Hillary Clinton’s Campaign Rollout Speech: The S.S. Clinton Sails From Roosevelt Island in New York Harbor

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

I won’t do a “hot take” on the meta — the crowd, the logo, the reaction, Clinton’s hair, what the Sabbath Day gasbags said on Press the Meat  — but instead will focus solely on the text of Clinton’s rollout speech, which is important for what it says, the way that it says it, and most importantly for what it does not say. I should say at the outset that post-2008 — and especially since the TPP fight  — I’ve mentally unbundled party, candidate, and policy. That said,  here’s the text of Clinton’s speech (as delivered). 

As we might expect from the speech’s location on Roosevelt Island, Clinton explicitly claims FDR’s mantle. From the introductory portion of her remarks:

[CLINTON: It is wonderful[1]]To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt’s[2] enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be.

Moreover, she not only claims FDR’s mantle, she claims Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms (history; text):

You know, President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed.

And quoting directly from FDR’s Four Freedom’s speech:

CLINTON: President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered. He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: “Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few…(cheers, applause.) The preservation of civil liberties for all… (cheers, applause) a wider and constantly rising standard of living.”

(Interestingly, Clinton’s quotes are not the actual Freedoms; we’ll get to that in a moment.) After some buildup, she then goes on to structure her speech around four policy areas (which I’ve to say is refreshing, although not refreshing enough, as we shall see). Here they are, organized into a single list instead of being scattered through the speech:

CLINTON: If you’ll give me the chance, I’ll wage and win Four Fights for you.

  1. The first is to make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top.
  2. Now, the second fight[3] is to strengthen America’s families, because when our families are strong, America is strong.
  3. So we have a third fight: to harness all of America’s power, smarts, and values to maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity.
  4. That’s why we have to win the fourth fight – reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy so that it works for everyday Americans.

Before l take a look at the talking points that Clinton places under these four heads, let me quote Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, so we can compare and contrast them to Clinton’s. The context is different; Clinton’s is a campaign speech, and Roosevelt is addressing Congress, as a re-elected President, in his State of the Union speech, in 1941, before our entrance into World War II (hence the references to “everywhere in the world,” and “translated into world terms”). Here’s FDR:

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of[4] speech and expression–everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way–everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want–which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants-everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear–which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor–anywhere in the world.

Notice the extreme specificity and material basis of FDR’s language: Freedom from want; freedom from fear. You know, today, in your very own life, whether you are in want or in fear. You don’t have to ask anybody else, and it doesn’t take some sort of credential plus  a processing fee to figure it out. Now contrast Clinton: “[M]ake the economy work for everyday Americans.” What the heck does that even mean? Certainly nobody knows what “everyday Americans” means. This is focus-grouped bafflegab emitted by Democratic consultants who are slumming it on the Chinese bus instead of the Acela because optics. Could we be in fear or in want after the economy “works”? Who knows? And if Clinton believes we won’t be, why not say that? 

With that, let me poke holes in some of the policies under Clinton’s Four… Four… Well, Four Whatever-the-Heck-They-Ares, since FDR’s “Freedom of” and “Freedom from” construct seems to have been disappeared from Clinton’s reversioning of FDR’s material. I understand that the Clinton campaign, in a White House-style policy shop operation, will be rolling out more concrete material in the next  513 days, so I’ll focus only on major gaps and contradictions. (The talking points won’t necessarily be in speech order, though the headines will be.)

“Make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top”

CLINTON: “I will rewrite the tax code so it rewards hard work and investments here at home, not quick trades or stashing profits overseas. (Cheers, applause.)”

You will? Really? Article 1, Section 8 says differently.

CLINTON: “We will unleash a new generation of entrepreneurs and small business owners by providing tax relief, cutting red tape, and making it easier to get a small business loan.”

First, I suppose it’s OK to appropriate Republican rhetoric, Third Way fashion — “tax relief,” “red tape” — but it sure seems odd to do so after claiming Roosevelt’s mantle. Second, we’ve got entire industries (Uber; AirBnB) whose business model is to gain market share by breaking the law, and I’d like to know what Clinton thinks about ignoring “red tape” entirely. And that’s not just a theoretical concern for small business, since the so-called “sharing economy” — Yves calls it the “shafting economy” — threatens them as well. (What does it mean for local restaurants and Farmer’s Markets that food plus a recipe can now be delivered via an app?)

CLINTON: “To make the middle class mean something again, with rising incomes and broader horizons. And to give the poor a chance to work their way into it.”

First, note the shift from “everyday Americans” (whatever that means) to “middle class” (whatever that means) and “the poor” (I think we know what that means). Because Clinton cannot really define who her programs target, it’s not possible to determine who will actually benefit from them; hence, “mean something” is vacuous. People can project, of course, but 2008 should have taught us the danger of doing that. Second, there are well-known policies that provide concrete material benefits to wage workers, and which it would be easy for Clinton to support, if she in fact does so. The first is raising the minimum wage, not to Obama’s pissant $10.10, but to the $15 that so many on the ground are pushing for. Silence. More radically, we have programs like the Basic Income Guarantee or the Jobs Guarantee (or both). Programs like this would be of great benefit especially to those who have been cast out from our permanently shrunken workforce, and will in all likelihood never work again. These programs target millions, and so who benefits is easy to see. Silence.

CLINTON: “There are leaders of finance who want less short-term trading and more long-term investing.”

There are leaders in finance who are walking the street but who should be in jail. It’s hard to see how “confidence” can be restored for “everyday Americans” until elite criminals no longer have impunity. Of course, taking a stand like that would make life hard for Clinton with the Rubinite faction of the Democratic Party, along with many Wall Street donors, and many contributors to the Clinton Foundation, but corruption isn’t my problem. It’s Clinton’s. So, again, silence.

“Strengthen America’s families”

CLINTON: “I believe you should look forward to retirement with confidence, not anxiety.”

First, note again how abstract Clinton’s words are. Where FDR says “freedom from fear,” Clinton says “not anxiety.” Where FDR says “freedom from want,” Clinton (with Wall Street) says “confidence.” Second, and as usual, what do Clinton’s words even mean? Let me revise them: “I believe Social Security benefits should be raised, not lowered, and that benefits should be age-neutral. It’s unconscionable that the younger you are, the worse off you will be when you’re old. I also believe that Social Security benefits should begin at age 60, so more can retire from the workforce, and more young people enter.” This is not hard. It doesn’t take a think tank to work out.

CLINTON: “[I believe] that you should have the peace of mind that your health care will be there when you need it, without breaking the bank.”

What does that mean? Well, we know what it means. It means tinkering round the edges of ObamaCare, keeping the sucking mandibles of the health insurance companies firmly embedded in the body politic, and not bringing our health care system up to world standards.

CLINTON: “I believe you should have the right to earn paid sick days. (Cheers, applause.)”

Given the above, we’re in school uniform territory now.

“Maintain our leadership for peace, security, and prosperity”

CLINTON: “I’ve stood up to adversaries like Putin and reinforced allies like Israel. I was in the Situation Room on the day we got bin Laden.”

‘Nuff said. (On Bin Laden, “got” is nice. And see here, here, here, and — for grins — here.) SMH, but maybe somebody should ask Clinton, just for an opener, if she supports a grotesquely expensive fighter aircraft with buggy software that randomly catches on fire, and if she doesn’t, what she’d do with the money.

“Reforming our government and revitalizing our democracy”

CLINTON: “We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people. (Cheers, applause.)”

So wouldn’t it be very appropriate Clinton I to stop influence-peddling giving paid speeches right now, instead of hedging his bets, and saying he’ll stop only under a Clinton II administration? To be fair, this is good:

CLINTON: “If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. (Cheers, applause.)”

However, the shout-out to a specific policy advocated by Move to Amend might make one reflect on the curious lack of specificity so prevalent elsewhere in the speech.

CLINTON: “I want to make it easier for every citizen to vote. That’s why I’ve proposed universal, automatic registration and expanded early voting. (Cheers, applause.)”

This is good, but bizarre. Trivially, the Democrats are at least a decade late on this, the sign of a sclerotic party that can’t defend its putative constituents on even the most basic level. Critically, Clinton is defending people’s right to vote without defending their right to have their vote counted. This is especially weird after after Jebbie tried to steal Florida 2000 for Bush II — although 308,000 Florida Democrats voting for Bush and not Gore swung the election — and after all that weird stuff that happened in Cuyahoga County, Ohio in 2004. Why not bring America up to world standards at the ballot box, too, and prevent election theft? Silence.


There’s plenty to like in Clinton’s speech at the talking point level. (For example, on immigration, she does support “a path to citizenship,” though curiously not an end to mass incarceration, or reforms to policing.) But over-all, I think any grand vision  disappears in a welter of bullet points, vague language, and a resolute unwillingness to present policies that would visibly benefit all Americans, instead being tailored to the narrow constituencies of the sliced up version of America so beloved by the political class.

Here’s a random factoid you can use to frame whatever policy options a candidate presents. I keep track of #BlackLivesMatter shootings on my Twitter feed, and most of them come with pictures of the scene. The pictures come from all across the country, as we might expect, and I have started looked at the backgrounds: Invariably, there are signs of a second- or third-world level of infrastructural decay and destruction: Cracked sidewalks, potholed roads, sagging powerlines, weed-choked lots, empty storefronts, dreary utilitarian architecture just as soul-sucking as anything the Soviets could have produced. But that’s not the factoid. This is (“What Silicon Valley Can Learn From Seoul”, NYT):

To maintain South Korea’s lead, the country’s Science Ministry recently announced a $1.5 billion initiative to upgrade Korea’s mobile infrastructure. By 2020, the government predicts, it will be 1,000 times faster — so fast you could download a feature-length movie in approximately one second. In the same time frame, the Federal Communications Commission hopes to wire most American homes with broadband Internet with speeds of at least 100 megabits per second, or roughly one-sixtieth of South Korea’s goal.

“One-sixtieth of South Korea’s goal.” Just let that sink in. In fact, our Internet is so bad that Asian software designers need to dumb their software down to even get it to run here. (Bet that’s a trade barrier you didn’t know about.) 

Your crazy uncle you can’t talk politics to may think the poors deserve their fate.  But what you and he may be able to agree on is that this factoid shows is a massive — dynastic and party — failure in the duty of elites to “promote the general welfare” (U.S. Constitution, Preamble). Yes, Reagan set the context. But that the Clinton Dynasty (so far, Clinton I) and the Bush Dynasty (Bush I and Bush II), and the candidate of the “progressive” nomenklatura, Obama, have all conspicuously failed to remedy, or even notice, such a global failure is such a colossal pratfall as to be hilarious, if only you don’t think of the terrible opportunity costs to the hundreds of millions of U.S. citizens who don’t live in Silicon Valley or near a stop on the Acela. And the same goes for public policy in general.

My point is not that Clinton doesn’t have a broadband talking point; she does, a good one (“broadband brought up to global standards for the 21st century”). My point is that elite public purpose failure to match or even come close to world standards — “In world terms, “as FDR puts it — is true no matter where you look[5], and throughout Clinton’s speech. It’s all like that. (It’s certainly true in health care.) World standards are what our candidate  should be judged by on everything — not just broadband — we are failing miserably, though profitably (for some), and if those standards are too low, we should raise them. That’s what FDR did.  If Clinton wants to be the next Roosevelt — the FDR that Obama so very conspicuously failed to be — then she’s going to have to work a lot harder than she did in her campaign rollout. 

We need more from Clinton — more from all candidates. Much, much more. People are starting to notice.


[1] If I had my Magic Markers out, I’d be noting that “It is wonderful to be here…. To be here… To be here” is an example of Obama’s favorite rhetorical device: Anaphora. I don’t know if that’s a result of personnel from the Obama campaign now crafting speeches in Brooklyn, a decision to use rhetoric that Democratic loyalists were already familiar with, or a conscious decision to meld Obama-like rhetoric with more Clintonian policies.

[2] For those who came in late, “Franklin Delano Roosevelt”, “Franklin D. Roosevelt,” or “FDR.”  For some reason, it’s fashionable among some Democrats to say “Franklin Roosevelt,” as Clinton does here. I don’t know why that is; to promote a sense of personal familiarity with FDR by politicians who couldn’t carry FDR’s cigarette holder? To subtly detach the Democratic  Party from its historical roots? Personally, I think it’s a terrible locution. It ambiguates what was not ambiguous. Imagine a young person watching this speech, and imagine it’s their very first political speech: The 74th Anniversary of the Four Freedoms speech is this year, and given our terrible education system, I can well imagine them thinking that “Franklin” and “Franklin Delano” were two different Roosevelts from the Roosevelt dynasty, just like “Teddy” was a different Roosevelt, and another “Teddy” was a different Kennedy.

[3] I am so, so tired of Democrats who “fight for” or ask me to “stand with.” It’s very Alice in Wonderland: “The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday – but never jam to-day.” Forget about fighting. How about winning?

[4] Another case of anaphora, this by FDR.

[5] To be fair, we probably meet world standards in financial sector bloat and criminality. And we’re certainly #1 in very expensive fighter jets that randomly catch fire. Are those really races we want to win, or even be in?


One would have thought that the Obama administration would have cured anybody of voting for a candidate based on their biometrics. On Obama’s watch, income inequality increased at a greater rate than under Bush, and Obama was particularly ineffective (or effective, depending on your viewpoint) at delivering concrete material benefits to his putative base, especially in terms of jobs or housing. In other words, Obama failed to deliver on the most basic levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, even if he did deliver some “Self Actualization” (the highest level) to those who had the basic level taken care of. Of course, it’s hard to self-actualize when you’re in want from losing your job and in fear from losing your home.

“Glass ceiling” verbiage or no, there is, therefore, no reason to think that Clinton’s putative base will do any better than Obama’s did under Clinton II. And, if you have a daughter, and you think a woman President would be a “role model” for her, I’m dubious. First, let’s translate slightly: “I think it’s important for my daughter to see a hatchet-wielding austerity enforcer for the Big Banks like Christine LaGarde as the head of the IMF.” Really? Second, allow me to suggest that the better role model for your child is a politician they can see or meet personally, at the local or state level, rather than a faraway figure gesticulating on a small glass screen. Finally, and more pointedly, I would suggest that the best possible political role model for your child is you, and that if you are not already, you should set an example for your child yourself, even if it’s only calling your Congresscritter on the phone. Any action counts.

Relatedly, Clinton is also running as a mother (“My mother taught me,” “I wish she could have seen Chelsea”), or, as Slate — it would be Slate — gracelessly put it, “One Tough Mother.” I’m not unmoved by Clinton’s personal testimony in regard to her maternal identity, but if I buy into Clinton-as-mother, I also buy into Clinton-as-family-member, and therefore into Clinton-as-dynastic figure. But I’m not at all sure I want to do that, because then I have to buy into that dynasty’s “ginormous and ever-evolving hairball of tangled and conflicted personal and institutional relationships.”  After all, Cersei Lannister thought she was a good mother, too, and she had a network a lot like Hillary Clinton’s. Corruption, in other words, is part of the problem.

Readers, I said I would have this in the morning. But I won’t hide behind the fact that this is my morning! The piece just took longer to write than I thought it would.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. KenInIowa

    I’ve seen Bernie Sanders in Iowa twice now. There is no lack of specifics in what he has to say. He connects well with the crowd, is frequently interrupted by spontaneous applause and takes unscripted questions from the people there. He also makes it clear that he expects everyone there to do their part; that even the best or smartest president cannot accomplish great things without millions of people pushing for common goals.

  2. two beers

    Are you serious?.

    C’mon, Strether, kick the football, I promise I won’t move it this time!

      1. two beers

        “If Clinton wants to be the next Roosevelt — the FDR that Obama so very conspicuously failed to be”

        Obama didn’t “fail” to be FDR; the rank and file failed to see through his faux populism. They reelected him, even after he had already clearly demonstrated he was much closer to Reagan and Bush than to FDR. If Clinton assumes the populist mantle, it will be 100% bullshit, and the rank and file will lap it up. C’mon, Charlie Brown, kick the ball, I won’t move it this time – I really mean it, you can trust me!

    1. petal

      Was thinking that same exact thing just before I got to your post-that it should be “HMS”! Cheers!

  3. Anon

    Going with the Cersei Lannister comparison, when Hillary gets into trouble (and she very well might), who will be her Uncle Kevan to bail her out of a problem of her own creation and get things going again? I know that’s it not Water Cooler day, but speaking of infrastructure, I’d rather fix the ability for people to get Internet in the places where the ISP claims to service, but can’t first, before we boost the speed, as seen here:

    Internet nightmare

    Perhaps, fixing one will improve the other, but I’d rather see them both worked on in tandem. Also, I’m aware that South Korea is a great deal smaller than the US, but if they can find a way, we sure as hell should be able to.

  4. ekstase

    “To make the middle class mean something again, with rising incomes and broader horizons. And to give the poor a chance to work their way into it.”

    Why are the middle class and the poor always invited to “have a chance”? Or to “work their way into it”? It is supposed to be a fair system, not one in which some people have been crippled by cheaters, and therefore need to work their way out of the unfair position they have been put in. The logic seems off.

    1. tongorad

      Why are the middle class and the poor always invited to “have a chance”? Or to “work their way into it”?

      “Have a chance:” The old “skin in the game” routine. Everyone deserves the chance to risk their skin. Nice, eh?
      “Work their way into it:” Divide and conquer. The deserving poor and middle class vs undeserving.

    2. jrs

      one also has a chance to win the lottery if one plays it. Well one does … not a good chance but a chance.

    3. Lexington

      Why are the middle class and the poor always invited to “have a chance”? Or to “work their way into it”?

      Because in America some win and some lose, but the losers deserved it because they lack ability, persistence, a strong work ethic, or otherwise have some serious character flaw that prevents them from succeeding. In American everyone who deserves success gets it.

      Or in the shorthand of American political discourse, it’s about equalizing “opportunity”, not “outcome”.

      Hillary isn’t promising that under her presidency everyone in America will have economic security and some basic allotment of human dignity – that would have after all be defiling the altar of “meritocracy” at which America’s elite worships – but those who deserve it will.

      As for the others, well America will always need fast food workers, convenience store clerks and Walmart greeters. In any case those sorts of people have no right to aspire to a station in life higher than the one for which one providence suited them.

        1. Demeter

          It’s pure Calvinism (and I don’t mean the comic strip).

          It sure isn’t democracy: liberty, equality, fraternity and all that jazz.

  5. redleg

    I can’t find words to describe the breadth and depth of revulsion and dispair I feel when I contemplate Clintons. Both of them. I would gnaw my arms off rather than vote if given a “choice” between Clinton and a Republican.

    1. ambrit

      Your arms are safe. The Clintons perfected the transition phase from Democrats versus Republicans to Republicrats all. A vote for Clinton is the same as a vote for a Republican.

  6. Vince in MN

    Clinton has no credibility. Never has had, never will have. It doesn’t matter what she says – now or in the next 513 days.

    1. Jim Haygood

      Well, there’s one thing she said that I believe: she don’t bake cookies no more. Not since 1993, in fact.

      Nor does she submit to the filthy lusts of men these days. Her pear-shaped ‘Michelin man’ pantsuit keeps their groping paws off of her royal personage.

      Freed from the drudgeries of cooking and carnality, the grifter granny can chart a better course for our troubled nation.

  7. Yata

    She seems like she’d be a nice person to waive at, if you were in your vehicle driving away.

  8. JTMcPhee

    Make the American economy work “not just” for those at the top? Wise choice of an island, disconnected except by ferry and yacht and helicopter from even Wall Street (oh, and the ‘net of course…) let alone the rest of America… And of course, with the help of all those heirs of that Bernays dude who codified the bullshit generating mechanisms what, 100 years ago, a lot of carefully plucked chickens to drop in all our pots — don’t look close at the infected patches in the body cavities or the rotting backs, “passed” by the chicken manufacturers who are now delegated to inspect their own product for “health”…

    1. Chris in Paris

      Understand the sentiment but please no more creepy misogynistic language. I can’t handle seeing this stuff for the next year and a half :( Awful.

        1. Blunt

          “I’m with you.”

          I’d presume to say that if you were with Chris In Paris, the creepy misogynistic language would have been removed pre-publication.

    2. jrd2

      Roosevelt Island is connected by a vehicular bridge, a tram, and the subway. It is also located in the East River. I don’t think it has a heliport or regular ferry service. It is a somewhat sleepy bedroom community whose residents are of comparatively modest means; many are employees of the UN and its affiliates.

      I think everyone is confusing it with Governors Island in NY Harbor.

  9. craazyboy

    Might be interesting to compare it to Senator Obama speeches. Many parts seem hauntingly familiar, but 8 years and 500 plus days does overly tax my memory. Then maybe compare it to a Reagan speech. Maybe it’s my long term memory kicking in.

    But that may be more work than it’s worth.

    Oh geez. Today is gym day. The Fox News TV is there. I can smell the fumes bubbling up from the swamp pit already. Hillary Clinton has embraced FDR and gone bungee cord jumping completely off the far, far, left cliff. Gawd help us.

    Bernie, don’t let Hillary sit in your lap. Let’s try and keep this believable.

    1. Ellie K

      You know, there are Republicans senators who have more in common with Bernie Sanders than Hillary Clinton does. None are running for president though.

  10. Oldeguy

    Witty and incisive analysis, Lambert; very well done. I’ll be following your election commentary from now on.
    Particularly ludicrous for her to be claiming FDR’s “mantle”. A while ago, I downloaded a slew of FDR’s recorded speeches ( warning- their habit forming ) and the contrast to what we are subjected to today is stunning. Yes, the delivery in that Best Ever for Broadcast voice was a joy to listen to, but the speeches themselves were models of crystal clarity; no cant, not a weasel word in sight. You knew exactly what he meant, what he intended to do and why he intended to do it. It’s called Leadership.

      1. Ellie K

        I liked how you contrasted Hillary Clinton with FDR! I think that is important to do, just to remind everyone that there is a huge difference. I also liked what you said about the unnecessary ambiguity introduced by using an odd form of reference, as Franklin Roosevelt instead of FDR.

  11. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

    We have 1400 billionaires in this country (up from 700 when the “Crisis” began) and we can’t find one, NOT ONE, with a functioning moral compass who is willing to do the least little thing for the actual *people* in this country by supporting a real alternative candidate to Fascist War Monger 1 (Hilary) or Fascist War Monger 2 (Jeb). Forget Grandpa Buffet and his homely homilies while he steals off with insider deals on Goldman preferred, or BillG, who does some good things but then goes and leads the Better Than Cash Alliance (an attempt to get everyone in the developing world to run up debts on a MasterCard). Mark, Elon, Peter…don’t you have even one remaining moral bone left that will make you save us from these charlatans?

    1. Oldeguy

      “we can’t find one, NOT ONE, with a functioning moral compass who is willing to do the least little thing for the actual *people* in this country ”
      And the very sad truth is that we’re not likely to either until ( and if ) “things” get much worse in the U.S.
      FDR was able to take on and repeatedly defeat the Big Boys because American Capitalism was in an obvious accelerating state of disintegration between 1929 and his Inauguration in March 1933. The ruling Plutocracy had lost faith in its own bromides and was divided enough to give FDR room for action.
      I saw Bernie Sanders on a recent PBS interview show and he freely admitted that the power of
      entrenched Wealth in the U.S. is such that no President can successfully assail it absent a strong Mass Movement behind him.
      When Roosevelt ran for re-election in 1936, three quarters of the country’s newspapers vehemently condemned the New Deal and endorsed his Republican opponent; FDR carried 46 of the then 48 states.
      As long as the System that made them Gazillionaires appears to be working, don’t expect them to oppose it.
      Salvation, in current circumstances, must come from the Bottom Up, not from the Top Down.

      1. Doug

        If anyone hasn’t seen it yet, Ken Burns’ series on the Roosevelts is well worth the watch. A bit nauseating to see the spineless Clinton try to play off the FDR legacy.

        1. petal

          He screened an episode of it at Dartmouth one July before it was on PBS(the annual screening is one of my few allowed treats). The applause from the audience was much stronger and longer than usual. Very noticeable. However, during Q&A time someone actually asked him to compare Hillary Clinton and Eleanor Roosevelt. I was aghast, and there were some (quietish but disgusted) gasps from the crowd.

    2. Waking Up

      Those billionaires made a conscious decision to hoard their assets. Having a “moral bone” is not part of that make-up.

      1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

        I am more hopeful about humanity than that, accumulating a giant pile of capital does not imply some kind of moral failing in and of itself. But the nation that provided the foundation for that enterprise is clearly struggling: 24th in math and science, infant mortality behind Bulgaria, worst health care affordability in the developed world, states on the ropes financially, the biggest wealth inequality in history…and the lack of any sense of civic responsibility IS a moral failure. And I don’t mean speechifying or sending pithy Tweets. These people need to take a page out of the Koch Brothers’ book: get in, get active, get committed. And no, I don’t just mean “make a contribution to the Clinton Global Initiative”.

        1. Ellie K

          Yes, they need to do more that is not self-serving! (By “they” I am not referring to the Koch brothers; the Koch brothers have become overly convenient bete noir.) I am tired of reading about “venture philanthropy” and other oxymorons. The people who do the least are the loudest about it.

          1. JerseyJeffersonian

            Yes, the empty wagon is the noisiest…

            Lyrics from R.E.M.’s “Little America” from 1984. I think they saw it coming.

            “Little America”

            I can’t see myself at thirty, I don’t buy a lacquered thirty
            Caught like flies, preserved for tomorrow’s jewelry, again
            Lighted in the amber yard, a green shellback, green shellback
            Preserved for tomorrow’s eyes, in a tree beer tar-black br’er sap

            The biggest wagon is the empty wagon is the noisiest
            The consul a horse, Jefferson, I think we’re lost

            Who will tend the farm museums, who will dust today’s belongings
            Who will sweep the floor, hedging near the givens
            Rally round your leaders it’s the mediator season
            Diane is on the beach, do you realize the life she’s led

            The biggest wagon is the empty wagon is the noisiest
            The consul a horse, oh man, I think we’re lost
            The biggest wagon is the empty wagon is the noisiest
            A matter of course, Jefferson, drive

            Lighted in the amber yard, a green shellback, green shellback
            Skylight, sty-tied, Nero pie-tied, in a tree tar-black br’er sap
            Reason has harnessed the tame, a lodging, not stockader’s game
            Another Greenville, another Magic Mart, Jeffer, grab your fiddle

            The biggest wagon is the empty wagon is the noisiest
            The consul a horse, Jefferson, I think we’re lost
            The biggest wagon is the empty wagon is the noisiest
            The consul a horse, Jefferson, I think we’re lost, lost

            That last line says it all, no?

  12. David

    “…hatchet-faced austerity enforcer..”

    In the links this morning, you castigated someone for making sexist comments about Hillary. You said,

    “..it’s dumb, because emphasizes the personal characteristics of candidates as opposed to their political ones.”

    Other than that, I enjoyed the article.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I hesitated on that. I don’t see it as sexist (the original context). I saw “hatchet” and “austerity” as connected through an image of cutting and hacking. It’s hard to come up with vivid language (like calling Donald Trump a “short-fingered vulgarian”; it’s the short-fingered that does it). Also, role models are persons. They’re not abstract. Can anyone suggest an alternative?

      1. craazyboy

        The most neutral way I could come up with is to refer to Hillary as “he-she”. But you can see there are problems with that too. I’d say don’t sweat it too much. If it sounds or looks like porn, we’ll recognize it.

      2. Steve H.

        Wit is a strong portion of what makes this site attractive. Satire is a sacred tradition, and the Greeks were brutal in the comedies. Call them verbal caricatures.

        Given that, substituting another object for ‘face’, perhaps ‘wielding’, implicitly aligns to the evoked image for those who know what the person looks like. Think of Christie ‘leaning on someone’ for another example of an evoked image. By such means does poetry work its magic without offense.

    2. jrs

      It’s troubling because there are probably wonderful women of Hilary’s age with abysmal taste in pantsuits who look like Hillary Clinton. And unlike Hillary they may be really great people and not moral monsters …

      So that’s why it’s not really about looks. But I do hate our evil politicians, and I’d defend my right to hate them, I’d have to be emotionally dead not to, I hate them for what they do.

  13. Cassiodorus

    The Republicans are running as angry little children, spouting talking points full of puerile hatred for everyone. The Democrats are running on “health insurance reform,” the sequester, and all sorts of other worthless crap. The Greens are sitting on their party and hoping nobody joins it and defiles its pristine purity. The “Left” is making excuses for why they can’t create a fourth party.

    As far as I can tell, Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein are the only candidates promising anyone anything, with rapidly diminishing chances of delivery.

    1. Blue Guy Red State

      Bernie Sanders resonating with some very Tea Party friendly members of my extended family, along with various traditional lefties like me (aging Boomer and former Independent who move right to join Democratic Party in 1980s) and Millenial offspring. Summer family camping trip might get interesting!

      Sen. Sanders is making more sense to more people because we’ve tried trickle-down, tax-cutting Reaganomics for 35 years, and it’s been a disaster across the board unless you’re filthy rich. (And the filthy rich live on the same planet as the rest of us, breathe the same air and drink the same water too.)

      People are ready for REAL hope and REAL change; this will give Sen. Sanders a lot more traction than the MSM and both GOP and Democratic bigwigs expect. Good.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        At least you know where he’s coming from. (I’ve had rational discussions on single payer with TP types; “something a small government should do,” having been made smaller by ending the wars and the surveillance state. Far more rational than with Democratic loyalists. Of course, there are TPers and TPers…)

  14. Kas Thomas

    Lambert, thank you for this excellent summary and analysis.

    I’m mystified by Fight No. 2 of the Four Fights: strengthening families. If you’ve chosen to be single (and not live with parents) do you not exist? Do single people not need to be “strengthened”? What does “strengthening families” even mean? Reducing the divorce rate? One gun per child? A gym in every house? It’s nonsensical.

    Fight No. 3 is about maintaining leadership (presumably America still leads in something worthwhile). Again, I seem to be missing something here. What are we leading at and why is it important to be leading? Is this a contest? A game show?

    Fight No. 4 — “reforming our government” is such a mealymouth nothing-phrase. I want to know what Clinton thinks that phrase means, concretely. It can mean anything.

    When I hear a content-free speech like this it makes me shudder for America’s future. And I was already shuddering.

    1. craazyboy

      content-free speech

      I just saw a clip on TV where Hillary finally gave her “position” on TPP. She said she thought Prez Obama should work with his allies – Nancy Pelosi – to determine if this trade agreement (yes, she called it that) is weak. If it is weak, it should be made STRONG.

      I think she uttered something else about strong being good.

      No words about the secret part.

      I felt like I just got transported back to kindergarten.

  15. Synoia

    S.S. Clinton, the beginning of a Titanic voyage.

    I cannot perceive of anything concrete coming form a second Clinton presidency, except more and more constituents thrown under the bus, the space already crowded with groups so discarded by President Obama.

    I’m for Bernie.

  16. craazyman

    Now that Hillary is officially running for President, it’s time to ask the tough questions. Thhe tough questions separate a vanity candidate who just want media attention from the hardened policy field marshall who has to make the tough decisions in the face of strenuous opposition. If Hillary is for real, she might get elected, so its not too early to think of the Top 10 Questions for President H.R. Clinton at her first press conference.

    Question #10
    Are those aliens that crashed at Roswell still in a deep freeze at Wright Patterson AFB or have they totally decomposed by now?

    Question #9
    if they can print money and hand it out to Wall Street millionaires, why can’t you print some up and hand it out to me

    Question #8
    If you get elected will Bill really be the President? C’mon be honest.

    Question #7
    Did you find any blunts laying around the White House movie room after Obama left? whoa! Sorry just a joke.

    Question #6
    This is a multiple choice question!
    How many hedge funds does it take to destroy society?
    a) less than 100
    b) just one
    c) they can’t take you anyway, you don’t already know how to go
    d) what kind of question is that?

    Question #5
    Are Republlcans completely crazy or do they just seem like it?

    Question #4
    Doesn’t every American deserve a 10 bagger?

    Question #3
    If somebody is too lazy to work, is that against some kind of civic religious doctrine and should they be persecuted?

    Question #2
    You don’t use Roundup on the White House lawn do you? Please say “no”

    And Question #1 for President H.R. Clinton at her first press conference

    drum roll please . . . .

    Is Bruce Jenner still a roll model for America’s athletic youth and if not, why not?

    ^ ^ ^
    Holy smokes those are tough questions for any body, much less a US president. but they need to be clever if they’re the President don’t they!

  17. Ed Walker

    Fun factoid. Sunday Paper has different headline than current article up on web. Here’s the headline from the paper:

    Sounding Populist Themes, Clinton Pledges to Close Gap in Wealth.

    And here’s the headline from the web right now:

    Hillary Clinton, in Roosevelt Island Speech, Pledges to Close Income Gap

    And note the title in the URL:


    Just can’t quite make up their minds about what happened.

  18. John

    Saw a spokeswoman for Hillary’s campaign on FOX News Sunday.

    She could even come with with one reason why 35 hedge fund hyenas shouldn’t make more then all the kindergarten teachers in America combined.

    Hillary. A woman of the people. LMAO.

  19. TG

    Oh BARF.

    In earlier and more innocent times, there were three ways that politicians were evaluated:

    1. Look at the record.
    2. Look at the record.
    3. Look at the record.

    The record is clearer than the finest crystal. Hilary talks like Eleanor Roosevelt, but she governs like Marie Antoinette. Hilary Clinton is scum. Period. That’s it. Game over. Deal with it.

    1. doug

      While we all appreciate Lambert’s effort with this post, TG has summed up the Roosevelt Island speech – and, I predict — ALL of Hilary C’s speeches to come: BARF

  20. timbers

    Hillary is Sarah Palin but with better grammar. Just like Obama is Sarah Palin but with better grammar. Read this and say I’m lying:


    “Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton said drug companies that would benefit from a Pacific trade pact should sell their products to the U.S. government at a discount in her strongest comments yet on an issue that has divided her party.”

    “Clinton’s comments amount to an implicit rebuke of President Barack Obama’s efforts to secure the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and a nod toward liberal critics of the deal as she campaigns to win the Democratic nomination for the November 2016 presidential election.”

    “I have held my peace because I thought it was important for the Congress to have a full debate without thrusting presidential politics and candidates into it,” she said at a campaign stop in Burlington, Iowa. “But now I think the president and his team could have the chance to drive a harder bargain.”

    “Clinton did not say whether she would support or reject the deal. But she criticized several aspects of the agreement…”

    “Our drug companies, if they are going to get what they want, they should give more to America,”

    1. jrs

      What they want is screwing over the rest of the world and their health care systems or specifically the countries which sign it, which might if we are lucky begin to see it that way and kill the deal… but what about the ever so exceptional America? Waaaahhh …. (the people of which won’t actually benefit anyway)

      People elsewhere who oppose the TPP just had their opposition propaganda written for them. Discuss how TPP will raise drug prices if your in OZ or NZ or whatever, and then show a clip of Hillary saying “Our drug companies, if they are going to get what they want, they should give more to America”. And say something like “isn’t it time New Zealand made policy for New Zealand?” or something.

  21. Sanctuary

    I was in Cuyahoga County in 2004 and I can tell you unequivocally, they (the Republicans) played every dirty trick in the book and stole that election. They were calling people up and telling them that Democrats vote the next day, Republicans vote on that day and/or calling people up and “informing” them of the incorrect polling location to go to, closing down polling locations or not starting them for several hours past the mandated time. The 2000 morass I blame on Gore, since by no stretch of the imagination should that election have even been close enough that a few million votes undercounted or prevented would have swung the election. That he chose to buy into the Republican memes about Clinton, act guilty, and run away from him, was his own bad judgment. When you act guilty in the US, you ARE guilty. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. Say what you want about the Clinton’s, that is one lesson they always understood.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Remember when the building they were counting the votes in went on lockdown because of a terrorist threat? And some kind soul called DOJ and found no such thing? Was that in Cuyahoga County?

      I remember going to bed when the results where still up in the air, with Stephanie Cutler (IIRC) saying the Kerry campaign would challenge the results in court. And then when I woke up, no, they weren’t going to, and Bush “won.” This after the Kerry campaign had actually collected money for a challenge. And now Kerry is our Secretary of State!

  22. Jerry Denim

    “There’s plenty to like in Clinton’s speech at the talking point level.”


    “We need more from Clinton — more from all candidates. Much, much more. ”


    I know Hillary once again is the front runner, the presumed nominee and the only Democratic candidate for “serious” respectable grown-ups and as such must receive her share of the horse race coverage. I also know the tone of this post was basically critical and skeptic. That said, I find such an earnest micro-parsing of Clinton’s utterly meaningless, consequence-free campaign rhetoric by a respected, important and principled site such as this does Clinton an undeserved service by lending her legitimacy at a time when she should be shouted down and shamed for being the lying, compromised, money-grubbing, scruple-less corporate sock puppet that she is. If the political elites learned anything from Obama (a.k.a. Bush 3.0) it’s that you can lie through your teeth on a daily basis and along with some help from our red vs. blue propaganda machine media still convince gullible voters who identify with team blue’s brand to continue to support a team blue Prez, and vote for him/her even if he/she betrays regular Americans and kicks them on a daily basis as long as he/she smiles and says he/she is committed to popular and happy things on camera. Hillary can say whatever the hell she wants right now and it doesn’t mean a thing. She doesn’t hold elected or appointed office. She can make socialist, FDR type promises till the cows come home while still raking in billions in corporate money, foreign money, and libertarian billionaire asshole money because they know just like Obama she will break every populist campaign promise before she’s even sworn in as President. A President Hillary and her entourage would continue business as usual because they has a proven track record of being pro-establishment, pro-Wall Street, Washington-consensus, Neo-con hawks. Believing anything else is utter madness.

    Save your analysis and commentary for a Socialist with a better track record like Bernie Sanders or some other long-shot, third party candidate. Carefully parsing the words of a lying pol like Clinton is about as sane and as useful as trying to divine meaning in a pile of dogshit and then claiming you have a legal and binding contract with your bank. We don’t need more from Clinton we need less. Way less. We need her to shut up and go away, we know who and what she really is. Since Clinton doesn’t look like she plans on shutting up or going away anytime soon I think she should either be – a.) Ignored, or (b.) Shouted down and shamed. Just like Obama I can’t take a single word she speaks seriously with her track record.

    1. jrs

      Agreed really.

      But it’s like an article linked to about Bernie Sanders (who at least is not Hillary Clinton) which snarky beyond snarky also dropped out the line “find out when your primary is, if you don’t know (you absolute idiot in civic matters or that was the tone), look it up here”. And I did not know, and so I did. And it was 1 whole @#$# year away! California primary was with the states at the very tail end next June. And I was then wondering: why am I even thinking about this? I have nothing to do politically or otherwise for a whole complete year but think about the Presidential primary? And I’d get a ballot in the mail when it’s near then anyway … Of course the early states are early in 2016.

      Only this do I kind of agree with:
      “President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered.”

      Although of course not every American liked FDR, but we do all need to do what we can, which mostly consists of a great deal of opposition to the powers that be, like Hillary.

    2. Doug Terpstra

      Hear! Hear! Perhaps I’m suffering from early-onset CCFS (Chronic Campaign Fatigue Syndrome), but such insightful analysis does seem to dignify a manifestly duplicitous “bafflegab” artist, like giving Obama the usual benefit of doubt for “failure”. I too would rather see coverage of Bernie, but then again, I’m already so bone-weary of the breathless democracy charade even my marrow is numb. No donuts, please.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, everybody isn’t as advanced in their thinking as you. They need that speech parsed, and your cousin who’s on the fence needs it parsed, and their friend. That’s why this is a Water Cooler, instead of an party tract or brochure.

      Moreover, as it turns out, one of your alternatives is purely rhetorical: “(b) Shouted down and shamed.” Surely a detailed takedown of Clinton’s speech comes under that heading, as soon as we abstract away from your personal desire to shout, as oppose to talk or discuss? I’m not into bullhorns, thank you.

      1. Jerry Denim

        Lambert I really appreciate all of the work you do down in the trenches and I’m sorry if I was too harsh, like I said in my original post, I know she is the “serious candidate”, front runner etc. horse-race, etc. It’s my humble opinion that if anybody out there is still on the fence concerning a Clinton Presidency in the year 2015, I don’t think the possible true meanings and subtle nuances teased out of her campaign rhetoric by a granular parsing is going to change any minds. I would think anyone that finds themselves aligned with the primary concerns of a site like this would have already ruled out a crooked, status-quo candidate like Clinton and if they haven’t by now with the well-documented mounds of dirt lying about on the Clintons then maybe that person just really wants to vote for a rotten establishment candidate that will maintain the rotten status quo in DC.

        Regarding my phrase “shouted down” of course I mean shouted down in a rhetorical sense, and no I certainly don’t want this site to devolve into a coarse forum of all-caps shouters. I simply meant given Clinton’s duplicitous and unscrupulous track record her words are not worthy of serious analysis or consideration. They mean nothing. Just like Obama, words mean nothing. Your post while snarky, critical and extremely skeptical of Clinton leaves readers with the impression that you believe Hillary Clinton is somehow redeemable and her words matter, like perhaps a better campaign platform would somehow translate into some kind of tangible net benefit. My position is it doesn’t matter, because she can’t be trusted. Any bold talk or soaring rhetoric offered up by Clinton is nothing but more unenforceable campaign promises of the Obama flavor. As long as the talking heads on MSNBC sing the praises of team blue pol and the heads at Fox News call team blue pol a filthy Socialist, broken campaign promises will continue to be political checks that can be bounced endlessly without consequence. I believe your talents could be better applied elsewhere, wasting time or thought on Clinton is a dead end.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          “Somehow redeemable” Well, I don’t do theology. In any case, there no fact you’re adducing that I am not already intimately familiar with, or most readers. So you’ll have to forgive me if I feel I’m the best judge of how to use such talents as I have.

          My advice to you is that rather than assigning me tasks, you do your work yourself. If you look around, you’ll see a broad spectrum of informed opinion; consider informing, adding value, as opposed to castigating.

          1. Jerry Denim

            “…leaves readers with the impression that you believe Hillary Clinton is somehow redeemable and her words matter”

            My take away, my opinion. Others seemed to get the same impression so I don’t think I was way off base with that, but I’m happy to hear we are in agreement concerning HRC- sorry if I had you all wrong.

            I certainly did not intend to castigate or assign tasks, I was just trying to make a point about HRC’s trustworthiness and skilled use of ‘bafflegab’ to quote another commenter. If I failed to elucidate why I think Clinton’s campaign rhetoric is undeserving of blog space and deep analysis after two overly verbose posts then the fault lies with me.

  23. Yata

    It’s fair game. Had Hillary decided to run a grass roots campaign of some substance and less a superficial sales pitch.
    The thought of Yves’ posts on BS jobs is a recurring thought when faced with worthless politics and PR campaigns that by and large fall flat.
    A favorite example of this type of appealing to ignorance is a Wal Mart commercial that capitalizes on the hard work of those who struggled for a minimum wage rate hike. The spoiler being what is actually said and what the implication is in the check-out lane being opened.

  24. TedWa

    I just wish posters here would stop thinking about and posting about Bernie Sanders as if he’s a 3rd party candidate. I’m old enough to remember when progressive democrats like Bernie ran things. He’s more of a traditional democrat than Hillary can even dream about being. There is no throwing the race to the Republicans by voting for and supporting Bernie – he’s running as a democrat and running as a challenger to neo-liberal Hillary and neo-liberal politics and only 1 of them can make it to the final democratic nomination. Get it? Only one of them. This is not going to be a 3rd party race! I know wrapping your head around Bernie as a democrat is hard for some of the younger among us that don’t remember a time when neo-liberalism didn’t rule the roost, but that is what he is and that is how he’s running. There is no 3rd party candidate
    Thank you for your time.

  25. Jay M

    I’m glad it has come to a chicken in every pot and an investment banker for every daughter.

  26. Blurtman

    How does Hillary’s level playing field rhetoric work in her own life? Let’s look at how her daughter has fared in her own struggles to live a middle class life.

    Lord Butler of Brockwell, the Master of University College, said: “Her (Chelsea’s) record at Stanford shows that she is a very well-qualified and able student. The college is also pleased to extend its link with the Clinton family.”

    In 2003, Clinton joined the consulting firm McKinsey & Company in New York City.

    In the fall of 2006, she went to work for Avenue Capital Group, a global investment firm focusing on distressed securities and private equity.

    In 2010, she became Vice Chair of the Clinton Foundation.

    In November 2011, NBC announced that they hired Clinton as a special correspondent, paying her $600,000 per year. Clinton memorably interviewed the Geico Gecko in April 2013.

    Since 2011, she has also taken a dominant role at the family’s Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation, and has had a seat on its board.


    Yep, just your average citizen who received no breaks or hands up in her slog through the trials and tribulations of making it in the USA.

  27. FunknJunk

    Just thought I’d add a link to Professor Harvey Kaye talking to Bill Moyers about FDR’s Four Freedoms. http://billmoyers.com/episode/fighting-for-the-four-freedoms/ So inspiring. The opposite of HRC. I appreciated this article very much … I don’t see how anyone who watched or read the HRC text and has a passing familiarity to the Four Freedoms speech can see any relationship between the two whatsoever except at the most superficial level, meaning HRC used the word “Four”.

  28. Mark Alexander

    If we could get even a hundredth of the FCC’s proposed internet speed of 100 megabits per second we’d be ecstatic. Here in rural Vermont, we’re about a mile beyond DSL limits, and the local phone monopoly (a perpetually bankrupt company called FairPoint) seems to have no interest in extending that limit.

    So we’re stuck with a kludge involving an ancient unlocked Android 3G phone talking to an AT&T tower that’s probably 10 miles away and hidden behind a ridge, an external antenna, a 20 foot cable, a cradle booster, and a Linux laptop acting as the USB tether and router. On a good night, we’re lucky to get 500 Kb/sec, and it’s usually much less. During the day it’s barely better than dialup (anybody remember that?), and AT&T drops the connection every few minutes, probably due to overload caused by everybody and their dog checking their Facebook or sending videos via Snapchat.

    Our only hope is a local community-sponsored non-profit that is trying to bring fiber to our area. This non-profit didn’t get any tax breaks or grants from state or federal government agencies, so they have to raise funds by selling promissory notes. So if we’re lucky, we might actually have decent service sometime in the next year.

    It makes one proud to live in the country that invented the internet.

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