Before the November elections, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had already forthrightly assumed responsibility for the Benghazi debacle that resulted in the death of four Americans including much-admired Ambassador Chris Stephens’

But neither her statements nor subsequent departures of State Department officials has quieted the echo chamber of blame.  The buck stops at the top, and an independent panel report  found plenty of buck to lay on Clinton’s desk. She must own and start to fix the problems of inadequate security at US embassies before she departs.

Still, it’s hard to see the trashing of Susan Rice and the subsequent GOP drumbeat about Hillary Clinton as anything other than blatantly intended to discredit her stellar performance on the world stage this past four years and to mortally wound her candidacy (previously declared unbeatable by Newt Gingrich should she make a second presidential run in 2016.

As Meagan Vazquez points out in her “Young Politica” column below about Susan Rice, the facts are never just the facts but rather come laden with political and cultural meaning.

And by the way, I’m thrilled to tell you that Maegan is going to continue her column into the new year! So if you are one of the many followers of this smart column from a student’s point of view, we’ll return to publishing it on Mondays in 2013. See you then!

After the initial boredom post-election, the political media immediately focused on the eminence of the fiscal cliff. Since those talks are still going nowhere, media sought a new subject to sink their teeth into: Susan Rice and the secretary of state bid. Rice, who was being vetted to take over Hilary Clinton’s role as Secretary of State, has been the subject of scrutiny by some for being the ill-informed messenger to national media after the Benghazi terrorist attacks.

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Repealed-DADTAbout 40 years ago, someone close to me told me she was involved with another woman and asked me how I felt about that. “I don’t know,” I replied. That was my honest answer at the time. You see, this “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) business has been around for a long time. Nobody asked, nobody told, nobody really talked at all about sexual orientation with me as a heterosexual woman, and certainly not in the social justice and human rights context as I now understand them to be.

But change can happen. This week I joined many other Americans, gay and straight, to celebrate the repeal of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” an event that culminates decades of LGBTQ movement building and educating people like me about the fundamental fairness and justice of ending discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s not the end of the battle, but certainly a great milestone. This Friday Round Up is a tribute to the end of an unjust and unworkable policy on gays in the military, with particular emphasis on its impact on women…

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Looks like we’ll be spending another exciting Saturday night in front of the TV watching Congress debating a health care reform. I’m awfully glad women are so important that our bodies and our health seem to be a center of attention. On the other hand, I’m furious that the attention is once again on taking away abortion coverage rather than working to make sure women have access to all the basic health care services they need without Congress telling them what to do about their own lives, especially decisions as profound as childbearing and reproductive health.

It’s urgent that all senators hear from us TODAY AND TOMORROW. I vote in Arizona. My senators are Jon Kyl and John McCain, both 100% anti-choice Republicans who are almost certainly going to vote against the final bill. But still, they need to hear from me and you. Let them feel the heat.

So I’ve just signed this letter to my senators, prompted by the Center for Reproductive Rights which has it all set up so it’ll even figure out who your senators are and send it to them for you. Actually, I made several edits to the CRR letter and you can to if like me you find it too wussy for you. Here is my version–lift anything you want:

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Guest posting again! This was just too good not to share, especially with some folks who  have been commenting on Heartfeldt. recently. Award winning author of 21 books, and feminist leader Robin Morgan takes laser-beam aim at a few “feminists” who have taken to the blogways lately to support John McCain and Sarah Palin. You…

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Of all things during this last pre-election week, I’m in the utter chaos of moving into a new apartment, unpacking boxes filled with material elements of life while watching the increasingly frenzied campaign coverage on CNN. As though we’d picked up conversations from decades of working together, an e-mail from Mark Salo popped up on…

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I imagine just about every reader of Heartfeldt Politics watched Colin Powell’s endorsement of Barack Obama on today’s Meet the Press; you can listen to the key points on this podcast. I often find Powell too wishy washy for my taste, but then he is a diplomat by disposition and profession. And in this case,…

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Remember the bumbling villain Snidely Whiplash in the Dudley Do-Right animated series?  But for the absence of mustache, John McCain might well have been mistaken for Snidely in the final—thank goodness—presidential debate. I could imagine him rubbing hands together, cackling as he anticipated tying the gentle Barack Obama to the verbal train tracks, sure of…

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In response to comments both pro and con on my previous post here, I have been thinking a lot about why it matters that Sarah Palin uses her looks, her cutesy down-home phrases, her flirty moves. All politicians use whatever it is they’ve got to appeal to voters, after all. In fact, each and every…

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The frisky pit bull bounded out of her debate camp confinement, lipstick glistening under the PBS staging lights. Her black suit might have echoed Susan B. Anthony, were it not for the decidedly un-serious peplum that added a not so subtle, curtsy-cute feminine flourish. But then nothing about Sarah Palin is either subtle or uncalculated.…

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Little did I know a few weeks ago, when Carole Joffe and I wrote “It’s About Time Working Women Get Straight Answers from John McCain”, showing the connective tissue uniting economic and reproductive justice–you know, like the phrase “barefoot and pregnant”– and challenging McCain to clarify his positions on basic questions such as: Do you…

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