Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Donald Trump’s pick to be the Republican nominee’s vice presidential running mate, calls rumors untrue that his nickname is Cuddles. “I am not known by, and would not answer to, the name Cuddles,” Pence said in a statement he released this morning.
The nickname surfaced two days ago, when his wife, Karen, was heard on an open microphone calling him that before he gave a speech in Indianapolis supporting Trump. “Cuddles, did you remember to go potty before you got up here?” his wife was heard asking him. “You know what happens when you don’t go potty before you speak. You rush through your lines.”
“I’m fine,” Pence was overheard replying. “I went back at the office.”
“But that was more than an hour ago,” his wife was heard saying.
“I only had one cup of coffee,” Pence replied.
“But those polyps the doctor found,” his wife said. “You know how they make your bladder feel full.”
“Honey, I’ll go potty after I speak. I promise,” he said.
“Did you eat the sandwich I made you?” his wife asked.
“I . . . I’m saving it for tomorrow.”
Pence, a former congressman who chaired the House Republican Conference in 2010, is known as a strict conservative who favors rigid limits on how much the federal government can spend, tight controls on immigration, and using military power aggressively to pursue American interests. On social issues, he opposes same-sex marriage, gays in the military, and abortion. He’s a staunch gun-rights advocate. His campaign staff says he won’t have to make any campaign appearances with his wife as long as he goes potty before he speaks.
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New Jersey Governor Chrs Christie says he’s not on the list to be vice president in a Mike Pence administration should the Vice President assume the presidency in the event Donald Trump is removed from office. “I have not been asked, nor am I considering how I would respond should I be asked, to be vice president under a Mike Pence administration,” Christie said in a statement his office sent to news outlets today. “I can say I won’t be vice president unless and until I’m under consideration, and as of right now I am not.” A spokesperson for Vice President Pence confirmed that no one has asked, nor is there any contemplation of asking, Christie to be vice president under Pence. “The Vice President is focusing on improving the lives of Americans and has not made any kind of outreach to Gov. Christie to be vice president,” said Mike White, deputy spokesperson for the vice president. More.
Russian hacking of Democratic and Republican campaign emails have led to upheaval this election year, analysts say, not the least of which is the presidential victory of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. But in the latest bizarre twist, the hacked email of Republican elector Christopher Suprun of Texas indicates this “faithless” elector is a big fan of Neil Peart of the aging Canadian prog-rock group Rush. In an email made public by WikiLeaks, Suprun, who made news weeks ago by saying he could not in good conscious cast his vote as an elector for Donald Trump, was quoting Neil Peart’s lyrics from the Rush song “Faithless” as he mulled what to do. More.
John Forrester made his name picking apart the weaknesses of George W. Bush and now he has put our next president, Donald Trump, under his knife with his new book, How to Play Trump Like a Fiddle: A Guide for Foreign Leaders. The book immediately rose to the top of The New York Times bestseller list, with rave reviews like this one, from Andrew McNair of The New Yorker: “Forrester expertly walks prime ministers, presidents, chancellors, and business leaders through the three basic steps that will all but guarantee you will get what you want from Donald Trump while making him think he made a good deal.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump caused a stir December 3 when a photo of him exiting his plane showed he was using Scotch tape to hold his tie together. Given the pride he takes in his wealth and appearance, the incident made us wonder what else he’s holding together with Scotch tape. Here’s what we found. More.
Americans across the country took delight in watching President-elect Donald Trump give the world’s largest country a poke by speaking on the phone with the president of Taiwan, a breach of diplomatic protocol, and then tweeting snarky statements about China’s trade practices. “It feels good after so many years of watching China eat our lunch to see our president-elect give the country the ol’ Donald Trump treatment,” says Ronald Portman, a retired mechanic in St. Paul, Minn. “Ha ha.” More.
Americans say they’re still proud* to be Americans. That’s the theme of a group that Americans launched today, called America Proud!®, to express how proud* they are to be Americans, today and tomorrow. “We’re Americans first and always will be, and with our new organization, we’re telling the world that we stand tall* as Americans because we love our country,” says Jared Brown (not his real name), a ski instructor in Park City, Utah, who is president of the new group. More.
NEW YORK CITY—President-elect Donald Trump said this morning he’ll take revenge on personal slights against him and humiliate his critics “on behalf of everyone in the United States” and not just on his own behalf. “No one wants to settle scores for all Americans more than I do,” he said while meeting with potential picks for his cabinet in Trump Tower. “I want people to know they can take pride when I hit back at someone doubly hard when they cross me. I take pride in that, and I hope all Americans will, too.”nTrump said he’s spent his life rewarding people who say nice things about him and striking back at people who call him names, and that won’t change now that he’ll be rewarding and striking back at people on behalf of everyone. More.
With his inauguration approaching, President-elect Donald Trump has asked a group of scientists to determine how much hair spray he’ll need to keep his famous combover in place during his inauguration speech, which traditionally takes place outdoors. The group has been meeting for almost a week and more meetings are planned between now and inauguration as it tries to nail down the precise amount he’ll need given the unpredictability of the weather in Washington in January. “It’s a challenging task,” said Jeffrey Barnes, professor emeritus of chemical engineering at the Stanford School of Engineering in Palo Alto, Calif. “Wind, rain, snow, cold temperatures—there are a lot of unknowns come inauguration day that could play havoc on what is arguably the most famous combover in the world.” More.
The erudite George Will, who has been writing about Republican politics since the mid-1970s and who declared this year he was no longer a Republican because of Donald Trump, says it’s bitter to learn he has no influence over people who vote Republican no matter how much ink is spilled or how many trees are killed to put his words into print. “After some 40 years as a political thought leader, I cannot say that anything I say has any influence on anyone at any time or in any place,” he says. “I guess that makes me a . . . nothing, because the whole rationale for my professional existence is to shape Republican attitudes and policy, and I see now that I have less influence than a truck mechanic I met in in Altoona, Pa., who persuaded his wife to vote for Donald Trump.” More.
The historic unpopularity of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has motivated many voters to give Libertarians a fresh look, but, even so, the Libertarian party says it will stick with Gary Johnson as its nominee. “You know, when we nominated Gary to be our standard bearer, we really didn’t expect many people to consider voting for us” says Nicholas Sarwark, chair of the Libertarian party in the United States. “Few Americans have really given our party much thought in the past and we thought, what the heck? Why not nominate Gary? Who knew this could have been our breakout year! But that’s okay. We’re going to stick with our guy.” Had the party nominated someone who wasn’t as weird as Johnson, political analysts say, Libertarians could be enjoying their best year ever at the polls, because voters are hungry for an alternative, especially on the Republican side, which on economic matters is ideologically closer to Libertarians that the Democrats. More.
The richest and most powerful country on earth was taken hostage today by a candidate for its presidency who demanded to be elected or he’ll “take the whole country down” with him. “I don’t lose!” said the candidate, Donald Trump, the Republican nominee. “I can only lose if the election is rigged.” Trump, who is running against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said he will “destroy the legitimacy of our democracy” and sow “distrust of all our institutions” if more people vote for Clinton than for him. “I will disregard the work of past generations of Americans who fought and died to build the world’s oldest and most stable democracy and plunge it into anarchy and despair,” he said. “My opponent will forever be tarred as an unfairly elected president. Millions of Americans will join me and together we will make America great—as we make governing it impossible.” More.
As Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton participated in a town hall-styled debate in St. Louis on Sunday, a man was seen prowling behind her on stage, making menacing faces and at times standing intimidatingly close to her. St. Louis police say they have looked into the matter and found no evidence a man was stalking Clinton, the first woman to head a major party presidential ticket in the United States. The only person confirmed to be sharing the stage with Clinton that night, they said, was her Republican opponent, Donald Trump. “We had many reports from people in the audience and also from people calling in while viewing the debate at home that a man was seen prowling around on the stage behind Clinton, but at this time the only man we can say with 100 percent certainty was on the stage that night was Donald Trump.” More.
Republican Mike Pence came across as the winner against Democrat Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia in their vice presidential debate this week at Longwood University but viewers say the Indiana governor’s skill at lying was what impressed them the most. “I never expected Pence to be as good at lying as he was,” said Andrew McNair, a retired insurance agent in Des Moines, Iowa. “Yes, he did a good job counterpunching Kaine and articulating conservative Republican positions, but none of that matched how well he said things that weren’t true.” Viewers across the country echoed that view, saying the ability of Pence to lie without showing any hint of uncertainty or self-doubt earns him a place in a liar’s hall of fame, although such an institution doesn’t exist. More.
Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine defended the yappy dog approach he took during his live TV debate this week with Mike Pence, his Republican counterpart from Indiana, by saying it was a necessary tactic to keep the focus on the lies of Donald Trump. “Would I have preferred to come across as a Great Dane or a German Shepherd? Of course,” he said after the debate Tuesday night at Longwood University in Virginia. “But the moment didn’t call for stature, for dignity. The moment called for irritation, for annoyance. So I did what I had to do and I’m proud of the yips I got in. I’m proud of the yaps I got in. And I will go on yipping and yapping until people know the truth about Donald Trump.” More.
Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence, fresh from his party’s national convention in Cleveland two weeks ago, hit the campaign trail today with the message that he’s “with the sociopath” and he hopes voters all across America will join him. “It’s time for you to be with the sociopath as well!” he exhorted voters in campaign stops across the Midwest. The “sociopath” refers to Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump, who tapped Pence to be his running mate three weeks ago. At a stop in Des Moines, Iowa, earlier in the day, Pence said the country could no longer afford to be guided by politicians who “read briefing papers” and “consider options” when confronted with a crisis. More.
The upcoming debate between vice presidential candidates Tim Kaine on the Democratic side and Mike Pence on the Republican side will be a clash of the ages, analysts predict, with oratorical fireworks dominating the national conversation for months—possibly even years—to come. “I can’t imagine a more combustive match-up than these two men, with their outsized, colorful personalities, laying into each other for 90 minutes on national television,” says Peter Norton, CBS news political analyst and a contributor to the Street Political Report. Sam Meyers, political correspondent for The New York Times, says Kaine, the junior U.S. senator from the important swing state of Virginia and a past governor of that state, is known for his fiery rhetoric and willingness to make political enemies. More.
Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump said it was Michelle Obama, not his wife Melania, whose 2008 convention speech included two plagiarzed paragraphs from his wife’s convention speech last night in Cleveland. “It’s unbelievable that Michelle Obama would take what she knew my wife would be saying this week and use it in her speech eight years ago,” Trump said last night in his hotel suite in Cleveland. Trump and his wife are in Cleveland for the 2016 Republican National Convention, which is set to make his nomination official later this week. “She took the words right out of Melania’s mouth before Melania could even put them in her mouth snd speak them.” Trump said he might file a lawsuit against Obama, charging her with stealing his wife’s words eight years before his wife could used them. More.
ATLANTA—Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he won’t leave his wife and marry for a fourth time if he’s chosen to be Donald Trump’s vice presidential running mate. “I know voters are wondering if I’m going to stay married to Callista, my current wife, given my history of marrying women I’ve had affairs with, but I want to reassure the American people that I’m sticking with my current wife,” Gingrich said at a press conference this morning. The former Georgia congressman has a checkered history when it comes to marriage. He married Jackie Battley in 1962, when he was 19 and she was 26. Unsubstantiated news reports claim Gingrich pressed her to sign divorce papers while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery in 1981. Whether the stories are true or not, Gingrich has admitted that he was having an affair at the time with Marianne Ginther, whom he later married and then divorced, in 2000, when he was having an affair with Callista Bisek, a congressional aide. More.
A voter says he’s not going to vote for Donald Trump for president if he doesn’t start making news the way he used to. “I hear about these big-time advisers telling him to act presidential, and that’s just stupid,” says Scott (“Scotty”) McDowell, a voter in Wheeling, W.Va. “If I wanted some boring politician for president I’d have voted for John Kasich or Scott Walker. If you go and turn Trump into one of those guys, you’re gonna get the same result: Yawn. If he ain’t tying the media a-holes’knickers in a knot, he ain’t doing his job.” Katich is the governor of Ohio, and Walker is the governor of Wisconsin. Both men withdrew from the Republican primary contests after generating mixed results at the polls. More.
Taking a page from the 1994 congressional elections that swept Republicans into power in the House for the first time in 40 years, Donald Trump unveiled a campaign manifesto called “Contract With Myself” to detail the administrative changes he will make upon his first day in office and the legislative changes he’ll seek from Congress in his first 100 days. “As the only person who can make America great again, I propose fantastic changes to how we govern this once great country,” the preamble to the manifesto reads. “Upon my first day in office, I will sign directives to make the following five reforms: First, remame the White House the Trump White House. Second, replace the Rose Garden with a 6-hole golf course, called Trump White House Greens. More.
Presumptive Republican presidental nominee Donald Trump has called for a meeting with the National Rifle Association to discuss a gun ban for people on the government’s terrorist watch list, but he promises he won’t take credit if the NRA agrees with him and he achieves a policy goal others couldn’t achieve. “I’ll do something that no one thought could be done, but I don’t want your congrats, believe me,” Trump said at a campaign stop in Pennsylvania this morning. “If the NRA tells Congress it’s OK to impose a gun ban on suspected terrorists, I won’t talk about how I did the deal. I don’t need the credit. More.
In a move that’s sure to make to make it harder for Donald Trump to get his election message out, Twitter has suspended the account of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for including banned hate speech in his tweets. “We take our responsibilities to foster respectful dialogue seriously,” Twitter Chief Enforcement Officer David Hearns says in a statement the company released this morning. “This was not a decision we made lightly, but we stand by our policy and did what we felt we had to under the circumstances.” Under the company’s hate-speech policy, accounts are suspended 60 days for tweets that . . . . More.
The bible of the journalism profession, The Associated Press Stylebook, has downgraded Donald Trump to a “millionaire” because his “billionaire” claims cannot be verified. “We take our responsibilities as the official guide to journalists in the United States seriously, and we feel the only responsible course of action is to downgrade the status of Donald Trump from billionaire to millionaire until further notice,” says Alfred Whitehurst, editor-in-chief of the Stylebook. Under the reference to Trump in the latest edition, Trump is identified as, “Trump, Donald J., millionaire* real estate developer and 2016 presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States.” More.
I know Donald Trump isn’t as rich as he says he is. He’d show his taxes to us if he were. And I know he’s conned a lot of people out of their money at Trump University and Trump Mortgage. And I know he caused no small amount of grief to rich folk who invested money in his airline, casino, and the XFL. And I know he was for socialized medicine before he was against it, and I doubt he’s cracked open the Bible more than once in 40 years. And I know he used to call up reporters and pretend he was someone else to boast about how much women wanted him. I know all that, but there’s just something you don’t understand. You see, after years—decades, really—of repressing my feelings, he’s allowed me to express my inner racism and bigotry, and I can’t tell you what a relief it is. More.
SACRAMENTO—Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said at a campaign rally here today she doesn’t believe Donald Trump is a homosexual but she hears “more and more” rumors that he is and she agrees his actions “can lead one” to believe that. “In some ways, I would respect him more if it turns out he secretly is a gay man trying to lead a straight life, because it would explain his struggles with the truth and perhaps his insecurity,” said Clinton, who is campaigning in California this week to prevent a last-minute primary win by her rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders. Clinton said it’s time for discrimination against people for sexual orientation to stop, and Trump—should the rumors prove true—should use his position to help bring about equality in the United States. “Again, if Donald Trump is gay—and I’m not saying he is—then good for him. He should embrace it, celebrate it.” More.
NEW YORK CITY—Dan Peeker, publisher of the National Midnight Star, said at a journalism conference here yesterday he won’t let his friendship with Donald Trump bias his coverage of the general election between Trump and Hillary Clinton. “Hillary’s dishonesty makes her a tempting target, but I can assure you all the stories we’ve pre-written about her flaws are objective,” says Peeker, 63. Peeker has been chairman and CEO of U.S. A. Publications, which owns the National Midnight Star, since 1990, and critics say he’s using his publication as a tool to help his golf buddy win the presidency. It was his tabloid that broke the April 3 story of Ted Cruz’s affairs with five prominent Republican political women, which hurt the Texas senator in Wisconsin, and it broke the April 19 piece about . . . More.
In an exclusive Q&A, Tim Peters, the man selected to patrol public bathrooms in North Carolina under the state’s new anti-LGBT bathroom law, sits down with The Nattering Nabobs to talk about why he’s the man for the job. The Nattering Nabobs: You’ve been a policeman since 1992. Why did you throw your hat into the ring when the state was looking for a bathroom monitor? Not only is the law controversial, but you have to spend your days in bathrooms. Tim Peters: I’m doing it for the girls. When they go to the bathroom, they should be able to pull up their dresses and pull down their panties without any other man being in the bathroom. More.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump named John Miller his top press secretary today and said Miller will be his White House spokesperson should he win in November. “I’ve known John all my life and no one has my back the way he does,” Trump told reporters at a press conference. MIller, 69, who also goes by the name John Barron or John Baron, has served as spokesperson for the New York real estate mogul several times over the years and is known among reporters and editors as someone who knows Trump well. More.
Whether Republican or Democrat, many people across the country are dreading the presidential election between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton this year. But there’s one group of Americans who are looking forward to November 8, when tens of millions of people go to the polls: Scientists. John Albertson, professor of demographics at the University of Pennsylvania, says the election provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see exactly how many racists are in the United States. “The one underlying trait that voters of Donald Trump will have in common is racism, so at least from a scientific perspective, we’re going to have an unprecedented opportunity to finally get a firm count on how many of them are in the country,” he says. More.
Despite boasts about his wealth, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is pretty broke, says an accountant who prepared the real estate mogul’s taxes before he ran for president. “He would be fine if he sold off Trump Tower and his fleet of planes—which are quite old and outmoded, by the way—but he refuses to do that and his bottom line is paying the price for that stubbornness,” says Samuel Green, a CPA with Gunther, Green & Taylor, one of Manhattan’s largest accountant firms. Green was lead accountant on Trump’s taxes from 2003 to 2014 but was reassigned after recommending asset sales to liquidate the equity Trump has left in his holdings. “I know he’s got his name on everything, but most of that is branding,” he says. More.
In a sensational claim, the supermarket tabloid Weekly National Report says a 50-year-old woman in Fayetteville, Ark., Dannielle Eggles, is the daughter of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and she’s demanding a “White House bedroom” for her and her husband if he is elected president. “This is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I feel I must come forward because it’s time for my daddy to stop pretending I don’t exist,” Eggles said at a press conference in Fayetteville yesterday. Eggles, a clerk at Target, said she had resigned herself to living in the shadow of her famous father and her glamorous half brothers and sisters, but six months ago she and her husband, Ron Eggles, decided she could no longer do that. “We just thought it wasnt fair that Ivanka, Tiffany, Eric, Donald, Jr., and Barron all get to live the high life while we have to scrape our fingers to the bone just because daddy pretends I don’t exist.” More.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump started fleshing out details of his administration should he win in November with release of a detailed plan for a U.S. Department of Deportations that he will create within his first 100 days in office. “We have 11 million illegal Mexicans to deport and 1.6 billion Muslims to keep out of our country, so it’s going to be a big department and it’s going to do things well,” Trump said yesterday at a press conference
in the lobby of his signature building in New York City, Trump Tower. Under the plan, the Department of Deportations will be a part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security but it will have independent funding and its chief will be a presidential appointee. Trump said the department won’t require annual appropriations from Congress because it will generate its own funds through a levy on Mexican imports into the United States. More.