Wednesday, October 14, 2015
Syrian Arab Army ground forces started a large-scale offensive against militants’ positions in Joubar and Ein Tarma in the Damascus municipality in an attempt to capture new territory around the Syrian capital.
By Max Ehrenfreund
6. What's the difference between a democratic socialist, such as Sanders, and a Democrat, such as Clinton?
By PATRICK HEALY
On Tuesday night, after months of political heartburn, things finally started cutting Hillary Rodham Clinton’s way. Her performance at the first Democratic presidential debate was so commanding that even her greatest vulnerability — the lingering controversy over her private email practices as secretary of state — ended up redounding to her benefit.
“Thank you!” Mrs. Clinton said, reaching out and shaking his hand. “Me, too! Me, too!”All night, the debate played to Mrs. Clinton’s advantage and to her opponents’ limitations. From gun control and banking regulations to debt-free college and Social Security benefits, Mrs. Clinton positioned herself as a champion of liberals, young people, and the elderly — the very voters who make up the Sanders coalition — while also repeatedly reaching out to women, as an advocate for families and children (and as, potentially, the nation’s first female president). Mr. Sanders, whose plain-spoken disgust over the email controversy drew praise, looked sheepish and reactive at other points, hesitating to attack Mrs. Clinton forcefully over her ties to Wall Street, and running into trouble defending his past opposition to stricter gun control laws and immigration reform. By the end of Tuesday night’s debate, Mrs. Clinton had seized every opening to try to accomplish her chief goal: re-establishing trust with Democrats who have come to doubt her honesty and political competence after months of difficulties and shifting policy positions. Right from her opening remarks, Mrs. Clinton sounded a liberal rallying cry, saying “the wealthy pay too little and the middle class pays too much” in taxes. She sought to create a bond with voters by saying she would judge free-trade deals, which are broadly unpopular on the left, by whether she could “look into the eyes of any middle-class American and say this will help raise your wages.” She called for increasing Social Security benefits for the poorest recipients and singled out older women who were “impoverished” because they had not earned enough money earlier in their lives. And she was blunt in saying she has a liberal political philosophy but is also a pragmatic leader who would work with both Democrats and Republican to pass legislation. “I’m a progressive, but I’m a progressive who likes to get things done,” she said. “I know how to find common ground, but I know how to stand my ground.” Mrs. Clinton was effective in cornering Mr. Sanders on the issue of gun control. Mr. Sanders, who is hugely popular among liberals, has opposed some gun control legislation like the Brady Bill — and Mrs. Clinton made sure that voters knew it. After Mr. Sanders defended his record on gun laws, Mr. Cooper, the moderator, asked if Mr. Sanders was “tough enough” on guns. “No. Not at all,” Mrs. Clinton said emphatically. She then listed Mr. Sanders’s history opposing gun control at length — well aware that every minute a Democratic debate was about gun control was a minute too long for Mr. Sanders. The burdens on Mrs. Clinton were unusually heavy for the first debate of a presidential campaign, when candidates typically focus on introducing themselves to a national television audience and gently drawing distinctions with their rivals. Not so Mrs. Clinton: The continuing Republican attacks over her trustworthiness and judgment, particularly over her email have tarnished her in the eyes of many voters. Some are tired of endless Clinton melodramas, others tantalized by Mr. Sanders’s left-wing candidacy. Given Mrs. Clinton’s vulnerabilities — she lags behind Mr. Sanders in polls of New Hampshire primary voters — she needed to use the debate to persuade voters to look beyond her political troubles and see her as likable, rather than programmed; as genuinely liberal, as opposed to strategic; and ultimately as electable, instead of as a damaged candidate compared with, say, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., who is considering entering the race.
My country harkens for me, why should I waste my time here?”
-Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto