Mexico fights back against ‘The Clown’ – By NAHAL TOOSI 05/13/16 01:07 PM EDT

Officials south of the border are mounting a counteroffensive to Donald Trump and his inflammatory rhetoric.

Mexican officials are pushing back against Donald Trump and his incendiary rhetoric about the country.

Mexican officials are pushing back against Donald Trump and his incendiary rhetoric about the country. | Getty

Donald Trump has spent his entire presidential campaign warning against the dangers of Mexican immigrants stealing American jobs, raping women and hauling drugs across the border.

Now, Mexico is fighting back.

Mexican officials are pursuing a counteroffensive to Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, reaching out to U.S. business leaders, looking at ways to better use social media, and even encouraging qualified Mexicans to get U.S. citizenship. But they’re also trying to stay sensitive about taking more high-profile steps, such as running TV ads in an already overheated presidential race that promote Mexico as a friendly, vibrant neighbor and not a cesspool of criminals.

“We think that right now, in this phase where there is an electoral process going on, something that we should really do is stay out of it. An advertising campaign at this particular moment could just add confusion,” José Paulo Carreño King, Mexico’s new undersecretary for North America, said in an interview with POLITICO.

Carreño said the decision that Mexico needs to boost its image came after the country, which was being pummeled by Trump but trying to stay restrained, commissioned a series of polls and focus groups in the U.S. late last year.

“What we found out is, again, that the image in general terms of Mexico was quite undervalued or more specifically out of date,” he said. “The image of the contributions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans was damaged and undervalued. And there was no clear image of the importance of the bilateral relationship. That’s when the Mexican government decided that, again, we need to do something.”

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The best evidence I’ve seen that Bernie Sanders’s political revolution might be possible – Updated by Dylan Matthews on April 6, 2016, 9:10 a.m. ET

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Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign is based on a simple theory: There is a reserve army of liberal voters who’ve sat out past elections but who stand ready to support a more stridently leftist Democratic nominee.

By getting these historic nonvoters to turn out, Sanders claims, he could win the general election, maybe take back the House and Senate, and have an organized public ready to pressure Congress to pass a democratic socialist agenda.

So far, this idea of a leftist political revolution has been widely dismissed as implausible by many liberal commentators — and I share a large part of their skepticism. But new research by Stanford political scientists Simon Jackman and Bradley Spahn has convinced me that at least one big part of it is correct: There really is a reasonably large segment of the American population that most political campaigns aren’t reaching.

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Extended interview with Michelle Alexander – ALL IN WITH CHRIS HAYES 4/1/16

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Michelle Alexander, legal scholar, human rights activist, and author of a recent essay in the Nation titled, “Why Hillary Clinton Doesn’t Deserve the Black Vote,” joins Chris Hayes to talk about the presidential campaign, criminal justice, race, and the Democratic Party.

The Best and Worst of 2016 in 2015 By David Catanese Dec. 31, 2015, at 1:35 p.m.

U.S. News scores the race for the White House at its halfway point.


No one’s even cast a ballot yet, but the 2016 presidential campaign is reaching its midpoint – and that calls for midterm grades.

`In the past 12 months, 23 major party candidates have launched bids for the White House. Eight have already quit in that same span.

Hundreds of trips have been taken to the first three nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and almost as many polls have been churned out and chewed on. Tens of millions of dollars have been devoted to advertising, staffing and transportation around the country.

The Democrats have debated three times; the Republicans five.

There are still months to go until an ultimate victor emerges, yet there’s already much to measure.

Here’s U.S. News’ best and worst of the 2016 campaign in 2015.

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‘Never be ashamed’: Pope forcefully defends immigrants in Philadelphia – Rory Carroll and Alan Yuhas, Angela Bruno Saturday 26 September 2015 18.50 EDT

Francis stands firm amid a tide of Donald Trump-fuelled xenophobia in the presidential campaign but pontiff challenges some progressive views

Pope Francis defended immigration in a passionate Philadelphia speech.

Pope Francis has channelled the spirit of America’s founding fathers to make an impassioned embrace of immigrants and cultural diversity, insisting that newcomers to the United States must not be ashamed of their traditions.

Speaking on Saturday from the Philadelphia hall where rebels gathered in 1776 to assert their freedom from Britain, the pontiff told a crowd of thousands that immigrants brought “gifts” which helped to “renew” the US.

“I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation,” the pope said before an estimated 24,000 people gathered at Independence Hall. “You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.”

It was a strong rebuff to the Donald Trump-fuelled xenophobia roiling conservatives on the presidential campaign trail, and stalling immigration reform efforts in Washington.

While declining to fully indulge conservatives on issues across the spectrum of the modern US culture wars, the pontiff also challenged some progressive views by denouncing discrimination against religion and making a veiled criticism of abortion.

“Religious freedom certainly means the right to worship God, individually and in community, as our consciences dictate,” Francis said. “But religious liberty, by its nature, transcends places of worship and the private sphere of individuals and families.”

After journeying to the centre of US power, in Washington, and commerce, in New York, the pope used his first day in Philadelphia to invoke US history.

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Super-PAC debuts pro-Fiorina documentary – By Jonathan Swan – 09/22/15 08:46 PM EDT

Carly Fiorina’s super-PAC is now in the movie business.

Getty Images

The outside spending group CARLY for America – which is not legally allowed to coordinate with Fiorina’s presidential campaign but can spend millions on her behalf – hosted Fiorina’s family, roughly 100 supporters and more than a dozen journalists at the Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse for the debut screening of “Citizen Carly,” a documentary that doubles as an hour-long campaign commercial.

The hagiographic film begins and is salted throughout with testimonials from friends and former colleagues of Fiorina’s. Fiorina, they say, is “indefatigable,” “enormously compassionate,” always “standing up for the little people.” Hers is a “classic American story.” As the testimonies are told, large words circle in the background: “strength,” “leader,” “compassion.”

But the film is also intimate, sometimes surprisingly so. Sitting on a chair beside her husband Frank, Carly’s voice breaks as she recalls the 2009 death of their daughter due to drug addiction. “Her poor little body. She was always a little girl. I think it just gave out,” Fiorina said. She said her “personal relationship with Jesus Christ” saved her.

The section of the film that deals with Fiorina’s cancer diagnosis shows a photograph of her, bald-headed and incapacitated, on a hospital bed. Another scene tells the story of Fiorina sobbing in a restroom on her 40th birthday when she realizes she won’t have a biological child of her own.

Much of the documentary is dedicated to answering questions about Fiorina’s business career, particularly her controversial six years as CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Former board members sympathetic to Fiorina, including vocal media supporter Tom Perkins, said it was the board and not her that was to blame for HP’s troubles during that period.


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ONE YEAR AGO…My how things change….The Politico 50 Survey 09/03/14, 11:48 PM EDT


Top Jeb fundraisers leave campaign amid troubling signs – By ALEX ISENSTADT and MARC CAPUTO 08/29/15, 06:26 AM EDT

The move comes amid weak poll numbers and concerns that Bush’s torrid fundraising pace has slowed.


Three top Jeb Bush fundraisers abruptly parted ways with his presidential campaign on Friday, amid internal personality conflicts and questions about the strength of his candidacy, POLITICO has learned.

There are different versions of what transpired. The Florida-based fundraising consultants — Kris Money, Trey McCarley, and Debbie Alexander — have said that they voluntarily quit the campaign and were still working with Bush’s super PAC, Right to Rise Super PAC. Others said the three, who worked under the same contract, were let go because they were no longer needed for the current phase of the campaign.

None of the three immediately responded to requests for comment. Bush spokesman Tim Miller would only say that “Governor Bush has the widest and deepest fundraising operation of any candidate in the field. Ann Herberger — a longtime aide with more than two decades of experience in state and national politics — will continue to lead the operation in Florida with our team in Miami.”

One source attributed the departures to personality conflicts in the campaign, some involving Bush’s finance team.

“They were glad to go. This wasn’t a shock to anybody,” said one campaign source. “There were just some personality problems. It happens when you have a big organization like this, a big campaign. Some of the national people are tough to work for.”

Alexander, Money and McCarley have deep and longstanding ties to Florida’s GOP power structure. Money is close with former House Speaker Will Weatherford, McCarley’s part of Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s political team, and Alexander has been a member in good standing of Bush’s operation since he was governor.

“They raised a lot of money out of Florida. A lot,” said the campaign source. “So if anyone says they didn’t quit, it’s not true. They’re still working for the super PAC as well. This is not about them,” said one source. “This is about the campaign.”


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How the Black Lives Matter Movement Is Upending Bernie Sanders’s Campaign — and the Entire Democratic Primary

Photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images

Photo: Charlie Leight/Getty Images

Marcus Ferrell, the new African-American outreach coordinator for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign, was only a week into his new job when he went to Netroots Nation two weekends ago and watched Black Lives Matter activists shout down his candidate. “He felt a little ambushed, quite honestly … he’s a human being,” he told a group of grassroots supporters, African-Americans for Bernie Sanders, who got together on a conference call for the first time last week to begin organizing behind the candidate.

Of all the unexpected turns of Bernie Sanders’s surprisingly successful presidential candidacy, becoming an object of opprobrium among black activists was probably the one he least anticipated. It’s not that his team was completely unaware of the fact that he had work to do introducing himself to one of the most important constituencies of the Democratic party: Both the polls and a quick survey of the mostly white crowds that have shown up to his campaign rallies indicated as much. But in the three short months since he announced his Wall Street–bashing bid, Sanders has been drawing crowds in the thousands in places like Maine and Iowa and Wisconsin. He’s earned endorsements from rappers Killer Mike and Lil B. He was catching on with white liberal voters, and as a longtime progressive who came out of the civil rights era, it seemed like he was on the path to a growing following among black progressives, too.

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GOP’s baffling Trump cowardice: A party too timid to denounce a bigoted gasbag – WEDNESDAY, JUL 1, 2015 03:00 AM PDT

Condemning Donald Trump’s obvious racism would be the easiest thing a Republican could do, but no one’s doing it

GOP's baffling Trump cowardice: A party too timid to denounce a bigoted gasbag

Just about every second of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, such as it is, has been a disaster. He kicked off his campaign two weeks ago with a speech calling Mexican immigrants criminals and “rapists,” and he’s been dealing with the blowback ever since. Those comments prompted NBC – which had tolerated his bigoted nonsense for years while airing his reality show – to finally cut ties with Trump, who responded by calling NBC “weak” and “foolish.” Univision announced that it would not carry Trump’s Miss USA pageant, prompting Trump to threaten to sue the network. Mexico announcedthat it would not send a representative to Trump’s Miss Universe pageant because of his “racist” remarks. If there’s a positive to be found in any of this, it’s that Trump’s vanity run for president is backfiring and has helped tear down some of the other garish and pathetically self-congratulatory monuments he’s erected to himself.

But what I find curious about the reaction to Trump’s blatant racism and anti-immigrant posturing is that not one Republican has stood up and done literally the easiest, least controversial, most politically buzzy thing one could do in this situation: denounce Donald Trump.

Seriously, it’s utterly baffling. Let’s think about this for a moment. The Republican Party is painfully aware that it has a major problem appealing to voter demographics outside its core coalition of old white people and religious white people. This problem is especially acute in presidential election cycles — like the one we’re in now. Recognizing how toxic this alienation of minority groups was in the 2012 presidential race, the Republican National Committee put out a big report explicitly recommending that the party’s candidates and committees do more to reach out to and engage with Latino voters and make them feel less like the GOP actively despises them. “If Hispanic Americans perceive that a GOP nominee or candidate does not want them in the United States (i.e. self-deportation),” the report counseled, “they will not pay attention to our next sentence.”

In this light, Trump’s comments should have been a big, fat, hanging curve for an enterprising Republican 2016 candidate to swing hard at. What he said was bigoted; there’s no disagreement on that. As far as adversaries go, you could do worse than Trump – he is a semi-sentient pile of hair and sadness, he has no feelings to hurt, and by being on the opposite side of him you win the argument by default. And what he said has nothing to do with immigration policy. By weighing in on it you wouldn’t be taking any dangerous positions you’d later have to defend. And the media would eat that mess up.


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