Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Hillary Rodham Clinton!

Picture Legend:

1.  Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton
2. Age 11
3. Age 15
4. Some other age
5. I'm madly in love with Hillary,  and it's not just because of her brains or personality
6. Seymour
7. 1969, during the Wellesley years
8. Kick’en it, 1969
9. Standing up now
9. The Graduate
10. Bill and Hillary
11. Again
12. And again
13.  Luther Burger
14. Walnut Ridge, Arkansas
15. Hillary and Chelsea
16. 1992, The first Presidential campaign
17. First inauguration
18. Second inauguration
19. Extraordinary
20. Senator Clinton
21. Dancing
22. Secretary of State Clinton
23. Watching the death of Osama bin Laden
24. Selfie with Meryl  
25. With possible rival, or successor (?), Elizabeth Warren
26. The next President of the United States
27. Hillary

   This morning it is my great pleasure and honor to be able to give a great big Joyce’s Take happy birthday shout out to a former First Lady of the United States, a former U.S. Senator from New York, former Secretary of State, former Brownie and Girl Scout, current author, and the next President of the United States, Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton!
   Like some of us, young Hillary was born at a very early age, in her case as a tiny female infant, in Edgewater Hospital, in the north side of Chicago, Illinois (41° 50′ 13″ N, 87° 41′ 5″ W 41.836944, -87.684722), where Barack Obama lives (in Chicago, not the hospital). The hospital is also the birthplace of the Killer Clown, John Wayne Gacy, Jr., an  American serial killer and rapist. Oh, my! 
   Edgewater closed in 2001, and is now “an abandoned neighborhood eyesore.” Isn’t that interesting. 
   At the age of three she moved to Park Ridge, Illinois (42° 0′ 43″ N, 87° 50′ 30″ W 42.011944, -87.841667), 15 miles northwest of downtown Chicago, and where the bricks come from (they used to have good brick making clay in Park Ridge, which Chicago ate up), presumably with her family.
   Speaking of which, her dad, Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, was of Welsh and English (well, they’re almost the same thing, aren’t they) descent; and who managed a business in the textile industry. Her mom, Dorothy Emma Howell, stayed at home to take care of her, and her two younger brothers, Hugh Jr (a lawyer and businessman) and Anthony (a consultant and businessman), and was of English, Scottish, French Canadian, French, and Welsh descent.
   I use the past tense “was” because unfortunately for all of us, Hugh and Dorothy  passed away (in 1993 and 2011 respectively).
   On the occasion of her 50th birthday (I don’t think she’ll mind if I tell you that Hillary is celebrating the beginning of her 67th trip around the Sun today), the city had taken it upon itself to rename the southeast corner of the intersection of Elm and Wisner streets, next to her girlhood home, "Rodham Corner." Wasn’t that nice of them. Among all of her other accomplishments, now she has her she has her own corner.
   The actress Carrie Snodgress (“Diary of a Mad Housewife,” “Pale Rider,” “Easy Rider”) was born in Park Ridge, as was Karen Black (“Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces,” “Nashville”). Carrie, Karen, Hillary and Captain Kangaroo’s Mr. Green Jeans (Hugh Brannum) Jami Gertz (“The Lost Boys,” “Twister,” “Still Standing”) and actor Harrison Ford (“The Mod Squad,” “Dynasty,” “Jimmy Hollywood”) served time at the Maine Township High School East (located at the corner of Dempster Street and Potter Road). Hillary participated in the student council, the school newspaper, and was selected for the National Honor Society, displaying an early and annoying tendency to overachieve. She spent her senior year though at the Maine South High School, which is south of Maine Township High School East. There she was named National Merit Finalist and graduated in the top five percent of her class of 1965 (again... overachiever).  
   All I can remember from my high school days was trying to save my lunch money in order to buy acid that I would take on Friday’s to watch Seymour on “Fright Night,” on KHJ-TV here in Los Angeles.
   Elvira (the Hostess with the Mostess), Mistress of the Dark’s dad.
   That’s pretty sad, isn’t it?
   You don’t need to answer.
   Even before high school, as a small adorable child, Hillary, in what I used to call Elementary School (Grades 1 through 6), was active with swimming, baseball, ulama, and earned many awards as a Brownie and Girl Scout.
   I already feel so inadequate and depressed. Please excuse me while I commit seppuku, the  Japanese form of ritual suicide by disembowelment. 
   Alright, back now. 
   Listen. Hillary Clinton grew up as a conservative. Yes, it’s true. She even took it upon herself to detect voter fraud (I assume real voter fraud, not that fake kind that Republican’s are blathering about these days) in the 1960 U.S. presidential election while helping to canvass South Side Chicago... when she was thirteen!
   If there had been more like her perhaps Nixon would have won.
   She met civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. in Chicago in 1962, then volunteered to be a special military advisor in Vietnam the next year, but was turned down because she was too short.
   In 1965 Hillary enrolled at Wellesley College, a sexist, private women's liberal-arts college in the town of Wellesley, Massachusetts, United States, 15.9 miles southwest of Boston, where she served as president of the Wellesley Young Republicans (an organization for members of the Republican Party at Wellesley between the ages of 18 and 40). She majored in political science of all things. 
     Martin Luther King Jr. must have had some effect upon her as she began to slip from the dark side and come into the light. In a letter to her youth minister at this time, she described herself as "a mind conservative and a heart liberal." 
   She attended the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami, and became upset by the way Nixon's campaign portrayed Governor Nelson Rockefeller (Tricky Dicky. Nixon whipped Mitt Romney’s dad, George, first though), and what she perceived as the racist tendencies at the convention, and left the Republican Party for good, becoming a supporter of the anti-war presidential  Democratic nominee, Eugene McCarthy (he lost).   
   Early that year Hillary was elected president of the Wellesley College Government Association, effectively taking over the school, and served through early 1969, helping to stop some of the campus unrest that was predominant in other schools at the time due to widespread protests of the Vietnam War, civil rights struggles, and the murders of Robert F. Kennedy and  Martin Luther King.
   She became a peacemaker, and a negotiator. 
   In 1969, she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, with departmental honors in political science. She became the first student in Wellesley College history to deliver its commencement address. Her speech received a standing ovation lasting seven minutes, so apparently Barack Obama is not the only one who knows how to give a good speech. 
   She gained national attention by being featured in an article in Life magazine because of that speech (in it she had criticized Senator Edward Brooke (R-MA), who had spoken before her at the commencement. She also appeared on national television. 
   That summer, she worked her way across Alaska, washing dishes in Mount McKinley National Park and sliming salmon in a fish processing cannery in Valdez. No one knows why. I also have no idea what “sliming salmon” is, other than to intentionally add slime to the fish that are already naturally slimy... because their fish. Perhaps Alaskans prefer their fish with extra slime.   We should ask Sarah Palin this. 
   The cannery fired Hillary when she complained about the working conditions. One wonders how well she would do on “Deadliest Catch.”
   After that Hillary entered Yale Law School after being told by a professor at a student recruitment party at Harvard, "We don't need any more women at Harvard." Now one would think that statement might not be particularly conducive towards student recruitment, but what the hell do I know? I’m just a guy who lives in a box. 
   She served on the editorial board of the Yale Review of Law and Social Action, worked with children at the Yale Child Study Center, and worked on cases of child abuse  at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She also worked pro bono at New Haven Legal Services to provide free legal advice for the poor. 
   Hillary researched migrant workers' problems in the areas of housing, sanitation, health, sexual dysfunction and education for Senator Walter Mondale's Subcommittee on Migratory Labor. She got her first job in politics after political advisor Anne Wexler recruited her to work on the 1970 campaign of Connecticut U.S. Senate candidate Joseph Duffey.
   In the spring of 1971, she began dating Bill Clinton, another Yale law student. No, it’s true! There’s several pictures above to prove it.
   That summer she got mad at Bill and moved to Oakland, California. Once there she interned at the law firm of Treuhaft, Walker and Burnstein, where she continued her work with children, working on child custody cases. 
   Bill came out to live with her in sin, which they continued to do after returning to Yale. 
   Hillary received a Juris Doctor degree (a professional doctorate and first professional graduate degree in law)  from Yale in 1973, staying on an extra year to be with Bill, who also graduated that year. 
   He first proposed to her after they graduated, but she said, “Hell no!”
   She was playing hard to get.
   I don’t blame her. That Clinton guy looks kind of smarmy in the pictures above, doesn’t he? You know how those Yale guys are.
   Anyway, Hillary spent a year of postgraduate study on children and medicine back at the Yale Child Study Center. There she wrote "Children Under the Law", which was published in the Harvard Educational Review in late 1973, where apparently they needed articles written by women, but not the women themselves.
   In the article she stated that "child citizens" were "powerless individuals" and argued that children should not be considered equally incompetent from birth to attaining legal age, but that instead courts should presume competence except when there is evidence otherwise, on a case-by-case basis.
   Well, I’m sure we can all agree on that.
   In 1974 she impeached President Nixon. Well, I should say she helped in the possible impeachment process, but personally and successfully impeaching him sounds like something she would do.
   For all of you history buffs and sticklers for accuracy, Nixon was never impeached, but resigned the presidency on  August 9th, 1974, before he had a chance to be impeached by the House Committee on the Judiciary (and then the full House of course) during the Watergate scandal, of which Hillary was a staff member, helping research procedures of impeachment and the historical grounds and standards for said action.    
   Good job, Hillary! Well done.
   FYI Richard Nixon suffered the stroke that led to his death on April 22nd, 1994, in his home in Park Ridge... New Jersey though, not Illinois. He was just about to dig into a nice, fresh, imported Luther Burger, from Mulligans Bar, in Georgia, when his brain rebelled and manufactured a blood clot to stop him.
   It worked.
   Bill kept asking her to marry him, and she kept saying “No!” Yet, after uncharacteristically failing the D.C. bar exam (it’s very hard, as all of the questions are written in Romani), she tried  Arkansas’s, which of course she passed, it being written in Arkansonian. "I chose to follow my heart instead of my head," and followed Bill to Arkansas, Fayetteville to be precise, rather than staying in Washington where her job prospects were much better. 
   Bill was making a living teaching law in Arkansas, and running for the House of Representatives on the side. Hillary became one of only two female faculty members in the School of Law at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, teaching criminal law.
   The couple bought a house in the summer of 1975, and Hillary finally agreed to marry Bill (actually before he proposed marriage, Bill had secretly purchased a small house that she had remarked that she liked. After he proposed marriage to her and she accepted, he revealed that they owned the house. Bill was pretty sure of himself).
   Their wedding took place on October 11, 1975, in a Methodist (a group of historically related denominations of Protestant Christianity which derive their inspiration from the life and teachings of John Wesley (an Anglican divine ("divines" are clergy whose theological writings have been considered standards for faith, doctrine, worship and spirituality and whose influence has permeated the Anglican Communion in varying degrees through the years. I guess this is equivalent to a Catholic Saint) and theologian who, with his brother Charles Wesley and fellow cleric George Whitefield, is credited with the foundation of the evangelical movement known as Methodism) ceremony in their living room. She decided to keep the name Hillary Rodham, for professional reasons, and in order to maintain her sense of individuality. "It showed that I was still me,"she maintained. Her and Bill’s mom didn’t like it though, but they weren’t the ones getting married, now were they?
   Bill lost his bid to the U.S. House of Representatives that year, but was elected Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, so they moved to the state capital, Little Rock, 125.9 miles southwest of where my dear mother was born in Walnut Ridge.   
   Hillary joined the Rose Law Firm, and specialized in the exciting field of patent infringement and intellectual property law.
   In 1977, she co-founded the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, a state level alliance with the Children's Defense Fund.
   She had worked as field operations director in Indiana for Jimmy Carter’s presidential bid in 1976, and after he won, as so often is the case in politics, she was rewarded by being appointed to the board of directors of the Legal Services Corporation (a publicly funded, 501(c)  non-profit corporation established by the United States Congress, and based in Washington D.C. It’s stated goal is to ensure equal access to justice under the law for all Americans by providing civil legal assistance to those who otherwise would be unable to afford it. It survives to this day despite Republican efforts to defund it), for which she served from1978 until the end of 1981.
   She was doing other stuff as well, you know, keeping busy and all.
   And so was her husband. 
   Bill Clinton won the election for Governor of Arkansas in November of 1978, and Hillary became First lady,  in January of 1979. That would be her title for twelve years (1979–1981, 1983–1992).  
   While First lady Hillary became the first woman to be made a full partner of Rose Law Firm. One has to make good use of the time given to you, you know. From 1978 until she became First Lady of the United States in 1993 she enjoyed a higher salary than Bill, which is another reason to hate lawyers.
   Hillary also made a pile of money trading cow futures contracts (a standardized contract between two parties to buy or sell a specified asset of standardized quantity and quality for a price agreed upon today (the futures price) with delivery and payment occurring at a specified future date, the delivery date, making it a type of derivative instrument, in this instance, involving cows. Hillary’s initial $1,000 investment had generated nearly $100,000 in ten months). 
   This was all legal, and all, but would become one of the so-called controversies that would haunt, or trouble, the Clinton Presidency, (like their investment in the Whitewater Development Corporation real estate venture with Jim and Susan McDougal) due to the douchiness of Republicans when a Democrat is in the White House (President Obama is experiencing that douchiness as I type this, but a more severe form as their is also ill-disguised racism involved). 
   On February 27th, 1980, Hillary gave birth to a small female infant, who they named Chelsea  (in honor of the American comedienne, actress, author, television host, writer and producer, Chelsea  Handler, who oddly enough was only 5 years old at the time).
   In November 1980, Bill was defeated in his bid for reelection for Governor. 
   But he would return after winning the 1982 election (in 1984 the gubernatorial term would increase to 4 years).
   Hillary began to use “Clinton,” as her surname during the campaign, or “Mrs. Bill Clinton," for political reasons (Bill’s advisors thought that the use of her maiden name was one of the factors that caused his 1980 loss. She has never legally changed her last name from Rodham). 
   Hillary served on the boards of the Arkansas Children's Hospital Legal Services (1988–1992),  and the Children's Defense Fund (as chair, 1986–1992). She also served on the boards of for-profit corporations, some of them quite prominent, like TCBY (now Country's Best Yogurt, formerly This Can't Be Yogurt. A U.S.-based chain of frozen yogurt stores), from 1985 to 1992, Wal-Mart Stores (she was the first woman to serve on the Wal-Mart board, after the company’s founder, Sam Walton, was pressured to add one. Once established, she pushed successfully for the company to adopt more environmentally friendly practices. Unfortunately she was unable to help get Wal-Mart workers a living wage) from 1986 to 1992, and Lafarge (a French industrial company specializing in cement, construction aggregates, and concrete (in general terms, the word cement refers to any kind of binder that tightly holds other materials together. Concrete, on the other hand, is a mixture of materials like sand, gravel, and small rocks combined with any type of cement and water) from 1990 to 1992.
   In 1988 and 1991, The National Law Journal named her as one of the 100 most powerful lawyers in America.
   Hillary stepped into the national spotlight yet again after her husband became a candidate for President of the United States in 1992.  
   It was during this campaign that the first rumors of Bill’s possible infidelity came to light, involving Gennifer Flowers, a model and actress (in 1998 Clinton testified under oath that he had sexual relations with Ms. Flowers. Men! I’ll never understand them). There would be other instances such as this.
   During the campaign he denied the allegations. In other words he lied. 
   I don’t see why that would come as a surprise to anybody. He’s a politician. Lying is in the job description.
   And it has been said that that particular lie saved his campaign. 
   And Bill Clinton won the presidency and took office in January 1993. 
    Hillary Rodham Clinton became the First Lady of the United States, and stated she would be using that form of her name from now on.     
   And she has!
   In January 1993, the President appointed Hillary to head the Task Force on National Health Care Reform, in the hopes of repeating her success in education reform back in Arkansas. The task forces recommendations became known as the Clinton health care plan, or "Hillarycare," I s__t you not! A comprehensive proposal that would require employers to provide health coverage to their employees through individual health maintenance organizations throughout the nation. 
   You may not believe this, dear readers, but some didn’t want this to come about, and were vehemently against it’s implementation. Who would be against revising a tired and inefficient health care system that was costing the nation and public more and more dollars each passing year, and providing less, and less service. Nobody sane would. So it was the Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and the health insurance industry (which stood to lose money if it was put into effect) who opposed it.
   Anyway, Hillary said this:
   “Millions of Americans are just a pink slip away from losing their health insurance, and one serious illness away from losing all their savings. Millions more are locked into the jobs they have now just because they or someone in their family has once been sick and they have what is called the preexisting condition. And on any given day, over thirty seven million Americans—most of them working people and their little children—have no health insurance at all. And in spite of all this, our medical bills are growing at over twice the rate of inflation, and the United States spends over a third more of its income on health care than any other nation on Earth.”
   Her leading role in this project was unprecedented for a First Lady, but as we all know by now, she’s very hyperactive.
   And of course the plan was defeated. Opposition to it was initiated by the major conservative penis head, William Kristol, who maintains a remarkable record on being wrong on just about everything. I mean really, it’s extraordinary. Let Rachel Maddow extrapolate.  
   His policy group Project for the Republican Future, which is widely credited with orchestrating the plan's ultimate defeat through a series of now legendary "policy memos" faxed to Republican leaders, even though both chambers of Congress had a Democratic majority.
   The plan critics argued, was too bureaucratic and restrictive of patient choice, whatever that means. The holes of ass at the Heritage Foundation argued that "the Clinton Administration is imposing a top-down, command-and-control system of global budgets and premium caps, a super-intending National Health Board and a vast system of government sponsored regional alliances, along with a panoply of advisory boards, panels, and councils, interlaced with the expanded operations of the agencies of Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor, issuing innumerable rules, regulations, guidelines, and standards." 
   Yeah.. so what’s your point?
   Democrats, God bless em, acted like wimpy little babies, which isn’t unusual for them, and didn’t back their President. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, stated, "there is no health care crisis, there is an insurance crisis." and "anyone who thinks [the Clinton health care plan] can work in the real world as presently written isn't living in it." 
   Democrats in Congress offered a number of plans of their own, which they never took action on. The Clinton Plan did not receive enough support for a floor vote in either the House or the Senate and was abandoned in September of 1994. 
   It would be another 16 years before health care reform was attempted again, but that time it passed.
   Republicans, conservatives, libertarians, and the health insurance industry didn’t like it very much then either. They were hopping mad about it actually.
   Hopping mad.
   They said it would ruin the nation, but they’re always saying stuff like that when they don’t like something. They tend to exaggerate the negative. 
   The nation’s still here as far as I can tell.
   Yeap, I just looked out of my window. Still there!
   But life goes on.
   Hillary, along with Senators Ted Kennedy and Orrin Hatch, was one of the major advocates for the Children's Health Insurance Program in 1997, or (CHIP), a program administered by the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides matching funds to states for health insurance to families with children. She promoted nationwide immunization against childhood illnesses, despite the future Jenny McCarthy, and mammograms for detection of  breast cancer in older women, coverage provided by Medicare. She worked with the National Institutes of increase research funding for prostate cancer and childhood asthma. She  investigated reports of a peculiar illness that was affecting veterans of the Gulf War, which became known as the Gulf War syndrome. She helped  create the Office on Violence Against Women at the Department of Justice, along with Attorney General Janet Reno, in 1997. She utilized the White House Kitchen to make a hell of a Azteca Chicken Chile Fajita Burrito for the weekly Burrito Night. She initiated and advocated the Adoption and Safe Families Act, which she regarded as her greatest accomplishment as First Lady.   
   As we’ve seen, Hillary keeps herself busy.
   Like running for the United States Senate. 
   Well it’s better than crochet I guess (not that I have anything against those who crochet. I have at least one friend who is constantly crocheting, and she’s wonderful at it (Benita). As a matter of fact I wish I had one of her masterpieces here with me right now so I could fondle it). 
    In September of 1999, Hillary became the first First Lady of the United States to be a candidate for an elected office, Senator for the great state of New York.    
   It is an American tradition to actually live in the state that you’re running for Senator. Accordingly, and planning ahead, the Clintons purchased a home in the Quaker town of Chappaqua, New York (41° 9′ 32″ N, 73° 46′ 20″ W 41.158889, -73.772222), north of New York City, in September of 1999.  
   Her opponent was Rep. Rick Lazio, of New York's 2nd congressional district. The combined campaigns spent a record $90 million (American), and Hillary prevailed.  She won the election on November 7th, 2000 (while still the First Lady, of which she would remain until January 20th, of 2001), with 55 percent of the vote to Lazio's 43 percent. She was sworn in as United States Senator on January 3, 2001. 
   Hillary served on five Senate committees: Committee on Budget (2001–2002), Committee on Armed Services (since 2003), Committee on Environment and Public Works (since 2001),Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (since 2001) and Special Committee on Aging. She was also a Commissioner of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (since 2001). 
   After the attacks of September 11th, 2001, along with New York's senior Senator, Chuck Schumer, she was instrumental in securing $21 billion in funding for the World Trade Center’s  redevelopment.    
   Hillary strongly supported the 2001 U.S. military invasion of Afghanistan, stating it was a chance to combat terrorism while improving the lives of Afghan women who suffered under the Taliban government. Laudable goals. 
   Unfortunately, I’m sure she felt pressured under all of the patriotic ferver the Bush administration was stirring up in the country, to vote in favor of the October 2002 Iraq War Resolution, which authorized Bush to use military force against Iraq, a decision she would later come to regret during her 2008 bid for the presidency.
   Senator Hillary made the right choices when she voted against Bush's two major tax cut proposals, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 and the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003 (who cuts taxes when the country is at war? Republicans. Alright, granted we weren’t at war yet when the 2001 Act was signed into law, but we were in 2003, and knowing that taxes had already been cut, to cut them again doubled down on the mistake of lowering taxes and increasing spending, taking a budget surplus Clinton (Bill) had graciously left him, and turning it into a deficit ASAP. Those at the Heritage Foundation claimed that the cuts would result in the complete elimination of the U.S. national debt by fiscal year 2010, and they were right... if you didn’t count the $13,561,623,030,891.79 the government owed. As Bugs Bunny would say, “What maroooons!”). 
   She also voted against the 2005 confirmation of John G. Roberts as Chief Justice of the United States and the 2006 confirmation of Samuel Alito to the United States Supreme Court, and as we now know through decisions like Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and  Shelby County v. Holder, which eviscerated the Voting Rights Act, she made the right decisions.
   Hillary was reelected as Senator in 2006. 
   Her memoirs, “Living History,”  were published in 2003, and sold over 3 million copies both in the U.S. and abroad. 
   When Bill required immediate heart surgery in October of 2004, Hillary of course canceled her public schedule to be with him. 
   Some say, not me, but some, that Hillary was considering a run for the presidency in 2008 since at least October of 2002. 
   It’s good to plan ahead. 
   On January 20th, 2007, she announced that she was forming an exploratory committee and filed with the Federal Election Commission to seek the nomination of the Democratic Party. She then began raising money and campaign activities. 
   And according to the polls taken at the time, Hillary was the front runner on the Democratic side, until that rascal Barack Obama pulled close to or even with her.
   “Solutions for America!” was her campaign slogan. 
   In hindsight, it was a fairly sucky slogan.
   She won the popular vote in the Nevada Democratic Caucus (50.8% to Obama’s  45.1%), However Obama ended up receiving 14 national delegates compared to Hillary’s 11. I don’t know why. 
   Hillary then lost by a large margin in South Carolina.  On Super Tuesday, she won the most populous states such as California (I voted for you Hillary!) and New York, while Barack won more states. The two gained a nearly equal number of delegates and a nearly equal share of the total popular vote. 
   Hillary then lost the next eleven caucuses and primaries to Obama, and lost the overall delegate lead for the first time. 
   On March 4th, Obama’s consecutive wins increased to twelve when Vermont went his way, and then Hillary broke her string of losses with wins in the Rhode Island, Ohio, and in the Texas primaries.
   But then lost in Wyoming, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon, and won in Pennsylvania, Indiana, West Virginia, Kentucky, Puerto Rico and South Dakota. 
   On the final day of primaries on June 3rd, 2008, Barack had gained enough pledged, and super-delegates to become the nominee, and Hillary suspended her campaign on June 7, 2008 and endorsed Obama.
   And she’s hated him with the intensity of a white hot sun ever since. 
   During the general election of 2008, Barack asked Hillary if she would become his Secretary of State. At first she was very reluctant, like when Bill asked her to marry him. But like the marriage proposal, she eventually gave in, and on November 20th told him she would accept the position. 
    On January 21st, 2009, she was confirmed by the full Senate in a vote of 94–2. Hillary took the oath of office for Secretary of State and resigned from the Senate that very same day. She became the first former First Lady to serve in the United States Cabinet, making it very hard for future First Ladies to get in the Guinness Book of World Records on many fronts.
   Secretary Clinton, already well traveled when she was First Lady (she had traveled to 79 countries during that time, breaking another record which was held by Pat Nixon), made trips to cities and countries like Manama, Bahrain, Bishkek, Glubbdubdrib, Kyrgyzstan, Astana, Kazakhstan, Melbourne, Australia, Christchurch, New Zealand, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Pristina, Kosovo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Islamabad, Pakistan (twice), Lilliput and Blefuscu, Tbilisi, Georgia, Kyiv, Ukraine, Sao Paulo, Brazil, Doha, Qatar, Manila, Philippines, Lahore, Pakistan, Moscow, Russia, Abuja, Nigeria, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nairobi, Kenya, Bangkok, Laputa, Thailand, New Delhi, India, Mumbai, India, Baghdad, Iraq, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, Monterrey, Mexico, Brussels, Belgium,  Seoul, South Korea, and Tokyo, Japan.
   After her resignation as Secretary of State on January 21st, 2009, Hillary has continued to be very active. 
   Of course! She’s Hillary Clinton.
   In a July 15th, 2009, speech to the Council on Foreign Relations, she said this “We are determined to channel the currents of change toward a world free of violent extremism, nuclear weapons, global warming, poverty, and abuses of human rights, and above all, a world in which more people in more places can live up to their God-given potential.” 
   On July 31st, 2010, Chelsea married investment banker Marc Mezvinsky (oh you just know she’‘d marry some creepy investment banker, or something. A plumber, or proctologist didn’t stand a chance. And that’s not a criticism. Her parents are politicians for goodness sake! I just advocate for  plumbers and proctologists, or any profession that starts with the letter ”P” (except  politicians) ). 
   In December of 2012, Hillary was hospitalized for a few days for treatment of a blood clot in her right transverse venous sinus (an area in the lower part of the brain). The clot, which caused no immediate neurological injury, was treated with anticoagulant (blood thinners) medication, and she has made a full recovery.
   Republican political consultant and pasty faced dip shit, Karl Rove was worried about her
   On September 26th, 2014, Hillary became a first-time grandmother when daughter Chelsea gave birth to Charlotte Clinton Mezvinsky.
    Discussing life after 60 in 2007,  she has said, “"Like a lot of people, I have gotten more patient, I have a better sense of what's really important in life. I'm not as, shall we say, workaholic, even though I work hard, it's not all-consuming. I just feel like I have a much more balanced view of life."
   "I'm lucky that I've got a good stamina," she added. "I try to take care of myself. It's much harder on the road [since] there's too much junk food and temptation around. I don't exercise as much as I did before I got into the real heat of the presidential campaign, but I try to get out and walk."
   Walking. Hillary and I have that in common.
   On aging, “I do lose friends all the time," she said. "I realize that is a part of my growing older along with them." Her dearest Arkansas friend, Diane Blair, died of lung cancer in 2000 at the age of 61. "I am someone who believes that death is part of life. I don't have any fear of it, I don't have any anxiety about it. I just want to live every day to the best that I can."   
   I share a similar attitude concerning death, but more like Woody Allen, “I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens."
   Is this the end of the story? Hardly.
   Although she hasn’t declared yet, there is a good chance that if she wants it, the candidacy for Democratic nominee to become the next President of the United States seems to be hers.
   “Clinton was the top choice of 64 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents. She showed strong appeal among virtually every demographic and political group.” -McClatchy, October 3, 2014
   In an August 15th McClatchy-Marist poll, “In the new survey, the former secretary of state outpaces Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., by seven points, 48 to 41 percent... Against former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Clinton holds on to a seven point lead, 48 to 41 percent... And matched against Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., Clinton earns 48 percent to Paul's 42 percent.”
   The poll also went on to say her leads were diminishing, yet if potential candidates like New Jersey Governor Christie keeps making statements like he’s tired of hearing about the minimum wage, I’ll continue to bet on Hillary. 
   Some ardently object to her returning to the White House. Even so-called liberals.
   Harper Magazine’s, Doug Henwood, a longtime progressive economics writer, editor and publisher, wrote recently, “What Hillary will deliver, then, is more of the same. And that shouldn’t surprise us,” Henwood writes, saying the country would be far better served by anyone but Hillary the hawk, Hillary the centrist, Hillary the corporatist, and Hillary the appendage of Bill. “Today we desperately need a new political economy—one that features a more equal distribution of income, investment in our rotting social and physical infrastructure, and a more humane ethic. We also need a judicious foreign policy, and a commander-in-chief who will resist the instant gratification of air strikes and rhetorical bluster."
   Is Hillary Clinton the answer to these prayers?” Henwood asks, then answers, “It’s hard to think so, despite the widespread liberal fantasy of her as a progressive paragon, who will follow through exactly as Barack Obama did not. In fact, a close look at her life and career is perhaps the best antidote to all these great expectations.”
   And he has a point. Would I prefer a more demonstrably progressive candidate running for President, such as Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders? 
   Quite frankly no. Because they would not win the 2016 election. Maybe in 2024 when Hillary leaves office, but not now. 
   Would I like to see them as President? Why yes, I would. Still, Washington is so corrupt, and dysfunctional, it is hard to see what anyone can do to improve the situation and country.
   But it’s relatively easy to make it worse, which is exactly what would happen if a Republican were to take the Presidency, and which is why it is imperative that a Democrat, any Democrat (and I am certainly not blind to the many faults of Democrats), must hold on to the Executive Branch, and at present, our best hope is Hillary Rodham Clinton.
   Will she run?
   Of course she will.
   When will she announce her candidacy?
   January 16th, 2015... 2:13PM EST.
   Okay, what else. Hillary is 5' 7" tall, with blonde hair and penetrating blue eyes.
   She likes to swim. “I love to swim, [it’s] one of my absolutely favorite things to do,”
   She's a fan of "Dancing With the Stars." I don’t know why.
   “A perfect day is to end it with my family, go for a long walk probably with our dogs. Go out to dinner with friends, see a good movie, sleep late the next morning.  I mean, that's -- that's a perfect day.” 
   Sounds good to me.
   Oh yes, her name in Elvish is Morwen Ancalimë.
   That has a nice ring to it. President  Ancalimë.
   And all of us here at Joyce’s Take wish Hillary, Bill, Chelsea, Marc, little Charlotte, and anybody else they may happen to meet, continued good health and fortune, and for Hillary, a very happy birthday.
   Happy birthday Hillary!

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