Friday, August 19, 2016

Hillary News & Views 8/19/16: WIRED Endorsement, Police Meeting, and Competent Campaigning

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Guest post by violining247

Hello and happy Friday! Apologies that I am a little later than usual with today’s HNV, but let’s get started with this thing…
Yesterday, Hillary received the endorsement of WIRED, a tech and culture magazine headquartered in San Francisco. Previously although they would talk about how candidates’ plans would affect the tech world, they shied away from actually endorsing. Not this year.
Over the past couple of decades, we’ve gotten to watch their future play out: We’ve seen the creative energies of countless previously invisible communities unleashed—and, well, we’ve watched networks become just as good at concentrating wealth and influence in the hands of a few people as the old hierarchies were. We’ve seen geeks become billionaires, autocrats become hackers, and our readers (people curious about how technology is shaping the world) become the American mainstream. Like any sane group of thinkers, we’ve calibrated our judgments along the way. But much of our worldview hasn’t changed. We value freedom: open systems, open markets, free people, free information, free inquiry. We’ve become even more dedicated to scientific rigor, good data, and evidence-driven thinking. And we’ve never lost our optimism.
I bring all this up because, for all of its opinions and enthu­siasms, WIRED has never made a practice of endorsing candidates for president of the United States. Through five election cycles we’ve written about politics and politicians and held them up against our ideals. But we’ve avoided telling you, our readers, who WIRED viewed as the best choice.
Today we will. WIRED sees only one person running for president who can do the job: Hillary Clinton.
Our sights might not be perfectly aligned, but it’s pretty clear Hillary Clinton has her eye on a similar trajectory. She intends to uphold the Paris Agreement on climate change and reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 percent in 2025. She hopes to produce enough renewable energy to power every American home by the end of her first term. She wants to increase the budgets of the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation, two major drivers of research and innovation via government funding. And she wants to do the same for Darpa, the defense research agency—without which, let’s face it, WIRED probably wouldn’t exist, because no one would have invented the things we cover.
Clinton also has ideas that clear away stumbling blocks for entrepreneurs and strivers. She proposes linking entre­preneurship to forgiveness of student loans, as a way to help young people start businesses. Clinton favors net neutrality—giving every packet of data on the Internet the same priority, regardless of whether they originate from a media corporation or from you and me. She has proposed easier paths to legal immigration for people with science, technology, and engineering degrees. And she has spent my entire adult life trying to work out how to give the maximum number of Americans access to health care; she will con­tinue to strengthen the Affordable Care Act, which among other things has helped people walk away from crappy, dead-end jobs by alleviating the fear that they’ll lose their insurance.
We don’t always agree with Clinton. As secretary of state, her inclination toward military solutions had disastrousconsequences in the Middle East, and the US still has an alarming tendency to try to solve complex foreign policy problems with flying killer robots. Her specific position on encryption is tough to pin down, but she seems to favor encryption weak enough for law enforcement to penetrate. That violates basic privacy.
But having met Clinton and talked about all these issues with her, I can tell you that her mastery of issues and detail is unlike that of any politician I’ve met. She comes to every policy conversation steeped in its history and implications, and with opinions from a diverse set of viewpoints. She is a technician, and we like technicians.
Besides continuing to rack up endorsements, Hillary is continuing to meet with groups on the campaign trail. Yesterday she met with law enforcement agents from across the country for a closed-door session regarding policing in the U.S.A.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton met on Thursday in New York with leading law enforcement officers from around the country, including from some of its largest cities, for a discussion about policing and the racial tensions that have been exposed by high-profile killings in recent years.
"It's obvious that recent events — from Dallas and Baton Rouge to Milwaukee and across the country — underscore how difficult and important the work is ahead of us to repair the bonds of trust and respect between our police officers and our communities," Clinton said, before dismissing reporters from the room. "We have to be clear-eyed about the challenges we face. We can't ignore them, and certainly we must not inflame them."
The closed-door session comes at a sensitive time in relations between police and the communities they protect, as officers have recently been killed in targeted incidents in Dallas and Baton Rouge. At the same time, several high-profile police shootings of African Americans have also roiled the nation this summer, including this week in Milwaukee.
In regards to better policing and improving the criminal justice system, it also came out yesterday that the Justice Department will be ending the use of private prisons.
The Justice Department plans to end its use of private prisons after officials concluded the facilities are both less safe and less effective at providing correctional services than those run by the government.
Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates announced the decision on Thursday in a memo that instructs officials to either decline to renew the contracts for private prison operators when they expire or “substantially reduce” the contracts’ scope. The goal, Yates wrote, is “reducing — and ultimately ending — our use of privately operated prisons.”
“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security,” Yates wrote.
While experts said the directive is significant, privately run federal prisons house only a fraction of the overall population of inmates. The vast majority of the incarcerated in America are housed in state prisons — rather than federal ones — and Yates’ memo does not apply to any of those, even the ones that are privately run. Nor does it apply to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Marshals Service detainees, who are technically in the federal system but not under the purview of the federal Bureau of Prisons.
Hillary personally commented on the matter on Twitter.

Glad to see that the Justice Department is ending the use of private prisons. This is the right step forward. -H 
Unfortunately as the article points out, this ruling does not apply to state prisons, but it is no doubt a step in the right direction.
Hillary’s campaign continues to prove its professionalism, savvy, and general competence, particularly held up in comparison to the other side (he may have finally made an ad buy, but dude, it’s mid-August now and Hillary has already been on the air for months, come on...). Right now, they are honing in on early-voting states and structuring their operation based on what type of campaigning is needed in a given state.
For years, presidential campaigns seeking to divide the country into manageable chunks have turned to geography. National parties assign political directors to each region; Senator John McCain’s presidential campaign even went so far as to designate regional campaign managers. Both of President Barack Obama’s campaigns were organized around a series of six regional pods, with a lead official in each responsible for managing field, data, communication, or digital across seven or eight states.
2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton also uses pods—but hers look nothing like Obama’s. As she has reoriented her campaign for the general election, her team has devised a structure that reflects not geographic contiguity, with its common weather patterns or vernacular music traditions across neighboring states, but instead the different type of campaigning she will need to win each one. Most importantly, the structure acknowledges the increasing importance of early voting, which offers Clinton the potential to lock in an early lead when ballots begin to be cast in late September. 
In addition to driving the early vote, Camp Clinton is also working their way into solidly red territory as Tim Kaine did a fundraiser in Jackson, Wyoming. WYOMING!
Behind the scenes in Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters, the effort to force Republicans to pump resources into red states rather than traditional battlegrounds has been underway for weeks, breaking out into the open when the Democrats see fit to pounce on the national narrative of Trump’s implosion.
Clinton is now trying to unsettle Trump’s expectations in Arizona, Georgia, and Utah, states that — combined — have gone to a Democrat just four times in the last half-century.
Early last week, Clinton lieutenants whispered vaguely to Arizona and Georgia Democratic leaders that they would soon be seeing a new round of investments from the campaign — conversations that the Clinton team knew would leak. Then, the next day, Clinton had a surprise opinion piece in a Salt Lake City newspaper, followed one day later by a Bill Clinton fundraising stop in Park City. Draft schedules for both the former president and aspiring vice president have them swinging by spots that Democrats might otherwise not appear.
To make matters even better for our side, a demography study was released by the Brookings Institution saying that even if every blue-collar white man came out to vote, Trump would still lose.
For some time now, it’s been a running joke among political junkies that there might not be enough blue collar white men in America to elect Donald Trump president. The basic idea has been to mock Trump’s apparent calculation that he can sail into the White House simply by unleashing the power of backlash among this constituency with his chest-thumping ethno-nationalism.
But now it turns out that this might literally be true. Based on how this campaign has gone so far, there really might not be enough blue collar white men in America to elect Trump president, even if all of them come out to vote.
That’s the actual finding of a new analysis conducted by demographer William Frey of the Brookings Institution.
Yeah somebody didn’t think that strategy all the way through. Oops?
In stark contrast, the Clintons have thought through what will happen with the Clinton Foundation come November
(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton’s family foundation will no longer accept foreign and corporate donations if she is elected president, and will bring an end to its annual Clinton Global Initiative meeting regardless of the outcome of the November election.
Former President Bill Clinton made the announcement at an afternoon meeting with foundation staff members, according to participants who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity ahead of the formal announcement.
Bill Clinton said the foundation plans to continue its work, but intends to refocus its efforts in a process that will take up to a year to complete. He said he will resign from the board, and the foundation will only accept contributions from U.S. citizens and independent charities.
It will no longer take money from any foreign entity, government, foreign or domestic corporations, or corporate charities.
While the Clinton Foundation does excellent work and is often unfairly maligned in the MSM, I do think this is a good move to keep potential conflicts of interest at bay should Hillary win the presidency. We don’t need any more distractions or fodder for the Benghazi kangaroo court in Congress.
Last but not least, yesterday, the Great Pumpkin read a speech off a teleprompter where he expressed some amorphous “regret” for some of the things he’s said over the last year. (Pivot! Pivot!) Not that he won’t shoot himself in the foot in the next couple of days, but Hillary’s campaign immediately responded, asking what, exactly, he regretted?
The Hillary Clinton campaign immediately seized on Trump’s claim that he regrets using painful words during his campaign to ask for a specific list of insults that Trump regrets.
In a statement, HFA Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds said, “Donald Trump literally started his campaign by insulting people. He has continued to do so through each of the 428 days from then until now, without shame or regret. We learned tonight that his speechwriter and teleprompter knows he has much for which he should apologize. But that apology tonight is simply a well-written phrase until he tells us which of his many offensive, bullying and divisive comments he regrets—and changes his tune altogether.”
As a helpful resource to Trump, the Clinton campaign provided this list of 250 insults that he has spoken during the campaign.
Here’s the original statement:
Expect more hammering today. This is what happens when you try to “pivot” about 100 days too late, or you know,  when you are Donald Trump and have insulted basically everybody in the past year. Hard to turn that around and look genuine doing it.
With that, we conclude today’s HNV. Some of you may have seen the evening thread where I mentioned this about a week ago, but last Friday, I was offered a job as a field organizer with the Hillary Clinton campaign in Ohio starting September 1! I’m SO excited for this opportunity, but unfortunately, it does mean I only have a limited amount of time to wrap things up in Illinois before I move and start working all day, every day from now til November to make sure Hillary is elected with a Democratic Congress (or at least, as Democratic as possible). Because of these factors, and because I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew while working “field organizer hours,” I’ve decided that today will be my last day on HNV duty. Before I hand over the reins, I just wanted to say that I have enjoyed my time at the helm here so, so much...thanks for giving me the opportunity to do these Friday roundups, and thank you for always being such a wonderful community. I’ll still be hanging out in the comments sections of these and the open threads, plus writing up my own posts when I have time after the move, but if anyone out there can take over the Friday HNVs, make yourself known in the comments below! 
(Originally posted at Daily Kos)

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