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Тимоти Майкл Кейн
08 декабря, 23:22

Kaine blasts Flynn over conspiracy theories: He’s either ‘highly gullible’ or ‘consumed with malice’

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine derided President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for national security adviser Thursday for propagating conspiracy theories “a fourth-grader would find incredible.” Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn has come under fire lately for his history of spreading fake news and other conspiracy theories. His son, Michael Flynn Jr., who has served as his father’s chief of staff and was once involved with Trump’s transition, was widely criticized for promoting a false sex-ring conspiracy involving a Washington pizzeria, where a gunman fired at least one shot Sunday during what the gunman told police was a “self-investigation” of the so-called Pizzagate hoax. For his part, the elder Flynn — who will be tasked with advising the president-elect on the veracity of potential foreign and domestic threats — has also pushed conspiracy theories against Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama. “Gen. Flynn’s trafficking in conspiracy stories that a fourth-grader would find incredible suggests either that he’s highly gullible or that he’s so consumed with malice that he loses his ability to judge what’s fact and what’s fiction,” Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, told CNN on Thursday. A group of 53 nonprofit organizations signed a letter Monday asking Trump to dump Flynn, arguing that the retired lieutenant general “is unfit for serving in this critical post” and “[h]is appointment will damage America’s standing in the world and pose a threat to our national security.” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, urged Trump and Flynn to “disavow these falsehoods and conspiracy theories” like the one Sunday that almost turned deadly. “They will soon have a country to run, and God help us if they conduct the nation’s affairs like their transition — without the willingness or ability to separate fact from fiction,” he said in a statement.

08 декабря, 03:35

Hillary Clinton's Final Speech

December 12, 2016 (Philadelphia, PA). My Fellow Americans: I come here tonight to deliver my last national address to the American people. I do so, first, to say "thank you". Thank you for all the trust you have placed in me for all these years of my life dedicated to public service. Thank you for receiving me so warmly in cities and towns and farms all around the country in my two national campaigns. Meeting you, seeing you, hearing from you about your hopes and dreams and challenges inspired me, and will continue to inspire me for the rest of my life. Because of you, I know how right President Kennedy was when he said that we "would meet every challenge, support every friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and success of liberty". And, yes, thank you for your votes. Apart from President Obama's stunning victory in 2008, the largest number of Americans voted for us than any other person in American history. We are more than 2.65 million votes ahead of Donald Trump, a 2% lead, and still growing. We are also ahead of President Obama's totals in 2012. Thank you. Let me quickly, however, disabuse you of any feeling you may have that I have come here to ask the Electoral College to recognize this popular vote victory by installing me as President. I don't. Indeed, I will give a Shermanesque statement, "if elected by the Electoral College, I shall not serve". But, I am here to talk about another role the Electoral College should serve. That is why I speak to you from Philadelphia because it is the birthplace of our Constitution. Our Founders wrote into this great document a system of electing presidents that placed an elected group of people between the total popular vote and the presidency. We may agree or not agree with that provision. But, until changed, that is our governing charter. This is what Alexander Hamilton said about the purpose of the Electoral College: It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice... It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder. This evil was not least to be dreaded in the election of a magistrate, who was to have so important an agency in the administration of the government as the President of the United States. But the precautions which have been so happily concerted in the system under consideration, promise an effectual security against this mischief. [Emphasis added] Hamilton's point was that this smaller group, who were elected by the people, should exercise a sober second-thought about the fitness and circumstances of the popular election. To be sure, we have as come a long way as a nation since our founding. We have quite properly attached a greater importance to the vote of the people, as prescribed in the Constitution. The Electoral College should not substitute its policy or personality preferences for those of the people as expressed at the ballot box. That does not mean, however, that the Electors should be nothing more than robots. They have a Constitutional role and responsibility that they should exercise with great restraint, deference and prudence, but not complete abdication. The 2016 election is an occasion that deserves their sober second-thought. I want to be clear that nothing that follows deals with policy differences or preferences. Rather, it is based on several key threats to our Constitutional democracy. 1. A foreign power, Russia, massively hacked the election. 2. Mr Trump openly and loudly invited them to hack it. This must be taken extremely seriously. If the Electoral College allows the winner of an election with foreign interference, especially when he himself has urged that foreign interference, then we can never have a 100% American election again. 3. Mr. Trump's business empire produces impossible conflicts-of-interest. These will arise every day. For example, a government decides to have its year-end party at a Trump Hotel. This benefits Trump and his family. American public officials are forbidden from accepting gifts from foreign powers not by law, but by the Constitution of the United States. 4. Despite all his promises, Mr Trump has never shown the American people 10 years of his taxes. He seems not to understand, or care, that it is the duty of the press, the people, the Congress to make sure he is accountable for his actions, and not self-dealing. What weight can one give to any "arrangement" he may make on December 15th that he will not have a conflict of interest? Unless the whole company is sold, it is not possible. And, precious air-time and ink will be consumed investigating the latest Trump maneuver. 5. Finally, there is the matter of temperament. We have many problems in the United States and around the world. We need to give them constant attention. Although critically important, many are not exciting. Mr. Trump has already shown that, if things are too quiet, he needs to do something to make a tempest. It is not me, but conservative newspaper after conservative newspaper who have warned against a person like Mr Trump with the levers of power. It would be foolish to suppose that, upon taking the oath of office, a 70 year-old man will change his ways. The Founders had the vision to insert into our election process this "sober second-thought". You, the Electors, are charged with that role. Once again, I am not here to suggest that you install me as president. And, you will note, I cited not a single matter of public policy as the rationale. Nor do I seek to be president. I would like to make a suggestion. Senator Tim Kaine and I won the most votes, by far. Despite the foreign interference, and despite everything else that was being tossed about, we have the most votes, and the second most total votes in the history of the United States. If you, Electors, cast a majority of your ballots for us, I will immediately, within a second of stating "so help me God" in the oath of office, resign. I will write, sign and swear by whatever document is required to prevent any retreat, and I will provide that to the Electoral College before you vote. Vice-President Kaine would automatically become President. He would choose one of his Republican Senate colleagues to be Vice-President, and together they would govern as a "government of national unity". I think we all need that. Senator Kaine is an able and totally decent man, a man of strong faith. He has many, many friends and colleagues on the Republican side, from which to choose. President Kaine and his Vice-President would have to agree on all appointees, including the Supreme Court, before they were nominated. For this role as Vice-President, he might choose a Republican with a long, distinguished career, or perhaps even a woman who may not have served so long. That would be entirely up to him. Many people have told me that I should not make this speech. Mr Trump, they say, and he himself has so stated, that he always seeks revenge and is very vindictive. That, alone, should give the Electors pause about his character. It is not one that cherishes democracy. Kaine and his Republican Vice-President would, by design, govern down the center. Both parties have spoken about the need to rebuild the middle class. They would seek solutions designed to work, and that would enjoy bipartisan support because, at long last, no one side would get "credit". Let us not, my fellow Americans, and especially Electors, lose our great 225 year experiment in self-rule to the passions of the moment. Let cool heads prevail. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

07 декабря, 20:29

Democratic Leadership Looks Like Old Soviet Politburo

What does a professional sports team do after 6 straight losing seasons? Among other things, it usually fires the coach and looks for new blood, new leadership, and new strategies. But not if you're the minority House and Senate Democratic leadership...Or the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party shortly before the collapse of communism. Instead, the failed, and increasingly geriatric leadership holds onto its fading power with increasing tenacity. The highest ranking elected Democrats are now...drum roll...Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (who has served in Congress for 35 years since 1981) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (who has served in Congress for 30 years since 1986). Schumer and Pelosi will be the most prominent public faces of the Democratic Party for the next four years. Does that get you fired up and ready to go? The top three House Democratic leaders are 76 (Pelosi), 77 (Steny Hoyer) and 76 (Jim Clyburn). The average age of the Democratic House leadership is 76. That's even older than the 70-year old average of Soviet Politburo members in the age of Brezhnev, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The top three Republican House leaders, in contrast, are 46 (Paul Ryan), 51 (Kevin McCarthy) and 51 (Steve Scalise) (average age 49.) Pelosi has served in the House for 35 years, Hoyer for 35 years, and Clyburn for 23 years for an average tenure of 31 years. Pelosi and Hoyer have led the House Democrats for the past 14 years. The top Senate Democratic leadership is only slightly younger than on the House side, with 66 years old Chuck Schumer (38 years in Congress) as Minority leader, 72 year old Dick Durbin (34 years in Congress) as Minority Whip, and 66 year old Patty Murray (only 14 years in Congress) as Assistant Democratic Leader. I'm not saying that age is necessarily a disqualifier for political leadership. After all, the most dynamic Democrats in the Senate are 67 year old Elizabeth Warren and 74 year old Bernie Sanders. But the Democratic Congressional leadership isn't just old. It's an abject failure. Democrats have lost 1 of every 5 House seats they controlled in 2009. And they've lost 12 Senate Seats since then. And the national Democratic leadership did much to make Trump's victory possible. They cleared the field to insure that the least popular and most flawed Democratic nominee in history, Hillary Clinton, would be the Democratic standard bearer. They provided no viable economic message to the voters. If Democratic leaders want to know why Trump is President-elect, and Republicans control all three branches of government, they should look in the mirror. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are even worse faces for the Democratic Party than Hillary Clinton. Neither has any credibility as agents of change, as opposed to servants of the status quo. Their power in the Democratic caucus is predicated on their ability to raise tons of money from moneyed interests. And Chuck Schumer is essentially the Senator from Wall Street. Rather than put up a wall of resistance to the quasi-fascist Trump and the extreme right-wing Republican Congressional leadership, as Republicans did to President Obama, Schumer is already talking about how to compromise. Even before the election, Schumer was close to a deal with Paul Ryan to trade infrastructure spending for both a one-time tax break for corporations to repatriate off-shore profits for a fraction of the normal 35% corporate tax, as well as to substantially cut all corporate taxes going forward. Schumer is now talking about consummating that deal during Trump's first 100 days in office. It looks like a bad deal for Democrats and for American workers and a great deal for the oligarchy. The amount in corporate tax savings is likely to dwarf the amount spent on infrastructure (much of it in the form of corporate tax breaks and privatiization) and the corporate tax cuts are likely to go to executive salaries, shareholder dividends, and corporate takeovers rather than to creating very many new jobs. Moreover, such a deal would be a big political win for Trump and Congressional Republicans, and do nothing for the Democratic opposition. Democrats need progressive populism to fight back against Trump's right-wing populism. But it's not going to come from the sclerotic Democratic Congressional leadership. And already, the same establishment Democratic forces are who cleared the field for Hillary's losing candidacy and waging a stealth campaign to undermine progressive Keith Ellison's campaign to be Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Establishment Democrats had no problem with the DNC chair simultaneously serving in Congress when the post was held by corporate neoliberals Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But suddenly when the potential chair is a progressive like Ellison, serving in Congress has become a deal-breaker (even though Ellison has said he would consider giving up his Congressional seat, if necessary.) And the anti-Ellison forces have started a whisper campaign to leak out-of-context statements from Ellison that falsely make it seem that he's anti-Israel. It's appears that the Democratic establishment would rather lose with a neoliberal than win with a progressive populist. The Democrats need new faces, new leadership, and a new progressive populist direction. It's not going to come from the current leadership. But if it doesn't emerge from somewhere, Democrats--who only a few months ago were talking about becoming a permanent majority--may be looking at being in the minority for a long time, as Trump and the Republicans roll back the New Deal and the Great Society and turn the country into a kleptocracy. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

07 декабря, 20:29

Democratic Leadership Looks Like Old Soviet Politburo

What does a professional sports team do after 6 straight losing seasons? Among other things, it usually fires the coach and looks for new blood, new leadership, and new strategies. But not if you're the minority House and Senate democratic leadership... Or the Politburo of the Soviet Communist Party shortly before the collapse of communism. Instead, the failed, and increasingly geriatric leadership holds onto its fading power with increasing tenacity. The highest ranking elected Democrats are now... drum roll... Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (who has served in Congress for 35 years since 1981) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (who has served in Congress for 30 years since 1986). Schumer and Pelosi will be the most prominent public faces of the Democratic Party for the next four years. Does that get you fired up and ready to go? The top three House Democratic leaders are 76 (Pelosi), 77 (Steny Hoyer) and 76 (Jim Clyburn). The average age of the Democratic House leadership is 76. That's even older than the 70-year old average of Soviet Politburo members in the age of Brezhnev, shortly before the collapse of the Soviet Union. The top three Republican House leaders, in contrast, are 46 (Paul Ryan), 51 (Kevin McCarthy) and 51 (Steve Scalise) (average age 49.) Pelosi has served in the House for 35 years, Hoyer for 35 years, and Clyburn for 23 years for an average tenure of 31 years. Pelosi and Hoyer have led the House Democrats for the past 14 years. The top Senate Democratic leadership is only slightly younger than on the House side, with 66 years old Chuck Schumer (38 years in Congress) as Minority Leader, 72 year old Dick Durbin (34 years in Congress) as Minority Whip, and 66 year old Patty Murray (only 14 years in Congress) as Assistant Democratic Leader. I'm not saying that age is necessarily a disqualifier for political leadership. After all, the most dynamic Democrats in the Senate are 67-year-old Elizabeth Warren and 74-year-old Bernie Sanders. But the democratic congressional leadership isn't just old. It's an abject failure. Democrats have lost one of every five House seats they controlled in 2009. And they've lost 12 Senate seats since then. And the national Democratic leadership did much to make Trump's victory possible. They cleared the field to insure that the least popular and most flawed Democratic nominee in history, Hillary Clinton, would be the Democratic standard bearer. They provided no viable economic message to the voters. If Democratic leaders want to know why Trump is president-elect, and Republicans control all three branches of government, they should look in the mirror. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are even worse faces for the Democratic Party than Hillary Clinton. Neither has any credibility as agents of change, as opposed to servants of the status quo. Their power in the Democratic Caucus is predicated on their ability to raise tons of money from moneyed interests. And Chuck Schumer is essentially the senator from Wall Street. Rather than put up a wall of resistance to the quasi-fascist Trump and the extreme right-wing Republican Congressional leadership, as Republicans did to President Obama, Schumer is already talking about how to compromise. Even before the election, Schumer was close to a deal with Paul Ryan to trade infrastructure spending for both a one-time tax break for corporations to repatriate off-shore profits for a fraction of the normal 35% corporate tax, as well as to substantially cut all corporate taxes going forward. Schumer is now talking about consummating that deal during Trump's first 100 days in office. It looks like a bad deal for Democrats and for American workers and a great deal for the oligarchy. The amount in corporate tax savings is likely to dwarf the amount spent on infrastructure (much of it in the form of corporate tax breaks and privatization) and the corporate tax cuts are likely to go to executive salaries, shareholder dividends, and corporate takeovers rather than to creating very many new jobs. Moreover, such a deal would be a big political win for Trump and Congressional Republicans, and do nothing for the Democratic opposition. Democrats need progressive populism to fight back against Trump's right-wing populism. But it's not going to come from the sclerotic Democratic congressional leadership. And already, the same establishment Democratic forces are who cleared the field for Hillary's losing candidacy and waging a stealth campaign to undermine progressive Keith Ellison's campaign to be Chair of the Democratic National Committee. Establishment Democrats had no problem with the DNC chair simultaneously serving in Congress when the post was held by corporate neo-liberals Sen. Tim Kaine and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But suddenly when the potential chair is a progressive like Ellison, serving in Congress has become a deal-breaker (even though Ellison has said he would consider giving up his Congressional seat, if necessary.) And the anti-Ellison forces have started a whisper campaign to leak out-of-context statements from Ellison that falsely make it seem that he's anti-Israel. It's appears that the Democratic establishment would rather lose with a neoliberal than win with a progressive populist. The Democrats need new faces, new leadership, and a new progressive populist direction. It's not going to come from the current leadership. But if it doesn't emerge from somewhere, Democrats -- who only a few months ago were talking about becoming a permanent majority -- may be looking at being in the minority for a long time, as Trump and the Republicans roll back the New Deal and the Great Society and turn the country into a kleptocracy. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

07 декабря, 17:59

Dem blockade threatens brief government shutdown

Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Sherrod Brown are demanding more aid for miners in a must-pass spending bill.

07 декабря, 13:09

Democrats face stinging budget defeat in Trump era

Republicans are poised to sweep aside years of hard-won fiscal agreements that kept parity between defense and domestic spending.

06 декабря, 04:30

A Response: My Election Blame List

This article was written in response to a “Huffington Post” article by Max Weiss, which was in turn written as a response to a “Slate” article. The original “Slate” article was titled: “So We’re Still Blaming Jill Stein And James Comey, Huh?” and the Weiss response was titled: “Things I Blame For Hillary Clinton’s Loss, Ranked.” But the Weiss list was so far removed from my own feelings about the Clinton loss that I felt it was time to respond with my own blame list. It’s been a month since the election, so hopefully enough time has passed that Democrats can discuss what went so wrong. So here is my own list of the things I blame for the 2016 election loss, ranked. And I have to quote Weiss in saying (while he was blaming Bernie Sanders): “I know this is going to piss a lot of people off, but so be it.”   1-15. HILLARY CLINTON AND HER CAMPAIGN Hillary Clinton was the wrong candidate for this election. She might have won in a different year, against a different opponent. Her strongest point, oddly enough, was the one thing the Democratic National Committee seemed scared to highlight ― she is a great debater, and whether facing Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump did an excellent job on the debate stage. But it just wasn’t enough. So here it is, broken down. (1) Hillary is a bad campaigner. She doesn’t have anywhere near the political/people skills her husband does, and it showed throughout the entire election. Clinton is fully capable of showing her human side ― as she actually proved in a speech immediately after the election ― but she seemed incapable of presenting that authenticity to the public during the campaign. Also, imagine just for a minute if Hillary had been more forceful in responding to all of Donald Trump’s tweetstorms, in real time. If she had answered back with snappy (and scathing) tweets every single time Trump tweeted something outrageous, then she would have shared all those news cycles with Trump. Is competing for the presidency via Twitter battles unseemly? Sure it is, but Trump just proved how downright effective it can be ― it is, in fact, the new “bully pulpit of the 21st century.” Trump used this to his advantage, and Clinton just couldn’t keep up. (2) As the saying goes, “you campaign in poetry, you govern in prose.” Hillary Clinton tried to campaign in prose. Over and over again, she refused to do proper sloganeering, instead lapsing into lawyerly talk about incremental changes she felt certain she could actually deliver. But this translates into a posture of timidity, and being unwilling to risk shooting for the moon on any particular issue. That may be a realistic way to govern, but it’s not a great way to get elected. Comparing her campaign to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign proves this beyond a shadow of a doubt. (3) Because of this, Clinton’s entire message could really be boiled down to a rather non-inspirational slogan: “Dream small!” Don’t even dream of a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and maybe I’ll be able to get something like $12 an hour. Maybe. Free college tuition for some ― not for all. Marijuana legalization needs more “study” before I can even make up my mind on whether I support it or not. Don’t break up the big banks, I’ll slap them on the wrist and they’ll fall into line, trust me. Clinton reinforced this message of cautious baby steps every time she debated Bernie Sanders, even ridiculing Sanders for being too wildly unrealistic. Unfortunately for Clinton, this wasn’t what the public was looking for this time around. (4) If Clinton’s incrementalism ever had a chance, it certainly would have been helped if she had more forcefully made the case for Barack Obama’s legacy. Maybe this wouldn’t have worked in any case ― maybe it was always going to be a “change” election ― but she could have made the attempt with a bit more forcefulness. Reminding voters of what America was like in 2008 when Obama got elected would have strengthened her case for tinkering around the edges. (5) Clinton’s hesitancy was most notable in her economic message. Blue-collar voters just didn’t believe her when she promised to “fight every day” for their issues. Her campaign’s choice to not visit states like Wisconsin over attempting to flip states like Arizona just reinforced this problem. They would have done a lot better to have adopted the Bill Clinton slogan: “It’s the economy, stupid” as their central identity, but they didn’t. (6) The Clinton campaign made a big strategic choice, and it didn’t work. They chose to primarily attempt to scare suburban Republican voters into switching their votes from Trump to Clinton. This is the same sort of triangulation that worked well for her husband back in the 1990s, but no matter how many tens of millions of dollars of Trump fearmongering ads they ran, it had a very limited amount of success. The Clinton campaign came off looking angry and trying to fear-monger, instead of positive and hopeful for the future. (7) Clinton refused to release the transcripts of speeches she gave to the big Wall Street banks and hedge fund managers. This made it look like she was hiding something, which is never a good look for a politician. This also totally undermined all her promises to fight for working-class Joes, since she so obviously was telling them one thing while whistling a completely different tune to (as Bernie would say) the millionaires and billionaires. When Clinton came out against the Trans-Pacific Partnership, for example, very few voters believed that she was sincere in her new-found populism. (8) This was a larger problem than just her speeches. Hillary Clinton gave rise to an unprecedented amount of distrust among even Democratic voters. When you can’t even convince your own base that you are trustworthy and believable, you’re going to have a very hard time convincing anyone else, to put it bluntly. This was especially pronounced in the youngest voters. (9) Which leads to a related point. Hillary Clinton just didn’t excite young voters. There were a lot of people voting this year who had turned 18 since 2004 ― some of whom are now almost 30 years old ― who had never voted for anyone but Barack Obama for president. That’s the level of expectation they had for presidential candidates and presidential campaigns. That’s a very hard bar to clear for any candidate, but this year they all flocked to Bernie Sanders only to see Clinton tear him down as much as possible for being too idealistic and promising too much ― which were, in fact, exactly the same things Obama won on. When Sanders lost to Clinton, she had the chance to energize them with her general election campaign, but she failed to do so. (10) Which brings me to one of the biggest disappointments of Hillary Clinton’s entire campaign: her choice of Tim Kaine as her running mate. There was a lot of speculation at the time that Clinton chose Kaine because he was guaranteed never to upstage her in popularity ― she went for boring, instead of trying for some excitement. Imagine how different a Clinton/Warren ticket would have been for young voters. Clinton/Sanders was probably never going to happen, but even something like Clinton picking Sherrod Brown would have gone a long way towards building some excitement in the base (and among undecided blue-collar voters). There were many intriguing possibilities for the veep slot, any one of which might have helped Clinton increase the excitement level, but she chose the one guy seemingly guaranteed not to do so. (11) Conversely, with voters old enough to recognize the name, Clinton’s praise of Henry Kissinger was just downright bizarre. Those too young to know who he was probably weren’t affected, but to those Democrats who still consider Kissinger a war criminal (at worst) or the architect of America’s realpolitik foreign policy (at best), her continued praise of Kissinger was just inexplicable. Imagine a Democratic candidate in about 15 or 20 years, offering up words of praise for Dick Cheney out on the campaign trail, if you don’t understand the magnitude of this error. (12) Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” is right up there with Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” statement. Obama had a similar stumble (”cling to their guns and religion”) but managed to overcome it in 2008. When, oh when will Democrats learn that it is just not a good idea to insult a huge portion of the electorate? Sheesh. As Joe Bob Briggs would say: “I’m surprised I have to explain this stuff.” (13) If Team Clinton was going to appeal to voters’ fears, they missed a rather large avenue to do so very effectively. If Clinton had won, liberals would have achieved a 5-4 majority on the Supreme Court for the first time in roughly 40 years. That’s a big deal for a lot of people. We wouldn’t have to deal with the outcome of cases like Citizens United if the court was reliably liberal. This is a change that could have made the next few decades a lot better, but Clinton barely mentioned it (especially in her advertising, where it might have done some good with voters not totally enthused to vote for her). (14) Hillary Clinton would never have had an email problem if she hadn’t created her own private server. The problem wouldn’t have been as acute if she had handled it differently when the media started making it a big deal. If she had just admitted: “I set up the server because I didn’t want every email I ever sent to be used against me politically,” then people would have at least believed the explanation. Because she refused to ever admit what was so obvious, the problem dogged her for her entire campaign, as she struggled to parse her answer into something you’d expect in a deposition. (15) Hillary Clinton’s sense of entitlement was on display in the primary campaign in the same way it was in her 2008 primary campaign. How dare any other candidate challenge her for the Democratic nomination! This sense of entitlement ― it was her nomination, and Bernie Sanders should never have even run ― was off-putting to many (even many who didn’t even support Sanders). Republicans are the ones who usually respond to this “let’s nominate the next one in line” thinking, not Democrats.   OK, there were a few others outside of the Clinton campaign who I felt should share the blame, and then at the end I’ll get to those who I feel are blameless: 16. JAMES COMEY The F.B.I. director’s actions were unprecedented throughout the campaign. Even J. Edgar Hoover never interfered in elections in such blatant fashion (he favored doing so behind the scenes, to be fair). Comey’s original press conference where he castigated Clinton for her email server while saying he wasn’t going to recommend indictment was, again, unprecedented. First, this is really the Justice Department’s decision, not Comey’s; and, second, press conferences are simply not usually held unless the prosecution is going forward. That’s normal F.B.I. policy, which was ignored. Third, Comey’s October Surprise was possibly the biggest factor in Clinton’s loss outside of her own campaign. Comey blatantly interfered in a presidential election, and he shouldn’t have. Period. 17. MAINSTREAM MEDIA The media were unfair to Hillary Clinton. But she should have been ready for it. It’s pretty much a given that the media are simply not going to focus on what is important in a presidential election (see: the last 50 years or so of coverage), and are instead going to chase the shiny, shiny objects dangled in front of them. Clinton should have been ready for this onslaught, because it was inevitable. 18. THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE That really should read “...and the entire concept of superdelegates.” Debbie Wasserman Schultz was obviously in the tank for Hillary from the get-go, and the machinations that happened to cut Bernie’s campaign off at the knees got so bad that Debbie had to resign her position the day the Democratic National Convention kicked off. That’s a stunning amount of party disunity to put on display, right at the start of the convention. Plus, Clinton locking up the lion’s share of superdelegates early on just contributed to her air of inevitability, which highlighted their anti-democratic (but apparently not anti-Democratic) nature. It’s time to rethink the whole superdelegate idea, folks. 19. RUSSIA AND WIKILEAKS A large part of the D.N.C.’s problem in the general election was the exposure of all of their emails, too. This pulled the curtain back and showed how political operatives talk amongst themselves, and it wasn’t pretty. 20. NO NEW ANSWERS FOR THE RUST BELT Democrats are generally stronger on economic message than Republicans, since they support things like unions, minimum wage raises, guaranteed worker benefits (like sick pay), and equal pay (and too many other economic issues to list, in fact). But they are failing badly in coming up with an answer for what to do to help towns and communities devastated by the loss of manufacturing jobs. Listen close to just about any Democrat, and they’ll trot out their only solution: more job training. That’s it. That’s all they’ve got. But these communities have seen previous efforts at job training, and they’re not impressed. What is the point in getting trained for a different career if there are no jobs in that sector where you live, after all? “Move” seems to be the Democrats’ only answer to that, which just isn’t good enough. Trump’s answers to the problem may not work, but at least he had something new to say to them. Democrats just don’t seem to, at least not so far. “Get a better education” sends two messages simultaneously: losing your job when your factory moved overseas was not only your fault, but it was your fault because you are stupid. That’s not a great message to inspire these voters, to state the obvious. 21. MADELINE ALBRIGHT AND GLORIA STEINEM Second and third place in the “worst campaign gaffe” category (after Hillary’s “basket of deplorables”) went to Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem, two feminist icons. Both used lines that they have used before, to absolutely horrific effect among millions of young, female voters. Albright’s: “There’s a special place in Hell for women who don’t help each other,” and Steinem’s explanation of why young women were supporting Sanders: “When you’re young, you’re thinking ‘Where are the boys?’ The boys are with Bernie,” did an unbelievable amount of harm to Clinton’s campaign among young voters of both sexes. Albright at least has been using that line (in generic fashion) for a long time, so she thought she could use it during the primary campaign in support of Clinton. Steinem really has no excuse ― that is just as sexist and demeaning a line as anything heard on Mad Men. She’s fought her entire life for all women to be treated every bit as intelligent, serious, and influential as men ― and her only answer for Bernie’s popularity is that his young female supporters have all seemingly stepped out of a “Gidget” movie? Really? Wow. Millions of young voters were repulsed by these ham-fisted attempts to shame them into supporting Clinton. 22. MISOGYNY Yep, plenty of misogyny out there. Even among lots of Democrats. No denying it. And it certainly was more pronounced, due to Donald Trump’s entire persona and history. But any woman running for president is going to face this. Breaking that glass ceiling will mean future women candidates might face less of it, there’s no doubt about that, but misogyny will always be an incredibly strong headwind for the first woman president to have to overcome.   And finally, a few things I don’t blame for Hillary Clinton’s loss: 1. BERNIE SANDERS Bernie Sanders had every right to run for the Democratic nomination, and his voters had every right to vote for him. Having a tough primary battle doesn’t mean your campaign is necessarily weakened ― as Barack Obama proved, in 2008, when Hillary Clinton challenged him. It made him stronger, and he went on to win the general election. So it can be done, no matter how bruising the primary fight was. Once Bernie conceded, he campaigned for Hillary Clinton and tried to get his voters to vote for her. If he hadn’t done so, perhaps he would share some blame, but that simply wasn’t the case. 2. BERNIE’S MESSAGE Bernie’s message didn’t “force Clinton to tack to the left,” she decided to do that when it became obvious that his message was resonating better with the Democratic base. Bernie’s populism was what people wanted to hear. So was his idealism, and so was his lifelong commitment to fighting for the little guy over Wall Street. If Bernie’s message was so bad, then why did Clinton try to co-opt so much of it, after all? 3. JILL STEIN Just as everyone has a right to run in the primaries, all political parties have the right to run in the general election. Ralph Nader didn’t lose the election for Al Gore ― instead, Al Gore did not convince enough Nader voters that Gore was the better choice. Period. That’s how elections work. Stein convinced a lot of people to vote for her. That is her right, and it is the American way. Deal with it. 3a. SUSAN SARANDON Celebrities have rights too, and one of those is the right to advocate for ― or against ― whichever candidate you wish. Period. It’s a personal decision, and anyone who says any individual should support a candidate simply because of the “D” after their name just doesn’t understand the free nature of American politics ― where nobody else gets to make up your mind for you.   Chris Weigant blogs at: Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant   -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

02 декабря, 18:20

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Democrats Send Their Regrets. Cue Sinatra and “My Way.” That’s how forme…

KIMBERLY STRASSEL: Democrats Send Their Regrets. Cue Sinatra and “My Way.” That’s how former Senate leader Harry Reid, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and President Obama ruled for eight years. They planned each charted course, each careful step. Now, they’re not finding it so amusing. Mr. Coons is regretting giving up his tool to stop […]

02 декабря, 18:08

Trump allies try to freeze recount efforts

Entities aligned with the president-elect file lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin to halt Jill Stein's push for recounts.

Выбор редакции
01 декабря, 18:15

Tim Kaine: ‘We have to be at the table’ if there's a recount

Sen. Tim Kaine said Thursday morning that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign felt compelled to take part in the recount efforts launched by Green Party candidate Jill Stein, even though “we’re very doubtful that the outcome is going to change.”"The Clinton team looked at the votes and looked at recount and we're not going to pursue it. But when Jill Stein, one of the third party candidates, decided to do it - if there's going to be a recount we have to be at the table to make sure it's done right, that it's done fairly,” Kaine (D-Va.) told Washington, D.C. Fox affiliate WTTG-TV in a live interview Thursday morning.The former Democratic vice presidential candidate noted that the presidential campaign had been marred by allegations of hacking by the Russian government into state boards of elections and that it’s important to put to bed the concerns of Americans worried about outside influence on the U.S. political process. He said that while he and others on Clinton’s team did not expect the recount to yield a change in the election’s outcome, “people are entitled to know that the results are results that they can trust and that they can count on.”On election night, Kaine said he attempted not to get his hopes up but was nonetheless optimistic when he learned early-on in the evening that Clinton would win his home state of Virginia, a key battleground, by a margin larger than President Barack Obama did. But as more returns rolled in and it became apparent that Clinton had lost most other swing states, his spirits dampened."I started to get in a good mood, but that was at 7:45,” Kaine said as he described watching Virginia land in Clinton’s column. “And by 9:30 it was like, 'Just because Virginia is doing better that doesn't mean other states are.'"He said he was heartened by the fact that Clinton had won his home state and had won the popular vote, even though both victories proved ultimately meaningless in the Electoral College. As he has in past interviews, he said he has no interest in running for president in 2020 but will run for reelection to his Senate seat in 2018. With a nationwide profile and Republicans likely to mount a serious challenge to unseat him, Kaine said he expects that race to be the most challenging of his career."I have been a very happy senator,” Kaine said. “I'm back a little sadder, a little wiser but incredibly energized.”

01 декабря, 00:13

Oprah For President, 2020

image courtesy Wikicommons Attention Democrats. If you want to win in 2020, run Oprah. Run Jon Stewart. Run the Oprah/Stewart ticket or the Stewart/Oprah ticket. You'll sweep the country. Politics is dead. Politicians are dead. This is what Donald Trump has taught us. Politicians are boring. (And they are. Anyone really want to have dinner with Mitt Romney? Seriously?) We are now the TV nation. And no wonder. We all spend 5 hours a day, every day, watching TV. And what do we watch? It isn't C-Span. This is who we are. So when Donald Trump decided to run for President, he didn't run a 'normal' campaign (that's what everyone said, didn't they? Not 'normal'?) Nope. He ran a Reality TV Show. Well, why not? That's what he knows how to do. Not only does he know how to do it, he knows how to do it really well. The Apprentice is a top rated Reality TV Show for 10 years. Everyone else was running C-Span. Policy Wonk TV. The Apprentice gets 21 million viewers, C-Span gets, ready?... 19,550 viewers in an average hour. Do you see a difference here? Donald Trump 'gets' what America likes, and more importantly, he delivers what they like. And what they like is Reality TV. Sorry, as Walter Cronkite used to say, 'That's the way it is". And that is why he is going to be the President of the United States, and policy wonk, C-Span TV Hillary is not. That is who we are. But the show is not over. On the contrary, it is just getting started. The essence of any good Reality TV show is that the excitement never stops. It's one crisis after another. That's what holds the audience's attention. That is what rates. Now, I have to let you in on a little secret. Reality TV shows are fake. Yes, they are. Sorry. They're about as real as Professional Wrestling,which is fake also. And the President-elect, by the way, is in the Wrestlemania WWE Hall of Fame. Did you know that? He was inducted in 2013. Vince McMahon called Donald Trump, "A Wrestlemania Institution". Of course, you knew that Wrestlemania was fake. But what keeps the audiences glued to the tube is that the action never stops. That is what anyone who is good with Reality TV understands - that it's fake and that the action never stops. Now, everyone who watches these shows understands, on some level, that it's all fake, but they don't care. They buy into the made up 'truth' of the program. It's entertaining. What Donald Trump learned in the TV biz, he brought to his campaign. One lie after another after another, so many lies that the journalist fact checkers were driven to distraction. That was a crazy thing to do, that fact checking. Do we have 'fact checkers' on Wrestlemania? Do we have 'fact checkers' on Duck Dynasty? Do we have 'fact checkers' on House Hunters? Of course not! They would be wasting their time, just like they were wasting their time on the Trump campaign. Of course it was all lies. Did it matter? Of course not. And now we have the prospect of a Trump Presidency that is going to be one never-ending Reality Show in which he will compose his own facts, create his own world, have his own reality and the viewers will go right along. And why? Because the action never stops. When he tweets that flag burners should have their citizenship revoked, does he know that this is a crazy thing to say? Of course he does. Anyone with an eighth grade education in this country knows that. But he does it anyway. And why? Because it's 'exciting'. It grabs the viewers. It 'dominates the news cycle' (in C-Span Talk). It gets ratings. People eat it up. (And while they are eating it up, they fail to notice that he is turning the Cabinet into the Billionaire's Boys Club). Who cares! Bring on more crazy 3am tweets! And how to the Democrats respond this new world of TV driven reality? They return Nancy Pelosi to the House Leadership. This is like running Lamp Unto My Feet on Thursdays at 8PM. Who does this? They don't get it yet. Listen, did you see the movie The Imitation Game? You know the one where Benedict Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing and cracks the Enigma Code and wins the Second World War? Yeah, that one. Anyway, you remember when the Turing character says, 'it takes a machine to beat a machine?' Well, it takes a TV personality to beat a TV personality. Hillary was not a TV personality. Tim Kaine was not a TV personality. So if you want to win in 2020 run Oprah. Run Jon Stewart. Run someone who can get better ratings than The Donald Trump Show. They're out there. They're just not politicians. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 ноября, 06:15

Kaine to host California events with top Clinton fundraisers

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton’s running mate, is hosting a pair of receptions in California this week with top fundraisers to the Democratic nominee’s campaign to thank them for their contributions.“Hillary and Tim are grateful for your support of their campaign and he looks forward to thanking you in person on December 2nd,” reads the invitation to Friday’s San Francisco event, which will be held at the home of former Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis.Kaine will also headline a Los Angeles event during his California swing.It's not unusual for a campaign to thank its top donors, but the events represent the first organized in-person outreach to donors from a member of the Clinton-Kaine ticket since they lost the White House to Donald Trump and Mike Pence earlier this month.Clinton did join a conference call with top fundraisers just days after the election, pinning much of the blame for her loss on FBI Director Jim Comey’s letters. But it's Kaine who still has a political future.The invitations come from a former member of Clinton’s finance staff, though donors are asked to RSVP to a member of Kaine’s political team.The senator was a top fundraising draw for Clinton’s campaign in the closing months of her presidential bid, and many Democrats have long assumed he would eventually run for the White House himself.But Kaine two weeks ago told his hometown Richmond Times-Dispatch he would not run for president or vice president again.

30 ноября, 04:30

The Left Defends Terrorism

18 year old Somali refugee Abdul Razak Ali Artan, who obtained a green card to enter the United States in 2014 injured 11 students on the Ohio State University campus first striking them with a car and then exiting the car to attack the students with a butcher knife. World Net Daily reports "campus Police Chief Craig Stone said. “Our officer was on the scene in less than a minute, and he ended the situation in less than a minute. He engaged the suspect, and he eliminated the threat. The suspect is DOA. Artan had been quoted in the campus newspaper, the Lantern, several months ago complaining about the school’s lack of Islamic prayer rooms. He blamed the negative view Americans have of Muslims on “Islamophobia” planted in their minds by the U.S. media.” And the delusional blame game continues to mushroom. Tariq Nasheed, an extreme left Documentary Filmaker bemoaned “ So white officer Alan Horujko who shot and killed the Black Somali stabbing suspect in Ohio is being paraded as a hero. Thats interesting.” Anti 2nd Amendment Senator Tim Kaine tweeted "Deeply saddened by the senseless act of gun violence at Ohio State this morning. Praying for the injured and the entire Buckeye community.” Paul Joseph Watson pointed out that a woman named Kay tweeted “ Poor kid goes thru hell as a child in Somalia, comes to America. Probably been bullied by racists in white Ohio, now he’s dead. #ThanksTrump. Even the New World Order chimed in as Anna De Rothschild’s tweeted “Thoughts and prayers are with the victims in Ohio. America must wake up and abolish your second amendment! It is 100% the problem! Trump is blind. Jon Bowne reports. Help us spread the word about the liberty movement, we're reaching millions help us reach millions more. Share the free live video feed link with your friends & family: http://www.infowars.com/show Follow Alex on TWITTER - https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones Like Alex on FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/AlexanderEmerickJones Infowars on G+ - https://plus.google.com/+infowars/ :Web: http://www.infowars.com/ http://www.prisonplanet.com/ http://www.infowars.net/ :Subscribe and share your login with 20 friends: http://www.prisonplanet.tv http://www.InfowarsNews.com Visit http://www.InfowarsLife.com to get the products Alex Jones and his family trust, while supporting the growth of our expanding media operation. [http://bit.ly/2dhnhbS] Biome Defense™ [http://bit.ly/2bnEj91] Bio-True Selenium™ [http://bit.ly/1WYw8jp] Vitamin Mineral Fusion™ [http://bit.ly/1QYBNBv] Joint Formula™ [http://bit.ly/1nNuR3r] Anthroplex™ [http://bit.ly/1ljfWfJ] Living Defense™ [http://bit.ly/1Iobcj2] Deep Cleanse™ [http://bit.ly/1DsyQ6i] Knockout™ [http://bit.ly/1Kr1yfz] Brain Force™ [http://bit.ly/1R5gsqk] Liver Shield™ [http://bit.ly/1cOwQix] ProstaGuard™ [http://bit.ly/1mnchEz3] Child Ease™ [http://bit.ly/1xs9F6t] WinterSunD3™ [http://bit.ly/1L3gDSO] Ancient Defense™ [http://bit.ly/1EHbA6E] Secret-12™ [http://bit.ly/1txsOge] Oxy Powder™ [http://bit.ly/1s6cphV] Occu Power™ [http://bit.ly/1rGOLsG] DNA Force™ [http://bit.ly/1nIngBb] X2 Survival Shield™ [http://bit.ly/1kaXxKL] Super Female Vitality™ [http://bit.ly/1mhAKCO] Lung Cleanse™ [http://bit.ly/1mGbikx] Silver-Bullet - Colloidal Silver™ [http://bit.ly/1xcoUfo] Super Male Vitality™ [http://bit.ly/1z5BCP9] Survival Shield - Nascent Iodine™ [http://bit.ly/1o4sQtc] Patriot Blend 100% Organic Coffee™ [http://bit.ly/1iVL6HB] Immune Support 100% Organic Coffee™ All available at - http://www.infowarsshop.com/ INFOWARS HEALTH - START GETTING HEALTHY BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE - http://www.infowarshealth.com/ Newsletter Sign up / Infowars Underground Insider : http://www.infowars.com/newsletter

30 ноября, 02:40

Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary Pick Is A Hedge Funder And 2nd-Generation Goldman Sachs Partner

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); Donald Trump said the system is rigged. He said hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder.” He said that he’d “tax Wall Street.” He called Washington D.C. corrupt and promised to “drain the swamp.” He said his opponent Hillary Clinton was too cozy with the banks, as epitomized by her closed-door paid speeches. He said Clinton’s vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, was “owned by the banks” and that he, Trump, would break them up. Trump closed his campaign with an ad bashing Goldman Sachs and George Soros, using classically anti-Semitic phrases. And now, according to The New York Times, ABC and CBS, the president-elect has chosen a second-generation Goldman Sachs partner who worked for George Soros before starting a hedge fund and buying IndyMac, a failing California bank that made billions while foreclosing on homeowners after the financial crisis. Steven Mnuchin’s takeover of IndyMac is a story about everything Americans have come to hate about how the financial crisis was allowed to unfold ― ordinary people panicking, savvy investors pouncing, a government guarantee that saved a bank but didn’t even try to keep people in their homes, a clever rebranding, rampant foreclosures, billions of dollars in profits. And now, the cruel punchline: The man behind it is being nominated for treasury secretary by a self-proclaimed billionaire populist. Mnuchin got the idea to invest in IndyMac when he saw TV news footage of panicked customers at ATMs, Bloomberg’s Max Abelson and Zachary Mider reported. “This bank is going to end up failing, and we need to figure out how to buy it.  …  I’ve seen this game before,” Mnuchin said at the time, according to Abelson and Mider. And so, in 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis, Mnuchin’s fund ― along with Soros, Trump-supporting hedge fund billionaire John Paulson and other investors ― scooped up IndyMac for $1.6 billion. After renaming it One West and foreclosing on thousands of homeowners it had written bad loans to, Mnuchin and his partners sold the bank for $3.4 billion in 2015. (Mnuchin now sits on the board of the company that acquired OneWest, CIT.) OneWest played a particularly large role foreclosing on reverse mortgages, in which generally elderly homeowners slowly sell off the equity they’ve built in their homes to fund their retirements. It made up just 17 percent of the market for these contracts, but accounted for a whopping 39 percent of all reverse mortgage foreclosures in the years following the financial crisis. OneWest has been accused of racist lending and business practices by housing advocacy groups. It failed to locate bank branches in minority neighborhoods, loaned money to “very few or no” people of color and did a better job maintaining and marketing foreclosed homes in mostly white neighborhoods, according to a complaint filed by two housing advocacy groups with the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Nov. 16. Such discrimination, called “redlining,” keeps people of color in poverty by making it harder for them to buy homes. It was banned in 1968 under the Fair Housing Act. As treasury secretary, Mnuchin would have sweeping authority over the industry he was born into and made millions working in, as well as a central role in economic policies like Trump’s proposed sweeping tax cuts. He would also have to liquidate his holdings in his hedge fund in order to avoid conflicts of interest. As is also the case for the president he would serve, simply putting the fund’s current assets under a new manager is not sufficient because Mnuchin has detailed knowledge of those assets. However, it won’t be all sacrifice. Like then-Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson before him, selling his assets to comply with conflict of interest rules would enable Mnuchin to defer paying capital gains taxes. Trump has also reportedly chosen Wilbur Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, as commerce secretary. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

30 ноября, 02:40

Donald Trump's Treasury Secretary Pick Is A Hedge Funder And 2nd-Generation Goldman Sachs Partner

function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); UPDATE: Nov. 30 ― President-elected Donald Trump has tapped Steven Mnuchin, a former Goldman Sachs banker with ties to Hollywood, to be his Treasury Secretary. Mnuchin confirmed the news to CNBC on Wednesday. Mnuchin: "The number one problem with the Volcker Rule is it's too complicated and people don't know what to do with it."— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) November 30, 2016 PREVIOUSLY: Donald Trump said the system is rigged. He said hedge fund managers are “getting away with murder.” He said that he’d “tax Wall Street.” He called Washington D.C. corrupt and promised to “drain the swamp.” He said his opponent Hillary Clinton was too cozy with the banks, as epitomized by her closed-door paid speeches. He said Clinton’s vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, was “owned by the banks” and that he, Trump, would break them up. Trump closed his campaign with an ad bashing Goldman Sachs and George Soros, using classically anti-Semitic phrases. And now, according to The New York Times, ABC and CBS, the president-elect has chosen a second-generation Goldman Sachs partner who worked for George Soros before starting a hedge fund and buying IndyMac, a failing California bank that made billions while foreclosing on homeowners after the financial crisis. Steven Mnuchin’s takeover of IndyMac is a story about everything Americans have come to hate about how the financial crisis was allowed to unfold ― ordinary people panicking, savvy investors pouncing, a government guarantee that saved a bank but didn’t even try to keep people in their homes, a clever rebranding, rampant foreclosures, billions of dollars in profits. And now, the cruel punchline: The man behind it is being nominated for treasury secretary by a self-proclaimed billionaire populist. Mnuchin got the idea to invest in IndyMac when he saw TV news footage of panicked customers at ATMs, Bloomberg’s Max Abelson and Zachary Mider reported. “This bank is going to end up failing, and we need to figure out how to buy it.  …  I’ve seen this game before,” Mnuchin said at the time, according to Abelson and Mider. And so, in 2008, during the depths of the financial crisis, Mnuchin’s fund ― along with Soros, Trump-supporting hedge fund billionaire John Paulson and other investors ― scooped up IndyMac for $1.6 billion. After renaming it One West and foreclosing on thousands of homeowners it had written bad loans to, Mnuchin and his partners sold the bank for $3.4 billion in 2015. (Mnuchin now sits on the board of the company that acquired OneWest, CIT.) OneWest played a particularly large role foreclosing on reverse mortgages, in which generally elderly homeowners slowly sell off the equity they’ve built in their homes to fund their retirements. It made up just 17 percent of the market for these contracts, but accounted for a whopping 39 percent of all reverse mortgage foreclosures in the years following the financial crisis. OneWest has been accused of racist lending and business practices by housing advocacy groups. It failed to locate bank branches in minority neighborhoods, loaned money to “very few or no” people of color and did a better job maintaining and marketing foreclosed homes in mostly white neighborhoods, according to a complaint filed by two housing advocacy groups with the Department of Housing and Urban Development on Nov. 16. Such discrimination, called “redlining,” keeps people of color in poverty by making it harder for them to buy homes. It was banned in 1968 under the Fair Housing Act. As treasury secretary, Mnuchin would have sweeping authority over the industry he was born into and made millions working in, as well as a central role in economic policies like Trump’s proposed sweeping tax cuts. He would also have to liquidate his holdings in his hedge fund in order to avoid conflicts of interest. As is also the case for the president he would serve, simply putting the fund’s current assets under a new manager is not sufficient because Mnuchin has detailed knowledge of those assets. However, it won’t be all sacrifice. Like then-Goldman Sachs CEO Hank Paulson before him, selling his assets to comply with conflict of interest rules would enable Mnuchin to defer paying capital gains taxes. Trump has also reportedly chosen Wilbur Ross, a billionaire private equity investor, as commerce secretary. This article has been updated to include confirmation of Mnuchin’s nomination. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

29 ноября, 14:45

The Art Of The Compromise Of 1877 -- Trump Edition

Donald Trump, as he often tells us, likes to make deals. Years ago, on CNN, he criticized then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice because, in his view, she jetted all around the world without making many deals. He claimed that the Iran nuclear deal, overseen by current Secretary of State John Kerry, is the worst deal ever. Or was it NAFTA, signed during the Bill Clinton administration, that was the worst deal ever? The Donald ought to know for he has his name appended to the ghost-written best-seller, Trump: The Art of the Deal. With a recount likely to occur in three states, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, I have been wondering if the country or Trump is ready to revisit another deal, the Compromise of 1877, following the 1876 presidential election, in which three states, Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, flipped from the apparent ledger of Democratic standard-bearer, Samuel Tilden, to that of Republican presidential nominee, Rutherford B. Hayes. Of course, times have changed in 140 years. In November of 1876, at the time of the Tilden-Hayes clash, the country was quite young, had just celebrated its centennial. Republicans were known then as the Party of Lincoln, the party that had abolished slavery, not the Party of Trump, a party that has demonized the Other. Yet, in 1876, tensions remained high over matters of race; does this sound familiar? The Civil War had ended not long before, and the Constitution had just been amended so that African-American men could enjoy full voting rights. Prior to the passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments, each African-American man was deemed only 3/5th of a human being. Federal troops were still located in the South to ensure the rights of African-Americans during what was known as Reconstruction. Although the wounds were raw, there seemed to be a degree of progress on racial matters. In June of 1876, just a month before the centennial, Edward Bouchet became the first African-American to receive a PhD when he obtained his doctorate in physics from Yale. He was only the sixth person in the history of our country to earn a PhD in that subject. Professional baseball, which was in its infancy, would soon include some black players, like Moses Fleetwood Walker, decades before Jackie Robinson broke the so-called color barrier in 1947. But all was not well following the 1876 election. Republicans claimed that African-Americans had been intimidated and prevented from voting in Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, the three contested Southern states, a charge that still resonates to this day given restricted polling areas and other impediments placed on voters in heavily African-American communities in North Carolina this year as well as reports that Trump adviser and chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has spoken blithely about disenfranchising Americans who don’t own homes. Back in 1876, the Party of Lincoln was not the only party complaining about the presidential election. Democrats alleged that there had been fraud committed against white Southern voters in those three states. Without Florida, Louisiana and South Carolina, Tilden, who won the popular vote in the nation, had 184 electoral votes, one shy of the total needed at the time to clinch the presidency. Known as a man of integrity, who had fought Tammany Hall, Tilden, the Governor of New York, did not want to drag the country, still a fragile union in the years after the Civil War, through more trauma. He agreed to a compromise, in which he would cede the three states to Hayes, and in return, the Republicans would remove federal troops from the South. Hayes, the Governor of Ohio, was inaugurated as president of the United States in March of 1877. As promised, federal troops were soon removed from the South. Tragically, the end of Reconstruction presented a vacuum in which Jim Crow took over, an evil that reigned until the 1960s when the Civil Rights and Voting Rights acts were passed by Congress. Following the Compromise of 1877, Edward Bouchet, a member of Phi Beta Kappa, did not get a job in academia. He still worked, opting to teach science at a segregated school, but during his lifetime he did not attain the status he deserved as a scholar. And blacks were silently denied the right to play professional baseball for roughly six decades. One-hundred forty years later, the country is still divided over race, stoked to a large extent by the hate-mongering of president-elect Trump. As of this writing, at least 4.5 million voters have reportedly signed petitions at Change.org, urging the nation’s electors, who submit their ballots officially on December 19, to vote for Hillary Clinton. It is worth mentioning that Clinton participated in the Civil Rights movement as a young activist. By contrast, Donald Trump’s company in the 1970s was sued by the Justice Department for violating the Fair Housing Act, part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, by discriminating against prospective tenants based on their race. Trump and his company settled out of court, as he recently did in the suit brought against Trump University, a sham school that defrauded students out of millions of dollars. As far as the recounts go, they are completely justified and legal. Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania all had extremely close tallies, a margin of 1% or so, in our recent election, and there were reported discrepancies between the results of electronic voting and other forms of voting, like paper ballots, in different counties. Trump himself has claimed, with no evidence, that millions of votes were cast illegally and that voter fraud occurred in California, Virginia and New Hampshire, three states he lost to Hillary Clinton. In the midst of the recounts and petitions to the Electoral College, Trump, a “basket of deplorables” unto himself, has demonstrated in the past three weeks, since the election, how he will conduct his presidency — he will have meetings with business executives and government officials from foreign countries, meetings that serve the interests of the Trump organization at least as much as the United States; he will blow off intelligence briefings, because he lacks the attention span, focus and/or cognitive capacity to read and digest briefing books at night; regardless of his cabinet members, he will rely on his daughter, Ivanka, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, for advice on policy matters, including national security and the Middle East. And, of course, he will lie, tweet, bully, fawn over the New York Times, whom he has often bashed, then bash the paper again when it does not write press releases on his behalf; ingratiate himself to President Obama, whom he previously tried to delegitimize through the birther campaign, then try to delegitimize our first black president again when he starts to criticize the Donald. Trump will do all this in an effort to enrich his company brand, almost assuredly a violation of the Emoluments Clause to the Constitution. He will continue to claim that the law is on his side, that a president can’t have a conflict of interest, and that he can run his business and the country at the same time. But even some of his supporters know this is not true. It doesn’t require much intelligence to question how Trump can safeguard the national security interests of the U.S. in negotiations with Russia or China or any other potential adversary or ally if and when he has corporate business interests on the table with those countries. It is enough to make one wonder if and pray that electors might be experiencing buyers’ remorse. So, let’s let the recounts play out. Given the hacking of the e-mail accounts of some Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee operatives, and given how close the tallies were from Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania (the leads for Trump range from roughly 10,000 to 70,000 votes), it is certainly worth pursuing the recounts, and, as noted, it is legal to do so. Even if the outcomes do not change in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, electors still have the right not to confer a Masters of B.S. on Donald Trump from the Electoral College, as I argued two weeks ago in my last piece. Let us hope that the electors vote as the country did as a whole, for Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, who received two-million more votes (and counting) than Trump and Mike Pence. If a sufficient number of electors change their votes to Clinton, we can revisit the Compromise of 1877, except this time we won’t set back race relations for nearly 100 years with Jim Crow. Instead, we will offer the Donald a deal. Go back to your business, earn all the emoluments you want, and leave the presidency to Hillary. Oh, sure, Trump will claim again that the system is “rigged,” and that Crooked Hillary, like Rutherfraud B. Hayes before her, has stolen the election. Trump will contend, as even some progressives have, that we can’t put the country through more turmoil, that we could have another Civil War. But if you don’t resign or take the deal, Donald, you are likely to be impeached over conflicts of interest, breaches of the law and Constitution, and any number of other high crimes and misdemeanors. If this happens, your company brand will lose its value. Then, you will lose perhaps billions of dollars and all of your feelings of self-worth. Of course, you lost the respect of the world long ago. At least, you can maintain your reputation as a dealmaker. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

24 ноября, 04:42

Decades after Eleanor, Equality Still Eludes Women In Politics

Reprinted from The Hechinger Report http://hechingerreport.org/history-lesson-election-just-erase-250-years-progress/ When VP candidate Tim Kaine introduced Hillary Clinton for her concession speech, he said Hillary deserves high honor for winning the popular vote in a nation that has made it uniquely difficult for a woman to be elected to office. Eleanor Roosevelt was my godmother. My mother was her friend and worked as a full-time administrator of a New York nonprofit benefiting children. It was always perplexing to me to see the disparity between our society's low expectations of women and my experience of the leadership shown by these two women, my role models. Of course Eleanor was the leading voice for advancing the role of women in politics in the 20th century. I'm sure she'd be thrilled to see Hillary's accomplishments, particularly over the past 15 years. In October 1945, Eleanor wrote about women in politics, "they need not function as a minority group unless they allow themselves to be pushed aside.... If women want to take part in their local, state, and national governments today, they can do so with complete equality. The only thing they have to do is to prove that they can obtain the votes." Hillary obtained the votes. But seventy years later, sadly, equality remains elusive. In May 1954, Eleanor was promoting her book Ladies of Courage, which contained stories of women who held positions in and under the Republican and Democratic national committees. Her goal was to encourage women to consider these roles, but she conceded the obstacles, admitting that politics was still a man's world. That same month, she wrote a column updating the nation on the progress of the Equal Rights Amendment benefiting women, which was being discussed by the House Judiciary Committee. Eleanor observed that equal treatment is not accepted in our society in practice, and added, "I doubt very much whether it ever will be." And indeed, the amendment would go on to be discussed and voted on by Congress and the states into the 1970s, but ultimately was never ratified. How could it have been, with men then (like now) holding the vast majority of elected seats in state legislatures, just as they did (like now) in Congress? Our nation's founders asserted "that all men are created equal." We know in their use of the word men, the founders did not mean women, nor people of color. The education sector in which I work is committed to critical thinking and the study of history. We recognize the gaps between the soaring aspirational values of the words of our founders and the corrosive realities of inequality and injustice. It's a tragedy for our nation that 250 years later, we have yet to fulfill those aspirations. Last year a student at the college where I work wrote her thesis on the impact of the low percentage of women in federal and state elected office. Adrianna Taeko Perry reported that women make up only a fifth of Congress, a fifth of mayors of major cities, and a quarter of state legislatures. She found that each juncture in the political process is less accessible to women than men. The status quo of majority male representation has led to serious barriers to women having a sufficient voice and vote on issues such as economic equality, contraception, abortion, healthcare, education, childcare, and the safety and welfare of women and families. Women's rights are human rights: That was Eleanor's view before the slogan became associated with Hillary Clinton, from her speech at the 1995 UN Conference in Beijing. For representative democracy to work and succeed, our nation needs equal and diverse representation in our elected offices across race, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender. I agreed with President Obama when he voiced a suspicion that a great number of men in our country are uncomfortable at the sight of a strong woman leader. In a news story about hidden sexism this election season, PBS NewsHour reported that in the Democratic primaries, Clinton lost the overall male vote to Bernie Sanders by large numbers in many states. Then in November, the election's exit polls confirmed that men overwhelmingly voted for Trump -- marking the widest gap between men and women in at least half a century -- and more white women voted for Trump than Hillary. It's clear that breaking down patriarchal power structures will require more of us to accept women as their leaders, and more women to contend to be accepted as leaders. Adrianna Taeko Perry wrote in her thesis, "Given that women's access to these rights are frequently being questioned and challenged in the majority male legislatures, more women need to be represented in the legislatures so that their diverse experiences and opinions can help form policy." She concluded, "Women's increased presence in elected office is positively connected to an increase in legislation affecting women's lives and interests." We need many more women in elected office to see and shape our laws, policies, and regulations through their lens; and to achieve a reduction in patterns of neglect and violence, not only of and against women, but also of and against all of the weak and underrepresented communities in our society. In her concession speech, Hillary said, "We are all equal in rights and dignity." Speaking to women of all ages, she added, "Nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion. Hopefully we'll shatter that glass ceiling sooner than we think." One thing that's clear, Hillary boosted the expectations of young women far beyond what Eleanor Roosevelt envisioned in those early decades of this essential movement. -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

23 ноября, 07:46

Trump: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. Now What?

DENIAL By now most of you have passed the first two to three stages of grief. Well done. It's been difficult, I know. But you're likely still in a bit of shock because you just can't wrap your head around why people who make far less than $250,000/year, or who aren't necessarily bigots, would still vote for someone as reckless and unstable (and historically unqualified) as Trump. Even Trump, himself, I believe, was stunned when he heard the news that he had become president-elect. To Trump, it was no more than a ploy-based popularity contest in which, by all tides seemingly against him, he won. Nevertheless, he is now king. Go ahead and continue counting the popular votes among the quarter-plus of the country who voted for Clinton, but to what avail, when the imperfect Electoral College is still an integral factor (why?), and when ~49 percent of eligible voters didn't vote at all? Never mind the work ahead for Trump, which cannot possibly be fully delegated away, as much as Trump seems to want it to be. Even W., despite his record-setting vacation days, and his obsequious deferral to Cheney et al. to govern, still had to make the rounds, and they weren't exactly a walk in the park (it comes, after all, with the crown). Just wait until Trump comprehends what's ahead of him. The bloviating nonsense from his Twitter account at 3AM while sagging on his golden toilet will be the easy part. Negotiating trade with China, supplying arms to Israel (and its adversaries), caviling with Russia, and hemming and hawing with the Republican-led House and Senate, will be the least of his ever-growing concerns -- or, rather, of Pence's ever-growing concerns. ANGER So how did we get here? Everyone has an opinion. Trump, while a lunatic billionaire (I'll believe the billionaire status when I see it, which will never be revealed, until or unless Anonymous steps up = please step up, Anonymous), catered to the middle class and inflamed their understandably populist disposition. Of course Trump stands for everything antipodal to populism, but he nevertheless ran on it and prevailed. Clinton sorta ran on it, post-Sanders, but, meh, not really. Clinton, a technocratic career politician who, while impressively credentialed, but who had no salient platform to run on -- least of all a catchy slogan to repeat ad nauseam -- lost to a well-known conman and reality TV star who had, quite literally, nothing to offer. BARGAINING We mustn't forget that eight years ago Clinton lost to a black junior senator with a Muslim-sounding name. Thus, after four years as Secretary of State -- the position's particulars of which are near impossible to elucidate and translate to the average American -- and after another four years as a grandmother, Clinton was nevertheless coronated by the DNC. Which was a bad move, of course. It would have been less bad had Clinton embraced more forcefully Sanders's rhetoric and had chosen a running-mate like Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, but instead she chose Tim Kaine. I personally believe that's when many of Sanders's supporters, including Millennials and the already disillusioned working class, folded. A running-mate is no panacea, and certainly not a promise of change, per se; but a nice, straight, older, white guy, who speaks Spanish relatively fluently (wow), augured to many people that Clinton would politick in much the same way that her husband and Obama had, even if Obama did so in a slightly more progressive, Gen-X-y way. And that, along with the shenanigans of the DNC under Debbie Wasserman Schultz, was Clinton's undoing. You can blame the right-wing hysteria around Benghazi, the email server, the media, Comey, Russia, misogyny, the decades-long Republican witch hunt for Clinton, but it was Clinton's implicit guarantee of the status quo that did her in. What was her once-failed campaign thinking? They were thinking about themselves, obviously. DEPRESSION Now some of you might be saying to yourselves, the status quo wasn't so bad. Obama is perhaps the most consequential president in contemporary U.S. history, and one of the most effective presidents ever, which I full-heartedly believe to be true. But while the markets rose, and while the tech and finance and real estate sectors soared, and while corrupt career politicians (like Clinton, whether real or perceived) pow-wowed with the "coastal elites," everyday Americans felt not only disenfranchised but also disparaged. Quite simply, they had had enough. Imagine that? They would have rather voted for change with nothing at all to substantiate it, than for politics as usual. And that's precisely what they did (alas, the ones who voted). Yes, they did so at the expense and safety of all marginalized, demonized, and suffering minorities, but they didn't care (enough) about them. This doesn't make all ~55 million of them bigots. You can (and should) debate the cognitive dissonance that accompanied their votes, but until you realize that their votes were about them first, you will only continue to bang your head against the wall in your safe spaces (were they ever?), amidst your microaggressions (which, at most, are just that -- micro), and between your 50 shades of privilege (because people in general are just dying to be told how ignorant they are). ACCEPTANCE Why do I speak so confidently, so resolutely about this? Because, while by all accounts I personify the so-called coastal elite -- as a white male who is highly educated and well-paid by corporations in New York City and in the Bay Area -- I come from an "uneducated," working-class background in Pennsylvania. I'm aware of the struggles that working class whites endure. I'm also aware of their misconceptions. And their foibles. Further, as a member of the LGBTQ community, I also know what it feels like to be treated as less than, as an abomination, as a scourge. I don't know what it feels like to be a woman, or a Jew, or an immigrant, or a person of color in this country, but I do carry some street cred (if you want to challenge it at this point in time, then you might be part of the current problem). Also, despite the recent rise in Trump-inspired hate crimes and in the shameless (yet ineffectively shamed) rhetoric of various hate groups, the outspoken bigots really only represent a slice of the Trump voting block (how much of the slice remains to be calculated). This is my unsuccessful way of trying to allay our fears. NOW WHAT? So what do we do now? This is tricky because Trump and his ilk are bonkers, and because the Republicans are set to run the House and the Senate again. The first time they ran all three, the Great Depression unfurled. The second time, the Iraq War burst out of thin air. And the last two times abetted the recession that Obama battled and eventually beat, no thanks to Congress. To be honest, I'm not entirely optimistic today. I believe at this point in time that one of four things could happen: • Assuming Trump is not convicted of one of his countless impeachable offenses, the Trump presidency will either be a relative success or a relative non-success. Only if a veritable superhero emerges might disenchanted voters feel compelled to test him or her out in 2020, in which case Trump could be ousted. If we're at war, however, then the superhero will have a much harder time. Trump, to his chagrin, will either have to run again, or, worse, he will defer to Pence to run as president. • An inevitable recession will hit in spite of Trump's policies -- good, bad, or horrendous -- during which the average American must suffer enough to vote in 2020 for whoever isn't Trump or Pence. What exactly does "suffer enough" entail? Unprecedented joblessness? Undrinkable water? Online porn that isn't free? • Each marginalized minority group might finally learn to desist with the in-fighting and temper the identity politics in order to rally around commonalities and interests shared with other marginalized minority groups; and to then communicate and ally with the white working class in order to bring them back to the Democratic platform, provided the Democratic platform demonstrates a concerted effort to deliver on promises that aren't tainted by corporations, special-interest groups, lobbyists, and career politicians with unimpressive records. It's a long shot, I know. • An even longer shot, but not an entirely dubious one, is the possibility that either one or both of the major parties begin to experience seismic shifts, perhaps culminating in a splintering off into new parties with which to be legitimately reckoned. Could true progressives, disappointed by their acquiescence to the DNC's 2016 platform, organize themselves quickly enough to rock the boat beyond a Bernie Revolution (taking many independents along with them)? Or could the so-called Alt Right (read: Neo-Nazis), emboldened by the lack of outrage in response to their hateful rhetoric, do the same (taking hypocritical Evangelicals and Tea Partiers along with them)? In a country of ~320 million people, we're long overdue for multiparty governance that extends beyond Republican and Democrat. How two parties can continue to represent such a large and diverse population with no need to compromise short of shutting down the government (twice) continues to elude me. In other words, maybe real change is yet to come? Obviously I'm no fortune teller. What are your thoughts? What do you think could happen? What do you think should happen? -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

20 ноября, 16:07

Raise Your (Ice Cream) Glasses To Birthday Boy Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden is almost certain to enjoy a scoop of his favorite ice cream to celebrate his 74th birthday on Sunday. The 47th Vice President was born Nov. 20, 1942, in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Biden served 36 years in the U.S. Senate, representing Delaware. Biden has been the right-hand man of President Barack Obama since he took office in 2009. Their close relationship was depicted in a series of (hilarious) memes that went viral this month, with internet users imagining the political heavyweights discussing President-elect Donald Trump  function onPlayerReadyVidible(e){'undefined'!=typeof HPTrack&&HPTrack.Vid.Vidible_track(e)}!function(e,i){if(e.vdb_Player){if('object'==typeof commercial_video){var a='',o='m.fwsitesection='+commercial_video.site_and_category;if(a+=o,commercial_video['package']){var c='&m.fwkeyvalues=sponsorship%3D'+commercial_video['package'];a+=c}e.setAttribute('vdb_params',a)}i(e.vdb_Player)}else{var t=arguments.callee;setTimeout(function(){t(e,i)},0)}}(document.getElementById('vidible_1'),onPlayerReadyVidible); The vice president also made internet users gush this month, when an old picture of a 26-year-old Biden emerged. It’s not hard to see why: I would text young Joe Biden at 1:27am pic.twitter.com/17tHDuad3f— candace (@caaandxce) November 11, 2016 Joe Biden, we’ll miss you when you leave office in January. Wishing you a very happy birthday!  I think Sen. Tim Kaine is a fine VP choice but let's be honest, no VP will have more swag than Joe Biden. pic.twitter.com/gXrWZ3TIjR— Amber Ferguson (@Ms_AmberDawn) July 23, 2016 -- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.