The country is “trending in a more liberal direction, and a growing proportion of Democrats are hardcore liberals.” And, “Clinton and Obama are, to borrow a favorite phrase of the president, on the wrong side of history.” The Washington Post,
There are various causes, but the change is likely in part a reaction to the tea party and to the Republican Party’s swing to the right. Democrats so far have shown less inclination to eat their own, but there is a real possibility that intraparty fratricide will break out if Clinton and the rest of the Democratic establishment don’t co-opt the rising populist movement. In New York, for example, there is already talk of a liberal primary challenge to Cuomo if he chooses to run again in 2018.
That the Sanders campaign has caught fire is a surprise to just about everybody, not least the candidate himself, who had his doubts. The Brooklyn-born Vermonter with a didactic style lacks the fire and charisma of Elizabeth Warren, who chose not to run. But his call for huge infrastructure spending and taxing the rich has caught the moment just right, even if Sanders himself is an imperfect vessel.
In May, Clinton had a 31-point lead in New Hampshire over her nearest potential Democratic competitor in the WMUR-CNN poll; now she leads Sanders by only eight points, which because of the poll’s methodology is a statistical tie. In Iowa, likewise, Clinton had a 45-point lead over Sanders in May, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Now her lead has shrunk to 19 points.
In the interest of clarity, the Wall Street Journal has taken the liberty of taking “the latest news in the Hillary email escapade, and distill it into its basic pieces.” WSJ,
Nothing Mrs. Clinton has said so far on the subject is correct. The Democratic presidential aspirant on March 10 held a press conference pitched as her first and last word on the revelation that she’d used a private email server while secretary of state. She told reporters that she’d turned over to the State Department “all my emails that could possibly be work-related.” And she insisted that she “did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”
Not true and not true. The State Department has now admitted that it is aware of at least 15 work-related emails that Mrs. Clinton fully or partially withheld. We know this only because congressional Republicans, as part of their Benghazi probe, required longtime Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal to turn over his correspondence with her. It revealed work-related emails that had not been disclosed…
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that challenges the way public-sector unions finance their operations. A ruling against unions would deal a large blow to organized labor. The New York Times,
“The case, Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, No. 14-915, was brought by California teachers who said being compelled to pay union fees to subsidize activities they disagree with violates their First Amendment rights.
“Limiting the power of public unions has been a long sought goal of conservative groups, and they welcomed Tuesday’s development.
“‘The question of whether teachers and other government employees can be required to subsidize the speech of a union they do not support as a condition of working for their own government is now squarely before the court,’ Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said in a statement.
“The challengers say that some collective bargaining with a government employer amounts to lobbying and that forcing them to pay for those activities violates their First Amendment rights.”
President Barack Obama was blocked on Monday from regulating emissions through an environmental initiative by the checks and balances of our government when the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block limits on emissions. The New York Times,
SCOTUS blocked one of “Obama administration’s most ambitious environmental initiatives… meant to limit emissions of mercury and other toxic pollutants from coal-fired power plants…
The Clean Air Act required the regulations to be “appropriate and necessary.” The challengers said the agency had run afoul of that law by deciding to regulate the emissions without first undertaking a cost-benefit analysis.
The agency responded that it was not required to take costs into account when it made the initial determination to regulate.. [later adding] that, in any event, the benefits far outweighed the costs.
[In clashing justifications]… Industry groups said the government had imposed annual costs of $9.6 billion to achieve about $6 million in benefits. The agency said the costs yielded tens of billions of dollars in benefits.
“For E.P.A. to focus its ‘appropriate and necessary’ determination on factors relating to public health hazards, and not industry’s objections that emission controls are costly, properly puts the horse before the cart,” Judge Judith W. Rogers wrote for the majority.
In dissent, Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh said that, in context, the statute required attention to costs “as a matter of common sense, common parlance and common practice.”