Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hillary News & Views 3.5: Detroit Speech, Endorsements, Delegates, Speaking Fees, HBCUs, Taxes

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of Clinton’s major economic speech in Detroit.

Michigan Live reports:
"I deliberately chose to come to Detroit and to this company to talk about jobs because I want more people to see what's happening in Southwest Detroit and Midtown and Eastern Market," Clinton said.
"New businesses are opening. Families are moving in. The streetlights are on again. The buses and running again. There is a palpable feeling of pride and community and we have to spread economic revitalization to all of Detroit's neighborhoods."
She named a number of Michigan business during the speech, highlighting investment and innovation efforts across the state.
"Innovation is on the rise," Clinton said. "Between the car makers and suppliers, the clean energy sector, the defense corridor, high-tech firms in Ann Arbor, cutting-edge design happening in Grand Rapids...
"You used to make B-24 Bombers at Willow Run. Now you're developing driverless cars there. At Ventower in Monroe you're making the towers that make wind turbines possible. Chevy is making electric cars in Hamtramck and using clean energy to do it. Shinola has created more than 500 jobs and they've cornered the market on watches for presidents. Both my husband and President Obama love their Shinolas. So Michigan proves every day that American workers are the best in the world. All they need is a fair chance on a fair playing field."
"Like Michigan Ladder Company, which has been operating in Ypsilanti for over 10 years. They have stopped buying fiberglass ladders from suppliers in China and started making them here in Michigan."
Clinton said she also wants to help community banks offer more startup capital, "so more entrepreneurs can get their dreams off the ground."
"You see the power of small businesses right here in Michigan with companies Detroit Bikes and McClure's pickles," she said. "They create jobs. They make the city a more dynamic and attractive place."
She also talked infrastructure investment, promising to "rebuild our crumbling water systems in Flint and around the country."
"Folks work hard all day, and they awake all night trying to figure out how in the world they're going to pay for their kids' college... And for some parents it's even worse," Clinton said.
"They have to worry about whether the water their kids drink is poisonous, like the families in Flint. Or about their kids' schools that are crumbling and broken and infested, like too many here in Detroit. That is not the way it's supposed to be in America."
Detroit Free Press reports:
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton struck a hard populist tone on economic matters during a factory visit today in northwest Detroit, bashing Wall Street, tax-avoiding inversion deals, executive pay, Chinese trade practices and also lamenting the decline of labor unions.
"Companies have to start treating workers as assets to be invested in -- not costs to be cut," Clinton told a crowd of several hundred supporters and factory employees at auto supplier Detroit Manufacturing Systems.
"Instead of good-paying jobs, millions of Americans are stuck with low-paying work," Clinton said. "Now corporate profits and CEO pay are rising, but paychecks for working families have barely budged."
She said that "too many" corporations undervalue their workers. She blasted a "casino culture on Wall Street" that has come to lean on taxpayers stepping in during times of trouble. "We need to make sure Wall Street never wrecks Main Street again," she said.
The former Secretary of State spoke of her proposed "New Bargain" for U.S. workers that would contain clawback provisions of tax relief or development incentives offered to businesses that later decide to move jobs or production abroad.
She denounced as unpatriotic so-called tax inversion deals when U.S. companies shift headquarters overseas either through a merger or by being acquired -- oftentimes by a smaller company -- to save money on taxes.
"I call it perversion but the tax code calls it inversion," she said.
But she was less flattering in her remarks about Thursday's Republican presidential candidate debate in downtown Detroit. She said it was hard to keep track of the many insults lobbed that night in the Fox Theatre, "but the biggest insult of all" was the scant airtime devoted to the economy.
"Maybe that's because all of the Republican candidates support the same failing policies: cut taxes for the rich, get out of the way of corporations, don't raise the minimum wage."
Clinton went on to attack China, which she called "by far the worst rule breaker in the world" on trade matters for unfairly subsidizing state-owned businesses, manipulating its currency and dumping cheap exports.
She warned how "now that China's economy is slowing down we can expect even more bad acts from them."
CNN reports:
Hillary Clinton laid out a sweeping plan to boost American workers while speaking at a car part manufacturing plant in Detroit on Friday, pledging to punish companies that leave the United States, boost unions and enforce trade policies.
In what her campaign billed as major policy address on the economy and jobs, Clinton gave a nod to the fact that she supported major trade deals that some Democrats believe have hurt American workers, while defending herself against stepped-up attacks on the issue from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, her opponent in the Democratic race.
"On the Democratic side, we agree on a number of things. But I don't think we can answer that question by re-fighting battles from 20 years ago," Clinton said in a nod to the fact she backed the North American Free Trade Agreement, a trade deal that Sanders has cited to attack the former first lady.
Clinton added, "Anyone running for president owes it to you to come up with real ideas, not an ideology, not an old set of talking points, but a credible strategy designed for the world we live in now. And that is exactly what I am here today to do."
Clinton also knocked Sanders for standing with Republicans and voting against Export-Import Bank and the New Market Tax Credit.
"That doesn't make sense to me," Clinton said. "We should never let ideology get in the way of helping Americans find a good job they need and deserve."
Fox 2 Detroit reports:
"A new bargain to ensure that the jobs of the future are good paying American jobs," Clinton said. Michigan should be an example of the type of union, high-paying manufacturing jobs. "Some of the most exciting technological breakthroughs are happening right here. Not in China, not in Germany, but in Michigan."
She also  spoke of a tax retrieval plan. Under this plan, if a company were to get incentives and then move overseas, the government would recoup some of that money.
"If a company like Nabisco outsources and ships jobs overseas, We'll make you give back the the tax breaks you received in America," Clinton said.
Her last topic addressed something we all encounter every day: fixing the roads. She has a robust plan that she says would fix them permanently and put millions of Americans to work.
"I put forward a $275 billion plan that would put millions of Americans to work, modernizing our roads and bridges and railways and airports and ports," she said.

Another day, another round of endorsements.

Chicago Sun-Times endorses:
Hillary Clinton has been a public servant all her adult life.
She has been steeled by the fire of over-hyped scandals, learned the hard way the wisdom of building bridges, and developed a pragmatic, feet-on-the-ground approach to getting things done.
That might not sound like high praise to the most liberal wing of Clinton’s Democratic Party, which has rallied behind the pie-in-the-sky agenda of Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s opponent in the party’s presidential primary race. Nor might this assessment of Clinton jibe with the views of right-wing zealots who will forever mumble on about Whitewater, Travelgate and Benghazi.
There’s no pleasing some folks.
But in Hillary Clinton we see the possibility of not only the first woman American president, but also the first president in awhile who might have the professional and personal skills to get Washington back to real governing. Our endorsement goes to Clinton. It’s an easy call.
Over three decades, Hillary Clinton has viewed the job of president from an unbeatable number of angles. She has trained for the job from the inside, as the wife and public policy confidante to a remarkably popular, though flawed, president. She has considered the job from the vantage point of Capitol Hill, as a senator from New York. She has come to understand how the rest of the world looks at the presidency and America, as a globetrotting secretary of state.
Domestically, Hillary Clinton could be very good for Chicago, even if she had not grown up in suburban Park Ridge. She has long favored the kind of common-sense gun controls this city and country desperately need. She has been a champion of civil rights, women’s issues and comprehensive immigration reform, including the creation of a pathway to citizenship. She opposes privatizing Social Security and believes working people should be guaranteed, by law, up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
Clinton has a way of learning. She moves on, takes stock and recalibrates. Unlike the Hillary Clinton of two decades ago who lectured a little too self-righteously about the virtues of universal healthcare, Clinton today seems much more inclined to just get stuff done.
She lives in the real world, which is the fundamental difference between her and Sanders in this race.
Florida Sun-Sentinel endorses:
Hillary Clinton brings assets we've seen too little of this primary season — steadiness and experience at the highest levels of government.
Her resume is impressive. She spent eight years in the U.S. Senate, representing New York from 2001 to 2009. She followed that with four years as secretary of state. Though she ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination in 2008, she was in the White House for eight years working on policy while her husband was president.
Clinton also has chosen not to totally distance herself from the record of Barack Obama. On the contrary, she and Obama have similar views on most of the main domestic issues: health care and immigration reform, equal rights, income inequality and a higher minimum wage, tougher gun laws, combating climate change, paid family leave and restoring relations with Cuba.
Her ambitious goals on climate change especially matter in Florida, the state most at risk from rising seas. Clinton's goals for renewable energy are more ambitious even than Obama's.
Hillary Clinton is smart, steady and able to rebound quickly from defeat. When her attempt at health care reform failed during her husband's first term, Clinton worked with senators from both parties – Democrat Ted Kennedy and Republican Orrin Hatch -- to create the Children's Health Insurance Program, which cut the uninsured rate of American children in half. More than eight million children have coverage because of the program.
Critics who claim Clinton has no record of accomplishment despite her sparkling resume need to look closer at her record.
She helped secure more than $21 billion for World Trade Center redevelopment. She led investigations into the health problems of 9/11 first responders. She promoted increased National Institutes of Health funding for research into cancer and asthma. She was the principal author of sanctions – particularly on oil imports to the European Union -- that brought Iran to the negotiating table. She helped bring about a 2012 cease-fire between Hamas and Israel that headed off an Israeli invasion of Gaza. She named an "ambassador at large" for women's rights.
"Nearly every foreign policy victory of President Obama's second term," said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., "has Secretary Clinton's fingerprints on it."
Omaha World-Herald endorses:
In her second try for the White House, Clinton brings a lifetime of public service to her quest, along with the considerable voter energy generated by the prospect of electing the nation’s first woman president.
Her service as secretary of state provides vital foreign policy experience. She served as a U.S. senator from New York and spent eight years as first lady during her husband’s presidency. Early in her career, she was a lawyer for the congressional committee that investigated President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate scandal.
Despite criticism that she won her Senate seat in 2000 by piggybacking on her husband’s success, she earned a reputation for hard work and bipartisanship during her term. When her 2008 presidential campaign was knocked down by the Obama whirlwind, she gracefully accepted the voters’ decision and joined his Cabinet. Her work as his secretary of state — traveling nearly 1 million miles — proved a moderating force for realism within the administration.
In judging the candidates in each party’s nominating contests — Nebraska Republicans will decide in the May primary — the most important question is this:
Who would be the most qualified, most talented and most able to represent the party’s viewpoint in November, thus giving Americans a serious, substantive, issue-oriented debate about the country’s future?
Hillary Clinton brings credentials and breadth unmatched by her Democratic opponent, as well as a pragmatic ability to get things done in what no doubt will remain a divided Capitol.
Nebraska Democrats can help their party most by choosing Hillary Clinton to carry their banner in the fall.
Tampa Bay Times reports:
All seven members of the Tampa City Council are endorsing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy, according to the campaign.
The council members, all Democrats, made the endorsements individually — not as a group or in a meeting.
In interviews and statements released through the campaign, council members cited Clinton's experience as a key reason for their support.
"Her peformance, particularly in the debates and overall on the campaign trail, has been tremendous," said Cohen, who has worked and raised money for Clinton's campaign and went to her Super Tuesday campaign party in Miami. "I think her command of the issues and her experience place her head and shoulders above every other candidate in both parities."
Guido Maniscalco, at 31 the lone millennial on the council, said he admires both Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, but he likes the job Bill Clinton did as president and "as senator, as former First Lady and as secretary of state, I find her to be very qualified."
"Hillary is the candidate who can do all parts of the job of president — raising incomes for the middle class and keeping our communities safe as commander-in-chief," Reddick said in a statement released through the campaign. "She has a lifetime of experience fighting to break down the barriers that hold too many people back. Tampa families know she's the one who'll fight for them." reports:
Today's number is 16. Sixteen of the 17 elected Cleveland City Council members have endorsed Hillary Clinton for president, according to a Friday news release from Clinton's campaign.
"I am proud to join many of my colleagues on the Cleveland City Council in endorsing Hillary Clinton for President," said Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley. "Hillary Clinton is the right choice for Cleveland because of the values she shares with hardworking Northeast Ohioans." 
By process of elimination, Ward 8 Councilman Michael Polensek is the dissenter in the decision to officially endorse.
The Guardian reports:
George Clooney opens the door of the Berlin hotel lounge and shakes hands like an ambassador. “Come on in,” says this paragon of modern Hollywood: a proper, old-fashioned movie star; a producer and occasionally director of interesting, intelligent films; and a furrowed-brow liberal political activist of not inconsiderable achievement. Who else would spend the morning after the premiere of his new film, the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!, confabbing with Angela Merkel about the international refugee crisis? He should be running for president, surely?
Clooney chuckles indulgently. “I am a Hillary supporter. I am doing a fundraiser for her.” That’s a big endorsement; Clooney’s 2012 event for Obama raised more than $12m (£8.5m) in a single night. But he has conciliatory words for her main Democrat opponent. “I really love Bernie Sanders, and am really glad he is in the debate. He is forcing the conversation to things that never get talked about in US politics: disparity between the rich and the poor, which is getting worse and worse every day.” He says he admires Sanders’ singlemindedness on the topic, but suggests it is the same character trait that is his “downfall” on the national stage.
CNN reports:
Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons endorsed Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on Friday, saying that after speaking to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, he thinks the senator is "overstating what he can deliver to underserved communities."
"I think Sen. Clinton has been sensitive, supportive of the progressive agenda, she's realistic about what she can get done, she's able to beat the Republican candidates," Simmons told CNN's Carol Costello in an interview Friday, adding that Sanders could lose.
Simmons, who traveled to Flint, Michigan, to raise awareness about the water crisis and donated 150,000 water bottles to families, slammed Republicans for not visiting Flint and said that Clinton's aides were there at the time of his visit.
The charge that Sanders can't deliver what he promises is one that Clinton, herself, has levied against the senator.
"I don't want to over-promise," Clinton told supporters in Iowa in January. "I don't want to come out with theories and concepts that may or may not be possible. We don't need any more of that."
Regarding this weekend’s caucuses, the Clinton camp is downplaying their chances, but also aware that they may still leave the weekend with as many or more delegates, thanks to the Louisiana primary.

The Huffington Post reports:
Robby Mook, campaign manager for Hillary Clinton, sent out a memo Wednesday that predicted the former secretary of state may lose the caucus states this weekend. 
"[A]lthough we continue to fight for every vote, Sen. Sanders has clear advantages and is investing heavily in two upcoming caucuses (Nebraska and Kansas)," Mook wrote.
But Clinton's team still expects to win the Louisiana primary, a southern state with a more diverse electorate that plays to her strength with communities of color. And at the end of the day, they're arguing that it's less about winning states than about amassing more delegates.
"As she has to date, Sec. Clinton will continue to win diverse states by large margins -- enabling her to add to her pledged delegate lead -- and she will compete in every state with a strategy uniquely tailored to each state so that Sen. Sanders cannot net too many delegates anywhere," Mook wrote.
In the Democratic system, states award their delegates proportionally based on the share of votes the candidates get (provided they get at least 15 percent). So a loss in close race could still pay off, and a big win is better than a small one. 
Both Clinton and Sanders are already looking ahead not only to Michigan, but the delegate-rich date of March 15, when Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio will be holding their primaries. Florida holds the largest number of delegates to date, and Clinton currently holds the lead there, according to polls.
It’s a fact that used to be noted about Clinton’s paid speeches, but went down the memory hole at some point in the primary campaign.

Zfacts reports:
Over the negative din of politics, it can be hard to hear what’s positive. Hillary Clinton has given $17.6 million of her speaking fees to charity (see below). That’s 26 times as much as she made on her three Goldman Sachs speeches combined, or 50% more than she made on her 51 speeches in 2014 and 2015. Before presenting the details, let me summarize.
  1. Her fees were not the least bit unusual given her stature.
  2. Over 100 lesser known Americans are also in the $200,000+ category.
  3. The Goldman Sachs fees were below her average fee.
  4. She gave $17.6 million of her speaking fees to charity.
  5. Charging G. Sachs less would have just meant more profits for them and less for charity.
There is simply no evidence, or logic, supporting the idea that she would sell out her whole career and deceive her huge base of supporters with a fake proposal to rein in Wall Street (a proposal that Elizabeth Warren supports). That she would do all this in return for three below-average fees from Goldman Sachs is beyond absurd.
Now take a quick look at a Talk at Golmand Sachs (GS), or at civil-rights-leader John Lewis talking with the CEO of GS, or the CEO of the NAACP or LGBT Professionals speaking at GS. Obviously GS hopes for good publicity and the speakers hope to influence GS. If you’re looking for conspiracies, this is a very silly place to look for them.
According to the Washington Post, Bill Clinton has contributed speaking fees to their foundation 73 times and Hillary Clinton 15 times.  Hillary’s contributions include one address to Goldman Sachs and another to JP Morgan Chase. In total, Hillary donated something over $17.6 million. Contrary to what you may have heard, their foundation is highly efficient with only 11% overhead, and has provided $2,000 million dollars to the poor and needy.
Their foundation projects include training African farmers to get access to seeds, equipment and markets for their crops, reforestation projects in Africa and the Caribbean, renewable energy projects in island nations, and work to lower the cost of HIV/AIDS medicine and scale up pediatric AIDS treatment. And here’s a picture from Oakland (next door to me) from the Clinton Foundation’s “Too Small to Fail” project.
Another article about the significance of Clinton's focus on HBCUs in her college plan.

Dallas Morning News reports:
Clinton has called attention to the burden student loans place on college students, pledging to allow refinancing of Parent PLUS Loans. She has also promised to create a $25 billion fund to support private HBCUs.
“Anything that makes it more difficult on first-generation folk is a problem,” said Prairie View A&M University President George Wright, referring to students who are the first in their families to go to college. “I don’t want to say [Clinton’s policies are] going to resolve all the problems, but it has to be a significant help in that regard.”
Gasman said a Clinton presidency would probably continue many of Obama’s policies, but she wouldn’t “face the same scrutiny” on the issue as the first black president did.
“Hillary will probably be able to do more. President Obama has been in a difficult situation given that he has to be seen as the president of all the people and is highly criticized when he does something for African-Americans,” she said.
Clinton visited Texas Southern in Houston last year to accept the Barbara Jordan Public-Private Leadership Award, and she made a second visit last month on the night she won the Nevada caucuses.
“The HBCUs have produced some of the finest leaders in our country,” Clinton said to cheers at TSU in February. “And it’s not just who they graduated in the past, it’s the work they’re still doing today — often against great odds.”
The next week, her campaign dispatched her husband to Paul Quinn, which has about 400 students.
“It’s the importance of saying to the African-American community: ‘You matter,’” said Michael Sorrell, the college’s president. “It is a very intentional statement to say: ‘I acknowledge you and the role that you have played in this country.’”
Sorrell — who worked in Bill Clinton’s administration on race initiatives — noted that the Clintons’ long ties to the black community help Hillary Clinton understand what the colleges need.
“This isn’t new for the Clintons,” Sorrell said. “That’s the difference. This is akin to your friends who you always see, so you don’t have to question it or anything. You still need to remind them that you care, but you’re not a stranger.”
Slate notes that the strong progressivism of Clinton’s tax plans is being overlooked:
Hillary Clinton is running for president on an extremely progressive policy platform. This fact has been drowned out somewhat by Bernie Sanders’ calls for a social democratic revolution, not to mention the Trumpian drama that's on the verge of shredding the Republican Party to bits. But it’s true: While the message hasn't always come across very clearly, Clinton has campaigned on things like universal pre-K, guaranteed paid family leave, a significantly higher minimum wage, debt-free college tuition, and, to fund much of it, higher taxes on the wealthy.
And that tax plan is very progressive. On Thursday, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center released an analysis projecting that Clinton's plans would haul in more than $1 trillion in extra federal taxes over their first decade. More than 77 percent of that money would come from the top 1 percent of taxpayers; more than 50 percent would come from the top 0.1 percent.1 That may not sound like soaking the rich to your typical Bernie voter, but keep this in mind: The expiration of the Bush tax cuts for top earners, which required a fierce political showdown back in 2012, was only projected to bring in about $624 billion over a decade. Hillary's plan is far more ambitious by comparison.
Her proposal also channels the idea that the super-rich ought to be treated differently than the merely affluent. As of now, the very top income tax bracket starts with single filers who make $415,000 a year, which, as I've written at length, is absurd. Clnton would slap an additional 4 percent “tax surcharge” on all incomes above $5 million, while also imposing the ever-popular Buffett Rule, which forces millionaires to pay an effective tax rate of at least 30 percent. She'd undo cuts to the estate tax, an underappreciated source of revenue that Republicans are determined to kill off, even though it only hits estates worth at least $5 million today. Clinton would apply it to estates worth more than $3 million. Less sexy to most liberals but more important from a revenue standpoint: She also wants to cap noncharitable deductions for families in higher tax brackets, which would make it much harder for them to reduce their obligations to the government.
This being a Clinton plan, there are lots of additional pieces in the puzzle—for instance, she would try to keep multinational corporations from using “earnings-stripping” to reduce their U.S. tax bills. She also has a wonky proposal to raise capital gains taxes by charging investors a higher or lower rate depending on how long they hold their stocks and bonds. It's supposedly intended to encourage more patience among shareholders and less short-term corporate thinking. It might not be well-designed for that purpose, but it would at least raise some revenue.
Clinton's e-mail non-scandal continues to disappoint Republicans (and, ahem, some on the other side of the political spectrum.)

The Washington Post reports:
Although it’s possible there will be some future discovery, it appears that whether Clinton’s emails were vulnerable to hacking or not, they weren’t actually hacked. That’s good news! The closest thing they’ve found is some attempts at phishing scams, which means that Clinton’s email is just like every other email address on earth.
So here’s what we know at this point, put as succinctly as I can:
  1. Clinton set up a personal email account and used it for work. Even though previous Secretaries of State did the same thing, and even though thousands of people in government use personal emails for work, she still shouldn’t have done it. She may have violated department policies, but there’s no evidence she broke any laws.
  2. Clinton has said it was a mistake and apologized for it.
  3. There were concerns that her email server could have been vulnerable to hacking from a foreign power. But it does not appear to have been hacked.
  4. None of the work-related emails she sent and received were marked classified at the time. However, some 200 of them were retroactively classified. This is now the subject of a spat between the State Department and the intelligence community, which classifies many things that people elsewhere in the government think are absurd to classify.
  5. For Clinton to be charged with mishandling classified information, she would have had to knowingly passed such information to someone not authorized to have it — like David Petraeus showing classified documents to his mistress — or acted with such gross negligence that people without authorization were bound to see it. According to what we know, neither of those things happened.
  6. The FBI is investigating the matter, but has said that Clinton herself is not a target of that investigation, meaning that they don’t suspect that she committed any crime.
  7. That former aide, Bryan Pagliano, has been granted immunity by the Justice Department and is working with them as they complete their investigation, which will probably conclude this spring.

1 comment:

  1. Caucusing in KS today. I've never 'caucused' so it should be fun. Also, being a dem in KS, my line should be short. :)

    Dan Shea