From her campaign launch in April to the relaunch in June, Hillary Clinton has largely avoided specifics, choosing rather to focus on broad themes. Saturdaynight, addressing a house party in Iowa, Mrs. Clinton hit on one of those themes, campaign finance reform, suggesting that the problem is so bad that democracy in the Unites States is broken [beginning at 36:50]:
...I outlined briefly in my speech today what I want to do for the economy , that I want to do for families, what I want to do to make sure that we are strong and smart in the world and to fix our democracy by focusing on dark, unaccountable money which I think is corrupting, um, our entire system...
The line drew applause from the crowd in the home where Mrs. Clinton addressed her supporters. Other house parties participated in the event via live streaming on the internet.
Mrs. Clinton had already visited the campaign finance theme earlier in the day during her speech in Four Freedom's Park in New York City, suggested the Constitution needed updating to deal with the issue:
We have to stop the endless flow of secret, unaccountable money that is distorting our elections, corrupting our political process, and drowning out the voices of our people.
We need Justices on the Supreme Court who will protect every citizen’s right to vote, rather than every corporation’s right to buy elections.
If necessary, I will support a constitutional amendment to undo the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United.
The Citizens United case notably involved free speech rights during Hillary Clinton's last run for the White House when advertisements for a film critical of Mrs. Clinton were deemed in violation of the McCain–Feingold Act. The Supreme Court struck down part of that law, creating the problem Mrs. Clinton now intends to fix.
In at least one respect, visiting China is a little bit like traveling back in time to America in, say, 1957. (Or so I gather.) That is, people routinely smoke cigarettes in shopping malls, elevators, lines, apartment building hallways, schools, and yes, even hospitals. (Oh, and of course bars and restaurants.) Thus, the news that Beijing has just imposed a strict smoking ban in indoor public spaces in the city is a little bit surprising.
In a comment unprompted by any question from the media, White House press secretary lashed into some of the rhetoric Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu used in his reelection campaign. The White House even suggested it had hurt Israel's democracy and America's relationship with its greatest ally in the Middle East.
Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a possible Republican presidential candidate, is using a crowdsourcing platform to try to reach dissidents and human rights activists in autocratic regimes. In particular, Rubio is trying to help those oppressed by the governments of Iran and Cuba.
"I'm a member of the U.S. Congress looking for Iran and Cuba human rights cases to highlight," the headline for Rubio's post on the platform Movements.org reads.
With the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing safely over and regional leaders departed, China’s new strongman Xi Jinping decided to lower the boom on Hong Kong. Police there began clearing the barricades last week from the city’s main thoroughfare with the students in apparent retreat. Hong Kong’s chief executive, Leung Chun-ying, widely perceived as Beijing’s puppet, was quoted by Reuters as promising “resolute action” and warning students not to return to occupation sites.
On Sunday, the leaders of Hong Kong’s democracy protests abruptly scrapped a poll of protester sentiment they had announced just days earlier. The idea of the poll had been to get protesters’ reactions to two bones thrown to them by the Hong Kong government in televised talks held on October 21.
Representatives of the student led democracy protests in Hong Kong are due to enter into a dialogue with the Hong Kong government on Tuesday. The prospects for success are not good. The two sides are far apart, with the government saying it will not even discuss the protesters’ chief demand – the democratic election of the chief execut
In a 2007 article in THE WEEKLY STANDARD, “Let a Hundred Flowers Be Crushed,” the Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang, told of being followed by security agents every year around the anniversary of the June 4, 1989 massacre of democracy protesters. Pu responded by ushering the agents to a conference room at his law firm and screening The Lives of Others, the 2006 Oscar winning film about an East German Stasi agent who protects the playwright he is spyin
In spite of a string of worrisome human rights and freedom of expression violations, the Obama administration is holding out hope that Egypt's government lead by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is still headed for democracy.