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267 Days Since Hillary Clinton Held A Press Conference

August 28, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s last actual press conference took place in Iowa on December 4, 2015.  As a decades long follower of politics let me say most candidates have done press conferences somewhat regularly.  Clinton’s refusal is not the norm.

While it is true that Clinton has done numerous one-on-one interviews with news outlets where she’s been asked pointed questions about policy and politics, her e-mail server and her handling of classified information while at the US State Department it is not the same as her taking questions in a totally no-out-bounds press conference.

Over the decades there have been countless times Clinton has proved she can ‘think on her feet’.  She has demonstrated she has the capacity to deal with unwanted or adversarial questions.   So it leaves me unsettled that she refuses to hold a press conference this summer.

Why this bothers me so much is two-fold.

Even though I am Clinton supporter and absolutely know Donald Trump needs to be defeated–literally trounced for a whole raft of reasons ranging from policy to the severe erosion of how the political process needs to function–I still want to have more information put forth from the Democratic nominee about how matters were handled with both her emails and the working relationship with the Clinton Foundation.

I am not suggesting anything improper took place in the latter matter, but do want to hear her own words so to illuminate the situation and present facts to the public. Voters have a right to transparency about these matters.

The second reason I post again about the this matter is that–just as an example from my love of history—Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower held 24 and 23 press conferences per year respectively.   If a nominee for election can not hold press conferences what might that say about the treatment of the press once the office of president is secured?  While  I understand the number of press conferences for those serving in the Oval Office has dwindled over the years the necessity and importance of such events has not!

Press conferences are supposed to have tough questions posed to leaders–or would be leaders–of our nation.  Kennedy faced those questions with wit and style and seemed to enjoy the process.  Nixon sweated during his and Obama seems to have a disdain for them that is etched clearly all over his face.    But journalists give credit for showing up and taking the tough ones that need to be asked. And the citizenry gains knowledge as a result of those times spent with journalists.

So Hillary Clinton, step up and prove what I know you can do.  Be a leader.

And answer my question–Lord knows I would love to have the opportunity to sit in the press room and make the following inquiry.

Since your husband stated he would be removing himself from the functions of the Clinton Foundation should you be elected, due to the that type of  fundraising activity could present problematic conflicts of interest, why aren’t the conflicts present now with you as the Democratic nominee?  Thank you and I want a follow up.

‘No Vacancies’ for Blacks: How Donald Trump Got His Start, And Was First Accused Of Racism

August 28, 2016

Front page and above the fold in The New York Times is the must read Sunday newspaper account of Donald Trump’s troubling story of racism and his business.  Make the coffee and settle in for a powerful read.

  • As Donald J. Trump assumed an increasing role in his father’s business, the real estate company’s practice of turning away potential black tenants was painstakingly documented.
  • An investigation by The New York Times uncovered a long history of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond.
  • Over the next decade, as Donald J. Trump assumed an increasingly prominent role in the business, the company’s practice of turning away potential black tenants was painstakingly documented by activists and organizations that viewed equal housing as the next frontier in the civil rights struggle.

    The Justice Department undertook its own investigation and, in 1973, sued Trump Management for discriminating against blacks. Both Fred Trump, the company’s chairman, and Donald Trump, its president, were named as defendants. It was front-page news, and for Donald, amounted to his debut in the public eye.

  • Looking back, Mr. Trump’s response to the lawsuit can be seen as presaging his handling of subsequent challenges, in business and in politics. Rather than quietly trying to settle — as another New York developer had done a couple of years earlier — he turned the lawsuit into a protracted battle, complete with angry denials, character assassination, charges that the government was trying to force him to rent to “welfare recipients” and a $100 million countersuit accusing the Justice Department of defamation.

    When it was over, Mr. Trump declared victory, emphasizing that the consent decree he ultimately signed did not include an admission of guilt.

    But an investigation by The New York Times — drawing on decades-old files from the New York City Commission on Human Rights, internal Justice Department records, court documents and interviews with tenants, civil rights activists and prosecutors — uncovered a long history  of racial bias at his family’s properties, in New York and beyond.

Look Skyward Tonight At Sunset For A Sight

August 27, 2016

When the sun goes down tonight, Aug. 27th, step outside and look west. Venus and Jupiter are having an amazing close encounter–only 1/15th of a degree apart. If you hold a pencil at arm’s length, the eraser would cover both planets at once. The best place to see this conjunction is from the southern hemisphere.

This conjunction is easy to see in the southern hemisphere where the planets are high in the sky. Not so on the other side of the equator. In the northern hemisphere, Venus and Jupiter hug the horizon at sunset, barely visible in the orange glow of early twilight. This shot from Manhattan shows what to expect.


Keep Your Male Hands Off The Burkini

August 27, 2016

Another sound and reasoned commentary from Quartz.   I totally agree with this logic.

Centuries of patriarchal history were captured in this week’s pictures of policemen on the beach in Nice, France, forcing a woman to take off her shirt and headscarf to comply with the so-called “burkini ban.”

Across countries and cultures, women have been seen as offensive for showing their ankles, necks, faces, hair, arms, legs—or, in turn, for failing to do so. Shaving is immoral. Not shaving is dirty. Wearing make-up is immodest. Not wearing it is sloppy. High heels are provocative. Flat shoes are unprofessional.

In the 1920s, US law required women to wear a full bathing suit—and a record-breaking swimmer was arrested for showing her knees on the beach. A century later, a full bathing suit got a Muslim woman in Cannes fined; the ticket she was given literally said her outfit was not respectful of “bonnes moeurs,” good morals.

Men, or societies, that force women to undress are no better than or different from those that force them to cover up. What freedom or progress is there in armed men demanding that a woman take off her clothes? This wasn’t about protecting France’s secularism; it was about a man’s right to police a woman’s body—still.

Naturally, there was Islamophobia at the core of this, too. Nuns, Orthodox Jewish women, and surfers were not fined. But before a court overturned the ban, its apologists resorted to absurdities to justify it: Nice’s deputy mayor Rudy Salles told the BBC that even Catholic nuns shouldn’t be allowed to wear their habits on the beach.

The message is clear: no woman’s right is sacred enough to get in the way. Even as women might be just about to run the world, their bodies are still the easiest battlefield, their freedom still the first casualty.

Annalisa Merelli

Donald Trump Chairman’s Ex-Wife: Stephen Bannon Said “He Doesn’t Like Jews”

August 27, 2016

Talk about one of the most upside down–inside out–totally incompetent political campaigns that we have ever experienced in our lifetime!  If Donald Trump can not run a political campaign can you image the way he would run a country?

Holy Crap–this is nuts.

And now comes the anti-sematic evidence that will allow for another week of headlines.   God this is grand to watch play.

Who vetted this guru of a campaign CEO?  Ha!

Donald Trump’s campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, was accused by his ex-wife during divorce proceedings of trying to thwart her efforts to send their children to private schools with large numbers of Jewish students, citing his disdain for “whiny brats.”

“He said that he doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiney brats’ and that he didn’t want the girls to go to school with Jews,” his ex-wife, Mary Louise Piccard, claimed in court fillings reviewed by BuzzFeed News.

Bannon’s spokeswoman, Alexandra Preate, denied that he ever made the comments.

“Mr. Bannon said he never said anything like that and proudly sent the girls to Archer for their middle school and high school education,” Preate said.

In his response filed in court, Bannon said he was cut out of the selection process altogether.

Pursuant to the express language of our Judgment, my obligation to pay any private school expenses is conditioned on my being consulted and approving the private school.I was never consulted about the selection of the proposed school and no effort was made to give me the opportunity to participate in the process.

I do not support the children attending a secular school and I do not agree with the or approve the unilateral selection made by (Piccard).”

Path To Citizenship And The GOP

August 26, 2016

If you care to know where the thinkers in the Republican Party are headed and where they are positioning themselves on the issues of the day–and we should care–then I suggest reading the editorials in the Wall Street Journal.  There are too many tin-foil hat types on Facebook or commenting on web sites which all sound screechy and offer nothing of substance.  But if you feel as I do that it takes two vibrant parties who often chafe against each other but in the end forge the best with compromise legislation–then we need to care and read what is being said from ‘the opposition’.

Such was the case today with this editorial about immigration and America in the presidential election season.

More likely, Mr. Trump’s pollsters have informed him that his core demographic coalition is too narrow to win a general election. He needs to expand his appeal among college-educated whites, moderate suburbanites and minorities, and these groups tend to be turned off by the idea of tens of thousands of federal agents breaking up families and raiding businesses in search of people without papers.

Mr. Trump outflanked his GOP rivals on immigration with his willingness to say anything, and he proved that a restrictionist candidate could win the nomination. But his extreme position isn’t winning among the general public. A new Pew survey asked if voters prioritized better border security or a path to citizenship, or whether both approaches should be given equal priority. Some 45% said equal priority—in other words, the Bush-Rubio line and now maybe the Trump line. Legalization received 29% and border security 24%.

Forty-five percent of Republicans said equal priority, 12% legalization, and 41% border security first. Hostility to immigration isn’t all that popular even inside the GOP.

All of this must be disconcerting to the conservatives who want to make deportation a GOP litmus test. They define “amnesty” as any reform that lets any undocumented worker stay in the U.S., and now even their adopted political hero may be abandoning them. At some point he may even endorse something that looks a lot like, well, amnesty.

Senator Ted Kennedy Still Touches Our Political Soul

August 26, 2016

My political hero, Senator Ted Kennedy, passed away on this date in 2009.  He was 77 years old.

Today Caffeinated Politics pays tribute to the man with a portion of his 1980 Democratic convention speech which electrified the party and a young man from Hancock.



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