Thursday, March 24, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.24: Counterterrorism, George Clooney and a Plethora of Positive Polls


Hi all...Scan here covering for Lysis on Hillary News & Views today as his vacation starts. My briefer vacation starts tomorrow, and we'll have some guest HNV posts over the next week or so. Looking forward to it! By the way, there is no one style for this series...for instance, Lysis tends to be utterly comprehensive and professional whereas I tend to be a little more concise and sometimes sarcastic. It's all good.

The big news of the day is Clinton's staggeringly presidential counterterrorism speech. Time reports:
As Hillary Clinton approaches a general election showdown, she is aiming this week for a public relations twofer: forcefully rebutting her Republican rivals while laying out her own strategy for addressing terrorism in the wake of the Brussels attacks.
In a speech at Stanford University on Wednesday, Clinton methodically countered statements by leading Republican candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Ted Cruz, calling their counterterrorism proposals “wrong” and “counterproductive,” while calling for stepped up surveillance and increased partnership with American allies.
It was an indication of the kind of aggressive, policy-driven campaign that she wants to run against the Republican nominee in the coming months.
“America doesn’t cower in fear or hide behind walls,” Clinton said. “We lead and we succeed. Throughout our history we have stared into the face of evil and we refused to blink, whether it was fascism, the Cold War or hunting down Osama bin Laden.” 
During a lengthy paean to America’s alliances in Europe, she reaffirmed her commitment to NATO, a position against Trump also taken by Cruz. “On 9/11, NATO treated an attack against one as an attack against all,” Clinton said. “Now it’s our turn to stand with Europe. We cherish the same values and face the same adversaries, so we must share the same determination.”
“If Mr. Trump gets his way, it’ll be like Christmas in the Kremlin,” Clinton added.
Cruz, Trump’s chief, and lagging rival for the Republican nomination, has called for the United States to “empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” a proposal mocked by New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton who said Wednesday that Cruz “doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.”
Clinton piled on. “It’s hard to imagine a more incendiary, foolish statement,” she said, calling Muslims a “first line of defense” against terrorism. “One thing we know that does not work is offensive, inflammatory rhetoric that demonizes all Muslims.”
The speech is part of Clinton’s general election strategy to paint her Republican rivals as callow and rash, appealing to moderates with her vision of American foreign policy.
Here is one key passage that should inspire Democrats and terrify Republicans everywhere:
We can’t let fear stop us from doing what’s necessary to keep us safe. Nor can we let it push us into reckless actions that end up making us less safe. For example, it would be a serious mistake to stumble into another costly ground war in the Middle East. If we’ve learned anything from Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s that people in nations have to secure their own communities. We can, and I argue must support them, but we can’t substitute for them.
It would also be a serious mistake to begin carpet bombing populated areas into oblivion. Proposing that doesn’t make you sound tough. It makes you sound like you are in over your head. Slogans aren’t a strategy. Loose cannons often misfire. What America needs is strong, smart, steady leadership to wage and win this struggle. To do that we need to strengthen America’s alliances in Europe, Asia, and around the world.
Did you catch that one line in there about "loose cannons"? I think we may be hearing it a lot over the next several months in the battle against Trump:
Here is the full speech:

George Clooney has written a few words at, and I'm sure they won't mind me posting the whole thing here. There's also a chance that you can join him, Amal and Hillary at his house next month. I think I'll have to put my name in for that one.
Hillary Clinton is a voice of tolerance and experience—and that’s exactly what we need.
If you listen to the loudest voices out there today, you’d think we’re a country that hates Mexicans, hates Muslims, and thinks that committing war crimes is the best way to make America great again.
The truth is that the only thing that would prevent America from being great would be to empower these voices.
In all of this clutter, there’s been one consistent voice. A voice of tolerance and experience, from a candidate who’s spent a lifetime fighting for the rights of the less fortunate. A candidate who knows firsthand the complexity of our international relationships.
That candidate is Hillary Clinton.
As this primary process continues, Hillary could soon have an insurmountable delegate lead and with that, the Democratic nomination. That would then make her the only grown-up in the room. And if ever there was a time for a grown-up, that time is now.
On April 16, Amal and I will be getting together with Hillary at our home in Los Angeles, and we’d be honored to have you there with us. Just add your name to win a chance for you and a guest to be there.
The good news is, I’m not cooking.
Melissa McEwan at Shakesville writes:
If I never again had to hear anyone discussing whether Hillary Clinton is likeable, that would be amazing. That would make my whole life.
I loathe listening to people pontificating about Clinton's likeability—with special shimmering gems of contempt for an all-male panel of pundits disgorging totally trenchant nuggets of wisdom about how she could make herself likeable, after taking as read that she isn't.
I hate it for a lot of reasons, starting with the fact that assessing likeability—even when it isn't filtered through a magnificently distortive prism of uninterrogated misogyny—is an entirely subjective endeavor.
But, if I'm honest, the reason I hate it the most, the reason that I feel something hot and electric behind my eyes when I'm obliged to witness another of these likeability debates, is because I know that I am unlikeable.
I don't mean that no one likes me. There are people in my life who like me, and even love me, despite having seen me at my absolute worst. Who know my flaws and failures, who have seen me in moments of pettiness, anger, grief, insecurity, profound and demonstrable vulnerability. And who like me all the same.
What I mean is that, were I held to the same standards as Hillary Clinton, the same unreasonable, impossible, can't-fucking-win standards to which she is held, I would not fare any better than she. I would almost certainly fare worse.
I would be unlikeable.
Yesterday ended up being a rather huge day for Hillary in the polls both on the national and state level, making it even more clear that Bernie's path to the nomination just isn't there.

National primary polls:

Monmouth: Clinton 55% Sanders 37% (Clinton +3 since their last poll)
Fox News: Clinton 55% Sanders 42% (Clinton +16 since their last poll)
Quinnipiac: Clinton 50% Sanders 38% (Clinton +10 since their last poll)

State primary polls:

Pennsylvania: Clinton 53% Sanders 28% (a lot of undecideds, but this margin is unsurprising)
California: Clinton 48% Sanders 41% (high single-digit lead for Hillary seems about right)
WisconsinClinton 50% Sanders 44%

I think this primary battle is basically over, but if Clinton wins Pennsylvania by double digits in late April, it's really over. And if it's a tie in California in June, it's seriously way past over. The Wisconsin result may be the most surprising to some, but Hillary's small lead here isn't too far off from other recent polls. So she might just win this April 5th primary, which would be fairly devastating for her opponent. Expect his campaign to once again outspend hers drastically there, which will probably result in a rough delegate draw that'll only leave him further behind anyway.

By the way, Wisconsin early voting has already begun...good news for Clinton.

Then there's this new Bloomberg general election poll with ridiculous and hopefully accurate Clinton vs Trump numbers:
Good stuff for the most part. The Kasich numbers don't concern me though, because 1) he won't be the nominee and 2) this just means he's the next Ben Carson circa last October...a largely unknown but nice enough fellow who keeps beating Hillary in the polls for some weird reason.

Finally, something a bit unorthodox. Lysis covered the Rolling Stone endorsement yesterday, but it was such a perfect and powerful summation about why we must support Hillary Clinton that I wanted to post it again. It may be the best 2016 endorsement I've read and I think I may agree with every damn word:
Hillary Clinton is one of the most qualified candidates for the presidency in modern times, as was Al Gore. We cannot forget what happened when Gore lost and George W. Bush was elected and became arguably one of the worst presidents in American history. The votes cast for the fantasy of Ralph Nader were enough to cost Gore the presidency. Imagine what a similar calculation would do to this country if a "protest vote" were to put the presidency, Congress and the Supreme Court all in the hands of the extreme right wing that now controls the Republican Party.
Clinton not only has the experience and achievements as first lady, senator and secretary of state, but a commitment to social justice and human rights that began for her as a young woman. She was one of those college students in the Sixties who threw herself into the passionate causes of those times, and she continues to do so today.
I keep hearing questions surface about her honesty and trustworthiness, but where is the basis in reality or in facts? This is the lingering haze of coordinated GOP smear campaigns against the Clintons — and President Obama — all of which have come up empty, including the Benghazi/e-mail whirlwind, which after seven GOP-led congressional investigations has turned up zilch.

This election is even more consequential, a tipping point like none since before the Civil War. We are at the culmination of a decades-long effort by the right wing to take over the government. Historian Sean Wilentz told this story in Rolling Stone. The House, the Senate and, until a month ago, the Supreme Court are under the thumb of special interests and the extremely wealthy, who seek to roll back decades and decades of legislative progress that have furthered "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." And most horrifying of all, they would stop the world's last-minute effort to fight climate change, where the stakes are the fate of civilization as we now know it.
If you haven't read it, read it now. If you haven't shared it, share it now. This is one endorsement that could actually change some minds.


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