Showing posts with label Smart? Politician. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Smart? Politician. Show all posts

October 26, 2016

Marco Rubio Gets Boos in Orlando by Puerto Rican Crowd

Marco Rubio at Calle Orange, a street festival in downtown Orlando, Fla., on Sunday.
Adrian Florido/NPR
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio got booed off a stage in Orlando on Sunday by a crowd that was overwhelmingly Latino.
It happened at Calle Orange, a street festival in downtown Orlando geared toward the city's large Puerto Rican community. The icy reception was an indication of the challenges that Rubio, a Republican of Cuban heritage, has faced in locking down support from Latinos in Florida as the state's Latino electorate has begun to shift to the left.

Crowd Boos As Rubio Speaks



Some Latinos, including several people in the crowd, have expressed anger over his endorsement of Donald Trump, who kicked off his presidential campaign last year by disparaging Mexican immigrants.
At first, there was no visible hostility toward Rubio when he arrived at the festival on Sunday. He was greeted by a group of volunteers wearing Rubio campaign T-shirts and playing Plena, a rhythmic style of music native to Ponce, Puerto Rico. The musicians accompanied Rubio as he and his aides walked toward the stage. He stopped for selfies along the way.
But when he took the stage, there was a spattering of boos from the crowd. When the emcee introduced the senator, they grew louder.
"I'm going to introduce a man who represents Latinos, no matter where you're from," the emcee boomed in Spanish. The boos grew louder still. "Ladies and gentlemen, the senator for the state of Florida, a Latino like you and me ... his name is Marco Rubio! Applaud!"
Instead, the boos rained down on the senator, drowning out what appeared to be a handful of supporters in the crowd.
"Thank you for having me today," Rubio said, also in Spanish. "I want you to enjoy this day. We're not going to talk about politics today. Thank God for this beautiful day, and for our freedom, our democracy, our vote and our country. God bless you all, thank you very much."

Then he left the stage, to more boos.
His appearance at Calle Orange seemed to be an embarrassing miscalculation for Rubio, who is locked in a tight race for re-election against his Democratic challenger, Rep. Patrick Murphy. The most recent CBS News/YouGov poll of the race showed them tied among Florida Hispanics at 40 percent.
As Rubio left the stage, I asked him twice why he thought the crowd had reacted negatively, but he ignored my questions. Rubio's campaign defended his appearance at the festival in an email, calling it "very positive" overall:
"Marco kept his remarks short at the request of the hosts since it was not intended to be a political gathering. Marco has worked hard on behalf of the Puerto Rican community — from leading efforts to help Puerto Rico out of its financial crisis, to awarding the Borinqueneers with the Congressional Gold Medal, and making student loans more affordable. If re-elected, he will continue to fight for the best interest of Florida's Hispanic community."
Those in the crowd, however, were eager to give their take.
"Latinos might have differences amongst each other, but we're also united as one," said Angel Marin, a retired Army sergeant of Puerto Rican descent who said he has voted for both Democrats and Republicans. He said he resented Rubio for his endorsement of Trump.
"And when we have someone like Trump, who hits our Mexican brothers, our Latino brothers, then you jump on that bandwagon after all that stuff he says not only about you personally ... as a Latino, you're a freaking sellout. I would not vote for him if they paid me."
Musicians play at last weekend's Calle Orange festival in Orlando.
Adrian Florido/NPR
"He's from the party of Trump," Gretchen Valentin, who lives in Orlando, said in Spanish. She characterized her feelings toward Rubio as more distaste than dislike. Valentin moved to Florida from Puerto Rico 15 years ago, but said this election would be her first time voting. "I've never belonged to any political party, but this year, I'm inclined toward the Democrats. The little I've seen of Trump and the Republicans and how hard they've made it for immigrants has left me unconvinced with them."
To a certain extent, the tough crowd may have been a function of the fact that unlike in Rubio's hometown of Miami, home to the state's largest number of Republican Hispanics, Latino voters in the Orlando area — who are overwhelmingly Puerto Rican— trend heavily Democratic.
But it also points to the difficulty the GOP has had in hanging on to Latino support statewide. Ten years ago, there were more Latinos registered as Republicans in Florida than were registered as Democrats. Today, that has flipped. And that's not just because of the thousands of Puerto Ricans who have left the island and settled in Central Florida in recent years. Young Cuban-Americans are also trending Democratic.
Florida also has large populations of Venezuelans and Colombians.
Rubio's Spanish-language outreach in the current campaign has showcased his understanding of differences between all of these groups. In one radio ad now airing on Spanish-language stations, Rubio voices support for people he says have been oppressed in Cuba, for sanctions against Venezuela's socialist government, and for a resolution to the decades-old war in Colombia.
At the festival in Orlando, the musicians singing pro-Rubio slogans to the rhythm of Plena made his campaign sound like Puerto Rico.
The only problem for him was that most of the Puerto Ricans in the crowd didn’t buy it.
npr.org

September 7, 2016

Duterte Cursing DPL’s Without Penalty, Until Obama!/Drugs?Contract Out on U:’Duterte’



 Duterte foul mouth Gets Him to pay a price this time with US President Obama


 US President Barack Obama has cancelled a meeting with controversial Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who had earlier called him a "son of a whore".
Mr Duterte was responding to the US president's promise to raise the issue of drug-related extra-judicial killings in the Philippines at their meeting.
The Philippine leader, known for his colorful language, has insulted prominent figures before, but has never said sorry or expressed regrets but this time it has had diplomatic consequences.
He has now said he regrets the remark.
"While the immediate cause was my strong comments to certain press questions that elicited concern and distress, we also regret that it came across as a personal attack on the US president," a statement by his office said. 
 In the past, President Duterte has called Pope Francis the "son of a whore", US Secretary of State John Kerry "crazy" and recently referred to the US ambassador to the Philippines a "gay son of a whore".
Both he and President Obama are in Laos for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) summit.

Duterte's apology: Analysis by Karishma Vaswani in Laos

Mr Duterte has been forced to apologise for offensive comments before, but this is the first time he has had to confront the reality of his outlandish behaviour on the international stage
It is the president's first overseas trip - an opportunity that many leaders would have used to cement ties with neighbouring countries and superpowers like China and the US. 
Instead Mr Duterte has spent the morning dampening down the controversy he created. 
At the heart of this is the fact that Mr Duterte isn't used to being told what to do; and that he likes to display machismo and bravado, which plays well to his domestic audience. 
But when he sits down for serious discussions with his Asean counterparts over the next couple of days, they'll be looking for Asian discretion and subtlety, not diplomacy Duterte-style. 

How the row escalated

Mr Obama, who flew to Laos after attending the G20 meeting in Hangzhou, China, had been set to raise concerns about human rights abuses in the Philippines. 
But speaking in Manila on Monday before he left for Laos, Mr Duterte bristled at the suggestion, saying the Philippines "has long ceased to be a colony".
"Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum," he then said, using a Tagalog phrase for "son of a whore" or "son of a bitch".

US President Obama arrives in Vientiane, Laos, on 6 September 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionBarack Obama is the first sitting US president to visit Laos
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrives for the Asean summit in Laos on 6 September 2016Image copyrightAP
Image captionThis is Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's first overseas trip - and already controversial

Mr Obama initially appeared to play down the insult, calling his Philippine counterpart a "colourful character" and saying he had asked his aides to work out if this is "a time where we can have some constructive, productive conversations".
His aides later cancelled the talks. 
Mr Obama's last scheduled trip to Asia as president has not been without incident: he was also caught up in a protocol row with hosts China over his arrival in Hangzhou.

Philippine police in a raid on suspected drug smugglers in Manila on 5 September 2016Image copyrightAFP
Image captionRodrigo Duterte's tough talk on crime helped him to a landslide victory in May's elections

In his comments on Monday, President Duterte pledged to continue with his anti-drugs campaign that has led to the killing of 2,400 suspected drug dealers and users in the Philippines since he took office in June.
"Many will die, plenty will be killed until the last pusher is out of the streets... until the [last] drug manufacturer is killed we will continue," he said.
  • Duterte accuses judges of drugs, He put out links
  • The woman who kills drug dealers for a living:
The UN has repeatedly condemned Mr Duterte's policies as a violation of human rights. In August, two UN human rights experts said Mr Duterte's directive for police and the public to kill suspected drug traffickers amounted to "incitement to violence and killing, a crime under international law".
This round of Asean talks comes against the backdrop of tensions over China's territorial ambitions in the South China Sea - the Philippines and the US are key players in that debate.


The Philippines is in the midst of a brutal war on drugs sanctioned by the controversial President Rodrigo Duterte, which has seen almost 2,000 killings in a matter of weeks. The BBC’s Jonathan Head explores the country’s dark underbelly of dealers and assassins through the story of one woman trapped in a chilling predicament.

When you meet an assassin who has killed six people, you don't expect to encounter a diminutive, nervous young woman carrying a baby. "My first job was two years ago in this province nearby. I felt really scared and nervous because it was my first time.



  • Often called "ice" or "crystal meth" in the West, Shabu is the term used for a pure and potent form of amphetamine in the Philippines and other parts of Asia.
  • Shabu costs about 1,000 Philippines peso per gram ($22; £16)
  • It can be smoked, injected, snorted or dissolved in water
  • The Philippines is home to industrial-scale labs producing tones of the drug - which is then distributed throughout Asia. 
  • Mr Duterte describes it as a pandemic, afflicting millions of his fellow citizens. It is also very profitable. He has listed 150 senior officials, officers and judges linked to the trade. Five police generals, he says, are kingpins of the business. But it is those at the lowest levels of the trade who are targeted by the death squads.
According to the police more than 1,900 people have been killed in drug-related incidents since he took office on 30 June. Of those, they say, 756 were killed by the police, all, they say, while resisting arrest. The remaining deaths are, officially, under investigation. 
In practice most will remain unexplained. Nearly all those whose bloodied bodies are discovered every night in the slums of Manila and other cities are the poor - pedicab drivers, casual labourers, the unemployed. Often, found next to them are cardboard signs warning others not to get involved in drugs. This is a war being fought almost exclusively in the poorest parts of the country. People like Maria are used as its agents. 

Duterte's war on drugs 

Since 1 July 

1,900
drug deaths
  • 10,153 drug dealers arrested 
  • 1,160 deaths still being investigated 
  • 756 suspects killed by police 
  • 300 officers suspected of involvement 
AFP
But it is a popular war. In Tondo, the shantytown area next to Manila port, most of the residents applaud the president's tough campaign. They blamed the "shabu" scourge for rising crime, and for destroying lives, although some worried that the campaign was getting out of hand, and that innocent victims were being caught up in it. 
One of those being hunted by the death squads is Roger - again not his real name.
He became addicted to shabu as a young man, he says, while working as a casual labourer. Like many addicts he began dealing to support his habit, as it was a more comfortable job than labouring. He worked a lot with corrupt police officers, sometimes taking portions of the drug hauls they confiscated in raids to sell.


Roger, not his real name, is a drug dealer and an addict.Image copyrightJONATHAN HEAD

Now he is on the run, moving from place to place every few days to avoid being tracked down and killed.
"Every day, every hour, I cannot get the fear out of my chest. It's really tiring and scary to hide all the time. You don't know if the person right in front of you will inform on you, or if the one facing you might be a killer. It's hard to sleep at night. One small noise, I wake up. And the hardest part of all is I don't know who to trust, I don't know which direction to go every day, looking for a place to hide."


A woman sweeping the front of her house in Happyland a dump site in Tondo, ManilaImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

He does feel guilt about his role in the trade of this destructive drug.
"I do truly believe that I have committed sins. Big time. I have done many awful things. I've wronged a lot people because they've become addicted, because I'm one of the many who sells them drugs. But what I can say is that not everyone who uses drugs is capable of committing those crimes, of stealing, and eventually killing. I'm also an addict but I don't kill. I'm an addict but I don't steal."
He has sent his children to live with his wife's family in the countryside, to try to stop them being exposed to the drug epidemic. He estimates that between 30% and 35% of people in his neighbourhood are addicts.


A girl sleeping on the side of the street in Parola Tondo Area, Manila CityImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

So when President Duterte stated several times during his presidential campaign that he would kill drug dealers, throw their bodies into Manila Bay, did Roger not take that threat seriously?
"Yes, but I thought he would go after the big syndicates who manufacture the drugs, not the small time dealers like me. I wish I could turn the clock back. But it is too late for me. I cannot surrender, because if I do the police will probably kill me."


Many families living inside a warehouse beside a dumpsite in Happyland Tondo, Manila.
Maria, not her real name, now carries out contract killings as part of the government-sanctioned war on drugs.

She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would.

Since President Duterte was elected, and urged citizens and police to kill drug dealers who resisted arrest, Maria has killed five more people, shooting them 
all in the head. 

Maria, not her real name, is an assassin for hire.
She is part of a hit team that includes three women, who are valued because they can get close to their victims without arousing the same suspicion a man would
Maria also regrets the choice she has made. 
"I feel guilty and it is hard on my nerves. I don't want the families of those I have killed to come after me."
She worries about what her children will think. "I do not want them to come back at us and say that they got to live because we killed for money." Already her older boy asks questions about how she and her husband earn so much. 
She has one more hit, one more contract to fulfill, and would like that to be her last. But her boss has threatened to kill anyone who leaves the team. She feels trapped. She asks her priest for forgiveness at confession in church, but does not dare to tell him what she does. 


Homes in Tondo, ManilaImage copyrightCARLO GABUCO

Does she feel any justification carrying out President Duterte's campaign to terrorise the drug trade into submission?
"We only talk about the mission, how to carry it out," she says. "When it is finished we never talk about it again."

But she wrings her hands as she speaks and keeps her eyes shut tight, pursued by thoughts she does not want to share
.
Maria and her husband come from an impoverished neighbourhood of Manila and had no regular income before agreeing to become contract killers. They earn up to 20,000 Philippines pesos ($430; £327) per hit, which is shared between three or four of them. That is a fortune for low-income Filipinos, but now it looks as if Maria has no way out.

President Duterte came to power promising to crack down on crime and drugs

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte attends the 115th Police Service Anniversary at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters in Manila on August 17, 2016.

 Contract killing is nothing new in the Philippines. But the hit squads have never been as busy as they are now. President Duterte has sent out an unambiguous message.
Ahead of his election, he promised to kill 100,000 criminals in his first six months in office.
And he has warned drug dealers in particular: "Do not destroy my country, because I will kill you." 
Last weekend he reiterated that blunt view, as he defended the extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals.
"Do the lives of 10 of these criminals really matter? If I am the one facing all this grief, would 100 lives of these idiots mean anything to me?”   

Originally posted on .bbc.com/news/world-asia. Edited for and by adamfoxie*blog









June 29, 2016

A Leader Most Know When to Change Strategy and Bernie Blew it


If Sanders were to endorse Clinton today, Would it matter? Not today,  Not in the least and below is why:

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton                                                             














On Monday, Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren campaigned together in Cincinnati. Their message was clear: Donald Trump is a “thin-skinned bully who is driven by greed and hate,” as Warren put it, and the Democratic Party can deliver the policies and investments to improve life for ordinary Americans. 

But more interesting than their rhetoric was the event’s tone and tenor. Warren was a compelling surrogate, giving Clinton the kind of strong and affirmative endorsement she needs to win over skeptical voters. And Clinton, in turn, was energized, touting her policies and platform—and indicting Trump for his attitudes and behavior. It was a grand display of party unity: Warren and Clinton, the left and the center-left, united against a common foe and cheered on by thousands of excited Democrats, all ready for the general election.


And where was Bernie Sanders?

Two weeks ago, after the Democratic primary’s official end, the Vermont senator gave a campaign speech that had all the trappings of a concession but lacked the part where he actually conceded. In it, he celebrated the size, scope, and success of his insurgent bid, spoke a little about cooperation with Clinton, and went on to affirm his efforts to reform the Democratic Party.

“I also look forward to working with Secretary Clinton to transform the Democratic Party so that it becomes a party of working people and young people, and not just wealthy campaign contributors,” Sanders said. “[A] party that has the courage to take on Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry, the fossil-fuel industry, and the other powerful special interests that dominate our political and economic life.”

Sanders wasn’t going to be the Democratic nominee, but he still held a good amount of leverage in the form of his voters. After a tough primary, they were hesitant to back Clinton, a fact apparent in the polls. Clinton stood ahead of Donald Trump, but not by much: Her lead was weakened by the party’s unbridged divisions. By holding off on a concession and an endorsement, the Vermont senator was keeping this leverage in reserve ahead of the Democratic National Convention. It made sense.

Still, it was a risky move. Whatever influence or leverage Sanders had was tied to his voters. As long as they stuck with him—and didn’t move to Clinton—he could make demands and win concessions on items like the Democratic Party’s platform, a key object of his rhetoric over the past month. But if his voters moved without his endorsement, either pushed by fear of Trump or support from other Democrats, then the value of his support would fall accordingly.

Which is what happened. In his nonconcession speech, Sanders told supporters their “major political task” was to “make certain that Donald Trump is defeated and defeated badly.” It turns out that was the message that landed.

In the most recent poll from ABC News and the Washington Post, Clinton leads Trump 51 percent to 39 percent, expanding her previous lead by 5 points, as Trump has seen a complete collapse in his support. And what’s driving the move toward Clinton? Democrats and independents who supported Bernie Sanders. In May, 20 percent of Sanders supporters said they would back Trump over Clinton in the general election. In June, that number is down to 8 percent. Overall, 81 percent of Sanders backers have rallied to Clinton, surpassing the 74 percent of Clinton supporters in 2008 who fell in behind Barack Obama. By any measure, the Democratic Party is unified.

Overall, 81 percent of Sanders backers have rallied to Clinton, surpassing the 74 percent of Clinton supporters in 2008 who fell in behind Barack Obama.

Sanders’ endorsement isn’t irrelevant, but it now carries less weight, and the leverage he held at the end of the primary just isn’t there anymore. Take the Democratic platform. The good news for Team Sanders is that its advocates—like Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison—have put Social Security expansion and the $15-an-hour minimum wage into the party document, as well as a call for an “updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall,” the Depression-era law that prohibited commercial banks from engaging in investment banking activities. At the same time, these are areas of wide Democratic agreement. Most Democrats support Social Security expansion and a substantially higher minimum wage, up to and including $15-an-hour. These aren’t concessions. On those points that are more contentious, Team Sanders has lost out. The platform committee has rejected Sanders’ language on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, his stance against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, his call for a carbon tax, and his total opposition to fracking.

Maybe this was inevitable. Maybe Sanders was never going to have the full stamp he clamored for simply on account of having lost. But this underplays the initial strength of his hand. Had Sanders endorsed Clinton at the end of the primaries and recalibrated as an advocate for her campaign—in short, had he mimicked Warren—he would have gotten ahead of his voters. This is important. With an early concession and endorsement, Sanders does two things: He pre-empts any natural movement to Clinton among Democratic primary voters, which lets him claim credit for her improved numbers even if they were inevitable. Like Warren, he would take a starring role in the campaign against Trump. And as we saw in 2008 between Obama and Clinton, a partnership can open the doors to lasting influence.

As it stands, the Vermont senator has almost vanished from the news cycle, overshadowed by Clinton’s growing lead, overall Democratic unity, global events, and the never-ending emissions of Donald Trump. He’ll still matter to the shape and direction of the Democratic National Convention, but he could have had a larger, more visible role. Bernie Sanders had his shot, and he threw it away.
 

Chief Political Correspondent 
for Slate

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