Friday, November 13, 2015

Hillary News & Views 11.13: Saving Coal Country, and 4 New Supreme Court Justices?

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of Clinton's ambitious plan to transition coal-dependent local economies as we become a nation powered by clean energy.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Thursday released a $30 billion plan aimed at revitalizing communities dependent on coal production, seeking to mitigate the economic impact of the nation’s shift from an electricity source that is both plentiful and polluting.
Mrs. Clinton’s plan includes federal money to spur economic development through building infrastructure, expanding broadband access and giving tax breaks for new investment in communities hit by a decline in coal production, such as many towns in Appalachia.
“Building a 21st century clean energy economy in the United States will create new jobs and industries, deliver important health benefits, and reduce carbon pollution,” the campaign said in a fact sheet. “But we can’t ignore the impact this transition is already having on mining communities, or the threat it poses to the health care and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families.”
Mother Jones reports:
One thing every Republican presidential candidate can agree on is that they hate President Barack Obama's plan to tackle climate change. Now Hillary Clinton might have a way to remedy one of their biggest concerns.
So far, their ideas to preserve the coal-country economy have focused on derailing the rules needed limit the gases that cause climate change, rather than retrofitting that economy for a new century powered by clean energy. In fact, neither Paul nor any of his presidential opponents (including Democrats Bernie Sanders and Martin O'Malley) have laid out what they would do as president to smooth the transition for coal communities as the market for our dirtiest form of energy rapidly shrinks.
Today Clinton produced her own $30 billion plan, which would use a smattering of tax incentives and grant funding to support public health, education, and entrepreneurial initiatives in coal communities from Appalachia to Wyoming. 
You can read the full plan here. It follows the lead of a similar but much smaller initiative Obama rolled out last month. Much of it is targeted at rebuilding infrastructure—highways, bridges, railroads, broadband networks. The Clinton campaign says that kind of development would not only create new jobs to replace those lost in the coal industry, but be vital for growing new industries.

The Washington Times frets that a President Clinton could appoint up to four Supreme Court justices:
Jan Crawford, who covers the Supreme Court for CBS News, said the next president “could well get two, three, possibly four appointments.”
“John Roberts has been frustrating for many conservatives,” Ms. Crawford said. “[But] if a Democrat wins the White House, John Roberts may well be writing a lot more dissents on the other side.”
Mrs. Clinton reportedly told supporters at a fundraiser last week that the Supreme Court is “wrong on the Second Amendment” and said she would work as president to reinstate a ban on assault weapons. Her comment was an apparent reference to the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, which ruled that the handgun ban in the nation’s capital was unconstitutional.
Clinton has also previously stated that support for overturning Citizens United, restoring voting rights, and preserving a woman’s right to reproductive rights are all additional litmus tests for her Supreme Court appointments.

CNN reports on an important development in Clinton's legacy as Secretary of State:
Hillary Clinton is claiming a share of the credit after elections in Myanmar delivered a landslide win for the democratic opposition.
“The Burmese election on Sunday was an important, though imperfect, step forward in the country's long journey toward democracy," Clinton said in a statement issued on Wednesday night. "It was also an affirmation of the indispensable role the United States can and should play in the world as a champion of peace and progress."
"When I was Secretary of State, President Obama and I worked with Aung San Suu Kyi and others on the ground in Burma to nurture flickers of progress into a real opening," Clinton said, praising the Burmese people for their determination. "As President, I will ensure that the United States continues to stand with them and with everyone around the world who seeks liberty and dignity."
CBS News reports that their latest poll shows Clinton’s primary support is the widest, firmest, and most enthusiastic of all candidates:
Just days before the Democratic candidates face off in their second debate, Hillary Clinton enjoys a wide lead in the race for the Democratic nomination nationally. Fifty-two percent of Democratic primary voters support her, followed by Bernie Sanders with 33 percent, and Martin O'Malley at 5 percent. The state of the race is similar to last month.
Still, with less than three months to go before the start of the nominating contests, half of Democratic primary voters say it is too early to say that their minds are made up about which candidate they will support. Clinton's backers, however, are more firm in their choice (54 percent) than those supporting Sanders (42 percent).
At this stage, Democratic primary voters would be more enthusiastic with Clinton as the party nominee than Sanders. Forty-three percent would enthusiastically back Clinton if she becomes the nominee, compared to 35 percent who say that about Sanders.
Once again, the ABC News-Washington Post poll is the outlier on the higher end for Clinton:
Clinton leads Sanders in support for the nomination by a wide margin in national polls, including by 64-25 percent among registered Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents in an ABC/Post poll in mid-October. She, Sanders and Martin O’Malley meet in their second debate tomorrow.
Clinton is seen more negatively than positively among men by an 18-point margin, 39-57 percent favorable-unfavorable; she’s +8 among women, 53-45 percent, for a 26-point gender gap. Sanders is -4 among men and +7 among women, a gender gap that’s less than half Clinton’s (but one that’s widened since summer – better for Sanders among women, worse among men).
Clinton also is far more popular among minorities than whites. Sixty-three percent of whites view her negatively, while 70 percent of nonwhites see her positively, including 82 percent of blacks and 60 percent of Hispanics. There’s much less of a racial division in views of Sanders.
By income, Clinton does best among those earning less than $50,000, while Sanders peaks in the highest bracket, $100,000 or more.
Finally, Clinton scores about equally across age groups. Sanders, by contrast, does best by far among 18- to 29-year olds, and has gained 25 points in popularity in this group since July.
Finally, Clinton’s campaign having the highest ranking African-American in a leadership role of any 2016 organization is demonstrating how diversity at the decision table makes a meaningful difference.

WPTZ reports:
[Marlon] Marshall, whose official title is director of states and political engagement, is the highest-ranking African-American staffer on any presidential campaign. While his portfolio is broad, spanning the 50 states, one of his most important tasks is helping the Clinton campaign navigate a cultural and political terrain that includes a new and boisterous civil rights movement, viral racial incidents and the waning tenure of the nation's first black president.
It was Marshall who Clinton reached out to the morning after nine African-Americans were gunned down in their Charleston church to say how upset she was and to ask how she could address the shooting in a way that could be meaningful.
The resulting address, which he helped craft, functioned as Clinton's race speech, her boldest remarks on what she called America's "deep fault line."
He has his hands in nearly every aspect of the operation; he is a longtime friend of Robby Mook, Clinton's campaign manager.
"I don't make the policy but in thinking about how do we amplify African Americans in general, I am definitely at the table," he said in a CNN interview. "Sometimes too much."

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