Archives for category: Clinton

A stunning story in Bloomberg BusinessWeek reveals Donald Trump’s end game: Suppress the Hillary vote. Target certain audiences and bombard them on the Internet with negative stories that discourage them from turning out.

Joshua Green and Sasha Issenberg went “inside the Trump bunker” to learn the campaign’s strategizing. Trump has abandoned traditional fund-raising events and is replying now exclusively on the Web to find campaign contributions. He has a small team with pre-written Tweets, ready to go to synchronize with his speeches. He has a highly sophisticated data team, conducting its own polling. His campaign is led not by veteran political operatives but by people skilled at marketing. Marketing the candidate is no different from marketing any other product.

They write:

When Bannon joined the campaign in August, Project Alamo’s data began shaping even more of Trump’s political and travel strategy—and especially his fundraising. Trump himself was an avid pupil. Parscale would sit with him on the plane to share the latest data on his mushrooming audience and the $230 million they’ve funneled into his campaign coffers. Today, housed across from a La-Z-Boy Furniture Gallery along Interstate 410 in San Antonio, the digital nerve center of Trump’s operation encompasses more than 100 people, from European data scientists to gun-toting elderly call-center volunteers. They labor in offices lined with Trump iconography and Trump-focused inspirational quotes from Sheriff Joe Arpaio and evangelical leader Jerry Falwell Jr. Until now, Trump has kept this operation hidden from public view. But he granted Bloomberg Businessweek exclusive access to the people, the strategy, the ads, and a large part of the data that brought him to this point and will determine how the final two weeks of the campaign unfold.

The Trump team knows very well that they are behind in the polls, and they have shaped a plan to reverse Clinton’s edge: suppress her voters.

Instead of expanding the electorate, Bannon and his team are trying to shrink it. “We have three major voter suppression operations under way,” says a senior official. They’re aimed at three groups Clinton needs to win overwhelmingly: idealistic white liberals, young women, and African Americans. Trump’s invocation at the debate of Clinton’s WikiLeaks e-mails and support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership was designed to turn off Sanders supporters. The parade of women who say they were sexually assaulted by Bill Clinton and harassed or threatened by Hillary is meant to undermine her appeal to young women. And her 1996 suggestion that some African American males are “super predators” is the basis of a below-the-radar effort to discourage infrequent black voters from showing up at the polls—particularly in Florida.

The nation is at risk if Trump wins, and the Republican party is at risk if he loses.

Regardless of whether this works or backfires, setting back GOP efforts to attract women and minorities even further, Trump won’t come away from the presidential election empty-handed. Although his operation lags previous campaigns in many areas (its ground game, television ad buys, money raised from large donors), it’s excelled at one thing: building an audience. Powered by Project Alamo and data supplied by the RNC and Cambridge Analytica, his team is spending $70 million a month, much of it to cultivate a universe of millions of fervent Trump supporters, many of them reached through Facebook. By Election Day, the campaign expects to have captured 12 million to 14 million e-mail addresses and contact information (including credit card numbers) for 2.5 million small-dollar donors, who together will have ponied up almost $275 million. “I wouldn’t have come aboard, even for Trump, if I hadn’t known they were building this massive Facebook and data engine,” says Bannon. “Facebook is what propelled Breitbart to a massive audience. We know its power.”

Since Trump paid to build this audience with his own campaign funds, he alone will own it after Nov. 8 and can deploy it to whatever purpose he chooses. He can sell access to other campaigns or use it as the basis for a 2020 presidential run. It could become the audience for a Trump TV network. As Bannon puts it: “Trump is an entrepreneur.”

Whatever Trump decides, this group will influence Republican politics going forward. These voters, whom Cambridge Analytica has categorized as “disenfranchised new Republicans,” are younger, more populist and rural—and also angry, active, and fiercely loyal to Trump. Capturing their loyalty was the campaign’s goal all along. It’s why, even if Trump loses, his team thinks it’s smarter than political professionals. “We knew how valuable this would be from the outset,” says Parscale. “We own the future of the Republican Party.”

Win or lose, he is not going away. White nationalism is his base, and he is cultivating it with dexterity. And keeping it intact for the future.

Julian Vasquez Heilig combed through the Podesta emails released by WikiLeaks in search of education-related comments. He found quite a few.

Reach your own conclusions.

I don’t think he included this one, where the Clinton campaign reacts to a question from the AFT about whether Joel Klein is involved in the campaign.

Education Week reported the story here.

Klein’s company Amplify lost about $500 million, when it was owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Murdoch dumped it, and Laurene Powell Jobs picked it up for the Emerson Collective, probably for a song.

But Klein is still in the money. Despite the epic failure of Amplify, Rupert Murdoch is paying him $4.6M per year to sit on the News Corp board. (And don’t forget that he filed for a pension from New York City for the eight years he spent as Chancellor, closing schools and opening charter schools.)

Klein is now working as “chief strategy” officer for the failing Oscar health insurance company, which is also losing millions fast. Klein has not had much luck in the business world. This company was co-founded by Josh Kushner, the brother of Trump’s son in law, Jared Kushner.

At a policy forum in Miami before the Council of the Great City Schools, surrogates for Trump and Clinton clarified their views, sort of.

Carl Paladino, remembered in New York for his racist and sexist emails during his campaign against Cuomo, promised that Trump would not put an educator in charge of the Education Department. That’s no surprise. In other settings, both Trump and Paladino have promised to turn all federal funding over to charters and vouchers and to abandon public education.

Clinton’s surrogate said that she is a “big backer” of charter schools, but not for-profit schools. That is not at all reassuring, since some of the most rapacious charter schools are technically non-profit but are managed by for-profit EMOs. And some rapacious charter chains are non-profit but pay their executives obscene salaries. And some non-profits are agents of privatization, even when the profit motive is absent.

The article also said:

During her 2016 campaign, Clinton’s position on charters became a bit less clear. During her time as a U.S. senator from New York, for example, Clinton was a supporter of charters. She’s even taken some grief from the teachers’ unions for that stance. But during this White House run, she also criticized charters for not necessarily accepting all the same students that traditional public schools do. And she’s said charters should supplement what public schools do and not replace them.

She was right. Charter schools do not accept the same students that real public schools do. They can admit those they want and kick out those they don’t want. And while it is admirable to say that charters should not replace public schools, the reality is that charters drain both resources and students from public schools, causing public schools to cut their programs and staff and to have even less capacity to serve the overwhelming majority of students.

The United States simply cannot afford to have a dual school system: one that chooses the students it wants, and the other required to accept all who apply. No high-performing nation in the world operates a dual school system.

If Clinton is to have an intelligent policy about public and charter schools, she must be better informed than she is now, and she can’t rely solely on charter advocates for her information about the way charters are systematically eroding public education in America. She need only look at what is happening in Pennsylvania, Ohio, California, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, and a dozen or more other states.

She might learn that more than 90% of charters are non-union. She might bear in mind that her strongest supporters have been the NEA and the AFT, whose jobs will be lost as charters expand.

Profit is not the only issue, though it is one. The central issue is privatization and the danger to America’s historic commitment to universal public education, doors open to all, not to some.

The good news is that one of the Podesta emails leaked by Wikileaks said that a group of billionaire reformers organized by Laurene Powell Jobs wanted to meet with Hillary but she couldn’t make time for them, and Podesta responded:

Probably worth the time. Not sure we can reassure them. Want to discuss by phone?

Note bene: she didn’t make time to meet with them, and the staff was not sure it could reassure them. That’s a good sign. Take that, reformers!

On September 30, Wellesley College inaugurated its 14th president since the college was founded in 1875. The new president is Dr. Paula Johnson, a cardiologist with an MD and a Ph.D. in public health. She is a renowned scientist, researcher, physician, teacher, and expert on the subject of women’s health. I met Dr. Johnson when I went to Wellesley for Pasi Sahlberg’s performance/lecture. She is brilliant, unassuming, warm, and very impressive.

I was class of 1960 at Wellesley. Hillary was class of 1969. Obviously, we did not overlap.

But this is what you need to know about Wellesley. Its motto is “Non ministrari, sed ministrate,” which means “not to be ministered unto, but to minister.” Not to be served, but to serve.

Another motto is “Incipit vita nova: here begins new life.”

That’s what Wellesley was for me, coming from the public schools of Houston, from parents who never went to college, from a decidedly non-academic, non-bookish family. The beginning of a new life.

I think that’s what Wellesley meant for Hillary Rodham, coming from public schools in Illinois, from a family of modest means. The beginning of a new life.

Wellesley is where we began a new life. It is the educational environment that shaped us.

To understand that environment, I invite you to watch some or all of the inauguration of Dr. Paula A.Johnson. The video has a table of contents, and you can skip the 30-minute processional and go right to the speakers. Watch the brief speech of Senator Elizabeth Warren. Then watch Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, who delivers a fascinating overview of women’s higher education and the snobbishness it encountered. Then watch Kathleen McCartney, president of Smith College, who speaks with great wit about the sibling rivalry between Smith and Wellesley but assures Dr. Johnson that all her sisters are with her. Listen to Dr. Virginia W. Pinn, a senior scientist at the National Institutes of Health and a medical pioneer, who knows Dr. Johnson’s role in her field.

And of course, please watch and listen to Dr. Johnson, who is simply fabulous. Dr. Johnson grew up in Brooklyn. She is a product of the New York City public schools, having completed her high school studies at Samuel J. Tilden High School, a comprehensive school where she met teachers who inspired and encouraged her. From Tilden, she went to Radcliffe and Harvard, where she began her brilliant career. [Tilden was declared a “failing school” by the Bloomberg administration in 2006 and converted to small schools.]

To understand the environment that shaped Hillary Rodham and me, watch this video. It made us strong, fearless, and prepared us to face the future armed with a strong liberal arts education and the belief that women can do anything. It taught us that we were fortunate to have such a wonderful education and were obliged to use it to make a difference for others.

There is a phenomenon these days known as Hillary Derangement Syndrome, which characterizes people who are consumed with hatred of Hillary.

Alexandra Petrilli of the Washington Post read all the Hillary Haters’ books and wrote a summary of the theories that animate those who see Hillary as the essence of evil: a witch, a devil, a robot.

It is pretty funny. She must be a super-powerful woman to inspire so much fear and fantastic theorizing. Must be her Wellesley education.

Reporters at the Washington Post asked both major party candidates what they would do in the area of K-12 education.

Trump gave a brief reply and ignored the questions.

Clinton (or her staff) answered all the questions.

Donald Trump’s answer was, go to my website, and he (or his staff) added this:

“As your president, I will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice. I want every single inner city child in America who is today trapped in a failing school to have the freedom – the civil right – to attend the school of their choice. I understand many stale old politicians will resist. But it’s time for our country to start thinking big once again. We spend too much time quibbling over the smallest words, when we should spend our time dreaming about the great adventures that lie ahead.”

Clinton’s answers were ambiguous; she is for testing, but not too much testing. She is for charter schools, but only good charter schools.

She opposes for-profit charter schools, but doesn’t seem to realize that many allegedly nonprofit charters outsource their management to for-profit companies.

Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize winning economist and columnist for the New York Times, became disgusted with mainstream reporting on the Clinton Foundation. The right wingers have tried to create a scandal, and to liken it to the Trump Foundation, which serves only Trump’s mammoth ego. But Krugman says the comparison is absurd. The Clinton Foundation actually uses its funding to alleviate poverty and combat AIDS and promote literacy.

He writes:

“Step back for a moment, and think about what that foundation is about. When Bill Clinton left office, he was a popular, globally respected figure. What should he have done with that reputation? Raising large sums for a charity that saves the lives of poor children sounds like a pretty reasonable, virtuous course of action. And the Clinton Foundation is, by all accounts, a big force for good in the world. For example, Charity Watch, an independent watchdog, gives it an “A” rating — better than the American Red Cross.

“Now, any operation that raises and spends billions of dollars creates the potential for conflicts of interest. You could imagine the Clintons using the foundation as a slush fund to reward their friends, or, alternatively, Mrs. Clinton using her positions in public office to reward donors. So it was right and appropriate to investigate the foundation’s operations to see if there were any improper quid pro quos. As reporters like to say, the sheer size of the foundation “raises questions.”

“But nobody seems willing to accept the answers to those questions, which are, very clearly, “no.”
Consider the big Associated Press report suggesting that Mrs. Clinton’s meetings with foundation donors while secretary of state indicate “her possible ethics challenges if elected president.” Given the tone of the report, you might have expected to read about meetings with, say, brutal foreign dictators or corporate fat cats facing indictment, followed by questionable actions on their behalf.

“But the prime example The A.P. actually offered was of Mrs. Clinton meeting with Muhammad Yunus, a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize who also happens to be a longtime personal friend. If that was the best the investigation could come up with, there was nothing there.

“So I would urge journalists to ask whether they are reporting facts or simply engaging in innuendo, and urge the public to read with a critical eye. If reports about a candidate talk about how something “raises questions,” creates “shadows,” or anything similar, be aware that these are all too often weasel words used to create the impression of wrongdoing out of thin air.

“And here’s a pro tip: the best ways to judge a candidate’s character are to look at what he or she has actually done, and what policies he or she is proposing. Mr. Trump’s record of bilking students, stiffing contractors and more is a good indicator of how he’d act as president; Mrs. Clinton’s speaking style and body language aren’t. George W. Bush’s policy lies gave me a much better handle on who he was than all the up-close-and-personal reporting of 2000, and the contrast between Mr. Trump’s policy incoherence and Mrs. Clinton’s carefulness speaks volumes today.
In other words, focus on the facts. America and the world can’t afford another election tipped by innuendo.”

I can’t contain my loathing for Donald Trump. I wish I could ignore him. But I can’t. We can’t. Why was he sniffing through both debates? He looked and sounded like a coke head. Why did he lurk and loom over Clinton as she spoke? He excused his disgusting behavior by repeated reference to Bill Clinton’s abhorrent behavior. That’s the “everybody does it” excuse. He described his revolting remarks about sexual assault as “locker room banter,” which means “boys will be boys” and it’s okay as long as it’s not on tape. He claimed that Michelle Obama made videos about Hillary that were worse than anything he said; Obama’s 2008 campaign manager David Axelrod tweeted that Michelle Obama NEVER made a video about Hillary. He is repugnant and loathsome. 
The New York Times’s editorial board summarizes its reaction: 

“Donald Trump boiled his decadent campaign down to one theme during the presidential debate on Sunday night: hatred of Hillary and Bill Clinton.
“With knock-kneed Republican officeholders showing signs of summoning the nerve to desert him, Mr. Trump labored to demonize Hillary Clinton — blaming her even for his own failure to pay taxes — and to remind his core supporters that he is all that stands between her and the presidency.
“If he were in charge, Mr. Trump told Secretary Clinton at one point, “You’d be in jail.”
“When Mrs. Clinton called Mr. Trump out for his failure to apologize to the minorities, immigrants and women he’s offended, he responded by promising vengeance. Should he win, he said, he would unleash a special prosecutor to investigate her.
“Sniffing and glowering, Mr. Trump prowled behind Mrs. Clinton as she presented herself again as the only adult on stage, the only one seeking to persuade the great majority of Americans that she shares their values and aspirations. Mr. Trump, by contrast, fell back on the tricks he has learned from his years in pro wrestling and reality television, making clear how deep his cynicism goes.
“Just before the debate, desperate to shift attention from his pattern of harassment, Mr. Trump sat hunched over a blank notepad in a hotel meeting room, encouraging four women to face the cameras and tell their stories of sexual victimization. “You went through a lot,” Mr. Trump coaxed one of the women flanking him, as he bent their allegations against Bill and Hillary Clinton to serve himself. The women’s claims deserved to be investigated and aired, and they have been, repeatedly.
“During the debate, Mr. Trump struggled once again to coherently explain his policies, instead wandering down twisting, shadowy alleyways in muttering pursuit of his various claims about Mrs. Clinton, including that she, not he, was responsible for his birther lie about President Obama. He complained that the moderators were ganging up on him and failing to question Mrs. Clinton about her private email server — immediately after they had done just that.
“Mr. Trump probably performed well enough to silence the 11-hour whispering campaign among Republicans about somehow ejecting him from the ticket. That means the G.O.P. will continue asking Americans to vote for a candidate who is debasing and trivializing our politics. During the debate, it seemed somewhere between poignant and futile to hear the moderators invite undecided voters to ask about his plans for the nation.
“When Mr. Trump so grandly accepted the Republican nomination in July, he said, “I have joined the political arena so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people that cannot defend themselves.” By then, though, he had already campaigned for months by beating up on vulnerable Americans, including minorities and the disabled. Only in recent days has the Republican establishment started to acknowledge the magnitude of his hypocrisy.
“The videotape disclosed Friday provided gruesome evidence that the Republican standard-bearer has for years used his powerful status to prey on women. Other revelations followed, including that in 2005 he told Howard Stern on his radio show that, when he owned the Miss Universe pageant, he made a practice of “inspecting” naked contestants backstage. “You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. … And you see these incredible-looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”
“Now, as he struggles to close the biggest deal of his lifetime, a woman is getting the better of him. That’s not surprising, but it is apt.”

I watched it all, with a growing sense of dismay. Once again, Trump was rude, abrasive, and couldn’t stop sniffing. When Clinton was speaking, he got up from his chair, lurked behind her, loomed over her, and it was incredibly distracting. He changed the subject and deflected as usual. His attacks on Bill Clinton were disgusting. Bill Clinton is not on the ballot. For a man who is a serial sexual abuser, a man who boasts of his sexual assaults, to complain about another man’s infidelity is a high level of hypocrisy. What I found so depressing was the small amount of time devoted to discussing actual issues that confront the nation. Trump talks in slogans; he will kill Obamacare and that will fix all the problems with spiraling costs. He will crush ISIS. He will do this and do that, but forget the details. He knows nothing about foreign issues and it is embarrassing to listen to him blabber on about Russia or Syria or anywhere outside of his social media orbit.

But, for me personally, the worst moment of the debate occurred when he said that if he were President, Hillary Clinton would be in jail. That sounded like the kind of threat or behavior that one expects to hear from a dictator. In democracies, winners are gracious in victory and form a government. They don’t pursue their opponents and threaten to jail them. This man is a psychopath. He is unfit to be anywhere near the Presidency.

He played to his hard-core white nationalist base. He gave them the Red Meat they love. He was the bully we have come to know and loathe.

As for the infamous sex tapes, where he bragged about grabbing women by their genitalia, he again said it was “locker room banter,” the kind of thing that men say to one another whenever they are together. If he attempted to apologize for his remarks, it was clear that he was not sincere. He still does not understand why women and men too would find his vulgar remarks offensive. But his debate coaches told him to be contrite, so he pretended. But it wasn’t a good pretense.

The idea that this man is the candidate of the Republican party is a stain on the party. It once claimed to be the party of “family values.” No more. If ever. If they accept this man afflicted with satyriasis as their leader, they lose all pretense of caring about family values, morality, decency, or respect for women.

Yuck! The level of discourse in this campaign has been driven down to potty talk and worse by the most unqualified candidate for the Presidency in modern times, maybe ever.

The Network for Public Education Action Fund was divided during the presidential primaries and made no endorsement. It is divided no more. In a contest between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, our choice is clear. We support Hillary Clinton.

NPE Action Endorses Hillary Rodham Clinton for President

The Network for Public Education Action (NPE Action) endorses Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States. NPE Action is not aligned with Ms. Clinton on all educational issues, however, all members of the NPE Action Board strongly agree that the election of Donald Trump would have disastrous consequences for public education.

“Although we did not endorse a candidate during the primary season, we are united in our belief that Ms. Clinton is a far better choice for President than Mr. Trump,” stated NPE Action Executive Director, Carol Burris. “By his choice of education advisors, as well as his continued reference to public schools as “government schools,” there is no doubt that Trump would attempt to privatize our nation’s public education system. Ms. Clinton, in contrast, speaks of the importance of a strong and vibrant public school system. While we may disagree with some of her positions on how to improve public schools, unlike Mr. Trump, the destruction of public education is not her objective.”

NPE Action President and co-founder, education historian, Diane Ravitch, agrees. “I enthusiastically support Hillary Clinton because she is the most experienced and most knowledgeable candidate; the alternative is unthinkable. Donald Trump would destroy public education, one of the essential institutions of our democracy. With Hillary as President, we can hope for the best; with Trump, we can expect the worst.“

Prior to the conventions, NPE Action submitted a position paper to both the Republican and Democratic platform committees. The Board of NPE Action was heartened to see many of those ideas incorporated into the final draft of the Democratic platform. If Ms. Clinton is elected, NPE Action will lobby for an end to high-stakes testing, a moratorium on new charters, and for regulations to end charter abuses and ensure transparency. We will also demand a commitment to community schools that are democratically governed so that parents—especially parents of color—have voice in how their children are educated.

Co-founder and treasurer of the organization, Anthony Cody, summed up NPE Action’s endorsement of Clinton this way. “Supporters of public education have a clear choice in November, between a candidate sworn to destroy it, and one whom we may pressure to do right by our schools. I hope others will join us in supporting Hillary Clinton. Just as important, we need to continue to build the grassroots movement for democratically controlled, equitable and excellent schools for all our children.”