Posts Tagged ‘National elections’

Donald Trump embraces legacy of Andrew Jackson

Monday, February 20th, 2017

It was an ugly, highly personal presidential election.
An unvarnished celebrity outsider who pledged to represent the forgotten laborer took on an intellectual member of the Washington establishment looking to extend a political dynasty in the White House.
Andrew Jackson‘s triumph in 1828 over President John Quincy Adams bears striking similarities to Donald Trump‘s victory over Hillary Clinton last year, and some of those most eager to point that out are in the Trump White House.
Trump’s team has seized upon the parallels between the current president and the long-dead Tennessee war hero. Trump has hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office and Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, who has pushed the comparison, told reporters after Trump’s inaugural address that “I don’t think we’ve had a speech like that since Andrew Jackson came to the White House.”
Trump himself mused during his first days in Washington that “there hasn’t been anything like this since Andrew Jackson.”
It’s a remarkable moment of rehabilitation for a figure whose populist credentials and anti-establishment streak has been tempered by harsher elements of his legacy, chiefly his forced removal of Native Americans that caused disease and the death of thousands.
“Both were elected presidents as a national celebrity; Jackson due to prowess on battlefield and Trump from making billions in his business empire,” said Douglas Brinkley, a professor of history at Rice University. “And it’s a conscious move for Trump to embrace Jackson. In American political lore, Jackson represents the forgotten rural America while Trump won by bringing out that rural vote and the blue collar vote.”
The seventh president, known as “Old Hickory” for his toughness on the battlefield, gained fame when he led American forces to a victory in the Battle of New Orleans in the final throes of the War of 1812. He did serve a term

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The new civics course in schools: How to avoid fake news

Monday, February 13th, 2017

Teachers from elementary school through college are telling students how to distinguish between factual and fictional news — and why they should care that there’s a difference.
As Facebook works with The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and other organizations to curb the spread of fake and misleading news on its influential network, teachers say classroom instruction can play a role in deflating the kind of “Pope endorses Trump” headlines that muddied the waters during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“I think only education can solve this problem,” said Pat Winters Lauro, a professor at Kean University in New Jersey who began teaching a course on news literacy this semester.
Like others, Lauro has found discussions of fake news can lead to politically sensitive territory. Some critics believe fake stories targeting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton helped Donald Trump overcome a large deficit in public opinion polls, and President Trump himself has attached the label to various media outlets and unfavorable reports and polls in the first weeks of his presidency.
“It hasn’t been a difficult topic to teach in terms of material because there’s so much going on out there,” Lauro said, “but it’s difficult in terms of politics because we have such a divided country and the students are divided, too, on their beliefs. I’m afraid sometimes that they think I’m being political when really I’m just talking about journalistic standards for facts and verification, and they look at it like ‘Oh, you’re anti-this or -that.’”
Judging what to trust was easier when the sources were clearer — magazines, newspapers or something else, said Kean senior Mike Roche, who is taking Lauro’s class. Now “it all comes through the same medium of your cellphone or your computer, so it’s very easy to blur the lines and not have a clear distinction of what’s real and what’s

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Donald Trump’s assertions echo site filled with tales of dark plots

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

President Donald Trump‘s assertion that the media often fails to cover terrorist attacks is false, but he’s hardly alone in making the claim. The statement is just the latest by Trump to echo a website known for trafficking in dubious allegations of plots and cover-ups.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris and Nice. All over Europe it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons and you understand that,” Trump said in a speech to military commanders at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base Monday.
That allegation was quickly disproven by numerous articles and broadcast clips detailing many of the very attacks the White House said had been overlooked or underreported. But versions of the same accusation have long gone unquestioned on Infowars, a website run by former public access cable host Alex Jones.
“Scandal: Mass media covers up terrorism to protect Islam,” a headline on Jones’ site alleged last July. “Fake news: Mainstream media whitewashes Islamic terror in Berlin,” proclaimed another, last December.
There’s no evidence that Trump gets his information from the site. But Trump voiced his admiration for Jones when the Infowars host interviewed him in December 2015.
“Your reputation is amazing,” then-candidate Trump told Jones. “I will not let you down. You will be very impressed, I hope, and I think we’ll be speaking a lot.”
Jones responded: “I hope you can uncripple America…”
Days after the election, Jones said that Trump had called him to “thank your viewers, thank your listeners for standing up for this republic.”
Jones, whose site has alleged that the Newtown, Connecticut, school shooting was a hoax and that the September 11, 2001, terror attacks involved the federal government, is “America’s leading conspiracy theorist,” said Mark Fenster, author

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Donald Trump’s voter fraud expert registered in 3 states

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

A man who President Donald Trump has promoted as an authority on voter fraud was registered to vote in multiple states during the 2016 presidential election, the Associated Press has learned.
Gregg Phillips, whose unsubstantiated claim that the election was marred by 3 million illegal votes was tweeted by the president, was listed on the rolls in Alabama, Texas and Mississippi, according to voting records and election officials in those states. He voted only in Alabama in November, records show.
In a post earlier this month, Phillips described “an amazing effort” by volunteers tied to True the Vote, an organization whose board he sits on, who he said found “thousands of duplicate records and registrations of dead people.”
Trump has made an issue of people who are registered to vote in more than one state, using it as one of the bedrocks of his overall contention that voter fraud is rampant in the U.S. and that voting by 3 to 5 million immigrants illegally in the country cost him the popular vote in November.
The AP found that Phillips was registered in Alabama and Texas under the name Gregg Allen Phillips, with the identical Social Security number. Mississippi records list him under the name Gregg A. Phillips, and that record includes the final four digits of Phillips’ Social Security number, his correct date of birth and a prior address matching one once attached to Gregg Allen Phillips. He has lived in all three states.
At the time of November’s presidential election, Phillips’ status was “inactive” in Mississippi and suspended in Texas. Officials in both states told the AP that Phillips could have voted, however, by producing identification and updating his address at the polls.
Citing concerns about voters registered in several states, the president last week called for a major investigation into his claim of voter

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Promises, pomp and protests as Donald Trump sworn in

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Pledging to empower America’s “forgotten men and women,” Donald Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States Friday, taking command of a deeply divided nation and ushering in an unpredictable era in Washington. His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.
Looking out over the crowd sprawled across the National Mall, Trump painted a bleak picture of the nation he now leads, lamenting “American carnage,” shuttered factories and depleted U.S. leadership. President Barack Obama, the man he replaced, sat behind him stoically.
Trump’s address lasted just 16 minutes. While his inauguration did draw crowds to the nation’s capital, the numbers appeared smaller than for past celebrations.
Demonstrations unfolded at various security checkpoints near the Capitol as police helped ticket-holders get through. After the swearing-in, more protesters registered their rage in the streets of Washington. Police in riot gear deployed pepper spray and made numerous arrests after protesters smashed the windows of downtown businesses, denouncing capitalism and Trump.
The new president’s first words as commander in chief were an unapologetic reprisal of the economic populism and nationalism that fueled his improbable campaign. He vowed to stir “new national pride,” bring jobs back to the United States, and “eradicate completely” Islamic terrorism.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only, ‘America First,’” Trump said.
His address lasted just 16 minutes. While Trump’s inauguration did draw crowds to the nation’s capital, the numbers appeared smaller than for past celebrations.
In a remarkable scene, Trump ripped into Washington’s longtime leaders as he stood among them at the U.S. Capitol. For too long, he said, “a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost.”
For Republicans eager to

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Grand Old Party? Donald Trump remaking GOP in his image

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

For eight years, a leaderless Republican Party has rallied around its passionate opposition to President Barack Obama and an unceasing devotion to small government, free markets and fiscal discipline.
No more.
On the eve of his inauguration, Donald Trump is remaking the party in his image, casting aside decades of Republican orthodoxy for a murky populist agenda that sometimes clashes with core conservative beliefs. Yet his stunning election gives the GOP a formal leader for the first time in nearly a decade. The New York real estate mogul becomes the face of the party, the driver of its policies and its chief enforcer.
Despite their excitement, Republican loyalists across the country concede that major questions remain about their party’s identity in the age of Trump.
The simple answer: The modern-day Republican Party stands for whatever Trump wants it to.
“He’s a sometime-Republican,” American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said. “Donald Trump was elected without having to really put all the details out on all these questions. We are going to see in the first six months how this plays out. Does government get bigger or does it get smaller?”
Trump is eyeing a governing agenda that includes big-ticket items that Schlapp and other conservative leaders would fight against under any other circumstances. Yet some see Trump’s agenda as more in line with the concerns of average Americans, which could help the party’s underwhelming public standing and keep them in power.
The president-elect initially promised a massive infrastructure spending bill to update the nation’s roads and bridges, an investment that could dwarf the infrastructure spending Republicans opposed when it appeared in Obama’s 2009 stimulus package. Trump has also vowed to put the federal government in the child care business by allowing parents to offset child care costs with tax breaks. And he has railed against regional trade deals

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Donald Trump’s hands-on management style to be tested by presidency

Sunday, November 27th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump looked at hundreds of marble samples before selecting one for the lobby of Trump Tower. He can recall, in painstaking detail even decades later, how he stood in the cold and oversaw the ice-making process at Central Park’s rink. And, during the campaign, he personally reviewed every single campaign ad, rejecting some over the smallest of perceived flaws.
The hands-on, minutiae-obsessed management style that Trump has relied on for decades in the business world will now be tested by the presidency, an overwhelming job in which his predecessor says only the most challenging decisions even make it to the Oval Office.
“Somebody noted to me that by the time something reaches my desk, that means it’s really hard,” President Barack Obama has said. “Because if it were easy, somebody else would have made the decision and somebody else would have solved it.”
The president-elect, at times, has been reluctant to delegate. But while his multinational business is indeed vast, the scope of the federal government exceeds any of his previous endeavors.
Those close to him are gently suggesting that he will have to do some more delegating given the sheer volume of decisions needed to get his administration up and running, according to a person familiar with private discussions but not authorized to speak about them by name. Trump has chafed at that, but he has signaled willingness to relinquish some personal control.
Over his career, Trump has been highly involved with the decisions he cares deeply about. When building Trump Tower, the Manhattan skyscraper he calls home, he settled upon a rare marble, Breccia Pernice, for the building’s lobby.
But when he inspected the pieces that had been tagged for use, he found some blemishes — prompting a personal trip to Italy.
“So we ended up going to the quarry with black tape

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Tim Kaine says he’s not going to run for president in 2020

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine says he’ll seek re-election in 2018 but is ruling out a presidential bid in 2020.
The former Democratic vice presidential nominee said in an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday that his place is in the Senate and his decision not to run in 2020 is final.
“Period. Full stop,” Kaine said.
With a heightened national profile after campaigning across the country for more than three months as Hillary Clinton‘s running mate, Kaine could have chosen to pursue his own White House ambitions or tried and play a leading role charting a reeling Democratic Party’s direction in the Donald Trump era.
But the first-term senator and former governor said he belongs in the upper chamber, where he will be part of a Democratic minority whose ability to filibuster will be “the only emergency brake there is” on Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress.
Kaine has already been a vocal critic of Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as a senior advisor. Kaine said Bannon’s ties to white nationalism and anti-Semitism disqualify him from a senior role in the White House.
Kaine said he would continue to guard against the “normalization” by Trump of what Kaine said were un-American values, but he added that he’s keeping an open mind about the billionaire businessman’s presidency.
“I have a lot of concerns, but I don’t think it’s fair to the administration to just assume everything that was said during the campaign will be done,” Kaine said, noting that Trump had already shown some post-Election Day flexibility on issues like gay marriage and the Affordable Care Act.
Kaine said there were some issues Democrats could work with Trump on, including increased infrastructure spending and raising the tax rate on carried interest, which is often used by managers for private equity firms and hedge funds to reduce tax payments.
Kaine said

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Donald Trump rides chutzpah to victory in presidential race

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

He felt it in the breeze.
Nearing the end of his long, improbable journey to victory in the presidential race, Donald Trump, the candidate of so much tumult and bluster, waxed nostalgic about how he got there.
“I had great parents, great parents,” Trump told the crowd at a rally in steamy Orlando, Florida. “I just felt that nice breeze, so they’re helping us out.”
The candidate who for more than a year had unapologetically demonstrated he would say anything sensed it was time to rein it in.
“Stay on point, Donald, stay on point,” he publicly admonished himself just days before the election. “No sidetracks, Donald. Nice and easy.”
It was a rare glimpse of internal dialogue in the man whose whole life has been one long battle to prove himself bigger, louder, richer, smarter, brassier than the next guy.
Trump’s unbounded confidence — and obsession with winning — have been a lifelong constant, evident in ways large and small.
Growing up as one of five children in a well-to-do Queens real estate family, Donald was the brash one, a fighter from the start.
“We gotta calm him down,” his father would say, as Trump recalls it. “Son, take the lumps out.”
For good or ill, it’s advice Trump rarely embraced.
Military school helped channel his energy, but Trump’s rebellious streak remained.
Trump followed his father into real estate but chafed within the confines of Fred Trump’s realm in New York’s outer boroughs.
He crossed the East River to Manhattan and never looked back.
“He’s gone way beyond me, absolutely,” an admiring Fred marveled. His son had hit it big well before he hit 40.
So successful at such a young age, Trump never did have to smooth out those lumps his father had warned about.
“He was at the top of his own pyramid,” says Stanley Renshon, a political psychologist at the City

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Donald Trump belittles accusers as more turn up with sordid stories

Saturday, October 15th, 2016

Donald Trump acted out onstage an accuser’s allegations and suggested another wasn’t worthy of his attention the same day two more women came forward with years-old stories of unwanted sexual encounters with the Republican presidential nominee.

With eight women accusing Trump of unwanted kissing, groping or more, the New York businessman maintained his innocence and his denunciation of opponent Hillary Clinton and an international media conspiracy aimed at denying him the White House.
“100 percent fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign, may poison the minds of the American Voter. FIX!” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning.
Clinton maintained a relatively low profile as Trump stormed, but more hacked emails from WikiLeaks raised anew questions about her private versus public pronouncements. Those released Friday showed her campaign had asked former President Bill Clinton to cancel a speech to an investment firm last year because of concerns that the Clintons might appear to be too cozy with Wall Street just as she was about to announce her candidacy.
Such revelations were no match for the sordid new accusations against Trump. Summer Zervos, a former contestant from Trump’s NBC show “The Apprentice,” said the series’ star became sexually aggressive at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007. He kissed her open-mouthed and touched her breasts in a private room, she said during a news conference.
Late Friday night, the Trump campaign released a statement in which a cousin of Zervos said he was “shocked and bewildered” by her account. John Barry of Mission Viejo, California, said Zervos “wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she’s saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump.”
In response, Summer’s lawyer, Gloria Allred, said in a statement that Barry worked at Zervos’ family restaurant until several months ago,

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More women accuse Donald Trump of unwanted sexual touching

Friday, October 14th, 2016

Two more women came forward on Friday to accuse Donald Trump of unwanted sexual touching, including a former contestant from a reality show that starred the Republican presidential nominee.
The latest accounts come after several women reported in recent days that Trump groped or kissed them without their consent.
At a campaign rally in North Carolina on Friday, Trump sought to discredit his accusers. He said because there were no witnesses to the interactions, the allegations were not credible.
“Right now I am being viciously attacked with lies and smears,” Trump said at an outdoor amphitheater. “It’s a phony deal. I have no idea who these women are.”
Trump also suggested the women who have come forward to accuse him were not physically attractive enough to merit his attention. “Believe me, she would not be my first choice, that I can tell you,” he said when speaking of one of the women.
Summer Zervos, a former contestant on “The Apprentice,” said Trump made unwanted sexual advances toward her at a Beverly Hills hotel in 2007, while photographer Kristin Anderson alleged Trump sexually assaulted her in a New York nightclub in the early 1990s.
Zervos, 41, appeared at a news conference Friday with Gloria Allred, a well-known Los Angeles attorney who has previously represented women who have accused celebrities of sexual misconduct. Zervos was a contestant on “The Apprentice” in 2006 and said she later contacted Trump to inquire about a job with one of his businesses.
Zervos said she had an initial meeting with Trump, where he discussed a potential job with her. When they parted, he kissed her on the lips and asked for her phone number, she said.
She said weeks later Trump called to invite her to meet him at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she said she was expecting to have dinner with the

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Donald Trump aggressive, Hillary Clinton steady in tense debate

Monday, October 10th, 2016

His candidacy spiraling out of control, Donald Trump faced Hillary Clinton on the debate stage Sunday night in the most critical moment of his political career.
Questions about Trump’s preparation, policy knowledge and temperament all were overshadowed by the political fallout from Friday’s release of a video that captured the Republican presidential nominee making predatory sexual comments about women a decade earlier.
With tensions high, the candidates refused to shake hands at the start of the debate at Washington University in St. Louis, then tangled repeatedly for 90 minutes.
___
TRUMP GOES AFTER BILL CLINTON
After threatening for weeks to bring up Bill Clinton‘s sexual scandals, Trump finally went there.
Even before the debate began, Trump appeared alongside several women who had accused the former president of unwanted sexual advances decades earlier. It was a risky move that threatened to damage Trump’s already poor standing with women. But with his campaign in virtual freefall and his party in revolt, he may have had nothing to lose.
Once on stage, Trump pointed out the four women he had invited to attend the debate — among them Paula Jones and Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of sexual impropriety decades ago. He called Bill Clinton’s actions “far worse” than Trump’s own words on the 2005 recording, where he bragged that he could “do anything” to women because of his fame.
“There’s never been anybody in the history of politics in this nation that’s been so abusive to women,” Trump said.
Trump also tried to link Hillary Clinton to her husband’s actions. “Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously,” he said.
___
CLINTON TAKES THE HIGH ROAD
Clinton ignored Trump’s attacks on her husband’s infidelities, saying she was taking first lady Michelle Obama’s advice: “When they go low, we go high.”
The Democratic nominee stayed focused on her message, stressing Trump’s history of

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Athletes take issue with Donald Trump over “locker room talk”

Monday, October 10th, 2016

CJ McCollum, Jamal Crawford and Jacob Tamme are among current and former professional athletes on social media to criticize Donald Trump‘s characterization of his predatory, sexual comments about women from a 2005 video as “locker room talk.”
Trump’s campaign described his remarks as “locker room banter” in a statement Saturday, and the Republican presidential nominee repeated the line multiple times Sunday during the presidential debate with Hillary Clinton.
In the tape, obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News, Trump describes trying to have sex with a married woman and brags about women letting him kiss and grab them because he is famous.
“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says. “You can do anything.”
He adds seconds later, “Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.”
“I haven’t heard that one in any locker rooms,” McCollum wrote on Twitter in a response to a tweet from Crawford. McCollum plays for the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers and Crawford plays for the Los Angeles Clippers.

I haven’t heard that one in any locker rooms https://t.co/Ci8NXOgFcI
— CJ McCollum (@CJMcCollum) October 10, 2016

Please stop saying “locker room talk”
— Jacob Tamme (@JacobTamme) October 10, 2016

It’s not normal. And even if it were normal, it’s not right. https://t.co/RQUWJJBSTn
— Jacob Tamme (@JacobTamme) October 10, 2016

Dodgers pitcher Brett Anderson , Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley and retired NFL players Donte Stallworth and Chris Kluweoffered similar condemnations.

Have I been in every locker room? No. But the guys I know and respect don’t talk like that. They talk about girls but not like that. Period.
— Chris Conley (@_flight17_) October 10, 2016

“Locker room talk”
— Donté Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) October 10, 2016

Yes. That’s not locker room talk. https://t.co/egzC03ooQA
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) October 10, 2016

As an athlete, I’ve been in locker rooms my entire adult life and uh, that’s not locker room talk.
— Sean

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Analysis: In debate, Hillary Clinton was prepared, Donald Trump was Trump

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

She was at her best. He was not at his worst.
Weeks of Super Bowl-style hype aside, Monday night’s 90 minutes of heated clashes between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump probably didn’t shove many undecided voters off the fence.
If Clinton aimed to push her famously unpredictable opponent into a made-for-sharing disqualifying moment, she didn’t quite get there. If Trump set out to show America — particularly women — he’s completed the transformation from cartoonish pop culture staple to leader worthy of the Oval Office, he still has a way to go.
But in a debate full of feisty exchanges and a personal scuffle or two, the candidates demonstrated clearly how they’ve gotten this far. Clinton was polished, prepared and proud of it —a Hermione Granger at a podium. She came with sharp and practiced answers, most notably a newly direct one for the questions about her private email server that has dogged her candidacy for months. She grinned broadly and calmly, even when under fire, and she mocked but only gently the man she called “Donald.”
“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And, yes, I did,” Clinton said. “And you know what else I prepared for? I prepared to be president. And I think that’s a good thing.”
Trump addressed his opponent as “Secretary Clinton” — even asking for her approval for the term — but by the end he called her “Hillary.”
The care he took with her title was a reminder of the voters he was aiming to win over. Women, particularly college-educated white women, are the key to Trump turning his current burst of momentum into a sustained surge that lasts until Election Day. The 70-year-old businessman has struggled to persuade women, even those with doubts about the first woman president, to get behind his bid, thanks

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Updates from the 1st presidential debate

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

The Latest on the first of three presidential debates between Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump (all times EDT):
10:45 p.m.
Both candidates concluded the first presidential debate by saying they will accept the outcome if the other wins.
Hillary Clinton spoke directly to viewers and said, “It’s not about us, it’s about you.”
Donald Trump initially dodged the same question, saying he would make a “seriously troubled” America “great again.” He added: “I’m going to be able to do it. I don’t believe Hillary Clinton will.”
But Trump finished his answer by saying that if Clinton wins, “I will absolutely support her.”
___
10:43 p.m.
Hillary Clinton is punching back at Donald Trump’s assertions that she doesn’t have the “stamina” to be president.
Trump has questioned whether Clinton has the physical fitness to be president and he repeated the criticism to her directly during the debate. Clinton’s response? Trump shouldn’t talk about stamina until he’s tried out the busy schedule she kept up as secretary of state.
Trump didn’t answer moderator Lester Holt’s original question about his past comments that Clinton doesn’t have the “presidential look.”
Clinton suggested the remarks were about gender, and she reminded the crowd of Trump’s past comments calling women “pigs” and other derogatory names.
___
10:42 p.m.
Donald Trump says NATO needs to “go into the Middle East with us” to combat the Islamic State group. And he is taking credit for NATO focusing resources on combating terrorism.
In fact, the alliance agreed in July to contribute aircraft and conduct training in Iraq and has increased intelligence coordination there. And NATO set up an anti-terrorism program in 2004 — years before Trump criticized them as a presidential candidate.
Earlier this year, Trump criticized NATO for not focusing on terrorism. He said that afterward, he saw an article reporting that NATO was opening a new, major anti-terrorism division.
He said Tuesday

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Fact check: Donald Trump on Iraq War

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

A claim from the presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:
TRUMP: “Wrong. Wrong,” he said when Clinton pointed out that he supported the Iraq war. Trump later returned to the issue when asked about it by moderator Lester Holt. “I did not support the war in Iraq,” he said. “That is a mainstream media nonsense put out by her. I was against the war in Iraq.”
THE FACTS: There is no evidence Trump expressed public opposition to the war before the U.S. invaded. Rather, he offered lukewarm support. The billionaire businessman only began to voice doubts about the conflict well after it began in March 2003.
His first known public comment on the topic came on Sept. 11, 2002, when he was asked whether he supported a potential Iraq invasion in an interview with radio host Howard Stern. “Yeah, I guess so,” Trump responded after a brief hesitation, according to a recording of the interview. Trump then alluded to the first Gulf War in 1991, which ended with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein still in power. “You know, I wish it was, I wish the first time it was done correctly.”
On March 21, 2003, just days after the invasion began, Trump said the invasion “looks like a tremendous success from a military standpoint.”
That September, he said he “would have fought terrorism, but not necessarily Iraq.” In December, he told Fox News that “a lot of people (are) questioning the whole concept of going in in the first place.” But he stopped short of saying that he was among those opponents.
In fact, Trump had voiced support for a hypothetical invasion of Iraq before President George W. Bush took office. In his 2000 book, “The America We Deserve,” Trump suggested that he would be in favor of a pre-emptive strike if Iraq

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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump battle fiercely over taxes, race, terror

Monday, September 26th, 2016

In a combative opening debate, Hillary Clinton emphatically denounced Donald Trump Monday night for keeping his personal tax returns and business dealings secret from voters and peddling a “racist lie” about President Barack Obama. Businessman Trump repeatedly cast Clinton as a “typical politician” as he sought to capitalize on Americans’ frustration with Washington.
Locked in an exceedingly close White House race, the presidential rivals tangled for 90-minutes over their vastly different visions for the nation’s future. Clinton called for lowering taxes for the middle class, while Trump focused more on renegotiating trade deals that he said have caused companies to move jobs out of the U.S. The Republican backed the controversial “stop-and-frisk policing” tactic as a way to bring down crime, while the Democrat said the policy was unconstitutional and ineffective.
The debate was heated from the start, with Trump frequently trying to interrupt Clinton and speaking over her answers. Clinton was more measured and restrained, but also needled the sometimes-thin-skinned Trump over his business record and wealth.
“There’s something he’s hiding,” she declared, scoffing at his repeated contention that he won’t release his tax returns because he is being audited.
Trump aggressively tried to turn the transparency questions around on Clinton, who has struggled to overcome voters’ concerns about her honestly and trustworthiness. He said he would release his tax information when she produces more than 30,000 emails that were deleted from the personal internet server she used as secretary of state.
Tax experts have said there is no reason the businessman cannot make his records public during an audit.
Clinton was contrite in addressing her controversial email use, saying simply that it was a “mistake”. She notably did not fall back on many of the excuses she has often used for failing to use a government email during her four years as secretary of

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Moderator Lester Holt under scrutiny during debate

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Everyone’s aware of the stakes for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump during the first presidential debate, but there’s a third person in the equation who faces a different pressure: Lester Holt.
The NBC News veteran is moderating his first general election debate, making him solely responsible for the questions asked each candidate and for steering the conversation. His performance will be closely watched, particularly in light of a dispute over the extent to which he should call politicians out for making untrue statements.
Holt, 57, has kept quiet about his preparations. The NBC “Nightly News” anchor took over his job last year after predecessor Brian Williams was found to have lied about his role in news stories.
Like the moderators for all three presidential debates this fall, it’s Holt’s first time in that role for a general election debate. He hosted a Democratic primary forum in January, and has interviewed Clinton and Trump three times each during the campaign.
In a reflection of the attention that will be paid to Holt, his voter registration became an issue last week.
“Lester is a Democrat,” Trump said in a Fox News Channel interview. “It’s a phony system. They are all Democrats.”
Holt, however, is a registered Republican, according to New York state voting records.
Asked about the misstatement on Monday, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said on MSNBC that it wasn’t a lie because Trump didn’t know Holt’s voter registration.
Voting records show that Anderson Cooper of CNN, who is moderating the Oct. 5 debate, is registered unaffiliated with a party in New York and Chris Wallace of Fox News, the moderator on Oct. 19, is a registered Democrat in Washington, D.C. Martha Raddatz, who will join Cooper, lives in Virginia, which doesn’t register voters by party, and ABC would not discuss her affiliation.
That illustrates on a small scale the

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How to stream the high-stakes presidential debates

Monday, September 26th, 2016

Television viewership for Monday’s presidential debate is expected to be high, but you don’t need a television to watch.
There are plenty of ways to stream the showdown for free and get behind-the-scenes content and commentary, ranging from emoji responses to serious fact checks. A bigger question might be: Who isn’t streaming it?
If you don’t have cable or satellite TV, or even an antenna, you can catch the streams that major news organizations will offer on their websites and apps. But many social networks and online outlets will offer the debate, too.
Here’s your online guide to Monday’s debate, which starts at 9 p.m. EDT. All three presidential debates are expected to have similar streaming opportunities, and many outlets will cover the one for the vice presidential candidates as well.
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TWITTER
The service will stream Bloomberg Television’s live coverage of the presidential and vice presidential debates. To watch, go to http://debates.twitter.com, or visit Bloomberg’s bpolitics Twitter feed. Twitter says the streams will include special political programming and commentary from Bloomberg 30 minutes before and after each debate. You do not need a Twitter account — or be logged in — to watch.
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FACEBOOK
ABC News will show live streams from the debate and offer footage from watch parties, anchors and correspondents. The network says it will “incorporate viewers’ comments, questions and conversations” into its Facebook Live coverage. To find it, go to the ABC News Facebook page.
Other organizations are hopping on the Facebook Live bandwagon as well, including Fox News, C-SPAN, The New York Times, CNBC and Telemundo.
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YOUTUBE
Google’s video streaming site is hosting debate streams from several news outlets, including NBC News, The Washington Post, Telemundo and Fox News. In addition, Google says “your favorite YouTube creators” such as the Young Turks and Complex news will be streaming live reports from the debates, using YouTube Live directly from

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Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump buff foreign policy bona fides on debate eve

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were meeting separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday, giving the each candidate fresh bragging rights about their knowledge of foreign policy and readiness to lead the nation on the eve of their first presidential debate.
Trump and Netanyahu discussed “at length” Israel’s use of a fence to help secure its borders, an example Trump frequently cites when he’s talking about the wall he wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico.
“Trump recognized that Israel and its citizens have suffered far too long on the front lines of Islamic terrorism,” the campaign said in a statement. “He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State.”
Clinton was expected to meet with the prime minister later in the day, also in New York.
The meeting was designed to put Israel on good footing with the next U.S. president. But it also served to showcase the candidates’ expertise in foreign policy in the shadow of their first debate Monday, six weeks before Election Day. Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, often says that Trump does not know enough about the world and lacks the temperament to be president. Trump has argued that he has extensive experience with foreign policy through his career as a business executive and blames Clinton for many of the nation’s stumbles in foreign policy.
Meanwhile, the candidates deployed their top supporters to the Sunday shows to take early jabs at their opponents and lower expectations for a showdown expected to draw 75 million viewers — many of them disenchanted with both candidates, the least-popular presidential hopefuls in history.
Facts and who will determine them during

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Donald Trump campaign plans $140 million ad buy

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

Donald Trump‘s campaign is planning for what it says will amount to $140 million worth of advertising from now until Election Day.
The total, if executed, would include $100 million in television airtime and $40 million in digital ads, according to senior communications adviser Jason Miller.
The plan represents a new approach for the billionaire businessman, who has repeatedly bragged in recent weeks about how much less he’s spent than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton and seemed to rely heavily on free media coverage of his large rallies.
Through this week, the Trump campaign has put only about $22 million into TV and radio ads for the general election, according to Kantar Media’s political advertising tracker. Clinton has spent more than five times as much on those kinds of ads, $124 million so far.
Trump’s new ad buy will include 13 states, from key battlegrounds such as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio and Pennsylvania, to new targets of Maine, New Mexico and Wisconsin, Miller said. About $40 million of the ads will play on national TV, he said.
That averages to about $16.7 million per week in TV ads; Miller said the first $15 million ad buy was made Friday, although media buyers and services such as Kantar Media didn’t immediately see evidence of that.
Clinton’s ad reservations going forward total about $11 million per week, but her campaign can add to those buys at any time.
Trump’s advertising plan costs more than his campaign has in the bank, meaning he needs to dip into his own pockets or continue raising major money.
As of Sept. 1, the campaign had about $50 million in cash, though in a news release earlier this month, the campaign said it had $97 million in cash when including his joint accounts with Republican Party allies.
Trump has continued to experience strong fundraising online this month, campaign aides

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Gold cards and red hats: A Trumpian approach to fundraising

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Donald Trump is underwriting his presidential bid by selling the Donald Trump lifestyle — and campaign finance records show it is working.
For the low price of $25, you can snag a Trump Gold Card emblazoned with your name or join a campaign “Board of Directors” that comes with a personalized certificate. For $30, grab one of Trump’s signature red hats — billed as “the most popular product in America.” Supporters can elevate themselves to “big league” by ponying up $184 for a signed, “now out of print” copy of Trump’s book, “The Art of the Deal.”
There’s a catch to some of these merchandising claims. There is no evidence the board of directors exists. “The Art of the Deal” is still in print, available for $9.34 in paperback. And the new campaign edition of the book is signed by an autopen, not Trump, as noted in the solicitation’s fine print.
Regardless, the appeals have paid off.
Through the end of July, people giving $200 or less made up about half of his campaign funds, according to fundraising reports through July. For Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, those small gifts accounted for about 19 percent.
The two candidates each claim over 2 million donors, but Trump has been fundraising in earnest for only about three months, compared to Clinton’s 17-month operation. Both are expected to report the details of their August fundraising to federal regulators on Tuesday.
“His brand appeals to quite a number of people,” said John Thompson, digital fundraising director for Ted Cruz‘s Republican presidential campaign. “It’s smart for him to use it for fundraising. The celebrity factor builds a natural donor community on its own, without him having to do too much.”
Hyperbolic campaign marketing is a natural fit for Trump, who has puffed up the value of what he sold throughout his business career.

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Donald Trump signed improper charity check supporting Pam Bondi

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Donald Trump‘s signature, an unmistakable if nearly illegible series of bold vertical flourishes, was scrawled on the improper $25,000 check sent from his personal foundation to a political committee supporting Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Charities are barred from engaging in political activities, and the Republican presidential nominee’s campaign has contended for weeks that the 2013 check from the Donald J. Trump Foundation was mistakenly issued following a series of clerical errors. Trump had intended to use personal funds to support Bondi’s re-election, his campaign said.
So, why didn’t Trump catch the purported goof himself when he signed the foundation check?
Trump lawyer Alan Garten offered new details about the transaction to The Associated Press on Thursday, after a copy of the Sept. 9, 2013, check was released by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Garten said the billionaire businessman personally signs hundreds of checks a week, and that he simply didn’t catch the error.
“He traditionally signs a lot of checks,” said Garten, who serves as in-house counsel for various business interests at Trump Tower in New York City. “It’s a way for him to monitor and keep control over what’s going on in the company. It’s just his way. … I’ve personally been in his office numerous times and seen a big stack of checks on his desk for him to sign.”
The 2013 donation to Bondi’s political group has garnered intense scrutiny because her office was at the time fielding media questions about whether she would follow the lead of Schneiderman, who had then filed a lawsuit against Trump University and Trump Institute. Scores of former students say they were scammed by Trump’s namesake get-rich-quick seminars in real estate.
Bondi, whom the AP reported in June personally solicited the $25,000 check from Trump, took no action. Both Bondi and Trump say their conversation had

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