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Monday, October 31, 2016

Donald Trump won't pay pollster for bad news- go figure!

 \"...the Trump campaign is disputing nearly $767,000 that veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio’s firm says it is still owed for polling, the Washington Post reported Monday."

Donald Trump may feel like the convict who just received a temporary leave from iSalonncarcertaton when the unexpectrd James Comey brouhaha reupted about unrelated emails. Nevertheless, the political polls have never favored his chances of being elected on November 8th. Why should the pollsters lie? Remember, in 2012, Karl Rove wouldn't accept the Ohio results? Did him no good, but his response undermined his future credibility. Pollsters just provide data and they get paid plenty to do their jobs accurately. This news casts a shadow over Trump's campaign in spite of the oxygen he thinks FBI Director Comey inappropriately gave to his imploding campaign.

Why won't Donald Trump ay Tony Fabrizio? Obviously, DonaldTrump doesb't want to pay for "bad news".

So, how does Donald Trump respond to his unfavorable polls? Well, of course, he just doesn't pay the pollsters. OMG. HelLO?

Salon Reports:  Donald Trump hasn’t paid his pollster, who he owes more than $750,000.  So, if political polls are rigged, why pay? But, it's the Donald Trump way.

After declaring that employing a pollster would be a “waste” of money during the Republican presidential primary in which he blew past 16 other competitors, Donald Trump finally relented and hired a pollster after he secured the nomination. But now that he’s poised to lose the general election to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, Trump is refusing to pay that pollster.

And so, the Trump campaign is disputing nearly $767,000 that veteran GOP pollster Tony Fabrizio’s firm says it is still owed for polling, the Washington Post reported Monday.

According to the Trump campaign’s latest Federal Election Commission report, Fabrizio, who was hired in May, did not receive any payments from the campaign until September. This comes after the latest report from the Federal Election Committee filed on Thursday revealed that a joint fundraising committee between the RNC and the Trump campaign spent over $300,000 on books from the publisher of his “Art of the Deal” just last month.

That same FEC filing also showed that Trump was about $40 million short on his promise to self-fund his campaign to the tune of $100 million, with little more than a week before Election Day.

So, it comes as no surprise that Trump has reportedly decided to stiff the pollster who was only brought on to the campaign at the behest of former campaign manager Paul Manafort and longtime adviser Roger Stone. As far back as August, following Trump’s relentless attacks against a Gold Star family who dared speak out against the GOP nominee’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and proposals at the Democratic National Convention, Fabrizio was forced to deliver bad news to the candidate.

In fact, 0n Aug. 9, Tony Fabrizio, Trump’s chief pollster and a longtime party strategist, sat down with the nominee. 

The previous week had been a disaster, punctuated by Trump’s damaging confrontation with the Gold Star Khan family

Fabrizio, who was joined by Manafort deputy Rick Gates, had just completed a fresh batch of polling and had an urgent message for the candidate: If you have another week like the last one, you won’t win.

Fabrizio, who advised GOP presidential candidates from the 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole to 2016 failed candidate Rand Paul, was touted as a “no-brainer” selection for Trump when his hiring was first announced.

“The addition of Tony Fabrizio demonstrates a level of gravitas and political sophistication that should make Democrats lose sleep,” a Republican operative told Politico when one of the masterminds behind the infamous Willie Horton ad was announced as the latest addition to the Trump campaign.

“If Trump loses Florida, he more than likely loses his shot at the White House,” Politico wrote of the Florida pollster’s hiring at the time. Now with the RealClearPolitics average showing Trump and Clinton locked in a statistical dead heat in the Sunshine State, the man who got Rick Scott elected statewide is already being shortchanged for his services (or apparent lack thereof).

For its part, the Trump campaign is not revealing exactly why it refuses to pay at least one of its pollsters.

“This is an administrative issue that we’re resolving internally,” senior communications adviser Jason Miller told the Post, declined to provide any further details on the campaign’s dispute of the charges.

But one thing is clear from the FEC filings: Other polling firms are being paid by the Trump campaign. As the Post noted, through October 19, the polling firm of campaign manager Kellyanne Conway has been paid $673,000 by the Trump campaign. (HELLO? If Trump stopped paying Kellyanne Conway, he'd have no surrogates to wake up at 5 am and speak like she's his surrogate on morning talk shows....he'd better pay her, you betcha'!)

Sophia Tesfaye is Salon's Deputy Politics Editor and biggest Golden State Warriors fan in Brooklyn. 

You can find her on Twitter at @SophiaTesfaye.

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Without facts the FBI director has created Gestapo

What's even more scary than a fearful Donald Trump surge is how the FBI Director James Comey has created an agency whereby political appeasement has influenced operations. Politics has even empowered him to be insubordinate to established agency policies and to  violate the Hatch Act.

Wikipedia:  The Hatch Act of 1939, officially An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a United States federal law whose main provision prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials of that branch, from engaging in some forms of political activity. The law was named for Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico. 
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In my opinion- Republicans are giving voters proof of what a Donald Trump administration would be capable of doing to us as a nation- scary, very scary.

An opinion by E.J.Dionne in The Washington Post provides a toughtful perspective and a call for voters to reject the FBI partisan tactics:

Evidence suggests that James Comey was intimidated by pressure from Republicans in Congress whose interest is not in justice but in destroying Hillary Clinton.

On Friday, a whipsawed Comey broke with FBI precedent and Justice Department practice. He weighed in on one side of a presidential campaign.

I don’t believe this was his intention. But his vaguely worded letter to Congress announcing that the FBI was examining emails on a computer used by Clinton aide Huma Abedin accomplished the central goals of the right-wing critics Comey has been trying to get off his back.

Especially disturbing is that some of those critics are inside the FBI. As The Post’s Sari Horwitz reported on Saturday, “a largely conservative investigative corps” in the bureau was “complaining privately that Comey should have tried harder to make a case” against Clinton.
(In my  opinion, this "conservativeinvestigative corps" is a Gestapo movement.)

For a major law-enforcement institution to be so politicized and biased against one party would be a genuine scandal. If Comey acted in part out of fear that his agents would leak against him, it would reflect profound dysfunction within the FBI.

One measure of the damage Comey has done to his reputation is the praise Donald Trump showered upon him after months of trashing the director for not recommending Clinton’s indictment. 
Winning favor from a politician who has described how he would use the government’s instruments to punish his enemies is not something a professional like Comey should ever be proud of.

Far from cowering, Clinton and her campaign went on the offensive, demanding more clarity from the FBI director. 

In light of reports that no one in the bureau has even viewed the messages, Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice-presidential running mate, said on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday: “If he hasn’t seen the emails, 
I mean, they need to make that completely plain.” Clinton called Comey’s intervention “unprecedented” and “deeply troubling.” 


Comey’s murky letter opened the way for Trump to level wild charges against Clinton and for congressional Republicans to engage in their own initiatives to twist the truth.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chair of the Oversight Committee, quickly tweeted news of Comey’s letter Friday and stated: “Case reopened.” (This social media announcement was unprofessional & totally inappropriate. Chaffetz created a lie before the truth could catch up.)

This isn't what Comey said (and technically the Clinton case was never closed). But many in the media bought Chaffetz’s hype, especially in early accounts. 

That’s what happens when an FBI director hands an explosive but muddled letter to a Republican-led Congress.

In fact, Chaffetz had already made clear that if Clinton wins, the GOP’s top priority will be to keep the Clinton investigative machine rolling.

“It’s a target-rich environment,” Chaffetz cheerfully told The Post’s David Weigel last week. “Even before we get to Day One, we’ve got two years’ worth of material already lined up. She has four years of history at the State Department, and it ain’t good.”
And on ABC Sunday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), chair of the Judiciary Committee, gave the Republicans’ game away when he spoke of Clinton’s “potential impeachment” before correcting himself. Note to reader: Inauguration Day isn’t until Jan. 20, 2017.

These are the people Comey has been trying to mollify ever since he decided that there was no way the evidence justified prosecuting Clinton. His first act of appeasement was his July news conference in which he announced his decision but also criticized Clinton and her aides for being “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Comey may have thought he had arrived at the Solomonic middle ground that would make everyone happy. 

But as Matthew Miller, a former Justice Department official, wrote in The Post, when “the government decides it will not submit its assertions to . . . rigorous scrutiny by bringing charges, it has the responsibility to not besmirch someone’s reputation by lobbing accusations publicly instead.”

Comey had entered the political fray, and there was no turning back — especially since his Republican tormentors would not be satisfied until Clinton was brought down. 

As The Post editorialized, Comey had already gone “too far” in “providing raw FBI material to Congress.” 

In fact, The Post wrote, Comeny allowed himself to be sucked into a dangerous and dysfunctional relationship with one political party that set him on the hazardous course to Friday’s (murky) letter.

History shows that appeasing bullies never works. Maybe Comey learned this lesson and,, if so, will try to make amends in coming days. As for the voters, my hope is that they reject this perversion of justice all the way down the ballot.

Read more from E.J. Dionne’s archive, follow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

I expect Vladimir Putin is smiling.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Democratic choir of FBI outrage - no talking poins needed

It's certainly not a reason for self congratulations. Typically, Democrats are as difficult to manage as herding cats, Thankfully, Democrats have responded with instant choir like unaninimity and consistent outrage in a "take no prisioners" response to James Comey and his ambiguous missive about Mrs. Clinton's emails, given late on Friday afternoon to Congresss, 11 days before a national election. No Democratic talking points were needed when the facts about this unsupported FBI action was revealed.

Congratulations to Hillary Clinton and her well organized campaign for bringing all Democrats together. Indeed, Democrats rsponded with nearly miraculous coordinations, to demand for James Comey to explain what he did, why he did it and, moreover, where he expects to find the evidence to support his action?

In fact there are no warants for the FBI to even release this ambiguous information.

FBI Director Comey has taken an unprecedented action by releasing ambiguous information

Hillary Clinton Assails James Comey, Calling Email Decision ‘Deeply Troubling’- reports the NewYorkTimes

Hillary Clinton and her allies sprang onto a war footing on Saturday, opening a ferocious attack on the F.B.I.’s director, James B. Comey, a day after he disclosed that his agency was looking into a potential new batch of messages from her private email server.

Treating Mr. Comey as a threat to her candidacy, Mrs. Clinton took aim at the law enforcement officer who had recommended no criminal charges less than four months earlier for her handling of classified information as secretary of state.

“It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election,” Mrs. Clinton said at a rally in Daytona Beach, Fla. “In fact, it’s not just strange; it’s unprecedented and it is deeply troubling.”

For Democrats, it was also deeply worrying. Mrs. Clinton’s advisers expressed concern that the F.B.I.’s renewed attention to emails relating to the nominee would turn some voters against her, hurt party candidates in competitive House and Senate races, and complicate efforts to win over undecided Americans in the final days of the election.

So, after stepping gingerly around the issue on Friday, calling on Mr. Comey to release more specific information but not overtly criticizing him, her campaign made it personal on Saturday, accusing the director of smearing Mrs. Clinton with innuendo late in the race and of violating Justice Department rules.

The decision to target Mr. Comey for his unusual decision to publicly disclose the inquiry came during an 8 a.m. internal conference call, after aides saw reports that Justice Department officials were furious, believing he had violated longstanding guidelines advising against such actions so close to an election.

Even before Mrs. Clinton spoke in Florida, her campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, and campaign manager, Robby Mook, criticized Mr. Comey for putting out incomplete information and breaking with Justice Department protocol.

“By providing selective information, he has allowed partisans to distort and exaggerate to inflict maximum political damage,” Mr. Podesta said during a conference call with reporters. “Comey has not been forthcoming with the facts,” he added, describing the director’s letter to Congress on Friday as “long on innuendo.”

Whatever shortcomings Mrs. Clinton may have as a candidate, Saturday’s coordinated effort showed that the political organization that she, her husband and her allies had built over decades remained potent and would not let what seemed like victory erode easily. By midday, Mr. Comey, a Republican appointed by President Obama and confirmed nearly unanimously by the Senate, found himself in its cross hairs.

Encouraged by Mrs. Clinton’s senior aides to reframe the story and make it about Mr. Comey’s actions, liberal groups such as the Congressional Black Caucus demanded that he release more information. Other surrogates were emailed talking points prodding them to deem it “extraordinary that 11 days before the election a letter like this — with so few details — would be sent to 8 Republican committee chairmen.” (Ranking Democrats on the committees also received copies.)

Mr. Comey has not publicly commented on the investigation, other than with the letter saying that more emails were being examined. He also wrote an email to F.B.I. employees explaining that he felt he had to inform Congress even though the agency did not yet know “the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails.”

With Mrs. Clinton leading Donald J. Trump in nearly every battleground state, Clinton advisers were emphatic that they would not be thrown off stride. They said they would not change any political strategy, television advertising or campaign travel plans.

For months, the F.B.I. had investigated whether Mrs. Clinton had broken any laws by using a private email server while she was secretary of state. This past summer, Mr. Comey said that Mrs. Clinton had been “extremely careless” by allowing sensitive information to be discussed outside secure government servers, but that the agency had concluded that Mrs. Clinton had not committed a crime. The investigation was closed.

But on Friday, Mr. Comey notified Congress that the agency had discovered emails, possibly relevant to the investigation, that belonged to Mrs. Clinton’s top aide, Huma Abedin. 

Apparently, the emails were discovered on the computer of Ms. Abedin’s estranged husband, Anthony D. Weiner, during a separate investigation into allegations that he had exchanged sexually explicit messages with a teenager.

According to several Clinton advisers, Mrs. Clinton told them overnight and on Saturday that she wanted the campaign to operate normally, not rashly, while pressuring Mr. Comey to dispel any possibility that her candidacy was under legal threat.

But the Clinton team also had to deal with a newly emboldened Mr. Trump, who urged voters at a rally on Saturday in Golden, Colo., to oppose Mrs. Clinton because of her “criminal action” that was “willful, deliberate, intentional and purposeful.” (OMG- more #Trumponian lies because if there was anything "deliberate" it was the action of James Comey, in my opinion.)

Handed a new opening against Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Trump used the moment to baselessly claim there had been an internal F.B.I. “revolt” and made a sexually suggestive joke about Mr. Weiner.

“As Podesta said, she’s got bad instincts,” Mr. Trump said, distorting a comment in one of the thousands of Mr. Podesta’s hacked emails recently released by WikiLeaks. “Well, she’s got bad instincts when her emails are on Anthony Weiner’s wherever.”

The paramount fear among Clinton advisers and Democratic officials was that an election that had become a referendum on Mr. Trump’s fitness for office, and that had increasingly seemed to be Mrs. Clinton’s to lose, would now become just as much about her conduct.

Hillary Clinton has a 91% chance of winning the presidency.

In phone calls, email chains and text messages on Saturday, Clinton aides and allies were by turns confident that the F.B.I. would find nothing to hurt Mrs. Clinton and concerned that the inquiry would nudge demoralized Republicans to show up to vote for down-ballot candidates — and perhaps even cast ballots, however reluctantly, for the battered Mr. Trump.

“This is like an 18-wheeler smacking into us, and it just becomes a huge distraction at the worst possible time,” said Donna Brazile, the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee and a close Clinton ally. “We don’t want it to knock us off our game. But on the second-to-last weekend of the race, we find ourselves having to tell voters, ‘Keep your focus; keep your eyes on the prize.’”

As much as Clinton advisers stressed that they were not panicking, some of them radiated anger at Mr. Comey, Mr. Weiner and even Mrs. Clinton — a reflection of 18 months of frustration that her personal decisions about her email practices and privacy were still generating unhelpful political drama. Two Clinton aides, for example, pointedly noted in interviews that it was difficult to press a counterattack without fully knowing what was in Ms. Abedin’s emails.

Some prominent Democratic women, meanwhile, were angry that a murky announcement from the F.B.I. might impede the election of the first female president of the United States.

“It worries me because it gives the Republicans something to blow up and fan folks’ anger with,” said former Representative Patricia Schroeder of Colorado, who considered a run for the Democratic nomination for president in 1988. “I was on the Judiciary Committee when I was in Congress, and I have never seen the F.B.I. handle any case the way they have handled hers.”

While some voters are undecided, about 20 million Americans have already cast ballots in early voting, and millions more long ago concluded which candidate they would support.

In a polarized country where many are unwaveringly contemptuous of either Mr. Trump or Mrs. Clinton, the latest development in the email story prompted a mix of shrugs and renewed determination from the left and told-you-so claims of Clinton perfidy from the right.

“My mind was made up,” said Luis Luaces, 57, a Florida Republican who expressed little surprise about the Weiner email twist as he cast his ballot for Mr. Trump on Saturday in Miami. “I know what the Clintons are about.”

Democrats also said the development had done little to alter their perceptions. In Charlotte, N.C., Ian Leemans, 35, a Democrat, said he had been at work checking news sites when he saw a flashing banner with Friday’s news. He had already planned to vote early for Mrs. Clinton, but after the news, he felt even more urgency to cast his ballot.

“I thought, O.K., this is going to be an advantage for Trump people to say, ‘Oh, it is a rigged election,’” Mr. Leemans said. “So I thought, ‘Oh, I need to make sure I get up at 8 o’clock on a Saturday and vote.’”

Several Republican pollsters and strategists said that given Mr. Trump’s weakness, the F.B.I. inquiry was more likely to help the party’s candidates for the House and Senate than to transform the political fortunes of Mr. Trump.

“To the extent this affects relative enthusiasm among Republicans and Democrats, it helps down-ballot Republicans,” said Whit Ayres, a pollster advising one such candidate seeking re-election, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Referring to Mrs. Clinton’s lead over Mr. Trump in recent polls, Mr. Ayres added, “The margin at the top of the ticket is large enough so that it probably takes an indictment, rather than an investigation, to move those numbers sufficiently.”

With control of the Senate on a knife’s edge and Democrats wielding Mr. Trump’s unpopularity like a weapon to make gains in the House, Republicans were exultant to at least get off the defensive.

While few Republicans were willing to argue that Mr. Comey’s letter could revive Mr. Trump, they said that the new revelations dovetailed with a message they were already pushing: that Democratic candidates would only enable Mrs. Clinton’s instinct for secrecy and not hold her accountable.

“It boosts the check-and-balance argument because it is a reminder of all of the things voters hate about Clinton,” said Rob Simms, the executive director of the House Republican campaign arm.

Reporting was contributed by Yamiche Alcindor, Nick Corasaniti, Matt Flegenheimer, Jack Healy and Thomas Kaplan.

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Saturday, October 29, 2016

Trump's border wall: Would it work? (Hint- IDTS)

 By Warren Richey, Christian Science Monitor Staff writer

The Politics of US series: Illegal immigration

It is about a quarter-mile hike to reach the top of a ridge west of the fence. There, among the cactuses and the mesquite, lie several small clearings where it appears people have been sleeping. Discarded food cans litter the area, and a tangle of wire runs through the middle of it. Welcome to the other US-Mexican border – the one without a barrier.

The border here looks easy enough for anyone to cross. Donald Trump wants to change that. To address the problem, the Republican presidential candidate makes a bold pledge. 

“We will build a great wall along the southern border,” he says. “And Mexico will pay for the wall.”

As if on cue, the crowds at his rallies respond with a now familiar mantra: “Build that wall.... Build that wall.... Build that wall....”
(OMG these people are cult followers!)

In a presidential election campaign unlike any in US history, Trump’s Wall looms large. At this point it is merely a proposal, yet the very idea of it has split the American public, offended Mexico, alienated American Latinos, and drawn a razor-sharp contrast between Mr. Trump and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on the thorny issue of illegal immigration.
It's can't sustain won't work, no wall has ever worked.

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Forget the Damn Emails

No, seriously!

Donald Trump flip-flopped about a "rigged system". Flip-flopping in politics can be deadly for candidates. Trump has had a "flip flop moment",.because the FBI director James Comey has somehow connected a third party email investigation into Anthony Weiner to a server that may or may not be associated with Hillary Clinton. Typical of Donald Trump's cruel mentality, he uses the "system" (as he calls it) to his advantage but if he doesn't get his way, like a spoiled brat, he turns on his message, like an out of control spinning top.
Has our Federal Bureau of Investigation turned into a Gestapo? FBI director Comey is behaving dangerously like the Secret State Police, the official secret police of Nazi Germany and German-occupied Europe.

This is what The New Yorker editors wrote about Donald Trump in an unprecedented four page editorial in opposition to his candidacy and cruel right wing campaign:

"At a time of alarming and paralyzing partisanship, this is an issue that reasonable voices in both parties can agree upon. At last count, more than a hundred and sixty Republican leaders declared their refusal to support Trump. Fifty national security officers who served in Republican Administrations have done the same. The Cincinnati Enquirer the Arizona Republic the Dallas Morning News and the Coumbus Dispatch, all concervative newspapers, which have endorsed only Republicans for betweeen seventy-six and a hundered and twenty six years- have endoresed Clinton.  USA Today, which as never endorsed a candidates, has declared Trump 'unfit for the presidency' and has also endoresed Clinton."

Democrats can't let down our political guard in opposing the cruel candidacy of Donald Trump and his white supremicist right wing supporters.

James Comey had no authority to release a half assed ambiguous missive about emails that clearly do not directly point ot Hillary Clinton unless he also had corroborating evidence to explain his decision.  In fact, it's time for all Americans to "forget the damn emails".  Let's consider what's at stake in this election. We are voting for competent leadership and it's clear we want to reject the paranoia, narcissism, misogyny and bigotry of Donald Trump and his cruel campaign.

In fact, Donald Trump can't have his own way like a cry-baby. Frankly he has proven to be a "huge" political flip-flopper.

Paleeeze! Forget the Damn Emails! Especially, when they're somebody else's.

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Republicans won't intimidate Hillary Clinton

Republicans will fail in their relentless partisan ongoing obstructionism when President Hillary Clinton is the leader of the fee world. She's ready for their witch hunts and muckraking.
Image result for Clinton and Michelle in North Carolina pictures
Secretary Clinton's amazing surrogate is First Lady Michelle Obama in Wake Forest North Carolina

They've tried obstructing the Obama administration for 8 years. Although regressive Republcians policies haven't helped to move our nation forward, the fact is, President Obama is enjoying a 57 percent approval rating.

As for Secretary Hillary Clinton, after 11 hours sitting in front of Congressman Trey Gowdy's politically motivated Benghazi investigaton, there's nothing much the Republicans can do to intimidate her experienced leadership.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has no moral political compass and, even worse, he doesn't have any credible surrogates.  

In fact, Donald Trump's surrogates are likely doing him more harm than good. For example, the exchange between surrogate Newt Gingrich backfired on Donald Trump when FoxNews interviewer Megyn Kelly pushed back on his verbal agression.

In fact, New Gingrich behaved very badly with Megyn Kelly. He would never have been so crude with a male interviewer.

Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got into a televised tiff on Tuesday night in which he accused her of being “fascinated with sex” for her reporting on allegations of unwanted advances and groping by the Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump.

The bizarre exchange played out toward the end of an interview on Ms. Kelly’s news program, “The Kelly File.

The discussion turned from who was ahead in the polls — Mr. Trump or the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton — when Mr. Gingrich, a Republican and staunch supporter of Mr. Trump, accused Ms. Kelly and the news media of paying a disproportionate amount of attention to allegations by 10 women that Mr. Trump had forcibly kissed or groped them.

That was the start of a roughly two-minute exchange on live television that suddenly became less about the presidential candidates and more about a personal friction between Mr. Gingrich and Ms. Kelly.

Thankfully, Ms. Kelly wasn't intimadated by Gingrich.

Likewise, Secretary Clinton won't allow Republican obstructionism to prevent her from advancing a progressive political agenda.

Although Megyn Kelly and Secretary Clinton aren't likely to be "new best friends", the two of them are very strong women who won't be bullied by Donald Trump or his surrogates.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

World Health and Polio eradication: End Polio Now

Infectious diseases can be eradicated when a world wide effort is sustained to prevent the spread of diseases. Smallpox was eradicated.  Polio is a preventable illness, but only if everyone in the world is immunized against the infectious virus. Thanks to the Rotary International (RI) Foundation and other humanitarian organizations like the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world is very close to ending the scourge of Polio....but we're not there yet. What does this have to do with Americans?  Lots. We must eradicate polio so the world becomes immune to the risk of another epidemic, like the episodes of the 1940s and 50s, when millions experienced morbidity and many mortalities resulted from could happen; but such an extraordinary occurrence can be prevented, with access to vaccines.
Image result for End Polio graphics

As a member of Rotary, I'm particularly concerned about eradicating polio. I personally know Rotarians who risked their safety by traveling to very poor places on earth where polio still infects children.They go to these places to give the oral vaccine to children. Unfortunately, some of the hardest to reach locations, where polio continues to infects children, are in Pakistan and Nigeria, two of the most economically desperate nations on earth.  

Here is an update on polio from "Health Day" e-magazine:
MONDAY, Oct. 24, 2016 (HealthDay News) --
Polio is almost a thing of the past, but it still exists in small pockets on the planet, U.S. health officials reported Monday.

In 1988, a global effort to eradicate polio, a disease that has crippled millions of children worldwide, began. 

Since then, the number of cases dropped from 350,000 to just 27 this year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"We are on the brink of the eradication of polio -- we are closer than ever," CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden said during a media briefing.

"In this period [1988-2016], 2.5 billion children have been vaccinated against polio," he said. "If it were not for this effort, an estimated 15 million more children would be disabled. Every year polio eradication is delayed, the incremental cost is about $800 million."

The battle to eradicate the disease, however, continues in areas where it is still endemic, officials added.

"The new cases in Nigeria highlight the need to improve tracking of the disease," Frieden said. "We have to redouble our efforts to get over the finish line in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Despite big obstacles, both countries are making substantial progress."

Vaccinating children in some parts of the world, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, can be a dangerous task. According to published reports, workers in these areas trying to vaccinate children have been killed by extremists who believe vaccinations sterilize children or that workers are Western spies.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is made up of five groups: the CDC, Rotary International, the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Frieden said.

"We will get to a day when polio is history," Frieden said.

Finally eradicating polio is going to cost $1.5 billion, John Germ, president of Rotary International, said during the media briefing.

"If we don't get the funding, polio is going to spread again, and it's going to cost us billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of lives a year for the children that we must protect against this virus," he said. "It can cost us a dream of a polio-free world."

No cure for polio exists -- it can only be prevented. The polio vaccine can protect a child for life, health officials said.

Despite the progress seen since 1988, "as long as a single child remains infected with poliovirus, children in all countries are at risk of contracting the disease," according to WHO. The virus can easily be imported into a polio-free country and can spread rapidly among unvaccinated populations.

"Failure to eradicate polio could result in as many as 200,000 new cases every year, within 10 years, all over the world," WHO says.

"Polio is almost defeated," Reza Hossaini, director of polio eradication at UNICEF, said during the briefing. But, "the recent cases in Nigeria remind us that almost is not good enough."

More information

Visit the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more on polio.

SOURCES: Oct. 24, 2016, media briefing with Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., director, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; John Germ, 2016-2017 president, Rotary International; Reza Hossaini, director, polio eradication, United Nations Children's Fund

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2016

Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Republicans are responsible for this jobs report- WSJ

Slowdown in State, Local Investment Dents U.S. Economy
Cities and states slashed spending on infrastructure—from highways to sewage systems to police stations.

Drivers head north on U.S. 69 in Overland Park, Kan., in July. Kansas officials this spring delayed 24 road-construction projects to help balance the state budget.
America's roads are an embarrassment - President Eisenhower expected more from our maintenance. 
Photo of Officials watching President Einsenhower sign the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954. There is no photo for the 1956 Act.
President Eisenhower Friday, 29 June 1956, kicked off the largest road-building program in US history. Of the $33,480,000,000 total cost, a large share of the cost would be met by the federal government, with much smaller matching contributions from the states He signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, a bipartisan bill sent to him by Congress three days earlier in the week, which authorized the expenditure.

A sharp pullback in spending by cities and states on infrastructure—from highways to sewage systems to police stations—is weighing down on U.S. economic growth.

Such government austerity is unusual in the eighth year of an economic expansion, and it is acting as a headwind for economic expansion just as the worst effects of the energy-industry bust, a strong dollar and inventory drawdown are fading.

The decline in state and local investment depressed gross domestic product growth this spring and was on track to weigh on economic growth again in the third quarter.

“We’re seeing anemic [government] revenue growth and consistent austerity-oriented budgets,” said Gabe Petek, managing director for state ratings at S&P Global Ratings. States are trimming investments in infrastructure and higher education, “areas of the budget helpful for generating economic growth going forward,” he said.

In​ Kansas (where President Eisenhower was born!), officials this spring delayed 24 road-construction projects to help balance the state budget. The more than $500 million in work had been slated to start by the end of 2018, including expanding U.S. 50 into a four-lane expressway near Dodge City.

Instead, the state will spend money to maintain existing roads. “We want to make sure the roadways we currently have are in the best condition as possible,” said Joel Skelley,director of policy at the Kansas Department of Transportation. ​

Total state and local government spending last year accounted for roughly 11% of U.S. economic output, four times as large as federal nondefense spending, and swings in public investment can have outsize effects on the growth rate. The Commerce Department will release its first estimate for third-quarter GDP on Friday.

Many state governments have yet to fully recover from the recession and associated steep declines in tax revenue. 

Moreover, in late 2015, inflation-adjusted tax revenue was lower in 21 states, compared with the peak before or during the recession, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.

The situation doesn’t seem to be improving. Preliminary data indicate that state tax revenue fell 2.1% in the second quarter from a year earlier after advancing just 1.6% in the first quarter, according to the Rockefeller Institute of Government. The recent drop reflected mixed stock-market returns and slowing growth in sales-tax collection and paycheck withholding.

Revenue declines restrain the ability of state and local governments to borrow money for capital projects. Such a situation prompted Connecticut to cancel or delay selling about $1 billion in bonds earlier this year. By law, the state has a debt limit tied to tax collections, and lawmakers must make cuts when the limit can’t be raised.

As a result of the lost funding, the University of Connecticut is delaying a $150 million renovation of its Gant Science Complex by several months and postponed plans for a $10 million overhaul of the roof at Gampel Pavilion, home of the national-champion Husky basketball teams. Instead, the university will use caulk to fix the leaks.

“We’re trying to balance priorities,” said Scott Jordan, the university’s chief financial officer. The cuts are “forcing us to take a look at what things support our core mission and Connecticut’s economy,” he said.

At the same time tax revenue is falling, costs for Medicaid, public-employee health care and pension obligations are rising, leaving many states with little discretion to deploy tax dollars elsewhere.

Democrats and Republicans disagree on the appropriate size and role of government, but infrastructure spending often enjoys bipartisan support. President Barack Obama and the GOP-led Congress last year enacted a $305 billion, five-year highway bill. Many Republican governors advocate spending to repair crumbling roads and support basic services, though some favor public-private partnerships for infrastructure.

Still, some conservative economists argue the system of tax collection and government funding is inefficient and that long-run economic growth would benefit from fewer public outlays.

For governments faced with tight funding, putting off building projects can be more politically palatable than sharp cutbacks in public safety or school budgets.

Construction spending by state and local governments fell in August to its lowest level since March 2014, according to the most recent data from the Commerce Department.Through this year’s first eight months, such spending was down 1.4% from a year earlier, while federal-government construction outlays were flat and private-sector construction spending was up 7% compared with the same period in 2015.

The government cutbacks could dent U.S. economic growth overall, many economists say.

“It’s going to be a very significant drag in the third quarter,” said Pantheon Macroeconomics chief economist Ian Shepherdson. But he said he expects a rebound in late 2016 or next year because the volatile construction-spending data are undershooting the trend suggested by government revenue numbers.

Construction of public buildings—courthouses, fire stations and other government facilities—should begin to rise in 2017 after years of decline, Dodge Data & Analytics predicted in a recent annual outlook. “This is expected to be the bottom of the cycle for public buildings, as government fiscal conditions have slowly mended,” the report said.

Troubled finances are weighing on state credit ratings, a report card of fiscal health. S&P downgraded its ratings of six states so far this year—the most since 1991.

The downgrades include states where political gridlock has upended the budgeting process, while in others, such as Alaska and North Dakota, a pullback in the energy industry is weighing on tax collections.

Despite the downgrades, state debt remains highly rated, including 15 states with the highest AAA-rating.

Past economic expansions gave states an opportunity to make critical investments and build up rainy day funds and other buffers to protect against recessions. That isn’t happening in several states this time. The median state in fiscal 2016 could run on its reserves for 29.2 days, down 14 days from the level a decade earlier, according to Pew,

Most states are selling bonds to refinance existing debt, not to raise funds for investment in new projects.

“We’re not seeing a push to take advantage of the lower interest rates” to raise new funds, said S&P’s Mr. Petek. “It’s not our forecast, but you can’t rule out a recession in the next two or three years, and several states haven’t put themselves in a good position to weather it.”

(There's no question in my mind that if the issue of tax relief was correlated with economic growth, the entire US economy would be in the stratosphere of being robust right now....hypocritical and greedy Republicans would rather bring down our entire economy than to reinvest income redistribution where it's needed to improve our human condition and quality of life.)

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Trumptopia - a lawsuit nation

"If Trump is elected president, it won’t change the way his lawsuits are handled."- USAToday
Republicans who say they support Donald Trump to lead the free world have a problem with their short term memories. Remember when Republcians were in disdain of "frivolous" law suits they complained about? Now, Donald Trump will spend the remainder of his adult life in court if all the law suits against him proceed and there's no way of stopping what are already in the queue.
Donald Trump in Gettysburg, Pa., on Oct. 22, 2016,
Donald Trump in Gettysburg, PA where he desecrated the hallowed ground by by bringing up lawsuits against accusers who give evidence about him being a sexual predator.

USAToday reports - (Oh, and by the way, "God Forbid" if there is a "Trumptopian" victory on November 8th, many of these pending lawsuits would conceivable be defended with government aka "taxpayer" money.)

On the first anniversary of the start of his campaign to be elected, Donald Trump spent much of the day in a setting he knows well — a room full of high-priced lawyers battling out a civil lawsuit.

Trump paused his campaigning June 16, to answer questions under oath in one of his lawsuits against two celebrity chefs. He had sued Geoffrey Zakarian and José Andrés after they backed out of a restaurant deal in response to Trump’s inflammatory statements about Mexican immigrants.

The two-hour deposition was at least the third time Trump had to leave the campaign trail to be deposed by attorneys in one of his organization’s many lawsuits.

Just two weeks before Election Day, at least 75 of the 4,000-plus lawsuits involving Trump and his businesses remain open, according to an ongoing, nationwide analysis of state and federal court records by USA TODAY. Trump is running well behind Democrat Hillary Clinton in most polls — about 5 points behind in the popular vote in RealClearPolitics' rolling average of national polls. But if Trump were to win, the number of unresolved cases is unprecedented for a presidential candidate, according to political scientists and historians.

Trump faces significant open litigation tied to his businesses: angry members at his Jupiter, Fla. golf course say they were cheated out of refunds on their dues and a former employee at the same club claims she was fired after reporting sexual harassment. 

Moreover, there’s a fraud case brought by Trump University students who say the mogul’s company ripped them off for tens of thousands in tuition for a sham real estate course.

Trump is also defending lawsuits tied to his campaign. A disgruntled GOP political consultant sued for $4 million saying Trump defamed her. Another suit, a class action, says the campaign violated consumer protection laws by sending unsolicited text messages.

If elected, the open lawsuits will tag along with Trump. He would not be entitled to immunity, and could be required to give depositions or even testify in open court. That could chew up time and expose a litany of uncomfortable private and business dealings to the public.

One Trump case, over non-payment of tips to caterers at Trump SoHo Hotel in New York City, is scheduled to go to trial a week before Election Day.

Even in the waning days of the campaign, in a speech Saturday in Gettysburg (OMG!)outlining his first actions if he wins the White House, Trump threatened to sue all of the women who’ve accused him of unwanted sexual advances, saying all of them are lying.

The open cases raise questions about potential conflicts of interest that could become difficult for Trump to navigate.

For instance, could his judicial appointments be influenced by his own court cases? This summer, he attacked a federal judge who is presiding over the lawsuit against Trump University, saying District Judge Gonzalo Curiel is biased against Trump because the judge is of Mexican descent and Trump proposes a “great wall” along the Mexican border.

Another potential issue: Would lawyers, parties in cases and even judges seek to curry favor with a powerful individual in a way that might alter the outcome?

Norm Eisen, who founded the nonpartisan watchdog organization Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in 2003 and later was the top White House ethics lawyer for President Obama in 2009 and 2010, ticked off a series of potential conflicts.

The lawsuits against Trump University could raise questions about who Trump would appoint as Education secretary, Eisen said. “Somebody with favor to for-profit colleges?”

Trump’s development of the Old Post Office building in Washington is being overseen by the federal government, which leases the historic building to Trump, and lawsuits involving the development could involve government officials.

“Will he really put someone in charge that would testify against his business?” Eisen wonders.

“And the mother of all conflict could be the IRS audit,” he said. “What if they suggest civil penalties, or even criminal proceedings?”

Alan Garten, general counsel for Trump and his business interests, downplayed the significance of the cases.

Garten said only about 30 significant cases are open

(Hello?) The others are run-of-the-mill cases involving one Trump holding or another, frivolous causes or suits destined to be dismissed. “The reality is we’re an operating company. We’ll treat all cases the same way if he’s elected or not — and the results shouldn’t be different in the eyes of the law.”

USA TODAY Network reporters spent more than 6 months gathering court records in more than 4,000 lawsuits involving Trump and his companies. They traveled to courthouses, studied thousands of pages of records and contacted lawyers, litigants and witnesses across the country. For comparison, the newspaper also pieced together the record of Clinton’s court cases.

Journalists' exclusive investigative analyses found an unprecedented mountain of legal battles for a presidential candidate, ranging from skirmishes with pageant contestants to multi-million dollar real estate lawsuits. 

These cases offer clues to the leadership style the billionaire would bring to the White House.

The review shows that Trump frequently responds to even small disputes with overwhelming legal force, not hesitating to use his tremendous wealth and legal firepower against adversaries with limited resources.

He has repeatedly refused to pay people and small businesses for their work, forcing them to spend time and legal fees if they want to recover their losses.

At least 60 lawsuits — plus hundreds of additional liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by reporters — documented cases where people accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them what they were owed for their work. Among them: painters, glass makers, real estate agents, bartenders and hourly workers at Trump resorts coast to coast. Even his own lawyers.

Their review also shows Trump and his companies were accused for years of mistreating women. In at least 20 separate lawsuits, plaintiffs accused Trump and managers at his companies of discriminating against women, ignoring sexual harassment complaints and even participating in the harassment themselves. Women in those disputes have testified they were fired for complaining.

Trump’s companies have been engaged in battles over taxes almost every year from the 1980s until as recently as last spring, when New York had to take legal action to collect $8,578 in unpaid taxes on the Trump-owned company that owns the trademark Boeing 757that jetted the mogul to campaign rallies across the country.

The review found that people who say something Trump doesn’t like will frequently get threatened with a lawsuit. “I’ll sue you” was a Trump mantra long before “Build a wall.” The analysis of lawsuits, however, showed that he rarely follows through with his threatened lawsuits over people’s words and almost always loses when he does. The lone win was a lawsuit against Miss Pennsylvania — over her claim on Facebook that Trump’s Miss USA pageant was rigged.

Trump's "trumped up" companies face open cases of sexual discrimination and fraud, unpaid bills and contract disputes

In any of the open cases, litigants would have the right to demand testimony from Trump or people close to him, some of whom could become senior White House aides.

Such legal action can — and often does — unlock private financial and other records that could then become public. Even if Trump broke no laws or committed no wrongdoing, that kind of inside information could be used by political opponents to try to embarrass him or weaken him politically.

Clinton could face similar challenges as litigation over her refusal to turn over emails from her time as secretary of State moves forward.

“It could pose a problem for both sides in the presidency,” said Julian Zelizer, a history professor at Princeton University. “They could produce damaging information, and given the partisan environment, any kind of scandal or investigation could be used to stifle a president.”

Those kinds of tactics have impacted past presidencies.

President Grant was among the early commanders in chief beset by scandal. He was forced to testify under oath at the White House in a high-profile federal prosecution of an illegal whiskey running scheme that ensnared some of his closest political associates.

Grant’s testimony helped get his top aide off the hook and further soiled the public perception of his administration. Today, he is widely considered one of the least effective presidents in U.S. history.

In more modern times, President Nixon’s administration was ensnared by repeated legal woes, scandals, botched cover-ups and ultimately his resignation.

No president had litigation in the volume of a potential Trump.

“Because of the Supreme Court case related to Bill Clinton, there’s no automatic shield for the president from civil action,” said Samuel Issacharoff, a law professor at New York University. 

In fact, “If (God forbid!) Trump were president and called to testify and hostilities break out in the Middle East, a court would probably postpone — but of course, it’s a major dislocation to be going through these civil trials while he (could be) running an administration.”

Among the many Trump lawsuits, the most problematic could be the Trump University cases.

Former students from across the country have sued in two class actions, accusing the school of charging them up to $35,000 and lying about the value of the lessons they would receive.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman sued in 2013 and has since described Trump University as a “fraud” and a “scam.”

While the open cases are civil, some legal scholars raise the prospect that a court could ultimately find Trump University or even Trump personally liable for fraud. In the worst case, a finding that fraud took place — even by a civil court — could provide Congress with the grounds to consider impeachment proceedings.

“These claims are different in an important way than most of his other cases,” said Christopher Peterson, a law professor at the University of Utah who’s researched the Trump University cases. Even though the burden of proof would be lower in civil court to prove Trump liable for fraud or racketeering, Peterson said, “The evidence that you would use to prove those claims would be interchangeable. It’s the same kind of claims that you would get the mob for in a concrete scam.”

At a minimum, if the cases go forward, additional testimony by instructors and students about predatory sales tactics would become public.

Trump’s already been deposed about the university. He downplayed his role, but could be called to testify at a trial.

If that happens, Trump would become the first modern sitting president to do so in open court. Bill Clinton gave testimony to a grand jury investigating the Monica Lewinsky scandal in 1998.

For years Trump’s legal team has successfully kept secret much of the financial information disclosed in his court cases.

The vast majority of settlement payments Trump has made to litigants is secret under non-disclosure agreements.

Trump’s attorneys also regularly ask judges to seal records that come out during the cases, something that is often done for plaintiffs and defendants in civil cases.

If Trump is elected President, the already immense pressure to release records could escalate even further.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” said Katie Townsend, litigation director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, a plaintiff seeking to liberate some of the sealed records. “Either way these documents would be newsworthy, before or after the election.”

Already, Trump’s candidacy has prompted court battles to get records in his cases unsealed.

In September, a judge ruled against USA TODAY and The New York Times in an attempt to unseal court files from Trump’s 1990 divorce from his first wife, Ivana.

District Court Judge Gonzalo Curiel ruled over the summer to keep private the video recording of depositions in the Trump University cases, partly for fear they would add to the political tint of the case and since transcripts are already available.

But in September, Trump attorneys lost battles to keep videotapes sealed in cases involving his Washington hotel and Jupiter, Fla., golf club.

And a group of journalists are battling to unseal the settlement in a 1983 case tied to the destruction of Bonwit Tower in midtown Manhattan to make way for Trump Tower. The suit alleged undocumented Polish workers performed the work off-the-books. The settlement is still secret. A judge ruled against unsealing those records this summer, but the journalist group is appealing.

In June, in the days after the deadliest mass shooting in American history, as both presidential candidates and the rest of the nation were coming to grips with the terror attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub, Trump was also being deposed in Washington in one of his two lawsuits against the chefs, Zakarian and Andrés.

The duo wanted no part of the eatery they’d planned to open in Trump’s luxury hotel in the Old Post Office Building just down the street from the White House. Their reason: their reputations and their brand were badly damaged by associating with Trump after his comments a year earlier branding Mexican immigrants as rapists, murderers and criminals.

As they sought to establish the idea that such statements could be bad for any business, the chef’s attorneys asked Trump about the fallout for his businesses from his incendiary comments. They pressed him about whether he thought his words might keep Hispanics from going to a restaurant in one of his hotels or to any of his other properties. Trump’s response: The election and the attention he’s getting for the words he’s using are only going to be good for business.

“I’m running for office. I obviously have credibility because I now, as it turns out, became the Republican nominee running against, we have a total of 17 people that were mostly senators and governors, highly respected people,” he said under oath.

After explaining the “very dishonest” media distorted his remarks about Mexican immigrants, he added: “I think, you know, most people think I’m right.”

His booming popularity would only help the restaurant succeed, he testified. But, he conceded, the comments could turn some Hispanic patrons off.

“It is always possible,” Trump said. "I just don’t know. I mean, I don’t know how to answer that question. It’s possible."

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