Friday, January 15, 2016

Hillary News & Views 1.15: Flint Water Crisis, Latest Ads, and Choosing a Life of Advocacy

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with Ciinton’s blistering attack on Michigan’s governor over the water crisis in Flint, along with an apparent preview of her collaboration with mayors, which she has pledged will be central to her presidency.

Michigan Live reports:
During an appearance on the Rachel Maddow Show, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton spoke out on Flint's water crisis.
Maddow asked Clinton what she thought was wrong in Flint given the current water crisis. Clinton said she is pleased that FEMA is trying to help the city. She said she has spoken to Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint Township) to see how they are going to get enough funding to get children tested.
"This is infuriating to me. I did a lot of work on trying to get rid of lead in residential housing in Upstate New York. I care deeply about this issue. We know it has effects on behavior and educational attainment." Clinton said on the show. "So when you test kids, we need to provide it quickly, whatever health care they can get, whatever kind of anecdote is possible. And we need to have a fund for education because some of these kids, if they've been too exposed, the damage may be irreversible. And we're going to have to do more to help them actually learn."
Clinton went on to say there is a federal role in helping Flint and she would make it a federal role. She said she is "outraged" that Gov. Rick Snyder hasn't asked for the federal help.
"Right now, as best I can understand, the governor, the Republican governor, Gov. Snyder, is refusing to ask for the triggering of the federal help that he needs in order to take care of the people who are his constituents.  And I am just outraged by this." Clinton said. "I find it -- you know lead is one of the most pernicious, horrible toxins that kids are exposed to, and that has such serious long-lasting effects on their behavior and their learning.  I would be doing everything I could, and I would be expecting everybody in a position of authority to do the same."
The Detroit News reports:
Hillary Clinton dispatched two top campaign aides to Flint on Wednesday to meet with Mayor Karen Weaver about the city’s water contamination crisis.
Clinton’s national political director, Amanda Renteria, and policy adviser Mike Schmidt met with the mayor at City Hall on Wednesday.
The campaign aides’ visit to Flint came after Clinton had issued two statements this week condemning Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration for its role in failing to require Flint to control corrosion that caused toxic lead to leach from aging pipelines into the city’s drinking water supply.
Clinton also penned an op-ed for Black Star News about the crisis:
There is no excuse for what’s happening in Flint. A city of 99,000 people—a majority of them African-American, 40 percent living in poverty—spent nearly two years drinking and bathing in water that we now know contained dangerous amounts of lead.
Officials told the public the water was safe--even after a GM plant stopped using it because it was too corrosive. If the water wasn't good enough for cars, it wasn't good enough for kids--period.
The people of Flint deserve to have safe drinking water restored as quickly as possible. Their children deserve to immediately get the health care they need. And they deserve to know what Governor Snyder knew and when he knew it.
While I’m glad that the Michigan state legislature passed a plan last October that will partially cover the cost of purchasing safe water until July, I'm calling on the state of Michigan to finance water purchases from Detroit until safe drinking water is fully restored in Flint.
FEMA should conduct an expedited review of the city’s water infrastructure for damage, and the federal government should step up to be a partner in making necessary repairs.
I also urge the Obama Administration to immediately set up a health monitoring and surveillance system to test Flint residents for lead poisoning. Children who have been exposed to lead need to be immediately treated and monitored. And if there are long-term health impacts, those children and their families should be compensated.
In America, no mother should have to worry that the water her children are drinking and bathing in isn’t safe. I believe environmental justice can’t just be a slogan—it has to be a goal.Flint has suffered ongoing water quality issues since the city adopted the state-appointed emergency manager’s plan to change the city’s drinking water source and the city began drawing water from the Flint River as an interim measure.Since early 2014, abnormally high levels of e. coli, a dangerous bacteria; trihalomethanes, which can make hot showers potentially toxic; lead, which causes long-term neurological problems; and copper have been found in the city’s water.
MSNBC focuses on the primary election in their coverage of the Maddow interview:
I have a much better organization than I did back in 2008,” she said. “I have an organization that is a great mixture of people who worked for President Obama in 2008 and 2012, people who worked for me, people new to the process.”
On health care, an issue that has dominated the Democratic primary in recent days, Clinton hoped to convince Democrats that Sanders’ single-payer health care plan is not feasible and warned it would destroy the status quo. 
“It’s a bit concerning to me, because it would basically end all the kinds of health care we know: Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP program, Children’s health insurance, Tri-care for the National Guard military, Affordable Care Act exchange policies, employer-based policies,” she said. “It would take all that and hand it over to the states.”
Clinton does correctly note that Sanders has so far failed to put out details of his single-payer plan, making it almost impossible to evaluate with much detail or accuracy. 
“If you’re going to say ‘free heath care, Medicare for all,’ you owe it to voters to say, this is what it will cost,” Clinton told Maddow. And she added that the Affordable Care Act is one of the greatest accomplishments in the Democratic Party’s history, saying that that it shouldn’t be jeopardized by a divisive push for a single-payer plan.
They also spoke about Sanders’ new ad:
On a different topic, Clinton took issue with a new Sanders campaign ad released Thursday. “There are two Democratic visions for regulating Wall Street. One says it’s okay to take millions from big banks and then tell them what to do,” Sanders says in the ad, clearly referring to Clinton, though not by name.
Top Clinton officials alleged on a conference call with reporters that the spot violates Sanders’ pledge not to run negative ads. But Maddow wasn’t buying it. “I have seen the ad that you’re referring to. Honestly, it is not much of an attack,” Maddow said.
Clinton pushed back. “What I think people reacted to is that it was a very broad assertion that caught up all Democrats,” Clinton replied. “I mean basically it’s a very direct criticism of President Obama, who, as you might recall, took a lot of money form the financial industry when he ran in 2008. That didn’t stop him from” pushing for Wall Street reform.
“It’s a funny kind of charge. It’s sort of a pox on all your houses for all the Democrats,” she added.
Incidentally, Sanders’ campaign agrees with that interpretation. 
And on the idea of a female running mate:
Clinton said she was open to considering a woman to be her vice president, if she gets to make that choice. “I think what’s important is to, you know, really look hard at the talent, the experience, the energy, the commitment, the stamina, you know?” she said. “I’m not ruling anybody out.”
Washington Post has more:
Clinton insisted that the two campaigns are sticking to the issues, not resorting to personal attacks.
"I take him at his word," Clinton added. "On anything personal, we don't do that in our side of the debate. We engage on substantive differences, and there are some."
Earlier in the night, Clinton taped an interview with "Tonight Show" host Jimmy Fallon -- Snapchat selfies and all. She also addressed the tightening poll numbers against Sanders.
Clinton downplayed the significance of earlier polls in the race that initially showed her with larger leads, calling them "artificial."
"We're in a tight race," Clinton said. "All of those early soundings and polls... once you get into it, this is a Democratic election for our nominee and it gets really close, exciting and it really depends upon who makes the best case that you can be the nominee to beat whoever the Republicans put out."
"I find it exciting," Clinton added. "This is not a job they give away, you really do have to work hard for it. It is the hardest job in the world, so I get up every day and go right at it."
NBC News reports:
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton admitted she avoids watching the Republican debates and said Donald Trump "is a lot more obsessed with me than I am with him" in an appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show" Thursday night.
"You'll do anything to not watch the Republican debates?" host Jimmy Fallon asked.
"I think you nailed that," Clinton responded.
Fallon then suggested a drinking game: every time the Republicans mention you, "do a shot."
"I don't think I'd make it past the first half hour," Clinton deadpanned.
Trump, who is leading in Republican polls and was a guest on Fallon's show earlier this week, said he hasn't "even started on her yet."
When Fallon recounted this and asked if Trump intimidated her at all, Clinton, without missing a beat, said: "No."
In the second segment, Fallon conducted a faux job interview with Clinton, asking her questions that come up in a typical interview.
"How'd you hear about the position?" Fallon asked.
"Fourth grade social studies," she replied.
When asked to describe herself in two words, Clinton defined herself as "strong, focused."
Fallon then asked if she'd be willing to relocate and Clinton said: "For the right job, I am."
 Clinton’s latest wave of ads make it clear what her idea of a negative ad is:

She also released positive ads in support of her candidacy:

Clinton is also on the offensive over major issues, such as…

The Supreme Court:
There’s a lot at stake in this election—our next president could easily appoint more than one justice and significantly change the course of our country.
Hillary Clinton will appoint justices who will protect the Constitutional principles of liberty and equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or political viewpoint. Republicans, on the other hand, see this election as an opportunity to pack the courts with jurists who could turn back the clock on issues like marriage equality and reproductive rights.
·         Jeb Bush: Said he will “nominate and fight for conservative judges.”
·         Chris Christie: Said after Supreme Court decisions on marriage and the ACA, “If the Christie type of judges had been on that court in the majority, we would have won those cases.”
·         Ted Cruz:  Vowed to put “rock-ribbed conservatives” on the Supreme Court and said the Supreme Court’s decision to legalize gay marriage was “among the darkest hours of our nation.”
·         Marco Rubio: Said he wanted “more Scalias and less Sotomayors” on the Court and suggested his Supreme Court picks would roll back marriage equality.
·         Donald Trump: Said Justice Clarence Thomas, who voted against marriage equality and said Roe v. Wade should be “overruled,” is his favorite justice.
·         John Kasich: Said “I want a conservative who is not going to make law.”
·         Ben Carson: Said he would appoint justices with “a record of honoring life.”
Gun Safety:
While Hillary Clinton applauded the President’s executive actions to curb gun violence, all of the Republicans on stage have denounced his proposals and many have pledged to undo them on day one of their presidency:
  • Jeb Bush: “When I am president of the United States, I will repeal Obama’s anti-gun executive orders on Day One of my administration.”
  • Donald Trump: “I will veto. I will unsign that so fast...All they want to do is blame the guns. And it’s not the guns that pull the trigger.”
  • Marco Rubio: “On my first day of office, they’re gone.”
  • Chris Christie:  Said Obama’s executive action on guns “will be stricken from executive action, by executive action I will take.”
  • Ted Cruz: “The first thing I intend to do is rescind every single illegal and unconstitutional executive action.”
  • Ben Carson launched a petition to Congress to “stop the President’s actions.”
  • John Kasich called it “further poisoning the well.”
FACT: On average, in the United States 90 people are killed by guns each day. Hillary Clinton has outlined a plan for common-sense gun violence prevention reform, including comprehensive background checks and closing the “Charleston loophole,” while the GOP candidates are siding with the NRA and opting for inaction:
Jeb Bush, discussing mass shootings: “…stuff happens, there’s always a crisis and the impulse is always to do something and it’s not necessarily the right thing to do.”
Bush also signed the nation’s first “stand your ground” legislation and received an A+ rating from the NRA.
Donald Trump bemoaned the lack of armed teachers in the wake of the Roseburg shooting. He has also said he is “a Life Member of the NRA” and that “the NRA’s efforts to stop dangerous, gun-banning legislation and regulation is invaluable.”
Chris Christie conditionally vetoed legislation to expand background checks to private gun sales and said closing the gun show loophole doesn’t make sense.”
Marco Rubio voted against common-sense comprehensive background checks--and against keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists in the wake of the attack in San Bernardino.
Additionally, Rubio has pledged to filibuster legislation to prevent gun violence and (not surprisingly) has received an A rating from the NRA.
Ben Carson saidI never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.”
And Carson said when asked about keeping people on terror watchlist from buying guns, “You know, I am a big supporter of the Second Amendment, and I don’t want to deprive people unnecessarily.”
Ted Cruz voted against common sense comprehensive background checks and against keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists in the wake of the attack in San Bernardino.
Cruz’s super pac released an ad bragging that, “After Sandy Hook, Ted Cruz stopped Obama’s push for new gun control laws.”
John Kasich voted against the Brady Bill and actually said “I’ve agreed with the NRA more than I’ve agreed with my wife.”
Hillary Clinton: Bluster and bigotry are not credentials for becoming commander in chief.”
Hillary Clinton has laid out a serious, comprehensive strategy for defeating ISIS and keeping us safe.  Republicans have opted instead for bluster and bigotry:
  • Donald Trump has proposed a “complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States and expressed support for implementing a national database for Muslims in the US.
  • Ted Cruz introduced legislation that would bar refugees from entering the United States from countries “with active terrorist presence.” He wants to conduct a new review of refugees already in the country.  He’s called President Obama “an apologist for radical Islamic terrorists.” And pressed on Trump’s proposal, he said, "I do not believe the world needs my voice added to that chorus of critics.”
  • Marco Rubio invoked Nazis to attack Hillary Clinton for not using the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” and asked, “Where is there widespread evidence that we have a problem in America with discrimination against Muslims?”
  • Jeb Bush called for a religious test on Syrian refugees, explaining, “You’re a Christian – I mean, you can prove you’re a Christian,” he said. “You can’t prove it, then, you know, you err on the side of caution.”
  • Ben Carson said in an analogy about Syrian refugees, "If there is a rabid dog running around your neighborhood, you're probably not going to assume something good about that dog.” He also said, "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that."
  • Chris Christie on Syrian refugees: “I don't think orphans under five…should be admitted into the United States at this point.”
  • John Kasich previously “proposed creating a new government agency to push Judeo-Christian values around the world.”
Iowa Starting Line has an interesting take on the policy approaches of the three Dem candidates:
Early on in the campaign there was a very notable difference between Sanders and the Clinton and O’Malley campaigns when it came to the number of “white papers” put out. O’Malley made a specific point to be the first Democrat to release detailed policy papers on a wide array of progressive priorities, including some on lesser-covered topics like addiction treatment and childhood hunger.
Clinton has made specific policy proposals a key part of her candidacy, often rolling out a new detailed plan every other week, and then hosting a event on the topic in Iowa or New Hampshire. Those have included extremely in-depth proposals on less-talked about issues like Alzheimer’s research, Autism assistance and campus sexual assault.
Sanders, on the other hand, has been noticeably slower to develop and release more concrete plans on a number of issues. This was particularly apparent during the summer and early fall months as his campaign rocketed to fame, and his staffing infrastructure took some time to keep up. In June Sanders said he would unveil soon a plan for childcare. By October he said he hadn’t “finished the proposal yet,” and his website right now still says they’re “working on a plan” for quality childcare and pre-K education.
On his tax plan that’s receiving new focus now, Sanders said way back in July that he’d come out with it in “two or three weeks.” In an interview in New Hampshire last week, Sanders said he’d have more information on the individual tax rate “very shortly.”
Closing today with this gem that I missed yesterday, where Clinton recalls the moment she chose to begin what would become a lifelong advocacy for women.

The Huffington Post reports:
When de Cadenet asked Clinton if there was a "defining moment" that made her realize she wanted to be an advocate for women, Clinton said her moment came in two phases:
"My first phase was as a girl growing up and being told by the boys in the neighborhood that I couldn't play with them because I was a girl. Or being in junior high and being told that we should elect boys to positions of leadership in the school," Clinton told de Cadenet. "I had the experience early on that there were attitudes that people had that really separated boys from girls and in effect discriminated against girls." 
Clinton said the second phase came as she entered adulthood: "As I became an adult I realized how many structural barriers were in place [for women] and how hard it was for a lot of women and girls because they didn't have parents who supported them or the great public schools and opportunities that I had. I became very much involved in [promoting women]." 
She said that this "divide between the sexes" doesn't need to exist, adding: "Give more women the chance for education, healthcare, for employment, for whatever it is that they dream to do."
Clinton also talked about how she deals both personally and publicly with being one of the few women in a male-dominated space. "As a woman in a high public position or seeking the presidency, as I am, you have to be aware of how people will judge you for being 'emotional,'" Clinton told de Cadenet. "It's a really delicate balancing act."

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