trumpdevil
Cite.

by baldilocks

This morning I posted two statuses on my Facebook page that received a lot of reaction. The one I want to discuss is this one.

There are two types which are the opposing sides of the same coin: “Trump-worshippers” and “Trump AntiChristers[i].” The first group is much more vocal than the last one (coined by me), but they have the same MO. One group says that you will go to Hell if you didn’t vote for Donald Trump; the other says that you will go to Hell if you did. And both groups can take scripture and twist it into something unrecognizable to prove their respective conclusions.

Prophets[ii], all–according to them–and for such people, there is no middle ground.

Both types are rooted in denial of the sovereignty of God, to put it mildly. They invert this admonition.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

–Proverbs 3:5-6

This type of thinking is the result of an erosion of our civic education and the resultant erosion of the separation of powers. Because the executive and judicial branches have become so powerful and the legislative branch so craven, we accept that power imbalance without thinking it over too much or at all.

Thus, we unconsciously inculcate the presidency with God-like authority—an authority which it was never meant to have. Many think that the abdication of legislative powers started when Barack Obama became President, but that’s very wrong.

The erosion of biblical education has run parallel to that of civics. Trump worshippers have called Donald Trump the New Nebuchadnezzar or the New Cyrus—both biblical foreign kings who held ancient Judah in captivity after the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Israel and the first sacking of Jerusalem and destruction of the Solomon’s Temple.

Is Trump foreign? Is he a monarch? Has America been razed and all Americans been carried off into a foreign land? Has Washington, DC been sacked? Does America have a singular Temple/Church building? You get the point.

As for Trump AntiChristers, they say, because of his political flip-floppery and his moral flaws, that anyone who votes for him is damned by God—not just the worshippers. Anyone.

I recall one criteria for human beings to be eternally saved and two commandments from my Lord and Savior; none of them have anything to do with voting. And I don’t even believe that Christians who voted for Clinton will be damned. Corrected by listening to God, but not damned.

Do these people not recall what the Accuser of the Brethren is up to at this very minute?

So, it is that many are driven emotionally—driven by fear of things other than God–when presidential elections come around. They view their candidate as the savior from the last ruler, the like-minded as fellow believers, the opposing candidate(s) as the Devil, and skeptics/political opponents as unbelievers/heretics. Corresponding reactions follow.

It’s always about God. When He’s missing in the soul of anyone, that person will allow something or someone else to fill the void and they will call it “God.” And that goes also for many who say they are Christians.

RELATED: Trust the Lord with most your heart, and lean on your own understanding(For the satire-challenged, this lady is making one side of my same point–though our actions during the election were probably different. Our point: don’t act on fear of anyone other than God.)

[i] Trump “AntiChristers”: those who believe that anyone who voted for Donald Trump is a Trump worshipper, i.e. that they put Trump over God’s Word.

[ii] Moses was the only prophet who beat God’s people over the head—literally—with the Word of God. As a result, he broke it and some heads along with it.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

divided
From Frontpagemag.com

by baldilocks

In the Washington Post, William Wan, Tanya Sichynsky and Sandhya Somashekhar say that “There are Two Americas”—an assertion made famous by the infamous 2004 Democrat vice-presidential candidate Senator John Edwards. All are were correct and the Washington Post writers outline the many ways in which the partitioning has been made flesh.

To Kelcey Caulder, 22, the division is painfully real. The college student from Athens, Ga., feels its looming presence every time she thinks about her grandma, a Trump supporter and ardent opponent of abortion rights.

They haven’t talked much since Caulder’s grandma found out that Caulder was voting for Democrat Hillary Clinton and told her granddaughter bluntly, “You’re going to hell.”

Caulder tried to be understanding.

“I think, in her way, she was trying to be protective of me,” Caulder said. “She wasn’t saying ‘Kelcey, go to hell.’ It was more like she was saying, ‘Kelcey, don’t you know this could send you to hell?’ ”

But when her grandma unfriended her on Facebook, Caulder said, it was hard not to take it personally. Now, she is nervous about Thanksgiving, although she hopes the family dinner could be a chance to reconcile.

Korey, a student at the Georgetown University Law Center, said he is skipping Thanksgiving altogether because of lingering resentments in his family over the election. After he posted an anti-Trump message on Facebook, his father stopped talking to him, and his mother’s ex-husband threatened to write him out of his will.

Korey, who asked to be identified by only his first name to avoid further angering his relatives, said he’s not ready to reconcile. In fact, he said, he plans to confront his father over his willingness to overlook offensive statements by Trump about immigrants, minorities, disabled people and women just to beat the Democrats.

Edward and the authors of the WaPo piece point to several dividing lines, but I’d like to draw attention to another—one to which they seem oblivious.

There are two types of Americans: people who look to flawed human beings to be their Savior and people who do not. Very many Trump supporters and Clinton supporters fall on the same side of that particular delineation.

[W]e are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.

–Barack Obama

Make America great again!

–Donald Trump

The implication is that both men will do these things and their followers will be fundamentally transformed and great if we choose them to be our leader. It’s not an accident that mockers have referred to the two as Chocolate Jesus and Orange Jesus, respectively. And it also explains the animosities, even among kin.

By the way, I don’t remember any great overarching slogan from Hillary Clinton. That may be emblematic of her presidential defeats against both men.  However, many of her supporters even imbued Messianism into her persona.

This proves that when God is absent, people will create their own gods. Don’t do that.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism!

baldilocks

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The election results pose some significant challenges for the GOP since the Trump revolution may not have been as far-reaching as many would like to believe.

Donald Trump did not make significant gains nationally, earning only a few more votes than the Republican candidates in the past three campaigns, as Mark Levin has pointed out.

According to Cook Political Report’s latest tally, which is continuously being updated, Trump earned about 62 million votes.

That’s about the same as George Bush received in 2004 and Mitt Romney got in 2012. Even John McCain got 60 million votes in 2008.

In 2008, for example, more than 129 million went to the polls, giving Barack Obama nearly 69.5 million votes and a landslide in the Electoral College. In 2012, more than 129 million went to the polls, providing Obama with more than 65 million.

Hillary Clinton will fall short of Obama’s popular vote in the last election, but not by much. All told, the number of people voting also will fall short of the last campaign.

As the results indicate, Trump did well in the 13 swing states needed to win. According to Cook, Trump got 22.1 million votes in the swing states, while Clinton received 21.2 million. That is a shift of 5.5 percent over 2012, but the razor-thin victories in Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan underline a continuing need to work hard over the next four years to keep these states in the GOP column.

It was unclear how many conservatives voted for Trump, although exit polls showed overwhelmingly that people wanted a change from Obama. Forty-six percent of voters said they wanted policies enacted by the next president to be “more conservative” than Obama’s policies, according to ABC News’s election exit polling.

I voted reluctantly for Trump. I credit Trump for bringing more conservatives into his administration so far, which may solidify the GOP’s appeal on the right. The key test to expand the GOP base will be his success in building a more robust economy.

Trump’s election surprised most people. But it’s important to realize that it was not a revolution. It will take a lot of hard work to keep the GOP in power when 2018 and 2020 roll around.


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.

 

John ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

By John Ruberry

The leftist group MoveOn got its start as Bill Clinton was being impeached. Their initial message was along the lines of, Bubba has done a great job running the country, his affair with Monica Lewinsky was inappropriate, and now it’s time for Americans to, well, move on.

Now if only the cheerleaders in the media for the Democratic Party could do the same.

There’s a book’s worth of material out there for this post, but I’ll zoom in on just a few today. Dahleen Glanton, an African American Chicago Tribune columnist, puts the blame on the Democrats failure to keep the White House on where she feels it belongs. Yes, the headline gives the ending away, “White women, own up to it: You’re the reason Hillary Clinton lost.” Yet the first sentence of that column betrays how foolish she is, “I don’t understand women.” Her dazzling display of ignorance continues for another two dozen paragraphs.

There must be vile fumes from the Chicago River poisoning the minds of Chicago newspaper columnists, as ignorance begets insanity. I had to read Neil Steinberg’s Nazi-drenched column about Donald Trump and his advisor Steven Bannon, who, by the way, is not an anti-Semite, three times before I gave up trying to make sense of it. Well, almost.  When I am confronted with Nazis and insanity I do one thing and that is listen to avante-garde rockers the Residents’ masterpiece, “The Third Reich and Roll,” only this time I did so while trying to block out of my memory all of my knowledge of the 1960s garage pop classics that are satirized in this work, as a possible gateway into Steinberg’s rambling mess. That didn’t work either. But hey, I tried.

At the end of his column he all but claims that it will be followers of a religion who have been scapegoated for centuries who will be blamed if Trump’s economy doesn’t take off as he promises it will.

Oh, do newspaper columnists have editors anymore?

Dana Milbank of the Washington Post, who was exposed as a colluder with the Democratic National Committee by WikiLeaks, is calling the incoming Trump administration “the fake news presidency.” Yet two months ago Milbank was covering for Clinton’s “deplorables” gaffe by claiming that “she might have low-balled the number.”

Wrong.

Perhaps what these mainstream media hacks really need is a good cry, which is something the Residents have done as they confide in “Hitler Was a Vegetarian.”

Yes, it’s your party, I know it’s your party
And, you know that you can cry, and, it’s cool
But you have to remember that I too cried my 96 tears
And… it’s just something we all have to go through some time or another.

Get to it.

And then move on.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

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Two words: Supreme Court. That’s why many people voted for Donald Trump.

Trump should have the opportunity to replace at least three justices on the court over the next four years, including the Scalia vacancy, possibly the irritating Darth Vader Ginsburg and the wobbly Anthony Kennedy. It’s conceivable that liberal Stephen Breyer might call it quits, too.

Since the Democrats will undoubtedly fight many of the administration’s policies in the courts, these choices will prove not only important during the Trump years but far beyond them.

As a result, it is important for Trump to choose outside of the usual ranks of the judiciary. Eight of the justices come from the bench; only Elena Kagan does not.

Some of the recent choices from the judiciary by Republicans have not proven reliable. For example, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a neck-snapping decision in support of Obamacare. Kennedy joins the liberals when it comes to social issues involving abortion and same-sex marriages. Perhaps the worst example of a Republican appointment was David Souter, who was selected by George H. W. Bush as a bedrock conservative and joined the liberal side of the bench after a few years.

A conservative bench also could look back on some of the wrong-headed decisions from recent years, including Obamacare. Even more important would be the possibility of a case to overturn Roe v. Wade.

It’s worth noting that more than 100 federal judgeships are also waiting to be filled.

One suggestion: appoint Ted Cruz to the Supreme Court. Although Trump and Cruz may not have gotten along during the 2016 campaign, the Texas Republican has a significant track record as a conservative.

He has argued more cases before the court than any other member of Congress, including positions to uphold the right to bear arms and religious freedom.

I supported Cruz for president and am pleased to support his nomination to the court. His selection would assuage the doubts of many conservatives who voted for Trump.

Update: I called the presidential election correctly in Pennsylvania in my last post, but I got the Senate race wrong. My apologies to Pat Toomey!


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.

 

forwardBy John Ruberry

There are thousands–maybe hundreds of thousands–of explanations about why Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton last week that you can find online and in print, as well as why the Republicans maintained control of Congress and gained governorships.

Here’s another one, although this discussion confronts one angle, what I call “inevitable leftism.” Barack Obama was the “Hope and Change” candidate for president in 2008; four years later, “Forward” was his rallying cry. Some conservative pundits noticed that “Forward” has a long history as a communist and socialist slogan.

Leftists, Obama is one, firmly believe that their cause is one of inevitable success, that humanity is headed towards–choose your term–a collectivist, socialist, or communist utopia. They view popular leaders such as Margaret Thatcher or Ronald Reagan, as atavistic aberrations, mere potholes that can be paved over when the time is right, sooner, as opposed to later.

Except when they are wrong.

The French Revolution, still idealized by the Left, deposed a king and disestablished the Roman Catholic church, and replaced the Ancien Régime with an atheist republic that executed thousands, which was quickly transformed into a dictatorship led by an Italian. Along the way the days and months were renamed in a new decimal calendar–hours and minutes were divided by ten too, as were weights and measures. A couple of decades later there was a king again in France, the Catholic church was the state religion–but the metric system survived, yet strangely enough, it still hasn’t completely caught on in the United States.

Maximilien Robespierre, the guiding force of the French Revolution, and his inner circle were certain they were guiding the world on the right path. He may have even held on to that belief as he walked up to the guillotine, two years after Louis XVI after made the same, final stroll.

The Russian Revolution’s state, the Soviet Union, was similarly hailed by the Left as a societal inevitably, it also led to regicide, and tens of millions were killed. Because the USSR survived much longer than the French Republic, it succeeded in shattering Russian culture. But the surviving Russian nation is a South American-style sham democracy run by a thug, not a nation consisting of a populace that lives “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.”

Barack Obama is not a psychopath or a murderer. But he’s a leftist, albeit one along the lines of French President François Hollande. Obama decided that America needs government-run health care in 2009 but he knew that what the Democrats euphemistically call single-payer would be unpopular, so a hybrid program, quickly dubbed ObamaCare, was developed as a bridge to that health care utopia. ObamaCare is deeply unpopular, and it was one reason for Trump’s win. The president-elect says he will repeal most of ObamaCare. The Democrats’ push for gay marriage is another page from the book of Dem inevitability, but only 21 nations allow same-sex marriages, none of them are in Asia, and South Africa is the only country in Africa that allows it.

It was the Democrats who, through their many friends in the judiciary, that created the so-called crisis surrounding the minuscule segment of the population who feel compelled to use the washrooms and the locker rooms–even in high school–of the opposite gender. They view choose-your-own-bathroom as their next social inevitability. The Democrats are the party of the confused horny teenage boy who wants to shower with girls.

Next year France will hold a presidential election. Marine Le Pen, a far-right politician with a fierce anti-immigrant stance, whose election as president last year ago seemed as likely as Trump moving in to the White House was, is confident of her chances. Hollande hasn’t declared himself as a candidate. Is Le Pen, another atavistic aberration, the inevitability of France?

France is ten percent Muslim. With the higher birth rates of its Muslim citizens a majority Muslim France could be possible by the end of the century. Gay marriage has been legal in France since 2013. Will it be in 2113?

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

The policy of open borders is also viewed as the next level of human achievement by the Left. It has worked well for the European Union, but there’s a big difference between thousands Germans buying homes in Italy and thousands of Middle Eastern migrants arriving in ramshackle boats there. Democrats, and even some Republicans, have been ignoring calls from ordinary citizens, now dubbed “the Forgotten Man,” to secure the southern border for decades. Opposition to open borders was the main reason why British voters voted to leave the EU.

Of course no one can predict the future. Not even leftists, even though they never tire in telling you how smart they are.

In the United States the hubris of inevitability led to the defeat of the Left last week.

Forward was the wrong way.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

by baldilocks

After this happened yesterday, a few of my online friends messaged me to make sure that all was well with me. (Bless you.)

As a third night of protests over Donald Trump’s election swept through major cities, nearly 200 people were arrested by Los Angeles police in the downtown L.A.

About 150 people — a mix of adults and juveniles — were arrested near Cesar E. Chavez and Grand avenues by 3 a.m., Montgomery said.

Just after midnight, in a separate set of arrests, about 35 were taken into custody after failing to disperse in the area of Olive Street and Olympic Boulevard, Montgomery said.

“F— Trump” graffiti could be seen in various locations in the downtown area.

I messaged back to let them know that I was okay and, while the above locations are not far–in LA distance–from my apartment, it was very quiet. (Nothing good happens on the street between 12 and 3AM, but that’s a side point.)

There’s a reason for the peace; I live in Koreatown. You all remember the Korean-Americans of LA, right?

koreansla1992
1992 LA Riots

Actually, my neighborhood is very mixed racially, but many of the business signs are in Korean. Welcome to LA. Koreans make great neighbors.

I had thought about heading downtown to see what was going on today, but I should have gotten an earlier start.

Meanwhile, I’ve gained a bit of notoriety as a YouTube ranter. The topic? Leftists.

And I will probably write about this story since the human dynamics of it and that of the anti-Trump riots are related. (Careful. The story will inflame your emotions.)

Tomorrow, I must travel through downtown to get to church, so I’ll keep my camera at the ready for any rioters in the wild. And please don’t worry about my safety. I don’t.

OH YEAH AND: I got Instalanched for this post today.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

Wow. Just, Wow.

I have to admit that I was much more anti-Hillary than pro-Trump in this election, but as a Catholic and a Constitutionalist, I was pleased with Donald Trump’s victory on several levels. As a Catholic, this was an election about Life. There was simply no way I could support a radically pro-abortion candidate like Clinton. Abortion is one of the non-negotiable issues that Catholics can never support for any reason. To listen to Hillary in the debate suggest that a woman has the right to kill a child in the womb just before birth made my stomach churn. I am still not completely confident that Trump is a pro-life as he tried to portray himself during the campaign, but I am sure about Mike Pence and I am confident that, with a Republican in the White House, Congress will finally have the backbone to defund Planned Parenthood, and I fully expect them to hold Trump to his promise of appointing pro-life Constitutionalist judges to the Supreme Court.

As a Constitutionalist, I agree wholeheartedly with Charles C. W. Cooke that we finally have a chance to get back to our constitutional system of separation of powers and checks-and-balances. I think that Trump’s campaign was sufficiently independent – and adversarial – that the Republican Congress will have the unique opportunity to oppose him if he “goes rogue.” We know the Democrats will oppose him out of habit or spite, the same way the reflexively supported Obama in whatever he wanted to do, so Congress finally has a chance to reassert itself in our Constitutional system. It’s been a long time coming.

So suppose President Trump decides to nominate his sister or some other liberal judge not on his announced list of Supreme Court candidates. I fully expect, and would demand, that the Senate would reject the candidate both because he/she is unqualified but also to show the president that he doesn’t have carte blanche as Obama did. Also, once again, I expect the vice president to have some say in the process as well. Seeing the list of qualified people that the president-elect has chosen (Rudy for AG!), I’m less worried than I was a few months ago that he’ll do anything stupid.

And finally, I choose to believe that someone who would go through the last 18 months as Mr. Trump has, must have some idea of the magnitude of what he’s gotten himself into. I may be giving him more credit than he deserves, but I think he’s finally run into something bigger than he is. I’m sure he’s confident to believe he can handle it, and I hope he can, but I hope that the first time he steps into the Oval Office, he experiences a sense of humility befitting the job. And I’ll continue to pray for him and for our country. I ask you to do the same.

Imagine, if you may, committing time, energy and emotion to your candidate for President.

Imagine doing every task that every campaign needs to do: The hours spent talking to people, canvassing door-to-door, making phone calls, handing out flyers, stuffing envelopes, picking up supplies, scheduling meals for the campaign office, coordinating your schedule, running errands, showing up for staff meetings, driving people to rallies and, finally, to polling locations.

Imagine pushing aside other priorities in your life to get the job done and your candidate to win.

Now imagine doing this for five hundred and seventy-six days.

Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy on April 12, 2015; the NYT reported,

For all the months of quiet and careful planning, however, her campaign’s rollout did not come off as smoothly as envisioned. Rather than gliding into the spotlight as an above-the-fray former secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton entered the 2016 race in the midst of lingering questions about her exclusive use of a private email address while at the State Department and about donations from foreign countries to her family’s philanthropic foundation.

Her campaign ended last night, November 8, 2016, still shrouded in scandals related to her “exclusive use of a private email address while at the State Department and about donations from foreign countries to her family’s philanthropic foundation,” to borrow from the NYT report.

April 12, 2015 to November 8, 2016: five hundred and seventy six days.

If you were a committed Hillary supporter from the start and were in Manhattan last night, at the Javitz Center, you stood for nine emotional hours waiting for Hillary. Five hundred and seventy six days and nine hours later, when it was clear she lost, and you needed her presence, this:

As I write this at 10AM Eastern, she still has not turned up.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

 

screen-shot-2016-11-02-at-9-39-15-pmAnyone who thinks Pennsylvania is a safe state for Hillary Clinton is dead wrong.

Even though the Keystone State hasn’t gone for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, Donald Trump knows that winning Pennsylvania is critical to his bid for the White House. That’s why he and his surrogates have spent a great deal of time here.

Although I think polls are almost totally useless because of their unreliability, Hillary’s composite rankings have dropped significantly in the past month, according to Real Clear Politics. Harper Polling [no relation] puts the race at dead even. See http://harperpolling.com/polls/pennsylvania-statewide-poll–11-2-3#PresidentTIE

This state, where I have lived since 2005, is a complicated one. The two main cities—Pittsburgh in the west and Philadelphia to the east—vote overwhelming Democrat. In fact, Mitt Romney failed to get a single vote in a number of Philly precincts in 2012, leading many to suspect voter fraud.

The rest of the state votes overwhelmingly GOP. The governorship tends to shift between the two parties; the current officer holder is a wacko lefty and, alas, not up for reelection. The legislature stands firmly in the hands of the GOP. It tends to be more liberal than most GOP strongholds, but the legislature usually stops most of the silly Democrat plans. Half of the state Senate’s 50 seats are on the ballot this year, and if Republicans can pick up three of them, they would control a veto-proof majority.

The congressional delegation tilts overwhelmingly Republican. The U.S. Senate is split, with one Democrat and one Republican.

Voters will replace a disgraced attorney general, a Democrat who was convicted of perjury; and a Philadelphia congressman, a Democrat convicted of corruption.

The prospects for the GOP, including Trump, look relatively good despite the predictions from the media and their polls. Since November 2015, the Pennsylvania GOP has registered 243,139 new Republican voters. That includes nearly 100,000 people who switched from the Democrat side.

Atlantic magazine published a detailed examination of lifelong Pennsylvania Democrats staunchly supporting Trump:

Paul Sracic, a Youngstown State University political scientist, said he believes there are two categories of voters rallying to support Trump. “First, there are people who don’t normally vote,” he said. “Nearly half the voting-age population was either not registered to vote, or was registered and decided not to vote in 2012. And if even 10 percent of that group was to show up and vote this year, it could easily change the outcome in the important swing states.”

Trump may be helped by these trends, but incumbent Republican Pat Toomey may not be. That’s mainly because he has failed to endorse Trump.

Toomey is running evenly with Katie McGinty, a Democrat who has never held political office but has worked as a political insider in Washington and Pennsylvania. McGinty came in fourth in the Democrat primary for governor in 2014. Her only credentials are heading environmental wacko posts under Barack Obama and working as a lobbyist for wacko environmentalists.

Toomey’s gamble staying away from Trump may, in fact, be a bad move if the less-than-colorful GOP senator loses.

It will be an interesting ride tonight, with the real possibility that Trump could pull off a victory in Pennsylvania even though the GOP may lose a Senate seat.


Christopher Harper is a recovering journalist who worked for The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times and teaches media law.

We’ll (hopefully) know who won the Presidential election late Tuesday. Regardless of who wins, the nation must learn some of the lessons that have come out in this election. Three of them are old items that were highlighted this year. Two aren’t exactly new, but they definitely hit peak importance as a result of this election.

Before we get into the elections, let’s make one important point. At the end of the day, we’re all still Americans (other than those who aren’t really Americans, but that’s another topic). As such, we need to do what we can to bring order. There will be no unity even within the parties themselves. This election has proven to be too contentious to expect any semblance of unity. However, we can all attempt to remain civil. The nation is going to be a powder keg for weeks at the very least. Cooler minds must prevail.

Now, about those lessons…

Early voting must go

Absentee ballots are necessary and righteous aspects of our voting system. Those who are unable to go to the polls on election day should be given an opportunity to vote. That doesn’t mean that early voting should be used to allow us to be lazy or avoid lines.

Early ballot applications should be frowned upon. I’m not suggesting any form of test, but the things that came out for both candidates from the time that early voting opened until election day were pieces of information Americans needed in order to cast an informed vote. Ill-informed voters are a problem without early voting. Add ignorance-encouraging early voting to the mix and the sanctity of the election is no longer beyond reproach.

Voter ID should be considered by every state

If you have to show identification to buy cigarettes, board a plane, enter a bar, or get a Costco card, you should show identification to help decide the leaders of this nation. Any arguments of racism or voter suppression are feeble and completely untenable. The risk of voter suppression is far lower than the risk of voter fraud. Every state should consider it (and no, it is not a federal issue even for national elections).

Third parties have no idea what they’re doing

Love them or hate them (or both), these two major party candidates are arguably the two weakest in modern history. If there was ever a time when third parties should have been able to make a significant impact, this was the year. The Libertarian Party decided to put up a leftist VP candidate to run with an uninformed Presidential candidate. The Green Party stayed true to their goals of having bark with no bite, a position in which they thrive. If they ever had actual power, they would trip all over themselves trying to give it to someone else.

The Constitution Party was unable to find 55 people in the state of California to fill out a form so they could at least be a write-in. On down the line, we see a combination of poor strategies and poor choices from every party, top to bottom. This is why I’m so invested in forming a Federalist Party, but that’s a whole other topic.

Issues must make a comeback

In 2012, there was a lot made of the fact that the press focused so much on Mitt Romney’s personal shortcomings. Oh, if we knew then what we know now about how low campaigns could go. The press and the voters paid so much attention to the character flaws of both candidates that most voters can only speculate about where they stand on actual issues.

We need to be talking about issues. We need to be talking about how to solve problems. We need more than a tidbit or a Tweet and until society is ready to go all-in on internet research, the media still has to deliver information on television and radio. They need to start doing that. The only question is the source of this gossip-mag journalism. Do the people guide the media about what interests them or does the media tell the people who they want to be interested in?

Change everything about the debates. Everything.

I’m not going to dwell on this lesson. You all say them. Moderators were generally awful. Questions were baiting and irrelevant. Time was too short for the answers. Many candidates in the primary had no opportunity to shine.

I’d love to see completely different debate format. Imagine questions (on the issues) asked of one candidate at the time without the other candidates present. They’re given ample time to answer it: 2-10 minutes, depending on the question. No audience. Not played live. After all of the answers are recorded, the candidates are brought together to hear all of the answers to the same question played to them for the first time. Then, they’re given 2 minutes to respond. They could attack one particular candidate. They could attack several. They could defend their own position or even change portions of their answer depending on what they heard from others. It’s far. It’s based around the issues. It’s informative. It would be fantastic.

There are other important lessons to learn from this election, but these give us plenty to work towards in 2018 and particularly in 2020.

One thing is certain: this campaign season got out of hand and it wasn’t entirely the candidates’ fault. The media played their standard leftist decoy role. The people obliged and rewarded them by tuning in 24/7. Twitter and its 140 characters became the venue for serious discussions. This election turned into a debacle. Thank the Lord it’s almost over. Hopefully.

trump-for-america-bw-and-colorBy John Ruberry

I haven’t read all of the thousands of John Podesta emails hacked by Wikileaks–has anyone yet?–but what I have read they betray a Democratic Party obsessed with two things: Money and power.

Liberal writer Thomas Frank, in his second great (gasp!) Guardian column in less than a week, accurately portrays the modern Democratic Party:

Let us start with the Democrats. Were you to draw a Venn diagram of the three groups whose interaction defines the modern-day Democratic party – liberals, meritocrats and plutocrats – the space where they intersect would be an island seven miles off the coast of Massachusetts called Martha’s Vineyard.

I’m going to drive the point home by reminding you that John F. Kennedy Jr, who was a liberal, meritocrat, and a plutocrat, was flying to Martha’s Vineyard to attend a cousin’s wedding when the airplane he was piloting crashed into the Atlantic. The Vineyard is Barack Obama’s favorite vacation spot–he’s been there seven times while president. Martha’s Vineyard the playground of the Democrat elitists. Bill and Hillary Clinton have vacationed there several times. In August her campaign held a $100,000-per-couple fundraiser on the island, just days after a devastating flood struck Louisiana.

In those Podesta emails, I haven’t so far found any mention of blacks, unless it’s about the black vote, the group that Democrats claim to champion more than anyone. But other than voting en masse for the Democrats and celebrity campaign appearances by people like Jay-Z, African-Americans otherwise aren’t much use for the Democrats.

Blue collar workers, a section of the electoral pie that has been shrinking for decades, appear to be missing from the Podesta emails too. They are also absent from Martha’s Vineyard, from what I hear, unless they are modern George Wilsons from The Great Gatsby, dutifully repairing plutocrats’ Teslas. The working class, once the biggest chunk of the FDR coalition, is heading towards the Republican Party. Perhaps a majority of them are inside the GOP tent already. And you won’t find what Michael Moore calls “the forgotten working stiff” on any vacation, because the leftist flamethrower pointed out last month his stiff hasn’t “had a real vacation in years.”

Some blacks besides the First Family “holiday” on the Vineyard, but in a 2009 article in New York magazine, Touré dismissed them as African-Americans who are “the only ones,” such as the only black in the room, neighborhood, or workplace.

“No man is an island entire of itself,” John Donne wrote nearly 400 years ago, “every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” Unless of course you are a member of the Democrat elite. An island accessible only by boats and airplanes is a fitting hangout for them.

Which leaves “the leftover people” for the Republicans. Sure, the elitists will blame the decline in unionization of the blue collar work force as why the leftovers have fallen behind.

Maybe.

Also discovered in Podesta’s WikiLeaks cache was an email from Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who advised the Clinton campaign to choose a city outside of Washington for its headquarters because they would be better positioned to hire “low paid permanent employees.” And just what wage does Schmidt view as low paid? Is it less than the $15 minimum wage that Democrats call for?

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Oh, if Schmidt really believes every verse in the Democratic mantra, then why isn’t Google unionized?

So, no, the Democratic Party isn’t the champion of “the little guy” anymore, just as Martha’s Vineyard isn’t a vacation destination for blacks living in Boston’s impoverished Dorchester neighborhood. Ironically it’s a billionaire from Manhattan who, at least this autumn, has made “the little guy” feel at home within the Republican Party.

John Ruberry, whose closest brush with Martha’s Vineyard has been South Boston, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

As I mentioned yesterday during my vote for Ann Wofford in Ma-3 piece I haven’t talked much about the House and Senate but I would like to talk a bit about the Senate race in NH, specifically today about Senator Kelly Ayotte.

Kelly Ayotte who you might remember was elected during the big red wave of 2010 thanks to support from Sarah Palin has not been a conservative favorite, they are lukewarm at best on her and some of my friend hold her in disdain.

I don’t.  There are plenty of reasons why I’m happy to endorse Kelly Ayotte, here are six of them that my fellow conservatives should note:

 

First:  She’s a former Prosecutor.  I’m always partial toward former prosecutors in federal office. They are used to having to prove a case to win so they tend to be practical in terms of advancing legislation.  That’s the kind of thinking that’s good for DC and at a time when police are targeted for murder and the left excuses it a former prosecutor in the senate is a good idea.

Second:  She was one of the few national figures to speak out against swatting when conservatives were being targeted, not just when it became a celebrity issue latter on.

Third:  she was one of the conservatives who spoke out and voted against the budget act of 2011

The 19 Republicans who voted against read like a Who’s Who of the conservative movement in the Senate: Sessions & Shelby from Alabama, Rubio from Florida, Chambliss from Georgia, Coats of Indiana and Grassley of Iowa, from Kansas Moran & Roberts, Paul from Kentucky, Ayotte of New Hampshire, Coburn & Inhofe Of Oklahoma , Toomey of Pennsylvania, Demint & Graham of South Carolina , Hatch & Lee of Utah.

Fourth:  Ayotte has been excellent on defense issues and the war on terror like Benghazi

On Morning Joe, on CSPAN they highlighted Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain and the questions concerning Benghazi. During their segment with Angus King the senator elect from Maine they asked about Senator McCain and Graham.

There were however three senators at that press conference.

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) was also there and spoke to this issue, (as she had during the campaign). She gave a strong statement on the situation and answered questions as well.

You would think it’s kind of hard to ignore Kelly Ayotte at that event, She is tall (she towered over both Senators McCain & Graham) but she is a younger, photogenic woman who had a strong interest in this matter. I’d think that would be something to play up instead of just “two old white guys”.

I suggest that is exactly WHY she is left out.

She also spoke up during the Hagel hearings mentioning the Green Revolution in Iran:

Yesterday she raised an incredible point at the Hagel Hearings that nobody seems to have caught

Of course he also voted against a sense of the senate in designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization and he told us during the hearing that it was because of it was part of an elected legitimate Iranian government.

I don’t think that the people who rose up in 2009 in the green movement who were persecuted and shot at by the Iranian government would call that government a legitimately elected government. Nor would, at the time that he voted against designating the Islamic revolutionary guard corps as a terrorist organization at the time they were assisting those in Iraq who were murdering our troops.

You might have missed both of those because the same MSM that tries to distort and destroy Trump buried both of those stories to play the “old white men” card vs the GOP and to keep Kelly out of the spotlight.

Fifth:  (and best) For my money the best reason to support Kelly Ayotte was her vote against Manchin Toomey.  She took a stand for the 2nd Amendment when it counted and the MSM tore her apart for it.

MSNBC went batshit crazy but Morning Joe really went overboard.  After months of calling opponents of Manchin-Toomey the survivalist wing of the NRA the day after the vote lost they were running images of the various senators with huge scare graphics saying VOTED NO as is each one of them were responsible for the Newtown shooting

I recall there was particular ire at Kelly Ayotte for not going along. They talked of the Millions Bloomberg would spend to defeat her, how the Northeast was turning blue and so was NH and how this vote was the beginning of the end for her. I commented at the time:

Morning Joe today is running the Pictures of the senators who voted No under big scary graphics

Now as I’ve already said it’s fair to say she is not as conservative as I’d like and she has occasionally disappointed, particularly on immigration and my friends at Granite Grok have held her feet to the fire over it through the years, to those people who are still upset let me give you one last reason to support Kelly Ayotte that you might have missed

Sixth:  Kelly Ayotte is without question the most conservative US Senator northeast of New Jersey and it isn’t even close, I’d gladly swap her for either of the people we have here in Massachusetts.

If you are a conservative and want to either forestall a president Clinton or help out a president Trump you need to vote for Kelly Ayotte on Tuesday in New Hampshire


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round-table-conferenceby baldilocks

Read this whole thing, just in case you were still fooling yourself about the party of the little guy.

[T]he emails that really matter are the ones being slowly released by WikiLeaks from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. They are last week’s scandal in a year running over with scandals, but in truth their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they are a window into the soul of the Democratic party and into the dreams and thoughts of the class to whom the party answers.

The class to which I refer is not rising in angry protest; they are by and large pretty satisfied, pretty contented. Nobody takes road trips to exotic West Virginia to see what the members of this class looks like or how they live; on the contrary, they are the ones for whom such stories are written. This bunch doesn’t have to make do with a comb-over TV mountebank for a leader; for this class, the choices are always pretty good, and this year they happen to be excellent.

They are the comfortable and well-educated mainstay of our modern Democratic party. They are also the grandees of our national media; the architects of our software; the designers of our streets; the high officials of our banking system; the authors of just about every plan to fix social security or fine-tune the Middle East with precision droning. They are, they think, not a class at all but rather the enlightened ones, the people who must be answered to but who need never explain themselves.

Some might say “your party, too.” Yeah, sure. Show your work–if you can. Also, make sure you know which party flag I’m flying.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

The Wikileaks, the FBI investigation, the complicit politicians, the media. Many of us are paying attention to the news. Several are making The case against Hillary Clinton,

The record shows, again and again, lies, secrecy and duplicitousness deployed as means to the ends of amassing wealth and power.

Despite her well-padded resume and long proximity to power, Hillary Clinton’s illegal actions, abuse of office, secretive, undemocratic instincts and low character render her unfit to serve as President of the United States.

It is no hyperbole to say that the Clintonian corruption reaches Russian proportions,

As the New York Times reported, “As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One’s chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.” The seller, “Frank Giustra … a mining financier, has donated $31.3 million to the foundation…”

And, speaking of ties to Russia, Bill Clinton was paid $500,000 for a speech, part of which is thought to have come from the Russian government. Vladimir Putin showed his thanks by attending the speech.

As Peter Schweitzer, author of the expose “Clinton Cash,” noted, WikiLeaks e-mails provide proof that the “Clintons have a long and lucrative history of financial deals with the Russians, particularly with the Russian government.”

Breitbart has photos of Bill giving his speech at Renaissance Capital; On April, 2015, the New York Times, not exactly what one could call an arm of The Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy™, reported on how Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal (emphasis added),

Renaissance Capital would not comment on the genesis of Mr. Clinton’s speech to an audience that included leading Russian officials, or on whether it was connected to the Rosatom deal. According to a Russian government news service, Mr. Putin personally thanked Mr. Clinton for speaking.

But never mind the Russians. As Roger Kimball points out,

at last count, there were five, count ’em five, FBI investigations into the machinations of the money factory known as the Clinton Foundation

Indeed,

what is downright scary is way the Clintons have been willing to trade away legitimate environmental concerns and even our national security for the sake of filthy lucre.

No matter who wins the election, the fact remains that the culture that facilitated the Clinton’s corrupt doings will remain in place, a culture that will destroy the foundation of our country, unless we as a nation commit to fight against it.

That is the real challenge of our times.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Over the last few months, I’ve made no attempt to hide my willingness to criticize candidates. I don’t believe that being critical of Donald Trump will turn someone into a NeverTrump Clinton supporter, which is why I hope the following critique of current scandals holds more weight than if it came from a Trump-Does-No-Wrong blogger.

Hillary Clinton’s scandals are absolutely more important when weighed on the scale of Presidential fitness. Even if we put aside the conservative opinion that she’s ideologically wrong (I know it’s hard, but try), her actions over the last three decades in general and over the last 16 years in particular speak volumes about her inability to properly hold the office of President of the United States.

Let’s look at some of her actions in light of what Americans should view as Presidential skills.

Decision-making abilities: Benghazi is the easiest example of a string of poor decisions that can all be traced back to her. I’m not simply talking about the minute-by-minute indecision that prevented our boys from surviving the attack in Benghazi. The decisions that led up to the attack and the way that it was handled afterward were the epitome of incompetence. They shouldn’t have been left in such a vulnerable position before the attack. They should have been saved during the attack. The truth should have come out immediately after the attack. This is only the easy example. There are volumes that point to the fact that she has always and will always make poor decisions.

Honesty: Yoga schedules. Wedding planning. Early access to debate questions. YouTube videos causing Benghazi. Sniper fire. Need I go on? I could do this all day.

Holding America’s best interests above personal gain: Pay-to-play at the State Department and pretty much everything that has happened to her since leaving the White House dead broke speaks to her willingness to put her own self-interests ahead of America’s while she’s supposedly a servant of the people. If you’re going to throw out there that Trump has also always done what’s in his best interests, don’t. One does not have to be an objectivist to realize that private citizens have the right and even the duty to do what’s best to succeed personally in their lives. Public servants do not.

Avoiding the victim card: I have very few good things to say about Barack Obama, but one thing I can say is that he didn’t play the victim card nearly as much as I expected. Hillary, on the other hand, has played the card so often over the years that it’s a tattered and worn remnant with no credibility. A President cannot be allowed to be viewed as a victim. That’s not the American way.

I’m not going to apologize for Trump’s major character flaws. I’m not going to throw out talking points like “we’re not electing a Pope” or “he’s a changed man.” I do hold character as an extremely important attribute to weigh when deciding on the next President and Trump’s character is laughable. However, the left’s attempts to paint Hillary’s incomprehensible actions as big nothingburgers are reproachable. Her election would be untenable and her apologists are fraudulent in their attempts to make it happen. Shall we call them deplorables? If the basket fits…

moldy-orangeby baldilocks

Most civilians would be surprised to discovered how many liberals and even hard leftists there are in the military. Further, I’d guess that 30-40 percent of those who have served in military intelligence capacities are liberals or leftists. Be advised that I’m going by the political persuasions of my old Air Force intel friends and acquaintances with whom I’ve had contact on Facebook. The latter have long ago cursed me out, then blocked me or quietly unfriended me.

And those who remain connected with me—who are my true friends–are very quiet about the Clinton email scandal, and I understand why. They know beyond any equivocation that any one of us who would have committed even the tiniest fraction of Clinton’s crimes would have done time. We have all seen it actually happen.

Anyone who has been a part of the intelligence community knows that the method in which Hillary Clinton handled classified information during her tenure in one of the highest political offices in the land is criminal. Every member of the DOJ and FBI knows it as well, from Lynch and Comey on down.

I understand why my friends who are liberals would not want Donald Trump to ascend to the presidency. Believe me, I do. Heck, the events and revelations of the past few months are emblematic of the reason I decided to wait until Election Day to make my decision! My friends find themselves between the proverbial rock and hard place regarding next week’s final decision, assuming they haven’t voted already. It’s a place which many conservatives were deposited months ago. Welcome!

And here’s something I don’t see many people discussing: the reason that Clinton was allowed to set up a server in her home in the first place and pass classified information through it. That no one blew the whistle on that is much bigger than who we will have sitting in the Oval Office in January.

How many people knew about this server? What about the technicians? Was there anyone who understood the magnitude of what they were doing? Anyone who had taken an oath and who was willing to hang his/her body on that oath?

Apparently not.

Trump/Clinton…and Obama are/will be figureheads for a deeply rotten government which we give permission to speak for us and to handle our business.

And that is something which all of us—conservatives and liberals who believe in liberty and in the rule of law–need to file away in the back of our minds in order to prepare for the future.

RELATED: Two Weeks Left

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

 

The Rose Law Firm, which formerly employed Hillary Clinton, was the focus of investigations related to the Clinton family's business dealings, including the Whitewater development.
The Rose Law Firm, which formerly employed Hillary Clinton, was the focus of investigations related to the Clinton family’s business dealings.

As allegedly the most qualified individual ever to run for the White House, Hillary Clinton has chosen to hide one of her longest gigs from her curriculum vitae: her 15 years as an attorney at Rose Law First in Little Rock, Arkansas.

While she touts her much shorter terms as a U.S. senator and U.S. secretary of state, Clinton rarely focuses on her time as a lawyer.

That’s with good reason because her job at Rose Law underlines her duplicity.

The Wall Street Journal recently ran an article outlining her “achievements”  at Rose Law.

“Instead of defending poor people and righting wrongs, we found ourselves squarely on the side of corporate greed against the little people,” her colleague, Webb Hubbell, wrote.

The Journal noted: “Mrs. Clinton’s years at the firm included some controversy. For one, the roots of the Whitewater affair reach back to her years at Rose when her husband was serving as Arkansas governor. The firm and Mrs. Clinton represented a failed savings-and-loan association run by James McDougal, the Clintons’ partner in the Whitewater real-estate investment, in a matter before state regulators. Whitewater dogged the Clintons throughout Bill Clinton’s presidency, though neither of them was ever charged.”

Many of the Rose firm’s clients were big companies, including three of the state’s largest: Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Tyson Foods Inc. and Stephens, Inc., a brokerage firm.

She also supplemented her income by serving on corporate boards, including Wal-Mart and TCBY Enterprises, the yogurt franchise, both Rose clients.

When her husband ran for president in 1992, her work sparked questions about whether she had benefited from state business handled by her firm.  “For goodness’ sake, you can’t be a lawyer if you don’t represent banks,” Hillary said at the time. [Emphasis added].

At the firm, lawyers were split over Mrs. Clinton’s value as a partner. The Journal wrote: “Other colleagues resented Mrs. Clinton’s outside interests and how they limited her billable hours. In addition to time away campaigning for her husband, who was on the ballot every two years….”

In her 2003 book, Mrs. Clinton wrote only briefly about her work at Rose. The Journal noted that an indication of her outlook favoring the wealthy over the poor occurred early on in her career at Rose. In November 1976, the activist group Acorn [yes, the infamous Acorn of the James O’Keefe videos] had succeeded in getting an initiative on the state ballot to lower electricity rates for low-income users and increase them for businesses.

The Rose team’s argument, credited mainly to Hillary, was that the lower rates for the poor were unconstitutional.

As people vote for the next president, they should consider an important part of Hillary’s past, which she apparently wants no one to see. Sound familiar?


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

Sometimes, something seems so obvious that I don’t even write about it. I assume that it will be covered by others, discussed on talk radio, or outright announced by the subjects. In the strange case of James Comey and the FBI’s renewed investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server, there are only two scenarios that make sense. For whatever reason, neither scenario is getting the national attention they deserve.

The first scenario we’ll discuss has been partially covered here, but for the sake of accuracy we’ll throw it out there again. It’s the scenario where Comey and the FBI come out a day or two before election day and announce that after further review, they once again see negligence without a recommendation to prosecute. This scenario would fit with multiple reasons behind it; saving the integrity of the FBI so they don’t get hit with claims that they intentionally withheld information for Hillary’s sake is the most likely.

The second scenario was the first one that came to mind when the news broke Friday. Perhaps it’s my history of reading and watching too many police procedurals, but I waited for this to pop up in mainstream media. I was foolish to expect it. Instead, they’ve spent their time trying to point fingers and diffuse the situation with pro-Hillary propaganda. Then, I waited for conservative media to reveal it, but most of us spent the last couple of days lamenting over the wickedness of mainstream media and discussing how Hillary is so corrupt.

What didn’t get discussed was what they found when they discovered the email trove a few weeks ago. It has to be something new; bringing up old news would not have prompted Comey to do what he did. Before we reveal what I believe they found, let’s talk about what new things they didn’t find.

They didn’t find even more revelations of stupidity with the email server itself. They’ve already acknowledged that the team and Hillary were idiotic for having it in the first place.

They didn’t find classified information beyond what is already known because their focus would have been on Huma Abedin rather than Hillary if that were the case. By “focus,” I mean they likely wouldn’t even have sent the letter to Congress if Abedin was their target.

Lastly, they didn’t find damaging communications about Benghazi or any other scandal associated with Hillary. Such things would not be pertinent to the case at hand and would have been given over as fodder for Congress, and then only after the election.

What the FBI most likely found is communication between campaign staffers with direct ties to Hillary expressing her wishes to have damaging emails deleted. If prior to the investigation they made a conscious decision to delete damaging emails in an effort to cover their tracks, that would be enough for Comey to reopen the case. You might think that they’ve already seen evidence of that based upon the deleted emails they’ve already discovered, but there’s a distinction that must be understood. Discovering missing emails shows that they were deleted. However, the real smoking gun would be emails that instructed people to deliberately delete them. That’s the scenario where the law was clearly broken. That’s the scenario that would prompt Comey to do what he did.

If we see scenario one happen, then this was an effort to cover up for the FBI and protect its reputation. I’m not ready to believe the FBI is intentionally helping the Clinton campaign by distracting from the Wikileaks releases until election day as some have insinuated, so the first scenario means self-protection and a likely Clinton win after they announce their findings. With scenario two, it won’t just mean that Clinton will lose. It means that she’ll finally be charged with a crime. The question is whether or not she’ll plead guilty quickly enough for President Obama to pardon her.

By John Ruberry

The day after one of the biggest October surprises in presidential politics ever, Hillary Clinton called on FBI director James Comey to release, to use the phrase in his statement to his underlings, his discovery of emails that “appear to be pertinent to our investigation.”

That investigation is centered around Clinton’s selfish and reckless decision to used a home-brewed email server while she was Barack Obama’s Secretary of State, rather than a secure government server.

Over 33,000 emails, which Clinton ludicrously claimed to have been about personal matters such as yoga and her daughter’s wedding, were wiped clean from her server last year–the firm that did the work even bragged about it–after Congress subpoenaed them.

Despite the destruction of evidence, many of those emails were recovered and we learned that some of them were marked classified. In July, Comey said that Clinton and her staffers were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

Clinton lied.

Of course Clinton could have released those emails to Congress when it asked for them. Possibly within that cache could have been those emails found on the laptop shared by her longtime aide, Huma Abedin, and her estranged husband, sexting fiend Anthony Weiner. That laptop was seized by the FBI in an unrelated investigation of Carlos Danger for inappropriate online contact with an underage teen. Abedin swore under oath that she surrendered all documents with State Department emails to the FBI.

Abedin lied too.

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

So Hillary wants the FBI to immediately release, or at least before Election Day, those “pertinent emails.”

Clinton had her chance, but she chose, to use the term utilized by her protectors in the mainstream media, to yield to her “penchant for secrecy.”

Because what Hillary really has is a penchant for corruption.

The sad part of this story is that about half of American voters will still vote for Hillary Clinton–no matter what.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

The first female candidate for President of the United States celebrated her 69th birthday by dancing salsa with a dwarf and getting a bottle of tequila,

On Tuesday, the Democratic presidential candidate paid a visit to El Gordo y La Flaca, the popular variety chat show on Spanish-language channel Univisión – and it was one of the most unrestrained appearances of her campaign. Clinton was personable, relaxed and, thanks to the nature of the show, fully committed to having some fun. During the show, Clinton danced to Marc Anthony, practiced her Spanish and was even serenaded by Bronx-born singer Prince Royce and a mariachi band for her 69th birthday, on Wednesday

You can (if you must) watch her practice Spanish,

Since that is not enough,

After her interview with the hosts, Clinton revealed that Puerto Rican power duo Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony were joining forces, again, for a free concert in support of Clinton in Miami.

Puerto Rican Marc Anthony had already endorsed Clinton in a prior concert and he was booed, but never mind that; ‘Abuela’ Clinton panders for Latino votes on the tabloid TV show of Cubans Raúl De Molina, aka El Gordo, and Lili Estefan, aka La Flaca, as Dominican Prince Royce sang happy birthday, while she declares Mexican food her favorite.

Holy enchilada! Four countries pandered to in one show!

The South Americans must be pale with envy. Jaime Bayly, who has spent months praising Hillary in his MegaTV show, must be having the vapors.

Mercifully, no cigars were lit.

Where Hillary shows up, the Clinton Foundation must not be far: Indeed, La Flaca is a cousin of Emilio Estefan, who hosted with his wife Gloria a Clinton Foundation fundraiser in 2014,

A spokeswoman for the Estefans said the Clinton Foundation brings together businesses, governments, NGOs and individuals to improve wellness and global health, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change.

Yes, money can buy you Clinton’s love: Univision‘s Executive Chairman and Clinton Foundation megadonor Haim Saban had emailed on April 12, 2015

both Clinton campaign chair John Podesta and Univision’s then-President of News and Fusion CEO Isaac Lee- a follow-up from prior phone conversations- and directs them to contact each other. Lee (set to deliver his infamous “Nazis” talk at UT-Austin the very next day) agrees to meet with Podesta “ASAP”, and the two ultimately agree on a breakfast meeting.

The purpose of this breakfast meeting is revealed in a later email from Fusion Senior VP and Chief Strategy Officer (now President) Boris Gartner, who joined Lee and Podesta for breakfast at the Four Seasons

As Newsbusters puts it, Univision is a liberal special interest group with a news division.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Late yesterday afternoon I was folding laundry when the phone rang. It was my brother, asking if I wanted to go with him and my sister-in-law to vote.

Unlike 1930s movie stars or reality TV people, I’m not in full make-up and heels when doing household chores, so I hesitated for a moment but said yes, and, a little red lipstick later (can’t go anywhere without red lipstick), was in their car heading to the early voting place.

My voter registration card showed an address in the opposite direction from where we were heading, but my brother had checked ahead of time. A few minutes later we were at the right place, the public library at a strip mall.

The parking lot was nearly full. The temperature was in the low eighties with low humidity and a mild breeze.

Hundreds of lawn signs for every candidate cluttered every available spot in the vicinity.

Dozens of campaign workers were handing out flyers and literature on every candidate and issue. They stayed the mandatory distance away from the entrance, all wearing their candidate’s t-shirt. Many were talking to people. I saw several Trump t-shirts, a Hillary t-shirt or two, but most were for local candidates, especially Rubio and Curbelo.

Curbelo has carpet-bombed this area with direct mail, TV and internet ads, and there were at least ten campaigners in Curbelo t-shirts yesterday evening in the parking lot.

In spite of all the lawn sign clutter, everything was very orderly.

My brother dropped us off at the entrance while he went looking for a parking spot.

Once indoors, you were directed to the waiting line and asked to have your driver’s license and your voter registration card in hand.

A few people arrived after us, including a young black couple with a beautiful baby napping on his mom’s shoulder. The husband wore a red Trump “Make America Great Again” hat and a t-shirt that read

TRUMP 2016
F**K YOUR FEELINGS

No safe space for him. A couple of people gave him a thumbs-up.

When my brother arrived my sister-in-law and I joined him at the back of the line. The lady next to me asked, “You’re not leaving, are you?”, so I explained we were just joining him instead of having him jump the line. She smiled.

Voting in Florida is very different from voting in New Jersey.

In Joisey we didn’t show ID or voter registration card; we just signed a book, were given a 2″ x 2″ piece of paper, and voted on a machine by turning levers. No paper ballot.

In Florida the information on your voter registration card and ID have to match, you are issued a 12″ printout (similar to a cash register receipt) showing your name, date of birth and address which you then must confirm, and that is placed on a clear plastic pocket on the outside of a folder. The paper ballots (2 pages printed on both sides) go in the inside of the folder, and the ballot number and voter number must in turn match the same number on the printout.

From there you are directed to the rooms with the voting booths. All the booths in the first room were occupied, so we were directed to the second room.

Once in your booth, you fill in the ballot in black ballpoint pen ink, and then head to another area with the machine. A worker explains how to enter the ballot into the machine, he removes the printout ticket, you again confirm the ballot and voter number, you feed the ballot into the slot, it enter the information electronically, you leave the empty folder in a bin, and you’re done.

No chance for hanging chads there.

The whole process – including finding a parking spot – took 20 minutes or so. There must have been a hundred people leisurely processed in that time, and it went very smoothly.

The Florida system triple-checks the voter information, the paper ballot and the electronic information. Unlike New Jersey, the weak points are outside the voting process (namely the ID and registration cards), and then you have to work at it. In all, a much superior system.

Two weeks left before we get the results.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

youngtrump-clinton
Your next president

by baldilocks

It will be over soon, this joke of an election. At that point, each American will be able to make specific plans for self and for family—assuming some folks have been waiting around to see who will be in the Oval Office for the next four years before make life plans. (Some of us have not been waiting for this “blessed” event.)

That brings me to this observation: the identity of the person who sits in the office of the presidency should not be as important as it has become. I’m not learned enough to determine whether the executive was always so crucial to the health of this country—some say that the pronounced authority (authoritarianism?) of the presidency began with Lincoln and was further fortified by Wilson and FDR. But, in whatever manner the strength of the executive branch developed beyond its reasonable boundaries, here we are with two candidates for president who…let’s just say that the proverbial dog-catcher role might be dangerous in either set of hands. Either way, we will have a megalomaniac driving the souped-up ship of this nation-state. Comforting, no?

What I am looking forward to: The Night of the Long Knives (digitally speaking only…hopefully) on the losing side. That should be at least as jaw-droppingly entertaining as the breaking apart of the Republican Party has been.

Oh by the way, now we’re going to pay for the wall and Mexico will reimburse us.  And, oh yes, Hillary Clinton and all of her associates and minions are crooked. No more questions.

We will see what becomes of us with either of these excessively-flawed humans at the helm. I say that we have more power than we think.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel will be done in 2016. Follow her on Twitter.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

Or hit Da Tech Guy’s Tip Jar in the name of Independent Journalism—->>>>>baldilocks

The tomb of the unknown soldier who fought for liberty in the Revolutionary War.
In Philadelphia stands the tomb of the unknown soldier who fought for liberty in the Revolutionary War.

Philadelphia is becoming one of the most corrupt cities in the nation, owing mainly to Democrat control.

Just before the city hosted this year’s Democrat National Convention, longtime congressman Chaka Fattah and his son were convicted of corruption.

Just after the convention, a slew of Democrat officials faced a variety of state and federal investigations.

John Dougherty, the most powerful Democrat operative in the city, has been at the center of a federal investigation into possible racketeering. The head of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Philadelphia, Dougherty has been a kingmaker for decades, including his critical support for the current mayor, Jim Kenney. His brother serves on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Anyone who wants to win an election campaign in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania kisses Dougherty’s ring.

City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson is reportedly under federal investigation over no-bid real estate deals in the city. Johnson allegedly approved the sale of city properties without a bidding process to several buyers who contributed to his campaign.

Seth Williams, Philadelphia’s district attorney, didn’t report five years’ worth of gifts he should have acknowledged under state and local codes until recently. These gifts included a $45,000 roof repairs, and airfare and lodging to places like Key West, Las Vegas and the Dominican Republic. Williams’ lawyer said: “The true answer is, he should have reported it. He failed to do so. And he accepts responsibility.”

Former Mayor Michael Nutter and his entourage reportedly improperly used funds for a trip to Rome, among other irregularities. The funds came from the Philadelphia marathon and should not have been used for such expenses. Nutter has denied any impropriety.

At the state level, Attorney General Kathleen was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice, and she resigned. She faces nearly two years in jail. With Kane out, top deputy Bruce Castor took over as acting attorney general. Castor, the former Montgomery County district attorney, declined to press charges against Bill Cosby in 2005 became the No. 1 enforcer of Pennsylvania law.

Two State Supreme Court justices were forced out of office for their involvement in sending pornographic materials via state email. Okay, one was a Republican. And, three top Penn State employees are scheduled to go on trial for covering up the pedophile ring of former football coach Gerry Sandusky.

Despite all of this mishegoss, a huge majority of Philadelphians will pull the Democrat lever in November.

I guess we Philadelphians will get what we deserve—a continuation of the corrupt practices at the local, state and national levels.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

Blogger outside of Wrigley Field
Blogger outside of Wrigley Field

By John Ruberry

“Bias has always been a factor in journalism. It’s nearly impossible to remove. Humans have their thoughts, and keeping them out of your work is difficult. But 2016 saw the remaining veneer of credibility, thin as it was, stripped away and set on fire.” Derek Hunter, Townhall, October 23, 2016.

“A free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad.” Albert Camus.

Both men are right.

I’ve known for many years that the mainstream media, consisting mostly of leftists, is biased, but I’ve also long suspected that these leftists have been colluding with the Democrats. Thanks to WikiLeaks we know that to be true.

The 2016 World Series, an intriguing matchup between the Chicago Cubs–of whom Hillary Clinton used to be a fan of–and the Cleveland Indians, begins Tuesday.

Which got me thinking: What if the self-righteous media guardians, umpires you might say, were in charge of baseball’s fall classic?

When the Chicago Clintons come to bat, their batters will earn a walk after three balls, Cleveland, Donald Trump’s team, will need five balls to gain a base on balls, and they’ll strike out after two strikes.

The media umpires, when the Clintons are in trouble, will take out their smartphones during the games and pass on actionable advice to their manager, who will quickly reply and request more pointers. Player after player for the Trumps will be ejected because the umpires will reveal decades-old sexual assault allegations just as the Cleveland team takes the field. Another Cleveland Trumps player will be ejected because he may not have paid federal income taxes. The umpires will claim it was only just then that they learned about about this tax issue.

Meanwhile charges that the Clintons are taking large cash payments from outsiders that could destroy the integrity of Major League Baseball are for the most part ignored–and not acted upon. And even though the umpires know that the Clintons destroyed evidence of their improprieties, they’ll deem it “old news.” The umpires will overlook the lies from the Clintons about their crimes.

When the fans in the ballpark complain, they’ll be rudely dismissed by the umpires as morons who don’t know how the contest is played.

But the truth is the public knows all too well that the game is rigged.

As Walter Cronkrite used to end his CBS Evening News broadcast, “That’s the way it is.”

And the way it is stinks. We need a new media.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

Guns. Supreme Court. Abortion. Immigration. Those were the first four topics in the first three questions from Wednesday night’s debate (2nd Amendment and the Supreme Court were squeezed into the first question). On these issues, which are arguably the four most divisive between the two candidates, Donald Trump was composed, informed, and surprisingly eloquent. He was able to portray his thoughts intelligently without sounding too rehearsed. With Chris Wallace at the helm asking questions about issues, the first 30 minutes of this debate were the best 30 minutes Trump has had in any debate, including the primaries.

He exuded the presence of a President more than he’s ever done in his life.

It went downhill from there, though not as badly as it will be portrayed. Mainstream media will condemn him for declaring that he won’t necessarily accept the results of the election. I’ll cover that more shortly, but let’s look at his other mistakes:

  • When she called him a puppet, his inner middle-schooler said, “No, you’re the puppet.” It’s already a viral Vine with hundreds of thousands of loops and rapidly rising.
  • When asked about entitlements, he talked about improving the economy and jobs which absolutely won’t fix entitlements without a major overhaul.
  • Lastly, he called her a nasty woman. She is, but that’s not going to help him score points with women, especially after drawing chuckles from the audience when he said nobody has more respect for women than he does.

There were other little mistakes, but all in all this was his best, most error-free debate. It also showed something to the conservatives in the #NeverTrump crowd: he might not be as far from their perspectives as they’ve been led to believe. His grasp of Heller far exceeded hers (no, Heller was not about toddlers, Hillary). His attack on partial birth abortion was spot-on and Hillary botched her response. Then, his vow and reiteration of appointing conservative pro-life Supreme Court justices was reassuring.

In those first 30 minutes, the all-important undecided Republicans and conservatives were given everything they would need to lean in his direction. Now, we’ll get to see the media playing up his unwillingness to definitively state that he’d accept the results of the election.

It will be an ineffective attack. To understand why, we have to look at the psychological effects that his stance will have on each type of voter.

Those firmly in the Clinton camp will take those words and move their chances of voting for him from 0% to -1%. Nothing lost there.

For those firmly in Trump’s camp, they’ll be cheering him on. Darn tootin’ they won’t accept the results if Trump doesn’t. It’s war!

Undecided Republicans will be a little affected by the notion, but the reiteration that election fraud is real combined with not accepting the results will push more towards him than away.

Undecided Democrats and Independents – here’s where it gets a little weird. Most of them won’t care enough to be swayed by the notion, but some will unconsciously lean towards him as a result. Why? Because it reinforces their feelings that the system is broken, that he’ll fight the system, and that they don’t want added chaos. Whether they realize it or not, the more that the media covers it, the more the undecided Democrats and Independents will consider Trump. Those who are undecided on the left are undecided because they really don’t like Hillary.  If they liked her, they’d already be supporting her. The fact that they’re considering Trump means that his defiance to the system and antagonism of Clinton will be a plus.

Does this mean Trump will win? Unlike many self-proclaimed pundits, I don’t see this election as one that can be determined until election day. Nate Silver puts Trump’s chances below 20%. I tend to see it as still a tossup because 2016 is insane but more importantly because Trump is outperforming her on the issues. Tonight, it wasn’t even close. The only times Clinton sounded half-decent at all was when she was attacking Trump and/or pandering to women and minorities. On the actual issues, she sounded like a 3rd semester political science major with average grades and a crush on her professor. Trump sounded like he knew the issues.

screen-shot-2016-10-16-at-9-48-38-am

The New York Times’ decision to draw a line in the sand against Donald Trump’s threat to file a libel suit may come back to haunt the news organization.

The issue involves a story about two women who allege that the presidential candidate groped or kissed them without their consent. In a letter asking for a retraction, Trump’s attorney claimed the article was libelous, reckless and defamatory. The Times’ attorney fired back: “…[I]f he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would dare to criticize him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”

The Times’ response is extraordinary in that most news organizations, when facing such a threat, issue the appropriate response: “We stand by our story.”

As an expert witness in nearly 30 defamation lawsuits, I have never seen a news organization take such a combative and public stance except in the courtroom. But The Times’ lawyer seemed pleased with the response. See http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/18/insider/i-hardly-expected-my-letter-to-donald-trump-to-go-viral.html

This immediate and rather vitriolic letter places The Times with both feet in the presidential muck that this campaign has become. No longer is the news organization standing above the fray.

In an editorial, The Times lectured Trump on constitutional law. “it should come as no surprise that Donald Trump, the Republican nominee for president, is as ignorant about constitutional law as he is about every other matter pertinent to the nation’s highest office.”

The editorial noted Times v. Sullivan, the important case that defined the tenets for a successful libel suit against a public official, which was extended to a public figure in a later case. Trump would have to prove the Times engaged in reckless disregard of the truth.

What The Times failed to mention is another important libel case: Herbert v. Lando.

Anthony Herbert was a U.S. Army officer in Vietnam who claimed he witnessed war crimes that his commanding officer refused to investigate. In a 1973 report on 60 Minutes, correspondent Mike Wallace and producer Barry Lando argued that Herbert had lied and was himself guilty of war crimes. The Army officer filed a libel suit.

Even though CBS eventually won the suit, the U.S. Supreme Court provided plaintiffs like Herbert, and potentially Trump, the ability to investigate the “state of mind” of journalists while they are reporting a story.

“When a member of the press is alleged to have circulated damaging falsehoods and is sued for injury to the plaintiff’s reputation, there is no privilege under the First Amendment’s guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press barring the plaintiff from inquiring into the editorial processes of those responsible for the a publication.”

I doubt the news organization wants to have its editorial process placed under a microscope. The Times may win the battle and lose the war. To wit, I do stand by my story.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law

 

As a general rule there are not a lot of reasons for conservatives in Massachusetts to smile come election time but WCVB polls on Question 2, the expansion of charter schools in the state is an exception:

On charter schools, 49 percent of likely voters support the question and 39 percent oppose, with 12 percent unsure. With leaners, the support goes up to 52 percent and opposition to 41 percent.

These polling stats come despite the opposition of such liberal icons as Senator Elizabeth Warren coming out against Question 2. And the NAACP maintaining its opposition to such schools.

In fact there has been a divide on the question amongst liberals  with the Boston Globe editorializing against fiscal objections to charter schools and some Cambridge city officials  spitting from their fellows on question 2.

US News has noticed this split between the liberal grass-roots and their leadership on this issue

But why do many civil rights groups oppose charters? The more deeply one looks, the more puzzling the question. Unlike rank-and-file teachers, the African-Americans we surveyed support charters by a nearly two to one margin. Forty-eight percent of African Americans say they favor the formation of charters, while only 29 percent stand in opposition, with the remainder taking the neutral position. In fact the opinions of African-Americans resemble those of the American public as a whole – 51 percent support, 28 percent oppose, 21 percent neutral. A March Boston Globe poll found much the same level of support for charters in the Bay State as we found nationally, both among the public as a whole and among all demographic groups.

Not only does the black community support charters, but African-American students enjoy over-representation in charter schools. According to the U. S. Department of Education 27 percent of all charter students are black, even though black students constitute only 16 percent of the overall public school population. Hispanic students at charters (30 percent) are slightly over-represented, as their share of the school-age population is 25 percent. But white students constitute just a quarter of the enrollees at charters, even though they are half of all students attending public school. Mysteriously, the NAACP calls this segregation

This divide has not slowed down the teachers unions and their allies.  In my home town of Fitchburg a local office opened up in the parkhill plaza area with a big sign Fitchburg Educational Association over it.  This has been a source of the lawn signs against question two that have popped up all over town.  In my travels I’ve yet to notice any such comparable effort locally on the other side.

Of course it could be the reason for the inactivity of the pro-question 2 side might be a decision to allow the results from the Sizer School, the local charter serving grades 7-12 speak for itself

the Massachusetts Department of Education released the accountability results for schools across the state. Sizer School, a 7-12 public charter in Fitchburg, has reached Level 1 status – an exciting accomplishment. In the aggregate and by subgroup, Sizer students met state targets for achievement. Sizer also saw strong improvement in subgroup performance in English Language Arts, and in moving students from warning/failing into proficient, and from proficient to advanced. This benchmark is due to the achievement and dedication of Sizer staff, students, and families. It represents diligence and is the result of hard work to ensure students understand and are able to demonstrate mastery of content and concepts in a testing environment.

According to the Massachusetts State 2016 glossary of accountability terms level one means?

Massachusetts’ Framework for District Accountability and Assistance classifies schools and districts on a fivelevel scale, classifying those meeting their gap narrowing goals in Level 1 and the lowest performing in Level 5. Approximately eighty percent of schools are classified into Level 1 or 2 based on the cumulative PPI for the “all students” and high needs groups. For a school to be classified into Level 1, the cumulative PPI for both the “all students” group and high needs students must be 75 or higher.

It defines “high needs students” as:

The high needs group is an unduplicated count of all students in a school or district belonging to at least one of the following individual subgroups: students with disabilities, English language learners (ELL) and former ELL students, or economically disadvantaged students. For a school to be considered to be making progress toward narrowing proficiency gaps, the cumulative PPI for both the all students group and high needs students must be 75 or higher.

Sizer school scored 76 on all students and an even higher 78 for “high needs” students.

Meanwhile according to state stats Fitchburg in General (Level 3 62/60) and the schools servicing comparable grade levels   Fitchburg high  (Level 3 60/51)   Longsjo Middle school (Level 2 74/68)  and Memorial Middle School (Level 3 61/53) did not do so well.

On the minus side Sizer overall performance relative to other schools in same school type was 40 meaning that 60 percent of comparable schools scored better.  That might have been a good talking point for the folks at the Fitchburg Educational Association trying to move voters in Fitchburg voters if it wasn’t for the fact that Longsjo Middle school relative overall performance score was a 23, Memorial Middle school  a 22 and Fitchburg high a lowly 10 barely making double digits.

As election day grows nearer those opposed to charter school expansion in Massachusetts find themselves in the same position as Senator Richard Russell of Georgia who during the debate on the Civil Rights Act of 1957 had a memorable exchange over the need for a such a law with Senator Pat McNamara of Michigan on the senate floor.  Russell arguing for the status quo, noted McNamara’s stated racial issues in Michigan could be handled without outside interference and asked “Then, why does not the senator let us [in the south] do the same?”  McNamara, in a loud voice answered the argument for maintaining things as they were by saying:  “Because you’ve had ninety years and haven’t done it.”

That’s the dilemma of those hoping to reverse those polling numbers.  If the local schools had produced results that parents wanted for their children the whole question of charter schools would be moot.  But as long as the stats from the state and more importantly the results that are visible to the voters every time their children come home from school remain what they’ve been for years, lawn signs not withstanding the argument for the status quo will remain a difficult sell.


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By John Ruberry

A couple of headlines caught my attention this afternoon. Here’s one: “WikiLeaks Releases More Purported Emails, Bringing Total To More Than 11,000,” comes from NPR. Wow. This federally funded news outlet I guess “forgot” that the victim of the hack, Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, admitted that his private emails were illegally breached. But he added, without evidence, that some of that correspondence may have been altered. Bloomberg writes, “WikiLeaks Releases More Alleged E-Mails From Top Clinton Aide.” Bloomberg: Are you paying attention?

So yes, Podesta’s emails were hacked. By whom? The Clinton campaign is blaming the Russian government, offering little in proof, although this morning on Fox News Sunday, Donald Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence says “the evidence continues to point in that direction.” The Clinton campaign, outside of Podesta, refuses to acknowledge the legitimacy of these emails, claiming that the Russians are trying to sway the results of this autumn’s election, while deflecting findings from those emails, which include Bill Clinton receiving a $1 million birthday check for the Clinton Foundation–the charity is really a slush fund, by the way–from the government of Qatar, which we learn from another email, is funding ISIS, or at least Hillary Clinton believes so.

Did Russia write that $1 million check?

John ruberry
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Also learned from those purported emails was that there was an anti-Catholic email exchange between Podesta, Jennifer Palmieri, communications director of the campaign, and John Halpin of the leftist Center for American Progress. If the trio had discussing Islam in the same manner, they’d almost certainly be looking for new jobs now.

And those revelations are just the ones on the top of the Podesta email pile.

But a couple of media outlets, probably more, apparently believe that by questioning the legitimacy of these alleged emails, people may doubt their veracity.

I don’t think it’s going to work. Not this time. We’re not as dumb as the media elites believe.

John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

This week James O’Keefe released a hidden camera video that showed a NYC voting commissioner admitting that Democrats are busing black, hispanic and chinese voters through the city to vote multiple times. (and it appears that revelation got him locked out of twitter to suppress it.

Yesterday at this site Fausta told the story of the Hillary Clinton team manipulating hispanic voters that she witnessed.

And we’ve seen story after story about registering the dead this year.

However all these revelations mean nothing if the media doesn’t cover them and the legal system doesn’t act. And given the record of the media and the justice system we see no reason for them to either do so or independently enforce the law if it might cost Hillary Clinton votes.

So we have to act ourselves. Here is what I suggest:

  1. Rather than watching the polls in the big cities, we need citizen journalists to watch the BUSSES.

If our friend on the left are busing repeaters they will need busses. Therefore that means they are either renting busses or own busses to do this.

If I was the GOP or Trump fans I’d position people to check for said busses, to film them and trail them once they are spotted and upload the video as it happens in every major city. The moment a bus stops at a 2nd polling station and a person gets out to vote a 2nd time shot the video and presto proof of a federal offense.

Secondly if I was the GOP in Florida I’d be sending people to spanish neighborhoods, look for people who have been visited by the Clinton folks per this post and were tricked into signing that form, then search for absentee ballots in their name.

It is vital that this stuff get documented in preparation of a class action suit on behalf of every American voter who has been robbed of the franchise by this fraud.

Then it will be up to our media and our institutions, will they take action or will they make the mistake of the church to hide their disgrace.

If these people are going to steal an election we need to establish its illegitimacy by all legitimate means. And if our government and our media decides to ignore the facts, then we need to treat this election result and the government it produces an the institutions that cover it up as illegitimate.

Our friends on the left and their institutions are counting on us resigning ourselves to this. We must resolve not to.

I know that’s drastic but the alternative is self delusion, and I will not have it.

There are hardcore supporters who have been there from the beginning for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It was these supporters who helped propel each to their party’s nomination and nothing that comes out between now and election day will change their minds. Most of the rest of us have been forced to take a hardline approach as well. In this late hour, the accumulation of October surprises will not change our voting preference. The surprises are THAT bad; Trump’s locker room talk is countered by Hillary’s Wikileaks corruptions which counter accusations made against Trump which counter Hillary’s attacks on the pro-life movement which counter… you get the point.

In other words, a large percentage (I’d put the number north of 50%) of the electorate will vote for a candidate that they only support because they believe the other major candidate would be worse. Never has any living generation of Americans seen a full-fledged race to the bottom like this one. This election won’t be won. The next President will be the candidate that loses less. We’re stuck having to fake enthusiasm for one candidate because we can’t imagine America with the other candidate in charge. I know many of the readers are full-blown supporters of Trump and that’s your prerogative. I will never support, endorse, or vote for Hillary, so at least we have that in common.

Regardless of who wins on November 8th, it’s imperative that on November 9th we evaluate what brought us here and make the choice to never let it happen like this again. I’m not talking about figuring out how Hillary evaded jail or why the best batch of conservative candidates the GOP has ever seen were summarily dispatched by a liberal and his wall. It’s time to take a look at the fundamental problems in Washington DC and across the country that prevent the obvious solution of Constitutional conservatism from having its day leading in the halls of government. As Bobby Johns pointed out in his passionate attack on liberalism in Congress, only three Senators and fourteen Congressman score an “A” on Conservative Review’s scorecard. Most GOP Senators and Congressmen score an “F” which means that they are slightly right-leaning at best.

This is why President Obama has never had a problem getting every single thing he’s ever wanted in the last eight years budgeted, including over the two years that Republicans have held a majority in both chambers.

This is why Planned Parenthood always gets funded.

This is why the internet is no longer under U.S. control.

This is why the one time Congress was able to reverse a Presidential veto, it was on a bill that affects less than 1% of 1% of Americans. The only reason it succeeded was because retiring Harry Reid was the only Senator willing to side with Saudi Arabia over families of 9/11 victims. In an election year, the President never had a chance. His veto was symbolic.

The problem isn’t that we don’t have enough Republicans in office. The problem is that we don’t have enough principles in the people holding those offices. We need a party that holds conservative principles at the highest level, that throws political expediency out the window. We need voters to learn the principles that propelled this nation to its pinnacle. Most of those principles are found in the words of the Constitution. Others can be found in the examples of the men and women who defend them. Any politician who refuses to wholeheartedly keep the oath of defending the Constitution does not deserve our vote.

This year, it’s too late. Principles have been abandoned by both major parties. This is why it’s important to build a new one. If the party of Lincoln, Coolidge, and Reagan has moved so far to the middle that conservatism has become a co-opted punchline used during campaign season, then examining our course through the lens of principles is our best course of action after the election.

Update (DTG): As you know I don’t censor my writers and respect their opinions but tomorrow morning I’ll give a short answer as to what he’s missing here.

What Donald Trump said about women is indefensible. What Hillary Clinton has done is even more indefensible.

Take her time, for example, as secretary of state. Clinton had one major accomplishment during her tenure: she traveled a lot.

As Foreign Affairs put it when Clinton stepped down in 2013, “She leaves office without a signature doctrine, strategy or diplomatic triumph.”

That’s a kind assessment. In fact, she left a lot of wreckage during her four years in office.

One of the more troubling is U.S. relations with Russia.

Most Americans would blame Russian President Vladimir Putin for our poor relations, but he only maneuvered as a result of the weakness of U.S. policy.

Syria has been part of the Russia sphere of influence, starting during the 1960s. If the United States wasn’t going to intervene, it needed to quickly discuss the situation with Putin. Clinton didn’t seek out the Russians, leaving her successor, John Kerry, to mess up the situation even more.

Whatever happened to the Russian reset Clinton and Obama talked so much about?

The Russian leader, like his predecessors, seized on weaknesses. The absence of clear American failure in the Middle East sent Putin a message that he could do whatever he wanted to do in Ukraine.

Now he has reportedly started to move nuclear weapons to Kaliningrad, a Russian outpost sandwiched between Poland and Lithuania. The reason? To establish Russian hegemony over the Baltic Sea.

Masha Gessen, who wrote a biography of Putin, dispels a number of myths in a recent column:

–Putin has not thrown his support behind Trump. The Russian leader has only mentioned the GOP nominee in passing. It is true Putin does not like Hillary because he blames her for inciting demonstrations against him in 2011-2014.

–Putin has not made Russia great again. The oil glut has taxed people’s income, and crime has become rampant in major cities.

–Russians do not overwhelmingly support Putin. His approval ratings are high, but the rest of the government, which rubber stamps his policies, get low marks.

–Russian society is not conservative. People have quite liberal views on abortion and sex.

–Russia’s policies are not simply a reaction to U.S. policies. Russia acts in its own self-interest as it it in Crimea.

Here is the column: http://tinyurl.com/hnxjsx4

The next president needs a serious reset with Putin. He’s tough and smart. He’s hardly the caricature the media use to portray him. He’s a leader of one of the most important countries in the world, and the United States needs to figure out a way to discuss the relationship between the two countries. Clinton has certainly failed to do that.

If Clinton is elected president, she will start with two major enemies: China and Russia. If Trump is elected, at least he would start out with only one, China, and the possibility of restoring some sense of order with Russia.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

 

 

 

Every pundit will have an opinion based upon their own biases and their news agency’s preferences. Some will highlight the move Donald Trump made to threaten Hillary Clinton directly. What they probably won’t mention is that from a purely strategic perspective, his charge that as President he would appoint a special prosecutor to “look into” Clinton’s “situation” was absolutely brilliant.

A large percentage of American voters generally do not like nor trust Hillary Clinton. The same could be said about Trump, but there’s a difference. They don’t like Trump for his personality, privilege, and/or policies. They don’t like Hillary because she should almost certainly be in jail. For three decades, she has evaded the law. The accusations against her are numerous and many of them are extremely serious even if you discount conspiracy theories about her alleged “hits” on political liabilities. She has been demonstrated to be a liar and a cheat, but it’s worse. She’s gotten away with things that others could not and that makes her scorned even by people who want to vote for her.

Undecided voters now have something to weigh against Trump’s damaging recordings from last week. Do they want to harm Trump for his misogyny or do they want to empower him to take out Clinton? Whether undecided voters realize it or not, the notion of seeing someone in power held accountable is extremely appealing to them from a psychological perspective. They don’t like it when the powerful get special treatment. They don’t like it when the powerful get away with things that average Americans could not.

By itself, his call for a special prosecutor was a strong statement, but it was his mic drop moment a couple of minutes later that really punctuated it in the minds of undecided voters:

 

It won’t matter who pundits say “won” this debate. In reality, it was a debacle from start to finish thanks to poor moderators and mostly terrible questions. Nevertheless, the winner when it comes to putting sway on undecided voters was, through the subtle effects of his promise, Donald Trump.


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By John Ruberry

The Washington Post has long been a leftist publication, in the 1970s it was dubbed “Pravda on the Potomac” by conservatives.

The newspaper has gotten worse since then, even after its purchase in 2013 by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

On Friday it released a 2005 video of Donald Trump in a hot-mic conversation with Billy Bush of Access Hollywood as he very crudely discusses his sexual moves on women. In his apology the Republican presidential nominee categorized his behavior as “locker-room banter,” but the reality is that most men, or even high school sophomores, don’t speak in that manner about women, at least in such explicit detail. Trump needs to make one more apology added with a vow never to discuss women in that fashion for as long as he lives.

While NBC, which owns Access Hollywood, not surprisingly had the video clip first, it was cognizant of it on Monday. But while the network’s lawyers were still reviewing the clip, an anonymous source alerted the Post about it on Friday, four hours later it went live on the newspaper’s website.

But who was that source?

In a July Wikileaks release, Greg Sargent, who writes the Plum Line blog for the Post–most of the its blogs are leftist electronic rags–was exposed as a shill for the Democratic National Committee. Lee Cary in the American Thinker laid down how the DNC propaganda treadmill works at the Post. Sargent gets a tip of slanted information from the DNC, which of course he doesn’t credit in his blog entry. Writers higher up on the Post food chain credit the Plum Line on this “scoop,” other media sources credit the Post, when in fact the “news” is really a disguised Democratic Party informercial.

How many other shills such as Sargent at the Post have yet to be exposed?

“According to the Washington Post” is a much more convincing article lead-in than “According to a Democratic Party press release.”

John "Lee" Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven
John “Lee” Ruberry of the Magnificent Seven

Back to the Trump tape. Yes, it’s newsworthy, but if the DNC was the Post’s source, shouldn’t its readers know about that? Remember, there’s a conveyor line of information coming from the Democrats to the Washington Post. Here’s another question: Let’s say a similarly damaging recording of Hillary Clinton was out there and the Post became aware of it. Would the Post run with that story? Or does the paper ignore it, using feeble excuses that it is “old news” or “not relevant to the political discussion.”

Win or lose this autumn, conservative bloggers and activists need to widen the battlefield and include what Trump rightly calls the “dishonest media” in the war for America. The establishment media, with a few exceptions, is a leftist cabal. If we successfully expose them to the masses, we’ll discover that defeating the Democrats will be surprisingly easy.

Don’t worry about Greg Sargent. I’m sure he has a job waiting for him at the Democratic National Committee if things stop working out for him at the Post. Or in a Hillary Clinton presidential administration.

John Ruberry regularly blogs Marathon Pundit.

Tonight’s debate is going to go like this.

Moderator to Mike Pence: Donald Trump said x Will you denounce him?

Moderate to Tim Kaine Gov Kaine, Can you explain why Gov Pence should have denounced Donald Trump?

Moderator to Tim Kaine: Gov Kaine are the attacks on Hillary Clinton sexist?

Moderator to Mike Pence: Gov Pence, will you denounce your sexist attacks on Hillary Clinton?

Tonight debate is going to be like the old joke about the Soviets from the cold war, where an American is speaking to a Russian saying:

“Our country is free, we can criticize and protest our government and president, without fear of retaliation.”

and the Russian turns back to him and says: Our country is free too, we an criticize an protest your government an president without fear of retaliation too!”

Of course as any tea party member or contributor who has suddenly found themselves audited by the IRS will tell you that’s no longer the case in the Obama years and such behavior if rewarded by Hillary Clinton’s election will become the norm.

The Terracotta Warriors from the creation of China
The Terracotta Warriors from the third century B.C. underscore the longstanding power of China. (Photo by Chris Harper)

For the United States to have an effective policy with China, Americans have to stop buying iPhones. Or Apple has to move some of its production facilities from China. And a whole lot more.

The trade imbalance between the two countries is so out of whack, amounting to a deficit of more than $300 billion a year for the United States, that the American government cannot put any significant pressure on China. Moreover, the Beijing government owns more than 7 percent of the U.S. debt. China has a lot of leverage.

Sanctions and tariffs usually don’t work. It would help if Apple would move its production plants from China to South Korea, for example, but educating consumers about the implications of buying Chinese products might also work.

After visiting and teaching in China during the past two years, I offer a few insights:

–President Xi Jinping is the most powerful, politically savvy and intelligent leader in recent history.
–The pivot toward Asia under the Obama administration has been laughable, including alliances with some dreadful regimes in Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.
–China’s so-called “belt-and-road” program to build infrastructure from mainland Asia to Europe has been a resounding success despite U.S. naysayers. For more about the economic plan, see https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/asia/china-s-infrastructure-play
–The presidential election has made the United States a laughingstock among Chinese.

President Obama’s recent Asian excursion underlines how poorly the United States is doing. The Chinese made him disembark from the back of the plane. The government restricted his access to the media, and officials got into a shouting match with his aides. The president then got dissed by the government of Laos and the Philippines.

These incidents don’t bode well for any resolution to China’s desire to control economic and military sway over the South China Sea—an issue that does matter. That route controls access to billions of dollars in fishing, minerals and petroleum for a range of Asian countries.

The most recent U.S. policy has been to confront Chinese vessels—an approach that is likely to heighten tensions rather than lessen them.

Neither presidential candidate offers much hope in dealing effectively with China. Clinton is likely to continue gunboat diplomacy, while Trump wants tariffs against Chinese products. These inept approaches are troubling because China is the leading competitor of the United States for the hearts, minds and pocketbooks of the rest of the world.


Christopher Harper, a recovering journalist with The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

 

 

 

 

There’s a voting block that has received nearly zero attention this election year from the Presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton doesn’t have to say much because her progressive perspectives are natural and assumed. Donald Trump has mentioned it one time in a single sentence in 16 months. Gary Johnson has oddly avoided it altogether. Homeschooling families, who often vote specifically based upon a candidate’s position on the issue, have been left in the dark with innuendo and assumptions as the only ways for them to formulate an opinion. Even the Home School Legal Defense Association, which almost always endorses someone in elections at every level, is going into the final month unsure of where anybody stands. They haven’t endorsed.

It’s an issue that doesn’t directly affect many Americans because such a small percentage in this country take advantage of this crucial educational option. What people need to realize is that it’s a core issue that indirectly affects all Americans, conservatives in particular. It’s one of the last bastions of defense for those of us who believe that the government should watch our backs and essentially leave us alone otherwise. When the government tells us how we’re allowed to educate our children, the dominoes start falling.

This year marks the first in nearly twenty that my family isn’t homeschooling one of our children. Our youngest is ready to make the transition to a Christian middle school just as her siblings did before her. It’s important to know this because it means I no longer have skin in the game. Unless God grants us another child (we’re not young, but we’re younger than Abraham and Sarah), our homeschooling days are behind us. I no longer have a personal reason to fight for school choice, homeschooling rights, or any other K-12 initiatives. However, I’m a conservative who sees the big picture. Parental rights are right up there with religious liberties and gun ownership as core issues that act as a foundation for everything else.

Is Donald Trump for homeschooling rights? Probably, though his lack of attention has made many homeschoolers wonder if he is even aware of the issue. Is Gary Johnson? Possibly, though his progressive brand of libertarianism as it pertains to religious liberties should make us wonder where he really stands on education. Is Hillary Clinton? Certainly not, though as with everyone else she hasn’t discussed the issue. This is an issue for which every candidate must make their perspectives clear. Nothing implicit; we need an explicit stance that definitively declares where each candidate stands. Why? Because anyone -Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent – who will fail at protecting our Constitutional rights will first fail to protect homeschooling. It’s a harbinger issue. If they let this fall, they can’t be trusted with bigger problems.

It’s a small issue near the bottom of most conservatives’ checklist, but with such things it’s important to remember the words of Luke 16:10. He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

So I watched the debate, and it was terrible. Seriously. I was hoping to watch Trump completely obliterate Hillary, and yet all I saw was a lot of interrupting. As my three year old would say, it was a lot of “Blah Blah Blah.”

But maybe that was the point?

Oddly enough, my wife, who is very anti-Trump and leaning towards simply writing in a candidate, talked to me last night about voting for Trump. She said she fears Hillary and what she would do to the Supreme Court much more than anything Trump has done. She’s also not a fan of Hillary’s foreign policy, which unlike Trump we’ve had a chance to see first hand.

She’s not the only one. More than a few people have come out to me and said they will likely vote Trump because they are legitimately scared of Hillary. They think Trump will moderate his views over time, but that Hillary will simply do whatever she wants.

So it made me wonder: did Trump throw the debate to make people scared? He’s not stupid, and he certainly did well in previous debates. He has plenty of Hillary zingers.

I personally think he did, and did it to scare his base. He’s trying to ruffle the anti-Trumpers, who despite hating him will look at a future with Hillary and be 10 times as scared. I’m betting his debate performance improves such that the last debate is a doozy for Clinton…if she doesn’t fall over from a coughing fit before then.


This post solely represents the view of the author and does not represent the official views of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other branch of the US government. All I ask is you get out and vote for someone, because not voting is really un-American.


If you liked this, you might like reading my blog, and maybe even buy my Kids Book on the Navy.

screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-9-04-05-amFor all of the true debaters out there, let’s face it: this was not an actual debate.

The American Debate Association describes how a debate is supposed to work. The debate focuses on a statement, such as “The United States needs a new tax system to create jobs.”

For example, Donald Trump gets first crack in the affirmative, followed by Hillary Clinton in the negative. Each has nine minutes to discuss the question rather than the two-minute soundbites of last night’s debate. Then each one gets to question the other. Then the two debaters get to rebut the other’s argument.

The argument is between the two parties rather than through a moderator. In fact, in an actual debate, there is no moderator. The judges are supposed to stay out of the way.

Since I was in high school, these rules have been the standard. I have no idea why presidential debates don’t use this approach.

It’s probably because the longstanding rules for debate would probably bring more substance without the useless presence of some media darling who has virtually no expertise in the area of domestic and foreign policies.

Despite my misgivings about the format and substance of last night’s debate, I generally think it was a draw, which probably works in Donald Trump’s favor. The MSM gives the nod to Hillary, but that’s not unexpected.

Trump did a relatively good job of explaining his policies on trade and policing, but he fumbled through his response on the birther issue. He rambled as he often does. But he had the best line: Hillary has a lot of experience, but it’s bad experience.

Clinton failed to move the needle on what to do about the self-proclaimed Islamic State and race relations. At times, she seemed robotic.

On more “substantive” matters that usually decide who won and who lost the debate, Trump’s audio was bad at many times during the discussion; both had terrible makeup jobs; the split screen clearly favored Clinton.

What’s amazes me is that the moderator, Lester Holt, failed to ask any substantive questions about emails, Benghazi or the Clinton Foundation. If anything underlines how unnecessary a star moderator is, Holt’s avoidance of certain issues demonstrates why actual debates don’t have moderators.

Howard Kurtz of Fox News provided a relatively good analysis of the debate at http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/09/26/clinton-scores-by-staying-on-offense-trump-by-sticking-to-serious-issues.html

Kurtz argued that Clinton stayed on the offensive while Trump countered with serious issues.

As CBS’s Bob Schieffer put it: Trump didn’t lose any voters; Clinton didn’t gain any.

That seems about right to me.


Christoper Harper, a recovering journalist from The Associated Press, Newsweek, ABC News and The Washington Times, teaches media law.

Those of us who view Hillary Clinton as an existential threat to the United State of America can list dozens of reasons she is unfit for President without breaking an intellectual sweat. The question of whether or not she is better than Donald Trump is something that undecided Independents will answer to determine who wins in November. For many, it will come down to who they dislike or mistrust the least. Depending on what happens between now and then, the out-of-control Black Lives Matter movement may be the one factor that drives Independents to lean towards Trump.

For the sake of her party and base, Hillary has allowed herself to be attached to Black Lives Matter. As hard as this is for many Republicans to accept, I do not believe that she’s actually sympathetic at all to the cause (even a liberal is capable of seeing the indefensible damage they’re doing), but she wouldn’t dare to condemn them in any form or fashion. She needs them to not hate her, to not bring the message to the masses that they prefer one of the third party candidates.

Her problem is quickly manifesting in Charlotte. If reports of a dashcam video showing Keith Scott brandishing a firearm before being shot turns out to be true, then the violence and rioting will be another example of unrighteous anger, destruction of property, and unwarranted violence stemming from the reactionary lack of reason demonstrated by the group.

Hillary can neither distance herself nor embrace them. She’s walking the tightrope of appearing to be sympathetic without sounding as if she approves of their activities. Her Twitter account the last couple of days has had reactions designed to appease every side, followed by a flurry of unrelated Tweets to bury her perspectives away from scrutiny. She’s trying to address the issue with a wave, then change the conversation as quickly as possible. It takes a lot of scrolling to get down to this Tweet:

All of this brings us back to the choice facing Independents. They have a wildcard in Trump and an untrustworthy liar in Hillary. Their cores negate each other in the eyes of many of these voters, which leaves them with a choice based upon emotion. Every time there’s a riot that draws lines between race rather than justice, it’s a reminder that she’s going to perpetuate the problems and magnify the hatred. Just as Trump needs a portion of minority voters to support him, so too does Hillary need Independent white voters to not see her as a threat to their safety.

Riots like the ones in Ferguson, Baltimore, and now Charlotte are reminders to voters that Black Lives Matter can strike them in their own cities. Hillary will be perceived as a supporter of Black Lives Matter no matter how deep in her profile she buries her Tweets. These truly undecided voters will make their final decision based not upon Trump’s rhetoric or Hillary’s scandals. Everyone is well aware of those. They’ll make their final decision based upon how each candidate will directly affect their lives. Every BLM incident, terrorist attack, and crack in Obama’s economy will push them closer to holding their noses and voting for Trump even if they don’t like him.

After all, they really don’t like Hillary, either.