Sunday, August 31, 2014

End Of Month FAV Posts ~ Shareable And/Or Actionable:

For my End Of Month Fav Posts ~ Shareable And/Or Actionable I’m going to focus on women getting out to vote, specifically, in this case, single women getting out to vote, because I really cannot understand single Democratic women not pro-actively taking charge of ending the GOP #waronwomen, much of which is directed at them and/or their children, and, as an aside, I really, really cannot understand GOP women pro-actively voting Republican!

(FYI. It is your choice whether or not to take action and/or share the information provided with everyone you know with a call for them to encourage single moms to get out and vote Democrat in November!)

Having said all of that, based on my professional work with single moms and based on my knowledge of their needs re becoming active citizens on behalf of themselves, their children and their communities, I am particularly concerned about single women falling down on the job and not registering to vote and/or not voting Democrats in and Republicans out!

I am not going to get into the statistical weeds here to make the point that if more single women voted and voted in their own best interests they could end the GOP #waronwomen. Suffice it to say, based on fabulous research by The Voter Participation Center we know in 2012 more than 55 million unmarried women were eligible to vote and 31.4% of them were not registered to vote (17.3 million). It seems pretty clear to me that single women (which includes single moms!) have the power to provide the winning margin for Democrats in November IF they act.

^^^ This is what that looked like in 2010 and it hasn't changed much since then...

^^^ This is just plain a point of interest.

^^^ And this just gives you an idea of how much information is available to you via The Voter Participation Center study referenced above. 

I feel certain there are some who will be shaking their heads at my partisan nerve to imply that one political party (Democrat) is better than the other (Republican) for single women and their families (i.e., the nation) but if you understand the constitutional general welfare concept of this country then you understand that our Founding Fathers believed the health and welfare of the nation, including single moms and their children, to be so critical to the survival of the nation that they codified it in the United States Constitution and that is a value/principle Democrats subscribe to NOT Republicans.

^^^ The relevant snippet of Article 1 Section 8 of the United States Constitution.

As previously noted, the Republican Party does not agree with the Democratic Party's assessment of the General Welfare Clause so we've got what we've got and this is what the GOP is looking to add in 2014. The message could not be more clear ~ there really is a GOP #waronwomen:

^^^ In the event the chart is not clear enough, please click here ~ there is much more extensive information provided as well. 

(And I didn't even touch on how GOP voter suppression efforts are/will impacting women!)

Adding to consideration of their own benefit re voting women need to also consider the history of women who came before them to fight for the right of all women to vote as they wonder if  they should register to vote and/or vote or not. Women like Susan B. Anthony were arrested for voting November 5, 1872. History matters.

Once women decide they are a go, this link will provide the information needed to get it done.

Enough said.


* (I believe credit for the voter of the GOP women hitting herself in the face can be attributed to If I'm wrong about that, please let me know and I will make the correction immediately. TY) 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Reminder: We Can Help Boost President Obama's Numbers Sitting at Home Cutting, Pasting & Clicking

Two weeks ago, I wrote about one very simple Clicktivist action all Democrats could take to help boost President Obama's favorable numbers ~  Frankly, the numbers are disappointing but I think we Democrats are even more disappointing because we are allowing our selves to be out messaged by the crude, rude, ignorant anti-U.S. Government GOP and we can do better. Actually, we must do better.

Before I proceed with the reminder part of this piece, let me say please share what you are doing to win in November in the comments section ~ we may be able to pick up fresh ideas from each other...

Now: The Current Numbers ~ 

And: The Current Countdown Clock ~ as of 8:30 p.m., Saturday, August 23, 2014 ... you do the math:

A refresher: First, click Please... Cut the Crap for a list of President Obama's accomplishments; then, if you need to, click Twitter for a brief tutorial on how to Tweet and; also if you need to, click XCEL for a brief tutorial on the basics of XCEL.


P.S. When you are on Twitter, go to the hashtag #POTUSpositive and Retweet any #POTUSpositive Tweets you might find there ~ Every little bit helps! TY!!!


(I try not to use memes I can't give credit to but I so love this one and it so fits this Blog ~ if anyone knows who created it please let me know so I can give the appropriate credit! Also, a shout out to the great people at Please... Cut the Crap for all they do! and Ryan J. Speed for the clicktivist word salad!)

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Hillary Dissing POTUS in the Atlantic: All Smoke & Mirrors

Because more often than not all you are getting is Smoke & Mirrors ...

This is NOT about Hillary Clinton. 

I am focused on Democrats winning in November and, personally, I find it a total waste of my time to even think about the 2016. Further, I especially find it a total waste of my time to think about alleged potential candidates who have not declared their intentions in the context of the 2016 Election.

Having said that, this is about how MSM plays many of us ~ getting us to focus on what they want to talk about and, while doing so, distracting us from what should be our main mission from now until November 4th ~ informing Democrats and getting Democrats out to vote for Democrats.

And what MSM wants to do is talk about Hillary Clinton. To do that they have to keep finding new ways to do it and, oftentimes, that translates into pitting her against anyone they can, leading to a whole lot of misinforming of the electorate.

Sometimes MSM misinformation comes in the form of divining the news, sometimes it comes in the form of ignorance, sometimes it comes in the form of omission and sometimes it comes in the form of outright lying.

And it is up to us to figure out what is Truth and what is BS.

 In the case of Jeffrey Goldberg’s much discussed August 10, 2014 Hillary Clinton piece: “ 'Failure' to Help Syrian Rebels Led to the Rise of ISIS “ the misinformation is primarily in the form of omission of qualifiers of the complexities, many of which can be found in the transcript the writer did so kindly provide with the story.

As a bit of a brief exercise in how to read and or listen to a media piece very, very carefully let’s take a look at some of the highlights of that Atlantic story…

Start with the headline and the extended tag line:

“Hillary Clinton: 'Failure' to Help Syrian Rebels L
ed to the Rise of ISIS

The former secretary of state, and probable candidate for president, outlines her foreign-policy doctrine. She says this about President Obama's: "Great nations need organizing principles, and 'Don't do stupid stuff' is not an organizing principle."”

Now ask yourself, is it true? Did Hillary Clinton really say the Commander-in-Chief failed in Syria (causing the rise of ISIL, is the point of that charge, of course)? Did she really confirm that “Don’t do stupid stuff” is the Foreign Policy of a United States President?

I don’t think so.

First, my experience tells me if Hillary Clinton called out POTUS for failure in anything his name would have been in the headline so I'm not buying it from Jump Street; Second, I can’t tell if it is a news article or an opinion piece and that does nothing to boost the credibility of the piece and; Third, using his own opinion juxtaposed with a direct quote from POTUS, the writer contradicts himself in his opening paragraph. I would have stopped reading this piece after the lead if I hadn't decided to dissect it a bit.

He writes, President Obama has long ridiculed the idea that the U.S., early in the Syrian civil war, could have shaped the forces fighting the Assad regime, thereby stopping al Qaeda-inspired groups—like the one rampaging across Syria and Iraq today—from seizing control of the rebellion. In an interview in February, the president told me that “when you have a professional army ... fighting against a farmer, a carpenter, an engineer who started out as protesters and suddenly now see themselves in the midst of a civil conflict—the notion that we could have, in a clean way that didn’t commit U.S. military forces, changed the equation on the ground there was never true.”


He writes, Well, his former secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, isn’t buying it. In an interview with me earlier this week, she used her sharpest language yet to describe the "failure" that resulted from the decision to keep the U.S. on the sidelines during the first phase of the Syrian uprising.

“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said. …”

Again, a shout out to Goldberg for attaching the transcript to the piece so I can give you an excerpt or two from his work and you can read Hillary’s words for yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Here’s an excerpt relevant to that “failure” thing ~

JG: You go out of your way in Hard Choices to praise Robert Ford, who recently quit as U.S. ambassador to Syria, as an excellent diplomat. Ford quit in protest and has recently written strongly about what he sees as the inadequacies of Obama administration policy. Do you agree with Ford that we are at fault for not doing enough to build up a credible Syrian opposition when we could have?

HRC: I have the highest regard for Robert. I’m the one who convinced the administration to send an ambassador to Syria. You know, this is why I called the chapter on Syria “A Wicked Problem.” I can’t sit here today and say that if we had done what I recommended, and what Robert Ford recommended, that we’d be in a demonstrably different place.

JG: That’s the president’s argument,  that we wouldn’t be in a different place.

HRC: Well, I did believe, which is why I advocated this, that if we were to carefully vet, train, and equip early on a core group of the developing Free Syrian Army, we would, number one, have some better insight into what was going on on the ground. Two, we would have been helped in standing up a credible political opposition, which would prove to be very difficult, because there was this constant struggle between what was largely an exile group outside of Syria trying to claim to be the political opposition, and the people on the ground, primarily those doing the fighting and dying, who rejected that, and we were never able to bridge that, despite a lot of efforts that Robert and others made. 

So I did think that eventually, and I said this at the time, in a conflict like this, the hard men with the guns are going to be the more likely actors in any political transition than those on the outside just talking. And therefore we needed to figure out how we could support them on the ground, better equip them, and we didn’t have to go all the way, and I totally understand the cautions that we had to contend with, but we’ll never know. And I don’t think we can claim to know.

JG: You do have a suspicion, though.

HRC: Obviously. I advocated for a position.

JG: Do you think we’d be where we are with ISIS right now if the U.S. had done more three years ago to build up a moderate Syrian opposition?

HRC: Well, I don’t know the answer to that. I know that the failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled.

They were often armed in an indiscriminate way by other forces and we had no skin in the game that really enabled us to prevent this indiscriminate arming.

JG: Is there a chance that President Obama overlearned the lessons of the previous administration? In other words, if the story of the Bush administration is one of overreach, is the story of the Obama administration one of underreach?

RC: You know, I don’t think you can draw that conclusion. It’s a very key question. How do you calibrate, that’s the key issue. I think we have learned a lot during this period, but then how to apply it going forward will still take a lot of calibration and balancing. But you know, we helped overthrow [Libyan leader Muammar] Qaddafi.

Also, at some point in the transcript he asks:

JG: Is the lesson for you, like it is for President Obama, “Don’t do stupid shit”?

HRC: That’s a good lesson but it’s more complicated than that. Because your stupid may not be mine, and vice versa. I don’t think it was stupid for the United States to do everything we could to remove Qaddafi because that came from the bottom up. That was people asking us to help. It was stupid to do what we did in Iraq and to have no plan about what to do after we did it. That was really stupid. I don’t think you can quickly jump to conclusions about what falls into the stupid and non-stupid categories. That’s what I’m arguing.

If I wasn’t convinced of the writer wasn’t credible after the first paragraph, I certainly would after these two direct Hillary Clinton quotes from those two excerpts, I can conclude that the story is not true

“… You know, this is why I called the chapter on Syria “A Wicked Problem.” I can’t sit here today and say that if we had done what I recommended, and what Robert Ford recommended, that we’d be in a demonstrably different place.
“… That’s a good lesson but it’s more complicated than that. Because your stupid may not be mine, and vice versa. …”

Here’s another reference to that “failure” thing ~

He writes,  As she writes in her memoir of her State Department years, "Hard Choices", she was an inside-the-administration advocate of doing more to help the Syrian rebellion. Now, her supporters argue, her position has been vindicated by recent events.


He writes,  Professional Clinton-watchers (and there are battalions of them) have told me that it is only a matter of time before she makes a more forceful attempt to highlight her differences with the (unpopular) president she ran against, and then went on to serve. On a number of occasions during my interview with her, I got the sense that this effort is already underway. (And for what it's worth, I also think she may have told me that she’s running for president—see below for her not-entirely-ambiguous nod in that direction.)

NOTE: “PROFESSIONAL CLINTON-WATCHERS..,” WHO? NAME NAMES.  “…I got the sense that this effort is already underway …” THAT IS NOT REPORTING, THAT IS DIVINING BASED ON A FEELING. “…I also think she may have told me that she’s running for president …” THAT IS NOT REPORTING EITHER, THAT IS DIVINING, BASED ONE’S PERSONAL SENSES.

He wrote, Of course, Clinton had many kind words for the “incredibly intelligent” and “thoughtful” Obama, and she expressed sympathy and understanding for the devilishly complicated challenges he faces. But she also suggested that she finds his approach to foreign policy overly cautious, and she made the case that America needs a leader who believes that the country, despite its various missteps, is an indispensable force for good. At one point, I mentioned the slogan President Obama recently coined to describe his foreign-policy doctrine: “Don’t do stupid shit” (an expression often rendered as “Don’t do stupid stuff” in less-than-private encounters).

NOTE:  “… But she also suggested that she finds his approach to foreign policy overly cautious …” BUT SHE ALSO SUGGESTED IS NOT REPORTING, IT’S GUESSING. WHERE’S THE DIRECT QUOTE?

He wrote,  This is what Clinton said about Obama’s slogan: “Great nations need organizing principles, and ‘Don’t do stupid stuff’ is not an organizing principle.”
She softened the blow by noting that Obama was “trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy,” but she repeatedly suggested that the U.S. sometimes appears to be withdrawing from the world stage.

Here’s a transcript excerpt relevant to: “Don’t do stupid stuff”:

JG: So why do you think the president went out of his way to suggest recently that that this is his foreign policy in a nutshell?

HRC: I think he was trying to communicate to the American people that he’s not going to do something crazy. I’ve sat in too many rooms with the president. He’s thoughtful, he’s incredibly smart, and able to analyze a lot of different factors that are all moving at the same time. I think he is cautious because he knows what he inherited, both the two wars and the economic front, and he has expended a lot of capital and energy trying to pull us out of the hole we’re in.

So I think that that’s a political message. It’s not his worldview, if that makes sense to you.
During a discussion about the dangers of jihadism (a topic that has her “hepped-up," she told me moments after she greeted me at her office in New York) and of the sort of resurgent nationalism seen in Russia today, I noted that Americans are quite wary right now of international commitment-making. She responded by arguing that there is a happy medium between bellicose posturing (of the sort she associated with the George W. Bush administration) and its opposite, a focus on withdrawal.

“You know, when you’re down on yourself, and when you are hunkering down and pulling back, you’re not going to make any better decisions than when you were aggressively, belligerently putting yourself forward,” she said. “One issue is that we don’t even tell our own story very well these days.”

I responded by saying that I thought that “defeating fascism and communism is a pretty big deal.” In other words, that the U.S., on balance, has done a good job of advancing the cause of freedom.

Clinton responded to this idea with great enthusiasm: “That’s how I feel! Maybe this is old-fashioned.” And then she seemed to signal that, yes, indeed, she’s planning to run for president. “Okay, I feel that this might be an old-fashioned idea, but I’m about to find out, in more ways than one.”

She said that the resilience, and expansion, of Islamist terrorism means that the U.S. must develop an “overarching” strategy to confront it, and she equated this struggle to the one the U.S. waged against Soviet-led communism.

Clinton-watchers say it's a matter of time before she highlights her differences with Obama. I got the sense that this effort is well underway.

NOTE: “… And then she seemed to signal …” “SEEMED” IS NOT REPORTING, IT’S GUESSING.

He wrote, “One of the reasons why I worry about what’s happening in the Middle East right now is because of the breakout capacity of jihadist groups that can affect Europe, can affect the United States,” she said. “Jihadist groups are governing territory. They will never stay there, though. They are driven to expand. Their raison d’etre is to be against the West, against the Crusaders, against the fill-in-the-blank—and we all fit into one of these categories. How do we try to contain that? I’m thinking a lot about containment, deterrence, and defeat.”

She went on, “You know, we did a good job in containing the Soviet Union but we made a lot of mistakes, we supported really nasty guys, we did some things that we are not particularly proud of, from Latin America to Southeast Asia, but we did have a kind of overarching framework about what we were trying to do that did lead to the defeat of the Soviet Union and the collapse of Communism. That was our objective. We achieved it.” (This was one of those moments, by the way, when I was absolutely sure I wasn’t listening to President Obama, who is loath to discuss the threat of Islamist terrorism in such a sweeping manner.) 


A transcript excerpt relevant to Hillary Clinton’s Foreign Policy ~

JG: There doesn’t seem to be a domestic constituency for the type of engagement you might symbolize.

HRC: Well, that’s because most Americans think of engagement and go immediately to military engagement. That’s why I use the phrase “smart power.” I did it deliberately because I thought we had to have another way of talking about American engagement, other than unilateralism and the so-called boots on the ground.

You know, when you’re down on yourself, and when you are hunkering down and pulling back, you’re not going to make any better decisions than when you were aggressively, belligerently putting yourself forward. One issue is that we don’t even tell our own story very well these days.


Mmmm. So. The point of the story was, what? BS...



Sunday, August 10, 2014

If You Follow POTUS You Know We Aren't Going To War

MSM, apparently, does not know where to get information about what President Obama is thinking about Iraq/ISIL ~ Do you?

For those who do not follow President Obama closely:

 like MSM Peeps whose preference is to divine the news;
like wannabe Commanders-in-Chief whose preference is to push war;
and/or like hard-working Americans who legitimately do not have the time it takes to do their own research, allow me to direct you to a place or two where you can hear from the President directly with a few clicks of your mouse while you, I hope, at the same time,
ponder the context from which he speaks which is: His record provides no reason to not take him at his word.

If you go to the White House Twitter feed you will see this:

If you scroll down the Twitter feed, to the right of that logo, you will find a prominent photo of POTUS meeting with his National Security team ~ use that as a starting point and scroll back up through August 7 to August 9 and you will find what the President has had to say about Iraq/ISIL including, as we will see later, a press background briefing by senior staff members.

(As time passes from the moment of the publication of this Blogspot, I trust you will find even more information than I am referencing here as, contrary to popular belief, POTUS puts information out there, regularly.)

The first relevant Tweet announced the first conversation the President would have with the American People to report on the current situation in Iraq and it looks like this:

The second relevant Tweet declared the President's intention re the potential for another war with Iraq and it looks like this:

The third relevant Tweet, referenced the second conversation the President would have with the American People to provide an update on the current situation in Iraq and it looks like this:

And the last relevant Tweet (all relevant Tweets defined as relevant from my point of view, of course) links to a copy of the Senior Staff Background Briefing of media on the current situation in Iraq and it looks like this:

My favorite highlight of the Background Briefing is this:

   Thank you, very much.  Can you say how you could break this siege without targeted airstrikes?  And if that were to take place, do you expect it would be with a coalition?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL:  Sure, Andrea.  I’ll start and my colleagues may want to come in.  The President has authorized airstrikes if we believe they're necessary to help break this siege.  So we will be driven by military decision-making as to whether or not there are targets that present themselves that can help relieve the pressure on Mount Sinjar.  And we will be watching that very closely.
As my colleague said, we have dedicated a substantial amount of ISR over Iraq and intelligence resources that enable us to track the situation.  And one of the two military actions that the President authorized is not just humanitarian airdrops, but airstrikes to support a relief of that siege on the mountain.
And the Peshmerga has been engaged in that area, so they will continue to provide support to the Yazidi population.  And again, as we can provide air support to relieve that pressure, the President has given the military the authorization to do so.
I don't know if my colleagues -- if you have anything to add there.
(Mmm. Wonder what Andrea that was asking how the siege can be broken without targeted air strikes when … as she was informed in response to her question ~ POTUS had actually ordered targeted air strikes? I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess she does not follow POTUS closely and she did not listen to POTUS address the nation.)

For more information from the source go here ...

To wrap it up ~ let's travel back in time a bit to an August 2009 analysis of words spoken by President Obama as of January of that same year. It is an analysis that reaffirms my belief that this President has been never swayed from his initial desire to add to the creation of a "more perfect union" and I do not expect him to stop now by re-igniting one of two wars he has extricated us from.

And let me leave you with this to remind you to pay attention and to have your say with your representatives but to get right back to the work of getting out the vote in November because: One, anything else is a distraction and; Two, >>>


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Wake Up and Smell the Coffee ~ the GOP is in Charge!

 Wake up and smell the coffee because: One, you can make jokes about and you can laugh at the GOP but the truth is they were voted into positions of power and they are in charge of our purse strings; Two, low approval ratings for President Obama can be a winner for the opposition party ~ in this case: Haters of U.S. Government and Haters of anything not of the white wing party.

The numbers:

The 2014 mid-term assessment of those numbers per Nate

“When FiveThirtyEight last issued a U.S. Senate forecast — way back in July — we concluded the race for Senate control was a toss-up. That was a little ahead of the conventional wisdom at the time, which characterized the Democrats as vulnerable but more likely than not to retain the chamber.
Our new forecast goes a half-step further: We think the Republicans are now slight favorites to win at least six seats and capture the chamber. The Democrats’ position has deteriorated somewhat since last summer, with President Obama’s approval ratings down to 42 or 43 percent from an average of about 45 percent before. Furthermore, as compared with 2010 or 2012, the GOP has done a better job of recruiting credible candidates, with some exceptions. …”

Frankly, I really do not want to quibble about this ~ Democrats need to understand the threat of the GOP and the risk of losing to the GOP and they need to vote a straight Democratic ticket on November 4th.  Get our candidates in, stay engaged, persuade them to your point of view, help them persuade others to your point of view AND, finally, when all is said and done please accept majority rule until the next election. It’s how we roll.

Now, let me share with you one of the actions I take to help boost POTUS numbers.

 I have created a Twitter hashtag #POTUSpositive and every time I come across a POTUS positive I label it as such and I Tweet it to get that information into cyberspace. 

A sample:

Further, the PCTC Blog has curated approximately 250 POTUS documented positives and I am using that list to create an XCEL sheet of President Obama’s accomplishments, from which I will Tweet my personal favorites from now until Election Day. We cannot promote his work if we do not know what his work is!

I am posting a snippet of my XCEL sheet below but let me just run the process by you first:

I copy and paste the PCTC accomplishment I like from PCTC’s list to a column my XCEL sheet.

I copy and paste that same accomplishment in column right next to it, where I can add my #POTUSpositive hashtag and where I can edit the it down.

I copy and paste the edited version into the Twitter compose space where I check the character count and where I re-edit it if it needs to be edited down further to meet the 140 character count of Twitter.

Once have that right, I cut the finished product and I paste it over the my original (in column two) so I have a live Tweet ready to be copied and pasted and Tweeted at my own convenience.

It is a work in progress but if it appeals to you, please feel free to borrow it and/or modify it ~ but do not wait to do something … now is the time to move those POTUS numbers up!

If you are new to Twitter you can find all of the information you need to get hooked up here.

If you are new to copying, cutting and pasting you can find those tools with a right click of your mouse on a PC ~ if you are a MAC user, you’ll have to Google it.
As I am closing out this Blogspot, the Tick Tock is:


Shout out to Love Your Day Design Blog for the Meme!

Shout out to Vanity Fair for Nate Silver caricature: