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US Politics: 2016-2020

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US Presidential Elections 2016 News and Views

The next presidential election takes place on Nov 8, 2016.

Who Is Running for President

Democrats


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Hillary Clinton

Campaign Site: HillaryClinton.com

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton (born October 26, 1947) is a former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States. From 2009 to 2013, she was the 67th Secretary of State, serving under President Barack Obama. She previously represented New York in the U.S. Senate (2001 to 2009). Before that, as the wife of President Bill Clinton, she was First Lady from 1993 to 2001. In the 2008 election, Clinton was a leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination.



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Bernie Sanders


Campaign Site: BernieSanders.com

Bernard “Bernie” Sanders (born September 8, 1941) is an American politician and the junior United States Senator from Vermont. Before serving in the Senate, he represented Vermont’s at-large congressional district in the United States House of Representatives and served as mayor of Burlington, the largest city in Vermont. Sanders is a self-described democratic socialist, and has praised Scandinavian-style social democracy.
Sanders runs for office as an independent but caucuses with the Democratic Party and is counted as a Democrat for purposes of committee assignments. He was the only independent member of the House during most of his service and is the longest-serving independent in U.S. Congressional history.

In an interview with The Nation on March 6, 2014, Sanders stated that he is “prepared to run for President of the United States” in 2016.



Republicans



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Jeb Bush


PAC Site: Right to Rise PAC

John Ellis “Jeb” Bush (born February 11, 1953) served as the 43rd Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He is the second son of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush, and is the younger brother of former President George W. Bush. Jeb Bush is the only Republican to serve two full four-year terms as Governor of Florida. Bush grew up in Houston, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he earned a degree in Latin American affairs. Following his father’s successful run for Vice President in 1980, he moved to Florida. In 1986, Bush was named Florida’s Secretary of Commerce, a position he held until resigning in 1988 to help his father’s successful campaign for the Presidency.

In 1994, Bush made his first run for office, narrowly losing the election for governor by less than two percentage points to the incumbent Lawton Chiles. Bush ran again in 1998 and beat Lieutenant Governor Buddy MacKay with 55 percent of the vote. He ran for reelection in 2002, and won with 56 percent, to become Florida’s first two-term Republican Governor. During his eight years as governor, Bush was credited with initiating improvements in the environment, as well as reforming the education system. He was also responsible for ending the Florida high speed rail initiative.

Bush is frequently mentioned as a possible candidate for president in 2016.



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Rand Paul

Campaign Site: RandPaul.com

A graduate of the Duke University School of Medicine, Paul began practicing ophthalmology in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 1993 and established his own clinic in December 2007. He became active in politics and founded Kentucky Taxpayers United in 1994, of which he is still chairman. He first received national attention in 2008 when making political speeches on behalf of his father, who was campaigning for the Republican Party’s nomination for president. In 2010, Paul ran for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Senator Jim Bunning of Kentucky, defeating Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson in the Republican primary. He subsequently defeated the Democratic nominee, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, in the general election.



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Marco Rubio

Campaign Site: MarcoRubio.com

Marco Antonio Rubio (born May 28, 1971) is the junior United States Senator from Florida, serving since January 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives (2007–2009).
A Cuban American native of Miami, Florida, Rubio is a graduate of the University of Florida and the University of Miami Law School. In the late 1990s, he served as a City Commissioner for West Miami and was elected to the Florida House of Representatives in 2000, representing the 111th House district. He was elected Speaker in November 2006.
 

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Republicans


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Mike Huckabee

Official Site: MikeHuckabee.com

Michael Dale “Mike” Huckabee (born August 24, 1955) is an American politician who served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas (1996–2007). He was a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries, winning the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses and finishing second in delegate count and third in both popular vote and number of states won (behind both John McCain and Mitt Romney).
Huckabee currently hosts the eponymous Fox News Channel talk show Huckabee. From April 2012 through December 2013, he hosted a daily radio program, The Mike Huckabee Show, on weekday afternoons for Cumulus Media Networks. Huckabee is the author of several best-selling books, an ordained Southern Baptist minister, musician and a public speaker. He is also an ABC Radio political commentator.



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Ted Cruz

Campaign Site: TedCruz.org

Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz (born December 22, 1970) is the junior United States Senator from Texas. Elected in 2012, he is the first Cuban American or Latino to hold the office of US Senator from Texas. Cruz is a member of the Republican Party. He served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003 to May 2008, after being appointed by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Between 1999 and 2003, Cruz served as the director of the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, an Associate Deputy Attorney General at the United States Department of Justice, and as Domestic Policy Advisor to U.S. President George W. Bush on the 2000 Bush-Cheney campaign. Cruz was also an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, where he taught U.S. Supreme Court litigation, from 2004 to 2009.



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Ben Carson

Campaign Site: BenCarson.com

Benjamin Solomon “Ben” Carson Sr. (born September 18, 1951) is an American author and retired neurosurgeon. He is credited with being the first surgeon to successfully separate conjoined twins joined at the head. In 2008 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush.
After delivering a widely publicized speech at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, he became a popular conservative figure in political media for his views on social and political issues, spurring talk of his becoming a Republican candidate for the 2016 presidential election.



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Carly Fiorina

Campaign Site: CarlyForPresident.com

Carly Fiorina (born Cara Carleton Sneed; September 6, 1954) is an American former business executive and was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate from California in 2010. Fiorina served as chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard from 1999 to 2005 and previously was an executive at AT&T and its equipment and technology spinoff, Lucent.
Fiorina was considered one of the most powerful women in business during her tenure at Lucent and Hewlett-Packard. While she was chief executive at HP, the company weathered the collapse of the dot-com bubble, although the stock lost half of its value throughout her tenure. In 2002, the company completed a contentious merger with rival computer company Compaq, which made HP the world’s largest personal computer manufacturer. In 2005, Fiorina was forced to resign as chief executive officer and chairman of HP following “differences [with the board of directors] about how to execute HP’s strategy.” She has frequently been ranked as one of the worst CEOs of all time.

Fiorina served as an advisor to Republican John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. She was the Republican nominee for the United States Senate from California in 2010, losing to incumbent Democratic Senator Barbara



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Bobby Jindal

Campaign Site: BobbyJindal.com

Piyush “Bobby” Jindal (born June 10, 1971) is an American politician who is the 55th and current Governor of Louisiana and the Vice Chairman of the Republican Governors Association.
Jindal was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to immigrants from India. Prior to entering politics, Jindal studied for a Bachelor of Science in biology and public policy at Brown University from 1988 to 1991 and then a Master of Letters in political science from New College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. He worked for McKinsey & Company and interned for Representative Jim McCrery of Louisiana. In 1996, Governor Murphy Foster appointed Jindal Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals, and in 1999 he was appointed President of the University of Louisiana System. In 2001, Jindal was appointed as the principal adviser to Tommy Thompson, the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services by President George W. Bush.

He first ran for governor in 2003 and won a plurality in the nonpartisan blanket primary but lost in the general election to Democrat Kathleen Blanco. He then won a seat in the United States House of Representatives in the 2004 elections. The second Indian American in Congress, he was re-elected in 2006. He ran for Governor again in 2007 and secured an outright majority in the first round of balloting. He was re-elected in a landslide in 2011.




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Rick Santorum

Campaign Site: RickSantorum.com

Richard John “Rick” Santorum (born May 10, 1958) is an American attorney and Republican Party politician. He served as a United States Senator representing Pennsylvania (1995-2007) and was the Senate’s third-ranking Republican (2001-07). He ran as a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination, finishing second to the eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
Born in Virginia, Santorum was raised primarily in Butler, Pennsylvania. He obtained an undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University, an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh, and a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law (now part of Penn State). Santorum worked as an attorney at Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, where he met Karen Garver. They married in 1990, and have seven living children (one child died shortly after birth). Santorum was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives to represent Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district in 1990 and later became a member of a group dubbed the “Gang of Seven”.

Santorum was elected as a United States Senator for Pennsylvania in 1994. He served two terms until losing his re-election bid in 2006. A devout, practicing Catholic, Santorum is a social conservative who opposes same-sex marriage and artificial birth control. While serving as a senator, Santorum was the author of what came to be known as the Santorum Amendment, which promoted the teaching of intelligent design. In 2005, Santorum introduced the Workplace Religious Freedom Act along with Senator John Kerry.

In the years following his departure from the Senate, Santorum worked as a consultant, private-practice lawyer, and news contributor. On June 6, 2011 Santorum announced his run for the Republican nomination in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. Upon announcing his campaign suspension on April 10, 2012, he had won 11 primaries and caucuses and received nearly 4 million votes. Santorum officially endorsed Mitt Romney on May 7, 2012.
 

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Republicans

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Scott Walker

Scott Kevin Walker (born November 2, 1967) is an American Republican legislator and politician who is the 45th Governor of Wisconsin. He was first elected Governor in 2010 and was sworn in on January 3, 2011. Walker was re-elected to a second term on November 4, 2014, which will expire on January 3, 2019.
Born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Walker attended Marquette University in Milwaukee. He started his career working for IBM before gaining a marketing job with the American Red Cross. At age 22, Walker lost a run for the Wisconsin State Assembly in a Milwaukee district in 1990, which is the only competitive election (aside from a failed run for student president at Marquette University) which Walker has lost in his career to date. He won his next bid for the Assembly after moving to a more conservative district in Wauwatosa, and served four more terms in the Assembly (1993-2002). In 2002, after the resignation of Tom Ament as Executive of Milwaukee County, Walker won in a special election to fill the seat, winning the first of three terms serving as County Executive in Milwaukee County from 2002 to 2010.

In his first run for Governor in 2006 he dropped out before the Republican primaries. Walker again ran for the governorship in 2010, winning in a three-person race in the Republican primary. He faced Democratic nominee, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, in the general election, where Walker won with 52% of the vote.

After being sworn into office in 2011, Walker introduced a controversial budget repair plan which limited many collective bargaining rights for most public employees. The legislation made more than $1 billion in cuts to the state’s biennial education budget and $500 million in cuts from the state’s biennial Medicaid budget. The budget cuts led to significant protests at the Wisconsin State Capitol and an effort to recall Walker. In the subsequent special election in June 2012, Walker again faced Barrett in Wisconsin’s only gubernatorial recall election. Walker defeated him for a second time, obtaining more votes than he had in the original race, with 53% of the vote. Walker is the only governor in the U.S. to date to win a gubernatorial recall election.


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Chris Christie



Christopher James “Chris” Christie (born September 6, 1962) is the 55th Governor of New Jersey and a leading member of the Republican Party.
Born in Newark, Christie became interested in politics at an early age, and volunteered for the gubernatorial campaign of Republican Tom Kean in 1977. A 1984 graduate of the University of Delaware, he earned a J.D. at Seton Hall University School of Law. Christie joined a Cranford law firm in 1987, where he became a partner in 1993, and continued practicing until 2002. He was elected as a county legislator in Morris County, serving from 1995 to 1998, during which time he generally pushed for lower taxes and lower spending. By 2002, Christie had campaigned for Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; the latter appointed him as United States Attorney for New Jersey, a position he held from 2002 to 2008. In that position, he emphasized prosecutions of political corruption, and also obtained convictions for sexual slavery, arms trafficking, racketeering by gangs, as well as other federal crimes.

In January 2009, Christie declared his candidacy for Governor of New Jersey. He won the Republican primary, and defeated incumbent Governor Jon Corzine in the election that November. In 2013, he won re-election as Governor, defeating Democrat Barbara Buono by a margin of over 22%. He was sworn in to a second term as governor on January 21, 2014. On November 21, 2013, Christie was elected Chairman of the Republican Governors Association, succeeding Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.

Christie was seen as a potential candidate in the 2012 presidential election, and though not running, he was the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. He is viewed as a potential presidential candidate in 2016. Despite two separate investigations having found no evidence of Christie having prior knowledge of or directing the controversial closure of highway toll plaza lanes at Fort Lee, the investigations of the scandal, still ongoing, have posed a challenge for Christie, who denies wrongdoing.



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Rick Perry



James Richard “Rick” Perry (born March 4, 1950) is an American politician who is the 47th and current Governor of Texas. A Republican, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when then-governor George W. Bush resigned to become President of the United States. Perry is the longest serving governor in Texas state history. As a result, he is the only governor in modern Texas history to have appointed at least one person to every eligible state office, board, or commission position (as well as to several elected offices to which the governor can appoint someone to fill an unexpired term, such as six of the nine current members of the Texas Supreme Court).
Perry was elected to full gubernatorial terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and is the fourth Texas governor (after Allan Shivers, Price Daniel, and John Connally) to serve three terms. With a tenure in office to date of 13 years, 335 days, Perry is the second longest serving current U.S. governor – after Terry Branstad of Iowa. Perry served as chairman of the Republican Governors Association in 2008 (succeeding Sonny Perdue of Georgia) and again in 2011.

Perry won the Texas 2010 Republican gubernatorial primary election, defeating U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Wharton County Republican Party Chairwoman and businesswoman Debra Medina. In the 2010 Texas gubernatorial election, Perry won a third term by defeating former Houston mayor Bill White and Kathie Glass.

On August 13, 2011, Perry announced in South Carolina that he was running for the Republican nomination for President of the United States in the 2012 presidential election. Perry suspended his campaign in January 2012 and eventually endorsed Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

On July 8, 2013, Perry announced that he would not seek re-election to his fourth term in the 2014 election, planning to retire instead. Unnamed sources said to be close to Perry told the National Review that Perry may focus on another White House bid for 2016.

On August 15, 2014, Perry was indicted by a grand jury on felony charges for abuse of power. He was accused of coercing a Democratic District Attorney who had been convicted of drunk driving to resign by threatening to veto funding for state public corruption prosecutors. The indictment received some support and also wide criticism from all sides of the political spectrum, and editorial criticism from major US newspapers.



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Lindsey Graham



Lindsey Olin Graham (born July 9, 1955) is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who serves as the senior United States Senator from South Carolina, in office since 2003.
Born in Central, South Carolina, Graham graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1977. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1981. He served in the United States Air Force from 1982 to 1988 and served as a reservist in the South Carolina Air National Guard, attaining the rank of Colonel. He worked as a lawyer in private practice before he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives in 1992, serving one term from 1993 to 1995. He then served in the United States House of Representatives, representing South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district from 1995 to 2003. He was elected to four terms, receiving at least 60% of the vote each time.

In 2002, Graham ran for the U.S. Senate after eight-term Republican incumbent Strom Thurmond announced his retirement. Graham won the primary unopposed and defeated Democratic opponent Alex Sanders in the general election. Graham was re-elected to a second term in 2008, defeating Bob Conley. He won a third term in 2014, defeating Democrat Brad Hutto and Independent Thomas Ravenel.

Graham is a leading foreign policy hawk and interventionist. He is known for his willingness to be bipartisan and work with Democrats on issues like climate change, tax reform and immigration reform and his belief that judicial nominees should not be opposed solely on their philosophical positions. He is also a critic of the Tea Party movement, arguing for a more inclusive Republican Party.



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John Kasich



John Richard Kasich (born May 13, 1952) is the 69th Governor of Ohio, in office since 2011. A member of the Republican Party, he previously served as a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Ohio’s 12th congressional district from 1983 to 2001. He was a commentator on Fox News Channel, hosting Heartland with John Kasich (2001-2007); he also worked as an investment banker, as managing director of Lehman Brothers’s Columbus, Ohio office (until the firm collapsed in 2008).
In the 2010 Ohio gubernatorial election, Kasich defeated Democratic incumbent Ted Strickland, receiving 49% of the vote to his opponent’s 47%.

In the 2014 Ohio Gubernatorial Elections, Kasich defeated Cuyahoga county official Ed FitzGerald (Democrat) by a landslide with Kasich winning 64% of the vote and FitzGerald winning only 33%; Green Party candidate Anita Rios won the other 3%.
 

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The Mechanics of Presidential Candidates

Stage 1: The Pregame Warm Up

The process begins unofficially exactly one day after the 2012 presidential election when observers, analysts and pundits cast a wide and generous net over the whole country to kick start the elimination process. Potential 2016 candidates are determined through a multitude of factors, including, but not limited to, party affiliation, elected position (current and past), policy stances, level of success, age, temperament, personal attributes and family. The names are floated to encourage, solicit and provoke reactions from the candidates themselves, general media and other interested parties. On our part, the list of potential 2016 candidates below represents the “catch” from our metaphorical net. Our criteria for inclusion are not constrained by major party affiliation, popularity or financial strength. We aim to provide a platform for every properly invested American to present their case, and candidacy.

Stage 2: Informal Feelers, leaks and exploratory committees

The potential 2016 presidential candidates then start testing out the waters to gauge the sentiments on the ground, and of the press and most crucially, the donor base. For established candidates with funds to spare, a more formal setup is formed, or, as they are more commonly known, exploratory committees.

Stage 3: Announcement of Candidacy

Once a candidate decides on running for president in 2016, a formal announcement is made. The announcement will be a highly polished media affair, and typically held at a historically significant or personally memorable location. The candidate is also required to register his candidacy with the Federal Election Commission. For 2016 independent and third party candidates, the journey usually begins here. At this stage, we will be eliminating the potential candidates from the list and naturally, focus exclusively on the declared candidates.

Stage 4: 2016 Primaries and Caucuses

The selection of 2016 nominees for president by political parties is not bound by the Constitution or any federal regulations. However, the process involved has evolved naturally over the last century, more so since the advent of national conventions of political parties. The delegates of these conventions will ultimately decide the party’s nominee for president. The selections of the delegates, meanwhile, are done through state organized primaries and caucuses.
 

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OpEdOpinion

Hillary Clinton, the center-left's champion

Updated June 15, 2015 12:11 PM
By STEPHEN STROMBERG, The Washington Post

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Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton kicking off her official campaign from Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island in NYC June 13, 2015. Photo Credit: J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Hillary Clinton ended much of the suspense about what she's running on, delivering her first full campaign-style stump speech on New York's Roosevelt Island on Saturday. The result was a platform of workmanlike liberal policy that neither mimics her husband's agenda nor fully dignifies the populists pushing the Democratic Party from the country's ideological governing space. America's center-left has a champion.

Clothed in rhetoric condemning economic and social inequality, Clinton's address acknowledged the power of the Obama coalition of young and minority voters, striking a very different note from the triangulated social conservatism of her husband's presidency. She promised to help pretty much everyone except Republican presidential candidates and hedge-fund managers, arguing that the country needs an "inclusive economy" supported by an "inclusive society."

She proposed laws barring discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, backed universal preschool and child care, supported a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants with clean records, demanded easier access to the polls and endorsed a constitutional amendment re-imposing restrictions on political spending.

In one of the best lines in her speech, Clinton mocked the cowardice of Republicans who dodge reporters' questions on climate change. "They'll say, 'I'm not a scientist,'" she said. "Well, then why don't they start listening to those who are?" In one of the worst lines in her speech, Clinton again punted on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, bowing to progressives' current anti-trade hysteria. "Advances in technology and the rise of global trade have created whole new areas of economic activity and opened new markets for our exports," she said, "but they have also displaced jobs and undercut wages for millions of Americans."

But, thankfully, Clinton also avoided some of the worst populist excesses of the Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party. Crucially, Clinton emphasized the importance of economic growth, innovation and efficient government, not rigid regulatory and tax policies or unaffordable expansions of entitlements. "The middle class needs more growth and more fairness," she said. "Growth and fairness go together. For lasting prosperity, you can't have one without the other."

Clinton appears to be aligning herself with Democrats who stress the importance of economic competitiveness and flexibility in enabling the country to keep up with global competition and advance the standard of living.

It remains to be seen whether Clinton can harness the energy of progressives without buying more fully into their extravagances. But for those seeking care and substance, her speech was a pretty good opening move.


Stromberg is a member of The Washington Post's editorial page staff.
 

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Hillary Clinton outlines plan to tighten U.S. gun laws

By Heidi Przybyla

10/5/2015

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Hillary Clinton participates in a town hall in Hollis, N.H., on Oct. 5, 2015. (NBC News’ ‘Today’ show)

Hillary Clinton offered a plan to stop individuals from purchasing guns over the Internet and at gun shows without background checks — and says she’ll act on it if Congress won’t.

The 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner outlined a series of steps to update the Brady Law that established background checks for all weapons purchases. The law, which took effect in 1994, was enacted before the Internet became a force in U.S. commerce.


An estimated 20% to 40% of all gun purchases in the U.S. occur without background checks because of loopholes that allow unlicensed online transfers as well as exchanges between anonymous strangers, including felons, at gun shows, according to a fact sheet provided by the campaign. Polls show broad public support for background checks.

Her proposal comes in the wake of a mass shooting last week at an Oregon community college.

“Enough,” Clinton said at a town hall in Hollis, N.H., broadcast on the Today show Monday. “We need universal background checks. We know that they will work,” she said. “I’m determined to do something about it,” Clinton said.

She outlined her plans in a state with high levels of gun ownership and emphasized that her focus is not law-abiding gun owners. Clinton said that even conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has said that the constitutional right to bear arms does not mean there can’t be restraints on gun ownership.

The most significant part of Clinton’s plan may be her vow to use executive action to update background check laws to account for Internet and gun show sales. The likelihood that Congress will pass new gun laws has been very low ever since Congress failed to act on a bipartisan plan to boost background checks in the aftermath of the December 2012 shootings that killed 20 schoolchildren and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn. Republicans also control both chambers of Congress and are unlikely to initiate votes on new gun laws.

Clinton’s plan would also close the “Charleston Loophole’’ that allows a gun sale to proceed without a background check if the check isn’t complete within three days. The alleged shooter who killed nine people at a Charleston church had a federal criminal record but was able to buy a gun anyway.

Other components of the plan include repealing laws that prevent victims of gun violence from holding negligent manufacturers and dealers accountable; providing more funding to increase inspections of gun stores and a plan to revoke the licenses of dealers that knowingly sell to traffickers and straw purchasers.

She would also press for legislation to prohibit all domestic abusers from buying and possessing guns. Current law does not cover people in dating relationships or convicted stalkers. Her plan did not call for a reinstatement of the federal assault weapons ban that her husband, former president Bill Clinton, signed into law.
 

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"There is a Chauncey Gardner-like quality to Carson. He speaks softly, smiles a lot and lulls his audience into the belief he possess great insights and wisdom." I had been telling my friends exactly the same thing.



The most unfit GOP candidate isn’t Trump

By Jennifer Rubin October 9, 2015

Donald Trump wants to round up 11 million people in two years for deportation. He approves of Russia’s incursion into Syria. He has a tax plan that adds at least $10 trillion to the debt. And with all that, he is not the most ignorant or unfit GOP presidential contender. That distinction goes to Ben Carson.


Consider this from yesterday:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Holocaust would have been “greatly diminished” had Jewish people in Europe been armed with guns.

“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”

This follows his jaw-dropping response to the Oregon mass shooting: “I would say, hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me but he can’t get us all!”

The Anti-Defamation League roundly condemned his remarks. (“The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”)

Carson’s ignorance is not limited to the Nazis, although he continues his appalling comparisons of trends and people he dislikes to the fascist, genocidal regime.

He does not, it seems, grasp the difference between the debt limit and the budget.

He thinks “diplomacy” was an alternative to a military response to the slaughter of nearly 3,000 people on Sept, 11, 2001. (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie retorted that “these people were out to kill us.”)

He insisted that a Muslim should not be president, only begrudgingly backpedaling to say only those intent on imposing sharia law shouldn’t hold office.

And there was this telling exchange from the first debate, which largely escaped notice:

MEGYN KELLY: You’ve suggested that the Baltic States are not a part of NATO, just months ago you were unfamiliar with the major political parties and government in Israel, and domestically, you thought Alan Greenspan had been treasury secretary instead of federal reserve chair.

Aren’t these basic mistakes, and don’t they raise legitimate questions about whether you are ready to be president?


CARSON: Well, I could take issue with — with all of those things, but we don’t have time.

But I will say, we have a debate here tonight, and we will have an opportunity to explore those areas, and I’m looking very much forward to demonstrating that, in fact, the thing that is probably most important is having a brain, and to be able to figure things out and learn things very rapidly.

(Wait. He thinks the Baltic states are not part of NATO?)

Conservatives have a dangerous habit of excusing ignorance or offensive comments so long as they come from someone attacking liberal elites. One does not need to elevate ignoramuses to cultlike status simply because they also happen to attack the media or liberal dogma. In doing so, Republicans wind up getting behind crank candidates and losing elections to mediocre candidates. (Anyone recall the “I-am-not-a-witch” Christine O’Donnell?)

There is a Chauncey Gardner-like quality to Carson. He speaks softly, smiles a lot and lulls his audience into the belief he possess great insights and wisdom. He is an esteemed neurosurgeon and a lovely dinner speaker. He is, however, entirely unfit for the presidency, seemingly oblivious to basic historical facts, constitutional concepts and world events. Surely conservative Republicans, especially some in the right-wing media who have fawned over him, should have figured this out by now.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.

 

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Obama Tells ‘60 Minutes’ Hillary Clinton Made Email ‘Mistake’

By MICHAEL D. SHEAROCT. 11, 2015

WASHINGTON —
President Obama on Sunday called Hillary Rodham Clinton’s use of a private email server “a mistake,” but said it had not endangered national security and had been “ginned-up” into a political attack by Republicans eager to keep her from being president.

Mr. Obama made the comments during an interview on CBS’s “60 Minutes” program in which he also defended his policy in Syria during a lengthy, contentious exchange with Steve Kroft, a veteran correspondent.

Mrs. Clinton’s use of the email server during her tenure as secretary of state has become the centerpiece of Republican-led investigations into the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four Americans. She is certain to face questions about the emails during Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate and later this month when she is set to appear before a House committee.

In the interview, which was taped Tuesday and broadcast Sunday evening, Mr. Obama called those questions legitimate and said — without directing the comments specifically at Mrs. Clinton — that public officials in high office should know better.

“As a general proposition, when we’re in these offices, we have to be more sensitive and stay as far away from the line as possible when it comes to how we handle information, how we handle our own personal data,” Mr. Obama said. “And, you know, she made a mistake. She has acknowledged it.”
The president said Mrs. Clinton “could have handled the original decision better” and might have been quicker to disclose work-related emails that had been kept on a private server outside government control.

Mr. Obama said her possession of the email server “is not a situation in which America’s national security was endangered.” He declined to say whether the email controversy was “not that big a deal,” but he chided Mrs. Clinton’s critics for their single-minded focus on the issue.

“The fact that for the last three months this is all that’s been spoken about is an indication that we’re in presidential political season,” he said.


On Syria, Mr. Obama acknowledged the failure of his $500 million mission to “train and equip” as many as 5,000 fighters in the battle against the Islamic State. The president said he had long been skeptical that the program could create an effective “proxy army,” but tried it anyway in an effort to confront what he called a “difficult problem for the entire world community.”
Mr. Kroft repeatedly challenged the president on his policy in Syria and at one point complained that Mr. Obama was “filibustering” with long answers. Mr. Obama at times appeared exasperated by Mr. Kroft’s questions, once responding: “If you ask me big, open-ended questions, expect big, open-ended answers.”
The president accused critics of expecting better results in Syria after just a year of American intervention, noting that Afghanistan still needs attention over 13 years after the United States sent its military there. He said the situation in Syria would not be resolved by American troops.

“Resolving the underlying crisis is going to be something that requires ultimately the key players there to recognize that there has to be a transition to new government,” he said. “And in the absence of that, it’s not going to work.”
Mr. Obama angrily rejected the idea that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia is challenging American leadership by using fighter jets and missiles in Syria.
“If you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in, in order to prop up your only ally, is leadership, then we’ve got a different definition of leadership,” Mr. Obama said. He added later: “The fact that they had to do this is not an indication of strength.”
Mr. Putin’s aggressive moves into Syria, in particular strikes by warplanes and missiles, in the last several weeks appeared to take the United States government by surprise. But Mr. Obama suggested in the interview that officials had some warning of the Russian plans.

“We had pretty good intelligence,” he said in response to a question about whether Mr. Putin told the president about the military moves when the two met at the United Nations last month.
“We knew that he was planning to provide the military assistance that Assad was needing,” Mr. Obama continued, referring to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, “because they were nervous about a potential imminent collapse of the regime.”
 

RabzonKhan

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who would win?
No one knows the answer to that question, too far out to tell.

That being said, right now, on the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton is the undisputed frontrunner, though things can change if VPJoe Biden enters the race.

On the Republican side, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina are the frontrunners. Even though, Donald Trump is leading in all polls so far, but his chances of getting Republican nomination is quite bleak.

But one should watch out for Jeb Bush (he is supported by the Republican establishment) at present he is doing quite badly on the polls but financially he is quite strong.
 
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RabzonKhan

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The first democratic debate between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and the three other guys
(Senator Jim Webb, Martin O’ Mally and Lincoln Chafee):D.

It is widely believed that Hillary Clinton won the debate.

Highlights of the debate that I find interesting:

CLINTON: I'm a progressive. But I'm a progressive who likes to get things done. And I know... (I think that was a jab at Bernie)


SANDERS: Millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, and yet almost all of the new income and wealth being created is going to the top one percent. (I fully agree with that statement)


SANDERS: Today, the scientific community is virtually unanimous: climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and we have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and our grandchildren.


CLINTON: I've put forward specific plans about how we're going to create more good-paying jobs: by investing in infrastructure and clean energy, by making it possible once again to invest in science and research, and taking the opportunity posed by climate change to grow our economy.


CLINTON: And then we have to figure out how we're going to make the tax system a fairer one. Right now, the wealthy pay too little and the middle class pays too much.


CLINTON: But we are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We are the United States of America. And it's our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism so that it doesn't run amok and doesn't cause the kind of inequities we're seeing in our economic system.


WEBB: So we do need background checks. We need to keep the people who should not have guns away from them. But we have to respect the tradition in this country of people who want to defend themselves and their family from violence.


CLINTON: And, I think it's important too that the United States make it very clear to Putin that it's not acceptable for him to be in Syria creating more chaos, bombing people on behalf of Assad, and we can't do that if we don't take more of a leadership position, which is what I'm advocating.


SANDERS: United States does not get involved in another quagmire like we did in Iraq, the worst foreign policy blunder in the history of this country. (On the mark).


WEBB: To the unelected, authoritarian government of China: You do not own the South China Sea. You do not have the right to conduct cyber warfare against tens of millions of American citizens.


SANDERS: Let me say -- let me say something that may not be great politics. But I think the secretary is right, and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn e-mails. (He was responding to Hillary Clinton's email scandal.")


CHAFEE: Absolutely. We have to repair American credibility after we told the world that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, which he didn't. So there's an issue of American credibility out there.


SANDERS: Congress does not regulate Wall Street. Wall Street regulates Congress.


SANDERS: Well, let me tell you, Donald Trump and his billionaire friends under my policies are going to pay a hell of a lot more in taxes today -- taxes in the future than they're paying today.


CLINTON: Now, I revere my late mother, and she gave me a lot of good advice. But one of the best pieces of advice she gave me was, you know, the issue is not whether or not you get knocked down. It's whether you get back up.

America's been knocked down. That Great Recession, 9 million people lost their jobs, 5 million lost their homes, $13 trillion in wealth disappeared. And although we've made progress, we're standing but not running the way America needs to.


CLINTON: My mission as president will be to raise incomes for hard-working middle-class families and to make sure that we get back to the basic bargain I was raised with: If you work hard and you do your part, you should be able to get ahead and stay ahead.
 

RabzonKhan

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2016 Republican Presidential Candidates:
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Who is the wealthiest 2016 presidential candidate. (Source)

Donald Trump: $4 billion.

Carly Fiorina: $59 million.

Hillary Clinton: somewhere between $11 million and $53 million.

Mike Huckabee: between $7 million and $29 million.

Ben Carson: between $8.9 million and $27 million.

Jeb Bush: worth between $19 and $22 million.

John Kasich: between $9 million and $22 million.

Bobby Jindal: $3.79 million and $11.3 million.

Ted Cruz: between $2.4 and $4.7 million.

Jim Webb: $4,580,095.

Rick Santorum: between $880,000 and $1.9 million.

Chris Christie: $1.5 million.

Rand Paul: $1.3 million.

Lindsey Graham: $1.02 million.

Bernie Sanders: between $194,026 and $741,030.

Marco Rubio: $443,000.

Martin O'Malley: $250,000.
 

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