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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On This Day, Oct 31, 1517 – Martin Luther Posts 95 Theses

On this day in 1517, the priest and scholar Martin Luther approaches the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany, and nails a piece of paper to it containing the 95 revolutionary opinions that would begin the Protestant Reformation. In his theses, Luther condemned the excesses and corruption of the Roman Catholic Church, especially the papal practice of asking payment—called “indulgences”—for the forgiveness of sins. At the time, a Dominican priest named Johann Tetzel, commissioned by the Archbishop of Mainz and Pope Leo X, was in the midst of a major fundraising campaign in Germany to finance the renovation of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Though Prince Frederick III the Wise had banned the sale of indulgences in Wittenberg, many church members traveled to purchase them. When they returned, they showed the pardons they had bought to Luther, claiming they no longer had to repent for their sins....

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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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On This Day, Oct 30, 1938 – Welles Scares Nation

Orson Welles causes a nationwide panic with his broadcast of “War of the Worlds”—a realistic radio dramatization of a Martian invasion of Earth. Orson Welles was only 23 years old when his Mercury Theater company decided to update H.G. Wells’ 19th century science fiction novel War of the Worlds for national radio. Despite his age, Welles had been in radio for several years, most notably as the voice of “The Shadow” in the hit mystery program of the same name. “War of the Worlds” was not planned as a radio hoax, and Welles had little idea of the havoc it would cause. The show began on Sunday, October 30, at 8 p.m. A voice announced: “The Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations present Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the air in ‘War of the Worlds’ by H.G. Wells.” Sunday evening in 1938 was prime-time in the...

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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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