The Moderate Voice http://themoderatevoice.com An Internet hub with domestic and international news, analysis, original reporting, and popular features from the left, center, indies, centrists, moderates, and right Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:00:25 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.9 http://themoderatevoice.com http://themoderatevoice.com/media/favicon.ico The Moderate Voice Unpopular Hillary Now More Unpopular http://themoderatevoice.com/unpopular-hillary-now-more-unpopular/ http://themoderatevoice.com/unpopular-hillary-now-more-unpopular/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:00:25 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219152 Clinton Negativity - 08-28-16

How unpopular is Hillary Clinton? The Hill reports how unpopular that she has become: “Hillary Clinton’s image is at its lowest point with Americans in her 25 years of public service, according to a new poll. Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults view the Democratic presidential nominee unfavorably in The Washington Post/ABC News survey released Wednesday.” [...]

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Clinton Negativity - 08-28-16

How unpopular is Hillary Clinton?

The Hill reports how unpopular that she has become:

“Hillary Clinton’s image is at its lowest point with Americans in her 25 years of public service, according to a new poll. Fifty-six percent of U.S. adults view the Democratic presidential nominee unfavorably in The Washington Post/ABC News survey released Wednesday.”

ABC News elaborates:

“Notably, Clinton’s popularity among women has flipped from 54-43 percent favorable-unfavorable last month to 45-52 percent now; it’s the first time in a year that most women have viewed her unfavorably.

Clinton’s favorable-unfavorable rating has also flipped among those with postgraduate degrees, from 60-39 percent in early August to 47-51 percent now. She’s now back to about where she was among postgrads in July.

She has gone from about an even split among moderates, 50-48 percent favorable-unfavorable, to a more lopsided 41-56 percent now. Among liberals, she’s dropped from 76 favorable to 63 percent favorable. And among nonwhites she’s fallen from 73 to 62 percent favorable, largely due to a 16-point drop, to 55 percent, among Hispanics.

Clinton couldn’t get much less popular among Republicans, 88 percent of whom see her unfavorably. But she’s also lost 8 points in this measure among independents (to 31 percent) and among Democrats (to 79 percent, versus Trump’s 72 percent among Republicans).”

Just what would provoke such a rise in the level of Clinton’s unpopularity?

Cleveland Plain Dealer deputy editorial page editor Kevin O’Brien explains:

“There’s no new lesson to learn from plumbing the depths of Hillary Clinton’s corruption or marveling at the heights of her mendacity. She’s as dirty as the day is long, and has been since the day she wriggled out of the Arkansas mud to become a public figure. This we knew. All we’re getting now are more accurate readings of how low she has gone.”

It is not that Clinton has suddenly become corrupt, but rather that more of her corruption has been exposed to the public.

O’Brien links to a Daily Signal story that reminds people of Clinton’s previous corruption when she was the First Lady.

Investor’s Business Daily editorial writer Kerry Jackson summarizes, “Doesn’t just about everyone at this point expect Bill and Hillary to cheat and lie? Hasn’t “Cover-Up” become the Clintons’ shared middle name?”

Clinton Negativity - 08-28-16

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Donald Trump’s surrogate circus http://themoderatevoice.com/219148/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219148/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2016 15:40:04 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219148 retro-circus-rext-banner-background_7yYqMf_L

WASHINGTON — Mark Burns has done well for himself as a Donald Trump surrogate. The African American pastor, in his Twitter bio, says he “can be seen on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC & Fox Business Network” and provides a link to a Time profile titled “Meet Donald Trump’s Top Pastor.” He got a speaking slot [...]

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WASHINGTON — Mark Burns has done well for himself as a Donald Trump surrogate.

The African American pastor, in his Twitter bio, says he “can be seen on CNN, Fox News, MSNBC & Fox Business Network” and provides a link to a Time profile titled “Meet Donald Trump’s Top Pastor.” He got a speaking slot at the Republican convention, and the Trump campaign has sent out his quotes validating the candidate.

On Monday, this Trump mouthpiece took it upon himself to tweet a cartoon of Hillary Clinton in blackface, holding a sign proclaiming “#@!** THE POLICE” and saying, “I ain’t no ways tired of pandering to African-Americans.”

In the ensuing (and predictable) backlash, Trump senior adviser Boris Epshteyn tried to disown the surrogate, telling MSNBC’s Kristen Welker that Burns “speaks for himself.” Burns, unchastened, called in to the same show to defend himself, saying “we’re not playing the political PC game to make you feel good.” Only hours later did he delete the offending image and tweet: “I want to Apologize for my Twit.”

But there’s no way to apologize for all of the twits speaking for Trump.

Trump’s surrogates are a decidedly B-list group of Trump supporters who argue his case on the airwaves. Though all presidential campaigns have surrogate networks, Trump has a complication: Credentialed conservatives and elected Republicans generally won’t defend him. And so the cable news outlets scrape the bottom of the barrel to find people willing to make Trump’s case. Little wonder veteran GOP operative Kevin Kellems quit as head of Trump’s surrogate operation earlier this summer after less than two weeks on the job.

As Burns was provoking the blackface brouhaha, CNN was dealing with an ethical morass over Trump surrogate Corey Lewandowski, whom CNN put on contract as a commentator after he was ousted as Trump’s campaign manager. But it turned out Lewandowski continued to be paid $20,000 a month by the campaign; “severance,” the campaign said. Late Monday, ABC News reported that Lewandowski — still with CNN — was back to advising Trump, talking to the candidate almost every day and “running the show” at Trump rallies.

Yet Lewandowski is hardly the most exotic animal in Trump’s surrogate circus.

Al Baldasaro, a surrogate for Trump on veterans’ issues, said in a radio interview that Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason.” He also suggested Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father who spoke at the Democratic convention, is a “Muslim Brotherhood agent.”

Surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes, a TV regular, said after Democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine spoke in Spanish: “I’m hoping I’m not going to have to start kind of brushing up on my ‘Dora the Explorer’ to understand some of the speeches.”

Rudy Giuliani, once revered as “America’s mayor,” has become a punchline as Trump surrogate for playing doctor on Fox News: “Go online and put down ‘Hillary Clinton illness.’ Take a look at the videos for yourself.”

Surrogate Omarosa Manigault, once a contestant on “The Apprentice,” defended violence against demonstrators at Trump events: “You get what’s coming to you.” Andrew Dean Litinsky, also a former “Apprentice” contestant, defended a 78-year-old Trump supporter who sucker-punched a black protester at a Trump event: “It looks like good exercise.”

On CNN, surrogate Jeffrey Lord has distinguished himself by saying the Ku Klux Klan is “a function of the left.” After Trump said the U.S.-born judge in a case against him was a “Mexican” whose heritage disqualified him, Lord said those criticizing Trump were the real racists. And young Trump surrogate Kayleigh McEnany cheerfully defended waterboarding as a “bit of discomfort.”

Paid mouthpieces for the Trump campaign don’t fare a whole lot better. Trump lawyer Michael Cohen last year defended Trump against an old allegation by his first wife by falsely saying “you cannot rape your spouse.” Cohen recently became an Internet star when, asked on CNN about Trump’s poor poll numbers, he responded repeatedly and nonsensically: “Says who?”

Then there’s national spokeswoman (and reality TV star) Katrina Pierson, whose pre-Trump days include 2012 tweets asking if 9/11 was “an inside job” and lamenting that both President Obama’s and Mitt Romney’s fathers were born abroad. “Any pure breeds left?” she asked.

This month on CNN, she blamed the death of Army Capt. Humayun Khan (Khizr’s son) on Obama and Clinton: “It was under Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that changed the rules of engagement that probably cost his life.”

Khan died in 2004, during George W. Bush’s first term. But no matter: In Trump’s surrogate circus, anything goes.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Gun Control #1 http://themoderatevoice.com/gun-control-1/ http://themoderatevoice.com/gun-control-1/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2016 13:54:41 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219146 abstract six line blue transparent vector

There are over 30,000 gun deaths in the United States annually, with more than 406,000 people killed by guns from 2001 to 2013. More Americans have been killed by guns in the past decade than were killed in World War Two. In 2014, there were 8,124 homicides by guns, an average of 27 people daily. [...]

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shutterstock_102492452There are over 30,000 gun deaths in the United States annually, with more than 406,000 people killed by guns from 2001 to 2013. More Americans have been killed by guns in the past decade than were killed in World War Two. In 2014, there were 8,124 homicides by guns, an average of 27 people daily. These include gang violence and mass killings, but most are individual killings, often in family situations. Gun homicides in the U.S. are about 31 per million people compared to 1 per million in England and Poland, and 2 per million in Germany and the Netherlands. In Japan, gun homicides occur at a rate of 1 per 10 million. (There are also over 21,000 suicides by firearms annually in the U.S.) According to a Rasmussen Poll, two thirds of gun owners say they feel safer with a gun in their homes, though the opposite is actually true. Accidental shootings, domestic arguments that get out of hand, and suicides are all more likely to occur in homes with guns.

Though mass shootings are what generate publicity and public outcrys, the horrendous statistics above do not seem to make any difference to the NRA or the Republicans in Congress who have blocked all types of gun reform. Though Donald Trump has been in the pocket of the NRA during the presidential campaign in 2016, Hillary Clinton has backed a number of sensible changes in the gun laws. These include background checks for all purchasers including those at gun shows, prohibiting guns to those on the no-fly lists and domestic abusers, and removing the gun industry’s protection against civil damage suits. However, Clinton does not go far enough as all assault weapons should also be permanently banned along with extended ammunition clips and hollow point bullets. There is no reason why these weapons of war should be allowed in a civilian society. They only make mass killings, such as Newtown, Virginia Tech, Charleston, and Orlando more feasible.

In Florida, physicians are not even allowed to discuss firearms safety with patients. Florida passed a specific law in 2011 that prohibits physicians from asking about gun ownership and entering that information into the patient’s medical record unless the doctor feels in good faith that it is relevant to safety or the patient’s medical care. In many states, people can carry weapons openly in schools, churches, bars, and other public spaces. Law enforcement is generally opposed to the liberalization of gun laws, seeing them as exposing the police to more danger and making it more difficult for them to do their jobs effectively.

It is only over the last fifty years that the widespread ownership of guns has soared in America. The president of the NRA in testifying before Congress in 1934 stated- “I do not believe in the promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.” In fact, the NRA supported the National Firearms Act which was passed in 1934 and is still in effect. This law required registration of all machine guns, short-barreled rifles, silencers, missiles, mortars, hand grenades, and other weapons considered particularly dangerous. There is a national database of the owners of these armaments, with their fingerprints and photographs. Owners must pass an FBI background check, be validated by the ATF, and pay a $200 tax. Weapons stolen or missing must be reported immediately.

Interestingly, the number of crimes committed by the owners of these weapons is miniscule, so it is a gun control law that works. But only 4 million of the more than 300 million weapons in circulation in the U.S. are registered under this law. Ronald Reagan as Governor of California in 1967 said that he did not see a reason for citizens to carry weapons in the streets. However, as people became more concerned about crime and personal safety, and then about terrorism, gun ownership escalated. What Americans don’t seem to understand is that the more people who have guns, the less safe they all will be.

Most Americans want reform measures enacted regarding gun possession and ownership. The NRA and the gun industry lobby have been blocking restrictions on state and federal levels by terrorizing members of state legislatures and Congress, threatening to withhold money and support. Our politicians need to stand up to the lobby and pass reasonable laws that will limit gun ownership by mentally disturbed individuals, criminals, gang members, terrorists, domestic abusers, and so forth. Don’t hold your breath.

Resurrecting Democracy

www.robertlevinebooks.com

Image by Shutterstock

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Prop 66’s Five-Year Death Penalty Appeal Fallacy Won’t Fool Californians http://themoderatevoice.com/prop-66s-five-year-death-penalty-appeal-fallacy-wont-fool-californians/ http://themoderatevoice.com/prop-66s-five-year-death-penalty-appeal-fallacy-wont-fool-californians/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2016 04:50:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219142 © Wikimedia (CA Corrections (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation))

Prop 66 proponents claim their deeply flawed ballot initiative will turbo-charge California’s machinery of death by ensuring that all death penalty appeals are decided within five years. Hogwash. You don’t need to be a constitutional law whiz to know Prop 66’s promised regime of five-year death penalty appeals is a sham; a basic civics lesson [...]

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© Wikimedia (CA Corrections (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation))
© Wikimedia (CA Corrections (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation))

© Wikimedia (CA Corrections (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation))

Prop 66 proponents claim their deeply flawed ballot initiative will turbo-charge California’s machinery of death by ensuring that all death penalty appeals are decided within five years.

Hogwash.

You don’t need to be a constitutional law whiz to know Prop 66’s promised regime of five-year death penalty appeals is a sham; a basic civics lesson on our Constitution’s “separation of powers” doctrine (and our three separate but equal branches of government) will suffice. But, you don’t even need that. Just recall: In our country, one branch of government doesn’t have the constitutional authority to tell another branch how to do its job.

“It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is,” Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall famously declared in Marbury v. Madison, in 1803. With this historic ideal in mind, consider for a moment what’ll happen if Prop 66 becomes law.

Specifically, can you imagine what’ll happen when a particular conscientious state or federal judge (or set of judges) considering a death penalty appeal in California decides – for any one of a myriad of potentially meritorious reasons – that more time is needed to resolve the death penalty litigation in a particular case (than Prop 66’s completely arbitrary five-year deadline allows for)?

That’s right, follow your instinct, because it jibes with the law: By constitutional design, judges will always get to decide just how much time is needed to fairly and properly resolve a criminal appeal – not family members of crime victims, or a group of overly-aggressive prosecutors (whose support for the death penalty often hinges on political calculations more than anything else).

Being that they’re the most serious and complicated cases our legal system has, it should come as no surprise that death penalty appeals take a long time to resolve. It can take a whole year or more before the trial transcript of a capital case (sometimes spanning tens of thousands of pages, or more) is even ready for an appellate lawyer to review. Moreover, in postconviction or “habeas” cases, defense lawyers have a constitutional and ethical obligation (just as the “direct appeal” lawyers do) to not only scrutinize all the transcripts and trial exhibits looking for non-frivolous issues to appeal, but also, they are obligated to go outside of the record too; they must, often years after the crime, conduct a brand new investigation into the charges, the client’s background, and the trial and appellate proceedings. This requires extensive meetings with the condemned client, consulting (hiring, and collaborating with) specialized experts, tracking down old witnesses and jurors – and many other things that take time, lots of time – and money. And, all this is even before an appeal or postconviction motion is filed, the state responds, and any subsequent proceedings and/or oral arguments are held.

The only surefire way to end the constant glut of death penalty appeals clogging our state court system is to vote “NO” on Prop 66, and “YES” on its eminently reasonable alternative, Prop 62.

Prop 62 puts the final nail in capital punishment’s well-deserved coffin, forever replacing it with life without the possibility of parole as the most severe – but importantly, still humane – punishment California has.

Stephen Cooper is a former D.C. public defender who worked as an assistant federal public defender in Alabama between 2012 and 2015. He has contributed to numerous magazines and newspapers in the United States and overseas. He writes full-time and lives in Woodland Hills, California. This column was originally published on The Hill website and is used with the author’s permission.

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Cartoon: Trump and the major 8 ball http://themoderatevoice.com/219140/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219140/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2016 04:21:38 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219140 unnamed (17)

Mike Slosberg is a cartoonist and novelist. He lives with his wife and hundreds of drawing pens on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, New York. You can see more of his cartoons and learn about his books by going to: mikeslosbergbooks.com

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Mike Slosberg is a cartoonist and novelist. He lives with his wife and hundreds of drawing pens on the Upper Westside of Manhattan, New York. You can see more of his cartoons and learn about his books by going to: mikeslosbergbooks.com

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It is time http://themoderatevoice.com/it-is-time/ http://themoderatevoice.com/it-is-time/#comments Wed, 31 Aug 2016 01:20:47 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219139 abstract six line blue transparent vector

It is time (To my daughter on her birthday) Discrimination is alive and well. Against minorities, on religious, racial and social lines, sexual preferences and gender orientation. This one, however, remains astonishing for its persistence and the sheer numbers. Discrimination against half of this world’s population. That is discrimination against Women. Subtle or obvious, it [...]

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It is time
(To my daughter on her birthday)

Discrimination is alive and well.

Against minorities, on religious, racial and social lines, sexual preferences and gender orientation.

This one, however, remains astonishing for its persistence and the sheer numbers.

Discrimination against half of this world’s population.

That is discrimination against Women.

Subtle or obvious, it remains unrelenting and in some way, form or shape is always there.

And yes it is still present in the most sophisticated of the societies.

Be it unequal remuneration or receiving less aggressive medical care.

Or as in still waiting for the first Woman President to lead this planet’s most advanced nation.

A wait now for well over two centuries. Please try and explain this.

As I hope that an American Woman President, the leader of the free world, shall inspire Women everywhere and further cut into this bias.

It is time.

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How Entertainment Drove The Stake Through Donald Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/how-entertainment-drove-the-stake-through-donald-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/how-entertainment-drove-the-stake-through-donald-trump/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 18:17:09 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219136 27550503324_609bb1841e

When the obituary for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign is written, “entertainment” will be listed as the cause of death. While providing entertainment is the one consistent strategy he’s effectively employed, it ultimately will be the culprit of his demise. Instead of captivating people, Trump’s act consists of shallow reactions leading to emotionally-charged conflict. Prior [...]

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When the obituary for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign is written, “entertainment” will be listed as the cause of death. While providing entertainment is the one consistent strategy he’s effectively employed, it ultimately will be the culprit of his demise. Instead of captivating people, Trump’s act consists of shallow reactions leading to emotionally-charged conflict. Prior to…

photo credit: Argh! via photopin (license)

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Will Putin spring an October surprise? http://themoderatevoice.com/219134/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219134/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 17:48:48 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219134 26805462385_634939861d_b

WASHINGTON — The Russians have just given us an August glimpse of a potential October surprise. We learned earlier this summer that cyber-hackers widely believed to be tied to the Kremlin have broken into the email of the Democratic National Committee and others. The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima reported Monday night that Russian hackers have [...]

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WASHINGTON — The Russians have just given us an August glimpse of a potential October surprise.

We learned earlier this summer that cyber-hackers widely believed to be tied to the Kremlin have broken into the email of the Democratic National Committee and others. The Washington Post’s Ellen Nakashima reported Monday night that Russian hackers have also been targeting state voter-registration systems. And, in an apparent effort to boost Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy, they’re leaking what they believe to be the most damaging documents at strategic points in the campaign.

Last week, we learned something else: The Russians aren’t just hackers — they’re also hacks. Turns out that before leaking their stolen information, they are in some cases doctoring the documents, making edits that add false information and then passing the documents off as the originals.

Foreign Policy’s Elias Groll reported last week that the hackers goofed: They posted both the original versions of at least three documents and their edited versions. These documents, stolen from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, were altered by the hackers to create the false impression that Russian anti-corruption activist Alexei Navalny was funded by Soros. A pro-Russian hacking group, CyberBerkut, had inserted Navalny’s name, bogus dollar amounts and fabricated wording.

This raises an intriguing possibility: Are Vladimir Putin’s operatives planning to dump edited DNC documents on the eve of the presidential election?

Perhaps they’ll show that the Clinton Foundation has been funding the Islamic State, or they’ll have Hillary Clinton admitting that she didn’t care about those Americans who died in Benghazi after all. Maybe they’ll show that she really did lose most of her brain function in that fall several years ago and is now relying on Anthony Weiner to make all of her decisions.

Russian “dezinformatsiya” campaigns such as this go back to the Cold War; the Soviet portrayal of AIDS as a CIA plot was a classic case. But this type of cyberwar — email hacking and, now, the altering and release of the stolen documents — is a novel escalation. It’s tempting to wonder how differently the Cold War might have gone had there been cyber-hackers back then. We’ll never know, of course, because the Soviet Union crumbled before Al Gore invented the internet.

But it’s clear that Russia’s disinformation wars are as active as ever. On Sunday, Neil MacFarquhar wrote in The New York Times about Russian attempts to undermine a Swedish military partnership with NATO. The campaign is spreading false information that there’s a secret nuclear weapons stockpile in Sweden and alleging that NATO soldiers could rape Swedish women with impunity. This Russian use of “weaponized information” helped cause confusion in Ukraine in 2014, when conspiracy theories spread by the Russians about the downing of a Malaysian Airlines jet helped Russians justify their invasion of Crimea.

So does this point to a Putin-sponsored October surprise?

Putin has meddled in domestic politics in France, the Netherlands, Britain and elsewhere, helping extreme political parties to destabilize those countries. He appears to be doing much the same now in the United States, where, in addition to the DNC and state voter system hacks, there have also been reports this summer about Russia hiring internet trolls to pose on Twitter and elsewhere in social media as pro-Trump Americans. Trump and Putin have expressed their mutual admiration, and even after the departure of Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump and several top advisers have close ties to Moscow.

The hyper-competitive American media environment is vulnerable to the sort of technique the Russian hackers used in the Soros case — stealing documents, altering them, then releasing them as the original. If Putin’s hackers were to release such a doctored document smearing Clinton in, say, late October, it’s likely that competition would lead outlets to report on the hacked documents before they had a chance to see whether and how they were altered.

We don’t know what, if anything, Putin’s hackers have planned for this fall. But the doctored Soros documents could be a clue.

Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

photo credit: via photopin (license)

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Singing Started for Trump? http://themoderatevoice.com/singing-started-for-trump/ http://themoderatevoice.com/singing-started-for-trump/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 15:00:24 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219122 Opera Fat Lady

Is the fat lady already singing for Donald Trump? According to White House Dossier editor Keith Koffler, the answer is “No.” He explains why in his LifeZette commentary “Note to MSM: This Race Isn’t Over”. Koffler writes, “Well, Hillary may be measuring the drapes in the Oval Office, but it’s hardly curtains for Donald Trump. [...]

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Opera Fat Lady

Is the fat lady already singing for Donald Trump? According to White House Dossier editor Keith Koffler, the answer is “No.” He explains why in his LifeZette commentary “Note to MSM: This Race Isn’t Over”.

Koffler writes, “Well, Hillary may be measuring the drapes in the Oval Office, but it’s hardly curtains for Donald Trump. For many reasons, Trump is in far better shape than he seems — and is actually in an excellent position to win.”

Independent Women’s Voice president Heather R. Higgins agrees that the fat lady isn’t singing yet. Higgins writes, “Nothing is ever certain, and much could go wrong, but my money remains on a Trump victory.”

Trump campaign senior policy adviser Peter Navarro also doubts that the singing will happen. Regarding the upcoming presidential election, Navarro writes, “A record number of voters will likely show up for this showdown — and Trump has a very good chance of winning once one really assesses the chessboard.”

The above-stated claims that Trump will still win have been given some statistical support. A 08/29/16 ABC News headline says, “Hillary Clinton’s Lead Cut in Half in New National Poll”.

ABC News reports, “The change shows some signs of a post-convention bump wearing off among likely voters: She’s lost 10 percentage points among nonwhites, 9 points among college grads, 7 points among women and voters under 35 years old, and a slight 6 points among liberals and Democrats.”

So, is it possible that Donald Trump could still win?

A year ago, this writer told everyone to stick a fork in Trump because Trump was done. That claim resulted in this writer looking like this:

On the night of the 2000 presidential election, NBC News made the mistake of calling that race prematurely. Upon realizing the mistake, Tom Brokaw looked into the TV camera and said to the NBC audience, “Ladies and Gentlemen, we don’t have egg on our face. We have an entire omelette.”

This writer doesn’t want to make an omelette. So, he will not say that the fat lady has started to sing for Trump. Besides, he doesn’t want to listen to a twenty-minute-long aria.

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Clinton aide Abedin leaves husband Weiner after new sexting report http://themoderatevoice.com/219129/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219129/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 03:59:49 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219129 New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York, July 23, 2013.   REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

By Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Huma Abedin, one of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s top aides, said on Monday that she was separating from her husband, Anthony Weiner, after a sex scandal similar to an earlier incident that led him to resign from the U.S. Congress. “After long and painful consideration and work on [...]

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New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York, July 23, 2013.   REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo
New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York, July 23, 2013.   REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

New York mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner and his wife Huma Abedin attend a news conference in New York, July 23, 2013. REUTERS/Eric Thayer/File Photo

By Amanda Becker

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Huma Abedin, one of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s top aides, said on Monday that she was separating from her husband, Anthony Weiner, after a sex scandal similar to an earlier incident that led him to resign from the U.S. Congress.

“After long and painful consideration and work on my marriage, I have made the decision to separate from my husband,” Huma Abedin said in a statement. 

“Anthony and I remain devoted to doing what is best for our son, who is the light of our life. During this difficult time, I ask for respect for our privacy,” Abedin added.

Abedin’s announcement follows a New York Post report late Sunday that Weiner recently sent photos of his boxer-brief-clad genitals – one while he was in bed with their toddler son – via Twitter to another woman.

The photos were part of a months-long exchange between Weiner and the woman and many of the messages were sexual in nature, according to the Post report.

Weiner resigned in June 2011 from Congress, where he represented a New York City district, followed a sexting scandal in which he accidentally posted an explicit photo of himself on his public Twitter timeline instead of via a direct message to a woman, as he had intended.

When Weiner made a second unsuccessful run for New York City mayor, explicit photos surfaced in July 2013 that he had recently sent under the pseudonym “Carlos Danger” to a young woman in Indiana.

Weiner said he had undergone therapy after the first sexting scandal, according to media reports. In recent months, he has taken care of the couple’s toddler son. Abedin often travels with the Clinton campaign.

Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, said in a statement, “Huma is making a very wise decision. I know Anthony Weiner well, and she will be far better off without him.”

Abedin first worked for Clinton in the 1990s as an intern when Clinton was first lady. She was a personal aide to Clinton during her successful 2000 campaign for U.S. Senate. Abedin worked on Clinton’s first, unsuccessful White House bid in 2008 and served as her deputy chief of staff at the U.S. State Department. She is now the vice chair of Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Weiner served in Congress, representing his district in New York City from 1999 to 2011. His first unsuccessful run for New York mayor was in 2005.


(Reporting by Amanda Becker; Editing by Caren Bohan and Jonathan Oatis)

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Cartoon: Gene Wilder http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-gene-wilder/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-gene-wilder/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 03:52:20 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219127 cjones08302016

Gene Wilder by Clay Jones I hate obituary cartoons. I mean I really hate them. I hate the St. Peter imagery and the Heaven thing. Bleagh! After losing my job in 2012 I thought “I’ll start my own syndicate and nobody will make me draw nice cartoons ever again.” I’m going to remain irreverent and [...]

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Gene Wilder
by Clay Jones

I hate obituary cartoons. I mean I really hate them. I hate the St. Peter imagery and the Heaven thing. Bleagh!

After losing my job in 2012 I thought “I’ll start my own syndicate and nobody will make me draw nice cartoons ever again.” I’m going to remain irreverent and original. It keeps me poor but I’ve mostly stood by my principles.

It’s not that I don’t like nice stuff. I just don’t think they’re editorial cartoons. They’re terrible. This cartoon is terrible and I bet you love it. My clients are going to love it.

Here’s why I drew it: I dropped an N-bomb in yesterday’s cartoon. I knew some, if not most of my clients would hate it. But I really wanted to make that statement. I felt after dropping the dirty word, even with asterisks, that I should do something nice for my newspapers.

Two clients wrote to tell me they hated the dirty word cartoon. One client (in Texas) dropped me. But when I sent the cartoon to my newspapers I attached a message that I knew it was a dangerous cartoon but I’d try to do something much softer tomorrow. I didn’t expect this but I did this.

I was thinking what would a horrible cartoonist do with Gene Wilder’s death. What would be just so sickening sweet that it’d make me groan? I thought of this without any effort. Then I thought I’d go ahead and do it kind of on a lark. I also drew it without much effort. I even threw in an Oompa Loompa. It’ll make a national publication. Watch. The Oompa will seal the deal.

It did help that I love Gene Wilder. He was awesome in so many things and not just a great and funny actor, he could write. He co-wrote Young Frankenstein which many believe is the greatest comedy of all time. It’s hard to argue against that. My personal favorite however is Blazing Saddles.

One thing I found interesting were a few memes I saw where people said Wilder and Richard Pryor are reunited. Gee that’s nice. Hey, maybe he’ll see his wife up there.

But hey, if I’m going to do a bad obituary cartoon, I’m going to do a really good bad obituary cartoon. Nobody’s going to have the gobstopper idea. Even if it is ridiculous.

Via Claytoonz.com

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Gene Wilder, ‘Willy Wonka’ star and Mel Brooks collaborator, dies at 83 http://themoderatevoice.com/gene-wilder-willy-wonka-star-and-mel-brooks-collaborator-dies-at-83/ http://themoderatevoice.com/gene-wilder-willy-wonka-star-and-mel-brooks-collaborator-dies-at-83/#comments Tue, 30 Aug 2016 03:24:57 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219125 91WBf+xDygL._AA1500_ (1)

Gene Wilder, a two-time Oscar nominee and comedy star, has died at age 83. Wilder appeared in some of the most enduring comedies of the modern era. He had an ability to capture a frazzled persona on the brink of meltdown, bringing audiences ongoing delight. His collaborations with Mel Brooks on the films “The Producers,” [...]

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Gene Wilder, a two-time Oscar nominee and comedy star, has died at age 83. Wilder appeared in some of the most enduring comedies of the modern era. He had an ability to capture a frazzled persona on the brink of meltdown, bringing audiences ongoing delight. His collaborations with Mel Brooks on the films “The Producers,” “Blazing…

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GOP a Failed State with Trump as Warlord http://themoderatevoice.com/gop-failed-state-trump-warlord/ http://themoderatevoice.com/gop-failed-state-trump-warlord/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 22:18:50 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219048 abstract six line blue transparent vector

Josh Marshall points out the obvious on Talking Points Memo. Over the last few years, as ‘government shutdown’ went from being a crazy ass thing Newt Gingrich did twenty years ago – never to be tried again – to the top item on the Republican policy agenda, you could hear more and more Republicans saying [...]

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Josh Marshall points out the obvious on Talking Points Memo.

Over the last few years, as ‘government shutdown’ went from being a crazy ass thing Newt Gingrich did twenty years ago – never to be tried again – to the top item on the Republican policy agenda, you could hear more and more Republicans saying something like this: We thought it was this great thing that we had our own cable news network as an arm of the GOP or the conservative movement, echoing talking points, spinning the news. But at a certain point we realized Fox News wasn’t working for us. We’re working for Fox News.

They thought Fox News was the media arm or comms department of the GOP. But at some point the GOP, the institutional Republican party, the people who run campaigns, formulate policy or try to enact it, became a junior operational affiliate of Fox News. Whether Fox is principally a hugely profitable media company or an ideological endeavor is largely beside the point: the balance of power had shifted fundamentally. Like in decrepit, fragmenting imperial states where the powers-that-be keep on a powerless nominal emperor because he is so easy and convenient to dominate, a figure like John Boehner was kept at the helm by the fringe figures who had become the dominant force in GOP politics along with Fox News. 

Several months ago I described the build-up of ‘nonsense debt’ and ‘hate debt’ in the GOP which made Trump’s takeover possible. Indeed, whether genuine or merely opportunistic, you now have more than a few Never Trump conservative media personalities stepping forward to explain how the rightwing media echo-chamber created a framework in which you are immediately discredited if you do not subscribe to a series of demonstrably false claims, non-facts and theories. And there you have it: Years of build up of fantastical conspiracy theories, completely unrealistic political goals, all leaving the party ungovernable and vulnerable to a takeover by someone like Donald Trump who was willing to satisfy the demand the institutional GOP had studiously cultivated but was both unwilling and unable to satiate. Will Saletan had an observation several months ago which captures this and which I continue to think is one of most apt insights I’ve seen into contemporary American politics: the GOP is a failed state and Donald Trump is its warlord.

This isn’t just a clever aside. The prism of state failure is actually an apt way to look at the progression of the GOP over the last two decades. Trump isn’t the leader of the GOP. He’s not trying to be…He’s simply taken control of the largest constituency block and decided to rule it as his own. The party’s institutional apparatus was too weak to prevent it. Like warlordization in a state collapse context, Trump’s action confirms the breakdown of institutional control but also makes recovery and unity even more difficult to recover.

The social realities of urbanization, race and deindustrialization are the true engines of change rumbling beneath our politics and driving these changes. But conservative media – Fox News, Talk Radio, Drudge, Breitbart – has been the mechanism of the transformation within the GOP. Fox News as the leader of the pack has increasingly been the one defining the choices and options for the GOP, even taking on the role of providing sinecures for once and future Fox-approved presidential nominees during the off-season. And out of the blue we’re now seeing the transformation take full effect with Trump.

Kellyanne Conway appears to be a nominal campaign manager, functioning as something more like a national spokesperson and chief surrogate. The campaign is now really being run by the head of Breitbart news, the disgraced former CEO of Fox News and talk radio host Laura Ingraham. Yes, yes, I know the latter two don’t have formal titles. But look at recent reporting about who Trump is really spending his time with and being advised by. Other than Limbaugh taking a sabbatical and taking over as chief strategist, I’m not sure how much more total the conservative media takeover of the rump GOP could be.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2016/08/gop-failed-state-with-trump-as-warlord.html

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Why I Am Beginning to Appreciate the Bushes http://themoderatevoice.com/why-i-am-beginning-to-appreciate-the-bushes/ http://themoderatevoice.com/why-i-am-beginning-to-appreciate-the-bushes/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 18:55:01 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219119 Trump Celebrity

Recently, at one of his red-meat rallies, Donald Trump — whose image as a bigot “has begun to crystallize” — accused Hillary Clinton of being “a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.” Friday afternoon, a young black woman, Nykea Aldridge — a mother [...]

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Trump Celebrity

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Recently, at one of his red-meat rallies, Donald Trump — whose image as a bigot “has begun to crystallize” — accused Hillary Clinton of being “a bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings worthy of a better future.”

Friday afternoon, a young black woman, Nykea Aldridge — a mother of four and Dwyane Wade’s cousin — was shot and killed while pushing her baby in a stroller in Chicago’s South Side, apparently by a stray bullet in a gang-related shooting.

Less than 24 hours later — as has become a typical initial Trump response to similar events — the GOP presidential candidate again disgraced himself by using this tragedy as an opportunity to shamelessly go after those very same votes he accused Clinton of taking for granted.

Early Saturday morning Trump tweeted:

Trump's Tweet

Shortly thereafter, Trump corrected the misspelling of Dwyane’s name but left the rest of his outrageous tweet intact.

Then, a couple of hours later, probably because of the rightful backlash he was getting, Trump deleted the tweet and replaced it with a more humane one, expressing his condolences to the Dwyane family.

At the New York Magazine, in a piece titled “Trump Uses the Death of a Chicago Mother to Celebrate Himself,” Chad Danner writes:

Donald Trump, however, saw the story on Saturday morning and characteristically decided that the person he most wanted to help was himself, which he tried to do by connecting Aldridge’s death to the latest redirection of his presidential campaign.

This brings me to the Bush family, whose members’ politics I did not like, whether it be for trading arms for hostages (and covering it up), for the failure to concentrate on the economy or to address the budget deficit, for the disastrous Iraq War, for precipitating the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression or for several other political reasons and issues.

However, one thing that cannot be pegged on the Bushes is that they “celebrated” themselves.

An opinion piece in today’s Washington Post by previous Trump supporter and MSNBC’s Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough corroborates such.

First, Scarborough grouches a little bit about Trump’s nasty personal attacks on himself and on his co-host, Mika:

These days, a rudely out-of-bounds Trump attack surprises Mika and me about as much as a puppy relieving himself on a living room rug. We’ve figured out by now that it does no good to lose your cool with the puppy or Donald Trump, since neither have any control over their bladder or mouth.

Scarborough then shares his impressions of a visit this past weekend to George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush at their home in beautiful Kennebunkport, Maine.

Scarborough recalls how gracious and welcoming the Bushes were, just as gracious as they had been when Scarborough and his family visited them five years earlier.

“Mrs. Bush even asked about my youngest children, who she remembered remarkably well considering the countless guests that have streamed through their world since that summer’s day in 2011. But her human touch is the kind of thing the family always seems to manage with ease. They make others around them feel special” Scarborough says, “despite the fact that” the Bushes have lived such remarkably famous and prestigious lives.

As to celebrating themselves, Scarborough says, as a matter of fact, “…good luck getting George or Barbara Bush talking about themselves. They just don’t do it and they never will.” He continues:

First of all, their parents didn’t allow it. And besides, that kind of thing wasn’t done in the world from which they came. It is just one small way that the ethos of Walker’s Point is so radically different from the mindset that infects Donald Trump’s garish corner office high above 5th Avenue in Trump Towers.

Scarborough recalls his friend, Jon Meacham, lamenting that the same Republican Party that nominated a man like George H. W. Bush, a man who rarely spoke about himself, would now “select a reality TV showman who obsessively talked about little else” and Meacham’s paraphrasing of Henry Adams, “that the historical devolvement from Bush to Trump proves that Darwin’s theory of evolution was less compelling when applied to American politics.”

The Bushes, like them or hate them, did not use human tragedies to celebrate themselves. (George Bush’s strutting on an aircraft carrier in his flight suit proclaiming “Mission Accomplished” could be an exception.)

The GOP presidential candidate does it every chance he gets and has no shame.

That is one of the many reasons that, in some respects, I have begun to appreciate the Bush family.

Everything in life is relative.

Lead image courtesy Donkeyhotey.com

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Stein the Presidential Candidate http://themoderatevoice.com/stein-the-presidential-candidate/ http://themoderatevoice.com/stein-the-presidential-candidate/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 15:00:21 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219095 Jill Stein Candidacy

Retired physician and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is spinning a fairy tale. That is the opinion expressed in a Washington Post editorial. From the editorial: “Ms. Stein’s policy ideas are poorly formed and wildly impractical. Her “activist” approach, she said, involves building “broad coalitions,” but she criticized Hillary Clinton for reaching out to [...]

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Jill Stein Candidacy

Retired physician and Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is spinning a fairy tale. That is the opinion expressed in a Washington Post editorial.

From the editorial:

“Ms. Stein’s policy ideas are poorly formed and wildly impractical. Her “activist” approach, she said, involves building “broad coalitions,” but she criticized Hillary Clinton for reaching out to Republicans. She proposes to end all use of coal, oil, gasoline and nuclear power by 2030, guaranteeing a federal job to anyone who wants one along the way, and says she can accomplish this revolution for $500 billion — less than the cost of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus. Even this trifle would be recouped in health savings, she said, as her “Green New Deal” reduced the incidence of asthma, diabetes and other illnesses.

There would no doubt be health benefits. But Ms. Stein is nevertheless spinning up a fairy tale — an appealing fairy tale to some, but still a fairy tale. To support the feasibility of her plan, Ms. Stein cited experts whose models in fact envision an energy transition taking decades longer than she posits. To support her health prognostication, she improbably cited Cuba’s experience losing access to Russian oil after the fall of the Soviet Union, after which, she pointed out, Cubans became healthier. In fact, they became healthier because they could no longer afford to smoke or drink alcohol and because so many involuntarily lost weight. “Cubans survived drinking sugared water, and eating anything they could get their hands on, including domestic pets and the animals in the Havana Zoo,” Richard Schiffman recounted in the Atlantic. “They became virtual vegans overnight.””

End all use of coal, oil, gasoline and nuclear power by 2030? That is one fantasy that not even Mr. Roarke could deliver.

“Don’t let Jill Stein on the island. Her fantasies are impossible even for us.”

Dana Milbank points out other flaws in Stein’s candidacy: “Stein complained about the 15 percent polling threshold keeping her and Libertarian Gary Johnson out of the presidential debates. But can she expect more than her 3 percent when she talks of boycotting Israel, spreads unwarranted fears about vaccines and WiFi, and has a running mate — Ajamu Baraka — who called President Obama an Uncle Tom?”

Stein spreads unwarranted fears about vaccines and WiFi? If Americans wanted a quack to be the next POTUS, then they would elect the AFLAC duck. At least his speeches would be short and to the point.

CNN Money gives details on what free stuff that Stein wants to give to voters, such as free universal child care and tuition-free public colleges and universities for undergraduates.

How does she plan to pay for all of this free stuff? By taxing the hell out of the wealthiest Americans.

Stein is so green with wealth envy that she would fit in at Kermit the Frog’s family reunions.

“Cousin Jill, is that you?”

Anyway, there you have an introduction to Jill Stein, the presidential candidate who wants Americans to experience Cuba without having to go there.

This writer would rather go to Disneyland. The fairy tales there are better.

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Donate to TMV (IMPORTANT UPDATE) http://themoderatevoice.com/donate-to-tmv/ http://themoderatevoice.com/donate-to-tmv/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 07:00:32 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=217415 donate-1331096_640

(NOTE: This is still not a formal fundraiser, but TMV is now faced with a major unforseen event. See UPDATE below the main post): No this isn’t a formal fundraiser. However, if you like The Moderate Voice and its mix of features, donations are always welcome. As many readers are well aware, we had to [...]

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(NOTE: This is still not a formal fundraiser, but TMV is now faced with a major unforseen event. See UPDATE below the main post):

No this isn’t a formal fundraiser. However, if you like The Moderate Voice and its mix of features, donations are always welcome. As many readers are well aware, we had to do a fundraiser last year due to brutal DoS attacks that nearly destroyed the site. This led to a new design aimed at above all trying to remove vulnerabilities. Aesthetics came after. Then we had to work out some bugs, which have been worked out.

TMV has certain paid features and expenses that have normally been at least covered by ad revenues. Like many sites, particularly blogs that are not sharply right or sharply left, TMV has seen a decline in ad revenues (many blogs have died off or get far fewer hits then they used to as social media becomes more popular). We are determined no matter what NOT to pull any paid features through 2016 and if ad revenue increases keep them for 2017.

But within a few months TMV may be operating at a loss. Unlike many other blogs and websites, there is NO big bankroller for TMV. It has survived on some fundraisers done sparingly and its ad revenues. No matter what, it’ll operate full blast through 2016 but donations could help. Many websites regularly ask for reader support. (A GoFundMe has been considered but won’t be done yet).

SO if you like the site and want to donate, just hit the donate button.

AND MANY THANKS to the TMV readers who have set up small reoccurring donations to TMV paid via PayPal. They DO help — and add up.

Even if you can’t donate, THANKS for reading TMV — and please do spread the (hopefully good) word.

UPDATE: TMV is now faced with a major expense. Our bank account is not big since we are picky on ads which may not fit our format, may not be appropriate, or may not be legit. Also, because TMV is not a site that runs posts totally in one camp, we get few political ads. So the way to cover the latest big expense (which will entail more in the future) is that yours truly took it out of my own very limited personal financial resources.

A fundraiser will come in later weeks when we have a more clearer idea of where we are. In the meantime:

1. If you like TMV and want to donate, please do so. It’ll help our TMV account. I am adamant about NOT eliminated the paid features on TMV such as some featured columnists and cartoons.
2. If you know someone who might like TMV and want to contribute, do tell them about TMV.
3. TMV has not corporate sponsors and if there is a company you know that’d like to contribute (realizing it will NOT impact our posts) let them
know.

But all of the above will be sketched more when we launch a formal fundraiser.

Until then, any donations (no matter how big or small) are appreciated.

PS: We appreciate our readers so no one is being pressured, but the bottom line is that we can use donations and have you spread the word so that we have more than a tiny bank account. Meanwhile, we are looking at new inquiries for ads for TMV and be running some IF they are a fit for the site.

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Politix Update: Why Trump Is Beating Clinton In The Right-Wing Echo Chamber http://themoderatevoice.com/219115/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219115/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 05:12:38 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219115 fkfkfkfkf

If your world does not extend beyond the confines of Fox News or one of the other rooms in the ghetto known as the right-wing echo chamber, you could be (barely) forgiven if you believe that the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton not only is competitive, but The Donald actually is in the [...]

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If your world does not extend beyond the confines of Fox News or one of the other rooms in the ghetto known as the right-wing echo chamber, you could be (barely) forgiven if you believe that the race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton not only is competitive, but The Donald actually is in the lead with 10 weeks to go. This is because of two big lies: The polls are all wrong and there is a secret reservoir of Trump voters — we’ll call them Trumpkins — who are going to magically appear on Election Day to elect the Cheeto Jesus. Then there are October Surprises and Black Swans, which we’ll get to in a moment.

The echo chamber was booming away on Fox the other morning while I was waiting to get my hair cut as one of the network’s ubiquitous air hostess blond commentators (who seem to all be the same person, or is that just me?) breathlessly intoned that:

“Donald Trump is turning his campaign around with a new stand on immigration and the latest poll results show him head to head or leading Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile, Trump has taken the lead in Arizona.”

Three little problems with that 10-second sound bite: While Trump may be able to figuratively turn his campaign around, it is literally too late for that to make a difference. He is head to head with Clinton only in a few outlier polls that are consistently weighted Republican and leads in only one that has a suspect methodology. Arizona has gone Democratic only once in 68 years (Give ‘Em Hell, Harry), but because of Trump’s toxicity among minorities and the antipathy some Republicans have for him, it is now trending for Clinton.

Putting aside the crisis of morality sucking at Fox these days, can you imagine the amount of bilge sloshing around in the brains of Trump supporters after watching the network for years, let alone a mere 10 seconds?

All of this is reminiscent of Election Night 2012 when Karl Rove melted down before millions of viewers on Fox over his disbelief that Barack Obama had carried Ohio despite that call by his own network. And as the night wore on, it became obvious that Rove and his pals had allowed the boom-boom-boom of the echo chamber to fool themselves into believing that Mitt Romney was going to kick the president’s Kenyan butt.

Not even a hyper-partisan smacked ass like Rove is likely to make the same mistake this time around.

mmmmmmm

Rove’s catharsis is not just because of Clinton’s commanding lead in national polls that screen for likely voters and discard other responses — an average lead of 7.4 percent over Trump at this writing — but because of where the calendar is. Historically, and we’re going all the way back to that Harry Truman fella here, polls become far more predictive after the conventions and there is no reason to expect this election season is different in that respect despite its inherent strangeness.

In fact, no candidate who was leading at this stage in the race has lost the popular vote, which is why the major polling models all give Clinton such a high likelihood of winning: 85 percent in the FiveThirtyEight polls-only forecast, 90 percent in The New York Times calculator, and 96 percent in the Princeton Election Consortium survey.

One of the strangest aspects of this strange election season is a big reason why these forbidding odds are likely to hold up: Only one candidate is running a campaign in the traditional sense of the word. That is, doing what it takes to win a national election.

Clinton’s headquarters operation in Brooklyn is huge and her field organization so vast that when Arizona began coming into play earlier this month, her operation there grew to 20 field offices with 160 workers practically overnight. Trump, on the other hand, has no real campaign operation, no infrastructure, an anemic budget, few volunteers and a by-now well publicized proclivity for hiring extremely unvetted problem children like campaign chief executive Steve Bannon, who replaced a man with a hot line to the Kremlin who replaced a potty-mouthed serial brawler. Bannon for a time was fraudulently registered to vote in Florida, once beat up his wife and is proudly anti-Semitic.

“There is no horse race here,” writes Jamelle Bouie in Slate. “Clinton is far enough ahead, at a late enough stage in the election, that what we have is a horse running by itself, unperturbed but for the faint possibility of a comet hitting the track. Place your bets accordingly.”

But what about those other factors that could undermine or spell defeat for Clinton?

TRUMPKINS

The existence of Trumpkins, known to pollsters as “underground voters,” is in the eyes of the beholder. Kellyanne Conway beholds a whole fricking army of them, and suggests that it is on their shoulders that Tump will be carried to victory.

Conway is Trump’s new campaign manager and the other half of the package deal that gifted us Steve Bannon. Conway also happens to be a pollster, which hypothetically should enhance her credibility when it comes to knowing about underground voters.

She leads the army of Trumpkin believers with statements like this one:

“Donald Trump performs consistently better in online polling where a human being is not talking to another human being about what he or she may do in the election. It’s because it’s become socially desirable, if you’re a college-educated person in the United States of America, to say that you’re against Donald Trump.”

At a glance, polling data would appear to confirm Conway’s view.

The aforementioned 7.4 percent national polling average breaks down to 47.5 percent for Clinton and 40.1 percent for Trump. Breaking it down further, if you eliminate live callers and count only robot callers and online polls, the margin narrows to 5.1 percent. If you count only live callers and eliminate robot callers and online polls, Clinton’s lead grows to 9.8 percent.

Except that like that 10-second Fox News sound bite, Conway’s view doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

First, because it’s not Trump’s support that changes; the movement is almost entirely within Clinton’s support. Slate‘s Jim Newell points out that if there is any inter-methodology disparity, it’s that respondents are more likely to tell a human being that they support Clinton than a robot.

And second, there are not anywhere near enough Trumpkins to make up The Donald’s substantial deficit.

While Mitt Romney won the white college-educated vote by 14 percentage points in 2012, Clinton leads Trump by 48 to 37 percent in one reliable poll, and that doesn’t include non-white college-educated voters.

But Trump’s biggest demographic deficit is among Catholic voters, who traditionally make up the largest bloc of swing voters.

The Republican candidate has won the Catholic vote in five of the last 10 presidential elections, and Romney lost it by only 2 percentage points in 2012. But Trump trails Clinton among Catholics by staggering margins of over 20 percentage points in national polls.

Bottom line: There are far more college-educated voters who are more turned off to Trump than Clinton, and Trump cannot win without their support. Same with Catholics.

OCTOBER SURPRISES

An October Surprise is, as the term implies, a news event that is deliberately timed to influence the outcome of an election. The term originated in October 1972, some 12 days before the Richard Nixon-George McGovern massacre, when Henry Kissinger, Nixon’s national security advisor, announced that “peace is at hand” after four years of negotiations to end the deeply unpopular Vietnam War.

(Wag the Dog, a novel and film about a war started solely to distract attention from a presidential scandal, is a pungent fictional example of an October Surprise.)

As it turned out, peace was not at hand in 1972 and Nixon routed McGovern anyway, but the term October Surprise stuck and has been used with numbing regularity in most presidential elections since. Problem is, these “surprises” don’t amount to much even if true, a good example being the announcement by the Democratic candidate for Maine governor a few days before the 2000 election that George W. Bush had been arrested in that state for drunk driving in 1976. Bush quickly confirmed that was true and the rest, as they say, was history.

My leading candidates for a 2016 October Surprise are:

* Another WikiLeaks revelation — possibly aided and abetted by Trump’s Russian hacking backers — about Clinton’s email practices, possibly the contents of her so-called “scrubbed” emails. But if that’s the best that Julian Assange and other pro-Trump forces can come up with, the reaction of voters is likely to be another big ho-hum.

* A leak of Trump’s federal tax returns, which he has adamantly refused to release. While damaging in and of themselves because they probably would show that Trump diddled the system and perhaps paid no taxes, this would have little overall impact because he was going to lose badly anyway.

Interestingly if not surprisingly, most October Surprise talk is coming from right-wing websites.

BLACK SWANS

Of all the electoral game changers, a Black Swan Event is both the least likely and the one likely to matter the most should that comet hit the track.

A Black Swan Event is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a big surprise, has a history-changing effect and is irrationally rationalized after the fact that the event could have been expected. The term is based on an ancient saying which presumed black swans did not exist but were later discovered in the wild, connoting the idea that a perceived impossibility might later be disproven.

Classic Black Swan Events include World War I, the rise of the Internet, and events such as floods, droughts and epidemics, and my favorite — the September 11 attacks.

Could an event of this magnitude improbably result in the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States? Of course, and I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn that I’m interested in selling you.

Cross-posted from Kiko’s House

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Why Clinton Republicans Matter http://themoderatevoice.com/219113/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219113/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 04:52:16 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219113 Republicanlogo.svg (1)

WASHINGTON — Not since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign has there been such widespread public disavowal by Republicans of their party’s nominee. The Hillary Clinton Republicans will be one of the most important legacies of the 2016 campaigns. The question is whether they will constitute the forward end of a political realignment, or just a one-time [...]

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WASHINGTON — Not since Barry Goldwater’s 1964 campaign has there been such widespread public disavowal by Republicans of their party’s nominee. The Hillary Clinton Republicans will be one of the most important legacies of the 2016 campaigns.

The question is whether they will constitute the forward end of a political realignment, or just a one-time reaction to the unsuitability of Donald Trump for the presidency.

Reasons for skepticism about long-term change are rooted in the differences between today’s polarized politics and the more tempered partisanship surrounding the big-bang elections of 1964 and 1980.

In 1964, there was a lively liberal wing of the Republican Party. GOP figures such as Jacob Javits, Clifford Case, Edward Brooke and John Lindsay had far more in common philosophically with Lyndon Johnson than they did with Goldwater.

Thus, 1964 was genuinely realigning, setting off the flight of conservative white Southerners from the Democratic Party but also a defection of liberals from the Republican Party. Many (including Lindsay, Javits and Case) were pushed aside in primaries.

The celebrated Reagan Democrats of 1980, in the meantime, came in several varieties. Many were the same white Southerners who began voting Republican in 1964 but didn’t abandon their old party label. Others were Northern working-class whites who started voting Republican in Richard Nixon’s 1968 and 1972 elections. And some were neoconservatives who disliked President Jimmy Carter’s foreign policy. Here again, there was philosophical coherence.

The Never Trump Republicans, including those who have endorsed Clinton, are a far more complicated group. Many of them are devout philosophical conservatives who have little in common with Clinton on either policy or ideology. They see Trump as unacceptable largely because of who he is: his tendency toward cruelty and viciousness, his racial attitudes and his lack of seriousness about policy. Many Republicans are praying the Trump episode will be an interlude and that they will be able to resume control of their party after it ends.

Others are a part of an unusual alliance between hawkish neoconservatives and Republican foreign policy realists who often disagree with each other but are joined in the view that Trump’s foreign policy, such as it is, is entirely outside the internationalist traditions their party has broadly upheld since World War II. Both ends of this anti-Trump alliance are especially suspicious of his friendly views of Vladimir Putin and his support of policies (on NATO and the European Union) that would advance Russia’s interests.

On foreign policy, there is some coming together between Clinton and her Republican allies. Dovish liberals worry about this aspect of the anti-Trump right. They suspect — partly on the basis of her history — that Clinton’s instincts are more hawkish than President Obama’s.

Her allies on international issues cast the issue somewhat differently — and more positively: that Clinton’s election could restore something close to an older consensus on foreign policy that was blown apart by the Iraq War. They argue that she occupies a middle ground between Obama and his hawkish critics. She is less interventionist than the neoconservatives but would, on some issues, be tougher in her approach to diplomacy than Obama has been.

Any long-term electoral effect of the rise of Clinton Republicans is likely to be felt among the white college-educated whom Trump has so alienated. Trump’s turn to the hard right, reinforced by his hiring of Breitbart’s Steve Bannon as his campaign CEO, could further aggravate the GOP’s problem with such voters. Trump muddled his position on immigration to try to win some of them back.

Clinton’s hope if she wins is that the existence of Clinton Republicans will make her relations with the GOP in Congress easier. Especially if Democrats take the Senate, Republicans in the House — even if they keep their majority — might give her some room to win legislative victories, particularly on immigration reform and large-scale infrastructure investment. On the other hand, GOP politicians who opposed Trump or were lukewarm about him might seek to restore their bona fides with Trump’s constituency by being especially ferocious in their opposition to Clinton.

All this, however, is premised on a Clinton victory. If the race tightens, Republicans who know that Trump should not be president will have to be less grudging about lending their full support to Clinton. She tried to encourage them last week by declaring that Trump’s extremism represented neither “conservatism as we have known it” or “Republicanism as we have known it.” Her unspoken message: The stakes for the party’s dissenters are too high for halfway measures and bet hedging.

E.J. Dionne’s email address is ejdionne@washpost.com. Twitter: @EJDionne. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Laws cannot override humanity (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/laws-cannot-override-humanity-guest-voice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/laws-cannot-override-humanity-guest-voice/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 04:46:29 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219111 26682691294_385a8a19c4

Laws cannot override humanity by Jordan Cooper We as a people must maintain one another’s goodness beyond our public governments’ written laws. If we don’t have a legal responsibility for our activities we need to let our moral, social, and ethical responsibilities guide us to help our neighbors. Your humanity should be above our legal [...]

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Laws cannot override humanity
by Jordan Cooper

We as a people must maintain one another’s goodness beyond our public governments’ written laws. If we don’t have a legal responsibility for our activities we need to let our moral, social, and ethical responsibilities guide us to help our neighbors. Your humanity should be above our legal responsibilities as outlined by our governments. The dictates of your conscience sets you in the right direction surpassing the limits of government law that is only caring to a certain extent of our needs.]

For an example, we do not have to save a person from a wild animal if they were a game warden or not. We do not have to save a highway patrolman from an explosion in a patrol car. For an instance, we do not have to save a lifeguard if their rescue buoy stops working. All of these things and others not mentioned that are similar in nature would leave citizens without any legal liability from the powers that be. We should not have the demeanor that if we didn’t make the mess we should not help clean it up. We do not need to feel that if we are not in a stressful situation we shouldn’t try to help relieve other’s. We must never see ourselves as isolated from others in this world where we depend on each other. We should not feel removed from each other’s well-being. So we must use our strongest senses of benevolence to help each other.

Also, we must promote the ongoing process of natural maturity to preserve the quality of life for each human being. We should not distance ourselves from God’s will and nature’s determination. We as people must empathize with one another to show we are not dull of the goodness that was put in us. We were designed to live amongst each other and a loving energy will be enough for us to continue to be as long as we can. There are legal bounds to all things — but we must allow altruism to exceed it at all times.

Jordan Thomas Cooper is a 2015 graduate of the University of South Carolina with a degree in History and a 2010 graduate of the RealEstate School of Success in Irmo. He is the first African-American to serve in both the governor and lieutenant governor’s office as an aide and first to serve in the Inspector General’s Office in S.C. (Haley) He is also the first person to serve in the top three offices in the gubernatorial line of succession in South Carolina (Haley, Bauer, McConnell). He says research shows he is the second black presidential campaign speechwriter in American history and the first for a GOP presidential campaign (Bush 2015). He also played football for Coach Steve Spurrier.

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Cartoon: Burkini http://themoderatevoice.com/219109/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219109/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 01:41:58 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219109 cjones08272016 (1)

Burkini by Clay Jones Several towns in France banned the wearing of burkinis on their beaches. What’s a “burkini?” It like a burka you can swim in and it looks kinda like a wet suit. Why would anyone care what others are wearing when it doesn’t hurt you? Because people are xenophobic and hateful. The [...]

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Burkini
by Clay Jones

Several towns in France banned the wearing of burkinis on their beaches. What’s a “burkini?” It like a burka you can swim in and it looks kinda like a wet suit. Why would anyone care what others are wearing when it doesn’t hurt you? Because people are xenophobic and hateful.

The nation has used terrorism to justify discrimination and prejudice. Shouldn’t people have the right to wear what they want without the government degrading them?

Western Europe is proving we’re not alone in the United States with our racism, xenophobia, and mass stupidity. I’m still recovering from the hate rally I attended last week.

Human Rights groups asked France’s highest court to strike down the ban, and they agreed. The court ruled that the ban “seriously, and clearly illegally, breached the fundamental freedoms to come and go, the freedom of beliefs and individual freedom.” I’ll add to that with “yeah.”

Seriously, leave people alone. If you want stupid laws, enact a nose-hair law. Nose hair, ear hair, back and shoulder hair, bleagh. A little maintenance goes a long way, people. I’m just saying. I don’t want to say names.

There’s a lot of other things to see at a beach that’s more disgusting and offensive than a woman who doesn’t want to show you all her stuff.

I drew this cartoon last night and shared it on Facebook and it’s received more likes and shares than this blog will. I was out and I didn’t want to tackle trying to write the blog while people were butchering “Sweet Child Of Mine” at Karaoke. Now there should be a law.

Via Claytoonz.com

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Epi-Pens, Politicians and Free Markets (Guest Voice) http://themoderatevoice.com/219107/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219107/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 01:31:21 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219107 nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

Epi-Pens, Politicians and Free Markets by Sal Monela By now, most people have heard about the 600% price increase in a medication called an Epi-Pen. The Epi-Pen is a device carrying a drug used by people who experience severe, life threatening allergic reactions. Needless to say, a number of people, including politicians, have been critical [...]

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Epi-Pens, Politicians and Free Markets
by Sal Monela

By now, most people have heard about the 600% price increase in a medication called an Epi-Pen. The Epi-Pen is a device carrying a drug used by people who experience severe, life threatening allergic reactions.

Needless to say, a number of people, including politicians, have been critical of the manufacturer, Mylan, and it chief executive, Heather Bresch for imposing such an astronomical cost increase on a medication on which the patent has expired. But don’t worry Heather; Kevin Williamson writing in the National Review has heroically ridden to your defense.

According to Williamson “Mylan, recently raised prices on the EpiPen and several other treatments they sell. An EpiPen dose might cost as much as $600, which is . . . about half of what the typical American family spends on cable TV in a year. Yeah, sure, little Bobby’s face is swelling up like a North Korean dictator’s and his kidneys are about to fail — but there’s two episodes left on Game of Thrones this season!” Yep, all we have to do is give up cable TV so we can have the resources to spend $600 to buy a lifesaving product that cost $100 a few years ago. But what if we don’t have cable TV? Lots of people give up things much more worthwhile than TV to afford their meds and other medical expenses. And how would we be able to be educated about the Epi-Pen if we don’t have TV and couldn’t see those ads that Mylan has recently began running that encourage us to “ask your doctor?”

Of course, Kevin argues that Mylan needs this price increase. He says “Epinephrine is unstable, and developing a way to store and deliver it reliably isn’t easy.” Thank you Kevin because I always thought that businesses included the R&D costs in the pricing when the product first goes to market. I never realized that they wait 15 or 20 years to include those expenses in the cost.

Williamson lays the blame on politicians and Obama Care for the price increase “Remember that medical-device tax? An EpiPen is a medical device.” Well, sorry to burst your bubble Kevin, but congress approved a moratorium on the medical device tax that is currently in effect and lasts till the end of 2017. Further, there is a retail exemption from tax on products normally sold to consumers. And lastly, maybe my math is faulty, but it’s really hard to convert the imposition of a 2.3% tax into a 600% cost increase.

Kevin provides further conclusive evidence that politicians are at fault “If we were relying on the intelligence, work ethic, creativity, entrepreneurship, scientific prowess, and far-sightedness of the members of Congress to produce treatments for allergic reactions or any other medical problem, we’d still have a million people a year dying from smallpox and preventable infections …We’d also be starving to death…These people are parasites. They make: nothing. They create: nothing. They produce: nothing.” While I might agree with some of Willimason’s observations about intelligence and work ethic of some members of congress, if I recall correctly, the Federal Government funds an awful lot of basic research (approved by Congress) without which we wouldn’t have many of those medical and technological breakthroughs and millions of people would be starving to death.

Kevin goes on to say “I don’t know how much Heather Bresch has in the bank, but without checking, I’ll bet you five dollars it is a good deal less than the Clintons have piled up in “public service.” I don’t know how much Heather has in assets either, but ABC just reported that her annual compensation has gone from $5 million in 2009 to $19 million today. I’d say that gives her plenty of discretionary income. Of course, the private sector has to pay astronomical salaries to attract talent, but in a comparable public sector position you are expected to work for peanuts.

The far right lives under the illusion that government doesn’t produce anything. Just looking outside my front window, I can see roads, a bridge, powerlines owned by a city carrying electricity produced by a federal agency, the BPA. Overhead are aircraft that took off from publicly owned airports and a short distance away is a major port owned and operated by a public port authority. At the same time, the private sector engages in a number of activities including high frequency trading and short selling that produce absolutely nothing other than move money around between investors. In other words those who engage in these activities may be considered “parasites. They make: nothing. They create: nothing. They produce: nothing.”

The National Review prides itself on being an intellectual defender of conservatism. Most of Williamson’s article is a hysterical rant against liberal politicians, in particular Hillary and Bernie. It’s also full of dubious information. If the editors believe that this is a thoughtful defense of corporate price gouging, then I will be happy to sell them that bridge in front of my home. But there is one very good point that Williamson made. He showed us why unfettered capitalism is such a lousy idea.

photo credit: EpiPen Auto Injector via photopin (license)

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The singular danger of Trump http://themoderatevoice.com/219105/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219105/#comments Mon, 29 Aug 2016 00:58:12 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219105 Danger! on Road Sign

WASHINGTON — My recent columns on Donald Trump have generated a consistent response from his supporters: “If … that lying psycho b—- wins, there will be nothing left of this country. You better stock up on bullets to protect your house!” “Keep preaching to the Hillary choir.” “Please notify me when you are going to [...]

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Danger! on Road Sign
Danger! on Road Sign

Danger! on Road Sign

WASHINGTON — My recent columns on Donald Trump have generated a consistent response from his supporters:

“If … that lying psycho b—- wins, there will be nothing left of this country. You better stock up on bullets to protect your house!”

“Keep preaching to the Hillary choir.”

“Please notify me when you are going to write your column on the lies of Hillary Clinton. Oh, excuse me, that’s not happening is it?”

These people are not defending the indefensible Trump but accusing me of being in the tank for Clinton. And I do support Clinton — but only in the sense that I would support a ham sandwich for president if it were the only thing standing between Trump and the Oval Office.

Moderates and reasonable Republicans who are considering voting for Trump portray it as a choice between two unpalatable options. But it isn’t. It’s a choice between one unpalatable option and one demagogue who operates outside of our democratic traditions, promoting racism, condoning violence and moving paranoia into the mainstream. This presidential election is not about party or ideology. It’s about Trump’s threat to our tradition of self-government.

You’d be hard pressed, reading my coverage of Clinton over the years, to think me a fan. I mocked her 2008 campaign with comparisons to Monty Python’s dead parrot and black knight sketches. I generated justifiable outrage with a video reference to Clinton in 2009 that was a failed attempt to play on a Tina Fey sketch. I’ve called Clinton obsessively secretive. Her handling of matters from Whitewater to her email server has encouraged doubts about her honesty. Though I’m excited about the United States electing a woman as president, Clinton is a poor retail politician and a too-cautious leader.

If Marco Rubio or John Kasich were the Republican nominee, I suspect we would now be writing Clinton’s political obituary — and I’d be content finding absurdities on both sides. Though I don’t hide my center-left views, I prefer a pox-on-both-houses approach.

The singular danger of Trump makes this year different. Trump isn’t really a conservative or a Republican. Voters know this, which is why Democratic efforts to tie down-ballot candidates to him aren’t working well. When Trump (hopefully) is gone, these surviving Republicans need a reckoning to reclaim their party from the fringe.

This coming week, I’ll be talking about Trump, and how we speak to children about Trump, to teachers at my daughter’s school. The school is understandably wary about appearing to take sides in a political contest. But I’ll say such reluctance should be set aside, because Trump stands opposed to the civic values we teach children.

He shows an autocrat’s disregard for our constitutional system. He bans news organizations that he doesn’t like. He wants to “open up” press laws to weaken the First Amendment. He claims an American-born federal judge can’t be impartial toward him because of his Mexican heritage and threatens to use the presidency to go after him. He once said he would order the military, illegally, to torture detainees and target innocent civilians. He has talked of banning members of an entire religion from entry into the United States and forcing those here to register.

Trump invites violence as a political tool. He suggests “Second Amendment people” — gun owners — could stop judges Clinton nominates. He has spoken of paying the legal fees of supporters who assault hecklers at events, saying things like “knock the crap out of them” and “I’d like to punch him in the face.” Trump has alleged the vote will be “rigged” against him, and those around him suggest violence could ensue. There have been dozens of incidents of violence at Trump events, including by his then-campaign-manager.

Trump brought racism and paranoia into the mainstream with his “America First” campaign and his leadership of the movement challenging Obama’s American birth. He hesitated to disavow David Duke and the Ku Klux Klan. His tweets have included messages from white supremacists, a Jewish star atop a pile of cash, phony crime statistics that originated with neo-Nazis, a quote from Mussolini, even an image of Nazi soldiers superimposed on the American flag next to Trump’s likeness. Trump has mocked Asian accents and the disabled. He has said “half” of the 11 million illegal immigrants are criminals.

So how do we talk to children about Trump? We tell them what Holocaust survivors have told me: that what Trump is doing reminds them of 1930s Germany, and that grown-ups are not going to let that happen here.


Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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Johnson the Presidential Candidate http://themoderatevoice.com/johnson-the-presidential-candidate/ http://themoderatevoice.com/johnson-the-presidential-candidate/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2016 21:00:49 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219089 Gary Johnson profile image from Wikimedia Commons

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson wants your vote this coming November. Voters opposed to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump might feel tempted to vote for Johnson. Such voters ought to think twice before doing so. Although Johnson explains why he is running for President, he doesn’t explain why he [...]

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Gary Johnson profile image from Wikimedia Commons

Former New Mexico governor and Libertarian Party presidential candidate Gary Johnson wants your vote this coming November.

Voters opposed to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump might feel tempted to vote for Johnson.

Such voters ought to think twice before doing so.

Although Johnson explains why he is running for President, he doesn’t explain why he would be better than Clinton or Trump.

In his Time commentary, Johnson doesn’t mention any of the the top issues that voters are most concerned with.

Instead, he mentions marijuana as if it were a pressing issue. That is not surprising considering the fact that he was the CEO of a marijuana company before stepping down to run for President again.

Gary Johnson profile image from Wikimedia Commons

Gary Johnson profile image from Wikimedia Commons

Sure, he mentions what he is for and against in stump speeches, but what specifically is his plan?

To find that out, one needs to look at the 2016 Libertarian Party platform.

When it comes to illegal immigration, the Party is more extreme than either Clinton or Trump. The platform states, “Economic freedom demands the unrestricted movement of human as well as financial capital across national borders. However, we support control over the entry into our country of foreign nationals who pose a credible threat to security, health or property.”

On other words, the Party wants completely-open borders, but with foreign terrorists blocked from entering the USA. How the government is supposed to do the latter while having the former isn’t explained.

The Platform includes a plan pertaining to Social Security: “Libertarians would phase out the current government-sponsored Social Security system and transition to a private voluntary system. The proper and most effective source of help for the poor is the voluntary efforts of private groups and individuals. We believe members of society will become even more charitable and civil society will be strengthened as government reduces its activity in this realm.”

Sure, physically-disabled adults don’t need SSDI. They can simply beg for alms.

In a perfect world, the government wouldn’t need to be involved in welfare, but we aren’t living in a perfect world now are we? The government got involved with welfare in the first place because private charity proved to be inadequate.

The Libertarian Party’s platform also contains this little gem: “We assert the common-law right of juries to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law.”

The job of a jury in a criminal trial is to decide whether or not a defendant has violated a particular law, not to decide whether or not that law should exist. The Libertarian Party would rather have 12 people sitting on a jury thwart the legislative process. That would be as bad as a judge legislating from the bench.

Anyway, now you have a peek at what the Libertarian Party and its presidential candidate stand for.

Johnson will get the Cheech and Chong votes. Will he get yours?

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UPDATE: Mich. GOP ready to give $285 million con man place in U.S. history http://themoderatevoice.com/219102/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219102/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2016 17:19:40 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219102 Rauwerdink company portrait

UPDATE: Some 18 months after Michigan Republican Party leaders expressed shock at learning that a GOP official had served nearly four years in prison for a notorious $285 million fraud, the leadership has looked away as that same swindler has racked up five political positions awarded to him by the party. As I reported last [...]

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UPDATE: Some 18 months after Michigan Republican Party leaders expressed shock at learning that a GOP official had served nearly four years in prison for a notorious $285 million fraud, the leadership has looked away as that same swindler has racked up five political positions awarded to him by the party.

As I reported last week for Deadline Detroit (below), William Rauwerdink gave up his spot on the GOP State Committee last year when his secret was exposed. But he quietly won election to the Republican’s 14th Congressional District Executive Committee. He then became the communications director for the 14th District and the editor of the district’s newsletter.

Less than 48 hours after the Deadline Detroit story was posted, the Oakland County Republican Party appointed Rauwerdink to a fourth spot – a seat on the county party’s Rules Committee.

Then, on Friday night at their state convention in Grand Rapids, the GOP did something extraordinary. Brushing aside the history of this infamous felon, the party named him one of the Electors to cast a vote in the Electoral College for Donald Trump, should the real estate mogul win the November election.

William Rauwerdink, a West Bloomfield Township businessman, previously known best in financial circles from Metro Detroit to Wall Street, could play a constitutional role as an Elector in a presidential election. If that happens, Rauwerdink’s name will be enshrined in the National Archives for all to see, in perpetuity.

*****

This is an excerpt of a column I wrote for Deadline Detroit.

As Republicans head to their state convention this weekend, they quietly have a notorious felon in their midst.

By Chad Selweski

William Rauwerdink is not your average guy with a secret to hide. His disgrace was so big that it embarrassed the entire Michigan Republican Party when it all unraveled.

GOP officials learned last year that Rauwerdink — at the time a member of the party’s State Committee – had served nearly four years in prison and was ordered to pay $285 million in restitution after pleading guilty in an infamous financial fraud case well known in Wall Street circles.

Yet, the West Bloomfield Township businessman continues to quietly play a role in the state GOP even after revelations of his sordid past “shell-shocked” the party leadership just 18 months ago.

At the February 2015 state convention, Rauwerdink tacitly decided not to seek re-election to the State Committee after his shady history was exposed. At that point, it seemed he was fading from the political scene.

But that wasn’t the case. Rauwerdink has been actively involved ever since with the Republican leadership group in the 14th Congressional District, a political territory that covers a wide swath of Detroit and Oakland County.

He landed his new role with the Michigan Republicans despite widespread media coverage of his criminal background after Deadline Detroit broke the story just days before the 2015 convention.

At the time, Paul Welday, a prominent former Oakland County party chairman and a fellow 14th District GOP delegate, summed up the party’s reaction to Rauwerdink’s secrets in remarks to the Detroit Free Press. “I’m a little shell-shocked, like everybody else,” said Welday, who died last April. “I guarantee you, nobody knew anything about this.”

But once everybody knew all about Rauwerdink, he still won election at that February 2015 state convention to the 14th District Executive Committee.

As the Republican elite prepare to gather for another state convention this weekend in Grand Rapids, it’s assumed Rauwerdink, 66, will be in attendance. Delegates will choose two party nominees for the Michigan Supreme Court, the State Board of Education and the boards of Michigan State University, Wayne State University and the University of Michigan.

He continues to show interest in being an active part of the party. According to an online message in July, Rauwerdink wrote that he went to the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, though not as a voting delegate. And on Tuesday night, the Oakland County GOP Executive Committee elected him to the party’s Rules Committee, further proof that this guy just keeps getting a pass.

Sarah Anderson, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Republican Party, steered Deadline Detroit inquiries about Rauwerdink to the 14th District Committee. 14th District Chair Janine Kateff, also of West Bloomfield, could not be reached for comment. An attempt to reach Rauwerdink for comment through email was unsuccessful.

Rauwerdink’s prison sentence stemmed from a 2003 federal indictment on 16 counts of fraud while he served as chief financial officer of Lason Inc. of Troy, a digital imaging company that did business with several major corporations, including the Detroit Three automakers.

Continue reading here.

Photo: Deadline Detroit

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Race Issues Dominate White House Race http://themoderatevoice.com/race-issues-dominate-white-house-race/ http://themoderatevoice.com/race-issues-dominate-white-house-race/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:43:03 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219101 abstract six line blue transparent vector

by Walter Brasch (part 1 of 2) Donald Trump, who is commanding all of 1 percent of Black voters, according to an impartial Quinnipiac poll, says he could get as much as 95 percent of the Black vote in a second term. In June 2011, he had said, “I’ve always had a great relationship with [...]

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by Walter Brasch
(part 1 of 2)

Donald Trump, who is commanding all of 1 percent of Black voters, according to an impartial Quinnipiac poll, says he could get as much as 95 percent of the Black vote in a second term. In June 2011, he had said, “I’ve always had a great relationship with the blacks.” It’s nothing less than political hyperbole in a campaign for a first term, and meant to get a few thousand more votes in key states. However, Trump’s past actions don’t mitigate whatever future plans he has.

In 1973, the Department of Justice sued Trump Management for civil rights violations for refusing to rent apartments to Blacks and Latinos who wished to live in complexes that housed mostly whites. Trump, who was the corporation’s president at the time, agreed he would drop a $100 million counter-suit, would provide lists of vacancies in the 14,000 apartments Trump Management owned, and would cease discriminating against minority applicants in exchange for the Department of Justice dropping felony charges. Three years later, the Department of Justice again filed against Trump for not fulfilling his promise.

Trump previously had declined invitations to speak to conventions of the NAACP, Urban League, and the National Association of Black Journalists. However, with Hillary Clinton’s polling numbers rising and his decreasing, he has begun talking with Black and Hispanic groups.
He is outspoken in his hatred for President Obama, and is a leader of the “birther” movement that claims the president was born in Kenya and, thus, unqualified to be president. But, the birthers, who clinging to the flimsiest of all evidence to discredit the nation’s first Black president, refuse to understand that Barack Obama’s birth certificate was issued by a Hawaiian hospital and that his mother was an American citizen, making him an American citizen.

Trump has called Black Lives Matter a “threat,” and vowed if he is president he would tell his attorney general to investigate the group. He didn’t say if he would investigate White Lives Matter or numerous militant white nationalist groups that support his campaign. He never repudiated the support of Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke or of campaign contributions by white supremacists and racists.
Trump claims, with no evidence, that Afghanistan is “safer than living in some of our inner cities,” and vowed if he were president he would eliminate crime in the inner cities. He didn’t say how he would do that, but he may be hiding a team of magicians in his advisory cabinet.
In a campaign appearance in Wisconsin last week, he told Blacks they should vote for him because, “You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58 percent of your youth is unemployed. What the hell do you have to lose?” He might just as well have smeared burnt cork on his face and called himself Rastus.

On June 16, 2015, the day he announced he was running for president, Trump declared, “When Mexico sends its people [to the U.S.], they’re not sending their best. . . . They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with them. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” The first reality is that Mexico doesn’t send anyone to the U.S.; they come without government assistance or sanction. The second reality is that most immigrants from Mexico and central America countries are not criminals, rapists, or those who have problems; most are hard-working people who wish to improve their lives and live on the fringes of American society, often working in low-wage jobs, trying to blend into American culture, without drawing attention to themselves. They don’t receive welfare, food stamps, or free medical and hospital care. That’s because most don’t apply for those benefits because they don’t want to attract attention that could lead to their deportation. There’s a third reality. Trump and many of his followers don’t recognize that Mexico has significant restrictions on gun purchases, and most guns used by the cartels come from the United States. The criminals who do come into the U.S. come with American-made guns.

Nevertheless, Trump’s solution to the immigration problem is to round-up and deport 11 million undocumented persons from many countries. To make sure the U.S. is safe from immigrants, he has trumpeted a call to build a 25–55 foot tall wall stretching almost 2,000 miles on the U.S./Mexico border, and have Mexico pay for the $15–25 billion construction cost. The estimate doesn’t include the yearly cost of adding border patrol agents and equipment or the cost of sending the undocumented workers back to their native countries. He also hasn’t addressed concerns about Mexican and central American workers digging vast and elaborate tunnels beneath the walls, nor illegal immigration by those who slip past the Coast Guard and enter the country by private plane or boats. There’s also no provision to fence off the northern border with Canada; apparently, Trump believes white-skinned Canadians are more acceptable than brown-skinned Mexicans. Of course, there’s another reality—Canadians, for the most part, have little desire to emigrate to the U.S.

Trump said federal judge Gonzalo Curiel could not be objective in a case involving fraud charges against Trump University because “he’s a Mexican.” Curiel, a former federal prosecutor, was born in Indiana. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) called Trump’s statements “racist.” Other Republican politicians have begun distancing themselves from Trump. Nevertheless, trying to capture votes from the Hispanic community, on Cinco de Mayo this year Trump tweeted a photo of himself eating a taco bowl in a restaurant in Trump Tower, and said, “I love Hispanics.”
The Mexican newspaper Milenio said Trump was “the man who managed to make us miss the Bush clan.”


[Tomorrow: Part 2—Donald Trump’s views about Jews and Muslims. Dr. Brasch is an award-winning journalist who has covered government and politics at all levels for four decades. His latest book is Fracking America: Sacrificing Health and the Environment for Short-Term Economic Gain.]

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For the Presidential Debates: A Klansman of One’s Own http://themoderatevoice.com/219097/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219097/#comments Sun, 28 Aug 2016 15:13:53 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219097 flickr.com

The first Presidential Debate is on September 26th, and we have begun planning. We rejected a Super Bowl-style spread in favor of finger food we can throw at the TV without breaking it. We’ve invited our friends, but expect a small crowd of only those still willing to talk to us. The Masterstroke (and I [...]

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flickr.com

The first Presidential Debate is on September 26th, and we have begun planning. We rejected a Super Bowl-style spread in favor of finger food we can throw at the TV without breaking it. We’ve invited our friends, but expect a small crowd of only those still willing to talk to us. The Masterstroke (and I must give all the credit to my better half, who has insisted on anonymity), we’ve hired a klansman to join us.

With the “I’m the Rubber and You’re the Glue” style the campaigns have taken on, we need someone authentic to resolve the debate. We’d heard that all the candidates have or have had at least one klansman in their posse at some point: David Duke, the late Sen. Robert Byrd. It seemed the right thing to do. After all, you can’t tell the players without a scorecard – no numbers on the robes.

Finding the Perfect Klansman

It’s not hard to find a klansman these days. They’re almost as public as the Knights of Columbus and so family-oriented! It’s tougher to hire one though, especially for ceremonial purposes. Next, we were struck by inspiration. “Let’s call Paolo!” we cried in unison.

Paolo Zampolli, a guy who can get anyone you want, was the former modelling agency tsar when Melania Trump was in the game.

“I’ve been out of the business for years. It was f***** rubbish,” said Paolo. “Modeling is not what it used to be. First of all, Playboy went legit. You heard about that f***** s**?”

I explained to Paolo the kind of model we wanted. First, we wanted a klansman, but only one, and not a barbarian. Second, maybe one with a white-collar job, like former Senator or future Senator.

“F*** you!”

“Hey, come on, I didn’t mean to insult you.”

“No, you misunderstand. F****** Grand You!”

“Paolo, I think this conversation is over –“

“No, no – the Grand Ewe! The F***** Grand Ewe! She’s terrific! Great at parties. Plus, she’s a vegetarian, and she’s quiet. You’ll hardly get a bleat out of her.” Paolo went on to discuss price, the Grand Ewe’s terms, and a safe word.

“I don’t think we need a safe word for the debates, Paolo.”

“You can’t be too sure. I heard she dated a former Senator,” said Paolo.

We went back and forth over the bonus features. We declined the burning cross but agreed to upgrade her ride to a 1963 Ford truck and driver. The Grand Ewe likes to ride in back. In addition, we bought her a bale of her favorite.

Debate Night

The schedule is worked out. Our guests will arrive about an hour before the debate begins. Next, the guest of honor will show up about twenty minutes later. They will have time to graze and mingle. The Grande Ewe will remain in her robes, and her contact and personal information is off limits. Finally, the big event will start, and the Grand Ewe will stay for a Q&A for a half hour after the debate ends. She has an early morning call-in for Good Morning America.

“Anyone wants to contact her, though, they go through me,” added Paolo.

With all the incidentals, it’s going to be kind of steep, but we still think it’s worth it. When Clinton and Trump go tit-for-tit on who is closer to the Klan, the Grand Ewe will set us straight.

Reposted by permission © 2016 The Revolted Colonies

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Alt Right http://themoderatevoice.com/alt-right/ http://themoderatevoice.com/alt-right/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 18:28:17 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219087 AltRight

Copyright 2016 David Donar. All rights reserved.Copyright Donar, Political Graffiti

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AltRight

AltRight

Copyright 2016 David Donar. All rights reserved.Copyright Donar, Political Graffiti

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Let’s Chew on the New Clinton Foundation Nothingburger http://themoderatevoice.com/lets-chew-on-the-new-clinton-foundation-nothingburger/ http://themoderatevoice.com/lets-chew-on-the-new-clinton-foundation-nothingburger/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 14:30:18 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219085 Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

The mainstream media has a tough time “balancing” the coverage of a presidential campaign where one candidate is temperamentally suited for the Oval Office and the other candidate belongs in a middle school locker room, snapping wet towels. But in the service of “balance,” the media is trying its best nonetheless. This week, for instance, [...]

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Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com
Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

Daryl Cagle, CagleCartoons.com

The mainstream media has a tough time “balancing” the coverage of a presidential campaign where one candidate is temperamentally suited for the Oval Office and the other candidate belongs in a middle school locker room, snapping wet towels.

But in the service of “balance,” the media is trying its best nonetheless. This week, for instance, the Associated Press has targeted the Clinton Foundation —- isn’t everyone? —- looking for the ever-elusive smoking gun, the incontrovertible evidence that Hillary turned the State Department into a “pay for play” playground for the fat cats who pumped money into her family’s charitable group.

The AP found zilch.

People who think the mainstream press is “in the tank” for Hillary should check out the AP’s social mediadrumbeat. When the story was posted on Tuesday afternoon, it was accompanied by two promotional items that were designed to rivet our eyeballs:

“AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.”

And this:

“At least 85 of 154 people who met or had phone conversations with HC while she was SOS donated or pledged commitments to her family charity.”

Wow, more than half! 85 of 154 people! That looks really bad – until you stop and think and say to yourself, “Wait a sec. Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State for four years…and in all that time she met or had phone chats with only 154 people? Is that really true?”

Of course not. You rack up the hits on social media only if you keep things simple. Nuance is the enemy.

By all accounts, Clinton during her tenure met worldwide with roughly 1700 people. The AP simply decided to eliminate, from its tally, everyone who worked in any capacity for any government, foreign or domestic. That’s how the AP got it down to 154. In other words, during Clinton’s four-year tenure, 85 of the 1700 people she dealt with – a mere five percent – had donated or pledged to the Clinton Foundation.

Which in itself should not be surprising, because the Foundation does good works around the world (fighting poverty and AIDS, stuff like that), and any State Department leader is destined as a matter of course to encounter philanthropists and other heavy hitters who have an abiding interest in those good works.

You might ask, “OK, but what about those five percent? That’s still 85 people. That’s enough to show a pattern of pay-to-play, the trading of cash for favors.”

Which brings us to the case of Muhammad Yumus. This was the AP’s showcase attempt to prove pay-to-play.

Yumus is an anti-poverty activist and economist based in Bangladesh. He gave money to the Clinton Foundation – not personally, but through a nonprofit bank that he chaired. During Hillary’s time at State, he was clashing with the Bangladeshi government over his tenure on the nonprofit bank board. He asked for her help in three meetings, and, as the story reported, “she ordered aides to find ways to assist him.” He later resigned from the board, and Clinton emailed one of her aides, “Sad indeed.”

Somehow, this revelation has failed to take my breath away.

I suppose you could argue that she wanted to help Yumus because his bank had donated to the Foundation. But it’s way too facile to say that he bought access. Thing is, you could just as easily argue that she wanted to help him because (1) he’s the winner of a Nobel Peace Prize, (2) he has been awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, (3) he has been awarded a Congressional Gold Medal, (4) he has been listed as one of Foreign Policy magazine’s “top 100 global thinkers,” ranking one notch from the very top, and (5) he has served on the board of the United Nations Foundation.

Granted, the Clintons made things worse for themselves by running a charitable group while Hillary was in office, the kind of arrangement that typically (as the AP put it) “fuels perceptions” of derring do. But there is no “growing proof of pay-to-play,” despite all the mainstream media’s exertions to “balance” campaign coverage.

Someone should also remind Reince Priebus that Donald Trump has given $110,000 to the Clinton Foundation (and has received no favors in return), and presumably he has done so because, in the words of current campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, the Clinton group “does a lot of good work.”

Now there’s a revelation. Even a Trump spinner will occasionally let slip the truth.

———

Copyright 2016 Dick Polman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Dick Polman is the national political columnist at NewsWorks/WHYY in Philadelphia (newsworks.org/polman) and a “Writer in Residence” at the University of Pennsylvania. Email him at dickpolman7@gmail.com.

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Orange is Hillary Clinton’s color. http://themoderatevoice.com/orange-is-hillary-clintons-color/ http://themoderatevoice.com/orange-is-hillary-clintons-color/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 04:12:35 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219073 Orange Background

Orange is a good color for Hillary Clinton. She must think so, too, because she wears it often enough. Clinton is wearing orange in her official State Department portrait. She has more than one orange pantsuit that she wears while campaigning. Indeed, plenty of Americans think that Clinton should be wearing an orange suit every [...]

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Orange Background

Orange is a good color for Hillary Clinton. She must think so, too, because she wears it often enough.

Clinton is wearing orange in her official State Department portrait.

She has more than one orange pantsuit that she wears while campaigning.

Indeed, plenty of Americans think that Clinton should be wearing an orange suit every day, specifically this suit:

This writer agrees that Hillary Clinton should be wearing prison orange. The reason has nothing to do with her being a Democrat or her supporting liberal ideas.

The reason that she should be wearing prison orange has everything to do with what she deliberately did while she was the U.S. Secretary of State. She exclusively used a private email account and private server for her job.

Forget about Clinton using a private server to cover up the close tie between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation.

Forget about the things that the FBI Director said about her use of the server.

Instead, think about this: When Clinton decided to use her private server exclusively for her work, how did she expect to send and receive classified information? By carrier pigeon?

Seriously, was Clinton so naive as to think that she could use her private server exclusively for her work without classified information passing through it?

This writer does not believe so.

Clinton knew exactly what she was doing. She didn’t care, because she didn’t expect to be caught.

Even if she were caught, she could feign not knowing that classified information would go through her server.

Besides, if she were caught, then who working for the Obama Administration would have the will to punish her for doing so? After all, Clinton is Democratic Party royalty.

As it turned out, Clinton was right.

So, being that Clinton isn’t wearing prison orange as she should be, it is up to voters to punish her by refusing to elect her President.

Sure, Donald Trump has said plenty of bad stuff, but that’s just it. Trump’s words are just words of a political candidate.

In contrast, Clinton’s deeds were the deeds of a federal official. Her use of her private server exclusively for her work was a deed that went too far.

Judge Andrew Napolitano explains:

“The espionage statute that criminalizes the knowing or grossly negligent failure to keep state secrets in a secure venue is the rare federal statute that can be violated and upon which a conviction may be based without the need of the government to prove intent. . . The criminal case against Mrs. Clinton would have been overwhelming. The FBI acknowledged that she sent or received more than 100 emails that contained state secrets via one of her four home servers. None of those servers was secure. Each secret email was secret when received, was secret when sent and is secret today. All were removed from their secure venues by Clinton, who knew what she was doing, instructed subordinates to white out “secret” markings, burned her own calendars, destroyed thousands of her emails and refuses to this day to recognize that she had a duty to preserve such secrets as satellite images of North Korean nuclear facilities, locations of drone strikes in Pakistan and names of American intelligence agents operating in the Middle East under cover.”

Clinton might have escaped federal prosecution, but she doesn’t have to escape a deserved political fate, which in her case is the loss of the presidential election in November.

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Cartoon: Hillary is a bigot http://themoderatevoice.com/219080/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219080/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 04:03:47 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219080 fjfjfjfjfj

Hillary is a bigot by Clay Jones Honestly, I am tired of using Kluxers in my cartoons. It’s just too easy of a trigger to pull, like Nazi imagery. I don’t like to use those comparisons unless the subject really warrants it. But I’m also tired of one of the major party’s candidate’s racism. Trump [...]

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Hillary is a bigot
by Clay Jones

Honestly, I am tired of using Kluxers in my cartoons. It’s just too easy of a trigger to pull, like Nazi imagery. I don’t like to use those comparisons unless the subject really warrants it. But I’m also tired of one of the major party’s candidate’s racism. Trump warrants it.

Donald Trump has referred to Mexican immigrants as rapists and murderers. He’s said an American-born judge wasn’t qualified to oversee a lawsuit involving Trump University because of his Mexican heritage. He’s proposed surveillance of mosques and an outright ban on Muslim refugees. He’s insinuated a Muslim mother who lost her son in the Iraq war of being forbidden to speak because of her faith. His company has been sued twice for not renting to black people. He’s been accused of racial discrimination toward employees at his casinos. He’s attracted white supremacists to his campaign and has been slow to disavow them. He’s questioned the first black president’s eligibility. He speaks of racial groups as monoliths as in, “the Muslims, the Hispanics, the blacks, etc.” He’s said some Native Americans “don’t look like Indians to me.” He’s mocked Elizabeth Warren by calling her “Pocahontas.” He’s encouraged mob justice for the Central Park Five, who were exonerated. He condoned the beating of a Black Lives protester and said “maybe he should have been roughed up.” He called supporters who beat up a homeless Latino of “being passionate.” He’s stereotyped Jews and shared an anti-semitic meme created by white supremacists. He referred to a black man in one of his crowds as “my African American.” He’s referred to woman as “pigs” and said Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever.”

Mr. Taco Bowl who tweeted “I love THE Hispanics” with the pic says Democrats pander to minorities.

Now he’s trying to increase his poll numbers from 1% among black voters by saying they have terrible schools, live in poverty, and can’t walk down the street without being shot. The reality is they can’t attend a Trump rally without the possibility of being beaten up. He’s appealing to black voters by saying “what do you have to lose?”. The possibilities are terrifying.

Being the reflective person that he is, this week he called Hillary Clinton a bigot. Seriously. And that was on his teleprompter. It was probably put there by his new campaign CEO Stephen Bannon. Bannon joined the Trump campaign after an illustrious history at the Alt-Right website Breitbart.

“Alt-Right” is the new term for White Supremacist. They also like to use the terms “racialists” and “white nationalists.” They’re still racists no matter how much sugar they put on it. If you ever want to feel disgusted wander over to Breitbart and look up their section on black crime (yes. They have devoted an entire section on the subject), or better yet, take a peek at the comments left by their readers.

Are all Trump supporters racist? Of course not. Stupid, yes. Are all racists Trump supporters? Oh hell yes.

Republicans need to be careful because with Trump as the leader of their party the next term used by white supremacists will be “Republican.”

Via Claytoonz

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Sean Hannity Has Given Donald Trump $31 Million In Free Publicity http://themoderatevoice.com/sean-hannity-has-given-donald-trump-31-million-in-free-publicity/ http://themoderatevoice.com/sean-hannity-has-given-donald-trump-31-million-in-free-publicity/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 03:47:49 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219078 25601455005_b671939cab_z-300x200 (1)

Published with permission from Media Matters of America By Oliver Willis, Carlos Maza & Ben Dimiero Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has been informally advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign while serving as its primary media cheerleader, has effectively turned his nightly prime-time show into Trump’s second campaign headquarters. According to a Media Matters analysis, [...]

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Published with permission from Media Matters of America By Oliver Willis, Carlos Maza & Ben Dimiero Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has been informally advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign while serving as its primary media cheerleader, has effectively turned his nightly prime-time show into Trump’s second campaign headquarters. According to a Media Matters analysis, Hannity’s…

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Mike Peters Cartoon: “What have you got to lose?” http://themoderatevoice.com/219076/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219076/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 03:34:33 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219076 MP-2016-08-26

What have you got to lose? by Mike Peters OF RELATED INTEREST: —For the Record: For Trump, everything’s going to be alt-right –-Call the ‘Alt-Right’ Movement What It Is: Racist as Hell —Glenn Beck Says Trump, ‘Alt Right’ Pose A Threat To Democracy —Trump’s shock troops: Who are the ‘alt-right’? —Donald Trump can’t ‘fix’ what [...]

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MP-2016-08-26

What have you got to lose?
by Mike Peters

MP-2016-08-26

OF RELATED INTEREST:
For the Record: For Trump, everything’s going to be alt-right
-Call the ‘Alt-Right’ Movement What It Is: Racist as Hell
Glenn Beck Says Trump, ‘Alt Right’ Pose A Threat To Democracy
Trump’s shock troops: Who are the ‘alt-right’?
Donald Trump can’t ‘fix’ what he doesn’t know about African-American, Latino voters

Mike Peters is recognized as one of our nation’s most prominent cartoon artists for his outstanding work as both a political and comic strip cartoonist. His favorite expression “WHAT A HOOT” certainly sums up his outlook on his life and work which are inexorably entwined. Mike’s warm, easygoing and zany demeanor is evidence that his personality matches his creative talents. As so eloquently phrased by a colleague — “Mike is the Peter Pan of the cartooning world; he’s boyishly charming, good with a rapier and doesn’t spend a lot of time on the ground. And he doesn’t seem to want to grow up”.

The Comic Strip Mother Goose & Grimm appears in over 800 newspapers worldwide and consistently places in the top 10 most popular ratings. Licensees distribute Grimmy products all over the world, and the Grimmy TV show continues to air in several countries. Mother Goose & Grimm is included in the Toon Lagoon theme park at Universal Studios that opened in July 1999. This copyrighted cartoon is licensed to be run on TMV and is from his website.

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(VIDEO) Hitler finds out Trump supports amnesty http://themoderatevoice.com/video-hitler-finds-out-trump-supports-amnesty/ http://themoderatevoice.com/video-hitler-finds-out-trump-supports-amnesty/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 02:49:48 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219074 fjfjfj

And so the “Downfall” craze goes on on YouTube: parodies based on the scene from the movie showing Adolf Hitler’s last days in the bunker with new subtitles. This time: Hitler finding out that Donald Trump basically supports amnesty (a position that could shift 100 times by the time you read this). Enjoy (and you [...]

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And so the “Downfall” craze goes on on YouTube: parodies based on the scene from the movie showing Adolf Hitler’s last days in the bunker with new subtitles. This time: Hitler finding out that Donald Trump basically supports amnesty (a position that could shift 100 times by the time you read this).

Enjoy (and you WILL). WARNING: some adult language:

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Sit-down toilets? Meh. In Asia, many say squatting is superior http://themoderatevoice.com/sit-down-toilets-meh-in-asia-many-say-squatting-is-superior/ http://themoderatevoice.com/sit-down-toilets-meh-in-asia-many-say-squatting-is-superior/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 02:34:54 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219071 fjfjfjfj

Suthep, a scruffy Thai day laborer, has a message for all you fancy people who sit down to empty your bowels. “Sitting down on a toilet is weird,” says Suthep, 60, a native of Bangkok’s working-class Klong Toei neighborhood. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a big butt or a small butt. You’re going to [...]

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Suthep, a scruffy Thai day laborer, has a message for all you fancy people who sit down to empty your bowels. “Sitting down on a toilet is weird,” says Suthep, 60, a native of Bangkok’s working-class Klong Toei neighborhood. “It doesn’t matter if you’ve got a big butt or a small butt. You’re going to touch…

photo credit: Tochi Toilet Interior via photopin (license)

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Cartoon: Donald Trump’s Base http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-donald-trumps-base/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-donald-trumps-base/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 02:09:47 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219069 Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoon

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoon
Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoon

Randall Enos, Cagle Cartoon

See great cartoons by all the top political cartoonists at http://cagle.com. To license this cartoon for your own site, visit http://politicalcartoons.com

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Brazile’s Case for Black Democratic Loyalty is Delusional http://themoderatevoice.com/braziles-case-for-democratic-loyalty-is-delusional/ http://themoderatevoice.com/braziles-case-for-democratic-loyalty-is-delusional/#comments Sat, 27 Aug 2016 01:34:24 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219067 abstract six line blue transparent vector

The op-ed by interim DNC chair Donna Brazile in last week’s USA Today is high on something and loose on facts. Brazile’s close attachment to her nominee, Hilary Clinton, is well known from her time as Clinton staff member and surrogate spokesperson on CNN during the primary season. As a matter of public interest, here [...]

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The op-ed by interim DNC chair Donna Brazile in last week’s USA Today is high on something and loose on facts. Brazile’s close attachment to her nominee, Hilary Clinton, is well known from her time as Clinton staff member and surrogate spokesperson on CNN during the primary season. As a matter of public interest, here are the facts which Brazile either omits or conveniently forgets:

Bill Clinton and Al Gore used the Confederate flag as one of their logos. Hilary Clinton’s claim of Trump’s connection to the Alt-Right rings hollow when her husband’s campaign used racist imagery to win the White House. If the Bush’s or Donald Trump would have done that, they would eternally be viewed as racist.

On the matter of HBCUs, changes in the implementation of PLUS loans caused many HBCUs to face severe budget cuts because students were not able to pay for their tuition. Add this to the changes in Pell Grant funding, HBCUs lost over $300 million in funding in just two years from 2011-2013.

In the words of President James Garfield, “The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.” In this election, Donald Trump is the light of truth. Sometimes truth hurts, and sometimes it’s uncomfortable, but it still is truth. The African-American community has had a relationship with the Clintons and their brand of the Democratic Party for 24 years and it has been an unmitigated disaster – less income, less freedom and violent deaths of thousands of young black lives in urban areas EVERY SINGLE YEAR.

The facts clearly show that it was the Democratic Party which fought against Civil Rights, founded the KKK and today, supports Planned Parenthood which 80% of their abortions are Black and Hispanic babies.

Donna Brazile hopes her “delusion” to our community will deliver another overwhelming electoral outcome for the Clintons in November. I implore my fellow African Americans to look closely at which party has taken you for granted.

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Military Weekend: Of Dogs and Hugs (Updates) http://themoderatevoice.com/military-weekend-of-dogs-and-hugs/ http://themoderatevoice.com/military-weekend-of-dogs-and-hugs/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 23:20:52 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219051 milwknd leaping nick

Update II: My good (cyberspace) friend and psychotherapist, Mary Jane Hurley Brant, has a neat piece on dogs in general and on her own “Beauty” here. She includes a Woodrow Wilson quote that I think — as a dog lover — is so apt (but may be a little contentious to others): “If a dog [...]

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Update II:

My good (cyberspace) friend and psychotherapist, Mary Jane Hurley Brant, has a neat piece on dogs in general and on her own “Beauty” here.

She includes a Woodrow Wilson quote that I think — as a dog lover — is so apt (but may be a little contentious to others):

“If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.”
—Woodrow Wilson (28th President of the United States)

Update I:

Unbeknownst to me, today is National Dog Day.

Photo below shows Defense Secretary Ash Carter shaking hands/paws with Pvt. Truman, a working dog assigned to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., at the Pentagon, Aug. 26, 2016, to recognize National Dog Day. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Tim D. Godbee

SD celebrates National Dog Day

Original Post:

Military working dogs — our four-legged warriors — are an integral part of military life as are long family separations, the latter hopefully always followed by those heartrending welcome-home hugs.

Military working dogs — and their brethren: comfort dogs, service dogs, therapy dogs etc. — and those homecomings are among my favorite subjects.

Some images below.

But first, some good news from the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA).

Last week the VA announced that, in a pilot program, it is providing veterinary health benefits “for mobility service dogs approved for Veterans with a chronic impairment that substantially limits mobility associated with mental health disorders.”

The VA has already been providing veterinary benefits to “Veterans diagnosed as having visual, hearing or substantial mobility impairments and whose rehabilitation and restorative care is clinically determined to be optimized through the assistance of a guide dog or service dog.” Currently 652 veterans receive veterinary benefits under the existing program.

The new pilot program is anticipated to provide the veterinary service benefit to up to 100 additional Veterans.

The VA:

The VA veterinary service benefit includes comprehensive wellness and sick care (annual visits for preventive care, maintenance care, immunizations, dental cleanings, screenings, etc.), urgent/emergent care, prescription medications, and care for illnesses or disorders when treatment enables the dog to perform its duties in service to the Veteran.

For additional information please click here.

First, the Hugs — some at homecomings, some for other reasons.

After Months Away, USCG Eagle Returns to Homeport

Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Pearl reunites with his family after arriving on the Barque Eagle at the Coast Guard Yard in Baltimore, Aug. 19, 2016, after a four-month mission.

Hug of Gratitude:

La. Guardsmen assist in sandbag slingload mission in support of the state's flood mission


Army Sgt. David J. McGarrity, left, receives a hug from a resident in Denham Springs, La., Aug. 19, 2016, during his roving patrol of the area. Army National Guard photo by Staff Sgt. Scott D. Longstreet.

Getting ready to hug:

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A sailor reunites with his family in Bremerton, Wash., after returning home from a seven-month deployment to the Asia-Pacific aboard the USS John C. Stennis, Aug. 14, 2016. Navy photo by Petty Officer Cole C. Pielop

Some may call this a hug:

milwknd grip and grimace

Service members grapple during a Teufel Hunden, or Devil Dog, challenge at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Aug. 12, 2016. During the event, Marines and sailors competed in sprint relays, pugil-stick fighting, a pullup and pushup competition, ground fighting and a high-intensity tactical training course. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Brianna Gaudi

Finally, more than 7,000 John C. Stennis Strike Group Sailors returned to San Diego following a seven-month deployment to the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, Aug 10.

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Aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) pulls into San Diego Bay after completing a seven month deployment. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Austin R. Clayton)

Here is one of those more than 7,000 homecoming hugs — a very special one:

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Damage Controlman 2nd Class Devin Bingley meets his child for the first time after returning from a seven-month deployment. Carrier Air Wing 9 is disembarking from John C. Stennis in San Diego before the ship returns to its homeport in Bremerton, Washington. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Andre T. Richard)

Now the dogs.

JTF-Bravo K9s take to the sky

Army Spc. Mariah Ridge, a military working dog handler, and her dog, Jaska, ride a hoist to a UH-60L Black Hawk helicopter during K-9 hoist evacuation training at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Aug. 15, 2016. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

milwknd Pooch smooch

Navy Petty Officer 3rd Class Abbie Johnson gets a kiss from Kona, her military service dog, after competing in a swimming during the 2016 Department of Defense Warrior Games at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., June 20, 2016. DoD photo by Roger Wollenberg

Milwknd downtime with canine

Army Spc. Mariah Ridge sits with her dog, Jaska, during K-9 hoist evacuation training at Soto Cano Air Base, Honduras, Aug. 15, 2016. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Siuta B. Ika

Lead photo: Nick, a military working dog, jumps over an obstacle during a military working dog demonstration at Fort Meade, Md., Aug., 2, 2016. DoD photo by EJ Hersom

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Drip, Drip, Drip Go Clinton Revelations http://themoderatevoice.com/drip-drip-drip-go-clinton-revelations/ http://themoderatevoice.com/drip-drip-drip-go-clinton-revelations/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 19:00:26 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219046 Clinton profile image from official State Department photo.

“The steady drip, drip, drip about Hillary Clinton’s too-cozy relationships with big-time donors to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state continued unabated this week.” Thus starts a Boston Herald editorial. “This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall,” writes Wall [...]

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Clinton profile image from official State Department photo.

“The steady drip, drip, drip about Hillary Clinton’s too-cozy relationships with big-time donors to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state continued unabated this week.” Thus starts a Boston Herald editorial.

“This is the week that the steady drip, drip, drip of details about Hillary Clinton’s server turned into a waterfall,” writes Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel. She continues, “This is the week that we finally learned why Mrs. Clinton used a private communications setup, and what it hid. This is the week, in short, that we found out that the infamous server was designed to hide that Mrs. Clinton for three years served as the U.S. Secretary of the Clinton Foundation.”

Washington Examiner columnist Lisa Boothe echoes Strassel’s assessment: “As the drip, drip, drip of information highlighting the intersection between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department surfaces, the political fallout for Hillary Clinton is unavoidable. The newly exposed emails demonstrate another lie told by the Clinton campaign. Despite her lawyers stating that only 30,000 emails on her server were related to work, the 15,000 puts that number closer to 45,000. But more importantly, it paints a clearer picture of what Hillary Clinton was attempting to hide by setting up private servers in the first place and attempting to wipe them clean.”

Bloomberg columnist Albert Hunt writes, “The latest flap is the Clintons’ contention that using the private e-mail was suggested by a predecessor, Colin Powell. There may have been a Powell suggestion — he says he doesn’t recall — but she decided to use the private system much more extensively and exclusively than Powell did. She didn’t do it for convenience; she did it for reasons of secrecy.”

If Hillary Clinton didn’t have a private server set up in her home for the purpose of secrecy, then what legitimate reason did she have for doing so?

Thus far, her defenders haven’t offered a legitimate reason. Instead, they simply maintain that what Clinton did was grubby but not illegal. Writes New York Magazine columnist Jonathan Chait, “The Clinton Foundation is hardly a large or unique source of corruption in American politics. It is, however, a source of grubby, low-level access headaches. That is the takeaway from the latest batch of State Department emails. The emails do not show that Clinton Foundation donors received any policy favors from Hillary Clinton or other elected officials. What they show is that people who donated to the foundation believed they were owed favors by Clinton’s staffers, and at least one of those staffers — the odious Doug Band — shared this belief.”

The attempt to clean up this particular Clinton mess isn’t making the situation for Clinton any better. A USA Today editorial says the following:

“On Monday, former president Bill Clinton belatedly announced plans to tighten the ethical safeguards for the Clinton Foundation, the family charity, to eliminate “legitimate concerns about potential conflicts of interest.” The plans range from the laughable to the laudable, and they are woefully incomplete. Changing the foundation’s name from the “Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation” to the “Clinton Foundation” will convince precisely zero people that everything is on the up and up. Taking Bill off the board and ending his official fundraising role won’t stop people from trying to buy access through the foundation. Ending foreign and corporate contributions is a good step, but allowing them to continue at least through the first week of November looks more like an influence-peddling fire sale (Give while you still can!) than a newfound commitment to clean government.”

Even if the Clinton Foundation were changed to remove the Clintons from its management, the dripping of Clinton revelations would still continue. Reuters reports, “A judge on Thursday ordered the U.S. State Department to determine whether it has found any new emails between Hillary Clinton and the White House from the week after the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, and to release any such documents by Sept. 13.”

Clinton headshot from official State Department photo.

Clinton headshot from official State Department photo.

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Trump Muddies Immigration Water http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-muddies-immigration-water/ http://themoderatevoice.com/trump-muddies-immigration-water/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:04:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=218849 abstract six line blue transparent vector

Josh Marshall says “don’t be fooled” by Donald Trump’s attempt to sow confusion on his signature policy on Talking Points Memo. So there you have it. Last night at a rally in Mississippi, Donald Trump brought the 2016 presidential cycle full circle by embracing the Bush/Rubio “amnesty” agenda which kicked off the nomination process in [...]

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Josh Marshall says “don’t be fooled” by Donald Trump’s attempt to sow confusion on his signature policy on Talking Points Memo.

Cross-posted from The Sensible Center

http://thesensiblecentercom.blogspot.com/2016/08/trump-muddies-immigration-water.html

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Clinton, Trump clash over who is better for minorities http://themoderatevoice.com/219042/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219042/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 04:20:50 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219042 U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds a rally at John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. August 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Mark Makela/File Photo

By Amanda Becker and Steve Holland RENO, Nev./MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump on Thursday of fuelling America’s “radical fringe” with racist rhetoric, even as her Republican rival sought to soften his image with an appeal to minorities. Clinton needs to retain support from black and Latino voters to [...]

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U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds a rally at John Marshall High School in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. August 17, 2016.  REUTERS/Mark Makela/File Photo

By Amanda Becker and Steve Holland

RENO, Nev./MANCHESTER, N.H. (Reuters) – Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton accused Donald Trump on Thursday of fuelling America’s “radical fringe” with racist rhetoric, even as her Republican rival sought to soften his image with an appeal to minorities.

Clinton needs to retain support from black and Latino voters to win the Nov. 8 election, the same coalition that helped propel Democrat Barack Obama to the White House in 2008. Trump, whose support comes mainly from whites, is unlikely to be victorious unless he can cut into that support.

“Donald Trump has built his campaign on prejudice and paranoia,” Clinton said in a scathing speech in Nevada. “He’s taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over one of America’s two major political parties.”

“This is a moment of reckoning for every Republican dismayed that the Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Trump,” Clinton said, referring to Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation and championed the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution during the Civil War that led to the abolition of slavery in 1865.

Trump, who trails Clinton in national opinion polls, has polled poorly with minorities and has been criticized for his proposals on immigration, which include deporting millions of undocumented foreigners, building a wall along the Mexican border, and suspending Muslim immigration to shore up national security.

He described some Mexican immigrants as “criminals and rapists” in a 2015 speech launching his candidacy and more recently questioned the impartiality of an American-born judge of Mexican heritage.

On Thursday, the New York real estate mogul-turned-politician criticized Clinton before her speech, saying she and her party had let black Americans down with failed economic policies and were falsely labeling Republicans as bigoted.

“When Democratic policies fail, they are left with only this one tired argument: You’re racist, you’re racist, you’re racist,” Trump told a crowd in Manchester, New Hampshire. “It’s a tired, disgusted argument and is so totally predictable.”

At a Mississippi rally on Wednesday, Trump called Clinton a “bigot who sees people of color only as votes, not as human beings.”

‘SHAME ON YOU’

He argued on Thursday that Clinton’s opposition to charter schools and vouchers locked minority students in failing jobs, that her tax policies would hurt black-owned businesses and that she would allow immigrants to take jobs from minorities.

Trump said the Clinton attacks were not only an assault on him, but on all his supporters – people, he said, who want strong borders and security.

“To Hillary Clinton, and to her donors and advisers, pushing her to spread smears and her lies about decent people, I have three words … shame on you.”

A Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation poll for the week beginning Aug. 15 found Clinton beating Trump among Hispanic voters by 15 percentage points, and by 57 percentage points among black voters.

Trump has tried recently to broaden his appeal to them, hinting at a softening of his hardline position on immigration.

In comments broadcast on Fox News on Wednesday night, Trump said he would be willing to work with immigrants who have abided by U.S. laws while living in the country, backing away from his insistence during the primaries that he would try to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants.

Trump also met with black and Latino Republican leaders at his headquarters in New York City on Thursday morning.

Trump’s efforts were unlikely to draw out minorities in his favor but could reassure some moderate Republicans worried about his views on race, said Bernard Fraga, a political science professor at Indiana University.

“I don’t think these efforts will do a lot to help him in minority communities,” Fraga said.

An association of 40 Latino organizations sent a letter on Thursday calling on him to “cease” his rhetoric and meet with their leadership to discuss ways he could improve his outreach to Hispanics.

“As we have expressed numerous times, your rhetoric of relentless attacks against our community is an issue of serious concern and has had a significant impact, fuelling an alarming trend in our nation,” the letter reads.

CLINTON VIDEO

Clinton released a video on Thursday ahead of her Nevada speech tying Trump to white supremacist groups. The video shows a Ku Klux Klan member praising Trump and plays a recording of former leader Klan leader David Duke calling on white people to vote for Trump.

The video also shows newly appointed Trump campaign chairman Steve Bannon, who ran the website Breitbart.com, which has been accused of stoking online racists.    

Bannon told the magazine Mother Jones during the Republican National Convention last month that the website was “the platform for the alt-right,” a brand of U.S. political conservatism associated with white nationalism.

Trump’s campaign called for the Clinton campaign to withdraw the video.

“This type of rhetoric and repulsive advertising is revolting and completely beyond the pale,” Mark Burns, an African-American pastor who supports Trump, said in a statement. “I call on Hillary Clinton to disavow this video and her campaign for this sickening act that has no place in our world.”


(Reporting by Amanda Becker in Palo Alto, Calif. and Steve Holland in Manchester, N.H.; Writing by Ginger Gibson; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney)

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‘No one will ever believe you': Photo evidence of ultimate troll Bill Murray stealing French fries finally surfaces http://themoderatevoice.com/no-one-will-ever-believe-you-photo-evidence-of-ultimate-troll-bill-murray-stealing-french-fries-finally-surfaces/ http://themoderatevoice.com/no-one-will-ever-believe-you-photo-evidence-of-ultimate-troll-bill-murray-stealing-french-fries-finally-surfaces/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 04:05:00 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219041 abstract six line blue transparent vector

“No one will ever believe you.” Six simple words. And yet there’s an entire corner of the Internet dedicated to the phrase – well, as uttered by the legendary Bill Murray, anyway. From crashing weddings to participating in city-wide party hopping, Murray has a habit of showing up in random places, and then disappearing as [...]

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“No one will ever believe you.” Six simple words. And yet there’s an entire corner of the Internet dedicated to the phrase – well, as uttered by the legendary Bill Murray, anyway. From crashing weddings to participating in city-wide party hopping, Murray has a habit of showing up in random places, and then disappearing as if…

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Cartoon: Trumpen Hooker http://themoderatevoice.com/219039/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219039/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 03:54:14 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219039 cjones08242016

Trumpen Hooker by Clay Jones Donald Trump LOOOOVES fake news. He loves conspiracy theories, gossip, rumors, and dirty lies. He peddles them, he tweets them, he finances them, and he bases his entire campaign off them. The liberal website Think Progress has an article describing 12 conspiracy theories Trump has embraced. The site Alternet went [...]

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Trumpen Hooker
by Clay Jones

Donald Trump LOOOOVES fake news. He loves conspiracy theories, gossip, rumors, and dirty lies. He peddles them, he tweets them, he finances them, and he bases his entire campaign off them.

The liberal website Think Progress has an article describing 12 conspiracy theories Trump has embraced. The site Alternet went even farther and reported on 58.

He’s pushed lies from right wing websites such as Breitbart to gossip from the National Enquirer ranging from birtherism, Ted Cruz’s father being in on the JFK assassination, to Hillary suffering some super secret health issue. Earlier this week he took issue with the MSNBC program Morning Joe and tweeted that hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski were secret lovers.

So it’s a bit hypocritical that Trump’s wife has hired lawyers to send out threatening letters to news outlets regarding rumors that she worked as an escort when she first arrived to the United States.

The Daily Mail, The Week(UK), Politico, Inquisitr, Tarpley, Before It’s News, Liberal America, LawNewz, Winning Democrats and Bipartisan Report have all received threats of lawsuits from the same lawyers who sued Gawker over a Hulk Hogan sex tape. I haven’t even heard of some of those outlets.

A few of those outlets such as Politico and The Week were focusing on questions over Melania’s immigration status when she first arrived to the United States in the 1990s and they mentioned the hooker allegations. Some of the other sites gleefully went to town over the rumors of Mrs. Trump working on her back which is really unfair, because if she did have a career in prostitution we really don’t know what sexual positions she employed.

Now I really don’t expect Melania’s Hulk Hogan lawyers to come after me. I’m just an itty bitty, microscopic, rapscallion political cartoonist that’s barely a blemish on the grand face of American journalism. I haven’t even been able to get an angry response or insult from Trump on Twitter and that makes me very sad. Though it would be kinda cool to get the national attention of a legal threat, the accusations of Melania working as an escort don’t pass the smell test. They’re not credible or substantiated. Darn. I haven’t even attracted hackers.

I have not read anything credible that proves Melania Trump ever performed sexual favors for money before she married Donald Trump.

My cartoons run in The Week and occasionally Politico gives me some love. Last year the site Liberal America, which was threatened by Melania’s lawyers, ran my work. It doesn’t surprise me they made the list as their ethics have been questionable and it’s the reason my cartoons are not on their site anymore. I pointed out to them that they can’t be a credible or respectable news site if they kept using work by writers and reporters who used pseudonyms. Their immediate response was to end our business relationship which was fine and their right. I was too amused by their insecurity and hurt feelings to be angry over it and I never published anything about it until now.

Back to the Melania issue: Legitimate news sites, even opinion sites, should not debase themselves to take up the pond scumming habits of the likes of Breitbart, even without the threats of lawsuits. Besides, Donald Trump really doesn’t like it when you act like Donald Trump.

Via Claytoonz.com

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Donald Trump’s new loose cannon http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-trumps-new-loose-cannon/ http://themoderatevoice.com/donald-trumps-new-loose-cannon/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 03:26:18 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219037 bannon-breitbart-news

WASHINGTON — In choosing Stephen Bannon to be the CEO of his campaign, Donald Trump has accomplished the extraordinary: He has found somebody as outrageous as he is. Bannon, who had been publisher of the far-right website Breitbart, has called the pope a “commie” and said Catholics are trying to boost Hispanic immigration because their [...]

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WASHINGTON — In choosing Stephen Bannon to be the CEO of his campaign, Donald Trump has accomplished the extraordinary: He has found somebody as outrageous as he is.

Bannon, who had been publisher of the far-right website Breitbart, has called the pope a “commie” and said Catholics are trying to boost Hispanic immigration because their “church is dying.” He called Gabby Giffords, a former congresswoman who was shot in the head, a “human shield,” and the mayor of London a “radical Muslim.” Hillary Clinton, in Bannon’s telling, is a “grifter” who would take the country to the “last days of Sodom.”

The new Trump adviser calls himself a “populist nationalist” — his hiring has been cheered by white supremacists — and calls his fellow believers a “small, crazy wing” of the conservative movement. He has referred to the Civil War as the “war of Southern Independence” fought over “economic development.” He found “zero evidence” of racial motives in the Trayvon Martin shooting and warned that “cities could be washed away in an orgy of de-gentrification.”

The Trump campaign’s chief executive believes the Obama administration is “importing more hating Muslims” and asks whether Clinton is “complicit in a fifth column.” He doesn’t think Huma Abedin, a Muslim aide to Clinton, should have a security clearance, and he has alleged that Clinton’s vice presidential nominee, Sen. Tim Kaine, has an “affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood.” He argued that Gretchen Carlson’s sexual harassment case, which forced the ouster of Roger Ailes at Fox News Channel, was a “total dud,” and he alleged the existence of a “militant-feminist legal wrecking crew.”

Fox News, in Bannon’s view, is a “centrist” outlet — and compared to Breitbart, it most certainly is. The site, which was closer to the mainstream under its late founder, Andrew Breitbart, has run these headlines under Bannon’s leadership:

“Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy.”

“Political Correctness Protects Muslim Rape Culture.”

“Suck It Up Buttercups: Dangerous Faggot Tour Returns to Colleges in September.”

“The Solution to Online ‘Harassment’ Is Simple: Women Should Log Off.”

“Two Months Left Until Obama Gives Dictators Control of Internet.”

“There’s No Hiring Bias Against Women in Tech, They Just Suck at Interviews.”

“Trannies Whine About Hilarious Bruce Jenner Billboard.”

“Khizr Khan Believes the Constitution ‘Must Always Be Subordinated to the Sharia.'”

Bannon’s Breitbart said the gay-pride flag is viewed as a “symbol of anti-Christian hate” and said birth control makes a woman into a “slut” and a “hideous monster,” arguing: “Your birth control injection will add on pounds that will prevent the injection you really want — of man meat.”

Trump echoes conspiracy theories proposed by Breitbart, and Breitbart has relentlessly promoted Trump. In short, Trump found in Bannon a character like himself: a bully who targets racial and religious minorities, immigrants and women. In his writings and broadcast commentary, Bannon, a veteran and former banker, has argued that immigrants — legal as well as illegal — are to blame for crime, terrorism and disease. He disparages “anchor babies” and says FBI Director James Comey’s recommendation not to prosecute Clinton is “inextricably linked” to anti-police violence. He speaks of Megyn Kelly’s “blonde ambition” and alleges that the military is trying to “eradicate Christianity.”

Breitbart has a tag for “black crime” and stokes fear of race wars with headlines such as “Race Murder in Virginia,” “Black Suspects Stalk Robbery Victim in Philadelphia,” “Career Criminal Accused of Assaulting Victim, Calling Her ‘White Bitch,'” “Black Rape Gangs Violate Two Detroit Women” and “Black Mob Swarms Georgia Walmart to See ‘How Much Damage’ They Could Do.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center protests that Breitbart “has been openly promoting the core issues of the Alt-Right, introducing these racist ideas to its readership.” Breitbart had a “lengthy defense” of white nationalists that ignored their openly racist views, the SPLC said.

Breitbart likened Pamela Geller’s “Muhammad Cartoon Contest” to the Selma-to-Montgomery march. The outlet has gone after the “big gay hate machine” and suggested that “the next step for marriage equality” is “likely polygamy.”

Breitbart ran a doctored photo showing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a bikini on all fours with her tongue out. It reported that Planned Parenthood was “comfortably surpassing Hitler” in its “body count.” It said Trump’s bogus claim that thousands of New Jersey Muslims celebrated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, had been “100 percent vindicated,” and it alleged a “smoking gun” connecting the 9/11 hijackers to a “Bush family friend.”

There is more, but you don’t need to read it here. Just wait for Trump to say it.

Follow Dana Milbank on Twitter, @Milbank. (c) 2016, Washington Post Writers Group

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As an American Muslim http://themoderatevoice.com/219036/ http://themoderatevoice.com/219036/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 03:23:42 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219036 abstract six line blue transparent vector

As an American Muslim I can keep my eyes closed and report that all is hunky-dory, that all is well just because nothing untoward has happened to me yet. Or I can be honest. The war has come home and in a bad way, for such is the nature of this beast and the price [...]

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As an American Muslim

I can keep my eyes closed and report that all is hunky-dory, that all is well just because nothing untoward has happened to me yet.
Or I can be honest.
The war has come home and in a bad way, for such is the nature of this beast and the price is being asked of and paid by those having nothing to do with it.

As it happens in such scenarios, the scale of the problem gets exaggerated several times over as in the number of deaths in America from terrorism is still a tiny fraction of those from gun violence.
With all due respect, would the dead have known or cared for the difference?
Victims remain victims and why are we choosing between them?

Whichever way I slice it, this is not just a rhetoric anymore. The American Muslims are taking some serious heat and are a growing target.
Many are between a rock and a hard place, for their native countries are torn and in a state of perpetual conflict.
From being the low-hanging fruit in the war zones of the East to facing prejudice in the West, we now make that perfect sandwich.

On tenterhooks, walking on eggshells, never thought it would come to this, not here in the US.
Listening to the commentary, I wonder if we are going to be played with or eaten, for it’ll take the best of the American values and the law of the land to protect us.

Tough it out we shall and keep our fingers crossed and hope against hope, things settle down, cool off.
P for Patience, P for Positive, P for Peace, one letter and three words, still make for an incomplete sentence.
I am asking you for a way to come out better and stronger through this.

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Athletic suspensions illustrate the uneven hand of “justice” [update 2] http://themoderatevoice.com/athletic-suspensions-illustrate-the-uneven-hand-of-justice/ http://themoderatevoice.com/athletic-suspensions-illustrate-the-uneven-hand-of-justice/#comments Fri, 26 Aug 2016 00:43:29 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219032 team usa logo

White, male privilege on display. Hope Solo is fired for being mouthy; Ryan Lochte has faced no disciplinary action after filing a false police report and starting an international incident.

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UPDATE 2. On August 12, U.S. soccer team goalie Hope Solo commented on the team’s loss at the Rio Olympics with a less-than-sportsman-like jibe. In a Sports Illustrated recorded interview she said, dispassionately: “… we played a bunch of cowards…” before detailing a series of actions she thought were evasive.

On August 25, Solo was suspended for six months and also fired when U.S. Soccer “terminated” her contract.

Let’s compare Solo’s suspension with comparables from the men’s U.S. swim team, shall we?

In 2014, Michael Phelps got his second DUI arrest in Maryland. He was traveling 84 miles per hour in a 45-zone and his blood alcohol level was almost twice the legal limit. USA Swimming suspended him for six months; he was 29.

In 2009, USA Swimming suspended Phelps for three months after a photo surfaced showing him inhaling from a marijuana pipe at the University of South Carolina. In 2009, SC had a mandatory minimum sentence for first-time offenders convicted of simple drug possession.

In 2004, at age 19, Phelps was arrested after running a stop sign in Wicomico County, Maryland, and charged with DUI. He pled guilty to driving while impaired and was given a suspended sentence; the legal drinking age in the United States is 21.

Four-time Olympian Ryan Lochte, 32, not only got publicly intoxicated and vandalized a gas station at the Rio Olympics. He fabricated a complex lie saying he and his teammates had been mugged by men impersonating Brazilian police. Lochte told NBC on August 14:

We got pulled over, in the taxi, and these guys came out with a police badge, no lights, no nothing — just a police badge and they pulled us over. They pulled out their guns, they told the other swimmers to get down on the ground — they got down on the ground. I refused, I was like we didn’t do anything wrong, so — I’m not getting down on the ground. And then the guy pulled out his gun, he cocked it, put it to my forehead and he said, “Get down,” and I put my hands up, I was like ‘whatever.’ He took our money, he took my wallet — he left my cell phone, he left my credentials.

The story unraveled as the week wore on, with video footage — and his teammates — directly contradicting Lochte.

Lochte now admits he “over-exaggerated” the story and that he was drunk at the time. But he only did one thing wrong: “My mistake was over-exaggerating what really happened.”

In other words, filing a false police report was not a mistake.

Vandalizing private property was not a mistake.

Claiming to be a victim of brown-skinned thugs was not a mistake.

Cutting-and-running, leaving his team mates to face the music while he was tweeting about trivia and dying his hair, was not a mistake.

On August 22, news organizations reported four commercial sponsors had dropped Lochte: Speedo, Ralph Lauren, Airweave and Gentle Hair Removal.

There have been no repercussions from the International Olympics Committee, the U.S. Olympics Committee, or the US swim team. In fact, Rio Olympics spokesman Mario Andrada brushed away the controversy:

I do not expect any apologies from him or other athletes are needed. They were trying to have fun… Let’s give these kids a break. They made a mistake. It’s part of life. Life goes on.

But Lochte is 32 years old.

He is most definitely not “a kid.”

Why might U.S. Soccer want to terminate Solo’s contract?

In the spring, Hope and four other members of the U.S. women’s national filed a complaint on behalf of the entire team with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission seeking wage equality with male players. Writing in the NY Times, Carli Lloyd explains:

The top five players on the men’s team make an average of $406,000 each year from these games. The top five women are guaranteed only $72,000 each year… The men get almost $69,000 for making a World Cup roster. As women, we get $15,000 for making the World Cup team.

U.S. Soccer projects that the women’s team will yield $5.2 million in profit next year, but the men’s team is forecast to lose almost $1 million. This wage disparity means fans of women’s soccer are subsidizing men’s team salaries.

In other words, Solo’s behavior — publicly demanding equal treatment — is pushy and abrasive.

* * *

Yes, high performing athletes in the U.S. live in a public fishbowl and embody a sense of entitlement. This essay makes no judgment about whether excess media attention is “right” or “wrong”.

And Solo is no poster child for sportsmanship.

She’s been known to rant on Twitter. Solo, 35, has been charged with domestic violence in Seattle. And in January 2015, U.S. Soccer suspended her for a month when her husband was arrested for DUI while driving a U.S. Soccer Federation van; she was a passenger.

But she hasn’t caused an international incident.

And she hasn’t been convicted of a crime or pled guilty to one.

She’s a mouthy broad, but Lochte is a “really good guy.”

Thank you, Alexandra Petri, for your Privilege Tree:

And the tree sheltered him under its thick leafy canopy of privilege and everyone who saw him shrugged and said, “Boys will be boys.” And there were no consequences, and the tree protected him, and no one even thought to telephone the police. (For, after all, he was just a boy.)

Because that’s what we are seeing play out here.

Privilege: white and male.

Imagine for a moment that Solo were male. Do you really think he would have been suspended for talking trash?

Imagine for a moment that Lochte were black. Do you really think the official organizations would be sitting on their hands right now?

The answer is not just no.

It’s hell no.

Update 1

It’s 7:30 am Pacific on Tuesday Aug 30, and there is still nothing. Actually, the media response is worse than nothing. GoogleNews screen capture:

ryan lochte

Google News screen capture, Tuesday 30 August, 7:30 am

Update 2

It’s 9:00 pm Pacific on Tuesday Aug 30, and we learn that Lochte has not one but two new endorsements. One is from last week, the other was announced today.

AND he has been named as “a contestant on the upcoming edition of ABC’s ‘Dancing with the Stars‘.”

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Should Ds Focus On Securing 270 Or An Electoral Landslide http://themoderatevoice.com/ds-focus-securing-270-electoral-landslide/ http://themoderatevoice.com/ds-focus-securing-270-electoral-landslide/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 21:18:04 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219030 abstract six line blue transparent vector

A recent Politico story revealed an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party on the dynamics of the Presidential race. Entitled, “Democrats Debate the Size of Clinton’s Victory,” the article portrays two schools of thought. One involves Democrats who want to expand the playing field and resources to every state that polls show are remotely within [...]

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A recent Politico story revealed an ongoing debate within the Democratic Party on the dynamics of the Presidential race. Entitled, “Democrats Debate the Size of Clinton’s Victory,” the article portrays two schools of thought. One involves Democrats who want to expand the playing field and resources to every state that polls show are remotely within reach for team Clinton – regardless of how few polls or how far-fetched it might have been to put those states “in-play” even a year ago. The other school is to not do a full scale gamble, and simply see to it that the Clinton campaign has enough resources in states that will get them to the necessary 270 electoral votes. My thought falls somewhere in between.

California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer recently said “The conservative approach is the proper approach: Make sure you have enough to win the Electoral College; don’t take your eye off those states. If you’re so strong in one state, then move to another — that’s all fine. But I think you have to be very wary and very careful” (that may be the first time Boxer may have advocated for “the conservative approach”). The article also quoted Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind as taking the opposite view – arguing that state resources are necessary to give Clinton as big a mandate as possible by pushing Democratic Congressional candidates over the top, flipping the Senate back to Democratic hands and gaining, if not a majority, as many seats as possible in the House. That has credibility as well. Coattails aside, some just want Trump to be repudiated with as large a margin as possible as large and they see Alaska, Montana, Utah and even at least one of the Dakotas – all states with three electoral votes, as a way of sending the Trumpistas into political oblivion and sending them a message.

One reason for targeting normally off the table states would be to help down-ticket candidates. In Arizona, it is widely believed that Senator John McCain is in increasing danger of losing his bid for a sixth term. Two House seats are viewed as tossups. Georgia and Missouri Democrats want voters to dump two Senators – Johnny Isakson and Roy Blunt, a prospect that would have been unthinkable even at the beginning of the year.

It is true that when it comes to resources, the Clinton campaign is trumping Trump. Her money, field offices, and simple organizational structure is so superior that even Republicans are bemoaning the fact that Trump’s team has very little viable presence on the ground in key areas. Team Clinton has also seemed to have sewn up a number of states that as recently as 2004 were thought to be out of reach for Democrats at the national level, particularly Colorado and Virginia. But the magic number is 270 and looking at the electoral pattern, those states would not be enough for her to get her to that number by itself. Assuming every other state that is expected to fall to Clinton will do so (including Wisconsin and New Hampshire, which are not certain but leaning), Clinton would only have 255 electoral votes. In that scenario, achieving 270 would require just one of four mega-states – Pennsylvania, Florida, Ohio and North Carolina going her column, though the latter by itself would give her just 270. Most seem, to believe that this will happen but, here’s the problem folks. It is by no means assured.

Most think the moderate tendencies of Southeastern Pennsylvania and the changing demographics of Florida will be enough to put the state’s combined 49 electoral votes in Clinton’s column. That is probably true but that’s what campaigns are all about and it’s not like she is leading by double digits like she is in places like New York and California. Ohio and North Carolina have shown Clinton up as well but the lead is very microscopic. Furthermore, we have states like Nevada which, on paper, still seems up for grabs even though the expectation was that its demographics would allow Clinton to win comfortably. And it still might. But that’s the point. Given that this is only late August, two weeks before the calendar hits the traditional general election sprint that typically begins on Labor Day, it might make more sense to see to it that ducks are in a row. That’s the point.

I had a friend tell me that this election has too many imponderables to begin making calls. Trump is Trump. No one can be sure whether he will stay on script or go horribly off. Will his campaign makeover cause voters to give him a second look? On the other hand, will Clinton be able to withstand the steady barrage of attacks relating to her e-mails and the Clinton Foundation. There are the debates. And there is the fact that voters – particularly those who don’t gravitate toward either Democrats or Republicans, will opt to ignore the personalities and pull the lever for the folks they really feel in sync with ideologically? Sure the polls for team Clinton look sterling now but I continue to believe they’ll tighten.

Now obviously, Democrats have plenty of resources to spare and can afford, at these early dates to be sending ground troops to places like Arizona and Georgia. They will not distract from the other states. But late September will be ideal to reassess how they are doing in those states. They’ll be able to tell whether the polls are genuinely close and whether there’s a realistic shot at victory, or whether they need to pack up shop and go to other places, particularly those I have mentioned that may still be precarious.

Late in the 2004 election cycle, there was a poll that showed Hawaii close. That was always one of the Democrats stronger states but it didn’t stop Vice-President Dick Cheney from making a visit 48 hours before to the state. It did little to help. The Bush/Cheney ticket lost Hawaii by 17 points at a time and, although they won the election, more than a few Republicans thought it diverted more than a few resources from super-close battlegrounds. For Democrats this year, pursuing Utah may be an apt comparison. It’s hard to see team Clinton winning there in the end even with several anti-Trump candidates doing really well (Johnson, McMullen). But, if it forces team Trump to divert resources from other states into one he should hold handily, that’s not all bad. Further, if it gives Democrats the resources to oust Mia Love from her Congressional seat, that is an investment worth making.

In closing, Democrats can well afford to spend outside the box. They have plenty of resources to spare but pick it wisely. If you’re not within reach.But in doing so, make sure all your ducks are in a row. And one certainty is that team Clinton will not get caught doing anything but.

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Smoke and Clinton Ethics http://themoderatevoice.com/smoke-and-clinton-ethics/ http://themoderatevoice.com/smoke-and-clinton-ethics/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 21:00:57 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219029 Image by Post's Author

Hillary Clinton has finally admitted that there is scandal smoke surrounding her. From Real Clear Politics: “In a telephone interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night, Clinton went on defense to protect her edge in key battleground states as Trump and his new advisers retool the GOP nominee’s general election strategy. . . To maintain [...]

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Image by Post's Author

Hillary Clinton has finally admitted that there is scandal smoke surrounding her.

From Real Clear Politics: “In a telephone interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper Wednesday night, Clinton went on defense to protect her edge in key battleground states as Trump and his new advisers retool the GOP nominee’s general election strategy. . . To maintain her current advantages in the polls, Clinton needs to keep the public’s attention trained on Trump’s negatives, rather than on a growing collection of unwelcome headlines about herself and her husband, which she telephoned the cable news channel to challenge. “I know there’s a lot of smoke, and there’s no fire,” she told Cooper.”

One of those unwelcome headlines comes from CBS News: AP: Many donors to Clinton Foundation met with Hillary Clinton at State Department

That news report states, “Some of Clinton’s most influential visitors donated millions to the Clinton Foundation and to her and her husband’s political coffers. They are among scores of Clinton visitors and phone contacts in her official calendar turned over by the State Department to AP last year and in more-detailed planning schedules that so far have covered about half her four-year tenure. The AP sought Clinton’s calendar and schedules three years ago, but delays led the AP to sue the State Department last year in federal court for those materials and other records.”

An Arkansas Democrat-Gazette editorial states, “Strange, or maybe not so strange, how the Clinton Foundation and American foreign policy kept intersecting when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state.” The editorial also says about Clinton, “Those of us who watched her rise here in Arkansas will know she’s been getting away with ethical shortcuts for a long, long time and the lower she sinks, the higher she rises in the esteem of her fans — or just of those who have benefited from her largesse.”

Roll Call columnist Walter Shapiro states, “The furor over the Clinton Foundation has all the hallmarks of a classic Clinton scandal — lots of smoke, lots of questions about conflict of interest, but also a murkiness about whether anything illegal actually occurred.”

Shapiro goes on to give an explanation for all of the Clinton smoke:

“The idea is to straddle the ethics lines but pride oneself on not actually doing anything untoward. In this spirit, it appears that key donors to the Clinton Foundation got meetings at the State Department. But the favor appears to have been the meeting rather than a subsequent decision to benefit the donor. In a sense, the ethical failures of Bill and Hillary are rooted in hubris. They believe they are smarter than almost anyone, so they are entitled to bend the rules in a way that mere mortals cannot. And since their hearts are pure, they can justify almost any action as a momentary detour on the road to utopia.”

In other words, the expression Clinton ethics is an oxymoron.

Image by Post's Author

Image by Post’s Author

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Cartoon: Hillary’s Health Scare http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-hillarys-health-scare/ http://themoderatevoice.com/cartoon-hillarys-health-scare/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 06:26:37 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219027 cjones08232016 (1)

The current arguments against Hillary Clinton must not be good enough reasons for people to vote against her. The GOP is pushing the narrative that she’s a liar despite the fact they have a nominee that only tells the truth about 10% of the time. They’re still pushing the email server issue and the Clinton [...]

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The current arguments against Hillary Clinton must not be good enough reasons for people to vote against her. The GOP is pushing the narrative that she’s a liar despite the fact they have a nominee that only tells the truth about 10% of the time. They’re still pushing the email server issue and the Clinton Foundation and are pressing for more investigations. After 20 years they haven’t let go of her husband’s infidelity issues. Still, none of that is good enough for Republicans because they’re falling back on conspiracy theories and making stuff up.

Over the past couple of weeks they were whispering rumors about her health. The biggest conspiracy lovers among them were sharing pictures of Clinton being helped up some steps as if she was an invalid. Never mind that we actually had a president who was in a wheel chair and another who continued to serve after suffering a stroke which rendered him paralyzed (you get bonus points today if you know which president that is without Googling for the answer).

Those whispers have now turned into shouts. Donald Trump himself has questioned his physical and mental health which is obvious he’s reflecting his own condition. Now he’s released one of his favorite attack dogs, who traded in his credibility and dignity a few years ago, to make a case out of the health issue.

Rudy 9/11 Giuliani is now scaring up talk over Clinton’s health. This is the same guy who ran for president after beating prostrate cancer.

This is the new birtherism and the birthers are now healthers. That means they don’t need facts. They just need someone to say it and a few rabid right wing websites to bark it out.

These healthers are using junk science and conspiracy theories to argue that Clinton is suffering from brain injuries. Why don’t they just say she’s growing a tail? Giuliani claims the media is hiding evidence about the former Secretary of State’s health and that people should go online to find the truth. If you Google about Clinton’s health what you’ll find is Giuliani spreading theories about Clinton’s health. This stuff is almost as far-fetched as saying Chelsea had four plastic surgeries to hide that Bill isn’t her real father…wait. Someone is pushing that too. At what point do extra terrestrials enter into this?

There is not any evidence here or anything to hide. Clinton’s physician, the only person to speak on the record who has actually examined her, has repeatedly affirmed her health and physical fitness.

Meanwhile Donald Trump’s physician who released a letter affirming the GOP nominee’s fitness isn’t a general practitioner, but a gastroenterologist. He doesn’t mention if he gave Trump a colonoscopy but in fairness, if you had to perform that procedure on Trump you’d probably want to forget it also.

The really weird part of this ass doctor’s letter is where he wrote “if elected, Mr. Trump, I can state unequivocally, will be the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” Why would a doctor say that? Did this doc travel through time and look up Mallard Fillmore’s bum? Can he tell us how much corn he found in William Henry Harrison’s stool? And what about Taft? That was one serious fat bastard but Trump would still be older than him if elected. I find it hard to believe The Donald could be healthier Than JFK or Teddy Roosevelt. Even Reagan, who is our oldest president, physically walked into the hospital after he was shot. Trump let bone spurs keep him out of Vietnam and probably wouldn’t be capable of walking into a clinic if he had a splinter. By the way, Teddy was shot while giving a speech and he continued and finished his speech.

I would totally be raising my eyebrows and give health conspiracies another look if Clinton’s letter from a physician was worded the same as Trump’s. Trump’s letter, which used the word “positive” makes you question how many venereal diseases he’s acquired throughout his life. Quite frankly I want to know if my president has herpes.

I do believe a candidate’s age and health are fair issues to discuss to a point. It was fair to question Reagan and McCain’s age and health. It’s fair to ask about Clinton’s. It’s even more fair to ask about Donald Trump, who is two years older than Clinton. After the answers are given then it’s time to let it go and maybe focus on actual issues.

If we want to start conspiracy theories about stuff we don’t have information on, let’s talk about Trump’s taxes. Is he in the mafia? Accepted bribes from the KGB? Financed Justin Beiber’s first album? We need to know what sort of maniac we’re electing.

None of this conspiracy crap is surprising. At least with the Swift Boaters smear campaign the candidate was separated from it. In this case we have a nominee who cites the National Enquirer, spreads rumors that Ted Cruz’s dad was in on the JFK assassination, Obama was born in Kenya, and now wants to know if Mika and Joe from Morning Joe are bumping uglies.

In other news more than 14,000 additional emails are about to be released from Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary. This may not give her a heart attack but could possibly raise the blood pressure of her supporters.

For the answer on which president suffered the stroke, it was Woodrow Wilson. Did you cheat?

Claytoonz.com

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The Clinton Rules on Reporting … Again http://themoderatevoice.com/the-clinton-rules-on-reporting-again/ http://themoderatevoice.com/the-clinton-rules-on-reporting-again/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 02:30:57 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219024 solve problems with magic

And, lest you worry that it's not working, both Berniebots and GOPs on Facebook were instantly hostile to the notion that there WASN'T a big Clinton Foundation scandal, because, well, "the MSM lies!"

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gopaganda victims

The whole panoply of Republican disinformation was on display this week, leading up to the traditional Labor Day kickoff of the presidential campaign (after the “Death March to Bataan” primaries and year preceding them): lies, deception, lies, mendacity, lies, prevarication, lies and manipulation of a bought and complicit “mass media” owned by the One Percent via six media companies. And then came the Clinton Foundation “scandal.” It was ubiquitous this morning. And it was false:

The AP’s big exposé on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess
Matthew Yglesias / Vox

—  Tuesday afternoon, Stephen Braun and Eileen Sullivan of the Associated Press released the results of a review of State Department appointment data that they used to make some striking claims about Hillary Clinton’s schedule as secretary of state…. Except it turns out not to be true. The nut fact that the AP uses to lead its coverage is wrong, and Braun and Sullivan’s reporting reveals absolutely no unethical conduct.

I will not belabor the fact further here, because there is a wider issue at play and, given what we’ve seen this week, the double standard of “reporting” and “facts” will continue to hold sway, to the detriment of the voters and to the republic for which they stand in line to vote.

flimflam

The usual suspects are all present. There’s Judicial Watch, a gang of legal thugs who attempt to use FOIA lawsuits and the law to embarrass and harass their political “enemies,” led by Larry Klayman, you may recognize them from their founding in the FIRST Clinton Administration and their endless pursuit of the Paula Jones lawsuit, which eventually led to the counterproductive and destructive impeachment (which ended as a disaster for the Right Wing, even though they successfully stymied the votes of tens of millions of Americans).  Listen to Right Wing Watch:

Larry Klayman: ‘Revolution’ Needed After Clinton Email Announcement
SUBMITTED BY Miranda Blue on Wednesday, 7/6/2016 10:54 am

Larry Klayman, the founder of the Clinton-hounding conservative group Judicial Watch, has spent the last several years calling foramassuprising or a coup to depose President Obama and prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the presidential election. Unsurprisingly, Klayman returned to this theme yesterday in response to FBI Director James Comey’s announcement that his agency would not recommend that prosecutors press charges against Hillary Clinton for misuse of email at the State Department.

“This thing has been rigged from the start, Donald Trump is absolutely right, I said it long before Donald Trump,” Klayman told Newsmax’s J.D. Hayworth*. “Our legal system is corrupt to the core and I think, you know, we just celebrated our Independence Day. We’re back to 1776. I advocate civil disobedience a la Martin Luther King. It’s going to take another revolution to bring this country back.”

[* Note: Hayworth was a congressman from Northern Arizona, referred to as “Little Rush” for his talk radio background. Voters kicked him out in 2006. He entered politics again before losing to John McCain in the Arizona GOP Senate primary in 2010 and returning to right wing “news.” I discussed him in 2012’s “The Battle of the Little Greenhorn.“]

Right. Because if Americans vote for someone Klayman doesn’t like, we need a revolution, an impeachment or violent overthrow. That’s not democratic. That’s not American. That’s treasonous.

Klayman says King George III better than ClintonsKlayman, hilariously, says that King George III
better than either Clinton. (click for  video)
Note that he’s fronting for yet ANOTHER astroturf group.

Why should you care?

Because it’s Klayman behind the “15,000” emails figure you keep hearing, as a result of a FOIA lawsuit against the State Department looking for ANYTHING to disallow Americans like me from voting for Hillary Clinton, and, I guess, to get Donald Trump elected — even though it is obvious that Judicial Watch has zero interest in learning about our Pig in a Poke:  Trump keeps making promises that he’ll “fix” this or that, but cannot answer the simplest question “HOW”? That is, kids, the DEFINITION of a pig in a poke:

Devil with piggybank. Isolated on white

a pig in a poke
something that you buy without knowing if it is good or not When you buy a used car, you may be getting a pig in a poke.
Etymology: based on an old meaning of buy a pig in a poke (buy a pig in a bag), which you would buy without first seeing it.
-Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2003. Reproduced with permission.

The fact that Klayman appears on NEWSMAX is an indicator of just how successful this anti-fact jihad of the Right has been. NEWSMAX was founded by Christopher Ruddy with his “Western Journalism” money, doled out by Joseph Farah as they both made cash out of Vince Foster’s corpse. Yes, Virginia, I said CORPSE.

Ruddy and Farah made their modern “rep” on their endless Vince Foster Was Murdered By Bill and Hillary conspiracy reporting and fake facts. Farah spun his end off into WorldNetDaily (which then made cash off of endless “Birther” stories) and Ruddy used his to found NEWSMAX (which first popped up in hand-held signs during the theft of the Florida election in 2000).

gop light bulb benghazi

So, how appropriate is it that Klayman is repping ANOTHER astroturf* organization that he owns on Ruddy’s NEWSMAX fake-news empire?

[* “Astroturf” = “fake grassroots”]

I do not condemn the Right Wing for continuing to lie like a rug. It is, to paraphrase the famous Aesop tale of the Scorpion and the Frog, just their nature. They can’t help it. But the Mainstream Media OUGHT to not fall for the same horsehockey that they fell for in 1993 (Whitewater) through 2015. They’ve had nearly thirty years to figure it out, but, like Pavlov’s sad dog, the Right wing rings the bell and the reporters drool. Right on cue.

We have multiple and competing lies to deal with, based on the old legal proverb: when the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. When the law is on your side, pound on the law. And when nothing is on your side, pound on the table:

  1. The “Hillary is too sick to serve” lie, which has been debunked in the real world, but has caught fire in the fake world of fake GOP facts.
  2. The Benghazi “scandal” which, while having been debunked by SEVEN separate GOP-led Congressional inquiries has turned up nothing, but they’re going to go ahead and try again ANYWAY.
  3. The fake email “scandal” which came up with nothing, and which comes to nothing, but they’re going to keep going mostly because they’re so invested in the fake narrative at this point, and even though Kevin McCarthy, majority leader in the House, admitted the inquiries are meant to harm Hillary, and which Trey Gowdy (chair of the Select Committee) was caught dead to rights  falsifying emails.*
  4. The “swiftboat” attack on the Clinton Foundation, even though it is rated as “A” by independent non-profit watchdogs, has made a vast difference in saving and improving lives around the globe and spends very little on overhead and very much on charity, period — without bothering to compare with stingy, lying Donald Trump who didn’t even donate the Play-Doh® he infamously distributed in his 49 seconds of Louisiana flood photo-op.‡
  5. Huma Abedin (Clinton personal aide, Anthony Weiner’s wife) is actually a radical Muslim (terrorist, undoubtedly, as the GOP plan of religious bigotry continues to bear the fruit of the bigotry.)

bigot-tree

retasked from Gustav Doré [PD]

[* “The historical significance of this moment can hardly be overstated, and it seems many Republicans, Democrats and members of the media don’t fully understand the magnitude of what is taking place. The awesome power of government—one that allows officials to pore through almost anything they demand and compel anyone to talk or suffer the shame of taking the Fifth Amendment — has been unleashed for purely political purposes. It is impossible to review what the Benghazi committee has done as anything other than taxpayer-funded political research of the opposing party’s leading candidate for president. Comparisons from America’s past are rare. Richard Nixon’s attempts to use the IRS to investigate his perceived enemies come to mind. So does Senator Joseph McCarthy’s red-baiting during the 1950s, with reckless accusations of treason leveled at members of the State Department, military generals and even the secretary of the Army.”  – Newsweek.] [‡ The link is to RedState, who hate the Clintons almost as much as they dislike Trump. Even in the Land of Fake Facts, Trump’s endless mendacity irks, evidently.]

GOP fail (2)

We expect this, of course. You would either have to have been in a coma, or named Rip Van Winkle to have failed to notice to Modus Operandi of the GOPs, who seem convinced that they would lose in any fair election or lose any fair debate using facts, to judge by their repeated and almost ritualistic use of standardized lies, fallacies and false logical constructs.

What we DON’T expect is that the “reporters” of NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, MSNBC, et al would still fall for the same easy lies, would still be breathlessly bamboozled by any accusation, no matter how flimsy, and would continue to pretend that the “Clinton Email Scandal” was now or ever HAD been an actual scandal.

elephant-on-spiderweb

Meantime, they let the Koch network’s stealth takeover of the GOP slide, let the Koch network’s stealth funding of congressional and state legislative races slide, and let newsgathering per se slide, because, as Les Moonves infamously put it:

The Trump Campaign: Bad for America, but Good for CBS
By Jim Naureckas, Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) [emphasis added]

… Speaking to the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecom Conference at San Francisco’s Park Hotel, Moonves observed that “in local [broadcasting], the No. 1 word is ‘political’ [advertising],” and continued: Man, who would have expected the ride we’re all having right now? This is pretty amazing…. Who would have thought that this circus would come to town? But, you know—it may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS, that’s all I got to say. So what can I say? It’s—you know, the money’s rolling in, and this is fun.
Moonves noted that the election has been a boost for ratings—“We had a debate a couple of weeks ago, it was 14 million people on a Saturday night. You know, it’s amazing, that’s all I can say”—but, more importantly, the spending by candidates on political advertising goes directly into CBS’s coffers:
Yeah, [Trump’s] getting a lot of free media, but all that’s happening out there, there’s a lot of money in the marketplace, there’s a lot of money in the marketplace….

Listen to it here. It’s even creepier in its original context than transcribed on paper.

fifth column

You see, the entire media model has been turned on its ear, and the emphasis is in 1. Pleasing the One Percent of management, and 2. Assuring as many clicks as possible. Fake scandals fit both criteria. Reporting the facts does NOT.

But you might still be wondering what I meant by “Clinton Rules” in the title?

Here:

More than a year ago, Jon Allen wrote for Vox about the special “Clinton Rules” that have governed much reporting on Bill and Hillary Clinton over the past 25 years. On the list are the notions that even the most ridiculous charges are worthy of massive investigation, that the Clintons’ bad faith will always be presumed, and that actions that would normally be deemed banal are newsworthy simply because the Clintons are involved. [ibid.]

Well quod erat demonstrandum.

And, lest you worry that it’s not working, both Berniebots and GOPs on Facebook were instantly hostile to the notion that there WASN’T a big Clinton Foundation scandal, because, well, “the MSM lies!”

church of conservatism facts we don got to show

Given what they’re dishing out to us, I was hard-pressed to refute the allegation.

Which is how far into the cesspool of non-fact-based, magical thinking/superstition we’ve descended into.

solve problems with magic

You might want to hold your nose.

Courage.

Cross posted from his vorpal sword.

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I’m With Her http://themoderatevoice.com/im-with-her/ http://themoderatevoice.com/im-with-her/#comments Thu, 25 Aug 2016 01:29:07 +0000 http://themoderatevoice.com/?p=219021 ImWithClinton

Copyright 2016 David Donar. All rights reserved.Copyright Donar, Political Graffiti

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ImWithClinton

ImWithClinton

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