Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hillary News & Views 2.3: Historic Win(s) in Iowa, Jackson Water Supply, Aging Buildings Plan

Today's Hillary News & Views begins with continued coverage of Clinton's Iowa victory, which has moved from "apparent” to “official” since yesterday’s entry.

Talking Points Memo reports:
"I've won there and I've lost there. It's a lot better to win," Clinton told a packed gymnasium in Nashua, New Hampshire, referring to her third-place finish in the Hawkeye State during her first presidential campaign in 2008.
Clinton's remarks came roughly at the same time the Iowa Democratic Party officially declared her the victor in the Iowa caucuses. Clinton's campaign had been making the claim since the wee hours of the morning, even though not all precincts had reported and the race was still tight.
Clinton, like most other presidential candidates were doing, turned to the New Hampshire primary.
"I am so grateful for all of you, every single one of you who are here this morning to kick off this last phase of the primary campaign here at New Hampshire. As you know, my husband and I are pretty fond of this state," she said.
CNN has a demographic breakdown of the win, but the homogeneity of the state may limit its usefulness in some of the categories.

CNN definitively rejects the “she won by coin flips” meme being pushed by some Sanders supporters, either as a conspiracy theory or a flat-out lie, depending on the knowledge base of the person pushing it:
There's been some confusion about how much of a role -- if any -- coin flips played in determining who won delegates.
Coin flips -- specifically "games of chance" -- are used in rare circumstances at precinct caucuses to adjudicate ties or resolve issues created by rounding errors. At stake at these precinct-level coin flips is the one remaining slot in that precinct for a campaign to send a delegate to attend that precinct's county convention. Coin flips are not used to decide which candidate wins a state convention delegate or national convention delegate.
How many coin flips were there on Monday night?
The Iowa Democratic Party does not have comprehensive records on how many coin flips/games of chance were held Monday evening. However, they do have partial records.
More than half of the 1,681 Democratic caucuses held Monday night used a new Microsoft reporting app. Of those, there were exactly seven county delegates determined by coin flip. The remaining precincts did not use the Microsoft app, and instead used traditional phone-line reporting to transmit results. In these precincts, there no are records of how many coin flips occurred. There's only anecdotal information on these precincts.
Who won these coin flips?
Of the seven coin flips/games of chance that were held in precincts using the Microsoft app, six of those were flips to determine whether a county delegate slot went to Clinton or Sanders. Of those six Clinton-vs.-Sanders coin flips, Sanders won five and Clinton one. The seventh coin flip was used to determine whether a county delegate slot went to Sanders or Martin O'Malley. Sanders won that coin flip as well. So in the seven coin flips that the Iowa Democratic Party has a record of, Sanders won six of them.
So it's incorrect to say that Clinton won every coin flip.
Did Clinton win the Iowa caucuses thanks to coin flips?
Clinton won the Iowa caucuses by the equivalent of about four state delegates. If the anecdotal evidence of Clinton winning six coin flips is correct, she would have won six county delegates through coin flips (setting aside the fact that party records show Sanders also won six county delegates as a result of coin flips). There is not a one-to-one correlation between county delegates and state delegates, or to national convention delegates.
Based on the party's delegate selection rules, a single county delegate represents a tiny fraction of a state convention delegate (the exact ratio is difficult to calculate because it varies from county to county).
Norm Sterzenbach, the former executive director of the Iowa Democratic Party who oversaw the party's 2008 and 2012 Iowa caucuses, told CNN:
"I can say with almost absolutely certainty this election would not have been changed because of the coin flips. It would take a very large number of these to make that kind of impact, and one candidate would have to win them all. Our empirical evidence and anecdotal information shows that one candidate didn't win them all, and that coin flips are not that frequent."
Vox notes the historic nature of Hillary Clinton’s victory in the Iowa caucuses, along with another historic victory that even my own partisanship led me to overlook at first:
Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz's wins in Monday's Iowa caucuses were historic: Clinton was the first woman to ever win the Iowa caucus, and Cruz was the first Hispanic person to ever win any US presidential primary.
Notably, had Bernie Sanders beat Clinton, he would have been the first Jewish person to win a presidential primary election. And Rubio, who placed third on the Republican side, is also Hispanic.
And if the two Iowa victors — Clinton and Cruz — win their parties' nominations, the presidential election would be between two historic firsts: the first woman president or the first Hispanic president. (This would apply, too, if Rubio — now seemingly the Republican establishment candidate with the best chance of winning — gets his party's nomination.)
All of this would, of course, follow the first black president.
Anita Finlay expands on the historic nature of this victory, making a comparison that will resonate with awards show junkies in the process:
Last night, Hillary Clinton did what no woman had ever done. As Esquire’s Tom Junod noted, people forget what a trailblazer Hillary Clinton was and is. The first First Lady to become a US Senator and then win re-election. New York’s first female senator. The first woman to ever win a binding primary (in New Hampshire). She went on to win 22 of them in 2008. She also won 18,000,000 votes, more than any candidate in primary history. A successful Secretary of State, and now, the first woman to win the Iowa caucus. This cannot be repeated enough. Yet, as the Meryl Streep of politics, Hillary Clinton’s many achievements and long tenure in the public eye work against her, making some treat her successes as failure if she doesn’t present a perfect score.
That the media seems allergic to acknowledging Hillary’s accomplishments goes beyond bias. It is disparaging and deleterious to all women and girls. By watching the mainstream media and elite talking heads fail to credit Hillary’s accomplishments, it teaches women and girls that nothing they do will ever be good enough, nor will it ever have the same weight as the accomplishments of a man. If “Bernie” had won by .4 of a point (49.9% to 49.5%) in a state predisposed to his opponent, you bet they’d be crowing about it his “win,” not calling it a “virtual tie.”
How will we teach that women are winning on their merit? This was no different in the 2012 Olympics where female athletes brought home more gold than men, but were touted for their “luck” as opposed to male athletes’ “abilities” being trumpeted by predominantly male commentators.
Finlay references a wonderful article from New York magazine, “What Hillary Learned About Running While Female”:
Clinton’s approach tonight — her ballsy power-play move of stepping over Republican winner Ted Cruz’s victory speech, and her happy-warrior tone — showed a marked contrast from her 2008 loss in Iowa, a night when she came in nine points behind Barack Obama and one point behind John Edwards. Back then, her concession was dismal, wan, practically consumptive. Eight years later, she was energetic, brassy, and seemed to show she’s learning something about navigating the choppy waters of running for president while female.
The key thing she did in her “sigh of relief” speech on Monday was right her flailing message about health-care reform, which in recent days had gone off the rails for her in a very familiar way.
She was firm and positive in her framing of her goal: “I know that we can finish the job of universal health-care coverage for every man, woman, and child!” she shouted affirmatively and warmly, in sharp contrast to the sharper tone she’d deployed in recent days, culminating in a YouTube clip that was swiftly dubbed by her critics “Hillary’s Mean Scream.” In it, Clinton had bellowed about how “people who have health emergencies can’t wait for us to have some theoretical debate about some better idea that will never, ever come to pass!”
Clinton, who has in one way or another spent decades of her career pushing for universal health-care reform, was expressing her obvious lack of patience for a candidate whose idea of starting from scratch, rather than building on the reforms of the flawed but hard-won Affordable Care Act, strikes her as pie-in-the-sky.
Clinton’s realism may in fact be one of the reasons that her supporters believe that she’d make a more prepared and effective commander-in-chief than Sanders — something that in fact provokes rational excitement, especially by those thrilled at the idea of an experienced, capable, hard-assed Democratic woman president. But hers is not an easy pose to pull off, if you’re trying to win the hearts of America. In fact, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported tonight that many young voters in Iowa had told her that their decision between Clinton and Sanders had come down to head versus heart, respectively.
That hurts, and it falls into a very old, very well-worn gendered pattern, in which women — understanding that making promises they cannot back up will not get them taken seriously and that they must prove themselves extra-competent in order to be understood as basically competent — become the nose-to-the-grindstone wonks, easily compared to know-it-all bores like Tracy Flick and Hermione Granger. They’re the wet blankets, the ones all too acquainted with the limitations imposed by the world, and all too eager to explain their various ideas for working around them. Men, and especially white men, whose claims to public or political power are more easily understood, are permitted a slightly looser approach.
There’s been some talk about how a female candidate could never be as scruffy as Bernie Sanders, as uncombed and unkempt. A woman could never be as grumpy as Bernie, as left-leaning as Bernie, as uncooperative with party machinery as Bernie. And that stuff is true enough. But the bigger truth is that what Bernie does, to great acclaim, that Hillary Clinton could never do is make big promises of institutional overthrow, tug on our imaginative heartstrings by laying out a future that might not be grounded in reality, and urge a revolution.
Circling back to the “sigh of relief," Politico reports that the Clinton campaign sees their narrow victory as exposing the limitations of the Sanders candidacy. (Those of us who remember 2008 clearly — demographics = destiny — will agree wholeheartedly):
“New Hampshire is Bernie Sanders’ backyard. Vermont shares a media market with New Hampshire, and the voters of New Hampshire have a history of supporting candidates from New England,” wrote Robby Mook in the note, according to copy obtained by POLITICO. “So it’s not surprising that Sanders maintains a double-digit lead in the polls there."
In the more-than-800-word note that went out to fundraisers on Tuesday, the campaign manager also mapped out Clinton’s path forward past Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. Making no mention of any Republican candidates, he made the demographic case for Clinton and against Sanders.
“It’s important to remember that while the first four states receive a lot of attention, they only represent 4% of the delegates needed to win the nomination,” he wrote. “The states with primaries and caucuses in March represent 56% of the delegates needed to win the nomination, with nearly half of those delegates awarded on Super Tuesday alone. Seven of the 11 Super Tuesday states have large minority populations — including Alabama, Georgia and Texas, which are expected to see majority-minority turnouts."
“The reality is that Sanders needed a decisive victory in Iowa in order to have a viable path to the nomination,” he wrote, also pointing out that the Sanders camp had said it would win with a turnout of over 170,000 — a number that was surpassed without a Sanders victory. "His own campaign said repeatedly that Sanders needed to win in Iowa, which based on demographics and ideology, should have been one of his strongest states."
The tone of the missive was largely positive, and it opens with a reminder that Clinton is the first woman to ever win the Iowa caucuses, as well as a note that the makeup of the electorate — largely white and liberal — favored Sanders.
But it also had undertones of caution, subtly pre-butting the worries that some Democrats have started whispering about in the wake of Clinton’s less-than-resounding victory on Monday.
"From day one, we’ve said that we expect this primary to be competitive. Running for president isn’t supposed to be easy,” the note concludes. "That’s why we’ve built a national organization designed to secure the delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination. We are on a path to do just that."
Time reports that Clinton is striking a progressive tone in New Hampshire, though she doesn’t appear to be saying anything that differs from her standard stump speech:
“The key issue has to be the economy, that is something that we Democrats agree upon,” Clinton told an enthusiastic audience at a school gymnasium in Nashua, New Hampshire. The crowd was larger than anticipated and more than 100 people had to be turned away. “New Hampshire is going to have to decide who can go toe-to-toe with the Republicans."
Recognizing her base, Clinton played to the mostly female crowd on Tuesday in Nashua. “I feel like it’s a little bit awkward to be stating the obvious all the time: we should get equal pay for equal work,” she said calling for equal pay, by far the largest applause line she gets in most speeches.
Barbara Villandry, 70, a retired professor, said she was angry when she saw television footage of the crowd at the Sanders victory party booing Clinton Monday night when she said she was a progressive. “I know she’s progressive,” Villandry said after the Nashua rally. “I am going to her headquarters right now to work for her. This is her time. It’s time for a female president.”
The New York Times has more:
The Clinton campaign had considered shifting its focus to Nevada and South Carolina, which hold nominating contests later in February. But Mrs. Clinton, with the strong support of former President Bill Clinton, decided she would help herself more by closing the gap in New Hampshire, where polls show Mr. Sanders with a double-digit lead. The Clintons even hope she might pull off an upset win here, as she did in 2008, given their long history of campaigning in the state.
“This is going to be a great week of campaigning,” she added, noting the televised events, the first one in which only she and Mr. Sanders will be on stage. (Former Gov. Martin O’Malley of Maryland suspended his campaign on Monday night.) “I am so looking forward to engaging in a contest of ideas on our side.”
Mrs. Clinton did not alter her stump speech on Tuesday, but she did turn the focus to a broiling debate inside the Democratic Party, one that pits her more moderate but achievable goals against the liberal ambitions of the big government vision of Mr. Sanders. Clinton advisers said there were no plans for Mrs. Clinton to turn sharply negative against Mr. Sanders, but rather she planned to focus on courting young voters and liberals, the two parts of the electorate that overwhelmingly favored Mr. Sanders in Iowa.
Esquire reports on that Chris Matthews interview yesterday, where the television personality not known for his restraint went completely off the rails, casting Sanders as an extremist. Thankfully, Clinton didn’t take the bait, reminding him that it is the Republicans who are the extremists and that the debate on the left was about tactics, not goals:
I do think we have an obligation to keep people focused on what's at stake. We can't let the Republicans rip away the progress we have made. We can't let them go back to trickle-down economics, repeal the Affordable Care Act. We can't let them stack the Supreme Court for another generation. We've got to get back to the middle. We've got to get back to the big center and solving problems. That's how we make progress in America.
I'm proud to be in a line of Democratic presidents who just got in there and fought it out…I know how hard it is, and I totally appreciate how exciting it can be to be involved in a campaign that really just puts out these great big ideas. But I want folks to just stop and think, no matter what age you are, OK, we agree on getting the economy going. We agree on raising income. We agree on combatting climate change. We agree on universal health-care. Who has the track record? Who's got things done? Who can actually produce the results you want for you and your family, and for our country?
She then gave him a solid civics lesson:
Our system is set up to make it difficult. Checks and balances. Separation of powers. Our Founders knew, if we were going to survive as the great democracy that they were creating, we had to have a system that kept the passions at bay. We had to have people who were willing to roll up their sleeves and compromise. We couldn't have ideologues who were just hurling their rhetoric back and forth. We had to actually produce results. That hasn't changed since George Washington. We have to produce results now because a democracy is a fragile organism. People have to believe they have a stake in it, that their voices count, but then they gotta see results from their investment in our democracy. Our democracy has to work better. Our politics have to work better. That's what I know how to do, and that's what I want to get done.
Clinton has spoken out on water issues in Jackson, Mississippi, bringing national attention to a local issue that may require federal intervention.

WJTV reports:
A statement released by Clinton Tuesday talked about how a few Jackson residents learned that there was elevated levels of lead in their drinking water.
“I was concerned to hear that tests of drinking water in Jackson, Mississippi, revealed elevated levels of lead in some homes. I’m heartened that Jackson city officials are taking the right steps to fix the problem, including repeated testing and openness with the results, so families can stay informed. As the emergency in Flint, Michigan, has made clear, cities and states must treat these situations with the utmost seriousness, and do everything in their power to ensure that families – especially children – have access to safe, clean drinking water.  And we as a nation must make urgent investments to modernize our utilities and infrastructure, to keep families and communities safe and healthy.”
Mayor Tony Yarber released this statement in response to Clinton’s comments:
“We appreciate the acknowledgment of the City’s proactive response and transparency in dealing with our water concerns. Secretary Clinton notes that this appears to be a home-dependent issue. The results are pending on the second round of testing, but we must reiterate that our City’s water system is in compliance and our drinking water is safe. We will continue to keep the public informed.
Serious concern has been expressed about the $540 billion funding gap that exists for water infrastructure in this country. That concern needs to be followed with a serious federal funding plan that invests more money in grant programs, particularly for disadvantaged communities.”
Clinton’s campaign is also bringing national attention to the regressive anti-choice legislation being pushed in Florida.

The Tampa Bay Times reports:
The Hillary Clinton campaign is weighing in on legislation in the Florida Captiol to restrict abortion clinics, with her senior policy advisor calling the bills “dangerous and extreme.”
In a post to be published Tuesday evening on the website Medium, senior policy adviser Maya Harris will write that “Hillary Clinton opposes these measures advancing through the Florida legislature – and is the candidate with the strongest history of standing up for women's health care and rights.”
Earlier Tuesday, the House Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee approved one such bill (HB 1411), by Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, that would set a number of new regulations for abortion clinics in the state, including requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital and cutting funding for non-abortion services performed at clinics. Another proposal (HB 865) by Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, would ban all abortions in Florida.
Harris will write in the Medium post:
"The bills are a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which has protected a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions for decades. One of these bills would make performing an abortion a first-degree felony. Other proposed restrictions would erect unnecessary hurdles with the purpose of closing down health clinics. "The true intention behind these bills is to prevent women from having access to safe and legal abortion. Let's be clear: Access to women's health care is a fundamental right, not a first-degree felony. These measures put women’s health and rights at risk and undermine the role of medical professionals in health care decisions."
Clinton has released an extensive plan for dealing with advanced, aging buildings in a way that protects the environment while creating jobs. Once again, a Clinton plan is multi-faceted, comprehensive, and much of it can be accomplished even with a hostile Congress:
Hillary Clinton’s Plan for Advanced Buildings: Creating Jobs, Reducing Pollution and Saving Americans Money
Buildings consume more energy than any other single sector in the United States, accounting for 40% of national energy demand and costing American families and businesses almost $400 billion per year.  Taxpayers spend more than $50 billion on energy in public buildings—more than the budget of NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Department of Commerce and the Environmental Protection Agency combined.  Inefficient buildings not only raise energy costs and increase pollution, but they are also less healthy to live in and less productive to work in.
Hillary Clinton believes that climate change is one of the defining challenges of our time—and that it demands bold, immediate action. Clinton will use every tool available to combat the threat of climate change and make the US the clean energy superpower of the 21st century. That’s why she has called for a Clean Energy Challenge to help states, cities, and rural communities do more to cut carbon pollution and deploy clean energy. But deploying more clean energy isn’t enough—we also need to cut energy consumption, which will save families and businesses money and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change.
As President, Clinton would set a goal to cut energy waste in American homes, schools, stores, municipal buildings, hospitals and offices by a third within ten years of taking office.  This goal will save families and businesses money, cut dangerous pollution, and help keep the United States at the forefront of tackling the climate challenge.
Clinton’s plan will:
  • Reduce annual energy costs for American households and businesses by more than $70 billion, or $600 for the average household.
  • Save American taxpayers more than $8 billion a year by reducing energy costs in public buildings and lowering healthcare and educational costs through efficiency improvements in hospitals, colleges and universities.
  • Eliminate the use of expensive and highly polluting fuel oil and propane to heat homes and businesses, improving air quality and protecting households from price spikes while reducing US oil consumption by more than 300 million barrels per year.
  • Create good-paying jobs and careers in construction, design, engineering, manufacturing and building operations.
  • Make American businesses more competitive by lowering energy costs and raising workplace productivity.

Giving households and businesses the information they need

Market demand for energy efficient homes, office buildings, stores, appliances and devices is growing rapidly. Interest in efficiency improvements among American businesses has nearly tripled over the past five years. Energy efficiency is now a top concern for American households as well. Clinton will unlock America’s building efficiency potential by ensuring homeowners, renters, commercial building owners and tenants have information on and access to cost-saving building efficiency options.
  • Better building codes: Building energy codes are one of the most cost-effective ways to improve efficiency in new residential and commercial buildings. But the way these codes are developed and adopted today can prevent households and businesses from capturing the full energy cost savings potential of their new home, store or office building. Clinton will work with national code organizations like the ICC and ASHRAE to develop model building codes that address the energy performance of the building as a whole, accelerate the development and deployment of advanced building technology and practices, and prevent value engineering from impeding cost-effective energy efficiency solutions like mechanical insulation.
  • Benchmarking and transparency: While energy makes up a significant share of the operating costs of any building, prospective buyers and tenants have little ability to compare the energy costs of different properties. Cities and states across the country, from Atlanta to Austin, have created programs where commercial and multifamily residential buildings report on their energy use and benchmark it to other buildings of a similar class. This not only helps new buyers and tenants assess affordability but highlights the potential for efficiency improvements for existing owners.  Clinton would expand these successful local policies into a consistent national program.
  • Energy efficient mortgages: Residential efficiency improvements, whether in new or existing homes, can significantly reduce a household’s monthly energy bills, yet federal mortgage agencies do not take this into account in determining the value and affordability of home loans they underwrite. Clinton would fix this shortcoming, and work with companies like Zillow and Trulia to make expected energy cost information easily available to prospective buyers. The Institute for Market Transformation estimates this measure alone would generate 83,000 jobs and save American households $1.3 billion a year on their energy bills by ensuring efficiency investments are accurately valued in the residential property market.
  • Appliance labels and standards: EPA’s ENERGY STAR program has become a vital resource for consumers looking to compare the energy efficiency of different appliances and devices, from televisions to refrigerators, and has saved Americans more than $30 billion a year on their energy bills. Clinton will defend this important program and expand its coverage to a broader range of models and products. She will also defend and extend national energy efficiency standards for appliances and equipment that drive innovation and save American consumers $63 billion a year on their utility bills.

Supporting states, cities and rural communities that take the lead

Most buildings policy is made at the local level, and unlocking America’s building efficiency potential requires both states and cities to take action. Fortunately, state and local leaders are stepping up to the plate across the country. As part of her $60 billion Clean Energy Challenge, Clinton will award competitive grants to states, cities and rural communities that are ready to lead, giving them the tools, resources and flexibility they need to succeed in the following areas:
  • Adopting and enforcing advanced building energy codes: While the federal government can work with national code organizations to develop model building energy codes, it’s up to states and cities to adopt and enforce them. Clinton will provide challenge grants to those that meet or exceed advanced building energy code levels, like Illinois, which has some of the most advanced and best enforced building energy codes in the country. Every dollar spent on code enforcement delivering a six dollar return in the form of lower household and business energy costs.
  • Cutting red tape: Many business and households face market barriers to adopting cost saving energy efficiency solutions. Clinton will provide challenge grants to states and cities that streamline permitting barriers, provide customers with time-of-use pricing and real-time price information, and ensure energy efficiency and demand response compete on a level playing field in electricity markets like Minnesota has begun to do through its E21 initiative and New York’s Reforming the Energy Vision
  • Business model innovation: Local utilities and state and city governments are developing innovative business models to overcome barriers to building efficiency and drive deployment of efficiency technologies like GreenMountain Power’s eHome program in Vermont and the Roanoke Electric Coop’s Upgrade to $ave program in North Carolina. Clinton will award challenge grants to scale up and replicate those models shown to be most effective.
  • Unlocking private capital: While efficiency investments often pay back in a couple of years or less, the upfront investment presents a significant hurdle for many homeowners and businesses. A number of states and cities have begun deploying innovative tools to unlock new sources of capital for efficiency investments, like Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs which in Florida have delivered tens of millions of dollars in savings to the state’s families and businesses. Clinton will award challenge grants to support the development and deployment of successful and equitable financing mechanisms.
  • Reducing low-income energy bills: Low-income households spend a larger share of their income on energy than the average American family and are particularly vulnerable to price spikes. Clinton will award challenge grants to states and cities that develop and implement verifiably cost-effective and scalable initiatives to reduce energy costs for low-income households such as Houston’s Residential Energy Efficiency Program.
  • Phase out heating oil: High cost and polluting fuel oil and propane are still used for home heating in much of the country. In New Hampshire, for example, nearly 70% of all families heat their homes with oil products. This not only makes household budgets vulnerable to price spikes but also contributes to local air pollution and increases US dependence on oil. Clinton will award challenge grants to cities and states that replace oil-fueled residential and commercial boilers and furnaces with cleaner alternatives, such as New York City’s successful PlanNYC program.

Creating Jobs and Saving Money Through Better Schools, Hospitals and Public BUildings

Municipal buildings, universities, schools and hospitals, known as the “MUSH market”, account for nearly one third of non-residential building energy expenditures in the United States.  The cost of heating, cooling and powering these buildings is ultimately passed on to American taxpayers, students and healthcare consumers. Improving the energy efficiency of MUSH market buildings is not just financially responsible—it can improve public health and education outcomes and help states meet their carbon pollution targets under the Clean Power Plan.  Clinton will catalyze such improvements though Clean Energy Challenge grants and financing tools available through her national infrastructure bank, creating good-paying jobs and careers.
  • Saving taxpayers money through better public buildings: Clinton will build on the important progress made by the Obama Administration in improving the efficiency of the federal building fleet by expanding and deepening efficiency retrofits across the federal portfolio. Clinton will also provide challenge grants to state and local governments to improve efficiency of municipal buildings, and tools that expand private sector financing through her national infrastructure bank. This will save meaningful money for state and local governments because energy expenditures absorb up to 10% of municipal budgets today.
  • Cleaner and more effective schools: Primary and secondary schools spend $6 billion a year on energy, more than they spend on textbooks and technology combined. Modernizing our country’s school buildings will not only free up money to invest directly in our kids’ educations, but will even improve their cognitive function by reducing indoor air pollution. Clinton will prioritize such upgrades in awarding challenge grants and will engage students in identifying efficiency opportunities by extending her Clean Energy Challenge to the classroom.
  • Healthier hospital buildings: Hospitals are among the largest energy consumers in the country, consuming twice as much energy as do office buildings of comparable size—and patients are the ones who pick up the tab. A number of hospitals have addressed this through advanced building efficiency technology, such as the Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas. Clinton will encourage similar efficiency improvements in other hospitals through challenge grants and national infrastructure bank financing tools.
  • A more energy-efficient American workforce: A building only lives up to its efficiency potential if it is constructed and operated correctly. That’s why Clinton will support training programs, both through her apprenticeship tax credit and Clean Energy Challenge grants, for engineers, architects, construction trades, and other advanced building-related professions and where students can receive an industry-related certification to install energy efficient buildings technologies. Clinton will also improve the operational efficiency of commercial and multi-residential buildings by supporting building operator training programs like SEIU’s Green Supers program in New York and Green Janitors program in California.
Clinton’s plan for advanced buildings, and other parts of her Clean Energy Challenge, is one pillar of her comprehensive energy and climate agenda, which includes major initiatives in the following areas:
  1. Modernizing North American Infrastructure: Improve the safety and security of existing energy infrastructure and align new infrastructure we build with the clean energy economy we are seeking to create.
  2. Revitalizing Coal Communities: Protect the health and retirement security of coalfield workers and their families and provide economic opportunities for those that kept the lights on and factories running for more than a century.
  3. Safe and Responsible Production: Ensure that fossil fuel production taking place today is safe and responsible, that taxpayers get a fair deal for development on public lands, and that areas that are too sensitive for energy production are taken off the table.
  4. Energy and Climate Security: Reduce the amount of oil consumed in the United States and around the world, guard against energy supply disruptions, and make our communities, our infrastructure, and our financial markets more resilient to risks posed by climate change.
  5. Collaborative Stewardship:  Renew our shared commitment to the conservation of our disappearing lands, waters, and wildlife, to the preservation of our history and culture, and to expanding access to the outdoors for all Americans.
The debate about the New Hampshire debate is still going on for some reason?

Politico reports:
Clinton’s camp has dropped its reluctance to go beyond a limited debate schedule, as Sanders’ sustained momentum and Clinton’s strong performances on the debate stage have motivated them to get the former secretary of state out in front of a national audience.
But the two sides have sparred in recent days over the schedule and location of more showdowns, and have yet to lock down the debate that has been in the works for this Thursday.
“I sure hope — we’re in Bernie Sanders’ backyard here in New Hampshire — I sure hope he intends to show up in his neighboring state,” Clinton told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Tuesday afternoon. “Let the people of New Hampshire see us both on the debate stage.”
The Democratic National Committee and MSNBC announced this past weekend a tentative agreement for the Thursday debate, which would begin at 9 p.m. in Durham and be moderated by Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow. The debate would come just days ahead of the state’s first-in-the-nation primary, giving Clinton an additional opportunity to sway voters before next Tuesday.
“This is really hard to follow because when we said we would do the debate they came back with conditions,” Clinton said of Sanders’ camp. “We met the conditions. Then they said they want different conditions, and we’ve tried to be very accommodating, but, you know, we have agreed to everything that they have asked us to do.”
Clinton had proposed a debate in Flint, Michigan, while Sanders publicly proposed another event in Brooklyn, NY — Sanders’ hometown and the home of Clinton’s campaign.
“We’ve accepted all of their conditions,” Clinton reiterated on Tuesday. “We did that last week, and they keep trying to add new conditions, which, you know, raises questions about how ready or willing they are to debate here in New Hampshire.”
Amanda Marcotte, writing for Salon, stresses the need for liberals to get over their need for a savior, and more importantly, contrasts Sanders’ idea of a revolution with the leftist revolution that is actually garnering results right now — Black Lives Matter:
The presidency is an executive office. Clinton’s more pragmatic approach to politics means she’s more suited to that work, which is about executing the existing law in ways that best get you closer to liberal goals. The job isn’t about passing single-payer healthcare. It’s about running the health and human services department. Sanders has failed to persuade me that he really, truly gets the difference, and so I can’t, in good conscience, support nominating him over Clinton.
My other concern about the Sanders campaign is that its focus on impossible goals might backfire. Effecting change is not about making really big promises and posturing about how you’re more socialist than thou. It’s about organizing, lobbying, working with others and, yes, compromising. It’s about running for and winning offices on the local and state level. It’s not a top-down thing, but a bottom-up process. I worry that even if Sanders wins the presidency, the cold reality that we’re not getting single-payer will disillusion all the people he’s got worked up. If he wants a revolution, he might do better actually working with supporters on how to organize and effect change.
That would be a shame, because a lot of liberal activism going on right now is smart about these things. The Black Lives Matter movement, for instance, is the opposite of Sanders socialism in most ways. The activists have concrete, achievable goals. They have strategies that are focused on the nitty-gritty of politics, focused on city and state governments, where real change happens.
The more liberals focus on savior figures and less on learning to save ourselves, like the BLM movement does, the less effective we’ll be. Clinton has shown, repeatedly, that she’s open to change and pressure from liberal activists to move to the left. We don’t want to turn into the Republicans, who are tearing themselves apart right now because the conservative base can’t understand why they don’t get everything they want just because they screamed loudly for it. Liberals need to refocus our efforts on organizing and lobbying and away from hoping that one dramatic gesture like electing Sanders will save us all.


  1. I read Ezra Klein's article at Vox: "Hillary Clinton and the Audacity of Political Realism." I'd like to say My Hope is Hillary! I want a woman who understands the struggle of all women and men who have been ignored, dismissed, and excluded. She understands the struggle, and I hope mightily that she becomes the first woman president. Congratulations to her for being the first woman to win an Iowa caucus.
    Thank you Lysis for what you do.