Obama Honors National Park Service Centennial as Republicans Try to Privatize, Capitalize, Shortchange

Just a few of the 5 million visitors a year who marvel at Grand Canyon National Park. Obama is honoring the National Park Service on its centennial and has designated 22 national monuments during his tenure; Republicans want to allow logging and uranium mining at the Grand Canyon © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Just a few of the 5 million visitors a year who marvel at Grand Canyon National Park. Obama is honoring the National Park Service on its centennial and has designated 22 national monuments during his tenure; Republicans want to allow logging and uranium mining at the Grand Canyon © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, news-photos-features.com

It is beyond infuriating that Republicans, who every four years call themselves the “Party of Lincoln,” can claim the Clean Air and Clean Water acts and the EPA which were signed when Richard Nixon was president, and that on this, the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, we all can thank President Theodore Roosevelt, a (Progressive) Republican, for America’s “best idea” – our national park system.

That’s because these are under attack by today’s Republicans – the party of Donald Trump. Today’s Republicans bear as little resemblance to the party of Lincoln or Roosevelt as George Wallace to the Democratic party.

Republicans are so infuriated by the 22 national monuments and preserves Obama has designed during his time in office using his powers under the Antiquities Act (265 million acres of public lands and waters — more than any administration in history), that they have tried to repeal it and take the power to preserve lands from for the use of all Americans, equally, into the hands of greedy developers (a la Donald Trump).

Trump is probably thinking, “Donald J. Trump will be the president who dispatches the $19 trillion national debt – I only need to sell off Yellowstone, and maybe Yosemite,” (no doubt to the cheers of Peter G. Peterson, who is obsessed with the national debt, see www.pgpf.org/.)

As New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof noted in his annual paean to the national parks, fresh from his hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, the most democratic place in America isn’t the voting booth, but the national parks.

“Even in the Great Depression, an impoverished America could afford to work on building paths like the John Muir Trail, yet today we can’t afford to maintain them properly,” Kristof writes. “Our predecessors pretty much invented the idea of national parks and wilderness trails, bequeathing us an inheritance of incalculable wealth. And on our watch, as we mark the 100th birthday of the National Park Service, we’re squandering it.”

Our national parks system are overwhelmingly popular – indeed, the number of annual visits to non-local parks (not even counting if New Yorkers climb the Statue of Liberty), equates to one per person.

According to a study by Linda J. Bilmes and John Loomis published in US News, the national park system is valued at $92 billion a year, but total revenue, including Congressional appropriation comes to a mere $3 billion a year. Meanwhile, Congress has cut its funding for NPS by 15 percent over the last 15 years (after factoring inflation), while its backlog of overdue maintenance projects amounts to $12 billion a year (and rising).

“Consequently, the agency is fighting an uphill battle to keep parks pristine and unspoiled as visitor numbers climb and climate change stresses natural resources in the parks.”

Despite opposition from Republicans – or perhaps because of it – Obama has during his tenure designated more national monuments using his power under the Antiquities Act than any prior president (much as he has had to resort to Executive Orders to get anything else done): Obama not only has saved natural treasures for generations to come, but has used the designations to tell a more complete story of America’s heritage, so that more of our community can feel the same sense of pride: So, in addition to preserving natural settings  like Browns Canyon National Monument, New Mexico, San Gabriel Mountains National Monument and Sand to Snow National Monument, California, Obama designated monuments honoring Black-Americans (Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers Monument, Ohio;  Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Monument), Hispanics (Cesar Chavez National Monument ), workers (Pullman National Monument, Illinois), women (Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, Washington, DC), and the latest one, LGBT Stonewall National Monument, New York. (See a full list of monuments designated under the Antiquities Act, going back to Theodore Roosevelt, who designated the first National Monument, Devils Tower National Monument, Wyoming, in 1906. www.npca.org/resources/2658-monuments-protected-under-the-antiquities-act.)

“Stonewall will be our first national monument to tell the story of the struggle for LGBT rights.  I believe our national parks should reflect the full story of our country – the richness and diversity and uniquely American spirit that has always defined us.  That we are stronger together.  That out of many, we are one.  That’s what makes us the greatest nation on earth.  And it’s what we celebrate at Stonewall – for our generation and for all those who come after us,” Obama said at the ceremony.

Meanwhile, the National Park Service and national park system has been under assault by Republicans, who not only have tried to repeal the President’s power under the Antiquities Act, but regularly introduce bills to remove impediments to private/corporate access and use of federal lands.

“This includes three dangerous new bills that would allow millions of acres of national forests to be auctioned off by the states for mining, logging, drilling, road construction and more. This would happen with no regard for current environmental protections, and could cut off access to our shared public lands,” writes The Wilderness Society’s Alan Rowsome, Senior Director, Government Relations for Lands.

Grand Canyon National Park is celebrating its 100th birthday, but potential uranium mines and logging of old growth ponderosa pine forest just outside the boundary directly threaten water quality, human health, wildlife connectivity and cultural heritage protected by this most wondrous preserve. Because the Republican-controlled Congress has refused to act on legislation Rep. introduced by Raul Grijalva, the Wilderness Society is calling for Obama to proclaim a Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument.

Republicans have even blocked donations of land:  for example, the National Park Service was set to receive 87,500 acres of pristine land in the Maine Woods from a non-profit organization started by the founder of Burt’s Bees, which would be used to designate a new national monument and, eventually, a new national park.

Who is responsible for blocking the acquisition? Believe it or not, the chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah), who has led a crusade to overturn the Antiquities Act.

“When he learned that President Obama used the Antiquities Act to protect 704,000 amazing acres as the Basin and Range Monument in Nevada, Representative Bishop called that ‘shameless.’ He even said that the Antiquities Act was ‘evil in the flesh’,” writes The Wilderness Society’s Alan Rowsome. “When he was informed that Basin and Range was home to many Native American artifacts, including cave paintings, he replied ‘Ah, bull crap. That’s not an antiquity’.”

The anti-National Parks furor is bound up with climate denial and a fervent effort to shut down the Environmental Protection Agency, which is itself wrapped up in a goal of preserving the status quo for the Capitalists who currently control the economy. Of course, clean, renewable energy would be a new capitalist endeavor, creating a new generation of millionaires, but that would displace the current Power Brokers whose wealth is tied to fossil fuels.

But setting aside land does not only mitigate against climate change, the national parks are also victims.

As Obama wrote after personally visiting two national parks: National Parks — spectacular natural treasures that are available to everybody, not just the lucky few — have been called America’s best idea. Under my administration, we’ve protected more than 265 million acres of public lands and waters — more than any administration in history. I’ve been proud to build on the work of the giants of conservation and environmental protection who came before me, like President Lincoln who first protected the Yosemite Valley in 1864, and President Teddy Roosevelt, who spoke so eloquently about why our strength and future as a nation relied on protecting our precious natural resources.

But there is more we must do to protect our parks and to protect this planet for generations to come. Make no mistake: The biggest challenge we are going to face in protecting them is climate change.

That’s why we’ve worked so hard to jump-start a clean energy revolution and to build a solar industry that’s growing by leaps and bounds. That’s why we’re tackling carbon pollution through the Clean Power Plan here in America and by rallying the whole world to tackle climate change together through the Paris Agreement.

Climate change is no longer just a threat; it’s already a reality. Yosemite meadows are drying up. Bird ranges are shifting further north. Alpine mammals are being forced further upslope to escape higher temperatures. We’re also seeing longer, more expensive, and more dangerous wildfire seasons — fires that are raging across the West right now.

In the coming years and decades, rising temperatures could mean no more glaciers at Glacier National Park and no more Joshua trees at Joshua Tree National Park. Rising seas could destroy vital ecosystems in the Everglades and at some point might even threaten landmarks like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Doing nothing to stop those changes is not the example we want to set for the next generation.

We have to take seriously the idea that these treasured places could be marred or lost to history. We can’t deal with it later or think that it’s somebody else’s problem. And we can’t let climate change deniers carelessly suggest that we don’t need to get serious about the carbon pollution being released into our atmosphere or that we should scrap an international climate treaty that we spent years putting together. We can’t afford to go backward.

And much the same as clean, renewable energy is no threat to America’s capitalist model, national parks and monuments may be communally owned and enjoyed, but are also very much part of the Capitalist fabric: Headwaters Economics calculated that in 2015, non-local park visits totaled 307,247,267, spending amounted to $16.9 trillion, visitor spending (alone) supported 251,997 jobs and $8.1 trillion in income. There are whole towns, as well as tens of thousands of small businesses, that depend upon their proximity to a national park (as was dramatically demonstrated when Republicans shut down government in 2013.)

This does not even take into consideration the public health benefits of national parks, the value to families, to the benefits of personal experience. Priceless to be sure, if not incalculable.

Signing a proclamation honoring the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, Obama declared, “NPS parks and programs strive to tell our diverse stories, allowing us to learn from the past and help write our country’s next great chapters. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, let us thank all those who — through their dedication to the mission of the NPS — help our country build on the legacy left by all those who came before us. As we look to the next century and embrace the notion that preserving these public spaces in ways that engage, reflect, and honor all Americans has never been more important, let us summon the foresight and faith in the future to do what it takes to protect our National Parks for generations to come.” (see 2016parkservice.prc.rel.pdf)

_________________________

© 2016 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email editor@news-photos-features.com. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures.  ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

Gavin Newsom to DNC: ‘Donald Trump’s hostile takeover of the American Dream is built on two fundamental lies’

California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

California’s Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom delivered a powerful speech to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016, arguing for Hillary Clinton as the best candidate for president to uphold fundamental American values: liberty, diversity, opportunity, while Donald Trump offers a “hostile takeover of the American Dream.” Here is hjighlighted transcript:

I’m proud to be a Democrat from the great state of California! Proud because today’s California is strong and getting stronger. A jet-propelled engine of job creation, the home court for creativity around the world. We’ve done it not just through innovation but by inclusion. Pro-immigrant, pro-environment, pro-women, pro-worker. Proudly pro-gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender.

We aren’t the Golden State despite our values, but because of them. We don’t tolerate diversity, we celebrate it. Those values — liberty, diversity, opportunity — are fundamentally American values. Those values are under attack, not just by enemies abroad, but by a GOP that moved its fearmongering fringe to center stage. 

What Trump presented last week wasn’t political discourse, it wasn’t even political incorrectness. What Trump presented last week was defeatist and retreatist. Never has a speech been so long, with so little substance, science, humanity, humor, or hope. His hostile takeover of the American Dream is built on two fundamental lies: That America is a dark and desperate place, and that he has any kind of a plan to make it better. Trump strangled the sunny optimism of Ronald Reagan and replaced “tear down that wall” with the cynical bigotry of “build that wall.” Contempt for the Constitution, inhumane mass deportation, malice toward different views and different hues. Those are disqualifications from any office, let alone the highest office in the land.

While it’s refreshing to finally see an openly gay man speak at a Republican convention, it doesn’t remove the stain of selecting Mike Pence, America’s most anti-LGBTQ governor. Pence supported overt discrimination and even advocated diverting taxpayer dollars to so-called “conversion therapy.” That’s not “praying away the gay;” it’s emotional torture against our most innocent citizens, our children. Telling them that to live, they must lie. About who they are, and who they love. That’s fundamentally un-American. The age-old choice has never been more clear: We can live our fears or live our dreams.

Hillary Clinton has dedicated her life to putting the American Dream within reach. She believes in diversity over division. The hard work of pluralism over the “illusion of differences.”

And as a father of four, I want to say something to all the children who are watching and listening at home. When you hear people say that you and your family don’t matter because of who you are, or where you came from, or what you look like, or who you love, I want you to know one thing: The people in this room, and all across the country, believe that you matter.

Hillary Clinton believes you matter. We believe that you belong here. We need you here. We believe that you can be whoever you are, and become whatever you want to be. And we’re going to fight for you, not just over the next 100 days, but over the next 100 years. Because, no matter what people tell you, that’s what America is about, and that’s what makes America great.

General John Allen to DNC: ‘With Hillary Clinton as our Commander-in-Chief, America will continue to lead in this volatile world’

General John Allen (Ret.) flanked by veterans addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
General John Allen (Ret.) flanked by veterans addresses the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In remarks to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016, General John Allen (Ret.), flanked by a battery of generals, admirals and veterans, laid out the stakes in this presidential election, drawing contrasts between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. “With Hillary Clinton as our Commander-in-Chief, the United States will continue to be that indispensable, transformational power in the world. “ Here is a transcript:

My fellow Americans, I stand with you tonight as a retired four-star general of the United States Marine Corps, and I am joined by my fellow generals and admirals, and with these magnificent young veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. They went there and risked their lives because they love this country. They are here before you because this is the most consequential race for the Presidency in memory.

The stakes are enormous. We must not, we could not stand on the sidelines. This election can carry us to a future of unity and hope, or to a dark place of discord and fear. We must choose hope.

Every American, in uniform or out, in the White House or at home, must be a force for unity in America, for a vision that includes all of us: every man and woman, every race, every ethnicity, every faith and creed, every gender orientation – all of us together pursuing our common values.

From the battlefield to the capitals of our allies, friends, and partners, the free peoples of the world look to America as the last best hope for peace and for liberty for all humanity, for we ARE the greatest country on this planet.

So we stand before you tonight to endorse Hillary Clinton for President of the United States of America.

We trust her judgment. We believe in her vision for a united America and we believe in her vision of America as the just and strong leader against the forces of hatred, chaos, and darkness. We know that she – as no other – knows how to use all instruments of American power, not just the military, to keep us all SAFE and FREE.

I tell you without any hesitation or reservation that Hillary Clinton will be EXACTLY the kind of Commander-in-Chief America needs today. I know this because I served with her. I know this as the former Special Envoy to the Global Coalition against ISIS.

With her as our Commander-in-Chief, America will continue to lead in this volatile world. We will oppose and resist tyranny as we defeat evil. America will defeat ISIS and protect the homeland. America will honor our treaty obligations. We will lead and strengthen NATO, the Atlantic Alliance, and our allies in East Asia and around the world whom we have solemnly sworn to defend. America will stop the spread of nuclear weapons and keep them from dangerous states and groups. Our armed forces will be stronger. They will have the finest weapons and equipment. They will have the support of the American people, and the American military will continue to be THE shining example of America at our very best. Our veterans will be thanked by a grateful nation, and they will be cared for in the manner they deserve for the sacrifices they have made for all of us, for this great country, and for world peace.

But I also know that with her as our Commander-in-Chief, our international relations will NOT be reduced to a business transaction. Our armed forces will NOT become an instrument of torture, and they will NOT be ordered to engage in murder or carry out other illegal activities.

With Hillary Clinton as our Commander-in-Chief, the United States will continue to be that indispensable, transformational power in the world.

To our allies and our friends and our partners: We are with you. America will not abandon you. To those acting against peace, civilization, and the world order: We will oppose you. And to our enemies: We will pursue you as ONLY America can. You will fear us. To ISIS and others like you: We will defeat you.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is THE moment. This is THE opportunity for our future and that of the world. We MUST seize this moment to elect Hillary Clinton as President of the United States of America.

Admiral Hutson at DNC: Donald Trump Would Violate International Law, Unfit for Commander in Chief

Rear Admiral John Hutson at Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, July 27, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Rear Admiral John Hutson at Democratic National Convention, Philadelphia, July 27, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In remarks to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 27, 2016, Rear Admiral John Hutson (Ret.) gave reasons why Donald Trump is unfit to be Commander in Chief. Here is a transcript:

Good evening. My name is John Hutson, and unlike Donald Trump, there are two things I know an awful lot about: law and order. For 11 years, I was a law school dean. And for 30 years, I served proudly in the United States Navy, including as Judge Advocate General.

Donald Trump calls himself the “law-and-order candidate,” but he’ll violate international law. In his words, he endorses torture “at a minimum.” He’ll order our troops to commit war crimes like killing civilians. And he actually said, “You have to take out their families.” And what did he say when he was told that’s illegal? He said our troops “won’t refuse, believe me.” This morning, he personally invited Russia to hack us! That’s not law and order. That’s criminal intent!

Donald Trump would abandon our allies and let more countries get nuclear weapons. He lies about donating to our veterans and called the military I served in a “disaster.” It’s embarrassing enough that he’s the face of one of our political parties. The real disaster is what would happen if we let Donald Trump become the face of the country we love.

More than 120 Republican national-security leaders recently warned that Donald Trump would, in their words, “make America less safe.” He even mocks our POWs, like John McCain. I served in the same Navy as John McCain. I used to vote in the same party as John McCain. Donald, you’re not fit to polish John McCain’s boots!

But America, we have a better choice. Hillary Clinton is the only candidate who knows how to work with our allies and who has a specific plan to defeat ISIS. She is smart and steady. She has the experience, temperament, and spine to be a superb Commander-in-Chief. She knows what makes us the envy of the world. It’s not our abundant natural resources, our resilient economy, or even that we have the strongest military on earth. Our strength comes from who we are, our humanity. If we lose our humanity, we lose the battle and the war.

ISIS and other radical Islamic groups have no humanity. That is their weakness. Our enemy can’t defeat us militarily. Victory won’t be found on the battlefield. For them, victory is to make us more like them: people who torture, who destabilize the international order, who target innocents because they don’t look like them or don’t pray like them. Donald Trump is a walking, talking recruiting poster for terrorists. That’s not hyperbole. ISIS literally used Trump in a commercial.

You know, you can tell a lot about a person by whom they admire. Eleanor Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela, Dorothy Rodham – these are Hillary Clinton’s heroes. Donald Trump admires Donald Trump and Saddam Hussein and Kim Jong-un. And of Vladimir Putin, he said, and I quote, “in terms of leadership he’s getting an ‘A.'”

I taught national security law. Praising dictators is an automatic “F” in my class. In the 2008 election, as the dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law School, I invited each presidential candidate to talk about terrorism with me and other retired admirals and generals. Of all the candidates we met with, Hillary Clinton was by far the best prepared and most knowledgeable. She listened carefully and tested our arguments. We had more than 500 years of collective experience, and we learned from her. This was before she served as our Secretary of State. Before she brokered a cease-fire in Gaza, rallied the world to sanction Iran, advised President Obama to take out bin Laden, and restored our reputation in the world.

Anyone who’s served with the young men and women of our armed forces knows how serious it is to send them into harm’s way. When you’re a soldier, sailor, airman, or marine, you don’t get to choose your commanders. But when you’re a citizen – you have the responsibility to choose the Commander-in-Chief who will keep us safe, strong, and secure. Choose Hillary.

Hillary Clinton Campaign Eviscerates Donald Trump TV Ad

 

In a speech in Charlotte, Donald Trump excuses the incendiary language he has used throughout his campaign by saying, “I’ve never been politically correct. It takes far too much time…truthfully, it takes far too much time and can make it more difficult to achieve total victory. Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that…and believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.” And goes on to say, “Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues. But one thing I can promise you this: I will always tell you the truth.”
In a speech in Charlotte, Donald Trump excuses the incendiary language he has used throughout his campaign by saying, “I’ve never been politically correct. It takes far too much time…truthfully, it takes far too much time and can make it more difficult to achieve total victory. Sometimes, in the heat of debate and speaking on a multitude of issues, you don’t choose the right words or you say the wrong thing. I have done that…and believe it or not, I regret it. And I do regret it, particularly where it may have caused personal pain.” And goes on to say, “Too much is at stake for us to be consumed with these issues. But one thing I can promise you this: I will always tell you the truth.”

Donald Trump’s heralded first TV ad buy ($4.8 million) which the campaign claimed “further cements a very strong week for Mr. Trump and the campaign uses only 76 words, but the Hillary Clinton campaign has found more than 6000 words to completely discredit every one. 

Here is transcript, as provided by Trump campaign: 

VO: In Hillary Clinton’s America:
The system stays rigged against Americans.
Syrian refugees flood in.
Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay.
Collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line.
Our border open.
It’s more of the same, but worse.
Donald Trump’s America is secure.
Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out.
The border: secured.
Our families: safe.
Change that makes America safe again.
Donald Trump for President.
I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message. 

Hillary for America Statement on Trump’s Misleading Ad 

Today, in response to Donald Trump’s new divisive and misleading campaign ad, HFA Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds offered the following statement:

“From his divisive rhetoric to his erratic efforts to alienate our allies to his dangerous plans, Donald Trump has made our country less safe already. He is temperamentally unfit and unqualified to be commander in chief. No misleading ad can change the fact that Hillary Clinton is the only candidate with the experience and judgment to lead the country and keep our families safe.”

Transcript Record
V/O: In Hillary Clinton’s America, the system stays rigged against Americans.

 

POLITIFACT FOUND TRUMP’S CLAIM THAT THE ELECTION WAS “RIGGED” TO BE “PANTS ON FIRE”

Politifact: Voter Fraud Is Extremely Rare, And Experts Say Attempts To “Buy” An Election Cannot Be Replicated On A National Scale. “Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. election system is rigged. He has cited examples of voter fraud, which is extremely rare, often unintentional and not on a scale large enough to affect a national election. While there are isolated examples of bought local elections, experts say it cannot be replicated on a national scale. While it is possible to tamper with electronic voting machines, there is no evidence deliberate malfeasance has altered any election. We rate Trump’s claim Pants on Fire.” [Politifact, 8/15/16]

Politifact: “You’re More Likely To Get Struck By Lightning Than To Find Voter Fraud.” “News 21 found just 150 alleged cases of double voting, 56 cases of noncitizens voting, and 10 cases of voter impersonation across all elections from 2000 to 2011. Many of these never led to charges, while others were acquitted or dismissed. Justin Levitt, a professor at Loyola Law School and an expert on voter fraud, found an even smaller number: 31 credible incidents out of more than 1 billion votes cast from 2000 to 2014. Put it in another way: You’re more likely to get struck by lightning than to find voter fraud. When voter fraud does occur, it’s not always intentional. Multiple studies have traced known cases not to willful deception but to clerical errors or confusion.” [Politifact, 8/15/16]

TRUMP HAS BEEN EXCORIATED BY LEGAL EXPERTS AND EDITORIAL BOARDS FOR HIS FALSE SUGGESTIONS THAT THE ELECTION WILL BE “RIGGED”

HEADLINE: “Trump’s Accusation Of Voter Fraud In PA Is Offensive” [Editorial, Philadelphia Inquirer, 8/19/16]

HEADLINE: “Trump ‘Rigging’ Claim Is Reckless” [Editorial, Columbus Dispatch, 8/7/16]

HEADLINE: “The Election Isn’t Rigged Against Trump; It’s Rigged In His Favor”[Editorial, Newark Star-Ledger, 8/8/16]

HEADLINE: “If You’re Worried About Rigged Elections, Look At Trump’s Tactics First” [Richard Hasen, Los Angeles Times, 8/16/16]

Election Law Expert Richard Hasen: “If Anyone Is Trying To Rig The Vote, It’s Trump.” “Maybe Trump is bluffing too, but his words are dangerous and his actions are irresponsible. By claiming the vote is rigged, he undermines the public’s confidence in the election results. And by exhorting his supporters to show up at the polls to look for rigging in “certain sections” of battleground states, he is encouraging behavior that could prevent eligible voters from casting their ballots. If anyone is trying to rig the vote, it’s Trump.” [Richard Hasen, Los Angeles Times, 8/16/16]

  • Election Law Expert Richard Hasen: “But If There’s A Threat To The Integrity Of The Election, It’s Coming From Trump Himself.” [Richard Hasen, Los Angeles Times, 8/16/16]

TRUMP HAS REPEATEDLY CLAIMED A RIGGED SYSTEM WHERE NONE EXISTED

Politifact: Trump Complained About Caucus Rules Put In Place When The Race Had 17 Candidates, And “There Is No Evidence The Rules Were Designed To Favor A Specific Candidate, Nor That The Context Was Fixed Or “Rigged.”” “After Ted Cruz swept all 34 delegates at the Colorado Republican convention, Trump branded the state GOP’s caucus system “rigged” and “crooked.” […] The delegate selection process is dominated by party activists and insiders, and this year’s caucuses were hampered — at best — by confusion and technical glitches. But Trump is complaining about rules that were put in place in August, when the Republican presidential race was clogged with 17 candidates. There is no evidence the rules were designed to favor a specific candidate, nor that the context was fixed or “rigged.” Trump chose to skip the convention and focus on New York instead. We rated his claim False.” [Politifact, 4/20/16]

Politifact: Trump Said Clinton Was Trying To “Rig The Debates,” But “Neither Clinton Nor Her Party Were Involved In Setting Up The Dates For The General-Election Debates.” “Trump said that Clinton and her party “are trying to rig the debates” so that NFL games drain away viewers. However, neither Clinton nor her party were involved in setting up the dates for the general-election debates, as they were during the primary debates. Instead, that task falls to a bipartisan commission that has no connection to either the campaigns or the parties. In fact, the debate dates were chosen seven months before the NFL schedule was even released, making scheduling conflicts almost unavoidable — not the work of one campaign or party. We rate Trump’s statement Pants on Fire.” [Politifact, 8/1/16]

 

 

V/O: Syrian refugees flood in

 

TRUMP’S CLAIM THERE WAS NO SYSTEM TO VET REFUGEES FROM SYRIA WAS FALSE

PolitiFact: Donald Trump’s Claim There Was “No System” To Vet Middle Eastern Refugees Was False. “Trump said there is ‘no system to vet’ refugees from the Middle East. While there are concerns about information gaps, a system does exist and has existed since 1980. It involves multiple federal intelligence and security agencies as well as the United Nations. Refugee vetting typically takes one to two years and includes numerous rounds of security checks. We rate Trump’s claim False.” [PolitiFact, 6/13/16]

CNN Fact Check: “There Is A Vetting System In Place” To Screen Refugees.“However, Trump continued saying that there is no way to screen those immigrants. There is a vetting system in place, which begins with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, according to the White House. This group collects identification documents, performs an initial assessment, and interviews applicants to confirm refugee status and the need for resettlement. They then refer strong candidates for resettlement to the United States.” [CNN Fact Check, 6/22/16]

FactCheck.org Rated Donald Trump’s Claim That “There’s No Way To Screen Syrian Refugees” As False.  “While criticizing Hillary Clinton’s support for admitting more Syrian refugees to the U.S., Trump said that “there’s no way to screen” those refugees to determine “who they are or where they come from.” That’s false. All refugees admitted to the U.S. go through an extensive vetting process that involves multiple federal agencies and can take up to 24 months to complete. The current process for admitting a refugee to the U.S. is very lengthy. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or sometimes a U.S. embassy, refers a qualified refugee for resettlement in the U.S. After that, there’s an initial multistep security clearance, including the collection of the refugee’s personal data and background information. That is followed by an in-person interview abroad with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which has to approve the application. The security clearance involves checking the refugee’s name and fingerprints against several government databases. That’s followed by a medical screening and a pairing with one of the voluntary agencies in the U.S. that sponsors refugees. And, finally, there’s another security clearance to check for any new information. That completes the process.”  [Factcheck.org, 7/22/16]

Vox Rated Donald Trump’s Claim That “There’s No Way To Screen These Refugees” As False. “Trump says: ‘There’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.’ In fact: It takes approximately two years to approve a refugee to settle in the US. Most of that time is spent screening the refugee. The process for screening Syrian refugees is so stringent (for example, a refugee who’d once given “a sandwich or a cigarette” to a Syrian rebel soldier would have been banned until last year) that the government rarely let in any before fall 2015. And it’s still not on pace to meet its goal of admitting 10,000 refugees this year because it’s being so careful with the screening process. Ruling: False” [Vox, 7/22/16]

AP Fact Checker: “Trump Persists In Making The Bogus Claim That The U.S. Doesn’t Screen Refugees.” “TRUMP: ‘My opponent has called for a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian (refugees). … She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people.’ THE FACTS: Trump persists in making the bogus claim that the U.S. doesn’t screen refugees. The administration both screens them and knows where they are from. The Department of Homeland Security leads the process, which involves rigorous background checks. Processing of a refugee can take 18 months to two years, and usually longer for those coming from Syria. Refugees are also subject to in-person interviews and fingerprint and other biometric screening.” [AP Fact Check, 7/22/16]

Washington Post Fact Checker: Trump Falsely Claimed  “There’s ‘No Way To Screen’  Refugees.” Donald Trump Claim: “My opponent, in Syria — think of this, think of this, this is not believable but this is what’s happening. A 550 percentage increase in Syrian refugees on top of the existing massive refugee flows coming into our country already under the leadership of President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.” “Trump gets it right on the “550” percentage, but falsely claims there’s “no way to screen” refugees. […] The process of vetting refugees starts with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and then continues with checks by U.S. intelligence and security agencies. It takes one to two years, or longer in some cases.” [Washington Post Fact Checker, 7/22/16]

CNN Fact Check Rated Trump’s Claim That There “‘No Way To Screen These Refugees” As “False.” “Where he goes awry is in the second half, when Trump says there’s ‘no way to screen these refugees.’ Several government and law enforcement agencies are engaged in the process of screening refugees. Refugees that come to the U.S. undergo several screenings, such as biographic checks, in-person interviews, fingerprinting and medical screenings — all of which involve multiple federal intelligence and security agencies. Syrian refugees in particular go through additional screening, called the Syria Enhanced Review process, which uses information collected from the UN refugee agency to determine whether an applicant needs to go through a fraud or national security unit. […] The effectiveness of these procedures may be a matter of debate, but to say that there is “no way to screen” refugees is false.” [CNN, 7/22/16]

NPR Fact Check: The Claim That There’s “No Way” To Screen Syrian Refugees Has Been Rated False. “‘She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from.’ PolitiFact ranked the claim about the lack of a vetting system false.” [NPR, 7/21/16]

THE U.S. HAS AN EXTENSIVE SCREENING PROCESS FOR REFUGEES

CNN Fact Check: Refugees Are Screened Through Process That Includes The National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, DHS, And The State Department Before Entering The United States, Then They Must Apply For Green Card. “The Resettlement Support Center compiles a file on each refugee and then the security checks begin. The National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the State Department are all involved in these security checks. Before arrival in the United States, refugees are interviewed, fingerprinted and given medical screenings, among other security checks.  Finally, they arrive in the United States, go through U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s National Targeting Center and then must apply for a green card within a year of arrival, which triggers another set of security procedures.” [CNN Fact Check, 6/22/16]

Jeff Stein: Contrary To Trump’s False Claim That U.S.-Bound Refugees Were Not Screened, U.S. Citizenship And Immigration Services Conducted An “Extensive” And “Onerous” Screening Process. “Trump: ‘There’s no screening for refugees coming to the US We’re not screening people. So why don’t we have an effective screening system? We don’t. We’re being laughed at all over the world. The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why we should admit anyone into our country who supports violence of any kind against gay and lesbian Americans.’ The truth: Trump is wrong: There is an extensive, onerous screening process for refugees who come to America. You can see so yourself here.” Vox’s Jeff Stein linked to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Refugee Processing and Security Screening website. [Jeff Stein, Vox, 6/13/16]

NBC News: Hillary Clinton Supported Accepting Syrian Refugees But There Were “Significant Screening Measures” In Place. “Trump claim: ‘In fact, Hillary Clinton supports a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees coming into the United States, and that’s an increase over President Obama’s already very high number. Under her plan, we would admit hundreds of thousands of refugees from the most dangerous countries on Earth – with no way to screen who they are or what they believe.’ The facts: Clinton does support a 550% increase over the existing number of Syrian refugees she’d allow — that much is true — but there are significant screening measures. Refugees are subject to the highest level of security checks of any visitors to the U.S., and the process historically takes up to 16-24 months. It involves the United Nations, National Counterterrorism Center, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, and State Department. ‘It would be a cruel irony indeed if ISIS can force families from their homes and then also prevent them from finding new ones,’ she said in a December speech. ‘So after rigorous screening, we should welcome families fleeing Syria.’” [NBC News, 6/22/16]

PolitiFact: U.S. Screening Process For Refugees Has Been In Place For Over 30 Years. “Blaming the Orlando massacre on the country’s ‘failed immigration system,’ Donald Trump equated refugee admission to a ‘better, bigger, more horrible version of the legendary Trojan horse.’ […] This is an exaggeration, and one we’ve heard before. While Trump has a point that the system isn’t foolproof, there is a system. It has been in place for over three decades and was retooled after 9/11…The vetting begins with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugee, which determines who counts as a refugee, who should be resettled (about 1 percent) and which countries would take them. This alone can take four to 10 months. If the UNHCR refers refugees to the United States, they then face scrutiny from federal intelligence and security agencies.” [PolitiFact, 6/13/16]

Vanity Fair: Hillary Clinton Plan Had “Extremely Strict Security Measures In Place To Vet Refugees Looking To Resettle In The US.” “Trump leaned heavily into post-Orlando anxiety when he slammed Clinton’s plan to increase the number of Syrian refugees by 550 percent. ‘Under her plan, we would admit hundreds of thousands of refugees from the most dangerous countries on Earth—with no way to screen who they are or what they believe,’ he said. While he’s correct about the percentage increase, at least, NBC points out that there would, in fact, be extremely strict security measures in place to vet refugees looking to re-settle in the U.S. The process takes anywhere between 16 to 24 months, involves no less than five governmental agencies cross-checking several databases, and can be halted or reset for numerous reasons. In short, this is definitely a way to screen refugees, as opposed to ‘no way.’” [Vanity Fair, 6/22/16]

ABC News: The Claim That “There Is No Way To Screen Syrian Refugees” Is “False,” As The U.S. “Employs A Thorough, Multi-Stage Vetting Process.” “Claim: There is no way to screen Syrian refugees. Rating: False. While intelligence gaps abroad means there’s a degree of risk in resettling refugees from Syria and elsewhere, the U.S. employs a thorough, multi-stage vetting process. […] As flagged in an earlier fact check, the typical vetting process for resettling refugees in the U.S. comprises a series of hurdles, the first of which is to meet the legal definition of a ‘refugee’ (roughly 1 percent of applicants is deemed eligible), which can take up to 10 months.” [ABC News,7/22/16]

 

V/O: Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay

 

 

CLINTON WOULD MAKE IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT “HUMANE, TARGETED, AND EFFECTIVE” AND DEPORT THOSE “INDIVIDUALS WHO POSE A VIOLENT THREAT TO PUBLIC SAFETY”

As President, Clinton Would Make Immigration Enforcement “Humane, Targeted, And Effective” And Deport Those “Individuals Who Pose A Violent Threat To Public Safety.” “As President, Hillary will: Enforce immigration laws humanely. Immigration enforcement must be humane, targeted, and effective. Hillary will focus resources on detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety, and ensure refugees who seek asylum in the U.S. have a fair chance to tell their stories.” [Hillary for America, accessed 8/15/16]

TRUMP’S CLAIMS ON IMMIGRANTS COMMITTING CRIMES HAVE BEEN FOUND TO BE FALSE

ABC News: There Was “No Law Enforcement Data To Support” Trump’s Claim That Hundreds Of Recent Immigrants And Their Children Were Convicted Of Terrorism. “Although he was right about Clinton’s desire to bring in more Syrian refugees, Trump quickly strayed from the truth by arguing that many of them are convicted terrorists. ‘Already hundreds of recent immigrants and their children have been convicted of terrorist activity inside the United States. The father of the Orlando shooter was a Taliban supporter from Afghanistan, one of the most repressive anti-gay and anti-woman regimes on earth,’ Trump said today. There is no law enforcement data to support the claim that “hundreds of recent immigrants have been convicted of terrorist” activities.” [ABC News, 6/22/16]

Washington Post Fact Checker: “We’re Not Sure Exactly Where Trump Is Getting This Information” That Hundreds Of Migrants And Their Children Had Been Convicted Of Terrorist Activity, “But He Is Still Not Accurate.” “Already hundreds of recent immigrants and their children have been convicted of terrorist activity inside the United States.’ This is a revised Trump talking point on migrants convicted of terrorist activity, to include migrants ‘and their children.’ (We previously awarded him Four Pinocchios for claiming that ‘scores’ of ‘recent migrants’ were charged with terrorism.) We’re not sure exactly where Trump is getting this information, but he is still not accurate.” [Fact Checker, Washington Post, 6/23/16]

 

V/O: Collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL SECURITY

Undocumented Immigrants Have Contributed $12 Billion To Social Security. “Thus, our projections suggest that the presence of unauthorized workers in the United States has, on average, a positive effect on the financial status of the Social Security program. For the year 2010,1 we estimate that the excess of tax revenue paid to the Trust Funds over benefits paid from these funds based on earnings of unauthorized workers is about $12 billion.” [Social Security Administration, April 2013]

Politifact: “It’s Important To Note That Illegal Immigrants Pay An Estimated $12 Billion In Payroll Taxes To Social Security And Don’t Receive Benefits.” “Trump said, “The annual cost of free tax credits alone paid to illegal immigrants quadrupled to $4.2 billion in 2011.” Based on an audit by the Treasury Inspector General, the claim leaves out some context. Trump conflates “illegal immigrants” with “unauthorized workers,” a group composed largely of undocumented immigrants but also legal immigrants and others. The $4.2 billion refers to the amount given in tax credit refunds for children, the large majority of whom are U.S. citizens. And the actual year is 2009, not 2011 (that was the year the report was published). Also, it’s important to note that illegal immigrants pay an estimated $12 billion in payroll taxes to Social Security and don’t receive benefits. So Trump is leaving out a significant part of the picture when it comes to taxes and undocumented workers.” [Politifact, 8/18/15]

CLINTON SUPPORTS A PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP

 As President, Clinton Would Introduce Comprehensive Immigration Reform With A Pathway To Full And Equal Citizenship. “Introduce comprehensive immigration reform. Hillary will introduce comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to full and equal citizenship within her first 100 days in office. It will treat every person with dignity, fix the family visa backlog, uphold the rule of law, protect our borders and national security, and bring millions of hardworking people into the formal economy.” [Hillary for America, accessed 8/19/16]

Clinton On Immigration: “I Believe They Do Have to Meet Certain Standards…To Be On A Path To Citizenship.” “I think we have to look at all of these issues.

​ Comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship would deal with a lot of these concerns, not just the 11 million people here: how we would regularize them, what kind of steps they’d have to go through. Because I believe they do have to meet certain standards if they’re going to be on a path to citizenship.” [Vox,6/22/16]

TRUMP AD CITES CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES

TRUMP HAS BEEN ADVISED BY THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES

Donald Trump Met With Mark Krikorian And His Campaign Referred To Him As One Of The Top Foreign Policy And National Security Experts In The Country.“‘Today, Mr. Trump convened a meeting of some of the top foreign policy and national security experts in the country to discuss how to win the war against Radical Islamic Terrorism. The participants talked about improving immigration screening and standards to keep out radicals, working with moderate Muslims to foster reforms, and partnering with friendly regimes in the Middle East to stamp out ISIS. This is a stark contrast to Hillary Clinton who wants to bring in 620,000 refugees with no way to screen them, who refuses to say radical Islam, and who bears direct responsibility for the rise of ISIS with her disastrous interventions overseas.’ – Stephen Miller, National Policy DirectorPlease view the list of particpants of the Roundtable on Defeating Radical Islamic Terrorism below: […] 13) Mark Krikorian” [Donald Trump Press Release, 8/17/16]

MARK KRIKORIAN HAS SERVED AS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES SINCE 1995

Mark Krikorian Has Served As The Executive Director Of The Center For Immigration Studies Since 1995. “Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995. The Center, an independent, non-partisan research organization in Washington, D.C., examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States. Animated by a pro-immigrant, low-immigration vision which seeks fewer immigrants but a warmer welcome for those admitted, the Center was established in 1985 to respond to the need for reliable, fact-based research in the immigration area.” [Center for Immigration Studies, accessed 8/17/16]

THE CENTER FOR IMMIGRATION STUDIES “HAS BEEN EXPLICITLY TIED TO WHITE NATIONALISM”

HEADLINE: “Anti-Immigrant Center For Immigration Studies Continues To Associate With White Nationalists” [Southern Poverty Law Center, 10/9/15]

Southern Poverty Law Center: “Since Its Founding In 1985, CIS Has Been Explicitly Tied To White Nationalism.” “Since its founding in 1985, CIS has been explicitly tied to white nationalism. Its founder, white nationalist John Tanton was responsible for establishing the organized anti-immigrant movement, and, over the past 20 years, the group has been unable to cut these racist ties. [Southern Poverty Law Center, 10/9/15]

 

V/O: Our border open

 

MANY INDEPENDENT FACT CHECKS HAVE FOUND CLINTON’S PLAN WOULD NOT CREATE OPEN BORDERS

AP Fact Check: “It’s Not True That Clinton’s Plan Would Create Open Borders.”“TRUMP: “She has pledged to grant mass amnesty and in her first 100 days, end virtually all immigration enforcement, and thus create totally open borders in the United States.” THE FACTS: It’s not true that Clinton’s plan would create open borders. Her plan does call for a pathway to citizenship that would allow people currently in the country illegally to stay, but only after going through a series of steps to become a citizen. On enforcement, Clinton has called for focusing on “detaining and deporting those individuals who pose a violent threat to public safety,” but not ending enforcement outright.” [Associated Press, 6/23/16]

Politifact: Trump’s Claim That Clinton Supported Totally Open Borders Was “False” And “A Huge Distortion Of Clinton’s Proposals.” “Trump said Clinton’s immigration platform would “create totally open borders.” This is a huge distortion of Clinton’s proposals. Clinton has praised work already done to secure the border, and she said she supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions more in border security while creating a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Her plan calls for protecting the border and targeting deportation to criminals and security threats. Her plan would make it easier for many undocumented immigrants to avoid deportation, but that’s not the same as ending all enforcement. We rate this claim False.” [Politifact, 6/23/16]

Factcheck.Org: Clinton’s Immigration Policies Were “Far Short Of Advocating For Open Borders.” “At a campaign stop in November, Clinton was even more explicit. “We need to secure our borders, I’m for it, I voted for it, I believe in it, and we also need to deal with the families, the workers who are here, who have made contributions, and their children,” Clinton said in New Hampshire in November. “We can do more to secure our border and we should do more to deal with the 11 or 12 million people who are here, get them out of the shadows.” That’s far short of advocating for open borders.” [FactCheck.org, 7/19/16]

Politifact: “Rudy Giuliani Wrongly Says Hillary Clinton Is For Open Borders”[Politifact, 7/18/16]

 Washington Post Fact Check: Giuliani Repeating Trump’s Claim That Clinton Supported Open Borders “Doesn’t Make It Any More Correct.” “Trump has made the same claim about Clinton recently, but Giuliani repeating it doesn’t make it any more correct. Giuliani exaggerates Clinton’s stance on border security and immigration enforcement. Clinton has said she would expand Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and has advocated comprehensive immigration reform including a pathway to citizenship. But she also has supported enhanced border security. And her immigration proposal includes “humane, targeted and effective” enforcement and focusing immigration resources on detaining and deporting those “who pose a threat to public safety.”” [Washington Post, 7/19/16]

 

V/O: It’s more of the same, but worse

 

CLINTON HAS SAID SHE WOULD DEFEND OBAMA’S EXECUTIVE ACTIONS TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER

 

As President, Clinton Will Defend DACA And DAPA And “Do Everything Possible Under The Law To Protect Families.” “As president, Hillary will… Defend President Obama’s executive actions—known as DACA and DAPA—against partisan attacks. The Supreme Court’s deadlocked decision on DAPA was a heartbreaking reminder of how high the stakes are in this election. Hillary believes DAPA is squarely within the president’s authority and won’t stop fighting until we see it through. … Do everything possible under the law to protect families. If Congress keeps failing to act on comprehensive immigration reform, Hillary will enact a simple system for those with sympathetic cases—such as parents of DREAMers, those with a history of service and contribution to their communities, or those who experience extreme labor violations—to make their case and be eligible for deferred action.” [Hillary for America, accessed 8/15/16]

 

V/O: Donald Trump’s America is secure.

 

 

NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS SAY TRUMP WOULD MAKE AMERICA LESS SAFE, AND HAS ALREADY

Former CIA Director Hayden Agreed Trump Had Become A “Recruiting Sergeant” For ISIS And Al Qaeda And His Comments “Have Already Made Americans Less Safe.” “Former CIA chief Michael Hayden said in a new interview that he agrees that Donald Trump has become a ‘recruiting sergeant’ for terrorists groups such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and al Qaeda. ‘When Mr. Trump says some of the things that he has said — ‘they all hate us,’ ‘we shouldn’t let any of those people in our country’ — what he does is underscore and underpin the fundamentals of [the ISIS] narrative of undying enmity,’ Hayden told Al Jazeera English’s ‘Upfront.’ Trump’s statements ‘have already made Americans less safe,’ Hayden said in the interview, which will air April 1.” [The Hill, 3/29/16]

Graham: “Donald Trump’s Foreign Policy Is Isolationism. It Will Lead To Another 9/11.” GRAHAM: “But there’s a civil war going on in the Republican Party, obviously. John and I are very close friends, but he’s embracing Donald Trump, and I am not. Why? Because I believe Donald Trump’s foreign policy is isolationism. It will lead to another 9/11.” [CBS, Face The Nation, 5/1/16]

Bob Gates On Trump: “I Have No Idea What His Policy Would Be In Terms Of Dealing With ISIS. I Worry A Little Bit About His Admiration For Vladimir Putin.”JOHN DICKERSON: We began by asking him for his thoughts on Donald Trump. FMR. SEC. BOB GATES: Well, I have some real issues with things he’s said about national security policy. And some concerns. I think there are some contradictions. You can’t have a trade war with China and then turn around and ask them to help you on North Korea. I have no idea what his policy would be in terms of dealing with ISIS. I worry a little bit about his admiration for Vladimir Putin. […] I guess one of the things that makes it challenging for me is that he seems to think that he has all the answers. And that he doesn’t need any advice from staff or anybody else. And that he knows more about these things than anybody else. And doesn’t really feel the need to surround himself with informed advisors. You know, I worked for some very different presidents of those eight. People would say, ‘How could you work for both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.’ I remind them, ‘Well, I worked for Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.’ The difference is, each one of those presidents, as strong minded as each of them was, understood he did not have all the answers and surrounded himself with experienced, thoughtful people who would give good advice and they were willing to listen. [CBS, Face The Nation, 5/15/16]

HEADLINE: “50 G.O.P. Officials Warn Donald Trump Would Put Nation’s Security ‘At Risk’” [New York Times, 8/8/16]

  • Fifty Senior Republican National Security Officials Signed A Letter Declaring Trump “Would Be The Most Reckless President In American History.” “Fifty of the nation’s most senior Republican national security officials, many of them former top aides or cabinet members for President George W. Bush, have signed a letter declaring that Donald J. Trump ‘lacks the character, values and experience’ to be president and ‘would put at risk our country’s national security and well-being.’ Mr. Trump, the officials warn, ‘would be the most reckless president in American history.’” [New York Times, 8/8/16]
  • The Experts Wrote That Trump “Lacks The Temperament To Be President” And Has “Dangerous Qualities” For Someone Who Would Command The Nuclear Arsenal. “In the new letter, the group warns Trump ‘lacks the temperament to be President.’ ‘He is unable or unwilling to separate truth from falsehood. He does not encourage conflicting views. He lacks self-control and acts impetuously. He cannot tolerate personal criticism. He has alarmed our closest allies with his erratic behavior,’ the letter claims. ‘All of these are dangerous qualities in an individual who aspires to be President and Commander-in-Chief, with command of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.’” [CNN, 8/8/16]

121 Republican National Security Experts Wrote An Open Letter Saying They Would Not Support Trump For President. “We the undersigned, members of the Republican national security community, represent a broad spectrum of opinion on America’s role in the world and what is necessary to keep us safe and prosperous. We have disagreed with one another on many issues, including the Iraq war and intervention in Syria. But we are united in our opposition to a Donald Trump presidency. Recognizing as we do, the conditions in American politics that have contributed to his popularity, we nonetheless are obligated to state our core objections clearly: His vision of American influence and power in the world is wildly inconsistent and unmoored in principle. He swings from isolationism to military adventurism within the space of one sentence. His advocacy for aggressively waging trade wars is a recipe for economic disaster in a globally connected world. […] He is fundamentally dishonest. Evidence of this includes his attempts to deny positions he has unquestionably taken in the past, including on the 2003 Iraq war and the 2011 Libyan conflict. We accept that views evolve over time, but this is simply misrepresentation. […] Mr. Trump’s own statements lead us to conclude that as president, he would use the authority of his office to act in ways that make America less safe, and which would diminish our standing in the world. Furthermore, his expansive view of how presidential power should be wielded against his detractors poses a distinct threat to civil liberty in the United States. Therefore, as committed and loyal Republicans, we are unable to support a Party ticket with Mr. Trump at its head. We commit ourselves to working energetically to prevent the election of someone so utterly unfitted to the office.” [War On The Rocks, 3/2/16]

UNDER TRUMP’S PLANS, THE ECONOMY WOULD LOSE NEARLY 3.5 MILLION JOBS AND FALL INTO A “LENGTHY RECESSION”

Moody’s Analytics: Under Trump’s Policies, The Economy Would Lose Nearly 3.5 Million Jobs And Fall Into A “Lengthy Recession.” “This paper assesses the macroeconomic consequences of presidential candidate Donald Trump’s proposed economic policies. These include his policies on taxes and government spending, immigration, and international trade. […] The U.S. economy will weaken significantly if Mr. Trump’s economic policies are fully implemented as he has proposed. The economy will suffer a recession that begins in early 2018 and extends into 2020 (see Table 1). During this downturn, real GDP will decline peak to trough by close to 2.4%. This would be an unusually lengthy recession—even longer than the Great Recession—although the severity of the decline in economic activity would be more consistent with a typical recession suffered since World War II. Employment will continue to decline and unemployment will rise into the next presidential term, with the unemployment rate peaking at 7.4% in summer 2021. […] By the end of his presidency, there are close to 3.5 million fewer jobs and the unemployment rate rises to as high as 7%, compared with below 5% today. During Mr. Trump’s presidency, the average American household’s after-inflation income will stagnate, and stock prices and real house values will decline.” [Moody’s Analytics, 6/17/16]

V/O: Terrorists and dangerous criminals kept out, the border secure, our families safe. TRUMP’S BORDER WALL PROPOSAL WAS RIDICULED AS IMPRACTICAL, UNNECESSARY, AND INEFFECTIVE

 

Rick Perry Agreed Trump’s Proposed Border Wall Could Not Be Built: “It’s A Technological Wall, It’s A Digital Wall… There Are Some That Hear This Is Going To Be 1,200 Miles From Brownsville To El Paso, 30-Foot High, And Listen, I Know You Can’t Do That.” “Donald Trump’s proposal to build a wall along the expanse of the United States’ border with Mexico is not going to happen, as far as former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is concerned. At least not in the physical sense. ‘I’m for Donald Trump, and he says we’re going to build a wall, the Mexicans are gonna pay for it,’ Perry told Snapchat’s Peter Hamby on ‘Good Luck America.’   Hamby remarked, ‘It’s not going to happen.’ ‘Well, it’s not,’ Perry said, explaining, ‘It’s a wall, but it’s a technological wall, it’s a digital wall.’ Perry, who is supporting Trump, commented, ‘There are some that hear this is going to be 1,200 miles from Brownsville to El Paso, 30-foot high, and listen, I know you can’t do that.’” [Politico, 7/11/16]

Politico: “Almost No One In The Rio Grande Valley—Including The Border Patrol Itself—Thinks ‘The Wall’ Is A Good Idea. The Wall, From Their Viewpoint, Is An Expensive, Pointless Boondoggle.” “Given the union’s strong support for Trump, you might be surprised to discover that many Border Patrol agents have one small policy difference with the candidate: Almost no one in the Rio Grande Valley—including the Border Patrol itself—thinks ‘The Wall’ is a good idea. The Wall, from their viewpoint, is an expensive, pointless boondoggle, and wouldn’t solve the main problems with border security.” [Politico Magazine, 7/18/16]

Security Experts Were More Concerned With The United States’ Northern Border From A Terrorism Perspective Than The Southern Border That Would Be Addressed By Trump’s Border Wall. “Trump’s Wall also belies another complicated reality: Security experts and CBP officials say that from a terrorism perspective, they’re more concerned about the northern border, which is much more loosely patrolled and has virtually no fencing, even as Canada struggles with its own homegrown radicalization problems. While there’s plenty of human and narcotics smuggling across the U.S.-Mexico border, and nearly 90 percent of the Border Patrol is focused on the southern border, no terrorist has ever used it to enter the United States illegally. For all the heated political rhetoric about ISIL sneaking over from Mexico, all domestic terror attacks have been carried out by people who flew into the United States on commercial airliners or by terrorists who were legally in the country—and would-be terrorists have been stopped sneaking across only one of the U.S. land borders: the northern one.” [Politico Magazine, 7/18/16]

 

V/O: Change that makes America safe again. Donald Trump for president.

 

DONALD TRUMP: I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message.

 

 

Albania Could Prove Novel Solution in Syrian Refugee Crisis

Albania's countryside is ripe for new villages that could accommodate some Syrian refugees © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Albania’s countryside is ripe for new villages that could accommodate some Syrian refugees © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

With even access to places that only last year were welcoming to desperate Syrian and Iraqi refugees now cut off, new solutions are essential.

Here’s a novel idea that emerged after my recent travels: Albania could be a player in solving the Syrian Refugee crisis, and help itself in the bargain. Here’s why:

Albania has a tradition of helping refugees. I was surprised to learn during my recent visit that during the Holocaust, Albania, a majority Muslim country, protected 200 of its own Jewish citizens and took in 2000 Jewish refugees, harboring them from the Nazis, sheltering them “in plain sight” by blending them into the local population, at grave danger to their own lives. At the end of WWII, Albania was the only European country with more Jews than it had at the start of the war.

Here’s another thing: Albania suffers from under-population. After 50 years of Communist dictatorship when people were imprisoned inside their own country, tens of thousands left the country left as soon as the shackles were released, causing a massive brain drain.

Albania’s economy is stagnant – there is virtually no manufacturing, no export of any kind, no technological development. The biggest industries are construction (roads) and agriculture. There are still unresolved issues of property ownership stemming from the shift from feudal society to Communist dictatorship (when private property was nationalized), back to a vaguely capitalist economy. My idea is that all those who have a solid claim should become “shareholders” or “partners” in property ownership. With the value of things at roughly one-fifth (the median income in Albania is $5,000), a foreign investor can pay off all the claimants, or the partners can share in new ventures. Meanwhile, Albania has plentiful water resources and vast tracts of land – granted much of it is mountainous, but I have seen many villages carved in to the hillsides. USAID has been looking for ways to bolster Albania’s economy.

Albania is a young country, a small country. As one young man tells me, it gets no respect in the world community, but for centuries has always been pushed around by larger powers – the Ottoman Turks for 500 years, the French and Italians minutes after Albania won its Independence from the Ottomans in 1912, the “Council of Ambassadors” who sliced and diced the country to half its size, the Communists after WWII up until 1992. This is a country so craving international attention, that when George W. Bush became the first sitting American president to visit (in 2007), they named a street in the capital city of Tirana for him.

Now here’s an idea: instead of US spending billions of dollars to keep people in horrible refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey where people are frustrated without any ability to work or get educated or have a productive life, how about funding a program to enable families to apply for a resettlement in newly created villages in Albania. The families would be selected based on the skills they bring – doctors, teachers, nurses, engineers, etc. etc., and they would build self-sufficient communities. They would have work visas, and opportunity to apply for citizenship at some point. They would have to follow Albanian law, would not be allowed to impose Sharia law (Albania is majority Muslim but is secular and tolerant of other religions).

The refugees would create their own towns, have their schools and clinics and city-services. They would be offered housing and some initial grant aid to resettle, but would have mortgages and business loans that they would repay – the funding to go back to the coordinating agency.

This would also be a major boon to Albania: the money spent to resettle the refugees would spark the economy. Moreover Albania needs the expertise and the consumer demand the new settlers would bring. The Syrian refugees are a closer cultural match than coming to Western Europe or US.

This is much the same as what was done to settle the American West, with land grants and such, and the American experience has proved over and over that immigrants are a boon to the economy and society – that’s why Germany has been so keen on bringing in hundreds of thousands a year.

For Albania, a tiny country of just 3.5 million population, the money would trigger consumer spending, which ripples through the economy, and create new jobs with new investments and ventures, new innovations and entrepreneurial endeavors. And it would make Albania a player on the world stage.

When I broached this idea to a young fellow whose brother works for the Prime Minister, he agreed it would be a good idea for Albania, but argued that the refugees wouldn’t want to come to Albania, they want to go to Germany where they think the streets are paved with gold. I responded that after years stuck in refugee camps, they would be more receptive, and the program would only take people who wanted this for their families.

The United States, through its involvement with various refugee agencies, might help develop the mechanism to relieve the suffering for at least some of the millions of people stuck in refugee camps in Jordan, Turkey and Greece, some for years, and provide the seed funding.

It would be in the United States’ interest as well, because the refugee problem won’t go away just because the US closes its eyes or its borders, declares undocumented immigrants, migrants and refugees persona non grata or non-persons. The problem will only get worse, possibly destabilize America’s allies and just as global warming impacting faraway places with droughts, floods, and sea level rise, and in the case of public health epidemics like Ebola and Zika, it will come back to hurt the US, as well.

Despite Republicans’ best efforts, the United States is on track to resettle some 10,000 Syrian refugees by October, the end of fiscal 2016, the number targeted by Obama. This is still a small fraction of the 65,000 Obama and Democrats had sought to resettle at the height of the publicity of the refugee crisis, last summer. The international outrage seems to have subsided this year, though the number of deaths of desperate migrants fleeing war and terrorism in Syria and Iraq has actually increased. But Europe – particularly Germany- has tightened entrances, sobered by the mounting political pressure that resulted in the Brexit vote in Great Britain; even Angela Merkel’s leadership has come under attack as right-wingers ascend.

This is the case in the US, as well, with Donald Trump hitching his prospects to become president to anti-immigration and particularly anti-Muslim policies. Trump issued a press release calling Hillary Clinton “America’s Merkel” and noting that Clinton has said she would target 65,000 refugees, then stated, “Assuming her goal is to admit 155,000 refugees each year during a hypothetical first term in office, a Clinton Administration would admit at least 620,000 refugees in just four years – a population roughly the size of Baltimore.. at a lifetime cost of over $400 billion.”

Trump’s despicable rhetoric is already having results in an uptick of violence against Muslims in this country, and very likely factored into the shooting deaths of an Iman and his assistant in Ozone Park, Queens, last weekend.

Many Republican governors have declared their states off-limits to any Syrian refugee resettlement, despite the fact they are powerless to stop the federal government if it chooses to resettle refugees in their state. One of them is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, where, in defiance,  a group from churches and synagogues have come together to actively support the resettlement of several Syrian families.

With the ability to receive Syrian and Iraqi refugees hampered, the United States’ main involvement in relieving the suffering of the refugees is by spending billions of dollars in aid to support the camps. But there is no life in those camps, where children are unable to go to school, young people can’t get a college degree; professionals are unable to work in their profession if at all. People are desperate, which is why so many are putting themselves in the hands of shady smugglers, launching themselves into unsafe boats to try to make the journey to Western Europe, ideally, the new Promised Land: Germany.

With even access to places that only last year were welcoming now cut off, new solutions are essential.

And for Albania, the US and the refugees, resettlement of families in Albania could be a win-win-win.

See also: Come to Albania Now to See Emergence of a Young Country

______________________________________
© 2016 News & Photo Features Syndicate, a division of Workstyles, Inc. All rights reserved. For editorial feature and photo information, go to www.news-photos-features.com, email editor@news-photos-features.com. Blogging at www.dailykos.com/blogs/NewsPhotosFeatures.  ‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures, Tweet @KarenBRubin

 

Bill Clinton at DNC: ‘Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face and still the best darn change-maker I have ever known’

President Bill Clinton, performing the odd, never-been-done before  role of “spouse” introducing his wife and former First Lady as candidate for president, delivered a touching, personal speech recalling their relationship together and extolling Hillary Clinton’s significant career accomplishments as a “change maker.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Bill Clinton, performing the odd, never-been-done before role of “spouse” introducing his wife and former First Lady as candidate for president, delivered a touching, personal speech recalling their relationship together and extolling Hillary Clinton’s significant career accomplishments as a “change maker.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Bill Clinton, performing the odd, never-been-done before  role of “spouse” introducing his wife and former First Lady as candidate for president, delivered a touching, personal speech recalling their relationship together and extolling Hillary Clinton’s significant career accomplishments as a “change maker.” Here is a highlighted transcript of his address to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 26, 2016: 

CLINTON: Thank you! (APPLAUSE) Thank you! (APPLAUSE) Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! (APPLAUSE) Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

In the spring of 1971 I met a girl.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

The first time I saw her we were, appropriately enough, in a class on political and civil rights. She had thick blond hair, big glasses, wore no makeup, and she had a sense of strength and self- possession that I found magnetic. After the class I followed her out, intending to introduce myself. I got close enough to touch her back, but I couldn’t do it. Somehow I knew this would not be just another tap on the shoulder, that I might be starting something I couldn’t stop.

And I saw her several more times in the next few days, but I still didn’t speak to her. Then one night I was in the law library talking to a classmate who wanted me to join the Yale Law Journal. He said it would guarantee me a job in a big firm or a clerkship with a federal judge. I really wasn’t interested, I just wanted to go home to Arkansas.

(APPLAUSE)

Then I saw the girl again, standing at the opposite end of that long room. Finally she was staring back at me, so I watched her. She closed her book, put it down and started walking toward me. She walked the whole length of the library, came up to me and said, look, if you’re going to keep staring at me…

(LAUGHTER)

CLINTON: …and now I’m staring back, we at least ought to know each other’s name. I’m Hillary Rodham, who are you?

(APPLAUSE)

I was so impressed and surprised that, whether you believe it or not, momentarily I was speechless.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Finally, I sort of blurted out my name and we exchanged a few words and then she went away.

Well, I didn’t join the Law Review, but I did leave that library with a whole new goal in mind.

(LAUGHTER)

A couple of days later, I saw her again. I remember, she was wearing a long, white, flowery skirt. And I went up to her and she said she was going to register for classes for the next term. And I said I’d go, too. And we stood in line and talked — you had to do that to register back then — and I thought I was doing pretty well until we got to the front of the line and the registrar looked up and said, Bill, what are you doing here, you registered morning?

(LAUGHTER)

I turned red and she laughed that big laugh of hers. And I thought, well, heck, since my cover’s been blown I just went ahead and asked her to take a walk down to the art museum.

We’ve been walking and talking and laughing together ever since.

(APPLAUSE)

And we’ve done it in good times and bad, through joy and heartbreak. We cried together this morning on the news that our good friend and a lot of your good friend, Mark Weiner, passed away early this morning.

We’ve built up a lifetime of memories. After the first month and that first walk, I actually drove her home to Park Ridge, Illinois…

(APPLAUSE)

…to meet her family and see the town where she grew up, a perfect example of post World War II middle-class America, street after street of nice houses, great schools, good parks, a big public swimming pool, and almost all white.

I really liked her family. Her crusty, conservative father, her rambunctious brothers, all extolling the virtues of rooting for the Bears and the Cuba.

(APPLAUSE)

And for the people from Illinois here, they even told me what “waiting for next year” meant.

(LAUGHTER)

It could be next year, guys.

Now, her mother was different. She was more liberal than the boys. And she had a childhood that made mine look like a piece of cake. She was easy to underestimate with her soft manner and she reminded me all over again of the truth of that old saying you should never judge a book by its covers. Knowing her was one of the greatest gifts Hillary ever gave me.

(APPLAUSE)

I learned that Hillary got her introduction to social justice through her Methodist youth minister, Don Jones. He took her downtown to Chicago to hear Dr. Martin Luther King speak and he remained her friend for the rest of his life. This will be the only campaign of hers he ever missed.

When she got to college, her support for civil rights, her opposition to the Vietnam War compelled her to change party, to become a Democrat.

(APPLAUSE)

And then between college and law school on a total lark she went alone to Alaska and spent some time sliming fish.

(APPLAUSE)

More to the point, by the time I met her she had already been involved in the law school’s legal services project and she had been influenced by Marian Wright Edelman.

(APPLAUSE)

She took a summer internship interviewing workers in migrant camps for Senator Walter Mondale’s subcommittee.

(APPLAUSE)

She had also begun working in the Yale New Haven Hospital to develop procedures to handle suspected child abuse cases. She got so involved in children’s issues that she actually took an extra year in law school working at the child studies center to learn what more could be done to improve the lives and the futures of poor children.

(APPLAUSE)

So she was already determined to figure out how to make things better.

DNC16_072616_1131e2 (c) Karen Rubin-Bill ClintonHillary opened my eyes to a whole new world of public service by private citizens. In the summer of 1972, she went to Dothan, Alabama to visit one of those segregated academies that then enrolled over half-a-million white kids in the South. The only way the economics worked is if they claimed federal tax exemptions to which they were not legally entitled. She got sent to prove they weren’t.

So she sauntered into one of these academies all by herself, pretending to be a housewife that had just moved to town and needed to find a school for her son. And they exchanged pleasantries and finally she said, look, let’s just get to the bottom line here, if I enroll my son in this school will he be in a segregated school, yes or know? And the guy said absolutely. She had him!

(LAUGHTER)

I’ve seen it a thousand times since. And she went back and her encounter was part of a report that gave Marian Wright Edelman the ammunition she needed to keep working to force the Nixon administration to take those tax exemptions away and give our kids access to an equal education.

(APPLAUSE)

Then she went down to south Texas where she met…

(APPLAUSE)

…she met one of the nicest fellows I ever met, the wonderful union leader Franklin Garcia, and he helped her register Mexican- American voters. I think some of them are still around to vote for her in 2016.

(APPLAUSE)

Then in our last year in law school, Hillary kept up this work. She went to South Carolina to see why so many young…

(APPLAUSE)

she went to South Carolina to see why so many young African- American boys, I mean, young teenagers, were being jailed for years with adults in men’s prisons. And she filed a report on that, which led to some changes, too. Always making things better. (APPLAUSE)

Now, meanwhile, let’s get back to business. I was trying to convince her to marry me.

(LAUGHTER)

I first proposed to her on a trip to Great Britain, the first time she had been overseas. And we were on the shoreline of this wonderful little lake, Lake Ennerdale. I asked her to marry me and she said I can’t do it.

(LAUGHTER)

So in 1974 I went home to teach in the law school and Hillary moved to Massachusetts…

(APPLAUSE)

to keep working on children’s issues. This time trying to figure out why so many kids counted in the Census weren’t enrolled in school. She found one of them sitting alone on her porch in a wheelchair. Once more, she filed a report about these kids, and that helped influence ultimately the Congress to adopt the proposition that children with disabilities, physical or otherwise, should have equal access to public education.

(APPLAUSE)

You saw the results of that last night when Anastasia Somoza talked.

(APPLAUSE)

She never made fun of people with disabilities; she tried to empower them based on their abilities.

(APPLAUSE)

Meanwhile, I was still trying to get her to marry me.

(LAUGHTER)

So the second time I tried a different tack. I said I really want you to marry me, but you shouldn’t do it.

(LAUGHTER)

And she smiled and looked at me, like, what is this boy up to? She said that is not a very good sales pitch. I said I know, but it’s true. And I meant it, it was true.

I said I know most of the young Democrats our age who want to go into politics, they mean well and they speak well, but none of them is as good as you are at actually doing things to make positive changes in people’s lives. (APPLAUSE)

So I suggested she go home to Illinois or move to New York and look for a chance to run for office. She just laughed and said, are you out of you mind, nobody would ever vote for me.

(LAUGHTER)

So I finally got her to visit me in Arkansas.

(APPLAUSE)

CLINTON: And when she did, the people at the law school were so impressed they offered a teaching position. And she decided to take a huge chance. She moved to a strange place, more rural, more culturally conservative than anyplace she had ever been, where she knew good and well people would wonder what in the world she was like and whether they could or should accept her.

Didn’t take them long to find out what she was like. She loved her teaching and she got frustrated when one of her students said, well, what do you expect, I’m just from Arkansas. She said, don’t tell me that, you’re as smart as anybody, you’ve just got to believe in yourself and work hard and set high goals. She believed that anybody could make it.

(APPLAUSE)

She also started the first legal aid clinic in northwest Arkansas, providing legal aid services to poor people who couldn’t pay for them. And one day I was driving her to the airport to fly back to Chicago when we passed this little brick house that had a for sale sign on it. And she said, boy, that’s a pretty house. It had 1,100 square feet, an attic, fan and no air conditioner in hot Arkansas, and a screened-in porch.

Hillary commented on what a uniquely designed and beautiful house it was. So I took a big chance. I bought the house. My mortgage was $175 a month.

(LAUGHTER)

When she came back, I picked up her up and I said, you remember that house you liked? She said yeah. I said, while you were gone I bought it, you have to marry me now.

(LAUGHTER)

The third time was the charm.

(APPLAUSE)

We were married in that little house on October the 11th, 1975. I married my best friend. I was still in awe after more than four years of being around her at how smart and strong and loving and caring she was. And I really hoped that her choosing me and rejecting my advice to pursue her own career was a decision she would never regret.

A little over a year later we moved to Little Rock when I became attorney general and she joined the oldest law firm west of the Mississippi. Soon after, she started a group called the Arkansas Advocates for Families and Children.

(CHEERS)

It’s a group, as you can hear, is still active today.

(APPLAUSE)

In 1979, just after I became governor, I asked Hillary to chair a rural health committee to help expand health care to isolated farm and mountain areas. They recommended to do that partly by deploying trained nurse practitioners in places with no doctors to provide primary care they were trained to provide. It was a big deal then, highly controversial and very important.

And I got the feeling that what she did for the rest of her life she was doing there. She just went out and figured out what needed to be done and what made the most sense and what would help the most people. And then if it was controversial she’d just try to persuade people it was the right thing to do.

(APPLAUSE)

It wasn’t the only big thing that happened that spring my first year as governor. We found out we were going to be parents.

(APPLAUSE)

And time passed. On February 27th, 1980, 15 minutes after I got home from the National Governors Conference in Washington, Hillary’s water broke and off we went to the hospital. Chelsea was born just before midnight.

(APPLAUSE)

And it was the greatest moment of my life. The miracle of a new beginning. The hole it filled for me because my own father died before I was born, and the absolute conviction that my daughter had the best mother in the whole world.

(APPLAUSE)

For the next 17 years, through nursing school, Montessori, kindergarten, through T-ball, softball, soccer, volleyball and her passion for ballet, through sleepovers, summer camps, family vacations and Chelsea’s own very ambitious excursions, from Halloween parties in the neighborhood, to a Viennese waltz gala in the White House, Hillary first and foremost was a mother.

She became, as she often said, our family’s designated worrier, born with an extra responsibility gene. The truth is we rarely disagreed on parenting, although she did believe that I had gone a little over the top when I took a couple of days off with Chelsea to watch all six “Police Academy” movies back-to-back.

(LAUGHTER)

When Chelsea was 9 months old, I was defeated for reelection in the Reagan landslide. And I became overnight, I think, the youngest former governor in the history of the country. We only had two-year terms back then.

Hillary was great. Immediately she said, OK, what are we going to do? Here’s what we’re going to do, we’re going to get a house, you’re going to get a job, we’re going to enjoy being Chelsea’s parents. And if you really want to run again, you’ve got to go out and talk to people and figure out why you lost, tell people you got the message and show them you’ve still got good ideas.

I followed her advice. Within two days we had a house, I soon had a job. We had two fabulous years with Chelsea. And in 1982, I became the first governor in the history of our state to be elected, defeated and elected again.

(APPLAUSE)

I think my experience is it’s a pretty good thing to follow her advice. The rest of the decade sort of flew by as our lives settled into a rhythm of family and work and friends.

In 1983, Hillary chaired a committee to recommend new education standards for us as a part of and in response to a court order to equalize school funding and a report by a national expert that said our woefully underfunded schools were the worst in America.

Typical Hillary, she held listening tours in all 75 counties with our committee. She came up with really ambitious recommendations. For example, that we be the first state in America to require elementary counselors in every school because so many kids were having trouble at home and they needed it.

(APPLAUSE)

So I called the legislature into session hoping to pass the standards, pass a pay raise for teachers and raise the sales tax to pay for it all. I knew it would be hard to pass, but it got easier after Hillary testified before the education committee and the chairman, a plainspoken farmer, said looks to me like we elected the wrong Clinton.

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

Well, by the time I ran for president nine years later, the same expert who said that we had the worst schools in America said that our state was one of the two most improved states in America. And that’s because of those standards that Hillary developed.

(APPLAUSE) Now, two years later, Hillary told me about a preschool program developed in Israel called HIPPY, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters. The idea was to teach low-income parents, even those that couldn’t read, to be their children’s first teachers.

She said she thought it would work in Arkansas. I said that’s great, what are we going to do about it? She said, oh, I already did it. I called the woman who started the program in Israel, she’ll be here in about 10 days and help us get started.

Next thing you know I’m being dragged around to all these little preschool graduations. Now, keep in mind, this was before any state even had universal kindergarten and I’m being dragged to preschool graduations watching these poor parents with tears in their eyes because they never thought they’d be able to help their kids learn.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, 20 years of research has shown how well this program works to improve readiness for school and academic achievement. There are a lot of young adults in America who have no idea Hillary had anything to do with it who are enjoying better lives because they were in that program.

CLINTON: She did all this while being a full-time worker, a mother and enjoying our life. Why? Well, she’s insatiably curious, she’s a natural leader, she’s a good organizer, and she’s the best darn change-maker I ever met in my entire life.

(APPLAUSE)

Look, this is a really important point. This is a really important point for you to take out of this convention. If you believe in making change from the bottom up, if you believe the measure of change is how many people’s lives are better, you know it’s hard and some people think it’s boring. Speeches like this are fun.

(LAUGHTER)

Actually doing the work is hard. So people say, well, we need to change. She’s been around a long time, she sure has, and she’s sure been worth every single year she’s put into making people’s lives better.

(APPLAUSE)

I can tell you this. If you were sitting where I’m sitting and you heard what I have heard at every dinner conversation, every lunch conversation, on every lone walk, you would say this woman has never been satisfied with the status quo in anything. She always wants to move the ball forward. That is just who she is.

(APPLAUSE)

When I became president with a commitment to reform health care, Hillary was a natural to head the health care task force. You all know we failed because we couldn’t break a Senate filibuster. Hillary immediately went to work on solving the problems the bill sought to address one by one. The most important goal was to get more children with health insurance.

(APPLAUSE)

In 1997, Congress passed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, still an important part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. It insures more than 8 million kids. There are a lot of other things in that bill that she got done piece by piece, pushing that rock up the hill.

In 1997, she also teamed with the House Minority Leader Tom DeLay, who maybe disliked me more than any of Newt Gingrich’s crowd. They worked on a bill together to increase adoptions of children under foster care. She wanted to do it because she knew that Tom DeLay, for all of our differences, was an adoptive parent and she honored him for doing that.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, the bill they worked on, which passed with an overwhelming bipartisan majority, led to a big increase in the adoption of children out of foster care, including non-infant kids and special-needs kids. It made life better because she’s a change-maker, that’s what she does.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, when you’re doing all this, real life doesn’t stop. 1997 was the year Chelsea finished high school and went to college. We were happy for her, but sad for us to see her go. I’ll never forget moving her into her dorm room at Stanford. It would have been a great little reality flick. There I was in a trance just staring out the window trying not to cry, and there was Hillary on her hands and knees desperately looking for one more drawer to put that liner paper in.

(LAUGHTER)

Finally, Chelsea took charge and told us ever so gently that it was time for us to go. So we closed a big chapter in the most important work of our lives. As you’ll see Thursday night when Chelsea speaks, Hillary’s done a pretty fine job of being a mother.

(APPLAUSE)

And as you saw last night, beyond a shadow of a doubt so has Michelle Obama.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, fast forward. In 1999, Congressman Charlie Rangel and other New York Democrats urged Hillary…

(APPLAUSE)

…urged Hillary to run for the seat of retiring Senator Pat Moynihan. We had always intended to go to New York after I left office and commute to Arkansas, but this had never occurred to either one of us. Hillary had never run for office before, but she decided to give it a try.

She began her campaign the way she always does new things, by listening and and learning. And after a tough battle, New York elected her to the seat once held by another outsider, Robert Kennedy.

(APPLAUSE)

And she didn’t let him down. Her early years were dominated by 9/11, by working to fund the recovery, then monitoring the health and providing compensation to victims and first and second responders. She and Senator Schumer were tireless and so were our House members.

In 2003, partly spurred on by what we were going through, she became the first senator in the history of New York ever to serve on the Armed Services Committee.

(APPLAUSE)

So she tried to make sure people on the battlefield had proper equipment. She tried to expand and did expand health care coverage to Reservists and members of the National Guard. She got longer family leave, working with Senator Dodd, for people caring for wounded service members.

And she worked for more extensive care for people with traumatic brain injury. She also served on a special Pentagon commission to propose changes necessary to meet our new security challenges. Newt Gingrich was on that commission, he told me what a good job she had done.

(APPLAUSE)

I say that because nobody who has seriously dealt with the men and women in today’s military believes they are a disaster. They are a national treasure of all races, all religions, all walks of life.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, meanwhile, she compiled a really solid record, totally progressive on economic and social issues. She voted for and against some proposed trade deals. She became the de facto economic development officer for the area of New York outside the ambit of New York City.

She worked for farmers, for winemakers, for small businesses and manufacturers, for upstate cities in rural areas who needed more ideas and more new investment to create good jobs, something we have to do again in small-town and rural America, in neighborhoods that have been left behind in our cities and Indian country and, yes, in coal country.

(APPLAUSE)

When she lost a hard-fought contest to President Obama in 2008, she worked for his election hard. But she hesitated to say yes when he asked her to join his Cabinet because she so loved being a senator from New York.

So like me, in a different context, he had to keep asking.

(LAUGHTER)

But as we all saw and heard from Madeleine Albright, it was worth the effort and worth the wait.

(APPLAUSE) As secretary of state, she worked hard to get strong sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. And in what The Wall Street Journal no less called a half-court shot at the buzzer, she got Russia and China to support them. Her team negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce nuclear weapons and reestablish inspections. And she got enough Republican support to get two-thirds of the Senate, the vote necessary to ratify the treaty.

(APPLAUSE)

She flew all night long from Cambodia to the Middle East to get a cease-fire that would avoid a full-out shooting war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza to protect the peace of the region.

She backed President Obama’s decision to go after Osama bin Laden.

(APPLAUSE)

She launched a team, this is really important today, she launched a team to fight back against terrorists online and built a new global counterterrorism effort.

We’ve got to win this battle in the mind field.

She put climate change at the center of our foreign policy.

(APPLAUSE)

She negotiated the first agreement ever — ever — where China and India officially committed to reduce their emissions. And as she had been doing since she went to Beijing in 1995 and said women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights…

(APPLAUSE)

she worked to empower women and girls around the world and to make the same exact declaration on behalf of the LGBT community in America and around the world.

(APPLAUSE)

And nobody ever talks about this much, nobody ever talks about this much, but it’s important to me. She tripled the number of people with AIDS in poor countries whose lives are being saved with your tax dollars, most of them in Africa, going from 1.7 million lives to 5.1 million lives and it didn’t cost you any more money. She just bought available FDA-approved generic drugs, something we need to do for the American people more.

(APPLAUSE)

Now, you don’t know any of these people. You don’t know any of those 3.4 million people, but I’ll guarantee you they know you. They know you because they see you as thinking their lives matter. They know you and that’s one reason the approval of the United States was 20 points higher when she left the secretary of state’s office than when she took it.

(APPLAUSE)

Hillary Clinton, after giving her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, with husband, President Bill Clinton © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Hillary Clinton, after giving her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention, with husband, President Bill Clinton © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

CLINTON: Now, how does this square? How did this square with the things that you heard at the Republican convention? What’s the difference in what I told you and what they said? How do you square it? You can’t. One is real, the other is made up.

You just have to decide. You just have to decide which is which, my fellow Americans.

The real one had done more positive change-making before she was 30 than many public officials do in a lifetime in office.

(APPLAUSE)

The real one, if you saw her friend Betsy Ebeling vote for Illinois today…

(APPLAUSE)

…has friends from childhood through Arkansas, where she has not lived in more than 20 years, who have gone all across America at their own expense to fight for the person they know.

(APPLAUSE)

The real one has earned the loyalty, the respect and the fervent support of people who have worked with her in every stage of her life, including leaders around the world who know her to be able, straightforward and completely trustworthy.

The real one calls you when you’re sick, when your kid’s in trouble or when there’s a death in the family.

The real one repeatedly drew praise from prominent Republicans when she was a senator and secretary of state.

(APPLAUSE)

So what’s up with it? Well, if you win elections on the theory that government is always bad and will mess up a two-car parade…

(LAUGHTER)

a real change-maker represents a real threat.

(APPLAUSE)

So your only option is to create a cartoon, a cartoon alternative, then run against the cartoon. Cartoons are two- dimensional, they’re easy to absorb. Life in the real world is complicated and real change is hard. And a lot of people even think it’s boring.

(APPLAUSE)

Good for you, because earlier today you nominated the real one.

(APPLAUSE)

Listen, we’ve got to get back on schedule. You guys calm down.

Look, I’ve had a long, full, blessed life, it really took off when I met and fell in love with that girl in the spring of 1971. When I was president, I worked hard to give you more peace and shared prosperity, to give you an America where nobody is invisible or counted out.

(APPLAUSE)

But for this time, Hillary is uniquely qualified to seize the opportunities and reduce the risks we face. And she is still the best darn change-maker I have ever known.

(APPLAUSE)

You could drop her into any trouble spot, pick one, come back in a month and somehow, some way she will have made it better. That is just who she is.

(APPLAUSE)

There are clear, achievable, affordable responses to our challenges. But we won’t get to them if America makes the wrong choice in this election. That’s why you should elect her. And you should elect her because she’ll never quit when the going gets tough. She’ll never quit on you.

She sent me in this primary to West Virginia where she knew we were going to lose, to look those coal miners in the eye and say I’m down here because Hillary sent me to tell you that if you really think you can get the economy back you had 50 years ago, have at it, vote for whoever you want to. But if she wins, she is coming back for you to take you along on the ride to America’s future.

(APPLAUSE)

And so I say to you, if you love this country, you’re working hard, you’re paying taxes and you’re obeying the law and you’d like to become a citizen, you should choose immigration reform over somebody that wants to send you back.

(APPLAUSE) If you’re a Muslim and you love America and freedom and you hate terror, stay here and help us win and make a future together. We want you.

(APPLAUSE)

If you’re a young African American disillusioned and afraid, we saw in Dallas how great our police officers can be, help us build a future where nobody is afraid to walk outside, including the people that wear blue to protect our future.

(APPLAUSE)

Hillary will make us stronger together. You know it because she’s spent a lifetime doing it. I hope you will do it. I hope you will elect her. Those of us who have more yesterdays than tomorrows tend to care more about our children and grandchildren. The reason you should elect her is that in the greatest country on earth we have always been about tomorrow. You children and grandchildren will bless you forever if you do.

God bless you. Thank you.

First Lady Michelle Obama to DNC: ‘I want a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise’

First Lady Michelle Obama tells the Democratic National Convention “don't let anyone ever tell you that this country isn't great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
First Lady Michelle Obama tells the Democratic National Convention “don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the first night the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25, 2016. Here is a highlighted transcript: 

Thank you all. Thank you so much. You know, it’s hard to believe that it has been eight years since I first came to this convention to talk with you about why I thought my husband should be president.

Remember how I told you about his character and convictions, his decency and his grace, the traits that we’ve seen every day that he’s served our country in the White House?

I also told you about our daughters, how they are the heart of our hearts, the center of our world. And during our time in the White House, we’ve had the joy of watching them grow from bubbly little girls into poised young women, a journey that started soon after we arrived in Washington.

When they set off for their first day at their new school, I will never forget that winter morning as I watched our girls, just 7 and 10 years old, pile into those black SUVs with all those big men with guns.

And I saw their little faces pressed up against the window, and the only thing I could think was, what have we done?

See, because at that moment I realized that our time in the White House would form the foundation for who they would become and how well we managed this experience could truly make or break them. That is what Barack and I think about every day as we try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith.

How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country.

How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level. No, our motto is, when they go low, we go high.

With every word we utter, with every action we take, we know our kids are watching us. We as parents are their most important role models. And let me tell you, Barack and I take that same approach to our jobs as president and first lady because we know that our words and actions matter, not just to our girls, but the children across this country, kids who tell us I saw you on TV, I wrote a report on you for school.

Kids like the little black boy who looked up at my husband, his eyes wide with hope and he wondered, is my hair like yours?

And make no mistake about it, this November when we go to the polls that is what we’re deciding, not Democrat or Republican, not left or right. No, in this election and every election is about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives.

First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
First Lady Michelle Obama addresses the Democratic National Convention © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

And I am here tonight because in this election there is only one person who I trust with that responsibility, only one person who I believe is truly qualified to be president of the United States, and that is our friend Hillary Clinton.

That’s right.

See, I trust Hillary to lead this country because I’ve seen her lifelong devotion to our nation’s children, not just her own daughter, who she has raised to perfection…

…but every child who needs a champion, kids who take the long way to school to avoid the gangs, kids who wonder how they’ll ever afford college, kids whose parents don’t speak a word of English, but dream of a better life, kids who look to us to determine who and what they can be.

You see, Hillary has spent decades doing the relentless, thankless work to actually make a difference in their lives… 

advocating for kids with disabilities as a young lawyer, fighting for children’s health care as first lady, and for quality child care in the Senate.

And when she didn’t win the nomination eight years ago, she didn’t get angry or disillusioned.

Hillary did not pack up and go home, because as a true public servant Hillary knows that this is so much bigger than her own desires and disappointments.

So she proudly stepped up to serve our country once again as secretary of state, traveling the globe to keep our kids safe.

And look, there were plenty of moments when Hillary could have decided that this work was too hard, that the price of public service was too high, that she was tired of being picked apart for how she looks or how she talks or even how she laughs. But here’s the thing. What I admire most about Hillary is that she never buckles under pressure. She never takes the easy way out. And Hillary Clinton has never quit on anything in her life.

And when I think about the kind of president that I want for my girls and all our children, that’s what I want.

I want someone with the proven strength to persevere, someone who knows this job and takes it seriously, someone who understands that the issues a president faces are not black and white and cannot be boiled down to 140 characters.

Because when you have the nuclear codes at your fingertips and the military in your command, you can’t make snap decisions. You can’t have a thin skin or a tendency to lash out. You need to be steady and measured and well-informed.

I want a president with a record of public service, someone whose life’s work shows our children that we don’t chase form and fortune for ourselves, we fight to give everyone a chance to succeed.

And we give back even when we’re struggling ourselves because we know that there is always someone worse off. And there but for the grace of God go I.

I want a president who will teach our children that everyone in this country matters, a president who truly believes in the vision that our Founders put forth all those years ago that we are all created equal, each a beloved part of the great American story.

And when crisis hits, we don’t turn against each other. No, we listen to each other, we lean on each other, because we are always stronger together.

And I am here tonight because I know that that is the kind of president that Hillary Clinton will be. And that’s why in this election I’m with her.

You see, Hillary understands that the president is about one thing and one thing only, it’s about leaving something better for our kids. That’s how we’ve always moved this country forward, by all of us coming together on behalf of our children, folks who volunteer to coach that team, to teach that Sunday school class, because they know it takes a village.

Heroes of every color and creed who wear the uniform and risk their lives to keep passing down those blessings of liberty, police officers and the protesters in Dallas who all desperately want to keep our children safe.

People who lined up in Orlando to donate blood because it could have been their son, their daughter in that club.

Leaders like Tim Kaine…

…who show our kids what decency and devotion look like.

Leaders like Hillary Clinton who has the guts and the grace to keep coming back and putting those cracks in that highest and hardest glass ceiling until she finally breaks through, lifting all of us along with her.

That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves.

And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.

And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States.

So, look, so don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again. Because this right now is the greatest country on earth!

And as my daughters prepare to set out into the world, I want a leader who is worthy of that truth, a leader who is worthy of my girls’ promise and all our kids’ promise, a leader who will be guided every day by the love and hope and impossibly big dreams that we all have for our children.

So in this election, we cannot sit back and hope that everything works out for the best. We cannot afford to be tired or frustrated or cynical. No, hear me. Between now and November, we need to do what we did eight years ago and four years ago.

We need to knock on every door, we need to get out every vote, we need to pour every last ounce of our passion and our strength and our love for this country into electing Hillary Clinton as president of the United States of America!

So let’s get to work. Thank you all and God bless.

 

Bernie Sanders in address to DNC: ‘Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States’

Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) in address to DNC: ‘Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.’© 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) in address to DNC: ‘Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.’© 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton’s strongest rival for the Democratic nomination, addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Monday, July 25, 2016, giving an enthusiastic endorsement to electing Clinton president. Here is a highlighted transcript.

Let me begin by thanking the hundreds of thousands of Americans who actively participated in our campaign as volunteers. Let me thank the 2 1/2 million Americans who helped fund our campaign with an unprecedented 8 million individual campaign contributions – averaging $27 a piece. Let me thank the 13 million Americans who voted for the political revolution, giving us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight – 46 percent of the total. And delegates: Thank you for being here, and for all the work you’ve done. I look forward to your votes during the roll call on Tuesday night.

And let me offer a special thanks to the people of my own state of Vermont who have sustained me and supported me as a mayor, congressman, senator and presidential candidate. And to my family – my wife Jane, four kids and seven grandchildren -thank you very much for your love and hard work on this campaign.

I understand that many people here in this convention hall and around the country are disappointed about the final results of the nominating process. I think it’s fair to say that no one is more disappointed than I am. But to all of our supporters – here and around the country – I hope you take enormous pride in the historical accomplishments we have achieved.

Together, my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America and that revolution – our revolution – continues. Election days come and go. But the struggle of the people to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1 percent – a government based on the principles of economic, social, racial and environmental justice – that struggle continues. And I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.

Let me be as clear as I can be. This election is not about, and has never been about, Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates who sought the presidency. This election is not about political gossip. It’s not about polls. It’s not about campaign strategy. It’s not about fundraising. It’s not about all the things the media spends so much time discussing.

This election is about – and must be about – the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and grandchildren.

This election is about ending the 40-year decline of our middle class the reality that 47 million men, women and children live in poverty. It is about understanding that if we do not transform our economy, our younger generation will likely have a lower standard of living then their parents.

This election is about ending the grotesque level of income and wealth inequality that we currently experience, the worst it has been since 1928. It is not moral, not acceptable and not sustainable that the top one-tenth of one percent now own almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent, or that the top 1 percent in recent years has earned 85 percent of all new income. That is unacceptable. That must change.

This election is about remembering where we were 7 1/2 years ago when President Obama came into office after eight years of Republican trickle-down economics.

The Republicans want us to forget that as a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, our economy was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Some 800,000 people a month were losing their jobs. We were running up a record-breaking deficit of $1.4 trillion and the world’s financial system was on the verge of collapse.

We have come a long way in the last 7 1/2 years, and I thank President Obama and Vice President Biden for their leadership in pulling us out of that terrible recession.

Yes, we have made progress, but I think we can all agree that much, much more needs to be done.

This election is about which candidate understands the real problems facing this country and has offered real solutions – not just bombast, fear-mongering, name-calling and divisiveness.

We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor. We need leadership which brings our people together and makes us stronger – not leadership which insults Latinos, Muslims, women, African-Americans and veterans – and divides us up.

By these measures, any objective observer will conclude that – based on her ideas and her leadership – Hillary Clinton must become the next president of the United States. The choice is not even close.

This election is about a single mom I saw in Nevada who, with tears in her eyes, told me that she was scared to death about the future because she and her young daughter were not making it on the $10.45 an hour she was earning. This election is about that woman and the millions of other workers in this country who are struggling to survive on totally inadequate wages.

Hillary Clinton understands that if someone in America works 40 hours a week, that person should not be living in poverty. She understands that we must raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And she is determined to create millions of new jobs by rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure – our roads, bridges, water systems and wastewater plants.

But her opponent – Donald Trump – well, he has a very different view. He does not support raising the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour – a starvation wage. While Donald Trump believes in huge tax breaks for billionaires, he believes that states should actually have the right to lower the minimum wage below $7.25. What an outrage!

This election is about overturning Citizens United, one of the worst Supreme Court decisions in the history of our country. That decision allows the wealthiest people in America, like the billionaire Koch brothers, to spend hundreds of millions of dollars buying elections and, in the process, undermine American democracy.

Hillary Clinton will nominate justices to the Supreme Court who are prepared to overturn Citizens United and end the movement toward oligarchy in this country. Her Supreme Court appointments will also defend a woman’s right to choose, workers’ rights, the rights of the LGBT community, the needs of minorities and immigrants and the government’s ability to protect the environment.

If you don’t believe this election is important, if you think you can sit it out, take a moment to think about the Supreme Court justices that Donald Trump would nominate and what that would mean to civil liberties, equal rights and the future of our country.

This election is about the thousands of young people I have met who have left college deeply in debt, and the many others who cannot afford to go to college. During the primary campaign, Secretary Clinton and I both focused on this issue but with different approaches. Recently, however, we have come together on a proposal that will revolutionize higher education in America. It will guarantee that the children of any family this country with an annual income of $125,000 a year or less – 83 percent of our population – will be able to go to a public college or university tuition free. That proposal also substantially reduces student debt.

This election is about climate change, the greatest environmental crisis facing our planet, and the need to leave this world in a way that is healthy and habitable for our kids and future generations. Hillary Clinton is listening to the scientists who tell us that – unless we act boldly and transform our energy system in the very near future – there will be more drought, more floods, more acidification of the oceans, more rising sea levels. She understands that when we do that we can create hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs.

Donald Trump? Well, like most Republicans, he chooses to reject science. He believes that climate change is a “hoax,” no need to address it. Hillary Clinton understands that a president’s job is to worry about future generations, not the short-term profits of the fossil fuel industry.

This campaign is about moving the United States toward universal health care and reducing the number of people who are uninsured or under-insured. Hillary Clinton wants to see that all Americans have the right to choose a public option in their health care exchange. She believes that anyone 55 years or older should be able to opt in to Medicare and she wants to see millions more Americans gain access to primary health care, dental care, mental health counseling and low-cost prescription drugs through a major expansion of community health centers.

And What is Donald Trump’s position on health care? No surprise there. Same old, same old Republican contempt for working families. He wants to abolish the Affordable Care Act, throw 20 million people off of the health insurance they currently have and cut Medicaid for lower-income Americans.

Hillary Clinton also understands that millions of seniors, disabled vets and others are struggling with the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs and the fact that Americans pay the highest prices in the world for their medicine. She knows that Medicare must negotiate drug prices with the pharmaceutical industry and that drug companies should not be making billions in profits while one in five Americans are unable to afford the medicine they need. The greed of the drug companies must end.

This election is about the leadership we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform and repair a broken criminal justice system. It’s about making sure that young people in this country are in good schools and at good jobs, not in jail cells. Hillary Clinton understands that we have to invest in education and jobs for our young people, not more jails or incarceration.

In these stressful times for our country, this election must be about bringing our people together, not dividing us up. While Donald Trump is busy insulting one group after another, Hillary Clinton understands that our diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Yes. We become stronger when black and white, Latino, Asian-American, Native American – all of us – stand together. Yes. We become stronger when men and women, young and old, gay and straight, native born and immigrant fight to create the kind of country we all know we can become.

It is no secret that Hillary Clinton and I disagree on a number of issues. That’s what this campaign has been about. That’s what democracy is about. But I am happy to tell you that at the Democratic Platform Committee there was a significant coming together between the two campaigns and we produced, by far, the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party. Among many other strong provisions, the Democratic Party now calls for breaking up the major financial institutions on Wall Street and the passage of a 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act. It also calls for strong opposition to job-killing free trade agreements like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Our job now is to see that platform implemented by a Democratic Senate, a Democratic House and a Hillary Clinton presidency – and I am going to do everything I can to make that happen.

I have known Hillary Clinton for 25 years. I remember her as a great first lady who broke precedent in terms of the role that a first lady was supposed to play as she helped lead the fight for universal health care. I served with her in the United States Senate and know her as a fierce advocate for the rights of children.

Hillary Clinton will make an outstanding president and I am proud to stand with her here tonight.

Warren tells DNC: ‘This choice is personal. It’s about who we are as a people. It’s about what kind of country we want to be’

US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tells the Democratic National Convention “If you believe that America must work for all of us, not just the rich and powerful, if you believe we must reject the politics of fear and division, if you believe we are stronger together, then let's work our hearts out to make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States!”  © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) tells the Democratic National Convention “If you believe that America must work for all of us, not just the rich and powerful, if you believe we must reject the politics of fear and division, if you believe we are stronger together, then let’s work our hearts out to make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States!” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

US Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) addressed the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on July 25, 2016. Here is a highlighted transcript:

Thank you, Joe, and thank you to Massachusetts for the great honor of serving as your Senator. Wow! What a night. Michelle Obama. Cory Booker. And we still have Bernie coming up. Bernie reminds us what Democrats fight for every day! Thank you, Bernie!

We are here tonight because America faces a choice, the choice of a new president.

On one side is a man who inherited a fortune from his father and kept it going by cheating people and skipping out on debts. A man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone. A man who cares only for himself — every minute of every day.

On the other side is one of the smartest, toughest, most tenacious people on the planet — a woman who fights for children, for women, for health care, for human rights, a woman who fights for all of us, and who is strong enough to win those fights.

We’re here today because our choice is Hillary Clinton! I’m with Hillary!

For me, this choice is personal. It’s about who we are as a people. It’s about what kind of country we want to be.

I grew up in Oklahoma. My daddy ended up as a maintenance man, and my mom worked for minimum wage at Sears. My three brothers served in the military. The oldest was career, 288 combat missions in Vietnam. The second worked construction. The third started his own business. Me? I got married at 19 and graduated from a commuter college in Texas that cost $50 a semester. The way I see it, I’m a janitor’s daughter who became a public school teacher, a professor, and a United States Senator. America is truly a country of opportunity!

I’m deeply grateful to that America. I believe in that America. But I’m worried. Worried that my story is locked in the past. Worried that opportunity is slipping away for people who work hard and play by the rules.

Look around. Americans bust their tails, some working two or three jobs, but wages stay flat. Meanwhile, the basic costs of making it from month to month keep going up. Housing, health care, child care — costs are out of sight. Young people are getting crushed by student loans. Working people are in debt. Seniors can’t stretch a Social Security check to cover the basics.

And even families who are OK today worry that it could all fall apart tomorrow. This. Is. Not. Right!

Here’s the thing: America isn’t going broke. The stock market is breaking records. Corporate profits are at all-time highs. CEOs make tens of millions of dollars. There’s lots of wealth in America, but it isn’t trickling down to hard-working families like yours. 

Does anyone here have a problem with that? Well, I do too.

People get it: the system is rigged.

So-called experts claim America is in trouble because both political parties in Washington refuse to compromise. Gridlock!

That is just flat wrong. Washington works great for those at the top.

When giant companies wanted more tax loopholes, Washington got it done. When huge energy companies wanted to tear up our environment, Washington got it done. When enormous Wall Street banks wanted new regulatory loopholes, Washington got it done. No gridlock there! 

But try to do something, anything, for working people, and you’ll have a fight on your hands.

Democrats have taken on those fights. Democrats fought to get health insurance for more Americans. Democrats fought for a strong consumer agency so big banks can’t cheat people. We fought, we won, and we improved the lives of millions of people — thank you, President Obama! 

Yes, we won, but Republicans and lobbyists battled us every step of the way. Five years later, that consumer agency has returned $11 billion to families who were cheated. And Republicans? They’re still trying to kill it.

I’m not someone who thinks Republicans are always wrong and Democrats are always right. There’s enough blame to go around. But there is a huge difference between the people fighting for a level playing field, and the people keeping the system rigged. 

Look at Congress since the Republicans took over. Democrats proposed refinancing student loans. And Republicans? They said no! Democrats proposed ending tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas. And Republicans? They said no! Democrats proposed raising the minimum wage. And Republicans? They said no!

To every Republican in Congress who said no: this November, the American people are coming for you!

And where was Donald Trump? In all these fights, not once did he lift a finger to help working people. Why would he? His whole life has been about taking advantage of that rigged system. Time after time he preyed on working people, people in debt, people who had fallen on hard times. He’s conned them, he’s defrauded them, and he’s ripped them off.

Look at his history. Donald Trump said he was “excited” for the 2008 housing crash that devastated millions of American families because he thought it would help him scoop up more real estate on the cheap. Donald Trump set up a fake university to make money while cheating people and taking their life savings. 

Donald Trump goes on, and on, and on, about being a successful businessman, but he filed business bankruptcies six times, always to protect his own money and stick his investors and contractors with the bill. Donald Trump hired plumbers and painters and construction workers to do hard labor for his businesses, then told them to take only a fraction of what he owed or fight his lawyers in court for years.

What kind of a man acts like this? What kind of a man roots for the economic crash that cost millions of people their jobs? Their homes? Their life savings? What kind of a man cheats students, cheats investors, cheats workers?

I’ll tell you what kind of man. A man who must NEVER be President of the United States! And we’ve got the leaders to make it happen: Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!

Donald Trump knows that the American people are angry — a fact so obvious he can see it from the top of Trump Tower. So now he’s insisting that he, and he alone, can fix the rigged system.

Last week Donald Trump spoke for more than an hour on the biggest stage he’s ever had. But other than talking about building a stupid wall, which will NEVER get built, really, did you hear any actual ideas? Did you hear even one solid proposal from Trump for increasing incomes, or improving your kids’ education, or creating even one single good-paying job?

Donald Trump has no real plans for jobs or for college kids or for seniors, no plans to make ANYTHING great for ANYONE except rich guys like Donald Trump. Just look at his ideas. Donald Trump wants to get rid of the federal minimum wage. Donald Trump wants to roll back financial regulations and turn Wall Street loose to wreck our economy again.

And Donald Trump has a tax plan to give multi-millionaires and billionaires like himself an average tax cut of $1.3 million –– a year. You’re struggling to put your kids through college, and Donald Trump thinks HE needs a million-dollar tax break!

Trump’s entire campaign is just one more late-night Trump infomercial. Hand over your money, your jobs, your children’s future, and The ­­­­­­Great Trump Hot Air Machine will reveal all the answers. And, for one low, low price, he’ll even throw in a goofy hat.

And here’s the really ugly underside to his pitch. Trump thinks he can win votes by fanning the flames of fear and hatred. By turning neighbor against neighbor. By persuading you that the real problem in America is your fellow Americans — people who don’t look like you, or don’t talk like you, or don’t worship like you. He even picked a vice president famous for trying to make it legal to openly discriminate against gays and lesbians.

That’s Donald Trump’s America. An America of fear and hate. An America where we all break apart. Whites against blacks and Latinos. Christians against Muslims and Jews. Straight against gay. Everyone against immigrants. Race, religion, heritage, gender, the more factions the better.

But ask yourself this. When white workers in Ohio are pitted against black workers in North Carolina, or Latino workers in Florida, who really benefits?

“Divide and Conquer” is an old story in America. Dr. Martin Luther King knew it. After his march from Selma to Montgomery, he spoke of how segregation was created to keep people divided. Instead of higher wages for workers, Dr. King described how poor whites in the South were fed Jim Crow, which told a poor white worker that, “No matter how bad off he was, at least he was a white man, better than the black man.” Racial hatred was part of keeping the powerful on top.

And now Trump and his campaign have embraced it all. Racial hatred. Religious bigotry. Attacks on immigrants, on women, on gays. A deceitful and ugly blame game that says, whatever worries you, the answer is to blame that other group, and don’t put any energy into making real change.

When we turn on each other, bankers can run our economy for Wall Street, oil companies can fight off clean energy, and giant corporations can ship the last good jobs overseas.

When we turn on each other, rich guys like Trump can push through more tax breaks for themselves and then we’ll never have enough money to support our schools, or rebuild our highways, or invest in our kids’ future.

When we turn on each other, we can’t unite to fight back against a rigged system.

Well, I’ve got news for Donald Trump. The American people are not falling for it! We’ve seen this ugliness before, and we’re not going to be Donald Trump’s hate-filled America. Not now, not ever!

I come to you as the daughter of a janitor, a daughter who believes in an America of opportunity. The hand of history is on our shoulders. We know how to build a future, a future that works not just for some of our children, but for all of our children. We know, and we must have the courage to make it happen.

This is about our values, our shared values with our candidates Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine!

We believe that no matter who you are, no matter where you’re from, no matter who you love, equal means equal. Hillary will fight to make sure discrimination has no place in America. And we’re with her!

We believe that no one, no one, who works full time should live in poverty. Hillary will fight for raising the minimum wage, fair scheduling, paid family and medical leave! And we’re with her!

We believe every kid in America should have a chance for a great education without getting crushed by debt. Hillary will fight for refinancing student loans and debt-free college. And we’re with her!

We believe that after a lifetime of hard work, seniors should be able to retire with dignity. Hillary will fight to expand Social Security, strengthen Medicare, and protect retirement accounts. And we’re with her!

We believe that oil companies shouldn’t call the shots in Washington, that science matters, that climate change is real. Hillary will fight to preserve this earth for our children and grandchildren. And we’re with her!

We believe – and I can’t believe I have to say this in 2016 – in equal pay for equal work and a woman’s right to control over her own body! Hillary will fight for women. And we’re with her!

We believe we don’t need WEAKER rules on Wall Street, we need stronger rules, and when big banks get too risky, break ’em up. Hillary will fight to hold big banks accountable. And we’re with her!

We believe that the United States should never, never, sign trade deals that help giant corporations but leave working people in the dirt! Hillary will fight for American workers. And we’re with her!

And just one more. We believe we must get big money out of politics and root out corruption. Hillary will fight to overturn Citizens United and return this government to the people! And we’re with her!

If you believe that America must work for all of us, not just the rich and powerful, if you believe we must reject the politics of fear and division, if you believe we are stronger together, then let’s work our hearts out to make Hillary Clinton the next President of the United States!