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Wake Up To Politics - September 7, 2016

Wednesday, September 7, 2016
62 Days Until Election Day 2016 (AKA my 15th birthday)
19 Days Until the First Presidential DebateI'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!

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From the Editor's Desk

  • Hello everyone! Before we jump into today's news, I wanted to make sure all of you saw a profile that landed Tuesday of yours truly as one of Microsoft's "People of Action." You can read the feature in Microsoft's News Center at msft.it/gabe, or check it out on any of Microsoft's social channels (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, etc.)! The article includes information about WUTP, my life, and some photos of the setup here at my world headquarters.
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Now, to the news:

Need to Know

  • Election 2016: Clinton, Trump Campaigns Focus on National Security With Labor Day marking the unofficial launch of the 2016 general election, both campaigns have restarted their campaigns with new focuses on national security. Ahead of an NBC forum on the topic, both Trump and Clinton spent Tuesday talking about military issues and national security.
  • In a sign of the back-and-forth to come over the next two months, each candidate spent the day targeting the other's preparedness to keep the U.S. safe. At an event in Virginia beach, Trump went after Clinton's record, saying that "virtually every decision that she's made has been a loser." Trump also relied on Clinton's email scandal to attack his opponent, calling her handling of classified information "disqualifying."
  • "People who have nothing to hide don't smash phones with hammers. People who have nothing to hide don't bleach..their emails, or destroy evidence to keep it from being publicly archived as required under federal law," Trump said, referring to recent revelations about Clinton aides' use of hammers and the software BleachBit to destroy their emails and devices.
  • Clinton fired back, going after Trump's rhetoric when speaking about foreign leaders. "We are going to work with our allies, not insult them. We are going to stand up to our adversaries, not cozy up to them," she said. "We are going to have real plans, not claims and secret plans."
  • In a press gaggle en route to Florida, Clinton also said that Americans have more faith in her judgement than Trump's. "They know they can count on mo be the kind of commander in chief who will protect our country and our troops, and they know they cannot count on Donald Trump," Clinton continued. "They view him as a danger and a risk."
  • Both campaigns also released dueling sets of military endorsements Tuesday, with Trump unveiling a list of 88 retired generals and admirals who endorsed his campaign, and Clinton responding with a list of 95 supporting her (only six were new endorsements).
  • Trump will continue his link of attack today, planning to "propose ending mandatory defense spending cuts...and look to portray Hillary Clinton's world view as one of wild-eyed globalism" in his Philadelphia speech today, according to Bloomberg.
  • White House: Obama Appoints First Muslim Judge With all eyes on the Supreme Court vacancy, President Barack Obama was able to quietly make a lower court nomination Tuesday without much attention paid to it. However, in nominating Abid Riaz Quershi for a seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the President was making history: Quershi is the first Muslim nominee for a federal judgeship.
  • “I am pleased to nominate Mr. Qureshi to serve on the United States District Court bench,” Obama said in a statement announcing the nomination, which did not mention the historic nature of the pick. “I am confident he will serve the American people with integrity and a steadfast commitment to justice.”
  • Quershi, a Pakistani-born D.C. lawyer, is not expected to be confirmed before Obama's term ends in January, amid election-year rancor.
  • However, the nomination still holds symbolism for the Muslim community. “I commend President Obama for taking this important step in continuing to pick the best and brightest from every community to serve as part of our nation’s judiciary,” Muslim Advocates executive director Farhana Khera said. “A judiciary that reflects the rich diversity of our nation helps ensure the fair and just administration of the law, and it is vital for American Muslims to be included. Mr. Qureshi’s profound commitment to the rule of law and justice for people of all backgrounds makes him an exceptional nominee.”
  • The nomination also comes as Muslim-Americans have become a key topic in the presidential election, with Republican nominee Donald Trump calling for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on."
  • Just days after claiming that U.S. District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel had made a decision against one of his companies due to his Mexican heritage, Trump told CBS' "Face the Nation" in June that it would be "possible, absolutely" that he would be treated unfairly by a Muslim Judge as well, after his stance on Muslim immigration.

Politics Planner

All times Eastern.

  • Election 2016 10:15am Bill Clinton will hold a rally at Dr. Smith Neighborhood Center in Orlando, Florida to discuss his wife's economic plan.
  • 11am Donald Trump will address The Union League, a private group of 3,300 members founded in 1862 to support Abraham Lincoln, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Speaking to the "patriotic society," Trump will touch on national security and veterans issues in his speech.
  • 1pm Chelsea Clinton will hold a "Women for Hillary" organizing event at the local DNC office in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
  • 4pm Chelsea Clinton will participate in a phone bank for her mother at the local DNC office in State College, Pennsylvania.
  • 5pm Bill Clinton and NBA Hall of Famer Alonzo Mourning will host a reception to raise money for the Hillary Victory Fund at The Filmore in Miami, Florida. Tickets range from $45 to $10,000.
  • 8pm Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will appear back-to-back in a live, one-hour event at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City. The event, titled "The Commander-in-Chief Forum," is being co-sponsored by NBC News and the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. Clinton and Trump will each take the stage to answer questions on "national security, military affairs, and veterans issues" from moderator Matt Lauer, host of NBC's "The Today Show," and veterans and active service members in the audience. The event is a forum, not a debate, meaning Clinton and Trump will not question, speak to each other, or appear together on stage; however, it is the first joint event between the two major-party nominees. The forum will be aired live on NBC and MSNBC.
  • According to an NBC/SurveyMonkey poll released ahead of the forum today, Trump leads Clinton 55% to 36% among registered voters who previously served or who currently serve in the U.S military.
  • White House President Barack Obama will wake up in Laos today, on the sixth day of his eleventh Asia trip as president. Upon touching down in Laos on Monday, Obama became the first U.S. president in history to visit the country. He is visiting the Southeast Asian socialist republic to attend the U.S.-ASEAN and East Asia Summits.
  • Today, President Obama will visit the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise in Vientiane to "meet with teams that defuse unexploded ordnance from U.S. bombing and survivors of UXO blasts," according to Mark Knoller. Obama said Tuesday that the United States has a "moral obligation" to help Laos heal from the more than two million tons of bombs America dropped on Laos from 1964 to 1973 - and the unexploded ordnance (UXO) that continues to detonate across the country today . "Even now, many Americans are not fully aware of this chapter in our history, and it's important that we remember today," Obama said on Tuesday, announcing an increase of U.S. funding to $90 million to assist Laos' effort to destroy the UXO.
  • Later, the President will fly to Luang Prabang, where he will tour Wat Xieng Thong Temple, a Bhuddist monastery. Obama will then participate in a Town Hall at Souphanouvon University as part of the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Iniative, before returning to Vientiane for a ASEAN gala dinner hosted by Laotian prime minister Thngloun Sisoulith.
  • Congress 10am The U.S. Senate will meet for its second session since returning from summer recess. Following any Leader remarks, the chamber will continue consideration of the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, the bipartisan, $9 billion water infrastructure spending package. The bill, co-sponsored by one of Congress' most liberal (Democrat Barbara Boxer of California) and most conservative (Republican Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma) members, sets aside $280 million to aid Flint, Michigan in responding to their drinking water crisis. The measure has a rare amount of support in both parties, and is expected to receive over 80 votes, according to the New York Times. The House has already passed their own Water Resources Development Act, a $5 billion version with no funding for Flint and other large differences to the Senate bill.
  • 10am The U.S. House will gavel to session, with six bills being voted on today: a measure (which President Obama has threatened to veto) to "prohibit government officials from entering into or enforcing any settlement agreement for civil actions on behalf of the United States if that agreement requires the other party to the settlement to make a donation to a third party," according to the Congressional Budget Office; a resolution condemning Russia's occupation of Georgia, affirming U.S. policy not to recognize territorial changes brought by force; a resolution on the importance of the U.S. relationship with Korea and Japan in countering the threat of North Korea; a bill on USAID educational assistance; a measure codifying the "fedeal government's efforts to promote Internet access in developing countries," per CBO; and a bill authorizing programs to encourage trade and economic cooperation among African nations.

Daily Data

  • More from WaPo's 50-State Poll More results from a Washington Post-SurveyMonkey poll of all 50 states (the topline numbers were included in Tuesday's newsletter). The poll, which was conducted from Aug. 9 through Sept. 1, questioned 74,000 registered voters in every state to determine how each state is leaning in the presidential race. While there are some potential outliers in the results, it is an interesting polling idea - since the presidential race is not a national popularity contest, but 50 individual state contests, after all. It is the first 50-state poll sponsored by The Washington Post since 1988.
  • The results of the 50-state poll completely turns the traditional electoral map on its head. Clinton and Trump each lead 20 states by at least four percentage points, putting 244 electoral votes solidly in or leaning towards her column and 126 in or leaning towards his (Clinton's 20 states are much more populated, and therefore count towards more electoral votes).
  • The remaining 168 electoral votes are from the 10 remaining states, where the race to 270 electoral votes (the amount needed to win the White House) will be fought. These 10 states, where no candidate recorded a lead of 4% or more, are the most interesting.
  • The list is made up of four traditionally Republican states, all of which have voted GOP in at least the past four presidential elections (Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Mississippi); two traditionally Democratic states, both of which have voted Democratic in at least the past six presidential elections (Michigan and Wisconsin); three traditional battleground states, all of which have voted for the winner in at least the past four presidential elections (Ohio, Florida, Colorado); and one historically-Republican state that has become more of a swing state in recent years (North Carolina). Here is the poll's results from those 10 states:
  • Colorado: Tie Clinton 37, Trump 37, Johnson 16, Stein 1
  • Texas: Tie Clinton 40, Trump 40, Johnson 11, Stein 3
  • Georgia: Trump +1 Trump 40, Clinton 39, Johnson 12, Stein 4
  • Michigan: Clinton +1 Clinton 39, Trump 38, Johnson 13, Stein 5
  • North Carolina: Trump +1 Trump 41, Clinton 40, Johnson 10, Stein 4
  • Arizona: Trump +2 Trump 39, Clinton 37, Johnson 13, Stein 4
  • Florida: Trump +2 Trump 42, Clinton 40, Johnson 10, Stein 3
  • Wisconsin: Trump +2 Trump 39, Clinton 37, Johnson 13, Stein 4
  • Mississippi: Trump +3 Trump 46, Clinton 43, Johnson 4, Stein 2
  • Ohio: Trump +3 Trump 40, Clinton 37, Johnson 13, Stein 4
  • Meanwhile, some traditionally battleground states are in the "lean" columns: Clinton wins New Hampshire, Virginia, Nevada, and Pennsylvania by at least 4%; while Trump wins Iowa with 4%. The other "lean" states are ones that have not been as close in past elections: Minnesota and Maine for Clinton; and South Carolina, Alaska, and Missouri for Trump.
  • While Clinton maintains an electoral advantage, Trump's lead in states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, and Florida (all of which were won twice by Obama) is interesting. However, just as those states should worry Clinton, Trump's inability to win Texas, Georgia, Arizona, and Mississippi in landslides (according to this poll) should give pause to his campaign. Expect these states to make up the bulk of the campaign stops and spending over the next two months.
  • Another interesting trend in the poll: when Johnson and Stein are included, Clinton's advantage narrows and more states show her lead dropping. Interestingly, Johnson seems to pick up more support in this poll than in others - receiving at least 15% of the vote in 15 states, and doing particularly well in New Mexico, Utah, Colorado, and Iowa, among others.

Smart Reads

  • "The Road to the White House Runs Past Disney World: Uncle Walt’s theme park transformed central Florida and helped create one of the biggest electoral prizes in America."
  • "...Tampa sits at the western end of the Interstate-4 corridor and Clinton and Donald Trump both know that the 132-mile, traffic-slammed slab of asphalt that stretches across the center of the Florida peninsula is in many ways the road to the White House. Trump and Clinton have popped up along the I-4 corridor so much, in fact, they virtually qualify for a Florida resident discount at the theme parks."
  • "...The [I-4] highway—stretching from the sprawling suburbs of Tampa, through the fantasylands around Orlando to NASCAR fans’ nirvana in Daytona Beach—rounds up more than 40 percent of Florida’s registered voters. Its residents cover the political spectrum from die-hard right-wingers to hard-core left-wingers to swing voters who switch their allegiance with each election..."
  • "...Since 1964, Florida has voted for the winning presidential candidate every time but one (1992, Clinton v. Bush), and since 1924 not one Republican candidate has won the presidency while losing Florida. As The Guardian noted in 2012: 'They say that whoever wins the I-4 corridor wins Florida, and whoever wins Florida wins America.'"
  • "...Before Disney World arrived, I-4’s route included only conservative voters—many of them farmers, retirees and small business owners who all strongly opposed unions. But the theme park employees are union members...Those Teamsters tend to vote Democratic, she pointed out...Plopping down so many tourist attractions along one highway drew lots of hotels and motels to provide Mom and Pop and the sugared-up kids with a place to crash—all the Sheratons, Marriotts and Holiday Inns, not to mention the quirky ones that Disney itself offers with ginormous swans and dolphins on top. Those hotels and motels attracted thousands of Puerto Ricans to Central Florida seeking better paying jobs in a state that has no income tax."
  • "The ones coming from the island had no family tradition of voting Republican or Democrat..Those parties don't exist in Puerto Rico, because voters in the territory are not allowed to cast ballots for president in the November elections. So when they arrived in Florida, they were, politically speaking, 'a clean slate,' she said...Since then, though, their votes have swung back and forth between the parties, making their support unpredictable." (Politico Magazine)
  • "Why the U.S. President Needs a Council of Historians: It isn’t enough for a commander in chief to invite friendly academics to dinner. The U.S. could avoid future disaster if policy makers started looking more to the past."
  • "It is sometimes said that most Americans live in 'the United States of Amnesia.' Less widely recognized is how many American policy makers live there too."
  • "...To address this deficit, it is not enough for a president to invite friendly historians to dinner, as Obama has been known to do. Nor is it enough to appoint a court historian, as John F. Kennedy did with Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. We urge the next president to establish a White House Council of Historical Advisers. Historians made similar recommendations to Presidents Carter and Reagan during their administrations, but nothing ever came of these proposals. Operationally, the Council of Historical Advisers would mirror the Council of Economic Advisers, established after World War II. A chair and two additional members would be appointed by the president to full-time positions, and respond to assignments from him or her. They would be supported by a small professional staff and would be part of the Executive Office of the President."
  • "For too long, history has been disparaged as a “soft” subject by social scientists offering spurious certainty. We believe it is time for a new and rigorous “applied history”—an attempt to illuminate current challenges and choices by analyzing precedents and historical analogues. We not only want to see applied history incorporated into the Executive Office of the President, alongside economic expertise; we also want to see it developed as a discipline in its own right at American universities, beginning at our own. When people refer to “applied history” today, they are typically referring to training for archivists, museum curators, and the like.  We have in mind a different sort of applied history, one that follows in the tradition of the modern historian Ernest May and the political scientist Richard Neustadt. Their 1986 book, Thinking in Time, provides the foundation on which we intend to build."
  • "Mainstream historians take an event, phenomenon, or era and attempt to explain what happened. They sometimes say that they study the past “for its own sake.” Applied historians would take a current predicament and try to identify analogues in the past. Their ultimate goal would be to find clues about what is likely to happen, then suggest possible policy interventions and assess probable consequences. You might say that applied history is to mainstream history as medical practice is to biochemistry, or engineering is to physics. But those analogies are not quite right. In the realm of science, there is mutual respect between practitioners and theorists. In the realm of policy, by contrast, there is far too often mutual contempt between practitioners and academic historians. Applied history can try to remedy that." (The Atlantic)
  • "Yes, the News Can Survive the Newspaper" "One day many decades hence, when your grandchildren ask you, 'Grandma, what was a newspaper?' you can direct them back to Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. Because it may well go down as the day the American newspaper as we've known it moved out of intensive care and into the palliative wing on its way to the Great Beyond."
  • "The Newspaper Association of America, that trade group that has represented the interests of major newspaper publishers in one form or another since 1887, is going to drop from its name the very word that defined it: 'Newspaper.' The group will be known as the News Media Alliance." (The New York Times)

Today's Trivia

  • Today's Question Which president appointed the first woman to the federal judiciary?
  • Send your answer to trivia@wakeuptopolitics.com; respondents will get a mention in tomorrow's edition of Wake Up To Politics.
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