Thursday, March 17, 2016

(What Happens When Good Candidates Enter the White House? Collateral Damage)  Hillary Doesn't Remember Dire History But She Is Very Sorry  (Not Enough Poison In NC's Water?)  Noah Treats US to Hillary Gaffe Laughs

Are you feeling the Bern yet?

He's getting ready to make history quake in the upcoming primary battles.

And speaking of his opponent . . .

Hillary Clinton has been running for President as the best-prepared, most educated candidate since the 60's (just ask Bill who let us in on the family secret during his first run for governor of Arkansas).

Funny how she has odd remembrances of pretty memorable American political history.

Historian and activist Martin Duberman evokes this special tenderness well in the Emily Dickinson verse he chooses for the dedication page of Hold Tight Gently, his deeply moving book that recalls the suffering – and the activism — of the Plague Years:
There’s a certain slant of light,
On winter afternoons
That oppresses, like the weight
Of cathedral tunes.
Heavenly hurt it gives us;
We can find no scar,
But internal difference
Where the meanings are…
​Yes, I am well aware that Hillary Clinton has apologized ​for ​and “walked back” the idiotic and infuriating statement she made to MSNBC at Nancy Reagan’s funeral:​  “Because of President and Mrs. Reagan — in particular Mrs. Reagan — we started a national conversation when, before, nobody would talk about it, nobody wanted to do anything about it.”
​But just because Hillary has apologized, does that mean we should just forgive her and move on? I mean, of all the candidates out there, Hillary Clinton is supposed to be the real pro. If a political naif or a nut case like Ben Carson were to make this kind of insulting and preposterous statement, you might just shrug it off. But Hillary? ​
Hillary also violated the second rule of funerals and memorial services. The first rule, of course, is never to speak ill of the dead. But the second and equally important rule is that you don’t make shit up, either. You don’t invent an alternative fantasy life for the person whose remains lie in that coffin. If the deceased is actually a disreputable character, you are allowed to mumble nice generalities, but that’s the extent of it.
. . . ​When I try to ask myself what she ​was thinking, the only possible answer that comes to ​mind is that she ​might have been ​hoping​, consciously or unconsciously,​ that a record-cleansing procedure​,​ similar to the one ​that ​she provided for ​the benefit of ​Ron and Nancy​,​ will some day be applied to Bill & Hill years​. God knows that those years will look better in hindsight the more people can forget about the high cost of Clintonesque neoliberalism.

Hillary is certainly cynical enough to be counting on the fact that Americans have notoriously short memories and are usually happy to overlook the crimes and betrayals of their white leaders (Barack Obama, of course, gets the opposite treatment). ​
In 2008 and again this year, I’ve had to wonder why so many gay men — younger ones ​in particular — love Hillary so much. In the end, I think the explanation is pretty simple; there is a kind of natural bond between gay men and feminists, and no one questions Hillary Clinton’s feminist credentials. But it still sickens me to see how she and her team take the gay vote for granted. Maybe this episode will change that, but I doubt it.
The obvious parallel is the way in which Team Hillary assumes that African Americans will vote for her based on familiarity alone and will ​block out or simply disregard the ​various “third way” Clinton Administration ​initiatives on trade, welfare, criminal justice, and financial deregulation that continue to have such devastating long-term consequences for the black community. Anyone remember Sister Souljah?
Why is it that the victims of these powerful politicians’ cynical triangulation, callous indifference, ​and calculated​ malice are always supposed to forgive and forget? I’m not ready to forgive, and I’m certainly not ready to forget.

So, there's not enough poison in North Carolina's water to kill us (h/t to R.J. Sigmund)?

Under Republican government (funded by N.C.'s overseer of public health, Duke Power - of the famous coal ash pits non-poisoning - according to them) that's what we are being told.

Drink up!

(AP) — North Carolina is reversing warnings about water that health officials said was too polluted to drink and now reassuring residents who live near pits that hold waste from decades of coal-burning for electricity that their well water is safe. The state health agency issued written warnings last April to the owners of 330 water wells near eight Duke Energy power plants that their well water was too contaminated with vanadium and hexavalent chromium to use.

Now a new letter is being sent to homeowners who draw from 235 of those wells suggesting more confidence in the safety of the water. The remaining 95 water wells will continue to carry a “do not drink” warning because of the presence of arsenic, cobalt or other pollutant, an agency spokeswoman said. The letter, which the Department of Health and Human services began mailing out Friday, states that the water is “as safe to drink as water in most cities and towns across the state and country.” State agencies fanned out to test the groundwater near coal-burning plants owned by the country’s largest electric company after a massive coal-ash spill two years ago. The disaster left a 70-mile stretch of the Dan River coated in toxic sludge and raised  concerns
about arsenic and heavy metals in the water.
Whatever happens to candidates for the Presidency after they come into office, it's pretty evident that a good portion of it doesn't benefit the voters who put them in the hallowed place.

Isn’t it rather odd that America’s largest single public expenditure scheduled for the coming decades has received no attention in the 2015-2016 presidential debates?
The expenditure is for a 30-year program to “modernize” the U.S. nuclear arsenal and production facilities. Although President Obama began his administration with a dramatic public commitment to build a nuclear weapons-free world, that commitment has long ago dwindled and died. It has been replaced by an administration plan to build a new generation of U.S. nuclear weapons and nuclear production facilities to last the nation well into the second half of the twenty-first century. This plan, which has received almost no attention by the mass media, includes redesigned nuclear warheads, as well as new nuclear bombers, submarines, land-based missiles, weapons labs, and production plants.
The estimated cost? $1,000,000,000,000.00 — or, for those readers unfamiliar with such lofty figures, $1 trillion.
Critics charge that the expenditure of this staggering sum will either bankrupt the country or, at the least, require massive cutbacks in funding for other federal government programs. “We’re . . . wondering how the heck we’re going to pay for it,” admitted Brian McKeon, an undersecretary of defense. And we’re “probably thanking our stars we won’t be here to have to have to answer the question,” he added with a chuckle.
This nuclear “modernization” plan violates the terms of the 1968 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires the nuclear powers to engage in nuclear disarmament. The plan is also moving forward despite the fact that the U.S. government already possesses roughly 7,000 nuclear weapons that can easily destroy the world. Although climate change might end up accomplishing much the same thing, a nuclear war does have the advantage of terminating life on earth more rapidly.
This trillion dollar nuclear weapons buildup has yet to inspire any questions about it by the moderators during the numerous presidential debates. Even so, in the course of the campaign, the presidential candidates have begun to reveal their attitudes toward it.

On the Republican side, the candidates — despite their professed distaste for federal expenditures and “big government” — have been enthusiastic supporters of this great leap forward in the nuclear arms race. Donald Trump, the frontrunner, contended in his presidential announcement speech that “our nuclear arsenal doesn’t work,” insisting that it is out of date. Although he didn’t mention the $1 trillion price tag for “modernization,” the program is clearly something he favors, especially given his campaign’s focus on building a U.S. military machine “so big, powerful, and strong that no one will mess with us.”
His Republican rivals have adopted a similar approach. Marco Rubio, asked while campaigning in Iowa about whether he supported the trillion dollar investment in new nuclear weapons, replied that “we have to have them. No country in the world faces the threats America faces.” When a peace activist questioned Ted Cruz on the campaign trail about whether he agreed with Ronald Reagan on the need to eliminate nuclear weapons, the Texas senator replied:  “I think we’re a long way from that and, in the meantime, we need to be prepared to defend ourselves. The best way to avoid war is to be strong enough that no one wants to mess with the United States.” Apparently, Republican candidates are particularly worried about being “messed with.”

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