Friday, May 25, 2007

War Funding

Hillary voted against the bill without time lines and here's what she had to say:

"Tonight I voted against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill because it fails to compel the President to give our troops a new strategy in Iraq. I believe that the President should begin a phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq and abandon this escalation. I fully support our troops, and wish the President had followed the will of the people and signed the original bill we sent which both funded the troops and set a new course of phased redeployment. But the President vetoed Congress's new strategy and so Congress must reject the President's failed policies. I will also continue to press with Senator Byrd for our legislation to end the authorization of the war in Iraq.

While I am deeply disappointed that the supplemental does not provide for a new course in Iraq, I want to recognize the many worthy parts of this bill: funding to help those sickened in the aftermath of 9/11, additional relief for Katrina and Rita victims, homeland security funds for high-threat cities like New York City, resources to protect parts of New York affected by recent flooding, $650 million for the State Children's Health Insurance Program, and the first federal minimum wage increase in ten years. I support these measures but cannot support this Emergency Supplemental which will not change our course in Iraq."

Saturday, May 5, 2007

This N' That

The space between posts just keeps on keepin' on edition.

* Oliver Willis on the GOP debate: "- I love that they spend so much time attacking Sen. Clinton, that just makes her more likable." Well some of us liked her plenty already.

* Clinton is introducing a repeal of the war authorization.

* Senator Clinton on Bush's veto of the war appropriation.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Cattle Call

Kos hasn't been exactly the most favorable to Hillary Clinton, but she's still at the top of the Cattle Call.

Clinton leads in all the national polls, even if her position is eroding in a couple of them. She leads in several early states like New Hampshire, California, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina ... well, pretty much all of them except for Iowa. She may have lost the Q1 fundraising battle, but she has more than enough money to compete. Way more than enough.

Monday, April 2, 2007


Clinton's first quarter numbers were quite amazing. Over at Slog, Josh Feit thinks this is particularly telling:

A spokesman for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign said that it had received contributions from 50,000 donors and that 80 percent had given less than $100 each.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

This and That

* Hillary Clinton on the Iraq war funding vote and a recommendation to the president:

Clinton said if Bush vetoed such legislation passed by both the House and Senate, he would “be willing to veto the will of the American people.”

* From the same article, another not very important endorsement, but Billie Jean King also endorsed Clinton.

* Other recent endorsements include Geraldine Ferraro and Tom Vilsack.

* Kim Gandy, president of NOW, on the Clinton blog:

At this time in our history, this country needs strong, experienced and principled leadership to restore faith in our government and repair its credibility at home and abroad, and to end the destructive policies that have eroded our civil liberties and increased injustice and inequality in our society.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is just such a leader. She has a long history of support for women's empowerment, and her public record is a testimony to her leadership on issues important to women in the U.S. and around the globe. She has eloquently articulated the need for full economic, political and social equality for women in every institution of society, taking action throughout her career - as a lawyer, community leader, First Lady, Senator and candidate for the presidency - to advance the civil and human rights of women and girls.

*I'll try to be less time between future posts, but no promises.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Hair and Clothes

A very interesting post (NSFW, swearing that's removed in the quote below) by Erica C. Barnett. I think we all know that Clinton is going to get a disproportionate amount of clothing talk.

Hillary Clinton, distilled through the gender-cliche filter at the New York Times: A "nurturing warrior." A "tea-sipping girlfriend." A "giggly mom" who's "tough... but tender." Not a "power-hungry climber." Someone who likes to have "chitchats" and do "little jigs." An "air-kisser." Loved by "girls." A "fed-up mom" with a "high, insistent" voice who gets "discernibly nervous" in crowds.

Yes, Clinton has focused on her gender on the campaign trail--in large part because the media can talk about nothing else. Male is the presumed default gender in politics, yes, but it's also the default gender in every other f------ (taking out the swearing mine -Stephen) aspect of life. "Over the years," the story begins, Clinton has "evolved through a series of female personas." Funny how stories about male politicians never start with a dissection of their evolving "male personas."
Of course when it was Al Gore, they just said they were different personas (He wears different clothing to a debate and a farmer's market! Who is the real Al Gore?) But the point remains, that Clionton is going to be considered a female first and a presidential candidate second in too many stories. In part because the first female candidate is so new, and in part because the media isn't 100% sexism free.

Ultimately, I'd like Barnett to post more of the Clinton stuff on Slog, although I guess it's more commentary than news, so perhaps that's the wrong place.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Darcy Burner

She's running again to take out Dave Reichert. I was a big supporter last time, and while I'd like to see who else is in and what their pitches are before I support anyone, this seems will be exciting. This is relevant to Clinton, because Hillpac was the only one of the candidate PAC's to endorse Darcy Burner in 2006.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

This and That

Blog Against Sexism Day Edition:

* A couple really great guest posts on the official blog. First this letter from Marina Pisklakova of the National Center for the Prevention of Violence in Russia.

Dear Senator Clinton!

In Russia we are getting ready to celebrate another March 8th - International Women's Day, which used to be in our country a Day of Spring and Beauty, but now we speak of Women's Rights and solidarity on this Day. I want to thank you for everything you have done for bringing these changes for women in my country, especially in the area of violence against women. I want you to know what role you have played personally in my life and the lives of many other women leaders from different countries that I know about.

The first time I have heard you speak was at the Beijing Conference in 1995. At that time I was at the beginning of my journey as women's rights activist. I will never forget that feeling of unity, inspiration, power and suddenly believing that I can go forward and change the world. I was standing there thinking: "She cares and she means it! We all can do it!" This feeling keeps supporting me through the years of struggle.
I love that she started her letter off with an exclamation point! I may have to start doing that. I've posted it before, but if you haven't read the speech mentioned here, do yourself a favor and read it right now.

* Also on the official blog, this post by Inez McCormack of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on what peace means on International Women's Day:

I came to know her through her involvement in helping building peace in Ireland. I have also worked with her through the Vital Voices network in supporting women leaders around the world. Many of these women, like me, lived in narrow and contested space and her support has widened that space and enabled their work to thrive. The network has then reached out to others and is a growing vibrant example of how women can work together to create change across traditions and divisions. I was proud and delighted recently to join her in an event which affirmed her support for women acting as agents of their own change. She presented a Human Rights award on behalf of the American Labour Movement to Ela Bhatt, founder of SEWA. SEWA has now over 600,000 women members in India who work in the insecurity of the informal economy. Hillary Clinton has consistently supported the work of this unique women's union in developing their own financial, health, educational and employment resources.

* Also campaign related, Clinton is re-introducing the Count Every Vote Act.

Hillary introduced the Count Every Vote Act, legislation the New York Times called "the gold standard for election reform." But she needs you to make it a reality. A massive public show of support for our right to vote will let Congress know that this issue isn't going away until we are confident our rights are protected.

* Fox News is still giving time to people making up that Hillary is attacking Obama.

Monday, March 5, 2007



Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. And I want to begin by giving praise to the Almighty for the blessings he has bestowed upon us as a congregation, as a people, and as a nation. and I thank you so much, Reverend Armstrong, for welcoming me to this historic church.

And I thank the First Baptist Church family for opening your hearts and your home to me and to so many visitors today. I have to confess that I did seek dispensation from Reverend Armstrong to come because you know, I'm a Methodist. And I'm in one of those mixed marriages. And my husband, who sends greetings to all of you today, felt it necessary to call the Reverend to make sure that was all right. And thank you, reverend, for being so broad-minded and understanding.

It is also a great honor to be here with so many distinguished members of the clergy, elected officials, leaders of the civil rights movement, today, tomorrow, and yesterday. President Steele, I could have listened all afternoon. That pulse that you found so faint you have brought back to life. And all of us owe you and SCLC a great deal of gratitude.

I think everybody in the sanctuary has been introduced. But I want to just say a word of recognition to some of my colleagues in government who have traveled a long way to be here with us today. Congressman Rahm Emanuel from Illinois and his son Zach. Congressman Anthony Weiner from New York. Congresswoman Gwendolyn Moore from Wisconsin. Congressman Linda Sanchez from California. And the chair of all the mayors in the country, Mayor Palmer from Trenton, New Jersey. I thank them for coming to join with us.

And I have to say, Chairman Chestnut, thank you for the history lesson and for the welcome. I thank all of the board of deacons, the board of trustees and the deaconesses and I appreciate that we are gathered here for another commemoration that is important for us once again to re-enact so we never forget.

I also want to ask for our prayers on behalf of all those who lost their lives in the terrible tornadoes that swept through this state and others and particularly for those young people, those eight students of Enterprise High School who lost their lives, for their families, and on behalf of all those who may still be missing.

I come here this morning as a sister in worship, a grateful friend and beneficiary of what happened in Selma 42 years ago. I come to share the memories of a troubled past and a hope for a better tomorrow.

One that is worthy of the sacrifices that were made here. Today marks that 42nd anniversary. but it also marks, as we have heard, the 50th anniversary of SCLC and the 50th anniversary of the integration of Central High by the Little Rock Nine.

And I have friends with me today from Arkansas who have been with my husband and me for all those years. We know, as President Steele reminded us, that America's march to freedom, equality and opportunity has been marked by milestones -- milestones like the creation of SCLC and the integration of Central High and that fateful Sunday with that march across the Pettis Bridge. But those are just milestones. They do not mark the end of the journey. In fact, it is not over yet. and I believe that for many people today who are mistaken that Bloody Sunday is a subject for the history books, it is our responsibility to make it clear to them it is just as relevant today as it was 42 years ago.

Yes, that long march to freedom that began here has carried us a mighty long way. But we all know we have to finish the march. That is the call to our generation, to our young people. As a young girl, I had the great privilege of hearing Dr. King speak in Chicago. The year was 1963. My youth minister from our church took a few of us down on a cold January night to hear someone that we had read about, we had watched on television, we had seen with our own eyes from a distance, this phenomenon known as Dr. King.

He titled the sermon he gave that night "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution." some of you may have heard it because he delivered it more than once. He described how the literary character Rip Van Winkle had slept through the American Revolution. And he called on us, he challenged us that evening to stay awake during the great Revolution that the Civil Rights Pioneers were waging on behalf of a more perfect union.

It was sweeping our country, and we would sleep through it at our risk and detriment. Now, I know we've been at this a long time. And after all the hard work, getting rid of the literacy tests and the poll taxes, fighting for the right to vote, bringing more people into the economic mainstream, a body does get tired.

But we've got to stay awake. we've got to stay awake, because we have a march to finish. a march toward one America, that should be all America was meant to be. That too many people before us have given of themselves time and again, to make real. How can we rest while poverty and inequality continue to rise? How can we sleep, while 46 million of our fellow Americans do not have health insurance? How can we be satisfied, when the current economy brings too few jobs and too few wage increases and too much debt? How can we shrug our shoulders and say this is not about me, when too many of our children are ill-prepared in school for college and unable to afford it, if they wish to attend?

How can we say everything is fine when we have an energy policy whose prices are too high, who make us dependent on foreign governments that do not wish us well, and when we face the real threat of climate change, which is tinkering with God's creation?

How do we refuse to march when we have our young men and women in uniform in harm's way, and whether they come back, their government does not take care of them the way they deserve?

And how do we say that everything is fine, Bloody Sunday is for the history books, when over 96,000 of our citizens, the victims of Hurricane Katrina, are still living in trailers and mobile homes, which is a national disgrace to everything we stand for in America?

You know, Dr. King told us -- Dr. King told us our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Well, I'm here to tell you poverty and growing inequality matters. Health care matters. the people of the Gulf Coast and New Orleans matter. Our soldiers matter. Our standing in the world matters. Our future matters, and it is up to us to take it back, put it in to our hands, start marching toward a better tomorrow!

Now, 42 years ago, from this church and from brown, brave men and women first tried to march. Two days later, Dr. King tried again. Getting as far as the bridge. Then on the third day, armed with judge Frank Johnson's order, more than 3,000 people crossed the Pettis Bridge. And by the time they got to Montgomery, they were 25,000 strong.

Now, my friends, we must never forget the blows they took. Let's never forget the dogs and the horses and the hoses that were turned on them, driving them back, treating them not as human beings.

But also don't forget about the dignity with which they bore it all. They understood the right to vote matters. Now, five months later the voting rights act was enacted by Congress and signed by President Johnson, but we all know it was written on the march from Selma to Montgomery.

It was written by men and women with tired feet and swollen ankles. And it was first signed with their blood, sweat, and tears. We cherish the few, including my good friend, Congressman John Lewis, who still remain with us today, to cross the bridge again. But let us not forget those who have passed on -- Dr. King and Coretta, Viola, Ralph Abernathy, Josea Williams and all the others. We remember, too, Jimmy Lee Jackson, whose killing near here was one of the events that ignited the march. and we were the support of this great church and of Reverend Fred, who helped to lead people into justice for all.

So many prayed and stood up for the right to vote. Dr. King said quality for African-Americans would also free white Americans of the staining legacy of slavery. And so it has. In 2000, my husband said here that those who walked across the bridge made it possible for the south to grow and prosper and for two sons of the south, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, to be elected president of the United States.

The Voting Rights Act gave more Americans from every corner of our nation the chance to live out their dreams. And it is the gift that keeps on giving. Today it is giving Senator Obama the chance to run for president of the United States. And by its logic and spirit, it is giving the same chance to Governor Bill Richardson, an Hispanic, and yes, it is giving me that chance, too.

You know, this may be interesting for the legislators who are here, but before Selma and the Voting Rights Act put quality front and center, it was illegal under Alabama law for women to serve on juries. I know where my chance came from, and I am grateful to all of you, who gave it to me.

But in the last two presidential elections we have seen the right to vote tampered with, and outright denied to too many of our citizens, especially the poor and people of color. Not just in Florida, Ohio, and Maryland, but in state after state. The very idea that in the 21st century, African-Americans would wait in line for 10 hours while whites in an affluent precinct next to theirs waited in line for 10 minutes, or that African-Americans would receive fliers telling them the wrong time and day to exercise their constitutional right to vote. That's wrong. It is simply unconscionable that today young Americans are putting their lives at risk to protect democracy half a world away when here at home their precious right to vote is under siege.

My friends, we have a march to finish. I will be reintroducing the Count Every Vote Act, to ensure that every voter is given the opportunity to vote, that every vote is counted, and each voter is given the chance to verify his or her vote before it is cast and made permanent.

We have to stay awake. We have a march to finish. On this floor today, let us say with one voice the words of James Cleveland's great freedom hymn, "I don't feel no ways tired/I come too far from where I started from/Nobody told me that the road would be easy/I don't believe he brought me this far to leave me."

And we know -- we know -- we know, if we finish this march, what awaits us? St. Paul told us, in the letter to the Galatians, "Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due seasons we shall reap, if we do not lose heart." The brave men and women of Bloody Sunday did not lose heart. We can do no less. We have a march to finish. Let us join together and complete that march for freedom, justice, opportunity, and everything America should be. Thank you and God bless you.

Friday, March 2, 2007

This and that

* OK, so apparently, Hillary Clinton wrote about Saul D. Alinsky in college. I obviously haven't read it, and I do think her graduation speech is important, but seriously, "that would allow readers to decode the thinking of the former first lady and 2008 presidential candidate"? Don't look at her record in the Senate and as First Lady. Or at her work as a lawyer for many years. You know, one thing she wrote as an undergrad, is all the right needs to know.

* And speaking of her record in the Seante, she's signed on to Appolo Energy! Inslee and Cantwell's efforts are paying dividends, and I couldn't be more thrilled.

* The Clinton blog is up and running, and it looks great. Hopefully I'll be inspired to write a bit more on this blog. I think this post is great. It's basically just a letter about Walter Reed, but I like that the info is there if you want to write your own letter.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

One Week

There will be many fundraising appeals in the next year. This is the first time the Presidential campaign is asking for money, and it's up against KEXP and KCTS asking for cash. But anyway, here's Bill from an email a couple of days ago:

Am I enthusiastic about my wife's campaign for president? You bet I am. I know her better than anybody on earth, and she's got the best combination of mind and heart of everybody I've ever known.

All across the country, Hillary is campaigning with the signature wisdom, grace, and humor that make her a great candidate. I know that if we all work hard enough, those same traits will make her an even better president.

You and I know something about waging and winning presidential campaigns.

Winning the White House takes persistence, energy and effort -- not just from the candidate, but from a massive network of grassroots supporters.

Hillary's campaign is off to a great start. And this week, we're going to help take it to another level. Our goal: to demonstrate the range and breadth of Hillary's support by raising one million dollars in grassroots donations in a week's time.

Will you help me get our "One Week, One Million" campaign off to a powerful start?

Click to donate:

Look, with Republicans using everything in their arsenal to stop her campaign, Hillary is going to need every one of us to do everything that we can for her.

During eight years in the White House, Hillary and I faced a constant barrage of attacks from Washington Republicans. No insult was off-limits. No tactic was too low. They threw everything they could at us -- but we beat them time and time again.

The attacks on Hillary haven't stopped, and she hasn't stopped winning. You know how they say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger? Well, Hillary is as strong as they come.

Let's make this a week when we demonstrate that her campaign is strong, too. Strong enough to sustain Hillary's run for the presidency through thick and thin. Strong enough to win.

Click to donate:

I can't wait to join Hillary on the campaign trail and talk to people about what a great president she's going to be. She is a tireless fighter and a brilliant born leader, and I have no doubt the American people will make her our first woman president.

Over the next week, you'll hear from some other friends and admirers of Hillary. I hope you'll join them in making our One Week, One Million campaign a success. But, most importantly, I hope you'll act right now to get this dramatic display of grassroots support off the ground with a big outpouring for Hillary on the first day.

Click to donate:

Thank you so much for your support. Hillary and I couldn't do it without you.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Western Issues

I'm not sure what the issues we have here are, but it's good to see Hillary come West to address them.

The biggest single issue for our way of life is probably global warming. What with our dependence on the snow pack and keeping those tropical diseases confined to the tropics. Here she is addressing that pretty well:

Monday, February 19, 2007

Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act

From an email today:

Right now, there isn't one of us who isn't thinking about Iraq. That's why I went there recently: to meet with the commanders on the ground, to talk with Iraqi leaders, and to speak to the men and women who are fighting this war so heroically.

I came back even more determined to stop the president's escalation of troops into Iraq and to start the redeployment of troops out of Iraq. So I outlined a plan, and on Friday, I introduced it to Congress as the Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act.

My plan accomplishes a number of goals. It stops the president's escalation. It protects our troops by making sure they aren't sent to Iraq without all of the equipment and training they need. It puts an end to the blank check for the Iraqi government. It calls for an international conference to bring other countries together to help forge a stable future for Iraq. Finally, my plan would begin a phased redeployment of our troops out of Iraq. I've been pushing for this for almost two years.

For more details about my plan, please watch Friday's HillCast, the first of what I hope will be a regular series of web broadcasts:

The Iraq Troop Protection and Reduction Act is a roadmap out of Iraq. I hope the president takes this road. If he does, he should be able to end the war before he leaves office. But let's not kid ourselves. From everything we've seen, this president is going down a very different path. He's fighting to escalate the war, not to end it.

I know we're at the start of a presidential campaign, but I think all Democrats should be focused on working together to push the president to change course. We have to end this war in a smart way, not a Republican or a Democratic way, but a way that makes us safer and gets our troops home as soon as possible. That's what I'll be fighting for.

But let me be clear, if George Bush doesn't end this war before he leaves office, when I'm president, I will.

Please watch the HillCast for more details of my plan:

Friday, February 16, 2007

How is this Even Possible?

Why on earth could this possibly have been left undone by the last Congress? Maybe it just slipped their mind what with all the honoring MVP's, re-naming post offices, and supporting National Passport Month.

Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today announced that she will propose legislation to help single parents who are killed in Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere to establish a guardian as recipient of their death benefit. Under her legislation, single parents will have greater flexibility to provide the death benefit to the person who will be the guardian of their minor child in the tragic case of their death. The legislation would allow single parents to designate the custodial guardian of the minor child to receive those benefits.

"I have long championed increased resources for grandparents, many of them retired, who are faced with unnecessary financial hardships while raising their children's children without access to financial assistance", said Senator Clinton. "This bill reflects the realities that the toll of this war is taking on American military families. Single parents are being killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ability for grandparents or other designated guardians to care for surviving children is limited and creating unnecessary hardships."

The legislation will also require mandatory counseling during pre-deployment activities specifically tailored to provide information about wills, trusts, and life insurance options so they are fully informed about the financial decisions they are making on behalf of their families.

Currently, nearly two and half million grandparents are raising their grandchildren nationwide. Senator Clinton, along with Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), has introduced the The Kinship Caregiver Support Act to support such families. Today, they are reintroducing their legislation for the 110th Congress.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Senator Clinton's speech on Iran today:

Mr. President, at this moment of challenge for our nation, the vantage point of this august chamber, we look onto a world filled with danger, deeply complex threats against our troops and our national interests abroad, and genuine risks to our security here at home. Keeping our nation strong and our people safe requires that we employ the best and smartest strategies available.

In confronting enemies and threats, we are fortunate to possess a great many assets, all of which we must wisely deploy, including our military, diplomatic, economic, and cultural assets. Our strongest asset remains the democracy that we are privileged to take part in as members of the Senate and as representatives of our constituents. Our democratic institutions, under our Constitution, balance one another and check against excesses and concentrations of power that help us wrestle with difficult challenges in an open and forthright way. This constitutional framework is not an obstacle to pursuing our national security, but the example that we should project to the world. Our democracy, with its tradition of accountable power and open debate, is America at its best. And that's what we need, America at our best, as we deliberately and resolutely confront the threat posed by the Iranian regime.

Now, make no mistake, Iran poses a threat to our allies and our interests in the region and beyond, including the United States. The Iranian president has held a conference denying the Holocaust and has issued bellicose statement after bellicose statement calling for Israel and the United States to be wiped off the map. His statements are even more disturbing and urgent when viewed in the context of the regime's quest to acquire nuclear weapons. The regime also uses its influence and resources in the region to support terrorist elements that attack Israel. Hezbollah's attack on Israel this summer, using Iranian weapons, clearly demonstrates Iran's malevolent influence even beyond its borders. We also have evidence, although it is by no means conclusive, of attacks using Iranian-supplied or manufactured weaponry against our own American soldiers. As I have long said and will continue to say, U.S. policy must be clear and unequivocal: We cannot, we should not, we must not permit Iran to build or acquire nuclear weapons. And in dealing with this threat, as I've also said for a long time, no option can be taken off the table.

But America must proceed deliberately and wisely, and we must proceed as a unified nation. The smartest and strongest policy will be one forged through the institutions of our democracy. That is the genius of our American system and our constitutional duty. We have witnessed these past six years-- until the most recent election of a new Congress by the American people-- the cost of congressional dereliction of its oversight duty, a vital role entrusted to Congress by our constituents, enshrined in, and even required by our Constitution. So we are here today because the price that has been paid in blood and treasure; through the rush to war in Iraq and the incompetence of its execution and managing the aftermath; in the excesses of military contracting abuses and the inadequate supply of body armor and armored vehicles on the ground have led to a loss of confidence among our allies and the American people in this Administration. Therefore, Mr. President, we cannot and we must not allow recent history to repeat itself.

We continue to experience the consequences of unchecked Presidential action. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, but this President was allowed, for too long, to commit blunder after blunder under cover of darkness provided by an allied Republican Congress.

In dealing with the threats posed by the Iranian regime, which has gained its expanding influence in Iraq and the region as a result of the Administration's policies, President Bush must not be allowed to act without the authority and oversight of Congress. It would be a mistake of historical proportion if the Administration thought that the 2002 resolution authorizing force against Iraq was a blank check for the use of force against Iran without further Congressional authorization. Nor should the President think that the 2001 resolution authorizing force after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, in any way, authorizes force against Iran. If the Administration believes that any, any use of force against Iran is necessary, the President must come to Congress to seek that authority.

I am deeply concerned by the recent statements coming out of the Bush Administration. The Administration has asserted evidence of the Iranian regime's complicity, at the highest levels, for attacks within Iraq. Yet at the same time, General Peter Pace, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, questions these as assertions, in particular, the capability and intentions of the Iranian government. In this delicate situation, while making disturbing comments, [there are reports that the Administration] is sending a third aircraft carrier to the Gulf.

The President owes an on-going consultation to this Congress and owes straight talk to the country. We have to get this right. The Congress should debate our current course, including the current silent-treatment policy toward our adversaries. I believe we can better understand how to deal with an adversary such as Iran if we have some direct contact with them. I think that can give us valuable information and better leverage to hold over the Iranian regime. And if we ever must, with Congressional agreement, take drastic action, we should make clear to the world that we have exhausted every other possibility.

I welcome the agreement announced yesterday between the United States and North Korea. It demonstrates the central value of using every tool in our arsenal to achieve our objectives. I only wish the Administration had pursued this course six years ago when an agreement with North Korea was within reach. The wasted time has allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons in the interim. Failure to use diplomacy has damaged our national security interests. The important step forward our country has made with North Korea raises the obvious question: Why will the President refuse to have any kind of process involving Iran as I and others have urged? The United States engaged in talks with North Korea within a multilateral process, but also had ongoing bilateral discussions. We should have such a process of direct engagement with Iran, as recommended by many, including the Iraq Study Group. We need friends and allies to stand with us in this long war against terrorism and extremism, and to contain and alter the regimes that harbor and support those who would harm us. During the cold war, we spoke to the Soviet Union while thousands of missiles were pointed at our cities, while its leaders threatened to bury us, while the regime sewed discord and military uprisings and actions against us and our allies. That was a smart strategy used by Republican and Democratic Presidents alike, even though it was often a difficult one.

As we discuss potential evidence of Iranian complicity in supplying arms to insurgents, along with the refusal to suspend their nuclear ambitions, we need to deliver a strong message to Iran that we will not stand by and tolerate this behavior. However, we need to deliver that message forcefully through direct talks. The lives of American soldiers are at risk and we should not outsource our discussions with the Iranians on this and other issues. When I say no option should be taken off the table, I include diplomacy.

Currently, our intelligence on Iran is of uncertain quality. We need to examine the facts closely and carefully. No action can or should be taken without explicit Congressional authorization. And knowing what we know now, this body needs a steady stream of real, verifiable intelligence. We, in the Congress, cannot do our part in deciding what needs to be done if we do not know what is happening. And it does not appear that the administration has any real grasp on the facts on the ground, even after all these years. The public unclassified sections of the NIE report recently issued, made it very clear in their conclusions that sectarian violence would still exist in Iraq absent Iran.

So we have a lot to sort out here. We have all learned lessons from the conflict in Iraq, and we have to apply those lessons to any allegations that are being raised about Iran. Because, Mr. President, what we are hearing has too familiar a ring and we must be on guard that we never again make decisions on the basis of intelligence that turns out to be faulty. If we find evidence of potential Iranian complicity, we will take appropriate action, but that requires a partnership to defend and protect America's national security interests between the Congress and the President.

Oversight will also lead to a consensus approach that brings together the best judgments and strategies of our nation and will examine the consequences of action, the reality of any perceived or alleged threat, and the consequences of taking action. I sometimes fear that the word "consequence" has been taken out of the vocabulary of this Administration. We have to look over the horizon. We have to make hard choices among difficult options.

So, Mr. President, there are no easy answers to the complex situations we confront in the world today, but if we do face threats, then Congressional consultation and authorization will bring the American people into the debate. Whatever steps, if any, may be required should be taken by our nation, not just by our President. We must act as Americans, not as members of one party or another. Our nation has been divided by a failed policy and the relentless pursuit of it. We are facing that again with the escalation policy that the President is pursuing today.

Mr. President, if we face up to our constitutional responsibilities as the Congress, if we conduct the oversight that is required, if we exercise our checks and balances, then we are likely to reach a better conclusion than we have thus far. We must be tough and smart, deliberative and wise, and we must look at all of our assets, not just the brave men and women who wear the uniform of our country to implement the best policy. We should start by employing our best values, the democratic values that give strength to our nation and our cause, and that serve as an example and beacon to people who wish to live in peace and freedom and prosperity around the world.
If I hadn't done one yesterday, and if I didn't have other things to do, I'd make this an action item, but if you want, it's always a good idea to write a letter to the editor.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Action Item #3 Write your Representative

A recent article in The Hill is talking about who has endorsed what candidates (.pdf) (H/T). While Senator Clinton has the most of any Democrats, it's pretty early, and most people who will endorse haven't. So I'm asking you to write your Representative and ask them to endorse Hillary Clinton(people in the 8th district and Eastern Washingtonians, fear not, there will be action items for you). Find them here. Here's my letter:

I'm writing you to encourage you to support Hillary Clinton's candidacy for the Presidency. While we have a strong field of candidates, and we can be proud to nominate any of them, Hillary Clinton is a cut above the rest:

She has been a leader on issues from choice, to health care, to workers' rights. She will bring that same energy and passion to both a grueling campaign and to the White House. She will, in the end make an excellent candidate and an excellent president.

Also, her plan for capping the number of troops in Iraq and for cutting off funds to the Iraqis if they don't live up to their expectations is a very important step to take to ending the war. Please support it in any way possible.

Thank you for your time,

Stephen Phillips
Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton

Monday, February 12, 2007

Slow Week

Hillary Clinton is still drawing crowds in New Hampshire. Blah blah blah. But I did like the Hillary parts of this article by Garrison Keillor.

Senator Clinton is speaking in that voice and her poise and intelligence stand out in the field of candidates. She’s had so much experience in the limelight that she’s no longer enchanted by it. All of the articles about Whether America Is Ready To Elect A Woman have been written, and now we can move on and look at real issues. We need to figure out how to accommodate the millions of good folks who are here illegally and have become a part of our social fabric. Medicare should be extended to cover everybody. Our infrastructure and industrial base need rebuilding.

One of Hillary Clinton’s visible assets is the army of enemies she has accumulated, the carpet-chewers of AM radio and the right-wing trolls who go berserk in their webby caverns whenever madame comes trotting over the bridge. One could not hope for better enemies. It is like playing softball against drunks. They illustrate everything about Republican dominion that the country has come to loathe, the blithering arrogance, the cynicism and corruption, and this wretched war that drags on and on.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

This And That

* Hillary is drawing record crowds in New Hampshire.

* Clinton introduces the "Student Borrower Bill of Rights"

"There are too many students in New York State and across the country that are overly burdened with loan payments or treated unfairly as they repay student loans. This bill makes it easier for students to repay their loans by putting in place a basic set of rights, including the right to borrow without exploitation and the right to real loan choices," said Senator Clinton.

Students are borrowing now more than ever to pay for higher education. Today two-thirds of college graduates face loan repayments. At the same time, college costs continue to grow and need-based grant aid remains idle. Over the past decade, the average debt burden for college graduates has increased 58 percent, after accounting for inflation. And today, the average borrower graduating from a public four- year institution owes $15,500, while one in ten students owe $33,000 or more. The Student Borrower Bill of Rights will make it easier for students to repay loans by giving borrowers rights that are enforceable. Often, too many students see their costs go up after they think they've already budgeted for what they can pay. The bill provides borrowers the right to fair, monthly payments that do not exceed a certain percentage of their incomes as well as fair interest rates and fees.

When student loans are burdensome, borrowers may avoid important but low-paying professions, such as public health workers, social workers, and teachers. The burden of student loans also prevents college graduates from pursuing a higher degree. According to studies by the Nellie Mae Corporation, 40 percent of college graduates who do not go to graduate school, blame student loan debt. The prospect that student loans will be a great burden may also prevent successful high school students from going to college. Twenty percent of low-income high school graduates qualified for college, do not go to college. Senator Clinton has worked tirelessly to provide accessible and affordable education to all students. During the 109th Congress, two provisions from the Student Borrower Bill of Rights were enacted into law. These provisions enable borrowers to choose lenders with acceptable income-sensitive repayment terms when consolidating student loans.

* Hillary on Big Eddie Schultz's show.

* A great floor speech Iraq. It's pretty long, but it's important.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

This And That

* Erica C. Barnett has a great post up on the "schizophrenic" coverage of women in politics, especially Clinton. Barnett is an Edwards supporter, but less so in the last few days. And worth reading anyway (although from the date stamp you can see she is not a daily read for me, except on Slog).

* I think this story overplays the differences in styles between Obama and Clinton. After all, Obama hit back pretty well with the Islamic school nonsense. But I do want someone who's willing to give back as hard as the Republicans are going to throw and then some:

“When you’re attacked, you have to deck your opponents,” she said to cheers from Iowa Democrats. “I want to run a positive, issue-oriented, visionary campaign. But you can count on me to stand my ground and fight back.”

No stranger to bare-knuckle politics, Clinton knows how to win, and her style would perpetuate the kind of politics the country has enjoyed - or endured - for more than a decade.

* I'm not sure exactly what to make of this article, but I am happy with how it ended:

Still, in all fairness to Hillary, her voting record on traditionally Democratic issues like civil rights and public education is undoubtedly liberal - it's on 'Republican' issues like foreign policy that she's more centrist. And though I may not like it, it's a politically realistic way to deal with a major challenge of being a female candidate for President - how to appear tough enough to be Commander in Chief without sacrificing one's womanliness. It's not easy, especially in today's machismo-driven political climate.

And Hillary of all people knows the power of presentation; after all the time she spent on irreproachably worthy causes, her highest approval ratings resulted not from her years of work at the Children's Defense Fund but from the sympathy that accrued in the wake of her husband's affair. For much of her term as first lady, the oft-changing hair covering her head got more attention than the unfaltering brain inside it. The impact of the years of personal scrutiny is reflected in her campaign website, which features pictures of baby Hillary and Mom Hillary alongside articles entitled 'Senator Soothing: Hillary Clinton can be Warm, Casual.'

When a 21-year-old Hillary Rodham made her commencement address to the Wellesley Class of '69, she said 'we found, as all of us have found, that there was a gap between expectation and realities. But it wasn't a discouraging gap and it didn't turn us into cynical, bitter old women at the age of 18. It just inspired us to do something about that gap.' I may not be thrilled about some of her more blatant political maneuvering, but I do believe that the idealistic Hillary - the Hillary who did her thesis on children's rights and criticized the Taliban's treatment of Afghani women before anyone else cared about Afghanistan - is still alive and kicking. She's just got to prove it to the rest of the country.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

House Keeping

This blog is now Washingtonians for Hillary because there is a Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton. And even though this one was first, and it makes sense with the URL. The King County party has Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton and I'm already the first link on Google for "Washingtonians for Hillary" in quotes. So that's something. Also, if the electing Hillary Clinton as president thing fails, I can be for Edmund Hillary.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007


Remember when Clinton hadn't visited Iowa in more than 3 years and Edwards had practically taken up residence there and he was slightly ahead in the polls? Well, it's funny how things can change isn't it? Lots of things can happen in the next year, God knows. Still, it's nice to see her on top.

Mrs Clinton commands the support of 35% of voters who say they are likely to attend the Iowa caucuses, according to a poll conducted by the American Research Group. Former Vice-Presidential candidate John Edwards, who had been in pole position on other early polls, was second with just 18%.

Previous polls in Iowa had put the former First Lady in fourth place, behind Mr Edwards, Senator Barack Obama and Iowa governor Tom Vilsack.

In New Hampshire, which holds the first primary next year, Mrs Clinton leads Mr Obama 39%-19%.

Both surveys were conducted after Mrs Clinton made high-profile visits to Iowa and New Hampshire to kick-off her campaign. Though it is nearly a year before the first real votes will be cast, these early polls are important for Mrs Clinton's ability to present herself as the candidate whose eventual triumph is "inevitable".
I don't think anything is inevitable with a year of campaigning but it's good to see. It's another reminder that the more people see Hillary Clinton the more they like her.

Monday, February 5, 2007

The People Who Know Them Best

It's interesting to see people so surprised that Hillary Clinton is "trouncing Rudy" Giuliani in a head to head in New York. In 2000, she was ready to beat him in a head to head Senate race until he got cancer, and dropped out. Since then, the people of New York have had a chance to see what a good Senator she's been. And one or two things has come out about Giuliani.

What people have seen is a good solid liberal. Someone who works for the interest of up and down state New York. Someone who's comfortable in the minutia of farm subsidies and of the Federal response to 9/11. They've seen someone who has genuinely made their lives better.

New Yorkers (and the rest of the country) are sick of divisive Republicans who can't or won't do anything for ordinary people. They know both candidates quite well, and when the rest of the country gets a look, I suspect we'll see similar numbers everywhere.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

This And That

* James Wolcott has an interesting post on how the media are treating women involved in this presidential race (Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Edwards). This part of a superbly long paragraph about Dowd is wonderful:

What's strange about the anti-Hillary hostility is how it glosses over the fact that Mrs. Clinton has not only been elected Senator of NY, she's been reelected handsomely; MoDo stills writes about her as if she were a presumptuous, calculating upstart who just popped out of her husband's shadow rather than a politician who's proven herself a powerful vote-getter twice (and a capable officeholder). She writes as if Hillary's omnipresence were a personal affront. As Tom Watson notes, Chris Matthews's antagonism towards Hillary is even worse--it's evolved into a separate branch of pathology. I know it's rough on Chris and MoDo and Mike Barnicle and Imus and the rest, but the sad truth is that we're not going back to the prefeminist suburban paradiso when Daddy was the sole breadwinner and Julie London made sultry music on the hi-fi and a pot roast was forever being warmed in the oven by a wife waiting all day for her Galahad to pull into the driveway--what Matthews half-jestingly considers the good old days.

* Clinton on CHIP funding:

It is unconscionable that the President’s answer to our health care crisis is to cut the already strained health care safety net for our most vulnerable. The President’s plan to cut funding to states for the Children’s Health Insurance program and slash tens of billions of dollars from Medicare and Medicaid is more evidence of the President’s misplaced priorities. These cuts would take us backward and only magnify our health care challenge. We need to move forward and make health care more affordable and accessible for seniors, families struggling to make ends meet and the millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans. We face a real challenge on health care that we must confront head on. This is exactly the wrong approach. I will work to stop this short-sighted scheme and instead put us on the path to making quality, affordable health care accessible to all Americans

* And on the recent U.N. report on climate change.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

This 'n' That

* Mitt Romney doesn't think Hillary Clinton would go to war with Iran, and that that's a bad thing. That makes Hillary sane and Mitt a jerk.

* The video of the Winter Meeting of the DNC.

* Speaking of the Winter Meeting, my sister was there and although she isn't supporting Hillary, she said that she liked the speech. And she may have a full report up here (even though she's also not a Washingtonian).

* An interesting article in Newsweek on Clinton's faith if you can ignore the stupid in the first couple paragraphs.

Friday, February 2, 2007

I Would Hope So

Hillary Clinton said that she would end the war if she was president. This is obviously something that can and should be said about any Democrat running for president. And frankly, it probably isn't enough just to say this far out. I'd hope that all of the candidates have more specifics about how to get out in the coming year, and anybody who doesn't isn't getting past the primaries.

I'm not sure who "core Democrats" are that the article mentions. There are plenty of people in the party who don't support her because of her vote on the war or some other thing. And that's fine, we're having a great debate in this country, and people will chose their candidate based on a verity of things.

Still there are people like me who disagreed with the vote, but still support her in part because we think that she'd do a good job of getting us out, as well as the fact that she's been a great Senator on most things that Democrats care about, and lead on import issues like choice and labor issues, and on the war more recently. There are also plenty of "core Democrats" who supported the war, or at least the resolution, and who like Clinton have changed their minds since then because of Bush's lying and the execution of the war itself.

I also think that the difference between the authorization and being pro-war are important. I don't want to let her off the hook for a vote that I don't think she should have made, but here's what she was saying about it at the time:

I also greatly respect the differing opinions within this body. The debate they engender will aid our search for a wise, effective policy. Therefore, on no account should dissent be discouraged or disparaged. It is central to our freedom and to our progress, for on more than one occasion, history has proven our great dissenters to be right. [...]

Some people favor attacking Saddam Hussein now, with any allies we can muster, in the belief that one more round of weapons inspections would not produce the required disarmament, and that deposing Saddam would be a positive good for the Iraqi people and would create the possibility of a secular democratic state in the Middle East, one which could perhaps move the entire region toward democratic reform.

This view has appeal to some, because it would assure disarmament; because it would right old wrongs after our abandonment of the Shiites and Kurds in 1991, and our support for Saddam Hussein in the 1980's when he was using chemical weapons and terrorizing his people; and because it would give the Iraqi people a chance to build a future in freedom.

However, this course is fraught with danger. We and our NATO allies did not depose Mr. Milosevic, who was responsible for more than a quarter of a million people being killed in the 1990s. Instead, by stopping his aggression in Bosnia and Kosovo, and keeping on the tough sanctions, we created the conditions in which his own people threw him out and led to his being in the dock being tried for war crimes as we speak.

If we were to attack Iraq now, alone or with few allies, it would set a precedent that could come back to haunt us. In recent days, Russia has talked of an invasion of Georgia to attack Chechen rebels. India has mentioned the possibility of a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan. And what if China were to perceive a threat from Taiwan?

So Mr. President, for all its appeal, a unilateral attack, while it cannot be ruled out, on the present facts is not a good option. [...]

President Bush's speech in Cincinnati and the changes in policy that have come forth since the Administration began broaching this issue some weeks ago have made my vote easier. Even though the resolution before the Senate is not as strong as I would like in requiring the diplomatic route first and placing highest priority on a simple, clear requirement for unlimited inspections, I will take the President at his word that he will try hard to pass a UN resolution and will seek to avoid war, if at all possible.

Because bipartisan support for this resolution makes success in the United Nations more likely, and therefore, war less likely, and because a good faith effort by the United States, even if it fails, will bring more allies and legitimacy to our cause, I have concluded, after careful and serious consideration, that a vote for the resolution best serves the security of our nation. If we were to defeat this resolution or pass it with only a few Democrats, I am concerned that those who want to pretend this problem will go way with delay will oppose any UN resolution calling for unrestricted inspections.

This is a very difficult vote. This is probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make -- any vote that may lead to war should be hard -- but I cast it with conviction.

Again, I disagree with the vote she took, and she probably shouldn't have trusted President Bush to do the right thing. None the less, getting into this war in the first place wasn't her idea.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Hair and Clothes

See if you can spot the silly in these two paragraphs:

“There will be more stories about my clothes and hair than some of the people running against me,” she said.

“I’m going to be asking people to vote for me based on my entire life and experience,” said Mrs. Clinton, who walked around a stage surrounded by people, with a microphone affixed to the lapel of her pantsuit. “The fact that I’m a woman, the fact that I’m a mom, is part of who I am.”

The article is from last Sunday and I was going to ignore it (and I should say that overall the tenor was better than, "she says we'll focus on her cloths, and she's wearing a pantsuit"), but as far as I can tell the New York Times has decided not to cover her plan for improving the condition of the middle class.

Now perhaps her plan isn't fleshed out enough. And there is certainly time ahead to talk about all of the Democrats' plans for various things foreign and domestic. But maybe Hillary Clinton talking about how to stop wage stagnation in the middle class might be more "fit to print" than the fact that she wears a pantsuit.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

This "n" That

* Hillary got a bounce after her announcement. The article is written as a negative on Obama, and that's unfortunate, but the fact is Clinton is doing better in the national Rasmussen poll. We aren't holding a national primary, but this does tell us about general trends.

* Another Iowa video.

* Still opposed to the escalation:

Monday, January 29, 2007

This n that

If the Rhode Island primary were today (and not 14 months and several primaries and caucuses in the future), Clinton would clean up.

Slog also has a straw poll or Republicans. Vote for Hunter, is my advice.

The web efforts seem to be going swimingly. I understand that sorting through 11,300 possible enterys may be tough, but I would really like them to get that first post out.

Sign-Ups: 140,000 total (nearly 100,000 in first 48 hours)
Messages of Support: 50,000
Blog Contest Submissions: 11,300
Webcast Visitors: 51,000

Sunday, January 28, 2007


I'm glad to see she's bringing out crowds. I think the conversation is great. People mocked her listening tour in New York and Frank Rich seems to think that people want politicians to not talk to them in this week's op-ed. Still, I think bringing people in is important. Anyway, the audio isn't great, but you can start hearing her speak at about minute 7. Or you can listen at the beginning and hear her sing the National Anthem.

I have a National Anthem story. I was at a Mariners home game with the Washington for Edwards person before either of us were the Washington(ians) for people. Anyway by coincidence it was right after the unwarranted wire tapping story came out, and the applause started after "land of the free".

Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Best Field the Democratic Party Ever Put Out

I'm not the biggest Terry McAuliffe fan in the world. But I'm glad he's as supportive as he is of the Clinton campaign. And I agree with everything he says in this interview with The Young Turks, except maybe Dick Gephardt. Still, nice to see him out there on shows that don't necessarily agree with his support of Hillary. That's the only way you build support.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton

So the King County Democrats have wa4(insert candidate).com. They're taking and it's also called "Washingtonians for Hillary Clinton." I've emailed them and may be switching this to just "for Hillary" or "Washington for" so there's no confusion (or at least as little as possible). I'd rather there be too many than too few.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Vote in the Slog Straw Poll

Come on folks. It's meaningless fun and an excuse to get people to their blog.

This n' That

* The last video is up. It's post-State of the Union. The first question is the best. Isn't the Gulf Coast part of the Union? Also, I can't wait to see the plan she comes out with for health care coming soon. She answers critics from Huffington Post, talks terror, answers a question on the elderly, health care and other services for vets, HIV/AIDS (increasing funding for Ryan White), nuclear weapons issues around Iran and North Korea, what she does when she isn't working, global warming, and a general question about what she would say to kids given the problems they face (getting cost of school down-- make it affordable for our young people to go to college, stay in college and finish college).

* I don't know anything about Neera Tanden other than this article, but it looks like the Clinton campaign is making some good hires.

* Liz Taylor gives the max to the Clinton campaign.

* Mark your calendars. An Open Forum on, "issues of concern to decide on how to build a network of support for Hillary." March 31 at the Seattle Center.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

This 'n That

The first two videos of Clinton's conversation, where she answers voters' questions. Part three will probably be public tomorrow.

Marcf's recent post on TPM Cafe points to this great piece by on Daily Howler about the false perception of Hillary as a phony.

One of Senator Clinton's guests' for the State of the Union was a man named Ceasar Borja, Jr. His father was a New York Police Officer on 9/11 who had been fighting with lung problems after his recovery efforts on the pile. He died hours before the speech. Please read the article, and see if your heart doesn't break.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Thisin that

An interesting post by Devilstower on Kos. The difference between the Bush getting there because of his father and Hillary getting where she is because of her husband:

This is an comparison that's unfair in the extreme. George W. Bush loafed through life and depended on his name and family connections to get him out of trouble. Most importantly, G. H. W. Bush owes not one moment of his career to the help of his son.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was on her own a capable, high-powered lawyer with nearly unlimited potential. She chose to partner herself with her husband, and worked with him to raise his profile and possibilities. Would those "she wouldn't be senator" folks be as comfortable if this was turned on its head: Bill Clinton would never have been president without a wife named Hillary. Would someone else have been so competent and supportive in fighting back against the scandals that plagued Bill's career long before he reached the White House? Would someone else have made the connections, raised the money, and been as effective in forging the coalitions that brought Bill up the political ladder?

Hillary Clinton is not a guileless bystander who has stood by and enjoyed the windfall of her husband's good name. Like her or hate her, she has forged her own identity working as his partner. He said it. She said it. We all saw it.

Senator Kennedy on Meet the Press talking about her run.

Senator Clinton interviewed by Katie Couric. I'm glad to see her talking about health care and to see she's talking about what she's learned.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Action Item #3 Write Senator Clinton's First Blog Post

The guest post for the first post on the official Hillary Clinton blog will probably go to someone from one of the early primary/caucus states. But you never know who'll write the and it would probably be pretty cool if it was me or one of you. I basically updated this post and submitted it, but be as creative as you can.

The Conversation Begins Today

From an email:

Tonight, let the conversation begin. It's live and online at 7 p.m. EST:

Join me for the first in a series of conversations on the future of our country and the important issues like the Iraq war, health care, and energy independence. I'll answer your questions three nights in a row, beginning tonight.

Since announcing my exploratory committee to run for president just two days ago, the outpouring of support has been amazing -- tens of thousands of you have been wishing me well, signing up, and making contributions.

I believe we need new leadership to bring bold and practical changes to this country and to renew the promise of America. I believe in the idea that if you work hard and play by the rules, you and your family deserve a better life.

It all begins with a conversation about the right solutions to meet our challenges. It's a conversation I'm looking forward to having with all of you as I travel across the country. But tonight, it begins live, online.

To learn more and sign up,

I also hope you'll take a moment to explore my new website at, where you'll find other ways you can join the conversation. You can send me a message, or even write the very first guest post for our upcoming blog.

I'm in, and I'm in to win. And with your participation, I believe we can win this together and create a better future for all of us.

Hopefully they'll show some love for Westies and have a conversation that begins after work. Still, you can't please everybody all the time. And 8:00 for the East would be pretty late for the first one.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

This N' That

Matthew Yglesias explains briefly that whoever we nominate, they'll get smeared hard. Just like who we've nominated in the recent past.

A great diary on Kos on the differences between Edwards' and Clinton's voting records in the Senate in 2001 (the first year they were both in the Senate). It seems like Clinton was more liberal especially on campaign finance and tax policy. Expect more of these diaries for the other years they were both in the Senate and expect perhaps comparisons with Obama and other Senators running.

Some Unsolicited Advice

Now that she's officially running for president, I'm sure that Senator Clinton is getting a lot of advice, much of it not actually helpful. Nonetheless, I'm going to give some anyway:

Be yourself People like you as you are. They want a president who's thoughtful, hard working, who can bring people together. You're going to be micromanaged and given 15 words for every question and all of this is important, but try to keep yourself in the middle of all that.

Go to every state This is like when you campaigned in every county. It shows a commitment and it puts a lot of states in play. When Bill Clinton won Montana in 1992, a lot of it had to do with him showing up. Besides, a lot of the South likes you from when you were a first lady in Arkansas.

Talk to hostile audiences Write a diary on Kos and answer the questions about why you're such a sell out, and how whatever you're saying is too little too late. Go on the 700 Club and explain how we have to do well by the least among us, tell the audience that Democrats' faith is plenty strong.

Be bold The new Iraq plan is part of that already. The next couple years' campaign is going to give you plenty of chances to be bold. Take the initiative and take as many of them as possible.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

She's In

Watch the video here. The idea of a conversation is important: "the conversation in Washington has been a just a little one sided lately don't you think? And we can all see how well that works." Also, from an email:

Today I am announcing that I will form an exploratory committee to run for president.

And I want you to join me not just for the campaign but for a conversation about the future of our country -- about the bold but practical changes we need to overcome six years of Bush administration failures.

I am going to take this conversation directly to the people of America, and I'm starting by inviting all of you to join me in a series of web chats over the next few days.

The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008.

As a senator, I will spend two years doing everything in my power to limit the damage George W. Bush can do. But only a new president will be able to undo Bush's mistakes and restore our hope and optimism.

Only a new president can renew the promise of America -- the idea that if you work hard you can count on the health care, education, and retirement security that you need to raise your family. These are the basic values of America that are under attack from this administration every day.

And only a new president can regain America's position as a respected leader in the world.

I believe that change is coming November 4, 2008. And I am forming my exploratory committee because I believe that together we can bring the leadership that this country needs. I'm going to start this campaign with a national conversation about how we can work to get our country back on track.

This is a big election with some very big questions. How do we bring the war in Iraq to the right end? How can we make sure every American has access to adequate health care? How will we ensure our children inherit a clean environment and energy independence? How can we reduce the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare?

No matter where you live, no matter what your political views, I want you to be a part of this important conversation right at the start. So to begin, I'm going to spend the next several days answering your questions in a series of live video web discussions. Starting Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. EST for three nights in a row, I'll sit down to answer your questions about how we can work together for a better future. And you can participate live at my website.

Sign up to join the conversation here:

I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America, where I learned that we could overcome every obstacle we face if we work together and stay true to our values.

Team Hillary
I have worked on issues critical to our country almost all my life. I've fought for children for more than 30 years. In Arkansas, I pushed for education reform. As first lady, I helped to expand health care coverage to millions of children and to pass legislation that dramatically increased adoptions. I also traveled to China to affirm that women's rights are human rights.

And in the Senate, I have worked across party lines to get billions more for children's health care, to stop the president's plan to privatize Social Security, and to make sure the victims and heroes of 9/11 and our men and women in uniform receive the fair treatment they deserve. In 2006, I led the successful fight to make Plan B contraception available to women without a prescription.

I have spent a lifetime opening opportunities for tens of millions who are working hard to raise a family: new immigrants, families living in poverty, people who have no health care or face an uncertain retirement.

The promise of America is that all of us will have access to opportunity, and I want to run a 2008 campaign that renews that promise, a campaign built on a lifetime record of results.

I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine. After nearly $70 million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate, and how to beat them.

I need you to be a part of this campaign, and I hope you'll start by joining me in this national conversation. Visit my new website at to learn how you can join in:

As we campaign to win the White House, we will make history and remake our future. We can only break barriers if we dare to confront them, and if we have the determined and committed support of others.

This campaign is our moment, our chance to stand up for the principles and values that we cherish; to bring new ideas, energy, and leadership to a uniquely challenging time. It's our chance to say "we can" and "we will."

Let's go to work. America's future is calling us.

...The Video

Friday, January 19, 2007

Greta Van Susteren

The Internet is slow at my place tonight and I'm having a bit of trouble viewing these, so no summary. Here's Clinton on On the Record:

Part 1

Part 2

Maybe She Ghost Wrote His Books?

As Media Matters is reporting, the vast rightwing conspiracy is starting up with its attacks on Clinton. This one is a twofer on the leading Democratic candidates. They are saying that Hillary Clinton is spreading rumors about Obama. And they are saying that Obama is (a) a secret Muslim and it follows that (b) he's some sort of enemy to America.

Of course the Muslim stuff comes from the fact that he has written two biographical books and in both of them he mentioned that when he lived in Indonesia, he went to a Muslim school for two years. Given that the country is majority Muslim, this isn't really surprising, and it doesn't tell us that much about him. And given that Clinton hasn't mentioned it, I'm not sure how she's actually involved. It doesn't make any sense and neither is backed up with a modicum of fact, but it's officially silly season. So the big question is how long until it's mentioned uncritically in more mainstream papers? Dowd's next column is tomorrow and Rich is Sunday. I don't hold much hope.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Iraq Plan

I've been thinking about the Iraq plan that Clinton announced yesterday. I don't know all of the specifics, but in its broad outlines there are two major components: 1) Stop funding the various Iraqi institutions unless they achieve certain objectives (this we'll call the stop funding Shiite death squads component). 2) Cap the number of American service personnel in Iraq at where it was January 1. She's also going to co-sponsor the non-binding resolution opposing the escalation, but her plan is basically the same with or without that resolution.

The first component is something that Congress can do on its lonesome because there is only so much money in the pot right now. And it frames the issue in such a way that will minimize the "why do you hate the troops?" nonsense. And it puts real pressure on the administration and it, you know, stops funding death squads. But ultimately it doesn't do anything about the troop levels in Iraq.

That's why there's a second component. It'll be tough to actually pass a thing with either the president's signature or enough Republican defections to get to veto-proof. Still, there are a lot of Republicans who don't want to run for reelection the war around their neck, and who knows, maybe some honestly opposed to the war too. And this is something tangible that they can do to end it. It's worth pushing a Democratic position that involves hard numbers even if it's a long shot because crazier things have happened than passing something like that.

The sum of this is hopefully real change in the war. Maybe like with her leadership on the minimum wage, this gets the issue some more traction (that and opposition to the escalation already being popular and the election results).

It also re-defines the center. Having a position to the "left" of the nonbinding resolution makes that resolution more centrist and makes it an easier pill to swallow for Republicans and for other Democratic hawks. In a sense, it gives some Senators and Representatives cover to go further than they might otherwise go.

Cross posted on Kos

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This 'N That

* Hillary Clinton delayed her press post trip because a colleague on the trip got sick. This was done before Obama announced that he would announce that he was running. Naturally, that means that she liar. Or something.

And to my friends who think this sort of thing is going to only happen to Hillary Clinton, I'd like to remind you that Al Gore never said that he invented the Internet Obama's last name isn't Osama, and John Kerry was a war hero. No Democrat is going to get a fair shake. So we might as well nominate someone who's beat this sort of thing back for over a decade.

* The Guardian had the most fact based article of any I've seen on her positions on Iraq. Still, I'm not sure that she's had "previous ambiguity" so much as a slow change of mind over some time. She's been pretty clear that the war itself was going badly for a long time and came out against the escalation when Reid and others in the caucus weren't sure.

* TPM Election central has an analysis of the politics her resolution. I tend to be a bit less cynical, and think that aside from the politics, the policy can move things. Nonetheless, I agree that it can be good both for her and the party in general on political terms.

Against the Escalation

Press Conference

The Early Show

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


The field of presidential aspirants got a bit wider today, and the more the better, I say. We're going to have a discussion of our values and our ideals as a party, and the more people participate that conversation the better.

I can honestly say that the worst of ours, no matter who it is, will be better than the best of theirs. So it'll be good to add his voice to the discussion.


Senator Clinton's Iraq press conference was delayed until tomorrow:

The 24-hour delay of a press conference at which U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, was to discuss her trip to Iraq and Afghanistan had absolutely nothing to do with the announcement this morning by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-IL, according to her office.

The event was postponed because U.S. Rep. John McHugh, R-Watertow, who traveled with Clinton over the weekend, became ill in Germany and remained there to recover.

Aides to U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-IN, who traveled back to the U.S. with Clinton, backed her up on this one.

Monday, January 15, 2007

This and That

I'm not sure what this poll means (I suspect nothing), but Hillary Clinton is the Democrat who polls the highest for the question of who people think is most likely to be president.

The cover story for the January issue of Mother Jones is a profile of Hillary Clinton that tries to explain why there are so many different perceptions of her out there. Interesting if a bit rambling. And I think that sculpture is drawn out a bit too much as a metaphor

Tomorrow, Hillary Clinton comes back from Iraq and Afghanistan. The New York Times says in an article mostly about the circular firing squad (sigh) "She visited Iraq on Saturday to speak with military commanders, and plans to explain her views in fuller detail when she returns Tuesday."

The View a month or so ago.

Part 1

Part 2

Sunday, January 14, 2007

World Health Organization Conference on Women

In 1995, Hillary Clinton gave a speech to the U.N. Conference on Women in Beijing.

Thank you, Dr. Nakajima.

Dr. Nakajima, Dr. Sadik, Gertude Mongella, delegates to the Fourth U.N. Conference on Women, and guests from all corners of the world, I am honored to be here this morning among women and girls everywhere.

I commend the World Health Organization for making women's health a top priority and for establishing the Global Commission on Women's Health.

I am proud that in the preparatory meetings for this Fourth World Conference on Women, the United States took the lead in highlighting the importance of a comprehensive approach to women's health. That approach builds on actions taken at previous women's conferences and the recent conferences at Cairo and Copenhagen, whose goals to promote the health and well-being of all people were endorsed by 180 nations.

Cairo was particularly significant as governmental and non-governmental participants worked together to craft a Program for Action which, among other things, calls for universal access to good quality reproductive health care services, including safe, effective, voluntary family planning; greater access to education and health care; more responsibility on the part of men in sexual and reproductive health and childbearing; and reduction of wasteful resource consumption.

Here at this conference, improving girls and women's health is a priority of the draft Platform for Action. It includes such goals as: Access to universal primary health care for all people -- a goal not yet achieved in many countries, including my own. The promotion of breast feeding. The provision of safe drinking water and sanitation. Research in and attention to women's health issues, including: environmental hazards, prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, encouragement for adolescents to postpone sexual activity and childbearing, and discouragement of cultural traditions and customs that deny food and health care to girls and women.

Goals such as these illustrate a new commitment to the well-being of girls and women and a belief in their rights to live up to their own God-given potentials.

At long last, people and their governments everywhere are beginning to understand that investing in the health of women and girls is as important to the prosperity of nations as investing in the development of open markets and trade. The health of women and girls cannot be divorced from progress on other economic and social issues.

Scientists, doctors, nurses, community leaders and women themselves are working to improve and safeguard the health of women and families all over the world. If we join together as a global community, we can lift up the health and dignity of all women and their families in the remaining years of the 20th century and on into the next millennium.

Yet, for all the promise the future holds, we also know that many barriers lie in our way. For too long, women have been denied access to health care, education, economic opportunities, legal protection and human rights -- all of which are used as building blocks for a healthy and productive life.

In too many places today, the health of women and families is compromised by inadequate, inaccessible and unaffordable medical care, lack of sanitation, unsafe drinking water, poor nutrition, insufficient research and education about women's health issues, and coercive and abusive sexual practices.

In too many places, the status of women's health is a picture of human suffering and pain. The faces in that picture are of girls and women who, but for the grace of God or the accident of birth, could be us or one of our sisters, mothers or daughters.

Today, at least fifteen percent of pregnant women suffer life threatening complications and more than one-half million women around the world die in childbirth. Most of these deaths could be prevented with basic primary, reproductive and emergency obstetric health care. In some places, there are 175,000 motherless children for every one million families. Many of those children don't survive. And of those who do, many are recruited into a life of exploitation on the streets of our world's cities, subjected daily to abuse, indignity, disease, and the specter of early death.

There must be a renewed commitment to improving maternal health. The WHO launched in 1987 a Safe Motherhood Initiative to halve maternal mortality by the year 2000. To reach that goal, more attention must be paid to emergency medical care as well as primary prenatal care. Providing emergency obstetric care is a relatively cheap way of saving lives -- and along with family planning services is among the most cost effective interventions in even the poorest of countries.

The commitment of the WHO and its Global Commission on Women's Health to make childbearing and childbirth a safe and healthy period of every woman's life deserves action on the part of every nation represented here.

One hundred million women cannot obtain or are not using family planning services because they are poor, uneducated or lack access to care. Twenty million of these women will seek unsafe abortions -- some will die, some will be disabled for life. A growing number of unwanted pregnancies are occurring among young women, barely beyond childhood themselves. As we know, when children have children, the chance of schooling, jobs, and good health is reduced for both parent and child. And our progress as a human family takes another step back.

The Cairo document recognizes "the basic right of all couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children and to have the information and means to do so." Women should have the right to health care that will enable them to go safely through pregnancy and childbirth and provide them with the best chance of having a healthy infant.

Women and men must also have the right to make those most intimate of all decisions free of discrimination, coercion and violence, particularly any coercive practices that force women into abortions or sterilizations.

On these issues, the US supports the provisions in the Beijing Platform for Action that reaffirm consensus language that was agreed to at the Cairo Conference about a year ago. It declared that "in no case should abortion be promoted as a method of family planning." The Platform asks governments "to strengthen their commitment to women's health, to deal with the health impact of unsafe abortion as a major public health concern and to reduce the recourse to abortion through expanded and improved family planning services."

Violence against women remains a leading cause of death among girls and women between the ages of 14 and 44 -- violence from ethnic and religious conflicts, crime in the streets and brutality in the home. For women who survive the violence, what often awaits them is a life of unrelenting physical and emotional pain that destroys their capacity for mothering, homemaking or working and can lead to substance abuse, and even suicide.

Violence against girls and women goes beyond the beatings, rape, killings and forced prostitution that arise from poverty, wars and domestic conflicts. Every day, more than 5,000 young girls are forced to endure the brutal practice of genital mutilation. The procedure is painful and life-threatening. It is degrading. And it is a violation of the physical integrity of woman's body, leaving a lifetime of physical and emotional scars.

HIV, AIDS, and sexually transmitted diseases threaten more and more women -- and experts predict that by the end of this decade more than half of the people in the world with HIV will be women. AIDS, which threatens whole families and regions, demands the strongest possible response. Governments and the international community must address head-on the growing number of women who are being infected.

More than 700,000 women worldwide face breast cancer each year -- over 300,000 die of it. It's the leading cause of death for women in their prime in the developed world. In the time I speak to you today, 25 women around the world will die of breast cancer. In my own country, it is hard to find a family, an office, or a neighborhood that has not been touched by this disease. My mother-in-law struggled against breast cancer for four years before losing her battle.

Tobacco use is the number one preventable cause of death. Ninety percent of women who smoke began to smoke as adolescents -- leading to high rates of heart disease, cancer, and chronic lung disease later in life.

As the WHO points out, we also need to recognize and effectively address the fact that women are far more likely to be exposed to work-related and environmental health hazards. Policies to alleviate and eliminate such health hazards associated with work in the home and in the workplace demand action.

Research also indicates that certain communicable diseases affect women in greater numbers. Tuberculosis, for example, is responsible for the deaths of one million women each year and those in their early and reproductive years are most vulnerable.

When health care systems around the world don't work for women; when our mothers, daughters, sisters, friends and co-workers are denied access to quality care because they are poor, do not have health insurance, or simply because they are women, it is not just their health that is put at risk. It is the health of their families and communities as well.

Like many nations, the United States brings to this conference a serious commitment to improving women's health. We bring with us a series of initiatives which represent the first steps to carrying out this Conference's Platform for Action.

We are continuing to work for health care reform to ensure that every citizen has access to affordable, quality care.

We are proposing a comprehensive and coordinated plan to reduce smoking by children and adolescents by 50 percent.

We are working to address the many factors that contribute to teenage pregnancy, our most serious social problem, by encouraging abstinence and personal responsibility on the part of young men and women; improving access to health care and family planning services; and supporting health education in our schools.

We are pursuing a public policy agenda on HIV/AIDS that is specific to women, adolescents, and children.

We are continuing to fund and conduct contraceptive research and development.

We are addressing the health needs of women through initiatives such as:

-- The National Action Plan on Breast Cancer -- a public, private partnership working with all agencies of government, the media, scientific organizations, advocacy groups and industry to advance breast health and eradicate breast cancer as a threat to the lives of American women.

-- An Expansion of the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early
Detection Program -- which will ensure that women who need regular screening and detection services have access to them, and that those services meet quality standards.

-- The inclusion of women in clinical trials for research and testing or drugs or other interventions that probe specific differences between men and women in patterns of disease and reactions to therapy.

-- The special health care needs of older women will be addressed through educational campaigns about osteoporosis, cancer and other diseases.

-- And the US is conducting the largest clinical research study ever undertaken to examine the major causes of death, disability and frailty in post-menopausal women.

Women's health security must be a priority of all people and governments working together. Without good health, a woman's God-given potential can never be realized. And without healthy women, the world's potential can never be realized.

So let us join together to ensure that every little boy and girl that comes into our world is healthy and wanted; that every young woman has the education and economic opportunity to live a healthy life; and that every woman has access to the health care she needs throughout her life to fulfill her potential in her family, her work, and her community.

If we care about the futures of our daughters, our sons, and the generations that will follow them, we can do nothing less.

Thank you for the work you do every day to bring better health to the women, children, and families of this world. Thank you for helping governments and citizens around the world understand that we cannot talk about equality and social development without also talking about health care.

Most of all, thank you for being part of this historic and vital discussion, which holds so much promise for our future.