Saturday, August 1, 2015

Slow Saturday Special: The First Bush-Clinton Debate

Governor, your opening statement please:

"Bush pitches record to Urban League" Associated Press  July 31, 2015

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush went into historically Democratic territory on Friday to tell a predominantly African-American audience that the country’s efforts to fight poverty are failing.

He said his record as Florida’s governor, especially in education, serves as a blueprint for a future presidency.

‘‘For a half-century, this nation has pursued a ‘war on poverty’ and massive government programs, funded with trillions of taxpayer dollars,’’ Bush told the annual conference of the National Urban League, one of the nation’s largest civil rights organizations. ‘‘This decades-long effort, while well intentioned, has been a losing one.

‘‘So many people could do so much better in life if we could come together and get even a few big things right in government,’’ Bush said.


Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at the same event as Bush in a first for the 2016 campaign.

Why not? Let's cut through all the scripted theater and just acknowledge the end result of the process.

Within moments of taking the stage, Clinton sought to draw distinctions between herself and Republicans, including a reminder of the federal government’s poor response to Hurricane Katrina a decade ago during the administration of Jeb Bush’s brother, George W.....

Which made me realize that W has gotten a pass on the racial problems he either neglected or fostered.


Madame Secretary, your opening statement please:

"In Fla., Clinton urges ties with Cuba" by Bill Barrow Associated Press  August 01, 2015

MIAMI — Drawing a sharp distinction with Republican rivals in the pivotal election state of Florida, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Friday called on the GOP-run Congress to end the trade embargo the United States has imposed on Cuba since 1962.

The Democratic presidential favorite said an opened economic relationship would bring ‘‘dignity and democracy’’ faster than continuing the hard-line isolationism sustained through five decades of Republican and Democratic administrations, including her husband Bill’s two terms.

President Obama has normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba and made it easier for Cuban-Americans to visit and send money to relatives on the island. He also has called for Congress to lift the economic embargo.

I will be getting back to Cuba again shortly.

Alluding to her time as first lady and in the Senate, Clinton acknowledged that she previously supported sanctions, but she told an auditorium of students, faculty, and others at Florida International University that she changed her views during four years as Obama’s secretary of state.

Clinton accused Republican presidential candidates — not by name — of approaching Cuba and Latin America ‘‘through a Cold War prism.’’

Florida Senator Marco Rubio and former governor Jeb Bush have been among the most vocal critics of establishing diplomatic relations.

Bush, who earlier shared a stage with Clinton at a National Urban League conference in nearby Fort Lauderdale, embraced their disagreement, saying it was ‘‘insulting to many residents of Miami for Hillary Clinton to come here to endorse a retreat in the struggle for democracy in Cuba.’’

They are practically family. Didn't H.W. about Bill as the son he never had?


The first question goes to the Globe and to Governor Bush: How will you change the culture of Washington D.C.?

"Jeb Bush vows to cut spending, Washington lobbying" by Gary Fineout Associated Press   July 21, 2015

TALLAHASSEE — In a speech aimed at President Obama’s administration as well as his rivals for the GOP nomination, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush called for amending the Constitution to require a balanced budget and to give the president line-item veto power to challenge what he called ‘‘Mount Washington,’’ a quip echoing his time as governor when he called the state capital ‘‘Mount Tallahassee.’’

This are nothing throwaways of the campaign.

‘‘The overspending, the overreaching, the arrogance, the sheer incompetence of the city are sometimes treated as though it’s a fact of life,’’ Bush said during a speech at Florida State University. ‘‘But a president should never accept it and I will not. We need a president willing to challenge the whole culture in our nation’s capital — and I mean to do it.’’

Brother said that, Obama said that, every newly-elected president says that, and it never gets done.

Bush gave his speech less than a mile from where he spent eight years as Florida’s governor and he pointed repeatedly to his achievements during two terms in office as proof he would fulfill his promises even though he was aided by a solid GOP majority in the Legislature.

Some of his remarks were aimed at fellow Republicans, including Senator Marco Rubio, who is also running for president. Bush scolded members of Congress who miss votes and said they should forfeit their pay if they are absent. Rubio’s missed votes have come under scrutiny recently.

Related: Florida Republican donors favoring Bush over Rubio

Also see: Rubio's Retreats

‘‘The reality is that Congress is in session for typically three days a week when they are up there, so it’s not asking too much that every member be there and work on those days,’’ Bush said.

I'd rather they not do a damn thing. Every time they do, things get worse.

A Democratic National Committee spokeswoman called Bush’s ‘‘talk of government reform nothing but thin air.’’

‘‘What we have seen from Jeb Bush before, we will see again — greater income inequality, sky-high debt, allegiances to lobbyists, and a failed economic agenda that benefits the wealthy,’’ said Christina Freundlich. ‘‘Bush may have an elevated sense of his record here — but those who are paying attention know better.”

That's weird. That's the same thing we got from eight years of Obama.


In a speech Monday in his home state of Kentucky, the Senate’s top Republican said the ‘‘gender card alone’’ won’t be enough to propel Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton to the White House.

Majority leader Mitch McConnell acknowledged that Clinton is smart and capable and said there are millions of Americans who want a woman as president. ‘‘But the question is, a woman president to do what?’’ McConnell told a business group in Shepardsville. ‘‘And I think inevitably, Hillary Clinton’s campaign will be four more years of the last eight.’’


RelatedPat Buchanan’s awkward ’92 run

He's not in this debate, and he had New Hampshire stolen from him after beating H.W. in Iowa.

The next question goes to the Globe and to Secretary Clinton: How will you change the climate of Washington D.C.?

"Hillary Clinton details plan to combat climate change, save energy" by the Associated Press   July 28, 2015

DES MOINES — Calling climate change one of the ‘‘most urgent threats of our time,’’ Hillary Rodham Clinton laid out elements of a sweeping plan Monday that would see every US home powered by renewable energy by 2027.

There are so many I've lost count.

Clinton declined to take a position on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, which is opposed by environmental activists.

The Democratic presidential candidate called for installing 500 million solar panels by 2020 as part of a plan she likened in its ambitions to President John F. Kennedy’s moonshot in the 1960s. 

I'm not opposed; I just don't think it will happen within the corporate context in which we exist, and the very $y$tem over which she will rule. 

Didn't Carter say something like that forty years ago? All the time and money lost playing war instead.

‘‘I know these goals will test our capacities, but I know they are within our reach,’’ Clinton said after touring a regional bus station that was built using some recycled materials and uses solar panels and rainwater to save energy.

But Clinton again would not be pinned down on the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the $8 billion project that would transport oil from Canada’s tar sands to refineries on the Gulf of Mexico. Environmentalists say the project would contribute to global warming by distributing dirty oil. Clinton said she wanted a State Department review started when she was secretary to run its course.

‘‘I put together a thorough, deliberative, evidence-based process to evaluate the environmental impact and other considerations on Keystone,’’ said Clinton. ‘‘I’m confident that the pipeline’s impact on global greenhouse gas emissions will be a major factor in that decision, as the president has said.’’

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, one of Clinton’s 2016 primary opponents, has been vocal about the need for action to curb climate change. Another rival for the nomination, former governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, released a plan in Iowa several weeks ago that deals not just with consumer energy use, but also industrial and transportation, as he aims to make the United States entirely powered by renewable energy by 2050.

Both Sanders and O’Malley oppose the pipeline.

Turns out Sanders is full of hot air.

Environmental groups praised Clinton for setting the goals but said they wanted to see details and a conviction that she would follow through.

Bill McKibben, an environmental activist and the cofounder of, said Clinton was ‘‘half the way there’’ but needed to show she understood ‘‘the other half of the climate change equation’’ by standing against fossil fuel projects like offshore and Arctic drilling, and the Keystone XL pipeline.

‘‘Growth in renewables doesn’t mean enough if we’re simultaneously kicking the decarbonization can down the road with more pipelines and more extraction on public lands,’’ McKibben said.


If I could just follow up, Madame Secretary:

"Hillary Clinton answers most questions, but declines to take stand on pipeline" by Akilah Johnson Globe Staff  July 28, 2015

NASHUA — Unlike the town halls and meet-and-greets held by many Republicans on the stump, much of Tuesday’s conversation centered around domestic issues and not foreign affairs, although the former US secretary of state was asked how she, as president, would combat Islamic State militants.

“We’ve got to get the United States working with others to put together a coalition to begin to push ISIS out of Iraq and get going after them in Syria,” Clinton said, saying that the country is better equipped than others to provide air power, surveillance, intelligence, and training. “Secondly, and just as important, we have got to shut down their Internet presence.”

Clinton said ISIS uses the Internet “to propagandize and recruit, train, and even direct attacks.” But, she added, the situation is complicated by cultural feuds and the shifting loyalties amongst people and countries in the region....


Did anyone get a look at her debate notes?

"Hillary Clinton e-mail said to contain classified information" New York Times   July 24, 2015

WASHINGTON — Government investigators have discovered four emails containing what they say is classified information on the personal email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used as secretary of state, the investigators said in a letter to Congress released Friday.

Clinton meanwhile said Friday that she would stay focused on the issues at the heart of her presidential campaign, and that she was concerned about “a lot of inaccuracies’’ in the reporting of her personal email account.

Uh-oh. Don't make enemies of them.

“Maybe the heat is getting to everybody,’‘ she said at a campaign event at New York University.

“We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right, and I will do my part,” Clinton added....

I had to cut it short for laughter.


Scribbled on the side:

"Bickering has resumed between Hillary Rodham Clinton’s campaign and the House committee investigating the Benghazi attacks, this time over negotiations for the former secretary of state’s possible testimony. A Clinton spokesman, Nick Merrill, said Saturday that Clinton would testify in a public session Oct. 22 before lawmakers examining the deaths of four Americans in the 2012 attacks in Libya. But committee spokesman Jamal Ware said the panel and Clinton’s lawyer were negotiating the date of an appearance and the terms under which she would testify (AP)."

We will never get the truth of what happened that night from Congre$$ or the administration.

"Clinton e-mail disclosure slowed by security concerns" by Ken Dilanian Associated Press  July 31, 2015

WASHINGTON — Dozens of e-mails that traversed Hillary Clinton’s private, unsecure home server contain national security information now deemed too sensitive to make public, according to the latest batch of records released Friday....

Clinton has said she never sent classified information from the private e-mail server in her home in New York, but federal investigators said some of the material should have been marked classified.

The Friday release brings the volume of e-mails publicly released by the State Department to roughly 12 percent of the 55,000 pages Clinton had turned over to department lawyers earlier this year.

That falls short of the 15 percent goal set by a court ruling in May, a lag the State Department attributed to interest by the inspector general of the US intelligence community in the possible compromise of classified information.

And to protect the campaign.

There were no obviously stunning revelations in the e-mails released Friday, which reflected the workaday business of government. Some of the documents could reflect favorably on Clinton, such as a message in August 2009 about a 10-year-old Yemeni girl who had been married and divorced, and had been portrayed as unhappy in a CNN story.

Because of the U.S.-supported Saudi destruction?

“Is there any way we can help her? Could we get her to the US for counselling and education?” Clinton asked an aide, who began making calls.

Others could be controversial, such as 2009 messages from former adviser Sandy Berger about how to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel about negotiations with Palestinians.

Some e-mails show the extent to which her closest aides managed the details of her image. Top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, for example, sent her an early-morning message in August 2009 advising her to “wear a dark color today. Maybe the new dark green suit. Or blue.” Clinton later held a joint news conference with the Jordanian foreign minister. She wore the green suit.

Clinton’s decision not to use a State Department e-mail account has become a political problem for her, as Republicans seize on the disclosures to paint her as untrustworthy.

Do not need much. One or two brushes is enough. 

There is also the matter of the classified information that found its way onto her insecure e-mail system.

Memos sent by the inspector general of the intelligence community alerted the FBI to a potential security violation arising from Clinton’s use of a private server located in her home.

The inspector general said his office has found four e-mails containing classified information while reviewing a limited sample of 40 of the e-mails provided by Clinton. Those four messages should have been handled as classified because they contained restricted information at the time they were sent, the inspector general said.

Clinton has defended her e-mail usage, saying her server had “numerous safeguards” and placing responsibility for releasing the documents on the State Department.

“They’re the ones that are bearing the responsibility to sort through these thousands and thousands of e-mails and determine at what pace they can be released,” she said after meeting with labor leaders Thursday. “I really hope that it will be as quickly as possible.”

I notice the shadow Secretary of State during her tenure, Sidney Blumenthal, remains unmentioned.


And just off-stage:

Three groups raise $32 million for Walker

Better nip that candidacy in the bud or it will be up and running in no time.