Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Does Hillary remember the first rule of HOLES?

“The first rule of holes: When you're in one stop digging.”
Some attribute it to Molly Ivins, some to Will Rogers. No matter who first said it, it's wise counsel.

Now, about that hole Hillary is in... and is likely to be in much deeper later today, after the New Hampshire polls close.

Okay, so it's fair to infer that we all have emotional blinders. The most objective and highly skilled critical thinkers are not immune.

In a twist of irony, the cause for women in America and even more so the rest of the world (recalling Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In, a treatise for empowering contemporary women) will be hindered, not helped, by electing Hillary Clinton.

Besides the excellent essay by Karen Bravo (recently posted to the Arizona Eagletarian), one example is that Hillary had the opportunity to call for electing New York State's first woman governor in 2014, Fordham University law professor Zephyr Teachout. Instead, this year's woman candidate for president publicly endorsed Andrew Cuomo in that gubernatorial contest.

If she's such a feminist, why didn't Hillary promote the election of Professor Teachout?

My friends may have plenty of reasons for supporting Hillary over Bernie. Some of them may be logical and rational. Regardless, in the Democratic primary for the 2016 presidential nomination Hillary represents the status quo. Hillary is also anti-democratic.

And about whether she's a Progressive?
But in a funny way, the electability argument is at odds with the argument that Clinton deserves our support because the forces of misogyny and rightwing hatefulness are arrayed against her.
Can such a polarizing figure really argue that she’s the one to “break the gridlock” and get things past a Republican Congress?
And if she does find common ground, will it be by bringing in another Wall Street dominated administration?
In some ways, figuring out what the sensible choice is for Democrats is beside the point. Sanders is giving Clinton a run for her money, not because one group of Democrats or progressive pundits is winning an argument. The interesting thing about the Sanders phenomenon is the movement behind him—many of them young people, including young women. Any Democratic candidate is going to have to respond to the real aspirations of those voters—and not by telling them they are being unrealistic.
It would be nice if that movement were coalescing around a woman.
In fact, as Abby Scher reported for The Progressive more than a year ago, young feminists chose their candidate a long time ago—a champion of real progressive values, and an enemy of the Wall Street establishment.
Her name is Elizabeth Warren.
The decibel level of the cacophony is loud and will only get louder over the next nine or ten months.

In the meantime, don't be surprised if Hillary will inevitably fall flat on her face, despite all the best intentions of all of her supporters.

She's going to have to get honest about her speeches to Wall Street, the ramifications of the money she has accepted from major corporate interests (campaign donations and otherwise) and she's going to have to #releasethetranscripts.

The transcripts, again -- despite the best intentions of her Democratic loyalist friends -- could prove to be her Achilles' heel.
An Achilles' heel is a weakness in spite of overall strength, which can actually or potentially lead to downfall. While the mythological origin refers to a physical vulnerability, idiomatic references to other attributes or qualities that can lead to downfall are common.
I again refer you to page three of the Rocky Mountain Poll conducted by the Behavior Research Center of Arizona last month. This is what voters believe right now.
                                                                                            Agree     Disagree        Sure
These days big business and Wall Street 
have too much influence on elections                     77%         14%                 9%

These days labor unions have too much influence on
52             29                   19

Labor unions should not be allowed to contribute to
specific candidates without the approval of a majority
of their members.                                                                
81             14                   5

Corporations should not be allowed to contribute to
specific candidates without the approval of a majority
of their stockholders.                                                          
78              15                   7

There should be no limit on how much money an
individual can contribute to a political candidate.       
40              55                   5

NOTE: the empty space below is due to a formatting issue
that I don't currently know how to solve.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Is Hillary the Pied Piper, the Artful Dodger, or both? UPDATED 9:25pm MST 2-6-16

So, Hillary's supporters are now proclaiming that Bernie's misogynistic because she called him out about the "artful smears" he uses to shine a light on her relationship with Wall Street investment banks.
Ben Bernanke has reportedly earned fees ranging from $200,000 to $400,000. Al Gore reportedly received $175,000 per speech. Rudy Giuliani disclosed while running for president that he’d received $270,000 for a speech, and continued giving speeches after declaring his presidency. Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair reportedly asked for £330,000 (about $475,000) for a 20 minute speech last year. And not to be outdone, Donald Trump is said to have taken in $1.5 million per speech. [Ed. there's PLENTY more to disqualify Trump from the presidency than exploring the issue of speaking fees. Neither Bernanke nor Gore, nor Guiliani nor Blair are currently running for that or any elected office.]
Is anyone asking these men how they could “possibly fetch” such a sum? They were paid what the market will bear, and no one questioned it.
The reality is that prominent people, with unique perspectives, are paid quite well to inspire and inform audiences of all kinds, and are rarely questioned about it, let alone are forced to promise that they’ve “never changed a vote” after receiving such fees, as Hillary did in Thursday’s debate.
Hillary confronted Bernie Sanders about insinuations that she was influenced by speaking fees: “If you’ve got something to say, say it.”
Is the magnitude of Hillary's speaking fees really the issue? Not at all. The content of them, IS at issue.

Who owns Hillary Clinton? Well, who BUYS Hillary's favors? From,
In 2000, Bill and Hillary Clinton owed millions of dollars in legal debt. Since then, they’ve earned over $130 million. Where did the money come from? Most people assume that the Clintons amassed their wealth through lucrative book deals and high-six figure fees for speaking gigs. Now, Peter Schweizer shows who is really behind those enormous payments.
In his New York Times bestselling books Extortion and Throw Them All Out, Schweizer detailed patterns of official corruption in Washington that led to congressional resignations and new ethics laws. In Clinton Cash, he follows the Clinton money trail, revealing the connection between their personal fortune, their “close personal friends,” the Clinton Foundation, foreign nations, and some of the highest ranks of government.
Schweizer reveals the Clinton’s troubling dealings in Kazakhstan, Colombia, Haiti, and other places at the “wild west” fringe of the global economy. In this blockbuster exposé, Schweizer merely presents the troubling facts he’s uncovered. Meticulously researched and scrupulously sourced, filled with headline-making revelations, Clinton Cash raises serious questions of judgment, of possible indebtedness to an array of foreign interests, and ultimately, of fitness for high public office.
From the New York Times, on Schweizer' book, a couple of weeks before it hit the bookshelves,
The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.
“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Mr. Schweizer writes.
From (and the New York Times),
While the traditional narrative is that politicians are corrupted by wealthy interests, Schweizer says we may be getting it wrong.
He says some politicians are involved in a type of “legal extortion” to get their hands on cash, with terms like the “tollbooth” and “milker bills” describing some of these practices. Whatever you call it, it doesn’t sound like the type of democracy we’d ideally like to have.
If she has nothing to hide, why is she trying so hard to dodge the issue?

Is Hillary really the Artful Dodger of Dickens infamy?

Or... is she simply trying to get people to vote for her without critically evaluating her relationship with Wall Street?
Many are familiar with the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Few realise however, that the story is based on real events, which evolved over the years into a fairy tale made to scare children.
For those unfamiliar with the tale, it is set in 1284 in the town of Hamelin, Lower Saxony, Germany. This town was facing a rat infestation, and a piper, dressed in a coat of many coloured, bright cloth, appeared. This piper promised to get rid of the rats in return for a payment, to which the townspeople agreed too. Although the piper got rid of the rats by leading them away with his music, the people of Hamelin reneged on their promise. The furious piper left, vowing revenge. On the 26 th of July of that same year, the piper returned and led the children away, never to be seen again, just as he did the rats. Nevertheless, one or three children were left behind, depending on which version is being told. One of these children was lame, and could not keep up, another was deaf and could not hear the music, while the third one was blind and could not see where he was going.
On Thursday, during the debate, Hillary dared Bernie, or anyone, to demonstrate that she had ever changed a vote because of a donation. Shortly thereafter this video of an interview Elizabeth Warren gave to Bill Moyers resurfaced.

Hillary essentially calls for voters to, step in line, hey come on babe, follow me I'm the Pied Piper, follow me and I'll show you where it's at. Come on babe, can't you see, I'm the Pied Piper, trust in me, I'm the Pied Piper, and I'll show you where it's at...

So, as you can see, there's no need for critical review of her claims of "artful smears."

Demand Hillary #ReleaseTheTranscripts

UPDATE          UPDATE           UPDATE          UPDATE

By the way, in case Hillary's supporters happen to wander in and read this post without their heads exploding, it's important to note that a recent survey conducted by the Behavioral Research Center of Arizona suggests Hillary's not likely to get away with her evasiveness regarding her relationship with Wall Street. Of course, the survey doesn't target Hillary and doesn't mention her. But it DOES provide some very poignant insight.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Checks & Balances asks: Did Brnovich hide the ball? And other GOP subterfuge...

Far be it from ME to question the integrity of any of Arizona's Republican elected officials (wink, wink), BUT the latest book I've been reading, The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova, suggests we all fall for cons in our lifetime.

When I was a kid, my mother told me that politicians often employ "double talk."
noun 2. empty, deceptive, or ambiguous talk, esp by politicians
We've seen a lot of it lately from GOP lawmakers working on passing the latest Voter Suppression measure, HB2023. Except for an apparent slip up by Elections committee chair Michelle Ugenti-Rita, Republicans, most notably state elections director Eric Spencer, have been falsely claiming the bill is ONLY about stopping (what we know to be non-existent) voter fraud.

Chandler state Rep. J.D. Mesnard went so far as to openly state that it doesn't matter whether there's any actual voter fraud taking place because citizens BELIEVE there's actually been voter fraud. I would suggest we need to examine WHY citizens believe as such when there is none.

But I digress.

Today, Checks and Balances Project, which has been a persistent thorn-in-the-side of Trash Burner Bob for nearly a year now, posted to its blog saying, "Facts do not support" Stump's wishful thinking about exoneration. The blog post reads, in part,
Nearly 11 months ago, a reader tipped us that Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump used text messaging as his preferred means of communication. We found and reviewed footage of him texting repeatedly during Commission meetings.

That led us to ask to examine Mr. Stump’s text messages, in which he might have conducted public business and illegal electioneering with APS lobbyists, candidates who are now fellow commissioners, and political operatives.
We received a 240-page text message log from Verizon. Upon investigation, we learned that Stump had texted with APS lobbyist Barbara Lockwood 56 times – most in a concentrated period just before the August 14, 2014, GOP primary election when the utility’s favored candidates won.
But none of Barbara Lockwood’s text messages were provided by Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office to retired Judge and Special Master David Cole to review. [...]
... Cole himself said to the Arizona Republic’s Ryan Randazzo, the text messages he examined “either weren’t a match” to the more than 3,500 on our list “or they were with a person that was not one of the targets.” (emphasis in original)
If Cole saw these messages, what are the odds that none of the more than 3,500 text messages that Commissioner Stump exchanged with these people were public business? 
Immediately following release of Judge Cole's report, Stump was busy Tweeting the spin he wanted his fans and followers to believe. Notably, that anyone who doubted the report must be questioning Cole's integrity (which is clearly not true) and that Checks and Balances, even though it does NOT engage in electioneering of any kind, is a Dark Money operation (also clearly not true).

Stump's legal advocates now want the Judge Randall Warner to approve and adopt Cole's report and dismiss at least part of the lawsuit filed to compel disclosure of the texts. From Defendant's motion,
Defendants move the Court to adopt the master's report as the Court's own findings of fact and conclusions of law... Defendants further move the court to enter judgment in their favor dismissing count one of the complaint on the grounds that Defendants do not have in their possession, custody, or control any public records responsive to the request made by Plaintiff that is subject to the complaint. 
Nice try, fellas.

Today, on behalf of Checks and Balances, attorney Dan Barr filed a motion opposing adoption of the master's report. In it, Barr argues the report is fatally insufficient because it lacks the detailed findings necessary for the Court's review and it doesn't aid in resolving the complaint, as it was supposed to do.

Barr included, in his motion, a procedure by which Bryan Neumeister, expert in computer forensic examination, may -- supervised by the Attorney General -- review the devices in question and determine if the text messages are retrievable. That examination would be funded entirely by Scott Peterson and use a software program that the AG did not use.

Boiling this all down to the essence, Peterson's post concludes,
We have not received a reply to our reasonable proposal from the Assistant Attorney General, other than the Corporation Commission’s Motion to accept Cole’s report and dismiss our lawsuit.
Without answers to basic questions about why the AG provided more than 10,000 of Bob Stump’s text messages to Special Master Cole to review, but omitted more than 3,500 on our target list, and whether or not the latest forensic technologies were used to get the text messages to begin with, we’re left with the impression that the Attorney General is hiding the ball.
There are several video clips available on YouTube to illustrate the Hidden Ball con, which Major League Baseball teams keep in their repertoire often to the delight of (or agonized dismay) fans. Here is one. Enjoy.


By the way, from the Arizona Republic's coverage of HB2023 (the latest voter suppression bill),
House Bill 2023 revives arguments that have roiled the Legislature since 2013. Although popular with the majority Republicans, the measure has failed due to quirks in timing.
This year, with a presidential election and the prospect of larger voter turnout looming, supporters are determined to get the provision in law and opponents are reviving arguments to defeat it.
This again, is a game of chicken. Does the GOP dare to incite another HB2305 referendum effort? Mesnard's doubletalk suggests they think they can get away with it this time. But really, in 2013 they had a year and another regular session in which to undo the damage and prevent the high turnout of an indignant electorate.

This year, all the marbles would be on the table without time, except for calling a special session, which would be highly publicized, to undo the debacle. Because it could intensify the political revolt against the plutocracy, this could actually throw the Arizona's 11 Electoral College votes to the Democratic nominee and help elect Bernie Sanders to be the next President of the United States. We will all thank them.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

APS' Burns Notice, continued

Last week, Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns filed his demand for access to the financial records of Arizona Public Service and its parent company, Pinnacle West Capitol Corp. Two former commissioners, on Friday submitted notice that they agree and support Burns' demand.

Today, the Yellow Sheet, not to be outdone (because it didn't have the Mundell/Jennings filing by press time on Friday), began asking more questions and seemingly playing devil's advocate.

First, YS reported on the plain language of ARS § 40-241 (which Burns cited as authority for his demand), and (Article 15 of the Arizona Constitution) but also raised the question of whether APS (apparently because corporations are people too) has a right to protections from unreasonable search and seizure (4th Amendment to the US Constitution).
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
An upstart young whippersnapper of a lawyer (who happens to also be a friend/acquaintance of mine, and a legitimately smart fellow), Kory Langhofer told YS he sees complications with Burns' demand. On the other hand, I see it simply as insight on a likely challenge APS will bring to opening its books. Which will mean this may have to be resolved in court.

Our good friends at the YS then speculated on whether the demand letter will isolate Burns from the rest of the commissioners. By the way, Andy Toxin is scheduled for swearing in today to fill the seat vacated by Bitter Smith.
The other big question is: How will the other commissioners respond to Burns’ demand to APS? If APS is reticent, will they see it as a direct challenge not just to Burns’ authority, but to theirs and the commission’s, as well?
Stump, as noted last week, has refused to weigh in on the issue, citing open meeting law concerns and adding that he wants to make sure he doesn’t appear to have prejudged the matter. Corp Comm spokeswoman Angie Holdsworth said the other commissioners are also reviewing the statutes and getting legal advice.
Burn said it boils down to this: “Does the commission have the authority to regulate or not?” He said APS is a regulated monopoly that has a contract with Arizona citizens to operate in the state. “Because they do, then they are subject to audit,” he said.
He cited his own experience, saying in the past, he had signed a contract with the state to do business, and part of the contract stated that he is subject to audit. He got audited almost every year, he said. “It’s the rules that they are operating under, and if they don’t want to operate according to the rules, then I guess they ought to look for something else to do,” he said. APS said it is reviewing Burns’ letter.
Kudos to Mr. Burns for essentially invoking the Social Contract. It's rare these days for Republicans to do so, but it's also refreshing. Though he may not use that expression, it still boils down to the Commission's duty to, in the relationship of APS to the citizens of Arizona, protect captive ratepayers in exchange for the grant of monopoly authority to provide electric utility service.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Iowa Caucuses in the books for 2016

It was just a day or two ago that Hillary vehemently declared "NO, WE CAN'T" on the issue of universal health care, trying a last ditch effort to subvert the insurgent Bernie Sanders candidacy.

This evening in Iowa, in what broadcast media pundits said was a declaration of victory, she executed the #FastestEverFlipFlop.

At 10:40 into this c-span clip, she disingenuously proclaims herself to be a Progressive. One who gets things done for people. But what are the accomplishments she can rightly list on her resume/c.v.?

At 11:00 she claims to be a reformer for whom "the status quo is not good enough." Oh how I wish that were congruent with the message she has put forth thus far.

At 11:32 she executes the #FastestEverFlipFlop declaring that she knows we can "finish the job of universal health care coverage for every single man, woman and child."

At 15:00 she lets everyone know that tonight she had a "big sigh of relief." Now, isn't that really a clue to the doubt even she now must have about whether she can beat Sanders?

Her comments sounded to me (and this could simply be confirmation bias on my part) more like a concession to Bernie Sanders, in tone and content, than a victory speech.

By the way, Dominionist Ted Cruz appears to have soundly triumphed over a second place showing by the GOP's chief buffoon, Donald Trump this evening.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

AZ Utility Regulator demands APS' financial data access

The book may be closed on Susan Bitter Smith, who resigned after being taken to court over her conflicts of interest, but the saga regarding Arizona Public Service, the largest IOU (investor-owned utility) in the state, continues.

Of course, Trash Burner Bob Stump was caught counting his chickens before they hatched last week but that's not the latest development. In the ongoing controversy over Dark Money spending in prior elections for Corporation Commissioner positions, Commissioner Bob Burns has now demanded disclosure of APS' election spending.

The panel of five commissioners is charged with the responsibility to protect captive ratepayers of investor-owned monopoly utilities. Bob Burns, elected to a four-year term in 2012, is the only remaining commissioner willing to challenge APS to disclose its election spending. He is up for re-election this year.

In November 2015, Burns requested APS voluntarily disclose the information. On December 30, CEO Don Brandt refused, in a letter stating that disclosure would "impinge on APS's 'First Amendment rights.'"

On Thursday, Burns wrote to Brandt demanding disclosure pursuant to A.R.S. § 40-241. The Yellow Sheet reported on Friday,
Burns said his demand letter to APS yesterday is just another step in his efforts to force disclosure of the utility’s spending habits. “We tried to be polite and got no response, so we had to go this route,” he told our reporter. In his letter, Burns said he is “concerned about the lack of transparency for all of APS’s below-the-line expenditures.”
Corp Comm spokeswoman Angie Holdsworth clarified that Burns is referring to “expenses that are not classified as ‘operating expenses’ that would not be recoverable from ratepayers.” Examples would include interest payments on a loan or charitable giving. Burns said he wants to make sure APS isn’t using funds that are supposed to go toward providing electricity to pay for other things, like political contributions and charitable donations. He said he’s trying to delineate exactly how APS and Pinnacle West are different, since they appear to share many of the same personnel.
“I’ve had this concern for some time about some of the expenditures and how they’re labeled,” Burns told our reporter. For example, he said he often sees APS headlining events, like sporting events, as a major donor. But he doesn’t think labeling APS as the donor makes sense. “It’s my belief that that shouldn’t say APS. It should say Pinnacle West and [the money] should be [from] Pinnacle West. APS is supposed to be the service arm of this system. They’re supposed to be providing power,” he said.
If the utility is using money for “good corporate citizenship,” such as through donations or sponsorships, that money should be coming from the rate of return that investors get, not from ratepayer funds designated to pay for operational costs. “The people that are paying their rates, writing checks to APS and have no choice in the matter, they see these big ads on billboards and stadiums, and I’m sure many of them don’t even realize that a number of these high-dollar events are being sponsored in part by what should be Pinnacle West,” Burns said.
He added that he’ll wait and see for the response to his letter, but if APS refuses to detail its expenditures, he believes the company would be breaking the law. “This is a state statute. This is a law. I think if they just come out and say no without any explanation, they would be in violation of the law,” he said
Burns seems to expect Brandt to extend this game of chicken.

Arizona Republic coverage this week can be viewed here and here. The second link is about a 16-page response from former Commissioners Bill Mundell and Renz Jennings filed on Friday supporting Burns plan to compel disclosure. Quoting from the 2010 Citizens United decision, the response says, in part,
The First Amendment protects political speech; and disclosure permits citizens and shareholders to react to the speech of corporate entities in a proper way. This transparency enables the electorate to make informed decisions and give proper weight to different speakers and messages. (emphasis added by Mundell/Jennings)
It may also be helpful to note that former Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Zlaket, on September 17, 2015, filed a letter on behalf of The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) also in support of Corp Comm authority to compel disclosure of election spending by APS as well as PinWest.

Burns' letter closes by saying his office would be in contact with Brandt's to arrange for a "mutually convenient series of dates for the conduct of this investigation."

Stay Tuned.

Hillary says, "No, We Can't!" How inspiring!

From Young Progressive Voices, published January 29,

Hillary Clinton Says “No We Can’t” In New Ad
As the Iowa and New Hampshire campaigns continue to plow ahead full speed, Senator Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have officially dropped their diplomacy and engaged in a “no holds barred” battle for the Democratic nomination. Polls from a multitude of sources showcase both sides having a tight lead over the other, but ultimately only one will emerge victorious.
While Sanders has raised valid points about Clinton’s validity as a candidate (citing her continued ties to Wall Street cronies like Goldman Sachs), Clinton has taken to adopting a different tactic to smear Sanders; realism. Clinton (and her family for that matter) continue to raise the question of whether or not Sanders’s plans for America, such a single-payer healthcare system, would even be legible in today’s political climate.
Now Clinton has upped her game, releasing two political ads that, while not naming him directly, target the Senator’s proposals. The first claims how Clinton will be able to push reasonable legislation through Congress compared to Sanders’s ideas “that sound good on paper but will never make it in the real world.” The second highlights Clinton’s experience as the former Secretary of State, and takes small jabs at Sanders’s stance on gun control.
What’s interesting about both, particularly the first one, however, is the unintentional message they send out. Bernie Sanders has gained a lot of popularity by proposing what strategists may call “real change” ideas. It’s not just about maintaining the status quo, but fighting Wall Street for their damages on the economy, fighting for healthcare as a human right, and fighting for every kid to be given a chance at a college education. Clinton’s ad seems to suggest that all this “real change” is too idealistic, which may hold some truth.
However, by outright using that as a reason to support her, what Clinton’s ultimately saying is: “real change is impossible, so settle for me.” Not the best motivation speech.

Let's give it the ol' college try, shall we? NO WE CAN'T... NO WE CAN'T!

How absurd?

News and opinion columns these days, because Michael Moore shamed corporate media into making it a national story, are talking about the moral failure playing out in Flint, Michigan with its municipal water supply.

As far as I'm concerned, the fundamental failure, and it very much is a moral failure, is in the betrayal by American government, in this case by Republican elected state officials in Michigan, ignoring the Social Contract. That contract essentially defines what constitutes a legitimate government.

Roughly eight months ago, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont began in earnest to call for a revolution that actually can overcome the current corporate oligarchy -- when he declared his intent to run for President as a Democrat.

For months, "the powers that be" did not take him seriously. Cue Gandhi, or what is often attributed to him.
First they ignore you. Then they laugh at you. Then they attack you. Then you win.' - Mohandas Gandhi
The first votes (well, besides early voting which apparently has already started in some states) will be cast in the Iowa caucuses tomorrow (February 1). As they sometimes say, shit just got real.

"They" are not ignoring Bernie anymore. They are no longer laughing. Now, they (Hillary, corporate media, the DNC... and whoever else has a stake in the status quo) are fighting. Much of that fight is a war of words.

You know what's next, when the shouting is over.


It doesn't take a rocket scientist (even though I know one or two of them), to trace the betrayal of the Social Contract to the rise of the John Birch Society in the 1950s/1960s, the Powell Manifesto (1971), ALEC (beginning in the 1970s), the Reagan Revolution (1981), and Grover Norquist.

That progression has undermined the fundamental purpose and legitimacy of American government.

So, back to the point of this post, as so eloquently stated by Robert Reich just days ago on Twitter,
By the way, what HAS Hillary actually accomplished in her political career? Has she been touting any specific achievements on the campaign trail?