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The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members - Mahatma Gandhi

There is a reason why, when you visit Hillary Clinton’s Twitter account, this is the tweet pinned to the top. It has been pinned there for a year and two days as of this writing.

The entertainment industry is rife with allegations of routine sexual assault almost as a matter of business. Both men and women are standing up with accounts of past abuses. Action has been swift and uncompromising.

At the heart of government, however, there remains the habit of “if true.”  We will take down a TV president for sexual assault, but not a declared candidate.

There was this.

washingtonpost.com

Woman says Roy Moore initiated sexual encounter when she was 14, he was 32

By Stephanie McCrummen, Beth Reinhard and Alice Crites


Leigh Corfman, left, in a photo from 1979, when she was about 14. At right, from top, Wendy Miller around age 16, Debbie Wesson Gibson around age 17 and Gloria Thacker Deason around age 18. (Family photos)

Leigh Corfman says she was 14 years old when an older man approached her outside a courtroom in Etowah County, Ala. She was sitting on a wooden bench with her mother, they both recall, when the man introduced himself as Roy Moore.

It was early 1979 and Moore — now the Republican nominee in Alabama for a U.S. Senate seat — was a 32-year-old assistant district attorney. He struck up a conversation, Corfman and her mother say, and offered to watch the girl while her mother went inside for a child custody hearing.

“He said, ‘Oh, you don’t want her to go in there and hear all that. I’ll stay out here with her,’ ” says Corfman’s mother, Nancy Wells, 71. “I thought, how nice for him to want to take care of my little girl.”

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Sundry Republicans, many from Roy Moore’s home state, went on cable in his defense this week. Needless to say, the defenses were pathetic. Attempts to philosophize the allegations range from laughable to blasphemous. Please spare us, you guys. You are embarrassing yourselves!

Let’s take a look at the Democrat running against Roy Moore.



From left, Denise McNair, 11; Carole Robertson, 14; Addie Mae Collins, 14, and Cynthia Dianne Wesley, 14, were killed Sept. 15, 1963, when a bomb exploded at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. (AP)

The case haunted Birmingham for years. Four black girls in Alabama had been killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church — a crime that shocked the country and helped fuel the civil rights movement.

Yet the men responsible — members of the Ku Klux Klan who’d boasted about their role — were never tried and convicted. That changed in 1977 when Robert “Dynamite Bob” Chambliss, the suspected ringleader of the bombing, was put on trial.

At the time, Doug Jones, now a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in a hotly contested race Alabama, was a second-year law student. He skipped classes to sit in on the trial, watching in amazement as William Joseph Baxley II, then U.S. attorney in Alabama, presented evidence against Chambliss.

Baxley had received death threats from white supremacists, including an ugly letter from KKK Grand Dragon Edward R. Fields. Baxley responded with a one-sentence missive typed on official stationery: “Dear Dr. Fields, my response to your letter of February 19, 1976, is kiss my ass. Sincerely, Bill Baxley, Attorney General.”

As Jones watched the testimony  in the Jefferson County Courthouse, it became clear that Chambliss did not act alone in the bombing. The four girls killed — 11-year-old Denise McNair and 14-year-olds Carole Robertson, Addie Mae Collins and Cynthia Wesley — had been in the church basement preparing for Sunday service. Addie Mae’s sister, Sarah Jean Collins, who was 12 then, lost an eye in the explosion.

“As I gave my undivided attention to Baxley’s powerful closing argument,” Jones told a House crime subcommittee two decades later, “I never in my wildest imagination dreamed that one day this case and my legal career would come full circle, giving me the opportunity, some 24 years later to prosecute the two remaining suspects for a crime that many say changed the course of history.”

More than 20 years after Chambliss was convicted, Jones would become U.S. attorney in Alabama and set out to finish what Baxley started. He brought charges against two more Klan members, Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., and Bobby Frank Cherry. The prosecutions have helped make him a contender in his Senate race against Republican Roy Moore, a controversial former judge. On Thursday, Moore was accused by a woman of initiating a sexual encounter with her when she was 14 and he was 32 — allegations he called “completely false” and his campaign dismissed as “the very definition of fake news.”

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I remember that bombing and had traveled enough in the Jim Crow South by then to know that I had met little girls just like these four. Both Condoleeza Rice and Angela Davis knew these little girls. For many of us, these four deaths hit with a sickening thud. Much like the Sandy Hook deaths, these children’s murders said we were not protecting our must vulnerable.

When an industry can take strong steps in the face of assaults on the most trusting and vulnerable and government makes excuses, e.g. the ballots are printed, have gone out, folks have voted early … there must be questions.

This is a special election for pete’s sake! It cannot be rescheduled? You cannot find a more honorable candidate and replace this child molester?

Apparently the answer to all of that is no.

I suggest: perhaps instead of a negative campaign against Roy Moore, child molester,  a positive campaign in favor of Doug Jones, child defender, might be in order.

This is the last big 2017 election before mid-terms. Maybe we win by emphasizing being on the right side, against the domestic terrorist organization, for that is what the Klan is, that killed little girls in their church.

There is a plethora of evidence and opinion against the bad guy. We should be pushing the creds of the good guy who took up a case so cold that he himself did not remember the incident and brought the bad guys to justice.

This is for all the little girls because you matter. As Hillary says, “…you are valuable and powerful & deserving of every chance & opportunity in the world.”

I pray that Alabamans will vote for the man who held those four lives in esteem high enough to cause him to go after their killers many years past than for the guy who sends his friends on TV to giggle to Jake Tapper about how silly it is to believe what little girls remember even when they are grown … and Republican.

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There’s a small enclave of roughly 1500 on Facebook that routinely refers to Hillary Clinton as “mama,” “mom,” “mother,” and other maternal terms. There is a central entity (also referred to here as ‘the source’ and ‘the account owner/s)¹ that posts using these terms. The friends and followers of that account enable (I use this term in the co-dependence sense), encourage, and repeat this terminology.

My initial reaction to the use of these terms was that it is decidedly not American. I have seen Africans (specifically sub-Saharan Africans) and some West Indians refer to female leaders in that way, but never Americans. Even the littlest Hillary supporters among us, boys who showed up in Hillary gear and girls who sported pantsuits at Hillary’s campaign events last year, called her Hillary. She related to them as citizens, and even though they were too young to vote, they all seemed to understand who she was, who they were, and that the campaign was a battle we all were in together – an exercise in democracy. So this mama meme² rang odd. Non-native. Not simply the words – the idea.

At first I questioned this usage directly on the Facebook timeline. I was met with anger, defensiveness, and misinterpretation of my words. No, I had not said African-Americans. I had said Africans. Some said they thought it was cute. To me it was anything but endearing. There was something antithetical about it that I could not quite put my finger on. It was alien somehow. I started investigating.

It turned out that some undetermined percentage of the followers of that account are not American. A similarly undetermined percentage are. The account itself is run by an eastern European source. The username on the account is also the title of a short story published independently on a blog and is the name of the main character in that story. The source is not American. (I have chatted privately with one or more – it’s unclear –  representatives of that entity.) The source stubbornly impersonates an American on Facebook notwithstanding my having discovered the true location which the source has confirmed as have I, independently. Consequently, I have been blocked, likely an effort to prevent my leaking the location. No location is cited on the Facebook profile which is minimalist in the extreme.

The source regularly begs HRC to run in 2020 when HRC insists she will do nothing of the kind. That little wrinkle will eventually iron itself out, although it is annoying that a foreign entity so easily influences the Americans who follow it and echo its calls in contradiction to Hillary’s own words.

More central to my issues with this account and this little enclave is that niggling mama meme. Something is not right about that, but what?

The Tracy Flick in me kicked in. Eureka! I know! It is the irrefutable Conservative metaphor at the basis. So I defer and bow in respect to George Lakoff³.

Conservatives r eally want to change the basis of American life, to make America run according to the conservative moral worldview in all areas of life.

In the 2008 campaign, candidate Obama accurately described the basis of American democracy: Empathy — citizens caring for each other, both social and personal responsibility—acting on that care, and an ethic of excellence. From these, our freedoms and our way of life follow, as does the role of government: to protect and empower everyone equally. Protection includes safety, health, the environment, pensions and empowerment starts with education and infrastructure. No one can be free without these, and without a commitment to care and act on that care by one’s fellow citizens.

The conservative worldview rejects all of that.

Conservatives believe in individual responsibility alone, not social responsibility. They don’t think government should help its citizens. That is, they don’t think citizens should help each other. The part of government they want to cut is not the military (we have over 800** military bases around the world), not government subsidies to corporations, not the aspect of government that fits their worldview. They want to cut the part that helps people. Why? Because that violates individual responsibility.

But where does that view of individual responsibility alone come from?

The way to understand the conservative moral system is to consider a strict father family. The father is The Decider, the ultimate moral authority in the family. His authority must not be challenged. His job is to protect the family, to support the family (by winning competitions in the marketplace), and to teach his kids right from wrong by disciplining them physically when they do wrong. The use of force is necessary and required. Only then will children develop the internal discipline to become moral beings. And only with such discipline will they be able to prosper. And what of people who are not prosperous? They don’t have discipline, and without discipline they cannot be moral, so they deserve their poverty. The good people are hence the prosperous people. Helping others takes away their discipline, and hence makes them both unable to prosper on their own and function morally. -George Lakoff

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The mama meme is in direct conflict with progressive values. No matter what sort of “mother of us all” HRC is portrayed to be, the metaphor of HRC as mother is antithetical to the ideals held by progressives, liberals, Democrats. It is an alien concept. That is what bothered me about it.

When I look at those “mama” posts, I see pleas for HRC to come and fix it all. For her somehow to transcend the possibly/probably illegitimate administration and roll back the damage. This message is counter to Hillary’s which is in perfect alignment with big ‘D’ Democratic principles as outlined by Lakoff: We all roll up our sleeves and, in whatever ways we can, move Onward Together.

I believe more fiercely than ever that citizen engagement at every level is central to a strong and vibrant democracy.

To support this wave of grassroots organizing, we’re launching Onward Together, an organization dedicated to advancing the progressive vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the last election. Onward Together will work to build a brighter future for generations to come by supporting groups that encourage people to organize and run for office. – HRC

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The mama meme is a contradiction of this grassroots doctrine.

There is much about that odd Facebook enclave that should cause Americans, particularly Democrats, pause. The language irregularities – typical of non-native speakers. The lack of local context. A friend/follower recommended contacting the source’s congressional representative but stopped short of asking who that might be – apparently not suspecting that there is none despite no location identified on Facebook for that source. Recently, the source mistook a broadcast by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation for ABC News  – the American Broadcasting Company. Americans asked which news show on ABC would carry the interview. No one called out this source for the confusion that ensued when the show did not air in the U.S. because it is an Australian show. There’s the lack of familiarity with American culture as it intersects with the language. Could I possibly be the only American who noted the unfortunate use of “mama” by an adult when “yo’ mama” is an insult most Americans would recognize?

Originally, I could not make sense of this Facebook phenomenon – essentially an eastern European Hillary troll. What would be the purpose? What could be the harm? Why collect Hillary supporters as friends? What is the agenda? But now, in the context of Lakoff’s metaphor, I perceive an effort to wrench that demographic away, philosophically, from its grassroots, small ‘d’ democratic foundation in favor of an authoritarian ideal. Not the ‘strict father’ but the ‘benevolent mother’ who heals all hurts.

In this scenario, the ‘benevolent mother’ is one and only one person. No alternatives are tolerated, and it is imperative that HRC fulfill this destiny as seen by the perpetrators of this meme. No solutions beyond restoring HRC to the rank denied her is acceptable. No candidate other than HRC is worthy. No one else can fix everything.

Where have we heard that theme before? Oh, right! From “strict dad,” Donald Trump! It is one-and-the-same dogma, a most deleterious incursion into grassroots democratic thinking and values. One that Hillary Clinton would renounce and condemn if she knew about it.

It would not be surprising for a foreign source to misunderstand our party’s ethic. But perhaps they understand it all too well and are out to undermine it. What better way than to heap praise and adoring compliments on Hillary and occasionally interject requests that she swoop in like Wonder Woman and right all wrongs? She may be getting that “Wonder Woman Award” but she knows better than anyone – in fact she is the one who keeps reminding us of this – it takes a village.

What is disconcerting is that some percentage of legitimate American Democratic Hillary voters buy into this questionable content. They have come for your hearts and minds, and you have surrendered.

 

For more on George Lakoff’s analysis of Conservative thinking, go here.>>>>


¹ If you have been following my posts about this Facebook entity, you should note that in the past I referred to it as “she” based upon the scanty Facebook profile provided. I have come to doubt that the username” accurately reflects the source since the name also appears as a character and title in a fictional piece. I am not sure this is one person. There may be several people operating this account and one who was my contact in private chats. Therefore I have generalized the identity as “the source.”

² Meme: A meme is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”. A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena with a mimicked theme. Meme – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meme

³ For more from George Lakoff, go here >>>>

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“It’s like that old story; you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard.” – HRC

This is an excellent allegorical warning that Hillary Clinton issued in October 2011 during bilateral remarks with then Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar. The reference, at the time, was to Pakistan harboring the Haqqani Network and the Taliban.

Here are those remarks and that statement in context >>>>

Secretary Clinton’s Remarks With Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar

October 21, 2011

“… we both agreed that terrorism coming from any source is a threat to all of us. We expressed very clearly our concerns about safe havens on both sides of the border. We reasserted our commitment to doing more on the Afghan side of the border to try to eliminate safe havens that fuel insurgency and attacks inside Pakistan. And we asked very specifically for greater cooperation from the Pakistani side to squeeze the Haqqani Network and other terrorists, because we know that trying to eliminate terrorists and safe havens on one side of the border is not going to work. It’s like that old story; you can’t keep snakes in your backyard and expect them only to bite your neighbors. Eventually, those snakes are going to turn on whoever has them in the backyard. We know that – on both sides of the border. ”

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It was only six years ago. We could not have conceived, such a short time ago, that those words could possibly apply to ourselves or to any loyal Americans. Yet here we are.

I watched the marathon of Homeland, Season 4 tonight. The opening credits for that season include a short clip of Hillary delivering those words. Funny how words that only a few years past can have meant one thing then and something new now.

Snakes in the backyard. Yes, Pakistan did and does harbor snakes in their backyard. But now we know that there are snakes in our own backyard: Foreign entities on social media influencing the American electorate. Some of these snakes arrived wearing American skin.

In her memoir, What Happened, Hillary identified the social media landscape as the new battlefield of 21st century warfare.

We have been attacked. Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is ferreting out snakes. But we, too, must be on the lookout for snakes on our social media pages.

Even the snakes you nurture and consider pets are still snakes. Hillary’s words should resound deafeningly!

 

 

 

 

 

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In her book, What Happened, Hillary Clinton discusses Russian interference in our election. She speaks of the the Wikileaks release of Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and her campaign chair, John Podesta’s, emails. Some of these emails were altered in the Wikileaks version of the document dump. The objective was to make it appear that the DNC conspired with Hillary’s campaign to defeat Bernie Sanders.

Portions of these emails were then posted on social media platforms targeted to reach Bernie Sanders supporters after Hillary Clinton’s nomination was secured. The objective here, now that we were out of the primary season and into the general, was to sway Bernie voters and Indies away from “unscrupulous” Hillary and the Dems and toward Trump.

Congressional committees are pursuing investigations into the Russia question bilaterally. Several top Republicans have said that this is necessary since the next time it could be their party that is targeted. Hillary quotes James Comey as testifying that this is not a Democrat or Republican thing. That it is an American thing. That they are “coming after America,” and they will do it again.

I wonder if the Republicans are thinking deeply enough. I wonder if they are asking themselves how they ended up with Trump in the first place.

It can’t possibly be that Hillary Clinton and we, her team, were the only people who suffered a late night shock. There were 16 Republican candidates. Some of them, surely, had a primary night they thought they would win handily and did not. How did that happen?

Is it possible that the same forces that manipulated voters in the general election also manipulated Republican primary voters? What do Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and John Kasich think of this possibility? Does Cary Fiorina really believe she was shoved aside only because she was a woman? Do the Bushes believe Jeb lost because, as Barb said, “Enough Bushes?”

If the Russians managed to manipulate the general election, should we not, down the line, also discover what role they might have played in Trump’s nomination?

It’s an important question. I believe Hillary Clinton had an excellent chance to win against all of those candidates. Each of them thought he/she was the most formidable to face the Democratic nominee. They would not have run to begin with if they did not.

With Mueller’s inquiry evidently reaching into the past well beyond the 2015-2016 election season, you have to wonder. Have the Russians been grooming Trump for many years? If so, was their only target over a two-year period Hillary Clinton? Or were Trump’s Republican opponents also targets of Russian interference?

The inquiries and investigations are only beginning with the Russian effect on the general election. The other question is whether they picked the Republican nominee. If the Republicans are not thinking about this, they should. How else is it possible that Donald Trump, known wheeler-dealer, dead-beat boss, shell game realtor, and political flip-flopper managed to beat out that field of 16?

I hope the Republicans are not focusing only on the forest and missing the foreign entities disguised as trees. (Same goes for the Dems, but I hope they are two or three steps ahead of me here).

 

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Hillary Clinton and former NY Yankee, Bernie Williams, were honored by the Children’s Health Fund at their annual benefit last night at Cipriani. Hillary gave the keynote speech and Bernie provided music.

Hillary took the opportunity to speak out in a timely fashion against the GOP budget that threatens to slash Medicaid, CHIP, SNAP, disability, and other benefits.

Clinton: Trump budget shows ‘unimaginable’ cruelty

Posted: May 23, 2017 9:41 PM EST Updated: May 24, 2017 2:43 AM EST

By STEVE PEOPLES
Associated PressNEW YORK (AP) – Hillary Clinton proclaimed Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s budget shows an “unimaginable level of cruelty” for millions of Americans and children.The former Democratic presidential nominee, who recently declared herself part of the Trump resistance, lashed out at the Republican president’s spending plan in aggressive terms after being honored in New York City by the Children’s Health Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps provide health care to poor and homeless children.”This administration and Republicans in Congress are mounting an onslaught against the needs of children and people with disabilities, women and seniors,” Clinton charged.She said the budget, which was released earlier in the day, “shows an unimaginable level of cruelty and lack of imagination and disdain for the struggles of millions of Americans, including millions of children.”She added, “None of us can remain silent in the face of these attacks.”Read more >>>>

Donald Trump’s Budget Slammed By Hillary Clinton For Showing ‘Unimaginable Level of Cruelty’

Hillary is seen with former NYC mayor, the Honorable David Dinkins, Phillip Glass, Chuck Close (CHF Board of Directors), and Bernie Williams who also was honored.

Yesterday, I compared this budget to terrorism. It is a form of domestic terrorism – deplorable!

Unlike Hillary, I am hitching it to the whole GOP who are enabling Trump’s agenda and celebrating these unconscionable cuts.

 

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In the wake of the diabolical attack on tweens and teens attending last night’s Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, we are likely to see an outpouring of sympathy from all sides. Here is what Donald Trump said.

Many Republicans will probably echo his message.

Before they go superimposing the Union Jack on their avatars and offering their “thoughts and prayers,” Republicans should make an examination of conscience. Those who voted for Trump and this GOP Congress also voted for the budget that plans to make $616 billion (with a “b”) cuts to children’s healthcare and Medicaid, according to The New York Times.

Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program: $616 billion

Changes to Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program would save the federal government money, but would reduce the number of people with insurance. Medicaid savings are estimated at $610 billion over 10 years. The administration would shift some costs to the states, by setting annual limits on federal payments to each state, starting in 2020.

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Chemical attacks in Syria, where children are among a plurality of the victims, and terrorist attacks like the one in Manchester are, of course, outrageous. Children should be protected and safe.

But Republicans are waging a war of life or death here at home against children and low income families. Nothing can be more hypocritical than Donald Trump’s remarks about the children of Syria and Manchester when the health of American children is at risk.

Donald Trump campaigned on an “America First” platform. Crocodile tears for children who are attacked en masse and visibly are meaningless when our own children are put in peril by heartless legislation.

Hillary Clinton, as First Lady, fought hard to get health care insurance for children (Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). From Politifact.

The late-Sen. Kennedy received much of the credit for CHIP because the Massachusetts Democrat shepherded the legislation through a Republican-controlled Congress. Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch was the lead Republican co-sponsor.

Yet, in 2007, Kennedy told the Associated Press that Hillary Clinton played a critical role.

“The children’s health program wouldn’t be in existence today if we didn’t have Hillary pushing for it from the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue,” Kennedy said.

Nick Littlefield, a senior health adviser to Kennedy at the time, agreed.

“She wasn’t a legislator, she didn’t write the law, and she wasn’t the president, so she didn’t make the decisions,” Littlefield told the Associated Press. “But we relied on her, worked with her and she was pivotal in encouraging the White House to do it.”

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During the 2016 campaign Hillary said, “When it’s your kid it’s a big deal. It should be a big deal for your president, too.”

Apparently it is a big deal for Trump and for the GOP – a big deal budget cut!  This budget is a form of terrorism. When you leave families and kids in fear and destitution in the face of disease and disability, you are a terrorist.

So until these cuts to CHIP, Medicaid, and other social programs (e.g. SNAP and disability) are removed from this budget, let’s reject the hypocritical sentiments and hand-wringing from Republicans of every stripe – including our friends on social media who voted for this bunch. No teary emoticons 😥 . No Union Jack avatars. No candles. No b**s**t!

Protect our own kids before you go crying about others. What happened to America First?

Resist, insist, persist, enlist.  Call your Reps! Call your Senators.

 

 

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Hillary Clinton was super active today on the subject of the now withdrawn AHCA, an attempt by Republicans to repeal President Obama’s ACA and replace it.

Today was a victory for all Americans.

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