Category - USA: Campaign 2016

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

Clinton-Bush: Now and Forever

first published April 14

The stars are aligning for another Clinton – Bush presidential election campaign.  I’m not referring to Hillary vs. Jeb (or “Heb” as some are now calling him, since it was revealed he identified himself as Hispanic when registering to vote in 2009).  No, I’m thinking ahead to the 2028 campaign, when Chelsea Clinton will be primed to battle George Prescott Bush, Texas Land Commissioner, for the privilege of exercising their family’s timeshare rights to the White House.  Chelsea is the inheritor of the Bill & Hillary political franchise, and George P. Bush, the son of Jeb Bush, nephew of George Walker Bush, grandson of George Herbert Walker Bush, and great-grandson of Senator and Hitler enabler (it’s a long story) Prescott Bush, is the most prominent of the possible Bush dynasty President-electables.  Chelsea vs. George P. – I can feel the non-excitement building already!

The grooming process for the 2028 race for the White House is already underway.  Chelsea is playing an integral role in her mother’s campaign for president, formally announced this week.  Chelsea is now described by insiders (always nameless people when it comes to the Clintons) as a full and equal member in the family business, which has the public philanthropy part through the Clinton Foundation, and the not-so-public part involved in maintaining ties to the high and mighty who have access to a lot of money necessary to run a modern political campaign.  It’s this second part that is really important.  In 1996, when Bill Clinton was running for reelection, his campaign costs were $196 million.  Hillary’s campaign, according to unnamed sources, is expected to raise $2.5 billion in order to reclaim the White House.

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Ben Carson to make ‘major announcement’ on May 4: CNN

Reuters, By Peter Cooney, April 13

Washington – Retired physician Ben Carson, considered a potential Republican presidential contender, plans a major announcement on May 4 in Detroit, CNN reported on Monday, citing his spokeswoman.

“He will make an announcement. But he’s still very much in the exploratory phase, so he hasn’t made a decision yet,” the spokeswoman, Deana Bass, told the network.

Marco Rubio set to announce presidential bid Monday

Washington Post, By Ed O’Keefe & Manuel Roig-Franzia, April 13

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the son of Cuban immigrants whose rapid political ascent was nearly blocked five years ago by national Republican leaders, will formally launch his campaign for president Monday evening in his hometown of Miami.

Rubio, the junior senator from Florida, will make the announcement in front of the city’s Freedom Tower, an iconic, Ellis Island-like downtown landmark where the federal government once processed Cuban immigrants fleeing the Castro regime. The site holds great personal importance for Rubio, his family and the city’s influential Cuban-American community.

The announcement is expected to launch Rubio near the top of a crowded field of GOP presidential candidates even as recent polls have suggested that he will have to compete for support among other frontrunners, including former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Ted Cruz (R-TX).

CBS: Five things to know about Marco Rubio
Mother Jones: Marco Rubio Used to Believe In Climate Science. Now He’s Running For President.
Tampa Bay Times: Marco Rubio: The making of a presidential candidate
Salon.com: Marco Rubio’s ugliest moment: The mean-spirited ultimatum that showed the 2016 contender’s true colors
Washington Post: In South Florida, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio are forcing locals to pick sides
Tampa Bay Times: Marco Rubio gets a Super PAC, fueling 2016 money race
New York Magazine: Marco Rubio’s 2016 Announcement Teaser Could Not Be Less Inspiring
Hullabaloo: The Koch Brothers’ It Boy
Hullabaloo: Epistemological relativism for dummies
Hullabaloo: “The Endarkenment”
Naked Capitalism: Marco Rubio Throws His Personal Biography into the Ring – a color-coded close reading.

Hillary Clinton set to launch second presidential bid

CNN, By Dan Merica, April 12

Hillary Clinton is poised to take another shot at cracking the highest glass ceiling in American politics with an announcement expected later Sunday that she’ll run for president again.

Clinton’s second presidential run — expected to be announced in a video — would amount to another chapter in a life that has seen the former first lady go from a child raised in a conservative home outside Chicago to one of the most recognizable women in the world. Clinton became a household name in 1992 when her husband, Bill Clinton, won the presidency.
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Florida House Overwhelmingly Passes Religious ‘License To Discriminate’ Adoption Bill

Think Progress, By Zack Ford, April 9

On Thursday afternoon, the Florida House of Representatives voted 75-38 to pass a bill (HB 7111) that would allow the state’s adoption agencies to engage in any kind of discrimination if serving a particular family violates its “religious or moral convictions or policies.” The state contracts with several private agencies to manage its child-placement services, some of which are religiously affiliated. Under the bill, the state could not revoke a license nor refuse any funding to these agencies based on their decision not to place children with certain families.

Unlike how the “religious freedom” bills played out in Arkansas and Indiana, proponents of Florida’s legislation were quite open during this week’s debates about the bill’s discriminatory intentions. On Wednesday, Rep. David Richardson (D) spearheaded efforts to undermine the bill with various amendments that would have carved out nondiscrimination exemptions. His first amendment would have prevented the state from funding organizations that discriminate; the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jason Brodeur (R) responded, “This amendment does the exact opposite of the entire bill. I was ask that you vote it down.” It was, in fact, voted down 38-78.

From there, other members introduced separate amendments carving out discrimination exemptions for specific classes: one for race, one for marital status, one for sexual orientation, one for gender, etc. Among the amendment sponsors was Rep. Janet Cruz (D), who explained, “I have a daughter who’s gay and I want to make sure she’s never discriminated against if she decides to adopt a child.” In each case, Brodeur offered a substitute amendment — each of which was identical — adding instead only the words, “An act by a private child-placing agency under this subsection does not constitute discrimination.” The substitute amendments passed every time as the House essentially voted in favor of discrimination based on all of those classes.


Rand Paul set to declare presidential bid today

USA Today, By Catalina Camia, April 7

Washington — Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is poised to officially join the 2016 presidential race today, hoping to remake the Republican Party with a mix of libertarian and conservative ideals that can attract minorities and young people.

Paul is scheduled to declare his candidacy at a rally in Louisville, Ky.

Paul, 52, joins Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in a race that has attracted the interest of more than a dozen potential GOP candidates. He is also simultaneously running for re-election to his Senate seat.

Still to come in the presidential sweepstakes are former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who are leading early public opinion polls. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is expected to announce his bid on April 13.
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‘Abolishing the Sabbath’: Wisc. Republican proposes doing away with day of rest for workers

Raw Story, By Arturo Garcia, April 3

Democrats in Wisconsin accused a Republican state lawmaker of putting factory and mercantile workers’ chances for rest at the mercy of their employers, the Madison Capital Times reported.

State Rep. Mark Born’s (R) proposal would allow workers in those fields to “voluntarily choose” to waive the state requirement of at least one “day of rest in seven.” The bill is being co-sponsored in the state Senate by another Republican, Van Wanggaard.

“Why would we not want to allow employees who want to earn that money for their family — especially with the tough economic times we’ve just come through — people are picking up second jobs and things,” Born said regarding the measure. “It seems to me the opponents of this would rather have someone go work a second job than just have the simple opportunity to work those extra days when their employer has work.”
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Carly Fiorina Says There’s A ‘Higher Than 90 Percent’ Chance She’ll Seek The Presidency

The Huffington Post, By Sam Levine, March 29

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said on Sunday that she will likely seek the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

During an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Fiorina said there is a “higher than 90 percent” chance that she will run for president and make an announcement in late April or early May.

Fiorina, who has said that President Barack Obama does not deserve credit for boosting the economy, touted her executive experience in the private sector as what will set her apart from the rest of the GOP field.

“I have a deep understanding of how the economy works, having started as a secretary and become the executive of the largest technology company in the world,” she said. Fiorina also cited her understanding of technology, world leaders and how to deal with a bureaucracy as factors that would support her candidacy.

[…]

According to HuffPost Pollster, which aggregates publicly available polling data, 3.2 percent of voters would back Fiorina in the GOP primary.

Maybe I’ll run, too.

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