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Gender: Male
Hometown: NY
Home country: USA
Member since: Mon Feb 8, 2016, 10:46 PM
Number of posts: 173

Journal Archives

Where our candidates stand on McCutcheon v FEC

Like Citizens United, which both candidates have come out strongly against, McCutcheon v FEC allows wealthy contributors to have more say in our political process.

On April 2, 2014, the Supreme Court issued a ruling in McCutcheon v. FEC that struck down the aggregate limits on the amount an individual may contribute during a two-year period to all federal candidates, parties and political action committees combined. By a vote of 5-4, the Court ruled that the biennial aggregate limits are unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

With the help of Google, it's trivial to determine where Sanders stands on this decision:


To find Clinton's position is a little harder, but you can see that she spoke out against it in early 2014:


Neither officially lists the decision on their campaign websites. But the Clinton campaign is currently under fire from the Sanders campaign for using the Hillary Victory Fund as a loophole to allow higher individual contributions to aid Hillary's campaign.

Is this a legitimate complaint? Why or why not?

Would the Hillary Victory Fund exist without Citizens United?

Does Hillary believe that the method that she's been using to buy the election should be allowed for others in the future?

It's hard to tell, because her actions seem to say she believes in big donors having a disproportionate say in our political process, but she has very consistently spoke out against Citizens United.

Edit: Looks like McCucheon v. FEC is what enabled the Hillary Victory Fund.

From Wikipedia:

Justice Thomas concurred in the judgment but wished to go further and abolish all campaign contribution limits. He wrote: "limiting the amount of money a person may give to a candidate does impose a direct restraint on his political communication." He rejected the rationale of Buckley v. Valeo that "a) contribution serves as a general expression of support for the candidate and his views, but does not communicate the underlying basis for the support", since "this Court has never required a speaker to explain the reasons for his position in order to obtain full First Amendment protection".

Justices Breyer, Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan dissented, arguing that the decision "creates a loophole that will allow a single individual to contribute millions of dollars to a political party or to a candidateís campaign. Taken together with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commín, 558 U. S. 310 (2010), todayís decision eviscerates our Nationís campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve."(24)

So, while it's a separate ruling that enables the Hillary Victory Fund, the more progressive supreme court justices came out against it.


Any public Hillary appearances since the debate?

Anybody else noticed that Bernie has been in the news in all these public appearances since the debate, but all we're hearing about with Hillary are the private fundraiser dinners? I wonder what's up. Is she taking a well-deserved break from the public eye and regrouping? She must be exhausted. I would be!

I don't know where Bernie finds the energy to fly to social justice conferences and do all these huge rallies and media appearances. He and Jane are both like Energizer bunnies out there, god bless 'em. It must be weird for them to be in the public eye so often lately. For purely selfish purposes, I hope they take their well-deserved break after the New York primary!

Anyway, it should be interesting what we see from each of the campaigns tomorrow, on the day before the New York primaries. Will we see another strategic media blitz from the Washington Post and other Clinton-friendly news outlets? Will Sanders draw another YUUGE rally crowd to inspire more registered dems to vote?

Why won't Hillary commit to support a carbon tax?

As with her claim to support the "Fight for $15" tonight, Hillary really wants political credit for agreeing with Sanders, but I find her answers so agonizingly cagey.

Anyone know why she won't just come out and say she supports it? Does she *not* support it, or is she still making up her mind?

Surreal predictions for tonight's debate

So, what are everyone's surreal predictions for tonight's debate? Here are a few of mine:

- Candidates begin the debate by engaging in a spirited jab-off / wag-off and accidentally touch fingers. Audience gasps.

- Bill Clinton rushes the podium and answers one of Bernie's questions for him using a bullhorn. Taylor Swift boots him off stage.

- When questioned about the transcripts, Hillary breaks into a beautiful rendition of This Land is Your Land and everyone forgets what they were doing. Bernie can't help himself and claps along.

- Camera pans to Jane Sanders in the audience, on her phone. A giant TurboTax icon is clearly visible on the screen, followed by an incoming text message from Elizabeth Warren.

- Hillary declares that Vermont, having more cows than people, has the largest per-capita methane gas production in the US, and lays the blame squarely on Bernie. Bernie attempts to respond but only burps come out.

- A parakeet lands on Hillary's podium and repeats everything she says, but in Sanders' voice and with the exact opposite meaning.

- Camera pans to Ted Cruz in the audience making private-time gestures and laughing.

- As the debate concludes, DWS quickly jumps on stage and tries to lift both candidates' hands in the air with hers in an impromptu show of party unity. Hillary and Bernie both give her the old "Obama limp hand".

Hillary won't ban fracking. Do New York democrats care?

It's well-known that Hillary Clinton actively promoted fracking around the world during her time as Secretary of State.

In her remarks to the ECPA in 2010, she said:

Sixth, the United States will promote the use of shale gas. Now, I know that in some places is controversial. But natural gas is the cleanest fossil fuel available for power generation today, and a number of countries in the Americas may have shale gas resources. If developed, shale gas could make an important contribution to our regionís energy supply, just as it does now for the United States.

Bernie Sanders, meanwhile, has been calling for states to ban fracking for years. In 2014, he said:

And he continues to push to ban fracking in his campaign stops in New York, which has recently banned fracking.

In January this year, asked whether she would push for a nationwide fracking ban, this was Hillary's response.

Will Hillary Clinton evolve on this in New York, where the issue is hot, or will she take her lumps here and hold fast in her refusal to support an outright ban?

WOW. A "CP Time" joke? What kind of judgement led her to participate in that?

Speaks for itself.

Seriously. What kind of judgement?

Oh. That kind.

Hillary's minutemen smear: Sabo-D, 2006: "This amendment simply restates what's policy"

During the discussion of the amendment in question, on June 6th, 2006, Martin Sabo (D-Minnestota) spoke:

Mr. SABO: Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition; but, Mr. Chairman, I don't rise in opposition.
The Acting CHAIRMAN: The gentleman from Minnesota is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. SABO: Mr. Chairman, we are told by Customs and Border Patrol that this amendment has no effect on its operation because it only shares information when it is required by international treaty, the same as what this amendment says. So to the best of my knowledge this amendment simply restates what is policy. If people want to put it in the bill, I guess that is okay because it apparently does nothing.

CSPAN has the video of this statement here, for those who want to view it in context:

So there's that.

#MemeOfTheWeek: Hillary Clinton, The New York Subway And Authenticity

Meanwhile, in the battle for NYC authenticity:

NPR: #MemeOfTheWeek: Hillary Clinton, The New York Subway And Authenticity

On the train, Clinton tried to engage a young woman with headphones on. That woman was not impressed.

CNN reported that at Clinton's second stop, one passenger, "surrounded by media and nervous Secret Service agents, proclaimed that she needed to get off the train." That passenger ended up missing her stop. (#ThanksHillary.)


For what it's worth, Bernie Sanders seemed to one-up Clinton by the end of the week. He appeared on ABC's The View, where the hosts gave him his very own subway card. And he ate a piece of New York pizza properly: folded, no fork or knife.

Vatican trip could boost Sanders' fight against Clinton

Reuters: Vatican trip could boost Sanders' fight against Clinton

Like Pope Francis, Sanders has made economic inequality and the plight of the working class a central tenet of his message. Sanders' April 15 visit to Vatican City, where he will give an economic address at a conference, will come just days before Democrats in New York vote in their state primary.

The trip may help the U.S. senator amplify the anti-corporate line of attack he has employed against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton as he tries to keep his insurgent campaign for the Nov. 8 presidential election alive.
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