Monday, December 7, 2015

Hillary News & Views 12.7: Taking on Terrorism, the NRA, the RNC, Trump, Cruz, and Wall Street

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton’s extensive comments over the weekend regarding combating terrorism.

The Washington Times reports:
Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday that calling for stricter gun control laws does not diminish the fight against “domestic and international” terrorism, saying that firearms allowed an attack last week in California and earlier assaults in Colorado and Oregon to be as deadly as they were.
“What happened in San Bernardino was a terrorist attack, nobody is arguing with that,” Mrs. Clinton said on ABC’s “This Week.” “But let’s not forget, though, a week before we had an American assault on Planned Parenthood and some weeks before that we had an assault at a community college. So I don’t see these two as in anyway contradictory.”
“We have to up our game against terrorists abroad and at home, and we have to take account of the fact that our gun laws and the easy access to those guns by people who shouldn’t get them,” she said. “Mentally ill people, fugitives, felons and the Congress continuing to refuse to prohibit people on the no-fly list from getting guns, which include a lot of domestic and international terrorists — these are two parts of the same approach that I’m taking to make us safe.”
She suggested sanctions against gun sellers whose firearms are used in crimes.
“The NRA’s position always is that if you can’t stop everything, why try to stop anything,” Mrs. Clinton said, referring to the National Rifle Association. “That’s not the way law works. People are still going to drive drunk, but we still have laws. We need to end the liability for gun sellers.”

Re/Code reports:
“They are using websites, social media, chat rooms and other platforms to celebrate beheadings, recruit future terrorists and call for attacks. We should work with host companies to shut them down,” Clinton said. Later on, during a question-and-answer session, she specifically mentioned San Bernardino suspect Tashfeen Malik’s reported “allegiance to [ISIS leader] al-Baghdadi and ISIS on Facebook.”
Clinton urged the tech industry “to shut off [ISIS terrorists’] means of communicating.”
“Self-radicalizaiton that leads to attacks, like what we think happened in San Bernardino, we’re going to have to ask our tech companies … to help us on this,” she said.
The Fiscal Times reports:
 “We have to fight them in the air, we have to fight them on the ground, and we have to fight them on the Internet; and we have to do everything we can with our friends and partners to protect ourselves,” she added.
Clinton said the U.S. and it allies must first “make sure we have every tool at our disposal to destroy their would-be caliphate in Syria and in Iraq. Number two, do everything we can to dismantle this very effective, virtual, jihadist network that they are using on the Internet. And number three, do whatever is necessary to protect us here at home.”
She also called for increasing the number of special operations forces in Syria but ruled out sending American combat troops back to the Middle East.
“I think it would make things worse, not better,” she said.
Clinton also had a lot to say about the RNC and Donald Trump:
“I think it's a little bit amusing that the Republican National Committee would go after me, since all of their candidates and their party philosophy is massive spending cuts and massive tax decreases for those at the very top with no thought to how to pay for it or the trillions of dollars it would add to the national debt,” she said, noting her spending proposals would be spread out over 10 years.
Clinton perked up the most when asked to respond to a new line of attack from Donald Trump, involuntarily laughing at the mention of the former reality TV star.
“I don't have any influence over who they nominate over there and, in fact, he's not the only one saying things that are deeply distressing. A lot of the others are kind of Trump 2, you know? Oh, whatever Trump says, maybe we won't go quite as far, but we'll get as close as we can,” she said.
“He's a reality TV star. I mean tens of millions of people have watched him for more than a decade on TV and he is part of the celebrity and he will say whatever he wants to say and if he's held account, that -- it's not true, he just brushes it off and he goes on,” she said. “There's a certain attractiveness to people that here's a guy who says exactly what he believes, untrue as it may be, inflammatory as it certainly is."
“I try to take criticism seriously but not personally,” she said, paraphrasing former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who said “for any woman in the public arena, you have to grow skin as thick as a rhinoceros … I try to put lotion on it, but … I've had to grow a lot of thick skin over the years.”
ABC News reports:
Before listening to the clips of Trump’s comments, Clinton sat back and chuckled, “Oh, dear. A new one, huh?”
“She’ll do a couple of minutes in Iowa, meaning a short period of time. And then she goes home,” Trump said Saturday at a campaign rally in Davenport, Iowa. “You don’t see her for five or six days. She goes home, goes to sleep. I’m telling you. She doesn’t have the strength. She doesn’t have the stamina.”
Clinton watched the clip and laughed along with the crowd at Trump’s rally. When the clip concluded, Clinton responded, “Who can agree with anything he says that is, you know, subject to one second of fact checking?”
Clinton also fired back at Ted Cruz, while making clear the importance of language when describing jihadist attacks.

NBC News reports:
When asked why she won't use the term "radical Islam," Clinton said it sounds too much "like we are declaring war against a religion."
"I don't want to do that" she said. "It helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists who use this as a way of saying we're in a war against the West."
She also criticized Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz for saying he wanted to "carpet bomb" the region.
"He's never had any responsibility for trying to figure out who the bad guys are and who innocent civilians are," she said.
Clinton had harsh words for Jerry Falwell, Jr. (First reported at Daily Kos by FirstAmendment.)
The Huffington Post reports:
When Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. declared Friday that if more Americans could carry concealed guns "we could end those Muslims," he was aiding terrorism, Hillary Clinton alleged Sunday morning.
Falwell, the son of the late religious right leader Jerry Falwell Sr., made the remark at Liberty University's weekly convocation while discussing the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, the deadliest attack in the U.S. in three years which left 14 dead.
"I’ve always thought that if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in and killed them," he said.
"This is the kind of deplorable, not only hateful, response to a legitimate security issue but it is giving aid and comfort to ISIS and other radical jihadists," the former secretary of state and current Democratic presidential front-runner said on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."
Experts reckon that groups such as Daesh could seek to exploit instances of anti-Islam sentiment in the U.S. to drum up further support for their cause and recruit more adherents.
Meanwhile, Clinton penned an op-ed for the New York Times on her proposed Wall Street regulations.
First, we need to further rein in major financial institutions. My plan proposes legislation that would impose a new risk fee on dozens of the biggest banks — those with more than $50 billion in assets — and other systemically important financial institutions to discourage the kind of hazardous behavior that could induce another crisis. I would also ensure that the federal government has — and is prepared to use — the authority and tools necessary to reorganize, downsize and ultimately break up any financial institution that is too large and risky to be managed effectively. No bank or financial firm should be too big to manage.
My plan would strengthen the Volcker Rule by closing the loopholes that still allow banks to make speculative gambles with taxpayer-backed deposits. And I would fight to reinstate the rules governing risky credit swaps and derivatives at taxpayer-backed banks, which were repealed during last year’s budget negotiations after a determined lobbying campaign by the banks.
My plan also goes beyond the biggest banks to include the whole financial sector. Some have urged the return of a Depression-era rule called Glass-Steagall, which separated traditional banking from investment banking. But many of the firms that contributed to the crash in 2008, like A.I.G. and Lehman Brothers, weren’t traditional banks, so Glass-Steagall wouldn’t have limited their reckless behavior. Nor would restoring Glass-Steagall help contain other parts of the “shadow banking” sector, including certain activities of hedge funds, investment banks and other non-bank institutions. My plan would strengthen oversight of these activities, too — increasing leverage and liquidity requirements for broker-dealers and imposing strict margin requirements on the kinds of short-term borrowing that also played a major role in spurring the financial crisis. We need to tackle excessive risk wherever it lurks, not just in the banks.
Second, I would appoint tough, independent regulators and ensure that both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission are independently funded — as other critical regulators are now — so that they can do their jobs without political interference. I would seek to impose a tax on harmful high-frequency trading, which makes markets less stable and less fair. And we need to reform stock market rules to ensure equal access to information, increase transparency and minimize conflicts of interest.
Finally, executives need to be held more accountable. No one should be too big to jail. I would seek to extend the statute of limitations for major financial crimes to 10 years from five and enhance rewards for whistle-blowers. I would work to ensure that financial firms admit wrongdoing as part of settlements in instances of egregious misconduct, and increase transparency about the terms of settlement and the fines actually paid to the government. Fines should be more than just the cost of doing business to these companies — they should be an effective disincentive for illegal behavior.


  1. Great, I love these; I don't have cable TV, only online. Minor transcription error in the paragraph beginning "He's a reality TV star." "Stay" instead of "say".