Tuesday, December 6, 2016

As deadline approaches, will NY legislators push for raises, vote for reforms?

ALBANY, N.Y. -- New York State Assembly Democrats are meeting behind closed doors in Albany today amid increased chatter about a special session that could, in one fell swoop, award lawmakers raises and also make substantive ethics reforms long the subject of debate.
It's not entirely clear what lawmakers are discussing privately today, and some lawmakers have reasons unrelated to a special session to be in the capitol, Politico New York reported.  Read full story here 

Trump Picks Former Fox News Contributor Ben Carson To Serve As Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development

Ben Carson Tapped To Be Secretary Of Housing And Urban Development

CNN: “Dr. Ben Carson Will Be Nominated As The Next Secretary Of The Department Of Housing And Urban Development.” On December 5, President-elect Donald Trump announced that Ben Carson will be his nominee for secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. According to a statement, Trump wrote that Carson “shares [his] optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans.” According to CNN, Carson had previously “turned down an offer” to run the Department of Health and Human Services “due to his lack of experience running a federal agency.” [CNN.com, 12/5/16]

Trump Picks Fellow Unqualified Grifter And Conspiracy Theorist Ben Carson For HUD

Earlier today, President-elect Donald Trump formally picked his former GOP presidential rival Ben Carson to be secretary of housing and urban development. Trump had previously floated the possibility of naming Carson to the top post at the Department of Education or the Department of Health and Human Services.
In November, Carson’s spokesman said that the former neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate didn’t want to pursue a role in the Trump administration because he has no relevant experience in managing a federal agency and the “last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.” Trump himself has compared Carson to a child molesterquestioned his mental stability and suggested that he is pathologically violent.
Carson, who himself has admitted that he has no background in housing policy beside the fact that he “grew up in the inner city,” has a very thin record on housing issues. In fact, most of his public comments on the subject have involved his opposition to efforts to combat housing discrimination. Read full story here 

Trump Voter lies

It's clear that the entire Republican establishment will now circle the wagons anytime Donald Trump tweets something, stupid, false, or blatantly dishonest. 
This morning on CNN's Good Day, it was Congressman Darrell Issa's turn. It's not a "lie" when a Republican President-elect says 'millions of illegals' voted against him. . Even if it has already been proven false

Trump never met a crazy idea he didn’t like

If there was ever any doubt that conspiracy theories course through the dark, troubled mind of Donald Trump, his tweets in the weeks since he won the election should dispel that notion. Hot and bothered by the inconvenient fact that he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton by more than 2 million votes (and counting) and that he is president due only to the questionable decision by James Madison to deny direct voter election of our presidents and instead delegate that task to an Electoral College, the birther-in-chief-elect took to his preferred social media platform. On November 27, Trump tweeted, “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” 
Huh? That was quite a claim, given that no one had heard that alarming fact. At least no one in their right mind.
Turns out Trump’s fantastic claim came from his favorite bedside reading website, InfoWars, home of conspiracy monger Alex Jones, and the place where outlandish right-wing conspiracy theories come to thrive. Jones, a Trump pal (who privately boasts that Trump repeats his ideas “word for word,” according to the San Jose Mercury News), was one of the first people Trump called to thank after his upset victory on November 8. Jones is the guy who, among other disturbing lunacies, helpfully informed us that the Sandy Hook massacre of school children and teachers was all an elaborate hoax by the government to deprive people of their guns. (There is a special place in hell for people who buy into this hateful lie.) Jones has also peddled the notions that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are demons (“I been told this by high-up folks, and they tell me Obama and Hillary both smell like sulfur”); that the federal government orchestrated 9/11 and the Oklahoma City bombings; that juice boxes make children gay; and that old bugaboo, that fluoridation of our water is for the purpose of government mind control. Full post here 

Trump Supporter Fired Assault Rifle in DC Pizzeria over Conspiracy Theory Spread by Gen. Flynn

A North Carolina man was arrested Sunday after he walked into a popular pizza restaurant in Northwest Washington carrying an assault rifle and fired one or more shots, D.C. police said. The man told police he had come to the restaurant to “self-investigate” an election-related conspiracy theory involving Hillary Clinton that spread online during her presidential campaign.
The incident caused panic, with several businesses going into lockdown as police swarmed the neighborhood after receiving the call shortly before 3 p.m.
Police said 28-year-old Edgar Maddison Welch, of Salisbury, N.C., walked in the front door of Comet Ping Pong and pointed a firearm in the direction of a restaurant employee. The employee was able to flee and notify police. Police said Welch proceeded to discharge the rifle inside the restaurant. Read full story here 

Trump’s Taiwan phone call was long planned, say people who were involved

Donald Trump’s protocol-breaking telephone call with Taiwan’s leader was an intentionally provocative move that establishes the incoming president as a break with the past, according to interviews with people involved in the planning.
The historic communication — the first between leaders of the United States and Taiwan since 1979 — was the product of months of quiet preparations and deliberations among Trump’s advisers about a new strategy for engagement with Taiwan that began even before he became the Republican presidential nominee, according to people involved in or briefed on the talks.
The call also reflects the views of hard-line advisers urging Trump to take a tough opening line with China, said others familiar with the months of discussion about Taiwan and China.  Read full story here 

A Federal Judge Just Ordered A Recount In A Pivotal Swing State

Early on Monday morning, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith ordered an immediate recount of the election votes in Michigan to begin at noon and for the state to “assemble necessary staff to work sufficient hours” to complete it by Dec 13th.
Yestarday, Judge Goldsmith held an emergency session with the lawyers of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who successfully convinced him that following the state law that demands a two business day wait before commencing a recount represented a sufficiently “credible threat that the recount, if delayed, would not be completed.” Full story here 

Defying Trump, Green Party pursues recounts in three US states

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein pressed her case on Monday for recounts of U.S. presidential ballots in three states, and locked horns with President-elect Donald Trump over her motives.
Stein sued Pennsylvania election officials in federal court, demanding a statewide recount. Hours earlier, a federal judge in Michigan ordered a recount to begin there without delay. In Wisconsin, a recount began last week at Stein’s request.
Even if all three recounts move forward, they are extremely unlikely to change the outcome of the Nov. 8 presidential election in which the three historically Democratic states helped to seal a victory for Trump, a Republican.
On Sunday, Trump proclaimed Stein’s effort a failure and questioned her motives, saying on Twitter: “Just a Stein scam to raise money!”
At a news conference on Monday across the street from Trump Tower in Manhattan, Stein said every dollar she raises for the recount is going to a dedicated account for that purpose. She has raised $7.2 million, according to her website.  Read full story here 

Democrats to give Trump Cabinet picks the Garland treatment

Senate Democrats are preparing to put Donald Trump’s Cabinet picks through a grinding confirmation process, weighing delay tactics that could eat up weeks of the Senate calendar and hamper his first 100 days in office.

Multiple Democratic senators told POLITICO in interviews last week that after watching Republicans sit on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court for nearly a year, they’re in no mood to fast-track Trump’s selections. Read full story here 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Trump Voter Who Lost Her Home To Treasury Secretary Pick Mnuchin Feels Betrayed By Pick

WASHINGTON (AP) — When Donald Trump named his Treasury secretary, Teena Colebrook felt her heart sink.

She had voted for the president-elect on the belief that he would knock the moneyed elites from their perch in Washington, D.C. And she knew Trump's pick for Treasury—Steven Mnuchin—all too well.

OneWest, a bank formerly owned by a group of investors headed by Mnuchin, had foreclosed on her Los Angeles-area home in the aftermath of the Great Recession, stripping her of the two units she rented as a primary source of income.

"I just wish that I had not voted," said Colebrook, 59. "I have no faith in our government anymore at all. They all promise you the world at the end of a stick and take it away once they get in."

Less than a month after his presidential win, Trump's populist appeal has started to clash with a Cabinet of billionaires and millionaires that he believes can energize economic growth. Read full story here

Michigan election recount must begin at noon on Monday, judge rules

Michigan must begin its presidential recount at noon on Monday, a federal judge ruled in a late-night order that could make it more likely the state will complete the count ahead of a 13 December deadline.

In his ruling on Sunday night, judge Mark Goldsmith rejected an effort by state officials to delay the hand-counting of about 4.8m ballots.

Full story here https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/05/michigan-election-recount-must-begin-at-noon-on-monday-judge-rules

Small town officials say Cuomo's ethics rule is misplaced

ALBANY -- An ethics rule advanced by Gov. Andrew Cuomo requiring all elected officials to disclose their personal incomes is meeting resistance outside the capital where critics question why small town leaders must pay for the sins of state officials.
The Democratic governor has provided no details of the initiative other than to suggest there should be no exemptions or thresholds. Thus thousands of local officials not now required to disclose their personal incomes would have to report.
Cuomo said as much Nov. 16, when he recommended a list of measures six days before his former top aide, Joseph Percoco, was indicted on charges of extortion and soliciting bribes.
Plattsburgh town councilman Marty Mannix said he would have no trouble giving over his information, but it amounts to an overreach that doesn't address the corruption that has stained state government.
"If we're going to kill the stag, why are we shooting every other deer in the forest?" said Mannix, a former Clinton County Democratic chairman. Read full post here 

The president-elect would have to navigate a staggering tax bill if he eased out of his business empire.

President-elect Donald Trump’s unwillingness to give up his far-flung real estate empire by selling it off or giving it outright to his children may be driven by a factor he has yet to mention publicly: a potentially staggering tax bill triggered by such a transaction.

“It could be billions,” said David Herzig, a tax law professor at Valparaiso University. “People are saying, ‘Oh well, don’t worry,’ but you could be looking at the potential of billions of dollars in tax liability.” Read full story here 

Drunk Men Yelling “Donald Trump” Attempt To Remove Woman’s Hijab On NYC Subway

A Muslim woman was verbally and physically attacked on a New York City subway Thursday night by three drunk white men who repeatedly yelled “Donald Trump” and attempted to remove her hijab, police said.
According to Yasmin Seweid, a business student at Baruch College in Manhattan, nobody else on the train came to her aid during the incident.
The 18-year-old told the New York Daily News that she had just left an event on campus Thursday night when three men approached her on an uptown 6 subway near the 23rd Street stop.
They yelled President-elect Donald Trump’s name over and over, and said to her, “Look, it’s a fucking terrorist,” Seweid said in a Facebook post on Friday.
She said they also yelled, “Get the hell out of the country!” and, “You don’t belong here!”
Seweid was born in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, to Egyptian immigrant parents, she told the Daily News. Full story here 

If Trump Imitates GOP Presidents, His Jobs Promise Will Fail

Within a day after Donald Trump’s triumphal visit to Indiana, where he claimed credit for “saving” 800 jobs at a Carrier factory, the Department of Labor released its first monthly unemployment report since his election victory — and one of the last that will come out during the presidency of Barack Obama. Together those two events illustrated the contrast between a real strategy for economic growth and the dubious gambit of a Twitter addict.
During his presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly warned that if he became president, companies moving U.S. manufacturing plants abroad would suffer punitive tariffs of 35 or even 45 percent when they tried to sell their overseas products here. More than once he specifically mentioned Carrier Corp., which builds cooling and heating units. After post-election conversations with company officials that included his running mate, Indiana governor Mike Pence, Trump declared that he had fulfilled his promise by “saving” those Carrier jobs.
Yet instead of punishing Carrier for taking most of its Indiana jobs to Mexico, Trump and Pence had actually rewarded the company with $7 million in state tax booty and guarantees of a big cut in its federal tax rate — plus any additional promises concerning the billions in Pentagon contracts held by Carrier’s parent company, United Technologies. Spending other people’s money, Trump did precisely the opposite of what he had promised — but appeared heroic for at least one news cycle.  Read full post here 

Hillary Clinton's lead over Donald Trump in popular vote passes 2.5 million

Hillary Clinton has received more than 2.5 million more votes than Donald Trump in the Presidential election, making her lead over her rival greater than 10 previous US Presidents.
The former Secretary of State lost the electoral college and conceded her 232 electoral votes – distributed in different numbers per state – to Mr Trump’s final tally of 306 votes.

‘Release your tax returns and I’ll stop’: Alec Baldwin mocks Trump for calling SNL ‘unwatchable’

Actor Alec Baldwin fired back at Donald Trump’s latest complaint about how he is being portrayed on NBC’s Saturday Night Live with an offer for the president-elect.
Show us your taxes and I’ll leave you alone. Read post here 

Monday Stein to hold rally outside Trump Tower

Green Party candidate Jill Stein is scheduled to hold a press conference and rally outside Trump Tower in New York on Monday, defending her push for recounts in several states.
“We won’t stand down as Donald Trump and his allies seek to frivolously obstruct the legal processes set up to ensure we have a voting system we can trust and that all votes have been counted,” Stein said in a statement released Saturday. Full post here 

More here on the story 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

WNY Delegation Weighs In On NYS Senate Majority

With no challenger of his own this past election, state Senator Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, spent some of his time this fall, helping out with a handful of competitive races on Long Island. While Kennedy and Democrats weren’t as successful downstate as they may have hoped, they did get some news in New York’s 8th Senate district, this week.
John Brooks, a registered Republican who ran on the Democratic line, claimed victory over Michael Venditto, the incumbent Republican. Venditto was considered a heavy favorite until his father was arrested in connection with a bribery scheme just weeks before the election.
Kennedy said the scandal swung voters to Brooks. Despite all that, the lead is only 41 votes and will be contested in court.
“Given the dynamic that has played out and the votes that have been objected to, it’s very clear that John Brooks is going to be the winner in that election. That being said, the fact that we’ve gained another vote in the Democratic Conference is telling to the voice of the people in the state of New York, another voice in the Democratic Conference from Long Island. It’s very, very positive news,” Kennedy said.
Even if Brooks’ victory, as Kennedy expects, holds up in court and he conferences with Democrats, the party still won’t have enough votes for majority control. The soon-to-be seven-member Independent Democratic Conference has not yet said whether it will caucus with mainline Dems or continue its partnership with the Republican party.
Even if the IDC comes back, the party would still be one vote short of a majority. It’s Brooklyn Democrat Simcha Felder who holds that vote, has conferenced with Republicans since elected in 2012, and told Capital Tonight last month he plans to continue to work with the GOP. Read full story here 

President-elect Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) interrupts a security briefing to retweet people (Pete Davidson, Kyle Mooney, Bobby Moynihan).

Federal judge denies quick halt to recount in Wisconsin

Madison — A federal judge Friday denied an emergency halt to the recount of the presidential vote in Wisconsin, allowing the process to continue until a Dec. 9 court hearing at least.

There is no need to halt the recount just yet because it will not do any immediate harm to Republican President-elect Donald Trump or his supporters, U.S. District Judge James Peterson wrote in a three-page order that called for both sides in the case to lay out written arguments before he takes any action. Read post here 

UPDATE - Stein plans federal lawsuit in quest for Pennsylvania recount

Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein said early Sunday that she will file a lawsuit in federal court on Monday seeking a statewide recount in Pennsylvania.
Stein in a tweet said she would “escalate” #Recount2016 and demand a recount on constitutional grounds.
“The people deserve answers,” she added. Read post here 

Jill Stein Drops Pennsylvania Recount Effort Over Expenses

Green Party candidate Jill Stein abruptly dropped her bid to seek a recount of the presidential election vote in Pennsylvania after a judge ordered her campaign to post a $1 million bond, court documents showed on Saturday.
The bond was set by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania a day after representatives of President-elect Donald Trump requested a $10 million bond, according to the papers.
The court gave the petitioners until 5 p.m. local time on Monday to post the bond, but said it could modify the amount if shown good cause. Instead, Stein’s campaign withdrew.
“Petitioners are regular citizens of ordinary means. They cannot afford to post the $1,000,000 bond required by the court,” wrote attorney Lawrence Otter, informing the court of the decision to withdraw.  Read full story here 

Bush Ethics Lawyer: Electors Shouldn't Vote For Trump With Current Conflicts (VIDEO)

A former ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush suggested in an interview Friday that the Electoral College should consider not voting for President-elect Trump if he doesn't move to address certain conflicts of interest related to his business empire.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Richard Painter, Bush's chief White House ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007, about the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C, whose building, the Old Post Office Pavilion, is leased from the federal government. That lease explicitly states elected officials may play no role in or benefit from the arrangement.
Painter argued that the conflicts of interest presented by the hotel didn’t end with the General Services Administration, which controls the lease and whose leadership Trump may appoint as president.
“Foreign diplomats come stay in that hotel, and foreign governments want to throw parties in that hotel,” Painter said. “There’s a provision in the Constitution that says that persons holding positions of trust with the United States government cannot take payments from foreign governments. It’s called the Emoluments Clause, that’s a fancy word for ‘No Pay-Offs From Foreign Governments’ Clause."  Full article here 

'Hamilton Electors' Declare War on Trump

VP-elect Mike Pence got booed on Broadway last month, but there's a far more frustrating Hamilton story for Trump now.
Levi Guerra, 19, is an elector from Vancouver, Washington and the latest to join the renegade bipartisan group of "Hamilton Electors" planning to block Trump from the presidency when the Electoral College votes December 19.
Instead of supporting Hillary Clinton (who Washington voted for), Guerra will cast her vote for a Republican compromise candidate.
“I feel that it is my duty to cast my vote against Trump,” said Guerra. “Instead, I must vote for the person who I believe will be best for my constituents and who has the greatest chance for unifying our country.” Read full article 

China Lodges Protest After Trump Call With Taiwan President

China lodged a diplomatic protest on Saturday after U.S. President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone with President Tsai Ing-wen of Taiwan, but blamed the self-ruled island Beijing claims as its own for the “petty” move.
The 10-minute telephone call with Taiwan’s leadership was the first by a U.S. president-elect or president since President Jimmy Carter switched diplomatic recognition from Taiwan to China in 1979, acknowledging Taiwan as part of “one China”.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it had lodged “stern representations” with what it called the “relevant U.S. side”, urging the careful handling of the Taiwan issue to avoid any unnecessary disturbances in ties.
“The one China principle is the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” it said. Read full story here 

Wisconsin Recount Officials Just Found Five Counting Machines With Tampered Seals

Despite the best efforts of President-elect Donald Trump and his nefarious brand of twisted politics to prevent a recount in Wisconsin it is in full swing. Those who are observing the recount on behalf of Jill Stein, who requested the recount, have presented evidence to show the votes were indeed tampered with.
An individual, who is known only as “Wendy” has been on the ground in St. Croix County in Wisconsin. That county is performing both a recount of the machines used, and of all ballots which were cast by hand. As was shared by Wendy, she observed that five seals were broken on nine voting machines. The evidence which has been posted on Jill Stein’s official website shows that seals were indeed broken. The seals themselves come with a warning that “removal of seal voids warranty.”
At this time it is difficult to dispute that the voting machines were indeed tampered with, but what is not known is if they were tampered with before the election or after. There is no timeline to know when the machines were originally issued, or if they were used in previous elections. Read full story here 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Sarah Palin: Trump's Carrier deal is 'crony capitalism'

Another conservative is calling “crony capitalism” on Donald Trump’s deal with Carrier, albeit an unexpected one — Sarah Palin.

In an op-ed for the website Young Conservatives, the former Alaska governor allowed that the details behind the manufacturer’s decision to keep some 1,000 jobs in Indiana at the president-elect’s behest, rather than move them to Mexico, are not yet clear. But touting the value of free markets, Palin signaled her disapproval if it was a case of “political intrusion using a stick or carrot to bribe or force one individual business to do what politicians insist.” Read full story here 

Clinton allies plot anti-Trump movement

‘We’re going to throw everything at him that he threw at us,’ said one longtime Democratic operative.

After most campaigns the combatants share cocktails and swap war stories — but the bitter 2016 battle for the White House is turning into a forever war with Hillary Clinton’s tormented team vowing a four-year insurgency against Donald Trump.

There are no consolation prizes from a loss as humbling and catastrophic as the heavily-favored Clinton suffered on Nov. 8. But for her aides, there is a measure of liberation, freedom from the constraints of having to defend their flawed, awkward front-runner and adopt the hell-to-pay role of insurgents.

And Clinton’s vast network of supporters, staffers and operatives is now looking for a way to fight back — without their standard-bearer — modeled on the resistance movement organized by the GOP in the wake of President Barack Obama’s victory in 2008, the Republicans’ “Party of No” period.

Clinton allies like David Brock have been actively recruiting Democratic donors to fund an anti-Trump movement modeled on the armada of organizations that sued, flacked, opposition-researched and insulted Clinton into a 55 percent disapproval rating. Trump is already there, but Brock and other Democratic operatives are contemplating a Freedom of Information Act barrage against the president-elect comparable to the one undertaken against Clinton by the conservative group Judicial Watch. Other left-leaning groups, including the Center for American Progress, are looking into ways of holding Trump accountable for his job-creating campaign promises — possibly by disseminating reports on the president’s record directly to voters and media into swing states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan that swung surprisingly to Trump.

“We’re going to throw everything at him that he threw at us,” said one longtime Democratic operative active in the effort. Read full story here 

The letter from Carrier to its employees that Donald Trump doesn’t want you to read

On Thursday, President-elect Donald Trump traveled to the Carrier factory in Indianapolis, Indiana to tout the deal he helped orchestrate to keep about 800 manufacturing jobs in the United States in exchange for state and federal incentives, including $7 million from Indiana.
“Companies are not going to leave the United States anymore without consequences. Not going to happen. It’s not going to happen, I’ll tell you right now,” Trump said during a speech at the factory.
What Trump didn’t mention, either then or during a subsequent “thank you” rally later Thursday in Cincinnati, is that the deal he and Vice President-elect Mike Pence helped broker won’t prevent Carrier from outsourcing more jobs than are being saved in Indiana. The company will keep about 800 jobs at the Indianapolis plant, but will still move 600 jobs from Indianapolis to Mexico. Another 700 jobs are being moved to Mexico from a separate factory in Huntington, Indiana, which will be closed. Read full story here

Paul Krugman Reveals How Trump's Betrayal of His White Working-Class Supporters Has Already Begun

Paul Krugman writes in Friday's column that Donald Trump's white working-class supporters won't be celebrating for long. Just three short weeks after the election, the president-elect has already shown clear signs that his concern for their welfare is about as real as Trump University's concern for its students.
"The white working class is about to be betrayed," Krugman declares in no uncertain terms. "The evidence of that coming betrayal is obvious in the choice of an array of pro-corporate, anti-labor figures for key positions. In particular, the most important story of the week — seriously, people, stop focusing on Trump Twitter — was the selection of Tom Price, an ardent opponent of Obamacare and advocate of Medicare privatization, as secretary of health and human services. This choice probably means that the Affordable Care Act is doomed — and Mr. Trump’s most enthusiastic supporters will be among the biggest losers." Read full story here 

Donald Trump Speaks To Taiwan’s President, Reversing Decades Of U.S. Policy

President-elect Donald Trump spoke by phone Friday with Tsai Ying-wen, the president of Taiwan. The call was the first in more than 30 years between an American president-elect and a leader of the island. 
According to a readout of the call from the Trump transition team, Tsai congratulated Trump on his victory, and the two discussed “the close economic, political, and security ties exists between Taiwan and the United States.” 
But the Trump team’s description of the call belies the fact that the conversation has the potential to upset three decades of relations between the United States and its most important global trading partner.
The United States and most of the international community acknowledge China’s claim of sovereignty over Taiwan. But Taiwan, with its own elected government, constitution and military, considers itself an independent nation. 
The U.S. cut diplomatic relations with Taiwan in 1979, when it established formal ties with the People’s Republic of China. Trump’s call will likely enrage Beijing, and stands to damage U.S. relations with China before Trump even takes office. Read full story here

Trump Supporters Move To Block Vote Recounts In 3 States

Supporters of President-elect Donald Trump moved on Friday to halt the Green Party’s requests for long-shot recounts of the presidential votes in three states where Trump, a Republican, won with narrow victories.
Lawsuits were pending in MichiganPennsylvania and Wisconsin, three “Rust Belt” states which bucked their history of supporting Democrats and gave Trump thin wins in the Nov. 8 election.
The Green Party has said its requests for recounts in those states are focused on ensuring the integrity of the U.S. voting system and not on changing the result of the election.
Even if the recounts take place, they are extremely unlikely to change the overall outcome of the election, in which Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton. Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who garnered only about 1 percent of the vote, has said the recount campaign is not targeted at Trump or Clinton. Read full story here

Trump Campaign and GOP Allies in Full Legal Panic as Recounts Could Create Electoral College Crisis

Republicans are panicking because the Green Party’s presidential recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania could prevent Donald Trump from receiving 270 Electoral College votes—the final hurdle to the presidency—on December 19.

In the past 24 hours, the Trump campaign and its GOP allies in the three states that gave him an apparent Electoral College victory after on November 8 have filed lawsuits and legal motions to block, delay and freeze the recounts. In the case of Michigan, where Trump’s lead is smallest, 10,704 votes, the state's Republican attorney general is arguing the recount's results should be ignored.

“If a recount cannot be accomplished by the ‘safe harbor’ date [a week before the Electoral College meets], or if it is started but not finished by that date, then the State Defendants must, on or before December 13, 2016, certify to the federal government the initial elector results announced on November 28, 2016,” Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said in his lawsuit filed against the Michigan board overseeing the recount and its state election director.  

The Trump campaign filed a similar complaint Thursday against Michigan's Board of State Canvassers, saying Stein has no basis for the recount because she has no grievance and no chance of winning—ignoring that presidential candidates, even in minor parties, have standing under state and federal law.
By midday Friday, the canvassers board had met to consider the Trump campaign's motion and deadlocked along partisan lines. That means the recount will resume next week, barring other appeals and court orders. Thus, the Trump campaign’s first legal move in Michigan has delayed the start, and therefore the finish of the recount, increasing the likelihood of an upcoming legal fight over whether the state's Electoral College members can vote by December 19.

But Trump allies have filed even more eyebrow-raising lawsuits in the other states. 
In Wisconsin, where counties started recounting ballots Thursday, two super PACs supporting Trump, Great America PAC and Stop Hillary PAC, sued in federal district court to stop the recount, citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s intervention in Florida in 2000 where they stopped a recount and awarded the presidency to George W. Bush. That decision followed the twisted logic that since Florida counties weren’t following identical procedures, Bush did not receive equal treatment under the law. (In Wisconsin, counties have differing voting machinery and local officials have discretion to decide if they want to recount votes by hand or electronically.)  READ full story here 

WSJ editorial board comes out against Trump's Carrier deal

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, a reliable bastion of free-market conservatism, isn’t cheering the Carrier deal that Donald Trump is touting as his first major political victory since becoming president-elect.

In an editorial published Thursday evening, the Journal argued that Trump’s method to convince the manufacturer to keep some 1,000 jobs in Indiana instead of moving them to Mexico — what it described as an “arm-twisting” — in the long run will lead to a loss of jobs.

Economy added 178,000 new jobs in November

The Labor Department's first post-election employment survey reported 178,000jobs created in November, up from 142,000 in October.

Unemployment was 4.6 percent, down from October’s 4.9 percent and the lowest level in nine years.

Russia Complains That Ukraine Interfered With Its Interference in the American Election

A top Russian official is accusing the Ukrainian government of undermining Donald Trump’s presidential campaign by trashing him on social media and disseminating dirt on one of his close associates.
....“Ukraine seriously complicated the work of Trump’s election campaign headquarters by planting information according to which Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, allegedly accepted money from Ukrainian oligarchs,” Maria Zakharova said at a press briefing....The renewed scrutiny of Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine comes at an awkward time for the veteran operative and for Trump.
WTF? Russia is publicly complaining that another country took sides against it in an American election? Aren't they even pretending anymore that they didn't do anything to help Donald Trump win the presidency?

Friday, December 2, 2016

2,000 Veterans Just Arrived At Standing Rock To Form “Human Shield” Around Protesters (PHOTOS/VIDEO)

Over two thousand veterans have begun arriving at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest camp in North Dakota, intending to form a “human shield” protecting the protesters from the violent militarized police force that is defending the desecrating construction company.
The protesters, which number in the thousands, have been fighting to halt the construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline which would desecrate lands sacred to the Standing Rock Sioux and threaten the health of local water supplies. The police have been openly violating human rights with their intimidation tactics, setting attack dogs on protesters, sexually humiliating protesters with strip-searches and cavity exams, and arresting hundreds on trumped up charges.

Actually, Hillary did win.

The number of presidential votes now stands at 135.5 million and is still growingas states like California keep processing their ballots. What’s clear is Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by more ballots than anyone in American history who did not become president—over 2.5 million. But the problem of rigged American elections goes deeper than the antiquated Electoral College, which makes a mockery of a nationwide contest in which more than 60 million people voted for the top two candidates, yet the race was decided by 106,000 votes in three states (27,000 in Wisconsin, 11,000 in Michigan, 68,000 in Pennsylvania).
Republicans employed their do-everything strategy to complicate and create barriers to voting in Democratic epicenters, as most visibly seen by 14 states that adopted new laws restricting voting since 2014. Did tougher ID requirements in Wisconsin tip the balance from Clinton to Trump? In Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, where turnout was down by 58,000 votes from 2012, and where local officials said the new tougher ID law was partly to blame, Clinton got 66 percent of the votes this year. Could those mostly missing-in-action Democrats have made the difference? Perhaps, except some voters who backed Obama before said they didn’t like anyone this year and didn’t vote, or they voted for Trump.
The same questions are raised about Detroit, Michigan, where Wayne County’s turnout fell by 70,000 votes this year compared to 2012. Whether it was voter suppression tactics, a candidate who lacked the emotional appeal of her predecessor, states that were mostly ignored by both candidates during the lengthy campaign, unexpected high turnout in the white-majority rural areas—hacking vote count apparatus—or some mix of these (and other) factors, Trump is set to take the presidential oath in January—pending recounts.

Keith Ellison’s radical plan to save the Democratic Party

With the country still reeling from the outcome of the presidential election, another high-stakes election approaches. The Democratic National Committee — having lost control of the White House, the House of Representatives, the Senate, most state legislatures and governorships, and soon, the Supreme Court — is preparing to elect its new leader. As the left argues over what went wrong over the past few years and how to recover, many are calling for fresh blood in the top ranks of a party that has long been controlled by older, white officials from coastal states.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) — the first Muslim ever elected to Congress as well as the first black congressman from Minnesota — is gunning for the job. A leader of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, one of the few members of Congress to back Bernie Sanders in the primary, and the representative of a midwestern swing state, Ellison argues he is uniquely qualified to be the face of a party attempting to come back swinging from a series of devastating losses.

Clinton steps up the recount effort: Now her camp appeals for volunteers to help in Michigan as Green loser Jill Stein claims she's just doing it to sort out the system - not help Clinton Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3991126/Clinton-steps-recount-effort-appeals-volunteers-help-Michigan-Green-loser-Jill-Stein-claims-s-just-doing-sort-not-help-Clinton.html#ixzz4RdR72Az8 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

A leader of Hillary Clinton's Michigan campaign is urging volunteers to assist in a state recount the the campaign itself is trying to hold at a distance even while participating.

'We need all hands on deck. Will you sign up to volunteer to help with the recount here in Michigan?' Katie Kelly, described as the Michigan lead for Hillary for America, wrote supporters in an email appeal Wednesday.

Clinton narrowly lost the normally Democratic state to President-elect Donald Trump, who beat her by 10,704 votes.
The email pitch, which was reported by the Daily Caller, provided a link to an online sign up. 'Help with the Michigan recount,' it said. 'Let us know if you want to get involved.' 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3991126/Clinton-steps-recount-effort-appeals-volunteers-help-Michigan-Green-loser-Jill-Stein-claims-s-just-doing-sort-not-help-Clinton.html#ixzz4RdRCxAwS 
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