of stumbling upon things. 11 days before Election Day, FBI Director James Comey released a letter to eight Republican committee chairs stating that, while investigating an unrelated case, the FBI had discovered emails that might be connected to the bureau’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails and that he was extending, therefore, that investigation. Hillary’s campaign hit back with a one two punch.

Fast-forward to this week.

US officials: Info suggests Trump associates may have coordinated with Russians

Comey was clear in stating that this evidence did not surface via the investigation of possible Trump campaign collusion with Russian operatives, but, rather, arose from  a different investigation, apparently involving surveillance of foreign operatives.

In other words,  the FBI came upon this information much the way they discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton on Anthony Weiner’s laptop – emails, it turned out, that the bureau had already seen. They were investigating Weiner, and some of Hillary’s emails appeared.

For the record, the fact that these “foreign” communications turned up in a bureau investigation and Comey announced it does not absolve Comey of releasing that October 28 letter and probably influencing the vote.

In this case, they were surveilling foreign operatives, and  – whoops! Trump campaign staff were talking to them!

Everything is a big, fat mess. As Leonard Cohen said, “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Comey violated bureau policy when he released that letter 11 days before the election. The emails in question would have been a huge nothing-burger had the letter not been released so close to Election Day. As it turned out, the letter was likely a factor in turning the election against Hillary Clinton and electing the guy whose campaign, transition team, and administration are riddled with Russian ties.

How ironic and how fitting! Karma can really suck when it’s bad. Unfortunately, this bad karma for the Trump regime is unlikely to change anything. Confirmation hearings continue for appointees and a SCOTUS justice nominated by what could possibly be proven an illegitimate administration.

This is the kind of malarkey being spouted by a Democrat!

“It’s only natural for us to want to go back and relive the elections,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.). “But that’s not going to happen. It’s about moving forward in the future. I think my Republican colleagues said it best when they said it happened to Democrats this time, it may very well happen to Republicans in the future, and that’s why it’s important to seek the truth.”

Read more at HuffPo >>>>

What? We should just keep on truckin’ like all of this is normal because  …  what? Because it may happen to Republicans at some unspecified point in the future? Sorry, but that should not be allowed to wash. This should never happen in any U.S. election. Period. That is the whole reason people are upset about it.

If this administration is found to have committed high crimes and misdemeanors and /or treason, the office of POTUS should not simply pass to the Veep of the same administration. I know we have no provision in the Constitution for this possibility, but that does not mean that we should just ignore a festering wound to our democracy. The situation is unprecedented. Whether collusion is eventually proven or not, steps should be taken to ensure the security of future elections.

Retweeted
 The intelligence community concluded the Russians will interfere again. This is why full investigation is important to country. Please stop.

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Hillary Cinton did not lose the 2016 election. I refuse to say she did. She did not win the electoral college, but she won the popular vote. The night of November 8, 2016, when the electoral vote went to Donald Trump, cameras focused on scores of Hillary supporters, my colleagues in battle, in tears. I did not cry.

I did not cry that night, nor the next day, nor the many days since. I did grieve, however. It took the form of anger. Here on these pages I ranted, resisted, gathered the troops to help with the recounts, and waged a struggle against the policies coming down the pike from the incoming administration, but I never cried.

A few days ago, Lily Adams, whom I encountered working on the social nets for the campaign, asked me to participate in a book of letters to Hillary. I composed a tribute.

I let the draft sit in a document file for awhile, went back from time to time, tweaked, added, cleaned up, closed, reopened over a period of a day or so. Then, yesterday, I submitted it.

I did not watch James Comey’s testimony yesterday nor Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings. I did watch “All the President’s Men” and “All the Way” about LBJ on cable. Oddly, after submitting that tribute, every little thing set me off big time yesterday. I cried. I cried about what Nixon and his pack of criminals did to us. I cried for LBJ. We gave him a hard time, my generation, and wore him down, but he did so much that now we stand to lose under a ruthless administration. A second Johnson administration would likely have brought about even more social justice laws and certainly would have obviated that first Nixon administration. But we demonized him with a credibility gap, demonstrations, and our resentment that he was not JFK. I felt bad, and I cried.

I even cried over a song during movie credits. I cried my heart out. Every little thing set me off again.

This morning, I awoke to an email from Lily with a link to my entry in the new Hillary book. When I clicked back to the book’s main page I saw this message from the editor.

This election has triggered so many heartfelt emotions, both before and after election day. Will you kindly share your own emotional journey and experiences since the election in a letter to Hillary? I humbly believe that it will be personally therapeutic, as well as, an important testament about our American values and our continued support of Hillary.

We will present these letters in a volume to Hillary as a token of our admiration and loyalty. Contributors will have an opportunity to buy a copy, too.

By adding your story, you are agreeing to our terms of use. To be considered for the book, please contribute your story by April 15. We will include as many letters as possible.

– Dr. Lynda Y. de la Viña, Editor

Wow! Did Dr. de la Viña hit the nail on the head! Was it emotional? When I was writing, I did not think so. I thought I was being my usual cool-headed, organized self. I thought I was speaking from my head. In fact, I was speaking from my heart. Was it therapeutic? Yes! I did not expect writing a tribute to Hillary to be an exercise in therapy, but it was. I finally cried.

Maybe you, too, have some thoughts to share with our enormous Hillary community about her and about the election we fought through together. If you would like to contribute to this project, go here to the homepage and submit your thoughts and feelings.

 

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Folks at Grand Central Terminal in New York saw and heard Hillary at a Stamp Dedication for Oscar de la Renta, yesterday. It was a government event sponsored by the U.S. Postal Service.  But at least one person in the White House in Washington DC seemed haunted by her presence there.

This is from the New York Times morning brief.

Trump’s Words, By the Numbers

By CARL HULSE

President Trump is clearly obsessed with numbers — the size of his Electoral College win, the number of people at his inauguration, the tally of jobs he is helping keep in the United States. The list goes on.

Given his predilection for digits, here are a few interesting ones from his extremely unconventional news conference on Thursday.

2: The number of times he mentioned the name Acosta at an event that started with the announcement of R. Alexander Acosta as his new nominee for secretary of labor. The other time Mr. Trump mentioned the name was when he called on Jim Acosta of CNN and noted that in picking the other Acosta he had instructed his staff members to make sure the two were not related.

11: The number of times he mentioned Hillary Clinton, his vanquished opponent in last year’s election. Mr. Trump is either having a hard time getting past the election or simply likes to talk about it since he won and it is a fond memory. The repeated references were to Mrs. Clinton receiving hints of debate questions ahead of time — a continuing sore subject — and her dealings with Russia while secretary of state, including a proposed reset “with a stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks.”

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The press conference in which these references occurred was notable for its lack of focus and organization, belligerent, incoherent, rambling style, and its contradictions – a primary tool of gaslighting.

e.g. 1) As he ranted and raved:   “Tomorrow, they will say, ‘Donald Trump rants and raves at the press.’ I’m not ranting and raving.”

2) After declaring himself the least racist person, he confronted April Ryan (a 20-year White House press veteran who is African-American) who asked if he would meet with the CBC (Congressional Black Caucus – the initials of which he did not recognize) with “Do you want to arrange it? Are they friends of yours?”

The hour-and-a-quarter tirade was marked by a preoccupation with stats, polls, and vote counts, an obsession with perceived false reportage ( “The leaks are absolutely real. The news is fake because so much of the news is fake…The reporting is fake.”), and a marked inability to let go of his campaign or his adversary in that campaign whose name he invoked at odd intervals in the course of the event (in a few cases with bogus stories, i.e. “fake news”) and who was in New York minding her own business and honoring her late friend.

02-16-17-z-02

 

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Thanks to Isolde Fair & her classmates for this inspiring song. I’m with YOU. 👏👏👏✨

Watch:

Published on Jan 20, 2017

Hi, Please subscribe :). This song started as an assignment in my music theory class (which is all girls) to write a song based on the inspirational words from Hillary’s concession speech. The message is that all girls (and women) should never doubt that they are valuable and powerful and can have their dreams come true. My friends from Sol La Music Academy in Santa Monica are playing the strings and singing with me. https://sollamusicacademy.org/ Thank you to everyone who made this video with me, to all the teachers and parents who helped us, and thank you for watching it.

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