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  • Clinton's huge victory in Virgin Islands, with 84.2 percent of the vote moves her closer to Democratic nomination

    Hillary Clinton in Maine, September 18, 2016

    Photo and article by Ramona du Houx

    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's huge victory in Virgin Islands, with 84.2 percent of the vote moves her closer to Democratic nomination, picking up 6 of the territory’s 7 pledged delegates at stake.

    She is now about 60 delegates short of the 2,383 needed to advance to the November general election.

    The Virgin Islands is one of five U.S. territories that casts votes in primaries and caucuses to decide the nominee, even though those residents aren’t eligible to vote in November. While its pool of 7 delegates is small, the island chain took on more importance as Clinton gets closer to clinching the nomination.

    Earlier this month, former President Bill Clinton campaigned for Hillary in the Virgin Islands while Sanders went to Puerto Rico, which has 60 delegates at stake in a primary June 7, 2016.

    According to the associated press, Clinton now has 1,775 delegates to Sanders’ 1,502, based on primaries and caucuses. When including superdelegates, Clinton’s lead is substantial – 2,322 to Sanders’ 1,548. It takes 2,383 to win.

    Six states including New Jersey and California will vote on Tuesday, with 694 delegates up for grabs. The District of Columbia is the last to vote on June 14.

  • Why a Democratic Socialist switched from Bernie to Hillary

    Hillary Clinton campainged in Maine, September 18, 2015, energizing supporters. Photo by Ramona du Houx

    I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about the presidential race. As a democratic socialist it seemed obvious to me that I would support Bernie Sanders in the Democratic race. I have followed his career, and supported him, since I first moved to Vermont in 1972. I was a member of the Liberty Union Party, for Pete's sake, and Bernie's success in Vermont politics coincided with the political and cultural changes we wanted to make as part of the "back to the land" movement that brought so many war-weary and politically alienated young people to Vermont as a place to learn and help create changes on a workable scale.  


    But I have had an increasingly uncomfortable feeling as I watched the campaign unfold. Bernie is talking about a political revolution in ways that make no sense to me. The American system dampens the possibility of radical change through the ballot box. There is no third party/proportional representation. I can't imagine him leading as much as a change in the majority party in the House and there is no way any of his more dramatic proposals have any chance of passing given the composition of Congress--which is very unlikely to change radically in the near/medium future. Hope and Change struck me as utopian vagueness in 2008 and Bernie is doubling down. 

    I'm tired of idealistic campaign rhetoric. When Trump talks about we're just gonna win, win, win, big wall, smack China, we know it's all bluster. Bernie talks about single payer and free college tuition for all but that is no more realistic with this Congress than a magic wall.  I don't even WANT free college tuition for affluent young people. In some countries they can do it because relatively few go to universities--not so here. It's completely unbelievable.

    And then I watched the debates. I have a lot of reservations about Hillary Clinton. There are things she has done and votes, e.g., Iraq, she has cast that I can't accept. But I watched the debates. She is intelligent, composed, knowledgeable across the board. We can argue about labels but Clinton is a liberal with a liberal voting record. Is she too hawkish? I think so. I think she is too pro-Israel. But I don't think she's reckless.  She had positions and rhetoric on criminal justice twenty years ago that I didn’t like but I think she has learned and grown as progressive people do. 

    And unlike Obama, whom I respect greatly, she would not make the mistake of thinking her personal charisma will create a kumbaya wave in Washington. She knows the Republicans well enough to call them "my enemy." She will go after them rather than try to convert them.

    Finally, I am sick of the Hillary-bashing. I can't think of another politician in my conscious lifetime who has caught more shit than she, from people making the White House travel office a cause celebre to accusing her of killing her friend, Vince Foster, to Whitewater, to being (gasp!) a lesbian, or shrew, or thick-legged (gasp, again) to Benghazi, to ... fill in the blank. And it is misogynistic.  I know people who consider her laughably dishonest and I ask them, what exactly, has she lied about? Oh, they say, everyone knows--because they have been exposed to relentless bashing of her that has not been refuted strongly enough by people on the left.


    I am a socialist feminist. I believe there is no true socialism without feminism and no true feminism without socialism. I have worked in various ways to further both causes. As a citizen of the country I have a more particular responsibility to vote for the person I think is best qualified at this particular moment for what can well be considered the most important position in the world. I have decided that is Hillary Clinton.

    This Editorial frist appeared on the DailyKos

  • A pattern of false accusations against Hillary- by Barney Frank

    Hillary Clinton in Maine with Governor John E. Baldacci in 2007 - photo by Ramona du Houx

    Editorial By Former Congressman Barney Frank

    Hillary Clinton has been exonerated on every one of those charges leveled at her.

    The current controversy around Hillary Clinton is part of a well-established pattern.

    Clinton is accused of supporting a policy of cooperation with Russia by helping a Russian company buy uranium. This was a policy that began under President George W. Bush and was continued by President Obama until Russia invaded Ukraine.

    This “scandal” follows others, like her non-role in the murder of an American ambassador in Benghazi, Libya, and her unsuspicious use of a secure personal email account when she was secretary of state. Articles about each accusation usually include a reference to previous controversies. The intent is to make people likelier to believe the accusation du jour.

    There is a pattern here. It is a pattern of her being falsely accused. None of these prior accusations turned out to have any substance. Clinton has been exonerated on every one of those charges leveled at her.

    During the 1990s, the Republican Party did everything possible to find something that she had done wrong and were unable to do so.

    In 1993, as a member of the House Banking Committee, I participated in hearings about the accusation that the Clintons had done something wrong regarding the Whitewater land deal. Nothing turned up. But when Republicans took control of Congress in 1995, they announced that there had been a cover-up and reopened the investigation. In 1995, Chairman Jim Leach announced there would be two weeks of hearings into Whitewater, with a report at the end. After the first week, it became very clear that neither President Clinton nor Hillary Clinton had done anything that warranted a negative conclusion. Jim Leach is a man of great integrity, and while he did his partisan duty to convene the hearing, his intellectual honesty prevented him from satisfying the Republican wish for condemnation. He ended the hearings after one week, and the committee issued no report, on the political principle that the absence of bad news is no news.

    Kenneth Starr took over from there. He was charged with investigating Whitewater, the suicide of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster, the FBI files that found their way to the White House, the firing of people in the travel office and everything else of which the Clintons were accused. Not one of these allegations led to any finding that she had done anything improper, inappropriate or wrong.

    Starr fairly quickly concluded that Foster had in fact committed suicide, refuting the vicious allegations that Hillary Clinton had somehow been involved.

    He then continued to investigate all the other charges, spending tens of millions of dollars, with no results until the Monica Lewinsky affair was added to his investigative duties. By the fall of 1998, he formally reported to Congress that there were 11 counts on which President Clinton should be impeached. That seemed impressive at first until a quick read showed that he had simply found 11 ways to describe oral sex. (Leaving him 39 short of the creative Mr. Christian Grey.)

    This report came before the 1998 congressional election, when the Republicans hoped to gain enough seats to convict the president and drive him from office. After the election, when Starr testified before the Judiciary Committee on which I was sitting, he presented his full report. I noted that while he did recommend impeachment on the Lewinsky count, he found nothing negative in any of the other accusations. No one doubts that Starr was determined to inflict maximum damage on the Clintons, both in pursuit of his law enforcement job and because of his own political views, so it is relevant that having spent several years and a large amount of money investigating Whitewater, Vince Foster’s suicide, the travel office, the FBI files and anything else he could think of, he was forced to conclude that neither Clinton was guilty of anything inappropriate in any of these matters.

    I did get to ask him at the hearing why he had sent us the one negative fact before the election and only after the election reported that there was nothing that could be held against either Clinton on all of the other charges. He had no coherent answer.

    The relevance of this is that after an investigation by a special prosecutor who was trying to play Inspector Javert to Hillary Clinton’s Jean Valjean, she was exonerated of every accusation against her.

    The next time you read an article about some new case against her that refers to the string of previous attacks, please remember none of them were ever shown to have any substance whatsoever.

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