Sunday, August 9, 2015

Sunday Globe Special: Smile Wiped Off Clinton's Face

Did you get the e-mail?

"Clinton team smiles while GOP debates" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  August 08, 2015

NEW YORK — Team Clinton had a lot to smile about as 10 Republican contenders battled one another in Cleveland: The memorable zingers of the night didn’t touch her candidacy, and, instead, GOP candidates played to their conservative base.

From what I read it stunk.

I'm as anti-Bush as some are anti-Clinton, and that is in no way an endorsement of her.

“It is a race to the right, all the way around,” mused Robby Mook, Clinton’s campaign manager, at one point in the debate. “I think they’re digging the hole deeper.”

Hillary Rodham Clinton didn’t watch the two-hour debate. She was busy on the West Coast posing for selfies with the Kardashian clan and raising money in Los Angeles.

Ugh! That group of self-absorbed and elite freaks?

The gritty work of responding to the Republican field was left to her campaign staff — though the team didn’t have to push back as much as many expected. There were only passing references to Clinton’s handling of the fatal Benghazi attack, her use of a homebrew computer server while secretary of state, and donations to her family foundation. Instead, the Republicans reserved their sharpest attacks for one another.

That baggage is waiting for the general campaign. Must be why the Democrats are keeping Biden close at hand and in reserve.

Lesser known Democratic candidates like Senator Bernie Sanders or former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley might have benefited from some GOP attacks, because the attention would have elevated their longshot candidacies.

Sanders watched the debate from his Capitol Hill home. His team sent out a photo of the senator from Vermont sitting on a couch with his signature yellow legal pad on his lap and urged supporters to post thoughts on Twitter using the hashtag #DebateWithBernie.

O’Malley saw the exchange from Iowa where he’s campaigning. His team sent out missives with the hashtag #wwomd (which stood for: What Would O’Malley Do?”). 

Is this something i really need to know or care about?

Team Clinton was happy to have a pass from GOP attacks: “It was a fun night,” said Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri. “It makes you kind of excited for the other ones to come.”

Prepared for far worse, the Clinton staff ordered pizzas and invited reporters to watch the first of nine sanctioned Republican debates from a filing room at their Brooklyn headquarters.

Did you have to win a lottery for access like the pool reporters following the campaign? Pre$$ can't bring it up because access will get cut off, but I can.

The staff set up a room with long tables and decorated the walls with quotes from various Republican presidential candidates praising Clinton. They included words from former Florida governor Jeb Bush (who said Clinton “dedicated her life to serving”); Senator Marco Rubio of Florida (who said he has “tremendous respect” for Clinton); and Republican front-runner Donald Trump (who said Clinton “does a good job and I like her”).

And he's helping her any way he can.

Early in the debate, the staff’s cheers could be heard echoing through the hallways when Rubio declared: “If this election is a resume competition, then Hillary Clinton’s going to be the next president!”

During a fiery exchange in which Kentucky Senator Rand Paul called out New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for hugging President Obama, Clinton spokeswoman Karen Finney exclaimed: “This is good!”

From the clips I saw, Christie waved the bloody shirt of 9/11 in response.

Like the rest of America, the Clinton crew couldn’t get enough of Donald Trump.

For the Clinton team, one of the more shocking moments came when Trump had said that he donated $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation in exchange for a commitment that Hillary Clinton would attend his third wedding.

“I said ‘be at my wedding’ and she came to my wedding,” Trump said. “You know why? She didn’t have a choice because I gave.”

That could get kind of sticky, what with the woman thing and all.

Palmieri batted down the accusation as absurd. “They’re acquaintances,” Palmieri said, describing Clinton’s relationship with Trump. “It hurt her feelings, I’m sure, to hear him suggest that he didn’t really want her there.”

The team was so interested in what Trump was saying that at one point toward the end of the debate, Mook was shushed by a senior Clinton staffer as he was offering talking points to reporters: The commercials were over! The Donald was talking! All eyes snapped back to the TV.

The campaign seemed most satisfied when Rubio doubled down on his position that abortions should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest.


Of course, given what is going on over at Planned Parenthood....

“This is really good,” Mook said quietly, pleased that his position contrasted so sharply with Clinton’s support of abortion rights.

The two extremes, and this is the lone divide amongst the two corporate parties.

The team didn’t take the bait on what might have been the best news for Clinton’s White House ambitions: Trump’s refusal to rule out a third-party bid if he isn’t selected as the GOP nominee. Many Republican strategists believe Trump would hand the election to Clinton should he bolt from the GOP and split the Republican vote.

It would allow for an easier rigging of the voting machines, too.

Clinton’s staff didn’t necessarily agree — at least publicly. “You never know how that stuff is going to play out,” said Mook. “You have to wait and see. I’ve seen third-party candidates cut a bunch of different ways.”

Not only that, you have to be careful about who you think you want to run against. That's how we got Reagan. Democrats were gleeful when he won the nomination.


Those smiles will soon be wiped clean.

"Government investigating device storage of Clinton e-mails, lawyer says" by Eric Tucker Associated Press  August 06, 2015

WASHINGTON — Federal investigators have begun looking into the security of devices on which Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private e-mail was stored when she was secretary of state, Clinton’s attorney confirmed Wednesday.

‘‘We are actively cooperating’’ with the investigation, attorney David Kendall said in a statement.

The inspector general of the US intelligence community alerted the FBI last month to concerns that classified information was included in e-mails that went through Clinton’s personal home server.

They aren't saying it, but it looks criminal.


The Washington Post, which first reported the FBI’s involvement, said that the FBI has asked Kendall about the security of a thumb drive containing copies of Clinton’s work e-mails sent during her tenure as secretary of state, which is in his possession. The Post cited two anonymous government officials, who said that the FBI was not targeting Clinton.

Clinton’s e-mails have been under scrutiny since the Associated Press revealed in March that she used a private ‘‘homebrew’’ server traced to her Chappaqua, N.Y., home while she was the top US diplomat....

What she was basically doing was running a shadow State Department through Sidney Blumenthal.

Last month, the inspector general of the intelligence community revealed that he had found four e-mails containing classified information while reviewing a limited sample of 40 of the tens of thousands of e-mails provided by Clinton. Those four messages were not marked as classified but should have been handled as such because they contained classified information at the time they were sent, the inspector general said.

‘‘This classified information should never have been transmitted via an unclassified personal system,’’ according to a joint statement from the inspectors general.

There is no debate about that.


"Clinton’s e-mails followed long path to campaign issue" by Scott Shane and Michael S. Schmidt New York Times  August 08, 2015

WASHINGTON — Earlier this summer, the inspector general of the nation’s intelligence agencies contacted the longtime lawyer for Hillary and Bill Clinton with a pointed question.

Classified information had been found in a small sample of 30,000 messages from the former secretary of state’s private e-mail account, and I. Charles McCullough III wanted to know where copies of the collection might still be stored.

David E. Kendall’s answer, like so much in the story of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mails, sent the inspector general in an unexpected direction. The official communications of the nation’s 67th secretary of state, it turned out, were handled by a little Colorado IT company, Platte River Networks, previously best known for being honored in 2012 as Denver’s “small business of the year.”

Late last month, FBI agents showed up at Platte River’s modest brick building. With some government secrets found in Clinton’s e-mails, the agents wanted to know about the company’s security measures.

While the need for it is in dispute, the federal inquiry on the e-mail account has become a significant early chaper in the 2016 presidential race. The Clinton campaign declined to comment for this article.

On the first day of Clinton’s confirmation hearing in January 2009, an aide to her husband bought the Internet domain name from a company called Network Solutions in Jacksonville, Fla. The aide, Justin Cooper, then shifted management of the account to an Atlanta company, Perfect Privacy.

A server was set up at the Clinton home in Chappaqua, N.Y., evidently with backup provided by Platte River Networks. To the surprise of many colleagues, Clinton never had a standard State Department e-mail account. There appears to have been no prohibition on the exclusive use of a private server; it does not appear to be an option anyone had considered.

Clinton has said she decided in 2009 to handle all of her e-mail, official and personal, on one account to avoid carrying multiple electronic devices. Yet early this year she quipped that she was “two steps short of a hoarder. So I have an iPad, a mini iPad, an iPhone, and a BlackBerry.”

So there may have been other reasons for using a private server. For an oft-attacked politician considering a presidential run, it would provide some control over what would become public from her time as the nation’s top diplomat. 

Doesn't bode well for a transparent administration.

There is another factor that some former colleagues say puts Clinton’s decision in a more reasonable light: the archaic, dysfunctional computer systems at the State Department. Only a tiny fraction of e-mails sent on the system in recent years has been permanently archived. And former State Department employees describe the unclassified e-mail system in 2009 as frustratingly inadequate.

Look at the excuse provided for breaking the law, and where has all the money gone?

As Clinton and her staffers have repeatedly pointed out, most of her e-mails — they say about 90 percent — were automatically captured on State Department servers because she was writing to aides and colleagues with addresses. But a few top aides also used private addresses.

After meeting with two of Clinton’s closest aides, Cheryl Mills and Philippe Reines, State Department officials decided last year to ask the last four secretaries of state for any e-mails in their possession. Clinton’s three predecessors said they had none; she turned over 30,490 in December.

However, it turned out that she had destroyed a slightly larger number of messages from her account — 31,830 — after she or her aides judged them to be personal in nature.

In June, the State Department said that it had not been able to find in Clinton’s e-mails some 15 messages from Sidney Blumenthal, an old friend and aide, who had independently turned his copies over to a House committee investigating the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya. The messages appeared to involve policy.

I'm surprised he got a mention.

The Clinton campaign has not explained the discrepancy.

Moving on.

Shortly after Clinton said in March her private e-mail held no classified information, the Republican chairmen of the Senate intelligence and foreign relations committees decided to test her statement.

So she kinda lied or didn't know?

The senators — Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Bob Corker of Tennessee — asked the inspectors general for the State Department and the intelligence community to investigate whether Clinton and other State Department officials had kept classified information on personal e-mail accounts.

McCullough, a former FBI agent, took the lead in examining Clinton’s e-mails. In 900 pages of State Dempartment e-mails about Libya, his team found one e-mail they judged to contain classified information — but the agency had already posted it on the Web.

McCullough then looked at a sample of 40 more messages and found four that he concluded contained information that should have been marked “secret.” In a court-ordered State Department release of an additional 2,200 pages of e-mails on July 31, 64 passages from 37 messages were blacked out, judged too sensitive for release.


Also seeDemocrats plan six primary debates, starting in October

Why bother?

Related: (Why You Should Trust No U.S. Election)  How Your Elections Were Stolen and How They Are Going To Be Stolen Again

The last video goes you the winner regardless of party. Or does it?


"Clinton to unveil student debt plan; Wants limits on loan payments" by Annie Linskey Globe staff  August 10, 2015

Hillary Rodham Clinton wants to radically change the way public higher education is financed, allowing students to earn a four-year degree without taking out a single loan.

Clinton’s plan, which she is set to unveil Monday in New Hampshire, would also make community colleges free and ensure that those with student loans wouldn’t be required to pay more than 10 percent of their income in debt payments, according to a summary of the plan the campaign shared with the Globe.

The plan would be paid for by limiting the value of itemized tax deductions for the wealthiest taxpayers, and increasing unspecified taxes. The overall cost: $350 billion over 10 years.

The plan addresses one of the core issues important to the Democratic base and comes as some liberal groups have been growing impatient that Clinton hasn’t unveiled more detailed policies so far in her campaign. The other two serious contenders for the Democratic nomination put forward detailed student debt plans months ago.

Political jockeying, nothing more.

RelatedDemocratic Candidates Take on Student Debt For 2016 

If you kids have forgotten, turn to that page in the book.

Clinton’s plan borrows some ideas from Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. It would allow those who currently carry debt to refinance loans at current rates. Clinton’s campaign estimates that allowing refinancing would save 25 million borrowers roughly $2,000 a year over the life of their loans. Warren’s first bill as a senator called for reducing the interest rates that government charges student borrowers.

They will be rising when the Fed starts raising rates soon.

According to the Clinton plan, the government should “never profit” from paying for living costs at college — under the current system, the federal government does make money off of student debt. “This one change, if enacted today, would cut interest rates nearly in half,” it states.

And they are your "friend."

Clinton remains the formidable front-runner in the Democratic presidential contest, but during the summer she’s seen her poll numbers — particularly in New Hampshire — slip as Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont has drawn huge crowds with his liberal message. One of his biggest applause lines comes when he talks about his plan for debt-free education.

Groups on the left were already lining up Sunday night to praise the Clinton proposal and take credit for their role pushing Democratic candidates to address the issue. Demos Action and the Progressive Change Campaign Committee scheduled a media call for Monday to “share thoughts on Clinton’s proposal and discuss how the proposal could benefit millions of Americans.”

I was going to pat them on the back but they are doing it themselves.

There’s more than $1.2 trillion in outstanding student debt in the country, a figure that’s doubled since the start of the financial crisis. Borrowers owe an average of $28,400 in federal and private loans combined, according to the Project on Student Debt by the Institute for College Access & Success.

It's the next great bailout bubble. Been bundled like all the mortgage-backed securities. And the good-paying jobs the kids were promised are simply not there.

The Clinton proposal involves creating what she’s calling a New College Compact that would provide grants to states willing to guarantee no-loan tuition at their public colleges and universities. The colleges would also have to reduce costs. Clinton’s proposal notes that in the past decade, tuition has skyrocketed as universities have passed on costs to students rather than finding cuts.

It also aims to penalize predatory lenders and institutions that repeatedly charge borrowers too much. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau would be given new unspecified powers to prevent students from being misled. Lenders that repeatedly overcharge borrowers would be banned from servicing federal loans.

The plan appears designed to appeal to the younger voters who flocked to Barack Obama, helping secure his path to the White House twice.

Sanders’s student debt plan calls for zero tuition at public colleges. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has also introduced a debt-free college plan that calls for public colleges and universities to freeze tuition rates.


I wish I could take such stuff seriously, but it's all political show fooley for the campaign and far too late.

Here is something that should make her smile:

"Criminal justice activists shove aside Sanders" Associated Press  August 10, 2015

SEATTLE — After a weekend confrontation with equal rights advocates, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told a large crowd at the University of Washington campus that he is committed to criminal justice reform and addressing income equality.

Sanders gave his talk to a cheering audience of about 12,000 in a university pavilion on Saturday, a few hours after he was shoved aside by several Black Lives Matter activists who are calling for changes to the criminal justice system.


Where is his security team?

Sanders eventually left the earlier event at Westlake Park in Seattle without giving his speech.

At the University of Washington rally, he addressed the issues raised by the protesters.

‘‘No president will fight harder to end institutional racism and reform criminal justice system,’’ he told the cheering crowd at Hec Edmundson pavilion, according to the King5-TV station. ‘‘Too many lives have been destroyed by war on drugs, by incarceration; we need to educate people. We need to put people to work.’’

He talks the talk, but the last thing we need is some Zionist Kibbutz model for government. We far enough along already, and where does Bernie stand on the Iran deal anyway?

Sanders was just starting to address several thousand gathered at Westlake Park when two women took over the microphone. Organizers couldn’t persuade the two to wait and agreed to give them a few minutes. As Sanders stepped back, the women spoke about Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown and held a four-minute moment of silence.

That turned ugly again.

When the crowd asked activists to allow Sanders to speak, one activist called the crowd ‘‘white supremacist liberals,’’ according to event participants.

Why are the Soros-backed Black Lives screwing with Sanders and discrediting themselves?

After waiting about 20 minutes, Sanders himself was pushed away when he tried to take the microphone.

Instead, he waved goodbye, left the stage with a raised fist salute, and waded into the crowd. He shook hands and posed for photos for 15 minutes, then left.

The rally at Westlake Park was organized as a birthday celebration for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

And it was ruined!


Also seeColleges’ searches proving costly

RelatedSummer School Courses

UPDATEIn N.H., Clinton proposes $350 billion college affordability plan

She is no longer smiling.

Also see: Clark University faces rape lawsuit