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  1. Fox News last week fell into third place during primetime in the coveted advertising demographic of 25-54 year-old viewers, the first time it had done so in 17 years, as rival network MSNBC surged into first place. Adweek reported that last week was the first time that Fox finished third among cable-news networks in the coveted demo since June 2000, when the right-leaning network was still in its infancy. According to Nielsen, MSNBC led the three cable networks between 8-11 p.m., averaging 611,000 viewers between the ages of 25 and 54, while dominating with 2,440,000 viewers overall. CNN came in second with 589,000 in the coveted demographic, while remaining in third in total viewers with 1,649,000. Fox slid to to third with 497,000 viewers in the demo, and 2,405,000 overall. Despite the primetime dip last week, Fox is still above MSNBC and CNN in primetime and total-day ratings this month. The ratings slump came as primetime programs notably avoided and counter-programmed major news revelations last week, including reports that President Donald Trump disclosed classified information with Russian officials and that he had nudged former FBI director James Comey to lay off investigating former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Last Monday, primetime Fox News hosts like Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity largely ignored a report on Trump's revelation to Russian officials. They instead focused the bulk of their programs criticizing the media's coverage of the presidency, as well as instances of violence at protests and Comey's firing. The same was largely the case on Tuesday, when both hosts again took aim at the media while MSNBC and CNN offered wall-to-wall coverage of a New York Times report regarding Trump's nudge for Comey to end the Flynn probe. The news also came amid a larger shakeup of Fox's primetime schedule, which saw its highest ratings ever last quarter. Last month, Carlson moved into the 8 p.m. time slot formerly occupied by Bill O'Reilly, who left the network amid sexual harassment allegations, while "The Five" moved into Carlson's 9 p.m. time slot. Link: Here Personal Comment: I never thought I'd see Fox potentially get dethroned. Liberal media is actually currently number one.
  2. Trump's path to winning the Presidency. The Praetorian By ABDeL Republican strategists woke up confused this week, wondering why Trump had rallies scheduled in traditionally blue states, such as Wisconsin and Michigan, among others. They argued that Trump should be focusing on battleground states that he has a chance of winning, like Ohio and Florida, and not waste time in blue states that have a very low chance of ever voting Republican. They are right that history is not on Trump's side, but luckily for him, he is not your typical Republican. Here's why Trump is expanding the map to blue states: In this electoral college map and for the sake of this hypothetical, I awarded every state Trump is able to carry away from Hillary according to the polls. Even if Trump wins the big states like Ohio and Florida, key states for any Republican to win the presidency, he still falls short 5 electoral votes. Hillary doesn't even need to win those states to win, as she hits 272 comfortably by winning blue state majorities. And so this is the reason why Trump was campaigning this week in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and Grand Rapids, Michigan. Because he actually has a chance of winning: Black voter turnout is historically low this election cycle, a demographic Obama was very dependent on in his 2008 and 2012 election victories. As you can see in the graph below, the black vote spiked in those two presidential election cycles for the key reason that Obama was on the ballot. When Obama wasn't on the ballot during the midterm elections of 2010 and 2014, their turnout returned to normal. . And the black vote is important in Michigan and Wisconsin as these are states that Romney was hugely competitive in, save for counties with high population of African Americans. Here are the state results from the 2012 Michigan presidential election: [ATTACH=full]5726[/ATTACH] Romney lost by 10% in 2012, and McCain lost by 17%. But what's interesting to observe is that Bush only lost Michigan by 100,000 votes in 2004, coming as close as 3% from winning the state. This further proves my hypothesis that black turnout for Obama was the driving force for his sweeping victories. Let's take a look at Wayne county which includes Detroit: [ATTACH=full]5727[/ATTACH] Obama won the most populous county in Michigan by almost 400,000 votes, a 47% margin, but when you look at the census results for Wayne County, its not hard to see why: [ATTACH=full]5728[/ATTACH] 40% of Wayne County's residents are of African American descent. What happens to the results if we look at a populous county of Michigan that doesn't have a high percentage of African Americans? [ATTACH=full]5729[/ATTACH] Oakland county, the second most populous county in Michigan, is home to only 14% African Americans, how does the presidential election result measure up when there are less black voters? [ATTACH=full]5730[/ATTACH] Romney only lost this county by 8%. This is much more competitive than his result in Wayne county and gives further evidence to my hypothesis that if black voter turnout and population is low, then Republicans are more competitive in their localized elections. So Trump is definitely competitive in this state, especially since Republicans won more votes in Michigan in the 2012 election than they did in 2008. It is unlikely for Michigan to revert back to a high democratic voting margin, especially if low black voter turnout continues and if Trump's blue collar driven economic agenda resonates with voters who voted for Bernie and awarded him the state in a shocking upset. If Trump wins Michigan, he takes 16 electoral votes away from Hillary and wins 256-281 (assuming he wins every other battleground state). UPDATE 11/7/2016: I'm going balls to the wall with my prediction, and here's why: Early voting tends to favor Democrats. Early voting tends to be extremely expensive for state governments and so Michigan is one of those states that only has voting on election day. This is a huge negative for Hillary. Michigan does have absentee voting (Where you can early vote with a valid reason), and absentee voting this year is up in Michigan, except for Detroit. In my analysis, I hinged Hillary's chances of winning Michigan handily by members of the Obama coalition coming out and voting, primarily voters in Wayne County which includes Detroit. If voter turnout is lower in Wayne county than it is in the rest of the state, Trump could steal Michigan. BOTH Hillary and Obama will be campaigning in Michigan today in SEPARATE rallies. Not North Carolina. Not Florida. Not Nevada. They're campaigning in Michigan. This can only mean one thing, that the Democrats also know what I know; that they could possibly lose Michigan. Good thing the DNC doesn't read my posts because they would've had the heads up 5 days ago. The aftermath 11/09/2016: So now for the ultimate question. Was my hypothesis right that low black turnout and high blue dog turnout would give Michigan to Trump? Here is the election result for wayne county this year [ATTACH=full]5772[/ATTACH] And in 2012: How about Macomb county, what are the census numbers there? [ATTACH=full]5773[/ATTACH] This county voted overwhelmingly Democrat for Obama [ATTACH=full]5774[/ATTACH] How did they vote for Trump? [ATTACH=full]5775[/ATTACH] Complete fucking upset. White blue dog democrats came out in force for Trump and black voters who turned out for Obama in record numbers stayed home.
  3. WASHINGTON — The Justice Department appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign and Russian officials, dramatically raising the legal and political stakes in an affair that has threatened to engulf Mr. Trump’s four-month-old presidency. The decision by the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, came after a cascade of damaging developments for Mr. Trump in recent days, including his abrupt dismissal of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and the subsequent disclosure that Mr. Trump asked Mr. Comey to drop the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Rosenstein had been under escalating pressure from Democrats, and even some Republicans, to appoint a special counsel after he wrote a memo that the White House initially cited as the rationale for Mr. Comey’s dismissal. By appointing Mr. Mueller, a former federal prosecutor with an unblemished reputation, Mr. Rosenstein could alleviate uncertainty about the government’s ability to investigate the questions surrounding the Trump campaign and the Russians.Mr. Rosenstein said in a statement that he concluded that “it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authorities and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” Mr. Rosenstein added. “I have made no such determination.” In a statement, Mr. Trump said, “As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.” Mr. Mueller’s appointment capped a day in which a sense of deepening crisis swept over Republicans in Washington. Republican congressional leaders, normally reluctant to publicly discuss White House political drama or the Russia investigation, joined calls for Mr. Comey to share more about his encounters with Mr. Trump. The Republican chairmen of the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees and the House Oversight Committee all asked Mr. Comey to testify before their panels. They also requested that the F.B.I. turn over documentation of Mr. Comey’s interactions with his superiors in both the Obama and Trump administrations, including a memo Mr. Comey is said to have written about Mr. Trump’s request that he quash the investigation into Mr. Flynn. While Mr. Mueller remains answerable to Mr. Rosenstein — and by extension, the president — he will have greater autonomy to run an investigation than other federal prosecutors. As a special counsel, Mr. Mueller can choose whether to consult with or inform the Justice Department about his investigation. He is authorized to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” according to Mr. Rosenstein’s order naming him to the post, as well as other matters that “may arise directly from the investigation.” He is empowered to press criminal charges, and he can request additional resources subject to the review of an assistant attorney general. Mr. Trump was notified only after Mr. Rosenstein signed the order, when the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, walked into the Oval Office around 5:35 p.m. to tell him. Mr. Trump reacted calmly but defiantly, according to two people familiar with the situation, saying he wanted to “fight back.” He quickly summoned his top advisers, most of whom recommended that he adopt a conciliatory stance. But his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who had pushed Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Comey, urged the president to counterattack, according to two senior administration officials. After a brief discussion, however, the majority prevailed. Aides huddled over a computer just outside the Oval Office to draft the statement accepting Mr. Rosenstein’s decision and asserting the president’s innocence. By the end, Mr. Trump was uncharacteristically noncombative, according to people close to him. Mr. Rosenstein, who until recently was United States attorney in Maryland, took control of the investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself after acknowledging he had failed to disclose meetings he had with the Russian ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak, when Mr. Sessions was an adviser to the Trump campaign. As the announcement was being made, Mr. Rosenstein and the acting director of the F.B.I., Andrew G. McCabe, were briefing the leaders of the Senate and the House and the heads of the congressional intelligence committees. The lawmakers said nothing afterward. It was only the second time that the Justice Department has named a special counsel. The first was in 1999, the year the law creating the position took effect. Attorney General Janet Reno appointed John Danforth, a former Republican senator from Missouri, to investigate the botched federal raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Tex., in 1993 that killed 76 people. Mr. Mueller’s appointment was hailed by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill, who view him as one of the most credible law enforcement officials in the country. Senator Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Mr. Mueller’s “record, character, and trustworthiness have been lauded for decades by Republicans and Democrats alike.” Senator Ben Cardin, Democrat of Maryland and the ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Mr. Rosenstein “has taken an important step toward restoring the credibility of the D.O.J. and F.B.I. in this most serious matter.” Mr. Mueller served both Democratic and Republican presidents. President Barack Obama asked him to stay two years beyond the 10-year term until he appointed Mr. Comey in 2013, the only time a modern-day F.B.I. director’s tenure has been extended. Mr. Mueller and Mr. Comey are close — a relationship forged while standing up to President George W. Bush’s use of executive power. Mr. Mueller backed up Mr. Comey, then the deputy attorney general, in March 2004 after he threatened to resign when the White House overruled the Justice Department finding that domestic wiretapping without a court order was unconstitutional. Mr. Mueller is expected to announce his resignation from the law firm WilmerHale. The firm employs lawyers for Mr. Kushner and for Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The appointment is certain to soothe nerves at the F.B.I., where agents have felt under siege since Mr. Comey’s firing and amid Mr. Trump’s repeated criticism of the Russia investigation. Mr. Mueller is known for his gruff, exacting management style — and for saving the F.B.I. after the Sept. 11 attacks, when there were calls to break it up and create a separate domestic intelligence agency. Mr. Mueller, who came to the agency just one week before the attacks, beat back those efforts and is credited with building the modern F.B.I. He led inquiries into Al Qaeda while transforming the bureau into a key part of the national security infrastructure. Mr. Mueller is renowned inside the Justice Department for being a senior prosecutor under the elder President George Bush, and then returning years later as a working-level prosecutor in Washington. “He came in as a line assistant and he was legendary. He was the first guy there every single day,” said Preston Burton, a Washington defense lawyer who served in the United States attorney’s office with Mr. Mueller. “All of a sudden he’s doing street crime? Literal street crime. He’s inexhaustible. He’s the embodiment of integrity. Link: Here Personal Comment: This piece of fake news states that we now have a Special Counsel to investigate the Russian connection. This is a good step forward, but this isn't a Special Prosecutor. Special Counsel still reports to Rosenstein, who has the authority to block him if he feels the Special Counsel is overstepping his boundaries. To have a fully independent investigation would require Congress to appoint a Special Prosecutor aka Independent Counsel.
  4. KIEV, Ukraine — A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia. House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately interjected, stopping the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion, and swore the Republicans present to secrecy. Before the conversation, McCarthy and Ryan had emerged from separate talks at the Capitol with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions. News had just broken the day before in The Washington Post that Russian government hackers had penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee, prompting McCarthy to shift the conversation from Russian meddling in Europe to events closer to home. Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: “Swear to God.” Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.” The remarks remained secret for nearly a year. The conversation provides a glimpse at the internal views of GOP leaders who now find themselves under mounting pressure over the conduct of President Trump. The exchange shows that the Republican leadership in the House privately discussed Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and Trump’s relationship to Putin, but wanted to keep their concerns secret. It is difficult to tell from the recording the extent to which the remarks were meant to be taken literally. The House leadership has so far stood by the White House as it has lurched from one crisis to another, much of the turmoil fueled by contacts between Trump or his associates with Russia. Team Trump’s ties to Russian interests View Graphic House Republican leaders have so far resisted calls for the appointment of an independent commission or a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference, though pressure has been mounting on them to do so after Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and the disclosure that the president shared intelligence with Russian diplomats. Late Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced he had appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, as special counsel to oversee the Russia probe. Evan McMullin, who in his role as policy director to the House Republican Conference participated in the June 15 conversation, said: “It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking.” McMullin ran for president last year as an independent and has been a vocal critic of Trump. When initially asked to comment on the exchange, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, said: “That never happened,” and Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, said: “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.” After being told that The Post would cite a recording of the exchange, Buck, speaking for the GOP House leadership, said: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.” “This was a failed attempt at humor,” Sparks said. Ken Grubbs, a spokesman for Rohrabacher, said the congressman has been a consistent advocate of “working closer with the Russians to combat radical Islamism. The congressman doesn’t need to be paid to come to such a necessary conclusion.” When McCarthy voiced his assessment of whom Putin supports, suspicions were only beginning to swirl around Trump’s alleged Russia ties. At the time, U.S. intelligence agencies knew that the Russians had hacked the DNC and other institutions, but Moscow had yet to start publicly releasing damaging emails through WikiLeaks to undermine Trump’s Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton. An FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence the presidential election would open the following month, in late July, Comey has said in testimony to Congress. Trump has sought to play down contacts between his campaign and the Russians, dismissing as a “witch hunt” the FBI and congressional investigations into Russian efforts to aid Trump and any possible coordination between the Kremlin and his associates. Trump denies any coordination with Moscow took place. Presidential candidate Trump’s embrace of Putin and calls for closer cooperation with Moscow put him at odds with the House Republican caucus, whose members have long advocated a harder line on Russia, with the exception of Rohrabacher and a few others. Among GOP leaders in the House, McCarthy stood out as a Putin critic who in 2015 called for the imposition of “more severe” sanctions for its actions in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea. In May 2016, McCarthy signed up to serve as a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention, breaking ranks with Ryan, who said he still was not ready to endorse the candidate. McCarthy’s relationship with Trump became so close that the president would sometimes refer to him as “my Kevin.” Trump was by then the lone Republican remaining in the contest for the nomination. Though Ryan continued to hold out, Trump picked up endorsements from the remaining GOP leaders in the House, including Rep. Steve Scalise, the majority whip from Louisiana, and Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) — both of whom took part in the June 15 conversation. Ryan announced on June 2 that he would vote for Trump to help “unite the party so we can win in the fall” but continued to clash with the candidate, including over Putin. While Trump sought to cast Putin as a better leader than then-President Obama, Ryan dubbed him an “aggressor” who didn’t share U.S. interests. On the same day as Ryan’s endorsement, Clinton stepped up her attacks on Trump over his public statements praising Putin. “If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin,” she said. Ukrainian officials were unnerved by Trump’s statements in support of Putin. Republicans, they had believed, were supposed to be tougher on Russia. When Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager in April 2016, alarm bells in Kiev started ringing even louder. Manafort was already well known in Ukraine because of his influential role as a political consultant to Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s former Kremlin-friendly ruler until a popular uprising forced him to flee to Russia. Manafort had also consulted for a powerful Russian businessman with close ties to the Kremlin. “Ukraine was, in a sense, a testing ground for Manafort,” said Ukrainian political scientist Taras Berezovets, who became a grudging admirer of Manafort’s skills in the “dark arts” of political stagecraft while Berezovets was working for one of Yanukovych’s political rivals. At the urging of Manafort, Yanukovych campaigned with populist slogans labeling NATO a “menace” and casting “elites” in the Ukrainian capital as out of touch, Berezovets said. Trump struck similar themes during the 2016 campaign. The FBI is now investigating whether Manafort, who stepped down as Trump’s campaign manager in August, received off-the-books payments from Yanukovych’s party, U.S. officials said. As part of that investigation, FBI agents recently took possession of a newly discovered document that allegedly details payments totaling $750,000. Ukrainian lawmaker Sergii Leshchenko, who first disclosed the new document, declined to comment on his contacts with the FBI. A spokesman for Manafort has said that Trump’s former campaign manager has not been contacted by the FBI. Manafort has also disputed the authenticity of the newly discovered document. Groysman, on an official visit to Washington, met separately with Ryan and McCarthy on June 15 at the Capitol. He told them how the Russians meddled in European politics and called for “unity” in addressing the threat, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials. Ryan issued a statement after the meeting saying, “the United States stands with Ukraine as it works to rebuild its economy and confront Russian aggression.” Later, Ryan spoke privately with McCarthy, Rodgers, Scalise and Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), the deputy whip, among others. Who is Speaker of the House Paul Ryan? Ryan mentioned his meeting with Groysman, prompting Rodgers to ask: “How are things going in Ukraine?” according to the recording. The situation was difficult, Ryan said. Groysman, he said, had told him that Russian-backed forces were firing 30 to 40 artillery shells into Ukrainian territory every day. And the prime minister described Russian tactics that include “financing our populists, financing people in our governments to undo our governments.” Ryan said Russia’s goal was to “turn Ukraine against itself.” Groysman underlined Russia’s intentions, saying, “They’re just going to roll right through us and go to the Baltics and everyone else,” according to Ryan’s summary of the prime minister’s remarks in the recording. “Yes,” Rodgers said in agreement, noting that the Russians were funding nongovernmental organizations across Europe as part of a wider “propaganda war.” “Maniacal,” Ryan said. “And guess, guess who’s the only one taking a strong stand up against it? We are.” Rodgers disagreed. “We’re not . . . we’re not . . . but, we’re not,” she said. That’s when McCarthy brought the conversation about Russian meddling around to the DNC hack, Trump and Rohrabacher. “I’ll guarantee you that’s what it is. . . . The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp [opposition] research that they had on Trump,” McCarthy said with a laugh. Ryan asked who the Russians “delivered” the opposition research to. “There’s . . . there’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said, drawing some laughter. “Swear to God,” McCarthy added. “This is an off the record,” Ryan said. Some lawmakers laughed at that. Military, defense and security at home and abroad. “No leaks, all right?,” Ryan said, adding: “This is how we know we’re a real family here.” “That’s how you know that we’re tight,” Scalise said. “What’s said in the family stays in the family,” Ryan added. Link: Here Personal Comment: Chugga chugga chugga CHOO CHOO! Let's keep the fake news training rolling with this piece of fresh hot WaPo. In all seriousness though, the article has a link to the transcript of the conversation. Considering the amount of laughter, this may have been just that -- a joke. However, its good to remember that most jokes hold a grain of truth to them.
  5. President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State. The information the president relayed had been provided by a U.S. partner through an intelligence-sharing arrangement considered so sensitive that details have been withheld from allies and tightly restricted even within the U.S. government, officials said. The partner had not given the United States permission to share the material with Russia, and officials said Trump’s decision to do so endangers cooperation from an ally that has access to the inner workings of the Islamic State. After Trump’s meeting, senior White House officials took steps to contain the damage, placing calls to the CIA and the National Security Agency. “This is code-word information,” said a U.S. official familiar with the matter, using terminology that refers to one of the highest classification levels used by American spy agencies. Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.” The revelation comes as the president faces rising legal and political pressure on multiple Russia-related fronts. Last week, he fired FBI Director James B. Comey in the midst of a bureau investigation into possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow. Trump’s subsequent admission that his decision was driven by “this Russia thing” was seen by critics as attempted obstruction of justice. One day after dismissing Comey, Trump welcomed Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak — a key figure in earlier Russia controversies — into the Oval Office. It was during that meeting, officials said, that Trump went off script and began describing details of an Islamic State terrorist threat related to the use of laptop computers on aircraft. For almost anyone in government, discussing such matters with an adversary would be illegal. As president, Trump has broad authority to declassify government secrets, making it unlikely that his disclosures broke the law. White House officials involved in the meeting said Trump discussed only shared concerns about terrorism. “The president and the foreign minister reviewed common threats from terrorist organizations to include threats to aviation,” said H.R. McMaster, the national security adviser, who participated in the meeting. “At no time were any intelligence sources or methods discussed, and no military operations were disclosed that were not already known publicly.” “It is all kind of shocking,” said a former senior U.S. official who is close to current administration officials. “Trump seems to be very reckless and doesn’t grasp the gravity of the things he’s dealing with, especially when it comes to intelligence and national security. And it’s all clouded because of this problem he has with Russia.” In his meeting with Lavrov, Trump seemed to be boasting about his inside knowledge of the looming threat. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day,” the president said, according to an official with knowledge of the exchange. Trump went on to discuss aspects of the threat that the United States learned only through the espionage capabilities of a key partner. He did not reveal the specific intelligence-gathering method, but he described how the Islamic State was pursuing elements of a specific plot and how much harm such an attack could cause under varying circumstances. Most alarmingly, officials said, Trump revealed the city in the Islamic State’s territory where the U.S. intelligence partner detected the threat. The Post is withholding most plot details, including the name of the city, at the urging of officials who warned that revealing them would jeopardize important intelligence capabilities. “Everyone knows this stream is very sensitive, and the idea of sharing it at this level of granularity with the Russians is troubling,” said a former senior U.S. counterterrorism official who also worked closely with members of the Trump national security team. He and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject. The identification of the location was seen as particularly problematic, officials said, because Russia could use that detail to help identify the U.S. ally or intelligence capability involved. Officials said the capability could be useful for other purposes, possibly providing intelligence on Russia’s presence in Syria. Moscow would be keenly interested in identifying that source and perhaps disrupting it. Russia and the United States both regard the Islamic State as an enemy and share limited information about terrorist threats. But the two nations have competing agendas in Syria, where Moscow has deployed military assets and personnel to support President Bashar al-Assad. “Russia could identify our sources or techniques,” the senior U.S. official said. A former intelligence official who handled high-level intelligence on Russia said that given the clues Trump provided, “I don’t think that it would be that hard [for Russian spy services] to figure this out.” At a more fundamental level, the information wasn’t the United States’ to provide to others. Under the rules of espionage, governments — and even individual agencies — are given significant control over whether and how the information they gather is disseminated, even after it has been shared. Violating that practice undercuts trust considered essential to sharing secrets. The officials declined to identify the ally but said it has previously voiced frustration with Washington’s inability to safeguard sensitive information related to Iraq and Syria. “If that partner learned we’d given this to Russia without their knowledge or asking first, that is a blow to that relationship,” the U.S. official said. Trump also described measures the United States has taken or is contemplating to counter the threat, including military operations in Iraq and Syria, as well as other steps to tighten security, officials said. The officials would not discuss details of those measures, but the Department of Homeland Security recently disclosed that it is considering banning laptops and other large electronic devices from carry-on bags on flights between Europe and the United States. The United States and Britain imposed a similar ban in March affecting travelers passing through airports in 10 Muslim-majority countries. Trump cast the countermeasures in wistful terms. “Can you believe the world we live in today?” he said, according to one official. “Isn’t it crazy?” Lavrov and Kislyak were also accompanied by aides. A Russian photographer took photos of part of the session that were released by the Russian state-owned Tass news agency. No U.S. news organization was allowed to attend any part of the meeting. McMaster reiterated his statement in a subsequent appearance at the White House on Monday and described the Washington Post story as “false,” but did not take any questions. In their statements, White House officials emphasized that Trump had not discussed specific intelligence sources and methods, rather than addressing whether he had disclosed information drawn from sensitive sources. The CIA declined to comment, and the NSA did not respond to requests for comment. But officials expressed concern about Trump’s handling of sensitive information as well as his grasp of the potential consequences. Exposure of an intelligence stream that has provided critical insight into the Islamic State, they said, could hinder the United States’ and its allies’ ability to detect future threats. Senior White House officials appeared to recognize quickly that Trump had overstepped and moved to contain the potential fallout. Thomas P. Bossert, assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, placed calls to the directors of the CIA and the NSA, the services most directly involved in the intelligence-sharing arrangement with the partner. One of Bossert’s subordinates also called for the problematic portion of Trump’s discussion to be stricken from internal memos and for the full transcript to be limited to a small circle of recipients, efforts to prevent sensitive details from being disseminated further or leaked. White House officials defended Trump. “This story is false,” said Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy. “The president only discussed the common threats that both countries faced.” But officials could not explain why staff members nevertheless felt it necessary to alert the CIA and the NSA. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he would rather comment on the revelations in the Post story after “I know a little bit more about it,” but added: “Obviously, they are in a downward spiral right now and have got to figure out a way to come to grips with all that’s happening. And the shame of it is, there’s a really good national security team in place.” Corker also said, “The chaos that is being created by the lack of discipline is creating an environment that I think makes — it creates a worrisome environment.” Trump has repeatedly gone off-script in his dealings with high-ranking foreign officials, most notably in his contentious introductory conversation with the Australian prime minister earlier this year. He has also faced criticism for seemingly lax attention to security at his Florida retreat, Mar-a-Lago, where he appeared to field preliminary reports of a North Korea missile launch in full view of casual diners. U.S. officials said that the National Security Council continues to prepare multi-page briefings for Trump to guide him through conversations with foreign leaders, but that he has insisted that the guidance be distilled to a single page of bullet points — and often ignores those. “He seems to get in the room or on the phone and just goes with it, and that has big downsides,” the second former official said. “Does he understand what’s classified and what’s not? That’s what worries me.” Lavrov’s reaction to the Trump disclosures was muted, officials said, calling for the United States to work more closely with Moscow on fighting terrorism. Kislyak has figured prominently in damaging stories about the Trump administration’s ties to Russia. Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign just 24 days into the job over his contacts with Kislyak and his misleading statements about them. Attorney General Jeff Sessions was forced to recuse himself from matters related to the FBI’s Russia investigation after it was revealed that he had met and spoke with Kislyak, despite denying any contact with Russian officials during his confirmation hearing. “I’m sure Kislyak was able to fire off a good cable back to the Kremlin with all the details” he gleaned from Trump, said the former U.S. official who handled intelligence on Russia. The White House readout of the meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak made no mention of the discussion of a terrorist threat. “Trump emphasized the need to work together to end the conflict in Syria,” the summary said. The president also “raised Ukraine” and “emphasized his desire to build a better relationship between the United States and Russia.” Link: Here Personal Comment: Who needs private email servers when you can just hand out classified information straight to the Ruskies.
  6. President Donald Trump did not realize how much work being president of the United States would be. Really. In an exclusive interview with Reuters, Trump reflected on the joys of his previous life. He misses being able to drive, having privacy, and having an easier job. "I loved my previous life. I had so many things going," Trump told Reuters in an interview. "This is more work than in my previous life. I thought it would be easier." "You're really into your own little cocoon, because you have such massive protection that you really can't go anywhere," he continued. “I like to drive. I can't drive any more." It’s a surprising admission from Trump who, on the campaign trail, made it seem like solving all the world’s problems would be so easy and that only he could do it — and from someone who almost never admits defeat, even when blatantly true. But lately, it’s become a familiar thread for Trump. From domestic policy to foreign policy, it’s clear that being president has been a rude awakening for Trump. After watching the Obamacare repeal bill flail on Capitol Hill, he said, “nobody knew health care could be so complicated" — a laughable statement for anyone who watched or was involved in the 2009 Affordable Care Act negotiations. Then again, when trying to muscle China to “solve the North Korea problem,” he told the Wall Street Journal that he didn’t realize how much history there was there either. “After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy,” he told the Journal. “I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power North Korea. … But it’s not what you would think.” It’s no secret that Trump has had a difficult time transitioning into the White House. In his first 100 days, he has had no major legislative successes and has failed to get his party in line on Capitol Hill. His most disruptive executive action — the travel ban — has been tied up in court and he has had little leverage to fund some of his core campaign promises, like building the border wall. To be clear, Trump was warned this would be hard. During the transition, President Barack Obama said both publicly and privately that it wasn’t easy to … you know … run the free world — that governing was more complicated and arduous than campaigning. But it seems Trump was blinded by his unexpected electoral victory. He still is. "Here, you can take that, that's the final map of the numbers," Trump told the Reuters reporters, handing out 2016 election maps, with states he won marked in red. "It’s pretty good, right? The red is obviously us." http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/4/28/15467670/donald-trump-president-easy Personal Comments: This fucker is still handing out electoral college maps. What the actual fuck. Saw the Reuters article first last night, which I planned on posting, but I lost the article and saw Vox had essentially the same article.
  7. By Jonathan Swan Influential right-wing websites are beating the daylights out of the Obamacare replacement plan developed by the House Republican leadership and the Trump administration. Why this matters: Trump, Ryan and co. were already going to have a hard time selling their plan to right flank of the House and Senate. The last thing they need is a conservative media war against them. You can bet that someone's going to walk into the President's office during the next 24 hours with a print out of the Breitbart stories. It'll be interesting to see whether he stays the course against the backlash. Breitbart is taking the most aggressive stance against the Obamacare replacement bill, closely followed by the website Conservative Review — which is seen in conservative circles as being close to Ted Cruz. A sample of today's headlines: "Obamacare 2.0 guts enforcement, gives illegal aliens health care through identity fraud" (Breitbart) "Obamacare-Lite': Conservatives rip Ryan's 'GOP welfare entitlement' and 'keeping taxes in place' (Breitbart) "Rand smash! Sen Paul takes spineless GOP and RINOcare to task" (Conservative Review) "Trump endorses RINOcare. Are we doomed?" (Conservative Review) "RINO-Care: A more insolvent version of Obamacare...Except this time GOP owns it" (Conservative Review) What about other influential conservative websites? Neither Drudge nor the National Review is playing up healthcare today. The Weekly Standard has measured coverage — "Maybe it's an Amendable Care Act, But 'this is the bill,' Pence says." https://www.axios.com/conservative-websites-go-to-war-against-trumpcare-2305126564.html Personal comment: Its going to be pretty interesting to watch this new power dynamic in congress. RINOs are going to want the least invasive Obamacare fix to ensure they don't lose constituents. Trump is essentially a democrat on this issue with his support of universal healthcare mandates. Conservatives who make up a large portion of the Republican party are going to stonewall this initiatives. Its really surprising to see Bannon's own Breitbart take a stand against Trumpcare. This leaves Democrats at a crossroads. Will they stand with Trump to save the ACA from full repeal? Or will they side with conservatives, sacrifice the ACA to screw over Trump? The upcoming battle over Obamacare is going to be very insightful in how different factions of Congress will operate in Post-Obama Washington DC.
  8. CNN and other news outlets were blocked Friday from an off-camera White House press briefing, raising alarm among media organizations and First Amendment watchdogs. The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also excluded from the meeting, which is known as a gaggle and is less formal than the televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room. The gaggle was held by White House press secretary Sean Spicer. In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House "had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today." The pool usually includes a representative from one television network and one print outlet. In this case, four of the five major television networks -- NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News -- were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked. And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in. Both CNN and the Times protested the decision. "This is an unacceptable development by the Trump White House. Apparently this is how they retaliate when you report facts they don't like. We'll keep reporting regardless," CNN said in a statement. The White House press office had informed reporters earlier in the day that the traditional, on-camera press briefing would be replaced by a gaggle in Spicer's office, reporters in attendance said. Asked about the move by the White House Correspondents Association, the White House said it would take the press pool -- including one television, one radio and one print outlet -- and invite others as well. The WHCA protested that decision on the grounds that it would effectively amount to a ban on whatever news organizations were not invited, the reporters said. The White House did not budge, and when reporters arrived at Spicer's office, White House communications officials only allowed in reporters from specific media outlets. CNN reporters attempted to access the gaggle when it began around 1:45 p.m. ET. As they walked with a large group of fellow journalists from the White House briefing room toward Spicer's office, an administration official turned them around, informing them CNN wasn't on the list of attendees. Asked during the gaggle whether CNN and The New York Times were blocked because the administration was unhappy with their reporting, Spicer responded: "We had it as pool, and then we expanded it, and we added some folks to come cover it. It was my decision to expand the pool." Several news outlets spoke out against the White House's decision. New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet wrote, "Nothing like this has ever happened at the White House in our long history of covering multiple administrations of different parties. We strongly protest the exclusion of The New York Times and the other news organizations. Free media access to a transparent government is obviously of crucial national interest." The Associated Press and Time magazine boycotted the briefing because of how it was handled. The White House Correspondents Association also protested the move. "The WHCA board is protesting strongly against how today's gaggle is being handled by the White House," it said in a statement. "We encourage the organizations that were allowed in to share the material with others in the press corps who were not. The board will be discussing this further with White House staff." PERSONAL COMMENT: The BBC was banned as well. This is absolutely outrageous.
  9. http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/1/19/14322998/keith-ellison-dnc-ezra-klein Personal Opinion: This is a pretty long article, so I'm going to break tradition and just post the link. I thought this article would interest Diplo as we've had discussions about Keith Ellison's candidacy for DNC Chair and this article does a decent job outlining what Keith plans to accomplish as chair and better explains his qualifications for the position than whatever we had before hand. Of the contents of the article itself, I think Ellison expressed himself well in showing the deficiencies with the current Democratic election strategy, but I'm worried that he might be taking a far too old school approach towards fixing the current Democratic down ballot failure. I'm sure knocking on people's doors is effective, as he clearly demonstrates by his successes in his district, but he didn't give much as a solution or Democratic analog for Republican institutions such as ALEC or the Koch Brothers. I'm wonder if there are better ways to engage large amounts of people effectively without constantly knocking on their doors and even if there isn't, without a Democratic analog to the Koch Brothers, I feel that funding for a national door-knocking campaign could become an issue. Don't have much to back this up, just spit-balling to get a discussion started.
  10. John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, says her campaign supports the request of some Electoral College members for an intelligence briefing about possible Russian interference in the presidential election. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed,” Podesta said in a statement Monday. He was responding to an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper written by 10 electors (nine Democrats and one Republican) and posted on Medium. The electors wrote about their concern about the U.S. intelligence community’s assertion -- made with “high confidence”-- that Russia “acted covertly to interfere in the presidential campaign with the intent of promoting Donald Trump’s candidacy” and about Mr. Trump’s rejection of the intelligence community’s judgment. The CIA’s judgment on Russian interference in the election “should distress every American. Never before in the history of our Republic have we seen such an effort to undermine the bedrock of our democracy,” Podesta wrote. Podesta also said that the Obama administration “owes it to the American people to explain what it knows regarding the extent and manner of Russia’s interference and this be done as soon as possible.” In their letter to Clapper, the electors wrote that they want information from the intelligence community about “whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations.” Moreover, they say they “further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.” The electors who signed the letter are to cast their votes on Dec. 19. Link: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/clinton-campaign-supports-briefing-electoral-college-on-russian-interference/?ftag=YHF4eb9d17&yptr=yahoo Personal Comment: Unless more interest in this is shown by republican electors, this wont go anywhere.
  11. Donald Trump is promising the most liberal student loan repayment plan since the inception of the federal financial aid program, in a clear effort to court the millions of Americans struggling with the high cost of college. “We would cap repayment for an affordable portion of the borrower’s income, 12.5 percent, we’d cap it. That gives you a lot to play with and a lot to do,” Trump said at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday. “And if borrowers work hard and make their full payments for 15 years, we’ll let them get on with their lives. They just go ahead and they get on with their lives.” The terms proposed by the Republican nominee are more generous than all of the existing government programs that let borrowers cap their monthly student loan payments to a percentage of their earnings. Even the latest income-driven plan, known as Revised Pay as You Earn (REPAYE), forgives remaining debt after 20 years of payment, though it caps borrowers’ monthly bills to 10 percent of their income. “Students should not be asked to pay more on the debt than they can afford,” Trump said. “And the debt should not be an albatross around their necks for the rest of their lives.” President-elect Donald Trump told reporters on Nov. 10 that his administration’s priorities will include immigration, health care and “big league jobs.” (The Washington Post) What’s remarkable about Trump’s proposal is it flies in the face of the fiscal conservatism that’s supposed to define the Republican Party. Republicans have railed against the Obama administration’s expansion of income-driven repayment programs as fiscally irresponsible, yet the party’s nominee wants to lower the period of repayment, which is sure to cost the government quite a bit of money. “They are way off on their numbers,” said Jason Delisle, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “If you were going to give loan forgiveness in 15 years, you’re going to forgive a lot more debt than you’re going to make up for in the form of the higher payments they’re proposing, by a lot. I don’t even need to run the numbers. It’s so obvious.” Trump’s campaign said he would consolidate the existing suite of repayment plans and apply his 15-year income-based plan to federal and private student loans. The candidate is not providing any cost projections, but the campaign said the plan will be paid for by lowering federal spending and the savings from reducing defaults on student loans. Income-driven plans, which have been around for the past 20 years, have grown in popularity as student debt has soared to $1.3 trillion, but they are the source of much political tension. Conservatives have called the plans a giveaway to doctors and lawyers with six-figure debt from graduate school, while some on the left worry that low-income undergraduates with less debt are missing out on the benefits. The right also has framed the program as a burden on taxpayers. “Income-driven repayment is not the ideal solution. It’s been a politically convenient one, but it doesn’t address the underlying issues,” said Amy Laitinen, director for higher education at the New American Foundation. “Given the increasing risk to students in terms of loans and to taxpayers in terms of loan forgiveness, we have to grapple with upfront costs, which means looking at the role of states and the need for incentives to deal with both cost and quality.” At Thursday’s rally, Trump revisited some previously discussed higher-education proposals, including requiring colleges to spend their endowments to keep tuition low and cut student debt or risk losing federal tax breaks. Congressional Republicans have asked 56 private universities, each with endowments exceeding $1 billion, for information about the use of that money. Wealthy universities have come under fire for not using more of their largesse to cover the cost of college for low-income students. “Some schools are paying more to hedge funds and private-equity managers than they are spending on tuition, while taxpayers are guaranteeing hundreds of billions of dollars of student loans to pay for rising tuition,” Trump said. “We want universities to spend their endowments on their students, not themselves.” Universities have argued that their endowments are not savings accounts that can easily be drawn down and that they are raising money to cover the financial need of low-income students. What’s more, they say redirecting more money to grants and scholarships would mean they would have to find other sources of revenue, such as tuition, to cover salaries and operations. The Republican nominee also promised to reduce federal regulation on colleges, which he said account for up to 15 percent of a school’s budget, so they can pass on the savings to students in the form of lower tuition. Trump said that colleges must be held accountable for reducing “administrative bloat” to keep the cost of attendance down. “If the federal government is going to subsidize student loans, it has a right to expect that colleges work hard to control costs and invest their resources in their students,” Trump said. “If colleges refuse to take this responsibility seriously, they will be held accountable.” While the Delta Cost Project has tracked an explosion in the number administrative, managerial and executive positions at universities in the past 25 years, the trend is not evident at all schools and accounts for a marginal increase in costs at public universities. “There was no recognition of the root causes of the college affordability problem, namely the loss of state funding and stagnation of student grant aid,” Mark Huelsman, senior policy analyst at left-leaning think tank Demos, said of Trump’s plan. “There is a lot of rhetoric around colleges tightening belts, but the fact is that community colleges, minority serving institutions and regional public colleges have gone through far too much belt-tightening already.” Trump has stepped up his discussion of college affordability in recent weeks, after spending much of the campaign ignoring an issue that has been the centerpiece of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s pitch to millennial voters. Clinton is proposing tuition at public colleges and universities be free for students from households earning up to $125,000 a year. She is also promising to let students and parents refinance education loans to lower their interest rates. “More than a year after Secretary Clinton released her plan to take on college costs and student debt, we are still waiting for Donald Trump to lay out a detailed plan for addressing these issues,” Clinton campaign spokesman Tyrone Gayle said. “The promises he has made so far are as empty as the promises he made to students at Trump University. There is only one candidate in this race with a real plan to make college debt-free and provide relief for millions of borrowers, and it is not Donald Trump.” https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/grade-point/wp/2016/10/13/trump-just-laid-out-a-pretty-radical-student-debt-plan/ Personal Comment: The Trump Populist movement may spread to the left.
  12. [B][SIZE=6]Trump's path to winning the Presidency.[/SIZE] [SIZE=5][COLOR=#ff0000]The Praetorian[/COLOR][/SIZE][/B] By [B]ABDeL[/B] The worry is setting in for democrats about the weak African American vote. Obama made the charge in a rally in North Carolina that if Trump were elected, the Ku Klux Klan would influence his administration. [I]"If you accept the support of Klan sympathizers — the Klan — and hesitate when asked about that support, then you’ll tolerate that support when you’re in office," Obama told an audience at Chapel Hill, North Carolina on Wednesday. [/I] Black voter turnout is down, and its not just me who knows it, its also the president. After all, he wouldn't be fear-mongering African American voters to the polls if they were enthused for Hillary. The evidence continues to build for Trump victories in Democratic strongholds if African American voters don't pull the lever for Clinton. In this installment series of Trump's path to victory, we move to Pennsylvania, a state where he has been competitive, but polls still show Hillary ahead. In 2012, Obama won Pennsylvania by a margin of 8%. [ATTACH=full]5744[/ATTACH] If we analyze the election from a county basis, we find that the biggest margins of victory came from population centers with a high population of African Americans. [ATTACH=full]5746[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]5747[/ATTACH] Obama won Philadelphia by a 70% margin, in a county that is 44% black. Also pertinent information is that the census includes Hispanic voters in the "White alone" statistic, if they are separated, Non-Hispanic whites in Philadelphia account for 37% of the population there. Allegheny and Montgomery counties didn't give such high margins of victory to Obama as the population of African Americans in those counties is significantly less. [ATTACH=full]5748[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]5749[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=full]5751[/ATTACH] The margins of victory in these two counties is near identical at 14%. While I don't anticipate Trump to outperform Romney in these two counties, Hillary's likely under-performance in Philadelphia county and Trump's plausible over-performance in the coal region. Another path for Trump in Pennsylvania becomes evident from his performance with independents during the primary. According to CNN, Bernie Sanders won independents in a 72%-26% margin over Clinton. Trump won independents over Cruz and Kasich in a 50%-25%-25% margin. That being said, Pennsylvania isn't a state I give Trump good odds on winning. Philadelphia county Democratic vote shares have been unchanged throughout the last 4 election cycles. EDIT: @Csigs I don't know if its obvious but I feel that I got less and less convinced that Trump could win PA as the article goes along. Let me know if you've changed your opinion too.
  13. WikiLeaks released a trove of emails apparently hacked from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman email account, unleashing thousands of messages that reveal for the first time excerpts of Clinton’s paid speeches — including those delivered before Wall Street — that were flagged as problematic or potentially damaging. The late-Friday release came almost immediately after a devastating tape emerged of Donald Trump in 2005 talking about how being “a star” entitled him to make aggressive sexual advances on women, fueling speculation that WikiLeaks is trying to tip the balance of the election. The batch of emails — which Wikileaks promised is the first of many more to come — provided a glimpse into the inner workings of the campaign, and offered telling details about Clinton’s views on trade and the middle class. In one of the most notable exchanges, Clinton campaign research director Tony Carrk emails other members of the team on Jan. 25, 2016 to share excerpts of her paid speeches that could come back to bite the campaign. “Attached are the flags from HRC’s paid speeches we have from HWA. I put some highlights below. There is a lot of policy positions that we should give an extra scrub with Policy,” Carrk writes. The first excerpt highlighted — with the header *CLINTON ADMITS SHE IS OUT OF TOUCH* — is from a Goldman Sachs-Black Rock event in 2014 in which Clinton discusses her distance from middle-class Americans. “My father loved to complain about big business and big government, but we had a solid middle class upbringing. We had good public schools. We had accessible health care. We had our little, you know, one-family house that, you know, he saved up his money, didn't believe in mortgages. So I lived that,” she said in the speech. “And now, obviously, I'm kind of far removed because the life I've lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven't forgotten it.” The speech excerpts also delve into her support for a Canadian-style universal health care system and offer revealing comments about trade, which could prove controversial after Clinton dragged her feet in voicing fierce opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that progressives loathe. Beyond those excerpts, the emails affirm the campaign’s reputation for extreme caution, with an eagerness to proactively influence news coverage. Whether it’s plotting the candidates’ response to an early attack on influence peddling at the Clinton Foundation or writing jokes for an Iowa dinner speech, ad hoc committees — often incorporating advice from Bill Clinton — are shown agonizing over wording and tone. Under fire, they’re determined “not to look beleaguered,” as one aide put it. Clinton’s campaign would not confirm the authenticity of the emails — though it did not explicitly deny it either. Podesta tweeted on Friday evening that he did not “have time to figure out which docs are real and which are faked.” Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin said in an email that, “Earlier today the U.S. government removed any reasonable doubt that the Kremlin has weaponized WikiLeaks to meddle in our election and benefit Donald Trump’s candidacy.” He added, “We are not going to confirm the authenticity of stolen documents released by Julian Assange who has made no secret of his desire to damage Hillary Clinton. Guccifer 2.0 has already proven the warnings of top national security officials that documents can be faked as part of a sophisticated Russian misinformation campaign.” The Republican National Committee seized on the leaked excerpts, trying to drive a wedge between Clinton and former supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders, who had made his calls for her speech transcripts a centerpiece of his primary challenge. “With today’s WikiLeaks revelations we are finding out who Hillary Clinton really is, and it’s not hard to see why she fought so hard to keep her transcripts of speeches to Wall Street banks paying her millions of dollars secret,” said RNC Chairman Reince Preibus in a statement. “The truth that has been exposed here is that the persona Hillary Clinton has adopted for her campaign is a complete and utter fraud. How can Bernie Sanders and many like-minded Democrats continue to support her candidacy in light of these revelations?” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon appeared to criticize the media for digging through the trove on Friday evening. “Striking how quickly concern abt Russia's masterminding of illegal hacks gave way to digging thru fruits of hack. Just like Russia wanted,” he wrote on Twitter. Indeed, here are eight more e-mail exchanges that shed light on the methods and mindset of Clinton's allies in Brooklyn and Washington: 1) Clinton Foundation event at Goldman Sachs In a May 2014 email, Clinton’s soon-to-be campaign manager Robby Mook called it “troubling” that Goldman Sachs had been selected to host an upcoming Clinton Foundation event. “I flagged for Tina and Cheryl as well but it's a little troubling that Goldman Sachs was selected for the foundation event,” he wrote in an email to Podesta. His comment was in reference to a New York Times story included in the email that described how “The most generous donors to the Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation will convene on June 6 at the Goldman Sachs.” 2) Clinton’s Keystone response In August, 2015, senior aides to Hillary Clinton debated intensely how to react to the Obama administration’s decision to reject the Keystone Pipeline, which they had heard was imminent. “I just wanted to try to politically get ahead of this and where we are on the issue if this in fact happens,” wrote Nikki Budzinski, Clinton’s labor outreach director. “The trades are also hearing that HRC will put out a statement stating that she encouraged Obama to take this position. Politically with the building trades, this would be a very dangerous posture.” Podesta replied, “Your [sic] in trouble, girl. Seriously, doubt we'll say we ‘encouraged’ but assume we'll support if it goes that way.” The decision by the Obama administration was ultimately delayed, which aides presumed was to kick it past the Oct. 19 Canadian elections. Then, adviser Jake Sullivan suggested that she may simply reveal her opposition in response to a question. 3) Challenging Trey Gowdy In March 2015, the Clinton campaign brass wondered whether they could recruit a friendly lawmaker to question House Benghazi investigators’ attempts to force Clinton to release her emails. “Do we have some D who can squarely at Gowdy and demand he release all his emails for that last two years so people can see for themselves how politically motivated his investigations are?” wondered Clinton pollster Joel Benenson. The problem? No one wanted to do it. They considered Elijah Cummings but then suggested they choose an “HRC Warrior,” as Podesta put it. “Who is her most fearsome House ally?” he wondered. Mook suggested Nita Lowey, Steve Israel or “SJL” – apparently Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas. As it turned out, none of them seemed eager. “After i suggested this earlier in the week i talked to few people on the Hill,” wrote Jim Margolis, another Clinton strategist. “The challenge is getting a member of congress to do it... because they think they will be called upon to make the same disclosure. I pointed out that they don't believe private emails should be made public, so there is no hypocrisy. But there is nervousness just the same.” “Maybe a retiring senator like Mikulski. I'll keep working it, too,” he said. 4) 'Clinton Cash' rapid response Clinton’s team scrambled in the spring of 2015 to reaction to allegations made about the Clinton Foundation in “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.” Emails show an elaborate response plan, even debuting a rapid-response website for grassroots supporters to get talking points. “The biggest question for this group is if and how HRC engages on Clinton Cash this week and what are the ‘two lines’ she would deliver,” Jake Sullivan wrote on May 3 to 10 top aides, including Jennifer Palmieri, Robby Mook, Mandy Grunwald, Joel Benenson and Jim Margolis. Benenson responded with a few lines for Clinton to say about the foundation’s “life-saving work around the world.” “The notion that that anyone donating to the foundation was going to influence me in my job is absurd,” Benenson suggested Clinton say, to which Margolis suggested, adding “and never happened.” Of the rapid-response website, Sullivan wrote, “John [Podesta] and I discussed yesterday and think it is important that supporters and press know that we will deal aggressively with unfair attacks, but our real focus and hers is her proactive vision. Important that we do not appear beleaguered.” In April, the team looked for ways to have reporters thoroughly debunk “Clinton Cash” before its release. “Amy Chozick from the NYT called us to indicate she had obtained a copy of the book on her own and intends to file a separate story tomorrow. Her story will not unpack all of the book's claims … she will do a more process-y story about the book's existence, the fact that the publisher has approached multiple media outlets in advance of the book's publication to spoon-feed them some of the book's research,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon wrote to other Clinton advisers. He added, “We think this story, though it was not originated by us, could end up being somewhat helpful in casting the book's author as having a conservative agenda.” When the author, Peter Schweitzer, stumbled through an awkward interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos — himself a Clinton Foundation donor — the comms team took a victory lap as they sent around the transcript. "[G]reat work everyone. this interview is perfect. he lands nothing and everything is refuted (mostly based on our work),” wrote spokesman Jesse Ferguson. “This is therapeutic to watch. George is cool as a cucumber, doesn't rush into it, but just destroys him slowly but surely over the course of the interview,” chimes in Nick Merrill. 5) Joking about the Benghazi hearing On Oct. 24, 2015, the Clinton team debated how sharp of a dig Clinton should take at Rep. Trey Gowdy after her marathon appearance before his committee investigating the Benghazi attack. As they discussed remarks she was set to deliver at the October Jefferson Jackson dinner the next night, Podesta had an idea for a joke. “I used to be obsessed with Donald Trump's hair, that was until I got to spend 11 hours staring at the top of Trey Gowdy's head,” Podesta suggested inserting into the speech. “I love the joke too but I think HRC should stay above the committee - and especially above personal insults about it. She's got every inch of the high ground right now,” Jake Sullivan replied. “Wow. You people are a bunch of ninnies,” joked Clinton comms director Jennifer Palmieri. But the team was determined to find some humor they could agree on. Mook suggested, an “Apprentice” joke, but noted, “I never saw the show. I'm also the worst person to generate jokes....” Then Jim Margolis revealed a suggestion from Bill Clinton himself: “Wishing after hour 8 that Bernie would come through the door with his ‘damn email’ line.” But Benenson killed the line: “It’s a joke that would work and room would love it,” he said. “However one caveat: I think it gives Bernie the credit for putting the email crap behind us instead of her --- she crushed the debate and she crushed at the committee. And while crowd may love it question for comms team is whether reporters would take it as proof that Bernie 'saved' her campaign from the email tempest.” 6) Jeb’s economic message is not so different Following Jeb Bush’s “right to rise” speech on Feb. 5 in Detroit, Clinton’s aides had different reactions. "It's a scary new wrapping paper for trickle down,” said Jeffrey Liszt, an outside pollster. Outside comms adviser Mandy Grunwald’s take: "Very little in this speech that HRC wouldn't say….” 7) Bernie oppo In October 2015, just as Sanders' campaign was starting to pick up steam, Tony Carrk emailed colleagues a list of potential points to use against the Vermont senator. The email, with the subject line "PLS REVIEW: Sanders Hits" featured paragraphs of potential lines of attack against Sanders on labor and the environment, a 1994 crime bill, gun control, gay marriage, and the environment. The Clinton campaign ended up using some of the potential attacks, like Sanders supporting the Commodities Futures Modernization Act, which blocked regulating credit default swaps, while also bashing repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act. Another point proposes attacking Sanders on spending. " Sen. Sanders has not told the American people how much his plans will cost and how he will pay for them. When asked for specifics, he demurs. When other estimates show trillions in new spending, he simply rejects them without offering his own estimate," Carrk wrote. 8) Sounding 'Pro-Keystone' In the speech excerpts, Clinton-allied researchers flagged her positive remarks about the Keystone XL Pipeline and trade, made well before she came out against the pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal. "My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere,” Clinton told a Brazilian bank in 2013. She added, “We have to resist, protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access.” An aide flagged these remarks as sounding “Pro-Keystone”: "Keystone is a contentious issue, and of course it is important on both sides of the border for different and sometimes opposing reasons, but that is not our relationship.” The Huffington Post has reported that the June 2014 speech to tinePublic, Inc., was among several speeches with ties to two Canadian banks with a financial interest in the oil project. http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/john-podesta-wikileaks-hacked-emails-229304
  14. In light of recent events we will be looking at the life of Mr. Rahami. This weekend an unfortunate explosion led to the injury of several American citizens. In the wake of this bizare eruption of a random object it is important to set the right context on how to look at the alledged suspect of this discharge by happenstance. To strengthen the context I would suggest everyone to listen to the following music whilst reading the article I wish to share. It is quite a long article, which will certainly be enhanced by this musical guidance. [spoiler=Enhancing music] He presided behind the counter of a storefront New Jersey fried chicken restaurant, making his home with his family in an apartment above it. To some of his friends, Ahmad Khan Rahami was known as Mad, an abridgment of his name rather than a suggestion of his manner, and they liked that he gave them free food when they were short on money. Beyond that, his other known obsession was souped-up Honda Civics that he liked to race. In recent years, though, some friends noticed a marked change in his personality and religious devotion after what they believed was a trip to Afghanistan, where he and his relatives are from. In fact, a federal official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Rahami had actually traveled to Pakistan, for three months in 2011 and, most recently, to Quetta, for nearly a year, where he stayed with family, returning to the United States in March 2014. While there, he is believed to have married. Back in New Jersey, he and his relatives had a fractious relationship with neighbors and the police in Elizabeth, N.J., because of the always-open hours of their restaurant and the rackety customers it attracted. The longstanding friction led to the Rahami family’s filing a lawsuit in 2011 against the city and its Police Department in which they alleged that they were harassed and intimidated because of their religion. They accused a local businessman of complaining to them, “Muslims make too much trouble in this country.” Now, Mr. Rahami is suspected of being responsible for the bombings over the weekend in both New York and New Jersey. He was taken into custody on Monday after being discovered asleep in a bar doorway in New Jersey and then wounded in a gun battle with the police. A 28-year-old naturalized citizen, Mr. Rahami lived in Elizabeth, about 15 miles from New York, above First American Fried Chicken, a family business apparently owned by his father, Mohammad. Several brothers may also have worked there. Ahmad Rahami was born on Jan. 23, 1988, in Afghanistan and came to the United States as a child. Jonathan Wagner, 26, who has known the Rahami family since childhood, said Mohammad Rahami told him he was from Kandahar and had been part of the mujahedeen in Afghanistan that fought the Soviet Army. While the father said he did not harbor anti-American feeling, he opposed the war in Afghanistan. But, Mr. Wagner said, the elder Rahami was dubious of the Taliban and detested ISIS. Flee Jones, 27, grew up with Ahmad Rahami, and when they were young played basketball with him. As an adult, Mr. Jones, a rapper, was a regular at the chicken place, where the food was plain but cheap. He said the Rahamis would let him and his friends host rap battles in the back of the restaurant. Mr. Jones helped write about the restaurant. At this point, little is known of Mr. Rahami’s ideology or politics. He used to wear Western-style clothing, and customers said he gave little indication of his heritage. Around four years ago, though, Mr. Rahami disappeared for a while. Mr. Jones said one of the younger Rahami brothers told him that he had gone to Afghanistan. When he returned, some patrons noticed a certain transformation. He grew a beard and exchanged his typical wardrobe of T-shirts and sweatpants for traditional Muslim robes. He began to pray in the back of the store. His previous genial bearing turned more stern. “It’s like he was a completely different person,” Mr. Jones said. “He got serious and completely closed off.” Andre Almeida, 24, who lives nearby and eats at the chicken restaurant once or twice each week, said he found the change quite striking but was hesitant to reach any conclusions. Unbeknown to them, their friend had gotten married in Pakistan. Rep. Albio Sires, a New Jersey Democrat, said Mr. Rahami had contacted his office in 2014 for help bringing his pregnant wife over from Pakistan. The matter was complicated by the fact the United States Embassy in Islamabad told her that she needed to wait until her baby was born for both of them to come, said Mr. Sires, who added that he did not know whether they eventually did. Mr. Rahami kept little social media presence that the authorities have been able to locate. “He’s a little bit of a wraith, a ghost,” a law enforcement official said. There is no evidence yet that Mr. Rahami received any military training abroad, the federal official said, but investigators remain intent on learning more about his time overseas. “Where did he really go and what did he do overseas that a kid who lived a normal New Jersey life came back as a sophisticated bomb maker and terrorist?” the official said. Besides his most recent trip to Quetta, Mr. Rahami visited Karachi, Pakistan, in 2005. Both of those cities’ reputations have become entwined with the militant groups who have sheltered there: Karachi as a haven for the Pakistani Taliban and Al Qaeda, and Quetta as the headquarters of the exiled Afghan Taliban leadership. But both cities are also home to generations of Afghans who have fled violence in their home country. Much about his New Jersey life did seem unremarkable. Amarjit Singh, a limousine driver, was friends with Mr. Rahami at Edison High School. The person he knew, he said, was a determined student with an abundance of friends and a string of girlfriends. “Everyone seemed to like him,” he said. “Smart, funny, humble.” He viewed the teenage Mr. Rahami as the prototypical immigrant, teetering between two worlds. While he wore jeans and sweatshirts like his friends and worked at a Pathmark supermarket after school, he preferred Afghan music and prayed at the mosque on Friday. Collisions between those worlds sometimes led to rifts with his father, who was more religious and traditional. “The two of them would argue,” Mr. Singh said. “There seemed to be a lot of tension.” His father was especially displeased when Mr. Rahami had a daughter with a high school girlfriend, according to friends. Reached at her home on Monday night, she declined to comment. “My heart is just broken,” said the woman, who The New York Times is not identifying. “I don’t even know what to think.” After high school, Mr. Singh said that he and Mr. Rahami had worked together for a while on the night shift at Royal Fried Chicken in Newark. Mr. Singh worked the fryer in the back. Mr. Rahami handled the register. Whenever Mr. Singh got into a dispute with customers, he remembered Mr. Rahami stepping in as the peacemaker. In recent years, the two drifted apart. Mr. Singh was also aware that Mr. Rahami had traveled abroad and that he had become more religious and had taken to wearing Muslim robes. The events on Monday were not Mr. Rahami’s first encounter with law enforcement. He was arrested in 2014 on weapons and aggravated assault charges for allegedly stabbing a relative in the leg in a domestic incident, according to court documents. He spent over three months in jail on the charges, according to a high-ranking law enforcement official with knowledge of the investigation. A grand jury, however, declined to indict Mr. Rahami. He also spent a day in jail in February 2012 for allegedly violating a restraining order, the official said. In 2005, Mr. Rahami’s father filed for bankruptcy, saying in court documents that he had just $100 in the bank and $38,609 in debt, mostly from credit cards. He said he was separated and had eight dependent children. The family, as it ran its chicken restaurant, developed a tense relationship with the community, though it drew loyal patrons who appreciated their cheese fries and friendly service. When the restaurant opened about a decade ago, Mr. Rahami’s father was always behind the counter, said Ryan McCann, 33, a frequent patron who lives in Elizabeth. Increasingly, his son replaced him. Recently, only he ran the place. At first, the restaurant was open 24 hours a day and after a while became a local nuisance, said J. Christian Bollwage, the mayor of Elizabeth and a neighbor. Rowdy crowds appeared after midnight. Dean McDermott, who lives nearby, complained, as did others. Often Mr. McDermott discovered patrons in his yard and urinating in his driveway, and he called the police. In response to the complaints, the restaurant received a series of summonses for violating an ordinance that compels certain retailers to close at 10 p.m. But the Rahamis flouted the requirement, contending they were exempt from it, and neighbors continued to contact the police. In June 2010, two of Ahmad Rahami’s brothers, Mohammad K. and Mohammad Q., were arrested after an altercation with police officers who had shown up after 10 to tell them to close down for the night. Mohammad Q., a minor at the time, was not charged, while Mohammad K. eventually pleaded guilty to preventing a police officer from making an arrest and paid a $100 fine. In 2011, Mr. Rahami’s father and those two sons filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Elizabeth, the Police Department, nine police officers, Mr. McDermott and others. The Rahamis alleged that the family was the target of a campaign of humiliation and retaliation. The Rahamis said Mr. McDermott told them that “Muslims make too much trouble in this country” and “Muslims should not have businesses here.” The mayor said: “It was neighbor complaints; it had nothing to do with his ethnicity or religion. It had to do with noise and people congregating on the streets. Among the court filings in the case was a letter from the family’s lawyer that said the elder Rahami was traveling in Pakistan in July 2011. Another letter, dated Sept. 16, 2011, said that Mr. Rahami had been hospitalized and that his family was in Afghanistan “but returning over the next few days.” The suit has yet to be resolved. Mr. McDermott said a fragile and informal truce was reached, whereby the restaurant would close at midnight or 1 a.m. A few months ago, however, a for-sale sign appeared in the front window. It is still there. Some of Ahmad Rahami’s customers were fond of him, especially those he favored with free meals. “He gave me free chicken,” said Ryan McCann. “He was always the most friendly man you ever met.” Other customers, however, found him and his relatives off-putting. “They seemed secretive, a little mysterious,” said Jessica Casanova, 23, another neighbor. “They’re too serious all the time.” Another neighbor, Joshua Sanchez, 24, was also struck by the familial insularity inside the chicken restaurant he referred to as “the shack.” Mr. McCann, however, said Mr. Rahami was obsessed with cars. “He always talked about fast Honda Civics, about how he loved them,” Mr. McCann said. Mr. McCann said he last ate at the restaurant two weeks ago. “He was having a conversation about his cars,” Mr. McCann said. “How he likes to soup them up and race them.” At 10:30 on Sunday night, the bombs having gone off and the hunt for the perpetrator well underway, Junior Robinson, 19, stopped in at First American Fried Chicken for some drumsticks and fries. Though the place was normally busy at that hour, he was the only customer. Mohammad Rahami served him. Ahmad Rahami was not there. Mr. Robinson gave that no thought. (Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/20/nyregion/ahmad-khan-rahami-bombing-suspect.html?_r=0) Wow. Let's take a moment to take all of that in. Starting of we should give the writer of the article tremendous credit of giving us such a clear and informed piece on Mr. Rahami's life. I highly expect I am not the only one who feels enrichened by the extra information. Strength in this article lies in the depiction of Ahmad Rahami, Mad, as a true American. We clearly read about his time as a flourishing students, his joyful hobbies and his entrepeneurial wishes to make a great business out of his fathers restaurant. Mad, I feel so close to him that I will take the liberty to call him by his nickname, sounds like such a formitable community man, who's only fault is to have fallen prey to the limitations of our society - an important subject that should be discussed. Mad, friend to us all, time and time again has to wrestle with the faulty restrictions of our government. As a real businessman he is thwarted by the government and its dangerous arm of the law to grow and succeed. Their business is held back to the frustration of his father; creating tension in their happy family life. A special mention to their protective and shielding community that held this family apart and made sure they were alright. Rightly so, Mad is a giver of free chicken. Yet, the story continues; it highlights Mad's romantic escapades, Mad manages to have a meaningful and loving realtionship with one of his highschool friends. He is such a real and solid person, our average Joe, who creates an heir, but has a flaming hot relationship with a beautiful exotic girl from Pakistan - his one true love. This part truly angered me. All his attempts to unite himself with his soulmate are delayed by the government; certainly a scorning issue that has had a lot of ramifications on Mads life. Our aspiring rapper friend becomes more solemn and introvert, a seemingly normal consequence to all the hardship in his life. We regress, it is not healthy to dwell too much on these symptoms. Today is all about learning about the life of Mad a gentle, warm, and kind person. A man to eat chicken with, a man to play basketball with, a man who loved Hondas. With turbulant weeks ahead of us in which the media will clearly try to smear Mad's reputation let us not forget about the person that is Mad. A real human being with all his merrits and great traits.
  15. TRUMP VS KHAN THREAD (I Figured we should have one of these. Will it be enough to overshadow threatened national security?) Republican presidential hopeful Donald "Because I don't want to, Greta" Trump has attracted outrage by mocking a dead US Muslim soldier's mother. Ghazala Khan stood silently next to her husband as he attacked Mr Donald Trump in an emotional speech to the Democratic National Convention on Thursday. Mr Donald Trump suggested she may not have been allowed to speak. Republicans and Democrats said the Republican candidate's comments were no way to talk of a hero's mother. Mrs Khan said she was upset by his remarks. Last week her husband Khizr Khan told Democrats Mr Donald Trump had sacrificed "nothing and no-one" for his country. At the convention in Philadelphia, he said his son would not even have been in America if it had been up to Mr Donald Trump, who has called for a ban on Muslims entering the US. Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq at the age of 27. Mr Donald "Stay and we keep the oil" Trump responded to the criticism in an interview with ABC's This Week. "If you look at his wife, she was standing there," he said, "She had nothing to say... Maybe she wasn't allowed to have anything to say. You tell me." But former president Bill Clinton, the husband of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said: "I cannot conceive how he can say that about a Gold Star mother." Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine said Mr Donald Trump's remarks were inappropriate. "He was kind of trying to turn that into some kind of ridicule," he said, quoted by AP. "It just demonstrates again kind of a temperamental unfitness. If you don't have any more sense of empathy than that, then I'm not sure you can learn it." Some Republicans also rounded on their candidate. Ohio Governor John Kasich, a former rival to Mr Donald "I promise I will never be in a bicycle race" Trump for the Republican nomination, tweeted: "There's only one way to talk about Gold Star parents: with honour and respect." In an interview for ABC on Saturday, Ghazala Khan said: "When I was standing there, all of America felt my pain, without a single word. I don't know how he missed that." "Please Mr Donald "I beat China all the time" Trump, feel that pain and you will be better. "I was upset when I heard that I didn't say anything because I was in pain." Khizr Khan said that Mr Donald "I am the only person who immediately walked out of my 'Ali G' interview" Trump was "devoid of feeling the pain of a mother who has sacrificed her son". "Running for president is not an entitlement to disrespect... a Gold Star mother, shame on him," he said. "He has no decency, he has a dark heart." Mrs Khan said on Friday that she did not speak during her husband's speech because she was still overcome with grief and could not look at her son's photos without crying. 'Tremendous success' Mr Donald "Because I don't want to, Greta" Trump's campaign issued a statement on Saturday in which he praised Mr Khan's son Humayun. "Captain Humayun Khan was a hero to our country and we should honour all who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country safe," he said. "The real problem here are the radical Islamic terrorists who killed him, and the efforts of these radicals to enter our country to do us further harm." But Mr Donald "I have a great relationship with the blacks" Trump rejected Mr Khan's criticism. "While I feel deeply for the loss of his son, Mr Khan, who has never met me, has no right to stand in front of millions of people and claim I have never read the Constitution, (which is false) and say many other inaccurate things," he said. In the ABC interview to be broadcast on Sunday, a transcript of which was released by the Donald "I think I am a nice person" Trump campaign, Mr Donald "I think I am a nice person" Trump was asked what sacrifices he had made. "I work very, very hard. I've created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures," he said. "...I've had tremendous success. I think I've done a lot." The remarks prompted ridicule on Twitter under the hashtag #TrumpSacrifices, with users listing such hardships as flying commercial class and playing on a municipal golf course. Source: BBC : http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36935175 Personal Comment: This started ugly... JOHN MCCAIN CONDEMNS TRUMP Senator John McCain and other Republican leaders have condemned Donald "We need global warming" Trump's remarks about the family of a US Muslim soldier killed in Iraq. Mr McCain said Mr Donald "I promise not to talk about your massive plastic surgeries" Trump did not have an "unfettered licence to defame those who are the best among us". Democratic lawmakers and the soldier's father have called on Republicans to disavow Mr Donald "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created" Trump. US Army Capt Humayun Khan was killed by a car bomb in 2004 in Iraq at the age of 27. His father, Pakistani-born Khizr Khan, told the BBC on Monday that Mr Donald "I'm more honest and my women are more beautiful" Trump could not insult women, judges and even members of his own party and not expect to face criticism. Source: BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/election-us-2016-36944225 Personal Comment: And the republicans are now starting to turn. Probably won't stump the trump, but an ugly hiccup nonetheless.
  16. Friends: I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but I gave it to you straight last summer when I told you that Donald Trump would be the Republican nominee for president. And now I have even more awful, depressing news for you: Donald J. Trump is going to win in November. This wretched, ignorant, dangerous part-time clown and full time sociopath is going to be our next president. President Trump. Go ahead and say the words, ‘cause you’ll be saying them for the next four years: “PRESIDENT TRUMP.” Never in my life have I wanted to be proven wrong more than I do right now. I can see what you’re doing right now. You’re shaking your head wildly – “No, Mike, this won’t happen!” Unfortunately, you are living in a bubble that comes with an adjoining echo chamber where you and your friends are convinced the American people are not going to elect an idiot for president. You alternate between being appalled at him and laughing at him because of his latest crazy comment or his embarrassingly narcissistic stance on everything because everything is about him. And then you listen to Hillary and you behold our very first female president, someone the world respects, someone who is whip-smart and cares about kids, who will continue the Obama legacy because that is what the American people clearly want! Yes! Four more years of this! You need to exit that bubble right now. You need to stop living in denial and face the truth which you know deep down is very, very real. Trying to soothe yourself with the facts – “77% of the electorate are women, people of color, young adults under 35 and Trump cant win a majority of any of them!” – or logic – “people aren’t going to vote for a buffoon or against their own best interests!” – is your brain’s way of trying to protect you from trauma. Like when you hear a loud noise on the street and you think, “oh, a tire just blew out,” or, “wow, who’s playing with firecrackers?” because you don’t want to think you just heard someone being shot with a gun. It’s the same reason why all the initial news and eyewitness reports on 9/11 said “asmall plane accidentally flew into the World Trade Center.” We want to – we need to – hope for the best because, frankly, life is already a shit show and it’s hard enough struggling to get by from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t handle much more bad news. So our mental state goes to default when something scary is actually, truly happening. The first people plowed down by the truck in Nice spent their final moments on earth waving at the driver whom they thought had simply lost control of his truck, trying to tell him that he jumped the curb: “Watch out!,” they shouted. “There are people on the sidewalk!” Well, folks, this isn’t an accident. It is happening. And if you believe Hillary Clinton is going to beat Trump with facts and smarts and logic, then you obviously missed the past year of 56 primaries and caucuses where 16 Republican candidates tried that and every kitchen sink they could throw at Trump and nothing could stop his juggernaut. As of today, as things stand now, I believe this is going to happen – and in order to deal with it, I need you first to acknowledge it, and then maybe, just maybe, we can find a way out of the mess we’re in. Don’t get me wrong. I have great hope for the country I live in. Things are better. The left has won the cultural wars. Gays and lesbians can get married. A majority of Americans now take the liberal position on just about every polling question posed to them: Equal pay for women – check. Abortion should be legal – check. Stronger environmental laws – check. More gun control – check. Legalize marijuana – check. A huge shift has taken place – just ask the socialist who won 22 states this year. And there is no doubt in my mind that if people could vote from their couch at home on their X-box or PlayStation, Hillary would win in a landslide. But that is not how it works in America. People have to leave the house and get in line to vote. And if they live in poor, Black or Hispanic neighborhoods, they not only have a longer line to wait in, everything is being done to literally stop them from casting a ballot. So in most elections it’s hard to get even 50% to turn out to vote. And therein lies the problem for November – who is going to have the most motivated, most inspired voters show up to vote? You knowthe answer to this question. Who’s the candidate with the most rabid supporters? Whose crazed fans are going to be up at 5 AM on Election Day, kicking ass all day long, all the way until the last polling place has closed, making sure every Tom, Dick and Harry (and Bob and Joe and Billy Bob and Billy Joe and Billy Bob Joe) has cast his ballot? That’s right. That’s the high level of danger we’re in. And don’t fool yourself — no amount of compelling Hillary TV ads, or outfacting him in the debates or Libertarians siphoning votes away from Trump is going to stop his mojo. Here are the 5 reasons Trump is going to win: Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the rustbelt of the upper Great Lakes – Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states – but each of them have elected a Republicangovernor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat). In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) that the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done? Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the Upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states. When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35% tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States. It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next-door, John Kasich. From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England – broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the Middle Class. Angry, embittered working (and nonworking) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room. What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. Elmer Gantry shows up looking like Boris Johnson and just says whatever shit he can make up to convince the masses that this is their chance! To stick to ALL of them, all who wrecked their American Dream! And now The Outsider, Donald Trump, has arrived to clean house! You don’t have to agree with him! You don’t even have to like him! He is your personal Molotov cocktail to throw right into the center of the bastards who did this to you! SEND A MESSAGE! TRUMP IS YOUR MESSENGER! And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four rust belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. The Last Stand of the Angry White Man. Our male-dominated, 240-year run of the USA is coming to an end. A woman is about to take over! How did this happen?! On ourwatch! There were warning signs, but we ignored them. Nixon, the gender traitor, imposing Title IX on us, the rule that said girls in school should get an equal chance at playing sports. Then they let them fly commercial jets. Before we knew it, Beyoncé stormed on the field at this year’s Super Bowl (our game!) with an army of Black Women, fists raised, declaring that our domination was hereby terminated! Oh, the humanity! That’s a small peek into the mind of the Endangered White Male. There is a sense that the power has slipped out of their hands, that their way of doing things is no longer how things are done. This monster, the “Feminazi,”the thing that as Trump says, “bleeds through her eyes or wherever she bleeds,” has conquered us — and now, after having had to endure eight years of a black man telling us what to do, we’re supposed to just sit back and take eight years of a woman bossing us around? After that it’ll be eight years of the gays in the White House! Then the transgenders! You can see where this is going. By then animals will have been granted human rights and a fuckin’ hamster is going to be running the country. This has to stop! The Hillary Problem. Can we speak honestly, just among ourselves? And before we do, let me state, I actually like Hillary – a lot – and I think she has been given a bad rap she doesn’t deserve. But her vote for the Iraq War made me promise her that I would never vote for her again. To date, I haven’t broken that promise. For the sake of preventing a proto-fascist from becoming our commander-in-chief, I’m breaking that promise. I sadly believe Clinton will find a way to get us in some kind of military action. She’s a hawk, to the right of Obama. But Trump’s psycho finger will be on The Button, and that is that. Done and done. Let’s face it: Our biggest problem here isn’t Trump – it’s Hillary. She is hugely unpopular — nearly 70% of all voters think she is untrustworthy and dishonest. She represents the old way of politics, not really believing in anything other than what can get you elected. That’s why she fights against gays getting married one moment, and the next she’s officiating a gay marriage. Young women are among her biggest detractors, which has to hurt considering it’s the sacrifices and the battles that Hillary and other women of her generation endured so that this younger generation would never have to be told by the Barbara Bushes of the world that they should just shut up and go bake some cookies. But the kids don’t like her, and not a day goes by that a millennial doesn’t tell me they aren’t voting for her. No Democrat, and certainly no independent, is waking up on November 8th excited to run out and vote for Hillary the way they did the day Obama became president or when Bernie was on the primary ballot. The enthusiasm just isn’t there. And because this election is going to come down to just one thing — who drags the most people out of the house and gets them to the polls — Trump right now is in the catbird seat. The Depressed Sanders Vote.Stop fretting about Bernie’s supporters not voting for Clinton – we’re voting for Clinton! The polls already show that more Sanders voters will vote for Hillary this year than the number of Hillary primary voters in ’08 who then voted for Obama. This is not the problem. The fire alarm that should be going off is that while the average Bernie backer will drag him/herself to the polls that day to somewhat reluctantly vote for Hillary, it will be what’s called a “depressed vote” – meaning the voter doesn’t bring five people to vote with her. He doesn’t volunteer 10 hours in the month leading up to the election. She never talks in an excited voice when asked why she’s voting for Hillary. A depressed voter. Because, when you’re young, you have zero tolerance for phonies and BS. Returning to the Clinton/Bush era for them is like suddenly having to pay for music, or using MySpace or carrying around one of those big-ass portable phones. They’re not going to vote for Trump; some will vote third party, but many will just stay home. Hillary Clinton is going to have to do something to give them a reason to support her — and picking a moderate, bland-o, middle of the road old white guy as her running mate is not the kind of edgy move that tells millenials that their vote is important to Hillary. Having two women on the ticket – that was an exciting idea. But then Hillary got scared and has decided to play it safe. This is just one example of how she is killing the youth vote. The Jesse Ventura Effect.Finally, do not discount the electorate’s ability to be mischievous or underestimate how any millions fancy themselves as closet anarchists once they draw the curtain and are all alone in the voting booth. It’s one of the few places left in society where there are no security cameras, no listening devices, no spouses, no kids, no boss, no cops, there’s not even a friggin’ time limit. You can take as long as you need in there and no one can make you do anything. You can push the button and vote a straight party line, or you can write in Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. There are no rules. And because of that, and the anger that so many have toward a broken political system, millions are going to vote for Trump notbecause they agree with him,not because they like his bigotry or ego, but just because they can. Just because it will upset the apple cart and make mommy and daddy mad. And in the same way like when you’re standing on the edge of Niagara Falls and your mind wonders for a moment what would that feel like to go over that thing, a lot of people are going to love being in the position of puppetmaster and plunking down for Trump just to see what that might look like. Remember back in the ‘90s when the people of Minnesota elected a professional wrestler as their governor? They didn’t do this because they’re stupid or thought that Jesse Ventura was some sort of statesman or political intellectual. They did so just because they could. Minnesota is one of the smartest states in the country. It is also filled with people who have a dark sense of humor — and voting for Ventura was their version of a good practical joke on a sick political system. This is going to happen again with Trump. Coming back to the hotel after appearing on Bill Maher’s Republican Convention special this week on HBO, a man stopped me. “Mike,” he said, “we have to vote for Trump. We HAVE to shake things up.” That was it. That was enough for him. To “shake things up.” President Trump would indeed do just that, and a good chunk of the electorate would like to sit in the bleachers and watch that reality show. http://michaelmoore.com/trumpwillwin/
  17. By Paige Winfield Cunningham (@pw_cunningham) 8:00 AM CST, Mon, Aug 1, 2016 Trump signs anti-pornography pledge Donald Trump has signed a pledge promising that as president, he would make enforcing existing laws against pornography, especially child pornography, a top priority of his administration. The pledge comes from the nonpartisan group Enough is Enough, whose founder Donna Rice Hughes has long worked to convince Americans that pornography is severely harmful to individuals and society at large. Signed by Trump on July 16, the pledge also says the president would seriously consider appointing a special commission to explore effects of pornography on Americans, aggressively enforce the Children's Internet Protection Act, work with corporations on anti-porn initiatives and advance other public policies to protect children from pornography. Trump's move could win him some points with conservatives, who have struggled to accept a Republican presidential nominee who brought the first strip club to his casino in Atlantic City, is married to a woman who once posed nude for GQ and has said a host of derogatory things about females. And on Monday morning, the New York Post published on its cover a 1995 nude photo of Trump's wife, Melania, which had been taken for a now-defunct French men's magazine. "I am encouraged by Mr. Trump's commitment to uphold the rule of law, which is demonstrated by his signing of the pledge," Hughes told the Washington Examiner. "I am confident that if elected president, Mr. Trump will follow through on the commitments." Enough is Enough also sent the pledge to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson, but the group says neither has signed it. The Trump campaign didn't respond to a request for comment about the pledge. Despite their hesitancy about Trump, social conservatives succeeded in heavily influencing the Republican platform this year, and not just on issues of abortion and gay marriage. For the first time, the platform labeled pornography a "public health crisis that is destroying the lives of millions." The provision was introduced by Mary Frances Forrester, a longtime political activist from North Carolina and a delegate to the GOP convention. The language mirrors a similar resolution the Utah legislature passed in April, which calls for research, education and policy changes to address the pornography epidemic. Forrester said the conservative group Concerned Women for America had asked her to introduce the anti-porn language as a member of the platform committee. Even though she was proud to get the plank included, she's unsure whether Trump will adhere to its principles. "I'm thinking, okay, I certainly cannot control his mouth-speak and some of his behavior in the past," Forrester said. "[but] I do feel like he really does love the country. I'm hoping he will accept this platform." That's also the hope of other conservatives, who spent much of the primary campaign season fighting hard against his campaign. Leaders of abortion-opposing groups, including Susan B. Anthony List's Marjorie Dannenfelser, once urged supporters to oppose Trump but are now reluctantly accepting him. Rebecca Hagelin, a conservative columnist and author on family issues and former vice president of the Heritage Foundation, wrote an op-ed in February entitled: "Meet Donald Trump: The King of Sleaze," in which she chronicled how his Taj Mahal Casino opened the country's first casino strip club three years ago. "I know how awful Hillary Clinton would be for the country, but even so, I was very reluctant to say how can we put a man like Donald Trump into this most influential position in the land," Hagelin told the Examiner. Trump bought Atlantic City's Taj Mahal for $273 million back in 1988, when its owner, Resorts Intentional, claimed to be near bankruptcy. Purchased by his publicly traded company, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts, in 1996, it eventually became the highest grossing casino in Atlantic City. In 2013, the Taj Mahal opened within its facility a $25 million strip club run by Scores, a U.S. chain of topless clubs. Trump no longer holds any ownership stake, after selling it to billionaire Carl Icahn when his entertainment company filed for bankruptcy two years ago. But his investments in the adult entertainment industry are deeply troubling to conservatives, who quickly pivot to talking about his vice presidential pick, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, when asked about the issue. "When he named Mike Pence as his VP, that's when I crossed over," Hagelin said. Concerned Women for America President Penny Nance, whose group pushed for the anti-porn language, noted her group doesn't endorse presidential candidates but said she's "confident Donald Trump will listen to the concerns of conservative women and parents on this issue." What gives her more assurance, Nance said, is Trump's selection of Pence as running mate. "When you look at the man he has chosen as vice-president … you can see that, for all the glamour and celebrity he is known for, Trump seems to be committed to a brand of governing that will consider policy issues seriously," she said. "And nothing is more serious than the sexual exploitation of women and children." Other conservative groups are also trying to draw more attention to pornography as a negative influence. The Family Research Council will hold a forum next week entitled "Pornography: A Public Health Crisis." Forrester said that while there was pushback on some of the provisions she tried to add to the GOP platform, she didn't get any resistance on the anti-porn language. "I think perhaps presenting it as a public health crisis, rather than a moral issue, helped it," she said. http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-signs-anti-pornography-pledge/article/2598268 Personal Comment From Bild:
  18. 300-Pound Mall Security Robot Goes Rogue, Knocks Down Kid, Runs Him Over A security robot at the Stanford Mall in Palo Alto, California recently went rogue and knocked a 16-month old boy down before running over his leg(links to a video news report if you're interested). Wow, going for the weakest of the herd -- just like a real predator. The shopping center introduced the robot last year. It's designed to alert authorities of abnormal noises, sudden environmental changes, and known criminals. But the fact that it didn't seem to detect Harwin is something shoppers find disconcerting. "Garage doors nowadays, we're just in a day in age where everything has some sort of a sensor," shopper Ashle Gerrard said. "Maybe they have to work out the sensors more. Maybe it stopped detecting or it could be buggy or something," shopper Ankur Sharma said. Ahahahhahaha, I love how they got the expert opinion of two random mall shoppers. Obviously these people know what's up and it's a sensor issue and not the fact that robots are heartless, cold-blooded killers. Man, I wish I could have been there to give an interview because I would have spoken some TRUTH. Or stolen the reporter's mic and pretended it was a robot penis, it really depends on how many margaritas I had with lunch. And by with I mean for. Keep going for a video of the robot trying to pretend it's not a murderous attack-machine. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZ-Xi3zVs_0 http://geekologie.com/2016/07/300-pound-mall-security-robot-goes-rogue.php Personal Comment: I used to work at a site across the street from KnightScope, the company that manufactures these satanic robots. One day these buggers will be the footsoldiers of the robot uprising. And in the states there aren't a bunch of Russians who will strip the fuckers for parts.
  19. Hillary Clinton has proposed a plan to eliminate college tuition at public universities for families earning under $125,000 a year. The presidential candidate is taking a cue from rival Bernie Sanders, who made free college a central part of his campaign. In a Wednesday announcement on her campaign website, Clinton said that the plan, called the "New College Compact," would be phased in over the course of five years. However, families that make under $85,000 a year would instantly have access to free tuition at public, in-state universities and colleges. The threshold for free tuition would increase by $10,000 annually before finally bringing the qualifying income to $125,000 after five years. This would bring free college tuition to 80 percent of American families, the website said. The presumptive Democratic nominee also announced a plan to use executive action to give a three-month moratorium to those with student loans from the federal government. "American families are drowning in debt caused by ever-rising college costs, and it is imperative that the next president put forward a bold plan to make debt-free college available to all," Clinton said. "My New College Compact will do just that – by making sure that working families can send a child or loved one to college tuition-free and by giving student debt-holders immediate relief.” Free tuition at public colleges and universities was originally a pillar of the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), though it does not go quite as far as his plan of abolishing tuition for all families. Sanders praised Clinton for moving closer to his platform, saying that such a plan would have a “profound” impact on the US. “I want to take this opportunity to applaud Secretary Clinton for the very bold initiative she has just brought forth today for the financing of higher education.” Sanders said in a statement. “This proposal combines some of the strongest ideas she fought for during the campaign with some of the principles that I fought for. The final product is a result of the work of both campaigns.” “Let me be very clear. This proposal, when implemented, will revolutionize the funding of higher education in America, improve the economic future of our country and make life immediately better for tens of millions of people stuck with high levels of student debt,” Sanders continued. Sanders has stayed in the race despite the near certainty that Clinton will clinch the Democratic nomination at the convention in Philadelphia, hoping to put pressure on the Clinton campaign to move the party’s platform further to the left on economic issues. https://www.rt.com/usa/349785-clinton-free-college-tuition/ Personal Comment: Another idea stolen at the last minute, most likely attempting to appeal to the anti-establishment/Socialist parts of Bernie supporters. Also because Hilary is a crook.
  20. http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0ZN0MF Hey hey, ho ho, black lives matter going militant?
  21. Online news site Gawker has filed for bankruptcy after losing a $140m (£97m) privacy case earlier this year. The company filed for bankruptcy protection, which could allow it to avoid paying the damages. In March, Gawker was ordered to pay wrestler Hulk Hogan for invading his privacy by publishing a sex tape. Gawker told staff it still planned to appeal against the ruling and would continue to operate, but it was now accepting offers to buy the site. Gawker said it had been forced to put itself up for sale because of "a co-ordinated barrage of lawsuits intended to put the company out of business and deter its writers from offering critical coverage". Publisher Ziff Davis, owner of PC magazine and Geek.com, has already made an offer to buy all of Gawker's assets, reportedly for less than $100m. In a statement Gawker's founder Nick Denton said: "We are encouraged by the agreement with Ziff Davis." The company does, however, plan to consider other offers as it goes through the bankruptcy process. Last year Mr Denton estimated Gawker Media, which owns the sites Jezebel and Deadspin, was worth between $250m and $300m. In its official filing Gawker said it had $50m to $100m in assets and between $100m and $500m in liabilities. Hogan trial Gawker was sued by Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, after the website published a video from 2007 of Mr Hogan having sex with the wife of a former friend. During the three-week trial Gawker defended its right to publish the video as part of its celebrity news coverage, while Mr Hogan argued it had been an invasion of his privacy. The jury ruled in the former wrestler's favour and ordered Gawker to pay $115m in compensation and $25m in punitive damage. In May a judge denied Gawker's request for a new trial. In an interview with the BBC earlier this month Mr Denton said he was confident that the original ruling would be overturned. "I'm confident that when this case comes before judges in a higher court that people will find again there is a place for critical journalism and it deserves to be protected. "There are substantial protections for the free press in the United States and there's protection for criticism." 'Thicker skin' In a twist revealed after the trial, Mr Hogan's legal bills were paid by PayPal co-founder and tech billionaire Peter Thiel. Mr Thiel said he wanted to curb Gawker's "bullying". In 2007 Mr Thiel clashed with Gawker after the site published an article that outed him as gay. Mr Denton told the BBC Mr Thiel should accept that his position means he should face public scrutiny. "If you're a billionaire and you have power and access to the media, you should expect now and then to get the occasional critical piece," said Mr Denton. "A wiser approach to getting angry and trying to sue a media company out of existence is to ... develop a thicker skin," he added. Original (There's a denton interview if you're interested. Diplo didn't like it) http://www.bbc.com/news/business-36503455 Personal Comments: Not sad to see it go, might I say. The "thicker skin" comments make me laugh. Talk shit, get hit. As for Hogan, we know he's a racist piece of shit now, so I'm sorta glad his finances will be wrapped, as he can no longer be in the public eye.
  22. WASHINGTON — Senator Bernie Sanders met with President Obama on Thursday and said afterward that he would do everything within his power to stop Donald J. Trump from becoming president — and would work closely with Hillary Clinton to make that happen. After the meeting with Mr. Obama, which lasted more than an hour, Mr. Sanders gave no indication that he was ready to leave the race just yet, insisting that he would compete in next week’s primary contest here in Washington. However, he made clear that party unity was on his mind. “I will work as hard as I can, to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States,” Mr. Sanders told reporters, saying the billionaire businessman “makes bigotry and discrimination the cornerstone of his campaign” and would be a “disaster” as commander in chief. He said he would continue fighting for the issues that animated his campaign, including enhancing Social Security benefits, college affordability and restoring the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. “These are the issues that we will take to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July,” Mr. Sanders said, declining to answer reporters’ shouted questions about whether he would leave the race. The visit came a day after the senator huddled with his team at his headquarters in Vermont to discuss the fate of his candidacy. Mr. Sanders, who requested the meeting with the president, pulled into the White House grounds at 10:56 a.m. after stopping at a nearby Peet’s Coffee for a scone. Mr. Obama and Mr. Sanders strolled down the colonnade next to the Rose Garden on their way into the Oval Office, chatting inaudibly and grinning broadly. Nearby, a thick line of cameras and cluster of microphones were assembled in the driveway outside the West Wing, where journalists peppered the Vermont senator with questions. Mr. Obama was trying to negotiate, however gently, with him to exit the Democratic race without inflicting damage on efforts to unite the party. “My hope is, is that over the next couple of weeks, we’re able to pull things together,” Mr. Obama said during a taping of an appearance on the “Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” on Wednesday in New York. “There’s a natural process of everybody recognizing that this is not about any individual.” After his meeting with Mr. Obama, Mr. Sanders will head across town to see Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Democratic leader. While the two men are old friends, the conversation could be somewhat awkward as the minority leader has endorsed Mrs. Clinton and said publicly that Mr. Sanders should prepare to leave the race. “Sometimes you just have to give up,” Mr. Reid said last week. Mr. Sanders was also scheduled to meet with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York while in Washington. After Mrs. Clinton won Tuesday’s California primary Mr. Sanders refused to quit the race, despite Mrs. Clinton’s wide margin of victory and the fact that she had won enough pledged delegates for the nomination. But some of his supporters have started to walk away, prompting growing calls that it is time to bring the party together to defeat the presumptive Republican candidate, Donald J. Trump. On Wednesday, Mr. Sanders sent out a fund-raising email asking for contributions of $2.70 and at 7 p.m. he will hold a rally outside of R.F.K. Stadium in Washington, where he will discuss his plans for getting big money out of politics and making public universities tuition-free. Personal Comment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=id=oBtG0gj6MxA;m=1;s=44
  23. Mike Rowe: Skilled Help Wanted and Needed APRIL 7, 2016 By PARADE @parademagazine (Michael Segal) Guest post by Mike Rowe, host of TV’s Somebody’s Gotta Do It and the founder of MikeRoweWORKS, a campaign designed to reinvigorate the skilled trades. A couple of months ago on my Facebook page, I likened our presidential debates to the demon spawn of Survivor and American Idol. Listening to the candidates focus on each other’s physical flaws, it’s not hard to envision a whole new genre of reality TV, where our elected officials, under the thoughtful questioning of Jerry Springer and Kim Kardashian, tear one another to pieces on the set of Big Brother and then wait breathlessly as the home audience gets to vote the least obnoxious off the island. Of course, blaming the candidates for acting like children is like blaming Honey Boo Boo for becoming a household name. We deserve the government we have, just as we deserve the TV we have. Both are a creation of what we encourage, and what we tolerate. Which is why the existence of an ever-widening skills gap, now threatening to swallow us all, is nobody’s fault but our own. The fact is, the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is astonishing. At a time when millions of capable people are unemployed, 5.6 million good jobs exist for anyone willing to learn a skill that’s actually in demand. But no one is lining up to take these jobs. Why? I think it’s because “We the People” have convinced an entire generation that a whole category of critical vocations are simply not worth pursuing. Here’s the truth: The majority of jobs currently available today do NOT require a four-year degree — they require training. And many of these same jobs offer a salary that can grow much faster than vocations that require the assumption of a massive student loan. And yet, millions of students are systematically discouraged from pursuing these opportunities. Parents and guidance counselors still cling to the notion that anything short of a four-year degree will lead to some sort of vocational consolation prize. This is the great, underlying fiction that’s allowed the skills gap to widen. It’s the reason vocational arts have vanished from high school, even as those same vocations now go begging. It’s the reason we now hold more than 1.3 trillion dollars in student loans. And it’s why we continue to lend money we don’t have to kids who can’t pay it back, educating them for jobs that no longer exist. Surely, if America were a contestant on The Apprentice, the new host would escort us to the Boardroom, look us squarely in our collective face and say with great dramatic flare, “You’re fired!” The skills gap is real, but it’s not a problem—it’s a symptom of what we value. But, like the decline of political discourse or the rise of the Amish Mafia—it’s completely in our ability to reverse. But we have to stop elevating one form of education over all the others, and begin treating all jobs for what they truly are—opportunities. Until then, I’m afraid the tribal council will judge us harshly, and The Biggest Loser will be the United States of America. Personal Comment: Lots of respect for Mike Rowe. Its true that even in other parts of Canada, blue collar jobs are frowned upon "Do something you love" they say, "Do something you enjoy". Sometimes you're just going to have to do the work, not everyone can be a writer...
  24. 94,044,000 Americans Not in the Labor Force by CAROLINE MAY 6 May 2016 The number of Americans not in the workforce during the month of April increased substantially compared to the previous month — again tipping over the 94 million mark — according to the latest Labor Department data. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports Friday that 94,044,000 Americans were neither employed nor made an effort to find employment — due to discouragement, retirement, schooling or otherwise — in April. Last month’s numbers represented an increase of 562,000 over the month of March, when 93,482,000 Americans were out of the workforce. April’s comparatively high non-participation level halted an earlier trend of decline that followed after the number of people out of the workforce hit a record high of 94,610,000 last October. The labor force participation rate also took a slight hit, declining from 63.0 percent in March to 62.8 percent in April. Though lower than the month prior, April’s participation rate was slightly higher than it was a year ago. Additionally the civilian labor force declined by 362,000 people compared to March, hitting 158,924,000. In total 151,320,000 Americans had a job last month and another 7,920,000 Americans were unemployed. Overall the economy added 160,000 confirm payroll jobs in April and the unemployment rate remained at 5.0 percent. http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/05/06/jobs/ Personal Comment: For perspective, 94 million is more than the population of children under 18 and seniors 65+ in the country combined. The reason why the unemployment rate does not reflect the 94 million figure is that these are just the people who gave up on looking for a job, whereas the unemployment figure reflects those who are willing and able, but just cannot get employed.
  25. 7 Reasons Bernie Sanders Still Has a Chance AP Photo/Seth Wenig BY: AARON BANDLER MAY 5, 2016 Despite everyone looking ahead to a general election matchup of real estate mogul Donald Trump and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is still not yet out of the race. Here are seven reasons why Sanders still has a chance. 1. Clinton has not clinched the nomination yet. It takes 2,383 delegates for either Clinton or Sanders to win clinch the nomination. Clinton is close at 2,202 pledged delegates (which includes superdelegates) while Sanders is far behind at 1,400. However, until Clinton reaches 2,383 delegates, Sanders still has a chance to force the primary to a contested convention. 2. Sanders will have some wins forthcoming. The next Democratic primary is in West Virginia on May 10, and the polling data is looking good for Sanders, as he has an eight-point lead over Clinton in the latest poll. Because Clinton is in hot water for her anti-coal comments, Sanders could see avictory in Kentucky as well as in the dark blue state of Oregon. Montana, South Dakota, and North Dakota are also favorable terrain for Sanders, so he could regain some momentum. 3. Sanders could persuade the superdelegates to support him over Clinton. According to National Public Radio, Sanders's campaign is banking on support from superdelegates, which is going to be an arduous task since over 400 have pledged their support for Clinton and only about 30 have done so for Sanders. However, Sanders's supporters have already put it on themselves to pressure superdelegates to support Sanders. Also, Sanders will have the following arguments to make to the superdelegates to support him. 4. Clinton could be indicted over her email scandal. There is no question that Clinton broke federal law with her use of a private, unsecure email server, and the FBI may in fact recommend an indictment. It may be unlikely that the Department of Justice will indict Clinton, but if they do it will easily torpedo Clinton's electability chances and cause Sanders to look more appealing to the superdelegates. Even the threat of an indictment toward Clinton may enough to flip superdelegates' votes. 5. Sanders performs better than Clinton in a general election matchup against Trump. Despite the conventional wisdom, the RealClearPolitics polling averages show that Sanders has 13.4 percentage point lead over Trump, while Clinton has a lead of 6.5 percentage points over Trump. 6. Clinton is not well-liked, even in her own party. In October and November, Clinton had a net favorability of +63 percentage points among Democrats, according to Gallup. That number plummeted to +36 in April. Sanders's favorability in April was +52, 16 percentage points higher than Clinton. This suggests that Clinton is going to have some trouble getting turnout in her own party as the Democratic nominee. 7. It will come down to California. California will be the make-or-break for Sanders, as 476 delegates are at stake. The demographics may be more favorable to Clinton, but the dark blue state's politics favor Sanders. Clinton has led in most of the polls in California, but some of them were in single digits so it may not be out of the realm of possibility that Sanders pulls off an upset in California. http://www.dailywire.com/news/5498/7-reasons-bernie-sanders-still-has-chance-aaron-bandler
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