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Ezra Klein’s article about Hillary Clinton, where he mansplains what he calls “The Gap” between how America sees Hillary v. how people who know her perceive her, viralized on the Hillary nets today.  Ironic that it took him so many words to communicate a simple message.  From the moment she stepped onto the campaign trail in New York in 1999 her campaigns have been heavily invested in close listening.

For eight years, alliances among a huge network of Hillary supporters have been centered on and held together by her listening-and-response style that first emerged as “the Hillary we know” at HillaryClinton.com in 2008.  We’ve known all along that this is her strong suit.

Nothing against Klein.  Maybe some actually need the mansplaining.   Just thinking that most folks here would rather listen to Hillary than read a long apologia about her,  so here is the interview.

Hillary Clinton

 

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Maybe you took the survey HFA sent out a week or so ago.  Here are the results. Some regulars here live in the most opinionated states.

Thank you for being one of the nearly 70,000 people who filled out our feedback about the primary! Here's what we learned:The top-ten most opinionated states are: WA, CA, IL, OH, TX, PA, NJ, NY, MA and FLA lot of you have been here since the very beginning. 13% of all respondents joined the campaign in April 2015and voted when Hillary really needed you. 87% said they headed to their polls or caucus locations.Besides email, here's how y'all are keeping in touch: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, SMSWe did some things well: 75% said we did a good job keep you informed of the issues.You gave this many words of advice: 2,062,709We read them all and we're going to make sure you hear about: 1.) How you can help bring people onto the team 2.)Platform promises 3.) Different kinds of volunteer opportunitiesThat starts right now. Sign up to volunteer and we'll be in touch

 

 

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Ever since the ACA passed, Hillary has echoed over and over that it was a good first step, and we have to do more.  Other candidates in this election cycle have campaigned on a promise to repeal the ACA,  Hillary has vowed all along to improve, strengthen, and enhance it. Here is her commitment to the future of health care.

Hillary Clinton’s Commitment: Universal, Quality, Affordable Health Care for Everyone in America

The Affordable Care Act was a critically important step toward the goal of universal health care, offering coverage to 20 million more Americans, and ensuring all Americans will never be denied coverage on account of a pre-existing condition or their gender. Today, 90 percent of all Americans have health insurance, the most in the history of our country.

Despite this progress, Hillary believes that we have more work to do to finish our long fight to provide universal, quality, affordable health care to everyone in America. This starts by strengthening, improving and building on the Affordable Care Act to cover more Americans.

First, Hillary will work with governors to expand Medicaid in every state, so that access to care no longer depends on where you live. It is a disgrace that 19 states have left 3 million Americans without health insurance because their states have refused to expand Medicaid. It is wrong that Republican governors and legislatures are leaving too many Americans without health insurance even though they qualify for coverage. Hillary will launch a national campaign to enroll people who are eligible but not already enrolled. She will expand access to affordable health care to families regardless of immigration status by allowing families to buy health insurance on the health Exchanges regardless of their immigration status.

Second, Hillary will get health care costs under control so that those who have health insurance can afford the health care they need. She will not stand for unjustified health premium increases – she will make sure the Secretary of Health and Human Services has the authority to block or modify unreasonable health insurance premium rate increases so that coverage is more affordable. Hillary has comprehensive plans to address increasing out-of-pocket and prescription drug costs. She will cap prescription drug costs that people have to pay out of pocket, and limit excessive out-of-pocket costs for families. And Hillary will work on long-term solutions to reduce consumer costs of prescription drugs so that these drugs are affordable for all, while not stifling innovation that produces life-saving and life-extending scientific breakthroughs.

Third, consistent with her previous proposals on public options, Hillary will pursue efforts to give Americans in every state in the country the choice of a public-option insurance plan, and to expand Medicare by allowing people 55 years or older to opt in while protecting the traditional Medicare program.

Hillary has also laid out strategies to address a multitude of pressing health care challenges – from Alzheimer’s, to autism, mental health and substance abuse, to public health infrastructure and environmental health, to women’s health, all the way through Zika.

As we advance toward the goal of universal health care, Hillary believes we must do more to address the lack of access to primary health care, dental care, mental health care and affordable prescription drugs.

One critical component of establishing universal primary care is to expand our proven system of Federally Qualified Health Centers. Today, 25 million people in the United States get their care from these community health centers each year. We must significantly expand that coverage so that every American, regardless of where they live, has good quality primary health care available to them at a cost they can afford.

The Affordable Care act significantly expanded mandatory funding for FQHCs. As part of her comprehensive health care agenda, Hillary is committed to doubling the funding for primary care services at community health centers over the next decade. In doing so, we will dramatically expand access to millions more people. This means extending the current mandatory funding under the Affordable Care Act and expanding it by $40 billion over the next 10 years.

Hillary also supports President Obama’s call for a near tripling of the size of the National Health Service Corps, which will increase funding to $810 million in 2017 and grow over time to $1.3 billion by 2027.

These are good investments for patients and for taxpayers.  Today, community health centers save more than $1,200 per person per year. This is a savings to the overall health care system of $49 billion each year.  And by allowing people to access health care when they need it, we will avoid costly illnesses, hospital stays and trips to emergency rooms.  A healthier population also means fewer missed days of school and work. In sum, working toward providing universal primary care to all Americans by investing in community health centers will save billions in unnecessary health care spending.

Together these steps will get us closer to the day when everyone in America has access to quality, affordable health care.

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Friend —

Like so many people across America, I have been following the news of the past few days with horror and grief.

On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, father of five, was killed in Baton Rouge — approached by the police for selling CDs outside a convenience store. On Wednesday, Philando Castile, 32 years old, was killed outside Minneapolis — pulled over by the police for a broken tail light.

And last night in Dallas, during a peaceful protest related to those killings, a sniper targeted police officers — five have died: Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarripa, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens. Their names, too, will be written on our hearts.

What can one say about events like these? It’s hard to know where to start. For now, let’s focus on what we already know, deep in our hearts: There is something wrong in our country.

There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn’t be. No one has all the answers. We have to find them together. Indeed, that is the only way we can find them.

Let’s begin with something simple but vital: listening to each other.

White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about seen and unseen barriers faced daily. We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes. To imagine what it would be like if people followed us around stores, or locked their car doors when we walked past, or if every time our children went to play in the park, or just to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles, we said a prayer: “Please God, don’t let anything happen to my baby.”

Let’s also put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to do a dangerous job we need them to do. Remember what those officers in Dallas were doing when they died: They were protecting a peaceful march. When gunfire broke out and everyone ran to safety, the police officers ran the other way — into the gunfire. That’s the kind of courage our police and first responders show all across America.

We need to ask ourselves every single day: What can I do to stop violence and promote justice? How can I show that your life matters — that we have a stake in another’s safety and well-being?

Elie Wiesel once said that “the opposite of love is not hate — it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death — it’s indifference.”

None of us can afford to be indifferent toward each other — not now, not ever. We have a lot of work to do, and we don’t have a moment to lose. People are crying out for criminal justice reform. People are also crying out for relief from gun violence. The families of the lost are trying to tell us. We need to listen. We need to act.

I know that, just by saying all these things together, I may upset some people.

I’m talking about criminal justice reform the day after a horrific attack on police officers. I’m talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m bringing up guns in a country where merely talking about comprehensive background checks, limits on assault weapons and the size of ammunition clips gets you demonized.

But all these things can be true at once.

We do need police and criminal justice reforms, to save lives and make sure all Americans are treated as equal in rights and dignity.

We do need to support police departments and stand up for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us.

We do need to reduce gun violence.

We may disagree about how, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. Surely this week showed us how true they are.

I’ve been thinking today about a passage from Scripture that means a great deal to me — maybe you know it, too:

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

There is good work for us to do, to find a path ahead for all God’s children. There are lost lives to redeem and bright futures to claim. We must not lose heart.

May the memory of those we’ve lost light our way toward the future our children deserve.

Thank you,

Hillary

***

Learn more about Hillary’s plans to tackle criminal justice reform: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/criminal-justice-reform/

Learn more about Hillary’s plans to prevent gun violence: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/issues/gun-violence-prevention/

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DEM 2016 Clinton

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the African Methodist Episcopal church national convention in Philadelphia, Friday, July 8, 2016. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Remarks at the African Methodist Episcopal Church National Convention in Philadelphia

Giving all praise and honor to God.

Thank you for that welcome, and for letting me be a part of this anniversary celebration for the AME Church. I want to thank Bishop Green as well as Bishop Bryant, Bishop White, Bishop Ingram, Bishop Young, Bishop McKenzie, Bishop Jackson, Dr. Richard Allen Lewis, Sr., Reverend Dr. Jeffery B. Cooper, Sr., Bishop Snorton, Reverend Vincent and the AME General Conference Choir, which I had the great pleasure of hearing from backstage.

There is no better place to mark this milestone for the AME Church than right here in Philadelphia, the city where this church was founded by a former slave 200 years ago.

Today, we join to celebrate your esteemed history, the leaders and congregants who built this community and kept it strong, and your legacy of service. You seek to meet what the Book of Micah tells us are the Lord’s requirements for each of us: “To do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”

As President Obama has said, the church is the “beating heart” of the African American community. This is the place where people worship, study, grieve and rejoice without fear of persecution or mistreatment. That is a precious thing, my friends, in this world. I know that, from my experience as a lifelong Methodist, how important my own church community has been to me.

So I come here today, first and foremost, to say thank you. Thank you for being part of this historic institution, and for carrying its work forward, as Bishop Green said. I also come tonight as a mother, and a grandmother to two beautiful little children. And like so many parents and grandparents across America, I have been following the news of the past few days with horror and grief.

On Tuesday, Alton Sterling, father of five, was killed in Baton Rouge — approached by the police for selling CDs outside a convenience store. On Wednesday, Philando Castile, 32 years old, was killed outside St. Paul — pulled over by the police for a broken tail light. And last night in Dallas, during a peaceful protest related to those killings, there was a vicious, appalling attack. A sniper targeted police officers. He said he wanted to hurt white people. Twelve officers were shot, along with two civilians. Five — five — officers have died. We now know all their names: Brent Thompson, Michael Krol, Michael Smith, Lorne Ahrens, and Patrick Zamarripa. And as I was on my way here today, we heard reports of another shooting yesterday morning in Tennessee.

What can one say about events like these? What can people and leaders of faith say about events like these? It’s hard, isn’t it, even to know where to start. But let’s start here — let’s take a moment to pray for all the families and the loved ones suffering today. For Alton’s grieving children. For the four-year-old girl who bravely comforted her mother while Philando died in front of them. For the families of those police officers who lived every day with the fear that something like this could happen, and will always be proud of their service and sacrifice.

We pray for those families, and for the souls of everyone we lost this week and in all weeks preceding. May they rest in God’s peace.

Now, there are many unanswered questions about each of these incidents. We will learn more in the days ahead. And when we know as much as we can, there must be a just accounting.

For now, let’s focus on what we already know — deep in our hearts. We know there is something wrong with our country. There is too much violence, too much hate, too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn’t be. And we know there is clear evidence that African Americans are much more likely to be killed in police incidents than any other group of Americans.

And we know there is too little trust in too many places between police and the communities they are sworn to protect. With so little common ground, it can feel impossible to have the conversations we need to have, to begin fixing what’s broken. We owe our children better than this. We owe ourselves better than this.

No one has all the answers. We need to find them together. Indeed, that is the only way we can find them. Those are the truest things I can offer today. We must do better, together. Let’s begin with something simple but vital: listening to each other. For Scripture tells us to “incline our ears to wisdom and apply our hearts to understanding.”

The deaths of Alton and Philando are the latest in a long and painful litany of African Americans killed in police incidents — 123 so far this year alone. We know the names of other victims, too:

Tamir Rice.

Sandra Bland.

Walter Scott.

Dontre Hamilton.

Laquan McDonald.

Eric Garner.

Michael Brown.

Freddie Gray.

Brandon Tate-Brown, whose mother Tanya is here today, and who was killed not far from here a year and a half ago.

Tragically, we could go on and on, couldn’t we. The families of the lost are trying to tell us. We need to listen. 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.

Brave police officers are working hard every day to inspire trust and confidence. As we mourn the Dallas police officers who died and pray for those wounded, let’s not forget how the Dallas Police Department in particular has earned a reputation for excellence. They’ve worked hard for years to improve policing and strengthen their bonds with the community. And they’ve gotten results.

Police officers across the country are pouring their hearts into this work, because they know how vital it is to the peace, tranquility, justice, and equality of America. They’re trying to tell us. And we need to listen.

People are crying out for relief from gun violence. We remember Reverend Clementa Pinckney, eight congregants at Mother Emanuel in Charleston — and thousands more killed every year by guns across our nation. Things have become so broken in Washington that to just try to get a vote on compromise gun safety reforms, John Lewis himself had to stage a sit-in on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Gun violence is ripping apart people’s lives. They’re trying to tell us. And we need to listen.

I know that, just by saying all these things together, I may upset some people. I’m talking about criminal justice reform the day after a horrific attack on police officers. I’m talking about courageous, honorable police officers just a few days after officer-involved killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. I’m bringing up guns in a country where merely talking about comprehensive background checks and getting assault weapons off our streets gets you demonized.

But all these things can be true at once. We do need police and criminal justice reforms, to save lives and make sure all Americans are treated equally in rights and dignity. We do need to support police departments and stand up for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day to protect us. And we do need to reduce gun violence. We may disagree about how to do all these things, but surely we can all agree with those basic premises. Surely this week showed us how true they are.

Now, I have set forth plans for over a year to reduce excessive violence, reform our sentencing laws, support police departments that are doing things right, make it harder for the wrong people to get their hands on guns. For example, there are two important steps that I will take as president.

First, I will bring law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force by police officers. We will make it clear for everyone to see when deadly force is warranted, and when it isn’t. And we will emphasize proven methods for de-escalating situations before they reach that point.

And second, let’s be honest — let’s acknowledge that implicit bias still exists across our society and even in the best police departments. We have to tackle it together, which is why in my first budget, I will commit $1 billion to find and fund the best training programs, support new research, and make this a national policing priority. Let’s learn from those police departments like Dallas that have been making progress, apply their lessons nationwide.

Now, plans like these are important. But we have to acknowledge that — on their own — they won’t be enough. On their own, our thoughts and prayers aren’t enough, either. We need to do some hard work inside ourselves, too.

Today, there are people all across America sick over what happened in Dallas, and fearful that the murders of these police officers will mean that vital questions raised by Alton’s and Philando’s deaths will go unanswered. That is a reasonable fear. Today, there are people all across America who watched what happened in Dallas last night and are thinking, no frustration with the police could ever justify this bloodshed. How did we get here? And is there more to come? That’s a reasonable fear, too.

It is up to all of us to make sure those fears don’t come true. We cannot, we must not vilify police officers. Remember what those officers were doing when they died. They were protecting a peaceful march. They were people in authority, making sure their fellow citizens had the right to protest authority. And there is nothing more vital to our democracy than that. And they died for it.

Ending the systemic racism that plagues our country — and rebuilding our communities where the police and citizens all see themselves as being on the same side — will require contributions from all of us. White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk— talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day. We need to try, as best we can, to walk in one another’s shoes — to imagine what it would be like if people followed us around stores, or locked their car doors when we walked past. Or if every time our children went to play in the park, or went for a ride, or just to the store to buy iced tea and Skittles, we said a prayer — “Please, God — please, God — don’t let anything happen to my baby.”

And let’s put ourselves in the shoes of police officers, kissing their kids and spouses goodbye every day and heading off to a dangerous job we need them to do. When gunfire broke out yesterday night, and everyone ran to safety, the police officers ran the other way — into the gunfire. That’s the kind of courage our police and first responders show every single day somewhere across America. And let’s remember — let’s think about what Dallas Police Chief David Brown said this morning. He said, “Please join me in applauding these brave men and women, who do this job under great scrutiny, under great vulnerability, who literally risk their lives to protect our democracy.” He went on to say, “We don’t feel much support most days. Let’s not make today most days.”

Let’s remember that — not just today but every day.

Let’s ask ourselves, what can I do? What can I personally do to stop violence and promote justice? How can I show that your life matters to me? That I have a stake in your safety and wellbeing?

Elie Wiesel, who died last week, once clarified for us that “the opposite of love is not hate — it’s indifference. And the opposite of life is not death — it’s indifference.” None of us can afford to be indifferent toward each other — not now, not ever. And I’m going to keep talking about these issues with every audience. And if I’m elected, I’ll start working on this on day one — and keep at it every single day after that.

I want you to know the 24-hour news cycle moves on — I won’t. This is so important to who we are, what kind of nation we are making for our children and our grandchildren. As President Obama said yesterday, and as we all know in our hearts to be true: We are better than this. And if we push hard enough, and long enough, we can bend the arc of history toward justice. We can avoid that choice that Dr. King posed for us between chaos and community.

So yes, this is about our country. It’s also about our kids. There’s nothing more important than that. And I think it’s about our faith. We have a lot of work to do. We don’t have a moment to lose. But I would not be here tonight if I did not believe we can come together with a sense of shared purpose and belief in our shared humanity, and if I did not know we must, because truly we are stronger together. Not separated into factions or sides; not shouting over each other about who matters more or who has more cause to be upset; but together, facing these challenges together. And if we do this right and have the hard conversations we need to have, we will become even stronger — like steel tempered by fire.

Fierce debates are part of who we are — just like freedom and order, justice and security — complimentary values of American life. They are not easy. They challenge us to dig deep, and constantly seek the right balance. But in the end, if we do that work, we will become a better nation. If we stand with each other now, we can build a future where no one is left out or left behind, and everyone can share in the promise of America — which is big enough for everyone, not to be reserved for a few.

But we know something — we know that work is hard, don’t we? I’m calling on this historic church, and all of our churches, to think hard about what special role you can play. Every day, you teach and show us about the Golden Rule and so much else. Why can’t we really believe in and act on it? To treat others as we would want to be treated.

In the 13th chapter of First Corinthians, St. Paul extols the virtues of faith, hope, and love for our fellow human beings. He says we need them all in this life, because of our imperfections: we “see through a glass darkly” and only “know in part.” He proclaims love the greatest virtue, necessary to keep faith and hope alive and to give us direction.

I’ve tried to say for some time now that our country needs more love and kindness. I know it’s not the kind of thing presidential candidates usually say. But we have to find ways to repair these wounds and close these divides. The great genius and salvation of the United States is our capacity to do and to be better. And we must answer the call to do that again. It’s critical to everything else we want to achieve — more jobs with rising income; good education no matter what ZIP code a child lives in; affordable college; paying back debts; health care for everyone. We must never give up on the dream of this nation.

I want to close with a favorite passage — a passage that you all know — that means a great deal to me and I’m sure to many of you, from Galatians. “Let us not grow weary in doing good” — “for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.”

My friends, let us not grow weary. Let us plan the path forward for all of God’s children. There are lost lives to redeem, bright futures to claim. Let us go forth — go forward, Bishop — with a sense of heartfelt love and commitment. And may the memory of those we’ve lost light our way toward the future our children and grandchildren deserve.

Thank you, AME, and God bless you.

“We pray for those families and for the souls of all those we lost this week and all those preceding. May they rest in God’s peace” —Hillary

There is something wrong with our country. There is too much violence…too much senseless killing, too many people dead who shouldn’t be.

There is clear evidence that black Americans are more likely to be killed in police incidents than any other group. We have to do better.

Alton and Philando’s deaths are the latest in a long, painful litany of African Americans killed in police incidents—123 so far this year.

“Gun violence is ripping apart people’s lives. They are trying to tell us. We need to listen.” —Hillary

“I will bring law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force by police officers.” —Hillary

“We’ll make it clear when deadly force is warranted and when it is not, and emphasize proven methods for de-escalating situations.” —Hillary

“In my first budget, I’ll commit $1 billion to find and fund the best training programs [and] support new research.” —Hillary

We cannot, must not, vilify police officers. Remember what those officers were doing when they died. They were protecting a peaceful march.

White Americans need to do a better job of listening when African Americans talk about the seen and unseen barriers you face every day.

“Let’s ask ourselves, what can I do to stop violence and promote justice? How can I show that your life matters to me?” —Hillary

“When the 24-hour news cycle moves on, I won’t.” —Hillary on preventing gun violence and addressing racial injustice

ary Clinton@HillaryClinton 

“Elie Wiesel once clarified for us that ‘the opposite of love is not hate—it’s indifference.’ … None of us can afford to be indifferent.”

“When the 24-hour news cycle moves on, I won’t.” —Hillary on preventing gun violence and addressing racial injustice

“Let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season, we shall reap, if we do not lose heart.” —Galatians 6:9

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Capping off a week that began with celebratory fireworks and ended in a barrage of bullets aimed at police officers in Dallas, Hillary Clinton spoke to Wolf Blitzer and Lester Holt today about the need to overhaul relationships between police and the communities they serve. Demonstrations nationwide in the wake of the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile at the hands of police were peaceful, perhaps none more so than the one in Dallas where the police actually collaborated with the Black Lives Matter movement in mapping out a parade route and then protected the marchers on that route.

 


Speaking from Philadelphia where she was scheduled to visit an A.M.E. Church congregation, Hillary reiterated the need for nationwide criminal justice reform.

Here is her plan.

Our criminal justice system is out of balance.

Hillary will:

  • End the era of mass incarceration, reform mandatory minimum sentences, and end private prisons.
  • Encourage the use of smart strategies—like police body cameras—and end racial profiling to rebuild trust between law enforcement and communities.
  • Help formerly incarcerated individuals successfully re-enter society.

“I will never stop working on issues of equality and opportunity, race, and justice. That is a promise. I’ve done it my entire adult life. I will always be in your corner.”

Hillary, JULY 31, 2015

Hillary believes our criminal justice system is out of balance. In her first major speech of the campaign, she said we have to come to terms with some hard truths about race and justice in America and called for an end to the “era of mass incarceration.”

Read more: 9 things you should know about Hillary Clinton’s plan to reform our criminal justice system

Although the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, we have 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.

“Black lives matter. Everyone in this country should stand firmly behind that. … Since this campaign started, I’ve been talking about the work we must do to address the systemic inequities that persist in education, in economic opportunity, in our justice system. But we have to do more than talk—we have to take action.”

Hillary, JULY 20, 2015

Read more: Sybrina Fulton shares why she’s supporting Hillary

Hillary believes that, 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, she will:

  • Work to strengthen bonds of trust between communities and police. Effective policing and constitutional policing go hand-in-hand—we can and must do both. Hillary will work to promote effective, accountable, constitutional policing, including:
    • Making new investments to support state-of-the-art law enforcement training programs at every level on issues such as implicit bias, use of force, de-escalation, community policing and problem solving, alternatives to incarceration, crisis intervention, and officer safety and wellness.
    • Strengthening the U.S. Department of Justice’s pattern or practice unit by increasing resources, working to secure subpoena power, and improving data collection for pattern or practice investigations.
    • Doubling funding for the U.S. Department of Justice “Collaborative Reform” program to provide technical assistance and training to agencies that undertake voluntary efforts toward transformational reform of their police departments. Across the country, there are police departments deploying creative and effective strategies that we can learn from and build on.
    • Supporting legislation to end racial profiling by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials.
    • Providing federal matching funds to make body cameras available to every police officer to increase transparency and accountability on both sides of the lens.
    • Promoting oversight and accountability in use of controlled equipment by limiting the transfer of military equipment by the federal government to local law enforcement, eliminating the one-year use requirement, and requiring transparency by agencies that purchase equipment using federal funds.
    • Collecting and reporting national data on policing to inform policing strategies and provide greater transparency and accountability, including robust state and local data on issues such as crime, officer involved shootings, and deaths in custody.
    • Creating national guidelines for use of force that recognize the need for officers to protect their safety and the safety of others, but emphasize use of force as a last resort and at the appropriate level. The federal government has an important role to play in standardizing best practices for the use of force.
  • Take action on mandatory minimum sentences. Excessive federal mandatory minimum sentences keep nonviolent drug offenders in prison for longer than is necessary or useful and have increased racial inequality in our criminal justice system. Hillary will reform mandatory minimum sentences, including:
    • Reducing mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses by cutting them in half.
    • Applying Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 retroactively to allow current nonviolent prisoners to seek fairer sentences.
    • Eliminating the sentencing disparity for crack and powder cocaine so that equal amounts of crack and powder cocaine carry equal sentences and applying this change retroactively.
    • Reforming the “strike” system to focus on violent crime by narrowing the category of prior offenses that count as strikes to exclude nonviolent drug offenses, and reducing the mandatory penalty for second- and third-strike offenses.
    • Granting additional discretion to judges in applying mandatory minimum sentences by expanding the “safety valve” to a larger set of cases.
  • Focus federal enforcement resources on violent crime, not simple marijuana possession. Marijuana arrests, including for simple possession, account for a huge number of drug arrests. Further, significant racial disparities exist in marijuana enforcement, with black men significantly more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than their white counterparts, even though usage rates are similar. Hillary believes we need an approach to marijuana that includes:
    • Allowing states that have enacted marijuana laws to act as laboratories of democracy, as long as they adhere to certain federal priorities such as not selling to minors, preventing intoxicated driving, and keeping organized crime out of the industry.
    • Rescheduling marijuana from a Schedule I to a Schedule II substance. Hillary supports medical marijuana and would reschedule marijuana to advance research into its health benefits.
  • Prioritize treatment and rehabilitation—rather than incarceration—for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders. Over half of prison and jail inmates suffer from a mental health problem, and up to 65 percent of the correctional population meets the medical criteria for a substance use disorder. Hillary will ensure adequate training for law enforcement for crisis intervention and referral to treatment, as appropriate, for low-level, nonviolent drug offenders with mental health or addiction problems. She will also direct the attorney general to issue guidance to federal prosecutors on seeking treatment over incarceration for low-level, nonviolent drug crimes. Read more on Hillary’s plan to tackle America’s epidemic of addiction.
  • End the privatization of prisons. Hillary believes we should move away from contracting out this core responsibility of the federal government to private corporations, and from creating private industry incentives that may contribute—or have the appearance of contributing—to over-incarceration. The campaign does not accept contributions from federally registered lobbyists or PACs for private prison companies, and will donate any such direct contributions to charity.
  • Promote successful re-entry by formerly incarcerated individuals. This year, the number of people released from state or federal prison will reach approximately 600,000. For those given a second chance, and for the health and safety of the communities to which those individuals return, the reentry pathway must not be littered with barriers, but rather paved with a fair opportunity for success. Clinton will work to remove barriers and create pathways to employment, housing, health care, education, and civic participation, including:
    • Taking executive action to “ban the box” for federal employers and contractors, so that applicants have an opportunity to demonstrate their qualifications before being asked about their criminal records.
    • Supporting legislation to restore voting rights to individuals who have served their sentences.

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This is just my opinion: What hurts the most about this week is that in every case people were doing what they were supposed to do. Both Sterling and Castile carried guns but were licensed and at least Castile told the officer that and specified that he was getting his driver’s license, as directed, when he was shot. He was complying. The police in Dallas from every testimonial were supporting the demonstrators and when the bullets started flying, protected them

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Some of the recovered emails that the FBI investigators combed through had what could have been noticed or missed depending upon how far down a chain of emails you scrolled or how quickly your eye scanned the text. (c) To discern the marking you had first to know what it indicated and second had to read carefully and thoroughly through the email chain since the marking might have appeared in an early version of an email and might have been removed in later texts, or the marking might not have been removed when it should have been. Did you see it?  In testimony to the Oversight Committee, FBI Director James Comey stated that paragraphs or sentences bearing this mark were not offset with indentation.

(c) Now you see it.

At yesterday’s State Department press briefing, these little (c)s were the subject of a great deal of interest.  John Kirby is the State Department spokesperson.

QUESTION: Firstly, the marking of a parentheses “C” – where does that come from? What law designates a parentheses “C” as a valid classification marking?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know.

QUESTION: Can you check on that, so that we know?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know that it is governed by law, but I’ll be happy to check and see.

QUESTION: Okay. Well, if it isn’t, I would be interested to know how it’s indeed classified.

MR KIRBY: Not everything in terms of procedure is governed by legislation, Brad. But I’ll check and see where – if that’s covered in any way.

QUESTION: Well, I looked at Executive Order 13526, which seems to be – well, which proclaims to be the rule on classified national security information. And it doesn’t talk about anything about parentheses “C”s or anything like that. It talks about three valid terms – Secret, Top Secret, and Confidential. And it explicitly says any other marking is invalid. So if you could figure that out, that’d be great.

And then secondly —

MR KIRBY: I would – let me just – I will do what I can, Brad.

QUESTION: Yeah, okay.

MR KIRBY: But I mean, you’re – the issue of classification and markings is not a State Department responsibility in the government. I mean, we obviously have our responsibilities to obey the executive order, but I don’t want to set us up as the authority to speak to every issue of marking that the U.S. Government follows.

QUESTION: Well, I don’t know that the U.S. Government follows this writ large. It seems that you follow it. But I’d like to know why, or based on what.

MR KIRBY: I’ll check.

QUESTION: Secondly, on the category of classification, I think yesterday you said it was to protect the idea of a call or to not get ahead of the Secretary’s decision-making process. Again, there are strict rules, as I see them, for classification, what can be classified – WMDs and critical infrastructure, covert intelligence. Can you tell me what protecting the Secretary’s decision-making process falls under?

At this point, the email in question marked with a (c) involved the scheduling of a call sheet.  There was a proposed call to perhaps be scheduled or perhaps not to a head of state offering condolences.

MR KIRBY: I don’t have the advantage of having that document in front of me, Brad. And I’m not an expert on it; I’m not going to pretend to be or purport to be. I’m happy to further research your question.

QUESTION: Okay.

MR KIRBY: Happy to do that. But as I said yesterday, this was a – this is a fairly common practice and it’s designed to try to treat with care and prudence and not to close down decision space of the Secretary in advance of a recommended call – in case, for instance, that call doesn’t get made or it gets made under a different set of circumstances. So the degree to which it’s governed by regulation or order, I don’t know. And again, I’m happy to look. But I —

QUESTION: I have one more you might need to look into.

MR KIRBY: But – but I – but I think we need to take 10 steps back, take a deep breath, and look at this in perspective. This is a practice which many people use here as a way to try to protect what we believe is sensitive information and to try to preserve decision space for the Secretary of State in advance of, in this case, making a call. So look, I mean, we could have the debate over and over again —

QUESTION: Let me just have my last question. It also under classification rules say you have to put a specific date or event for declassification that must be stated. It doesn’t say when the Secretary decides and there’s a cognitive process inside the Secretary’s brain to make a call that that ends the classification. So can you tell me where this practice on kind of ad hoc expiration comes from as well?

MR KIRBY: I’ll ask the question, Brad.

QUESTION: And then —

MR KIRBY: I have to tell you, though – I mean, I’ll ask these questions; they’re fair questions.

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR KIRBY: But again, we’re talking about people trying to do the best they can to protect some sensitive information and protect decision space for the Secretary, and we’re – and of the entire universe of documents, we’re talking about an extraordinarily small amount. So I don’t – I am – again, I’m not pushing back and I will be happy – first of all, I’m happy to admit what I don’t know, happy to go try to find out for you, but I do think it’s important to keep this whole matter in some sense of perspective here in terms of the universe of the issue.

QUESTION: I do. But here’s why I think it’s relevant, and I’ll pose this as a statement/question.

MR KIRBY: There’s a surprise.

QUESTION: We had a discussion earlier this week where you forcibly rejected the notion that there’s a lax culture when it comes to classification in this agency, and now you’re saying that there are practices here that don’t – maybe don’t ascribe to any guidelines or rules, but just are done as a matter of practice for protecting decision-making processes or what, when there are strict guidelines on how you are supposed to classify things. And I don’t quite see what’s wrong with the law, as it is for the entire government —

MR KIRBY: Well, let’s not presume —

QUESTION: — that we need this separate process.

MR KIRBY: First of all – so first of all, let me go —

QUESTION: And why —

MR KIRBY: Let me go research it —

QUESTION: Yeah, yeah.

MR KIRBY: — and we’ll find out if there’s some sort of violation here. But when I refer to questions about a lax culture, it was a broad-brush statement that was made about a lax security culture at the entire State Department – which, as I said the other day, we don’t subscribe to. We don’t share that assessment. Now, you could look at it your way and say, “Well, if we’re not following the rules, then that proves the point.” I would look at it the other way, is that you have people that are trying to take extraordinary care in a pre-decisional environment for the Secretary of State and to preserve what could be sensitive information in advance of a call that might not be taking place. That to me doesn’t connote a culture of negligence and lackadaisical disregard for sensitive information. It actually, to me, says the opposite.

So let’s just agree that I’m going to go ahead and try to see what I can do to put some fidelity on these questions, but I am – still stand by my comment the other day that a broad-brush assessment that the State Department is lax, doesn’t have a healthy security conscience here, is simply without base.

So this (c) marking is a common practice at the department, elsewhere referred to as a “standard practice,” and may simply indicate that at the moment there is a suggestion to make this call but we are not making it public unless/until the secretary decides to make or not make the call.  In other words, it may be temporary.

QUESTION: Okay, great. Second thing: Going back to the discussion that you had yesterday and just now with regard to the practice of putting a “C” on such a memo prior to a decision that has been made for the secretary to place such a call, the – one of the emails talks about having a call at 7:30 a.m. or at some other point during the course of the day. Is it your view that the decision to make the call – this is the one about the condolences to the president of Malawi. Is it your view that the decision to make the call had indeed been made when those emails were sent and you were just talking about what time it would be?

MR KIRBY: I have no idea. There’s no way for me to know that.

QUESTION: Well, if you don’t know whether the decision to make the call had been made at that point, then how do you know the information wasn’t – wasn’t not just marked classified but actually classified when the secretary sent it – when the secretary’s aide sent it?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know – I don’t know how to answer your question. What I said yesterday – I’m not going to get into litigating each and every one of these emails. What I said yesterday is oftentimes it is practice to mark them Confidential in advance of a decision to make a call, and then once the decision is made they’re made Sensitive but Unclassified and they’re provided to the Secretary in a way that he or she can then use as they’re on the phone, and that – that by all appearances, it appears to us that the remnant “C”, if you will, on this particular email call sheet was human error because it appears to me from the traffic that the secretary had been asking, had been wanting the call sheet, which would, I think, indicate that the secretary was at that time intending on making the call.

But I can’t say that for sure because I wasn’t here and I wasn’t involved in the email traffic itself. So I’m being careful about how I’m wording this because we’re making assumptions here that I simply don’t know for a fact are true. But that’s why we believe in this case it was – it was simply human error in terms of the transmission of that particular subparagraph labeled “C”.

QUESTION: Okay. So it’s your assumption that the secretary had at that point made the decision, hence the information would no longer have been classified, hence the marking was a rogue or —

MR KIRBY: A human error.

QUESTION: Yeah.

MR KIRBY: A mistake. That’s our assumption, Arshad. But again, not having been here and party to that entire exchange, I don’t know that for – to be a fact 100 percent.

QUESTION: Okay.

QUESTION: I have one more on this if people are – want to go on. I just wanted to ask if, in the event the secretary decides not to make the call, when does the classification expire?

MR KIRBY: I don’t know, Brad.

QUESTION: Well, isn’t that useful information given that there are strict rules as well on classification cannot be indefinite in this country?

MR KIRBY: We’re – I’m not going to get into a circular argument with you here on this. I told you I will look at the regulation.

QUESTION: Yeah, okay.

MR KIRBY: I will do the best I can to answer your questions, Brad. But all I’m trying to do is put some perspective on this.

QUESTION: It was – it’s a very confusing policy. That’s why there are so many questions.

MR KIRBY: I didn’t – it’s a – I didn’t call it a policy. I said oftentimes it is standard practice —

QUESTION: Practice. It’s a very confusing practice.

MR KIRBY: — for it to be deemed Confidential in advance of the secretary making a decision – hang on, Goyal – making a decision, and then it is rendered SBU so that the secretary can use the document in an unclassified setting to make the call. And again, I am not an expert enough to debate the expiration of the classified setting, the markings on it. I will do the best I can to answer your questions. I think, again, taking a couple of steps back, look at this in broad terms – it is staff members working hard to try to protect decision space for the secretary in case that call doesn’t get made.

QUESTION: Right.

MR KIRBY: And maybe we don’t want that out there that we decided no, we’re not going to call that foreign leader, we don’t think it’s okay to send him a condolence message. And that’s not information necessarily that we want to have in the unclass environment. And so you have people that are doing the best they can to try to protect decision space for the secretary and to protect – and to protect what we still would render as sensitive information. Again, that doesn’t connote to me a culture of laxity and negligence and —

QUESTION: Oh, I mean, I didn’t ask that on this question. But if you classify something and it’s to protect the possibility that maybe the secretary doesn’t make the call, that information still has to become public at some point. Whether you don’t want it to or don’t think it should be is regardless. It’s public information after a point of declassification.

MR KIRBY: No it doesn’t.

QUESTION: That’s how it works in this country.

MR KIRBY: It doesn’t automatically become public; it becomes declassified at a certain point.

QUESTION: It becomes declassified.

MR KIRBY: That doesn’t mean it has to be put in the public domain.

QUESTION: Well, it becomes declassified at a certain point, isn’t that right?

MR KIRBY: Eventually Classified information will have an expiration on it.

QUESTION: But in this case there was no expiration, so it just kind of was undefined.

MR KIRBY: Well, you and I don’t know that, do we? Because what we have is an email that was put on the unclass side. It was taken to – put on the unclass side, and one marking on one paragraph was labeled “C,” which we believe was a human error. But you and I haven’t seen what was the actual Confidential call sheet that was prepared before it was transferred over to the unclass side, so I don’t know how you and I could know what markings were on that call sheet or what dates were put on there, if any.

QUESTION: I don’t know —

MR KIRBY: Right.

QUESTION: — but I also didn’t know that this sentence comes from a Classified – a fully Classified document. I don’t think anyone had told me that before.

MR KIRBY: I said yesterday that call sheets are generally —

QUESTION: So this sentence —

MR KIRBY: — considered Confidential, and that doesn’t mean that —

QUESTION: This sentence was lifted from a Classified document and put into an Unclassified document?

MR KIRBY: No, Brad. I mean, the call sheets are generally held at a Confidential level in advance of the secretary making a decision to make a call. Not every paragraph of that have to be Confidential. Like, you could still have a Confidential document with four paragraphs, right, and maybe three of those paragraphs are Confidential but one’s Unclassified. So, again, I haven’t seen the actual call sheet that was drafted, so I can’t tell you for sure that every paragraph in there was labeled Confidential with a “C” or Unclassified with a “U.” All I do know is that the email that was processed through FOIA and released contained one paragraph – I think it was actually a sentence; it was like the purpose of the call, I think – that was – that the “C” marking was retained when it was transmitted over an unclass system to former Secretary Clinton. Again, we believe that that was simply human error as the call sheet was moved over to a format that the secretary could use. That “C” should’ve been removed; it wasn’t, because – I mean, the line was really – it was the purpose of the call, I believe is what it was, and so you can see if that’s the document being moved over, that’s the paragraph being moved over, it should have been – the “C” marking should have been taken off.

The bottom line is that, in picking needles out of the haystack, the FBI investigators, reading tediously carefully, found a few of these (c)s  – perhaps remnant (c)s – in texts of strings of emails. None of the emails had headings using the three valid terms – Secret, Top Secret, and Confidential according to Executive Order 13526. The FBI found three emails with this mark.  The State Department as of yesterday only knew of two of the three. (To see more of yesterday’s press briefing, click here.)

Hillary’s campaign released this statement on the subject.

FBI’s Comey: Emails Reported as “Marked Classified” Were Improperly Marked and Could Be Reasonably Judged as Not Classified

In a key development at today’s House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing, FBI Director James Comey clarified an apparent inconsistency between his remarks earlier this week and Secretary Hillary Clinton’s long-running public statements.

Clinton has long stated that none of the emails she sent or received were marked classified at the time. Comey, however, said Monday that there was a “very small number” of emails that bore markings.

Moments ago, Comey reconciled this apparent contradiction. He acknowledged for the first time that there were only three such emails, and that in each case the emails contained only “partial” markings — meaning, he acknowledged, that they were improperly marked and that as a result, the materials could have been reasonably judged as not classified.

Comey’s statements add to the findings announced by the State Department yesterday. At a press briefing, a State Department spokesman said the markings on these emails were the result of “human error” and did not belong in these emails, as the underlying contents were not classified.

Below is the full exchange just now between Director Comey and Rep. Matt Cartwright:

KEY EXCHANGE WITH DIRECTOR COMEY AND REP. CARTWRIGHT

MATT CARTWRIGHT: You were asked about markings on a few documents, I have the manual here, marking national classified security information. And I don’t think you were given a full chance to talk about those three documents with the little c’s on them. Were they properly documented? Were they properly marked according to the manual?

JAMES COMEY: No.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, and I ask unanimous consent to enter this into the record Mr. Chairman

CHAIRMAN: Without objection so ordered.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: According to the manual, if you’re going to classify something, there has to be a header on the document? Right?

JAMES COMEY: Correct.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: Was there a header on the three documents that we’ve discussed today that had the little c in the text someplace?

JAMES COMEY: No. There were three e-mails, the c was in the body, in the text, but there was no header on the email or in the text.

MATT CARTWRIGHT: So if Secretary Clinton really were an expert about what’s classified and what’s not classified and we’re following the manual, the absence of a header would tell her immediately that those three documents were not classified. Am I correct in that?

 JAMES COMEY: That would be a reasonable inference.

Last night, several readers contacted me concerned about the news that the State Department has reopened its investigation into the matter of the emails and the server.  This is an internal inquiry that was underway and was suspended while the FBI investigation was ongoing.  It is set to continue, as it was expected to, now that the FBI investigation is complete and Justice Department has issued its decision.
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