Hillary for America Campaign Issues Alert to Be on Lookout for ‘Trump’s 7 Deadly Lies’ in Debate

Hillary for America campaign has issued 19 pages of Donald Trump’s lies, including the seven the Republican presidential candidate uses most often, as a guide to be used in the upcoming debate at Hofstra University, Long Island, on Monday, September 26 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Hillary for America campaign has issued 19 pages of Donald Trump’s lies, including the seven the Republican presidential candidate uses most often, as a guide to be used in the upcoming debate at Hofstra University, Long Island, on Monday, September 26 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

The Hillary for America campaign has issued 19 pages of Donald Trump’s lies, including the seven the Republican presidential candidate uses most often, as a guide to be used in the upcoming debate at Hofstra University, Long Island, on Monday, September 26.

The campaign is calling out the moderator, Lester Holt, of the first Presidential Election debate, as well as reporters and viewers to hold Trump to account.

For his part, Trump has warned the moderator will be “afraid” to attack Hillary Clinton and that if he is attacked, it is only proof that the system is “rigged” against him.

Expectations are so skewed that the fear is Trump only has to appear calm, even if ill-informed or shallow and lacking in any real understanding of policies, while Hillary Clinton has to be perfectly in command but also “attractive” and not too “studied” or scripted. In this, Hillary, a trail-blazer for women’s rights, will experience the same kind of gender-bias as when she became Arkansas’ First Lady and wanted to be known as Hillary Rodham, instead of Mrs. Clinton, and when in 1992, campaigning for her husband, Bill Clinton, she said she didn’t want to back cookies and stand by her man like Tammy Wynette.

A misplaced comma in a phrase could cost her the debate while the big question for Trump is whether he will be able to resist his verbal tick of calling her “Crooked” Hillary.

But Donald Trump’s, who has used his background as a Realty TV star as his strongest advantage in the campaign so far has won PolitiFact’s “Liar of the Year” award, after it rated 70 percent of his claims as “four Pinnochios” or “Pants on Fire.”

“Debates are about each candidate laying out their vision for America, not making things up. Donald Trump has shown a clear pattern of repeating provably false lies and hoping no one corrects him. Voters and viewers should keep track: any candidate who tells this many lies clearly can’t win the debate on the merits,” said HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.

The campaign issued a handy guide to  Trump’s Seven Deadly Lies

 1.  FALSE: Trump opposed the Iraq War.

Washington Post: Trump: “I was totally against the war in Iraq.” // Four Pinocchios.” 

As our timeline shows, Trump was not ‘totally’ against the Iraq War. Trump expressed lukewarm support the first time he was asked about it on Sept. 11, 2002, and was not clearly against it until he was quoted in the August 2004 Esquire cover story. (We even made a video documenting how this is a bogus claim.) Yet he repeatedly claims he opposed the war from the beginning — and thus, earns Four Pinocchios.”

  1. FALSE: Trump opposed intervention in Libya.

Factcheck.org: Donald Trump on Libya, May 20 interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:  I would have stayed out of Libya.” // False.

“Trump’s claim that he ‘would have stayed out of Libya’ doesn’t square with his comments at the time. In February 2011, Trump, referring to Gadhafi, said that the U.S. should go into Libya ‘on a humanitarian basis’ and ‘knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.’”

  1. FALSE: Clinton supports open borders.

PolitiFact: Trump says Clinton wants to create ‘totally open borders.’ // False

“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.”

  1. FALSE: Clinton wants to get rid of the Second Amendment.

ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment” // False.

“When Trump made this same claim earlier in the cycle, Politifact rated the claim false after finding no evidence of Clinton ever advocating for the abolishment of the Second Amendment… Bottom line: there’s no evidence to support Trump’s claim.

PolitiFact: “Donald Trump falsely claims Hillary Clinton ‘wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment,’” // False.

“We found no evidence of Clinton ever saying verbatim or suggesting explicitly that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, and the bulk of Clinton’s comments suggest the opposite. She has repeatedly said she wants to protect the right to bear arms while enacting measures to prevent gun violence.”

  1. FALSE: President Obama and Clinton founded ISIS.

Washington Post: “Is Obama the founder of ISIS?” // Absolutely not.

“Absolutely not. It’s like saying that Ronald Reagan is the founder of al-Qaeda because the arms he sent to the mujahideen in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion led to the creation of al-Qaeda. It’s a ludicrous claim.”

Washington Post: “Trump also claims Hillary Clinton was a “co-founder” of ISIS. Does that make sense?” // No.

“No. Within the administration, Clinton was one of the loudest forces for keeping a residual force in Iraq and for intervening in Syria, such as arming the rebels. So the criticism especially does not apply to her, since she advocated a more hawkish policy than was undertaken by Obama.”

  1. FALSE: Clinton would allow 620,000 refugees into the U.S. with no vetting.

Washington Post: Trump: “This includes her plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees from Syria and that region over a short period of time.” // This is an “invented figure.”

“Trump has used this number before, but it stems from the unverified assumption that Clinton, who has called for 55,000 additional refugees from Syria, would continue at that pace for every year of her first term, on top of the Obama administration’s proposal for 100,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017. Trump then multiplies 155,000 times four years to reach 620,000 refugees. Clinton has never proposed such a “plan,” so this is an invented figure.”

Washington Post: Trump: “Under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of the children and their children.” // “It’s false…”

“Trump has repeatedly made this “hundreds of thousands” claim, usually referring to Syria, but it’s false… Trump also falsely claims there is “no system to vet” refugees. The process actually takes two more years, after vetting that starts with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and then continues with checks by U.S. intelligence and security agencies.”

  1. FALSE: Trump will make Mexico pay for the wall.

NPR Fact Check: Trump: “And Mexico will pay for the wall. 100 percent.” // Mexican President “would not pay” for the wall.

“After his meeting with Donald Trump today, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated his insistence that Mexico would not pay for construction of a border wall. Peña Nieto said he made that clear to Trump during their meeting, although Trump told reporters that the issue of payment was not discussed. — Scott Horsley”

For the rest of the18 pages of Trump’s lies see The Briefing here.

“Our concern about Trump’s record of lying is what that means for how the debate unfolds and how viewers should judge,” Jennifer Palmieri said on a press call.

Trump should be expected to present his solutions – explain what his solutions are, demonstrate the knowledge and judgment. But so far, Trump has shown clear pattern of lying, expecting no one to correct them, she said.

“We have provided 19 pages of lies Trump has told during the campaign,” she said. Politifact has rated 70% of his claims as untrue; Factchecker gave him 47 ‘Four Pinnochios’ and rated 47 ‘Pants on Fire.’  He beat out all modern presidential candidates for fact checking – he was awarded the Lie of the Year and Trump was named the Liar of the Year.

“We think this warrants particular focus because his level of lying is unprecedented in American politics – reporters should keep this in mind,”

“Trump is a very unconventional, unusual, challenging candidate – recognize it’s true for press and moderators. It’s unprecedented in modern times to hold a conference to talk about special precautions because the opponent is a habitual liar, but we think it is necessary.

“When Trump has been chosen as Politifact’s Liar of the Year, for the moderator to let lies go unchallenged, gives Trump an unfair advantage. It is the role of moderator, particularly in this case, to call out those lies, and do so in real time.

“Clinton has a responsibility to defend herself –  her own record. But given the historic record of how much Trump lies, it can’t be only on her to call him out if the moderator isn’t willing to stand up and challenge lies. We’ve provided 19 pages of them for helpful reference, plus the 7 he uses most often. This is unusual, but  that’s the year we are in, that’s the campaign Trump is running, and it requires that kind of role for the moderator.”

Palmieri said that Trump would probably do what he could to “get under her skin,” but “good luck.  We’ve all seen her endure tough questions – 11 hours during the Benghazi hearings. Trump may think he will be the first to get under her skin, but I doubt it.”

As for expectations of how Trump might perform, We had a dry run during the Commander-in-Chief forum which demonstrated that Trump could control his demeanor, and the concern is that will be the sole criteria for handing him the “win” in the debate.

“But maintaining demeanor and not becoming unhinged is not the standard for being considered President of the United States.” What should be the standard is that you demonstrate that you understand problems, have solutions, that you can explain them, that you have adequate knowledge, judgment to do the job “and that’s certainly what she is coming to the debate to do, and that’s what voters should judge Trump on as well.”

How Trump behaves and whether or not he maintains a calm demeanor is up to him, and we think that is within his power – I wouldn’t describe that as what we are pending a lot of time on. A good deal of our prep is thinking through the argument she would put forward that she would do – it is a useful exercise at debate as well as what closing arguments for last few weeks of campaign will be as well.

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© 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

 

Five are Honored with Global Citizen Awards at Final Clinton Global Initiative

Jon Bon Jovi received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Philanthropy, honoring him for establishing Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need, “one SOUL at a time.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Jon Bon Jovi received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Philanthropy, honoring him for establishing Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need, “one SOUL at a time.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

The 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards, held during a special ceremony during the 12th and last Clinton Global Initiative to honor outstanding individuals for their exemplary leadership and groundbreaking work which has effected positive social change.

This year’s ceremony honored Jon Bon Jovi in recognition of the 10-year anniversary of the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation which focuses on the issues of affordable housing and hunger in the U.S. through community development initiatives. Bon Jovi also entertained.

Additional honorees include President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia for his commitment to establish peace in Colombia following a 50 year civil war; Dr. Hawa Abdi for her work to provide refuge, quality healthcare, education and entrepreneurship opportunities to all Somalis; Adi Godrej for transforming his family’s multinational company into a leader of social and environmental value creation; and Nadia Mura, a Yazidi woman captured and enslaved by ISIS, for the courage to tell her story and be a voice for the thousands of women and children who have been trafficked in situations of conflict.

Andrea Bocelli performed at the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards with the Voices of Haiti Choir © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Andrea Bocelli performed at the 10th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards with the Voices of Haiti Choir © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

In addition to Bon Jovi’s performance, there was a special appearance of Andrea Bocelli who performed with the Voices of Haiti Choir.

Presenters were themselves noteworthy humanitarians and activists: Sister Mary Scullion, executive director of Project HOME in Philadelphia, who presented the award to Jon Bon Jovi; Iman who presented the award to Dr. Doqo Mohamed who accepted on behalf of her mother, Dr. Hawa Abdi; Luis A. Moreno, President of the Inter-American Development Bank, who presented the award to President Santos; Advija Ibrahimovic, a survivor of the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1992, presented the award to Nadia Murad, and Hikmet Ersek President & CEO of The Western Union Company, presented the award to Adi Godrej.

Jon Bon Jovi, Leadership in Philanthropy 

Sister Mary Scullion, who heads Project HOME, focused on breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty, presented the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Philanthropy to  Jon Bon Jovi, saying, “He refused to let his fame and fortune shield him from the pain and suffering in society.

Jon Bon Jovi was honored at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards 2016
Jon Bon Jovi was honored at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards 2016

Ten years ago, he established the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing about positive change and helping the lives of those in need, “one SOUL at a time.” The Soul Foundation funds partnerships that address the issues of hunger and shelter, benefiting temporary shelters, transitional housing for teens, permanent supportive housing—including housing for veterans and special needs populations—as well as providing home ownership opportunities. In October 2011, the foundation opened the first JBJ Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, New Jersey to address issues of food insecurity. Staying true to Bon Jovi’s roots, the foundation aided in local recovery efforts in the days following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The following year, Bon Jovi donated $1 million to the Hurricane Sandy New Jersey Relief Fund.

Over the past 10 years, it has served over 1000 families, veterans and youth; served 55,000 meals at the Soul Kitchen in Red Bank, where millionaires sit at tables with homeless, paying what they can or if they don’t have the cash, volunteering their time. A second restaurant has opened in Toms River.

“It is testament to the fundamental dignity of every person, what our world can and should be: a place where everyone is served with dignity, given an opportunity to work, and create more just and welcoming society.”

Jon Bon Jovi performs at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards 2016
Jon Bon Jovi performs at the Clinton Global Citizen Awards 2016

Bon Jovi, who said he was inspired by Clinton, reflected, “In 2005, I saw a homeless person sleeping on a grate in front of City Hall. I realized homelessness could affect any one. Most people are just one catastrophe away from financial ruin.

“In 2008, I saw food insecurity. In the most powerful country in the world, 1 in 7 don’t have enough food, one in five children are food insecure. It’s a matter of access and opportunity, so when we started the restaurant, we had a pay-it-forward concept.

“This is the 10th anniversary of our foundation. I humbly accept this recognition on behalf of our staff, volunteers, and 55,000 supporters who have dined with us.”

“President Clinton is fond of saying, ‘There is nothing wrong with America that can’t be cured by what is right with America’.”

Nadia Murad, Leadership in Civil Society 

Advija Ibrahimovic, who presented the Global Citizen award to Nadia Murad, was herself a survivor of genocidal atrocity, orphaned when she was just 11 in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1992.

Advija Ibrahimovic, orphaned when she was 11 in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1992: “Everything can be taken from a person except freedom to decide what you will do with your heart and mind.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Advija Ibrahimovic, orphaned when she was 11 in the Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia in 1992: “Everything can be taken from a person except freedom to decide what you will do with your heart and mind.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“I was 11 when I lost both my parents  in the Bosnian genocide. Like Nadia, I experienced violence and deep loss. Everything can be taken from a person except freedom to decide what you will do with your heart and mind. She dedicated herself to raising awareness of these women.”

She shared the story of Nadia Murad, who was born and raised in the quiet agricultural village of Kocho, Iraq. A member of the Yazidi community, Nadia and her family lived a peaceful, happy life. On August 3, 2014 her village was attacked by ISIS, marking the beginning of its savage genocidal campaign against the Yazidi people. Six of her nine brothers were executed on the spot. In all, she lost 18 family members that day; in all, 1000 Yazidi men were massacred.

Nadia Murad, a survivor of ISIS terror, has dedicated herself to rescue the thousands of women and girls who have been trafficked in situations of conflict. Honored with a Clinton Global Citizen Award, she also has been named a UN Goodwill Ambassador. © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Nadia Murad, a survivor of ISIS terror, has dedicated herself to rescue the thousands of women and girls who have been trafficked in situations of conflict. Honored with a Clinton Global Citizen Award, she also has been named a UN Goodwill Ambassador. © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Murad, along with her two sisters and thousands of other men, women, and children were taken captive and subjected to unspeakable crimes. Murad was initially held hostage in a building with thousands of families. She witnessed young children given to ISIS soldiers as sexual “gifts.” She was raped and tortured on a daily basis. But after facing unimaginable brutality, she was able to escape.

Murad immigrated to Germany where she received medical attention and was reunited with other survivors. In total, she lost 18 family members. With the assistance of Yazda, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping Yazidi survivors and defending the rights of marginalized ethnic and religious minorities, Murad has been able to tell her story on the world stage, forcing world leaders to listen to the horrors of the ongoing genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. 

Just 23 years old now, Murad, a human rights activist, was named a UN Goodwill Ambassador on Friday and has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

Dr. Hawa Abdi,  Leadership in Civil Society

Iman presented the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in Civil Society to Dr. Hawa Abdi,  known as the Mother Theresa of Somalia, because of her life-saving work on behalf of Somalis displaced by war.

“She became a doctor, Somalia’s first female gynecologist, and opened a rural health clinic, organized on ancestral land. During the civil war, the government collapsed, famine was widespread, and she opened her land to refugees. By 2012, she was providing sanctuary for  90,000 displaced people.

She opened a 400 bed hospital, a school, organized a fishing and farming program and her land is the only source of fresh water in region.

Iman presents Dr. Deqo Mohamed with the Clinton Global Citizen Award for her mother, Dr. Hawa Abdi, the “Mother Theresa of Somalia”. © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Iman presents Dr. Deqo Mohamed with the Clinton Global Citizen Award for her mother, Dr. Hawa Abdi, the “Mother Theresa of Somalia”. © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“Today, Abdi continues to fight for the women, children, and elderly people of the Hawa Abdi Village. With the help of her daughters, Deqo and Amina, both of whom are doctors, Abdi continues to keep a candle of light lit for the people of the Afgooye Corridor.” Abdi has won numerous distinctions and awards, including the John Jay Justice Award, Vital Voices’ Women of the Year Award, and a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012.” 

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia, Leadership in Public Service 

“After 50 years of war, most people had never lived with peace – 6 million fled homes,” said Luis A. Moreno, current President of the Inter-American Development Bank, introducing President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia. “Today, we are on the threshold of concluding a historic agreement to bring a permanent end to the conflict.”

He said the seeds were sown when Moreno was serving as Colombia’s Ambassador to US when President Bill Clinton was in the White House, and credited Clinton’s “visionary aid program that allowed my country to achieve stability, attract investment, and set the conditions for peace. President Clinton made peace in Colombia his priority and brought Republicans and Democrats together.”

Clinton’s successors, George W. Bush and Barack Obama “followed Clinton’s example and supported” his policy.

Meanwhile, the Colombian President Santos put his presidency on the line during difficult negotiations with the FARC that dragged on for four long years.

“There were many setbacks but on August 24, the hope of millions was fulfilled when FARC and the government announced a final settlement. It is now up to the people, who will vote in plebiscite on Oct. 22.

“President Santos wanted a fully democratic process – a plebecite marks the beginning of a new, more complex chapter in our history. Every day, every Colombian will need to make personal decision – for lasting peace won’t be easy. Remembering is easy for those who have memory. Forgetting is hard for those who have heart.”

Convinced Colombia can be reunited together, write new chapter in history of beloved nation.

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for his courage ending a 50-year war © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia received the Clinton Global Citizen Award for his courage ending a 50-year war © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Accepting the award for Leadership in Public Service, President Santos said, “Peace is a right. It is in the constitution. To be a normal country, we had to stop war. I approached negotiations in a different way: Victims should be placed at the center of a solution – a human rights perspective was the key to success.

“One week from today, we will sign an agreement with FARC – 297 pages long, no detail was left out – and we will start to build a new history.

“War lasted three generations. It robbed us of compassion, the ability to feel suffering of others.

“I thank you in the name of 8 million victims of war over 50 years. The victims were most generous, willing to forgive – they don’t want others to suffer what we have.”

Juan Manuel Santos has been the president of the Republic of Colombia since 2010. Previously, President Santos was minister of defense, minister of finance, minister of foreign trade, designate to the presidency, and chief of the Colombian delegation before the International Coffee Organization. He created the Good Government Foundation (Fundación Buen Gobierno) and founded Colombia’s largest political party, Partido de la U. President Santos was awarded the King of Spain Prize and was president of the Freedom of Expression Commission for the Inter American Press Association. He has published several books, including “The Third Way,” co-written with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and “Check on Terror” (Jaque al Terror). President Santos is a graduate of the London School of Economics, Harvard University, and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. 

Adi Godrej, Leadership in the Private Sector 

Adi Godrej, Chairman of Godrej Group, Godrej Industries Limited, was presented with the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in the Private Sector by Hikmet Ersek President & CEO of The Western Union Company.

Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Group is his presented with the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in the Private Sector from Hikmet Ersek President & CEO of The Western Union Company © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Adi Godrej, chairman of Godrej Group is his presented with the Global Citizen Award for Leadership in the Private Sector from Hikmet Ersek President & CEO of The Western Union Company © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Godrej is the vanguard of green development, committed to alleviating poverty, preserving natural resources, and holding 24% of its revenues in a trust for philanthropic purpose, and a motto that “The business of business is goodness. Let’s make Goodness.”

“It’s important to remain a good company,” he said. “We have always actively supported social responsibility. 24% of the corporate funds is in trust that invests in environment and education.”

He said that the company has set three goals for 2020 – train 1 million youth in skills to enhance earnings, build a greener India, generate one-third of potential revenue in products that are environmentally sustainable.

Adi Godrej is chairman of the Godrej Group, a more than 100-year-old family conglomerate, with operations in India and several other countries. Godrej is chairman of the board of the Indian School of Business and former president of the Confederation of Indian Industry. He has been a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan School of Management and a member of the Wharton Asian Executive Board. Godrej is the recipient of several awards and recognitions, including the Rajiv Gandhi Award (2002), the American India Foundation Leadership in Philanthropy Award (2010), The Entrepreneur of the Year for the Asia Pacific Entrepreneurship Awards (2010), Chemexcil’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2010), AIMA-JRD Tata Corporate Leadership Award (2010), Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year (2012), Padma Bhushan (2012), and All India Management Association-Business Leader of the Year (2015). Godrej holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from MIT.

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© 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

 

Clinton Campaign Calls on Trump to Disclose Foreign Biz Ties, Divest from Trump Org, Release Tax Returns; Launches Webpage Comparing Candidates on Disclosure

The Hillary for America Campaign is calling on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to disclose his foreign business ties, which an investigative report published by Newsweek asserts, "Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States. If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale." © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The Hillary for America Campaign is calling on Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to disclose his foreign business ties, which an investigative report published by Newsweek asserts, “Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States. If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

On a press call led by HFA Chair John Podesta, Hillary for America called on Donald Trump to disclose all information related to his foreign investments and business dealings, divest his holdings in the Trump Organization to remove troubling conflicts of interest, and release his tax returns to meet the basic threshold for transparency. This week, Newsweek published a new bombshell report, “How The Trump Organization’s Foreign Business Ties Could Upend U.S. National Security.” The report offers a disturbing preview of the foreign entanglements that could influence Donald Trump, should voters make the grave mistake of electing him president. We now know that over the course of decades, The Trump Organization has been financially involved in more than a dozen countries on five continents — including Russia, Ukraine, Libya, Turkey, China, and Brazil. These new revelations also bring greater urgency to the need for Trump to release his tax returns, so the American people can see his sources of income, and what influences he might be subject to as president.

HFA also launched a new webpage, “Full Disclosure: Comparing the Two Candidates”, a one-stop shop to access each candidate’s financial records or lack thereof, medical information, professional correspondence – including emails – and other personal and professional records. Voters can compare Hillary Clinton’s sizable record of disclosure to that of Donald Trump, the least transparent candidate for president in modern history.

“We already knew that Donald Trump is the least transparent presidential candidate in modern history,” HFA Chair John Podesta said, “Now we’re learning that Trump is tied up in a web of personal and business relationships with countries that play key roles in our foreign policy decisions. Until Trump discloses his foreign business ties, divests from the Trump Organization, and releases his tax returns, there should be serious concern about who a President Trump would serve: the American people, or Trump’s bank account.”

In case you missed it, Newsweek’s upcoming cover story detailed a sample of the various foreign influences circling around Trump and the Trump Organization. Key excerpts, and the full story, can be found below:

The Newsweek article stated, “Never before has an American candidate for president had so many financial ties with American allies and enemies, and never before has a business posed such a threat to the United States. If Donald Trump wins this election and his company is not immediately shut down or forever severed from the Trump family, the foreign policy of the United States of America could well be for sale.”

ON TRUMP IN LIBYA: “But for the Trump Organization, Qaddafi was not a murdering terrorist; he was a prospect who might bring the company financing and the opportunity to build a resort on the Mediterranean coast of Libya.”

ON TRUMP IN TURKEY
: “In other words, Trump would be in direct financial and political conflict with Turkey from the moment he was sworn into office. Once again, all his dealings with Turkey would be suspect: Would Trump act in the interests of the United States or his wallet?”

ON TRUMP IN UKRAINE: “The potential financial conflicts here for a President Trump are enormous.”

ON TRUMP IN SOUTH KOREA: “This relationship puts Trump’s foreign policies in conflict with his financial interests…. One of the primary South Korean companies involved in nuclear energy, a key component in weapons development, is Trump’s partner—Daewoo Engineering and Construction. It would potentially get an economic windfall if the United States adopted policies advocated by Trump.”

ON TRUMP IN INDIA: “In India, the conflicts between the interests of the Trump Organization and American foreign policy are starker… No doubt, few Indian political groups hoping to establish close ties to a possible future American president could have missed the recent statements from the Trump family that its company wanted to do more deals in their country.”

ON TRUMP IN UAE: “With Middle Eastern business partners and American allies turning on him, Trump lashed out… Once again, Trump’s personal and financial interests are in conflict with critical national security issues for the United States.”

ON TRUMP IN AZERBAIJAN: “If American intelligence concludes, or has already concluded, that his business partner’s father has been aiding Iran by laundering money for the military, will Trump’s foreign policy decisions on Iran and Azerbaijan be based on the national security of the United States or the financial security of Donald Trump?”

NEWSWEEK: “The dealings of the Trump Organization reach into so many countries that it is impossible to detail all the conflicts they present in a single issue of this magazine, but a Newsweek examination of the company has also found deep connections in China, Brazil, Bulgaria, Argentina, Canada, France, Germany and other countries.”

Do-Nothing-But-Harm Congress Needs to Set Aside Anti-Abortion Fanatacism and Fund Zika Prevention

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl), a rabid opponent of abortion rights who has said that birth defects should not warrant an exemption, has told Congress to set aside ideology on Zika funding – because of the harm to Florida’s tourism industry and his reelection campaign © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fl), a rabid opponent of abortion rights who has said that birth defects should not warrant an exemption, has told Congress to set aside ideology on Zika funding – because of the harm to Florida’s tourism industry and his reelection campaign © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Zika is a small label from a tiny source that has world-shattering implications for families, for communities, for society and the economy.

It is also shorthand for everything that has been so absolutely wrong with the Republican-controlled Congress. It is no longer sufficient to describe it as “Do Nothing.” It is more appropriate to describe how their dysfunction, inaction, their idolatry to ideology has become destructive. Rather than a government with “limited power,” the right-wing ideology has intruded into our personal lives in such devastating.

Rather than treat Zika – a neurotropic virus that grows in target brain cells, literally destroying the fetal brain as it develops –  as the public health crisis that it is, the Right Wingers who control Congress have wrapped it up with abortion as an excuse to derail a vote.

The party that purports to hold a lock on family values? Pregnancy is stressful enough, but instead of being excited and happy at a pregnancy, a woman would be consumed by anxiety, and even hatred for the fetus and the baby that emerges.

When Zika first came to the world’s attention in Brazil, I was thinking that Americans were luckier than the hapless Brazilian women, who were being told to defer child-bearing for four years, because while abortion is illegal in that Catholic country, it is a Constitutionally protected right here in the US – except that the Right Wingers have found ways to throw up so many obstacles to a woman’s reproductive freedom, even declaring that a mother is a mere “vessel” to incubate the fetus, rather than a person with the same rights of self-determination as men.

Meanwhile, there are now approximately 18,000 confirmed case of the Zika Virus in the United States and territories, including 1,751 pregnant women infected, and that number is rising daily.

Earlier this year, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan Zika funding measure by a vote of 89-8. Even Marco Rubio, now running for reelection to the Senate he demeaned during his run for the Presidency, who has said that birth defects should not be an “exemption” for an abortion, told his colleagues that Zika warranted setting ideology aside, but that was because of the harm it was having to Florida’s tourism industry.

But then Republicans changed course, packing the bill full of partisan political riders — like demanding a ban on funding to Planned Parenthood, undermining key provisions of the Clean Water Act, even allowing Confederate flags in cemeteries— and shut Democrats out of the debate.

Now, the money that had been available to the CDC, $292 million “ is out the door already and there are things we wish we could do but can’t because we don’t have the resources,” Dr. Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said on “The Takeaway” on NPR. “The decisions made today, or not made, will have implications for decades to come.”

There is so much that is not known about Zika – funding is needed for research for a vaccine, to diagnose, on better ways to control its spread, to understand the impacts of development for infants that do not manifest microcephaly immediately (Hearing loss? Learning disability?) and whether there are latent impacts that could impact even adults (a connection to Alzheimer’s has been raised).

“We need the dollars and the legal authorities so that when there is an emergency, we can treat it as emergency.

“If get in early, can avoid problems – with an earthquake or flood you are providing assistance and picking up the pieces. But with an epidemic, if we can get there early enough, we can do the equivalent of stopping an earthquake…

“The long delay in providing additional supplemental funding makes it difficult to have robust response, and makes it more important to have an infectious disease rapid response fund so we can spend money quickly and effectively. Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate are on board with creating such a fund,” he said.

“Zika will be around for years to come, so it is important to invest now in better ways to stop it. The sooner we get the funding, we can embark on those projects,” he said.

The failure to act on Zika is part and parcel of the right wingers’ continued assault on abortion rights –– essentially a woman’s right to choose, to control her own body and her own destiny, a family’s right to protect itself and create the best environment for its children. They have gone so far as to block the use of an abortion pill that is safer and easier to use than surgical procedure, and even preventing doctors from using a safer regimen of the medication.

This is not about “life” – as we now see in Texas where their anti-woman, anti-choice ideological crusade has resulted in closure of dozens of Planned Parenthood clinics, with the result that the rate of maternal mortality has exploded.

“From 2000 to the end of 2010, Texas’s estimated maternal mortality rate hovered between 17.7 and 18.6 per 100,000 births. But after 2010, that rate had leaped to 33 deaths per 100,000, and in 2014 it was 35.8. Between 2010 and 2014, more than 600 women died for reasons related to their pregnancies.

“No other state saw a comparable increase,” writes Molly Redden in The Guardian. Those rates put Texas on par with the Third World, where having a baby is the most dangerous thing a woman can do.

This is further proof that the right-wingers who control Congress do not care about “life” they care about control. This is about modern-day enslavement of women. They see a woman as a vessel, a vassal, not as a free person with the rights to make their own life’s choices. While they say they want individuals to be able to care for themselves, producing a generation born with microcephaly means they and their families will have to be dependent upon the state.

This cavalier attitude to life – particularly children – is also manifest in Congress’ failure to act on lead in the drinking water in Flint and other urban areas, likely impairing their normal brain development, contributing to learning and behavioral problems and lowering their IQ’s—and poor and minority children are unfairly at the greatest risk of lead poisoning. Half a million kids in the US already have elevated levels of lead in their blood and millions more are at risk.

The consequences for local school budgets – just as one example – to have to accommodate the special needs of children impacted by lead and now Zika-caused microcephaly – is mindboggling, making the challenge for school districts to keep Mylan’s overpriced Epipens on hand seem like small potatoes.

The Republican controlled Congress’ refusal to come to consensus and treat Zika as the public health emergency it is – no different than a terror attack – but instead, to hamstring it with poison pills that make it unpalatable to pass is not like the Do-Nothing-But-Harm Congress hasn’t been doing mischief since its return from a 7-week vacation. This includes three bills designed to overturn Dodd-Frank protections of the financial system, a bill to neuter Obamacare, a possible impeachment of the IRS Commissioner, and a yet a new investigation, investigating the FBI investigators into Hillary Clinton’s emails (is that the 9th or 10th Congressional investigation?).

But let’s look at what the Do-Nothing-But-Harm Congress has done nothing about: gun violence prevention (No Fly, No Buy), the Flint water crisis, confirming Merritt Garland to the Supreme Court,  and they are even dragging feet about adopting a Continuing Resolution in order to avoid yet another Republican government shutdown.

Congress needs to fund Zika programs and create an infectious disease emergency response fund, which, apparently is actually supported (at least with lip service) by Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate.

After his meeting with Congressional leaders on Monday, Obama expressed confidence there would be no government shut down and there would be funding for Zika.

Ah, President Obama, ever the optimist. We’ll see.

Census Data: Household Income Grew at Record Pace; Poverty Rate Fell Fastest since 1968; Uninsured Rate Continued to Fall in 2015

WASHINGTON, DC – Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers; Sandra Black, Member of the Council of Economic Advisers; and Matt Fielder, Chief Economist of the Council of Economic Advisers; issued the following statement today on the Census Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Data. You can view the statement HERE.

Summary: In 2015, household income grew at the fastest rate on record, the poverty rate fell faster than at any point since 1968, and the uninsured rate continued to fall. 

Today’s report from the Census Bureau shows the remarkable progress that American families have made as the recovery continues to strengthen. Real median household income grew 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, the fastest annual growth on record. Income grew for households across the income distribution, with the fastest growth among lower- and middle-income households. The number of people in poverty fell by 3.5 million, leading the poverty rate to fall from 14.8 percent to 13.5 percent, the largest one-year drop since 1968, with even larger improvements for African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and children. Meanwhile, the ratio of earnings for women working full-time, full-year to earnings for men working full-time, full-year increased to 80 percent in 2015, the highest on record. Every State has seen declines in its uninsured rate since 2013 as the major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act have taken effect. Solid employment growth and robust real wage growth so far this year suggest that incomes are continuing to rise in 2016, and, building on the progress shown in today’s Census report, the President will continue to call on Congress to take steps to invest in job creation, wage growth, and equal pay for equal work.

SIX KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE CENSUS BUREAU

1. Real median household income rose by 5.2 percent in 2015, the fastest growth on record. Median household income grew $2,798 to $56,516 in 2015, the first time that annual real income growth exceeded 5 percent since the Census Bureau began reporting data on household income in 1967. Data from 2016 so far point to further strong gains in real household incomes, which depend on employment, nominal wages, and inflation. As of August, total nonfarm job growth has averaged a solid 182,000 jobs a month so far in 2016, and hourly earnings for private-sector workers have increased at an annual rate of 2.8 percent, much faster than the pace of inflation (1.3 percent as of July, the latest data available).

2. The total number of Americans below the poverty line fell by 3.5 million from 2014 to 2015, and the official poverty rate fell to 13.5 percent due to the largest one-year drop since 1968. The poverty rate for children under age 18 fell by 1.4 percentage point (p.p.) from 2014 to 2015, equivalent to more than 1 million children lifted out of poverty. Meanwhile, the poverty rate for those ages 18 to 64 saw its largest one-year decline on record (-1.1 p.p.), and poverty fell 1.1 p.p. for those ages 65 and older. As noted below (see point 5), the official poverty rate does not reflect the full effect of antipoverty policies because it includes only pre-tax income and excludes the direct effect of key policies like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The Supplemental Poverty Measure, which is designed to include the effects of these programs but also takes into the cost of basic needs when setting the poverty threshold, decreased 1.0 percentage point in 2015, from 15.3 percent to 14.3 percent.

3. Households at all income percentiles reported by the Census Bureau saw gains in income, with the largest gains among households at the bottom of the income distribution. While real median household income increased 5.2 percent, gains were even larger in the lower half of the income distribution, ranging from an increase of 5.5 percent for households at the 40th percentile to an increase of nearly 8 percent for households at the 10th percentile. While households at the top half of the income distribution also saw increases, their gains were smaller, with an increase of 2.9 percent in the 90th percentile of household income. 2015 marked the first time real household income grew at all percentiles reported by the Census Bureau since 2006, and real income growth in 2015 was the fastest since 1969 for the 10th, 20th, 40th, 50th, and 60thpercentiles. Although the level of income inequality remains high, multiple measures of inequality—including the Gini coefficient, the ratio of the 90th percentile of income to the 10th percentile, and the share of income going to households at the top of the income distribution—fell modestly in 2015 as a result of this pattern of income growth.

4. All racial and ethnic groups saw increases in household incomes and decreases in poverty in 2015. As shown in the chart below, all racial and ethnic groups saw gains in real median household income and reductions in their respective poverty rates. Hispanic Americans saw both the largest gains in median income (6.1 percent), while Black Americans and Hispanic Americans saw the largest reductions in poverty (-2.1 p.p. and -2.2 p.p., respectively). The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which includes the effects of a number of important antipoverty programs (see point 5 below), shows a similar pattern, with all racial and ethnic groups seeing reductions in poverty.

5. In 2015, refundable tax credits like the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) lifted 4.8 million children out of poverty. The Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which includes the effects of a large number of antipoverty programs, is widely acknowledged to measure poverty more accurately than the official measure. Unlike the official poverty measure, the SPM measures post-tax and post-transfer resources, combining earnings with assistance from government programs—including in-kind transfers like food assistance—minus net tax liabilities and necessary expenditures on work, child care, and health care. The measure also bases the poverty line on the cost of meeting basic expenses. Together, in 2015, 9.2 million Americans, including 4.8 million children, were lifted above the poverty line by refundable tax credits, including the EITC and the CTC, illustrating their critical importance to the social safety net. Additionally, research has shown that helping low-income working families through the EITC and CTC not only reduces poverty, but also has positive longer-term effects on children, including improved health, educational outcomes, and labor force participation and earnings in adulthood. Expansions to the EITC and CTC signed into law by President Obama as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 lifted 1.0 million children out of poverty in 2013 according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; these provisions were made permanent under the bipartisan agreement at the end of 2015. The President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget includes a number of provisions to further strengthen tax credits for working families, including an expansion of the EITC to workers without qualifying children. (Note that some of these estimates rely on survey data, which research has shown tend to underreport household use of certain programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, leading to underestimates of the poverty-reducing effects of these programs.)

6. In 2015, the share of people without health insurance declined in almost every State, and all States have seen gains since 2013, reflecting continued progress under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Today’s new data from the American Community Survey (ACS) show that 49 States and the District of Columbia saw their uninsured rates decline in 2015. The uninsured rate has fallen in every State (as well as in the District of Columbia) since 2013. While the ACS is not the first survey to report estimates of State-level insurance coverage in 2015, the survey’s extremely large sample size allows it to provide particularly reliable estimates.

While all States have seen increases in insurance coverage since the ACA’s major coverage provisions took effect in the beginning of 2014, the extent of those gains have varied widely by State. Notably, States that have expanded Medicaid under the ACA have seen larger coverage gains on average, particularly if they started with a larger uninsured population. If Medicaid non-expansion States had seen coverage gains comparable to those seen by Medicaid expansion states with similar uninsured rates, the uninsured rate in these states would have been nearly 3 percentage points lower in 2015, increasing the magnitude of these states’ coverage gains since 2013 by almost two-thirds.

Today’s Census release also included an estimate of the national change in the uninsured rate based on the Current Population Survey (CPS). According to the CPS, the national uninsured rate dropped by 1.3 percentage points from 10.4 percent in 2014 to 9.1 percent in 2015, bringing the cumulative gain since 2013 to 4.3 percentage points. The new data from the CPS are broadly consistent with evidence from other Federal and private surveys showing that coverage gains continued during 2015; those surveys show that gains have continued into early2016. The cumulative coverage gains since 2013 have put the uninsured rate at its lowest level ever.

Jason Furman is Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. Sandra Black is a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers. Matt Fiedler is Chief Economist of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Hillary Clinton Campaign Tears Apart Trump ‘Deplorables’ Ad

Supporter at Donald Trump rally, Bethpage, Long Island, NY, holds sign, "White Lives Matter" © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Supporter at Donald Trump rally, Bethpage, Long Island, NY, holds sign, “White Lives Matter” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

I’m disappointed that Hillary Clinton issued a statement pulling back on her statement that half of Donald Trump’s supporters are in a basket of “deplorable”  and the other half are people who feel they have been left out and left behind by government. Her statement is founded in fact – surveys of Trump supporters that show solid percentages who favor building a wall, banning Muslims, even saying the Emancipation Proclamation was a bad idea. Nonetheless, hoping to have the same success as an attack on Hillary Clinton as Mitt Romney’s 47% comment (47% of Americans would not vote for him because they were “takers” which presumably included seniors on Social Security and veterans, and Barack Obama’s comment about “guns and God” and taking  a tiny phrase out of context, “You didn’t build it”), Trump created a new ad.

Hopefully it will backfire because instead of coming back against Clinton, it will highlight who, indeed, is inspired by his campaign of hatred, bigotry and fear.

In response to Donald Trump’s new ad, HFA Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds offered the following statement:

“As we’ve come to expect, Donald Trump gets quite a bit wrong in his new TV ad, ignoring Hillary Clinton’s comments that she did not mean half of his supporters were deplorable and her reference to the economic concerns of many of his supporters. That said, if he’d like to argue against Hillary’s claim that people who are racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic or Islamophobic are deplorable, we are happy to have that debate. Trump has spent the entire campaign offering divisive views that have given rise to far too much hatred and bigotry—Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine will continue to call that out.”

TRANSCRIPT RECORD
VOICEOVER:Speaking to wealthy donors, Hillary Clinton called tens of millions of Americans “deplorable” CLINTON CLARIFIED REMARKS

Clinton Said She Regretted Being “Grossly Generalistic” In Her Comments. “Last night I was ‘grossly generalistic,’ and that’s never a good idea. I regret saying ‘half’ — that was wrong. But let’s be clear, what’s really ‘deplorable’ is that Donald Trump hired a major advocate for the so-called ‘alt-right’ movement to run his campaign and that David Duke and other white supremacists see him as a champion of their values. It’s deplorable that Trump has built his campaign largely on prejudice and paranoia and given a national platform to hateful views and voices, including by retweeting fringe bigots with a few dozen followers and spreading their message to 11 million people. It’s deplorable that he’s attacked a federal judge for his ‘Mexican heritage,’ bullied a Gold Star family because of their Muslim faith, and promoted the lie that our first black president is not a true American. So I won’t stop calling out bigotry and racist rhetoric in this campaign.” [Hillary for America, Statement, 9/10/16]

IN THE FULL CONTEXT OF HER REMARKS, CLINTON SAID THANKFULLY, THE HATEFUL TRUMP SUPPORTERS “ARE NOT AMERICA”

Clinton Said We Have To “Understand And Empathize With” Trump Supporters Who Feel “The Government Has Let Them Down” And Who Are “Desperate For Change.” “…thankfully they are not America. But the other basket, the other basket, and I know because I see friends from all over America here. I see friends from Florida and Georgia and South Carolina and Texas, as well as you know New York and California. But that other basket of people who are people who feel that government has let them down, nobody cares about them, nobody worries about what happens to their lives and their futures, and they are just desperate for change. It doesn’t really even matter where it comes from. They don’t buy everything he says but he seems to hold out some hope that their lives will be different. They won’t wake up and see their jobs disappear, lose a kid to heroine, feel like they’re in a dead-end. Those are people we have to understand and empathize with as well.’” [Transcript via NPR, 9/10/16]

CLINTON HAS REPEATEDLY SAID THE VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICANS REJECT TRUMP’S BIGOTRY

Clinton: “As I Said, Many Of Trump’s Supporters Are Hard-Working Americans Who Just Don’t Feel Like The Economy Or Our Political System Are Working For Them.”
 “I also meant what I said last night about empathy, and the very real challenges we face as a country where so many people have been left out and left behind. As I said, many of Trump’s supporters are hard-working Americans who just don’t feel like the economy or our political system are working for them.  I’m determined to bring our country together and make our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top. Because we really are ‘stronger together.’” [Hillary for America, Statement, 9/10/16]

Clinton: “So There May Be Some Folks Who Buy Into His Dark, Negative Vision, And Think He Maybe Could Be Their Voice, But I Don’t Think That Represents The Vast Majority Of Americans.” “And you know, the other thing that struck me about his speech was when he said, ‘I am your voice.’  Now, look, I will admit, maybe he does speak for some people, but I think it’s kind of hard to imagine him speaking for immigrants, for people with disabilities, for African Americans, for Latinos, for women, or even for working people who he has a history of stiffing, not supporting.  So there may be some folks who buy into his dark, negative vision, and think he maybe could be their voice, but I don’t think that represents the vast majority of Americans.” [Voter Registration Event in Charlotte, NC, 7/25/16]

Asked If Americans Are Becoming Desensitized To Trump’s Rhetoric, Clinton Said “The Vast Majority Of Americans Are People Who Are Decent And Caring And Looking For Ways That We Can Come Together, Not To Be Divided By Fear And Hatred.” “QUESTION: Do you worry that Americans are becoming desensitized to this kind of rhetoric? HILLARY CLINTON: I think the uproar from Americans across our country in response to a number of the comments that Trump has made, but in particular to his derogatory comments about the Khans shows to the contrary, that the vast majority of Americans are people who are decent and caring and looking for ways that we can come together, not to be divided by fear and hatred.” [Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine at Press Avail in Ashland, OH, 7/31/16]

Clinton On Trump Supporters: “I Think That The Core Of His Support Really Centers On The Disappointment In The Economy That So Many Americans Feel.” “YAMICHE ALCINDOR: My question is you’ve accused Donald Trump of using racist and sexist language, what does it say about the electorate that so many Americans are supporting him? HILLARY CLINTON: Well, I really believe that the core of his support — I’m not going to speak for everyone who supports him because I think there have been some quite distressing statements coming out of his rallies and his supporters and who has aligned themselves with him. But I think that the core of his support really centers on the disappointment in the economy that so many Americans feel. And what I have been saying is, you know, I want to bring this country together. I think we have three overarching goals: we need more economic opportunity; we need to protect our national security; and we have got to work toward American unity.” [Q&A at NABJ & NAHJ Convention in Washington, D.C., 8/5/16]

CLINTON GAVE AN ENTIRE SPEECH ABOUT HOW THE ALT-RIGHT USES TRUMP’S CAMPAIGN TO PROMOTE THEIR HATE MOVEMENT

Clinton: “Trump Is Reinforcing Harmful Stereotypes And Offering A Dog Whistle To His Most Hateful Supporters.” “Now, Trump’s lack of knowledge or experience or solutions would be bad enough.  But what he’s doing here is more sinister.  Trump is reinforcing harmful stereotypes and offering a dog whistle to his most hateful supporters. It’s a disturbing preview of what kind of President he’d be.” [Remarks on Trump’s Prejudice and Paranoia in Reno, NV, 8/25/16]

Clinton: “This Is A Moment Of Reckoning For Every Republican Dismayed That The Party Of Lincoln Has Become The Party Of Trump.  It’s A Moment Of Reckoning For All Of Us Who Love Our Country.” “We wouldn’t tolerate this kind of behavior before and we wouldn’t tolerate it in our own homes.  And we shouldn’t stand for it in a presidential candidate. My friends, this is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump.  It’s a moment of reckoning for all of us who love our country and believe that America is better than this.” [Remarks on Trump’s Prejudice and Paranoia in Reno, NV, 8/25/16]

Clinton On Trump: “Every Day, More Americans Are Standing Up And Saying ‘Enough Is Enough’ – Including A Lot Of Republicans.  And I Am Honored To Have Their Support In This Campaign.” “We can have our disagreements, and believe me, I understand that. I think that’s healthy. We need good debates, but we need to do it in a respectful way, not finger pointing and blaming, and stirring up this bigotry and prejudice.  Every day, more Americans are standing up and saying ‘enough is enough’ – including a lot of Republicans.  And I am honored to have their support in this campaign.” [Remarks on Trump’s Prejudice and Paranoia in Reno, NV, 8/25/16]

HILLARY CLINTON: You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. The racists, sexists, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic, you name it. TRUMP’S CANDIDACY HAS GIVEN THE ALT-RIGHT “LEGITIMACY THEY HAVE CRAVED FOR YEARS.”

HEADLINE: “Donald Trump’s Alt-Right Brain” [Editorial, New York Times, 9/5/16]

New York Times Editorial Board: Trump’s Candidacy Granted The Alternative-Right “The Legitimacy They Have Craved For Years.” “Mr. Trump says he isn’t signaling the alt-right when he says of immigrants, as he did again on Wednesday: ‘We have no idea who these people are, where they come from. I always say Trojan Horse. Watch what’s going to happen, folks. It’s not going to be pretty.’ Or when he said — in a line widely quoted on alt-right websites — ‘There is only one core issue in the immigration debate and it is this: the well-being of the American people.’ Mr. Trump’s white supremacist followers don’t take his disavowals too seriously. After all, he has enthusiastically retweeted bogus crime statistics and incendiary imagery from these websites and hired one of their biggest lights, Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News, to manage his campaign.  There aren’t enough of these people to put Mr. Trump in the White House. But his candidacy has granted them the legitimacy they have craved for years. For the first time, a candidate is using a major-party megaphone to shout the ideas they once could only mutter among themselves in the shadowy fringes of national debate.” [Editorial, New York Times, 9/5/16]

THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN FORTIFIED THE WHITE SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT

Donald Trump Was A Boon For White Supremacists, Who Used His Candidacy As A Tool To Expand Their Movement. “The Ku Klux Klan is using Donald Trump as a talking point in its outreach efforts. Stormfront, the most prominent American white supremacist website, is upgrading its servers in part to cope with a Trump traffic spike. And former Louisiana Rep. David Duke reports that the businessman has given more Americans cover to speak out loud about white nationalism than at any time since his own political campaigns in the 1990s. As hate group monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League warn that Trump’s rhetoric is conducive to anti-Muslim violence, white nationalist leaders are capitalizing on his candidacy to invigorate and expand their movement.” [Politico, 12/10/15]

Politico: “The Ku Klux Klan Is Using Donald Trump As A Talking Point In Its Outreach Efforts.” [Politico, 12/10/15]

Politico: “Stormfront, The Most Prominent American White Supremacist Website, Is Upgrading Its Servers In Part To Cope With A Trump Traffic Spike.” [Politico, 12/10/15]

Stormfront Founder Don Black: “Demoralization Has Been The Biggest Enemy And Trump Is Changing All That.” “As hate group monitors at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League warn that Trump’s rhetoric is conducive to anti-Muslim violence, white nationalist leaders are capitalizing on his candidacy to invigorate and expand their movement. ‘Demoralization has been the biggest enemy and Trump is changing all that,’ said Stormfront founder Don Black, who reports additional listeners and call volume to his phone-in radio show, in addition to the site’s traffic bump.” [Politico, 12/10/15]

VOICEOVER:People like you, you, and you TRUMP DESCRIBED THE AFRICAN AMERICAN AND HISPANIC COMMUNITIES AS IMPOVERISHED AND CRIME-RIDDEN

Trump On The African-American Community: “You Have So Many In Poverty And The Crime Is Horrible And The Education Is Terrible And They Live Terribly.” TRUMP: “But you have tremendous numbers of African-Americans that have really had a hard time. I mean, beyond belief. And, you know, I read the numbers where you have so many in poverty and the crime is horrible and the education is terrible and they live terribly. And I say, what do you have to lose? I say to them, what do you have to lose? Give it to me. I’m going to fix them. And a lot of people are agreeing with me. What do you have to lose. The Democrats and the Hillary Clintons of the world have done a terrible job. She has been there for 35 years. She has done a terrible job. But the Hillary Clintons of the world have done a terrible job, Eric, and I say, what do you have to lose? I will fix it and you know what? A lot of people are agreeing.” [O’Reilly Factor, Fox News, 9/1/16]

TRUMP HAS DESCRIBED AFRICAN AMERICAN COMMUNITIES IN INSULTING AND IGNORANT TERMS

 

HEADLINE: “Donald Trump’s Description Of Black America Is Offending Those Living In It”[New York Times, 8/24/16]

New York Times: “The Unrelievedly Dire Picture He Has Painted Of Black America Has Left Many Black Voters Angry, Dumbfounded Or Both. Interviews With Roughly A Dozen Blacks Here Turned Up No One Who Found Any Appeal In Mr. Trump’s Remarks.” “But the unrelievedly dire picture he has painted of black America has left many black voters angry, dumbfounded or both. Interviews with roughly a dozen blacks here turned up no one who found any appeal in Mr. Trump’s remarks. More common was the suggestion that Mr. Trump was trying to appeal to whites who might support him.” [New York Times, 8/24/16]

TRUMP CRITICIZED A FEDERAL JUDGE’S ABILITY TO DO HIS JOB BECAUSE OF HIS HERITAGE

Trump Claimed Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel Could Not Preside Over His Case Without A Conflict Of Interest Because He Was “Of Mexican Heritage.” “Trump said U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel had ‘an absolute conflict’ in presiding over the litigation given that he was ‘of Mexican heritage’ and a member of a Latino lawyers’ association. Mr. Trump said the background of the judge, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrants, was relevant because of his campaign stance against illegal immigration and his pledge to seal the southern U.S. border.” [Wall Street Journal, 6/2/16]

TRUMP CALLED TO BAN AN ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE BASED ON THEIR RELIGION

12/7/15: Trump Called For A “Total And Complete Shutdown Of Muslims Entering The United States,” Citing “Great Hatred Towards Americans By Large Segments Of The Muslim Populations.”
 “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim populations.” [Press Release, Donald Trump for President, 12/7/15]

Trump Said He Was Not Rolling Back His Ban On Muslims: “In Fact, You Could Say It’s An Expansion.” “Donald Trump made clear this weekend that he has not rolled back his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States, despite top allies insisting that he had… ‘I don’t think so. I actually don’t think it’s a rollback. In fact, you could say it’s an expansion,’ Trump said. ‘I’m looking now at territory. People were so upset when I used the word ‘Muslim’: ‘Oh, you can’t use the word ‘Muslim.’ Remember this. And I’m okay with that, because I’m talking territory instead of Muslim.’” [Washington Post, 7/24/16; Meet the Press, 7/24/16]

TRUMP CALLED IMMIGRANTS CRIMINALS AND RAPISTS

Trump: “When Mexico Sends Its People, They’re Not Sending Their Best… They’re Bringing Drugs. They’re Bringing Crime. They’re Rapists.”TRUMP: “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” [Trump Presidential Campaign Announcement, New York NY, 6/16/15]

TRUMP REPEATEDLY MADE SEXIST ATTACKS

Trump On Megyn Kelly: “You Could See There Was Blood Coming Out Of Her Eyes, Blood Coming Out Of Her Wherever.”“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said Friday night that Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly ‘had blood coming out of her eyes’ when she  aggressively questioned him during Thursday’s presidential debate. ‘She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions,’ Trump said in a CNN interview. ‘You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base.’” [Washington Post, 8/8/15]

Trump On Fiorina: “Look At That Face! Would Anyone Vote For That? Can You Imagine That, The Face Of Our Next President?”“When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. ‘Look at that face!’ he cries. ‘Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!’ The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. ‘I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?’ And there, in a nutshell, is Trump’s blessing and his curse: He can’t seem to quit while he’s ahead.” [Rolling Stone, 9/9/15]

Trump On Hillary Clinton: “Do You Think She Looks Presidential? I Don’t Think So.” “GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump went after Hillary Clinton Tuesday for the way she looks, saying she just doesn’t seem presidential. ‘Do you think she looks presidential? I don’t think so,’ Trump said to his crowd at a rally in Ashburn, Virginia.” [Huffington Post, 8/2/16; Trump Campaign Rally, Ashburn VA, 8/2/16]

TRUMP DEFENDED HIS SUGGESTION THAT SEXUAL ASSAULTS SHOULD BE EXPECTED IF WOMEN ARE ALLOWED TO SERVE IN THE MILITARY WITH MEN  

Trump Defended His 2013 Tweet Suggesting Sexual Assault Was Inevitable “When They Put Men And Women Together” In The Military: “It Is A Correct Tweet. There Are Many People Think That’s Absolutely Correct.” LAUER: “In 2013, on this subject, you tweeted this. Quote, 26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military. Only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together? End quote.” TRUMP: “Well, it is a correct tweet. There are many people think that’s absolutely correct. We need to have a –“ [Commander In Chief Forum, MSNBC, 9/7/16]

VOICEOVER:Deplorable TRUMP SAID HE WAS PROUD TO BE A BIRTHER

USA Today: Trump “Was Perhaps The Most Prominent Voice Of The ‘Birther’ Movement.”“Trump has been an outspoken critic of President Obama and was perhaps the most prominent voice of the ‘birther’ movement, which asserted, erroneously, that Obama was not a natural-born U.S. citizen. On Monday, he took a shot at the newest entrant to the 2016 Republican field, Jeb Bush, tweeting: ‘Do we really need another Bush in the White House — we have had enough of them.’ If there’s one thing Trump brings to the 2016 campaign, it’s confidence. ‘I’m the most successful person ever to run for the presidency, by far,’ he told The Des Moines Register in a recent interview.” [USA Today, 6/16/15]

March 2011:  Trump:  “I’m Proud To Be” A Birther.  “Well I thought he was very nice to me, though. I mean, I understand that. And he doesn’t want to be labeled as a birther, probably. I’m proud to be. I mean, I’m very proud of it. I don’t like the term. I think it’s a demeaning term to the people that believe that he should have a birth certificate. .” [Laura Ingraham Show,AUDIO 06:30-07:00, 3/30/11]

VOICEOVER: You know what’s deplorable? TRUMP ATTACKED A GOLD STAR FAMILY WHO LOST THEIR SON IN IRAQ

HEADLINE: “Donald Trump Criticizes Muslim Family Of Slain U.S. Soldier, Drawing Ire” 
[New York Times, 7/30/16]

HEADLINE: “Donald Trump’s Slander Of Captain Humayun Khan’s Family Is Horrifying, Even For Trump” [Vox, 7/30/16]

Trump Claimed The Mother Of A Fallen Muslim Soldier Did Not Speak At The Democratic Nation Convention Because “Maybe She Wasn’t Allowed To Have Anything To Say, You Tell Me.” “Donald J. Trump belittled the parents of a slain Muslim soldier who had strongly denounced Mr. Trump during the Democratic National Convention, saying that the soldier’s father had delivered the entire speech because his mother was not ‘allowed’ to speak…But, he added, ‘If you look at his wife, she was standing there, she had nothing to say, she probably — maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say, you tell me.’” [New York Times,7/30/16; This Week, ABC, 7/31/16]

Trump Suggested His Business Career Was A Sacrifice Comparable To The Loss Of Khizr Khan’s Son: “I Think I Have Made A Lot Of Sacrifices.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “How would you answer that father [Khan]? What sacrifice have you made for your country?” TRUMP: “I think I have made a lot of sacrifices. I’ve work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures. I’ve done — I’ve had tremendous success.” STEPHANOPOULOS: “Those are sacrifices?” TRUMP: “Oh, sure. I think they’re sacrifices.” [This Week, ABC, 7/31/16]

VOICEOVER:Hillary Clinton viciously demonizing hard working people like you. TRUMP QUESTIONED HOW STUPID THE PEOPLE OF IOWA AND THE COUNTRY WERE

Donald Trump: “How Stupid Are The People Of Iowa? How Stupid Are The People Of The Country To Believe This Crap?” “With his voice growing louder and louder, Trump questioned what sort of person would attack his mother. He questioned how a belt buckle could stop a blade, stepping away from the podium to demonstration how such an attack might happen and how his own belt buckle wouldn’t stay in place long enough to stop a knife. ‘Anybody have a knife?’ Trump asked the audience, which was screened by Secret Service agents who began protecting him this week. ‘You want to try it on me?’ Trump was flabbergast: ‘How stupid are the people of Iowa? How stupid are the people of the country to believe this crap?’” [Washington Post, 11/13/15; Donald Trump Campaign Rally, Fort Dodge Iowa, 11/12/15]

TRUMP SAID HE LOVES THE “POORLY EDUCATED,” BRAGGING HE WON THAT GROUP OF VOTERS

Trump: “We Won With Poorly Educated — I Love The Poorly Educated.” 
TRUMP: “We won the evangelicals. We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated — I love the poorly educated. We’re the smartest people, we’re the most loyal people.’” [Trump Campaign Rally, Las Vegas NV, 2/23/16]

TRUMP MOCKED A DISABLED REPORTER

HEADLINE: “Trump Mocks New York Times Reporter With Disability” [Chicago Tribune,11/25/15]

Chicago Tribune: “Trump Appeared To Mock Kovaleski’s Physical Condition; The Reporter Has Arthrogryposis, Which Visibly Limits Flexibility In His Arms. ‘Now, The Poor Guy — You’ve Got To See This Guy, “Ah, I Don’t Know What I Said! I Don’t Remember!”’ Trump Said As He Jerked His Arms In Front Of His Body.” “On stage Tuesday, Trump berated Times investigative reporter Serge Kovaleski for his recent recollection of an article he had written a few days after the attacks. Trump appeared to mock Kovaleski’s physical condition; the reporter has arthrogryposis, which visibly limits flexibility in his arms. ‘Now, the poor guy — you’ve got to see this guy, “Ah, I don’t know what I said! I don’t remember!”’ Trump said as he jerked his arms in front of his body. The gesture was all the more personal because Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks.” [Chicago Tribune, 11/25/15]

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

 

Libertarian Candidates Gary Johnson, Bill Weld Rally Supporters in NYC

Libertarian Party Candidates Gary Johnson for President and Bill Weld for Vice President at rally at the Marriott Marquis, New York City, Sept. 10, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian Party Candidates Gary Johnson for President and Bill Weld for Vice President at rally at the Marriott Marquis, New York City, Sept. 10, 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features

In the three minutes I had one-on-one with <Libertarian Presidential candidate Gary Johnson before he addressed an enthusiastic rally of more than 1000 in a Marriott Marquis ballroom in New York City, I asked about his stated goal of attacking the national debt by reducing “entitlement” spending – that is invariably making cuts to Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson goes into an elaborate synopsis of the crisis in Syria with a reporter, concluding, “It’s complex.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson goes into an elaborate synopsis of the crisis in Syria with a reporter, concluding, “It’s complex.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

His response was similar to the way he would tackle many other issues: punt. Essentially, he has said that he would take whatever Congress handed him in terms of raising the retirement age (pinned down, he has said 72 would be acceptable). Tax reduction? He would sign whatever tax reduction plan came out of Congress, though he also promises “certainty” there will be no tax increase in the two terms of his presidency.

The question I posed was to follow up on his statement that he would be okay with raising retirement age to 72. I asked, what does that mean for the 58-year old who is “excessed” and has no prospect of getting a comparable job? Or for the bricklayer or nurse in jobs that are stressful and physically or mentally punishing?

“Well, I would phase it in – you can’t change this overnight. I would set a date-certain. This is about equity. We need to change the requirements – otherwise [Social Security] is headed to insolvency.”

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

I interject that instead of cuts to the program, an alternative is to lift the caps on income subject to FICA, currently at $118,000 (and hasn’t been raised in years) – that means that someone like Trump who earns, say, $1 million a year, pays the tax on only a tiny fraction of their income, but the middle class worker gets all their income taxed. But if the caps were lifted, it is likely that the FICA rate could be dropped for everyone – perhaps to 2% from 8.5%.

He makes a reply that this is an interesting suggestion and adds, “We can’t do nothing.”

But the fact is he has not come out with a specific plan to solve this problem. It goes with his philosophy of the Presidency and the federal government – limited government that imposes a minimum of rules and regulations on the individual.

The overall themes of his message are like catnip to young voters who predominated in the room who attach a Christmas list to a Libertarian, third-party election: legalizing marijuana (a long-time advocate of legalization, Johnson was CEO of a marijuana business before entering the presidential campaign), expansion of 2nd Amendment Rights (he has said that access to semi-automatic assault weapons should be easier); that free markets solve every problem. Indeed,  he expressed his distaste for the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) because of the mandatory tax, and said the problem with health care system is that it needs more free market, a government that will take the lid off services, and “make it easier on the front end – diet and exercise.”

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson gives his philosophy of government: “Rules & Regulations [should be reduced]. Our ability to live lives more simply, in compliance with being good human beings,” is the extent of it © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson gives his philosophy of government: “Rules & Regulations [should be reduced]. Our ability to live lives more simply, in compliance with being good human beings,” is the extent of it © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The sole government role in the economy, he said, is “to make it easier” for entrepreneurs. “The model for the future is the sharing economy – Air BnB, Uber – eliminating the middle man. That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” he said to big cheers from the enthusiastic crowd.

“Rules & Regulations [should be reduced]. Our ability to live lives more simply, in compliance with being good human beings,” is the extent of it, he said.

“We will bring certainty: taxes won’t go up. I will sign off on a  tax reduction (from Congress).” [One wonders why there is a need for a tax reduction plan at all, particularly one that is designed to put more money in the pockets of the richest so it will “trickle down” to lower classes, when Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the Republican vice presidential nominee, just released 10 years of tax returns which show he paid between a rate of 10-16% of his $150,000-$200,000 income for federal and state taxes combined. And Donald Trump, on the tax returns that have become known, went for years paying zero tax.]

Johnson started off his comments to the crowd with an apology for his unfortunate Aleppo gaffe (where he said on MSNBC, “What is Aleppo?”), which pundits seized upon as being disqualifying.

So in a question to a reporter and then later to the crowd, he went into extensive recitation of Rakka, “a northern city, the capital of ISIS, and they are supporting the Kurds against ISIS that puts them sideways with our allies in Turkey,” he said with breathless pace. “It shows how complex.”

He recited much the same in the larger venue, apologizing for seeming not to know or care about the crisis in Syria which has triggered the humanitarian crisis of millions of refugees, and even directly contributed to the Brexit vote in Great Britain. Johnson was also troubled that his mistake also might be misconstrued that Libertarians did not care about such issues, and that his error magnified both Johnson’s and Weld’s lack of foreign policy experience.

“We all care about these issues,” he told the crowd. But it falls into the Libertarian philosophy of foreign policy: not to get entangled in foreign affairs and especially not military adventures unless they directly impact US interests.

“There are unintended consequences of making us less safe, not more.”

But he also used it to be less about his lack of foreign policy experience to a virtue of his “humanness:” and character and likability.

“We all make mistakes- it’s part of everyday lif e. It is how you deal with a mistake that determines success,” adding, “Tell the truth.”

Bill Weld, former Republican Governor of Massachusetts, elected and reelected in a blue state © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Bill Weld, former Republican Governor of Massachusetts, elected and reelected in a blue state © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Johnson and Weld are making a big issue of character as distinguishing from the Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton who, it is so often pointed out, have historically high negatives for “trustworthiness.”

Owning up to the “Aleppo” gaffe was part of that demonstration of character.

Johnson reinforced the overall themes of being “fiscally conservative  but socially inclusive” – which he and his Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld have suggested are popular with 60 percent of the electorate (“We just drive down that middle lane of the highway.”)

“It’s commonsense,” Johnson said, “to keep government out of your pocketbook.” And, one might add, out of your bedroom.

He believes in personal choice. “Each of us should make decisions in our own lives that only affect our own lives, as long as they don’t hurt others.”

This goes for marriage equality and woman’s reproductive choice.

He also is a strong advocate of criminal justice reform – specifically legalizing marijuana use (very big cheers).

“We have the highest incarceration rate in world – tens of millions convicted felons that but for drug laws would be law abiding, tax paying citizens.”

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson says “All lives matter. Black lives matter” in pushing for criminal justice reform that includes legalizing marijuana and ending the death penalty © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson says “All lives matter. Black lives matter” in pushing for criminal justice reform that includes legalizing marijuana and ending the death penalty © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

“All lives matter. Black lives matter – blacks are shot at a rate six times the rate of whites; if you are a person of color, you are four times more likely to go to prison than if you are white. We have our head in the sand on discrimination,” he said to cheers.

He followed this by a strong endorsement of the Second Amendment, to even bigger cheers.

But he said, “We need to have a conversation about how we might keep out of hands of mentally ill and would be terrorists.”

He added that he believed the death penalty “as public policy is flawed,” because there are too many mistakes.

He cited a poll of active military, in which he led among the candidates for president.

“We need national defense, not regime change which always has the unintended consequence of making things worse, not better.

“Afghanistan – we were attacked, we attacked back. I supported Afghanistan [attack] in 2003; 13 years later, they now say we will be 20 years more. We need to get out of Afghanistan now.”

[Except that the US went to war in Afghanistan in 2001, just weeks after the September 11 attacks; the US invaded Iraq in 2003.]

Johnson promised he would submit a balanced budget to Congress.

Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson” This is a crazy election because in spite of Aleppo, I think I will be the next president of the United States.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson” This is a crazy election because in spite of Aleppo, I think I will be the next president of the United States.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

This would entail reforming entitlements – “tough issues” which Clinton and Trump are not addressing, he said, contradicting himself to say that Hillary has spoken of expanding Social Security benefits (boo).

:”But then, they won’t be available for anyone. Social Security reform has to happen. To do nothing is not acceptable,” he said to cheers.

“Immigration is something to be embraced. The Issue is work visas. 11 million are undocumented because they can’t get work visas for jobs Americans don’t want. We are a country of immigrants. Building a wall is nuts.”

He gave a shout-out for free markets and said that anything else is “crony capitalism …where government decides winners and losers,” which makes the system vulnerable to pay to play, (big cheers).

He did not mention anything about campaign finance reform or Citizens United, but said he supported term limits (big cheers).

He promises that there will be no traffic snarls when he visits New York City. “I will be the most frugal president ever.”

He was careful to distinguish himself, using such shorthand as “honest,” and “transparent” and declaring that hypocrisy is the worst of all, saying, “We’re not hypocrites.”

Libertarian candidate for Vice President Bill Weld says if they are allowed into the presidential debates, they will win the election © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Libertarian candidate for Vice President Bill Weld says if they are allowed into the presidential debates, they will win the election © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

During his remarks to the gleeful crowd, Vice Presidential candidate Bill Weld, the former Governor of Massachusetts, said, “We think government, like individual families, should balance its check book – a concept utterly unknown in Washington DC.”

Except that families don’t balance their checkbooks either – they routinely take out mortgages, car loans, college loans, maybe a small business loan – because they are investing in the future. In government terms – particularly the federal government – the concept is that a capital improvement like a road or bridge or sewage treatment plant that generations of people benefit from should not be paid for only by those people living that year. Every government, going back to George Washington’s day, went into debt and used taxation to pay for the common good. And as Paul Krugman, among other economists, have pointed out, interest rates today are so low, the investment more than pays for itself, while at the same time generating jobs and a virtuous cycle of consumer spending. If anything, the unprecedented pull-back in government spending after the Great Recession of 2008 – something that had never happened before – only exacerbated and prolonged the economic hardship, resulting in the slow growth.

Yet both Johnson and Weld pointed to their optimism as a distinguishing characteristic of their campaign, and Johnson ended saying  – in contrast to the gloom and doom of Donald Trump’s acceptance speech and the Republican campaign themes.

“Has life in this country ever been better?” Johnson asked rhetorically.

“We get along with everyone better. We are smarter than ever. We have smart phones – we are communicating better. We are more efficient, communicative.

“This country is a great, a wonderful place to live.”

And most optimistically of all, he declared, “This is a crazy election because in spite of Aleppo, I think I will be the next president of the United States.”

Indeed, the immediate goal of the campaign is to get into the Presidential Debates – arguing that there is a groundswell of support and that a significant majority of Americans want Johnson and Weld to be included.

Johnson/Weld 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Johnson/Weld 2016 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

And they also believe that if they are included in the debates, they will win the election.

Hillary Clinton’s slogan is “Stronger Together.” Donald Trump’s is “Make America Great Again.”

The slogan for Johnson-Weld 2016? “You In?” though it might as well be “Anything Goes.” And their logo is a Rorschach test.

________________________________

© 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

 

Obama at 9/11 Observance: ‘We stay true to the spirit of this day by defending not only our country, but also our ideals’

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the 10th anniversary 9/11 Commemoration at the site of the World Trade Center, New York City © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush at the 10th anniversary 9/11 Commemoration at the site of the World Trade Center, New York City © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

On the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, President Barack Obama spoke at the Memorial Observance Ceremony held at the Pentagon, in Arlington Virginia. Here is a transcript of his remarks:

THE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Scripture tells us, “Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you…write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Secretary Carter, Chairman Dunford, outstanding members of our Armed Forces, and most of all, survivors of that September day and the families of those we lost — it is a great honor, once again, to be with you on this day, a day that I know is still difficult, but which reveals the love and faithfulness in your hearts and in the heart of our nation.

We remember, and we will never forget, the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly — including 184 men, women and children here, the youngest just three years old.  We honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew.  We come together in prayer and in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 15 years.  And we renew the love and the faith that binds us together as one American family.

Fifteen years may seem like a long time, but for the families who lost a piece of their heart that day, I imagine it can seem like just yesterday.  Perhaps it’s the memory of a last kiss given to a spouse, or the last goodbye to a mother or father, a sister or a brother.  We wonder how their lives might have unfolded, how their dreams might have taken shape.  And I am mindful that no words we offer, or deeds we do, can ever truly erase the pain of their absence.

The 10th anniversary commemoration of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, New York City © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
The 10th anniversary commemoration of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, New York City © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

And yet, you — the survivors and families of 9/11 — your “steadfast love and faithfulness” has been an inspiration to me and to our entire country.  Even as you’ve mourned, you’ve summoned the strength to carry on.  In the names of those you’ve lost, you’ve started scholarships and volunteered in your communities, and done your best to be a good neighbor and a good friend and a good citizen.  And in your grief and grace, you have reminded us that, together, there’s nothing we Americans cannot overcome.

The question before us, as always, is:  How do we preserve the legacy of those we lost?  How do we live up to their example?  And how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts?

Well, we have seen the answer in a generation of Americans — our men and women in uniform, diplomats, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals — all who have stepped forward to serve and who have risked and given their lives to help keep us safe.  Thanks to their extraordinary service, we’ve dealt devastating blows to al Qaeda.  We’ve delivered justice to Osama bin Laden.  We’ve strengthened our homeland security.  We’ve prevented attacks.  We’ve saved lives.  We resolve to continue doing everything in our power to protect this country that we love.  And today, we once again pay tribute to these patriots, both military and civilian, who serve in our name, including those far away from home in Afghanistan and Iraq.

President Obama at dedication of September 11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center towers, New York City, May 2011 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Obama at dedication of September 11 Memorial at the site of the World Trade Center towers, New York City, May 2011 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Perhaps most of all, we stay true to the spirit of this day by defending not only our country, but also our ideals.  Fifteen years into this fight, the threat has evolved.  With our stronger defenses, terrorists often attempt attacks on a smaller, but still deadly, scale.  Hateful ideologies urge people in their own country to commit unspeakable violence.  We’ve mourned the loss of innocents from Boston to San Bernardino to Orlando.

Groups like al Qaeda, like ISIL, know that we will never be able — they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America.  So, instead, they’ve tried to terrorize in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live.  And that’s why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation — a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background — bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum.  Out of many, we are one.  For we know that our diversity — our patchwork heritage — is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths.  This is the America that was attacked that September morning.  This is the America that we must remain true to.

President Obama with Diane Wall and her family who lost family in the September 11 attacks, at dedication of September 11 Memorial. New York City, May 2011 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
President Obama with Diane Wall and her family who lost family in the September 11 attacks, at dedication of September 11 Memorial. New York City, May 2011 © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Across our country today, Americans are coming together in service and remembrance.  We run our fingers over the names in memorial benches here at the Pentagon.  We walk the hallowed grounds of a Pennsylvania field.  We look up at a gleaming tower that pierces the New York City skyline.  But in the end, the most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be — that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.

As I mark this solemn day with you for the last time as President, I think of Americans whose stories I’ve been humbled to know these past eight years — Americans who, I believe, embody the true spirit of 9/11.

It’s the courage of Welles Crowther, just 24 years old, in the South tower — the man in the red bandana who spent his final moments helping strangers to safety before the towers fell.  It’s the resilience of the firehouse on Eighth Avenue — patriots who lost more than a dozen men, but who still suit up every day as the “Pride of Midtown.”  It’s the love of a daughter — Payton Wall of New Jersey — whose father, in his last moments on the phone from the towers, told her, “I will always be watching over you.”

It’s the resolve of those Navy SEALS who made sure justice was finally done, who served as we must live as a nation — getting each other’s backs, looking out for each other, united, one mission, one team.  It’s the ultimate sacrifice of men and women who rest for eternity not far from here, in gentle green hills in perfect formation — Americans who gave their lives in faraway places so that we can be here today, strong and free and proud.  It’s all of us — every American who gets up each day, and lives our lives, carries on.  Because as Americans, we do not give in to fear.  We will preserve our freedoms and the way of life that makes us a beacon to the world.

“Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you…write them on the tablet of your heart.”  And how we conduct ourselves as individuals and as a nation, we have the opportunity each and every day to live up to the sacrifice of those heroes that we lost.  May God bless the memory of the loved ones here and across the country.  They remain in our hearts today.  May He watch over these faithful families and all who protect us.  And may God forever bless the United States of America.

Starkest Contrast Between Clinton, Trump Comes in Plans to Defeat ISIS, Radical Jihadism

Hillary Clinton, at the Commander-in-Chief Forum aboard the USS Intrepid, managed to get out the broad outlines of her detailed, nuanced plan to defeat ISIS and Radical Jihadism, despite being cut off by moderator Matt Lauer © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Hillary Clinton, at the Commander-in-Chief Forum aboard the USS Intrepid, managed to get out the broad outlines of her detailed, nuanced plan to defeat ISIS and Radical Jihadism, despite being cut off by moderator Matt Lauer © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The stark contrast between the two major candidates for President could not be sharper as in their proposals to defeat ISIS and the scourge of terrorism. And it is probably the singular issue – shorthand – which stands in for the rest: a detailed, nuanced policy borne of first-hand experience and due diligence, and an off-the-cuff hyperbolic non sequitur. In essence, a plan versus no plan at all.

The outlines were presented during the Commander in Chief Forum where – despite moderator Matt Lauer’s best effort to cut off Clinton from her response, she stated:

“We have to defeat ISIS. That is my highest counterterrorism goal. And we’ve got to do it with air power. We’ve got to do it with much more support for the Arabs and the Kurds who will fight on the ground against ISIS. We have to squeeze them by continuing to support the Iraqi military. They’ve taken back Ramadi, Fallujah. They’ve got to hold them. They’ve got to now get into Mosul.

“We’re going to work to make sure that they have the support — they have special forces, as you know, they have enablers, they have surveillance, intelligence, reconnaissance help.

“They are not going to get ground troops. We are not putting ground troops into Iraq ever again. And we’re not putting ground troops into Syria. We’re going to defeat ISIS without committing American ground troops. So those are the kinds of decisions we have to make on a case-by-case basis.

“And, remember, when I became secretary of state, we had 200,000 troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. And I’m very grateful that we have brought home the vast majority of those. We have a residual force, as you know, in Afghanistan. We have built up several thousands of the folks that I’ve talked about who are assisting in the fight against ISIS.

“But it is in our national security interest to defeat ISIS. And I intend to make that happen.

“And as part of it, we’re going after Baghdadi, the leader, because it will help us focus our attention, just like going after bin Laden helped us focus our attention in the fight against Al Qaida in the Afghanistan- Pakistan theater.”

Then, Clinton was asked, with just about a minute left of her time, how she would deal with “terror attacks on our soil,” either directed by ISIS or inspired by ISIS, and “Would your message as the next president of the United States or potential next president be to Americans that we simply are living in the reality that those attacks will happen? And can you guarantee people that after four years of a Clinton presidency, they will be safer on the streets of San Bernardino or Boston than they are today?”

Clinton responds, “I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that that’s the result. I’m not going to, you know, promise something that I think most thinking Americans know is going to be a huge challenge, and here’s why. We’ve got to have an intelligence surge. We’ve got to get a lot more cooperation out of Europe, out of the Middle East. We have to do a better job of not only collecting and analyzing the intelligence we do have, but distributing it much more quickly down the ladder to state and local law enforcement.

“We also have to do a better job combating ISIS online, where they recruit, where they radicalize. And I don’t think we’re doing as much as we can. We need to work with Silicon Valley. We need to work with our experts in our government. We have got to disrupt, we have got to take them on in the arena of ideas that, unfortunately, pollute and capture the minds of vulnerable people. So we need to wage this war against ISIS from the air, on the ground, and online, in cyberspace.

“And here at home, for goodness’s sakes, we have to finally pass a law prohibiting people on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun in the United States of America. So we’ve got work to do. I know we can do that work. I’m meeting with a group of terror experts, counterterrorism experts.

“But I want to just say one additional thing… Matt Olsen, the former director of the National Center on Counterterrorism, has a great article out today saying the last thing we need to do is to play into the hands of ISIS. Going after American Muslims, defaming a Gold Star family, the family of Captain Khan, making it more difficult for us to have a coalition with Muslim majority nations that is not going to help us to succeed in defeating ISIS and protecting our American homeland.”

In contrast, Donald Trump denigrated the generals, suggested he would install his own generals and demand a plan within 30 days which may or may not be as good as his secret plan which he will not detail because it is better to be “unpredictable.” He suggested that ISIS would not exist at all if Obama had only seized Iraq’s oil reserves – “To the victor belong the spoils” – which actually would be a war crime and a violation of international and US law. And instead of saying what he would do (beyond convening a new pack of generals to come up with a plan), he only could attack Obama and Clinton. He also suggested that he was “shocked” after his classified briefing, that the briefers indicated that Obama had rejected their advice (something that would never have happened since briefers don’t give policy advice), and that if he were president, Osama bin Ladin would have been killed before the terror attacks of September 11, 2001.

Here are Trump’s remarks:

“Sure. I mean, part of the problem that we’ve had is we go in, we defeat somebody, and then we don’t know what we’re doing after that. We lose it, like as an example, you look at Iraq, what happened, how badly that was handled. And then when President Obama took over, likewise, it was a disaster. It was actually somewhat stable. I don’t think could ever be very stable to where we should have never gone into in the first place.

“But he came in. He said when we go out — and he took everybody out. And really, ISIS was formed. This was a terrible decision. And frankly, we never even got a shot. And if you really look at the aftermath of Iraq, Iran is going to be taking over Iraq. They’ve been doing it. And it’s not a pretty picture.

“The — and I think you know — because you’ve been watching me I think for a long time — I’ve always said, shouldn’t be there, but if we’re going to get out, take the oil. If we would have taken the oil, you wouldn’t have ISIS, because ISIS formed with the power and the wealth of that oil.”

Lauer asks, “How were we going to take the oil? How were we going to do that?”

Trump replies, “Just we would leave a certain group behind and you would take various sections where they have the oil. They have — people don’t know this about Iraq, but they have among the largest oil reserves in the world, in the entire world.

“And we’re the only ones, we go in, we spend $3 trillion, we lose thousands and thousands of lives, and then, Matt, what happens is, we get nothing. You know, it used to be to the victor belong the spoils. Now, there was no victor there, believe me. There was no victor. But I always said: Take the oil.

“One of the benefits we would have had if we took the oil is ISIS would not have been able to take oil and use that oil to fuel themselves.”

Donald Trump, Republican candidate for President, on how he would defeat ISIS: “I have a plan. But I want to be — I don’t want to — look. I have a very substantial chance of winning. Make America great again. We’re going to make America great again. I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don’t want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is...And let me tell you, if I like maybe a combination of my plan and the generals’ plan, or the generals’ plan, if I like their plan.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Donald Trump, Republican candidate for President, on how he would defeat ISIS: “I have a plan. But I want to be — I don’t want to — look. I have a very substantial chance of winning. Make America great again. We’re going to make America great again. I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don’t want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is…And let me tell you, if I like maybe a combination of my plan and the generals’ plan, or the generals’ plan, if I like their plan.” © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Lauer then asks about Trump’s plan to defeat ISIS. “When we’ve met in the past and we’ve talked, you say things like I’m going to bomb the expletive out of them very quickly. And when people like me press you for details like that gentleman just said on what your plan is, you very often say, I’m not going to give you the details because I want to be unpredictable.”

“Absolutely. The word is unpredictable,” Trump interjects.

When Lauer asks whether Trump’s “secret plan” to defeat ISIS he has been “hiding this whole time” is actually “to convene my top generals and they will have 30 days to submit a plan for soundly and quickly defeating ISIS,” Trump replies. “No. But when I do come up with a plan that I like and that perhaps agrees with mine, or maybe doesn’t — I may love what the generals come back with. I will convene…

“I have a plan. But I want to be — I don’t want to — look. I have a very substantial chance of winning. Make America great again. We’re going to make America great again. I have a substantial chance of winning. If I win, I don’t want to broadcast to the enemy exactly what my plan is.

“And let me tell you, if I like maybe a combination of my plan and the generals’ plan, or the generals’ plan, if I like their plan, Matt, I’m not going to call you up and say, “Matt, we have a great plan.” This is what Obama does. “We’re going to leave Iraq on a certain day.”

Lauer presses, “But you’re going to convene a panel of generals, and you’ve already said you know more about ISIS than those generals do.”

Trump replies. “Well, they’ll probably be different generals, to be honest with you.”

Hillary for America campaign followed up with a reminder of the detailed plan Hillary Clinton introduced months ago: 

“The threat we face from terrorism is real, urgent, and knows no boundaries. Hillary Clinton knows that ISIS cannot be contained, it must be defeated,” Hillary for America campaign said in a statement. “Doing so takes more than empty talk and a handful of slogans. It takes a real plan, real experience, and real leadership. Donald Trump lacks all three. He won’t even say what his plan to defeat ISIS is.

Hillary Clinton has laid out a comprehensive plan to defeat ISIS and keep American safe at home.  She understands that it’s not enough just to take out specific groups or leaders – we must have a comprehensive strategy to win the long game against the global terrorist network and its ideology.

First, we need to take out ISIS’s strongholds in the Middle East by intensifying the coalition air campaign, supporting our partners on the ground, and pursuing diplomacy to end Syria’s civil war and close Iraq’s sectarian divide, because those conflicts are keeping ISIS alive.

Second, we need to lash up with our allies to dismantle the global network that supplies money, arms, propaganda and fighters to the terrorists.  This means targeted efforts to root out ISIS hubs and affiliates and preventing terrorist organizations from establishing hubs elsewhere, choking off the networks that facilitate their growth and expansion.

And third, we need to harden our defenses at home, including by launching an intelligence surge to ensure law enforcement has the information they need to detect and disrupt plots, working with Silicon Valley to shut down terrorist propaganda online, and keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists.  Hillary has also proposed establishing a “lone wolf” task force to identify and stop radicalized individuals who may or may not have contact and direction from any formal organization.

“As we do all of this, we cannot allow terrorists to intimidate us into abandoning our values or allowing us to be driven by fear to embrace policies that would actually make us less safe.  Hillary knows that all communities need to be engaged in the fight against ISIS.  As the Director of the FBI told Congress recently, anything that erodes trust with Muslim-Americans makes the job of law enforcement more difficult.  American Muslims are on the front lines of efforts to combat radicalization, and we need to increase trust and cooperation with law enforcement.  Since 9/11, law enforcement agencies have worked hard to build relationships with Muslim-American communities. They are the most likely to recognize the insidious effects of radicalization before it’s too late, and the best positioned to help us block it. Hillary knows we should be intensifying contacts in those communities, not scapegoating or isolating them. And as we engage in this fight, we will be stronger with our allies and partners standing with us, particularly in the Muslim world, as we cannot win this fight alone.”

They also took note that various pundits have praised Clinton’s plan:

  • New York Times’ David Brooks: “This week we had a chance to watch Hillary Clinton respond in real time to a complex foreign policy challenge. On Thursday, six days after the Paris attacks, she gave a comprehensive antiterrorism speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. The speech was very impressive. While other candidates are content to issue vague calls to get tough on terror, Clinton offered a multilayered but coherent framework, not only dealing with ISIS but also putting that threat within the crosscutting conflicts that are inflaming the Middle East.… [Clinton] is thoughtful and instructive on both the big picture and the right way forward.”
  • CNN: “Michael Desch, an expert in international security at Notre Dame University, said that Clinton’s speech was polished and showed her to be ‘head and shoulders’ above Republican candidates on framing an anti-ISIS strategy.”
  • US News & World Report’s Dave Catanese: “A strong performance delivered with the poise of an incumbent president”
  • Politico’s Roger Simon: “Hillary gives one of her best speeches ever on world terror. So presidential, they practically played ‘Hail to the Chief.’”
  • Defense One’s Kevin Baron: “[Clinton’s speech is the] Most comprehensive and detailed Mideast/Isis plans I’ve heard from any US leader so far, of late”
  • Quartz: “…talking about how to actually tackle Islamist extremism is complicated and politically fraught. It’s easier to play to fears about outsiders than to develop a substantive program. At least one US politician has given some thought to an idea about what to do: Presidential contender and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton delivered a speech today (Nov. 19) outlining her plan to battle the nexus of Islamist ideology that ISIL has created in the Middle East’s failed states… It’s a cohesive approach…”
  • New York Times’ David Brooks: “This week we had a chance to watch Hillary Clinton respond in real time to a complex foreign policy challenge. On Thursday, six days after the Paris attacks, she gave a comprehensive antiterrorism speech at the Council on Foreign Relations. The speech was very impressive. While other candidates are content to issue vague calls to get tough on terror, Clinton offered a multilayered but coherent framework, not only dealing with ISIS but also putting that threat within the crosscutting conflicts that are inflaming the Middle East.… [Clinton] is thoughtful and instructive on both the big picture and the right way forward.”
  • CNN: “Michael Desch, an expert in international security at Notre Dame University, said that Clinton’s speech was polished and showed her to be ‘head and shoulders’ above Republican candidates on framing an anti-ISIS strategy.”
  • US News & World Report’s Dave Catanese: “A strong performance delivered with the poise of an incumbent president”
  • Politico’s Roger Simon: “Hillary gives one of her best speeches ever on world terror. So presidential, they practically played ‘Hail to the Chief.’”
  • Defense One’s Kevin Baron: “[Clinton’s speech is the] Most comprehensive and detailed Mideast/Isis plans I’ve heard from any US leader so far, of late”
  • Quartz: “…talking about how to actually tackle Islamist extremism is complicated and politically fraught. It’s easier to play to fears about outsiders than to develop a substantive program. At least one US politician has given some thought to an idea about what to do: Presidential contender and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton delivered a speech today (Nov. 19) outlining her plan to battle the nexus of Islamist ideology that ISIL has created in the Middle East’s failed states… It’s a cohesive approach…”

Donald Trump Pushes School Choice Proposal; Hillary Clinton Campaign Slams as Attack on Public Education

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses New York State Conservative Party © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump unveiled proposals to expand school choice © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Donald Trump, in a speech in Cleveland on Sept. 8, unveiled four basic proposals as the underpinning of an education program that would stress school choice, a longstanding objective of the right wing, which is used to dismantle public schools in favor of privatized schools (such as charter schools), as a means of diverting public tax dollars into private and parochial schools as well as home-schooling, and a tool to dismantle teachers unions.

PROPOSAL: Trump says his first budget will immediately add an additional federal investment of $20 billion towards school choice. This will be done by repriortizing existing federal dollars. Specifically, Trump’s plan would use $20 billion of existing federal dollars to establish a block grant for the 11 million school age kids living in poverty. Individual states will be given the option as to how these funds will be used.

PROPOSAL:  Trump will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty. That means that we want every disadvantaged child to be able to choose the local public, private, charter or magnet school that is best for them and their family. Each state will develop its own formula, but the dollars should follow the student.

PROPOSAL: To achieve this long-term goal of school choice, Trump make this a shared national mission – to bring hope to every child in every city in this land. Mr. Trump will use the pulpit of the presidency to campaign for this in all 50 states and will call upon the American people to elect officials at the city, state and federal level who support school choice.

PROPOSAL:  Trump will also support merit-pay for teachers, so that great teachers are rewarded instead of the failed tenure system that currently exists, which rewards bad teachers and punishes good ones.

“Our campaign represents the long-awaited chance to break with the bitter failures of the past, and to embrace a New American Future,” Trump stated.

“There is no failed policy more in need of urgent change than our government-run education monopoly.

“The Democratic Party has trapped millions of African-American and Hispanic youth in failing government schools that deny them the opportunity to join the ladder of American success.

“It is time to break-up that monopoly.

“I want every single inner city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom – the civil right – to attend the school of their choice. This includes private schools, traditional public schools, magnet schools and charter schools which must be included in any definition of school choice.

“Our government spends more than enough money to easily pay for this initiative – with billions left over. It’s simply a matter of putting students first, not the education bureaucracy.

“Let’s run through the numbers.

“At the state and federal level, the United States spends more than $620 billion on K-12 education each year. That’s an average of about $12,296 for every student enrolled in our elementary and secondary public schools.

“The federal government pays for about 10 percent—$64 billion, to be precise—of the K-12 costs. That $64 billion makes up about half of the total spending of the U.S. Department of Education.

“The other roughly $570 billion spent on K-12 education comes from the states.

“We spend more per student than almost any other major country in the world. Yet, our students perform near the bottom of the pack for major large advanced countries.

“Our largest cities spend some of the largest amounts of money on public schools.

“New York City spends $20,226 dollars per pupil.

“Baltimore spends $15,287 dollars per student.

“Chicago spends $11,976 dollars per student, and in Los Angeles it is $10,602.

“Just imagine if each student in these school systems was given a scholarship for this amount of money – allowing them and their family to choose the public or private school of their choice.

“Not only would this empower families, but it would create a massive education market that is competitive and produces better outcomes.

“These schools would then cater to the needs of the individual student and family – not the needs of the Teachers’ Union. There is no more important job than a teacher, and teachers will benefit greatly from these reforms.

“The current government monopoly, while great for the bureaucrats, has utterly failed too many students.

“According to the National Assessment of Education Progress, only 1 in 6 African-American students in the eighth grade are considered proficient in math and reading.

“Failing schools then contribute to failing economies.”

Trump declared, “As your President, I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice. I understand many stale old politicians will resist. But it’s time for our country to start thinking big once again. We spend too much time quibbling over the smallest words, when we should spend our time dreaming about the great adventures that lie ahead.”

And in Charlotte last month, he said, “On education, we are going to give students choice, and allow charter schools to thrive…. overturn tenure…. my opponent wants to deny students choice and opportunity all to get a little more money from the education bureaucracy. She doesn’t care how many young dreams are dashed and destroyed, and they are destroyed, young people are destroyed before they even start. We are going to work closely with African American parents and children, wither the parents’ students, everybody in the African American community, in the inner cities, and what a big difference that will make.

But this is all a spiel and a scam – like his Trump University – to divert tax dollars into for-profit education companies, and into parochial schools (contradicting the Constitutional separation of church and state), and for good measure, undermine the Teachers Union, which has strongly backed Democratic candidates. That’s what is meant by the “education bureaucracy” and that’s why it has been so, so key to Republicans to end teacher tenure (and at the same time, make teachers subject to whim of firing when they get to expensive, or when they teach Evolution and refuse to teach Creationism as science).

This is his spiel, but how would his Education proposal work in real life? After all, it was George w. Bush, who as Texas Governor opposed President Bill Clinton’s effort to introduce national standards, but who as president, overturned public education with his No child Left Behind/Accountability federal control of public education, even promoting public shaming of teachers and public schools which did not meet the arbitrary and unfairly imposed testing regimen designed so that every public school and every public school teacher would fail.

HFA Statement in Response to Trump’s Education Speech Today in Cleveland

In response to Trump’s dangerous education proposals announced during his speech today in Cleveland, HFA Senior Policy Advisor Maya Harris offered the following statement:

“It’s no surprise that Donald Trump—whose only experience when it comes to education is his fraudulent ‘Trump University’—offered education policies that would prove disastrous for our public schools, our educators, and most importantly, our kids. Let’s be clear: Trump’s proposal to apparently gut nearly 30 percent of the federal education budget and turn it into private school vouchers would decimate public schools across America and deprive our most vulnerable students of the education they deserve.

“Hillary Clinton believes that the public school system is one of the pillars of our democracy. As president she will fight to strengthen our public schools to ensure every student receives a world-class education, regardless of their ZIP code.”

Donald Trump’s proposal, explained:

TRUMP: “[U]se $20 billion of existing federal dollars to establish a block grant for the 11 million school age kids living in poverty.”

EXPLAINER: A more extreme version of past Republican proposals, Trump’s plan would apparently eliminate the targeting of federal dollars to schools and districts with the highest concentrations of low-income students. Instead, he would turn over all $15.4 billion in Title I funding to states, and allow money to follow students outside of the public school system to private or parochial schools.

  • Trump’s proposal could strip funding from up to 56,000 public schools serving more than 21 million children. By allowing funding to leave America’s 56,000 Title I schools, Trump’s proposal will put crucial funding at risk for nearly 21 million American students.
  • Trump’s proposal might only serve 1.4 million students, while stripping funding from the other 10.5 million low-income students in America. Trump’s proposal would serve no-where near 11 million students. The average cost of a K-12 private school is $13,640 per student, per year. Since thevast majority of states do not support private school vouchers, Trump’s proposal would have to carry the full cost of attendance. As a result, Trump’s proposal might only serve 1.4 million students, while taking away funding that serves America’s low-income schools.
  • Trump’s proposal could have a devastating impact on student achievement. Research shows that students who attend schools using vouchersoften do worse than those who stayed in their neighborhood public schools.
  • To fund his $20 billion voucher program, Trump would have to cut all Title I funding and $5 billion dollars in additional federal education programs. Trump would need to “repurpose” roughly $5 billion in annual education funding which currently supports programming such as preschool, Pell grants, and crucial resources to help low income students, students with disabilities, and English-language learners.