Artie: “A little while ago, you linked us to an excellent article by Michael Arnovitz about Hillary Clinton. I forwarded it to a number of friends, and now he’s posted another, in part responding to feedback he had received. Like the original article, this one is both long and excellent. If you have not already seen it, here is the link.”
From the first:
. . .the claim that Hillary is innately dishonest is simply accepted as a given. It is an accusation and conviction so ingrained in the conversation about her that any attempt to even question it is often met with shock. And yet here’s the thing: it’s not actually true. Politifact, the Pulitzer prize-winning fact-checking project, determined for example that Hillary was actually the most truthful candidate (of either Party) in the 2016 election season. And in general Politifact has determined that Hillary is more honest than most (but not all) politicians they have tracked over the years. . . .
From this second one:
. . . the beginning of my real education was the acceptance that many of the things I already knew I didn’t really know at all. And that’s a lesson I’ve tried never to forget. . . . For example, did you know that Elizabeth Warren was actually a Republican until she was well into her 40’s, and that the main reason she switched parties was because she no longer believed that the GOP was “principled in its conservative approach to economics and to markets?” No? Follow-up question: does that sound a little different than the progressive warrior you created in your mind? Yes? Well, people are complicated, and maybe you don’t know Senator Warren quite as well as you think you do. . . .
. . . take it from me, when you write a piece about Hillary Clinton you get a lot of people who are very excited to tell you she is awful, but considerably less interested in showing you how they know that. Indeed, the vast majority of the anti-Hillary commentariat function as if their accusations and conclusions are simply self-evident. For all of those people however, let me point out a general rule of thumb: the only thing truly evident about people who think that their positions are self-evident is their own intellectual laziness. . . .
. . . the right have essentially blamed everything on immigrants and brown people, and the left have blamed everything on bankers and rich people. Both of these positions are ridiculous and juvenile. And unfortunately, they are also dangerous. But they have the advantage of being simple. And for a depressingly large slice of the electorate, that’s what works.
. . . The antidote to this poison is not greater “purity” of doctrine, it’s not a demand for all-or-nothing policy positions and it’s certainly not a surrender to fear and anger. The cure is reason and pragmatism. And if it’s possible to propose a political stand that’s less sexy than that I can’t imagine what it is. But the truth is that politics isn’t actually sexy, and it doesn’t really look like an Oliver Stone movie. Usually it looks more like C-Span. Real politics is “the art of the possible”, which is a fancy Prussian way of saying you’re going to have to compromise. For years an increasing number of conservatives have insisted that compromise is a dirty word, a public display of submission, capitulation or even betrayal. But actually it’s just standard, competent governance. And the inability to acknowledge that is one of the key reasons the GOP can now barely function. Democrats and others on the left do ourselves no favors by following that lead. . . .
Try to find time to read this piece (and the first one!). You will learn a lot. I did. For example: Hillary’s years on the Wal-Mart board. That’s a paragraph we should all read. And the fracking issue we should all be concerned about.
Indeed, there is so much wisdom and good sense (and humor) in Arnovitz’s post, all thinking citizens should read it, whether on the left (well, especially they) or the right.
And yes, I am sending him a cheesecake.
Jim Burt: “Much of the Clinton e-mail kerfuffle concerns three e-mails [out of tens of thousands] which lacked classification headers but which had a “C” in parentheses in the text denoting that parts were classified. In an ASCII text message, a ‘C’ in parentheses looks like this: (c). But in differently coded text messages, a ‘C’ in parentheses looks like this: © . The latter just indicates copyright. And even the former indicates copyright, rather than classification, to people outside the corridors in which classified information is routinely handled.”
No one is saying the home server was a good idea. But here is an extensive discussion of the issue. Needless to say, it’s not nearly the disaster Congressional Republicans — who’ve held eight Benghazi hearings — would have the country think. Ignoring climate change is a potentially existential disaster. Delaying Zika funding could prove a disaster. Blocking the American Jobs Act that would have put millions to work revitalizing our infrastructure was all but treasonous. The three emails with (c) designations someplace in the text? A concern, for sure, but hardly a disaster. Nor something on which the course of history should turn, if we have any regard for our own self-interest as a nation.
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If a word in the dictionary were misspelled, how would we know?~Steven Wright
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