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She supports the energizing value of immigration.

Day 95 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Hillary supports a clear path to legal citizenship for immigrants.
We’re a country of immigrants – always have been. It’s our legacy and our DNA. It’s also part of what makes us great. It energizes us culturally and financially. As a Senator, Clinton co-sponsored the Safe, Orderly, Legal Visas and Enforcement Act of 2004 with Sen. Edward Kennedy. She co-sponsored the Dream Act in 2003, 2005 and 2007, which helped give immigrant students access to higher education and supported the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act in 2006 and 2007.
Hillary’s pledge not to deport any illegal immigrants except violent criminals and terrorists while we fix the system and create a path to citizenship represents a major break from President Obama, and it could vastly increase the number of people who would be allowed to stay in the country.
For those who think this is problematic, immigrants actually contribute to the employment of US citizens rather than take jobs, in part, because so many are small business owners – they employ more people than the jobs they take. In fact, the share of immigrant workers who own small businesses is slightly higher than the comparable share among US-born workers; they are 18% of small business owners.
Additionally, immigration reduces the federal budget deficit – they contribute to Social Security and pay taxes — about $12 billion a year (more than some presidential candidates, in fact) and, until/unless they become residents, never recoup that money.
Immigrants also increase U.S. economic output because they are disproportionately likely to work and are concentrated among prime working ages. Despite being 13% of the population, immigrants comprise 16% of the labor force.
Some of Hillary’s plans to facilitate the orderly influx of immigrants:
• End the three- and 10-year bars that force families whose members have different citizenship or immigration statuses—into hard choices of leaving or hiding.
• Defend Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) laws.
• End family detention and close private immigration detention centers.
• Let families—regardless of immigration status—buy into the Affordable Care Act exchanges.
• Expand fee waivers to alleviate naturalization costs, increase access to language programs to encourage English proficiency, and increase outreach and education to help more people navigate the process.
• Create a national Office of Immigrant Affairs to increase federal resources for adult English language education and citizenship education.
As an aside, net immigration from Mexico is 0 – as many Mexicans leave the US as come in each year. If we want to build a wall, we have to build it in JFK as most immigrants come from Europe and 46% of them have white-collar jobs – kind of like Melania.

We Are the World — my case for globalism versus nationalism.

Day 95 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Because she is a globalist, not a nationalist.
I love this country dearly, but we cannot hope to stand alone. Not only are we personally and culturally enriched by globalization, but we need it for our very survival. We depend on the rest of the world for far too many of the goods, services and resources we use to maintain our lives to ever consider a universe in which we wrap ourselves in our Americanness and try to insulate ourselves from all of the “others” who comprise the rest of the world.
Talk of building walls around our borders, reneging on our alliances, and trashing treaties speaks toward an isolation that is unsupportable in today’s world. To borrow from a friend (I think I owe you this heads up, Kari Lavalli) and use one tiny example: we need bauxite. It’s how we make aluminum affordably.
What with one thing and another (cars, buildings, packaging, power lines, transistors and paint, to name just a few), aluminum is the most used metal alloy in the world and growing. We (the US) used to produce a fair amount of the bauxite needed to make it. Now, we produce less than 1% of the world supply. You want to see our manufacturing jobs disappear? Become so isolationist that we jeopardize our relationships with our trading partners’ products and cut off our ability to produce aluminum or use it in other products. And that’s just bauxite. It’s a big world out there.
We need the rest of this universe (and I want them). We need someone who recognizes the importance of the world, knows how to navigate different cultures and political structures and believes in the value of these efforts. Globalization helped reduce the number of people who live in extreme poverty by half over the past two decades, according to the World Bank.
Hillary Clinton spent eight years traveling abroad as first lady and visited more countries than any Secretary of State to that point (I believe Kerry has now passed her). As SoS, her diplomatic skills, in part, contributed to the international sanctions that coaxed Iran to the negotiating table, the deal itself in which Iran gave up their nuclear aspirations, the normalization of relations with Cuba, the START Treaty with Russia, ceasefire in the Middle East, and the climate change agreement in Copenhagen.
Globalization cannot be a proposition of winners and losers. We share this planet and need to find the way to work with others to achieve our ultimate goals – world peace, right? Negotiation is tricky. Compromise is how we’ll “win.” Unfortunately, “negotiation” and “compromise” don’t make compelling rallying cries. The subtleties of world trade don’t fit into a 30-second commercial or even a 90-minute debate when there are a dozen topics to cover.
But it does come down to a question of approach and intent. Do we understand and appreciate the need for globalization to foster and sustain “the American way?” Brexit is not the answer. I want to be led by the person who sees ALL of us as passengers on one ship and knows how to steer it.

Why a middle-aged white man wasn’t the worst choice (not my favorite choice, but ok).

Day 94 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She chose a running partner with principled similarities, but had the self-knowledge to shore up her faults.
I’ll start by saying I would have loved a VP nominee who was black, Hispanic, gay, Muslim, female, Asian, progressive or almost any other “other” than a white, middle-aged man.
But Tim Kaine is more interesting and (the word I seem to use a lot describing this presidential nominee and her campaign) nuanced than his oh-so-vanilla demeanor suggests.
Like Hillary, he has chosen to integrate (I use the word deliberately) himself into “otherness” his entire life. He spent the summer of his sophomore year in HS in Honduras to work with peasant farmers in remote pueblos.
He took a year off of law school to go back to Honduras to teach welding and carpentry while sorting out how he wanted to use his law degree in civil rights law: making millions working for corporations or public service. He and his family attend a predominantly black church in Richmond; his children attended predominantly black schools – his choice.
He is married to a strong and capable woman: she spent twelve years as an attorney at the Central Virginia Legal Aid Society, became a juvenile court judge, then the VA Secretary of Education (she resigned when he accepted the nomination to run as VP). She is also the daughter of a former Governor of VA.
For seventeen years, Kaine worked as a civil-rights lawyer. In his largest case, he secured a $17.5-million settlement for discrimination in bank lending. After he failed to persuade the Richmond City Council to support the construction of a homeless shelter, he decided to run for the council. He did and subsequently became one of very few white mayors of Richmond.
He has been a Governor and a Senator – teaching him the mechanics of governing from a very practical side as well as a more legislative side.
I’m stealing this next paragraph from attached The New Yorker article regarding how he operated as a Senator and what his strengths are: “Kaine’s deal-making abilities have won the respect of Democrats and Republicans alike. He played a particularly critical role in brokering a deal on the Iran nuclear agreement that persuaded the Obama Administration to submit the deal to Congress. This provided Obama with congressional support for the deal, but more importantly, reasserted the proper role of Congress in foreign policy. Kaine has even clashed with Obama, demanding a greater role for Congress in decisions regarding the use of force in Syria and Iraq.
“When a bipartisan group of senators tried to enact a bill that would prevent the sale of firearms to suspected terrorists, Collins (R-ME) noted that Kaine was “very helpful … in convincing other Democrats to give their support to the compromise.”
He was willing to stand up to the president when he disagreed while working closely with Republicans.
His faith seems problematic for the more progressive side of the party, with the potential trouble it poses for those in favor of choice for all women. However, he threaded that needle neatly: “I deeply believe — and not just as a matter of politics, but even as a matter of morality — that matters about reproduction and intimacy and relationships and contraception are in the personal realm. They’re moral decisions for individuals to make for themselves. And the last thing we need is government intruding into those personal decisions.”
Will you look at that, my GOP friends. A Democrat suggesting that smaller government includes keeping it out of the most personal decisions a woman can make about her own body.
His squeaky cleanness is also important in light of the fog of obfuscation that perennially hangs over Hillary. And good for her for recognizing the importance of it in her running mate. It shows a level of introspection and awareness that isn’t always as evident.

Because, well, The Supremes

Day 93 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
So. The Supremes.
This post is going to be hard to write without going negative (I promised, and I’m a woman of my word), so bear with me. There is a lot of talk about “Constitutional judges” and “originalism,” which references the desire to interpret the law based on how the original framers of the Constitution would have.
In my opinion, this is problematic in a few ways; primarily: the writers of the Constitution could not have predicted today’s world: copyright law, privacy issues, global relationships, the capabilities of today’s guns, as well as all the cultural changes. So, I think their words are ill equipped to accommodate the massive changes in the world. This means we’re left with imagining their intent.
My other concern with originalism in its current form is that it seems to go one way: conservative. I’m no Constitutional scholar, but I don’t see anything in the Constitution that suggests that corporations ought to have the same rights and power as individuals, for example. And yet…
Everything in Hillary’s agenda seems to support the rights of the individual to thrive in today’s environment: it is about choice: to vote, to marry, to control their own bodies, without restricting anyone else. While I, of course, would like to see the 2nd Amendment overturned, Hillary does not. (I know, I know, I will never win this one.) So, even the restrictions I might like to see are not included in her plans (making her something of an originalist) and keeping it about choice. Sigh.
For those conservatives who are supporting Trump only because of the Supreme Court, please read the analysis provided in The Atlantic article I included below. It sheds some light on specific rulings that you might care about and a liberal court’s effect on originalism.

I trust those who trust her.

Day 92 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.

Because, despite all the reasons that might exist for various groups to dislike her, they trust her.

The relationship between the presidential candidates and the press is rocky at best. The relationship between Hillary and the press has always been fraught. Not surprisingly (to me, anyway), she is mistrustful and likely views the press as a necessary evil.

That said, for months, they live together, travel together, eat together, attend events together, muck through rain, heat, humidity, snow and spectacular days together. Consider it Stockholm Syndrome if you like, but there exists a bonded relationship between the press and the candidates. It may be as toxic a relationship as the worst families, but the connection exists nonetheless.

On one of the forums I belong to, someone asked who knows the candidates better than the press? Who else sees them tired, energized, beaten, challenged, euphoric, hungry and, very messily, themselves, day in and out? Who has spent more time vetting their words? Questioning their policies? Watching them evade and capitulate? Who sees their bullshit better than the press corps?

So, I respect their opinions. I trust their judgment. I love watching press interview press and looking for the raised eyebrow and pinched lips when asked about the candidates. I’ve learned a lot from those moments.

This year, the press has – nearly universally – come out in support of Hillary. Coming from them, this may be the most valuable and compelling endorsement of all.


How much influence does the media really have over elections? Digging into the data


She’s put women’s rights on the same level as global security.

Day 91 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
She effectively created her own doctrine – The Hillary Doctrine – and it’s all about women, on a global scale.
Hillary first stepped out of Bill’s shadow when she declared in China, “that human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights once and for all.”
The Hillary Doctrine, as outlined in a 2011 Newsweek article of the same name, allies women’s rights with international security. At a TEDWomen event, Clinton elaborated: “Give women equal rights, and entire nations are more stable and secure. Deny women equal rights, and the instability of nations is almost certain. The subjugation of women is, therefore, a threat to the common security of our world and to the country.”
By tying women’s rights to the fundamental need for global security, Hillary has elevated the effort to stand with the most critical and essential of initiatives. She further adds development to security as an essential element and suggests women’s rights is the underpinning to both. A flourishing economy typically provides stability; stability, more often than not, delivers security. And it’s tough to have either if half the population is subjugated.
As SoS, Hillary introduced the Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), which established priorities over a four-year horizon versus the typical year-to-year planning tied to budgets. Women and girls are mentioned 133 times within the 220 pages of the inaugural QDDR document, signifying their prominent place in the mission and plans for the State Department at that time.
About the same time, the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA) was reintroduced. Like the Hillary Doctrine, I-VAWA links development with security in the name of women’s rights. Ironically (or not), it hasn’t passed, in part, because it would discriminate against men.
By aligning global women’s rights with the ability to achieve true security, she has turned up the volume and made it impossible for the world community to ignore its importance.
(The Newsweek article on the Hillary Doctrine is well worth the read.)

Raising the minimum wage would shrink the income gap and save money for all of us.

Day 90 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Hillary wants to raise the minimum wage to help close the inequality gap.
The federal minimum wage has failed to keep pace with both the cost of living and the median wage in the labor market. That means even working full-time at the minimum wage does not allow families to escape poverty or attain economic self-sufficiency.
This issue is not about teenagers flipping burgers, 89% of those who would benefit from a federal minimum wage increase to $12 per hour are 20 or older, and 56% are women.
You may have noticed the word “federal” several times already. The federal government determines the minimum wage for the country; however, municipalities and states may enact their own minimum wages – and many do. Thirty-seven states had state minimum wages exceeding the federal level in 2007 prior to the most recent federal increase. In the debates between Bernie and Hillary, there was some confusion over whether she supported a $12 minimum wage or $15. The fact is, she supports both: $12 federally and $15 for more expensive cities and states, e.g., NY and LA. She also thinks we need to step our way up there from the current $7.25/hour so as not the shock the system.
Why is this important? Wages for the bottom half of the population rose only in the late 1990s during high unemployment. As a result, the top 90th percent’s real wages grew by over 30% between 1973 and 2011, while the median and lowest 10 percent’s real wages grew by less than 5% over the same period – in part, creating the income gap.
Won’t raising the minimum wage kill small business, increase unemployment and hurt taxpayers?
Raising the wage by even small amounts for workers in the bottom three earning brackets, which an Economic Policy Institute report describes as “those who earn up to $12.16 an hour,” could reduce the amount taxpayers spend on government programs. Per the report: “For every $1 that wages rise among workers in the bottom three wage deciles, spending on government assistance programs falls by roughly $5.2 billion. This estimate is conservative, as it does not include the value of Medicaid benefits.”
The Department of Labor kills a few more myths:
Myth: Increasing the minimum wage is bad for businesses.
Not true: Academic research has shown that higher wages sharply reduce employee turnover, which can reduce employment and training costs.
Myth: Increasing the minimum wage is bad for the economy.
Not true: Since 1938, the federal minimum wage has been increased 22 times. For more than 75 years, real GDP per capita has steadily increased, even when the minimum wage has been raised.
In a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders urging a minimum wage increase, more than 600 economists, including 7 Nobel Prize winners wrote, “In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market. Research suggests that a minimum-wage increase could have a small stimulative effect on the economy as low-wage workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and job growth, and providing some help on the jobs front.”

What we really know about Hillary’s emails.

Day 89 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Ok, let’s REALLY talk about the emails again.
In light of yesterday’s revelation, or non-news, depending on whether we think what Huma did with her computer is relevant to Hilary’s qualifications as president, I want to bring to everyone’s attention some important pieces of James Comey’s original statement on his investigation of Hillary. Very few people have actually read what he said. So, here is a sampling of – what I think – are important pieces of his statement.
“From the group of 30,000 e-mails returned to the State Department, 110 e-mails in 52 e-mail chains have been determined by the owning agency to contain classified information at the time they were sent or received. Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were “up-classified” to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent.
“…With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been “up-classified.”
“…I should add here that we found no evidence that any of the additional work-related e-mails were intentionally deleted in an effort to conceal them. Our assessment is that, like many e-mail users, Secretary Clinton periodically deleted e-mails or e-mails were purged from the system when devices were changed. Because she was not using a government account—or even a commercial account like Gmail—there was no archiving at all of her e-mails, so it is not surprising that we discovered e-mails that were not on Secretary Clinton’s system in 2014, when she produced the 30,000 e-mails to the State Department.
“…It could also be that some of the additional work-related e-mails we recovered were among those deleted as “personal” by Secretary Clinton’s lawyers when they reviewed and sorted her e-mails for production in 2014.
“…The lawyers doing the sorting for Secretary Clinton in 2014 did not individually read the content of all of her e-mails, as we did for those available to us; instead, they relied on header information and used search terms to try to find all work-related e-mails among the reportedly more than 60,000 total e-mails remaining on Secretary Clinton’s personal system in 2014. It is highly likely their search terms missed some work-related e-mails, and that we later found them, for example, in the mailboxes of other officials or in the slack space of a server.
“…We have conducted interviews and done technical examination to attempt to understand how that sorting was done by her attorneys. Although we do not have complete visibility because we are not able to fully reconstruct the electronic record of that sorting, we believe our investigation has been sufficient to give us reasonable confidence there was no intentional misconduct in connection with that sorting effort.
“…Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information. But even if information is not marked “classified” in an e-mail, participants who know or should know that the subject matter is classified are still obligated to protect it.
“…In looking back at our investigations into mishandling or removal of classified information, we cannot find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts. All the cases prosecuted involved some combination of: clearly intentional and willful mishandling of classified information; or vast quantities of materials exposed in such a way as to support an inference of intentional misconduct; or indications of disloyalty to the United States; or efforts to obstruct justice. We do not see those things here.”
I hope this clarifies some of the findings. What Hillary did was stupid, but understandable. It is worth noting that the State Department’s technology was hopelessly outdated when Hillary was SoS. The latest “scandal” came about because Huma found it easier to print emails for Hillary from home than the office because of the quality of the output and the timing. It is also worth noting that, despite the incredible ability of hackers to crack the DNC, the RNC, THE STATE DEPARTMENT, and too many others, they have not been able to hack Hillary’s server. Unsecure? Not so much.

Because black lives do matter.

Day 88 – My journey to find reasons to vote for Hillary rather than just against Trump.
Because black lives do matter.

UPDATE — I need to amend this. It hasn’t been sitting right with me ever since I posted it. It feels patronizing and doesn’t say what I really want it to say. What I wanted to say was that Hillary got BLM wrong first, going with the neutralizing “All Lives Matter,” which entirely misses the point. But, after being protested by BLM activists, she did what she does and met with BLM activists. Some of the conversations were very uncomfortable and unsatisfying for both sides.


However, she listened. She processed. (Which is what she does.) And she met again. And talked some more. In light of the oh-too-many misperceptions of what BLM is really about and why — yes — Black Lives Do Matter (no qualification required or wanted), and the conflation with Blue Lives Matter, it is challenging for a politician to align him or herself with the movement. Too few people actually get the point, which means, as a talking point, it’s not an easy alignment. Once she understood it, Hillary not only attached herself to the movement, she made a point of bringing some of its issues to light. She massaged some of her policies to address the issues presented to her. And she tried to find a balance so she could say, “Of course I don’t want cop killings, but I’m also tired of us killing our black citizens and we need to remedy the things that make it a too common occurrence.” [The quotations are mine; I’m paraphrasing her position.] ok, carry on.


And Hillary knows it. She is also walking the oh-so-delicate balance between Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter – which is where most of us live. One of the pictures that spoke to me loudest last summer was that of a young black woman protesting in NY with a sign that read, “Last week I protested killing blacks. Today I protest killing cops.” How about we just stop slaughtering people?
But Hillary’s a funny person. In an exchange that may explain why we respect her, but struggle sometimes to like her, in this emotionally charged arena, she landed on the side of practical reason rather than cultural change.
“I don’t believe you change hearts,” Clinton told Julius Jones (a BLM activist) in a candid moment backstage after a campaign event. “I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You’re not going to change every heart. You’re not. But at the end of the day, we can do a whole lot to change some hearts, and change some systems, and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them.”
I’ve already covered many of her plans to train police, highlight police departments who get it right, change sentencing laws and attempt to address systemic racism, so I’m not going to revisit those issues. I’m shining light on her invitation to mothers of black children killed by police and caught in the crossfire of inner-city violence to the Democratic convention.
And I’m introducing her “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda,” to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity in communities that are being left out and left behind. DeRay McKesson (BLM activist), in his endorsement of Hillary, specifically cited it as an important piece of her platform and his endorsement. Some of its initiatives are:
• Create jobs through programs targeted at inner-city youth and formerly incarcerated people.
• Earmarking money dedicated to rebuilding infrastructure to neglected communities, e.g., Flint.
• Create a matching fund for mortgage down payments for people who earn less than local median incomes.
• “Ban the box.” Prohibit companies from asking about criminal history until after interviews, so those with a record have a chance.
And I don’t mean to suggest that black lives and inner cities are analogous, but — more often than not — the black lives that have been cut way too short have also been economically disadvantaged. Confronting the violence along with the voices that are not amplified by money can change hearts.
So, although these are largely economic efforts, in concert with working with law enforcement and the judicial system to eradicate racism, it’s what’s needed to change, and what she can do to improve the reality facing too many people of color in the US. Hillary does not have Barack’s ability to move people rhetorically. She’s a policy wonk and is playing to her strengths in approaching the issues on policy rather than heart.
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