Los Angeles Times, By Evan Halper & Seema Mehta, July 26
Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to position herself as a crusader against climate change Sunday by unveiling some robust goals, even as she continued to avoid some of the more contentious battles around global warming.
Clinton announced that she will push to vastly expand the number of solar panels installed in the United States, as well as to boost overall renewable energy to the point that it will be able to fuel all homes and businesses by 2027.
The proposals reflect Clinton’s commitment to continuing the path on climate change set by President Obama, who champions numerous policies that bolster renewables and push a reduction in fossil fuel consumption.
The Clinton package is incomplete, however. Unlike her rivals in the Democratic presidential contest, Clinton has yet to take a position on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from the Canadian tar sands to Gulf Coast ports. She also has yet to weigh in on a campaign to ban hydraulic fracturing nationwide, or to take a firm position on offshore oil drilling.
The proposal Clinton released Sunday for boosting solar installations by 700% is vague on details about how it would be funded.
Think Progress: Clinton Campaign Releases Horror Film Montage Of Climate-Denying Presidential Candidates
RH Reality Check, By Nina Liss-Schultz, July 15
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Sunday signed into law a $72.7 billion two-year state budget that kills the state’s living wage law and takes away workers’ right to a weekend.
Walker’s latest austerity measures came just hours before he officially became a contender for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.
Wisconsin law required that the state’s minimum wage “not be less than a living wage.” Last fall, workers filed a lawsuit arguing that the state’s $7.25 hourly minimum wage did not constitute a living wage. But Walker’s budget stripped the language “living wage” from the law, nullifying the court battle and making wage increases more difficult for people who work.
Walker, in his first interview since announcing his candidacy, challenged the mere existence of a minimum wage.
Deep Left Field: Jeb Bush Says Christians Should ‘Absolutely’ Be Allowed To Discriminate Against LGBT Americans
US News and World Report: Obama’s Donors Flocking To Sanders, Romney’s Going To Rubio
Politicus USA: Bernie Sanders Sets A New Record As 11,000 Show Up For Rally In Red State Arizona
The Washington Examiner: Ben Carson: Walking away from paid speaking commitments would be ‘unethical’
His most recent book’s sales quadrupled in the immediate weeks after launching his presidential campaign, and his personal financial disclosure shows he made more
than $4 million from delivering speeches across the country.
Jacobin: Worse Than Benghazi
Business Insider: Wall Street is picking its candidates in the 2016 presidential race — and 2 are already standing out
Daily Kos: UPDATE – New Legal Action Further Exposes Jeb Bush, Koch Brothers & Rick Scott GP Scandal
RT, July 16
With the stroke of a pen, Wisconsin’s governor passed a two-year spending bill which also strikes down a key wage protection law. The prevailing wage law ensured government contract workers were paid comparable rates in any given industry.
“With this budget, taxpayers come first,” said Republican Governor Scott Walker announcing the passage of his $72.7 billion biennial budget.
Calling the prevailing wage law a “depression-era…mandate that artificially increases the costs of construction,” Walker said he was reforming government through its repeal. He said local government would be exempt from the mandate, “savings millions for our schools, technical colleges and other local governments.”
New York Times: Haste, Hustle and Scott Walker, Frank Bruni
In the formal announcement of his presidential campaign on Monday, Scott Walker mentioned God right away, introduced himself as a preacher’s son and invoked religion repeatedly, as he has throughout a perpetual candidacy that stretches back to his college days, when he told the Marquette University yearbook: “I really think there’s a reason why God put all these political thoughts in my head.”
Wikipedia: Scott Walker
In February 2015, Trip Gabriel of The New York Times described him as having “quickly vaulted into the top tier of likely candidates in the Republican presidential race”. Peter Beinart of The Atlantic noted Walker’s success with a conservative audience at the Iowa Freedom Summit. On April 20, at a fundraising event for the New York State Republican Party, David Koch told donors that he and his brother, who oversee one of the biggest private political organizations in the country, believed that Mr. Walker would be the Republican nominee.
‘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.
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.”
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?
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.
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.”
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!
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.