Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hillary News & Views 4.28: Women and Mass Incarceration, Flint, Zika Virus, Swing State Staffing

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with Clinton’s powerful op-ed on women and mass incarceration.
Clinton writes for CNN:
We can't go on like this. It is time we reform our broken criminal justice system. First, we need to reform policing practices, end racial profiling, and eradicate racial disparities in sentencing. Second, we need to promote alternatives to incarceration, particularly for nonviolent and first-time offenders, so families aren't broken up. We need to improve access to high-quality treatment for substance abuse, inside and outside the prison system, because drug and alcohol addiction is a disease, not a crime — and we need to treat it as such.
And third, we need to be deliberate about understanding the different paths that can land women in prison, be more attentive to women's unique needs while they are incarcerated, and do more to support women and their families once they are released. I will institute gender-responsive policies in the federal prison system and encourage states to do the same—because women follow different paths to crime than men, and face different risks and challenges both inside and outside the prison walls, and every part of the justice system, from sentencing to the conditions of confinement to re-entry services, should reflect women's unique needs.
Research shows that women's relationships, like Tanya's friendship with the man from the basketball court, are often a significant risk factor for becoming involved with the justice system. Most women in prison are there because of nonviolent drug or property crimes. Over 60% of them report drug dependence or abuse in the year before they went to prison. Many of them grew up in abusive households, like Alice, and they are more likely than men in prison to have experienced sexual abuse or trauma in their life before prison.
And too often, a woman and her children continue to live with the consequences even after she has served her time and paid her debt to society. Because formerly incarcerated people face limited job opportunities, an entire family is effectively punished by a woman's time in prison.
Clinton has released a statement regarding recent developments in Flint:
Following news that three people are facing charges in connection with the water poisoning in Flint, Michigan, and the Senate’s passage today of an energy bill that does not contain $250 million in crucial aid for Flint as a result of a Republican hold on the package, Hillary Clinton issued the following statement:
​"​Senate Republicans have pushed through today’s energy bill at the expense of the people of Flint, who are still waiting for clean water and critical aid for rebuilding their infrastructure. It is unconscionable for this bill to move forward without this desperately-needed aid. It’s important that people be held responsible for the water poisoning in Flint—but it’s not enough. I will not stop fighting for the families of Flint until they receive the help all Americans should expect, and the justice all people deserve.​"​
Hillary Clinton is committed to ensuring every child and family has clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and a safe and healthy place to live, and has spoken out throughout this campaign about water quality issues affecting America’s communities, calling on Congress to update the nation’s toxic substances laws. She was the first candidate to speak out about the crisis in Flint and last week released a plan to make environmental justice and climate justice national priorities, including updating federal environmental and public health laws, like the Safe Drinking Water Act, to enhance criminal provisions for serious violations​.​
Clinton has dispatched aides to Puerto Rico to focus on the Zika virus:
Hillary Clinton announced today that two of her top advisors Amanda Renteria and Ann O’Leary will travel to Puerto Rico this weekend to meet with officials and discuss the health care crisis and the threat posed by Zika.  There are more than 400 confirmed cases of Zika in Puerto Rico thus far and experts predict that as many as 80 percent of Puerto Ricans could be infected with the virus if it’s not stopped. In a statement, Clinton stated the need to do more to assist Puerto Rico in responding to this crisis:
“The CDC is taking this threat seriously and it has been working closely with Puerto Rico.  But I want to be sure that we are truly doing all we can to fight the Zika virus from spreading.  That’s why I’m sending two of my Senior Advisors to travel to Puerto Rico on a fact-finding mission to learn more about how Zika is impacting the island, and to determine what more we can do to assist Puerto Rico in responding to this health crisis. Zika is an urgent problem and we need to act now.”
Clinton’s coordination with (and funding for) state parties and downballot Democrats is kicking into high gear, with staff being hired in several states.
Washington Post reports:
In Virginia, Ohio and Florida — the three biggest swing states in the last election — the Clinton campaign is teaming up with state and national Democratic organizations to build voter files, organize thousands of volunteers, register tens of thousands of voters and raise the funds necessary to compete against a Republican opponent.
And in the first concrete sign that Clinton’s general-election effort has gone beyond planning, the Democratic National Committee has begun transferring money raised jointly with the Clinton campaign to state committees to help fund the effort, according to Democrats with knowledge of the financial strategy.
The national committee is also preparing to transfer funds to state parties in Ohio, Florida and Virginia — $200,000 apiece — to finance the salaries of field organizers in those states.
She has also begun using funds raised through a joint fundraising committee as a mechanism to begin coordinating with state parties and down-ballot Democratic campaigns to put in place coordinated field programs. The joint fundraising committee, called the Hillary Victory Fund, raised $60 million through the end of March for the Clinton campaign, the Democratic National Committee and 32 state party committees.
The Democrats’ efforts will be particularly targeted at young voters, African Americans, Latinos and women. 
Clinton will dispatch Housing and Urban Development secretary and potential vice-presidential pick Julián Castro to Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Democratic Party dinner in June, as a sign of the campaign’s commitment to local fundraising and a signal to the county’s small but growing Latino community that their turnout could make a difference.
Clinton’s campaign has compiled Trump’s “dangerous foreign policy” statements as a response to his speech yesterday:

Loose Cannons Tend To Misfire: Donald Trump’s Dangerous Foreign Policy

Continuing his efforts to convince the Republican establishment and the American people that he’s “presidential,” Donald Trump is set to give a foreign policy address today. But nothing he can say can hide the long list of dangerous national security proposals he’s put forward over the course of this campaign. He has used the most reckless rhetoric of any major presidential candidate in modern history.
These are not off-the-cuff quips. Despite his frequent contradictions and displays of ignorance, Trump has a long record of recklessness and has espoused a worldview that goes against everything that makes America great. A Trump presidency risks leaving both our country and the world dramatically less safe.
As Hillary Clinton has said, loose cannons tend to misfire.
Check out some of Trump’s most irresponsible comments and proposals, and experts’ condemnation of them, below:

Trump’s Recklessness With Nuclear Weapons

Donald Trump has displayed a reckless disregard for the dangers of nuclear proliferation, saying Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia may need nuclear weapons:
  • CBS News, 3/29/16: Donald Trump: Japan, South Korea might need nuclear weapons
  • CNN Town Hall, 3/29/16: TRUMP:  At some point we have to say, you know what, we're better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we're better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself, we have – COOPER:  Saudi Arabia, nuclear weapons? TRUMP:  Saudi Arabia, absolutely.
  • Business Insider, 3/30/16: 'Total catastrophe': Experts say Donald Trump's position on nuclear proliferation would be a disaster
  • CNN, 3/31/16: Japan and South Korea hit back at Trump's nuclear comments
In a debate last December, Trump appeared to have no idea what the nuclear triad was.
  • CBS News, 12/20/15: Jeb Bush: Donald Trump’s opinions on nuclear triad are “mind-blowing”
Trump refused to rule out using tactical nuclear weapons against ISIS:

Trump’s Dangerous Plans For Fighting ISIS

Trump has called for sending tens of thousands of American ground troops to back into the Middle East to fight ISIS.
Trump has insisted that he would intentionally kill terrorists’ family members and has repeatedly called for returning to Bush-era torture, which has been widely denounced as ineffective, unethical, and dangerous for American servicemembers around the world.
  • Donald Trump, 2/17/16: “Torture works.”
  • Politifact, 3/30/16: “All ethical issues aside, the experts say, [torture] doesn't work because it is extremely inefficient and, in many ways, counterproductive.”
These calls clearly violate international laws, so in turn, Trump has denounced the Geneva Conventions and urged us to fight more like ISIS.
  • Face The Nation, 3/7/16: TRUMP: We are playing by rules, but [ISIS has] no rules. It's very hard to win when that's the case. DICKERSON: Isn't that separates us from the savages, rules? TRUMP: No, I don't think so. We have to beat the savages. DICKERSON: And therefore throw all rules out? TRUMP: We have beat the savages. DICKERSON: By being savages? TRUMP: No. We -- well, look, you have to play the game the way they're playing the game. You're not going to win if we are soft, and they are -- they have no rules.
  • Donald Trump, 3/30/16: “The problem is we have the Geneva Conventions, all sorts of rules and regulations, so the soldiers are afraid to fight.”

Trump’s Damaging Islamophobia

Donald Trump has proposed banning Muslims from entering the United States, and toyed with the idea of creating a national database to track all Muslims. Not only are these plans un-American, but experts agree that they would play right into terrorists’ hands.
  • Donald Trump statement, 12/7/15: “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on.”
  • MSNBC, 11/20/15: Donald Trump's Plan for a Muslim Database Draws Comparison to Nazi Germany: “Trump was repeatedly asked to explain how his idea was different [from Nazi Germany]. Four times, he responded: "You tell me."”
Trump has repeatedly peddled lies to demonize Muslims, including refugees and Muslim-Americans, further undermining our fight against terrorism.
  • Politifact, 11/22/15:Fact-checking Trump's claim that thousands in New Jersey cheered when World Trade Center tumbled [PANTS ON FIRE]
  • Politifact, 1/14/16: Donald Trump's false claim that refugees, migrants are mostly 'strong, powerful men'
  • Donald Trump on Syrian refugees, 4/25/16: “We can't let this happen. But you have a lot of them resettling in Rhode Island. Just enjoy your — lock your doors, folks….who knows, who knows, maybe it's ISIS.”

Undermining Our Key Alliances

At a time that calls for strengthening our cooperation with our allies to tackle shared challenges, Donald Trump seems set on undermining them. He’s called NATO obsolete, said we gain nothing from the United Nations or from protecting our allies in Asia, and has said he’d ask Israel to reimburse the US for military assistance:
  • Donald Trump on NATO, 3/30/16: “No, we don't really need NATO in its current form. NATO is obsolete… If we have to walk, we have to walk.”

Trump’s Support For Brutal Dictators And Strongmen

Trump has expressed a disturbing amount of admiration for the actions of widely reviled dictators and strongmen. He has praised the leadership of Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, Saddam Hussein, and even the Chinese government’s strength in the Tiananmen Square massacre.
  • NBC News, 3/11/16: Trump Calls Tiananmen Square Protests a 'Riot,' Defends Calling Crackdown 'Strong'
    • Donald Trump, 1990: “When the students poured into Tiananmen Square, the Chinese government almost blew it. Then they were vicious, they were horrible, but they put it down with strength. That shows you the power of strength. Our country is right now perceived as weak … as being spit on by the rest of the world”
    • Trump on Morning Joe, 12/18/15: TRUMP: He's running his country, and at least he's a leader, unlike what we have in this country. SCARBOROUGH: But, again: He kills journalists that don't agree with him. TRUMP: Well, I think that our country does plenty of killing, too, Joe.
  • The Hill, 1/9/16: Trump: Kim Jong Un deserves ‘credit’ for taking out rivals
    • Donald Trump, 1/9/16: "And you've got to give him credit. How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals…. It's incredible. He wiped out the uncle. He wiped out this one, that one. I mean, this guy doesn't play games.”
  • Donald Trump, 2/15/16“Saddam Hussein killed terrorists. He didn’t do it politically correct. He found a terrorist, they were gone within five seconds, OK. With us, we find a terrorist, it’s going to be 25 years and a trial.”

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