Thursday, June 30, 2016

Also Tuesday: Peace Beat War-- Jerry Nadler's Landslide Against A Crooked Millionaire's Son


Wednesday, everyone I know was either celebrating Zephyr Teachout;s landslide victory in NY-19 or trying to figure what went wrong in NY-24, where Eric Kingson came in second of three Democratic primary candidates-- or both. Dave Weigel's analysis of what went wrong in Syracuse speaks to the problem with Bernie's revolution. It was pretty similar to what happened to Berniecrat Dave McTeague in OR-05 when Bernie won every county in the district but McTeague lost to head Blue Dog Kurt Schrader 72.6-27.4%-- and on the same day!
Turnout: Still terrible. When he stumped in Syracuse, Sanders told voters that "just 7,000 or 8,000 votes" would be enough to nominate Eric Kingson. It sounded achievable. The 24th district is composed of Cayuga, Onondaga  and Wayne counties, and part of Oswego County, and in April, Sanders won 18,057 votes in Onondaga  alone.

On Tuesday, Eric Kingson won just 3,780 votes across the entire district. Just 7,000-- or even 6,000-- would have won him the race. Most eligible voters simply didn't care enough to vote in a June primary, which would have been the second of four votes for them this year. (Seriously. There are local office primaries in September, then the presidential election in November.) Sanders is having an easier time finding harmony with Democrats on the issues than he is reminding voters than they can turn out and pick who they want to represent them.
A worthless Democratic hack, Colleen Deacon, won with 5,749 votes. If she wins in November, she'll almost certainly lose in 2018, when she offers Democrat voters no reason to turn up at the polls for her.

But there was another New York primary that, shockingly, the media hasn't had much to say about-- progressive icon Jerry Nadler's reelection campaign in NY-10, the Upper West Side, Soho, Chelsea, the Village, the Financial District and the very reactionary Borough Park section of Brooklyn. In fact, the far right Hassidics who run Borough Park recruited a candidate to run against Nadler when he voted for the Iran nuclear deal. It looked like if they could order their zombie followers to go out and vote against Nadler-- in what was predicted to be a low-turn-out election, they could pull off an upset. (They even persuaded racist former comedian Jackie Mason to cut a robocall for their candidate.) Instead it was the second highest turn-out primary in the state on Tuesday and Mason and the zombies were nowhere to be seen. Nadler beat the son-of-a-millionaire recruit, Mikhail Oliver Rosenberg, a naive gay anti-peace Zionist in a landslide even bigger than Teachout's!
Jerry Nadler- 25,527 (88.78%)
Mikhail Oliver Rosenberg- 2,949 (10.26%)
Last year the super-hawks and war mongers who are always trying to foment war with Iran had pledged to defeat Nadler and other progressives who voted for Obama's deal. None of these neocons admitted defeat after their candidate's eye-popping ass-whooping and their allies at the New York Daily News and Washington Times didn't report the landslide at all, just that their hero, Mikhail, didn't win.

A friend put Nadler's victory in context: "his margin of victory was 33% greater than Putin's margin of victory in his last election. Think about that. Nadler won by a margin of 79%. Putin could only muster a measly 46%." He added that "This is what happens when progressives stand up for progressive positions against powerful special interests. Voters reward them. And this case, diplomacy wins and we all get to avoid a disastrous war of choice with Iran." Don't expect to hear from Mikhail Oliver Rosenberg again... so, enjoy:

Labels: , , , , , ,

What Do Beltway Party Bosses Chuck Schumer And Jon Tester Have Against Utah Democrat Misty K. Snow?


Yesterday we looked at the resistance of the establishment-- in this case, Pelosi and her incredibly incompetent and corrupt DCCC-- to getting behind progressives after they win their primaries against the more conservative candidates the DCCC prefers. I hope no one imagined I was exempting the DSCC from that dynamic just because I didn't mention them. But, just in case, let me mention them now. This is the DSCC's candidates page. It's not just their frontline candidates like conservative Democrats Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), Patrick Murphy (FL), fracking lobbyist Katie McGuinty (PA), failed Blue Dog Baron Hill (IN), Patty Judge (IA), and Ted Strickland (OH) but even mentions candidates no one has ever heard of, like Tom Dixon (SC) and Jerry Sturgill (ID) and mentions that there are races in Louisiana, Alaska, and Kansas where candidates haven't been chosen yet and where the DSCC has no interest anyway. But one state not mentioned at all is Utah, where far right-- and quite unpopular-- extremist Mike Lee is running for reelection. The DSCC seems determined to ignore that race, especially now that the Republican-lite corporatist they assumed would win, Jonathan Swinton, was beaten on Tuesday by Misty K. Snow, a dedicated Berniecrat.

Establishment pols like Schumer and Tester who run the DSCC might not be totally thrilled with all the 15 planks that make up Snow's platform-- Clean Air, healthcare (single payer), getting money out of politics (Schumer's key to power), $15 minimum wage, women's rights, LGBT equality-- "LGBT people deserve full equality under the law, no excuses or exceptions."-- paid maternity leave, immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship for people already living here," marijuana legalization, criminal justice reform, including ending private prisons, an industry so many senators take contributions bribes from, clean, renewable energy, a plank that must make Schumer's skin crawl: Wall Street reform (reinstating Glass-Steagall, breaking up the "too big to fail" banks and implementing public, non-profit banking), college for all ("state colleges and universities should be tuition-free"), gun violence prevention, and a public lands agenda that isn't likely to please rapacious developers-- but I wonder how they relate to the fact that she's a transgender political leader. In fact, Snow is the first transgender nominee from a major party to run for a U.S. Senate seat. I don't hear the hypocritical Schumer celebrating that or making any announcements about it. (Blue America was thrilled and immediately added her to our Best Senate candidates ActBlue page.)

Throughout the primary, the 30-year-old Salt Lake City resident has given scant attention to her potentially historic status. She instead has campaigned on a progressive platform and promised to aggressively challenge Lee, whom she has repeatedly called "loathsome."

In unofficial primary returns, Snow had a 59.5 percent to 40.5 percent lead over Jonathan Swinton.

A marriage therapist, Swinton is 35 years old and Mormon. He described himself as a conservative Democrat who sought to govern as a centrist, similar to former Rep. Jim Matheson and Doug Owens, who is running against Rep. Mia Love, R-Utah, for the second time.

Snow jumped in the race shortly before the filing deadline because she wanted to offer an alternative to Swinton. And while Swinton led in the state convention, Snow notched enough support to force a primary, largely by criticizing Swinton for advocating for limits to abortion rights.

It appears Utah Democrats were similarly eager to try a different approach against Lee, one of the nation's most conservative senators. Lee faced no challenge from within his party as he seeks a second six-year term.

Swinton said the results were "discouraging."

"We hoped more Democrats were really looking at the long game at this, trying to unseat Mike Lee," he said. "The reality is I've done my absolute best and run an honorable campaign."

Snow credited her primary election performance to her focus on "issues that Democrats care about."

She has called for a $15 per hour minimum wage, paid family leave, legalized marijuana, criminal-justice reform and free or reduced tuition for higher education, a platform inspired by presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. She said her goal is to boost working-class people such as herself. She's employed as a cashier at a Harmons grocery and hasn't gone to college, partly due to the cost and partly because she wasn't sure what career path she would like to take. Now she's seeking to become a federal lawmaker.

Snow began living openly as woman in October 2014 and believes being a transgender person, a rarity in U.S. politics, will drum up attention and campaign money, while her Sanders-inspired run will fire up Democrats and some independents.

A poll in early June, commissioned by the Salt Lake Tribune and the Hinckley Institute of Politics, found that Lee holds a 51 percent to 37 percent lead on Snow. National political handicappers expect Utah's Senate seat to stay in GOP hands, but Snow believes she's in a strong starting position, particularly because most voters haven't heard of her.
Please consider helping Misty Snow make history and win a U.S. Senate seat (and end Mike Lee's career):
Goal Thermometer

Labels: , , ,

Casting a Web of Lies for Campaign Dollars-- A Guest Post By Lee Rogers


The 2 most dishonest grifters trying to separate you from your cash today

Today is the day. I’m sure your inbox has already blown up. It’s June 30-- the most important day in political donations. But if you read these campaign solicitations, every day is the most important day in fundraising. If you’re involved in politics, or have ever donated to candidate, or to any interest group, your email inbox has come to realize there really isn’t any “season” for campaign fundraising. Requests for money are incessant. People often wonder, “How did I even get on this distribution list?” Well, surprisingly, you don’t have to sign up for emails from a candidate or organization to be spammed. Your email address is shared numerous times by campaigns, interest groups, and the party. Even software vendors to campaigns bury language in their agreements that if the candidate loses, they have permission to acquire their email list and give it to the party where it gets prostituted out to anyone they wish. You could spend weeks in a never-ending battle of clicking “unsubscribe” in an effort to clean up your inbox, only to be added to more lists.

Let’s face it. Campaigning is tough. Not because it’s difficult to walk neighborhoods, knock on doors, talk to voters, speak at rallies, go to house parties, interview with the press, attend party events, or meet other elected officials. That’s what candidates love to do. But what may surprise most Americans, but few insiders, is that candidates, especially challengers, really spend about 90% of their time fundraising. Incumbents spend a large amount of time fundraising too, but they can raise more money in considerably less time. It takes a tremendous amount of money to run for federal office, while the size of the district and the cost of the media markets to run TV ads are two of the major drivers. Campaigns hire finance teams and fundraising consultants to help them strategize on how to raise money. Candidates often spend hours at a time on the phone using computer-generated call sheets to ask for money, which campaign finance people jokingly call “dialing for dollars.” There is often a finance staffer with the candidate on the phone to enter notes of the conversation so that the candidate can easily reconnect with the donor on a personal level during future resolicitations.

But the easiest target of all is online fundraising. It’s one of the few types of fundraising which can be completed without candidates using their own time. Even if an email only generates a few hundred or a couple thousand dollars, it’s worth it.

There is frequently a battle on campaigns between the finance staff and the GOTV staff or the candidate on how many and how often to send out fundraising emails. The finance staff cares about one thing only, money in the bank, and they don’t mind “burning the list” (a phrase that means you send out so many emails the list becomes ineffective) in order to do that.

The dishonesty in campaign fundraising feeds into what people hate most about politicians-- they’ll say or do anything to get elected. And yet, email fundraising is its own breed of deception.

Here is a list of the common lies and misleading practices used in campaign fundraising emails:

Using a false “From:” address

Campaigns will frequently send out an email from someone famous, another elected official, or even just someone else on the campaign to trick a recipient into opening it. They’re never really from someone famous. The actual address is a campaign address like or

Fabricating a forward

Campaigns write an email that appears to be forwarded from the candidate. It usually includes “Fwd:” in the subject line and often the campaign staffer writes, “Did you see this?” in the body.

Creating false deadlines

Federal Election Commission deadlines are at the end of quarters, March 31, June 30, September 30, and December 31. Campaigns will use a deadline-oriented appeal around dates that aren’t actually deadlines, using language like, “Hurry, you only have until midnight tonight to make a difference in this race.”

Using fake goals

Campaigns write emails like, “Hey, we’re only $5,771 short of our fundraising goal, can I count on you to help?” These numbers are completely made up.

Matching programs

“Double your donation! We’re receiving matching funds for all donations that come in this quarter.” Of course, they never say who’s matching the donations, because no one actually is.

Sign Petitions

Campaigns will send out emails asking for signatures on an online petition, which also requests the signer’s email address. Campaigns don’t care about the petition, but in reality they are just building their email list so they can spam you later for money.

However, a couple lies I saw in recent fundraising communications should win an award for the biggest frauds.

Runner Up

A fundraising letter I received from Republican Senator Ted Cruz proved that snail mail can still be just as deceptive as email fundraising. The envelope read “Check enclosed” and appeared to be a check through the address window. Opening the envelope revealed a $45.00 forged check, complete with “security features” and fake account numbers at the bottom. The reverse of the check had an area for endorsement. Small text stated “THIS CHECK IS A FACSIMILE NOT REDEEMABLE OR NEGOTIABLE AND HAS NO CASH VALUE.” As it turns out, the check is a scam for a donor matching program with deceptive messaging to trick the recipient into opening the letter.

Biggest Lie

Also recently, I received the latest in a barrage of email blasts from Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy, running for US Senate in Florida, even though I never subscribed to his list and I have actually donated to his primary opponent, Rep. Alan Grayson.

The email came from Murphy finance director Josh Wolf, which faked a string of emails between Murphy and Wolf using the prospective donor’s (or you might say “victim’s”) name claiming that Murphy was personally asking for the donor by name to see if they’ve contributed yet to meet their arbitrary goal.

In the string complete with fake email headers, Murphy writes, “Can you ping [donor first name] to see if they can help?”

No doubt that raising money is the most difficult, and sadly the most important, part of campaigns. It is also the least favorite activity for candidates who often have to be corralled by their finance staff. Candidates look for easy ways out and let the finance staff craft the messaging and strategy for online fundraising. Which regrettably, leads to blatant deception and for some reason this is accepted industry practice. Maybe I’m alone, but I believe that a candidate without scruples in fundraising in their campaign for office, likely won’t have any scruples when performing the duties of their office.

Dr. Lee Rogers was a Democratic candidate for U.S. Congress in California’s 25th District in 2012 and 2014. Blue America, which endorsed Lee when he ran, raises money the old fashioned way and without any of the dishonest gimmicks encouraged by the DCCC, DSCC, or DNC and other groups you might expect more honesty and transparency from from. Below is a thermometer that leads to an ActBlue page which contains the candidates we have endorsed this cycle. They are all worthwhile progressives worthy of contributions today, tomorrow any any time between now and election day.
Goal Thermometer

Labels: , , ,

Foreigners Buying Crooked U.S. Politicians-- Like Patrick Murphy And His Business Associate Donald Trump


For a Saudi billionaire it isn't hard to buy a crooked sieve a seat in Congress

When I travel I'm still living under the delusion that I have a secretary who will take care of any emergencies that come up, even though I don't. But I'm so used to cutting myself off when I'm away on vacation that the only communication channel I leave open is e-mail. The FEC, it turns out, doesn't do e-mail.

When I got back from nearly a month in Russia, Azerbaijan and Finland a couple days ago, there were dozens of phone messages to pick up. I still haven't gone through them all. But one-- actually two-- that I attended to immediately was from an FEC agent to me in my capacity as treasurer of Blue America. The FEC wanted an explanation of some significant contributions that flowed to our PAC and our candidates from a donor in China. It was easy to handle because the donor is an American citizen living abroad, just as I used to be myself. But once we got that out of the way-- including a promise from me to send an amended quarterly report attesting to his U.S. citizenship-- I started badgering the agent about the hundreds of thousands of dollars the powerful Saudi billionaire (and top advisor to that country's royal family) Nasser Ibrahim Al-Rashid, has funneled into Patrick Murphy's career through his sons, Ibrahim, Salman, Ramzi, and Mohammed (AKA- "Moose"). Nasser, by the way, contributed between 1 and 10 million dollars to the Clinton Presidential Library and has made it known that the Saudi would give the Obama Presidential Library a similar amount-- as long as Patrick Murphy was endorsed by the president (and vice-president, the clownish Biden, who actually endorsed Privileged Patrick thinking he was endorsing the former congressman from Pennsylvania, a current U.S. Army Under Secretary, who isn't running for anything.) How useful has it been for the Saudis to have a weak-minded sieve like Murphy sitting on the House Intelligence Committee?

Anyway, I didn't get much of a response, barely a grunt. Oh well... I wonder if the FEC is asking Trump's crooked eldest son, Donald, Jr., why he's soliciting money from citizens of foreign countries, which actually isn't just an infringement of FEC regulations but actual law breaking. A Member of Parliament from Glasgow sent this letter to Donald, Jr. in response to the illegal solicitation:

It turns out Trump is trying to get foreigners to give him campaign cash. I haven't read much about the FEC doing anything about that. Have you? Chris Hayes did a story about this on his show last night. And TalkingPointsMemo caught it too, reporting that the Campaign Legal Center and Democracy 21, filed a complaint with the FEC, arguing that Trump's campaign broke federal law by sending fundraising emails to foreign elected officials. Trump isn't just spamming Scottish parliamentarians for cash; he's also been asking for money from elected officials in Australia, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, England and Finland. I hope Hillary's campaign files an official complaint... or does she do the same kind of crooked campaign funding?

3 grifters: Eric, The Donald, Donald, Jr.

Labels: , , , ,

People Learned The Hard Way That If Anything Has The Word Trump Attached To It, Run Away As Fast As You Can


New polling from PPP shows Clinton running ahead of Trump in every battle-ground state (unless you count Arizona as a battle-ground state, where he is leading her narrowly. Here are their latest results:
Wisconsin: Clinton 47%, Trump 39%
New Hampshire: Clinton 43%, Trump, 39%
Iowa: Clinton 41%, Trump 39%
Ohio: Clinton 44%, Trump 40%
Pennsylvania: Clinton 46%, Trump 42%
Arizona: Trump 44%, Clinton 40%
The voters in these states-- including Arizona-- do not trust Trump to nominate a Supreme Court justice; every one of them has majorities that say they would prefer Obama to replace Scalia than Trump.

As voters have gotten to know who Trump is-- for real (not as part of a scripted TV sit-com) they have realized how untrustworthy he is. Mark Leibovich, chief political correspondent for the NY Times Magazine, explored, in some depth, the identity crisis roiling the GOP. First a video of him pimping the story on Morning Joe just before it was published:

He spent a lot of time this spring interviewing Reince Preibus for the essay; most other GOP officials passed on doing interviews, hoping to not tar themselves with any kind of Trump association.
[T]he degree to which he seems unconcerned with his pariah status among name Republicans remains a key feature of his pursuit. To a comical extent, top Republicans willed themselves invisible when I reached out to them for this article, fearing, not incorrectly, that the conversation would turn to Trump. This included some of the most typically quotable Republicans, including former Trump challengers like Graham (“He’s sorta had his fill talking about Trump,” a spokesman emailed), Perry (“Thanks for thinking of him”) and Ted Cruz (“Not great timing on our end”); the previous nominee Mitt Romney (“You are kind to think of me,” he wrote); Trump stalwarts like Chris Christie (“We are going to take a pass this time”); Trump-averse Republican governors like Charlie Baker of Massachusetts (“The governor won’t be available”); and senators like Mike Lee, of Utah (“Senator Lee would love to talk to you about the state of the G.O.P. and conservatism in general. We are free anytime after Nov 8.”).

I tried Rubio, who has undergone more public agony than perhaps anyone about Trump. Rubio looks nauseated whenever someone asks him about the man he called “the most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency” but who later said he would be “honored” to speak for at the Republican convention before clarifying that if he did speak, he would only “speak about things I believe in, not somebody else’s platform.” Rubio also holds the astonishing position of saying he’ll vote for someone he has previously declared unfit to hold the American nuclear codes. You envision him under a mushroom cloud, assuring his kids that it could be even worse-- at least he didn’t vote for Clinton.

There’s a palpable weariness among Republicans, and it’s still only June. Every day, it’s something else. “What it does is suck all the oxygen out of the chamber,” Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, told me. “I’m trying to do my job as a senator, which does not end because we have a contentious and bizarre presidential candidate.”

...There is a distinct sense among leading Republicans that if you take proper precautions-- Trump-proofing-- it’s possible to avoid contagion. Ryan agreed to be interviewed for a Father’s Day feature in People Magazine but only on the condition that no Trump questions be asked.

Trump seems to fundamentally welcome the party’s revulsion. As Ryan wavered over supporting him, Trump was privately saying that Ryan’s rejection might actually help him, that he was just the kind of political lifer whom Trump positioned his campaign against. His social-media director (and a former caddie), Dan Scavino Jr., actually went public with this, tweeting out a link to a column in Breitbart headlined, “Paul Ryan Is the Reason the G.O.P. Is Losing America.”

While Ryan is trying to refashion and sell the G.O.P. as a party of innovation and heart, Trump is a creature of mouth and gut and other lower-body drivers. They can try to operate in parallel G.O.P. universes, but the two styles are often in obvious conflict.

...Ryan views himself as a guardian of conservative “ideas.” “Ideas” is one of those fetish words, popular among ambitious young pols (conservative ideas-mongers are constantly dropping Kemp’s name). As the speaker of the Florida House, Rubio published a book in 2006 of “100 innovative ideas” and spoke about his love of ideas during his presidential campaign, before he started making pee-pee jokes about Trump. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor who was then considered one of the rising-star innovators of the party, warned after Romney’s defeat in 2012 that the G.O.P. must stop being “the stupid party” and urged fellow Republicans to talk “like adults” and swear off “offensive and bizarre” rhetoric. He then embarked on a presidential campaign in which his most memorable “idea” was suggesting that Trump “looks like he’s got a squirrel sitting on his head.” (Jindal dropped out in November; Trump barely bothered to insult him.)

Jindal’s “stupid party” remark reflected a concern among idea conservatives that was marinating well before Trump came along: that the Republican Party has taken on an increasingly anti-intellectual bent. There has been a strong populist allergy to elitism within the G.O.P. coalition for a long time. But Sarah Palin’s emergence as the vice-presidential nominee in 2008 and subsequent tenure as a party celebrity was a benchmark. Lesser imitators like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain took turns as Republican front-runners in 2012. Trump made his name as a national political figure in 2011 and 2012 with his flamboyant campaign to prove that Obama was not born in the United States, an oft-discredited notion that was especially offensive to African-Americans. Four years later, the leader of what many Republicans had hoped was a nativist fringe movement is the party’s presumed nominee.

Ryan believed that he and fellow idea-mavens in Congress could preserve the party’s substantive core. This would be the laboratory from which he could remake the party’s conservative identity while attracting new Republicans, including young and minority voters. “I have to protect conservatism from being disfigured,” Ryan told me. His focus, he said, is on “ideas, temperament and the future of conservatism.”

Ryan has little confidence that Trump cares at all about his ideas, possessed that temperament or had thought at all about the future of conservatism. Trump almost never talks about “ideas,” unless you count blustery promises to “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it,” end lousy trade deals and “win” again.

...If grass-roots Republicans rebelled against the “establishment” in the primaries, Trump has provided the establishment with mounting ammunition to fight back in the 11th hour. The first half of June has been a running train wreck for Trump, beginning with his crusade against Judge Curiel. Trump has been provoking increasing alarm among Republicans at the moment he should be proving himself nominally “presidential.” The Republican senator Mark Kirk of Illinois announced that he could no longer support Trump in the aftermath of Curiel (“I think he’s too bigoted and racist for the Land of Lincoln”); Lindsey Graham did the same and urged other Republicans backing Trump to rescind their endorsements. Top Republicans voiced widespread opposition post-Orlando to Trump’s reiterated calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Trump in turn called party leaders “weak” and pounded them for not falling in line behind him. “Just please be quiet, don’t talk,” he railed at them at a June 15 rally in Atlanta. “We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me do it by myself,” Trump said. “I’ll do very well.” He would be banking on the two-party system being sufficiently hobbled that allegiance to him would prevail over partisan loyalty. Republicans wouldn’t hold it against Trump that he’s anathema to their establishment while Democrats would feel no loyalty to their traditional home team, let alone to Hillary Clinton. Trump appeared at this moment prepared to begin an independent general-election campaign under the nominal banner of the Republican Party, while using their abundant resources. This looked more like a jail break than a pivot.
Nor is it just Trump; the whole Trump family is, quite literally, as disgusting as he is-- and as predatory, dishonest and narcissistic. The first time I noticed the little shit most like his father, Eric Trump (age 32) he was on TV last December yammering about how his "picks incredible people. I think he'd have the greatest cabinet in the history of cabinets." His exact words; he's exactly like his father, who is notorious for picking really reprehensible people to go into business with, from Roy Cohn to one of the leading mafia kleptocratic families of Azerbaijan.

Saturday, Mike McIntire, also writing for the NY Times took Donald Jr. to task for emulating his father's con-man, rip-off artist style, specializing in ripping off widows of veterans. He's on the board of and a paid pitchman for a shady organization called Cambridge Who’s Who, a vanity publisher promising "branding services" of which he is the "executive director of global branding." Cambridge Who’s Who generated hundreds of complaints to the Better Business Bureau and to state consumer protection agencies "that it deceptively peddled the promise of recognition in a registry, as well as branding and networking services of questionable value. Dozens of people who paid Trump-endorsed businesses were also sold products by Cambridge, which benefited from its partnership with Donald Trump Jr. through 'leveraging relationships built by the Trump empire,' according to Cambridge." The owner-- another very typical Trump-type associate-- is "Randy Narod, a Long Island, N.Y., nightclub and bagel store owner barred from the securities industry for having had an impostor take his licensing exam."

Cambridge gained the Trump imprimatur when the younger Mr. Trump came on board in 2010 and began promoting its services as a way for people to distinguish themselves in a tough economic climate.

He worked in plugs for Cambridge during interviews on the Fox Business Network and, did a promotional video and appeared in photos with Mr. Narod. Among them was one with another Trump executive at Trump Tower in New York, where, according to a news release, the three men discussed “strategies to expand the personal branding and professional networking services offered by Cambridge Who’s Who.” Mr. Narod’s company said on its website that it had embarked on a “global expansion with the Trump Organization.”

“Branding is the best way to gain recognition and exposure, and nobody knows this more than the Trump Organization,” the younger Mr. Trump said in a promotion for Cambridge.

Cambridge employees played up the Trump association when pursuing customers.

“We had scripts to read when we made our calls to people, and when Donald Trump Jr. came along, our scripts were changed to include him in it,” said Joy Debono, a former Cambridge telemarketer. “We would basically say that Cambridge was a good company because Trump was involved in it.”

The “who’s who” industry has a long and dubious history.

There are some well-established companies that publish directories of professionals in various fields, such as lawyers and top corporate executives. But there are many others that target people of little distinction, shower them with accolades and then try to sell them costly “honors” such as placement in a directory or wall plaques.

Cambridge and its subsidiary, Worldwide Branding, took the model a step further, adding the promise of branding-- news releases, video biographies and a personalized web page-- and networking with other Cambridge customers who paid a membership fee to join.

When Donald Trump Jr. joined Cambridge, the company had already had about 400 complaints filed against it with the Better Business Bureau since 2006. Scores more appeared in online consumer forums like Ripoff Report, where customers vented about misleading sales calls, worthless products and difficulties getting refunds. Many of the complaints describe a similar pattern of aggressively steering people into ever more expensive products.
Monday, Wonkette took on the crooked daughter and prime Trump henchman, Ivanka. Based on an L.A. Times investigation of another Trump scam, it "details how she works alongside her father to fleece anybody who’s not named 'Trump.' After Trump 'licensed his name' to some crap developers for a resort in Baja, those partners took $32 million from nice people who wanted to buy stupid gold-crusted condos and then accidentally did not build a resort in Baja. Donald Trump (and his children) denied any responsibility for giving people their dumb condo money back, or anything at all. They had just licensed their names! They never said they were the developers! Except for like 50 times they said they were the developers. On video, in newsletters, at fancy cocktail receptions, in skywriting maybe." Ivanka and her pa were leveraging the Trump brand the same way they do everywhere, to make a few bucks while Trump associates rip off and fleece everyone they can with it. Wonkette wanted to know what was Ivanka doing to convince nice people to lose all their money and never get it back and then settle for "an undisclosed sum" that, if they followed Trump’s hundreds of other settlements, would be for pennies on the dollar?

As the Trumps and their partners promoted the condos with sleek brochures and what they called “VIP” cocktail receptions in San Diego County, they often left the impression-- or said outright-- that Trump was one of the developers. Their marketing team determined that the Trump name was the No. 1 draw for buyers, according to documents that surfaced in the lawsuit.

“We are developing a world-class resort befitting of the Trump brand,” Ivanka Trump said in a video on the Trump Baja website. “I’m very excited about it. I actually chose to buy a unit in the first tower.”

Her father appeared in the same video saying he was proud “that when I build, I have investors that follow me all over.”

“They invest in what I build, and that’s why I’m so excited about Trump Ocean resort,” he said.

...Garten, the Trump counsel, did not respond directly when asked by email why condo buyers were told that Trump Jr. had bought a unit. In general, Garten said, allegations in the lawsuit “were never proven.”

A July 2007 newsletter sent to condo buyers also stated that the resort was being “developed by one of the most respected names in real estate, Donald J. Trump.”

Further buttressing buyers’ belief that Trump was one of the developers, not just a brand name, Trump personally signed an August 2007 letter to condo buyers that identified him as exactly that. It was on the letterhead of P.B. Impulsores, the Mexican company named in unit purchase documents as the resort developer.
In the end, Wonkette concludes that "Trump’s one redeeming quality (his hot daughter) is not very redeeming after all, because she is a gross grifty pathological liar. (But hot.)" Yesterday Trump was in Pennsylvania trying to persuade blue collar swing voters there that he's trustworthy on economic issues and won't rip them and their families oft way he has ripped off everyone who has ever entered into a deal with him. The man who outsources everything he can to low-wage hell-holes around the world and who uses the cheapest components he can find for anything with his name on it-- from steaks and drywall to entire buildings-- declared America's economic independence. Over the course of the campaign you no doubt heard Trump bellowing about the outrageous behavior of companies like Nabisco, Ford, Carrier, and other U.S.-based companies for outsourcing manufacturing. What you might not have heard was what Trump always hides, that he was investing in and profiting from those same outsourcing firms, even as he criticized them for shipping jobs overseas. He didn't mention that at his Pennsylvania rally yesterday, which would have been more honest had it been called "Trump First" instead of "Declaring America's Economic Independence."

And, yeah, he's the guy who always stands up and pledges huge sums of money to charities to tremendous acclaim and applause-- but then systematically stiffs the charities
In May, under pressure from the news media, Donald Trump made good on a pledge he made four months earlier: He gave $1 million to a nonprofit group helping veterans’ families.

Before that, however, when was the last time that Trump had given any of his own money to a charity?

If Trump stands by his promises, such donations should be occurring all the time. In the 15 years prior to the veterans donation, Trump promised to donate earnings from a wide variety of his moneymaking enterprises: “The Apprentice.” Trump Vodka. Trump University. A book. Another book. If he had honored all those pledges, Trump’s gifts to charity would have topped $8.5 million.

But in the 15 years prior to the veterans’ gift, public records show that Trump donated about $2.8 million through a foundation set up to give his money away-- less than a third of the pledged amount-- and nothing since 2009. Records show Trump has given nothing to his foundation since 2008.

...In the 1980s, Trump pledged to give away royalties from his first book to fight AIDS and multiple sclerosis. But he gave less to those causes than he did to his older daughter’s ballet school.

In recent years, Trump’s follow-through on his promises has been seemingly nonexistent.

The Post contacted 167 charities searching for evidence of personal gifts from Trump in the period between 2008 and this May. The Post sought out charities that had some link to Trump, either because he had given them his foundation’s money, appeared at their charity galas or praised them publicly.

The search turned up just one donation in that period-- a 2009 gift of between $5,000 and $9,999 to the Police Athletic League of New York City.
That's one of the (many) reasons he's refusing to release his tax returns. They'll show just how uncharitable he is, and has always been... despite all the bragging about his generosity.

Labels: , , , , ,

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I'm Back From Russia-- With A Couple of Observations


I spent most of June in Russia and Azerbaijan, mostly Moscow and St. Petersburg. It was my first trip to either country. St. Petersburg, was a city founded in 1703 to be Russia's window to the West, and Moscow, founded in around 1150, is less European. Over 12 million people live in Moscow; only 4.8 million live in St Pete. (By contrast, NYC has 8.5 million people and L.A. has around 4 million.) People don't smile much in Moscow and they all seem to have poker faces. St. Petersburg seems more like a European city in every way. But even in St. Pete there's an underlying anti-Western attitude. I met a 20 year old soccer player and spent some time with him. Although he aspires to live in Miami and speaks English well, he seemed offended when he asked me if I like Petersburg better than L.A. and I said no, I like L.A. better. And when I asked him if he likes American music, he immediately dismissed the very idea as absurd-- and then told me he likes rap music.

Simon Shuster offered some hints at Time Magazine about where that antipathy towards America (and the West) comes from. Russia has been encouraging, perhaps subtly, extreme violence, heavily trained and weaponized violence, around football matches in Europe. Putin denies any involvement but a member Parliament, Igor Lebedev, deputy chairman of the Russian soccer foundation "urged the hooligans on Twitter to "keep it up."
The phrase they chanted during the violence-- Russkie Vperyod! (Forward, Russians!)-- happens to be emblematic of the brand of throwback patriotism that emerged from Putin's most recent run for re-election, in 2012.

Ahead of that vote, the Kremlin decided that the only way to galvanize a weary electorate was to play on the old fears and prejudices of the Cold War. It worked: Putin's popularity rose along with animosity toward the West. Ever since, a series of crises in Russia's relations with the West have helped the state's powerful propaganda channels [including high school curricula, I discovered] nurture a national siege mentality, portraying Russia as the victim of a bullying and treacherous West whose primary aim is to bring the country to its knees.
St Petersburg is a gorgeous city, with one incredible public building after another, architecturally far more spectacular than anything in America. You can compare it to Paris, not to any American city. But just below the surface this was a different kind of dynamic-- low wages. Helsinki, capital of Finland, is very close to St Petersburg, just 242 miles-- 3.5 hours by train, 50 minutes by air. But the two cities are very different. In Finland, wages and labor standards are very high. Stuff is expensive but the standard of living is very high. Both cities have airports very close to town. It costs $15 to take a taxi to the airport in St. Pete. It's $55 in Helsinki.

Income inequality is very big in Russia and much less so in Finland. We use something called a Gini coefficient to measure income inequality. The Gini coefficient is a number between 0 and 1, where 0 corresponds with perfect equality (where everyone has the same income) and 1 corresponds with perfect inequality (where one person has all the income-- and everyone else has zero income). These are the wealth Gini coefficients comparing not just Finland and Russia, but several countries to offer some context:
Finland- 0.615
Canada- 0.688
U.K.- 0.697
Russia- 0.699
U.S.- 0.801
Zimbabwe- 0.845
So... the U.S. isn't the worst.

I went to visit the Grand Choral Synagogue in St. Petersburg. My grandfather left Russia in 1905 after a series of pograms had killed thousands of Jews across Russia including small villages like the one his family lived in. When he got to St Petersburg to board a ship for America, the Grand Choral Synagogue was 12 years old and the second largest synagogue in Europe. My grandfather wasn't any more religious than I am but he had never been in a grand building of any kind before. He prayed at the synagogue before leaving for America.

Labels: ,

Beyond Homelessness, There is "Homefulness"


House keys not handcuffs: Melodie, 57, has been living on the street since 2007. She keeps her belongings attached to her at all times. Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong, whose solo exhibit, City People, is on view now through July 31 at Modern Times Bookstore Collective in San Francisco. Profits from the sale of the images will be donated to The Gubbio Project.

- by Denise Sullivan

There are at present count over 6,000 people (and likely closer to 10,000) living outdoors, on the streets of San Francisco. They live in tent cities, in Golden Gate Park, in doorways on Market Street, in alleys in the Mission, on cardboard beds in the Haight, on patches of grass at Civic Center, in vehicles, and on benches at the beach. But the unhoused are under siege here as unaffordable housing, lack of services, and police violence continue to surge. The war against the homeless shows little sign of abating given the housing and eviction crisis: The murder of Luis Gongora by SFPD in April continues to shock and horrify with the recent revelations following his autopsy. And yet the city's technocrats and elites cleave to the idea that it's their freedoms which are being impinged upon; the sight of people living on the street is quite simply intolerable to them, though there may be a tiny crack of light in the darkness this week as Bay Area media launches an unprecedented barrage of coverage on all matters of homelessness.

The Beyond Homelessness Project began on Sunday and culminates today with over 70 Bay Area print, online, and radio outlets pledging to coordinate and intensify coverage of our beautiful and prosperous city's longstanding and growing unaffordability and its consequences. It's a baby step toward redirecting the narrative which so far, the organizer of the blitz, The San Francisco Chronicle, has either ignored or gotten terribly wrong. Failing to humanize our neighbors on the street, neglecting to report on a regular basis that around 70 percent of the people living homeless in San Francisco are displaced San Franciscans, and adhering to an editorial policy that reflects the opinions of, well, no one I know, the paper's editor-in-chief, Audrey Cooper, deigned it was time to begin more meaningful coverage on the subject of people living outdoors. Why? Because one day on her way to work she caught sight of a homeless couple having sex in their tent and it was simply too much for her to bear.

Though there has been a reporter charged with reporting on the homeless population, too often his pieces with intent to foster compassion end up doing the opposite, reinforcing ideas that longtime and new San Franciscans already hold. So when the reporter asks what may be a rhetorical question, like just when did San Francisco's streets become an "'open-air mental ward,'" I would argue the answer should be as sharp as the question. More than the result of budget cutting and law and order policies enacted in the Reagan era, the closing of mental health institutions and turning out people with no visible means of support much less the wherewithal to navigate the outside world, was the result of stone cold ticking off points on the far right's agenda. It needs to be said. And said again. So every potential voter gets the memorandum.

Here's a song Peter Case wrote 30 years about that period of time here and one San Franciscan impacted by poor federal, state, and local policy:

Over three and a half decades, San Francisco's mayors have struggled with a situation that veers from intractable to incomprehensible to potentially ripe for reform. Mayor Ed Lee's tepid assertions sound ridiculous on paper, though public outcry and pressure from the Board of Supervisors has resulted in the opening of homeless "navigation centers" and the promise of more. Meanwhile, he continues to order violent sweeps of encampments and tent cities, and police issue citations that the cited simply cannot pay, thereby criminalizing them. These so-called solutions rest uneasily side by side on the Bowery by the Bay.

Faith-based organizations carry a huge burden in caring for the downtrodden and dispossessed and yet they are increasingly marginalized and suspect themselves in secular society. Here in San Francisco the voices of religious leaders have been all but drown out and even their properties are being taken away from them. Nevertheless, the faithful continue to offer needed services like hot meals and shelter beds when the city falls short. This week the Rev. Cecil Williams, founder of Glide, one of the city's biggest providers of services wrote an editorial in which he declared homelessness a man-made disaster, a fault in the social contract. Glide is located in the Tenderloin where there is a longstanding tradition of non-violent street crime and social services, much like LA's Skid Row. The tech sector, though new to the neighborhood, believe its low-income neighbors have got to go, but there are those still working on the compassionate, innovative, and analog side of life, forging solutions that work there.

The Gubbio Project holds space for "sacred sleep" at St. Boniface church during daytime hours, allowing for the kind of rest that can prevent the psychosis-like symptoms caused by just one night of sleep deprivation. The Street Sheet published by the Coalition on Homelessness since 1989 and still publishing, provides news, information, and income to the people who sell it. Lave Mae is a mobile shower and toilet service with regular weekday stops. Based on the food truck model of doing business on wheels, the program is working.

And just to prove technology is not entirely at the root of all evil, there is at least one female-led company using its resources-- venture capital money and technological know how-- to actually do good for those we used to call street people. HandUp is an app that enables non-profits to raise money through online donations which support people in need directly. I learned about the service through one of their clients, a woman I pass with some regularity on the street. We speak from time to time, and eventually I asked if I could quote her for the purpose of this story. She asked me how she could tell if I was going to exploit her and I told her I guess she would just have to trust me on that. We both had a good laugh at my claim as I was making it, then talked further about our mutual missing teeth and left it at that (when I went back to follow-up with her, she had moved on). HandUp is working for her and until somebody tells me reason to believe otherwise, it sounds like it's a good stop gap while programs and services to fully care for the unhoused continue to develop and the digital divide closes. Personally, I liked finding out that the start-up's co-founder had a background that included working with Food Not Bombs, a meal program fairly active and supported by my friends and organizers during the punk rock-era and still holding strong (not coincidentally, the present storm of local media coverage has concerned a number of former punk musicians now in their 50s and 60s who are struggling on the street or who have perished, like Miss Kay from Polkacide did).

And just so you don't think I'm completely hardened to the ways of humankind, there are evermore good people working to make change in whatever ways they can: Earlier this year a public works employee refused to take part in a violent tear down of a make-shift abode. I don't know what happened to the worker, but I hope she retained her job. Sure it was one person, or in the case of HandUp, a few helping other people. But as far as I can tell, this is how functioning society is supposed to work, in lieu of its leaders or institutions doing anything about anything.

I work for a community-minded bookstore located in a neighborhood at the crossroads of gentrification and hard-hit. There is a men's shelter at the end of the block and sometimes the weary take a load off in our establishment. While it's true that the presence of mentally unstable, intoxicated, and unwashed San Franciscans may detract from the store's business, we choose to consciously engage (and disengage when necessary) with our neighbors. It takes time, effort, and admittedly we've had some difficulties but as you might imagine, people treated humanely respond in kind. The store has historically hired and served the activists and artists at the center of the movement for housing, economic and racial justice, many of them authors themselves: We are constantly learning from them how to better work for justice in an unjust town.

Among the city's most tireless advocates for decriminalizing poverty is the writer and spoken word performer Lisa Gray-Garcia, better known as Tiny. The activist, educator, and author combines street protest, poetry, and ancient ritual into a vision that suggests we transform the way we see, hear, and speak of our fellows. Divestment from the language of the oppressor is a tool that's been used by marginalized communities throughout history, and Tiny knows well how to work with words. Her terms like gentrifuckation put a fine point on exactly what's happening here. Her vision employs a complete overhaul of business as usual, the kind of change that moves from the bottom up and the inside out, the kind of work that begins at home. Gray-Garcia, her co-workers, and collaborators have either experienced living unhoused or know someone who has. They've confronted the grind of street survival and police brutality firsthand, and lived to tell the tales, and to help others along the way. Instead of homeless, they see people as "unhoused" but working toward "homefulness."

Though it's nice the Chronicle is finally getting up to speed on the idea that all of us who call San Francisco home are San Franciscans, it won't be until the unhoused become homeful and we can see and hear what those who have been there really have to say that the rest of us can truly say we that we too have moved beyond homelessness.

Denise Sullivan is the author of Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music From Blues to Hip Hop. She writes from San Francisco on gentrification and the arts.

Labels: , , ,

The House Defective Committee on Benghazi!Benghazi!Benghazi! upchucks its "report," and Ambassador Chris Stevens's sister isn't impressed


Jeff Danziger [click to enlarge]

"It would be much more useful for Congress to focus on providing resources for security for all State Department facilities around the world—for increasing personnel, language capabilities, for increasing staff to build relationships, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East. I would love to hear they are drastically increasing the budget. . . .

"The only questions that I have are not answerable by anyone investigated or questioned by the committee. My questions are about why the militiamen attacked the compound in the first place. What were their intentions? It’d be interesting to know that. . . ."

-- Dr. Anne Stevens, sister of Ambassador Chris
Stevens, responding to the new House "report"

by Ken

Yes, there's plenty of blame for Democrats in the fine mess our government has devolved into, but the notion that there's anything like equal or equivalent blame with the Republicans -- who did it and they're proud -- seems to me dangerous nonsense, and nonsense that an understandably seething electorate may easily fall for. I doubt, for example, that there's going to be widespread understanding of the the Republican chickens that came home to roost this week.

I want to write about the Supreme Court and the two highly surprising "big" decisions it delivered in the rush to vamoose from this strange odd-man-down term, and the stark relief in which we can see the decades of legal rape and pillage performed by the judicial perverts stuffed onto the federal bench by anti-constitutional Republican presidents and Senate advisers-and-consenters. But that'll have to wait till Friday, so we can present this urgent bulletin regarding the finally disgorged "report" of the House Defective Committiee on Benghazi!Benghazi!Benghazi!, chaired by that imbecile and thug Trey Gowdy.

For starters, it would be nice if the Republicans on the Defective Committee were to into their pockets and put together some cash to reimburse us taxpayers for the mindless boondoggle they've perpetrated. This "report," after all, could have been written -- in fact, more or less was written without any of the "work" the committee pretended to do at taxpayer expense. It's the same farrago of innuendo and nonsense they were spouting chorally before the "hearings" began, which they tried to stick in the mouths of anyone who'd go along, with singular lack of success. But acknowledging this would have dragged them into the realm of facts and actual knowledge, a realm that makes them extremely uncomfortable, and where they consequently spend as little time as possible.

Second . . . well, what's the point? This is, after all, a Defective Committee that was out for blood for the horrible failure to protect our diplomats but that never troubled to ask the role of these very same Republican America-haters who quite consciously and systematically put those diplomats all over the world at increasing risk by failing to provide funds to protect them. You'd think that some of them, ill-fortuned enough to have a shred of conscience, would be falling on their swords, but if you think that, you don't know much about patriotism of the right-wing variety.

As regards the "work" of the Defective Committee, The New Yorker's Robin Wright found an excellent source in Anne Stevens, sister of the murdered ambassador, Chris Stevens. She notes that Dr. Stevens, who's chief of pediatric rheumatology at Seattle Children's Hospital, "has served as a family spokesperson" since her brother's death. They spoke, Robin writes in a post she put up yesterday ("Chris Stevens's Family: Don't Blame Hillary Clinton for Benghazi"), "twice in the past three days, including shortly after the House Select Committee report was issued."
Dr. Stevens recalled that her brother had been fascinated by the Middle East since childhood, when he dressed up as Lawrence of Arabia, with a towel and a pot atop his head. He served in the Peace Corps, in Morocco, before joining the Foreign Service, and he served twice in Libya before his final posting there, as well as in Damascus, Cairo, Jerusalem, and Riyadh.

Chris Stevens's brother Tom and sister Anne at a memorial
for the ambassador in San Francisco in October 2012

It may not come as a great surprise that Dr. Stevens doesn't think much of the committee's inquiry, or of the way cynical politicians have tried to hijack her brother's death.
Whom do you fault for the lack of security that resulted in the death of your brother, in Benghazi?

It is clear, in hindsight, that the facility was not sufficiently protected by the State Department and the Defense Department. But what was the underlying cause? Perhaps if Congress had provided a budget to increase security for all missions around the world, then some of the requests for more security in Libya would have been granted. Certainly the State Department is underbudgeted.

I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.

What did you learn from the two new reports by House Republicans and Democrats?

It doesn’t look like anything new. They concluded that the U.S. compound in Benghazi was not secure. We knew that.

What did you think of Secretary Clinton’s conduct on Benghazi?

She has taken full responsibility, being head of the State Department, for what occurred. She took measures to respond to the review board’s recommendations. She established programs for a better security system. But it is never going to be perfect. Part of being a diplomat is being out in the community. We all recognize that there’s a risk in serving in a dangerous environment. Chris thought that was very important, and he probably would have done it again. I don’t see any usefulness in continuing to criticize her. It is very unjust.

After years of congressional investigations, do you feel that your brother’s death has been politicized in Washington?

Yes! Definitely politicized. Every report I read that mentions him specifically has a political bent, an accusatory bent. One point that seems to be brought up again and again is the accusation that the attack was a response to the video. I could understand why that conclusion would be made, because it was right after the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Egypt. But, frankly, it doesn’t matter that that was the thinking, that night, about why the attack occurred. It’s irrelevant to bring that up again and again. It is done purely for political reasons.

It would be much more useful for Congress to focus on providing resources for security for all State Department facilities around the world—for increasing personnel, language capabilities, for increasing staff to build relationships, particularly in North Africa and the Middle East. I would love to hear they are drastically increasing the budget.

Did your brother ever talk about the risks in Libya?

Even before we had an Embassy in Tripoli, he fell in love with the land, the people, and the rich, rich history. He sent pictures. He saw the potential of Libya. When the revolution occurred, he was very optimistic about the future. He was happy to be involved, to be our special envoy in Benghazi for a year. He wanted to be part of this exciting prospect of a free Libya.

He did tell us about the dangers then. He told us about a car bomb that had shaken the hotel where he had offices in Benghazi. But, when he talked about incidents like that, he never showed any fear or reluctance to continue the work. He took danger in stride.

It was so important to have a U.S. presence in Benghazi and to show support for the American center being set up and other programs, such as the Benghazi Medical Center. We were helping them establish their new society. I don’t think we’ll ever know why he made the decision to take the risk of going to Benghazi, knowing there were multiple attacks. It was clearly a bad decision.

Did he ever talk about not having enough security?

He talked about his knowledge of the militias and the huge number of arms loose in Libya. That was one of his concerns and challenges. But he did not talk about that as a worry of his own security, which doesn’t mean he wasn’t concerned.

Are there any questions left in your mind about what happened, why the U.S. didn’t respond faster, why Washington didn’t do more?

The only questions that I have are not answerable by anyone investigated or questioned by the committee. My questions are about why the militiamen attacked the compound in the first place. What were their intentions? It’d be interesting to know that—and to hear what their views are and what they were thinking. It has nothing to do with what the State Department or the Defense Department was supposed to do that night. I think everyone did their very best in response to this event.

Do you think it’s fair to make Benghazi an election issue?

With the many issues in the current election, to use that incident—and to use Chris’s death as a political point—is not appropriate.

How would Chris have felt about this election?

I know he had a lot of respect for Secretary Clinton. He admired her ability to intensely read the issues and understand the whole picture.

[Robin Wright notes that her interview with Dr. Anne Stevens "has been condensed and edited for clarity."]

Labels: , ,