Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.12: Racial Injustice, Immigration, Endorsements, Guns, Taxes, Flint

For more coverage of Hillary Clinton at Daily Kos, visit the Hillary Writers Circle.

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of last night's candidate forum in Iowa and related policy announcements.

Fusion reports:
Moderator and Fusion contributor Akilah Hughes asked Clinton how her administration would prove that black lives matter, not just say it.
“Criminal justice reform, policing reform, incarceration reform—I believe strongly that this has to be the strongest priority of our [next] president,” she said.
Clinton rattled off a perfunctory list of ways she would “disrupt the school-to-prison pipeline” —ending the incarceration of low-level offenders, seeking alternative treatment options to incarceration, and incentivizing private investment in “the most disinvested” communities— without detailing an execution plan. Clinton also stressed that these reforms make also make economic sense.
“[Our current system] is such a violation of what we say our values are, you know, ‘equal before the law,'” the candidate said. “Well, we have systemic racism and bias that is implicit in our system, and unless we begin to go after that and expose it and end it we won’t solve this problem.”
The Des Moines Register reports:
Clinton told moderators at the Iowa Brown and Black Forum that while trying to get immigration reform bills through Congress, she would use presidential powers to implement current laws more fairly.
Journalist and moderator Jorge Ramos asked Clinton if she would be the “deporter-in-chief” as president. She said she would not.
“I cannot sit here and tell you I have a blanket rule about who will or who won’t be let into the country to stay, because it has to be done individual by individual,” she said. “What I don’t like are the mass roundups and the raids ... That should end.”
QUOTE: “African-American men, and Latino men in particular, get arrested more quickly for doing the same thing a white man does. And then it continues through the process. They’re more likely to be charged, more likely to be convicted, more likely to be incarcerated. … It is such a violation of what we say our values are.”
BEST MOMENT: Clinton was asked if she believed fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders could be elected president. She drew guffaws from the audience with this response: “Anybody can win! Who would have thought that Donald Trump could be leading national polls? I mean, if you ever thought about running for president, take heart!”
The Huffington Post reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called for an end to the Obama administration's deportation raids targeting mothers and children fleeing violence in Central America, arguing the policy creates "unnecessary fear and disruption."
"Our immigration enforcement efforts should be humane and conducted in accordance with due process, and that is why I believe we must stop the raids happening in immigrant communities," Clinton said in a statement. "We have laws and we must be guided by those laws, but we shouldn’t have armed federal officers showing up at peoples’ homes, taking women and children out of their beds in the middle of the night. The raids have sown fear and division in immigrant communities across the country." 
Clinton's statement was accompanied by a plan to address the number of Central American immigrants seeking asylum in the United States. In addition to ending the raids, Clinton called for providing government-funded attorneys to those seeking asylum, reforming the refugee process and addressing problems facing Central America.
Clinton has received the endorsement of Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin and co-founder of the Trayvon Martin Foundation:
As first lady, she advocated for the Brady Bill and convened meetings on school violence. As a senator, she voted to extend the assault weapons ban and against an immunity law that protects irresponsible gun makers and dealers from liability.
In spending some time with her in person, I also found a mother and a grandmother who truly heard me, and understood the depth of my loss.
She knew all the statistics. But like so many, I've long since grown numb to the numbers. So instead, we talked about Trayvon and other families who have lost a loved one to gun violence. We talked about all of the wishes and hopes we had for their lives. And knowing we can never get them back, we discussed how to prevent more moms from losing their sons to gun violence.
Clinton will uphold President Obama's recent executive actions, and then she'll go even further. Her plan focuses on reforms that would help keep more guns out of the hands of criminals. It would finally close the gun show loophole, and the outrageous provision that allowed someone with an arrest record to buy the gun used to shoot and kill nine parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina.
Just as importantly, Clinton also wants to address the larger, systemic problems. She has a plan to begin to heal the distrust and divide that too often exists between law enforcement and the communities they serve.
She has called for key reforms -- from better training for officers to eliminating racial profiling and investing in body cameras for every police department. She sees what I see: a criminal justice system that is not always just. A system that has contributed to creating a reality where just selling cigarettes, playing loud music, looking at a cop the wrong way or walking home from the store are now activities that can get you killed.
Not only am I missing my son, but too many other moms like me are missing their sons -- Eric Garner, Jordan Davis, Laquan McDonald, Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Tamir Rice. As their mothers, we must do more than just cry. And all of us must do more than speak out, protest and march.
We must vote!
The Brady Campaign is endorsing Clinton for president.

Politico reports:
“Hillary Clinton has been a national leader on gun violence prevention for decades. More than any candidate on either side of the aisle, she has the experience, record, and demonstrated commitment to help reach the Brady Campaign’s goal of cutting gun deaths in half by 2025,” Brady Campaign President Dan Gross, who is set to appear with Clinton on Tuesday, said in a statement.
"She was with us when we passed the Brady Bill in 1993, she took on the corporate gun lobby by fighting the truly evil Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, and now she’s made gun violence prevention a centerpiece of her campaign, supporting a policy that’s already saved lives in Iowa — expanded Brady background checks on gun sales," he said.
Clinton’s campaign has noted that Sanders voted against the Brady Bill five times in pointing to his record on gun control, and has criticized the insurgent candidate more recently for his 2005 vote to limit liability for gun manufacturers and dealers — legislation Gross called "truly evil."
At a forum in Des Moines on Monday night, Sanders refused to distance himself from that vote, saying, “It’s not a mistake. Like many issues of legislation, it’s complicated."
Clinton has praised Obama’s executive actions on guns in more detail.

Politico reports:
Hillary Clinton on Monday praised President Barack Obama’s executive actions on gun safety, remarking that he’s gone “as far as he can” within the scope of his authority.
“I thought his proposals were very much in line with what I’ve been calling for and I’m 100 percent supportive,” Clinton told The Des Moines Register’s editorial board.
Clinton said her campaign has investigated whether there’s any more that can be done “because we all know Congress is intimidated by the gun lobby.”
“So I had my team look for executive orders and I think, based on what we found in our research, he’s probably gone about as far as he can,” she said. “At least, that’s my assessment and I think that’s the White House’s assessment.”
Clinton weighed in on the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.
The Detroit News reports:
“The situation in Flint, Michigan, is extremely concerning. No parent should have to worry that their kids’ water isn’t safe,” Clinton said Monday in a statement.
“We now know that a General Motors factory stopped using Flint's water because it was corroding car engine parts — yet officials continued to reassure the public that the water was safe for human consumption. That’s unconscionable, and I applaud the Department of Justice for joining the Environmental Protection Agency in investigating what happened here.”
“Thousands of children may have been exposed to lead, which could irreversibly harm their health and brain functioning. Plus, this catastrophe — which was caused by a zeal to save money at all costs — could actually cost $1.5 billion in infrastructure repairs,” Clinton said. “The people of Flint deserve to know the truth about how this happened and what Gov. Snyder and other leaders knew about it. And they deserve a solution, fast.”
Clinton called for a 4% surcharge on annual incomes beyond $5 million, part of a series of taxes on the wealthy that will be rolled out this week.

The Wall Street Journal reports:
Hillary Clinton expanded on a plan to make the wealthiest Americans pay higher taxes, rolling out a new “surcharge” on multimillionaires that would restore the top tax rate to levels that haven’t been in place for 30 years.
Mrs. Clinton’s proposal, unveiled at a campaign stop in Waterloo, Iowa on Monday, goes beyond the Buffett Rule envisioned by Mr. Obama, imposing a 4% surcharge on taxpayers making more than $5 million a year.
Under her plan, marginal tax rates on the highest-earning households would return to levels that haven’t been reached since 1986, before the last major revamp of the U.S. tax code.
The surcharge would come on top of the 39.6% top income-tax rate, not including payroll taxes or a 3.8% tax on unearned income. It effectively creates a new top bracket for the superrich. Currently, the 39.6% bracket applies to taxable income above $466,950 for married couples.
"I want to implement the Buffett Rule: Make sure there’s a minimum tax they have to pay,” Mrs. Clinton said in her campaign appearance. “I want to go further and impose what I call a fair share surcharge on multimillionaires because right now we’re behind and we need to get the wealthy and the corporations to pay more of their fair share… .”
Clinton talked about being a woman in politics, among other things, on Ellen yesterday.
The Daily Beast reports:
“I think it still is hard being a woman running for president,” Clinton told DeGeneres, who quickly agreed. “If you’re forceful, you’re too forceful. If you’re not forceful, you’re not tough enough.” The Democratic candidate described interactions she has had on the campaign trail where men have told her they never thought they could support a woman for president until she came along. “That’s a big step forward,” she said. 
“I know people are scared,” Clinton replied, citing the epidemic of gun violence as a prime reason. “When you send your first-grader to school, you don’t expect to lose that child in a mass murder,” she added, noting how “proud” she was of President Obama’s recent executive action on guns. Clinton stressed the notion that “we’re all in this together,” attempting to play down the Democrat vs. Republican divide, looking past her primary fight with Bernie Sanders to toward the general election.
And of course, Clinton took yet another opportunity to lament the rise of “selfie” culture with the woman behind the most popular selfie of all time. She marveled at Kim Kardashian’s custom selfie light that “makes everybody look better” but also argued that the obsession with selfies on the campaign trail has cut down on the actual, substantive conversations with voters she experienced to a greater degree in 2008.
“There’s something so personal about running for president," she said, echoing comments she made about the “tyranny of the selfie” in a new interview with Esquire this month. “I’ll shake hands with somebody and they’ll say, ‘You know I want to tell you about,’ and then they’ll tell me about their child with addiction problems, their parent with Alzheimer’s. They will really share that moment. That has diminished greatly because of the selfie.”
Slate reports on Clinton’s calls to repeal the Hyde Amendment:
Just 17 states provide public funding for low-income women seeking abortions, 13 of which have been ordered by courts to do so in order to stay in line with their respective state constitutions. South Dakota doesn’t even go as far as the Hyde Amendment; it forbids the use of public funds even in cases of rape and incest. The Hyde Amendment itself forbids Medicaid from funding an abortion for a woman whose pregnancy is detrimental to her health, but not explicitly life-threatening. Hyde culture has permeated new programs too: The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), for one, bans the use of federal funds for abortions sought by teenagers.
If Clinton makes the Hyde Amendment a 2016 campaign issue, it will be a long-overdue step toward addressing the intersection between economic insecurity and reproductive health. Studies show that poor women take up to three weeks longer than other women to secure an abortion, in part because she needs time to come up with the money. But the further along the fetus, the more expensive her abortion will be and the more likely she is to experience health complications. Hyde has influenced new health programs, too. Poor women have long been used as poker chips in political debates over abortion, and lawmakers have used their power to stymie women’s health care access as a way to prove their anti-choice chops. “I certainly would like to prevent, if I could legally, anybody having an abortion, a rich woman, a middle-class woman, or a poor woman,” amendment namesake Henry Hyde said in a 1977 discussion on Medicaid funding. “Unfortunately, the only vehicle available is the…Medicaid bill.”
Medium has the entire transcript of her Planned Parenthood speech. In this speech highlight, she stresses the importance of the Supreme Court:
The next president could easily appoint more than one justice to the Supreme Court.
Already the Court is getting ready to consider a Texas law that imposes burdensome and medically unnecessary requirements on abortion providers.
If these restrictions are allowed to stand, 5.4 million women will be left with just 10 health centers across that huge expanse of Texas that provide necessary services. And the effects of that decision would ripple out across our country. It’s the biggest challenge to Roe v. Wade in a generation.
The Court will also review another challenge to the Affordable Care Act’s birth control benefit.
Remember the Hobby Lobby decision that made it possible for a woman’s employer to limit her health care choices? Well, that fight’s not over either. Access to affordable birth control is still hanging in the balance at the Supreme Court.
Now if a Republican wins this election and gets the chance to stack the Supreme Court with right-wing justices, together they will accelerate the move to take America in the wrong direction on so many issues that you and I have fought for, and that many Americans now take for granted.
They want to strip workers’ rights and make it harder to organize. They want to turn back the clock on voting rights and LGBT rights. They want to further gut campaign finance reform and let billionaires and corporations keep buying our elections.

No comments:

Post a Comment