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Attorney in Texas

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Member since: Sun Aug 2, 2015, 11:10 AM
Number of posts: 3,373

Journal Archives

"Sanders: I Will Not Buy Into ‘Their’ Plan To Ignore America’s Problems To Talk About ISIS"

link; excerpt:

Sticking once again to his populist economic message in two speeches at New Hampshire universities, Sanders warned that the all-powerful “they” are using ISIS to distract voters away from America’s systemic problems.
“As a nation and as a people, we have got to understand that our country faces a myriad of very serious problems… if you turn on the TV, what they now say is, ‘Well we’ve got one problem, it’s ISIS,” Sanders said, launching into a sarcastic impression of the “they” on television this week.

“‘We don’t have to worry about old people not having enough to eat. We don’t have to worry about having more people in jail than any other country. We don’t have to worry about the disappearing middle class. We don’t have to worry about economic and wealth inequality…we don’t have to worry about institutional racism, or a broken criminal justice. We don’t have to worry about that. All we should focus on now, 24/7, is ISIS,’” Sanders said.
“Here’s what I say,” he went on, “I say that ISIS must be destroyed and I say that we have got to build a coalition which destroys ISIS. But I say that we are a great enough country and a smart enough country that we can destroy ISIS at the same time as rebuild a disappearing middle class. We can do both.”
...
His campaign schedule Saturday made good on the promise. In Keene he talked about ISIS for a few minutes at the end of his standard long stump speech about income equality, election spending, climate change, immigration, universal health care, criminal justice, marijuana decriminalization and the nation’s “drift toward oligarchy.”

Gun control, a major focus of Sanders’ activities in the Senate last week, didn’t get a mention in Keene. At Plymouth State University — the second stop of the two-stop day — Sanders did push for his standard gun control agenda, tying mention of San Bernardino into the larger conversation about gun violence. He also did the ISIS bit during the speech.... Sanders vowed to impose a carbon tax, reduce carbon emissions across the board by 40% by 2030 and 80% by 2050.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sun Dec 6, 2015, 02:49 PM (3 replies)

Manchester Union-Leader: "Sanders addresses overflow crowd at Keene State College"

link; excerpt:

KEENE — More than 1,000 people turned out at a town hall-style meeting held by Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders at Keene State College on Saturday afternoon.

The Redfern Arts Center was filled to its 800-person capacity.... The session was also live-streamed to 160 universities across the country.
...
“Our government belongs to all of us and not just a handful of billionaires,” Sanders said. “Those people don't own America. You own America. … I want to see any of you regardless of your political views — you're conservative, you're progressive, whatever — I want to see you be able to run for office and get involved in the process without having to beg the wealthy for campaign donations, which is why I believe in the public funding of elections.”...

Sanders received several standing ovations when talking about domestic issues, such as upholding the right of gay marriage and abortion rights for women... when talking about providing free college education at public colleges and universities. Sanders said he would pay for it through a tax on Wall Street speculation.

“The middle class bailed out Wall Street in its time of need. Now it's time for Wall Street to bail out the middle class,” he said.
...
“We cannot and should not be trapped in perpetual warfare in the Middle East,” Sanders said.... “The fight against ISIS primarily a struggle for the soul of Islam, and countering violent extremism and destroying ISIS must be done primarily by the Muslim nations. … The boots on the ground for a dozen different reasons must be Muslim boots.”
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sun Dec 6, 2015, 02:38 PM (2 replies)

"Clinton has developed a reputation as one of the most right-wing Democrats on Israel/Palestine"

link to very insightful analysis on Truth-Out; here's an excerpt:

Supporters of the international legal framework - which has, with mixed success, governed international affairs since the end of World War II - have long expressed concerns over the prospect of former senator and secretary of state Hillary Clinton becoming president. Her support for the US invasion of Iraq (a flagrant violation of the UN Charter), as well as her hostility toward the International Criminal Court, her support for international recognition of Morocco's illegal annexation of occupied Western Sahara, and her attacks against the United Nations and a number of its key agencies raise concerns that her election would bring a return to the Bush administration's neoconservative rejection of longstanding international legal principles.

Hillary Clinton has developed a reputation as one of the most right-wing Democrats on Israel/Palestine.
One of the big challenges regarding the application of international law is the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which involves a foreign belligerent occupation, illegal colonization, war crimes committed by both the occupying power and at least one arm of the resistance, and scores of UN Security Council resolutions. ... As a senator, Clinton defended Israel's colonization efforts in the occupied West Bank and was highly critical of the United Nations for its efforts to uphold international humanitarian law, which forbids transferring civilian populations onto territories under foreign belligerent occupation. Clinton criticized the UN's enforcement of four UN Security Council resolutions calling on Israel to end the practice, and even took the time for a 2005 visit to a major Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank in a show of support. She moderated that stance somewhat as secretary of state in expressing concerns over how the right-wing Israeli government's settlement policies harmed the overall climate of the peace process, but she has refused to acknowledge the illegality of the settlements or demand that Israel abide by international demands to stop building additional settlements. Subsequently, she has argued that the Obama administration pushed too hard in the early years of the administration to get Israel to suspend settlement construction.

In 2011, Clinton successfully pushed for a US veto of a UN Security Council resolution reiterating the illegality of the settlement drive and calling for a settlement freeze. The UN Security Council has traditionally been the vehicle for enforcing international law in territories under foreign belligerent occupation, but Clinton noted, "We have consistently over many years said that the United Nations Security Council - and resolutions that would come before the Security Council - is not the right vehicle to advance the goal," despite the US failure to stop this colonization drive on its own.... She has vigorously defended Israel's wars on Gaza. As secretary of state, she took the lead in attempting to block any action by the United Nations in response to a 2009 report by a UN Human Rights Council fact-finding mission - headed by the distinguished South African jurist Richard Goldstone (a Zionist Jew) - which documented war crimes by both Israel and Hamas. She has implied that the report denied Israel's right to self-defense, when it in fact explicitly recognized Israel's right to do so. Since the report's only objections to Israeli conduct were in regard to attacks on civilian targets, not its military actions against extremist militias lobbing rockets into Israel, it appears that either she was deliberately misrepresenting the report, never bothered to read it before attacking it or believes killing civilians can constitute legitimate self-defense.... When Israeli forces attacked a UN school housing refugees in the Gaza Strip in July 2014, killing dozens of civilians, the Obama administration issued a statement saying it was "appalled" by the "disgraceful" shelling. By contrast, Hillary Clinton - when pressed about it during an interview with The Atlantic - refused to criticize the massacre, saying, "{I}t's impossible to know what happens in the fog of war." Though investigators found no evidence of Hamas equipment or military activity anywhere near the school, Clinton falsely alleged that they were firing rockets from an annex to the school. In any case, she argued, when Palestinian civilians die from Israeli attacks, "the ultimate responsibility has to rest on Hamas and the decisions it made."

Though President Obama has provided more aid to Israel than any previous US administration and taken a number of other unprecedented steps in support of Israel, Clinton has criticized him for being too critical of Israel's right-wing government. In response to the chilly relationship between Obama and Netanyahu, she has promised to invite the right-wing Israeli prime minister to the White House within a month of coming to office. She has rejected taking a position of "tough love" advocated by Israeli moderates and liberals and says that any disagreements with Israeli policies should be only done "in private and behind, you know, closed doors" on the grounds that otherwise "it opens the door to everybody else to delegitimize Israel." In Clinton's view, then, supporting Israeli moderates by publicly opposing efforts to undermine the peace process and ongoing violations of international humanitarian law by the country's right-wing government is the same as "delegitimizing" the nation itself. And since, under her leadership, the State Department formally listed efforts to "delegitimize" Israel as part of its definition of anti-Semitism, it may give some indication as to how her administration would characterize those who do publicly raise concerns regarding certain Israeli policies.... Perhaps the single most revealing episode showing Clinton's rejection of international law as a basis for Israeli-Palestinian peace occurred in reaction to a landmark 2004 advisory opinion by the International Court of Justice.... The World Court made a definitive ruling that member states of binding treaties, conventions and charters such as the Fourth Geneva Convention and the UN Charter are obliged to ensure that other member states live up to their legal obligations under those agreements. Specifically, the court insisted that every country that is party to the Fourth Geneva Convention must "ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention.".... However, just as Hillary Clinton chose to ignore the UN Charter by voting to invade Iraq, she also believes the United States should be able to ignore the world's highest court.

Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sat Dec 5, 2015, 04:12 PM (13 replies)

ABC News: "What's in a Name? Hillary Clinton Knows More Than Most"

link; excerpt:

As a young girl growing up in suburban Chicago, Hillary Rodham decided she'd never change her last name. Three decades later, an entire state debated her childhood choice. ... "I'll be Mrs. Bill Clinton," she told reporters in February 1982, on the day her husband announced his intention to run again for the office he'd lost. "I suspect people will be getting tired of hearing from Mrs. Bill Clinton."

Today, they hear from Hillary Clinton. That's the name aides to the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination say she now prefers. You might not know that from looking at her campaign website, on which she's simply referred to as Hillary.

She was Hillary Rodham Clinton throughout her time as first lady and secretary of state. That was also the name she used as an author of two best-selling memoirs and how she signed legal documents — "H R Clinton" — as recently as this past summer.

Citing Clinton's preference, The Associated Press this past week changed its style and refers to her as Hillary Clinton. Several other news organizations have done the same.

The shifting monikers fit into an attack line Republicans have pushed for years — that Clinton is an unprincipled creature of Washington whose positions move with the political winds.

Longtime Clinton observers have a slightly different take. They say the changes reflect necessary political calculations in a country that remains conservative about family names, even as family structures have become less traditional.

"Given the pattern that evolved, she clearly had strong feelings about her name," said Max Brantley, an editor at the Arkansas Times who has known the Clintons since 1974. "She kept trying in various ways to hang on to it." ... "When Clinton drops her first surname, she's just following the norms in society," Scheuble said. "She wants to be president and middle America doesn't want her to be Rodham. It's a good political position to take." ... Nearly a decade later, when she arrived in Washington after Bill Clinton's election as president and took on a role at the White House focused on health care policy, the then-first lady began using the name Hillary Rodham Clinton. Polling at the time showed that 9 percent of Americans thought the change was a good idea, 21 percent a bad idea — and 69 percent said it didn't much matter. ... She ran for the Senate in New York as "Hillary," then went back to Hillary Clinton for her 2008 presidential campaign. She returned to using Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, and did so until the launch of her second White House bid this year.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sat Dec 5, 2015, 12:53 PM (13 replies)

What polls tell about the progress of the Sanders campaign and the current state of the primary race

This forum is chockablock with discussions of polls (mostly from Clinton supporters saying "the primary is over" and Sanders supporters saying "it's not over and polling shows Clinton is vulnerable int he general election", but much of the discussion misses the point.

Nate Silver knows as much about polling as anyone, and this past week, his 538 blog had lots of excellent discussion of how to read and use polls, and here are some take away points:

* there is a wide and consistent divergence from the live phone-based polling to the automated-phone- and internet-based polling (Trump's polling best illustrates this phenomenon but it is true for Clinton, too);

* this wide divergence in the two schools of polling has not been fully explained yet, but pollsters with the most accurate records think the live phone-based polling is the more-likely-accurate model;

* in addition to focusing on the polls that use traditional sampling methods, the polls which focus on likely voters are probably the more reliable indiactors;

* the election process is fascinating to a self-selected group of people who choose to discuss the election on an internet website (i.e., you), but most voters in Iowa and New Hampshire and elsewhere are only starting to pay attention;

* the overwhelming majority of voters are still undecided (even in Iowa where 65% of the voters decide in the last month before the caucus and New Hampshire where 71% of voters decide in the last month before the primary and especially in the 48 other states where the voters decide even later than in Iowa or New Hampshire) so you should read polls with the understanding that "undecided" is currently the prohibitive and overwhelming leader in all of these polls;

* polling is an important tool for campaigns but even in Iowa and New Hampshire (and even more so for national polling), predicting results based only on polling (especially early polling) is not very accurate.

With all of that said, the polling trends for Sanders look good.

In New Hampshire (where the primary is still more than two months away), the live polls of likely voters are very good for Sanders:



If you increase the smooting (i.e., you draw the graph line so it captures the overall trend line more than the rises and falls based on each individual poll result), the trend is even more encouraging for Sanders:



In Iowa (where the caucus is still more than 8 weeks away), the live phone polls of likely voters are very close and a graph of the trend lines presents more encouraging news for Sanders:



If you decrease the smoothing (to focus on the rise and fall of individual poll results rather than the overall trend lines), the graph shows an extremely tight race:



While the national polls are useless as a prognostication tool, they do provide useful data about whether the candidate's message is getting across and whether the national trend is moving in the right direction. The national live polling of likely voters confirms that Sanders is getting his message across and the campaign is heading in the right direction:



Neither side should make more of this polling than it is, but for those of us supporting Sanders, this is nice confirmation that the campaign is on the right track and progressing as we would hope.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Sat Dec 5, 2015, 11:55 AM (27 replies)

Salon: "The vital Bernie Sanders proposal that no one’s talking about"

link; excerpt:

Bernie Sanders has made a pledge to abolish private prisons in the federal system a centerpiece of his criminal justice reform platform, expounding on it in speeches, tweets and a bill that he introduced in the Senate. “The profit motivation of private companies running prisons works at cross purposes with the goals of criminal justice,” Sanders said, according to USA Today. “Criminal justice and public safety are without a doubt the responsibility of the citizens of our country, not private corporations. They should be carried out by those who answer to voters, not those who answer to investors.”
...
Two key factors have driven prison population growth since the 1980s. One is the length of sentences, which where were increased by measures like the passage of harsh mandatory minimums for drug offenses a tough sentencing guidelines imposed on judges. Another is the percentage of those sentences that a prisoner actually serves, which the abolition of parole greatly extended. Inmates would thenceforth serve the near entirety of their sentence—a so-called determinate sentence—aside from a maximum of 15-percent reduced for good behavior.

Parole eligibility was abolished for all those convicted of committing a federal crime on or after November 1, 1987 as a result of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984. The impact was swift and severe. Those entering prison in 1996 could expect to serve 87 percent of their sentences behind bars, compared with 58 percent a decade earlier,” according to a study by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Posted by Attorney in Texas | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 01:47 PM (35 replies)

The Hill: "Bernie Sanders for young and old"



link; excerpt:

Sanders is driving the debate on the Democratic side of the presidential campaign as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is driving the debate from the Democratic side of the aisle in Congress. For those who care about the values and future of the Democratic Party, and understand the urgency for Democrats to motivate their supporters to vote in elections, Sanders and Warren may be the two most important Democrats in America.

The intergenerational appeal of Sanders is one of the least understood aspects of the Sanders' popularity and has gone underreported by media commentators, who are consumed by which group of Americans Donald Trump is insulting on any given day.

While Trump is insulting a large swath of Americans, Sanders is appealing to Americans across all age groups.
...
Bernie Sanders is a true populist and true progressive and from young students seeking a college education to senior citizens seeking fairness in Social Security benefits, he offers an intergenerational populism and progressivism that is good for Democrats and good for America.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Fri Dec 4, 2015, 01:30 PM (11 replies)

Clinton loses ground in latest New Hampshire poll (Sanders takes lead at Real Clear Politics)

Clinton supporters are spinning the latest poll in New Hampshire by Public Policy Polling (PPP) as good news for Clinton, but here is how PPP interprets its own polling results:

This is our first poll in the state since the field got cut in half and Joe Biden decided not to run and since then Sanders is the biggest gainer (+9), followed by O'Malley (+4), and then Clinton (+3). Sanders is actually easily the most popular of the Democrats with a 78/12 favorability rating, followed by Clinton's 68/22 spread. O'Malley is still an unknown to 48% of the Democratic electorate but does get a solid 38/14 rating from those who are familiar with him.

PPP uses a Interactive Voice Response/Online method. This PPP methodology has been generally favorable to Clinton (if you compare her poll numbers in the PPP polls to the polls taken in the same time frame, she tends to do better in the PPP polls). For example, in October, PPP had Clinton at 41% while 6 other polls released in October showed Clinton's support ranging from 30% to 39%.

PPP's most recent prior poll in New Hampshire from October showed Clinton with an 8% lead over Sanders. In today's poll, PPP reports that Clinton's lead has fallen to 2%.

PPP's current Interactive Voice Response/Online poll should be read in contest with the other recent New Hampshire polls from CBS News showing Sanders with a 7% lead and from Anderson Robbins/Shaw & Company Research for Fox showing Sanders with a 1% lead. This is why the Real Clear Politics poll aggregator shows Sanders taking an overall 2% lead in New Hampshire (46.3% for Sanders to Clinton's 44.3%).

So, we can listen to Clinton spin about today's PPP poll or we can focus on PPP's interpretation of its own poll: "Sanders is the biggest gainer (+9), followed by O'Malley (+4), and then Clinton (+3). Sanders is actually easily the most popular of the Democrats with a 78/12 favorability rating."
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Thu Dec 3, 2015, 04:18 PM (36 replies)

No one trusts Clinton except middle aged and older Democrats. Everyone else deeply distrusts her.

Only 26% of Independents think Clinton is "honest and trustworthy."

Only 7% of Republicans agree that Clinton is "honest and trustworthy."

By comparison, the next most distrusted candidate in either party, Trump, does 10% better than Clinton and is more trusted than Clinton among Independents, and Trump has more cross-over appeal among Democrats as compared to Clinton's virtually nonexistent appeal among Republicans.

Sanders is the most trusted candidate. He is trusted by almost three times as many Independents as Clinton (64%) and by over five times as many Republicans (39%).

This means Clinton would badly lose the independent vote and has virtually no potential for cross-over appeal for ticket-splitting Republicans.

Even among Democrats, Clinton is losing to Sanders by 66% to 17% among 18-29 year old Democrats. Only 24% of voters 18-34 trust Clinton, and Sanders is two and a half times more trusted (59%).

Can Clinton win the primary when she's only trusted by middle aged Democrats? Maybe, but it would be a dead end for our general election hopes because Clinton cannot expand beyond her base of middle aged moderate Democrats.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Thu Dec 3, 2015, 02:18 AM (133 replies)

New York magazine: Sanders had best favorability ratio among all registered voters of any candidate

link; excerpt:

The first post-Thanksgiving national poll, from Quinnipiac, ... shows him actually leading every named Republican candidate in general-election trial heats by margins equal to or greater than Clinton's (his leads over Carson and Cruz are literally twice as large as HRC's). Sanders also has the best favorability ratio — +13 — among all registered voters of any candidate in either party.
...
In the Quinnipiac survey, when asked if there is a candidate they definitely cannot support, only 7 percent of Democrats named Sanders, and the number only rose to 11 percent among self-identified moderate/conservative Democrats. By contrast, the "definitely cannot support" percentage among Republicans was 26 percent for Trump, 21 percent for Bush, and in double digits for seven other candidates.
Posted by Attorney in Texas | Wed Dec 2, 2015, 07:04 PM (12 replies)
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