The President Jumped the Gun by Telling Democratic Donors It’s Time to Unite Around Hillary

According to recent New York Times (whose recent track record of impartiality is hardly impeccable), President Obama held a private meeting with key Democratic donors last Friday in which he told them it’s time to unite behind Hillary Clinton in order to defeat Donald Trump. In “unusually candid remarks,” Obama acknowledged she’s perceived to have weaknesses as a candidate and some Democrats view her as inauthentic, but he said authenticity isn’t all that important, pointing to the fact that George W. Bush was once praised for his authenticity.

If the story is true, it was a bad idea for the President to hold such a meeting because

    1. It’s hardly necessary to tell big donors to unite behind Hillary because they already have; Bernie isn’t getting their money.


    1. Such meetings with big Democratic donors won’t exactly help Hillary attract enthusiastic Bernie supporters if she gets the Democratic nomination and needs them for the general election.


  1. If anything, such meetings reinforce the notion that Hillary Clinton is the epicenter of the same Wall Street-corporate-Democratic complex that had far too much influence over both her husband’s and Obama’s administrations.

What do you think?

Robert Reich, Robert Reich’s Facebook Page


Naomi Klein: ‘I Don’t Trust’ Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders ‘Is a Significantly Better Candidate’

The Canadian author weighs in on US presidential election, backing Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination.


anadian author and journalist Naomi Klein has weighed in on the United States presidential contest, criticising frontrunner Hillary Clinton and voicing her support for rival Bernie Sanders in the race for the Democratic nomination.

In an interview with Al Jazeera’s UpFront programme, which will air on Friday night, Klein took issue with Clinton’s efforts to combat climate change.

The author of the best-selling books No Logo and This Changes Everything told host Mehdi Hasan that she does not trust the former secretary of state.

“I don’t trust her because as secretary of state, when she had a huge megaphone to make this an issue, to show that she understands the connections between human security and climate, she didn’t use the megaphone,” Klein said.

She also criticised Clinton’s links to major donors, saying her ties to corporations made her hard to elect.

“I think that Bernie Sanders could win in a general election. I actually think he is a significantly better candidate than Hillary Clinton,” she said.

“The power of the socialism smear [campaign against Sanders], I think has really lost a lot of its punch.”

Klein also discussed the climate efforts in her own country, Canada, under new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“I think [Canada has] done some important things, but what they’re doing on climate is not nearly enough,” she said.

“I think Trudeau wants us to love him,” she added. “And because of that, that gives us more to work with.”

Despite her passionate efforts to tackle climate change through her advocacy, books and films, Klein admitted that she leaves a substantial carbon footprint through her international travel.

“My huge sin is flying,” she said. “You know, I wrote in a book that I finally lost my frequent flyer status and cut my flying by 10 percent, but even though I try to do as much as I can by Skype, I’ve been flying way too much.”

By Al Jazeera

New head of subways named for NYCT

New York City Transit (NYCT) Acting Senior Vice President of the Department of Subways Wynton Habersham has been appointed to the position permanently. He is responsible for planning, directing and controlling the subway and its safe operation.


Habersham, a 33-year veteran of NYCT, filled the vacancy after Joseph Leader retired in December 2015. Previously, Habersham was vice president and chief officer for service delivery. His diverse background in NYCT includes a stint as the vice president of the maintenance of way division, which saw a significant decrease in fires and employee accidents during his tenure and work in subway operations and capital programs.

“Wynton knows this system inside and out and his expertise and guidance helped get us through a major snowstorm in January 2016, when we shut down outdoor portions of the system for a snowstorm for the first time,” said NYCT President Veronique Hakim. “He effectively managed the partial shutdown and the quick resumption of service, which helped protect our fleet and equipment, but most important, our employees and customers. He knows the system and as a native son of the Bronx, Wynton understands the needs of our customers.”

Habersham’s appointment comes as NYCT prepares for the opening of the Second Avenue Subway in December 2016 and sweeping changes to upgrade a century-old subway system that is experiencing record ridership. These improvements include hundreds of new subway cars, the replacement of antiquated signal equipment with Communication-Based Train Control and new technology, such as underground cell phone service and Wi-Fi connectivity. All of these improvements are being implemented against a backlog of repairs and fortification projects necessitated by Superstorm Sandy-related damage.

“The challenge before me is looking at ways we can do better,” Habersham said. “Our record ridership shows we are doing things right, but it is also putting a strain on our resources. We must find ways to make improvements, whether it’s getting information on service changes out faster and in more ways that are accessible to our increasingly tech-savvy customers or accelerating our fleet maintenance schedule to ensure the equipment is keeping up with this increase in wear-and-tear. I am excited to take on this challenge.”

Habersham’s appointment is effective immediately, marking the first African-American to lead the subway division.

When Hillary Clinton Killed Feminism


WASHINGTON — THE Clinton campaign is shellshocked over the wholesale rejection of Hillary by young women, younger versions of herself who do not relate to her.

Hillary’s coronation was predicated on a conviction that has just gone up in smoke. The Clintons felt that Barack Obama had presumptuously snatched what was rightfully hers in 2008, gliding past her with his pretty words to make history before she could.

So this time, the Clintons assumed, the women who had deserted Hillary for Barack, in Congress and in the country, owed her. Democrats would want to knock down that second barrier.

Hillary believed that there was an implicit understanding with the sisters of the world that now was the time to come back home and vote for a woman. (The Clintons seem to have conveniently forgotten how outraged they were by identity politics when black leaders deserted them in 2008 to support Obama.)

This attitude intensified the unappetizing solipsistic subtext of her campaign, which is “What is Hillary owed?” It turned out that female voters seem to be looking at Hillary as a candidate rather than as a historical imperative. And she’s coming up drastically short on trustworthiness.

As Olivia Sauer, an 18-year-old college freshman who caucused for Bernie Sanders in Ames, Iowa, told a Times reporter: “It seems like he is at the point in his life when he is really saying what he is thinking. With Hillary, sometimes you get this feeling that all of her sentences are owned by someone.”

Hillary started, both last time and this, from a place of entitlement, as though if she reads her résumé long enough people will surrender. And now she’s even angrier that she has been shown up by someone she considers even less qualified than Obama was when he usurped her place.

Bernie has a clear, concise “we” message, even if it’s pie-in-the-sky: The game is rigged and we have to take the country back from the privileged few and make it work for everyone. Hillary has an “I” message: I have been abused and misunderstood and it’s my turn.

It’s a victim mind-set that is exhausting, especially because the Clintons’ messes are of their own making.

On the trail in New Hampshire, Madeleine Albright made the case that it was a betrayal of feminist ideals to support Bernie against Hillary, noting that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” When Sanders handily won the women’s vote on Tuesday, David Axelrod noted dryly that they were going to need to clear out a lot of space in hell.

And in a misstep for the feminist leader who got famous by going undercover as a Playboy bunny, Gloria Steinem told Bill Maher that young women were flocking to Bernie to be where the boys are. Blaming it on hormones was odd, given the fact that for centuries, it was widely believed that women’s biology made them emotionally unfit to be leaders.

What the three older women seemed to miss was that the young women supporting Sanders are living the feminist dream, where gender no longer restricts and defines your choices, where girls grow up knowing they can be anything they want. The aspirations of ’70s feminism are now baked into the culture.

The interesting thing about the spectacle of older women trying to shame younger ones on behalf of Hillary is that Hillary and Bill killed the integrity of institutional feminism back in the ’90s — with the help of Albright and Steinem.

Instead of just admitting that he had had an affair with Monica Lewinsky and taking his lumps, Bill lied and hid behind the skirts of his wife and female cabinet members, who had to go out before the cameras and vouch for his veracity, even when it was apparent he was lying.

Seeing Albright, the first female secretary of state, give cover to President Clinton was a low point in women’s rights. As was the New York Times op-ed by Steinem, arguing that Lewinsky’s will was not violated, so no feminist principles were violated. What about Clinton humiliating his wife and daughter and female cabinet members? What about a president taking advantage of a gargantuan power imbalance with a 22-year-old intern? What about imperiling his party with reckless behavior that put their feminist agenda at risk?

It rang hollow after the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas hearings. When it was politically beneficial, the feminists went after Thomas for bad behavior and painted Hill as a victim. And later, when it was politically beneficial, they defended Bill’s bad behavior and stayed mute as Clinton allies mauled his dalliances as trailer trash and stalkers.

The same feminists who were outraged at the portrayal of Hill by David Brock — then a Clinton foe but now bizarrely head of one of her “super PACs” — as “a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty,” hypocritically went along when Hillary and other defenders of Bill used that same aspersion against Lewinsky.

Hillary knew that she could count on the complicity of feminist leaders and Democratic women in Congress who liked Bill’s progressive policies on women. And that’s always the ugly Faustian bargain with the Clintons, not only on the sex cover-ups but the money grabs: You can have our bright public service side as long as you accept our dark sketchy side.

Young women today, though, are playing by a different set of rules. And they don’t like the Clintons setting themselves above the rules.

Looking back at a century of ‘Palm Beach Life’

During Palm Beach’s early resort-town years at the turn of the 20th century, the island was a playground of decorum and decadence, a Gilded Age winter mecca for the nation’s financial and social elite engaged in an operatic turnstile of formality and pleasure.

There were nightly orchestra performances, tea dances, yacht races, vaudeville shows, fine dining, poetry readings, recitations and recitals, and a grapefruit cocktail called the “Forbidden Fruit”. Palmists divined destinies for elegantly clad corseted ladies who even “sea bathed” in the requisite ankle-length skirts, blouses and opaque stockings. Captains of industry rubbed elbows on the links, fishing piers and piazzas.

And there to chronicle it all was Palm Beach Life magazine.

Now celebrating its centennial, Palm Beach Life has for 10 decades been the de facto magazine for all things Palm Beach, from the “tastes and toilettes” of early 20th century resort-goers to the movers, shakers and lifestyles of today. With each issue, lively, smart coverage has engaged both initiated sophisticates and vicarious rubes.

From the outset, the magazine extolled the island’s “thrills that are not easily exhausted” on slick pages – long before the Palm Beach Chamber of Commerce began promoting the island, not to mention that Palm Beach wasn’t even an official town yet (it was incorporated in 1911 ) and that the vast majority of the island remained a undeveloped jungle.

As with all early Palm Beach ventures, Palm Beach Life, got its start with a little help from Standard Oil baron and railroad magnate Henry M. Flagler, who, by the mid-1890’s, opened up Florida as a winter beachhead for the wealthy by extending his rails through the state and building lavish hotels along the way.

In Palm Beach, Flagler unveiled the now-gone lakefront Royal Poinciana Hotel in 1894. It was a six-story behemoth with 1,150–plus rooms and three miles of corridors (stretching from today’s First Union Bank on Cocoanut Row to Royal Poinciana Way). Then Flagler added The Breakers, originally called The Palm Beach Inn.

It was at the Royal Poinciana where, in 1906, Flagler cemented a deal with one of the regular guests — respected Cleveland newspaperman Richard Overend Davies (also known as Col. R. O. Davies), a bespectacled English native who became a familiar figure in town in his white suit, white bucks, boater’s cap and pinky rings. The plan: Flagler would be a silent financial partner and Davies editor and publisher of a locally prominent news-publishing business.

First, they bought the existing newspaper in town — The Palm Beach Daily News, the oldest daily newspaper in Florida, which has been known for decades as “The Shiny Sheet.” Then Davies set sights on launching a magazine. With copyrights filed in Washington, D.C. and Tallahassee in 1906, Palm Beach Life was born. The office: Suite 4 in the Royal Poinciana Hotel. Telephone number 1283. Cost: 10 cents an issue or a $1 for a season subscription, January through the beginning of April.

Billed as “An Illustrated Weekly Devoted to Society at Florida East Coast Winer Resorts and the South Generally” (coverage would later include Nassau and Cuba) the first issue, with 20 pages, debuted Jan. 12, 1907, a year Palm Beach was bustling with new arrivals. As the premiere issue reported, “Several hundred tourists from all over New England and the East filled the famous Palm Limited, which left New York Monday on its initial trip for the season.” The train headed to Washington, D.C., then southward to Flagler’s Florida East Coast Railway. The cars that rattled through St. Augustine, Ormond, Palm Beach and Miami were filled – “all indications point to unusually heavy tourist travel to the south during the next few weeks, “ the magazine posted.

Coverage in Palm Beach Life’s first issue, while eyeing resort life throughout Florida, zeroed in on Palm Beach, as it always has. Under the masthead, Davies noting the magazine’s “valued subscribers and friends,” wrote, “Palm Beach Life will be conducted … independent of, and free from, politics and religion, and devoted entirely to such subjects as are thought to be acceptable to the visitors each season…”

Davies likely was a man of his word, at least based on commendations bestowed upon him and his published obituary in 1929. He was one of the founders of Holy Trinity Church in West Palm Beach, where he served as vestryman, warden, treasurer and lay reader. His “outstanding virtues” and “wonderful personality” inspired loyalty and gained and held” friendships, according to a resolution in his honor from the West Palm Beach Typographical Union. It has been said Davies once contributed his favorite bulldog to a World War I benefit auction.

The premier issue of Palm Beach Life fulfilled Davies’ promise. Inside, regular columns — most of which would remain staples into the 1950’s — included “Among the Palms,” a roundup of hotel social news and entertainment, including 30-piece house orchestras under the direction of Francesco Miglionico, and late-afternoon tea dances in the Poinciana’s lush Cocoanut Grove, which was bedecked in exotic Japanese lanterns. The reporting was stately: “The opening of the Poinciana would not be orthodox, in truth could hardly occur, without Mrs. John H. Shultz of New York. Her queenly presence has added dignity and grace to the first dinner of each season for twelve successive years….Mr. and Mrs. Flagler are expected at Whitehall on Wednesday the sixteenth…Their palatial home on the shores of Lake Worth is, in spite of its magnificence, essentially a home and, as such, is greatly enjoyed by those favored by the gods…”

“Among the Palms” also served up the scoop on Mr. Huggins, a regular winter visitor and confirmed bachelor who “may have been off his guard” when “a weak place in his armor” gave way to “saucy Cupid’s arrow.” “Mr. Huggins is warmly congratulated upon not only having won a pretty widow (whom he met at one of the hotels’ “pinochle corners”), but also upon having acquired an interesting little daughter five years of age.” Buzz about the hotels’ top-flight anglers revolved around John Pullman of Brooklyn, N.Y.: “A week ago he landed a 250-pound shark from the (Breakers) pier with rod and reel, the battle lasting two and a half hours. Few have met with greater success in their piscatorial efforts than Mr. Pullman.”

Another column, “Tastes and Toilettes,” took the pulse of fashion ins and outs. “The frock of crepe, voile, silk mousseline, chiffon cloth and kindred materials made for wear during the heated season will now re-enforce a winter wardrobe in a most satisfactory fashion, especially if that winter be spent at Palm Beach… Winter never brought out more charming getups than those seen this season at Palm Beach. There are so many girlish fads in vogue that the prettiest toilets have a Frenchy air that has never before been so marked as now.”

Much news revolved around “motoring” by yacht and car. Consider the times: Private steam-powered yachts had become prevalent — some rivaling great mansions in luxury and workmanship — and automobiles were a thrilling novelty introduced scant years before Palm Beach Life’s debut. Hailing Palm Beach’s “Third Annual Motor Races and Carnival” on Lake Worth “with the fastest and best-known motor boats in the country,” the magazine account regaled a Venetian-style finale to the event, describing it as “a mimic bombardment of two fleets, gayly decorated barges, suggestive of the floating galleys of the old Roman emperors, together with the illumination of the famous gardens of the Royal Poinciana, and display of fireworks, (presenting) a scene only to be compared to the wondrous descriptions of the Arabian Nights.”

Other news? Life on the hotel links and tennis courts, and society news from New York, where Palm Beach Life also become de rigueur reading material. While there were no bylines in the magazine at the time, Palm Beach Life’s staff included none other than the gutsy, big-hearted straight shooter who would become “dean of Florida newspaperwomen” during her lifetime, Ruby Edna Pierce, affectionately known as Miss Ruby, kept copious records on Palm Beachers – but never printed a negative word about them. Hired in 1907, she quickly rose to the position of editor — a post she held until 1954 — and categorized Palm Beach society this way: Old Guard (“They know who they are and don’t give a hang if their names never appear in print. They are the ones we prefer to write about…with discretion”), the international set, socialites and “the monkey set,” begging for attention with their “ridiculous shenanigans,” Like Davies, she as well-liked, but never considered herself a Palm Beacher. “You’re working press,” she reminded the magazine staff. “If Palm Beach wants you, it’s because you keep your place.”

As for Davies, who acquired Flagler’s interest in the magazine after Flagler’s death in 1913, he remained publisher until 1925, succeeded by his newspaperman-son Oscar, who for years made his permanent home in Palm Beach and once was a police commissioner and Town Council member. The senior Davies died in 1929 after a trip around the world, having caught a cold along the way through Western Europe, Egypt, China or even Papua New Guinea that developed into a fatal case of pneumonia. The West Palm Beach Typographical Union’s resolution in his honor, notes, “Col. R.O. Davies had a wide range of information on public affairs and public men, and his keen intelligence and strong common sense guided his opinions and conclusions on public questions in the early days…. The good that men do sometimes lives after them.…”

Palm Beach Life, for one, has. Over the decades, it has grown and evolved with the times. Now part of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately held media company that also owns the Palm Beach Daily News and The Palm Beach Post.

– See more at:


By M.M. Cloutier

Editor’s note: This article was published in the January 2006 issue of Palm Beach Life, which marked the magazine’s centennial. It is reprinted here in celebration of the magazine’s 110th anniversary this year.

– See more at:

Comets Set Franchise Mark In Defeat

The Utica Comets set a new franchise high for consecutive home games with a point in a 2-1 overtime loss to the St. John’s IceCaps on Friday night, at The AUD. The Comets have collected a 7-0-3-1 record during their streak of 11 consecutive home games with a point that dates back to Jan. 13.

Carter Bancks (1-0-1) scored the Comets’ lone goal, while Mike Pereira (0-1-1) and Taylor Fedun (0-1-1) each recorded a point with assists. Joe Cannata made 19 saves en route to his 10th loss of the season. The Comets’ league-best home penalty-kill unit was a perfect 3-for-3 and have successfully killed off 50 of their last 52 opportunites at home (96.2%).

After the Comets could not convert on several chances to start the game, the IceCaps capitalized on a defensive lapse just 2:25 into the first period. A wide open Jeremy Gregoire one-timed Mark MacMillan’s pass from the corner off of Bachman’s chest protector and in to give the visiting team a 1-0 lead.

The game remained 1-0 in the IceCaps’ favor until Bancks tied it with 10:07 left in the third period. After taking a pass from Pereira on the half wall, Bancks stepped around a defender, and beat Fucale’s glove to knot the game at 1-1. The goal was his 10th of the season and gave the sixth year forward his first 30-point season.

In overtime, the IceCaps’ Max Friberg scored 1:19 into the extra frame to give the IceCaps a 2-1 win over Utica.

The Comet fell to 31-21-6-3 with the loss, and the IceCaps improved to 28-25-8-3 with the win.

The Comets season-high five-game home stand continues Saturday night at The AUD when the Albany Devils make their final regular season visit at 7pm.