The Gentleman Regrets…

Today, Bill Clinton kinda sorta considered apologizing for the dust-up with the BLM protesters in Philly yesterday, but not quite. Via TPM:

On Friday, he told the audience that his aim was to “vigorously defend” his wife and said that he was provoked by the protesters speaking over him.

“I realized I was talking past her the way she was talking past me,” Clinton said of one of the female protesters. “I know those young people yesterday were just trying to get good television and they did. But that doesn’t mean I was most effective in answering it.”

“I almost want to apologize for” my response, he added.

Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about the incident. My initial reaction was that Clinton didn’t do anything so very wrong, aside from use some unfortunate wording. Constructive engagement didn’t seem to be on the protesters’ agenda. But I’ll admit I can be utterly clueless about things like this.

Both Clintons have expressed regret about the unintended consequences of the 90s crime bill, which any humane person involved in that endeavor should. Today, Bill Clinton mentioned that. But during the incident yesterday, he sounded like an apologist for those policies.

Some folks have speculated that this was an elaborately staged “Sistah Souljah” moment. I think that’s bullshit, not least because it would be a dumb move politically. My theory is that Bill Clinton loves his wife, knows how much he owes her and really, really wants her to win. And that can lead him to be less able a politician on the trail for Hillary Clinton than he is when campaigning for himself.

Anyway, Bill Clinton shouldn’t have taken the bait and made the incident the focus of a news cycle. It sounds like that’s what he’s sorry about today. Will this put the matter to rest? I don’t know. What do you think?






190 replies
  1. 1
    Trentrunner says:

    Clinton is aware that the coiner of the term “superpredator” has completely renounced it and regrets having propagated it?

    It’s fucking racist, and we still do this shit. Clinton should not be within a country mile of legitimizing it, even retrospectively. Shut up until the Convention, Bill.

  2. 2
    Princess says:

    I think he loves and admires his wife and really, really wants her to win, and I also think he is a little bit jealous of her and from time to time can’t help subconsciously sabotaging her. He was a better politician than she is, but she is going to be a better president (for a variety of reasons, including the different time we live in now, and President Obama but also because of her own qualities and values), and it makes him happy and also sad.

  3. 3
    Loviatar says:

    Why isn’t Bernie Sanders doing well with black voters?

    People always point to the crime laws as how we should be against them, but they’re ignorant of the fact that WE SUPPORTED THOSE CRIME LAWS. Man, the 90’s were CRAZY. People were getting smoked for wearing Starter jackets and getting jacked for shoes. You couldn’t go into certain neighborhoods or parts of the city if you didn’t know someone who would vouch for you. And if you had on the wrong color, it was wraps. People were getting killed left and right. Innocent people too… The 80’s and 90’s were HELL. We were pissed off that the government wasn’t helping us. Of course we wanted these gangsters and thugs locked up…

    .

    Dude, the 80’s and 90’s were HORRIBLE for black people and the ONLY people in government that seemed to care were the Clinton’s. They fought HARD and passed the gun laws. They passed the crime bills that cleaned up our streets (albeit with terrible unintended consequences). They tried their best and they fought hard for us when no one else really did.

  4. 4
    kindness says:

    BLM isn’t a heirarchical agency. It shares values; cops shouldn’t kill people who don’t threaten anyone, fairness, access. But since there is no one guiding force, no guidelines to speak of, BLM can be used by anyone for anything. I support much of what BLM wants. But sometimes I think it shoots itself in the foot more than achieves any objective.

  5. 5
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Trentrunner: I completely agree on that. When I saw the video, that didn’t jump out at me because he didn’t say the word “super-predator,” but you’re right — he was legitimizing it with his “what else would you call it” response, and that undermined what HRC said about it. She’s handled the protests a lot better than he did.

  6. 6
    dogwood says:

    The shelf life of these incidents is pretty short. Same as the “who’s qualified” dust-up. But if Bill can’t discipline himself enough as a surrogate to stay the hell out of the news cycle, she needs to bench him.

  7. 7
    Linnaeus says:

    I don’t think what Bill said yesterday will be especially damaging to Hillary’s campaign, but he’s not helping himself here. “Just trying to get good television”? “I almost want to apologize”?

  8. 8
    Eric U. says:

    It seems to me that something obviously needs to be done about the criminal justice system, and that has to be a high priority for the next administration. The Obama administration seems to have taken the approach that they don’t want too much publicity about their efforts, mostly because the entire media will happily promote the idea that it’s just coddling criminals. This is a real problem for anyone that actually wants to fix these issues. It does seem that Justice is taking this seriously and acting on it.

    I have always thought that the Clinton era approach to crime was generally good for society, but like just about everything he did, had too much conservative bullshit thrown in so he could get republican agreement. I find police behavior to be disturbing, but it is not clear to me that the change for the worse that I perceive is real or if it was always this bad. I have seen a lot of people say that “the war on drugs” and 9/11 changed the way the police interact with people, but others say it has never changed if you were AA. Seems obvious at this point that we need to roll things back in a way that doesn’t lead to people not having police protection. Of course, right now, many people are afraid to call the cops for fear they will be the next victim. That isn’t right and something needs to be done

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    My theory is that Bill Clinton loves his wife, knows how much he owes her and really, really wants her to win. And that can lead him to be less able a politician on the trail for Hillary Clinton than he is when campaigning for himself.

    As I said yesterday, it’s a lot easier to handle being politically attacked yourself than it is to stand by and see a loved one being politically attacked. It’s also why Chelsea was a terrible surrogate — you may be attacking a politician, but you’re also attacking her mom.

    So, in conclusion, Bill needs to talk less and smile more. Don’t let them know what he’s against or what he’s for.

  10. 10
    Marmot says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Clinton is aware that the coiner of the term “superpredator” has completely renounced it and regrets having propagated it?

    John Di Iulio (or however it’s spelled), GW Bush’s faith-based Czar disowned the term? Wow. It was stupid and overheated and unjustified at the time–I remember. Hearing Bill Clinton all, “What else are you gonna call kids like that?” was fucking jarring.

    More stupidity from the 90s that no one ever seems to remember.

  11. 11
    Ripley says:

    @srv:

    the danger threatening our country

    Perhaps he was talking about your preferred candidate?

  12. 12
    singfoom says:

    @Loviatar: This. I don’t Clinton did anything that wrong. I don’t think any amount of apology for the 90s crime laws are ever going to be acceptable to BLM.

    And I don’t really blame them as apologies mean shit to the people that were incarcerated unjustly or for longer than was just. I support BLM and I think they’re doing good work, but as someone upthread noted, they’re not a rigid command structure….so each local chapter will act differently. So who

    The idea that cops should stop stopping/frisking/killing black people at the higher rates than others is something everyone should be able to get behind, but somehow some idiots have decided that they’re anti-cop because they can’t fucking listen.

  13. 13
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    The Crime and Welfare Laws of the 1990s Were Messy Political Compromises. Bill Clinton Should Stop Acting Like He Wrote Them.

    Ed Kilgore in NYMAG:

    Bill Clinton’s unfortunate explosion in Philadelphia Thursday, wherein he dressed down Black Lives Matter protesters for interrupting his speech to criticize the 1994 crime legislation and 1996 welfare-reform legislation he signed as president, represents more than a tactical victory for BLM in forcing discussion of its priorities. It was a bigger victory for those across the political spectrum who want to reduce the Clinton presidency to “triangulation” — to a handful of highly symbolic moments in which the 42nd presidency was thought to have championed conservative policies to outflank Republicans and appeal to white reactionaries.

    http://nymag.com/daily/intelli.....-bill.html

  14. 14
    cmorenc says:

    I can strongly sympathize with the BLM protesters goals, but frankly their sort of rudely disruptive protests that are grossly disproportionate to their immediate targets STRONGLY rub me the wrong way – and provoke an instinctive urge to tell them to go fuck themselves, despite the rightness of the cause they’re trying to represent. The protests MLK and other leaders of the original civil rights leaders in the 1960s used the approach of peacefully shaming their far more deserving targets with shows of mass determined presence, taking real risks their targets responding with violence. Instead, BLM attempting to forcefully shout down and seize the stage against Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton is vastly more despicable than the indirect culpability BLM are claiming – the perpetrators are not under remotely the kind of risk for their tactics as the original civil rights marchers were, and are frankly taking advantage of the relatively low risk to gain publicity. Their tactics against such targets are frankly counterproductive to their cause.

  15. 15
    gwangung says:

    Hm. Seems to me that the crime bill was another tool handed to society at large to handle problems. But society at large is shot through and through with racism and white supremacy. And, as Coates has pointed out, inevitably, this white supremacy takes these tools and uses them to oppress the other…and that’s invariably the African American community.

    In a lot of ways, we’re bickering about the symptoms and not getting at the root—but not getting killed and not getting needlessly thrown in prison has undeniable value as well.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, too, I do find it fascinating that it seems to have turned out that alcohol is far more damaging to a developing fetus than cocaine is and has far more long-term and far-reaching effects on the damaged children. IANA scientist, but this layperson certainly wouldn’t have predicted that.

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I think we need another 300+ post “Bernie rocks”/”Bernie sucks” thread. I’m sure there’s something that’s been left unsaid this week, no?

  18. 18
    WaterGirl says:

    My first thought was of my long-departed beloved cocker spaniel. She was never sorry that she’d gotten into the garbage; she was only sorry she was being punished for it.

  19. 19
    Detroit Adam says:

    Honestly, I don’t know how to feel about the incident. My initial reaction was that Clinton didn’t do anything so very wrong, aside from use some unfortunate wording. Constructive engagement didn’t seem to be on the protesters’ agenda. But I’ll admit I can be utterly clueless about things like this.

    I completely agree with @Betty Cracker’s point here. However, some black twitter users seem rather pissed about it (https://www.rawstory.com/2016/04/menace-to-our-community-twitter-users-slam-bill-clinton-after-clash-with-blm-protesters/). So really I don’t know.

  20. 20
    gwangung says:

    @cmorenc: Meh. Not sure I can agree with this. An agreeable protest is almost always an easily ignorable protest. And nothing is ever noted and nothing gets done.

  21. 21
    MattF says:

    Maybe Bill should just take a nine month vacation. Show up back in DC in time for Hillary’s inauguration.

    And then, IMO, go on a very long trip– take a second, longer vacation– do good works, like Carter. I don’t think Bill’s temperament is well-suited for the job of First Gentleman, and his presence in the White House will just aggravate everyone.

  22. 22
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I think we need another 300+ post “Bernie rocks”/”Bernie sucks” thread. I’m sure there’s something that’s been left unsaid this week, no?

    I’m gonna need several bottles of scotch at the ready for that kinda fun-fest.

  23. 23
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Gin & Tonic: All I know is these election cycles get longer and longer.

    Eventually they will eat their own tails and become a permanent condition. And the villagers will rejoice.

  24. 24
    Doug R says:

    I don’t see it as bad. It’s good to clear the air, especially if Bill can get some high profile flank support from someone like Rev Sharpton or Dr Dyson.

  25. 25
    goblue72 says:

    I seem to recall some other candidate for the Democratic nomination whose speech was disrupted by BLM. I seem to recall that candidate in that instance actually stepped away from the podium and let the BLM activists say their peace. Caused a big media brouhaha for about a week. I think it was in Seattle. I wish I could remember the candidate. I’m pretty sure though the candidate, after a couple of awkward statements after, then met for open dialogue with BLM (which dialogue was appreciated by BLM) and even added a BLM activist to the campaign.

    But hey, Bill is on our team and #notalrealDemocrat #oldwhiteVermont #berniebros

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....10edf57b02

  26. 26
    WaterGirl says:

    I think that if you’re actually sorry about something, you don’t say this:

    “I almost want to apologize for” my response, he added.

    emphasis on the word “almost”.

  27. 27

    @Eric U.:

    It seems to me that something obviously needs to be done about the criminal justice system, and that has to be a high priority for the next administration.

    The problem is that most of the criminal justice system is handled by the states, which makes it a difficult issue for the president to tackle. It’s getting on the agenda at the state level, if only because the cost of our prison system is out of control, but doing much about it is going to be a long slog, and mostly at lower levels of government.

  28. 28
    WaterGirl says:

    @Linnaeus: I think maybe Bill Clinton is stuck in a mindset from back in the 90s.

  29. 29
    Chris says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Shut up until the Convention, Bill.

    That was my opinion in 2008 and is my opinion now. Thanks for the nineties, but seriously, shut up for now.

  30. 30
    gwangung says:

    @goblue72: You don’t seem to be too familiar with the results of said encounter, little of which has rebounded to said candidate’s benefit.

  31. 31
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:

    the villagers

    I just discovered the balloon-juice lexicon and now feel slightly less confused. Only slightly.

  32. 32
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @srv: IOW you almost have a brain? Hah. Close but no cerebrum, stupid rethuglican vulture.

  33. 33
    Chris says:

    @srv:

    Comment of the day. Thanks.

  34. 34
    J.A.F. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Folks that live in Chicago probably have a different perspective on Clinton’s comments. Violent crime is still devastating the south and west sides of the city and Clinton’s comments didn’t seem out of line. (see Tyshawn Lee)

    As bad as the violent crime is, it used to be much worse in the 90s. Hindsight is always 20/20.

  35. 35
    cmorenc says:

    @gwangung:

    @cmorenc: Meh. Not sure I can agree with this. An agreeable protest is almost always an easily ignorable protest. And nothing is ever noted and nothing gets done.

    You have to accomplish something more constructive than rudely pissing people off, for a protest to effectively persuade anyone toward increased sympathy or support for your cause, beyond those already firmly on-board with you. Think what it will be like if it becomes impossible for any political figure to speak before any sort of public crowd without being subjected to untenable disruption. That kind of disruptive rudeness undermines democracy itself. The disruptive actions against Bernie Sanders speeches a few months ago are prime examples.

  36. 36
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Roger Moore: From what I’ve read, even the Kochs are getting onboard with criminal justice reform.
    http://www.newyorker.com/magaz.....experiment

    (of course, the Kochs have their own reasons)

  37. 37
    Linnaeus says:

    @WaterGirl:

    It comes across as “sorry not sorry”.

  38. 38
    dogwood says:

    Let’s face it, if Hillary is elected she won’t have the luxury that Obama, or George W had of never having to worry that your spouse will stay stuff that has to be walked back within the hour. Lots of people buy into the notion that she wouldn’t be where she is without him, and perhaps Hillary agrees. I’ve always thought she would have risen faster if she’d never met him.

  39. 39
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Gin & Tonic: you been imbibin’ some of your nymsake over there in your parts, g & t?

    Actually…the sun *is* over the yardarm over here…that doesn’t sound like such a bad idea.

  40. 40
    Detroit Adam says:

    @goblue72:

    Go blue as in umich?

  41. 41

    @MattF:

    And then, IMO, go on a very long trip– take a second, longer vacation– do good works, like Carter.

    I think Bill’s proper role in the Hillary administration would be as a sort of roving goodwill ambassador, especially overseas. He has a huge amount of international cred left over from his administration, so it’s something he’d be very good at. At the same time, it would keep him busy with something other than domestic politics.

  42. 42
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Well, we could talk about the purpose of an atheist Jew’s visit to the Vatican, and how much time it takes out of his week that he could have spend trying to find out where his wife left their tax returns.

  43. 43
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Miss Bianca: What is the best brand of gin? (asking for a friend)

  44. 44
    Mnemosyne says:

    @goblue72:

    You realize that Bill isn’t the candidate this year, right?

  45. 45
    Germy Shoemangler says:

    @Roger Moore: No matter where or how far away Bill was sent, the villagers (there’s that word again) would chase him down and put microphones in his face. They want HRC embarrassed.

  46. 46
    gwangung says:

    @cmorenc: On the other hand, I most definitely push back against the idea that protests in the Civil Rights era (the bus strikes, etc.) were not inconvenient and didn’t piss off huge segments of the community they were in. And I do think there was been progress made in Missouri, where BLM definitely had effects in local politics.

    This gets very close to respectability politics. And I think it does a disservice to the pioneers in the civil rights movement and how things actually get done.

  47. 47
    Corner Stone says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I’m sure there’s something that’s been left unsaid this week, no?

    Before you so easily dismiss it out of hand. I want to tell you all about *my* feels.

  48. 48
    Corner Stone says:

    @gwangung:
    “Point of order, sir! Point of order! May we be recognized?”
    “No”
    “Oh well then. Do carry on.”

  49. 49
    Corner Stone says:

    @MattF:

    and his presence in the White House will just aggravate everyone.

    Are you joking? The writers for SNL are quite literally erect and/or aroused at the thought of four years of easy money.

  50. 50
    Detroit Adam says:

    @cmorenc:

    Temperamentally I agree with you regarding protests that interrupt speakers. I almost always have the exact same reaction you described back in 16. Perhaps more effective protest disruptions are in public spaces like mass rallies or street marches or maybe sit-ins? There you may inconvenience some people but your not interrupting and shutting down an event? (I don’t know… I’m brainstorming here.)

  51. 51
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    The sun is *always* over the yard arm somewhere. ;-)

  52. 52
    Ruckus says:

    @Eric U.:

    I find police behavior to be disturbing, but it is not clear to me that the change for the worse that I perceive is real or if it was always this bad.

    It may sound strange but I think it’s both. Police have always had a level of military styling to them, the command structure, how to respond to threats, but decades ago it was less equipment and tactics orientated and just force. Police have always been the last link in the chain of public behavior. Towards that end if they perceive danger they have reacted with force, of some level. (This is generalized, there are and always have been cops who try to defuse rather than demand control first. They seem to be outnumbered.)
    What I think is different is that you get to see the effects in almost real time, in decades past you rarely saw anything. And that there are many more of us, many more who are angry. Angry at being killed for the color of their skin, angry at some having a grand life while many, many have shit, angry at the life that seems to be being chosen for them, a life that sucks. BLM is right, if you are black this is nothing new. It has been going on for all of my life. But unless you went into the areas that blacks were mostly forced to live in, you didn’t see this decades ago. I worked there, I owned a business there. I’ve seen it. The poverty, the police, the overpriced food, the underpaid workers (if you had a job!), the rent seekers and their shitty buildings, the condensation from people who didn’t live/work/ever go there about who/what you are ……….

  53. 53
    goblue72 says:

    @gwangung: Which encounter – the BLM encounter with the Sanders campaign? Or the Clinton encounter with BLM?

  54. 54
    Loviatar says:

    @singfoom:

    The 80s and 90s were bad. Crack had destroyed the black family structure and you had a whole group of black men growing up not giving a damm whether they lived or died or more importantly whether you lived or died. It wasn’t all black men, not even a majority of them, but it was enough to make whole neighborhoods fearful. I made reference yesterday to Pooike working at the Carter and it got a chuckle from a few in the know, but that was reality. You had housing developments which were no go zones for the cops unless they rolled squad deep. This wasn’t some made up scene in a movie it was real.

    Its great we can look back and criticize now that we have crime seemingly under control. But from the context of someone who grew up in the midst of the worst of the 80s/90s crack era, I have some regrets on how the laws played out, but I have no regrets in knowing it helped keep my family safe.

  55. 55
    goblue72 says:

    @Mnemosyne: You realize he was speaking on behalf of his wife as an official campaign spokesperson? Seriously, the pretzel knots you fools twist yourselves into to parse Bill away from Hillary when its convenient would generate a standing ovation from a conference of German bakers.

  56. 56
    Chyron HR says:

    @goblue72:

    That’s funny, I remember when BLM protesters interrupted one of the Great One’s speeches and he gave them a lecture about “economic inequality” being their only real problem.

  57. 57
    Mike J says:

    @Calouste:

    Well, we could talk about the purpose of an atheist Jew’s visit to the Vatican, and how much time it takes out of his week that he could have spend trying to find out where his wife left their tax returns.

    And he still hasn’t quite cured cancer:

    In a 1969 essay for the Freeman called “Cancer, Disease and Society,” Sanders, then 28, contended that conformity caused cancer by breaking down the human spirit and inflicting emotional trauma. He quoted liberally from Reich’s 1948 book, The Cancer Biopathy, which, he noted, was “very definite about the link between emotional and sexual health, and cancer,” and he walked readers through Reich’s theory about the consequences of suppressing “biosexual excitation.”
    http://www.motherjones.com/pol.....m-fluoride

  58. 58
    Ruckus says:

    @cmorenc:
    Those low risk tactics worked? Being nice and non conformist worked?
    Show me some positive results.
    I can give you tons of negative results. You want names?
    Now I’ll give you that things MAY be better today on some levels. But I’m gong to have to be convinced and see your work.

  59. 59
    dogwood says:

    @cmorenc:
    The problem for me with these shout down protests is they ignore the people they really need to reach -the voters at the event.

  60. 60
    tastytone says:

    @goblue72:
    And AGAIN we have to ask: was this before or after said candidate muttered “I have nothing to say to you” and stomped out of his own event at Netroots Nation. It just happened in July, and I was a Sanders supporter at the time. Happy to discuss the ins and outs of how one manages a screaming-in-your-face protest at a campaign event, but this sanctimony…WTF?

  61. 61
    Keith P. says:

    What do you think?

    I think I’m surprised JC hasn’t put up a sky-is-falling post yet about how we’re all gonna have President Ted Cruz with Mike Lee on the SCOTUS.

    But other than that, it’ll be forgotten in 2 weeks as long as the Clintons play it smart.

  62. 62
    WaterGirl says:

    @Linnaeus: Agree!

  63. 63
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: Easy – these guys’. Only gin I drink anymore.
    Happy to conduct a personal distillery tour… :)

    ETA: for your friend, of course…

  64. 64
    MattF says:

    @Mike J: Omigod, Wilhelm Reich! Does Sanders have a old Orgone Box in his attic?

  65. 65
    Mnemosyne says:

    @goblue72:

    You realize he was speaking on behalf of his wife as an official campaign spokesperson?

    So was Tim Robbins when he made a speech at Bernie’s campaign appearance. So was that guy from Bernie’s campaign who tried a “gotcha” question on CNN and got laughed down.

    But you guys made excuses when Bernie embarrassed himself with his own responses in that NYDN interview, so I’m not that surprised.

  66. 66
    kg says:

    @cmorenc: Just go ahead and call them “uppity”.

  67. 67
    burnspbesq says:

    @cmorenc:

    My sense is that a majority of self-styled BLM activists either don’t know the historu of the late 80s and early 90s, or have chosen to conveniently forget it. It might be useful if someone like John Dingell would give them a reminder.

  68. 68
    VFX Lurker says:

    …talk less and smile more. Don’t let them know what he’s against or what he’s for.

    I love HAMILTON so much. That is all.

  69. 69
    Just Some Fuckhead, Clinton Supporter says:

    Some folks have speculated that this was an elaborately staged “Sistah Souljah” moment. I think that’s bullshit, not least because it would be a dumb move politically. My theory is that Bill Clinton loves his wife, knows how much he owes her and really, really wants her to win. And that can lead him to be less able a politician on the trail for Hillary Clinton than he is when campaigning for himself.

    How exactly is it a dumb move politically? You didn’t say. And why do we have to assume good intentions? Why can’t we assume the worst intentions like we do when we criticize Sanders? After all, there’s actually a history with the Clintons.

    ETA for balance: Sanders is a cranky old douchebag who would prolly be a really shitty president.

  70. 70
    Corner Stone says:

    OMG!! HRC just said she enjoyed eating “chicken wings”!! And she’s in BUFFALO!
    Scandal! Siren! Scandal!
    Can her campaign survive her own atomic gaffe in NY?

  71. 71
    singfoom says:

    @Loviatar: Sure. I completely understand. You can understand the reasons why the bills were passed and appreciate the good effects. That said, the side effects were shared unequally and I think that BLM is totally right to bring that up.

    So Clintons statement of “were talking past each other” sums it up perfectly. He’s sorry for the bad effects but not the good.

  72. 72
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: OT, but I’m trying to figure this out: what do the people whose block quotes look different than the rest of our block quotes have in common.

    So far it’s efgoldman, Mike J, Corner Stone, Ripley, cmorenc, you and a couple of others I don’t recall at the moment. Curious about platform, browser and use of any add-ins like MBBJ.

  73. 73
    dogwood says:

    @gwangung:
    Equating screaming at rallies with the strategies of the Civil Rights movement is a stretch.

  74. 74
    Mike in NC says:

    My wife woke me up around 4 AM to tell me our cat was dying. He was fine on Thursday, but today was unable to walk. He crawled into my closet and was in obvious pain. We rushed him to the vet, where they could do nothing for him. They diagnosed a blood clot in his aorta. Had no choice but to have him put to sleep. Our beautiful ragdoll was only eight years old. Now we’re home, feeling sick and numb.

  75. 75
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Can you unmoderate me, BC?

  76. 76
    dogwood says:

    @Mike J:
    That cancer stuff can’t be real.

  77. 77
    grrljock says:

    Sigh. I managed to watch the video posted on BJ about halfway through. My takeaway: BC spoke mostly objective truth (climate that led to the crafting of Crime Bill, Biden’s support), but the manner in which he spoke was definitely very patronizing. I agree with Betty Cracker in that he may have reacted in that way because he took what the protester said personally. Beyond being wrong in itself, Bill’s action is just undisciplined; by now the campaign should have an SOP on how to deal with such disruptions.

  78. 78
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Mike in NC: Sorry for your loss. I’m going to go home and hug Chairman Meow.

  79. 79
    Mnemosyne says:

    @VFX Lurker:

    We will get that “Hamilton” pod planted into Betty’s basement one of these days …

  80. 80
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Calouste: *snerk*

  81. 81
    Andrey says:

    @cmorenc:

    Think what it will be like if it becomes impossible for any political figure to speak before any sort of public crowd without being subjected to untenable disruption. That kind of disruptive rudeness undermines democracy itself.

    Bullshit. Democracy doesn’t have anything to do with political figures speaking before public crowds. No one’s ability to vote is threatened by someone yelling at a public rally. And those political figures’ speech is not threatened in the least. Political figures will always be able to trivially say what they want to say. Video exists. They can utter as many speeches as they want in the undisrupted comfort of their office or studio, and disperse it as far and wide as they desire with TV and the Internet.

    Those protesters, on the other hand? They can’t afford that. Protesting at a public event might be the only chance they get to broadcast their voices.

  82. 82
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Oh, no! So sorry to hear it. Losing a pet as suddenly as that is so traumatic.

  83. 83
    jsrtheta says:

    @Trentrunner: I just posted elsewhere about this, but it bears repeating: If you weren’t around for that time, or you have contracted amnesia, a few facts are in order. I was a prosecutor in Chicago between ’85 and ’93. The average number of murders per year then was around 1,000. In New York, it was around 2,000. Nationally, crime was a huge issue, and deservedly so.

    Want to know who I heard using the “superpredator” term most then? The black urban leadership. It was their communities that were suffering the most. (Anecdotally, I remember one lovely evening interviewing two 14-year-olds who had raped and sodomized a woman in her 30s before tossing her out a 5th floor window.) People living on Chicago’s South Side and West Side bore many of the marks of people living in a war zone. If you think the problem was blown out of proportion, then you have forgotten much.

    Was it a good law? Much of it, in hindsight, wasn’t. But crime did go down. Correlation isn’t causation, obviously, but that doesn’t make it coincidence, either.

  84. 84
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    I’m so sorry. Unfortunately, cats are very good at concealing when they don’t feel well, so try not to beat yourselves up too much wondering what you didn’t see.

  85. 85

    @Loviatar:

    Crack had destroyed the black family structure and you had a whole group of black men growing up not giving a damm whether they lived or died or more importantly whether you lived or died.

    I don’t think it was really crack that destroyed the black family; it was poverty created by overt and covert discrimination. Drugs like crack were just one of the ways poor people dealt with grinding poverty with no reasonable chance of escape. It’s the same reason poor whites are encountering the same symptoms of family disintegration and drug abuse today: poverty and hopelessness about it.

  86. 86
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Roger Moore: Take a victory lap, Least Favored Bond. Reaganomics and the first wave of globalization were taking their toll on The Least of These first.

  87. 87
    Mnemosyne says:

    @jsrtheta:

    I think the biggest problem with the “superpredator” theory was that it assumed it was something innate in those offenders and not the result of their life circumstances. We know pretty well by now that severe child neglect can cause a lack of empathy, but at that point it was assumed that it was neonatal cocaine exposure alone that was causing those severe disorders and not, say, a toddler being left alone for hours on end while the adults used drugs.

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    My initial reaction was that Clinton didn’t do anything so very wrong, aside from use some unfortunate wording.

    He did a great deal wrong. He got caught up in a debate that he could not win, and made the appearance about him instead of keeping the focus on his wife’s candidacy.

    Both Clintons have expressed regret about the unintended consequences of the 90s crime bill, which any humane person involved in that endeavor should.

    This gets a little tough. Strictly speaking, Hillary was not co-president, so she is not responsible for the bill even if she ever spoke in its favor. While she may have supported her husband, she did not craft the bill, nor was she a cabinet member or member of Congress who was responsible for advising or passing the bill.

    It may be impossible, but Bill Clinton is going to have to try to avoid having assessments of his own administration be seen as either something that Hillary must be held accountable for, or as a preview of what her administration would be like.

  89. 89

    @WaterGirl:
    Testing

    OT, but I’m trying to figure this out: what do the people whose block quotes look different than the rest of our block quotes have in common.

    OT, but I’m trying to figure this out: what do the people whose block quotes look different than the rest of our block quotes have in common.

    ETA: It looks to me as if the difference is whether you start your quote on the same line as the previous word or on a new line.

  90. 90
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Roger Moore:

    I think the drugs made child abuse and neglect more common, though, which is another thing we’re seeing in rural areas with meth and heroin problems. Mix a history of child abuse/neglect (with possible untreated head injuries) with teenage drug abuse and you have yourself a remorseless superpredator.

    And, of course, we need to mention that the really big, really scary “superpredator” attack on the Central Park Jogger by teenage boys who were “wilding” turned out to be complete and utter bullshit and those kids went to prison for an adult man’s crime.

  91. 91
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: For mixing with tonic, I’m partial to Bombay (not Sapphire.) For other purposes my current favor is St. George Distillery’s Terroir.

  92. 92

    If I’d been harassed by the cops, I don’t think “getting good television” would be my main motivation for protesting! The Clintons may have renounced their 1990s “scary black folks” rhetoric, but either William Clinton still believes, or he still thinks it will help win the election for his wife.

    Will it? I think a little, but only a little. The Clintons have long been popular with Southern African-Americans, and I don’t think this will dent that popularity. And they have long been unpopular with the black left; to them this is nothing new. It may sway some younger African-Americans against Hillary Clinton, and some white voters in her favor, but that’s about it.

  93. 93
    Ken says:

    I never know what the Clintons are doing with regard to the media. Is Bill making stupid comments so it looks like Hillary looks bad but then people say you can’t judge a wife on her husband and Hillary looks good. Or is Hillary yelling black people so white Bernie-Bots will inevitable whitesplain’ to black people “How could you vote for the Clintons?” This was the problem with Bernie’s NY Post interview: you have to be in absolute control with the media or they will be in total control. Hillary totally knew what she was doing when she said “unborn persons”

  94. 94
    kc says:

    @gwangung:

    It is interesting to note the disparate reactions among the BJ commentariat to Sanders’s giving up the mic, as opposed to this.

  95. 95
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Calouste: Tax deadline is next Monday, isn’t it?

  96. 96
    kc says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Aw, I am so sorry to hear that.

  97. 97
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Uh, that’s “current favorite”, not “current favor.” No, I have not (yet) been imbibing.

  98. 98
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Detroit Adam: As I alluded to last night, there’s a pretty good amount of shorthand and inside jokes here. Stick around.

  99. 99
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mike in NC: Holy shit! I’m sorry!

  100. 100
    ed_finnerty says:

    @Germy Shoemangler:this made me laugh

    it portends to be like the four yorkshiremen. They will be getting up before they go to bed

  101. 101
    Elie says:

    Bill has a tendency to talk too much and to keep ‘splaining stuff. Sometimes he should just stop, listen and then make himself be humble in his responses. Its very hard for him to do that but he had better get in practice. If his wife is elected, the media and others will hound him about his opinions that he truly should not give and should mostly STFU. Its not too early to work on it…

  102. 102
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I’ll second my recommendation to Germy: Gotta try one of these.

    @Detroit Adam: *Hic*. Indeed. And you’ll get hip to the lingo and the personalities round the joint here. Don’t be frightened off (UofM 87)

  103. 103
    Brachiator says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Drugs like crack were just one of the ways poor people dealt with grinding poverty with no reasonable chance of escape. It’s the same reason poor whites are encountering the same symptoms of family disintegration and drug abuse today: poverty and hopelessness about it.

    Good comments. Meth and oxycontin are devastating many poor white communities.

    But there is a cycle here. Drug use creates and exacerbates poverty even as it is a reaction to poverty and discrimination.

  104. 104
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    What do you think of Hendricks gin?

  105. 105
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    a pretty good amount of shorthand and inside jokes here. Stick around.

    Will do. :)

  106. 106
    Matt McIrvin says:

    You can be factually mostly in the right and still be politically and emotionally wrong. At his best, Bill Clinton seemed to have an ability to hone in on precisely what was actually bothering someone and give an empathetic response. He wasn’t doing that here, probably because he was letting the protesters get under his skin.

  107. 107
    dogwood says:

    @kc:
    Let’s be fair. Sanders handing over the mic was pitch perfect, but his first encounter with BLM was far worse than what happened with Bill. But since they didn’t storm the stage with Bill, I would’nt assume he would have been any more in control than Bernie was at Yearly Kos.

  108. 108
    gwangung says:

    @kc: I think I’ve mentioned I lean Clinton. But I’m far from satisfied with their relationship with minority communities. They’re far better than many politicians (and I most definitely include Sanders in this grouping), but I consider it baseline, with vast rooms for improvement.

    @dogwood: I think reducing BLM to “screaming at rallies” to be oversimplistic and not helpful to the issue. I think there’s a fruitful discussion to be made over grand strategy and tactics, and how confrontation at speaker events play into that, but this is all part of a larger tapestry and larger concerns.

  109. 109
    cleek says:

    What do you think?

    first i’ve heard of it. last i’ll care.

    ah… serenity.

    can we end this fucking primary already?

  110. 110
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Clinton Supporter: It would be a dumb move politically because we’re in the midst of a hotly contested Democratic primary. Bill Clinton didn’t execute the Souljah move until he had the Dem primary sewn up. As for intentions, I usually assume good intentions from both Clintons as well as Sanders absent clear evidence to the contrary. I’m naive that way.

  111. 111
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Detroit Adam: Not a big fan. But there’s so much variability in gin, you can go in completely different directions

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elie:

    Bill did the original “who the eff is this!?” speech in 1988 where he bored people for something like 3 hours. He does still have that tendency to ramble on if he’s speaking off the cuff.

  113. 113
    gwangung says:

    @Betty Cracker: Wasn’t the Sister Souljah speech made before a primarily black audience?

  114. 114
    Betty Cracker says:

    @gwangung: Yep. Rainbow Coalition, IIRC. But that wasn’t the real audience.

  115. 115
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    so much variability in gin, you can go in completely different directions

    Indeed. I’ve been meaning to broaden my gin horizon. I think I’ll gather a selection for a taste testing at some point soon.

  116. 116
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He DOES — and its gotten a little worse… Maybe he should practice giving shorter answers and deferring to others or acknowledging that its not his place to answer something. Definitely avoid defensiveness if he can —

    BTW, did you have your biopsy? (hate to interject on this thread but I sometimes miss stuff)

  117. 117
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Elie:

    It’s scheduled for Tuesday afternoon. At this point, I just want to get the damn thing over with.

  118. 118
    Nerull says:

    @gwangung: And now Clinton supporters wholesale adopting anything bad Berniebros said about BLM is surely going to work out well for Clinton. I’m sure african americans appreciate the kind white people explaining to them why their concerns are unimportant and how they should sit down and let the adults talk.

  119. 119
    Detroit Adam says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Don’t be frightened off (UofM 87)

    Thanks! I’ll persevere. :) UMich ’00. I wonder how may other wolverines are hiding out around here?

  120. 120
    Elie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Got it. I send you all my best thoughts and optimism…

  121. 121

    @Mnemosyne:
    And don’t forget the whole lead poisoning angle, which almost certainly contributed to the crime wave. It’s most likely that something huge like the late century crime wave had many contributing factors; it’s hard to get a huge event like that from a single cause.

  122. 122
    dogwood says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Ted Kennedy told a great story about Clinton screwing up his anniversary. He gets a call late on a Friday afternoon to come to the Oval. Turns out Bill just wanted a bull session. Three hours later, Ted gets out of there and Vickie’s expectation of dinner and the ballet have been scaled back.

  123. 123
    Elie says:

    @Nerull:

    There was no reason that if Bill has been keeping up that this should have been any kind of surprise. I am surprised he didn’t have a thought out and effective response instead of being a dense a–hole. I hope he takes a page out of lessons learned and doesn’t allow himself to really embarrass himself or his wife’s campaign. This should not have happened given the visibility of the group and their well known issues… sheesh!

  124. 124
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Detroit Adam: I spent a night in Ann Arbor once.

  125. 125
    Psych1 says:

    I tend to not agree with a lot of the politics here but I do think the gin comments are spot-on. That is, in order of goodness, the Colorado boutiques, Hendricks, and non-sapphire Bombay.

  126. 126
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mike in NC: sorry, man.

  127. 127
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Psych1: I keep thinking I’d like to try Hendricks, but I haven’t been able to pry myself away from Woods long enough… ; )

  128. 128
    NotMax says:

    @Germy Shoemangler

    Short answer is that there is no best, per se. There are quality gins, but the flavor profile of one may or may not tickle the palate of person A while enticing that of person B. Subtleties of flavoring are why some people prefer Bombay, some Tanqueray, some Beefeater, for example.

    It also depends on what the gin is to be used for. A dry gin works best in martinis and especially in mixed drinks, for example. The difference among higher end brands of dry gin is more a factor of the variety and quantity of aromatics used. Personally, if diluting the gin with tonic or in a drink such as a Tom Collins or Salty Dog (to give just a few examples), I am more than content with a second tier brand, saving the upper shelf brands for martinis and such.

    And then there is Bols Genever, the Rolls Royce among gins (IMHO). Not a dry gin, more akin to a complex white whiskey, which works best when drunk straight (and would be out of place with tonic or most mixers).

  129. 129
    Betty Cracker says:

    I don’t like gin. There. I said it. Even the expensive stuff has a Pine-Sol undertone on my palate. My martinis and tonics are therefore vodka based, but truthfully, I’m more of a bourbon gal.

  130. 130
    NotMax says:

    @Betty Cracker

    Perfectly valid. Variety is the spice of life and all that.

    That said, you might prefer a gin with much less of a juniper bite and more floral undertones, such as Solveig.

  131. 131
    debbie says:

    I’ve listened to his remarks a couple times, and I think Bill’s reflex kicked in to defend his legacy. Sometimes the best choice is to admit wrong and then focus on fixing the wrong.

  132. 132
    WaterGirl says:

    @Mike in NC: I am so sorry about your beloved kitty, 8 is so young that this surely hit you like a ton of bricks. It was like that with my 9-year old kitty, one minute you’re all good and then next you’re looking at the end. I could barely wrap my brain around it. Big hugs to you and your wife.

  133. 133
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Betty Cracker: These folks make a fine sipping whisky too, just sayin’…I knew I liked bourbon (prefer it to Scotch now, HERESY!!) but never knew I liked rye till they started making it!

  134. 134
    Calouste says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Tax deadline is next Monday, isn’t it?

    As far as I am aware, the tax deadline for 2013 and preceding years, years for which Sanders hasn’t released anything, passed quite a while back.

    Anyway, even looking just at 2015, Sanders says that he has a very simple tax return, basically just his Senate salary and Social Security. The kind you can do in an evening with TurboTax or so. Why hasn’t he done that in the last two months? He wouldn’t want to give us the impression that he is a President who leaves everything to the last minute, would he?

    So far Sanders has released less of his tax returns than Mitt fucking Romney did in 2012. Think about that. How transparent is Romney in your opinion? Sanders thinks he can get away with even less than that.

  135. 135
    haroldine says:

    @dogwood: at least one of the woman who was involved with that particular protest doesn’t view the event quite as amicably and “pitch perfect” as Bernie Sanders (and many of his supporters). She has spoken out a lot about her resentment of that moment being used by Bernie Sanders and his supporters as some kind of evidence of his superiority on this issue and I, for one, am inclined to respect her experience. At the end of the day, I don’t really think either candidate has any moral high ground on this issue. Both have had issues and continue to have issues. Criticism is fair for both and this back and forth about who is the least racist is not constructive at all. Critique them both and hold both accountable.

  136. 136
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Deadline for 2016 is April 18, except for residents of two states where it is pushed back to April 19.

  137. 137
    rikyrah says:

    Either apologize sincerely or not at all.

  138. 138
    Keith G says:

    What do you think?

    Twitter, other social sites, and the “always need something to report” information industry make this seem something that it is not. Bill should have been a bitter quicker on the uptake than he was, but then I do understand the urge to tell a noise maker to stop being a cock. No punches were thrown. No one pronounced the Cruciatus Curse.

    This too shall pass.

  139. 139
    WaterGirl says:

    @Roger Moore: Go, you! yay!

  140. 140
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Bombay? Plymouth is the correct answer for a gin and tonic.

  141. 141
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    @Mike in NC: Deepest condolences to you. We lost two cats in 2 years, both around that age. Such a terrible feeling.

  142. 142
    Mr. Mack says:

    @Mike in NC: We adopted two beautiful ragdoll catys in 2003. They were brothers, and lived with us until 2013, when they both died. BEST. CATS. EVER. More like dogs, really. Never raised a paw in anger, except once to defend the family dog from another dog. They used to walk with me to the barn and sit there all day if I was working on something. Then they would walk back. Good gawd I miss those cats. So sorry for your loss. (I suppose I should have led with that, Mike, sorry)

  143. 143
    Keith G says:

    @Betty Cracker: Hendrick’s is a fine gin and worth trying if you have not. The aromatics are floral/cucumber. Juniper is subdued. Best sipped neat or with a wee bit of Fever Tree Tonic. But like you, I prefer browner libations, especially a whisky from Islay.

  144. 144
    the Conster, la Citoyenne says:

    @Mike in NC:

    It’s the worst days of our lives, saying goodbye to those loving gentle souls. My heart aches for you, also having had to make the most difficult decisions we will ever likely make. {{HUGS}}

  145. 145
    Mr. Mack says:

    @Betty Cracker: Totally with you on that. I love the taste of every spirit there is, save for gin and rum. But gin is the worst. Scotch, tequila, bourbon, vodka and in that order.

  146. 146
    Mary says:

    @Elie: So much this. I don’t know how this plays out strategically or how much it will hurt the Clinton campaign, but I’m really disappointed with his reaction. Substantively, I think it’s totally fair to point out how bad things were at the time, but criticisms of the crime bill are legitimate and it’s fair to ask what steps will be taken to fix it. I’m conflicted as to whether it’s appropriate to demand that Bill answer that question, since he’s not running for President, but he is speaking as a surrogate, so I dunno. In terms of style, I’m annoyed that the Clinton team hasn’t come up with a concrete strategy for dealing with these sort of disruptions. This is hardly an isolated or unexpected event, and Pres. Obama has shown that there is an effective way to handle pop-up protests like this.

    I’m equally conflicted as to whether these sorts of protests are effective, but I am sympathetic towards the protesters and tend to think it’s better to respect people’s choices as to how they want to express themselves (within reasonable, non-violent limits).

  147. 147

    @Betty Cracker:

    My martinis and tonics are therefore vodka based, but truthfully, I’m more of a bourbon gal.

    Despite my name, I’m a purist on this point: if it doesn’t have both gin and vermouth, it isn’t a martini. Gin doesn’t magically become a martini when somebody waves a vermouth bottle near it, and people who make drinks with vodka and vermouth need to come up with a different name for their cocktail.

  148. 148
    glory b says:

    @gwangung: The problem is that as a leaderless group, anyone can take on the mantle of “Black Lives Matter” and do all kinds of stuff. Ultimately the group will be ineffective, because it goes off in so many directions.

  149. 149
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Roger Moore: a “wanna-tini”?

  150. 150
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Roger Moore: It’s called a vodka martini.

  151. 151
    gex says:

    @Mike in NC: Oh, how awful! I’m so sorry. Ragdolls are the best. My sincerest condolences on your loss. My heart hurts for you.

  152. 152
    different-church-lady says:

    “I almost want to apologize for” my response, he added.

    SMOOTH MOVE, BIG DOG! [DOPESLAP]

  153. 153
    different-church-lady says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: There is no single “best” brand of gin.

    That being said…

    * If you’re looking for smooth, St. George Botanivore
    * If you looking for lovely floral with a bit of bite and a lot of sophistication, Bombay Sapphire
    * When mixing I go with standard issue Tanquaray (which is a bit higher proof than some others)

    Those would all be classified as ‘London’ style. The world of Old Tom and Genever is another entire set of topics…

  154. 154
    different-church-lady says:

    Speaking of regrets, Bernie did two things correctly today:
    1) Started the walkback on the ‘unqualified’ screw up
    2) Stated clearly he would support Clinton if she is the nominee

    Good for him on both accounts.

  155. 155
    drdavechemist says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    Probably way too late here, but my personal preference is Tanqueray with tonic and Bombay Sapphire for martinis (with interesting olives).

  156. 156
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @different-church-lady:

    If you’re looking for smooth, St. George Botanivore

    Have you had an opportunity to try their Terroir? You really should, if you can.

  157. 157
    Linnaeus says:

    @Detroit Adam:

    I’m a Wolverine. Class of 1994.

  158. 158
    Just Some Fuckhead, Clinton Supporter says:

    @different-church-lady: He definitely had a senior moment on that unqualified bullshit. He could have played it differently in the beginning and maybe turned it into a small advantage.

  159. 159
    different-church-lady says:

    @Gin & Tonic: Yes! I have the three-pack and I love it. I even like the Dry-Rye gin, but that and the Terroir aren’t things I’d recommend to people just getting started on gin.

    If you’re looking for a yummy novelty, track down Barr Hill (from Caledonia Spirits, out of Vermont). It’s distilled from honey. Sweet, but not cloying, and very aromatic.

  160. 160
    Michael Brown says:

    @Loviatar: Because they are fucking ignorant….and if you where being honest…you would have provided the caveat “older black people”.

  161. 161
    Michael Brown says:

    @singfoom: Yeah…people whom have had to deal with actual terrorism visited upon them by public servants with the tacit support of the state should not be anit-that-thing-that-was-visiting-terrorism-upon-them-for-the-past-600-years. You cannot be this fucking stupid…can you ?

  162. 162
    Michael Brown says:

    @Nerull:

    And now Clinton supporters wholesale adopting anything bad Berniebros said about BLM is surely going to work out well for Clinton. I’m sure african americans appreciate the kind white people explaining to them why their concerns are unimportant and how they should sit down and let the adults talk.

    Fucking this.

  163. 163
    cbear says:

    @Mike in NC: Ah, man, that sucks. So sorry for your loss. Peace.

  164. 164
    Mandalay says:

    Bill Clinton shouldn’t have taken the bait…

    That comment just oozes whitesplainin’ to me. I’m absolutely certain you didn’t mean it that way, and (like Bill Clinton) maybe you used “some unfortunate wording”. But to my eyes that comment framed the incident in a manner that was dismissive and critical of the protesters, and portrayed Bill Clinton as a victim.

  165. 165
    Loviatar says:

    @Michael Brown:

    Stupid class must have let out early today. Now, son toddle on home to mommy and stop interrupting when grown folks are talking.

    Fool

  166. 166
    singfoom says:

    @Michael Brown:

    Yeah…people whom have had to deal with actual terrorism visited upon them by public servants with the tacit support of the state should not be anit-that-thing-that-was-visiting-terrorism-upon-them-for-the-past-600-years. You cannot be this fucking stupid…can you ?

    I said:

    The idea that cops should stop stopping/frisking/killing black people at the higher rates than others is something everyone should be able to get behind, but somehow some idiots have decided that they’re anti-cop because they can’t fucking listen.

    So I’m supporting BLM there and wondering why non BLM people think they’re anti-cop when they’re anti-being-killed/targeted/harassed by cops. Not sure what you’re on about.

  167. 167
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: I think it’s reasonable to interpret the “Hillary is a murderer” sign as an attempt to bait Clinton. YMMV.

  168. 168
    Mandalay says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think it’s reasonable to interpret the “Hillary is a murderer” sign as an attempt to bait Clinton.

    Ah, my apologies….you really were whitesplainin’ after all!

    There are multiple ways to describe and explain what happened, but all you can see is protesters baiting Clinton.

  169. 169
    christopher murphy says:

    @Germy Shoemangler: both Clintons were more than happy to take political credit at the time for the Crime and Welfare bills. It seems only fair that they should take the blame for the negative consequences too.

  170. 170
    Just Some Fuckhead, Clinton Supporter says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I think it’s reasonable to interpret the “Hillary is a murderer” sign as an attempt to bait Clinton. YMMV.

    Amateurs.

    The pros just say “Killary”.

  171. 171
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mandalay: The baiting aspect was what was relevant to my point, which was that it was unwise for Clinton to react the way he did. I am aware that there are other facets of the actions of the protesters, but thanks for your dicksplanation as always, and have a good evening!

  172. 172
    Just Some Fuckhead, Clinton Supporter says:

    @Mandalay: Please share the multiple explanations. This is a learning opportunity for everyone.

  173. 173
    Loviatar says:

    The Bernistas are starting to annoy me.

    I’ve been pretty much laying on the sideline enjoying the Obots discomfort as they try explain to the revolutionaries the benefit of Pragmatic Moderation. And to see them do it by defending and praising someone who just 8 years ago they considered the Queen of Evil just added extra spiciness to my amusement.

    But these willfully ignorant weasels are beginning to piss me off. The part that’s really annoying are their self righteous assumptions that fly in the face of mine and others lived experience. When myself and others attempt to put their assumptions into historical/circumstantial context we’re accused of excuse making or worse. Please, STFU, and read an encyclopedia or use the google before slagging others.

    – Before DADT gays in the military had NO RIGHTS, NONE, NADA, NOTHING.
    – After DADT they at least had the right to not incriminate themselves.

    – NYC murders by year (Bill Clinton presidential term)
    1993: 1946
    1994: 1561
    1995: 1177
    1996: 983
    1997: 770
    1998: 633
    1999: 671
    2000: 673
    2001: 649
    – Comparing the year he entered office to the year he left office the NYC murder rate was reduced by 2/3. In 2001 almost 1300 additional NYC families didn’t have to feel the pain of losing someone. (doesn’t even take into consideration the compounded lives)

  174. 174
    Heliopause says:

    I was frankly surprised at your soft-pedaling this last night. Except for some of the more intense Clinton partisans I haven’t seen anybody on the left side of the spectrum who read this as other than a big shitting of the bed by the Big Dog.

    And while most of the African-American vote is already in the bank for HRC there is still Maryland on the horizon. My guess is that this won’t move things more than a tick or two, but the horse race just keeps getting more interesting, doesn’t it.

  175. 175
    christopher murphy says:

    @Mary: Of course it’s apropriate to question Pres. Clinton about the crime bill, he’s the one who signed it. The Clintons want to have it both ways Hillary wants to claim credit for everything positive that occurred under her husband’s administration while ( and Bill in his speeches gives her credit) while claiming she wasn’t responsible for all the things that are now unpopular.

  176. 176
    frosty says:

    IMHO, every time Bill Clinton has gotten into the news campaigning for Hillz, it’s been a disaster. Go sit this one out Bill, and let Hillary be Hillary.

  177. 177
    different-church-lady says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead, Clinton Supporter: This kind of experience… is necessary for her learning.

  178. 178
    rikyrah says:

    @Mike in NC:
    Sorry about your loss.

  179. 179
    mclaren says:

    This kind of thing perfectly highlights the “let them eat cake” attitude that Bill and Hillary Clinton toward their victims. The sight of Bill Clinton chuckling and giggling while he gets accurately accused of signing into law a horrific 1994 crime bill based on junk science about “superpredators” is nauseating beyond description.

    Why can’t Bill Clinton just admit he fucked up with that horrendous 1994 crime bill?

    Why can’t Hillary Clinton just admit that her speech about superpredators was based on junk science that sucked in everyone — the New York Times, the senate, the congress, pundits, everybody?

    Princeton professor John DiIulio invented the myth of the “juvenile superpredator” in the early 1990s, forecasting that 270,000 of these menaces to society will be out on the streets by 2010 (City Journal, Spring/96). The “superpredator” derives from age-based explanations of crime posited by DiIulio in league with other conservative academics, including Northeastern University’s James Fox and UCLA’s James Wilson. Much of their work is the functional equivalent of racist speculation about criminality popularized by eugenicists a century ago. Demography is destiny, the theory goes, and today’s press and politicians employ it to keep the suburbs afraid of young men of color in the inner cities.

    For its proponents, the beauty of the “superpredator” concept is its convenient adaptability. Whether the report of the hour says crime is up or down, whether youth crime rates soar or plummet, the “superpredator” threat warrants ever-tougher tough-on-crime measures. “Don’t be fooled by the rosy numbers in this week’s crime reports,” Susan Estrich warned in her USA Today column (5/9/96). “The tsunami is coming…. Juvenile crime is going up and getting worse.” If this language isn’t sufficiently evocative of doom, try Time‘s headline (1/15/96): “Now for the Bad News: A Teenage Timebomb.” The article that follows begins: “They are just four, five and six years old now, but already they are making criminologists nervous.”

    Even if the threat is on a more distant horizon, it remains imminent (Tampa Tribune, 5/21/96): “They are called superpredators. They are not here yet, but they are predicted to be a plague upon the United States in the next decade. They are not some creature from outer space; they are our own children.” Some media accounts, meanwhile, ignore crime trends altogether and use a single incident of youth violence to frame the threat as an immediate reality. A murder committed by two 15-year-olds in Central Park, for instance, suggests (Christian Science Monitor, 6/2/97) that “America is being threatened by a growing cadre of cold-blooded teens called ‘superpredators.’” The danger has even made international headlines: “The Invasion of the Superpredators,” declared the London Times (2/16/97), has burdened the United States with children capable of “remorseless brutality.”

    “Superpredator” projections make great soundbites and bait for people to tune in at 11. They are, however, statistically inaccurate measurements of present, past or future crime trends. DiIulio’s claims, inflated to unchallengeable fact by most media, don’t hold up under the lightest scrutiny.

    Levels of violent crime in the United States over the past 25 years, as reported in annual FBI crime reports, have been negatively correlated to the proportion of men aged 15 to 24—that is, more young people in the population has meant lower rates of violent crime. As reported crime rates rose through the ’70s and ’80s, the percentage of young people in the population was falling significantly.

    “This episode bears witness to a complete lack of quality control that afflicts contemporary debate on criminal justice policy,” University of California Law Professor Franklin Zimring complained in an exceptional opinion piece (Los Angeles Times, 8/19/96). “If politicians and analysts can believe in ‘superpredators,’ they can believe in anything.”

    Source: “Superscapegoating,” Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, 1 January 1998.

    Let’s recall that Bill Clinton is the president who diverted his campaign in 1992 to attend the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a black mentally disabled convict so badly retarded that he didn’t even understand what was happening to him.

    Bill Clinton has a lot to answer for when it comes to criminal justice and the incarceration mania that has turned America into a giant gulag.

  180. 180
    mclaren says:

    @Loviatar:

    The 80s and 90s were bad.

    Provably false. Violent crime of all kinds in America plummeted starting in the very early 90s. The charts tell the story: violent crime of all kinds collapses starting in 1991.

    Crack had destroyed the black family structure and you had a whole group of black men growing up not giving a damm whether they lived or died or more importantly whether you lived or died.

    Let’s try that again, correctly this time:

    Crack Redlining and systematic ghettoization plus punitive “three strikes laws” that forced vast numbers of black men into prison while white men went free for the same crimes destroyed the black family structure and you have a whole group of black men growing up not giving a damm [sic] whether they lived or died after they got released from prison and became unemployable or more importantly whether you lived or died because prison turned into a revolving door that increased crime rather than reducing it.

    It wasn’t all black men, not even a majority of them, but it was enough to make whole neighborhoods fearful.

    No, what made whole neighborhoods fearful was the junk science peddled by white rich Princeton sociology professor John Dilulio, the whole “superpredator myth” that had no basis in fact.

    I made reference yesterday to Pooike working at the Carter and it got a chuckle from a few in the know, but that was reality. You had housing developments which were no go zones for the cops unless they rolled squad deep. This wasn’t some made up scene in a movie it was real.

    Pro tip: the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” Look at that graph of violent crime. It went down sharply during the 1990s. The data completely contradict everything you’re saying.

    Its great we can look back and criticize now that we have crime seemingly under control. But from the context of someone who grew up in the midst of the worst of the 80s/90s crack era, I have some regrets on how the laws played out, but I have no regrets in knowing it helped keep my family safe.

    Shorter version:

    “Even though the facts have long since dbunked my belief, I still believe it’s good that stupid self-destructive laws in the 1980s and 1990s that made the U.S. prison population explode beyond even the Soviet Union in per capita prison inmates were a good thing, because I foolishly and ignorantly bought into the junk science about superpredators and I stupidly got suckered by the hype from white-owned newspapers and TV stations that destroying generations of black people with savage incarceration policies was somehow keeping me safe.”

    Shame on you. For shame.

  181. 181
    Mary says:

    @christopher murphy: The part I’m conflicted about is whether it’s appropriate to ask him what she would do about it if she wins.

    It is absolutely appropriate to criticize him for signing it.

  182. 182
    mclaren says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    The baiting aspect was what was relevant to my point, which was that it was unwise for Clinton to react the way he did.

    The larger issue is not the goddamn optics, it’s that Bill Clinton did very wrong and evil things in the 1990s to create the whole explosion of the prison-industrial complex that plagues us today, and he has never adequately apologized for it or proposed any solutions to the horrible society-wrecking problems his rotten crime bill created in 1994.

    I don’t give a shit how Bill Clinton’s answer “looks.” The plain fact of the matter is that Clinton got defensive because his rotten criminal justice policies helped wreck America, and he has never done anything more than offer the most tepid vacillating waffling half-apology for his destruction of black communities in America, his work in helping create an unannounced state of martial law in which cops feel free to gun down anyone anywhere with no consequences, and his co-conspiratorial efforts in turning police from protectors of the community to invading militarized forces of occupation that destroy poor communities.

  183. 183
    mclaren says:

    @christopher murphy:

    Of course it’s apropriate to question Pres. Clinton about the crime bill, he’s the one who signed it.

    Bill Clinton didn’t just sign the 1994 crime bill, his whole presidency was based on out-law-and-ordering the Republicans to gain white votes. Doesn’t anyone else remember that Bill Clinton was the presidential candidate who interrupted his 1992 presidential campaign to attend the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, a retarded black man so mentally incapacitated he didn’t even realize what was happening to him?

    Doesn’t anyone else remember that courtesy of Bill Clinton’s industrious efforts, by the year 2000 America had signed into law legislation that made it legal to try and execute 14-year-old kids as adults?

    Isn’t anyone aware of how barbarous that is? No other fucking first-world country on the planet executes 14-year-old children! But Bill Clinton enthusiastically campaigned for that evil law, he didn’t just sit idly by while America turned into the world’s biggest jailer per capita. Bill Clinton was right at the center of the push to turn America into a giant gulag that murders children under the color of law.

  184. 184
    mclaren says:

    And by way — speaking of things Bill Clinton has to answer for:

    Tens of thousands of Americans just lost their food stamps

    A 20-year-old rule that was suspended in many places during the recession requires that adults without children or disabilities have a job to receive food stamps for more than three months, and today is that cutoff for many recipients.

    Source: “The controversial reason tens of thousands of people just lost their food stamps,” The Washington Post, Wonkblog, April 2016.

    Anybody want to tell me again how Bill Clinton’s 1996 horrible Welfare Deform Act is “gone and done, buried in the distant past, not worth rehashing”?

    Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

  185. 185
    Loviatar says:

    My son when he was a baby/adolescent I’d tell him don’t touch that its hot or be careful that’s sharp. And then I’d protect him to make sure he didn’t hurt himself. Now that he is a teenager its a little more difficult to help him because he KNOWS he is right. Now when I tell him to do it this way its easier or don’t go that way its longer, he makes sure he does it his way. It usually ends up in some type of difficulty. However I’ve learned to let him go ahead and make his on mistakes once he doesn’t hurt himself or someone else.

    Go ahead children get it all out, just make sure you vote Democratic up and down the ballot.

  186. 186
    Bloix says:

    The Congressional Black Caucus supported the 1994 Omnibus Crime Bill. Kweisi Mfume, the Baltimore congressman who chaired the CBC and went on to head the NAACP, lobbied for it and voted for it. If I were Bill Clinton and someone accused me of being a racist for that bill, I would say, shut your pie hole you ignorant fuck. I thought he showed a lot of restraint.

  187. 187
    Sondra says:

    I think Bill is one of the most impressive speakers I’ve ever heard. In person, and I’ve seen him in person, he is remarkable. On any given subject he is so knowledgable that he can quote whatever statistics are available off the top of his head and without referring to notes. And his energy and obvious love of getting down into the nitty gritty and showing his audience how to think about the facts is outstanding.

    On the other hand, he will always try to color his policies and positions as a former President in the most positive light. That is what he was attempting to do here and he got a little carried away in trying to justify his crime bill. He couldn’t have known at the time, how that bill and those policies would impact the black community all these many years later. He should have said so to his audience but his ego got in his way.

  188. 188
    Detroit Adam (avatar of Ilmater) says:

    @Loviatar:

    – Before DADT gays in the military had NO RIGHTS, NONE, NADA, NOTHING.
    – After DADT they at least had the right to not incriminate themselves

    Sure, granted. It is also still a historical fact that gay people at the time viewed DADT as a betrayal.

  189. 189
    Gheyduke says:

    I almost feel like apologizing, but first they must be brought to heel.

  190. 190
    Cleos says:

    @cmorenc: Many of the reactions depend heavily on whether or not the reactor remembers the 1980s and early 1990s. And there’s a certain unconscious racism in the assumption that the references to violent gang activity were references to African-Americans: there have been and still are white gangs (as anyone who’s done time can tell you), Latino gangs and Asian gangs. But to some people, the word has a, well, somewhat less inclusive meaning.

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