Trump Refusing to Pay Campaign Pollster $3/4 Million!

by teacherken – Donald Trump’s hiring of pollster Tony Fabrizio in May was viewed as a sign that the real estate mogul was finally bringing seasoned operatives into his insurgent operation. But the Republican presidential nominee appears to have taken issue with some of the services provided by the veteran GOP strategist, who has advised candidates from 1996 GOP nominee Bob Dole to Florida Gov. Rick Scott. The Trump campaign’s latest Federal Election Commission report shows that it is disputing nearly $767,000 that Fabrizio’s firm says it is still owed for polling. That is the beginning of a Washington Post story titled Donald Trump is refusing to pay his campaign pollster three-quarters of a million dollars, written by Matea Gold and posted at 1 PM Eastern. Fabrizio was an ally of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who persuaded a skeptical Trump in the spring that he needed a professional pollster. The...

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Politico on GOP: “We Are in for a Pretty Long Civil War”

by misterwade – If you need a little something to cheer you up, in light of the Comey shenanigans, check out this piece posted on Politico a couple of days ago. It was published before the Comey letter was reported, but ultimately it will shock me if that issue has much impact on the polls and the actual vote. Just a few little nibbles to pique your interest, such as this: Take, for instance, Republican pollster and commentator Kristen Soltis Anderson. She is in her early 30s and a self-proclaimed fan of the reformicons like Wehner, Yuval Levin, and Ramesh Ponnuru. She feels that, with Trump, the Republican Party has shifted out from under her. “When he said he was a gentleman, that it’s not really sexual assault, that’s been driving me crazy, because people have said that about Republicans for a while,” she said of Trump’s response in the third...

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The Case for Firing James Comey

by Ian Millhiser – Americans have rights. Even if they are Hillary Clinton. What was FBI Director James Comey thinking? Let’s take stock of all that we’ve learned since Comey sent a cryptic letter to several Republican congressional committee chairs on Friday informing them that the FBI had uncovered some emails that may, or may not, have something to do with a previous investigation into Secretary Hillary Clinton’s private email server. We know that Comey does not know what is in these emails. We know that many, possibly even all, of these emails may be duplicates of messages the FBI already reviewed. We know that, at the time when Comey wrote his letter, the FBI had not even obtained a warrant permitting them to read these emails. Some reports state that the emails are “not to or from Clinton.” Oh, and we know one other thing. We also know that Comey violated...

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Small Business Owners Warn Trump Is “A Recession Waiting to Happen” (VIDEO)

by Dave Johnson – Given Donald Trump’s shady business practices I’d be afraid to do business with him, let alone let him run the country. – Kelly Conklin of Foley-Waite LLC The Main Street Alliance, a national network of state-based small business coalitions, has released a political video warning small business owners that Trump’s economic policies show “a misunderstanding of what it takes to make our economy thrive.” The video was released through the Main Street Alliance’s Action Fund. The video features Kelly Conklin, who owns Foley-Waite LLC, a woodworking company in Kenilworth, New Jersey. In the video Conklin says: Donald Trump is a recession waiting to happen. And on November 8th you have a choice, whether we are going to go ahead on a steady course or whether we are going to plunge the country into one of its darkest eras ever. The master of disaster or a proven entity...

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Former Bush Ethics Head Files Complaint Against Comey, Alleging Potential Violations Of Hatch Act

by Dartagnan – In a terse Op-Ed published in today’s New York Times, Richard Painter, the chief White House Ethics Lawyer in the Bush Administration from 2005-2007, explains why he filed a Complaint yesterday against FBI Director James Comey with the FBI’s Office Of Special Counsel, which investigates possible ethical violations within the Bureau.  In particular, Painter explains why Comey’s inexplicable actions this week may warrant prosecution for abuse of power under the Hatch Act. I have spent much of my career working on government ethics and lawyers’ ethics, including two and a half years as the chief White House ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush, and I never thought that the F.B.I. could be dragged into a political circus surrounding one of its investigations. Until this week. Painter, a former George W. Bush, Marco Rubio and John Kasich supporter, explains that had the Bureau made a similar public disclosure...

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What’s Behind the Healthcare Rate Hikes and 7 Other Things Donald won’t Tell You About the ACA

by David Akadjian – Map tweeted by Donald Trump  The Affordable Care Act recently made news for rate increases. Trump and the GOP are trying to use these increases as political weapons. One of the things he doesn’t tell you is that some of these increases could be attributed to the failure of the GOP to expand Medicaid. He also doesn’t tell you that he has no plans to fight rate increases. Without further ado, here’s more on this, and some of the other things he’s not telling you about the Affordable Care Act. 1. Experts warned the states that if they didn’t expand Medicaid coverage, customers could see higher premiums.  Why? Because hospitals tend to shift the costs of emergency room care to private insurers. In Nebraska in 2014, for example, hospitals provided uncompensated care to 54,000 people who would have qualified for coverage under Medicaid expansion. Adrian Sanchez, a spokesman for...

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The Long Path to Reversing Citizens United

by JOHN LIGHT – Campaign finance lawyers are pursuing two legal strategies to try to push back against the 2010 ruling, and other court decisions, that deregulated our campaign finance system. Getting unlimited, special-interest money out of politics, an issue long on the back burner for politicians in Washington, moved front and center with this election year, driven by an outpouring of voter frustration. Both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump ignited widespread support by pitching themselves as being outside a political system many voters see as being rigged by wealthy donors. In the last presidential debate, unprompted by the moderator, Hillary Clinton said that she wanted to appoint Supreme Court justices who “will stand up and say no to Citizens United, a decision that has undermined the election system in our country because of the way it permits dark, unaccountable money to come into our electoral system.” But a newly appointed...

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New York Times: The FBI Knew a Month Ago that the Laptop they Seized Could have Relevant Emails

by ryeland – The most compelling reason to suspect partisan motives for FBI Director James Comey’s vague disclosure on Friday is its timing, days before a presidential election. Well now the New York Times is reporting that when the FBI seized the Weiner-Abedin laptop on October 3rd, they were already aware of the possibility that it contained emails related to the Clinton server investigation. After reports surfaced late last month that Mr. Weiner had sent illicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl in North Carolina, top prosecutors in Charlotte and Manhattan jockeyed for the case. Senior officials in the Justice Department decided that if there were a prosecution, it would take place in New York under the supervision of the United States attorney there, Preet Bharara. About the same time, agents in the F.B.I.’s New York field office understood that the Weiner investigation could possibly turn up additional emails related to Mrs. Clinton’s private...

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President Obama Just Commuted 98 More Sentences

by Laurel Raymond – He’s granted more commutations this year than any in American history. On Thursday, President Obama granted commutations to 98 more federal inmates, on top of the 102 commutations he granted earlier this month. That brings the total for this year to 688 — more than any other year in American history. Forty-two of the individuals receiving commutations on Thursday were originally handed life-sentences. Obama has granted commutations to more inmates than the previous 11 presidents combined, and more than any other single president in nearly a century. Today’s announcement brings the total to 872 commutations, which, unlike a full pardon, shorten the length of a sentence while leaving other consequences — such as restrictions on firearms ownership — in place. Credit: Whitehouse Blog, DOJ President Obama has made commutations a priority for his administration as a way of rectifying the harsh, often mandatory sentences imposed on drug crimes as part of the war on drugs....

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Shia Militias Open New Front in Battle for Mosul (VIDEOS)

Militia coalition, known as the Popular Mobilization Units, had not yet played a heavy role in the fighting. Shia militias say they have launched an assault to the west of Mosul, opening up a new front in the battle to drive ISIL from the country’s second city and the group’s last major bastion in the country. The coalition of militias, know as the Popular Mobilisation Units, had not played a heavy part in the fighting, but the offensive on Saturday indicates a bigger role than many observers had anticipated. Battle for Mosul: Peshmerga troops clear villages Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Iraq, said although many towns and villages on the road to Mosul had been taken by the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the city itself – and ISIL’s position there – remained as formidable as it was before the operation to take the city began 12...

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Jill Stein Has Millions – Thanks To Big Pharma, Big Oil And Wall Street

by Ryan Denson – Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President of the United States, has made her case this election by painting herself as being the anti-Hillary Clinton. She claims that Clinton’s ties to Wall Street and her more “cozy” feelings towards big corporations and polluters make her a faux-progressive. So Stein claims that she is the true outsider progressive who has the people’s best interest at heart and that she will end the too-big-to-fail mentality on Wall Street. But her investment portfolio shows something completely different. Uncovered by the Daily Beast, Stein has millions of dollars worth of investments in the very entities she rails against in her faltering presidential campaign: According to the financial-disclosure form she filed with the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on March 30, 2016, Stein and her husband, Richard Rohrer, have investments (with the exception of real estate) valued at anywhere from $3,832,050 to...

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Trump is the Nation’s Abuser-in-Chief

by Jill Richardson – As an emotional abuse survivor, I get an eerie feeling watching Donald Trump. In fact, a checklist of 30 tactics used by an emotionally abusive partner, published by the blog Live Bold and Bloom, reads like Donald Trump’s debate prep to-do list. One of the telltale signs of such abuse, for example, is rooted in humiliation: “They humiliate you, put you down, or make fun of you in front of other people.” This seems to be a cornerstone of Trump’s political speech — like making fun of a disabled reporter, or placing the women who accuse Hillary Clinton’s husband of sexual misconduct in the audience at the last debate. (I wonder if Trump has ever heard that expression about glass houses and throwing stones.) “They accuse you or blame you for things you know aren’t true.” For example, accusing Hillary of laughing at a rape victim, which...

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Ipsos/Reuters: “Clinton Solid Lead in Early Voting.” Hillary Leads Trump 15% in Early Vote. 95% WIN

by floridageorge – Things are looking good, people.  Don’t let media noise get to you.   We are winning this thing. Hillary Clinton enjoys solid lead in early voting: Reuters/Ipsos poll With 11 days to go before the U.S. presidential election, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton leads Republican Donald Trump by 15 percentage points among early voters surveyed in the past two weeks, according to the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project. Though data is not available for all early voting states, Clinton enjoys an edge in swing states such as Ohio and Arizona and in Republican Party strongholds such as Georgia and Texas.  An estimated 19 million Americans have voted so far in the election, according to the University of Florida’s United States Election Project, accounting for as much as 20 percent of the electorate. Overall, Clinton remained on track to win a majority of votes in the Electoral College, the...

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The Trump Staff is Putting on Their Life Vests, and Heading for the Boats

by Murfster35 – It’s an old mantra in politics. When a political campaign goes down badly, especially a Presidential campaign, the backstabbing and anonymous whining starts as staffers try to prove that they did their job, somebody else screwed up. But usually, this starts on the day after the election, not two weeks before. Gabriel Sherman decided to see if he could get an early start on this little exercise, and boy did he get a start! He has been quietly speaking to insiders, both former and current for weeks now. And while normally speaking anonymously for their own protection, they are opening up. And they’re not sniping at each other, they are very politely laying the blame for the shattered campaign directly at the feet of the Boss. The ARTICLE. set to appear in New York magazine on Monday is available online today. It is a long but satisfying read....

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Supreme Court Will Rule on Long-Delayed Transgender Rights Case

by Nadia Prupis – Judges will review lower court decision that found 17-year-old Gavin Grimm is legally allowed to use male facilities at his high school. The U.S. Supreme Court announced Friday it would hear a transgender rights case that has captured national attention regarding whether students can use school facilities that correspond with their gender identity, rather than their biological sex. The judges will review an April decision by the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals that found Gavin Grimm, a 17-year-old Virginia transgender boy, is legally allowed to use male facilities at his high school in Gloucester County. The school board appealed the ruling. In August, the Supreme Court blocked the order until the case could be reviewed, meaning Gloucester High School is still able to ban Grimm from using the boy’s restroom. Josh Block, senior staff attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) LGBTQ project, which represents Grimm,...

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Sam Wang: People Are Too Freaked Out Not To Vote

by Dartagnan – That’s pretty much what he says. In a New York Times piece analyzing why Trump’s level of support has never fallen below 41% on average, Sam Wang, founder of the Princeton Election Consortium, points out that this election is so polarized there is really no one of any consequence left to persuade.  And because both sides are equally horrified of the other, we on the Clinton side can all breathe a little easier after the events of the last 24 hours or so. For nearly forty years, until 1992, the difference between the minimum and maximum levels of a Presidential candidate’s average range of support during the campaign season fluctuated about 17%. Since 1996 that fluctuation has been cut in half, to 8%. And now, Trump’s support, for example, has fluctuated only 4%.  The reason is an utterly polarized electorate, with particularly polarizing candidates this cycle. As Wang...

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Comey Defied The Wishes Of His Boss. He Should Be Fired

by pollwatcher – According to this article from The New Yorker, Comey went rogue and defied the wishes of his boss, Attorney General Loretta Lynch. … Comey’s decision to make public new evidence that may raise additional legal questions about Clinton was contrary to the views of the Attorney General, according to a well-informed Administration official. Lynch expressed her preference that Comey follow the department’s longstanding practice of not commenting on ongoing investigations, and not taking any action that could influence the outcome of an election, but he said that he felt compelled to do otherwise. Comey’s decision is a striking break with the policies of the Department of Justice, according to current and former federal legal officials. … “You don’t do this,” one former senior Justice Department official exclaimed. “It’s aberrational. It violates decades of practice.” … Traditionally, the Justice Department has advised prosecutors and law enforcement to avoid any...

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AP: “Handpicked” Trump University Faculty Included Felons, Child Molester

by Zackdawg – Trump University Staff included at least four felons, including staffers convicted of drug trafficking and child molestation, according to the Associated Press today. Donald Trump says he hand-picked only the best to teach success at Trump University. But dozens of those hired by the company had checkered pasts — including serious financial problems and even convictions for cocaine trafficking or child molestation, an Associated Press investigation has found. The AP investigation should make things difficult for Trump in his upcoming civil trial concerning the operations of the “University” and it should make things complicated on the campaign trail, as he has bragged that he would, as President, run the nation like he does his businesses. His staff was appropriately suited for the Trump U, a long-con operation that sold course packages for as much as $35,000. Some names from the surveys were too common to narrow down to...

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The Supreme Court REQUIRES Nine Justices; Don’t Let Republicans Convince You Otherwise

by RETIII – Republican pundits and Senators (like John McCain and Ted Cruz) recently have shown their hand and stated that they may not consider confirming any justice nominated by a Democratic President — and their principal argument in defense is that “there is no requirement that the Supreme Court have nine justices.”  For example, Ted Cruz recently asserted: Speaking to reporters after a campaign rally for a Republican U.S. Senate candidate here, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said that there was “precedent” for a Supreme Court with fewer than nine justices — appearing to suggest that the blockade on nominee Merrick Garland could last past the election. “You know, I think there will be plenty of time for debate on that issue,” said Cruz, when he was asked whether a Republican-controlled Senate should hold votes on a President Hillary Clinton’s nominees. “There is certainly long historical precedent for a Supreme Court with...

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FCC Passes Sweeping Internet Privacy Rules in ‘Big Win for Civil Rights’

by Nadia Prupis – New rules require internet service providers to get customers’ explicit consent before sharing data with third parties. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday passed sweeping new privacy rules designed to keep broadband providers from giving customers’ private data to third parties. The rules, approved by a vote of 3-2, require Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to get customers’ explicit consent before using or sharing behavioral data like browsing history, location, and other sensitive information with marketing firms or other companies, the Washington Post reports. “It’s the consumers’ information,” FCC chairman Tom Wheeler said. “How it is used should be the consumers’ choice. Not the choice of some corporate algorithm.” According to the Post‘s Brian Fung: Also covered by that requirement are health data, financial information, Social Security numbers and the content of emails and other digital messages. The measure allows the FCC to impose the opt-in rule...

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Snowden: ‘Journalists Are a Threatened Class’ in Era of Mass Surveillance (VIDEO)

by Nika Knight – “Things are pretty bad for our side. For the government’s side, it’s never been easier.” Whistleblower Edward Snowden warned a group of European reporters Wednesday that in the era of mass surveillance, journalists are increasingly a threatened class. In a live-streamed discussion on investigative journalism hosted by Germany’s Süddeutsche Zeitung, Snowden explored the threats to journalists posed by hostile governmental forces and a vast global surveillance network. “Journalists are increasingly a threatened class when we think about the right to privacy,” Snowden said. “Yes, I can give you tips on how to protect your communications, but you are going to be engaging in an arms race that you simply cannot win. You must fight this on the front pages and you must win, if you want to be able to report in the same way that you’ve been able to do in the previous centuries.” Snowden went...

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What the FBI Director’s Letter About the Clinton Emails Really Says

by Ian Millhiser – It’s a good idea to read the letter before you report on it. Oy. As of this writing, all three cable news networks are in a frenzy. FBI Director James Comey just sent a letter to Republican congressional committee chairs announcing that he’s taking a new look into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Another investigation! And right before the election! She could be indicted! Well, probably not. Indeed, almost definitely not. Here’s what the letter actually says: The relevant paragraph in this brief letter is the middle one, where Comey writes that the FBI “has learned of the existence” of emails that it previously did not review. In response to this new information, the FBI will now “allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information.” The FBI, in other words, is not reexamining its previous findings. It is not questioning its previous legal conclusion that...

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Trump Contributes $0 to Campaign, Cheats Own Supporters

by Mark Sumner – Every day, Donald Trump makes more false statements than most candidates manage in a year. Whether it’s promising that Mexico will pay for his ‘big, beautiful wall,’ or that manufacturing jobs will magically return, or that he has a secret plan for defeating ISIS, Trump’s campaign is built on lies. Which makes it not all that surprising that he’s lying about how much of his own money he’s putting into his campaign. Despite promising to bankroll the campaign with $100 million of his “own money”—the source of which is completely unknown—he’s a long way from that target. The Republican presidential nominee has given a mere $33,000 to his campaign this month. That means he needs to pony up another $44 million to fulfill the boast that’s become a familiar refrain in interviews and rallies over the past several days. Actually, it’s worse than that. Donald Trump’s real cash...

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AT&T/Time Warner: The Case Against Monster Bell

by CRAIG AARON – An opponent of the mega-merger wonders if the political will to oppose it will survive Election Day. After AT&T announced its plans last Saturday to take over Time Warner in a multi-bazillion-dollar merger, a strange thing happened. Well, a bunch of strange things. First, Donald Trump unexpectedly blasted the merger, saying it was “a deal we will not approve in my administration because it’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few.” Then journalists started asking hard questions about a media merger on national television, a rare sight. “Less concentration, I think, is generally helpful, especially in the media,” vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine told Meet the Press. (Hillary Clinton later weighed in, calling for “a very thorough analysis.”) Unless you’re a Time Warner shareholder, C-suite senior executive, or an AT&T lobbyist, this merger would be a disaster. Even Wall Street analysts — who often...

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Report: Hillary Wants Joe Biden For Huge Role In White House

by Oliver Willis – A new report indicates that Vice President Joe Biden’s long tenure in Washington, D.C. may not be over just yet if Hillary Clinton has anything to do with it. According to Politico, the Clinton brain trust is considering offering Biden one of the most important roles in her administration if she wins the election. “Joe Biden is at the top of the internal short list Hillary Clinton’s transition team is preparing for her pick to be secretary of state, a source familiar with the planning tells POLITICO. This would be the first major Cabinet candidate to go public for a campaign that’s insisted its focus remains on winning the election, and perhaps the most central choice for a potential president who was a secretary of state herself.” The report indicates that a formal offer of the position has not been discussed yet between Biden and Clinton. Biden...

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The FBI Just Received A Voter Suppression Complaint That Will Terrify Trump

by Rika Christensen – The FBI has actually received a voter suppression complaint, but not against Hillary and the Democrats despite Trump’s insistence that she’s rigging the entire election. No…this complaint was filed against Trump himself, and targets his dangerous requests that his followers monitor polling places on Election Day. The complaint comes from the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, and a memo on the complaint specifically states: “Over the weekend, the Democratic Coalition Against Trump filed complaints against Donald Trump with the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and with the FBI Public Corruption Unit for violations of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which guarantees the right to vote for all citizens. The complaints were filed as a reaction to Donald Trump’s call for his supporters to go out and ‘watch the polls,’ which will prevent citizens from exercising their right to vote.”  Trump has repeatedly called...

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After Cancer Diagnosis, Vet Refutes Government’s Agent Orange Expert — And Wins

by Charles Ornstein – After the VA rejects his claim for benefits, an Air Force veteran challenges the findings of the government’s go-to Agent Orange consultant. Six years later he emerges the rare victor. For years, the U.S. military and Department of Veterans Affairs have used the work of a Wyoming-based herbicide expert to flatly reject the claims of groups of veterans who believe Agent Orange made them sick. But occasionally, individual veterans have fought back — and even more rarely, they have won. One of them is Air Force veteran Phil Cacioppo. In 2007, Cacioppo was diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. He assumed he’d be approved for cash compensation and to receive treatment at VA hospitals. After all, he believed he’d been exposed to Agent Orange while he served as a ground radio equipment repairman at the U-Tapao Airfield in Thailand from 1969 to 1970. And his...

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Marijuana Legalization Looks Likely in Three States

by Jacob Sullum – Polling also suggests Florida will become the first Southern state to allow medical use. According to the latest American Values Survey, conducted last month by the Public Religion Research Institute, a record 63 percent of Americans favor “making the use of marijuana legal,” up from 43 percent in 2012 and 44 percent last year. That result, which was released on Tuesday, comes a week after Gallup reported that 60 percent of Americans think “the use of marijuana should be made legal,” a record for that survey, and two weeks after the Pew Research Center reported that 57 percent of respondents in its latest survey endorsed that proposition, yet another record. But as Washington Post drug policy blogger Christopher Ingraham notes, these results do not necessarily signal a clean sweep for the nine marijuana initiatives on state ballots a week from Tuesday, since the surveys use national samples...

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The Clinton Campaign’s Opposition Research on Trump

by Chesterfield – Recently, while trying to puzzle out the Clinton campaign’s future opposition research (“oppo”), I came across this Politico article by Kenneth P. Vogel from 12 April 2016, which discusses, in part, oppo on Trump presented by David Brock to a room full of “the biggest liberal donors in the country.”  (Brock has a complicated history; certainly, he’s remarkably effective at directing opposition research efforts, and he’s currently doing so for the Clinton campaign.)  When I read an article like this, I’m simply awestruck by the diligence, artistry, and sheer competence of the Clinton campaign.  Again, this is from April, before Trump secured his party’s nomination, when Cruz was still a very real possibility, and when Democratic operatives wondered if Ryan might enter the race in an open convention and end up becoming the “consensus candidate.”  Brock crowed to the donors that his group compiled a “trove” of oppo to “knock Trump Tower down to the sub-basement.” Further, he detailed the Clinton...

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The Ruthless Tactics Trump has Used to Avoid State and Local Taxes

by Bryce Covert – He’s told tax officials one thing and the public another, all to save a buck. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has basically admitted to avoiding paying federal income taxes for a long period of time — potentially as long as 18 years. In his defense, he has insisted that he pays other taxes, such as those owed to state and local governments. “Mr. Trump has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in property taxes, sales and excise taxes, real estate taxes, city taxes, state taxes, employee taxes and federal taxes, along with very substantial charitable contributions,” his campaign said in a statement in response to documents uncovered by the New York Times that showed he may have skirted federal taxes. They kept repeating this defense even as Trump refuses to release his tax returns. But court and tax records obtained by a number of media outlets show that he has...

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Republicans Plan To Strangle The Supreme Court To Death In Retaliation For A Hillary Victory

by Stephen D Foster Jr – Making sure that Democrats take control of the Senate just became even more important. Ever since Justice Antonin Scalia died in February, Republicans have refused to let President Obama fill the vacant seat he left behind on the Supreme Court bench. President Obama even nominated Merrick Garland, whom many consider to be a moderate who has even been praised in the past by the very Republicans who are blocking him now. There had been rumors that Republicans may approve his nomination if Hillary Clinton wins the election in order to prevent her from nominating someone more liberal to the post. But now it appears Republicans have something even more sinister in mind if they end up keeping control of the Senate in November. Arizona Senator John McCain, despite joining with his fellow Republicans to declare that the next president should get to pick the next...

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Grassroots Victory: Second-Biggest County in U.S. Raises Minimum Wage

by Pascal Brixel – Picture a state with a government so dysfunctional that it goes for an entire year without a full operating budget. How can we possibly make progress in a state like Illinois? Answer: Begin by organizing the counties, and aim audaciously yet strategically high. The government of Cook County, the second-biggest county in the nation, voted 13 to 3 on Wednesday to raise its minimum wage from $8.25 to $13 by 2020. In a state whose corporate lobby looms over its politics like a leviathan, this measure represents a major victory. It comes as the result of a long campaign by the Chicago-based grassroots organization the People’s Lobby and its ally ONE Northside, both affiliates of People’s Action—but the campaign was premised on a much more radical demand. The Meaning of $13 $13 is not a living wage. According to research by the People’s Action Institute, the living...

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Embattled Arizona Sheriff and Trump Ally Charged with Criminal Contempt

by Alice Miranda Ollstein – Joe Arpaio is running for reelection with a court date looming. Maricopa County’s controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio was slapped with criminal contempt charges this week that allege he willfully violated a judge’s order to stop illegally racially profiling Latinos. He also faces possible charges for obstruction of justice and perjury. The 84-year-old Arpaio has to appear in federal court on December 6. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail. But first, in just two weeks, the sheriff faces the toughest reelection contest of his multi-decade career. Arpaio can either be removed from office by Arizona’s voters or by the federal courts. Fernando Abundes, an undocumented restaurant worker who spent four months in Arpaio’s jail after deputies raided his workplace, hopes for the former. “It’s important that our people turn out to vote and throw him out of office immediately,” he said at a...

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North Carolina Just Lost out on Another 730 Jobs Because of its Anti-LGBT Law

by Zack Ford – Discrimination doesn’t pay. This week, North Carolina found out it is not getting 730 new jobs and a quarter-billion-dollar impact that it was the top contender for. The reason? Its anti-LGBT law, HB2, which bans trans people from using the bathroom and bars municipalities from protecting LGBT people from discrimination. CoStar Group Inc., a real estate analytics company, had been shopping around cities to build a new research operations headquarters, and the contenders were Charlotte, Richmond, Atlanta, and Kansas City. The Atlanta Business Chronicle heard from sources that Charlotte was the favorite. But the jobs are going to Richmond. According to David Dorsch, CoStar Group’s commercial real estate broker, “The primary reason they chose Richmond over Charlotte was HB2.” CoStar Group was itself, a bit mum, simply confirming the jobs were going to Richmond — and no expansions were planned anywhere else. But Dorsch was adamant that the jobs were...

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Losing the Election is Just the Start of Trump’s Inevitable Wave of Future Failures

by kos – In two weeks, Donald Trump will lose. He’ll lose big. He’ll lose in historic fashion. He’ll lose so big, in fact, that the only drama left is whether he can eke out a victory in Texas and Utah. That’s how big he’ll lose, going down in history among the nation’s yuuugest losers. He’ll lose so big, that Republicans down-ballot will go down with him, including some never considered endangered. And he’ll motivate so many hard to turn-out voters, engaging so many of the formerly apathetic, that he will have endangered GOP chances well into the future. That’ll be fun! But really, that’ll be just the beginning. Because Trump’s entire world is about to crash down on him, and the only question is how he handles things when even a tiny shred of this new reality enters the narcissistic bubble around his head. Let’s start with his businesses His brand, which he self-valued at...

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Coalition Seeks to Counter ‘Perfect Storm’ of Voter Discrimination on Election Day

by Deirdre Fulton – Close to 90 voting and civil rights groups demand state election officials work toward election ‘free from intimidation, violence, and discrimination.’ As the United States embarks on its first presidential election in 50 years without a fully operable Voting Rights Act (VRA), a coalition of close to 90 voting and civil rights groups is calling on state election officials to ensure that no one is disenfranchised at the ballot box on November 8. “As you know, the VRA protected the voting rights of racial and ethnic minorities in several states and local jurisdictions where they had been historically discriminated against in voting,” reads the letter (pdf) sent Wednesday from groups including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Friends of the Earth-U.S., and the League of Women Voters. But those protections were hobbled in 2013 by the U.S. Supreme...

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NATO Preps “Biggest Military Build-Up on Russia’s Borders Since Cold War”

by Nika Knight – Playing “a dangerous game,” NATO pushes allies to send more troops and military equipment to Eastern Europe. NATO is pushing all allies to deploy more troops and military equipment to Russia’s borders, further ratcheting up tensions as the West prepares for “its biggest military build-up on Russia’s borders since the Cold War,” as Reuters observed. “France, Denmark, Italy and other allies are expected to join the four battle groups led by the United States, Germany, Britain, and Canada to go to Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia, with forces ranging from armored infantry to drones,” Reuters reported. “The battle groups will be backed by NATO’s 40,000-strong rapid-reaction force,” noted Deutsche Welle, “and if need be, further follow-on forces, for any potential conflict, which could move into Baltic states and Poland on rotation.” Prior to Wednesday’s North Atlantic Council meeting, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told Reuters that the military commitments would be “a...

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Texas Judge Leaves Republican Party In Epic Video Ripping Trump And GOP

by Stephen D Foster Jr – Donald Trump’s vitriol and sexism just made a Texas judge leave the Republican Party, and she announced her departure on video. The exodus from the GOP continues as yet another Republican has decided to jump off the sinking ship that Republican leaders nominated Trump to helm. Judge Lauren Parish announced and explained her decision while seated in her seat at the 115th Judicial District Court, where she works. “It is with a heavy heart that I have watched as the Republican nominee for president has made a mockery of our country and our citizenry,” she began. “I have watched in horror as he has disavowed our military heroes, made fun of the disabled, divided our country along racial, religious and gender lines, mocked the judicial branch of government, expounded untruth after untruth, promoted violence and disrespect, boasted about sexual assault against women, and made vitriol...

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Why Will Hillary Clinton be a Good President? She Knows how to Listen

by Sher Watts Spooner – When you think of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, chances are you think of her at a scene like the one above. In a diner or a cafe. In someone’s living room or kitchen. In a small group or on a small stage. Around a table, taking people’s questions and listening to people’s concerns. Listening is a skill that most women have had to master, because too many men tend to interrupt, seldom giving women a chance to put in their two cents. Not everyone is a good listener. Hillary Clinton, however, is very good at listening to people. Some candidates have large rallies with wildly cheering supporters. Hillary Clinton certainly has had her share of rallies and speeches. But Clinton has always preferred the smaller venue, the town hall meeting, the sitting-around-the-table talk. Instead of just telling people what she wants to do, she...

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Josh Marshall Sees Hints of a Coming Deluge

by Dartagnan – We can only hope: See this not as something that is happening but a sign of a possible trend which, if backed up by other polls over the next two weeks, could be the story of the 2016 election. Josh Marshall over at TPM has been looking at the internals of the ABC News 2016 Election Tracking poll, which says: Likely voters by a vast 69-24 percent disapprove of Trump’s response to questions about his treatment of women. After a series of allegations of past sexual misconduct, the poll finds that some women who’d initially given him the benefit of the doubt have since moved away. See PDF with full results, charts and tables here. Fifty-nine percent of likely voters, moreover, reject Trump’s suggestion that the election is rigged in Clinton’s favor, and more, 65 percent, disapprove of his refusal to say whether he’d accept a Clinton victory...

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Megyn Kelly said Trump Might be a ‘Sexual Predator.’ Newt Gingrich Melts Down (VIDEO)

by Judd Legum – ‘You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy.’ There are two weeks to go until Election Day and tensions are flaring on Fox News. In an interview with Newt Gingrich, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly suggested that Donald Trump might be a “sexual predator.” She based this on things he’s said (“We saw on that tape Trump himself saying he likes to grab women by the genitals and kiss them against their will”) and the many women who have came forward alleging Trump has sexually assaulted them. Gingrich, one of Trump’s most prominent supporters, become livid. “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” Gingrich, who has been married three times, told Kelly. “I’m not fascinated by sex,” Kelly replied, “but I am fascinated by the protection of women and what we are getting in the oval office.” Things went downhill...

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Trump Explains Why the First Amendment has ‘Too Much Protection’ for Free Speech

by Judd Legum – ‘Our press is allowed to say whatever they want.’ If Donald Trump is president, he’d like to make some changes to the First Amendment. In an interview with WFOR, CBS’ Miami affiliate, Trump was asked if he believes the First Amendment provides “too much protection.” Trump answered in the affirmative, saying he’d like to change the laws to make it easier to sue media companies. Trump lamented that, under current law, “our press is allowed to say whatever they want.” He recommended moving to a system like in England where someone who sues a media company has “a good chance of winning.” Trump has recently threatened to sue the New York Times and the numerous women who say he has sexually assaulted them. Trump is right that he would have a better chance of prevailing under English law where an allegedly defamatory statement is presumed to be false....

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NYPD Union Leader Calls New Commissioner ‘Neutered’ for Criticizing the Shooting of Deborah Danner

by Carimah Townes – The new commissioner already has his work cut out for him. Soon after New York Police Department (NYPD) Sgt. Hugh Barry fatally shot Deborah Danner in the torso on Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and newly sworn-in police commissioner James O’Neill did something out of the ordinary. Less than 24 hours after the 66-year-old Black woman, who suffered from schizophrenia, was killed in her Bronx apartment, both figures apologized for the shooting and admitted that the system failed her. Ever since, the head of the sergeants union has slammed both officials for speaking up. On Saturday, he accused the city leaders of being politically motivated, at the expense of law enforcement. “Once again the men and women of the NYPD are being used as political pawns by anointed ‘leaders’ who care only about themselves and their careers,” Ed Mullins of the Sergeants Benevolent Association said in a statement. “Sgt....

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Trump Supporters Declare War On Paul Ryan, And Republicans Only Have Themselves To Blame

by Stephen D Foster Jr – If Donald Trump goes down, so does House Speaker Paul Ryan. At least that’s what Trump supporters are suggesting in an attack on Ryan on Breitbart.com, whose CEO Steve Bannon works on the Trump campaign. An article posted on Breitbart accuses Ryan being a Hillary Clinton supporter who has a pro-Islamic agenda simply because he has been critical of Trump and some of the things he has said and done throughout the campaign. Ryan and Clinton share a progressive, globalist worldview, which is at odds with Trump’s “America first” approach. Indeed, both Clinton and Ryan have said that they see themselves as representatives not only for American citizens, but also for foreign nationals and foreign interests. This view that the needs of foreign citizens are equal to the needs of American citizens reflects the belief that Americans are only part of many interest groups that...

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Prominent Attorneys Offer to Defend Trump Accusers Pro Bono (Video)

by hungrycoyote – Whether Trump threatens to sue his accusers because he wants to intimidate any more women who might come forward with their stories of how they were assaulted by Trump, or if his goal is to ruin these women financially by dragging out court proceedings for years, he may be looking at more than he bargained for because … some prominent First Amendment attorneys are vowing to defend Trump’s accusers pro bono, or free of charge. Ted Boutrous of the law firm Gibson Dunn and Harvard law professor Laurence Tribe have thrown their hats into the ring on social media, and Boutrous says there are others willing to follow suit. Ted Boutrous @BoutrousTed I repeat: I will represent pro bono anyone #Trump sues for exercising their free speech rights. Many other lawyers have offered to join me. https://twitter.com/jonshiffman/status/789875529793073153 … 1:21 PM – 22 Oct 2016 Laurence Tribe @tribelaw You can...

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4 Facts About Obamacare Premiums You Should Know Before You Start Freaking Out

by Tara Culp-Ressler – Putting the dramatic headlines in context. Just in time for the impending 2016 presidential election, a fresh round of dire headlines about rising Obamacare premiums is giving Republican lawmakers a new opportunity to attack the health care law. But — as with most news about Obamacare, which has been a prime target for GOP politicians for the better part of the past eight years — the full context is more complicated than the law’s opponents would have you believe. The latest headlines are in response to an announcement from the Obama administration on Monday that the cost of a plan under President Obama’s signature heath law is expected to rise an average of 22 percent in 2017. GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump was quick to seize on the projected double-digit increase to emphatically declare that Obamacare is “over.” During an appearance on Fox News, Trump added that the law “is so bad...

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The New Yorker’s Excellent Endorsement Of Hillary Clinton

by Dartagnan – As endorsements go, this one is hardly unexpected. The New Yorker  has provided some of the most insightful coverage of this election, including the single most important piece of analysis written thus far (IMO). On November 8th, barring some astonishment, the people of the United States will, after two hundred and forty years, send a woman to the White House. The election of Hillary Clinton is an event that we will welcome for its immense historical importance, and greet with indescribable relief. It will be especially gratifying to have a woman as commander-in-chief after such a sickeningly sexist and racist campaign, one that exposed so starkly how far our society has to go. The vileness of her opponent’s rhetoric and his record has been so widely aired that we can only hope she will be able to use her office and her impressive resolve to battle prejudice wherever...

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Justice Department Replaces New York Team Investigating Eric Garner’s Death

by Laurel Raymond – The investigation may finally be moving forward. In an unusual move that could jump-start the stalled investigation into Eric Garner’s death, the Justice Department has reportedly replaced the New York-based team working on the case with outside agents. Garner died in 2014 after he was placed in an illegal chokehold by Officer Daniel Pantaleo on a street corner in Staten Island. A bystander filmed the interaction, and Garner’s final words — “I can’t breathe” — became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement. Despite the footage of the encounter, a grand jury declined to indict Pantaleo for Garner’s death, sparking more protests at the end of 2014. Two years later, Pantaleo, who was put on desk duty, received a substantial pay raise — while the bystander who filmed the encounter, Ramsey Orta, received a four-year jail sentence for separate drugs and weapons charges. Orta has said that since filming Garner’s death, he...

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What We Don’t Learn About the Black Panther Party—But Should

by Adam Sanchez, Jesse Hagopian – Fifty years ago this month, the Black Panther Party was born. Its history holds vital lessons for today’s movement to confront racism and police violence, yet textbooks either misrepresent or minimize the significance of the Black Panthers. The first issue of the Black Panther newspaper, which at its height had a weekly circulation of 140,000 copies, asked, “WHY WAS DENZIL DOWELL KILLED?” Helping Dowell’s family demand justice in Richmond, California, was one of the first major organizing campaigns of the Black Panther Party. Anyone reading the story of Denzil Dowell today can’t help but draw parallels to the unarmed Black men and women regularly murdered by the police. The disparity between the police’s story and the victim’s family’s, the police harassment Dowell endured before his murder, the jury letting off Dowell’s killer, even the reports that Dowell had his hands raised while he was gunned...

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The Crusade Against Press Freedom

by JOHN FEFFER – The latest attacks on journalists and news organizations by corrupt populists are contributing to a global rollback of fundamental rights. Imagine that Donald Trump wins the presidency. Then, as he has done throughout his career, he goes after his enemies. He purges the Republican Party of everyone who refused to support him. He initiates criminal proceedings against Hillary Clinton. And he shuts down The New York Times and The Washington Post. It sounds like an unlikely scenario. Even if he does somehow manage to pull his campaign out of hospice to win in November, Trump wouldn’t be able to just close the leading newspapers in the United States, however much he might despise the liberal media. But that’s exactly what’s happening elsewhere in the world. In Hungary, Viktor Orban’s government this week pulled some strings behind the scenes that led to the shuttering of the leading daily...

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