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Hillary Clinton: “Above all, keep going”

Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic Party presidential candidate (and popular vote winner!) Hillary Clinton spoke at the 2017 Wellesley College graduation ceremony. In her address, she exhorts the graduating class – and all of us – to engage and be active, to dream big and “above all, keep going”.

(Secretary Clinton is introduced at about 50 minutes in by Wellesley President Paula A. Johnson)

Hillary Clinton:

Here’s what I want you to know. We got through that tumultuous time [of the 60s and 70s], and once again began to thrive as our society changed laws and opened the circle of opportunity and rights wider and wider for more Americans. We revved up the engines of innovation and imagination. We turned back a tide of intolerance and embraced inclusion. The “we” who did those things were more than those in power who wanted to change course. It was millions of ordinary citizens, especially young people, who voted, marched, and organized. […]

You are graduating at a time when there is a full-fledged assault on truth and reason. […]

I believe with all my heart that the future of America—indeed, the future of the world—depends on brave, thoughtful people like you insisting on truth and integrity, right now, every day. You didn’t create these circumstances, but you have the power to change them. […]

Don’t let anyone tell you your voice doesn’t matter. In the years to come, there will be trolls galore—online and in person—eager to tell you that you don’t have anything worthwhile to say or anything meaningful to contribute. They may even call you a Nasty Woman. Some may take a slightly more sophisticated approach and say your elite education means you are out of touch with real people. In other words, “sit down and shut up.” Now, in my experience, that’s the last thing you should ever tell a Wellesley graduate. […]

Not long ago, I got a note from a group of Wellesley alums and students who had supported me in the campaign. They worked their hearts out. And, like a lot of people, they’re wondering: What do we do now?

Well I think there’s only one answer, to keep going. Don’t be afraid of your ambition, of your dreams, or even your anger – those are powerful forces. But harness them to make a difference in the world. Stand up for truth and reason. Do it in private — in conversations with your family, your friends, your workplace, your neighborhoods. And do it in public—in Medium posts, on social media, or grab a sign and head to a protest. Make defending truth and a free society a core value of your life every single day. […]

The day after the election, I did want to speak particularly to women and girls everywhere, especially young women, because you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world. Not just your future, but our future depends on you believing that. We need your smarts, of course, but we also need your compassion, your curiosity, your stubbornness. And remember, you are even more powerful because you have so many people supporting you, cheering you on, standing with you through good times and bad.

Our culture often celebrates people who appear to go it alone. But the truth is, that’s not how life works. Anything worth doing takes a village.

[Over the last 48 years], doors that once seemed sealed to women are now opened. They’re ready for you to walk through or charge through, to advance the struggle for equality, justice, and freedom.

So whatever your dreams are today, dream even bigger. Wherever you have set your sights, raise them even higher. And above all, keep going. Don’t do it because I asked you so. Do it for yourselves. Do it for truth and reason. Do it because the history of Wellesley and this country tells us it’s often during the darkest times when you can do the most good. Double down on your passions. Be bold. Try, fail, try again, and lean on each other. Hold on to your values. Never give up on those dreams.

I’m very optimistic about the future, because I think, after we’ve tried a lot of other things, we get back to the business of America. I believe in you. With all my heart, I want you to believe in yourselves. So go forth, be great.

Fighting Back: “Democrats are going to continue fighting for you and your family, and the values that define us as Americans”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

Congressman David Cicilline of Rhode Island, Co-Chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Party Address:

Rep. Cicilline

“Each day, it seems, President Donald Trump and his Administration become further and further embroiled in scandals of their own making. In just four months, these scandals have shaken the foundations of our democracy and even caused panic in the markets as many begin to question the President’s ability to govern. […]

“Donald Trump promised that as president he would drain the swamp in Washington. He promised that he would create 25 million new jobs. And he promised that he would make life better for millions of families across our country who have been left behind.

“But after four months, all we have is an Administration in chaos that hasn’t lifted a finger to help hard-working Americans. […]

“So let me tell you what Democrats are fighting for:

“We’re fighting to create good-paying jobs. To reinvigorate manufacturing. To make sure that hard work is rewarded with good wages. And to make sure that families in our country have an opportunity not just to get by, but to get ahead.

“We’re fighting to make sure every American has access to high-quality health care at a price they can afford. To lower prescription drug prices and bring down the cost of health insurance.

“And we’re fighting to make sure that all Americans can retire with economic security and peace of mind. To preserve the Social Security benefits that seniors have earned and the Medicare benefits they need.

“Democrats are not going to allow Donald Trump to take our country backwards. We are going to continue fighting for you and your family, and the values that define us as Americans.

Full transcript below.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Fighting Back: Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand – “The cruel Republican ‘healthcare’ bill goes against our American values.”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY):

Senator Gillibrand on the AHCA:

“It’s time to stop the nonsense, and put people over politics. I look at my kids, and I don’t know what I would do if our family was going to be on the losing end of this cruel bill. Please imagine how heartbreaking it would be if your child was sick and needed care, but couldn’t afford the medicine, the treatment, or the surgery that was needed to save their lives. It’s unbearable to consider, and it goes against our American values.”
-Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Fighting Back: “Raise your voices, engage with your congressmembers, and spread the word about this bill”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

Democratic Weekly Address — Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, Congressman from Maryland:

Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer Delivers Weekly Democratic Address

[This past week] we saw the Republican-led Congress at its worst, and deeply out of touch with the people it serves. On Thursday, Republican leaders decided, against strong objections from across the country, to bring their dangerous and deeply flawed Trumpcare bill to the Floor for a vote – and this time, President Trump and Republican leaders went all out to scrape together just enough Republican votes to pass it by a razor-thin margin.[…]

“The bill now moves to the Senate, where it will face very strong opposition. It’s critical that all Americans who are concerned about Trumpcare make their voices heard and let their Senators know how harmful this bill would be to them and to their families.

“House Democrats will continue to highlight the dangers of Trumpcare, and we will keep fighting on behalf of the American people to preserve and strengthen health care reforms that make quality, affordable health coverage accessible to all.

“I hope all of you will raise your voices, engage with your Senators and Representatives, and spread the word about this bill that will hurt millions of Americans.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

Fighting Back: – Nancy Pelosi: “The White House Doesn’t Come with Training Wheels”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi marked the first 100 days of the Trump administration with a press release “The White House Doesn’t Come with Training Wheels”

This week, as we approach the 100th day of his presidency, President Trump proved once again that he’s out of his depth in the White House. The unpredictable bluster and bravado that was a defining characteristic of Trump in the private sector becomes embarrassing and dangerous for the country when deployed by the President in the Oval Office.

Case in point: this week alone, Trump and his Administration:

– Promised and then walked back a promise to pull out of NAFTA, which would have threatened U.S. jobs.
– Promised and then failed (again) to pass Trumpcare, which would have driven up costs and kicked millions off of health care.
– Promised a tax reform plan, delivered a one-page Word doc that promised tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans while doing almost nothing for the middle class.
– Delivered the weakest job growth in 3 years.
– Defended his hiring of General Flynn, who is being investigated for his ties to Russia.
– Announced during a Reuters interview the U.S. and North Korea might have a “major, major conflict.”
– Declared the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), a five-year old free trade agreement between the US and South Korea that began under President George W. Bush, might be terminated.
– Declared the South Korean government should pay the U.S. for an anti-missile system currently being installed to protect against attacks from North Korea which Trump valued at $1 billion.
– “Joked” to UN Security Council Ambassadors, all men, that if they didn’t like Nikki Haley, US Ambassador to the UN, he could replace her.
– Defended leaving hundreds and hundreds of senior-level agency positions vacant, crippling the government, because “we don’t need so many people coming to work.”

It, therefore, comes as no surprise that President Trump didn’t understand being the leader of the free world would be a difficult, demanding job until this week: “This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier.”

The first 100 days of the Trump Administration have been marked by consistent missteps, falsehoods, and broken promise after broken promise – and without a single major legislative accomplishment. Instead of working to help promote growth, stability and security in the U.S. and across the globe, the Trump Administration has lurched from crisis to crisis with no coherent agenda to improve the lives of everyday Americans. This government by chaos is hurting workers and their families and dimming the beacon of hope and democracy the US represents in the world’s eye.

The Weekly Democratic Party Address, delivered by Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) is below.

Fighting Back: Earth Day – “Our respect for science is essential for the future of our country and our planet.”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

Today is Earth Day and people around the globe will be joining together to March for Science in support of, well, science. It is incredible that in 2017 there are still people, indeed an entire political party, that denies the value of science, the results of scientific inquiry, and the use of science to make our lives better.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi:

“This Earth Day, Americans across the country are stepping forward to oppose the anti-science crusade that harms the health of our communities, the strength of our economy, and the security of future generations.

“Our respect for science is essential for the future of our country and our planet. America’s leadership in clean energy is critical for creating good-paying jobs, and the climate crisis remains one of the greatest challenges of our time. We must build on the legacy of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, not embolden polluters and insult the clear verdicts of science. Yet the President has tapped a climate denier to head the EPA and seems determined to ransack America’s investments in science – from clean energy to lifesaving medical research.

“All across our nation, Americans are standing up for science and demanding their government act to protect the health of our communities for future generations. House Democrats are committed to working side-by-side with the scientific community to ensure a better, stronger, healthier world for our children by embracing our shared stewardship of this planet.”


Congressman Ben Ray Luján of New Mexico delivered the Weekly Democratic Party Address:

Congressman Ben Ray Luján

“When I came to Congress, I swore an oath – on my family’s Bible – to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution. My Democratic colleagues in Congress and I will do our duty and insist that President Trump and his Administration follow the Constitution and uphold the rights of all our citizens – no matter their race, creed or economic status – not just for the next 100 days, but for the rest of Donald Trump’s presidency and beyond.”

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

It Takes A Villlage – VNV Tuesday: Why We Can’t Ignore the Legacy of Slavery 4/18/17

Slave Market, Atlanta, GA 1864

Today’s post is a response to two different, but converging, prompts. First, as I mentioned in a comment yesterday, is my reading of Eric Foner’s Reconstruction Updated Edition: America’s Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877, a massive history (that I’m less than one-third of the way through) of an era that continues to reverberate today. The second is the continuing criticism by Sen. Sanders of the Democratic Party, and the inevitable response on Twitter by Bros who continue to argue for “economics uber Alles.” The inability to recognize and address white supremacy with any coherence is an issue for more than just white supremacists; it becomes a problem for those of us who understand that the base of the Democratic Party is women and persons of color. In general, the Base (and allies) understand the problems associated with patriarchy and white supremacy, because it is our lived experience. We further understand that systems of prejudice don’t go away with a wave of the economic wand, and our history demonstrates that. The thoroughly ahistorical arguments of BoBers are troubling, but I am convinced that for some, the absence of historically-grounded awareness is a matter of ignorance, rather than malice. Today’s post is a compilation of quotes from Foner’s book (whether his own words or drawn from commenters during Reconstruction) (with a few tweets to add “color.”)

Fighting Back: – Tax Day March

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

On Saturday, April 15, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Representatives Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD), and advocates deliver remarks at a rally to call on President Trump to release his tax returns and oppose tax cuts for corporations and wealthy Americans.

WaPo: Thousands expected for Tax Day march calling for Trump to release his returns

An idea that sprung from a law professor’s tweet after President Trump’s inauguration will unfold Saturday on the Mall, where thousands of protesters plan to call on Trump to release his personal tax returns. The demonstration is expected to be the largest of more than 100 affiliated protests planned across the country.

The Tax March, which falls on the nation’s traditional April 15 deadline to file taxes, is expected to be one of the most high-profile demonstrations of the Trump era since protesters around the world participated in women’s marches — marches that served as an unprecedented rebuke to Trump’s presidency on his first full day in office. Presidents are not required to release their tax returns but have done so voluntarily dating to the 1970s.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)

It Takes A Village – VNV Tuesday: A Dogpile of Sea Lions Gish Galloped in the Gaslight 4/11/17

A year ago, I never knew, or needed to know, these words!

With the ongoing misdirection, distraction, and lies from the R administration, it seemed a good time to remind us all that what we’re seeing is predictable, and even expected, from our attention-deficient Narcissist-in-Chief. 45* has already shown that he has the attention span of a gnat; that he takes on the opinion of the last person in the room; and that shiny things will hold his attention…until the next shiny thing comes along. (This may actually save us from some of the worst, as he clearly doesn’t have the will or ability to focus on ongoing legislative battles.) In the meantime, it is clear that we, as a coalition against Trump, are learning how to wade through the bombardment of words; now, if only our media would show some of the sense that allies like #Indivisible folks have used and taught us.

Fighting Back – Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse: “Judge Gorsuch did not show he would stand up to the dark money threatening our democracy”

The weekly Fighting Back post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

Found on the Internets

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat from Rhode Island, discussing the Neil Gorsuch Supreme Court nomination.

Senator Whitehouse:

“Judge Gorsuch needed to convince me he would not join the posse of Republican appointees that has relentlessly stretched the law to benefit Republican partisans and corporations at the expense of everyone else. He needed to convince me he would stand up to real threats to our democracy like dark money. Over and over again during his hearing, he dodged and ducked and failed.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

(Link to Nancy Pelosi Newsroom here)