Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Hillary News & Views 12.16: Standing with Muslim Americans, Saving our State Parties

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of Clinton’s call for solidarity with Muslim-Americans and unity in the fight against terrorism, while renewing calls for gun control and repeating her opposition to U.S. ground troops being used in the fight against ISIS.

Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:
Hillary Clinton cited efforts already underway in Minnesota as an example of how to fight domestic recruitment of terrorists, using a Minneapolis speech on Tuesday to call for a stepped-up effort but one that respects people of different backgrounds.
“We cannot let fear push us into reckless actions that end up making us less safe,” Clinton said in a 45-minute speech at the University of Minnesota. Her campaign billed the speech as a major address on counterterrorism and preventing the radicalization of U.S. citizens into global jihad. “Americans are going to have to act with both courage and clarity.”
Clinton met with several Minnesota Muslim leaders who shared concerns and insights from a community that has watched as a handful of its young men were radicalized and lured overseas to fight in the Middle East and Africa.
“There are millions of peace-loving Muslims living, working, raising families and paying taxes in our country,” Clinton said. “These Americans may be our first, last, and best defense against home-grown radicalization and terrorism.”

NBC News reports:
Clinton acknowledged that Americans have a right to be fearful in this climate, while knocking Republicans for taking advantage of the country's collective anxiety. Without naming them, Clinton took clear shots at Republican candidates Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio for stoking fears, while blasting Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslim immigration headon.
"Promising to carpet bomb until the desert glows doesn't make you sound strong -- it makes you sound like you're in over your head," Clinton said. "Bluster and bigotry are not credentials for becoming commander-in-chief."
"We must all stand up against offensive, inflammatory, hateful, anti-Muslim rhetoric,” Clinton said. "These Americans might be our first, last and best defense against homegrown radicalization and terrorism."
She said comments by people like Trump are not only anti-American but "dangerous," since they erode trust with the Muslim-American community at home and Muslim allies abroad.
The Belfast Telegraph reports:
Mrs Clinton assailed her Republican rivals shortly before their latest presidential debate, telling an audience at the University of Minnesota that another ground war reminiscent of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan would play into the hands of the Islamic State (IS) group and fail to keep the US safe.
"Shallow slogans don't add up to a strategy," she said.
Like Mr Obama, she has said she would not send American ground troops to the Middle East, saying it would provide a recruiting tool for IS.
KMSP reports:
Hillary Clinton's speech Tuesday afternoon in Minneapolis put the fight against jihadist recruitment in the spotlight.  Speaking from the McNamara Alumni Center on the University of Minnesota campus, the Democratic front-runner for president laid out her 5-part plan to prevent radicalization.
1. “We have to shut down ISIS recruitment in the United States, especially online.”
2. “Stop would-be jihadists from getting training overseas, and stop foreign terrorists from coming here.”
3. “Discover and disrupt plots before they can be carried out.”
4. “Support law enforcement officers who risk their lives to prevent and respond to attacks.”
5. “Empower our Muslim-American communities who are on the front lines of the fight against radicalization.”
“This is a 360-degree strategy to keep America safe,” Clinton said.
“I know that this will drive some of our Republican friends a little crazy. You’ll probably hear it tonight,” Clinton predicted. “They’ll say that guns are a totally separate issue – nothing to do with terrorism. I have news for them. Terrorists use guns to kill Americans, and I think we should make it a lot harder for them to ever do that again.”
New York Daily News reports:
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday demanded that any strategy to fight terrorism at home and abroad must include making it harder for militants to buy guns.
"If you are too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun, period," Clinton said referring to legislation that has been held up by gun-loving Republicans that would make it more difficult for people on FBI's "no-fly list" to purchase firearms.
“And I am not going to let the gun lobby or anyone else tell me that is not the right road to go down,” she said to thunderous applause during the talk, coming just hours before a GOP presidential debate was scheduled to begin.
“The phrase active shooter should not be one we have to teach our children, but it is,” Clinton added, before repeating calls to reinstate an expired federal assault weapons ban.
USA Today reports:
“Our political debate has been anything but serious,” Clinton said in the speech at the University of Minnesota, a state that’s become a hotbed for domestic terrorist recruitment.
“Applying a religious test that discriminates against Muslims, slamming the door on every single Syrian refugee, that is not who we are as Americans,” she said. “We are better than that.”
"This is not a clash of civilizations, this is a clash between civilization and barbarism, and that's how it must be seen," she said.
CBS News reports:
“Our security professionals need to track and analyze ISIS social media posts and map jihadist networks," Clinton said, directly addressing a hole in one of the San Bernardino shooter's vetting process, referring to the fact that Tashfeen Malik had posted about her support of violent jihad on Facebook. "Companies should double their efforts to maintain and enforce their own service agreements and other necessary policies to police their networks, identify extremist content and remove it."
Clinton also said that she was "glad" that the U.S. is taking a closer look at visa security and suggested that the Department of Homeland Security should dispatch agents to "high risk countries" to "better investigate" visa applicants.
"Anyone who has traveled in the past five years to a country facing serious problems with terrorism foreign fighters should have to go through a full visa investigation," Clinton said, "no matter where they're from."
Clinton’s team has been working extensively with state parties across the country, with an eye on repair and improvement in advance of the general election.

Politico reports:
Top officials with Hillary Clinton’s campaign have started assessing the strength of local Democratic parties and ordering up investments to correct organizational deficiencies and financial shortfalls in the battleground states she will need in her column to win the White House.
The health of state parties has been an obsession for both Bill and Hillary Clinton for years, and the candidate has been closely watching some of them since 2013, knowing that a strong ground game and finance operation in Florida and Ohio in particular could make the difference between a Democrat and a Republican in the White House. So she made revitalizing the decimated state infrastructures a focus of her 2016 effort shortly after launching her bid in April.
“Our campaign remains focused on outreach to Democrats in these primary states – including the March primary contests and helping our state parties as they hold the Republican candidates accountable for their out-of-touch and out-of-date agenda,” said campaign spokesman Jesse Ferguson.
The campaign has had access to information about the state parties’ funding and spending practices since it negotiated joint fundraising agreements with most of them over the summer and fall, and it sent $24,000 each to the potential battlegrounds of Florida, Virginia, and Pennsylvania — not an early-voting state at all — shortly after the agreement was formalized.

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