Category - USA: Campaign 2016

Jeb Bush joins Republican backlash against pope on climate change

‘I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinal or my pope’ – Coal industry lobbyist says pope should promote fossil fuels to help poor.

The Guardian, By Suzanne Goldenberg & Sabrina Siddiqui, June 17

Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush joined forces with the coal industry and climate deniers in a gathering conservative backlash against the pope, lashing out against a leaked draft of the spiritual leader’s letter on climate change.

In his first official day on the presidential campaign trail, Bush, who is Catholic, told a town hall event in New Hampshire that Pope Francis should steer clear of global affairs.

The energy industry also turned on the pope, with the lobbyist for one of America’s biggest coalmining companies sending out an email blast on Tuesday, rebuking the church leader for failing to promote fossil fuels as a solution to global poverty.

[…]

Bush earlier this month was the sole Republican presidential candidate invited to speak at a $7,500 golfing and fly fishing retreat hosted by coal companies, including Arch.

[…]

Only one of the nearly 20 Republicans running for president acknowledges the danger of climate change: Lindsey Graham, the South Carolina senator, who is considered a long shot.

Lindsey Graham starts national campaign from home

USA Today, By Mary Troyan, June 1

Washington — Sen. Lindsey Graham has never lost a race.

In consecutive elections since 1992, he has wooed South Carolina voters with a combination of bootstrapped beginnings, a quick wit, pragmatism and ferocious debating skills.

On Monday, he returns to his boyhood hometown in Pickens County to announce his most ambitious campaign to date — for the Republican presidential nomination.

His perfect record at the ballot box — one election to the South Carolina House, five to the U.S. House and three to the U.S. Senate — has made him the most powerful Republican in South Carolina.

[…]

In talking to CBS in May about his presidential campaign, he said in his typical blunt and occasionally inflammatory way, “I’m running because the world is falling apart.”

Rick Santorum to Launch Second White House Bid

Republican former senator seeks to appeal as a champion of the working class.

The Wall Street Journal, By Rebecca Ballhaus, May 27

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum is set to launch his second presidential campaign in Pittsburgh Wednesday, attempting to bolster his reputation as a social-issues warrior with an appeal as a champion of the working class.

Mr. Santorum hopes outreach to lower-income Americans, combined with his base of support among evangelical Christians and the party’s most conservative voters, will propel him ahead of better-funded candidates with establishment backing.

The strategy builds on his 2012 bid as a lunch-bucket conservative with a populist economic tone and a focus on social issues, an image that appealed to voters who felt eventual nominee Mitt Romney was insufficiently conservative.

“There’s a real opportunity for a candidate to come forward with a plan that’s going to provide upward mobility for everybody and unite the country in a way that we haven’t seen in a long time,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” last month.

The first repeat is tragedy, right?

US House Republicans vote to restrict research funding

AFP, May 21

US House Republicans voted to place limits on funding for scientific research, including climate change studies, as they passed legislation that more narrowly defines their priorities.

Many in the American scientific community criticized the bill, which passed 217 votes to 205 and sets funding guidelines for the National Science Foundation for fiscal year 2016 beginning October 1.

The America Competes Reauthorization Act still has to be reconciled with a Senate version, and the White House has threatened a veto if the measure passes as is.

[…]

Democrats fumed that the bill automatically slashes social, behavioral and economic sciences by 55 percent compared to 2015, while geosciences including climate research shrinks eight percent to $1.2 billion.

Research budgets for green energy programs would be hit too.

Conversely, Republican prioritize funding for biology, computer science, engineering, mathematics and physical sciences.

Graham says ‘I’m running’ in 2016, sets June 1 for official announcement

Fox News, May 18

Sen. Lindsey Graham all but declared he plans to run for president in 2016, saying Monday that “I’m running” because “the world is falling apart” — while setting June 1 as his official campaign announcement.

The South Carolina Republican senator, speaking on “CBS This Morning,” said he’ll formally unveil his campaign plans in his hometown of Central, S.C.

But he also repeatedly used the phrase “I’m running,” explaining that he believes he would make the best commander-in-chief.

Graham also pointed to his own record working with Democrats. He said he’s drawn a string of primary challengers over the years because of that history, but touted that record as a positive in a presidential run.

“Democrats and Republicans work together too little,” he said. “I would try to change that if I got to be president.”
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Jeb Bush: I would have authorized Iraq War

CNN, By Eric Bradner, May 10

Washington – Jeb Bush said he would have done the same as his brother in deciding to go to war in Iraq if he had been president at the time.

His comments, in an interview with Fox News set to air on Monday night, come in the wake of Bush’s private statement that he relies on his brother, former President George W. Bush, as an adviser on some Middle East affairs.

“I would have [authorized the invasion], and so would have Hillary Clinton, just to remind everybody. And so would almost everybody that was confronted with the intelligence they got,” Bush said in the interview.

Clinton’s 2003 vote in support of a resolution to green-light the war in Iraq was a key part of the 2008 campaign, then then-Sen. Barack Obama hammered her hawkish stance. It could help Bush blur lines between the two when it comes to his brother’s legacy.

And there it is!!! No one is better than Jebby Bush on the war question, so you might as well vote for him!

Sanders Raises $3 Million in Four Days; Will He Split the Party?

Naked Capitalism, By Gaius Publius, May 10

My headline has two parts (you can see it above) but the second is, for me, the most important and the most interesting. I’ve been writing about the split — the chasm, really — between progressives and “progressives” in the Democratic Party for at least a year, and Howie has been documenting the sins of money-bought “Democrats” like the DCCC since forever.

Some want that split to heal, and some want it to widen. Democrats who want it to heal are motivated by two main interests, it seems. One is the desire, understandable enough, to keep government out of the hands of Republicans, who really are the greater evil, if only by a little.

The other interest, though, is more insidious and far less defensible. If the party pulls together, those whose careers are tied to the success of its money-soaked DLC wing will see those careers advanced — in some cases, spectacularly.

The losers in all this? Unbailed-out mortgagees; students with crushing personal debt; the soon-to-explode bomb of poverty among soon-to-retire 401k-holders — the jobless; the poor; the barely-making-it in a Nike and Apple “made in Asia” economy. The bottom 80% who are going nowhere or going down. The traditional constituents, in other words, of the real Democratic Party as constituted in the pre–Bill Clinton years.

Who wants the split in the Democratic Party to widen? Anyone who wants progressive change in America at a non-incremental pace. And everyone, voter or activist, who no longer wants to reward “professional Democrats” — self-serving, money-serving women and men — for their constant and regular betrayals.

Bernie Sanders To Announce Presidential Run

Vermont Public Radio, By Bob Kinzel, April 28

VPR News has learned from several sources that Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders will announce his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Thursday.

Sanders will release a short statement on that day and then hold a major campaign kickoff in Vermont in several weeks.

Sanders’ entry into the Democratic race ensures that Hillary Clinton will face a challenge to win the support of the liberal wing of the party.

Sanders’ basic message will be that the middle class in America has been decimated in the past two decades while wealthy people and corporations have flourished.

His opposition to a proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (T.P.P.) shows how he plans to frame this key issue of his campaign.

Bernie Sanders ‘making sure’ of enough money to challenge Clinton

Politico, By Kyle Cheney, April 19

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Sunday he’ll make a decision on running for president “pretty soon” and suggested his determination hinges on whether he can raise enough money for a Democratic primary bid against Hillary Clinton.

“Making sure you have the money to run a credible campaign is very important,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.” “We’re working on it. And we will make the best decision we can in the near future.”

How Corporate America Invented Christian America

Inside one reverend’s big business-backed 1940s crusade to make the country conservative again.

Politico, By Kevin M. Kruse, April 16

In December 1940, as America was emerging from the Great Depression, more than 5,000 industrialists from across the nation made their yearly pilgrimage to the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City, convening for the annual meeting of the National Association of Manufacturers. The program promised an impressive slate of speakers: titans at General Motors, General Electric, Standard Oil, Mutual Life, and Sears, Roebuck; popular lecturers such as etiquette expert Emily Post and renowned philosopher-historian Will Durant; even FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. Tucked away near the end of the program was a name few knew initially, but one everyone would be talking about by the convention’s end: Reverend James W. Fifield Jr.

Handsome, tall, and somewhat gangly, the 41-year-old Congregationalist minister bore more than a passing resemblance to Jimmy Stewart. Addressing the crowd of business leaders, Fifield delivered a passionate defense of the American system of free enterprise and a withering assault on its perceived enemies in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration. Decrying the New Deal’s “encroachment upon our American freedoms,” the minister listed a litany of sins committed by the Democratic government, ranging from its devaluation of currency to its disrespect for the Supreme Court. Singling out the regulatory state for condemnation, he denounced “the multitude of federal agencies attached to the executive branch” and warned ominously of “the menace of autocracy approaching through bureaucracy.”

It all sounds familiar enough today, but Fifield’s audience of executives was stunned. Over the preceding decade, as America first descended into and then crawled its way out of the Great Depression, the these titans of industry had been told, time and time again, that they were to blame for the nation’s downfall. Fifield, in contrast, insisted that they were the source of its salvation.

They just needed to do one thing: Get religion.


Shades of Jeff Sharlet’s The Family, as updated

— and Lindsay Bayerstein interviews Jeff Sharlet here: Worse Than Fascists: Christian Political Group ‘The Family’ Openly Reveres Hitler

Sen. Hillary Clinton has been involved with the Family since 1993 when, as first lady, she joined a White House prayer circle for political wives. Clinton has also sought spiritual counseling from the current head of the Family, Doug Coe. Sharlet argues that Clinton’s longtime association with the Family has helped her forge working relationships with powerful religious conservatives such as Family member and anti-abortion crusader Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas.

The National Memo: Book Review: ‘One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America’ By Sarah Posner, April 12

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