Sunday, August 23, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: Addicted to the Presidential Campaign

I'm trying to kick the habit.

"Presidential candidates confront opioid epidemic in N.H." by James Pindell Globe Staff  August 22, 2015

KEENE, N.H. — When Hillary Rodham Clinton and Jeb Bush made their inaugural visits to New Hampshire this year as presidential candidates, the first question they were asked wasn’t about their last names, the economy — or even about an e-mail server.

It was about the state’s opioid epidemic.

One by one, as the candidates march through New Hampshire, they are forced to confront the state’s drug crisis through sorrowful, first-hand testimonies of addiction. A recent poll showed the drug crisis ranked second as the biggest issue facing the state — ahead of health care, education, and an unresolved state budget.

My question is which candidate is going to point to the CIA drug smuggling and government agency cooperation in such things, and the boosting of bottom lines for money-laundering banks at bottom, rather than prattle on about compassion and treatment. 

Isn't it amazing how such a pro-active government is so reactive to the cri$i$?

Drug addiction, including heroin and other opioids, has emerged as a central issue on the campaign trail — especially in New Hampshire,where 321 people died of opioid overdoses in 2014 and state officials estimate 1,000 will die this year for the same reason. Candidates have struggled with answers — and few have provided policy proposals — as voters recall harrowing personal stories or those from loved ones hurt or killed by addiction.

“The heroin epidemic is the sleeper issue of the 2016 campaign in a way I have never seen an issue emerge in the New Hampshire primary,” said New England College professor Wayne Lesperance. “What has really struck me is that these heroin questions usually begin with a personal story, and then the candidate usually tells a story back. This issue ends up being about as personal as we see [in] these people running for president.”

While former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina was running for the US Senate in California five years ago, her 35-year-old stepdaughter died from a drug overdose. She avoided the topic until recently. Today, Fiorina regularly brings up her family’s tragedy with voters during her frequent and long visits to New Hampshire.

“We lost a daughter to addiction, so this is personal to me. I get it,” Fiorina said in response to a question about the drug crisis at a Salem, N.H., house party in May.

Related: Fired Up About Fiorina

She's ready for battle.

Also that month, Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey had roundtable meetings in Manchester and Franklin to discuss addiction. In his home state, Christie said he’s tried to focus on recovery more than law enforcement. But he also talks about how a good friend from law school was found “in a hotel room with an empty bottle of Percocet and a bottle of vodka. And he was gone.”

Governor John Kasich of Ohio said the issue became personal for him when a group of mothers visited his office.

“They all came with pictures of their sons, all of whom had been athletes, all of whom were dead. These ladies said, ‘Will you help us?’ I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ ” Kasich said at a recent New Hampshire town hall meeting. “So we took action immediately.”

On Wednesday, when the issue came up at a Bush town hall meeting in Merrimack, the former Florida governor got personal about his daughter’s struggle with drug addiction. In 2002, Noelle Bush, then 25, was sentenced to 10 days in jail for violating her drug treatment after crack cocaine was found in her shoe.

“I have some personal experience with this as a dad, and it is the most heartbreaking thing in the world to have to go through,” he said, according to CNN.

What kind of families are these?

To be sure, the hallmark of New Hampshire politics — its town hall meetings — are typically filled with questions for candidates on immigration, the economy, and foreign policy concerns. These are the kinds of inquiries for which candidates prepare and practice their answers. 

But no one is asking.

But when it comes to the question about drug addiction, candidates have proven they can provide empathy — but not yet solutions.

It is because they cannot for the reasons I mentioned above, and exposing such things usually costs people their life (Gary Webb).

It’s rare for candidates to offer detailed policy proposals at this point in the campaign, more than five months before the New Hampshire primary. However, not a single candidate has offered a comprehensive federal plan for dealing with the drug addiction crisis.

You know why.

When Clinton made her most recent trip to the state earlier this month, she held a 90-minute campaign event that focused solely on drug addiction. She asked questions of people closest to the problem — public health specialists, law enforcement officials, and recovery counselors. Aides said Clinton will release a plan to address the issue in the next few weeks.

She always says that.

So what was running through Mena airbase, and where did all those drug payoffs go?

During her roundtable, she talked about the son of good friends in New York who died after he took pills that he thought would help him stay up to study for law school finals. Also during her trip, Clinton met two grandmothers in New Hampshire who are taking care of their grandchildren because their daughters were addicted to drugs. 

Just as long as they aren't smoking pot.

Curt Maddon who works at the Granite House in Derry and said he’s been in recovery for 20 years, attended the Clinton event in Keene and said he was thrilled to simply see a presidential candidate dedicate an entire event to the issue.

“The problem is the worst that I have seen in 20 years,” said Maddon, who is undecided who he will support for president. “For Clinton to hold an event on this and ask the right questions shows leadership to me.”

Even as the $y$tem she has been a part of all those years has failed?

A few hours after Clinton held her event on addiction, Gary Carpenter of Peterborough got a front-row seat at a town hall meeting for Kasich. He came to the event for a purpose: He wanted to hear Kasich talk about what he would do about heroin and addiction.

Not me.

Kasich said he started a program to increase dialogue about drug addiction in Ohio, as well as increased law enforcement efforts and drug rehabilitation in prisons.

Then Kasich recalled a recent campaign stop in Manchester, where he ran into some youths at a business. He said he did not ask for their vote. Instead, he told them, “you have a responsibility to keep your friends from getting into drugs.”

“A reporter said that I acted like I was their dad,” Kasich told the crowd. “And I am going to act like dad because we have to spread the word.”

President Dad. 

Has a good ring to it!


RelatedDrug War Defeat

A retreat is coming.

"Hillary Clinton’s e-mail problems persist; Federal judge to hear arguments in suit Thursday" by Annie Linskey Globe Staff  August 19, 2015

WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton might have deleted messages, but the e-mail and server troubles haven’t been wiped from her campaign. Instead they seem to be going viral.

Yes, it has, it's a $ordid ca$e of $elling information to gain contributions to the Foundation, a spy shop server passing through a foreign government (namely Israel), and State Department gun-running from Libya to Syria. And that was just after a brief scan of the blogs.

A federal judge in Washington on Thursday is set to hear arguments in one of the four major lawsuits brought by groups seeking information from the private server Clinton used when she was secretary of state.

Court papers filed this week in a separate case revealed that 305 of the e-mails that passed through Clinton’s private server have been flagged for more scrutiny because they might be classified. The federal government took possession of her server last week amid a Justice Department review of possible mishandling of classified documents.

They are going to censor that thing like crazy.

The staying power of the saga has Democrats acknowledging that e-mail and server questions will continue to dog Clinton throughout the campaign if she is picked as the Democratic nominee. Some longtime supporters are aggravated that yet another Clinton campaign is being sidetracked by a self-inflicted wound. 

That is why they are warming up Biden.

The story is also fueling speculation that others — including Vice President Joe Biden — will get into the race.

“It is a problem,” Representative Michael Capuano, a Massachusetts Democrat, said in an interview. “She must know that.”

The e-mail story has metastasized into a sprawling narrative with multiple government agencies, inspectors general, and members of Congress seeking data about her server or reviewing her electronic messages. The sheer number of players guarantees that new revelations will continue to surface.

Clinton is scheduled to testify before the House Select Committee on Benghazi on Oct. 22, where members of the panel will quiz her about her “e-mail arrangement,” according to the committee.

“It’s going to keep going through this election, through November 2016,” said Joe Trippi, a Democratic strategist who is not part of Clinton’s campaign.

I have been arguing that a health reason will cause her to step aside; however, others are saying an "unfortunate accident" could come about.

If she’s the Democratic nominee, Republicans will make the e-mail saga a theme of their attack. “She gave them ammunition,” Trippi said in an interview. “They are going to use it. Period. There is no taking the ammunition back. She provided it.”

And well they should, quite honestly, if for no other reason that want she did was illegal.

Clinton again answered questions about her server during a testy news conference Tuesday afternoon in Nevada. “What I did was legally permitted, number one, first and foremost,” Clinton said.

So were the things Hilter did. Did that make them all right?

Clinton has also shifted the way she talks about whether classified material passed through her private server. It was initially set up at her home in New York, outside the federal government’s information technology security system.

You make of that what you will, but there is now evidence all the stuff went through a small tech firm in New Jersey, home of the Jewish mafia in AmeriKa.

“There is no classified material,” Clinton said in March. “So I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.” Now she qualifies the statement, saying that none were “marked” classified.

Qualifiers mean she lied, or at best obfuscated.

So far the State Department has released three batches of e-mails from Clinton’s four years at secretary of state. Of the e-mails released, 62 were redacted because they were determined to be “confidential” by government officials reviewing her correspondence. One e-mail was redacted because it was found by reviewers to be “secret,” a higher level of classification.

Clinton’s team has said that information can be upgraded to classified after it was initially sent — and that such was the case for the vast majority of the now classified e-mails. “Some e-mails that weren’t secret at the time she sent or received them might be secret now,” said Clinton’s campaign communications chief Jennifer Palmieri.

What disassembling for such disorganization!

Palmieri, along with other Clinton surrogates, made the case that government agencies can disagree about what is classified and what isn’t.

Additional batches of Clinton e-mails are slated to be released at the end of every month through January, just before the Iowa caucuses are set to be held, per a court order. With each batch, is the potential for the public to learn about additional e-mails sent via the private server that the federal government says is classified.

It is a point the Clinton campaign conceded, noting that in addition to the State Department a number of other intelligence agencies are reviewing e-mails before they are released.

Clinton took a lighter tone on a separate part of the e-mail saga last weekend, joking about the fact that she deleted — or tried to delete — the e-mails on her private server that were not work related. “You may have seen that I recently launched a Snapchat account,” she said in Iowa. “I love it . . . messages disappear all by themselves.”

Supporters note that Clinton continues to have a commanding lead for the Democratic nomination in national polls — and she also beats the GOP rivals in head-to-head matchups.

But her “trustworthiness” numbers are falling, leaving an opening for other heavy-hitting contenders to consider the race.

We know who is that.

Fifty-seven percent of respondents agree with the statement that Clinton is not honest and trustworthy, according to a national poll conducted by Quinnipiac University in the end of July. By comparison, 53 percent agreed with the statement when the university asked the question in the end of April.

The name most frequently mentioned as a new contender is Biden. Key donors haven’t heard from the vice president, a sign that he’s not that close to a launching a campaign.

He's chewing it over.

Republicans are delighted with the talk that the Democratic field could expand.

“Why not just dust off Dukakis?” said Arthur Brooks, the president of the American Enterprise Institute, during an interview on Fox News Sunday.

Or John Kerry, for that matter.

Michael Dukakis, the former Massachusetts governor and 1988 Democratic nominee for president, said in an e-mail that he’s “not sure” that he’s ready for another run. A hurdle, he said, would be convincing his wife Kitty. “I might just end up in the divorce courts of Norfolk County if I suggested another national campaign!” he said.

Plus, the couple is backing Clinton.


"Judge says Clinton failed to follow US rules on e-mails

A federal judge on Thursday said that Hillary Rodham Clinton did not follow government policies when she relied exclusively on a personal e-mail account while she was secretary of state, contradicting her longstanding claim that she had complied with the rules.

The judge, Emmet G. Sullivan of US District Court, also opened the door for the FBI to look through Clinton’s server for messages that she may have deleted but that should have been handed over to the State Department.

Clinton has said she gave the State Department more than 30,000 documents that she believed were related to her work in office. She then deleted roughly the same number of e-mails she said were personal.

Sullivan ordered the State Department to ask the FBI to alert the department if it recovers any documents on Clinton’s server that were not already in the State Department’s possession or that may be related to a request by the conservative group Judicial Watch.

At Thursday’s hearing in Washington for a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed against the State Department, the judge said of Clinton’s e-mail use that “we wouldn’t be here today if the employee had followed government policy,” according to two people who attended the hearing.

The lawsuit was brought by Judicial Watch, which is seeking documents and e-mails related to the special employment status of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s aide at the State Department. That status allowed Abedin to work as a part-time consultant to clients while also serving as a government employee.

She married to that scum Weiner.

As part of the lawsuit, Judicial Watch wants Clinton’s e-mail server searched for documents related to Abedin’s employment status.

Since The New York Times reported in March that Clinton exclusively relied on her personal e-mail account, she has said that she complied with the regulations by e-mailing government officials at their work accounts so those e-mails were caught in the government’s servers. But e-mails from Clinton’s account have shown that she e-mailed with at least four of her aides at their personal e-mail addresses. Unless those e-mails were later sent to government accounts, they could not have been retained on government record-keeping systems.


They never brought up the shadow State Department being run by Sydney Blumenthal, who was explicitly rejected by the Obama administration (probably because he's an Israeli mole along the lines of Rahm Emanuel).

Hope you enjoyed the show.