Friday, November 13, 2015

Last Call For A Coaled Shoulder For Hillary

Over in the eastern part of the state, the Clinton campaign released details of a $30 billion plan to help Coal Country, but short of shutting down the EPA entirely, voters here simply do not care for national Democrats anymore.

The state's eastern coalfield is suffering through a sharp downturn in the coal industry that long underpinned the economy. Coal jobs have dropped by half since 2011.

There are a number of reasons for that, including competition from cheap natural gas and cheaper coal from other regions; the depletion of large seams that were less expensive to mine; and tougher environmental rules aimed at protecting air and water quality.

However, many people in the region blame the downturn mostly — or entirely — on environmental rules.

Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley, a Democrat, said it appears Clinton's proposal includes some good initiatives that could help his home region, and that Clinton deserves credit for paying attention to problems in coal country.

But what many people want is regulatory relief for the coal industry. That would be the quickest way to put miners back to work, Mosley said.

"Anybody's plan that doesn't address that is not going to be well received in my area," he said Thursday.

Clinton's plan certainly didn't mention backing away from environmental rules.

And Clinton's campaign said she supports what the Obama Administration calls the Clean Power Plan, which would mandate significant cuts in emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants.

The plan itself is a good one, designed to get jobs to eastern Kentucky to replace coal jobs that aren't coming back.  It includes infrastructure projects and using an existing $2.5 billion environmental fund paid by coal companies to reclaim land, fund schools, and to get federal money to these areas for job training and business grants.

Republicans don't care, the only answer for them is to magically create coal jobs here that don't exist by throwing out environmental regs.

Republicans quickly blasted Clinton's proposal. A spokesman for U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, said Clinton would continue Obama's failed environmental policies that are killing jobs, and Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short said "if Hillary Clinton were truly on the side of coal country, she would stand up to extreme anti-energy environmentalists that run the Democrat Party instead of embracing their agenda that is killing jobs and driving up costs."

We've already proven that Kentuckians will literally vote against their own health care to stick it to the ni-CLANG! president, so why would we embrace Hillary Clinton for any reason?

It's a nice plan, and it's what Coal Country needs.  Who knows, we may even get the help here someday, but no matter who wins the Democratic nomination in 2016, they're losing the Bluegrass State by 20-25 points next November.

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Poll Positioning In Louisiana

Two new polls out this week show Democrat John Bel Edwards with a massive lead over Sen. David Vitter to succeed Bobby Jindal in the Louisiana gubernatorial race. Market Research has Edwards up by 14, 52-38%, and a University of New Orleans poll has Edwards up by an even larger 18-point margin, 54-36%.

Here's the question though: considering the polls in Kentucky were universally off by 14 points, where a 5-point Conway lead turned into a substantial 9-point Bevin victory, are these two polls anywhere near being close to correct?

I think there's considerable doubt in an off-year, low-turnout runoff that's not even being held on Election Day, that a Democrat is winning in Louisiana in 2015 by 14 to 18 points.  The people who actually vote aren't the people who are being polled, and that shift towards Vitter will only be magnified by the low turnout.

Do not be surprised if Vitter makes this a nailbiter, or if he manages to pull out a win.  Polling across the board in 2015 has been rotten.

Cruz Missile Attack, Con't

Over in the GOP Clown Car death match arena, Ted Cruz is going after fellow GOP senator Marco Rubio over immigration and it's going to get ugly, fast.

Mr. Cruz was asked Wednesday night by a reporter in Kingston N.H., if there was still a distinction between his position on immigration and Mr. Rubio’s. 
“It is not complicated,” Mr. Cruz said, then paused before adding, “that on the seminal fight over amnesty in Congress, the Gang of Eight bill that was the brainchild of Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama, that would have granted amnesty to 12 million people here illegally, that I stood with the American people and led the fight to defeat it in the United States Congress.” 
Mr. Cruz said: “In my view, if Republicans nominate for president a candidate who supports amnesty, we will have given up one of the major distinctions with Hillary Clinton and we will lose the general election. That is a path to losing."

With it clear that attacking Rubio on his use of a GOP party credit card really isn't going anywhere fast, we turn to the assault on Rubio's immigration Gang of Eight efforts, something that Greg Sargent notes was in the works for some time now.

Cruz’s broadside contains two key ingredients. The first is the suggestion that Rubio’s support for Obama/Schumer comprehensive reform shows that his current posture on immigration is not to be trusted. Rubio has retreated to the position that the border must be fully secured before we can even discuss legalization. And Rubio has also sought to reassure conservatives with a careful straddle: he doesn’t support Donald Trump’s call for deportation of the 11 million, but neither does he align himself fully with Jeb Bush’s and John Kasich’s forceful moral and practical criticism of Trump’s vow of mass removal. However, conservatives are not convinced: they want him to fully rule out any future “amnesty,” which (by their lights) he has not done yet. Cruz may also press Rubio to say whether he’d immediately end Obama’s executive action protecting the DREAMers from deportation. It’s a point on which Rubio has fudged, and it’s a legitimate question. 
The second key ingredient in Cruz’s monologue goes to the heart of competing theories of the 2016 presidential race. Cruz is claiming that only a GOP nominee who is unequivocally opposed to “amnesty” can draw the sharp contrast with the Democratic nominee that is necessary for a Republican to win the White House. (This is of a piece with a broader belief that Republicans must break their addiction to nominating squishy moderates rather than Real Conservatives.) 
This theory is diametrically opposed to the prevailing theory among many GOP strategists (including, at one point, the RNC), which holds that to win in future national elections, the GOP must embrace meaningful immigration reform that reorients the party as more culturally welcoming and inclusive, broadening its demographic appeal. It’s hard to say where Rubio now stands on this spectrum — the hedging in his immigration pronouncements seems designed to keep that vague. But Rubio strategists are reportedly convincedthat his ability to maintain mainstream appeal will be key to his success, which suggests he hopes to reserve room to pivot back to a more pro-reform posture later, if he wins the nomination. Cruz may challenge Rubio in ways designed to foreclose that possibility.

In other words, the biggest difference among Trump, Carson, Cruz and Rubio, the four leading GOP candidates in the polls right now, is that Rubio is the establishment candidate.  What makes him the establishment candidate more than anything else is his position on immigration.  If Rubio is forced the publicly scrap that position (and he will), the GOP will almost certainly nominate a candidate whose stated position is mass deportation of Latinos. The only difference is how many and how quickly the deportations begin.

Republicans believe they don't need Latino voters in order to win the White House in 2016.  At all.

We'll find out if it's true.


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