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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Trump Takes Cleveland, Really!

Trump did not go away.   There has been one fun night for the GOP in Cleveland so lets look at how we got here.




It has been over six months since Donald Trump rode his surreal Trump Tower escalator down down down to announce he was running for president to a likely hired audience.   Most people assumed it was be a joke and he’d flame out quickly.   Late-night comedians rejoiced.  

 Nobody, least of all the Republican establishment, seemed particularly worried that this was a reality-based campaign.

 Now everybody is pretty worried.   After numerous announcements of his imminent demise as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, the Donald remains firmly on top of the polls.   Every controversy, every a**hole comment seems to make him stronger.   People are taking him a lot more seriously.   The Huffington Post removed him from the entertainment page and put him back in politics, though comedians and other cultural figures continue to crack wise.   J.K. Rowling has suggested that Voldemort comes out on top compared to Trump, and real-life Voldemort Dick Cheney has said Trump’s call for a ban on Muslim immigrants goes too far. 




  Most of his opponents, except for rising-in-the-polls Ted Cruz and no-longer-relevant Ben Carson, have denounced his extremism. 

Establishment figures like Paul Ryan, Lindsey Graham, Karl Rove, Jeb Bush and party leaders have hastened to express their dismay, though Ryan still says he’d support the blatant Islamophobe if he wins the party nomination.   

The Republican Party, failing to recognize or acknowledge that it might have any part in creating and enabling the rise of the Trump monster, is showing signs of the kind of full-scale freak-out that often accompanies extreme forms of denial.   This probably has more to do with the realization that Trump may really guarantee the party’s loss in the general election rather than any bonafide moral objections to what he says.   The thin-skinned mogul’s tweet that he might just run as an Independent if Republicans are going to be so mean to him only intensified the panic.   

Here are seven examples of a party in chaos and denial since Trump’s announcement Monday.




 1.  Jeb Bush is the frontrunner in freaking out. Still in a state of shock that the nomination he was so sure would be handed to him is not materializing, the feckless Bush is scrambling for an explanation.   On Monday he tweeted, “Donald Trump is unhinged.   His ‘policy’ proposals are not serious,” in response to Trump’s proposed Muslim ban.   But how different are Trump’s ideas from Bush’s?   Just a few weeks ago, Bush suggested a religious test for Syrian refugees and that we only let Christians into the U.S.   Was that a serious policy proposal?   And both of these deep thinkers have similar ideas for how our crackerjack border agents would determine if people were Muslim, Christian or some other religion.   They’d ask, “Are you a Muslim?” Trump thoughtfully explained to an inquiring reporter.   Bush’s apoplexy only increased to fever pitch when Trump tweeted about reconsidering a run as an Independent.   

In a tweet Bush floated the idea that there is a vast Trump/Clinton conspiracy that’s all about handing the White House to Hillary.   “Maybe Donald negotiated a deal with his buddy?@HillaryClinton,” Jeb Bush tweeted.   “Continuing this path will put her in the White House.”   Works like a charm.   When all else fails, float a conspiracy theory involving that evil witch Clinton.   Because that’s what responsible political leaders do. 




 2.   Dick Cheney sees threat to his title of most evil living Republican.   Not so long ago, Dick Cheney’s supremacy as the most evil Republican was unchallenged, except perhaps by Donald Rumsfeld.   And just a few short weeks ago, his anti-Clinton zeal was such that he pledged to support the Republican nominee no matter what, even if it was Mr. Trump, whom many Republicans have accused of being insufficiently conservative.   

But Monday, it looked like Cheney might have to walk that back when he said,  “This whole notion that we can somehow ban all Muslims…goes against everything we stand for and believe in.”    Hmmm, going too far for Cheney, the man who manipulated us into invading Iraq under false pretenses of fictitious weapons of mass destruction, enriching himself and his Halliburton friends in the process, thinks Trump has gone too far.   What a concept.   He did stop short of saying he would withhold support for a candidate Trump in a race against Clinton, or in fact any Democrat.




3.   Karl Rove says Trump won’t be the nominee, and he’s never ever wrong.    Last Summer Karl Rove received warm applause from the American Legion Boys State meeting when he called Donald Trump a “compete idiot” who was “unlikely to break through.”   Prescient.   In return, Trump has called Rove a “totally incompetent jerk,” and a “biased dope,” and it’s hard to disagree with that.

 Obviously, all this name-calling from the top of the party is really having an effect.   The former quintessence of the Republican establishment is devoting as much time as he can to taking Trump down, digging into history to find examples and finding one he thinks works in the 1896 election of William McKinley.   Recently asked by New York magazine why the Republican establishment is having so much trouble taking on Trump, Rove had a bulletproof plan.   “I don’t think the issue is taking on Trump.   The issue is consolidating the parts of the party that are becoming increasingly resistant to Trump.   What we’ve got are a bunch of people crowding each other saying, ‘I’m not him,’ and what will be interesting to watch is to see how they consolidate or if they do consolidate around someone.   My sense is they probably will.”   

On CNN this Sunday, Rove doubled down and recited a long list of reasons why he still thinks Trump will not be the nominee:  highest negative ratings of any 2016 candidate, attacks on Latinos and a disabled reporter, calling all of his competitors “a clown, a loser and a moron.” 

Sticking to his someone else will get it theme, he said, “You can’t win the nomination by saying any body else who’s running against me is a jerk and still win their supporters.”   We’ll see… 




 4.   Paul Ryan, who is very fit, wants to have his cake and eat it too.   It’s okay, he’ll work it off.

 Showing the leadership skills that elevated him to the coveted position of Speaker of the House that no one else would take, Paul Ryan said of Trump’s Muslim ban idea, “This is not conservatism.”   Banning members of one religion from the U.S., he continued is “not what this party stands for.”   Still unclear is why Ben Carson’s statement that a Muslim should not be allowed to be president or Jeb Bush’s suggestion that only Christians be allowed in did not elicit similarly strongly worded condemnations.   About Trump, Ryan continued portentously:  “More importantly, it’s not what this country stands for.”    But there is a limit to what Ryan thinks is unacceptable and un-American.   Asked if he would back Trump if he wins the nomination, Ryan went straight back into party faithful mode, principles be damned.    “I’m going to support whomever the Republican nominee is,” he said.   “I’m going to stand up for what I believe as I do that.” 




 5.   Lindsey Graham says Trump should be forced to emigrate somewhere very warm with no religious test.   The largely irrelevant presidential contender said Monday:  “What has been in the past absurd and hateful has turned dangerous.”    He told the Guardian,  “Donald Trump today took xenophobia and religious bigotry to a new level.”

 Yeah, we were comfortable with his previous level of xenophobia and bigotry, but not now.    Graham does not have a lot to lose, but he was probably proud of himself when he came up with his own Bible-thumping-type zinger.   “If you want to make America great again,” he said, referring to the Donald’s campaign slogan, “tell Donald Trump to go to hell.”   Ooh, burn. 




 6.   Carly Fiorina makes sure to have it both ways.

 Fiorina manages to be hateful even when she is supposedly confronting hate.   “Trump’s over-reaction is as bad as Obama’s under-reaction,” she pronounced ickily.   And no it isn’t.   Trump and Obama’s reactions do not even occupy the same universe. 




 7.   RNC chair Reince Priebus: HEEEEEELP!

 Priebus basically has no idea what to do about the Trump effect.   He just knows it isn’t good for his peeps.   “I don’t agree,”  Priebus said when asked what he thought of Trump’s proposal to ban all Muslims.   “We need to aggressively take on radical Islamic terrorism but not at the expense of our American values.”   Beyond that, like what it means for his party if Trump is the nominee, he’s just in quiet freak-out mode.   “That’s as far as I’m going to go,” he said of his carefully crafted previous statement.   But he is really really excited about next week’s debate!   Republican leaders seem to be dealing with the fact that there might not be a magic bullet to destroy this monster of their own making, who has thus far failed to self-destruct.   And that is scary!

That's 7 examples of how we got to today.



Friday, June 17, 2016

Donald Trump is Squirrel Nuts Crazy



Donald Trump prepared to go it alone if GOP won’t get on board



GOP leaders have yet to abandon Donald Trump, but the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said this week he’s ready to kick them to the curb and go it alone against Hillary Clinton if they don’t man up.



In some of his most dismissive comments yet, Mr. Trump said other Republicans need to either get behind him or “just be quiet” — adding to the increasing heartburn among Republicans, particularly those on Capitol Hill whose electoral fortunes are tied to the erratic billionaire.




“You can’t make this up sometimes,” House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said at a press briefing Thursday on Capitol Hill.


Mr. Trump’s admonition came after several weeks of chiding from fellow Republicans who decried his proposal for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the U.S., and who said his attacks on a federal judge’s ethnicity were unbecoming. Mr. Ryan had called it “the textbook definition of a racist comment.”




“The Republicans, honestly, folks, our leaders, our leaders have to get tougher. This is too tough to do it alone. But you know what? I think I’m going to be forced to. I think I’m going to be forced to,” Mr. Trump said on Wednesday.






Clinton losing interest in accommodating Sanders and his liberal followers

 

Progressive leaders are still hoping to force likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to the left, but a party insider said Thursday she’s rapidly losing interest in accommodating any more demands from Sen. Bernard Sanders and his followers.


The insider, who requested anonymity, said the struggles of presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump give Mrs. Clinton far more room to maneuver, leaving her less beholden to the liberal voters who backed Mr. Sanders.




That could leave her on a collision course with progressives, who are still pressing for Mrs. Clinton to drift further toward Mr. Sanders‘ positions on everything from a national $15 minimum wage to stiffer action on climate change.




“The real issues are finally on the table. Expanding Social Security. A $15 minimum wage. Single-payer health care, tuition- and debt-free public college, and reining in Wall Street.  Dozens of other common sense ideas, on everything from racial justice and ending mass incarceration to ending fossil fuel subsidies to combat climate change, to 12 weeks of paid family leave, to pursuing diplomacy over war,” Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn. Org Political Action, said this week.




His organization has formally backed Mr. Sanders, and he and other progressive leaders say the energy within the Democratic Party is coming from their side, not from the center — and so the party should move in that direction.





Republican Gov. Larry Hogan says he won’t vote for Donald Trump

 
Maryland’s Republican governor said Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to vote for the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Donald Trump.


“No, I don’t plan to,” Larry Hogantold The Washington Post when asked Wednesday whether he would cast a ballot for Mr. Trump.  “I guess when I get behind the curtain I’ll have to figure it out. Maybe write someone in. I’m not sure.”


The first-term governor said he isn’t “pleased” with any of the candidates in the presidential race.


“I don’t think either party has put up its best candidate,” he said.


Mr. Hogan has repeatedly said he doesn’t support Mr. Trump, but declined to say whether he would vote for the real estate mogul until now, The Post reported.  Mr. Hogan said he does not plan to attend the Republican National Convention.






Elizabeth Warren tells Clinton she must beat Trump: ‘Don’t screw this up’




Sen. Elizabeth Warren put pressure on Hillary Clinton on Friday, telling the former first lady in no uncertain terms she must prevail in the fight against Republican Donald Trump.


“Don’t screw this up,” the Massachusetts senator told Mrs. Clinton during a meeting at Clinton headquarters in Brooklyn, according to reports in the Boston Globe and other media outlets.


Ms. Warren’s trip to New York seems to offer further proof that the liberal populist senator is being heavily considered to be Mrs. Clinton’s vice presidential pick. Ms. Warren endorsed Mrs. Clinton last week.


While inside Clinton headquarters, Ms. Warren reportedly talked to Clinton staffers about protecting President Obama’s Affordable Care Act and keep in place the Dodd-Frank Wall Street regulations. Reining in Wall Street is the issue for which Ms. Warren is best known.


Choosing the senator as her running mate could help Mrs. Clinton secure the backing of progressives who had flocked to Sen. Bernard Sanders’ campaign and remain skeptical of the former secretary of state. Mrs. Clinton’s ties to Wall Street, among other things, have given many liberals pause.



Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 6 points: poll

 

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads likely GOP nominee Donald Trump by 6 points, according to a national poll released this week.


Mrs. Clinton was at 43 percent in the CBS polling released Wednesday and Mr. Trump was at 37 percent. The 6-point lead for Mrs. Clinton is the same margin from last month.


The survey was conducted from June 9-13, and most of the interviewing was done before the terrorist attack in Orlando early Sunday. Mrs. Clinton effectively wrapped up the Democratic nomination by winning four of six states that voted on June 7.




With Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson added to the mix, Mrs. Clinton was at 39 percent, Mr. Trump was at 32 percent, and Mr. Johnson was at 11 percent.


Mrs. Clinton, however, still faces hurdles with the private email server she set up for use as secretary of state.




About two-thirds said she did something wrong when she set up the personal email address and server for work. Forty-one percent said what she did was illegal, 25 percent said it was improper but not illegal, and 26 percent said she did nothing wrong.



Trump Is a Man on an Island -- and He's Sinking
by CHUCK TODD, MARK MURRAY and CARRIE DANN

First Read is a morning briefing from Meet the Press and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.



Trump is a man on an island -- and losing
Yesterday, we saw President Obama and Hillary Clinton deliver a tag-team slam on Donald Trump over the presumptive GOP nominee's reactions to the tragic Orland shooting. "Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently?" a visibly angry Obama asked. "Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith?" 


Almost at the same time, Clinton added this: "One day after the massacre, [Trump] went on TV and suggested that President Obama is on the side of the terrorists. Now just think about that for a second.  Even in a time of divided politics, this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president of the United States." 

Trump delivered his own counterpunch at his rally in North Carolina. "I watched President Obama today and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter." But as the Democratic Party has rallied around Clinton (save for Bernie Sanders -- more on that below), Trump is pretty much all alone here in his reaction to Orlando. 



"I'm not going to be commenting on the presidential candidates today," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, per Benjy Sarlin. "I am not going to spend my time commenting about the ups and downs and the in-betweens of comments," added House Speaker Paul Ryan. And then there's this: "Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C., paused a moment after being asked by NBC News whether he had any thoughts on Trump's response to Orlando. 'You know…hmm,' he said. Then without another word, he walked onto the Senate floor."  Hmm indeed.

GOP leaders pull a Marshawn Lynch

 
The Republican reaction was akin to Marshawn Lynch declaring to the media at the Super Bowl, "I'm just here so I don't get fined."   Two other GOP comments stood out to us yesterday.  There was Sen. Lamar Alexander declaring that Trump isn't the party's nominee -- yet.   "We do not have a nominee until after the convention," he said.   And Sen. John Cornyn, the No. 2-ranking Republican in the Senate said he's done talking about Trump.   "Wish me luck," he said, according to Politico.




And on top of it all, Trump is losing.  After our NBC|SurveyMonkey poll showed Clinton now with her biggest lead over Trump, a new Bloomberg poll from yesterday found Clinton ahead by 12 points, 49%-37%.   As we wrote last week, Trump has the rest of this month to calm his party.   If he doesn't, the GOP is in big trouble -- and all bets are off.

Obama spoke out against Trump for international reasons as much as domestic ones.



One final point to make about Obama's slam on Trump yesterday: He responded to Trump for international reasons as much as domestic ones. Obama wanted to counter Trump's post-Orlando speech for an international audience.




Bernie Sanders hasn't played his hand well -- at all

Well, the 2016 primary season came to an end last night with Hillary Clinton beating Bernie Sanders in DC, 79%-21%. And it came to an end without Sanders conceding or endorsing Clinton, although the two met last night and released positive-sounding statements. 



Here's the reality: Sanders hasn't played his hand well. Many of his demands from yesterday (wanting Debbie Wasserman Schultz out of the DNC, ending superdelegates, having more open primaries) seem small. By not conceding a race he trails by every measure possible, he seems even smaller. 

And smaller still is the real leverage he holds, especially after losing eight out of the last 11 contests, after Obama and Warren have already endorsed Clinton, and after polls show Clinton increasing her lead over Trump. The irony here is that Sanders already won -- he performed better than anyone imagined, and he already effectively moved Clinton and her campaign to the left. 

But one of the arts in politics is declaring victory after you've already won. But Sanders continues to march on… Here's the delegate math after last night's DC primary:

In pledged delegates, Clinton is ahead by 392 delegates

Clinton 2,217 (55%)
Sanders 1,825 (45%)
In overall delegates (pledged + super), Clinton leads by 925 delegates

Wasserman Schultz doesn't 100% guarantee she'll remain at the DNC through November



As for DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, she refused to 100% guarantee that she would remain in her job through November, per her interview on "MTP Daily" yesterday.

TODD: Do you feel as if your job is part of this negotiation between Clinton and Sanders?
SCHULTZ: No. What I know is that we are working hard to make sure that we have the best nominating convention that any political party has ever put on that will launch our nominee to the White House...
[snip]
TODD: So would you say definitively you're not leaving this job before the end of November, period?
SCHULTZ: No. I am going to continue to be focused on electing a Democratic president.
[snip]
TODD: One of my producers isn't fully -- you are -- you plan on being the chair of the DNC through the election in November?
SCHULTZ: I am planning on continuing to focus all the way through the election to the end of my term on making sure that we can elect Democrats up and down the ballot.


The Democratic race, by the numbers

With the Democratic primary season now over, here are some additional numbers to chew on:

Total votes won: Clinton 16.0 million, Sanders 12.3 million


Total states and territories won: Clinton 34, Sanders 22


Total number of primaries won: Clinton 28, Sanders 10


Total number of caucuses won: Sanders 12, Clinton 6


Total spent by campaign: Sanders $202 million, Clinton $174 million


Portman flips on federal gun ban for those on terrorist-watch list



"U.S. Sen. Rob Portman said Tuesday he favors a federal ban on weapons sales to those on the U.S. terrorist watch list, even though he voted against a similar proposal last year," the Plain Dealer writes. It's worth watching to see what other vulnerable GOP senators up for re-election this fall do - like Sens. Kelly Ayotte, Ron Johnson, and Pat Toomey. All of them voted against the legislation last December.

On the trail




Hillary Clinton delivers a speech on national security in Hampton, VA at 1:15 pm ET… Donald Trump holds a rally in Atlanta, GA at noon ET.



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Monday, April 4, 2016

Madness





STASI: 2016 presidential election madness is caused by the media    By   LINDA STASI




Hillary Clinton winks and smiles in an episode of “Broad City." Comedy Central

Hillary Clinton winks and smiles in an episode of “Broad City."

Racists, bigots, pompous asses, unhinged religious fanatics, self-loathing children of immigrants, xenophobes, liars, cheats, smug self-promoters, Wall Street prostitutes, hate mongers, gun crazies, do-as-I-say hypocrites, failed business moguls, one victimized wife, an absentee “bridge” player, a brainless brain surgeon and one old socialist. These are the best presidential candidates America could come up with to run our country? Yes, but now (pick from several choices above), we all know Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will be the ones left standing — until they bloody each other down.

And it’s all the fault of people like me.

We in the media — neutral, left and right — are the ones that caused this blight of buffoons to be unleashed upon the unsuspecting country.


DONALD TRUMP WINS FLORIDA, ILLINOIS, AND NORTH CAROLINA GOP PRIMARIES; KASICH WINS OHIO; MARCO RUBIO DROPS OUT OF PRESIDENTIAL RACE


We, along with legions of social media addicts, conspiracy theorists, and high-priced whores known as political advisers, have made it impossible for anyone who isn’t a sociopath, (as opposed to a socialist), to run for higher office.

Why don’t we have a JFK, a Reagan, an FDR stepping up to the plate any longer? It’s simple, stupid.

It’s because the best American minds in the world of business and politics don’t want their children, their spouses, their private lives, their college misdeeds, their every misspoken word, every sexual encounter, and every business deal spun into something rotten.




Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Florida. Gerald Herbert/AP

Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Florida.

We’ve made it as though smoking a joint is worse than being a racist. As though being a crazy evolution denier and global warming scoffer is better than being a liberal.

As though saying that Jesus has chosen you to be President is saner than saying the Iraq War destabilized the Middle East.

As though fighting an assault-weapons ban is safer than confronting the statistics of mass murder. As though saying you’d like to punch someone who disagrees with you is more logical than saying you believe in diplomacy. As though filling the uninformed with fear of foreigners and black teenagers is more sensible than the facts.

As though coveting the support of the least informed, the most bigoted, the most fearful and the most volatile, the most easily swayed, is healthier for this nation than winning over the most level-headed.

As though accusing your opponents of incompetence before endorsing them for your own political gain isn’t dangerous as hell.
As though screaming about outsourcing jobs while having your goods manufactured in China isn’t two-faced.

As though making it impossible for immigrants to move here, even though you are the son of immigrants, isn’t despicable.


HILLARY CLINTON NABS DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY WINS IN FLORIDA, N.C. AND OHIO AS BERNIE SANDERS STILL LOOKING FOR WIN


As though John Kasich isn’t the most decent of them all.
As though stealing someone else’s campaign themes, or encouraging hatred, as the two leading contenders have done, is ethical.

As though we don’t owe each other a big apology for not telling the truth loud enough and clear enough — and screw the hits, the shares, the frigging social media likes.

The truth is that the emperor isn’t naked after all. The presumptive emperor is wearing a Chinese-made suit from the Trump collection.




JIM LO SCALZO/EPA

Sarah Palin speaks at a campaign event for Donald Trump in Tampa, Florida.

PALIN’S T-WORD TROUBLE

Instead of being by the side of her husband, who has a collapsed lung and broken ribs and shoulder from a snowmobile accident, Sarah Palin was on the Trump stump Monday using subliminal racist language to align herself with the man who can put this idiot into a cabinet position.

She told a crowd, “And what we don’t have time for is all that petty punk-ass little thuggery stuff that’s been going on with these quote, unquote protesters.”


RICHARD SIMMONS PHONE INTERVIEWS CREATE MORE CONCERN FOR FRIENDS WHO HAVEN'T SEEN RECLUSIVE FITNESS GURU IN YEARS: 'HE DIDN'T SOUND LIKE HE WAS IN A GOOD PLACE'


Sarah calls protesters “thugs” but last time she made news stumping for Trump, her son Track was at her home getting arrested for punching his girlfriend in the face while brandishing an assault rifle.

“Thug” used to be the “microaggressive” subliminal way of saying “guinea” and “wop” until “Guido” became its reprehensible replacement.

Now “thug” is the subliminal white way to use the “N-word” without being accused of using the “N-word.” Black people know it and everybody in the political world knows it. She knows it, too.
Is there a subliminal word for “stupid?”




Richard Simmons called into “E.T.” and the “Today” show voice, not video to prove he’s alive and well. Charles Norfleet/FilmMagic

Richard Simmons called into “E.T.” and the “Today” show voice, not video to prove he’s alive and well.



EXPRESS LINES
Wait loss: Has Richard Simmons finally lost so much weight he’s disappeared into nothingness? The weight loss guru in the man-short-shorts has disappeared and his friends think his housekeeper is holding him hostage by witchcraft. Simmons called into “E.T.” and the “Today” show voice, not video to prove he’s alive and well. It only convinced everybody that he’s not. . . . Broken men: Now he finds out! Two years after Kristen Stewart broke up Rupert Sanders’ marriage by cheating with him on her then-boyfriend Robert Pattinson and breaking his heart, she’s breaking the Internet by kissing a girl, the French singer, Soko. . . . Cruz control: Caitlyn Jenner got past her gender confusion only to find herself the tragic victim of political confusion. She says she wants to be the “trans ambassador” for LGBT-repulsed Ted Cruz if he becomes President. She also maintains that Donald Trump is good on women’s issues. She needs more time as a woman to understand that she has become a blockhead.


SEE IT: HILLARY CLINTON WINKS TWICE, MAKES LIGHT BULBS BURST IN 'BROAD CITY' CAMEO


‘BROAD’ CONNECTION

A fawningly unfunny preview of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” has Hillary Clinton winking her way into a fake Clinton campaign headquarters as stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer babble incoherently with shock and awe.

Each time Clinton blinks, lights blow out. What that magic means is hard to know except that tragically the preview leaked just as the news hit that the House of Representatives was considering a bill to make magic a “recognizable art form.”

Do art forms now have to be recognized by Congress to be acceptable? One of the bill’s sponsors is Staten Island’s own, Rep. Dan Donovan, who replaced congressional-illusionist-turned convict, the sleight of hand, quick of fist Michael Grimm. Must be something in the water in Staten Island.




A preview of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” has Hillary Clinton winking her way into a fake Clinton campaign headquarters as stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer babble incoherently with shock and awe. Comedy Central

A preview of Comedy Central’s “Broad City” has Hillary Clinton winking her way into a fake Clinton campaign headquarters as stars Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer babble incoherently with shock and awe.


MAKING FRIENDS IN TURBULENT TIMES

Why don’t airline captains ever get on the PA and announce what the hell is going on when the plane hits tremendous turbulence? It’s inhumane.

On Monday night, on a Delta flight coming back from Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, the plane felt like it hit something, started dipping, shaking and dipping some more. Or that’s what it felt like. The hung-over lady weightlifter I was sitting next to and I held hands and low-screamed. Not one word from the cockpit. We were sure we were going down. However, there is some good news. The lady weightlifter and I are now engaged much to my husband’s surprise.

12 YRS. A ‘SLAVE’?

Former stripper Amber Baptiste says Silicon Valley venture capitalist, Michael Goguen, kept her as a sex slave for a dozen years.

No, not like she was tied up in his basement and he fed her dog rations through a cage or anything. But by taking her on trips and giving her hundreds of thousands of dollars and then giving her an STD, while he busied himself marrying two other women. She alleges that during the 12 years he kept raping her.

Baptiste is suing Goguen because he then promised her $40 million to keep her silence but didn’t pay the whole amount. So wait. You can sue for breach of blackmail?


FOLLOW LINDA STASI ON FACEBOOK HERE






Can Trump Be Stopped?



By Patrick J. Buchanan | October 20, 2015 | 5:05 AM EDT



Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks Monday, Oct. 19, 2015, in Anderson, S.C.   (Ken Ruinard/The Independent-Mail via AP)

Three months ago, this writer sent out a column entitled, "Could Trump Win?" meaning the Republican nomination.

Today even the Trump deniers concede the possibility.

And the emerging question has become:   "Can Trump be stopped? And if so, where, and by whom?"

Consider the catbird seat in which The Donald sits.

An average of national polls puts him around 30 percent, trailed by Dr. Ben Carson with about 20 percent.   No other GOP candidate gets double digits.

Trump is leading Carson in Iowa, running first in New Hampshire, crushing the field in Nevada and South Carolina.   These are the first four contests. In Florida, Trump's support exceeds that of ex-Governor Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio combined.

If these polls don't turn around, big time, Trump is the nominee.

And with Thanksgiving a month off, then the Christmas season, New Year's, college football playoffs and NFL playoffs, the interest of the nation will drift away, again and again, from politics.

Voting begins Feb. 1 in Iowa. Super Bowl Sunday is Feb. 7. And the New Hampshire primary will likely be on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

We are only three months out, and Trump still holds the high cards.

After months of speeches and TV appearances, he is a far more disciplined campaigner and communicator.   In a year when a huge slice of the nation is disgusted with political correctness, wants to dethrone the establishment, wipe the slate clean and begin anew with someone fresh, Trump is in the pole position.

His issues — secure the border, send illegal immigrants back, renegotiate rotten trade deals that shipped our jobs abroad — are more in tune with the national mood than pro-amnesty, Obamatrade or NAFTA.

Wall Street Journal conservatism is in a bear market.

Trump says he will talk to Vladimir Putin, enforce the nuclear deal with Iran, not tear it up on Inauguration Day, and keep U.S. troops out of Syria.   And South Korea should pay more of the freight and provide more of the troops for its own defense.

A nationalist, and a reluctant interventionist, if U.S. interests are not imperiled, Trump offers a dramatic contrast to the neocons and Hillary Clinton, the probable Democratic nominee.   She not only voted for the Iraq war Trump opposed, but she helped launch the Libyan war.

The lights are burning late tonight in the suites of the establishment tonight.   For not since Sen. Barry Goldwater won the California primary in 1964 have their prospects appeared so grim.

Can Trump be stopped?

Absent some killer gaffe or explosive revelation, he will have to be stopped in Iowa or New Hampshire.   A rival will have to emerge by then, strong enough and resourced enough to beat him by March.

The first hurdle for the establishment in taking down Trump is Carson.   In every national poll, he is second. He's sitting on the votes the establishment candidate will need to overtake Trump.

Iowa is the ideal terrain for a religious-social conservative to upset Trump, as Mike Huckabee showed in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012.

But Carson has preempted part of the Evangelical and social conservative vote. Moreover, Sen. Ted Cruz, an anti-establishment man, is working Iowa and has the forensic abilities to rally social conservatives.

Should Trump fall, and his estate go to probate, Cruz's claim would seem superior to that of any establishment favorite.

Indeed, for an establishment-backed candidate — a Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal — to win Iowa, he must break out of the single-digit pack soon, fend off Cruz, strip Carson of part of his following, then overtake Trump.   A tall order.

Yet, the battle to consolidate establishment support has begun.   And despite his name, family associations, size of his Super PAC, Jeb has lost ground to Marco Rubio.   Look to Marco to emerge as the establishment's last best hope to take down Trump.

But if Trump wins in Iowa, he wins in New Hampshire.

The Iowa Caucuses then, the first contest, may well be decisive.   If not stopped there, Trump may be unstoppable.   Yet, as it is a caucus state where voters stick around for hours before voting, organization, intensity and endless labor can pay off big against a front-runner.

In Iowa, for example, Ronald Reagan was defeated by George H. W. Bush in 1980.   Vice President Bush was defeated by Bob Dole and Pat Robertson in 1988. Reagan and Bush I needed and managed comeback victories in New Hampshire.   One cannot lose Iowa and New Hampshire.

Thus, today's task for the Republican establishment.

Between now and March, they must settle on a candidate, hope his rivals get out of the race, defeat Trump in one of the first two contests, or effect his defeat by someone like Carson, then pray Trump will collapse like a house of cards.

The improbabilities of accomplishing this grow by the week, and will soon start looking, increasingly, like an impossibility — absent the kind of celestial intervention that marked the career of the late Calvin Coolidge. 



Patrick J. Buchanan
Patrick J. Buchanan







Unless you've been living under a rock for the past thirty years—or on another planet—you know who she is. And you probably have an opinion.

"I mean, not too many people with the one name, Hillary," Virginia's Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe told CNN. "I guess a few others. Madonna, a few others ... But everybody knows Hillary."

That's the blessing and the curse. Hillary Clinton does not start her campaign at the starting line, like most. She's a woman who has written two autobiographies — one called "Living History"— and has a resume that checks almost every box, except the one she wants to check this time around: Madame President.
    A Mr. and Mrs. President?
    A Mr. and Mrs. President? 01:03


    She's been through it all, and then some. So it's easy to ask why she would actually do this: another campaign, more targets on her back, the possibility it won't succeed. Again.

    But the tugs at Hillary Clinton to run are much stronger, as it turns out. The tug of the huge Clinton network. The tug of her husband, Bill Clinton. The tug of history as a woman, to be sure. And the tug of national service which, many point out, is what Hillary knows best.

    "It's not just 'I have to do this, I have to make history, I have to be the big shot, they have to play Hail to the Chief when I walk in the room,'" says friend, adviser and fundraiser Paul Begala. "It's really a sense that she's got this agenda and this is the way to get it done."

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