Friday, February 12, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.12: Debate Highlights, Punditry, John Lewis, and a New Campaign Hire

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with highlights from last night’s debate, followed by some analysis.

Vox has a transcript of some key moments.

Clinton on Obama:
Today Sen. Sanders said that President Obama failed the presidential leadership test. And this is not the first time that he has criticized President Obama in the past he's called him weak. He has called him a disappointment. He wrote a forward for a book that basically argued voters should have buyer's remorse when it comes to President Obama's leadership and legacy.
And I just couldn't agree, disagree more with those kinds of comments. You know, from my perspective maybe because I understand what President Obama inherited – not only the worst financial crisis but the antipathy of the Republicans in Congress. I don't think he gets the credit he deserves for being a president and sending us into the future.
And it is the kind of criticism that we've heard from Sen. Sanders about our president I expect from Republicans. I do not expect from someone running for the Democratic nomination to succeed President Obama.
Senator, what I am concerned about, is not disagreement on issues saying that this is what I would rather do, I don't agree with the president on that. Calling the president weak, calling him a disappointment, calling several times that he should have a primary opponent when he ran for re-election in 2012, you know, I think that goes further than saying we have our disagreements.
As a senator, yes, I was a senator. I understand we can disagree on the path forward. But those kinds of personal assessments and charges are ones that I find troubling.
On mass incarceration and related issues:
The first speech I gave in this campaign back in April was about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration. The statistics from Wisconsin are particularly troubling. Because it is the highest rate of incarceration for African-Americans in our nation, twice the national average.
And we know of the tragic, terrible event that lead to the death of Dontre Hamilton right here in Milwaukee — a young man, unarmed, who should still be with us. His family certainly believes that. And so do I. So we have work to do. There have been some good recommendations about what needs to happen.
President Obama's policing commission came out with some. I have fully endorsed those. But we have to restore policing that will actually protect the communities that police officers are sworn to protect.
And then we have to go after sentencing and that's one of the problems here in Wisconsin because so much of what happens in the criminal justice system doesn't happen at the federal level, it happens at the state and local level.
But I would also add this. There are other racial disparities, really systemic racism in this state and in others in education, in employment, in the kinds of factors that too often lead from a position where young people particularly young men are pushed out of school early, are denied employment opportunities. So when we talk about criminal justice reform and ending the era of mass incarceration. We also have to talk about jobs, education, housing and other ways of helping communities do better.
On SuperPACs and the Koch Brothers:
I can't speak for the Koch brothers.
Are you referring to a super PAC that we don't coordinate with, that was set up to support President Obama that has now decided they want to support me? They are the ones who should respond to any questions.
Let's talk about our campaigns. I'm very proud of the fact that we have more than 750,000 donors. And the vast majority of them are giving small contributions. So I am proud of Sen. Sanders, and his supporters. I think it's great that, you know, Sen. Sanders, President Obama and I have more donors than any three people who have ever run and certainly on the Democratic side.
That's the way it should be. And I am going to continue to reach out, to thank all my online contributors for everything they are doing for me. To encourage them to help me and do more. Just as Sen. Sanders is. And I think that is the real key here. We both have a lot of small donors. I think that sets us apart from a lot of what is happening on the Republican side.
The Koch brothers have a very clear political agenda. It is an agenda in my view that would do great harm to our country. We're going to fight it as hard as we can. And we're going to fight whoever the Republicans nominate who will be very depend ent upon the Koch brothers and others.

 Some more from the full transcript provided by the Washington Post.

Clinton on Universal Health Care:
You know, before it was called Obamacare, it was called Hillarycare. And I took on the drug companies and I took on the insurance companies to try to get us universal health care coverage.
And why I am a staunch supporter of President Obama's principal accomplishment -- namely the Affordable Care Act -- is because I know how hard it was to get that done. We are at 90 percent coverage. We have to get the remaining 10. I've set forth very specific plans about how to get costs down, especially prescription drug costs.
And it is difficult to in any way argue with the goal that we both share. But I think the American people deserve to know specifically how this would work. If it's Medicare for all, then you no longer have the Affordable Care Act, because the Affordable Care Act, as you know very well, is based on the insurance system, based on exchanges, based on a subsidy system. The Children's Health Insurance Program, which I helped to create, which covers 8 million kids, is also a different kind of program.
So if you're having Medicare for all, single-payer, you need to level with people about what they will have at the end of the process you are proposing. And based on every analysis that I can find by people who are sympathetic to the goal, the numbers don't add up, and many people will actually be worse off than they are right now.
I believe strongly we have to guarantee health care. I believe we are on the path to doing that. The last thing we need is to throw our country into a contentious debate about health care again.
And we are not England. We are not France. We inherited a system that was set up during World War II; 170 million Americans get health insurance right now through their employers. So what we have tried to do and what President Obama succeeded in doing was to build on the health care system we have, get us to 90 percent coverage. We have to get the other 10 percent of the way to 100. I far prefer that and the chances we have to be successful there than trying to start all over again, gridlocking our system, and trying to get from zero to 100 percent.
On making reasonable promises and backing them up with numbers:
In my case, whether it's health care, or getting us to debt-free tuition, or moving us toward paid family leave, I have been very specific about where I would raise the money, how much it would cost, and how I would move this agenda forward.
I've tried to be as specific to answer questions so that my proposals can be vetted, because I feel like we have to level with people for the very reason, Gwen, that you are mentioning. There is a great deal of skepticism about the federal government. I'm aware of that. It comes from the right, from the left, from people on all sides of the political spectrum.
So we have a special obligation to make clear what we stand for, which is why I think we should not make promises we can't keep, because that will further, I think, alienate Americans from understanding and believing we can together make some real changes in people's lives.
I will put a price tag. My price tag is about $100 billion a year. And again, paid for. And what I have said is I will not throw us further into debt. I believe I can get the money that I need by taxing the wealthy, by closing loopholes, the things that we are way overdue for doing.
And I think once I'm in the White House we will have enough political capital to be able to do that.
But I am conscious of the fact that we have to also be very clear, especially with young people, about what kind of government is going to do what for them and what it will cost.
On their contrasting higher education proposals:
You know, I think, again, both of us share the goal of trying to make college affordable for all young Americans. And I have set forth a compact that would do just that for debt-free tuition.
We differ, however, on a couple of key points. One of them being that if you don't have some agreement within the system from states and from families and from students, it's hard to get to where we need to go.
And Senator Sanders's plan really rests on making sure that governors like Scott Walker contribute $23 billion on the first day to make college free. I am a little skeptical about your governor actually caring enough about higher education to make any kind of commitment like that.
On empowering women:
have spent my entire adult life working toward making sure that women are empowered to make their own choices, even if that choice is not to vote for me. I believe that it's most important that we unleash the full potential of women and girls in our society.
And I feel very strongly that I have an agenda, I have a record that really does respond to a lot of the specific needs that the women in our country face. So I'm going to keep making that case. I'm going to keep making sure that everything I've done, everything that I stand for is going to be well known.
But I have no argument with anyone making up her mind about who to support. I just hope that by the end of this campaign there will be a lot more supporting me. That's what I'm working towards.
And when it comes to the issues that are really on the front lines as to whether we're going to have equal pay, paid family leave, some opportunity for, you know, women to go as far as their hard work and talent take them, I think that we still have some barriers to knock down, which is why that's at the core of my campaign.
I have said many times, you know, I'm not asking people to support me because I'm a woman. I'm asking people to support me because I think I'm the most qualified, experienced, and ready person to be the president and the commander- in-chief.
And I appreciate greatly Senator Sanders' voting record. And I was very proud to get the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, because I've been a leader on these issues. I have gone time and time again to take on the vested interests who would keep women's health care decisions the province of the government instead of women ourselves.
I'm very proud that NARAL endorsed me because when it comes to it we need a leader on women's issues. Somebody who, yes, votes right, but much more than that, leads the efforts to protect the hard-fought gains that women have made, that, make no mistake about it, are under tremendous attack, not just by the Republican presidential candidates but by a whole national effort to try to set back women's rights.
So I'm asking women, I'm asking men, to support me because I'm ready to go into the White House on January 20th, 2017 and get to work on both domestic and foreign policy challenges.
On race relations under President Obama:
I think under President Obama we have seen a lot of advances, the Affordable Care Act has helped more African Americans than any other group to get insurance, to be taken care of, but we also know a lot more than we did. We have a lot more social media, we have everybody with a cellphone.
So, we are seeing the dark side of the remaining systemic racism that we have to root out in our society. I think President Obama has set a great example. I think he has addressed a lot of these issues that have been quite difficult, but he has gone forward. Now, what we have to do is to build on an honest conversation about where we go next.
We now have much more information about what must be done to fix our criminal justice system. We now have some good models about how better to provide employment, housing and education. I think what President Obama did was to exemplify the importance of this issue as our first African American president, and to address it both from the President's office, and through his advocacy, such as working with young men, and Mrs. Obama's work with young women.
But, we can't rest. We have work to do, and we now know a lot more than we ever did before. So, it's going to be my responsibility to make sure we move forward to solve these problems that are now out in the open. Nobody can deny them. To use the Justice Department, as we just saw, they have said they are going to sue Ferguson, that entered into a consent agreement, and then tried to back out. So, we're going to enforce the law, we're going to change policing practices, we're going to change incarceration practices, but we're also going to emphasize education, jobs, and housing.
On immigration policy:
I strongly support the president's executive actions. I hope the Supreme Court upholds them. I think there is constitutional and legal authority for the president to have done what he did.
I am against the raids. I'm against the kind of inhumane treatment that is now being visited upon families, waking them up in the middle of the night, rounding them up. We should be deporting criminals, not hardworking immigrant families who do the very best they can and often are keeping economies going in many places in our country.
I'm a strong supporter of comprehensive immigration reform. Have been ever since I was in the Senate. I was one of the original sponsors of the DREAM Act. I voted for comprehensive immigration reform in 2007.
Senator Sanders voted against it at that time. Because I think we have to get to comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. And as president I would expand enormous energy, literally call every member of Congress that I thought I could persuade.
Hopefully after the 2016 election, some of the Republicans will come to their senses and realize we are not going to deport 11 or 12 million people in this country. And they will work with me to get comprehensive immigration reform.
One, with respect to the Central American children, I made it very clear that those children needed to be processed appropriately, but we also had to send a message to families and communities in Central America not to send their children on this dangerous journey in the hands of smugglers.
I've also called for the end of family detention, for the end of privately-run detention centers, along with private prisons, which I think are really against the common good and the rule of law.
And with respect to the 2007 bill, this was Ted Kennedy's bill. And I think Ted Kennedy had a very clear idea about what needed to be done. And I was proud to stand with him and support it.
The fact is that there was a great effort made by the Obama administration and others to really send a clear message, because we knew that so many of these children were being abused, being treated terribly while they tried to get to our border.
So we have a disagreement on this. I think now what I've called for is counsel for every child so that no child has to face any kind of process without someone who speaks and advocates for that child so that the right decision hopefully can be made.
On Social Security:
We both believe there has to be more money going into the Social Security system. I've said I'm looking at a couple of different ways, one which you mentioned, Senator, but also trying to expand the existing tax to passive income that wealthy people have so that we do get more revenue into the Social Security Trust Fund.
I have a slightly different approach, though, about what we should do with that initially. First, rather than expand benefits for everyone, I do want to take care of low-income seniors who worked at low-wage jobs. I want to take care of women. When the Social Security program was started in the 1930s, not very many women worked. And women have been disadvantaged ever since. They do not get any credit for their care-taking responsibilities. And the people who are often the most hard-hit are widows, because when their spouse dies, they can lose up to one-half of their Social Security monthly payment. So we have no disagreement about the need to buttress Social Security, get more revenue into the program. But I want to start by helping those people who are most at risk, the ones who, yes, are cutting their pills in half, who don't believe they can make the rent, who are worried about what comes next for them.
On Wall Street donations:
My 750,000 donors have contributed more than a million and a half donations. I'm very proud. That, I think, between the two of us demonstrates the strength of the support we have among people who want to see change in our country.
But, the real issue, I think, that the Senator is injecting into this is that if you had a Super PAC, like President Obama has, which now says it wants to support me. It's not my PAC. If you take donations from Wall Street, you can't be independent.
I would just say, I debated then Senator Obama numerous times on stages like this, and he was the recipient of the largest number of Wall Street donations of anybody running on the Democratic side ever.
Now, when it mattered, he stood up and took on Wall Street. He pushed through, and he passed the Dodd-Frank regulation, the toughest regulations since the 1930's. So, let's not in anyway imply here that either President Obama or myself, would in anyway not take on any vested interested, whether it's Wall Street, or drug companies, or insurance companies, or frankly, the gun lobby to stand up to do what's best for the American people.
I've made it very clear that no bank is too big to fail, no executive too powerful to jail, and because of Dodd-Frank, we now have in law a process that the president, the Federal Reserve, and others can use if any bank poses a systemic risk. I think that's a major accomplishment.
I agree, however, it doesn't go far enough, because what it focuses on are the big banks, which Senator Sanders has talked about a lot, for good reason. I go further in the plan that I've proposed, which has been called the toughest, most effective, comprehensive plan for reining in the other risks that the financial system could face. It was an investment bank, Lehman Brothers, that contributed to our collapse. It was a big insurance company, AIG. It was Countrywide Mortgage. My plan would sweep all of them into a regulatory framework so we can try to get ahead of what the next problems might be.
And I believe that not only Barney Frank, Paul Krugman, and others, have said that what I have proposed is the most effective. It goes in the right direction. We have Dodd-Frank. We can use it to break up the banks, if that's appropriate. But let's not kid ourselves. As we speak, there are new problems on the horizon. I want to get ahead of those, and that's why I've proposed a much more comprehensive approach to deal with all of these.
America’s role in the world and safety at home:
I think we are readier than we used to be, but it's a constant effort that has to be undertaken to make sure we are as ready as we need to be. We have made a lot of improvements in our domestic security since 9/11, and we have been able to foil and prevent attacks, yet we see the terrible attack in San Bernardino and know that we haven't done enough.
So we have to go after this both abroad and at home. We have to go after terrorist networks, predominantly ISIS -- that's not the only one, but let's focus on that for a minute. We have to lead a coalition that will take back territory from ISIS. That is principally an American-led air campaign that we are now engaged in.
We have to support the fighters on the ground, principally the Arabs and the Kurds who are willing to stand up and take territory back from Raqqa to Ramadi. We have to continue to work with the Iraqi army so that they are better prepared to advance on some of the other strongholds inside Iraq, like Mosul, when they are able to do so. And we have to cut off the flow of foreign funding and foreign fighters.
And we have to take on ISIS online. They are a sophisticated purveyor of propaganda, a celebrator of violence, an instigator of attacks using their online presence.
Here at home, we've got to do a better job coordinating between federal, state, and local law enforcement. We need the best possible intelligence not only from our own sources, but from sources overseas, that can be a real-time fusion effort to get information where it's needed.
But the final thing I want to say about this is the following. You know, after 9/11, one of the efforts that we did in New York was if you see something or hear something suspicious, report it. And we need to do that throughout the country.
But we need to understand that American Muslims are on the front line of our defense. They are more likely to know what's happening in their families and their communities, and they need to feel not just invited, but welcomed within the American society. So when somebody like Donald Trump and others stirs up the demagoguery against American Muslims, that hurts us at home. It's not only offensive; it's dangerous. And the same goes for overseas, where we have to put together a coalition of Muslim nations. I know how to do that. I put together the coalition that imposed the sanctions on Iran that got us to the negotiating table to put a lid on their nuclear weapons program.
And you don't go tell Muslim nations you want them to be part of a coalition when you have a leading candidate for president of the United States who insults their religion.
So this has to be looked at overall, and we have to go at it from every possible angle.
On the Iraq vote:
Two points. One, Senator Sanders voted in 1998 on what I think is fair to call a regime change resolution with respect to Iraq, calling for the end of Saddam Hussein's regime.
He voted in favor of regime change with Libya, voted in favor of the Security Council being an active participate in setting the parameters for what we would do, which of course we followed through on.
I do not believe a vote in 2002 is a plan to defeat ISIS in 2016. It's very important we focus on the threats we face today, and that we understand the complicated and dangerous world we are in.
When people go to vote in primaries or caucuses, they are voting not only for the president, they are voting for the commander-in- chief. And it's important that people really look hard at what the threats and dangers we face are, and who is best prepared for dealing with them.
As we all remember, Senator Obama, when he ran against me, was against the war in Iraq. And yet when he won, he turned to me, trusting my judgment, my experience, to become secretary of state.
I was very honored to be asked to do that and very honored to serve with him those first four years.
You did support a U.N. Security Council approach, which we did follow up on. And, look, I think it's important to look at what the most important counterterrorism judgment of the first four years of the Obama administration was, and that was the very difficult decision as to whether or not to advise the president to go after bin Laden.
I looked at the evidence. I looked at the intelligence. I got the briefings. I recommended that the president go forward. It was a hard choice. Not all of his top national security advisors agreed with that. And at the end of the day, it was the president's decision. So he had to leave the Situation Room after hearing from the small group advising him and he had to make that decision. I'm proud that I gave him that advice. And I'm very grateful to the brave Navy SEALs who carried out that mission.
Iran: [Upon which Sanders incorrectly quotes a debate comment of Clinton’s in 2008 and she corrects him from memory}
I think we have achieved a great deal with the Iranian nuclear agreement to put a lid on the Iranian nuclear weapons program. That has to be enforced absolutely with consequences for Iran at the slightest deviation from their requirements under the agreement.
I do not think we should promise or even look toward normalizing relations because we have a lot of other business to get done with Iran. Yes, they have to stop being the main state sponsor of terrorism. Yes, they have to stop trying to destabilize the Middle East, causing even more chaos.
Yes, they've got to get out of Syria. They've got to quit sponsoring Hezbollah and Hamas. They have got to quit trying to ship rockets into Gaza that can be used against Israel.
We have a lot of work to do with Iran before we ever say that they could move toward normalized relations with us.
Senator Sanders, from a debate in 2008, quote what I said. The question was, would you meet with an adversary without conditions? I said no. And in fact, in Obama administration, we did not meet with anybody without conditions. That is the appropriate approach in order to get the results that you are seeking.
And it's especially significant that they are working with both Turkey and Greece in order to do this.
With respect to the United States, I think our role in NATO, our support for the E.U., as well as our willingness to take refugees so long as they are thoroughly vetted and that we have confidence from intelligence and other sources that they can come to our country, we should be doing our part.
And we should back up the recent donors conference to make sure we have made our contribution to try to deal with the enormous cost that these refugees are posing to Turkey and to members of the E.U. in particular.
This is a humanitarian catastrophe. There is no other description of it. So we do as the United States have to support our friends, our allies in Europe. We have to stand with them. We have to provide financial support to them. We have to provide the NATO support to back up the mission that is going on. And we have to take properly vetted refugees ourselves.
And a closing statement for the ages:
You know, we -- we agree that we've got to get unaccountable money out of politics. We agree that Wall Street should never be allowed to wreck Main Street again.
But here's the point I want to make tonight. I am not a single- issue candidate, and I do not believe we live in a single-issue country. I think that a lot of what we have to overcome to break down the barriers that are holding people back, whether it's poison in the water of the children of Flint, or whether it's the poor miners who are being left out and left behind in coal country, or whether it is any other American today who feels somehow put down and oppressed by racism, by sexism, by discrimination against the LGBT community, against the kind of efforts that need to be made to root out all of these barriers, that's what I want to take on.
And here in Wisconsin, I want to reiterate: We've got to stand up for unions and working people who have done it before...the American middle class, and who are being attacked by ideologues, by demagogues. Yes, does Wall Street and big financial interests, along with drug companies, insurance companies, big oil, all of it, have too much influence? You're right.
But if we were to stop that tomorrow, we would still have the indifference, the negligence that we saw in Flint. We would still have racism holding people back. We would still have sexism preventing women from getting equal pay. We would still have LGBT people who get married on Saturday and get fired on Monday. And we would still have governors like Scott Walker and others trying to rip out the heart of the middle class by making it impossible to organize and stand up for better wages and working conditions. So I'm going to keep talking about tearing down all the barriers that stand in the way of Americans fulfilling their potential, because I don't think our country can live up to its potential unless we give a chance to every single American to live up to theirs.
Pundits are still feeling the need to score these things.

Here’s Vox on the significance of that closing statement:
I suspect this was a significant moment and that we'll hear a whole lot more of her and her surrogates attempting to portray Sanders as a "single-issue candidate." Because this one narrative accomplishes several of Clinton's political objectives:
  • It paints Sanders as a kind of protest candidate who's just in the race to make a statement, and shouldn't be taken all that seriously.
  • It advances Clinton's argument that she has broader experience and qualifications on many more issues — that she's more serious than him.
  • It implies to women and nonwhite voters that Sanders just doesn't care about issues important to them all that much.
  • It portrays Sanders's diagnosis of what ails America — mainly the influence of big money — as simplistic.
  • It's a reason Sanders shouldn't be the nominee that doesn't require people who like him (as many Democrats and even Clinton supporters do) to stop liking him.
  • And, unlike many of Clinton's other arguments against Sanders, it has the ring of truth to it — Sanders really does bring up Wall Street, corporations, and the wealthy in his answers to practically every question (in this debate he said he'd improve race relations by getting rid of "tax breaks to billionaires"). And he seems less comfortable when he discusses other topics.
Boston Globe reports:
THURSDAY NIGHT’S PBS-fest wasn’t a night of political pyrotechnics, but a good solid exchange that showed the strengths and weaknesses of both candidates. I scored it a win for Hillary Clinton.
One of the most dramatic moments came in the last few minutes of the debate, when Clinton, who had wrapped herself in President Obama’s legacy, offered up several critical comments that Sanders had made of the Democratic incumbent.
And with the campaign heading toward South Carolina, where African-American voters will be pivotal, it was politically shrewd.
It also underscored what is destined to become one of the central questions of the Democratic campaign: What, exactly, is realistic for progressives to expect to accomplish in a deeply divided nation?
Vox picks winners and losers:
She didn't score any knockout blows or hit any home runs Thursday night, but the reality is that she didn't need to.
Playing small ball and successfully turning the debate into a series of tedious, hard-to-follow exchanges is good enough for the candidate who currently enjoys a large lead in national polls. Recall that outside of the hothouse of internet commentary, most Democrats currently have a favorable view of both candidates and a large swathe of Democrats still don't know who Sanders is.
Nothing happened Thursday night that would make a person who previously liked Clinton stop liking her, and if this was your first exposure to That Guy Who Is Running Against Hillary Clinton you wouldn't have been blown away.
Sanders is coming off a very good 10-day run that must be leaving the candidate and his senior staff feeling both exhilarated and exhausted. The result was a dangerously complacent debate performance.
Despite his stellar fundraising and New Hampshire performance, Sanders is still a major underdog who has a limited amount of time to change the dynamic before delegates start getting assigned very quickly. Sanders did nothing to assuage related doubts about his electability and his grasp of foreign policy matters, and didn't add anything new to his well-known critique of Clinton.
More articles are appearing lately that make the case for Senator Clinton’s nomination.

Medium has one:
The case for Hillary Clinton is mostly a matter of rebutting the case against her. Once that’s done, you’re simply left with the most qualified candidate, and someone who is, by all reality-based measures, progressive (ranked the tenth most liberal senator). And just as important, someone who is capable of achieving results (I’ll conclude with the case against Sanders, and there’s a very, very strong case to make against him).
My experience has been that whenever you closely examine the attacks on Hillary, whether they come from the left or the right, they break apart under scrutiny. That is, if you’re so inclined to scrutinize. Scant few are. Many, however, are steadfastly unwilling to view Clinton through anything other than the most severe and cynical lens. If one bit of evidence against her breaks down under examination, then another must be found. If that one fails to pan out, there’s always some other way to interpret her record that satisfies the harsh narrative we’ve chosen for her.
To pick apart every single one of these attacks would require a full-length manuscript. They’ve been coming at her for decades. And yet, she’s still standing — and however you feel about her, you have to appreciate that resilience.
But I will take just a moment, as briefly as I can, to address the issue of Wall Street donations, since that is getting the most attention these days. It’s important to understand that the vast majority of this money comes from employee’s personal donations, most of whom happen to live in New York where the financial industry is located. The amount of money coming from the institutions themselves is limited. For example, between 1999 and present day, Clinton received a total of $824,402 from Citigroup, which makes that her top contributor. But $816,402 of that came from individuals who work for Citigroup.
One of those individuals probably includes my friend Julie, a Unitarian feminist who also just happens to work for that company (I don’t know if she actually contributed to Hillary, but she is a supporter). Only $8,000 was actually contributed by Citigroup itself (and that’s over a seventeen year period — far less than what they could have contributed).
Hillary Clinton, along with many, many, many other Democrats have for a long time been fighting for campaign finance reform. McCain/Feingold was not an easy effort — it failed the first time through, and that was with a Democratic president (Bill Clinton) who supported the legislation. The bill that was eventually signed into law by president Bush was progress, but fell short of what was needed. If you think that a president Sanders would succeed where so many others have failed simply because he’s just so awesome, you’re as delusional as he is. What he wants is no different than what everyone else has wanted for decades. The only difference is that he has no realistic plan on how to achieve it.
The Daily Beast reports on Clinton’s alliance with black pastors:
While Clinton’s enormous support among black voters does not appear to be in jeopardy, the latest round of endorsements is an attempt to send a clear message to big donors and white liberals. No Democrat can win without black support. And that means Bernie Sanders has no path to victory.
n addition to a flock of South Carolina elected officials, Clinton now counts the Congressional Black Caucus PAC and at least 28 prominent black preachers among her strongest supporters. Announced just ahead of the Iowa and New Hampshire contests, the former secretary of state unveiled a list of some of the most politically powerful pastors in the country—including Dr. Otis Moss Jr. and Dr. Raphael Warnock.
Both Moss and Warnock are camera-ready and have a proven record of turning out votes in hard-fought Democratic primaries at the local, state, and national levels. Warnock, who is senior pastor at Atlanta’s Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church situated in the center of The King Memorial site, was once rumored to be a potential U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia. Ahead of the 2012 mid-term elections, the 45-year-old co-led one of the largest voter registration drives the South has ever seen. Warnock, the son of a Savannah preacher who doubled as a junkman, is frequently featured on cable news and has emerged as a national voice on social justice issues.
Otis Moss Jr. is a theological giant whose storied activism dates back to the civil rights movement. He is the pastor of Olivet Institutional Baptist Church in Cleveland, Ohio, and a local health center at University Hospital bears his name. He also is the father of Otis Moss III, the pastor of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, where President Obama and his family once worshipped. Moss, who was once co-pastor at Ebenezer, enjoyed a close and personal relationship with Dr. King. The late civil rights icon presided over Moss’s wedding to his wife, Edwina, over 50 years ago.
Unlike Iowa or New Hampshire, the Palmetto State primary race is 56 percent black and nearly 56 percent of all South Carolinians attend church at least once a week. Home to Republican U.S. Senator Tim Scott, black evangelicals are a powerful force in state politics. Notably, after a white supremacist slaughtered a black state senator and eight people at Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, the community came together and prayed.
Meanwhile, the media is finally noticing that the Sanders campaign shamelessly lies about endorsements, over and over again.

CNN reports:
Once again, the Bernie Sanders' campaign finds itself having claimed the support of someone who didn't exactly endorse the Vermont senator.
Brenda Romero, a Nevada student leader and DREAMer that Bernie Sanders' campaign touted as someone who endorsed their campaign, tells CNN she never endorsed the Vermont senator and is backing Hillary Clinton.
Romero said Monday she had agreed to be part of Sanders' Nevada Latino Steering Committee, but that she never endorsed the senator.
I didn't agree to such an endorsement," Romero said Monday, noting that while she agreed to be part of the steering committee, she was told that the role would be advising the "campaign and potentially Sen. Sanders about immigration issues."
Romero is the latest in a string of endorsements touted by Sanders who didn't actually back the Vermont senator.
Two newspapers in New Hampshire that had not backed the senator were included in an ad titled "Endorsed" and last month in Iowa, an ad by the Sanders campaign included the Des Moines Register in a list of newspapers that have backed the senator.
The Register actually endorsed Clinton.
What's more, the AARP and the League of Conservation Voters have said the Sanders campaign has used their logos in mailers without their permission.
But because Romero has grown frustrated with the Sanders campaign, she said Monday that she is backing Clinton.
"I believe that Hillary has my back, and that she is the only candidate capable of accomplishing things in the face of Republican obstruction," Clinton said. "She will get things done for immigrants families."
Clinton has picked up a number of top endorsements in the Silver State, including one earlier this month from Astrid Silva, possibly the nation's more recognizable DREAMer, an undocumented immigrant brought into the country as a child.
Sanders' campaign dismissed the Silva endorsement when the senator's press secretary for Latino outreach tweeted that Silva was a "press hit" for Clinton.
Romero said Monday that the response to Silva factored into her decision to back Clinton.
"I'm also disappointed by the attacks from senior staffers on the Sanders campaign on Astrid Silva," she said. "It shows how disconnected they are from Nevada, and they should apologize to her. There is no room for hate between DREAMers in this campaign."
After meeting with Sanders, Al Sharpton will be meeting with Hillary Clinton. One key difference: they're holding a press conference afterward.

Politico reports:
Sharpton said he will host a news conference with Clinton after the closed-door meeting, which would mark the first time Clinton were to take questions from the press corps that covers her in over two months.
Clinton so far has demonstrated she has support of an older generation of black activists, like Georgia Rep. John Lewis and civil rights leader Hazel Dukes. But at the meeting Tuesday with Clinton, Sharpton said each of the organization leaders are bringing a handful of millennials so she can meet “young people in traditional organizations,” not just the activists with the Black Lives Matter movement.
Sharpton's goal, he said, is to make sure the conversation stays on the issues because the race about race "has the potential to get ugly,” he said. "We need to set a tone that this has got to be about policy, otherwise it gets ugly. You got people that have credibility that are taking attacks on each other that could poison the general election in the long run. I want the debate to be around the economic inequality with blacks and criminal justice, not about who’s been around, and who marched 50 years ago, and who worked with Marian Wright Edelman 40 years ago.”
Sharpton — who so far has not endorsed either candidate in the Democratic race — said he was left with a lot of questions after his photo-op with Sanders. “What I pressed him on was that I hear the general headline slogan but where's the backup — free college, how you gonna pay for it? You talk about income inequality but you don't talk about the race gap in there. I wanted specifics,” Sharpton said. “I told him you gotta earn the vote and that there is a difference between the white youth vote and the black youth vote.”
“He gave me no new information other than that he said he was calling on the governor of Michigan to resign. He doesn’t think Mrs. Clinton has done that, but she did go to Flint.”
Sharpton said Clinton is making progress with young black voters but still has work to do. “The Flint trip was very important,” he said. “The fact that she met with the mothers of brutality was important. She's making steps and I think that she's dealing against now the momentum of Bernie. They both need to be better, but they're better than they were.”
John Lewis made the news yesterday with his support of Clinton and dismissal of Sanders.

CNN reports:
Sanders has frequently talked up his history as an activist while he was at the University of Chicago in the 1960s and touted his work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. But Lewis, a civil rights icon and leader of SNCC said he never saw Sanders at any events.
"I never saw him. I never met him," Lewis said. "I was chair of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee for three years, from 1963 to 1966. I was involved with the sit-ins, the Freedom Rides, the March on Washington, the march from Selma to Montgomery and directed (the) voter education project for six years. But I met Hillary Clinton. I met President (Bill) Clinton."
As always seems to happen when one dares to praise Clinton over Sanders, many of his supporters got very nasty and disrespectful on social media.

I won’t print their bile, but I will share this perfect response from Imani Gandy, who everyone should follow on Twitter:

Finally, a big new hire for the Clinton campaign.

Buzz Feed reports:
The Hillary Clinton campaign has hired Zerlina Maxwell, a well-known political analyst and writer, to join its digital outreach team, BuzzFeed News has learned. Contacted by BuzzFeed News Thursday, a Clinton aide said Maxwell will be focused on a range of policy and cultural issues, including feminism and gender inequality.
Maxwell will also be focused on “coalitions generally, including African American and women,” the aide said.
“Zerlina has been profiled in the New York Times as a top political Twitter voice to follow during the 2012 election season, and she was selected by TIME as one of the best Twitter feeds in 2014,” a Clinton aide said in email to BuzzFeed News.
Maxwell, a former writer for Essence Magazine, traveled on Air Force One with President Obama in advance of his 2015 speech on the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma, Alabama.


  1. Thanks for this Lysis! I can't even stomach going to DK any more, so your blog is a wonderful, safe oasis of sanity.

    1. YES. You go over DK at your Own Risk. Love this Site..

    2. Thanks, glad you like our little oasis! Would love to see more comments from our Hillary friends going forward. And while anonymous is ok, names are more fun! ;-)

  2. I found you through DK. I try not to go there. Thanks for these wonderful daily updates.

  3. Ck the current Salon issue of published news items, to see what we're up against. It's stupefying. It's beyond insane. Of 20 items on their list of news items, 14 are devoted to the Milwaukee debate and other Hillary/Sanders matters. Of these 14 items, 14 are pro-Sanders, 0 (Zero) are pro Hillary.

  4. Commenting as anon because no link to twitter or fb

    That's how I can be found. By way of introduction, I have lurked dkos for ages. Long before 2008 even. Never seen that place go so sideways. Now I read with a side eye even the diaries that aren't about this primary. Guh. It's not even just the objectively awful. The place used to be a great site to find downballot candidates to support. Now it's just 95% junk. Upside is I have been motivated to donate even more to HRC. She's my PRESIDENT.
    Thanks for all you're doing, all y'all. Us lurkers appreciate it more than you can know.