Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Hillary News & Views 9.13: New College Compact Calculator, Cooper, and North Carolina

Today’s Hillary News & Views begins with coverage of Clinton’s New College Compact, which was expanded upon with a new fact sheet and online calculator yesterday.

The Briefing has the fact sheet, which includes a link to the calculator:
Over the last year, Hillary Clinton has released a bold agenda to ensure that anybody in America who wants to get an education can get one. At a time when college costs have risen 40 percent in a decade after adjusting for inflation and in which outstanding student debt exceeds $1 trillion, it is time to tackle this problem once and for all. That’s why Hillary has proposed policies that will offer immediate relief to the more than 40 million Americans with student debt, while enabling future college students the opportunity to graduate debt-free so they can pursue their dreams.
To see how Hillary’s proposals might benefit you and your family, visit our college calculator at www.hillaryclinton.com/... – but here are the key components of her plan to make college more affordable and help those struggling with student debt:

If you attend a public college or university in your state:
  • All students, no matter the income level, will get support to pursue debt-free degrees. We will move toward a future in which no one has to take out a loan to go to college. That includes both the cost of tuition and fees and the cost of related living expenses. 
  • Free tuition and fees at 4-year schools for students from families with income up to $125,000, and free tuition and fees at community colleges for students of all income levels, which helps these students graduate debt-free. Low- and middle-income students who are eligible for Pell Grants will receive them in addition to the free-tuition benefit to help defray living costs.
  • How It Works: Because states play a pivotal role in higher education, we will ask them to apply for funding under the New College Compact. They will receive significant federal investments under the plan but must commit to reinvesting in higher education over time, eliminating tuition and fees for working families, and keeping costs in check for families of all income levels while promoting innovation and accountability to ensure students are graduating and are prepared for the workforce. The new funds offer a strong incentive for states to participate and to enroll an increased number of students from all backgrounds. Students will be expected to work 10 hours a week to help cover all costs of attendance.
If you attend an out-of-state or private non-profit institution, or if you attend an HBCU, Hispanic-Serving Institution, or other Minority-Serving Institution:
  • Cut in the interest rate on federal student loans so that the government no longer profits from college students. This change will put billions of dollars back in the pockets of students at these schools and families.
  • A firm commitment to simplifying the enrollment process and expanding enrollment in income-based repayment – so that any student who borrows to attend a private school or out-of-state public school knows they will never have to pay back more than they can afford and that their loans will be forgiven after no more than 20 years rather than following them for life.
  • New funding for low-cost, modest-endowment private non-profit schools that serve low-and middle-income students well, including a historic $25 billion investment in HBCUs, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and other Minority-Serving Institutions to reduce costs, strengthen student support, and improve outcomes for students at these schools.
For students at all institutions: 
  • Restoration of year-round Pell Grant funding so that Pell Grant recipients can get the support they need to earn credits and progress toward their degrees throughout the year.
  • Fifteen-fold increase in federal investment in on-campus child care and the creation of a new scholarship program for the one-quarter of college students who are also parents.
  • Simplification of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and early Pell notification so that students from low-income and underserved backgrounds know that college is a possibility for them.
  • New funds for student support, emergency financial aid, and other interventions proven to boost completion, especially for those from low-income and underserved backgrounds.
  • Greater transparency around graduation rates and post-graduation employment data, and a risk-sharing program that holds schools accountable but is structured to encourage, not discourage, enrollment of low-income and underserved students at quality institutions.
  • Tripling the size of AmeriCorps, doubling the education award, and making it tax-free for students who engage in national service either before or after they earn their degrees.
  • Protecting and strengthening Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits veterans have earned and adding support for VetSuccess on Campus and other programs that provide health, educational, and employment assistance to veterans as they transition and to active service members.
  • Support for innovation that improves outcomes while reducing costs, including programs in which students can earn badges, specializations, and certificates that show their skills – and accreditation reform to facilitate the scaling-up of the most promising innovations.
For borrowers with student debt:
  • Refinance their student loans at current rates. This would help 25 million borrowers across the country, with the typical borrower saving $2,000 over the life of the loan.
  • Simplify, expand, and develop options for auto-enrollment in income-based repayment. Nobody should have to pay more than 10 percent of monthly income, and college debt should be forgiven after 20 years – 10 years if a borrower works in the public interest.
  • Push employers to contribute to student debt relief by creating anew payroll deduction portal for employers and employees to simplify the repayment process, and by exploring further options to encourage employers to help pay down student debt.
  • Relief from debt if starting a business or social enterprise by deferring loans with no payments or interest for up to three years – and up to $17,500 in loan forgiveness for social entrepreneurs and those starting new enterprises in distressed communities.
  • New rewards for public service. In addition to expanding enrollment in Public Service Loan Forgiveness (an element of simplifying and expanding income-based repayment), we will provide enhanced loan forgiveness for teachers and AmeriCorps members.
  • A three-month moratorium on federal student loan payments during Clinton’s first year in office in which every borrower will be given the resources and targeted help they need to save money on their loans and those who are behind schedule will get new support.
To protect student loan borrowers from bad actors:
  • Enact a new Borrower Bill of Rights to ensure accurate and timely advice on repayment options, including income-based modification for private borrowers in distress.
  • Pursue a robust enforcement agenda to protect those rights. Standards should also be privately enforceable so that borrowers can assert rights even when regulators fall short.
  • Ban repeat offenders who mislead or overcharge borrowers from contracts to service federal loans, with no tolerance for firms that overcharge service members and veterans.
  • Grant the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau the power to put into place strong consumer protections to ensure all borrowers understand all their options during the entire lifecycle of a student loan and are not misled by either lenders or bill collectors.
  • Help defrauded students discharge debt. In addition to pursuing every possible legal remedy against schools like Corinthian that defraud students, Clinton will streamline the process by which students can cancel their debt so it is not so cumbersome. She will also give defrauded GI Bill students another chance to use the education support they earned.
To protect students at for-profit institutions:
  • Strict oversight of for-profit schools, including defending and strengthening the gainful employment rule that holds for-profit schools accountable for how well they prepare students for good jobs.
  • Expanding support for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and the Department of Veterans Affairs to enforce laws against deceptive marketing, fraud, and other illegal practices at for-profit institutions.
  • Closing the 90-10 loophole that encourages for-profit schools to prey on veterans.
How much this will cost:
  • We estimate a cost in the range of $500 billion over ten years. 
How we will cover the cost: 
  • This cost is fully paid for by closing tax loopholes and expenditures for those at the top and will not add a dime to the debt over the next 10 years.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget has found that the $500 billion cost could in fact be paid for by closing loopholes for high-income earners and businesses.

It pains me to have to even cover the abusiveness circulating around Clinton’s pneumonia, which she chose to power through because of her relentless work ethic.  But here goes.

Clinton spoke to Anderson Cooper last night, who treated a passing illness as if it was the second coming of Watergate.  I’m sharing Clinton’s responses in that interview.

CNN reports:
Hillary Clinton said Monday night she's "met a high standard of transparency" about her health and didn't think the pneumonia was "going to be that big a deal."
"I was supposed to rest five days -- that's what they told me on Friday -- and I didn't follow that very wise advice," Clinton told CNN's Anderson Cooper in a phone interview. 
"So I just want to get this over and done with and get back on the trail as soon as possible," she said. 
“Compare everything you know about me with my opponent. I think it's time he met the same level of disclosure that I have for years," Clinton told Cooper.
"It's really past time for him to be held to the same standards, not just as me, but as anybody else who has sought this job," she said. 
"You know, it is something that has occurred a few times over the course of my life, and I'm aware of it, and usually can avoid it," she said. "What happened yesterday was that I just was incredibly committed to being at the memorial -- as a senator on 9/11, this is incredibly personal to me." 
"I could feel how hot and humid it was. I felt overheated. I decided that I did need to leave. And as soon as I got into the air-conditioned van, I cooled off, I got some water, and very quickly, I felt better," she said.
Peter Daou destroys Cooper for Shareblue:
Imagine grilling someone recovering from pneumonia with a scowl on your face and dripping disdain in your voice. That was CNN's Anderson Cooper interviewing a recovering Hillary Clinton. It was abominable.
There’s a reason I wrote an article titled R.I.P. Political Journalism. It’s because of corporate media spectacles like the one we were treated to by Anderson Cooper, who interviewed Hillary Clinton recovering from a bout of pneumonia the way one would interview an escaped convict.
Earlier in the day, Melissa McEwan wrote for Shakesville:
This is not a news story. And the corporate media's attempt to turn it into one is gross. It is deeply cynical, and, worse yet, it is dehumanizing—because in every report is necessarily embedded the expectation that Clinton somehow be superhuman. That she can't just succumb momentarily to the heat combined with illness, like lots of other people could, but there must be something else, something nefarious, at play. 
I am angry watching this happen. I am angry at seeing the media holding Clinton to different standards, yet again. I am angry that they are further breathing credibility into Trump's conspiracy theorizing.

I am angry that most members of the media reporting on this are so eager to report it's indicative of a larger health issue that they can't even be bothered to express basic concern for a fellow human being.

I am angry at the implication that, even if Clinton did have some sort of chronic health issue, that would axiomatically mean she is unfit for the presidency, as though we have never had a president with a disability, or as if people with disabilities can't serve as president.

And I am angry at the idea that Hillary Clinton, of all people, would continue to run for the presidency if she had a health issue that would prevent her from effectively filling the requirements of the job.

This election is the worst in about a million different ways, but the absolute shitshow that the corporate media has become, in their shameless quest to defeat her, is right at the top of the list.

Enough. Enough.
Michelle Ruiz writes for Vogue:
Hillary Clinton got sick—with pneumonia, not the bubonic plague. But it’s not just media fatigue, or political jockeying, at play here; it’s also a healthy dash of sexism when it comes to women’s health. Think about it: No one likes to see, or even hear about, a woman suffering. They are expected to solider on, silently, no matter the circumstance. It’s no coincidence that it’s long been taboo for women to talk about health matters ranging from their periods to their pregnancies and lost pregnancies (simply saying the word “pregnant” used to be banned on television, just as breast cancer was once shrouded in shame), to their anxiety, depression or addiction. Many states in the U.S. have no dedicated pregnancy accommodation laws that give pregnant women working in the private sector additional breaks and allowances like carrying a water bottle on the job. “Natural” childbirth is the new gold standard (never mind that most people beg for Novocaine to have cavities filled). And yet, somehow, women are branded the weaker sex?
It’s not a surprise, really, that Clinton’s pneumonia has mushroom-clouded into a supposedly legitimate campaign concern: Never underestimate the sexist double standard that follows the first female presidential nominee of a major party in American history! This is the same woman who was scolded for taking too long to return from a bathroom break during a Democratic debate against Bernie Sanders. (“You know, it does take me a little longer,” she quipped). Clinton’s bout with pneumonia is being painted as a last-minute threat to her candidacy—but, by all means, Trump, keep posting photos of yourself beside heaping buckets of KFC. Just as women have to work harder to reach the same echelons as men, it seems they’re expected to be two times healthier, too.
Meanwhile, shouldn’t the media surrounding Clinton be aware of this and include it in their reporting?

The Huffington Post reports:
Clinton hasn’t been the only one affected by pneumonia. An official said there was a “very ugly bug going around” the staff before the candidate herself fell ill. 
Another campaign source described the Brooklyn headquarters as a “two-story petri dish.”
“So many staff have frequented the Mt. Sinai urgent care clinic on the 18th floor of the same building as headquarters that when patients arrive, they’re often immediately asked if they work on the campaign,” the source said. 
Veteran campaign operatives said the reason Clinton staffers likely didn’t bring up the candidate’s pneumonia wasn’t to hide something ― although they likely didn’t want to feed into the conservative narrative ― but rather that there is a mindset, especially during this critical home stretch, that you need to just power through it. Taking a sick day isn’t an option. 
“Almost always, you just push on,” said Ann Lewis, who was deputy campaign manager for Bill Clinton’s re-election campaign in 1996. “And again, the question then is: What’s the line? If you have a bad cold? Probably not.” 
“I’m sure her attitude was, ‘I’ll push through it, I’m just going to keep pushing, don’t cancel my schedule,’” Trippi added. “It wasn’t to hold a press conference and say she was diagnosed with pneumonia so we’re going to take it easy. It’s not about hiding that she had pneumonia, it’s that pneumonia is nothing, let’s keep moving.”
“A day lost is one you’ll never get back, especially when you’re this close to the election day,” Lewis said. “A lot of people work hard to put these events together, and you don’t want to disappoint them ― you want to get out there. It’s a very tough choice.”
Clinton has opened up her 31st office in North Carolina, worrying the GOP and its comparative lack of a ground game.

Washington Post reports:
After years of successfully holding off Democratic gains in this rapidly changing state, Republicans are scrambling to pour new resources into North Carolina in the face of unexpectedly close contests in the presidential and Senate races.
North Carolina Republicans have been badly outgunned this year. Hillary Clinton and her allies have outspent Trump and groups supporting him 7 to 1 on television ads so far, and Chelsea Clinton will be in the state Tuesday to open the Democrats’ 31st North Carolina campaign office. The coordinated Republican campaign to help Trump, by comparison, has no offices in North Carolina at all; the national party and Trump will open their first three locations later this week.
A veteran GOP operative thinks her fellow Republican women should join her in voting for Clinton.

Emily Ellsworth writes for Salt Lake Tribune:
From where I sit, the Republican Party officials who either endorse Trump or sit on the sidelines and say nothing are equally culpable in propping up a dangerous candidate who they cannot control. And my fellow Mormon colleagues know better than this. It is foolish to believe that Trump has any loyalty to the Republican party, its elected officials or anyone but himself. There is more at stake here than the fate of the Republican party.
Voting for Hillary Clinton in this election isn't even a question for me at this point. I do not have to agree with her on every policy issue to know that she is the most qualified candidate and the right person for the job. As a former senator and secretary of state, she has seen the same problems facing Americans that I did when I was a caseworker. She understands the principles of diplomacy and compromise. Her qualifications and confidence makes my choice in November a simple one.
One of my former bosses used to say that the people who stand up and show up are the ones who make the difference. I ask my fellow Republican women to stand up with me and say no to Donald Trump.
Behind the strong woman who will be the first female president...are many other strong women.

Politico reports:
If Hillary Clinton is elected president in November and can use the office to broaden and strengthen the social safety net, three women are likely to be her policy gatekeepers: Ann O’Leary, Neera Tanden and Heather Boushey. Collectively, they have tackled some of the candidate’s pet issues, from health care to education reform, income inequality to the hardships facing working families. Straddling the line between policy wonks and confidantes, they have left their fingerprints all over the Democratic platform and, in August, were named members of the candidate’s presidential transition team.
That Clinton herself identifies as a policy wonk and enjoys going into the weeds of research makes the roles of O’Leary, Tanden and Boushey in her campaign all the more important. And in a Clinton administration that would most likely be 50 percent women, you can expect the three to be prominent players, either in front of the curtain or behind it.


  1. correction, second to last paragraph, "When" Hillary is elected president .... hardships facing working families and "individuals with disabilities who have fallen through the cracks, whose families gave up or didn't have the resources or the know-how, and who actually can't hold down jobs or access services, and have a lot they could contribute" ...

    she doesn't like wasting any talent and has no patience for giving anyone a gratuitous hard time, for the casual cruelty of 'don't let the door hit you on the way out' impatience, or for requiring loops that aren't possible for everyone to jump through in order to access assistance.

    She sees harsh heartlessness as the root cause of homelessness, including veterans who have the 'soft' disabilities from various causes, that make the world collectively harsh for those who share them.

    And she wants it fun and well lighted and fresh-aired, with urban hiking trails. She plans to hike Atlanta once their urban hiking trail is completed, with her grandkids.

    It's a girl thing, a mom and grandma thing, a facing unfair prejudices oneself thing, and knowing not everyone is the same and that the different are often excluded, and how hard it is to not give up, and to stay nice anyway.

    She's always cared about those hardly anyone else in politics cares about, over-worked teachers who use their own money to purchase supplies, neighborhood grandfathers who teach kids on their blocks how to repair their bicycles, and build them from spare parts for kids who don't have bicycles, older kids taking care of their younger siblings and missing out on sports, the many garbage-person tinkers who sort out what is repairable, and repair it, and then give it away.