Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hillary News & Views 10.21: Limiting Corporate Power, Localizing the Election, and a Little Feminist

Today's edition of Hillary News & Views kicks off with a new piece Clinton has written on limiting corporate power.

From an editorial published by Quartz:
First, I will take steps to stop corporate concentration in any industry where it’s unfairly limiting competition. For example, right now, it’s perfectly legal for a pharmaceutical company to pay a competitor to keep a generic drug off the market. These so-called “pay for delay” agreements keep prescription drug costs artificially high and diminish patient choice. I will empower the Department of Justice to vigorously investigate proposed health insurance mergers and take action to rein in prescription drug and out-of-pocket costs. Closing these loopholes and protecting other standards of free and fair competition—like enforcing strong net neutrality rules and preempting state laws that unfairly protect incumbent businesses—will keep more money in consumers’ wallets, enable startups to challenge the status quo, and allow small businesses to thrive.
Second, I will prevent concentration in the first place by beefing up the antitrust enforcement arms of the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission. I will direct more resources to hire aggressive regulators who will conduct in-depth industry research to better understand the link between market consolidation and stagnating incomes. Ultimately, this will foster a change in corporate culture that restores competition to the marketplace.
Third, I will close the loopholes and end the tax breaks that allow a few big corporations to profit just by stashing their money in offshore tax havens with the help of their lawyers and accountants. I’ll encourage companies to share corporate earnings with their workers, not just their executives, by creating a new tax credit to encourage profit-sharing programs. And I’ll invest in creating good-paying jobs in the industries of the future. We’ll build a 21st century infrastructure by developing and deploying more clean energy, and fuel innovation by investing in basic research.

 In a similar vein, Clinton is calling for the FDA and the FTC to investigate price gouging.  

CNN Money reports:
Hillary Clinton has stepped up her attacks on the company that hiked the price of a pill used by AIDS and cancer patients more than 5,000% -- calling for a government investigation. Clinton wrote to the Food and Drug Administration and Federal Trade Commission Monday asking that they look at Turing Pharmaceutical's pricing of Daraprim. Clinton asked the FDA to allow importation of low price versions of the drug from the U.K. and Canada.
"Patients who rely on this treatment should not have their health and lives put at risk because of an unnecessary anti-competitive market, and the FDA should act through all of its available authorities to remedy this situation as soon as feasible," she wrote in the FDA letter, which was first reported by Reuters. She acknowledged that the FTC has limited authority to act in the matter but asks the agency to investigate Turing for restricting distribution of the drug.
Clinton also further outlined how she would ensure climate change is priority in her administration.  

Green Tech Media reports:
Clinton used her answer to a question about a proposed pipeline in southern New Hampshire to address how regulators should approach climate change and encourage cleaner energy sources.
“The process FERC has in place does not give enough weight to public opinion,” said Clinton, who admitted she had not given the issue much thought before traveling around New Hampshire. Clinton broadened her answer beyond local planning and siting.
“Now that people raise this with me...if we’re going to have a national commitment to do something about climate change, FERC needs to be part of that national commitment.” Clinton said it's time to get beyond the idea that more energy is the only answer.
“Now we have to change that,” she said. “We have to change our values and our goals.” (In this respect, FERC has been a staunch advocate of demand response.) To combat climate change, Clinton said she would ensure every agency is operating with the same goals in mind. “Every part of the federal government needs to be focused,” Clinton said at the event. “It’s really important to not have the left hand doing something different than the right hand,” said Clinton.
Clinton continues to localize the national election by tailoring her message to each state she visits. The Des Moines Register reports:
Hillary Clinton is wading into the controversy over Gov. Terry Branstad’s decision to hand over management of Iowa’s Medicaid program to private corporations. On Tuesday, she ripped his plan to hire four national corporations to run the Medicaid program, which provides health coverage for more than 500,000 poor or disabled Iowans.
“I’m very wary of proposals like this because when Republicans say ‘privatize services,’ too often they mean cut services,” Clinton wrote.
“At the federal level, Republicans put forward budgets year after year that would block grant the program and cut Medicaid by up to a third, putting millions of beneficiaries at risk. In particular, in Iowa, I believe advocates have raised some legitimate concerns about the companies that were awarded contracts that have faced accusations of mismanagement.”
Branstad’s plan is to take effect Jan. 1, but it still needs federal approval. Clinton urged Iowans to sign a petition against it.
There are more women journalists covering Clinton's campaign than have been assigned for any other presidential contender in history. Politico reports:
The change seems to be a combination of more women doing political reporting in general, and many more being drawn to Clinton's potentially historic candidacy. It's made for an unusual atmosphere, with a female candidate sparring with a nearly all-female corps of reporters. It hasn’t brought Clinton more positive coverage, according to those both inside the campaign and outside it.
But reporters and press aides alike note that there’s a different vibe nonetheless, punctuated by occasional expressions by the candidate herself of camaraderie for fellow pioneers. BuzzFeed’s Ruby Cramer recalled one press gaggle at which Clinton encouraged her to “liberate herself” and ask what she really wanted to ask.
Cramer had planned to ask a lighthearted question but explained that she felt obligated to ask about a former Clinton tech staffer, Bryan Pagliano, who took the Fifth Amendment rather than testify before Congress about Clinton’s email practice. (Cramer ended up asking both questions.)
“And Hillary said ‘Liberate yourself — ask me what you want to ask … no, just be free, be you,’” Cramer recalled, chuckling. “I felt like she was encouraging me in a woman-to-woman way."
“It was kind of mortifying but also a funny and light moment in which she was also just echoing something she had said about herself in the past,” Cramer added, referring to public comments Clinton has made about how she no longer feels as though she needs to be so careful about what to say "because somebody might think this instead of that."
Chozick recalled a chaotic news conference at the United Nations right after the news broke about Clinton’s private email server. Chozick found herself completely blocked, squished between two foreign photographers. But Clinton picked her out from the crowd.
“At one point Clinton says, 'Oh, we’ll go to her, she’s totally scrunched down there,’” Chozick said. “Maybe that was a moment of sympathizing, looking out and seeing how uncomfortable and filled in we were. ... It seemed sort of maternal."
Forbes is concerned that a Hillary Clinton administration would be too far left of Bill Clinton's administration:
A popular, but false, narrative is that the Republican Party has been pulled to the extreme right flank as a result of intransigent tea partiers, while the Democratic Party remains a center-left coalition of thoughtful technocrats willing to tackle the tough problems facing the country.
Hillary Clinton was supposed to be the standard bearer of the modern centrist brand of Democratic policy. If her campaign pronouncements are indication of how she would govern, Mrs. Clinton appears ready to embrace the excessive liberalism of the pre-Bill Clinton Democratic Party and wrap her arms around the new era of Big Government.
Perhaps they can sell vials of the tears produced by their impotent rage? Might make up for all those new taxes the wealthy will have to pay!

Clinton received a letter from a little feminist, and wrote a response back to her.

Here's the letter:

And a portion of Clinton's response:
“Thank you for writing to me; it put a smile on my face. … Please know that I join your dads in cheering you on for great success. Keep up the great work, always care deeply about what you believe in, and never stop reaching for the stars!”
Finally, some new campaign videos, one that celebrates Clinton's foreign policy accomplishments and another that snarkily reminds Republicans of their previous praise:

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