Archive for Hillary Clinton

2016 "heating up like eggs on chrome bumper in Death Valley parking lot at high noon in August"

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2016 speculation jon stewart

Another snark-filled guest post by the one, the only Will Durst, who's having a little fun with incendiary partisan politics, the growing GOP vs. Dem hostilities, and possible 2016 presidential candidates. Take it away, Will:

T MINUS 28 MONTHS AND COUNTING

Bust out the gin and tonics because this is shaping up to be one heck of a long hot summer. Weather- wise and politics- wise. All over the world, hostilities are flaring like out of control wildfires. While here at home, it’s the words that have grown from fiery to scalding. And the only way to describe the actions- incendiary.

Impeachment and lawsuits and child immigration are all raging hot topics. The partisan sweltering also includes the 2016 presidential sweepstakes, which is heating up like an egg frying on a chrome bumper in a Death Valley parking lot at high noon in August.

The usual and unusual suspects on the Republican side are spending enough time at the Iowa and New Hampshire Humidity Festivals to qualify as part time mosquito repellent reps and if they aren’t, they should be, because they’re going to need all the extra money they can get. This marathon is going to be as expensive as it will be ugly. And that’s saying something.

Meanwhile, the plot thins. Paul Ryan is busy figuring out how to reinstitute debtors prison. Mike Huckabee is checking the Bible for loopholes. Marco Rubio is taking deodorant baths in order to convincingly deny climate change. In Florida.

And that Rand Paul fellow is simply a feuding fool. He finally patches up a blistering squabble with Chris Christie, then goes and starts a new one with Rick Perry that quickly heats up to Def Con 4 levels with both belligerents spitting like rudely awakened cobras. And no mongoose in sight. Sounds like he just doesn’t like governors.

All this torrid internecine warfare has led party moderates to call for Jeb Bush to get into the race. And he might, but first he has to get mom’s permission. After all, it was Barbara who astutely diagnosed the national fever known as Bush Fatigue.

If the Jeb were elected, that would make the last 5 Presidents: Bush- Clinton- Bush- Obama- Bush. Like a club sandwich. With the Bushes as the white bread. And how apropos is that? This family is whiter than Justin Beiber’s Nova Scotia Fan Club. Like cauliflower and mashed potatoes on a paper plate with a side of leeks white.

Other big money interests are running Romney up the flagpole to see if anybody salutes. But so far: not a lot of looking up. Besides, the former Governor of Massachusetts claims to have no interest. Which pretty much describes the problem with his last campaign.

On the other side, to call Hillary Clinton a prohibitive favorite for the Democrats is like implying that Shar Pei puppies are cute. She’s a virtual lock. Just like she was in 2008.

Her new book, “Hard Choices,” which sounds more like Bill’s handiwork, ends with “The time for another hard choice will come soon enough.” Hmmmm. What could she possibly be talking about there? Picking names for the new grandchild?

The biggest problem for the Democrats is a lack of Hillary alternatives. Even LeBron James has a back up. What if the former First Lady goes on the DL? Karl Rove claims her fall a couple of years ago was responsible for brain damage. And the guy who escorted Dubyah into the Oval Office should be trusted on this. He’s probably familiar with the symptoms.

Copyright ©2014, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com to find about more about the new documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances including his new one- man show “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG.”
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Elizabeth Warren Has Divined and Deployed Her Life's Work

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We all get grrrreat liberal email, amidst the junk, but it's especially exciting when something new about our amazing Elizabeth Warren, the Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, is waiting to be opened.

This morning it was Howard Dean in tandem, a good pairing for progressives. The active and admirable group, Democracy for America, is turning ten.

Hi Sherry -- I just wanted to make sure you had a chance to read the inspiring email that Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote to DFA members below. I'm so thrilled with what we've built together over the last 10 years. With your critical support now, we can super-charge our people-powered legacy and elect more "Elizabeth Warren Democrats" to Congress -- the kind of leaders who will take our country back from the banks and billionaires.
- Howard

DFA has perhaps not embraced the absolute most progressive candidate for every round of their online grassroots inspired 'Dean Dozen' ... but they've come mightily close and have helped elect 801 Dems besides Elizabeth Warren who would collectively and individually freak the be-jeebus out of Sarah Palin and her Lipton Brigadiers.

chickfil-a

An arugula munching crowd that in toto would send Rush Limpbaugh dashing for enough manufactured hysteria to keep him in leather ass-less chaps for years. [Long running Free Range joke, The Rushbot has a purported fondness for frolicking in asslesss leather chaps while high. ;) ]

Warren's own message was typically optimistic and energizing.

DFA fought shoulder-to-shoulder with me to defeat Scott Brown in 2012, but that's not the only way they've had my back. Over the past year, they've made my fight for the middle class their fight -- and they have doubled down on leveling the playing field for working Americans, fighting with energy and passion.

When I introduced my very first bill, the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act,more than 50,000 DFA members signed a petition supporting it. Together, we fought back against cuts to Social Security, helping President Obama decide to drop "chained CPI" from his budget completely.

elizabeth-warren-quote_zps20fa81d0

For sheer enjoyment, plus the splendid edification(!)some great audio of Warren from a recent discussion of where the middle class is headed in the Twenty Teens … 'to hell in a highly gussied hand basket' would be the Jeopardy answer. The Young Turks get the sincere tip of the hat, for Roaring Warren!

ifwallstreet

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What messnbc thinks of the Real Progressives at Netroots Nation

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stfu-wheel-of-fortune-wall

I've been hearing more -- justified -- criticism of msnbc anchors this year, from everyone from family to online addicts comme moi, than I'm comfortable with. In no progressive world is it good to hear fewer raves and virtually all "so disappointed in" caveats on the best network we've got at hand. Maddow is there. Particularly when Fvx Nation is at the opposite helm.

It was too interesting not to have a peek at young Steve Kornacki taking UP viewers for a look at Progressives, Elizabeth Warren and Veep Joe Biden jazzing up the keynote speeches at this year's Netroots Nation 2014 in Detroit.

Sidebar: Which you should absolutely have enjoyed first with Nicole Sandler, goes without saying but here's the Youtubes linkage.

At Radio Or Not. Nicole had an epic week. Compare her look to Kornacki's and add Barney Frank in the segments to follow and you might have the progressive epiphany you've been hoping for.

And of course the natural segue would be to Hillary Cautionary Expertise. It's de rigeur. Where to begin? notsure

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Jon Stewart Takes It Straight to Hillary: Are you running or not, Lady??

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Well, the pundits are giving former Secretary Hillary Clinton a good grade on her Daily Show with Jon Stewart performance, so that means the polls are in … and, she, of course, course-corrected some previously inartfully stated statements.

For the progressivess who perhaps feel a wee bit … stuck ... with Hillary as a more hawkish candidate when who we really really really really want in that seat is the popular and authentically populist Elizabeth Warren … was this helpful?

Warren, by the way, isn't going to Australia or anything as far as we know, and is kicking ass for other female candidates - and not necessarily those who agree with her or vice versa on every little detail like clean coal. Women are truly excellent at this consensus for the greater good business.

Girls

How astonishingly honest. We might agree with a candidate 80% of the way, and use the 20% discomfort margin of differences to work pulling them hard to the Left. It's genius. Why haven't Democrats happened onto this 'fall in line' strategy before?

You'll find a lot of answers in the Stewart interview. It pretty much pins HRC in position to run, like an ether-woozy Luna moth, with a fetching enough laugh, about to be on semi-permanent display in a largely stationary exhibition spot.

"Do you prefer a home office, or are you happy with a commute? What shape would you prefer that office to be? Are corners of interest?" {paraphrasey} Now these are the questions we wanted answered!

Meanwhile, Fvx Nation has cranked their Hysteria Periscope to the interview and are certain it contains clues to Clinton's inevitable impending doom, it's only a matter of time before Karl Rove is pinning a deputy badge on Dick Morris's puffed-out-chest and calling for a Recall.
hrcTDS

The Morning Joe Schmoe Roundtable was grudgingly enthused. About the PAC monies.


November is a whisper away.

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The Political Wealth Gaffe … Not That There's ANYthing Wrong With That

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trickle-down

Totally stole the headline from a couple of Melissa Harris-Perry's beautifully written and delivered opening block quips - and all roads do lead to Seinfeld. 


Seinfeld YouTubes composite extraordinare courtesy of our GottaLaff.

We, as a country,  don't seem to know how to talk about wealth any better than we can articulate adult thoughts on sex … or even get on the right side of science as a Nation.

We'd better learn, and fast. Minding the wealth gap, and avoiding the perilous wealth gaffes that politicians of both parties seem to leap into feet first, is a fascinating topic. Apparently there is 'acceptably wealthy' and 'filthy rich', and it's a third rail that needs nimble feet.

One Arugula moment can really pinch.

qE2

This Sunday one could flip from the media wealth of David Gregory and a panel of Right Wing Stars slumming on the Clinton Global Initiative and Meet the Press world stage to the sanity of Melissa Harris-Perry. (First footage is worth viewing, so have a gander below when time allows, Carly Demon Sheep Fiorina and Bubba are amusing sparring partners).


Does anyone remember which decade turned us from a nation of folks that just knew presidents and notables were going to be from the more rarified monied population, to people that mind the Wealth Gap and eagerly pile on any candidate who isn't visibly living from paycheck to paycheck?

Cory Booker attended Stanford, he isn't doing too badly … does he fall out of the 98%er Defense League in future when his age and talent bring the inevitable wealth he will accrue from political celebrity? If he falls, it should be for reasons more to do with the content of his character, rather than the size of his possible maybe future  offshore accounts wallet.

notsure

Are these wealthy, Not That There's Anything Wrong With That, wannabe public servants, fighting for the regular folk they expect to vote for them? THAT is the question I want answered.

Understanding of a culture you either came from or can relate to is critical, and Americans can smell non-authenticity a mile away. Kennedy's wealth was never a deal breaker … is it Tea Party Tomfoolery or something more?

Melissa Harris-Perry even had the balls to note that liberally beloved Elizabeth Warren was rocking a high six-figure salary at Harvard, so it really truly is a sliding scale of relativity.

Mitt Romney, with the massive wealth of the Mormon Church, his aristocratic family and those pesky details like car elevators to haunt him, didn't offer much in the "I want to knock back a Budweiser with 'ya." category of the Pageant.

The 1975 Rockefeller Dole Bird. Common license.

The 1976 Rockefeller-Dole Bird. Common license.

Here are the Meet the Press vids, mentioned above.

 

Robert Todd Lincoln's Vermont estate, Hildene, is just a few miles down the road from our humble home … and his Dad didn't exactly start out with the sterling silver collection that the Hildene docents show off in Manchester today. Just sayin'.

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Bill Clinton Death Wish: To Die For Hillary

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Well, when you're an author with inside connections, you will sometimes shine a light on some amazing stories. And today was no exception over at Fox News. Among the highlights was an interview with author Ed Klein, reported on by Raw Story:

"An author who Fox News hosts insisted had “impeccable” sources told the network on Tuesday that former President Bill Clinton had considered using his own death to help Hillary Clinton win the presidency.

That's some pretty big news. Sourcing is important if you're going to make claims like that.

Host Steve Doocy reiterated that Klein’s “sources are impeccable,” and that he had even talked to the household help after one of the Obamas’ vacations at Martha’s Vineyard.

Talking to the household staff after a vacation stay does sound pretty impeccable. I'm sure the Clintons felt comfortable revealing everything to strangers who were making their beds and doing their dishes.

Let's dig a little deeper and take a look at Ed Klein's bona fides. He's a previous author on the Clintons with his 2005 book, The Truth About Hillary, which was panned by critics for being “poorly researched, poorly written, poorly sourced.”

In that explosive expose of a book, Klein suggested that Hillary Clinton was a lesbian and that she was raped by then-Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton (D) when they conceived their daughter Chelsea. Now you can see where the 'poorly researched, poorly written, poorly sourced' label comes from.

Letting you decide the accuracy of those claims, let's look at Klein's  latest revelations. First Bill Clinton, upon being told he has a progressive heart disease was actually quite happy on two fronts. First, he thought "progressive" meant liberal (the author's way of making a joke). But secondly he felt good about his passing because of what it could mean for Hillary.

“And he’s discussed with Hillary, according to people who were in the room with them when he did it, what would happen if he died,” Klein said. “What should Hillary do? And what is said is, ‘Hillary, you should put on widow’s weeds, dress in black, and it would be worth a couple of million votes.”

This is all too delicious just to read.You gotta see it to believe it. The most amazing thing to remember is that just yesterday the hosts had been skeptical of Klein's assertions. What turned them around? See for yourself:

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Pity the Billionaire - or Not

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Listen to today's show:

Pity the Billionaire is the title of one of Thomas Frank's brilliant books, and one I immediately thought of when I read his current column, "Hillary Clinton forgets the '90s" Our latest gilded age and our latest phony populists" over at Salon.com.

In it, the man who originally asked What's the Matter with Kansas?  today reminds us that Hillary, with her latest references to our living in a new gilded age, was living in the White House with her then-president husband when Frank and his colleagues at The Baffler used the same phrase to describe that era.

In fact, as Frank recounts, there were a number of policies put in place by the Clinton administration that helped set us up for some of the big economic failures of the following decade, including

The point that really nailed the Gilded Age comparison, however, was the obvious return of monopoly in industry after industry. The concentration of media ownership, a development facilitated by Clinton’s 1996 telecom deregulation, was particularly scary: The Nation magazine ran a big chart showing who owned whom in the “National Entertainment State”; I myself called it the “Culture Trust.”

[Nicole's note: Thanks a fucking boatload for DESTROYING my industry Bill!]

The same kind of monopoly-building was happening in the ’90s in food processing and meat packing. It was happening in oil. It was happening among defense contractors, with the Clinton Administration’s active encouragement. And, as we all know, it was happening in the financial sector, a process that culminated in the much-celebrated repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999. Then there were Bill Clinton’s beloved free-trade deals; one effect of these, according to Barry Lynn of the New America Foundation, has been to expose our economy to monopolies based overseas, which have proceeded to gobble up sectors like the beer industry, 80 percent of which is controlled today by just two foreign companies.

Hmm.. Thomas Frank joined me on the show to talk about all of that and more this morning, and reminded me that next time, we need to begin our segment earlier because it always goes by way too quickly!

To begin the second hour of the show each day, we talk with someone from the Talk Radio News Service. Today it was former Congressman Bob Ney, who had some first-hand problems with Darrell Issa and had no problem sharing them with us when I asked about his embarrassing behavior at yesterday's hearing on the IRS non-scandal. We also briefly discussed the new report on climate change by a new organization, co chaired by Michael Bloomberg, Henry Paulson, and Tom Steyer - Risky Business. Check it out here, and stay tuned, as we'll unpack it on a future show soon.

As she does every Tuesday morning, The Political Carnival's GottaLaff  joined in for hour two.

We had fun - talking about John Oliver's calling the chair of the FCC a Dingo and getting called out on it, and naming a Faux Newsmodel today's "world's biggest asshole". We got serious - reading an email from a Vietnam War veteran who knows what our current wave of returning veterans are going through.  And we marveled at the amazing parents of one brave eight year old.

I don't think Laffy posted this story yet, so I will. The names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.

A friend of ours shared a letter she got from another family, friends of theirs. We'll call them Lisa and Ted. Lisa and Ted have a son named Daniel. What follows is part of the letter they sent to friends and family, and I thank them for sharing their awesome parenting and research with us.

To those of you who have spent any time around us and know Daniel, I am sure it is obvious that he, like all kids, has his own set of unique and wonderful - as well as obnoxious – qualities.  Daniel is basically a typical 8 year old. He loves to read and draw. He enjoys climbing rocks, looking for bugs and worms, and making forts.  He is currently obsessed with ‘Wild Kratts’ and ‘creature powers’, and he loves swimming, playing in the ocean, camping and riding his bike. One of his favorite past times (much to our chagrin) is belting out songs at the top of his lungs (the current favorite is ‘Let It Go’ from Frozen). He can be loud and bossy at times but also super sweet and sometimes overly affectionate.   He is very intuitive and observant but he struggles at school with focusing and staying on task.

Daniel is also all about “typical” girl things:  Barbies, fairies, twirly dresses and all things related to fashion. He prefers to play with girls rather than boys, and identifies with everything feminine.  He can create very artistic outfits, complete with high heels, out of a few scarves and safety pins. He is fond of modeling and performing for whoever will watch.  He prefers to wear a nightgown to bed, and chooses girls skirts, leggings and dresses out to play and to school.

Since Daniel has shown all of these behaviors consistently since he was two, Ted and I have done our best to support him as he is; to talk to him about his feelings, make sure he is comfortable in his own skin, and to educate ourselves.  We have done a lot of research and participate in a local support group, as well as a national organization that links families like ours together.

Right now Daniel is figuring out what feels right – she has expressed a desire for us, her teacher and kids at school to use feminine pronouns and the name, Sophie.   Daniel feels and acts like a girl. People who don’t know us always assume he is a girl. He loves when people mistake him for a girl and it happens all the time now. In fact, at his request, we are transitioning ‘him’ to ‘her’ in all her upcoming summer camps. We have talked with the principal at her school and, though all legal documents still will read ‘Daniel’, she will be entering 3rd grade next year as a girl named Sophie, with everything that entails, including use of the girls’ restroom. We do not know how Daniel will identify himself in 2, 5 or 10 years. All we know is who she feels herself to be today – Sophie.

There is a lot of information about our situation and a LOT of kids, boys and girls, like Sophie who have traits of the opposite genders.  The “scientific” terms for how Sophie acts are gender variant, gender fluid, or gender non-conforming and possibly transgender. We know from our outreach that many kids like Sophie have considerably more stress about the dichotomy between their anatomy and their internal gender.  And there are many kids, unlike Sophie, who are gender different but only slightly so (i.e. feel no need to dress or wear hair as the opposite gender).  We feel very fortunate that, at least right now, she seems a happy and well-adjusted child without a lot of angst or worries, who gets to express herself in play and life  just as it feels right to her (like all of us gender-typical people do all the time!).   She wears what she wants to school, play, or family events and we honor her request to be called Sophie.  We expect that things may change as she ages but our hope is that she will never have to hide who she is in order to be safe and feel loved.

Here are some of the facts:

  • Research indicates that gender identity and behavior is hard wired in the brain before or soon after birth and that biologic factors (hormone levels etc.) cement gender identity during the first 6-12 months of life.  Sophie’s attraction to girl things, her need to dress like a girl in order to express how she feels inside and to play with girl things -  are as normal to her and as much a part of her inner being as being left-handed or having perfect pitch is to some people.  All of Sophie’s behaviors –boyish ones and girlish ones, come from within.  They are not choices she is making.  They are part of her just like her brownie blue eyes and her sensitive soul.
  •  This is not something that as parents, we can “fix”.  Some might argue that we “encourage” it, so it continues.  Some might say that if we didn’t “indulge” her desires then she would forget about them (out of sight out of mind).  They would be totally wrong.  Sophie chooses to wear a dress/skirt or sparkly tight leggings when, inside she feels like she wants to be herself. She doesn’t wear a dress to get attention – she does it because she wants to express herself and that is what feels right to her.  When we have a dress up affair, her immediate desire is for a dressy outfit and high heels because that’s what dressy means to her.  If this is not intuitive to you – those of you that have boys, are married to boys or are typical boys – ask yourself if that boy would ever put on a dress or heels just to be silly or get attention?  I assume the answer is no.  Sophie does sometimes seek attention when she is in an outfit she thinks is especially pretty - but it is because she wants to show off her true self, not because she can’t get attention other ways.
  •  This is not something Sophie is going to grow out of.  None of us know what kind of adult she will be, but this is not a “phase”.  She may become more “boyish” or more “girlish” or go back and forth between the two her whole life.  And even though she is only 8 it already creates some stress for her.  She is well aware that other boys don’t play like she does – for the most part, so far, she doesn’t care what anyone thinks, she just revels in the joy she feels when she can express the girl part of herself.
  •  No matter how open-minded a person you think you are or how much you love someone – seeing a boy act and dress like a girl is awkward at best and basically a hard thing to accept easily, at first.  I can tell you though, that awkwardness disappears with time – she is just Sophie, regardless of what she is wearing.  We are all so “norm” socialized that it makes even the best of us feel “funny” to see her in a dress.   [BTW- there are plenty of girls who are gender fluid also, and experience discrimination, bullying etc. – however, at this young age our society and socialization make those girls who act and dress like boys blend in better. They are way easier to accept than boys who act like girls.]
  •  Eight year old children are not sexual beings.  Plain and simple.  So this issue for us – from now to puberty at least – is not about what Sophie’s life will be like as an adult, but just about what it is like to be different.  Somehow people just can’t help themselves from thinking gender identity equates with sexual orientation.  From what limited research there is out there, we know that a small percentage of these kids are truly transgender and will go on to physically change genders as teens or adults.  A percentage (higher than in a control group) will be gay and some will be heterosexual.  The point we are making is that whom-so-ever Sophie becomes in 10 years, gender-wise or sexual preference-wise, is absolutely NOT the issue.  The issue is that she needs support and encouragement to love herself as she is now.

We are providing this letter because, if it were you having issues in your family that were as important as this, we would want to understand what those issues were and be able to be informed and supportive.  Along those lines, there is a lot more information out there about gender variance than we have summarized here. If you are interested we are happy to share.  Below there are a couple articles that you might find of interest and we can share other resources if you want as well.

We know for a fact that if we had said nothing at all, you would accept and love Sophie just as she is.  Now that we have said something, we also know that you will support our decisions to let her express herself freely and decide for herself what to wear and how to present herself:  that you will love, play, discipline and enjoy her in every way possible and encourage her to be the happiest and best person she is capable of being.  She should not get any extra slack for being different – she needs to learn from each of you how to behave like a good person and that is what we hope you will teach her.

These are the things we try to do to support Sophie and to help her build a strong character and sense of self:  We hope you, our family and friends, will help us in doing everything possible to see that she aspires to great things.  For now, we just want our home and our friends’ and families’ homes to be her “safe” places where she can be herself, whoever that is at that moment.

  • Love her for who she is.
  • Validate her – whenever it comes up or there is conversation, let her know that you know it to be true that there is more than one way to be a boy or a girl, that you imagine it is hard that some kids don’t get how you feel, etc.
  • Encourage her individuality (you look beautiful in that dress!) and avoid stereotypical comments (boys don’t skip!)
  • Acknowledge and celebrate difference – she is different and knows it and there is nothing to be ashamed of – when she wants to talk about it, talk about it; give examples of how you are different or how being different can be great!
  • Try and deal with your own demons – recognize your own internal issues about gender and how they play in to your feelings about Sophie.
  • Be Sophie’s advocate – if you are with her in a situation where something is awkward – someone is teasing or judgmental – speak up for her, and help her speak up for herself.
  • No victim blaming  –– Sophie is not responsible for other people’s intolerance – neither she nor we, her family/friends, have to ‘accept’ that people are going to be judgmental nor does she/we have to constantly be hiding who she is in order to fit in - when people tease or bully or are unaccepting, they are at fault.
  • Think about tolerance in other things that you do – making the world OK for Sophie means we all have to work on squashing eons of ingrained stereotypes; think of ways to line up or sort people other than “boys in one line, girls in another”, advocate for others who are different and struggling, examine the world around you and step up/speak out when someone is treated unfairly or unjustly because they are not like you and don’t blend in.

In spite of this horribly lengthy missive, in the grand scheme of things, Sophie’s gender variance is just an attribute of her for us to celebrate and learn from.  We are so lucky to have a happy healthy kid. Relative to the horrific things that other people have to endure with their kids all over the world, this is nothing.

And lastly, being our family and friends, we have no doubt that everyone will have an opinion to share – we hope so!  We encourage you to ask us anything you want and to offer whatever suggestions you have.  This parenting thing is a conundrum at best and we can use a lot of help!  The one thing that we ask is that you all respect our decision to support Sophie unequivocally. If you have an issue with that decision or you don’t agree with it, you take that up with us – not her.  For right now, she is growing her hair, wearing girl clothes and being addressed as Sophie (which she loves).  So as long as she is behaving as any nice child should, we don’t expect her to take grief in any form, from anyone in our inner circle.

Pretty amazing parenting! I only hope that I'd have been as open minded and wonderful if ever faced with a similar situation. All we parents have our own hurdles to conquer, but "Lisa and Ted" have earned my greatest respect.

I'll be back tomorrow with another show, with Crooks & Liars' Susie Madrak, and Truthout's Dahr Jamail.

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