Monday, September 5, 2016

Last Call For Clinton Derangement Syndrome 2.0

Republicans are getting so desperate with Donald Trump's collapse that they're actually resorting to calling for special prosecutor for Clinton's confirmation hearings as Secretary of State.

Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn (Texas) said Hillary Clinton misled lawmakers eight years ago when questions about the Clinton Foundation loomed over her nomination to head the State Department.

Cornyn held up her nomination because of concerns over potential conflicts of interest posed by the foundation’s fundraising activities. He finally relented and voted for her after Clinton promised him that safeguards would be followed.

In the wake of various reports detailing instances where the foundation did not fully comply with transparency requirements, Cornyn now says he would have voted against her had he known what was to come.“When I put a hold on Mrs. Clinton’s nomination as secretary of State, she reassured me that they would take appropriate steps,” he told The Hill in an interview Friday. “As seems to be usual for the Clintons, they crossed the line and all the concerns that she reassured me would not occur did in fact occur.

“She was playing both sides. As she was performing her job of secretary of State, the Clinton Foundation was shaking down donors who were buying access. It’s absolutely deplorable.”

Cornyn said the only way to know whether foreign donors to the foundation gained improper access to Clinton while at the State Department would be for President Obama to appoint a special prosecutor.

For months, Cornyn has called for a special prosecutor to investigate allegations that Clinton mishandled classified information on a private email server while at State.

“Once again the rules don’t apply to them like they apply to everybody else. Can you imagine if anybody else in the United States government had tried to get away with something like this? It wouldn’t have happened,” he said.

And make no mistake, this isn't aimed at Republicans at all, but at nervous Democrats to try to get them to think that Donald Trump would be preferable to four years of daily "Republicans Call For Special Prosecutor As X Looms Over Clinton" stories.

The correct response is "Maybe if Democrats controlled both the White House and the Senate in 2017, this would go away.  Let's make both happen."

Far be it from me to advise.

He's A Rocket Mensch

SpaceX's spectacular and catastrophic test fire failure Friday that resulted in the total destruction of the company's Dragon rocket and its satellite payload cost hundreds of millions of dollars, sure.  But what people haven't been talking about as much is the fact that SpaceX's client was effectively Israel's space program.

A large question mark looms over Israel’s space industry after its prized Amos-6 satellite blew up in last week’s failed SpaceX rocket launch.

Space Communication Ltd., the Israeli company that was to operate the Amos-6, is still picking up the pieces and deciding what to do next. The government will formulate a long-term national space program, and may help develop a communications satellite, the Science Ministry said late Sunday after an emergency meeting with representatives of the country’s space industries.

The Sept. 1 accident in Cape Canaveral, Florida was the biggest blow to Israel’s space program since the death of astronaut Col. Ilan Ramon in the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003.

The setback imperils Space Com’s deal with China’s Beijing Xinwei Group for control of the company, but presents an opportunity for Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd., the state-owned weapons manufacturer that built Amos-6. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can allot some of the estimated $300 million to pay IAI to build another satellite for Space Com, its sole client for such products, but first must decide if satellites are an industry of national strategic importance.

“This is a traumatic experience for the industry, but allows us to hold this discussion that should have happened 10-15 years ago,” Yossi Weiss, IAI’s chief executive officer, said Sunday.

Now I find this all intriguing that the end result of a major technical disaster appears to be moving Israel's satellite program away from a joint commercial venture with Beijing and towards a Israeli military takeover in the name of national interest, something that's been discussed for ten or fifteen years.

The government could push to build a new satellite and maintain the independence of Israel’s space industry, according to Tal Inbar, head of the space and UAV research center at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, based in Herzliya, Israel.

Keeping the country’s space industry in-house shields it from pro-Palestinian activists who apply political pressure on foreign companies to stop doing business with Israel, Inbar said. Satellites also serve as backup for Israel’s communications infrastructure in the event of war or technical malfunction, he added.

"There’s a synergy in the triangle between Space Com, its biggest client, and its supplier, in that they’re all Israeli companies," Inbar said in an interview. "They understand each other and would be responsive to each other, so that they could amend issues in the satellite, if need be, in no time."

You don't say.  Gosh, that's quite the long-term benefit if you're the Israeli military. 

Just throwing that out there.

The Black Millennial Blame Game

Whenever the polls get close as they have recently with the switch from registered voters to likely voter models, the media starts looking for "answers" other than the obvious like "switch from registered voters to likely voter models".  That doesn't sell copy, so there's been a lot of effort to find instead someone to pin the blame on in case Clinton loses.  Jonathan Martin of the NYT confirms that group is black Millennials in 2016.

When a handful of liberal advocacy organizations convened a series of focus groups with young black voters last month, the assessments of Donald J. Trump were predictably unsparing.

But when the participants were asked about Hillary Clinton, their appraisals were just as blunt and nearly as biting.

“What am I supposed to do if I don’t like him and I don’t trust her?” a millennial black woman in Ohio asked. “Choose between being stabbed and being shot? No way!”

“She was part of the whole problem that started sending blacks to jail,” a young black man, also from Ohio, observed about Mrs. Clinton.

“He’s a racist, and she is a liar, so really what’s the difference in choosing both or choosing neither?” another young black woman from Ohio said.

Young African-Americans, like all voters their age, are typically far harder to drive to the polls than middle-aged and older Americans. Yet with just over two months until Election Day, many Democrats are expressing alarm at the lack of enthusiasm, and in some cases outright resistance, some black millennials feel toward Mrs. Clinton.

Their skepticism is rooted in a deep discomfort with the political establishment that they believe the 68-year-old former first lady and secretary of state represents. They share a lingering mistrust of Mrs. Clinton and her husband over criminal justice issues. They are demanding more from politicians as part of a new, confrontational wave of black activism that has arisen in response to police killings of unarmed African-Americans.

“We’re in the midst of a movement with a real sense of urgency,” explained Brittany Packnett, 31, a St. Louis-based leader in the push for police accountability. Mrs. Clinton is not yet connecting, she said, “because the conversation that younger black voters are having is no longer one about settling on a candidate who is better than the alternative.”

The question of just how many young African-Americans will show up to vote carries profound implications for this election. Mrs. Clinton is sure to dominate Mr. Trump among black voters, but her overwhelming margin could ultimately matter less than the total number of blacks who show up to vote.

To replicate President Obama’s success in crucial states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania, she cannot afford to let the percentage of the electorate that is black slip far below what it was in 2012. And while a modest drop-off of black votes may not imperil Mrs. Clinton’s prospects, given Mr. Trump’s unpopularity among upscale white voters, it could undermine Democrats’ effort to capture control of the Senate and win other down-ballot elections.

Elon James White, in particular, has been taking this approach, that real criminal justice and mass incarceration issues are the main thing for black voters in this election.  That's fine, he lives in California, a state that Clinton is in precisely zero danger of losing, it's good to spread awareness.

But these are black Millennial voters in Ohio, North Carolina, Viginia and Missouri we're talking about here. And the thing is Hillary Clinton has put her plans for addressing these issues right on her website.

"People are crying out for criminal justice reform. Families are being torn apart by excessive incarceration. Young people are being threatened and humiliated by racial profiling. Children are growing up in homes shattered by prison and poverty. They’re trying to tell us. We need to listen." 
Hillary Clinton, July 8, 2016

The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population but almost 25 percent of the total prison population. A significant percentage of the more than 2 million Americans incarcerated today are nonviolent offenders. African American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than white men found guilty of the same offenses.

To successfully reform our criminal justice system, we must work to strengthen the bonds of trust between our communities and our police, end the era of mass incarceration, and ensure a successful transition of individuals from prison to home. As president, Hillary will focus on a few key areas.

And then it lists exactly what she plans to do about improving conditions with reforming police, to use the kind of collaborative policing approach that has worked here in Cincinnati, and to end the era of mass incarceration.   That's been there since July, and it's one of the major reasons I'm voting for her, not "against Trump" but for Hillary Clinton.

But nowhere in the article does Jon Martin mention this.

In Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia, 70 percent of African-Americans under 35 said they were backing Mrs. Clinton, 8 percent indicated support for Mr. Trump and 18 percent said they were backing another candidate or did not know whom they would support. In 2012, Mr. Obama won 92 percent of black voters under 45 nationally, according to exit polling.

Over 25 percent of African-Americans are between 18 and 34, and 44 percent are older than 35, according to 2013 census data.

“There is no Democratic majority without these voters,” Mr. Belcher said. “The danger is that if you don’t get these voters out, you’ve got the 2004 John Kerry electorate again.”

In Ohio, for example, blacks were 10 percent of the electorate in the 2004 presidential race. But when Mr. Obama ran for re-election in 2012, that number jumped to 15 percent.

What frustrates many blacks under 40 is Mrs. Clinton’s overriding focus on Mr. Trump.

“We already know what the deal is with Trump,” said Nathan Baskerville, a 35-year-old North Carolina state representative. “Tell us what your plan is to make our life better.”

She has.

Nobody apparently has listened, and I'm actually pretty upset with this.

Such talk can be frustrating to Mrs. Clinton’s aides, who point out that her first speech of the campaign was on criminal justice and that she has laid out a series of proposals on the topic.

“It is on us to make sure that that’s known,” said Addisu Demissie, Mrs. Clinton’s voter outreach and mobilization director, adding of young black activists, “We share their goals, we share their values and we want to make sure that’s reflected through our campaign.”

The focus groups and interviews with young black activists suggest many of them are not aware of Mrs. Clinton’s plans regarding police conduct, mass incarceration and structural racism broadly

Please note that this is being reported in a newspaper.  Perhaps the newspaper could do an article on Mrs. Clinton's plans regarding police conduct, mass incarceration, and structural racism broadly.

Just saying.
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