Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Role Change: The 45th President

At long last, it is done.  From a field of over 20 candidates and the most divisive, insulting campaign in modern history, the government has fulfilled its constitutional duty and installed our nation’s 45th President.  So yeah folks the truth is upon us: Trump In, and…

Welcome to the new reality of President Trump.

But Donald Trump was not the only person to be installed today. This was an Inauguration of, for and by the American People.  For those that wished for a different outcome, let the words of our Former Secretary of State, Former First Lady and lifelong leader ring true today.  From Hillary Clinton’s concession speech… 

We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.
Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things; the rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values too and we must defend them.
Now — and let me add, our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear; making our economy work for everyone not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.
We’ve spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone — for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.
And therein lies our rallying cry and  our new call to purpose.  The same way that Donald Trump went from candidate to the person in power, our roles have also changed today.  We now must stand up, speak out and work like never before to defend all of the values we cherish about our country.  For eight years, the Obamas gave us a voice in Washington like no President and First Lady had done before.  They may be gone from power, but we still have plenty to say.  Of the 324 million shareholders that the new Administration has just inherited, it’s our turn to speak loud and be heard.
So today, we wish the best for our 45th President and the nation. But tomorrow and for the next four years, we will demand it.  

President Obama Urges Black Community to VOTE

In case you forgot Texas, today is Election Day.  Across the Lone Star State, voting is already happening like never before.  As of Thursday evening, over 3.7 million Texans had already voted.  This shatters previous records from 2012 when 3.1 million residents voted early, and there’s still one full day of early voting results to go!!

But even in this era of historic voter turnout, important questions remain, like who is turning out to vote at such high numbers?  According to the Washington Post, this turnout does not appear to be driven by the African-American community…

By most accounts, Hillary Clinton’s path to victory relies on substantial turnout among black and Latino voters. And while early voting numbers so far appear to favor the Democrats, reports in recent days have suggested that although Latino participation may be up, African American turnout may be lower than in 2012. How concerned should the Clinton camp be?

[…]

In 2012, African Americans overperformed in states such as North Carolina and Texas. But this year, black voting rates are trailing other groups relative to their size of the electorate, with some swings on the order of 5 to 10 percentage points.

Per the Texas Tribune, African-American Texans led the state in 2012, voting at a higher percentage of their total population than any other racial or ethnic group.  This is a very interesting fact given all of the negative stereotypes out there which suggest that the Black community is ‘uninformed’ or ‘uninterested’ in elections.  But so far in 2016, Black voters appear to be trailing other parts of the state in the early vote, and are significantly behind their landmark participation rates from 2012.

This lack of voter enthusiasm should be an alarm bell to Democrats.  How is it possible that a candidate as divisive as Donald Trump has not inspired huge turnout in all minority communities??

One prominent African-American is highly concerned, and that is President Obama.

This week on the Tom Joyner morning show, he had this to say, via Black America Web

If you really care about my presidency and what we’ve accomplished, you are going to go and vote. And if you don’t know where to vote, go to www.iwillvote.com .If you’ve already voted, but your mama hasn’t voted, your cousin hasn’t voted, your nephew hasn’t voted, I need you to call them and say that the President and Michelle personally asked you to vote. It’s not that hard. And I know it’s not that hard because we’ve done it before.

But if we let this thing slip and I’ve got a situation where my last two months in office are preparing for a transition to Donald Trump, whose staff people have said that their primary agenda is, to have him, in the first couple of weeks, sit in the Oval Office and reverse every single thing that we’ve done – all the work we’ve done to make sure people get overtime, all the work we’ve done to make sure women get paid the same as men for doing the same job, all the work we’ve done so that 20 million people get healthcare, all the work we’ve done to make sure we’re doing something about climate change, so that we don’t have a situation where the whole world is not scrambling to figure out where they’re going to live and where they get enough water and crops failing and bigger hurricanes – if I’ve got to look at that the last two months, because folks stayed home, even going on the Tom Joyner cruise won’t help me then. If I’m on the cruise, I might jump off.

So yes Black America, sadly the nation’s first Black President is not on the ballot.  It is a difficult fact to accept, but that should not be an excuse.  Donald Trump’s policies on education, banking, the economy and a myriad of other aspects of American life would decimate the black community.  He has promised time and again to pass on massive tax cuts to the wealthy, which will lead to divestment in minority communities.  If a President Trump were to actually scrap the Department of Education and end student financial aid to college, it would bring about the swift demise of universities across the country, with Historically Black Colleges and Universities among the first to close their doors.  Even if President Obama himself is not on the ballot, America needs to know that in 2016, Black Votes Matter.

Early Voting may be over for Texas, but there’s still a chance to vote this Election Day.  Don’t wait until it’s too late!!

your-vote-matters

Think SWING Texas– 2016??

If you’ve followed the blog, it’s been a frequent subject of discussion, and frankly, a sincere hope…

Will Texas ever become a Swing State?? 

 

Back when I first discussed the topic in 2012, here was the rationale:  With over half of the state’s population now concentrated in the 13 largest counties, the potential for Texas to be competitive is abundant.  But it remains a reliably Red State because of low voter turnout.  After the 2012 elections, these ideas seemed to be confirmed.

That’s the problem for Texas, but finding solutions has proven more challenging.  In 2013, Battleground Texas formed to with that very goal in mind.  After being written off by national Democratic organizations for over a generation, suddenly the state was abuzz with left-leaning political activity.  Of course we know that the end result wasn’t in BGTX’s favor, as neither Wendy Davis or Leticia Van de Putte were able to win their statewide races.  But even in losing the battle that year, BGTX played a huge role in an historic new high of voter registration, helped to connect and unite Democrats across the state, and gave us all something to fight for.

After laying a foundation, will 2016 finally be the year that sees this elusive house get built?  If the first week of Early Voting is any indication, the results appear promising for Democrats.  

How promising is still anyone’s guess.  But what we do know is this…

Voter Registration has reached another historic benchmark across the state, led by minority communities in urban counties. The state of over 27 million residents is now up to 15.1 million registered voters.

Early Voting is running a full 6 percentage points higher than in 2012, and nearly 800,000 more people at the polls.  More Texans have already voted than ever before, with most of the state’s 13 largest counties seeing one quarter or more of their voters at the polls. Exciting numbers, but it’s not yet clear whether this represents an actual increase in turnout (and a possible change in the makeup of the electorate), or simply a shift in behavior from voting on Election Day to voting early.  In any event, the answers will be revealed soon.

tx-counties-2016

The other X Factor in the 2016 race (besides the candidates themselves) is the interesting structure of campaigns.  While Hillary Clinton has certainly not made Texas a focal point of her election strategy, the state is not being totally ignored by Democrats.  Even miniscule investments can serve to motivate voters that may have otherwise stayed at home.  But oddly enough, the Trump campaign has also largely ignored the Lone Star State, instead opting for little organization and some social media activity.  As always, there is a strong network of Republican organization here, but it’s not from the top of the ticket.

So with such interesting conditions at play, could Texas voters yield an historic turn of events for Clinton?  The answer is ‘yes’, and even with a loss.  The last time a Democrat actually won the state was in 1976 thanks to President Jimmy Carter.  Since then, no Democrat has even garnered 44 percent of the vote statewide.  If polling is consistent with actual vote totals, Clinton should break this 40 year old glass ceiling with ease.

prez-texas

If past is prologue, we’re far from celebrating an huge sea change in Texas politics.  But if anything, 2016 will serve to move Texas ever closer into that competitive column, and hopefully give Democrats some needed momentum into 2018.

So hold on to your blue boots, and shine ’em up for Election Night!

 

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Wait… How Many Teachers Would Lose Their Jobs If Trump Is Elected??

Is it November the 9th yet?? 

No seriously… many Americans have had it up to HERE with the 2016 election.  For various reasons, they don’t like either choice being offered as the country’s next Commander-in-Chief for the next four years.  There will a be a follow-up post soon to hopefully help ease the pain of that choice, but for now, let’s just call the spade what it is:  a SPADE.

Ok now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, it’s time to remember that the 2016 elections really ARE happening, and they’re really not a joke.  It’s unfortunate that so many in the mainstream media have simply refused to cover substantive issues in lieu of Hillary’s email saga and Donald’s daily antics.  But someone has got to step and speak the truth of why this election is important.  And, we also have to entertain the possibility that Donald Trump could become the next President of the United States.  This is happening… it is REALLY HAPPENING.

So what would the United States Education system look like under a Trump Administration, and a ReTRUMPlican-controlled Congress?  Well, from the, uhh… “plans” he has on his website, it’s kind of ambiguous.

I’m a tremendous believer in Education, but Education has to be at a local level.  We cannot have the bureaucrats in Washington telling you how to manage your child’s education.  So Common Core is a total disaster, we cannot let it continue.  We are rated 28th in the world… the United States, 28th in the world, and frankly we spend far more per pupil than any other country in the world by far, it’s not even a close 2nd.    So here we are… we spend more money, and we’re rated 28th.  Third World countries are ahead of us.  We’re going to end Common Core, we’re going to have Education an absolute priority.

Umm… yeah.  That’s literally the whole Education section of his website.  A 51 second video, nowhere near a school, that cuts away to some random school kids like once.  Here’s a screenshot for those afraid to click…

trump-plans

 

It’s fair to say that Hillary Clinton’s Education Plans are a bit more detailed.

Lacking actual proposals or facts, serious voters have to turn to Donald’s Trumps public statements to try and piece together his views on education.  CBS News gives a decent attempt at comparing Clinton and Trump, though it’s hard to actually do so when one side lacks accountable facts.  For Higher Education, Trump acknowledges that students are in debt, but offers no solutions whatsoever to help those with student loans.  Instead, he suggest that debt would go down if colleges just “let in fewer people.”  Disturbing to say the least.

But the real scare with a President Trump lies in what could happen to our public school system.  In a word, it would be essentially destroyed, with “school choice vouchers” as the only alternative.  And just how many of our nation’s hard-working teachers would hear the signature phrase “you’re fired” if Mr. Trump is elected??  Per the Center For American Progress, nearly half a million educators would receive pink slips.  And for those wondering, a full 49,000 those teachers would be taken from Texas public schools.

cap-trump

Besides our decimated K-12 schools, the Trump campaign has apparently promised to eliminate the Pell Grant entirely, and eradicate most other forms of Financial Aid.  With a lack of ability to pay for college, students would be unable to attend or finish any degrees.  This is more than a way to reduce student debt… it’s a way to also destroy our nation’s higher education system.

This is real folks.  Please know before you vote.  The 2016 elections are more important than ever before.  Are we really willing to put our entire education system at risk for the guy who’s only experience in the field is operation of the ponzi scheme Trump University??

One more time… know BEFORE you V-O-T-E!!

 

trump1

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Before We Freak Out Over the Iran Deal “Ransom”

Because it is Wednesday, or well any day of the week, Donald Trump is on the attack.  But at least today, he’s distracted from his previous mission of belittling a brave American Gold Star family.

After this SHOCKING Wall Street Journal article, Republican Party Leader (now known on this blog as the ReTRUMPlican Party) Donald Trump, Senator Marco Rubio,  and other ReTRUMPlicans are outraged over what some call a “ransom payment” of $400 million to Iran for American hostages released at the close of the Obama Administrations historic Iran Nuclear Deal. But a quick search of information should reveal that this simply not the case.  When the deal was implemented, President Obama may not have revealed exact numbers, but he did disclose the nature of the payment and why the United States government chose to settle it at the same time as the deal.  But hey, don’t take my word for it. Let’s hear directly from the President (check the 8:30 min mark)…

The third piece of [the Iran Deal] involved the United States and Iran resolving a financial dispute that dated back more than three decades.  Since 1981, after our nations severed diplomatic relations, we’ve worked through an international tribunal to resolve various claims between our countries.  The United States and Iran are now settling a long-standing Iranian government claim against the U.S. government.  Iran will be returned its own funds, including appropriate interest, but much less than the amount sought.  For the United States, this settlement could save us billions of dollars that could have been pursued by Iran so there was no sense in dragging [this claim] out.  With the nuclear deal done, and prisoners released, the time was right to resolve this dispute as well.

So yeah… no exact numbers given at the time, but there were no secrets regarding this cash payment.  And to the Wall Street Journal’s credit, they do represent the Administration’s facts regarding the deal.  But of course, we can count on ReTRUMPlican Senator Tom Cotton to ignore the facts at hand, and accuse the Obama Administration of yet another thing they simply didn’t do.

Before freaking out about some ransom, can we try looking at the FACTS first??

Obama Iran Deal

DNC 2016: Hill’s Song United

Just one week ago, as the Republicans finished up their big show in Cleveland, things didn’t look so great for the DNC.  Thanks to the well-timed work of Wikileaks and its exiled founder Julian Assange, the Democratic Party became embroiled in scandal just as their historic Convention was about to begin.  The DNC leaks provided a litany of embarrassing, salacious details of the Party’s backdoor politics, and even uncovered evidence of party favoritism, which caused immediate anger among Bernie Sanders’ most ardent supporters.  Though the emails have yet to show a true coordinated effort of malice, the embarrassment was more than enough to oust DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz just hours before she planned to take the stage.  Indeed, last weekend, many feared that the Democratic Party and presumptive nominee for President Hillary Clinton, were done.

But even through those difficulties, the Democratic National Convention got under way.  Here’s more from Ron Elving of NPR

The first afternoon, the Sanders forces were in full cry — booing every mention of Clinton’s name. There seemed to be little prospect for peace, and many opportunities for disruption and chaos.

[…]

These reactions overestimated the importance and power of the DNC, which was important in many ways, but far from critical, in determining who voted or how. Still, the WikiLeaks release served to confirm the suspicion that party rules and party rulers were somehow overruling the popular will of the people.

It was obvious that the DNC controversies fed into a Rules Committee decision to reduce the future numbers of superdelegates (elected officials and party leaders who are uncommitted participants in the nominating convention and may vote their own conscience). In 2020, such delegates will be reduced from 720 to 250.

But negotiations were going forward even then. Sanders’ people were talking, and there were delegation leaders willing to work overtime to heal wounds. Sanders himself, having already formally conceded, intervened to urge his delegates to show respect, if only to preserve the gains they had made as a movement.

But even as Democrats worked overtime to mend fences with bruised Sanders supporters within the Convention hall, they worked just as hard to produce a show for the ages for those watching at home.  From the powerful sincerity of Michelle Obama on the first night, to the personal touch of FGOTUS— First Gentleman of the United States– nominee  Bill Clinton on the second, to the each speaker at the DNC had a very specific goal for their dual audience… show the party is united with its nominee Hillary Clinton.

Intermingled with some of the country’s most prominent politicians were the speakers whose persuasive power could not be denied… those everyday Americans who got up in front of their country and spoke their truth.  Geneva Reed-Veal (mother of Sandra Bland}, Sybrina Fulton (mother of Trayvon Martin) and other Mothers of the Movement took the stage to represent Black Lives Matter– a phrase barely even uttered at the RNC.  The incredible speech of Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American father whose son, Humayun Khan, was an American captain who sacrificed his life to save other American troops in Iraq. brought the crowd to its feet in a rousing show of support.

If anything at the DNC can be claimed as a true success, it starts with the involvement of these real Americans, and the ever-powerful strains of sincerity that they delivered on stage.  They reminded Americans that this year’s election really does matter.

By the time Hillary Clinton took the stage in the final speech, the true work of the Convention was done.  From a turbulent beginning, the 2016 Democratic National Convention rose from the controversy and persevered.  But thankfully, Clinton wasn’t satisfied with simply the work of others.  She may not have provided the soaring oratory of President Obama, but she did give a speech that was patriotic, and policy-specific (something we’ve yet to see from Mr. Trump).  NPR even did an excellent fact-check of Hillary Clinton’s address.  For anyone worried about holding the Democratic nominee accountable, you can start keeping tabs.

Check out the historic address below…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNEIQ8olnro

So finally, after two long and raucous weeks, the table is set for America’s two main political parties.  And for the Democrats, the song now belongs to Hillary.  Let’s hope that chorus grows through November and on to January.

Hill Song

Music Musings: Broadway Stars Unite for Orlando at DNC

As if the contrast between last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland and this week’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia weren’t already apparent, the DNC decided to highlight those contrasts with a literal choir of star power.

In a massive, moving tribute to Americans taken by gun violence in Orlando, 40 of Broadway’s biggest stars took over the DNC stage to sing a stirring rendition of the Hal David and Burt Bachrach classic, What the World Needs Now Is Love.

Here’s the scoop on all the stars from Adam Hetrick of Playbill:

Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Idina Menzel, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lena Hall, Alice Ripley, Ben Vereen, Tyne Daly, and Emmy winner Debra Messing are among the Broadway stars who delivered a moving performance of “What the World Needs Now” July 27 at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, PA.

The song concluded with chants of “Love!” “Love!” “Love!” from the starry lineup whose hands were folded into the shapes of hearts.

Also featured were Kristin Bell, Darren Criss, Stephanie J. Block, Adrienne Warren, Len Cariou, Richard Kind, Tom Wopat, Wilson Cruz, Michael Longoria, Rosie Perez, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Nicholas Callaway Foster, Olga Merediz, Michelle Collins, Jon Viktor Corpuz, Sharon Gless, Roz Ryan, Mary Ann Hu, Anika Larsen, Margaret Stallings, Eve Plumb, Montego Glover, Michael Urie, Carmen Cusak, Darius de Haas, Melissa Errico, Janet Metz, as well as Broadway for Orlando creators Van Dean of Broadway Records,Seth Rudetsky, James Wesley, and their daughter, Juli Wesley.

How beautiful it is when the worlds of music, entertainment and politics can join together for a cause greater than the sum of its parts.  Watch the moving video below, and have some tissue at the ready…