President Trump criticized former president Barack Obama for not reaching into his own bank account to give a big payout to the families of soldiers who died protecting their country. “Did Obama ever give any money to our precious Gold Star families?” the president asked at a press briefing today. “I really don’t think so. I’ve been told he never did, never sacrificed his money to pay a wife who lost a husband protecting our country.” Trump said he might be the first president to use his own funds to help a grief-stricken family, “It’s one thing, you know, to call and offer condolences to the wife or mother for losing their guy,” he said. “Their guy knew what he signed up for, but, really, who ever signs up to give his life? No one. But it happens. Very sad when it does. Very tragic.” More.
Melania’s Body Double Speaks Out, Says She’s Repeatedly Asked Donald to Provide a Body Double at Night
First Lady Melania Trump’s body double, Nika Horvath, came forward today to confirm her role as a stand-in for the First Lady after her identity was revealed by childhood friends who saw her on TV while Donald Trump spoke about the Iranian nuclear agreement. “It is not my favor to be in public eye in this manner but I cannot hide from the knowledge now and so I speak out,” says Horvath, who, like Melania Trump, was born in Novo Mesto, Slovenia, in 1970. Horvath, a fashion model who has worked mainly in Eastern Europe and parts of Northern Africa, says she and the First Lady became friends in elementary school in part because they looked so much alike. “The people they would comment on our physical characters and they put us together and that was good because we like each other, yes, right from the beginning days,” she said. More.
President Donald Trump said no one respects freedom of the press more than he does but if outlets such as CNN and NBC continue to produce fake news, he’s going to be forced to take action to ensure the news Americans receive is real. “It’s not something I want to do,” he said at a press briefing today. “Believe me. I want our press to be so free and so good. In fact, I think my policy on the press is more fair than Obama’s. I’m not sure what his policy was, but I hear it wasn’t so good, frankly, And mine is better. That’s what I’m told. I’m just saying.” Trump said he’s looking into how to “open up” the press so it’s more accountable to truth. “Are they running fake stories about Russian collusion?” he said. More.
California Gov. Jerry Brown issued a desperate plea to Prsident Donald Trump to recognize the scale of emergency the state is facing from devastating fires that are destroying thousands of homes and leaving large swaths of land burnt to a crisp. “Our brave fire fighters and first responders are doing heroic work but they’re struggling to get these fires contained,” Brown said at a hastily called news conference outside of Mendocino. Although federal assistance is flowing in, the pace isn’t what’s needed given the scale of emergency the state faces. “Californians are expecting to see their president here,” Brown said. “They want to see their president here.” Brown said he’d like to see President Trump stand before people in the state who’ve lost everything and throw something at them, whether it’s rolls of paper towels or something else. “All Americans are important, whether they’re Americans in Texas or Florida or in Puerto Rico or California,” Brown said. More.
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly held a rare press briefing today to introduce President Donald Trump’s new policy goal of doing stupid sh*t. “I told the President when I came on board as his chief of staff that I wanted to do a top-to-bottom policy review and we’ve now completed that undertaking,” Kelly told reporters. “The goal was to wrap everything the President does under a single, unified framework. And it’s that framework that we’re introducing today.” The “Do Stupid Sh*t” framework has three components, Kelly said: 1. Did President Obama do it? If yes, do the opposite. 2. Do white supremacists, Christian evangelicals, and the National Rife Association like it? Then do that. 3. Is it anti-democratic? Then too bad the fake news media can’t be trusted to tell the real story. More.
White nationalist leader Richard Spencer says he believes blacks, Jews, and other Americans of impure bloodlines will leave the United States on their own accord once he and his followers march in front of enough confederate statutes. “What we think is, after a certain point, the approximately 15 million Jews and about 50 million blacks in our country will choose to leave and everyone will be happy,” says Spencer, whose organization is based in Alexandria, Va. Spencer’s organization was involved in the rally by white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan in Charlottesville, Va., in late August that led to the death of a counter protester. More.
U.S. Attorney General Pete Sessions, a long-time opponent of pot legalization, says it’s “fake news” that he secretly cheers on the wildfires in California that are quickly obliterating the country’s most fertile area for growing marijuana. “I can tell you that such an accusation is not only false but unconscionable if someone has actually made that accusation,” he said in a closed-door hearing with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Although the meeting was private, the conversation was later recounted to reporters by people who were there. Sessions said he doesn’t know the cause of the fires but it shouldn’t be ruled out that God caused them. “Were they acts of God?” he reportedly said in his testimony. “Most fires are.” Although he didn’t make this connection at the hearing, he has said on occasion that God acts in mysterious ways. More.
The Federal Election Commission and the U.S. Congress issued a rare joint notice today recalling President Donald Trump from office after studies indicated he posed a health and safety risk to the people of the United States. “Recalling the President of the United States is not a step we take lightly,” Steven Walther, chair of the Federal Election Commission, says in the notice, which was mailed to 322 million citizens of the United States this morning. “We understand that a recall of this magnitude is a serious step that imposes steep costs, in time, money, energy, and fundamental political beliefs, on all Americans. Nevertheless, after many months of examining the evidence, we take this step in the unanimous understanding that it’s necessary for the protection of our citizens, our country, and our world.” More.
Administration officials called it fake news that President Donald Trump took Kevlar vests from a box and tossed them out to a crowd of survivors of the mass shooting last week on the Las Vegas strip. “It’s just another example of bad reporting from a news media that people have a right to think more highly of,” Trump Senior Advisor Kellyanne Conway said at a press briefing today. Conway also said it’s not tue that Trump praised the people as a “great crowd,” nor did he say there was a lot of “love in the room.” Separately, the Natonal Rifle Association denied it supplied President Trump with the Kevlar vests and said . . . More.
Fox News host Sean Hannity lashed out at liberal advocates for aspirin on his show today, calling it “despicable” and “beyond shameful” that they’re using a man’s recent headache to talk about the need for aspirin. “The person’s head is still throbbing,” he said. “Parents and loved ones are still asking the person if he’s all right. None of this matters to the left in this country.” Have there been other times Hannity has called out the left for politicizing the moment? We investigate: Car trouble It’s unconscionable to talk about getting the car fixed when it’s stalled in the side of the road.” Puerto Rico “It’s beyond shameful to call for clean water while Puerto Ricans still have water purification tablets to use.” More.
The National Rifle Association released a statement today warning lawmakers in Congress not to use the recent mass shooting in Las Vegas as a reason to take drastic action on gun ownership because armed citizens are needed to fight enemies like North Korea and Iran. “Should the government of Kim Jong Un in North Korea decide to drop a nuclear warhead on the United States or one of its territories, as it has threatened to do, we will need American citizens to take up arms to defend themselves,” The NRA said in its statement. Wayne LaPierre, executive director of the gun-rights group, said the framers of the U.S. constitution made it a point to protect gun ownership in this country precisely to ensure people are prepared to join their state militia should they be called upon to do so. More.
The U.S. Congress came together in a bipartisan fashion today to condemn the acts of gun violence that will plague the country in the months and years ahead. “We condemn the senseless taking of innocent life that we will experience in the future,” the resolution reads. “We call on all Americans to come together during these times of national trauma that will inflict us, probably twice a year if not more frequently.” Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), one of the sponsors of the resolution, says it’s a step in the right direction for lawmakers to get all of their future condemnations of acts of gun violence out of the way at once, because that will free up time for other legislative priorities. More.
Stung by derisive comments that followed their use of tiki torches at their Charlottesville rally this summer, supremacist groups around the country say they’re now using the new SmartTorch app for their events. “Our goal has always been to stoke fear in the hearts of liberals and progressives and other snowflakes that the white supremacist movement is for real and it’s large,” says Richard Spencer, leader of a white supremacist think tank based in Alexandria, Va. “Obviously we can’t do that if people are laughing at or mocking our torches. That’s why we’ve found the new Smart Torch app indispensible for our rallies.” More.
A mjority of Americans say they have enough time to look at their phones and stuff for five or six hours a day but not for the seven or eight hours a day that they’d like, and driverless cars could solve that problem for them, a poll shows. “I have friends who make comments and stuff on Twitter that I don’t like to miss when I’m making a left turn or a right turn,” says April Barnett, a manicurist in Tucson, Ariz. She says she’d like to have her car do more driving so she can keep up with her friends when she’s behind the wheel. “Like last week, my friend Ashleigh posted a video of her eating cake with her boyfriend at a restaurant and it came to me, like, when I was parking or something. I could have liked it right away but I couldn’t because, you know, the car’s not going to park itself.” More.
In the war of words between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un of North Korea, the winner is the leader of the small, militarized dictatorship on the Korean peninsula and not the man in the White House who’s so quick with a tweet. A Gallup poll out today shows 90 percent of Americans think Kim Jong Un is “the much better insulter” of the two and that, if words could kill, Trump would probably be dead by now. “As much practice as President Trump gets at insulting people, you’d think he’d win the war of words between him and Kim in a cakewalk, but Americans just aren’t impressed with what he’s coming up with,” says Darrell Thompson, professor of communications at Princeton who oversaw the poll for the Gallup Organization. “‘Rocket Man’ was good, people agree, but it pales in comparison to ‘dotard,’ which is off the charts.” Trump had called Kim “Rocket Man” in his speech before the General Assembly of the United Nations. In response, Kim called Trump a “dotard,” which refers to an elderly person who exhibits signs of mental decline. More.
President Donald Trump went after his own Election Integrity Commission Co-chair Kris Kobach for using a private email account to send and receive emails related to his work with the commission, which Trump set up after his election victory to determine if people are voting illegally. “After winning the 2016 presidential election in no small part because of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, it’s now brought to my attention that the hand-picked leader of my Election Integrity Commission is using a private email account to conduct business,” Trump said at a press briefing today. “That’s not right. That’s why I’m demanding Kris Kobach immediately stop using his private email account for this important business and instead start using an official government account. Further, I’m demanding that he turn over all of the emails he’s sent and received so far to authorities.” Trump also called out his own vice president, Mike Pence, who is the chair of the commission, for also using a private email account while he was governor of Indiana. More.
Weary lawmakers in the Senate, still bruised and battered from previous repeal and replace bills that swept through the chamber, are gearing up for yet another potential direct hit as the Cassidy-Graham bill strengthens into a Category 5 bill. “We’re already rationing our time and energy to get things done after dealing with the previous three bills—‘repeal-and-replace,’ ‘partial repeal,’ and ‘skinny repeal,'” says Susan Collins (R-Maine), whose no vote on the previous measures has been credited as a key to the chamber’s recovery after the unusually heavy repeal-and-replace season. Storm preparation[/caption]Collins said the Senate was just starting to make progress on other priorities like tax reform after devoting weeks to cleaning up after the previous bills, but that progress could be upended if, as predicted, Cassidy-Graham hits the chamber as a Category 5 bill. More.
Leaders from around the world are arriving in New York City today for the start of the new United Nation’s General Assembly session and to hear tomorrow’s big speech from the joke. “There is a lot to worry about in the world today, which is why all of us are so eager to hear what the joke has to say,” says António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres of Portugal, the U.N. secretary general. “Will the joke insult allies for being freeloaders or soft on terrorism or will the joke accidentally—or maybe not accidentally!—put the United States in the same camp as the fascists of the 1930s? There’s just so much to anticipate.” It’s traditional for the president of the United States to make opening remarks at the General Assembly because of the country’s role as the host of the U.N., it’s biggest financial contributor, and as a chief founder of the world body. This year there is an extra amount of buzz about the opening session because the joke will be speaking. More.
California Republican Duncan Hunter, an anti-immigration hard-liner in Congress who said last week that, while President Donald Trump might be an a**hole, he’s at least “our a**hole,” lashed out in anger today at reports that his a**hole has struck an immigration deal with Democrats. “So, my a**hole isn’t my a**hole after all?” he told reporters at the Capitol this morning. “I wake up, look in the mirror, and I find there’s no a**hole attached to my backside and instead find it attached to the backside of Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer?” Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Schumer (D-N.Y.) are the House and Senate minority leaders, respectively. More.
After he or someone on his staff liked a porn video on his Twitter account, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said his office had reported the incident to Twitter. “The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter,” said Catherine Frazier, Cruz’s communications aide. What else has his office reported to Twitter? We investigate. More.
Tillerson: ‘Trump’s Pre-pardon of Himself and Pence Means I won’t Have to Pardon Them After I Become President’
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he’s ready to assume the presidency once President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are removed from office for obstruction of justice but that it won’t be necessary to pardon the two because Trump has already signed the pardons. “Once Speial Counsel Robert Mueller files his charges against the president for firing the former FBI director and then lying about why it was done, and the vice president is charged with knowing that information and yet publicly giving other reasons for it, I am constitutionally in line to assume the presidency,” Tillerson said in a briefing today. “I will make it my priority to bring together all Americans after what will be a traumatic and fraught time. That is why I’m prepared to pardon the president and vice president but glad that it won’t be necessary because the pardons are already signed by the president.” Trump already pardoned[/caption]Tillerson said he expects the pre-pardons to hold up in Court because the president has unabridged power to pardon and President Trump has exercised that power. More.
Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz, under fire by his family-values supporters for liking a porn video on his Facebook page, says the woman in the video is not a woman he imagined having sexual relations with. In a televised address he aired from his home office in Texas, where he’s been since Hurricane Harvey swept through the southeastern part of his state, Cruz said the allegations of him wanting to have sex with that woman are false and that he never asked anyone on his staff to lie about it. “I want to say one thing to the American people,” Cruz said in the address. “I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again. I did not imagine having sexual relations with that woman, the blonde woman in the video. I never told anyone to lie, not a single time. Never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.” More.
The images of fake destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma throughout the Caribbean are impresssive for their detailed made-upness and carefully crafted untruthfulness, conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh said today. He added that the misleadingness that the fake news media has employed to further their agenda of duping the public ought to win them a medal for best fabrications of reality. “Someone went the extra mile to pretend Barbudos no longer exists as a functioning island of 1,600 people,” Limbaugh said on his show, which attracts millions of listeners each week. “How much did leftists propagandists spend to make us believe St. Martins was crushed under hurricane winds of 185 miles per hour? And they get the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, to pretend to stay in a stairwell with 500 other people to escape the storm. That was a brilliant act of fiction. I wonder how many Hollywood special effects artists were able to buy a new BMW for their work making us believe Miami is going to be the next target of this exaggerated storm. More.
Vice President Mike Pence blames “fake news” on the rumor circulating in the media that he suggested to President Donald Trump that his TV ratings would go up if he rode out Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm with 185 miles-per-hour winds, at Trump’s estate in South Florida, Mar-a-Lago. “I never recommended Mar-A-Lago to the President nor did I suggest or even hint at Mar-a-Lago as a safe and appropriate place from which to monitor and provide leadership during the storm known as Hurricane Irma,” Pence said in a statement released this morning. Good vantage point[/caption]The Pence statement went on to accuse news organizations with “shoddy fact-checking” and “outright lies” in attributing the Mar-a-Lago suggestion to him. “If the news media wants to be a source of information worthy of the American people’s trust, it should improve its news gathering and fact checking operations so that the information it provides to the citizens of this country is factual and accurate.” More.
Retailers across the United States and even in Europe and Asia say they can’t keep their new line of Melania “First Responder” Stiletto Boots in stock as women strive to be the first among their friends and coworkers to sport the rugged-yet-sexy boots from hot designer Peter Cremlin. “Right now we’re just trying to fill orders on an emergency basis as fast as we can and we just ask our customers to be patient as we ride out this storm of demand,” says Stephen Caine, Saks Fifth Avenue’s general manager for merchandise. “We are in contact with our suppliers around the world to get these orders filled as quickly and as efficiently as possible.” The boots, which retail for between $999 and $1,499 in stores throughout the United States, have generated some controversy as critics say they exploit the devastation in the Texas Gulf Coast due to Hurricane Harvey, which left dozens of people dead and thousands homeless. Critics also complain that the boots, which combine the rugged military style of Army combat boots with sexy Italian stiletto heels, are manufactured in factories in Asia, where worker standards and wages are low. More.
In a man-bites-dog announcement, President Donald Trump heaped praise on news outlets for sending camera crews and reporters to cover his photo op in Corpus Christi even as devastating floods in Houston continued to tax their resources. “Here’s one for the fake news media,” said Trump in his first remarks since he returned to Washington. “They’re still terrible people, dishonest and disgusting. But I appreciate the effort they made to record my photo op in Texas. I waved the Texas flag and they got that. That was good. Strong ratings. Super ratings. The best, actually. I heard that.” Trump said he was told by aides that many news organizations, including NBC and ABC, were stretched thin, since they had camera crews on the ground in Houston and other parts of the Gulf Coast. But they managed to have crews available when Trump and the First Lady landed to show their support for federal officials and others who were coordinating disaster response efforts. More.
Houston mega-church pastor Joel Osteen says he would have been happy to open his 18,000-seat church to victims of Hurricane Harvey but city officials never said they needed his space and God didn’t speak to him about it. “When God told me to pray for the souls of people who seed my church with money, of course I obeyed His Word and did so,” says Osteen, who has been criticized for not inviting flood-stranded people into his arena-sized church. “So I was expecting God to share His Word about providing comfort to the people of Houston, many of whom have been living in wet clothes for three days.” Osteen says he “thought regularly” about the human tragedy he saw unfolding around him as flood waters reached five feet in some areas and hundreds of thousands of people were displaced. “Their plight touched my heart,” he said. “It didn’t matter what I was doing— putting gel in my hair or deep-cleaning my face. I hurt for the people of this city. I knew there was despair in our midst.” More.
HOUSTON, Sept. 30, 2017—Mayor Sylvester Turner says officials have done everything they can to prevent the president of the United States and his wife from arriving in this flood-ravaged city but in the end they were not successful. “Let me just say that this catastrophe is not a reflection on the hard work and dedication of the people of this city,” said Turner, a former state legislator who took office in January. “We made phone calls to the White House pleading for the president not to come. We said we had no place for him and his wife to stay. The roads are not passable. Food is scarce. People are traumatzed. Nothing we said made a difference.” Turner said it’s too soon to know how many people remain trapped in homes and cars, but he fears the number is in the thousands, which makes it imperative that the president not stay long. “We can’t be diverting resoures so the president can wave a Texas flag,” he said. “We need to get him back on his plane and back to Washington as soon as possible.” More.
Houston mega church pastor Joel Osteen, after taking criticism for his slow response to displaced Hurricane Harvey victims, announced he’s opening up his 18,000-seat church to all who need it if they leave their wet boots outside and try to find something dry to wear. “God asked us to put more than $20 million in TV broadcasting equipment in His church and we really can’t get that wet,” said Osteen, who has made millions proselytizing what’s known as the prosperity gospel—the belief that God will reward you with monetary success if you seed His churches with donations. The more you seed the church, the richer you stand to become. Osteen said that criticism leveled at him for not opening the doors of his church right away are unfair because he needed the extra time to put mats down to protect the floor, which cost $3 million. More.
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets blamed lax immigration laws for opening the door to Hurricane Harvey, possibly the most destructive natural disaster to hit the United States in a generation. “A country that can’t secure its borders invites menaces like Harvey,” the president said in his first tweet, sent at 4:59 a.m., Monday. “We need walls, high walls, not just on Mexican border but around ALL country’s vulnerable borders.” Trump also took a stab at Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination last year, saying Cruz’s Cuban background means he “cares more about protecting Castro’s island than his own state. #KennedyAssassination!” Experts appeared on news shows to dispute the president’s assertions. “Walls don’t keep out hurricanes and neither do immigration laws, no matter how strong,” Peter Austin, an immigration law specialist at Harvard University, said on ABC News. More.
The following is a transcript of remarks by President Donald Trump in response to questions about his fitness for office and whether he colluded with the government of Russia to tip the 2016 election in his favor. “Let me just say this, and I want to say this to the television audience and to everyone on the Internet, on Twitter—which is the way presidents communicate today, by the way. A very modern way to communicate. You ask about mistakes. I have not made any mistakes, I promise you that. I can guarantee it. And in my two years of public life, I have always acted on the advice of my brain, which—you don’t have to feel bad about this, but which is the biggest, most beautiful brain you’ve ever seen. More.
YORKTOWN, Va.—Hundreds of Americans of British descent rallied at the popular Riverwalk Landing here yesterday, chanting “Long live King George! Long Live the British Empire!” and demanding the erection of a statute of King George to commemorate the British heritage of the United States. “Our past must not be denied!” yelled marchers, many of whom were dressed in red-coated British military grab from the Revolutionary War period and brandishing historic firearms. “Down with George Washington! Up with George William Frederick, King of Great Britain and Elector of Hanover!” The marchers were met wth pro-independence counter-demonstrators, who taunted the marchers and, in some case, threw punches. “We won our independence!” some yelled. “Get over it!” President Donald Trump, returning to the White House after a 17-day working vacation at his golf property in Bedminster, N.J., blamed agitators on “many sides” for the confrontation. More.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told members of his caucus this morning he wants to limit President Donald Trump to a single term of office so Republicans can get down to the business of passing tax reform, their party’s priority. “The single most important thng we want to achieve is for President Trump to be a one-term president,” McConnell said. The Majority Leader and Trump have had a rocky relationship from the start, but sources say the back-and-forth between the two has worsened since the Senate’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare. “The last time the two of them talked they were shouting profanities at each other,” said one official who is familiar with the conversation. More.
President Donald Trump said today he wants to be the only thing people think about each and every moment of their lives, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “I only exist if people are thinking about me and only me from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep,” he told reporters at a briefing in the Oval Office. “There are still people in parts of Africa, Antarctica, and maybe a few other places that don’t think about me and what I’m doing to the United States and even to the world. But with my success ratcheting up tensions with North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and other countries around the globe, I believe I will reach my mark soon.” More.
Pointing to the “unbelievable job” he’s doing as president, Donald Trump today said he’s way ahead of his schedule for fixing everything that’s wrong with America. “When I was nominated by so many Americans last year, I said that I alone can fix our great country’s problems,” he said in a briefing with reporters. “I’m glad to say your president has delivered on his promises and you’ll be so surprised and so pleased at how much I’ll deliver on my promises in the weeks and months ahead.” Trump cited the success of free speech that was expressed in Charlottesville, Va., yesterday, in which a coalition of white nationalist groups clashed with anti-fascist demonstrators. “The free speech was so good,” he said of the rally, at which one protestor was killed when an alleged neo-Nazi supporter rammed his car into a crowd of people. Two officers were also killed when their police helicopter crashed. Virginia Governor Terrence McAuliffe declared a state of emergency. More.
Security experts from around the world say the United States has an edge over North Korea in any kind of military showdown because its clown is more powerful than the other country’s clown, but it would nevertheless be better for the two clowns to find a diplomatic solution to their conflict. “North Korea leader Kim Jong-un is certainly one of the world’s great clowns, but he is not as great a clown as the United States’ leader, Donald Trump,” says Andrew McPearson, senior fellow at the Brookings Institute Center for International Security. “The United States remains the world’s largest economy and has the most powerful military. And it has the world’s biggest clown.” The two nations clashed this week after the United Nations passed U.S.-backed sanctions against North Korea for violating the International Nonproliferation Treaty, which seeks to curb the spread of nuclear weapons. In response to the sanctions, Kim Jong-un threatened to take preemptive action against the United States. More.
President Donald Trump said it was a lie when a man he said was lying about him called him a liar. “The liar who lied about my lying is a liar,” the president said in remarks to reporters this morning. Trump said the liar lied about his lying even after lying about being a liar. “When a liar lies about his lying, you know it’s a lie,” he said. “It’s a lie to think you can lie about a lie, because people know it’s a lie and I’m not lying about that.” Trump said he had to call the liar a liar after he lied about him lying about his lying. “What he said was a lie, because he said I was lying.” More.
President Donald Trump says he’s already settled on his 2020 reelection theme and that Americans can expect to hear more about it in the coming months. “As I’ve traveled across this great country of ours—a country getting greater every day, I might add—I’ve come to the conclusion that we need a competent government in the White House more than anything else because after eight years of mismanagement by the Russian colluder Barack Obama, and the Democrats attempt to rig the election in 2016, we can’t have more failed policies in our government,” Trump told reporters in a briefing this morning. Trump raised eyebrows last month by appearing at a rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that was funded by his campaign operation and billed as his first speech of the 2020 presidential election. Corey Lewandowski, a campaign manager for Trump during the 2016 election, says Trump inherited a White House in disarray and has had to spend his first months in office “fixing all the things Barack Obama broke.” More.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says she understands President Donald Trump more than other people, including Sean Spicer, her predecessor, because, like Trump, she has relied on her dad to clear obstacles in front of her so that she could get to where she is without having to compete for it. “I guess you could say the President and I have a bond,” says Huckabee-Sanders, 34. “His dad handed over the keys to a successful company to him so that he didn’t have to build that company from scratch. My dad leveraged his connections as a governor and a two-time presidential candidate to get me a top position with the Republican National Committee so I didn’t have to open doors on my own.” More.
After seeing how President Donald Trump deployed his legendary dealmaking skills on the votes to repeal and replace Obamacare, Americans say they now “get” what Trump was talking about when he said on the campaign trail that no one can make deals like he can. “I admit I thought he was just boasting when he said he was a great dealmaker,” says Harold Gardner, a retired accountant in Des Moines, Iowa. “It sounded like a lot of hyperbole to me. But I see now that he really is the consummate dealmaker. The way he got into the back-and-forth about what lawmakers needed to get the health care law passed—it was revealing. You could see how he works to understand what each person wants so he can cut a deal that gives each person a little of what they want so everyone can claim a victory. It was dazzling.” More.
MOUNT HOPE, W.Va.—Hundreds of boy scouts, including many Eagle Scouts, have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after watching the president of their country insult people who don’t agree with him, threaten to fire someone whom he had just said was doing a good job, and make a bawdy allusion to sex parties on expensive boats. “I . . . I just don’t know what to believe anymore,” said one boy scout who was diagnosed with PTSD after attending the speech by President Donald Trump at the National Boy Scout Jamboree here on July 24. “We’ve always been taught that the United States is a great democracy but our president was demeaning the loyal opposition and making it sound like their motives were bad rather than just taking a different position on policy priorities. Then he threatened to fire one of his own officials if the health bill doesn’t pass even though he himself has called provisions to replace the health law ‘mean.’ I’m just so uncertain what values were supposed to be aiming for now.” More.
Kid Rock, the Grammy-winning hip-hop, rock, and country artist, has announced his intention to run for a seat in the United States Senate for the state of Michigan as a famous Republican. “We need more famous people in office,” Rock said at a press announcement today. “We need people who know how to get their name out there, steal the limelight, and command the press attention, because these are the people who are ready to dig into the details of policy, understand the nuances, try to see things from all sides, and find a solution that gets the country moving forward for all Americans and not just some Americans. That’s something famous people can do.” Rock, whose given name is Robert James Ritchie, said people with experience governing aren’t going to know what it’s like to have a five-month marriage to a former Playboy playmate, nor are they going to know what it’s like to be caught on video with another famous person getting a head job from some women. More.
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders says President Trump “has no problem” tending to the country’s needs in the “several hours a day” when he’s not tweeting and in fact on most days has plenty of spare time to read briefing papers. “I don’t know how many hours a day Barack Obama worked, but I doubt he worked harder or more effectively than President Trump during the many, many hours he’s not tweeting,” Sanders said at a briefing today. The White House released a log that shows President Trump spends about three hours a day “on serious matters of critical importance to the United States,” with an additional two to three hours a day on what is described as “media analyses and assessments.” More.
First Lady Melania Trump, who married Donald Trump 12 years ago after a career as an international fashion model, says she could easily dispense with her family’s luxurious lifestyle and be content settling down with her husband to live a simple life. “What people don’t understand is that Donald and I have a connection that runs very deep,” she told Elle magazine in an interview. “I’m not saying I don’t enjoy being the First Lady of the United States and living in the White House, or, prior to that, having our own fleet of private airplanes and also traveling around New York City in our helicopter. Of course I do. But I would give all that up tomorrow if Donald lost everything and we had to live on, say, a $40,000 salary he earned as a tire salesman.” The First Lady said she grew up in humble circumstances in Slovenia (the former Yugoslavia) and fully expected to live that kind of lifestyle when she met Trump at a Fashion Week party in 1998. “Did I know he was rich? Of course,” she said. “But for me, that wasn’t part of the attraction. More.
PARIS—President Donald Trump, in what many are calling an international gaffe and a sexist comment, called Brigitte Marcon, wife of French President Emmanuel Macron, “very high quality” and in fact “higher quality” than he expected. “The First Lady of our strong friend and ally France is in good shape and you can tell she’s a quality person, very beautiful, the highest quality,” Trump said yesterday during his meeting with President Macron and his wife. Trump was in France with his wife, Melania, to celebrate Bastille Day with the French people. “I know a lot of quality people,” Trump said. “The best high quality. I would certainly put the First Lady of France in that group. I put my wife in that group, too, of couse. There are a lot of people in that group.” More.
Ivana Trump, Donald Trump’s ex-wife and mother of his three oldest children, agreed with her former husband that their oldest son, Donald Jr., is “high quality” but also added that their two other children, Ivanka and Eric, are also “high quality.” Trump, 68, a Czech-American businesswoman and former fashion model who divorced Trump in 1992, said having quality children was a goal they both shared and one of the things they never had any disagreements over. “We had differences on some things, like me working outside the house, but I can say that we never disagreed on the need to have high quality children,” she said. “We also agreed that our children were in fact very high quality, so that’s something we both take pride in.” More.
President Donald Trump said his oldest son, Donald Jr., didn’t collude with the Russians to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but if he did, he can count on a presidential pardon. “The Democrats can use their rigged system to convict my son for a fake Russia collusion story but I have the ability to pardon him and I will,” Trump said today at the White House. “He’s going to keep running my business until I’m out of office.” Trump called the linkage between his son and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya a “witch hunt” because their meeting was the kind of thing people involved in campaigns have always done. “If someone who claimed to have connections to the Iranian government offered to share damning stories about me to Hillary Clinton’s people, do you think they’d turn that down?” Trump said. More.
HAMBURG, Germany. President Donald Trump, fresh from his two-hour meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin, was in good spirits as he headed for a dinner at the G-20 meeting here Friday night. “I had a terrific meeting with President Putin, a really terrific meeting that will mean great things for America,” Trump said. “I’ve said all along America would be better off if we got along with Russia, and our meeting today was a fresh start, a really good start after the disastrous years we’ve had for so long.” Trump said he and Putin talked about cyber security and bringing peace to Syria—“a really important topic, by the way, really serious stuff”—and about forging closer ties between their two countries in the coming years. “I said I wanted to put the past behind us,” Trump said. “President Putin is a strong leader who I think we can do a lot with. And he certainly respects our strength, our military, our control over the cyber. We’re a really big country and I think he knows that.” More.
President Donald Trump, calling himself the most unifying president the United States has ever had, said you can’t support America without supporting the Republican party. “The Republican party is the party of Lincoln, and how many Americans know Lincoln pulled our country together during the Civil War?” Trump said today at the White House. “Democrats talk a good game but they want to bring down the Republicans—the party of Lincoln—with their witch hunts and their fake stories on Russia collusion.” Trump said only a third of the country really supports the Democrats, and most of those who say they do probably secretly support the Republicans. “People will lie to pollsters,” he said. “I got news for you. They’ll lie. They’ll say I’m a Democrat but when they vote, they vote Republican. Everybody knows that.” More.
President Donald Trump made a more serious and important decision this morning than anything former President Barack Obama ever made in his eight years in office, White House Spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said today. Sanders was responding to a question from a reporter about an important piece of paper that Trump was photographed looking at this morning. Sanders said she wasn’t familiar with the paper, but based on past papers the President has looked at, it was likely something of grave national concern about which the President made a better decision than Obama ever would have. “I can tell you that, whatever decision President Trump made was better for America, created more jobs and saved more lives, than decisions his predecessor made,” she said. Tomorrow the President will be making better decisions than Obama based on a briefing book of “probably 100 pages” that he is scheduled to be photographed looking at, Huckabee said. “The jobs will be better, the outcome for America’s forgotten middle class will be superior to the disaster that was the Obama presidency,” she said. More.
White House communications chief Kellyanne Conway says it’s unfair of the media not to take into account all the infantile thoughts and memes that President Trump could have tweeted but didn’t during his five months in office. “Have there been adolescent thoughts he’s tweeted that probably should have stayed in his head?” Conway told reporters at the White House today. “Of course. But there have been far more that he hasn’t tweeted, including some that were particularly beneath the dignity of the president.” Conway gave as an example a meme Trump had been thinking about tweeting but didn’t even though it was particularly juvenile. “I was with him when he said he wanted to share this stupid video that he liked a lot,” she said. “But he decided not to and I think that speaks a lot to the kind of man, the kind of president he is.” More.
The CNN executive who got body slammed by Donald Trump in the viral wrestling video says the fight didn’t end when the video ended; it ended after an additional round of fighting in which Trump didn’t fare quite so well. The executive, who asked to remain anonymous so he could speak frankly, said he hit Trump with a leapfrog body guillotine, in which he ran up to Trump from behind, jumped on his back, and hopped over his head, forcing Trump down onto the ground. “It was a dirty move but the President fights dirty,” said the executive. More.
Louise Linton, newly married to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, reportedly said “I do” when she was asked at her wedding if she would love and cherish her husband until death do them part. The Scottish-born actress is probably best known for her role as Deputy Winston in Cabin Fever, a 2016 horror film. She also played Annie Luster in The Midnight Man, a 2016 film about an assassin who, late in life, experiences what it’s like to feel pain. Linton, 36, met Mnuchin at a wedding reception in 2013 and said it was an honor to have President Donald Trump and his wife, Melania Trump, at their wedding, which took place earlier this month at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington and which has been described as “extravagant” and a “fairy tale wedding” in news reports. The wedding was presided over by Vice President Mike Pence. More.
President Donald Trump admitted today he never taped former FBI Director James Comey but he left open the possibility that he’s taping himself, although he acknowledged he’s just speculating. “I’m not saying I am taping myself but so many things are coming out of the White House, coming out of the Oval Office, that I think I could be taping myself,” he said. “I just think we’re going to be revealing some very interesting things in the months ahead. Very interesting things. You’ll be surprised, I can guarantee you that.” A White House press aide who spoke on condition of anonymity said the President’s remark “speaks for itself,” although it wasn’t clear if the President was admitting he was taping himself or whether he was being taped at his request or whether he was being taped not at his request but with his tacit agreement. “Or maybe the agreement isn’t tacit,” this aide said. “I think you ought to ask the President whether it’s tacit or not.” More.
Crafting Health Bill in Secret Necessary to Keep Cheering People From Delaying Passage, McConnell Says
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says it’s necessary for Republicans to write their bill to replace Obamacare in secret because having millions of people cheering them on while they hammer out the details would unnecessarily slow the legislative process, an injustice to the 23 million Americans waiting impatiently to lose their health insurance. “We owe it to all of the struggling Americans who stand to lose their coverage to move as quickly as we can,” McConnell told reporters at the Capitol today. McConnell said many additional people will see their premiums go up and their level of coverage go down, so it’s understandable that lawmakers don’t want to take any longer than is absolutely necessary to pass the bill. “We still have to reconcile our bill with the House bill, so we’re champing at the bit to get our bill out there,” McConnell said. More.
President Donald Trump in a somber address to the nation called upon Americans to come together after Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), the third-ranking member in the House of Representatives, was shot by an anti-Republican man on Wednesday at a baseball park in Alexandria, Va. Several others, including congressional aides, were also shot. Scalise, who was shot by James Hodgkinson of Illinois, remains in critical condition. “I know there will be a temptation for Republicans to blame Democrats for helping to fuel a partisan atmosphere that might give rise to violence of this kind, but the time to stop the divisive rhetoric that has so long plagued our politics is now,” Trump said. “I know I have contributed to this environment. For that I express my regret. More.
The United Kingdom on Twitter today escalated a growing feud with the United States by promising to be just as insensitive and insulting when the U.S. is next hit by a terrorist attack as President Donald Trump was with the U.K. after its latest confrontation with extremist terror in London last week. “Unfortunately, it’s only a matter of time before you’re hit by a terror attack again,” the U.K. tweeted this morning. “We’ll feel bad for you, of course, but, sadly, we’ll have to be insensitive and insulting about your response. Sad!” The U.K. noted that no one is better at hurling insults than the British, so any country getting into a war of zingers with it will probably regret it. “Please don’t feel so stupid or insecure,” the U.K. tweeted about the U.S. losing an upcoming zinger fight with it. “It’s not your fault.” More.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer said the Europeans are to blame for President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate accords because the French, Germans, and others think they’re better than everyone else. “You know, they walk around like they’re so great, so sophisticated,” Spicer said at his briefing today. “They have their fancy suits. They use their big, foreign words. They eat their expensive food with the small portions. Its nauseating.” Spicer said the Europeans look to the United States to pay for everything but behind the country’s back they look down on Americans. “You know, they say to us, ‘Protect us and buy our stuff. Buy our cars—which are better than yours, by the way—and watch our bicycle races and tennis matches. You guys with your stupid American football that’s not even football. You’re just so stupid.'” More.
Trump: ‘I’m Going to Preside Over the Greatest Collapse of American Civil Society We’ve Ever Seen, Believe Me’
President Donald Trump said today Americans will be more divided, more hostile to one another than the country has ever seen before, even more than during the Civil War, when the North and the South were pitted against one another. “We’re going to have the biggest, the greatest, the most tremendous breakdown in our shared civil culture than we’ve ever had before, I can guarantee you that,” Trunp said in remarks at the White House. “We’re seeing Americans fight each other on airplanes, insult each other in supermarket lines, and refuse to do business with one another. It will be the most fantastic breakdown in our country and it’s going to be so big.” Trump said America has long had a history of putting differences aside to work for the common good, but that path has put the country in its current state of mediocrity. More.
White House spokesperson Sean Spicer called a report that Donald Trump has drained all the prestige out of the presidency untrue. “There are plenty of leaders around the world who look up to the American presidency,” Spicer said today at his daily press briefing. “There’s the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte. There are some others. The point is, the American presidency is a powerful office that carries prestige no matter who occupies it.” Spicer was reacting to a report by Samuel Greene and Nadia Petrograv of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government that the office of the president, which for generations has represented the most powerful leadership post in the world, has lost about 60 percent of its prestige since Donald Trump won election. More.
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) in an NPR interview this morning refused to say whether everyone in the United States is entitled to eat food, drink water, occupy space, and breathe air. “People are given bootstraps for a reason,” Smith told NPR’s Scott Simon in an interview about federal budget cuts proposed by the Trump administration. “If we’re not willing to pull ourselves up by them, why do we have them? Why do we have these bootstraps?” “Not everyone is born with bootstraps,” Simon said. “We have people who are born into poverty who don’t get adequate nutrition, don’t have heat in the winter . . . .” “But they have bootstraps,” said Smith, “because God wants us to pull ourselves up by them. Government isn’t a shoe store for poor people.” More.
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.
Vice President Mike Pence confided to his aides that he’s happy to be president after Donald Trump is removed from office later this year but he’s also nervous about the number of times he’ll have to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. “The presidency is a big responsibility and there are a lot of important women I’ll have to meet and I’m not sure I’ll always be able have an aide with me,” said Pence, who adheres to a policy of never being alone with a woman unless she’s his wife, Karen. “Take Theresa May,” he said, referring to the prime minster of Great Britain. “I know there will be occasions when the two of us will have to have a private talk. I’m just not sure what I’m going to do. I’m very concerned about this.” More.
Special Prosecutor is Opportunity to Return Focus to Taking Away Health Care, Gutting Programs for Americans, Trump Says
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets said the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to look into the Trump-Russia allegations gives his administration a chance to refocus on pulling the rug out from voters who put him into office. “Mueller will finally get the fake Russia story out of the news,” Trump said in the first of his tweets this morning. “We welcome the chance to take away health care from 24m, raise taxes on 70% of homeowners, cut heating aid to the old,” he said in a second tweet. In a third, he said he wants to get back to “wrecking U.S. standing in world, being a pushover to China, undercutting our allies.” More.
PALO ALTO, Calif.—A major symposium on the presidency of Donald Trump erupted into a heated discussion yesterday as some of the United States’ most distinguished professors of political science disagreed over whether President Trump is an utter moron or an absolute idiot. Benjamin Heitzberg, professor emeritus of political science at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, said Trump burst from the starting gate as an utter moron by targeting an entire religion in his immigration ban. “The United States has become a great nation in part because it’s been a beacon of hope for people the world over to come here and realize their full potential,” said Heitzberg, who last year was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the International Society of Political Scientists. “Only an utter moron would purposefully damage one of the country’s greatest intangible assets.” More.
Exasperated by President Donald Trump’s repeated preference for Russian national interests over those of the United States, all 48 Democratic lawmakers in the Senate sponsored a bill, “The Put America First Again Act of 2017,” to require the President to look out for American interests. “We believe the President of the United States, among all Americans, should put American interests first,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader in the Senate, said in introducing the bill. “We think it’s the least he can do.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the bill a “desperate act of grandstanding” by the Democrats and said it has as much chance of getting brought up on the Senate floor as a health care bill that would make insurance better and cheaper for more Americans. More.
In a sensational news scoop by Third-World Times, President Donald Trump of the United States secretly recorded his phone conversations with James Comey, his FBI director, before he fired him! According to the Times, President Trump asked Comey to say whether the FBI was investigating him, and Comey, not knowing he was being recorded, said he wasn’t! Now, if the FBI indicts Trump on a charge of colluding with the Russians to win the presidency, President Trump can call Comey a liar and ruin his reputation! Trump has boxed Comey in and painted him into a corner! “He’s a smart cookie, that Trump,” says a Washington insider, according to the Times. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in Washington are upset at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for drafting the memo that Trump used as the basis for Comey’s firing. More.
Former FBI Director James Comey, whose eleventh-hour intervention in the 2016 election is widely believed to have resulted in the election of Donald Trump as president, said he never would have thrown the election to Trump if he had known getting fired just a few months later would be his reward. “Donald Trump has a lot of nerve firing me when I’m the whole blippin’ reason he’s even in his blippin’ office,” said Comey, a Republican who was appointed to head the FBI four years ago. More.
President Donald Trump said in a press briefing today that his administration has talked more about helping working class Americans than any administration in the United States. “No one’s talking about the interests of our workers like I am,” said Trump, whose tax reform plan, released in late April, cut taxes for corporations and pass-through entities, of which The Trump Organization is one. Most middle-class homeowners would see their taxes go up because the plan would eliminate the deductions for mortgage interest, real estate taxes, and state and local taxes. It would keep the mortgage interest deduction, but that’s not enough to offset the losses elsewhere, pushing them to take a new $24,000 standard deduction that’s less than what they got when they itemized. More.
White House Spokesperson Sean Spicer said there’s no truth to rumors that President Trump and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte have agreed to shoot a television commercial for Viagra®, the erectile dysfunction drug, while Duterte is in Washington for his White House meeting. “The fake news operation of the Democratic party is at it again,” said Spicer at his press briefing this morning. “The claim that President Trump and Philippine President Duterte have any intention of shooting a Viagra® commercial is absurd.” More.
Brenda Smalter says she breathes a sigh of relief every day because she managed to avoid the attention of Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, and the other men at Fox News who were accused of treating women like sex objects. “How despicable is that kind of behavior?” says Smalter, who worked as an assistant producer at the network for seven years before she left for another network. “Other women would walk into meetings or onto the set and one of the guys would look at them or make some comment about their physical appearance or something and I’m just so relieved I avoided all that.” Smalter, 41, said she would wear short skirts or flirty blouses but none of the men ever made comments to her or tried to get her into bed. “I just don’t know why I was so lucky to have avoided all that,” she says. More.
A report by the Kleinbaum Institute of Forensic Sciences at Columbia University says there’s a good chance President Donald Trump has been hiding his bald spot in his taxes since 1995 and maybe even as far back as 1991. “As a presidential candidate, Donald Trump was willing to risk losing the election by refusing to do what presidential candidates have been doing for the last 40 years: release their tax returns,” says William Berger, professor of forensic sciences at Columbia and the director of the Kleinbaum Institute. “The question that has intrigued Americans and even people around the world for the past 18 months is, why? We think we know why.” Berger says it’s understandable people think Trump is trying to hide embarrassing financial matters by keeping his taxes out of the public spotlight. More.
Former Fox news host Bill O’Reilly and Roger Ailes, former chairman of Fox News, were seen last night at a New York City hotel bar trying to pick up chicks but people who watched say the two men were unsuccessful. “Bill O’Reilly was a little drunk, I think,” says Cindy Carlson, a legal secretary who says she saw the two men try to flirt with women for about an hour at the bar, called The Tap Room, located in the New York Park Hotel on 5th Avenue. “I think O’Reilly said something like, ‘What’s your sign?’ and the woman seated next to him looked away. I don’t think she knew who he was.” More.
President Donald Trump said today he might drop more bombs in hot spots around the world because people appear to like the bombs on a bipartisan basis. “Who would have thought the bombs would be so popular, but they are and we’re going to do more of them, I can guarantee you,” Trump said at a press briefing after meeting with business officials on tax reform. “Syria was a big win for us. People liked the Tomahawks. President Bashar al-Assad poisoned his own people. We fired the bombs. That was good. A big win. Then we dropped the mother of all bombs on Afghanistan. People are sick of Afghanistan. They can’t believe we’re still there. We can’t get out of that country? We dropped the bomb.” More.
President Donald Trump, his step a little lighter now that the reviews have been good on his decision to bomb a Syrian airbase, says Americans can expect more bombings in the weeks ahead. “There are going to be so many good opportunities to bomb things,” Trump said in his weekly radio address at the White House today. “We have North Korea. We have Iran. We have some other hot spots we’re looking at but aren’t ready to talk about yet. But they’ll be good bombing targets. A lot of pride among Americans, especially after all those disastrous Obama years when we blew so few things up.” Trump acknowledged he wasn’t expecting reviews across the political spectrum to be so good in response to his snap decision to send 59 Tomahawk missiles to the Shayrat military airbase in response to the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on its own citizens. More.
President Donald Trump said he based his decision to bomb the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria on “raw emotion” and he’s left it to his generals to create a long-term engagement strategy that doesn’t leave Americans more vulnerable to middle east chaos. “I saw children murdered by their own government and I reacted to that,” Trump said today at the White House. “Now we’re working hard to build a policy around my decision. I think we’ll have a plan soon, maybe even before the weekend.” Trump said he’d been given policy papers on the situation in Syria, but what matters is what he sees on cable news. “And what I saw horrified me,” said Trump. “I think it’s important for the head of a country to act on the basis of emotions and without a long-term plan.” More.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn insisted he’s not guilty of colluding with Russia to help Donald Trump become president in 2016 and to prove it, he said he’ll gladly testify before Congress as long as he’s given immunity. “I’m eager to clear my name of these incorrect charges,” said Flynn, who has kept a low profile since resigning in January after just a few weeks working for the Trump White House. “That’s why l’m saying, give me immunity to testify and I’ll tell you everything I know.” Flynn said his testimony will show he has done nothing wrong and the entire Russia-Trump connection amounts to nothing. More.
Recent sightings in the foothills of Spring Creek, Calif., of a mysterious beauty object have caused a stir in this former mining town 175 miles north of San Francisco. “I haven’t seen the town buzzing like this since we had the frog jumping contest here one year because the track was too muddy in Calaveras County,” says Sam Baker, a retired rancher who serves as the town’s unofficial historian. The cause of all the excitement are recent sightings of an unidentified beauty object that many locals believe is Melania Trump, the rarely seen wife of President Donald Trump. “We thought she only existed in New York City,” says Helen Carter, owner of Carter’s Diner on Route 43. “The idea that she would be sighted way out here—about as far from New York City as you can get—makes me think it’s not really her but a local girl who probably got pregnant and doesn’t want to tell her parents.” More.
WASHINGTON—In a sensational shot across the bow, American President Donald Trump said at the White House today that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, is a “vindictive, narcissistic sociopath’ who mustn’t be allowed to have nuclear weapons because he’s “impulsive, unstable, and holds a grudge.” Trump also said he lies “practically every time” he opens his mouth. “What we have in North Korea is a man who only got where he is today because of his father,” Trump told reporters. Kim is the third leader in the Kim dynasty, which began in 1948 when Kim Il-sung led his country’s effort to overthrow Japanese rule. Kim then elevated his son, Kim Jong-il, to the post of Supreme Leader in 1994, and then Kim Jong-il elevated Kim Jong-un in 2011, when he was 27. More.
Republican lawmakers in the United States Congress say they’re flabbergasted they couldn’t pull out a win yesterday by passing a bill that no one wanted and that would make the lives of Americans worse. “Who would have thought that a bill that strips health insurance away from 24 million people, raises the premiums for everyone else, and allows insurance companies to pay for less care couldn’t generate enough votes to pass?” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said last night after pulling the plug on his signature health care reform bill. Ryan said he’s stunned that his fellow Republicans didn’t want to commit political suicide by making the lives of their constituents worse by publicly voting “yea” for his bill, called the American Health Care Act. More.
McConnell: ‘Have to do it’Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Congress has little choice but to censure President Donald Trump for accusing his predecessor, without evidence, of conducting surveillance on him during the 2016 campaign. “There has never been a greater debasement of the presidency than what we have seen in the last two weeks,” said McConnell, who as recently as this weekend joined President Trump at a campaign-style rally in Louisville, Ky. “For one president to accuse another of what amounts to a criminal act, and to do so even though all of the country’s considerable intelligence resources are at his fingertips, is to perpetrate one of the greatest violations of our nation’s trust we have ever seen.” More.
In a problem that has never happened before, according to historians, just nine weeks into the presidency of Donald Trump the White House has exhausted its supply of foreign leaders willing to come to Washington to meet with the president and analysts cannot figure out why. “In every past administration, the problem has been too many foreign leaders wanting to come to Washington to meet with what many people regard as the most powerful person in the world,” says Jake Tapper, Washington correspondent for CNN. “Now, leaders around the world are saying they’re too busy to come. It’s weird.” That’s not to say President Trump has hosted no foreign leaders. Among others, he’s hosted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May, and Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe. And just last week he hosted German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But White House aides say no more foreign leaders are lined up to come. More.
Stung by unfavorable comparisons between his inauguration crowd and that of his predecessor, Barack Obama, President Donald Trump today announced that when he wins reelection in 2020, Americans will be required to attend his 2021 inauguration unless at least two million people attend voluntarily. “What the executive order says is, attendance at the inauguration is voluntary—which is in accordance with our freedoms as a democracy—but that if under two million people attend, people will be required to attend up to the minimum two-million attendance number,” said Sean Spicer, the White House spokesperson. More.
Kellyanne Conway, one of the most visible defenders of Donald Trump’s presidency, says photos of her in a bikini are “alternative facts” that are being spread on the Internet to try to take the focus off the things the Trump administration is doing, like accusing President Barack Obama of wire tapping Trump Towers, using the presidency to spread accusations about Muslim attacks in Sweden, and saying immigration curbs are needed because of a massacre in Bowling Green, Ky. “I have clearly been photoshopped into images of other women to hurt Donald Trump by demeaning me as a person,” said Conway, 50. “It’s a personal attack on my character that’s been put forward without regard to the truth and without regard to the long-term impact this will have on our democracy, our shared trust in our institutions, and our credibility as a nation.” More.
President Donald Trump this morning announced the formation of a White House office to identify and assign blame to the responsible person for upcoming policy failures of his administration. “No administration will be as accountable to the American people as mine for assigning blame for problems that will be coming in the years ahead,” Trump said in announcing his new White House Office of Blame Laying. On the upcoming failure of the American Health Care Act, for instance, the finger of blame will be pointed at former president Barack Obama for his program to increase the number of people with health insurance by 20 million. “When the Republican bill to repeal and replace Obamacare results in higher premiums for worse insurance for a declining number of Americans, we will know immediately that Barack Obama is to blame. More.
Vice President Mike Pence, amidst revelations that he used a personal email account to conduct official business when he was governor of Indiana, said what he did was different from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s use of personal email when she was secretary of state. “What Hillary Clinton did was a clear violation of law and a threat to national security while my use of personal email was a smart and necessary action that benefitted the people of Indiana,” Pence said in a statement released today. Pence’s use of a personal AOL email account was revealed yesterday in a report by The Indianapolis Star. More.
President Donald Trump took the opportunity before a friendly audience at the Conservative Political Action (CPAC) Conference in Washington yesterday to blast his presidency as a “fake” occupation of the White House and has vowed to bar himself from government despite the role the Constitution has assigned to the president. “Nobody appreciates the constitutionally protected role of the presidency more than me,” said Trump, who spoke on the second day of the annual event. “That’s why no one is in a better position than me to recognize a fake presidency when there is one.” Trump said no presidency deserves the label “fake” more than his because his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton in November depended on the FBI, voter suppression, and the Russian government. More.
Stephen Miller, the senior advisor to President Donald Trump who has helped shape the White House’s position on immigration and other conservative policies, said today he hates himself and wishes he weren’t such an asshole but that he has stopped trying to be something he’s not and will continue to attach himself to power to make himself feel better. “I’d like to have a friend, but I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to be friends with a dick like me, so I’ll just continue to be the biggest asshole I can be,” said Miller, 31. Miller said he first discovered he was a butthole when he was a teenager. “I wanted a friend and found one in Wayne LaPierre [CEO of the National Rifle Association], and although I continue to be friendless, I’m working out my insecurities at the highest levels of power and that makes me feel better when I’m not eating dinner by myself at my lonely townhouse on Capitol Hill,” he said. More.
President Donald Trump announced that John Miller, his spokesperson going back to his days as a New York real estate developer, is replacing Sean Spicer as press secretary. “I’ve known John all my life and no one has my back the way he does,” Trump told reporters at the announcement today. “When John talks, you know what he says is coming directly from me. He knows me like no one else.” MIller, 70, who also goes by the name John Barron or John Baron, served as spokesperson for Trump in the 1980s and 1990s, when Trump was trying to make a name for himself as both an astute businessman and a man-about-town. “It’s a good choice,” says Sue Carswell, a reporter for People magazine. More.
President Donald Trump introduced his latest picks for national security advisor, deputy secretary of state, and director of the secret service, but none of the appointees allowed themselves to be publicly identified. “I am ‘honored’ to be chosen to help keep our country safe as national security advisor,” said the person named to that post, whose face was kept hidden by a bag. “I have worked in national security for decades and have dedicated my life to our country’s safety. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it.” The appointee, who stands about 6′ 1″ and looks to be between 195 and 210 pounds, said he accepted this “very important position” out of love of country. More.
President Donald Trump, who took a national security briefing on North Korea last week while dining in a public restaurant at his Mar-a-Lago restaurant, tweeted on an unsecured phone today that Americans shouldn’t forget about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state. “I let her off the hook, but we shouldn’t forget how she risked national security with her emails,” Trump tweeted from his iPhone 7. In another tweet, Trump said he might have his Department of Justice take a look at what she did, even though he had said after the election he would let the matter drop, because “Russians, others could have hacked her like they did the DNC.” More.
President Donald Trump, on the defensive for staff contacts with the Russian government before he was sworn in as president, said the only scandal is the unsecured server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state when Barack Obama was president. “You have 30,000 emails that could have been compromised because of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server,” said Trump, who continues to use an unsecured phone for conversations and tweeting and who has taken national security briefings in public locations, including the main dining room at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “We must get to the bottom of her use of a private server when she was communicating with foreign leaders.” To that end, he is directing the Department of Justice to open up an investigation into what Clinton did, and didn’t do, with her server. “Nothing less than our national security is at stake,” he said. More.
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the former prosecutor who led the investigation into the Benghazi attacks when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, says he is ready to “pull out all the stops” to learn whether laws were broken when National Security Advisor Michael Flynn held talks with Russia about lifting sanctions while Barack Obama was still president. “If the contacts were in fact about the lifting of sanctions, then that would be a clear violation of U.S. law and appropriate steps would have to be taken,” says Gowdy, who earned a reputation in Congress for his tough prosecutorial approach when he led the special committee on what Hillary Clinton knew and didn’t know about the raid on the U.S. embassy in Libya that led to the deaths of four Americans, including the Libyan ambassador, Christopher Stevens. More.
Shinzō Abe, the Japanese prime minister, made a desperate cry for help last week in the White House, where his hand was held against its will by the hand of President Donald Trump. “Nobody likes to be imprisoned, but few things are worse than having your hand imprisoned because your hand is the most important exponent of freedom a person has,” said Abe, the leader of Japan since 2012 and not normally a person given to abstract philosophical musings about freedom and hands. Abe said he empathizes with Melania Trump, wife of Donald Trump, who, during the presidential inauguration on January 20, made a similar desperate cry for help about her imprisonment by her husband. More.
3 Weeks Into Trump Presidency, White Supremacists Dismayed That Jews, Blacks Still Allowed to be American
Leaders of the National Aryan Front, American Freedom Party, Ku Klux Klan, and other white supremacist oganzations in the United States issued a joint letter to President Donald Trump today expressing concern over the slow pace of the “solution” they expect him to enact for people of inferior races and ethnicities. “While we appreciate the many priorities any new administration must contend with, the lack of meaningful progress on the white nationalist agenda is troubling,” the leaders say in the letter, which was hand-delivered to the White House this morning. The letter reminds Trump that his election depended in large part on the unwavering support from the white supremacist community, particularly when he was being criticized in the media during the primaries. “When other groups were challenging you for your accurate and appropriate concerns over the biased rulings of so-called Judge Gonzalo Curiel against Trump University, we were your most vocal and consistent supporters,” the letter says. More.
CENTER JUNCTION, Iowa—Calling it an example of how he’s helping “America become great again,” President Donald Trump praised the owner of a family-owned manufacturing company here for opening a paperclip factory in the United States instead of Mexico. “We’re going to make trenendous paperclips here,” Trump told a group of employees on the factory floor. “They’re going to be the best paper clips ever made, and they’re going to be made right here in Iowa, because no one knows how to make paperclips better than the fine people of Iowa.” More.
Saying war with China or any other country will require the combat leadership of a certain seven-year Navy veteran, Senate Democrats this morning introduced the “Stephen K. Bannon Combat Leadership Act of 2017.” Under the bill, Stephen K, Bannon, a top advisor to President Donald Trump and an acknowledged “lover of war,” will have to “lead troops into battle in the first, second, and third waves of attack against enemies of the United States in any theater of war of his devising.” The legislation names “the South China Sea” as a potential “theater of war” but also says other areas of the world would qualify as long as “the lives of U.S. troops are at stake as a result of war started by Stephen K. Bannon.” More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said the decree by President Donald Trump to institute martial law in the United States “to protect Americans from foreign and domestic enemies” is an unfortunate necessity given the state of the world, but he took issue with the “hasty and sloppy” execution of the law. “Should the Administration have put out guidance earlier to minimize confusion? Yes, I think it could have,” Ryan said. “The order was clearly drafted in haste—I get that, given the threats we face from people who want to harm American liberty and freedom—but the people on the ground that must carry it out should have had detail instructions. The result was the confusion and unnecessary mistakes that characterized the rollout.” More.
Washington political pundits say they’re confident President Donald Trump, with his mounting conflicts of interest and poorly vetted and divisive policies, will be impeached before he reaches the end of his first term of office. “There’s no doubt Trump’s days are numbered,” says Chuck Cooper, the well-respected pollster who confidently predicted Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would win the Republican nomination. “Will he be impeached within his first year or his second year? I’m not sure, but he will be impeached.” Gene Robertson, the highly regarded Washington Post columnist who confidently predicted the Republicans would flirt with Trump but would ultimately go with a strict conservative, like Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), said it’s clear the president will not make it a full four years in office. “Will the conflicts become too glaring? Will he brazenly disregard the Constitution? I’m not sure what it will be, but a time will come when Republican leaders in Congress will be forced to capitulate and impeach him.” More.
British Prime Minister Theresa May says she held the hand of President Donald Trump as they walked to the White House press room for their news conference earlier this week so she would know where his hand was at all times. “Frankly, I thought it was more important to keep tabs on his hand than worry about any ridicule I might incur from the international community,” May said today. May said she normally doesn’t worry about where the hands of world leaders are, but she didn’t want to take a chance on joining the more than two dozen women who have accused Trump of groping them. “If it were just one woman who was accusing him, then I wouldn’t be too concerned,” she said. “But there have been some two dozen, which is not a small number.” More.
The United States was arrested today by its own Department of Justice for humiliating its new leader, Donald Trump. The country is accused of showing up in only small numbers to President Trump’s inauguration, laughing at the musical acts performing at his event, and turning out bigger crowds at protest marches around the country the next day. “We will only affirm that a country had been arrested and that it is awaiting a hearing at which bail will be set,” says Sean Schinner, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Justice. In the arrest report, in addition to the humiliation it served up on inauguration day, the country is accused of “watching shows poking fun at the president, listening to and attending shows of musical artists that refused to play at his inauguration, and not believing him when he says he would have won more votes than his opponent had not millions of illegals been allowed to vote.” More.
President Donald Trump says his first three days in office have been the “most presidential of any president at any time in the history of the United States” and the incredible presidential quality of his presidency will only get “more presidential” from here. Trump says his first action on his first day was to suspend, “very presidentially,” a rule that President Obama implemented right before he left office to lower the insurance premium for federally backed FHA home loans. The lower premiums were expected to make homeownership more affordable for millions of middle class households, which Trump called a very “unpresidential move” because it wasn’t done with the kind of presidential quality he would have done it with. More.
After 146 years, the iconic traveling show company, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, says it’s closing its doors because of low attendance. “Ticket sales have been declining for years, but they really took a nose dive starting about 18 months ago,” says Kenneth Feld, CEO of Feld Entertainment, the producer of Ringling. Feld attributed the dramatic drop in attendance to the company’s decision to stop using elephants, the growing unease people feel around clowns, and the presidential candidacy of Donald Trump. More.
Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate this week are tweaking 2017 budget legislation to allocate money for construction of the Mexican border wall, a priority of incoming president Donald Trump, but the budgetary maneuver faces a high hurdle to get past Democrats—and might not even be necessary. A consortium of Russian businessmen, including one who is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has come forward with a proposal to create a private fund that would pay for the wall, enabling Trump to meet his highest-profile campaign promise without taking money away from other U.S. priorities or adding to the federal deficit. More.
It’s been a busy six months for Arthur Mann, whose book, When Your President is a Psychopath (Knolle, 2016), unexpectedly rocketed to the top of the New York Times bestseller list. We caught up with Mann, a professor of psychology at MIT, while he was between flights at LaGuardia Airport in New York City. To recap our conversation, Mann said there’s an easy way to cope with Donald Trump’s presidency, but it’s probably not what you think. More.
President-elect Donald Trump said today he has created so much doubt about what is true and what is not that any compromising information the Russians could reveal about him would not hurt his political standing among his supporters. “If Russian hackers were to reveal that I, say, participated in a golden shower with prostitutes, no one who supports me would believe it,” Trump said today at Trump Tower in New York City. “I’m not saying I participated in that on any of my tips to Moscow when I was seeking Russian money to bail my company out of bankruptcy. But even if I did and the Russians released a video of me doing it, it wouldn’t affect me. Everything is doctored, everything is fake. More.
In a major discovery, a diary kept by Donald Trump when he was a young man reveals that the next president of the United States pledged at age 24 to live his life as performance art. “Everything I do, I will do as if the world is watching me at all times and in all places,” Trump writes in a diary entry in 1970. “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? No!!” Later in the same entry, dated March 23, Trump contends he makes no sound in the world if no on is there to hear it. “What’s the point of doing anything if no one sees you do it?” he writes. “I could make all the money in the world, but if I’m not in The New York Times or on NBC TV, who cares? People who live their lives in obscurity, outside the public eye, live sad, pathetic lives. That will not be me!!” More.
The Ku Klux Klan, based in Pulaski, Tenn., has retained the international public relations firm Clayton+Daye to educate Americans about the good the organization does and the fun its members have. “There’s a perception among Americans that the KKK is all about lynchings and scrawling swastikas on cars,” says John Arnold, a past grand master of the 150-year-old organization. “Those things are a big part of it, yes. But the group is so much more than that. We have picnics, help people paint houses and fences—in short, we help build community. Of course, it’s community for white people, but it’s community nonetheless.” In the ad campaign, which will air on TV and radio and have an online component beginning this spring, Klan members and their families will be shown as ordinary Americans who care about each other and the places they live. More.
President-elect Donald Trump, the most publicity-hungry human being to walk the earth, said today he’s had enough publicity and would prefer he not be thought or talked about for a few minutes. “I’ve achieved what no one has ever achieved,” said Trump, speaking at Trump Tower, the most famous building on 5th Avenue, the most famous street in New York City, the most famous city in the world. “I am in the thoughts of every human being on earth, every moment of every day, and, frankly, it’s a bit much.” Trump said he can’t turn on the TV or radio, or browse the Internet without everything at each moment being about him. “I never thought I would say this, but I wouldn’t mind someone else occupying people’s thoughts and conversations for a while. I could use a breather.” More.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, who won almost 3 million more votes than President-elect Donald Trump but lost in the electoral college, had a secret plan to require a minimum percentage of marriages to be mixed as a way to further diversity goals—a longstanding priority of liberal Democrats. “Just as we require a minimum number of federal contracts to go to minority- and women-owned businesses, we will require a minimum percentage of marriages to e mixed, whether by ethnicity, religion, or gender,” says the secret plan, which was revealed in an email and released on WikiLeaks. The email is thought to be part of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee during the general election. According to the plan, diverse households are more tolerant of diversity goals than non-diverse households, so by requiring a minimum percentage of marriages to be mixed, the plan theorizes, an increasing number of households will be tolerant of diversity. More.
President-elect Donald Trump said one of the great foreign policy successes in United States history—its purchase of about a third of its landmass in what is known as the Louisiana Purchase—was an “amateur” real estate deal made by “hacks.” Speaking at the last of his “victory rallies,” in Mobile, Ala., Trump said he could have acquired the more than 800,000 square miles of territory from France for 45 million francs, rather than the 68 million francs President Thomas Jefferson paid in 1803. The price tag of 68 million francs translates into about $15 million, or about $250 million in today’s dollars, a price historians say is remarkable for a piece of land that extends from the southern tip of Louisiana to the northern border of Montana and gives the United States its breadbasket—the area of the country that is among the most fertile in the world. More.
As he vowed to do, President Barack Obama retaliated against Russian hacking of the U.S. election by releasing photos that Russian President Vladimir Putin is embarrassed to see on the Internet. “We were clear to President Putin that he would regret meddling in the election, which is so fundamental to our Democracy,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest this morning. “President Obama was very clear that the United States would retaliate in a manner and at a time of its choosing, and today we have made good on that threat with the release of these embarrassing photos of Vladimir Putin.” The photos are devastating indictments of Putin, say security experts and intelligence analysts. In one photo, Putin is wearing an anti-Putin t-shirt. In another, he has a propeller hat on his head. In a third, he has a message taped to his back that says “Kick me!” 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.
President-elect Donald Trump said today he will move U.S. spy operations to Russia, which has “terrific” surveillance and “fantastic” intelligence gathering. “Our spy operations are a disaster,” Trump said after meeting with Mike Pompeo, the Kansas congressman who is in line to head up the CIA. Trump said his “good relationship” with Russia president Vladimir Putin makes the partnership with Russia’s spy agency, known as the KGB, a “fantastic opportunity to get the best intelligence, the best knowledge of what’s going on in the world.” 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.
President-elect Donald Trump accused his formal rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, of ordering the “hit” that ended the life of long-time Cuba dictator Fidel Castro at age 90. “The body language of my intelligence analysts makes it clear beyond any doubt that the senator from Texas is behind the death of Castro,” Trump said in a meeting at his transition headquarters in Trump Tower in New York City. Trump said his company had been planning to build a luxury hotel in Havana for several years, and that plan is going forward. “We have great relations with Raul Castro,” he said, referring to the brother of Fidel Castro, who has been running Cuba on a day-to-day basis for several years. “He wants to move forward. He views this as an important project for his country. A huge project. And we’re going to build it. 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.
President-elect Donald Trump said he was appointing his “very good brain” to be one of his top advisors on both domestic and foreign policy. “I’ve always relied on my very good brain to decide what to do,” Trump said today at a press availability in his offices at Trump Tower in New York City. “When people would question whether I was doing the right thing or the wrong thing, I would consult my brain and do what makes most sense to it.” Trump said the policy insight of his brain is “the best ever” and there was never any doubt that he would tap his brain right from the start. “My brain has been with me from day one and it’s going to be with me from the day I take the oath of office,” he said. “It’s going to be terrific. There’s never been another advisor as good as this one. You’ll be very impressed.” More.
Americans across the country expressed confidence as reports leaked out that the process put into place by President-elect Donald Trump for moving from campaigning to governing is riven by purges and back-biting. “It gives me great peace of mind to see that there’s a great deal of infighting going on as our president-elect tries to staff the offices that will keep us safe and prevent the world from descending into chaos,” says Janice Meanes, a homemaker in Lawrence, Kans. Meanes says she voted for Trump because she wanted a law-and-order president, and to hear that ultra-right-wing ideologues are trying to push out people who have a reputation for keeping a cool head in crises gives her hope for the future. More.
Facebook annouced today that it has been the subject of a fake news story that it is banning fake news stories after it was accused of allowing fake news stories to tilt the presidential election to Donald Trump. “We are not banning fake news stories, despite what you might have read in a fake news story on Facebook, and we have no plans to ban fake news stories,” said Mark Zuckerberg, the chief of the popular social media site. Zuckerberg called it “questionable” that the widespread sharing of fake news on Facebook had any affect on the election outcome, and it’s for that reason there will be no policy change to ban fake news. “Does fake news get shared on facebook?” Zuckerman said. “Of course. It’s impossible to stop. But we do not believe that fake news on our site had anything to do with the election of Donald Trump.” 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.
President-elect Donald Trump said he appreciates the gracious concession call he received from his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, after the results of their bitter presidential contest were finalized. But he also said he wouldn’t have extended the same courtesy to her had he won the popular vote but lost the electoral college the way she did. “’What a rigged system!’ is how I would have put it,” Trump said in an interview on Fox News this morning. “To win more votes than the other candidate and still lose the election? Of course I would have accused the system of being rigged. Who wouldn’t? Hillary Clinton wouldn’t, that’s who. And I appreciate that.” More.
President-elect Donald Trump said at a press conference this morning that, during his 18-month campaign for office, he weakened the very foundations on which American democracy rests. He questioned the legitimacy of President Obama, threatened not to accept the election results if they didn’t go his way, denigrated the judicial system, insulted his opponents, and tacitly endorsed racist, bigoted, and misogynistic views. Even so, he’ll he a good leader of the very institutions he tried to undermine. “I had to get to this point first,” he told reporters at the press conference. “I didn’t want to pull the rug out from underneath our democracy, but how else was I going to win? Believe me, it makes it that much harder for me to govern now that I’m here. But I had to do what I had to do.” More.
With all signs pointing to a historic drop in the stock market should he win election, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has begun calling the crash the “Obama Crash,” which he says is due to the country’s anemic growth under the Democratic president. “This crash, when it happens, will be the fault of Hillary Clinton’s president, because he never got the economy growing when he was in the White House,” Trump said today at a rally in Altoona, Pa. “The guy was a community organizer. He couldn’t get the economy growing after he crashed the economy eight years ago. We shouldn’t be surprised, folks. We saw this coming.” More.
FBI Director James Comey said he’s shocked Republicans are using his vague and cryptic letter to lawmakers about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails to fuel their theories of a massive criminal coverup. “I just can’t believe people are seizing on my mysterious, innuendo-laden letter to rile up Republicans who are disposed to mistrust Hillary Clinton,” Comey said in a statement today. “It never occurred to me that I would give fodder to conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton by saying I was reopening the investigation of her even though I don’t know what’s in the emails we discovered.” Comey, a Republican appointed by President Obama in 2013 in a show of bipartisanship, said he’s “a little shaken up” that Clinton critics are “making a big deal about this” and using it to reinforce their belief Clinton “is a criminal who is trying to become president” by rigging the election. More.
Alex Jones, the far-right conspirator who has used his show, Infowars, to stoke mistrust in Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, said on his radio show this morning there’s probably nothing of interest in the the emails found on devices belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. “It would be nice to sit here and say these emails will finally explode the presidential campaign of crooked Hillary Clinton, but they probably don’t amount to anything,” said Jones, an influential voice in the so-called “Alt-Right” fringe movement. “I think a lot of the emails are duplicates of what the FBI has already looked at in its investigation of whether Clinton criminally mishandled classified emails while she was secretary of state. More.
After what they call eight years of failed American foreign policy by the Obama administration, House Republican leaders say it’s time to spin off the country’s diplomacy and statesmanship to the private sector. “The United States was built by our world-leading companies,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said at a press conference in the Capitol this morning. “The government doesn’t build Chevrolets. General Motors does. The country doesn’t make computers. Apple does. Today, it’s time to unleash our private sector on our foreign policy and do what our government has never been able to do: create peace and prosperity around the world.” Under the plan Ryan and other leaders unveiled, the heads of GM, AT&T, Citibank, and other multinational corporations would work with leaders of countries around the world to replace war with peace and confrontation with cooperation. More.
The world, in an interview with Scott Pelley of CBS Evening News today, said it wanted to die and asked if it could be killed “right now” or at least before Monday. The world said it can’t take any more of the 2016 presidential election in the United States. “The Russian hacking, the breakdown of civil discourse, the rise of the alternative universe known as the Alt-Right . . . it’s all just too much and if you could just kill me now, I would be most appreciative.” Pelley, interviewing the world in Frankfurt, Germany, said his role as a journalist prevented him from doing that, but he said there was probably somebody in one of the Scandinavian countries that could do it, so he advised the world to try there. 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.
With less than two week to go before election day, Republican nominee Donald Trump went to Florida to talk about the marble he’s using at his Trump National Doral golf course in Florida and then to Washington, D.C., to talk about the scissors he’s using to cut the ribbon on his new hotel. “We could have used cheap marble in our upgrade at the Doral, but we didn’t,” he said on Sunday in Florida. “You can’t see the scissors, but they’re really beautiful,” he said on Monday at his new hotel on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. “There’s never been a more important election in our lifetime,” he added, looking at spreadsheets showing his real estate business losing money as millions of people stop patronizing his properties. “There’s never been a more important election and we’ve never had a more crooked, nasty presidential candidate than Hillary Clinton. That’s why I will continue to fight for my businesses, right up to the day votes are cast in this country.” More.
Ayn Rand, Back from the Dead, Calls Americans Ninnies for Threatening Election Violence Rather Than Going Away to Build Utopia in the Rockies
Ayn Rand, the objectivist guru who helped launch the Libertarian movement and serves as inspiration for those in the tea party and others who believe Americans should be self reliant rather than live under the yoke of a paternalistic government, came back from the dead today to tell Americans supporting Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that they’re “ninnies” for questioning the legitimacy of the election. “If you read Atlas Shrugged all the way through, you know objectivism isn’t about violence and questioning the vote; it’s about withdrawing from the hopeless liberal society and building a utopia in Colorado,” said Rand, who spoke to reporters and a small crowd of people outside Trump Tower in New York City. More.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he can’t promise to accept the outcome of the election ahead of time because doing so will weaken his negotiating hand should he come up short on November 8. “Any good businessman will tell you not to give away your strongest hand if you want to win a negotiation,”Trump said at a rally today in Altoona, Pa. “My strongest hand is the threat of violence and mayhem from my supporters should I not win at the polls. It’s very important I keep that ace up my sleeve, because without it, there’s nothing to negotiate.” Trump said anything can be negotiated, even elections. “The will of the people sounds high and mighty, but you can’t put together a deal if you say upfront you’ll abide by whatever voters want,” he said. “Think about it. If you say you’ll accept the election outcome, then what’s left to negotiate if you come up short? Nothing. That’s why I have to keep the country in suspense. Without the threat of violence and mayhem from my supporters I’ve got nothing to use as leverage after the votes are counted.” More.
With millions of people around the world refusing to spend money at his name-branded hotels, resorts, and condominium buildings in protest of his racism, bigotry, and misogyny, Donald Trump says his plan to destroy the value of the Trump name is going better than he anticipated. “We’re destroying our brand equity like no one else in history,” Trump said at a rally in Altoona, Pa., this morning. “We have millions of people—millions!—who won’t spend a dime at any Trump hotel anywhere. It’s amazing. There’s never been a faster loss of equity by any company in any country.” How much of his personal wealth is being impacted by this unprecedented loss of value isn’t clear, since Trump, the Republican nominee for president of the United States, hasn’t released his tax returns. But accountants and other financial experts say he could be losing $1 million a day as people stop spending money at Trump properties or buy Trump products. “If his plan was to lose $1 million a day, he’s succeeded at an amazing pace,” says Stuart Nessing, an accountiant with Billings, Stone & Reynolds in New York City. More.
Americans thank Donald Trump for breaking last remaining bond of trust they have with one another by discrediting electoral process
Americans around the country credit Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for destroying the last vestige of unity in the country by delegitimizing the election before it’s held. “I was afraid out country was going to have one last remaining value we all share—the belief in the integrity of our elections—but luckily he took care of that,” says Jessica Harris, a retired school teacher in Ames, Iowa. “I like that our country is divided by guns, homosexuality, abortion, race, religion, and size of government, but it always bothered me that we shared a common belief in the validity of our elections,” says Todd Lorton, a warehouse supervisor in Lansing, Mich. “Now we can add that to the list of things that divide us. Thank you, Donald Trump.” 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.
WASHINGTON—Top Republican officials at an emergency meeting here today are deadlocked on whether to change the definition of “GOP” from “Grand Old Party” to either “Grand Old Paranoids” or “Grand Old Predators” based on the governing philosophy of the person at the top of the Republican ticket: Donald Trump. “It’s probably the most conflicted I’ve seen our committee leaders,” said one party official who spoke on the condition of anonymity so he could talk frankly about internal policy deliberations. “On the one hand, we really are becoming the Grand Old Paranoids party, since all of Trump’s closest advisors are from the Breitbart-Info Wars wing of the party. On the other hand, Trump is clearly the leader of the Grand Old Predators wing of the party. So, you couldn’t have a more evenly divided committee.” More.
Whether he wins or loses in November, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has one constituency that will always stand by his side: America’s perverts, arguably the most maligned group of people in the country. “No one has ever spoken to our issues, but now we have a candidate who understands us and who clearly will be a force for breaking down the barriers that stand between us and the rest of the country,” says Andy P., a pervert who asked that his full name not be used to protect his privacy. Andy P, and others like him say no politician has ever before been sympathetic to people who lurk in the shadows, peep into windows, rub against women on subways, and grab their p*****s without their consent. 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.
Despite His Criminality and Sexual Assault Bragging, He’s Not a Mexican Criminal or Rapist, Trump Says
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he shouldn’t be mistaken for a Mexican, because although his university and foundation are under criminal investigation, his type of criminality is different from a Mexican’s. The same goes for the revelation that he’s a man who sexually assaults women. Although he kisses and grabs women without waiting for their consent, he isn’t a Mexican rapist because he’s a celebrity and the women let him do it. “Hillary Clinton and her slimy rapist husband Bill Clinton are trying to make people believe I’m Mexican because of the criminality of my operations and my history of assaulting and abusing women,” he said today. “But I’m not, and these attacks are part of the rigged election. I can guarantee you, my supporters are going to use their Second Amendment freedom to protest this rigged election when I lose because of Hillary’s cheating.” More.
A new scandal erupted this morning when a tape was discovered of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump talking candidly several years ago about grabbing people’s “credulity” and getting away with it because he’s a star. “You know, It’s like a magnet. I don’t even wait. Grab their credulity. You can do anything,” Trump was heard saying to Fox News host Sean Hannity, unaware that his microphone was live. “And when you’re a star, they let you do it.” The comments, although several years old, caused a firestorm because it feeds into the view that Trump doesn’t respect the people who support him. “Donald Trump should leave the race,” said former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman. “The time has come for the Republican ticket to be led by Mike Pence, who doesn’t believe in evolution and wants to force women who have a legal abortion to hold a funeral for her unborn child.” 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 presidential nominee Donald Trump lashed out at cheats who don’t pay their taxes because they’re robbing the United States of the means to repair its crumbling infrastructure. “Our airports, they’re like third-world airports,” he said at at a rally in Altoona, Pa., this morning. “You go to Dubai, you go to China, and they have these sparkling new airports. They’re beautiful. Then you go to Newark and you’re like in a third-world country. But we can’t fix anything because no one pays their taxes. You have tax dodgers using the loopholes. We’ve got to run our country like a business. People need to pay their taxes because we have to pay for our military. We have to fix our airports. How can we do any of these things if we don’t have any money?” Trump said people who hire teams of lawyers and accountants to dig up loopholes are not good Americans.”You’ve got these rich guys paying thousands of dollars to avoid paying taxes, so who ends up paying the taxes? The little guy. More.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he took the high road by not saying anything about Bill Clinton’s infidelities during his first debate with Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University. He elected to hold back in part because Chelsea Clinton, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton, was in the audience, he said. Here are five other things he could have said but didn’t because he elected to take the high road: 1. Unlike Ivanka, Chelsea is not a daughter he would want to date. She simply doesn’t have it in the looks department. Figure’s not as good. Face isn’t as pretty. No, he would definitely not take her out on a date. More.
Not waiting to get into the White House to exercise his unique brand of Twitter diplomacy, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump late last night wondered aloud if Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel, and his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, get their pantsuit ideas from the same JC Penney catalog. “I notice it’s not a catalogue Melania has laying around on her nightstand,” he said. “Maybe there’s a reason for that. Does Victoria Secret make sizes big enough for them? I doubt it!” He also called North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile from a submarine two weeks ago a “pathetic” attempt to be relevant in the global arena and said it makes the country’s leader, Kim Jong-un, look “small and sad.” Trump also revisited one of his favorite topics about China—its currency manipulation—by condemning the International Monetary Fund for adding the Yuan to its list of reserve currencies. “Just like it manipulates its currency, China has manipulated the losers at the IMF,” he said. More.
A poll conducted shortly after the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump at Hofstra University shows voters overwhelmingly believe the Democratic nominee is unqualified for the presidency because her husband, former president Bill Clinton, cheated on her. “How many affairs did Bill Clinton have? Four? Five?” says Greg Newsome, a warehouse supervisor in Harrisburg, Pa. “And she wants to be president? I just don’t see how she can be our leader if her husband had affairs with other women.” Many voters say they’re disappointed Trump held back from bringing up Bill Clinton’s affairs during the first debate. “If there’s a nuclear emergency at 3 a.m., how will Hillary make the right decision if her husband couldn’t keep his pants on when he was younger?” says Ann Burton, a retired school teacher in Springfield, Mo. More.
Rosie O’Donnell, the TV personality and liberal activist who feuded with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump about 10 years ago, has accepted an invitation from Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to attend the debate between the two candidates Monday night at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. “Secretary Clinton invited me to be her guest and I have gladly accepted her invitation and look forward to being a part of this important event to help Americans decide which of the two candidates should be our president,” O’Donnell said in a statement this morning. According to debate officials, O’Donnell will sit next to Gennifer Flowers, who will be at the debate at the invitation of Donald Trump. Flowers, 66, is a model and actress with whom former president Bill Clinton, when he was governor of Arkansas, had an affair over a number of years. More.
Hank Galloway, a retired stockroom supervisor who lost about $16,000 when he invested in a Trump resort that was never built, says Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is a corrupt politician who stole plateware from the White House and should be sent to prison and he wouldn’t mind if she were on the target side of a bullet, either. “That was a good chunk of my life’s savings that I lost in that Trump project,” says Galloway, 69. “If Crooked Hillary doesn’t go to jail instead of the White House, it’s because we’re letting terrorists laugh up their sleeve at our country and giving good-paying jobs to Mexicans who think life in America is one long siesta.” Galloway says he also tried to learn how to become a real estate investor by taking classes at Trump University, but he didn’t learn anything except that he should invest money in Trump projects, which he did. “It’s these regulations that the Socialists in Congress impose on business that’s strangling this country,” he says. More.
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says he has asked Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C) to start the process of impeaching Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton even though she hasn’t won the presidency yet because waiting could enable her to govern should she win more votes in November than her Republican rival Donald Trump. “I acknowledge it’s unprecedented to start impeaching a president before the president is elected, but we live in unprecedented times and we must act to protect the American people before a president commits an impeachable act that we know the president will commit,” says Ryan, who made his announcement at the Capitol this morning. More.
LOMAIN, Ohio—The concern among voters here in this heartland city is whether Republican nominee Donald Trump will leave an insult to his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton unsaid or otherwise fail to say something that disparages the country or its institutions or further debases American democracy more than he already has. “We know he has it in him to disparage everything our country has spent more than 200 years building,” says Barbara Hastings, 68, a retired teacher here. “But will he find it within himself to do that? Or will he just lose heart at the critical moment and allow some piece of our democracy to escape unscathed?” Alfred Johnson, 73, a former banker in this town of about 68,000 people, credits Trump with coming closer than any other candidate in sewing hatred and pitting neighbor against neighbor, but with six weeks still to go before the election, there’s still time for him to pull back and say something decent. More.
With Donald Trump nearing the presidency, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich have lined up to collect the cabinet posts for which they’ve sold their souls, and there’s disagreement over how the spoils should be divided up. Christie says he should be given the Attorney General post, but Gingrich says he wouldn’t mind having that. Giuliani says he could take that post, too. Giuliani says he’d also like to have Secretary of Defense, and Gingrich says he’d be okay with that if he can have Secretary of State. “I have the stature for it,” Gingrich says. Plus, it would put him fourth in line for the presidency should Trump get food poisoning at one of his hotel restaurants and die. More.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said he has decided President Barack Obama was born in the United States and therefore he is entitled to serve out his term, which ends in January 2017. “I have finished it,” Trump said of the so-called birther issue, which refers to theories on the Internet that Obama, whose father was Kenyan, was born in another country. “President Barack Obama was born in the United States. Period.” On hearing the news, many Americans across the country breathed a sigh of relief. “I was so worried that our president was illegitimate,” says Nancy Carpenter, 68, a retired office assistant in Ames, Iowa. “I wish Donald Trump would have proclaimed Obama American-born before this, but better late than never, I guess.” More.
The Democratic National Committee has been hacked. Colin Powell has been hacked. The NSA has been hacked. The American Olympic Committee has been hacked. So many opportunities. So many directions. When you can get into any email you want, whose email do you get into next? That’s the question Russia’s state-supported hackers have been asking themselves and now they want to get your input. In a first for Russia’s hackers, they’ve put out a call on their Facebook page to get ideas from you on whose lives they should turn upside down next. “Tom Brady? Beyonce? Barbra Streisand? It’s just so hard to know,” said the group, which calls itself Анонимный, or “anonymous” in Russian. “It’s impossible to keep up with who’s trending. “Drake is big. But you already know what his emails are going to say. There has to be a surprise factor.” More.
Russian president Vladimir Putin says he’s enjoying the positive coverage he’s getting from the endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump but he doesn’t want to give the impression his success is all about his leadership skills; it helps to be an authoritarian, he says. Putin says he could never work his will if he couldn’t jail critics or have them killed, which takes care of a lot of opposition. He also takes advantage of a rubber-stamp legislative body and gets to set the terms of his election, which is better than running campaign ads, even if they’re good ones. “Truth be told, it helps to do what you want without checks and balances,” he says. “Sure, I’m a good leader. I’m strong. But at the end of the day, I never lose sight of the real source of my strength: my authoritarianism.” More.
Former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein came back from the dead today to throw some shade at Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for praising the 82 percent approval rating of Russian president Vlaidmir Putin. “Eighty-two percent! I snort at that!” said Hussein, who was executed by the Federal Government of Iraq in 2006, when he was 69. “My Revolutionary Command Council would have had a good laugh if I had run my country as a strongman with only an 82 percent approval, I can tell you that, my friend!” Hussein said a strong leader should never have anything under 100 percent approval, and he pointed to his impressive 111 percent approval rating when he asked his people in a poll what they thought of his job performance in 2003, shortly before an international coalition of forces invaded his country and forced him into hiding. “I am not a sentimental person, but I shed a tear at the love of my people on that day,” said Hussein. More.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump acknowledged he plans to govern as a dictator but he wanted to reassure voters that he would make decisions in the interests of the country. “When I curb the press, it wont be to hurt America, it will be to make America stronger,” he said. “If I let the press criticize everything I do—and they will, because they’re totally dishonest—I can’t get anything done. I want to get things done, so I have to curb the press. But we’ll still have some free press. We’ll keep the good ones. It won’t be entirely gone.” Trump promised to take a firmer hand on how cases get settled in the courts. “Right now our courts are a disaster,” he said. “We have cases backlogged. Why do we use juries as much as we do? Especially if the person is guilty. Let’s get these guilty criminals directly into jail and save he courts for when we really need them.” More.
After several recent speeches by Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton were interrupted by bouts of coughing, conservative commentator Sean Hannity has launched a feature on his Fox News program called Clinton Cough Watch, and already the show’s cough-o-meter has risen to a “red-alert” status that Clinton’s health must be failing. “What we’re seeing is an effort by one of the major party nominees to dupe the American public into thinking she’s healthy when in fact she is unlikely to be able to serve out her term should she win election because of a condition that she’s keeping under wraps despite the American people’s right to know,” said Hannity today. Hannity said the Clinton cough-o-meter yesterday displayed a neutral reading of “5,” which means Clinton was neither overly sick nor overly healthy, and by today that reading had increased to an “8,” which means the candidate is much sicker than she lets on. More.
Katrina Pierson, the spokesperson for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said this morning that she’s a better liar than new campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and that there’s no truth to the rumor that Conway is doing most of the TV appearances these days because Trump is unhappy with how well Pierson is lying. “I know people like to spread the lie that somehow Kellyanne is a better liar than I am, but that is an outright lie and I can say in all honesty I am the better liar and Donald Trump has said he truthfully believes I’m a better liar,” said Pierson, who has been Trump’s chief spokesperson since early last year, when the real estate mogul announced his candidacy. More.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, fresh from his dramatic trip to Mexico to discuss immigration policy, said he would allow Angélica Rivera, the wife of Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto, into the country if she wants to come. “We would make an exception for her, absolutely, and I told her that when I was in Mexico,” Trump said at a campaign stop in Albuquerque, N.M. “I told her I’ll have a car ready for her anytime she wants to come. She has my number. She said she’d like to see Trump Tower. I said I’d like to show it to her.” Rivera, 47, an actress and model before she became Mexico’s First Lady, was born in Mexico City. She has been married to Peña Nieto since 2010. Trump’s trip to Mexico has generated a considerable amount of analysis. In Mexico, he appeared to take a conciliatory approach to the country, but that appeared to change in a major address he gave in Phoenix that night. More.
Citing a “great deal” that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump promised him on supplies, labor, and land, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto says he is rethinking his opposition to the wall Trump wants to build to separate the two countries. “Of course, there are a lot of negatives to the wall,” Peña Nieto said in his revised statement, issued this morning at the National Palace in Mexico City. “But there is much more of an upside to this than I realized.” Peña Nieto said Trump, with his extensive ties to real estate and development interests in the United States, can get him a “great deal” on everything it would take to build the wall, which is intended to keep out Mexicans who come to the U.S. illegally. “Deals like this don’t come around every day,” he said. More.
A classifed CIA memo says the marriage between former New York congressman Anthony Weiner and Hillary Clinton aide Huma Abedin is a front to enable Abedin to spy at the highest levels of the United States government. “The family of Huma Abedin has long-time ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and Huma herself has deep ties to the organization, which the United States State Department recognizes as a terrorist organization,” says the memo, a copy of which was provided to The Guardian of London. The memo claims the marriage between Abedin and Weiner was arranged to give Abedin access to both Congress and the White House. “As the wife of a congressman, Abedin was put in touch with lawmakers at Capitol Hill social functions, both formal and informal, and enabled her to acquire intelligence through talks with lawmakers and their spouses,” the memo says. More.
Unverified news reports say Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has been endorsed by the American Association of Conspiracy Theorists (AACT). If true, Trump would be the first presidential candidate to receive the group’s endorsement since Richard Nixon was reportedly endorsed by the group in 1968. “We need a president who won’t be caught sleeping when dark forces around the world align to do harm to the United States,” says a statement attributed to the group, which is said to have been created in 1960, the year the American U2 spy plane was shot down by the Soviet Union during a deep penetration overflight. “I have reason to believe the group is endorsing Trump and I have reason to believe that’s a good thing,” says Alex Jones, host of The Alex Jones Show on Genesis Communications Network and operator of InfoWars, PrisonPlanet, and other websites popular with Americans concerned about the growing number of plots against the United States. More.
Right-wing radio commentator Rush Limbaugh says he loves Glenn Beck, his fellow conservative talker, but his refusal to back Donald Trump for president is just a total bitch slap. “All the times I was there for him, and this is the thanks I get,” Limbaugh said of Beck on his popular radio show today. “When the lefties were calling him a Nazi, I stood up for him. When they were accusing him of being a deranged conspiracist, I had his back. Now when we’re so close to getting Hillary Clinton put into jail, he goes wobbly and says he can’t support Donald Trump because he’s not a true conservative. Oh, aren’t you just so high minded? Are your hemorrhoids bothering you or is that really a stick up your you-know-what?” More.
David Hume to Donald Trump: ‘I was only kidding about preferring the destruction of the world to the scratching of my finger’
The brilliant Scottish philosopher David Hume, whose Treatise of Human Nature in 1739 turned the world of moral philosophy upside down and spurred Immanuel Kant to write his momentous critical philosophy in response, arose from the dead today to tell Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump that he was only kidding when he said it’s perfectly reasonable for someone to prefer the destruction of the world to the scratching of one’s finger “Donald, when I wrote my Treatise I was only 23 years old and was a little full of myself at the time,” said Hume, who died in 1776 at the age of 65. “It was my view, as a brash young man looking to make a name for himself, that reason is the slave of emotions and our moral views are based on our passions, not on our reason. That’s why I said—I’m not sure of the exact words, but it was something like, ‘It is not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.’ More.
Franklin Graham III, son of the late televangelist Billy Graham, says he’s concerned for the country’s moral well-being because today almost a quarter of Americans identify as atheists or otherwise claim no religious affiliation, a sharp increase from a generation ago, when few people claimed no religious affiliation. “The United States is a country founded by Christians on the basis of Christian values, so it is very disturbing from a moral and spiritual standpoint that one out of every four Americans is not going to get into heaven,” said Graham, president and CEO of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graham was speaking at a rally in Charleston, S.C., for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Other religious leaders, including Jerry Falwell, Jr., and James Robison, were at the event. More.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump used a major foreign policy address at Georgetown University in Washington today to lay out his vision of hostile forces around the world aligning to attack the United States under President Obama and removing it from its perch atop the world order. “There’s something going on, people, and it’s happening to us right now while our president, Barack Hussein Obama, looks the other way and talks about registering our guns—disarming us,” he said to a subdued audience in the school’s ornate auditorium. “Hillary Clinton is taking it a step further and getting guns banned from the Constitution.” Trump said the United States, after decades of setting the rules for the world, finds itself embattled from all sides. He cited China building a “military-style air base” in the South China Sea, Russia “flying circles around NATO planes in Scandinavia,” and Iran “completely dominating Israel” while Obama “winks and nods and wastes resources in the fiasco that’s Libya.” More.
Worried that Donald Trump’s focus on score-settling and conspiracy mongering is dooming Republicans’ chance of winning the White House, GOP leaders have asked party heavyweights Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann to help right the listing campaign. “Trump will be a good president because he understands the needs of hurting Americans, but we first need to win the presidency and we think that requires adding some intellectual heft to his campaign team,” says Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chair. “We are pleased to announce that two of our party’s most well-respected thought leaders, former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, have agreed to return to the political fray on behalf of our nominee for president.” Palin, tapped to be the running mate of Sen. John McCain of Arizona when he was the Republican presidential nominee in 2008, is expected to bring considerable policy heft to the Trump effort. More.
The mouth of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was caught talking without the candidate’s brain at a rally in Altoona, Pa., today, marking the seventh time in the last day and a half that unsupervised words from the candidate’s mouth were allowed into the world. “The only way we could lose, in my opinion—I really mean this, Pennsylvania—is if cheating goes on,” Trump said at the rally. Trump, who is down in the polls in this and other battleground states, has started letting his mouth talk without restraint about cheating and rigged elections as a way to delegitimize the election outcome should he lose, setting the stage for widespread instability in the world’s oldest democracy. More.
Republican presidential nominee says it’s just like the “PC police” to give him a hard time for calling for the assassination of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, to prevent her from picking the country’s next Supreme Court judges. “Wouldn’t you know I would be criticized for suggesting a Second Amendment solution to a Crooked hillary victory,” Trump said at a campaign stop in Lexington, Va. “You can’t say anything today without running afoul of the PC police.” Trump sparked a round of condemnation yesterday by alluding to what gun owners could do if Clinton wins. “If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said at a rally in Wilmington, N.C. “Although the Second Amendment people—maybe there is. I don’t know.” More.
Finding time to talk with election riggers who’ve been hired to tip the scales of the 2016 presidential election to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton hasn’t been easy, especially with the election less than three months away. But Justin Powers, Kermin Jackson, and Ali Siddiqi—the Demcrats’ crack team of election riggers—made time to talk about how the big plans are going. The Nattering Nabobs: You were hired three months ago by the Democratic National Committee to make sure Hillary Clinton wins the election. Is everything falling into place?Ali Siddiqi: Well, point of clarification. We were hired more than a year ago, but we were formally introduced to the media three months ago. TNN: Okay, thanks for the clarification.Justin Powers: I think it takes a little longer than a few months to rig an election! More.
Did Crooked Hillary hack the hairstyle of Alexander Hamilton and other Founding Fathers by rocking a wavy, pewter-white-colored hair style at her July 28 acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination? A group of hairstylists says she did just that and it’s calling the candidate out on it. “As professional hairstylists in the United States, we are concerned that Hillary Clinton is not being upfront about the message she intended to convey at a moment when millions of Americans were watching her,” says the group, the American Association of Hairstylists. “We believe she intended to convey the look of the powdered wigs of our our country’s Founding Fathers by coloring her hair a pewter-white and feathering the sides. We find this action presumptuous and disingenuous, and we ask the candidate to be upfront with the American people about this deception, if that in fact is what it is.” More.
Lawsuit, certified as class action, seeks damages in the millions of dollars The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has certified as class action a lawsuit against Donald Trump and his presidential campaign for recklessly inflicting emotional distress on voters. The case is expected to go to trial this fall. “This class action certification is a victory for tens of millions of Americans who cannot concentrate on their jobs during the day or sleep in their beds at night because of the daily barrage of outrageous statements coming out of the mouth of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump,” says Steve Parker, counsel for the plaintiffs. “What this certification says is, we as a country are being treated to intolerable statements that betray the standards of civilized decency. More.
The U.S. economy grew by a meager 1.1 percent last quarter and economists are laying the blame on Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, whose statements, they say, are driving people to the Internet almost on an hourly basis to read news stories or watch video about him to the detriment of their jobs. “The work of our country is simply not getting done,” says Albert Strauss, associate director of quantitative analysis for the Reichman Institute of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania. “Emails are not getting sent, reports are not getting written, mathematical equations are not getting solved while people read about the rift between Trump and the GOP leadership or watch a video about Trump insulting a mother.” More.
The Republican presidential nominee has been hit for not understanding sacrifice, but people who know Donald Trump say he has made great sacrifices throughout his life. Here are three moments that don’t get the attention they deserve, told by the people who were there. Playing through pain “Despite bone spurs on his heels that kept him from serving in Vietnam, Donald Trump set pain aside and played like a world champion when our dorm was challenged to an afternoon basketball game against hated rivals. We were down by three or four baskets and I knew Donald, having only slept a few hours the night before, was tired. More.
Poorly educated Americans, long thought to be firm backers of Republican presidential nominee Donald J. Trump after he said how much he loved them in Nevada earlier this year, are moving in increasing numbers to the candidacy of his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, a Marist poll released today shows. Fifty-three percent of poorly educated Americans say they will vote for Hillary Clinton and her vice presidential running mate, Tim Kaine, compared to 41 percent who say they’ll vote for Trump and Indiana Governor Mike Pence, his vice presidential candidate. The remaining six percent are either undecided or were unable to read the poll question. “Hillary Clinton is undoubtedly enjoying a post-convention bounce with the poorly educated,” says Steven Decker, director of quantitative analysis for the widely watch Marist poll. Last quarter, the poorly educated sided with Trump, 55 percent to 39 percent. 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.
Analysts say pro-Russia remarks appear to be sprinkled into the presidential nomination acceptance speech that Hillary Clinton gave on the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and they wonder if the remarks were added at the last minute by Russian hackers who’ve infiltrated the servers of the DNC. “The speech was more pro-Russia than we expected, and that makes you wonder what the Russians have done now that we know they’ve hacked the DNC servers,” says Jon Brighton, cyber security branch chief at the National Security Agency. One line that might have been added, Brighton says, comes about halfway through Clinton’s speech, when she’s talking about the bonds of trust that appear to be fraying in the United States. “America is once again at a moment of reckoning,” she says. “Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. Luckily, we maintain strong bonds of trust with Russia and our good friend Vladimir Putin.” 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.
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.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich says he can help Donald Trump win the presidency if he’s selected as his vice presidential running mate because he’s a proven vote-getter who won his home state of Georgia and neighboring South Carolina in the 2012 Republican presidential primaries. “If you need any evidence that I can bring in the votes, just look to the two states I won in the 2012 race,” Gingrich said this morning on CNN. “There are 50 states and several territories that hold primaries and caucuses and I won two of them. Let me repeat that. In two states, I got the most votes, including my home state of Georgia. Can I add firepower to a Trump-Gingrich ticket? I think my 2012 performance should end any doubts that I can.” More.
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, an increasingly likely pick of Donald Trump to be the presumptive 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.” More.
Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes is alleging in a lawsuit that aspiring news reporter Asheigh Carter tried to tempt him into infidelity as she sought a job on his popular cable news channel. “My client is traumatized and humiliated by the experience of having Ashleigh Carter stroke his chin and breathe into his ear during a meeting to discuss her qualifications to be a reporter for the Fox News team,” John Peterson, an attorney for Ailes, said in a statement. According to the statement, Carter, 25, a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, sent him pictures of her and promised him “moments he’ll remember” if he would just give her an interview. More.
Vermont senator Bernie Sanders says he enderstands Hillary Clinton, doesn’t think she should be endicted for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state, and confesses that Clinton has endeared herself to him. He also says its endeniable that Clinton is qualified to be president, accuses Republicans of trying to endermind the democratic process through voter registration laws, and says the United States will endure despite concerns over gun violence. On global affairs, he thinks the United Kingdom should endo its vote to leave the European Union, human rights violations are endemic in North Korea, and he calls on Israel to endertake the hard work needed to achieve peace with the Palestinians. More.
Judges, legal scholars, and others in the legal profession are concerned that a big drop in the number of reasonable people in the United States is making it harder for courts to apply the “reasonable person” standard in law. “The ‘reasonable person’ standard has been a part of the administration of justice throughout history, but today we’re finding it under pressure as we see fewer reasonable people in the United States,” says James Reynolds, professor emeritus of law and jurisprudence at Harvard University and the lead author of a study on the decline of reasonable people in the United States and its impact on the legal profession. The decline in reasonable people isn’t just limited to the notion of the “everyman,” says Peter Moore, a professor of law at Stanford University. The ‘reasonable person’ standard extends to other standards of reasonableness, including the ‘reasonable prosecutor’ standard. More.
The U.S. Department of Justice is looking into whether text messages that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton sent while she was secretary of state breached government communication rules and protocols, department officials say. “We have reason to believe Secretary Clinton might have compromised rules on correspondence by conducting State Department business via text messaging,” says an official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. According to the official, investigators are looking at three text messages sent on February 14, 2009. The texts are to an undisclosed foreign official and pertain to a meeting the two had been planning while Clinton was in the official’s country. More.
The U.S. Department of Justice is set to announce whether it will press charges against presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. Whichever way the announcement goes, though, Clinton comes out a loser, and Clinton says she’s okay with that. “If the Department of Justice says it will press charges, I guess I would be in ‘big trouble,'” Clinton says. “Hah hah. It would be unprecedented for a major party candidate to face federal criminal charges while running for president of the United States. But if it exonerates me, the Justice department will be playing into the hands of critics who say the system is rigged in my favor. No matter what happens, I’m screwed. Hah hah.” 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.
LONDON—Some of the world’s top women tennis players say their game has struggled as they try to keep their new Nike tennis dress from interfering with their shots, but they also love the way the dress doubles as lingerie for later that night. “Anytime I can pack one dress instead of two while I’m on the road I’m happy,” says Ivana Sveltka, the top-ranked Moldovan player gearing up for the second round at Wimbledon this week. “Being able to play in the dress during the day and then slip it on at night as a comfortable nightie is just wonderful.” The dress, which Nike-sponsored players are required to wear under their sponsorship agreements with the company, breaks the mold in tennis attire by replacing the standard skirt and top design with a single, loose fitting dress that’s notable for its high cut and willowy fabric. More.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry wrapped up a week-long meeting with Chinese government and business leaders with a request for the Chinese to give back the millions of jobs American businesses shipped to them over the years. “We are not blaming you for taking them,” Kerry said in his departing statement, given at the American embassy in Beijing. “We gave them to you of our own free will, and you were free to take them. But we’d like to have them back now, and so if you wouldn’t mind returning them to us, we would appreciate it.” The United States has transferred some 15 million jobs to Chinese companies since China was granted Most Favored National (MFN) trade status in 1994, when Bill Clinton was president. Since that time, China has grown to have the second largest economy in the world and is on the verge of overtaking the United States in the size of its gross domestic product, although the country would still lag the U.S. in per-capita GDP. More.
George Will, the Pulitzer Prize winning conservative commentator known for his intellectual gravitas and biting wit, sent shockwaves through Washington when he quit the Republican party in late June, saying, “This is not my party.” The voters react. “Are you talking about that guy with the bow tie? I’d like to punch him in the face.”—Darrell Banks, retired pig farmer, Terra Haute, Ind. “He’s on TV, right?”–Arnold Smith, equipment salesman, North Platte, Neb. “He sounds like he has money. You think he’d like to see my picture?”–Mary Barton, waitress, Harrisonville, Mo. 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.
In the wake of his sudden firing as Donald Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski says he’s not sure why he was let go but he thinks he simply rubbed out people the wrong way. “I’ve come to know Donald Trump well in the two years I was his right-hand man, and I can say he doesn’t like his staffers to rub out people the wrong way,” Lewandowski said yesterday. Lewandowski said he rubbed out several people the wrong way, including a New York Times reporter, a Republican political consultant, and a voter. “The voter wasn’t going to vote for Donald Trump anyway,” Lewandowski said. “I didn’t see any reason to rub him out the right way.” Analysts say Lewandowski had a well-earned reputation as a tough and protective aide to Trump. More.
Fresh from his stinging defeat for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is applying lessons learned as he embarks on his bid to stay in the U.S. Senate. “Although I’m disappointed I didn’t do better against Donald Trump, I can say I’ve learned valuable lessons from him during the race and I plan to apply those lessons to my race to remain Florida’s senator.” Among the lessons learned, he says, is the need to question President Barack Obama’s agenda, and, by extension, Hillary Clinton’s agenda. “Barack Obama wants to make fundamental changes to what America is, the kind of country it is,” he says. “Barack Obama knows exactly what he’s doing, and so does Hillary Clinton.” More.
President Barack Obama lashed out at presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump yesterday after a group of white American men showed up at a political rally in Dallas toting guns and intimating they will resort to violence if anyone tries to restrict gun ownership in the wake of another mass shooting. “You can’t solve a problem if you refuse to name it, and Donald Trump disgracefully refuses to say the words ‘radical Americanism’ when we once again have a group of armed white men seeking to intimidate other Americans through their use of guns,” the president said at a news conference at the White House. “Look, the Republican party is led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he’s got something else in mind. He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands—it’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable.” 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.
Wayne LaPierre, the head of the National Rifle Association, said today the United States will never get a handle on its problem with violence until more people get their hands on guns so more people can meet violence with violence. “There simply aren’t enough people with enough firepower to stop the violence,” LaPierre said. His remarks came in the wake of the of the latest random mass shooting in the United States. Yesterday, Omar Mateen used several automatic weapons to kill more than 50 people and wound an equal number at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub. “Would so many people be dead if some of the people had been armed in that nightclub?” LaPierre said at his news conference. More.
One of the largest employers of minimum-wage workers says it “totally” supports increasing the minimum wage to $15 from the current $7.25, and it also says it wants to help unemployed young people obtain “real-world work experience” by launching a nationwide unpaid internship program. “Many young people today simply don’t have an opportunity to get on-the-ground work experience,” Ned Turner, chairman and CEO of Hamburger O Rama, said at a press conference today at the company’s Omaha, Neb., headquarters. “That’s why we’re so excited about our initiative to give millions of young people concrete, nuts-and-bolts work experience by hiring them as unpaid interns.” Turner said the internship program will provide young people “invaluable” lessons in what makes a popular service business like Hamburger O Rama run. “Our business is built around a 99¢ hamburger,” he said. “Under our program, interns will learn everything about our core product: how to cook it, serve it, clean up after the customer has eaten it . . . . 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.
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump says he hasn’t started arranging his combover in a different way to reflect the surge in popularity of Hillary Clinton now that she has amassed enough delegates to be his Democratic opponent in the general election this fall. “Crooked Hillary will be in jail before she’s the Democratic nominee, so I can assure you I haven’t changed anything about my hair,” Trump said at a campaign stop in San Diego this morning. “I’ve been combing it the same way since I was 30 years old. And you know why? Because it’s perfect the way it is. Even the Mexicans love it. They wish they could have my hair. And maybe they can someday, if they behave themselves.” More.
Polls show likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton not losing California when it votes on June 7, and her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, not winning his party’s nomination. “By the middle of this week this will all be over, with Clinton emerging as the presumptive nominee and Sanders emerging as the presumptive non-nominee who will continue to campaign all the way to the convention,” says Steve Cahill, a Democratic political consultant who is not aligned with either campaign. Going into California, Clinton has 2,355 delrgates, just 28 shy of the 2,383 she needs to clinch the nomination. Sanders has 1,563. More.
Republican nominee Donald Trump asked voters to elect him to the presidency because he wants to oversee a country whose institutions, traditions, and principles he holds in utter contempt. “Our legislative branch is a bunch of losers,” he said. “Our Judiciary puts Mexicans on the bench. Our public servants are incompetents who couldn’t get work in the private sector. I want to lead this country whose institutions I despise, so vote for me.” Trump said he has no respect for a free press. “No where in the Bill of Rights does it say we have a free press,” he said.”Read it. It’s not there. I can guarantee you it’s not there. If you think it’s there, you’re stupid.” More.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said today he believes the moon landing in 1969 was real but “many people” believe the whole thing was orchestrated by the federal government to impress the world and scare the Soviets. “I’m not saying I believe that, but many people have questions about it,” Trump said at a campaign appearance here. “There are people who know about these things who say they saw the interior of a warehouse in Los Angeles converted to look like the surface of the moon, complete with fine dust and craters and the whole thing. Lot of tinfoil lying around. More.
Johnson-Weld Libertarian ticket: ‘We’re committed to ensuring the major party candidate you want to lose will win’
Gary Johnson and William Weld, the freshly minted Libertarian party team for the 2016 presidential election, hit the campaign trail today with a message of individual liberty and a promise to put in the White House the major party candidate you don’t want to win. “We know if you’re a Hillary Clinton backer you’ll be happy to know our presence in the race all but ensures Donald Trump will win the presidency,” said Johnson, a former two-term governor of New Mexico and the 2012 Libertarian party candidate for president. “And if you’re a Donald Trump supporter, we know we’ll get just enough votes to ensure Hillary Clinton wins the race.” Third-party campaigns have a way of playing spoiler in presidential politics. More.
A new ad campaign by Hillary Clinton called “Masochist” touts the willingness of the presumptive Democratic presidential candidate to go to the mat for the American people. “All my life I’ve fought for others,” Clinton says in the ad, “whether it was for children or embattled presidents or health care plans. Now I want to fight for all Americans. A big bully is stalking our country, and I’m ready to take him head on. He can come at me with everything he’s got. I don’t mind. If I can protect my country from this bully, no matter how much I get hurt, then I’m happy. I’m Hillary Clinton, and I don’t mind being punched in the face for you.” In another spot, called “Singin’ the Blues,” Clinton shows off her vocal range by singing about the knocks she’s taken over the years and hopes to take in the years ahead as president. 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.
An internal U.S. State Department report released today says Hillary Clinton didn’t just mishandle her official email when she was secretary of state; she also mishandled the mail she received through the U.S. Postal Service by having it sent to a post office near her home in Chappaqua, N.Y. “Despite being advised on several occasions by agency officials, Secretary Clinton chose to have her mail delivered to a P.O. Box at the Wainscott, N.Y., Post Office, an unsecured location, because of its ‘convenience’ and for other reasons,” says the report. State Department Inspector General Alfred Cummings led the department’s internal investigation into Clinton’s communications and said . . . 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.
SACRAMENTO, Calif.–Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton today named California Gov. Jerry Brown her vice presidential running mate, saying the four-term governor has the experience and stature to take over as the presidential nominee after the FBI indicts her for using a personal email account to send and receive classified information while she was the U.S. secretary of state. “No one in the Democratic party today has the breadth and depth of experience that Jerry Brown has,” said Clinton, who spoke in a joint news conference with Brown after the two met for several hours in the state house here. “That will be important, because I’m expected to be indicted in about four weeks. More.
Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton fired an early general election shot by saying likely Republican nominee Donald Trump had “nothing going on” in his race for the presidency except the “bigot card.” “I think the only card he has is the bigot card,” she said in Terra Haute, Ind., where she was campaigning. The state holds its primary this week. “He’s got nothing else going on. Frankly, if Donald Trump wasn’t a bigot, I don’t think he would get 5 percent of the vote.” Trump responded by saying he’s a proud holder of the card. “If fighting for racists, xenophobes, and misogynists is playing the bigot card, then deal me in,” he said. More.
Disgraced former Speaker of the House Denny Hastert says he’s ashamed of his behavior decades ago, when he acted inappropriately with underage boys as their teacher and coach in Yorkville, Ill. But he also defended himself, saying the Republican party has a long history of its members condemning people for marital infidelity and sexual “deviancy” while secretly engaging in the practices themselves. “Everyone knows the Republican party is full of closet homosexuals and serial marital cheaters even though it touts itself as the family-values party,” Hastert, 74, said after his admission in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. “I can show you a list as long as my arm of Republicans in Congress who lie about their sexual identity and cheat on their spouses while condemning others for doing the same.” More.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has selected Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to be her presidential running mate in the hopes of rekindling her bid to be vice president of the United States. “Sen. Cruz and I have always been on the same page when it comes to abortion, carpet bombing Islamic radicals, and not letting the Supreme Court tip to the Democrats,” Fiorina said in her speech last night announcing Cruz as her running mate. “What’s more, he has demonstrated that he’s really the only candidate who has a path to the nomination besides Donald Trump.” Fiorna, who has been out of a job since she was fired from Hewlett-Packard in 2005, ran unsuccessfully for governor of California in 2010 and then for the Republican presidential nomination. More.
In a rare moment of bipartisanship, Republicans and Democrats on the House Natural Resources Committee yesterday applauded U.S. wildlife officials for their decision not to set aside protected habitat areas for an endangered species of bats. “All of America’s wildlife are important, and we’re as worried about our bat population as anyone, but if we had to let one species go, it should probably be the bats,” Rob Bishop (R-Utah), chair of the committee, said yesterday. “While we hope the Department of Fish and Wildlife can work out a way to protect imperiled bats, if they can’t, we understand.” “Not all animals get protected habitat, it’s as simple as that,” said Jim Costa (D-Calif.), a senior member of the committee. More.
The New York Times sent teachers of English into a tizzy when it split an infinitive on its front page this morning. “Clinton Team Starts to Cautiously Look at Running Mates,” blares the headline in the April 24, 2016, morning edition of the Times, widely considered the newspaper of record of the United States. Reaction from teachers of English was swift—and harsh. “We spend hours each quarter teaching students not to split their infinitives,and what does The New York Times do? It splits an infinitive!” says Mabel Goldsmith, an English teacher in Public School 371 in the Bronx and chair of the school’s English Department. “We expect better from The New York Times.” More.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said yesterday on CNN that the death threats some delegates have received from supporters of Donald Trump are just “part of the fun” of this year’s rollicking nomination process. “No one’s really going to stick a gun barrel down your throat,” Priebus told CNN Correspondent Jamie Gangel on her news program. “When people tell delegates they ‘know where they live,’ that doesn’t mean they’re going to show up at their door while they’re eating their cereal. It just means they care passionately about the democratic process and love their country.” More.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said if he’s elected president he would waste no time in shutting down the federal government, something he tried but failed to do three years ago as a member of the U.S. Senate. “The reason I tried to shut down the government three years ago is still present today,” Cruz said yesterday at a campaign stop in Harrisonburg, Pa. “Obamacare. Nothing has changed. That’s why, on Day One, I’m turning out the lights and locking the door to the federal government.” Cruz embarked on a 21-hour filibuster in October 2013 to prevent a Senate vote on a bill to raise the ceiling on the amount of debt the United States government can incur. In years past, periodic increases in the debt ceiling passed routinely, regardless of who was in the White House. More.
The backlash to North Carolina’s anti-LGBT religious freedom law continues as Nickelback, One Direction, Insane Clown Posse, and several other bands not on tour say they refuse to play in the state until it repeals its controversial law. “If we were on tour right now, we would not play in the state in solidarity with fellow bands that are touring and taking a financial hit by not playing in the state,” sys Chad Kroeger, lead singer and guitarist with Nickelback, which last put out an album in 2014. Insane Clown Posse, a rap duo that isn’t on tour, has also announced a boycott of the state. “No way are we playing in North Carolina,” says Joseph Bruce, also known as Violent J. More.
Chief executive officers at companies in the United States are uniting behind a push to guarantee no CEO has to work for less than $40 million a year. “This is an issue of basic fairness,” says John Carter, CEO of iQuantumData in Raleigh, N.C. “The idea that a CEO can live in this country on anything under $40 million a year is unsupportable. No one can maintain three or four houses, keep a boat, and travel to Europe for events like Wimbledon or to play golf at St. Andrews on anything less than $40 million.” Mike Anderson, CEO of Delta Pharmaceuticals in Philadelphia, says the CEO profession is riven by inequality. More.
Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump is running on the slogan “Make America Great Again.” Here are 10 ways the United States is no longer great. 1. Its women are no longer beautiful. Today, someone wealthy has to look outside the United States for a wife, at least two out of three times, because all of the hot women are taken. 2. It’s no longer a meritocracy. It’s possible for someone to use his wealth to run for president even though he’s driven the company his dad started into bankruptcy four times. 3. It’s no longer a melting pot. It’s possible for someone running for president to win more votes than his competitors by asking his supporters to slug immigrants or people of color who disrupt his rallies. More.
Wall Street said today that it’s not surprised it was attacked so mercilessly by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton at last night’s Democratic presidential nomination debate, because the event took place in Brooklyn, which has long had it out for its wealthier and more glamorous neighbor. “I have more money, my people are better dressed, I have nicer restaurants, I have the big buildings . . . . I expected nothing less from the Brooklyn debate than to be demonized by the two so-called New York candidates,” Wall Street said this morning. More.
Former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said on her Facebook page in early April that we should all just condone racism as a way to make the world a better place. Here are six other things we think Palin should condone: White people. It’s not politically correct, but let’s give a shout out to the people who made this country great. More.
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina today announced a Ted Cruz Endorsement Survival Kit for $7.99.”As one of the first U.S. senators to endorse Ted Cruz for president, I can tell you it’s not an easy thing to do,” Graham said at a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington. “But with my kit, you don’t need to suffer the way I did. My kit has a remedy for every stage of the process: the self-loathing, the impulse to cut yourself . . . . Think of a kindly guide escorting you through the 9 stages of Hell. You can’t escape your fate, but the sting doesn’t have to be quite so bad.” More.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders chalked up his sixth victory in the the last seven nominating contests, all but ensuring former secretary of state Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic standard-bearer in the 2016 race for the presidency. “The momentum is clearly with Sanders,” says Mark Carpenter, a Democratic political consultant who is unaligned with any campaign this year. “He’s not only beating Hillary consistently, he’s beating her by decisive margins. So, yes, it remains Hillary Clinton’s race to lose.” CNN Political Analyst David Thornton says Sanders’ continuing appeal to large portions of the Democratic electorate reinforces the overwhelming advantage of Hillary Clinton, who is focusing her attention on the general election. More.
Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump said today he’s not a misogynist and that “his women” will tell you that. “My wife Melania and my daughter Ivanka, just ask them,” said Trump. “They’ll tell you I’m no misogynist. And my other women—Marla and Ivana. They’ll tell you the same thing. All of my women, past and present, know I like women. In fact, I love women. I love them a lot.” Trump said “his women at work” also know he’s not a misogynist. “I give all of my women at The Trump Company opportunity. I give them responsibility. I don’t have to give them those things, but I do. Because my women are the best. In fact, I wouldn’t have anything but the best women.” More.
Have you gotten your Texas in yet? If you haven’t, there are professionals you can call to help you manage your Texas and get it turned into the federal government before the April 15 deadline. Or, if you don’t want to pay for that kind of help, you can access free software on the Internet that helps you get your Texas in. “It’s always a scramble this time of year as people realize they only have a week before they have to get their Texas in,” says John Arnold, a professional who helps people get their Texas in. “They put it off and put it off until they say, ‘Okay, I can’t put it off anymore. I have to get my Texas in.'” More.
The combover of Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump has been storing tens of millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts in Panama since 2006 in an alleged effort to avoid paying federal taxes, a report on the so-called Panama Papers by the International Coalition of Investigative Journalists claims. “Working under the name ‘Andre Smooth,’ the combover of Donald Trump has diverted between $4 million and $7 million each year since 2006 in a Panama-based holding company, Smooth, LLC, that otherwise claims no assets,” says the report, released yesterday as part of a rising tide of disclosures coming out of the investigation of some 11.5 million documents leaked from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca. More.
Republican party officials are giddy over the prospect of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz joining forces in Cleveland and taking on Hillary Clinton in the general election this fall. “A Trump-Cruz combo is guaranteed to win us at least one state in the general election, and possibly even two,” says a Republican party operative who asked not to be identified so he could talk candidly about campaign strategy. “Let Hillary Clinton and whoever she’s running with take 48, maybe 49 states. With our two leading candidates joining forces, we’ll get a state—and maybe two. And they could be big ones.” More.
Mayo Clinic neurosurgeon Ronald Madison has studied the brain of Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump and says it really is a “big, beautiful” specimen of human’s most important organ. “When Donald Trump compliments his own brain, he does so on good grounds,” says Madison, who studied Trump’s brain in 2013, when the real estate mogul went to the Mayo Clinic for tests. Madison says Trump was complaining of “low energy” and wanted to rule out anything neurological, so he arranged to have a battery of tests done. “What I found was, of all the brains I’ve seen, Trump’s was certainly one of the biggest and most beautiful ever,” he says. “It’s a very good brain.” More.
Men have strong political convictions; men have the right to vote. More importantly, though, men have abs and biceps. At first glance, you might gather that’s the message behind a growing Snapchat account, “Dudes For Hillary,” which proclaims to be “Making America Whole Again One Dude at A Time.” The account, that is run by women, houses dozens of images of conventionally attractive men baring it all in the name of supporting Hillary. More.
A survey finds that white, working-class men believe the next president of the United States must have a clinical personality disorder if the country is ever going to be great again. “Unless the next president denies reality, treats others with contempt, and doesn’t care what effect his words have on others, we will never be the country we were when we were great,” one respondent says in the survey. “Nor can we be great again if the president doesn’t divide the country by race, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, and political preferences.” In the survey, conducted nationally last week by NBC News and The Washington Post, three out of four white, working-class men say presidents in the past have been “too beholden to reality” and have hurt the United States by “failing to live in a fantasy world of their own making.” More.
The U.S. Secret Service has barred guns from the Republican National Convention in Cleveland this summer, dealing a blow to gun rights activists who argued in a petition that they would be “sitting ducks” without the ability to participate in convention events armed. The Secret Service, which has authorization under federal law to permit or ban guns in areas under its protection, said the presence of guns among attendees would make it difficult to secure the convention area. “Individuals determined to be carrying firearms will not be allowed past a predetermined outer perimeter checkpoint, regardless of whether they possess a ticket to the event,” the agency said in a statement. More.
People everywhere are asking, Why John Kasich? What are the changes sweeping the United States today that the governor of Ohio and one-time House Budget chair is consistently taking a fifth of the Republican electorate by storm? Will he continually take one out of every five Republican votes cast or can he be stopped? These are the questions being asked not just among Republican party elites but among all Americans who are wondering where this political mystery comes from and where he could possibly be taking the country. “Love him or hate him, John Kasich is changing the face of Republican politics for at least a fifth of Republican voters,” says Brad Lenderman, a Republican campaign consultant who previously worked with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. More.
Is Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump a dictator in the making? A report from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology suggests he is, based on a body-language analysis that finds he and former Iraq strongman Saddam Hussein, along with other strongmen throughout history, share a key oratorical gesture. The gesture is called “Dictator’s Finger,” because it’s seen only in people who believe they are infallible. “The moment we saw Donald Trump raise his index finger for the first time in a debate, we saw the connection with dictators throughout history,” says Nelson Pottsmann, professor of communications at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and director of the MIT Center for Body Language and Non-Verbal Communication Studies. More.
SALT LAKE CITY—Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said the Islamic terrorists who killed more than 30 people and injured hundreds in Brussels earlier this week will walk away the victors if the United States doesn’t react with hysterics. “How can the United States make clear it’s the strongest nation on earth if we don’t get hysterical and overreact with bans on Muslims and threaten the carpet bombing of Muslims in Syria and elsewhere?” Cruz said here. Cruz was critical of President Obama for not changing his schedule to react with hysterics in the wake of the bombing. Obama is in Cuba on a long-planned trip as part of the two countries’ effort to normalize their relations with one another. More.
Almost 60 percent of Republicans say a little bigotry isn’t a “deal killer” in determining who gets their vote for president, and about that same percentage say “it’s not critical” the next president represent all Americans as long as “a good chunk” of Americans are represented, according to the results of the most recent Center for American Politics poll. The results suggest Republican party leaders and big-money donors face headwinds in their effort to deny the 2016 Republican presidential nomination to real estate mogul Donald Trump, who has been accused of making bigoted and other divisive remarks on the campaign trail. More.
A high-ranking staff aide to Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump says the candidate and his advisors have talked multiple times about him acting presidential on the campaign trail, but they know if he does, the millions of angry white Americans who support him will be disappointed and either back another candidate or not vote. “This is topic number one in our meetings,” says the aide, who asked not to be identified so he could speak candidly about internal deliberations. “We have guys who are adamant that Trump learn the issues, get familiar with the complexities of the world and also behave like a normal candidate at his rallies. Then we have others who say he should absolutely not do that. Right now, the ‘don’t act presidential’ camp is winning.” More.
When Paul Ryan, the speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, met with concerned Republican donors and officials last week to talk about the party’s Trump problem, there was consensus that more needed to be done to stop the billionaire from marching to Cleveland with an insurmountable claim to the presidential nomination. But there was no consensus on what to do—until the last 10 minutes of the meeting, according to a party official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. In a last-gasp effort to put the brakes on the Trump train, the group concluded a covert mission was needed to separate Trump from his beloved combover—and let his vulnerability shine out for all to see. More.
The judge picked to replace Antonin Scalia on the nation’s highest court, Merrick Garland, couldn’t make it more clear that President Obama is intentionally trying to change the country into something most Americans wouldn’t recognize, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said yesterday. “To come forward at this time with a distinguished judge who has been praised by both Republicans and Democrats for his professionalism and meticulous respect for the law exposes Obama for what he is,” said McConnell (R-Ky.). “There should no longer be any question that Obama intends to drive his agenda as far as he can in his remaining months in office, and we need to stop that before he leaves our country permanently changed.” More.
Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio said yesterday his biggest mistake was waiting too long and going too soft on Republican nomination frontrunner Donald Trump’s genitalia. “Had I brought out the genitalia attack in early February, when it would have had the most impact, I could have dented Trump’s momentum and carried far more Super Tuesday states than just Minnesota,” he said. Rubio spoke with reporters after his announcement last night that he was ending his campaign for president. Rubio also said he should have hit the genitalia issue harder. “It wasn’t enough to allude to the fact that Trump had small genitalia,” he said. “I underestimated how important a line of argument that was. The situation called for a full frontal assault on his finger length, which would have suggested more than just his fingers were short. But you can’t turn back time. It is what it is.” More.
After delivering a huge loss to Marco Rubio in his home state of Florida, Republican nomination frontrunner Donald Trump and his campaign team are secretly worried about Trump losing his own home state of New York, when it holds its Republican primary on April 19. “Truth be told, Donald Trump is not that popular in New York,” says a campaign official who asked not to be identified. “He’s burned a lot of bridges in New York City, made a lot of people mad, and outside of the city, he’s just not that well liked.” More.
Republican nomination frontrunner Donald Trump said last night on CNN he’ll go quietly if party leaders sabotage his nomination at the convention this summer in Cleveland as long as his products are served at the inaugural balls should the Republican win in November. “Everyone knows I’ve got the best wine, the best steaks you can have,” Trump said last night in his CNN interview. “My hotel in Washington, in the historic Post Office, will be ready by the inauguration and I want it to be used as well.” Trump said he’s even starting a security company, Trump Security, and he would expect that to be used to provide security throughout Washington during the festivities. More.
Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump said he was directing the executive vice president of his company, The Trump Organization, to launch a new company, Trump Security, as soon as possible to take advantage of the growing violence at his rallies and in other aspects of American life. “We’re just getting to be a very violent country and that means we need more security,” Trump said last night in an interview on CNN. “It’s terrible. It’s unfortunate. There are a lot of bad people out there. But it presents an opportunity, too, and that’s what makes me a good businessman. When I see an opportunity, I take it. And there’s an opportunity here to sell good, effective security services, and no one will provide better security than Trump Security, I can promise you.” More.
Republican presidentlal nomination frontrunner Donald Trump is planning to name his daughter, Ivanka Trump, to be his vice presidential running mate, according to Trump campaign officials who have worked on the matter. “It’s an unorthodox pick, but Donald knows the public loves his daughter and so he believes the two of them will make an unbeatable team in the general election,” says a campaign official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Ivanka’s favorable ratings are far higher than her father’s, so there’s a feeling that she’ll lift him up in states he’s lagging in.” There are other names on Trump’s list, but the official said it’s unlikely to be anyone other than Ivanka. More.
Fewer young Americans are getting into politics, a study has found, and that has lawmakers concerned for the nation’s future. “A healthy democracy relies on a steady flow of young people into politics to tackle our country’s pressing problems,” says Mary Benneto, professor of political science at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the lead researcher on the study. “The findings we release today are a wake-up call that our nation’s increasingly negative political environment is driving away our best and brightest.” One profession in which the trend line is moving in a positive direction is professional wrestling. The study found a 15 percent increase in the number of young people going into careers in the pro wrestling industry over the last three years. That increase is almost an exact mirror of the decrease in new entrants to politics, which has seen a 16 percent decline in the same time period. More.
It’s been Christmas non-stop for the members of Aryan organizations since Donald Trump assumed the lead in the Republican presidential contest. And even if Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ultimately ends up winning the nomination, members of white supremacist groups say, the boost to their causes has all of them making big plans for the future. “A year ago our groups had few members, few resources, and institutional timidity that would have disappointed the Führer,” says Jack Prest, the Commandant of the Council of Aryan Organizations of North America. “We’d sit around all day, posting pictures, trolling blogs, holding contests for best looking white Christian women. It was hardly what we expected to be doing when we joined our groups. More.
The race for the U.S. presidency, with only seven months left to go, already has voters concerned that so little time is left to watch more debates, candidate speeches, and voting results. “I just don’t see how anyone can really get a sense of who will be the best president by November,” says Clarence Smythe, an accountant in Tucson, Ariz. “Unless we see Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and the others exchange more insults, trying to decide who will be best in the White House isn’t realistic.” Lisa Caldwell, a part-time teacher’s aide in Lansing, Mich., would agree. “Can we really know if Donald Trump has the temperament to be president if we don’t get more occasions to hear him call Ted Cruz ‘Lying Ted?'” More.
Boasts and counter-boasts about who among the remaining U.S. presidential candidates has the longest fingers, and therefore the most impressive endowment, took an unexpected turn when it was revealed that Democratic nomination front-runner Hillary Clinton has the longest fingers of them all. “Donald Trump might think he has his competition beat when it comes to the length of his fingers, but he might want to get out his ruler again because no one’s got an endowment like Hillary Clinton, if the length of her fingers is any guide,” says political consultant John Mayberry, who spoke this morning on CBS News. “I think this might give us some insight into who the real man in this campaign is.” More.
The Mexican legislature received a petition yesterday from Mexico City to block Donald Trump, the leader for the Republican presidential nomination, from entering their country in retaliation for his proposal to build a border wall that Mexico must pay for. José de Jesús Zambrano, the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Mexico’s equivalent to the U.S. House of Representatives, said in a statement he would consider taking up the proposal. “The United States is an important country, our largest trading partner, so taking up such a petition has far-raching implications for the Mexican people,” he said. “I will consider it carefully.” More.
Fla. Sen. Marco Rubio says he’s sure his opponents love America but he’s surprised they choose not to wear a pin of the U.S. flag on their clothing. “Not that I question the patriotism of any of my opponents, but frankly I can’t remember the last time I saw Ted Cruz wear a lapel pin, or even Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders for that matter,” Rubio said at a campaign stop yesterday in Norfolk, Va. “Don’t these people love America? I’m convinced they do, but you have to wonder why they’re not proud to wear a flag pin, even if it’s just one.” More.
The Republican party establishment, desperate to prevent Donald Trump from walking away with the presidential nomination, has repeatedly asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich to leave the race. But Kasich, despite his mostly lackluster performance, says he has a stash of secret support from a large and important constituency and he doesn’t want to see that bloc of voters left without a champion. “I owe it to Rush fans all over the United States to stay in the race and make sure their values are represented on the campaign trail and reflected in the party platform when the Republicans meet in July for the convention—which, by the way, is in my home state,” says Kasich. More.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination got off to a big start with strong performances in Iowa and New Hampshire, says he can’t understand why voters in a southern state like South Carolina aren’t jumping at the chance to support his socialist policies. “It makes no sense to me that universal health care, free college, and reining in Wall Street aren’t polices that are resonating with southern voters,” Sanders said in remarks to The New York Times after former secretary of state Hillary Clinton trounced him in the South Carolina primary yesterday. “Hillary stands no chance of beating Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, or Ted Cruz in the South. I just don’t understand what message South Carolina voters sent yesterday by voting for a Democrat who is much more moderate than I am.” More.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who withdrew from the Republican presidential nomination contest earlier this month after several lackluster finishes, announced today that he was running for vice president instead. “Donald Trump will be the presidential nominee and I intend to be by his side as vice president,” he said at his announcement, which he made with Trump by his side. “I see where things are heading with the nomination and I can serve two functions by being his vice president pick. One, I can stay in the game, which helps me, and two, I can stand as a credible, responsible partner to ease people’s minds that Trump is too unpredictable to be president, and that helps him.” More.
News reports are saying something about another mass shooting somewhere, Kansas, I think, and people were killed and the shooter had some issues and he was at a factory or maybe he was driving a cab or was at a community college or whatever and blah, blah, blah. A report says Iowa lawmakers passed legislation to let kids carry guns in public and that’s good because kids are known for taking reasoned approaches to conflict and it will be good they will be armed in case the security of our free state is at risk and hopefully the NRA will write similar legislation for other states to pass and blah, blah, blah. More.
Deep in the bowels of Trump Tower in New York City, where the operations center for the Trump presidential campaign is located, there’s a sign on the wall. Campaign staffers hustle about the office and look at it occasionally, reminding themselves what this election is all about: the stupidity of the American people. Casey Lebowski, Trump’s campaign manager, says he likes to refer to the sign periodically to help him get back on track when the daily problems of any campaign—logistics, airplane trouble, a shipment of signs showing up at the wrong place—get him down. More.
Why is real estate mogul Donald Trump doing so well in his bid to become the Republican presidential nominee? The results of a poll released yesterday by The Washington Post and the University of Virginia might have one explanation: a majority of Americans say they want the president of the United States to be a liar, xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther, and bully. “If America had a liar, xenophobe, racist, misogynist, birther, and bully for president, we would be great again,” one respondent said in the poll. “We don’t have anyone like that right now, and America is going to hell in a hand basket.” More.
RENO, Nev.—Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who has finished third, fifth, and second in the three presidential nominating contests so far, says he’s clearly the mainstream favorite to win the Republican nomination, and that will become clear once he wins a contest. “If there’s any doubt I am the one alternative to Donald Trump, wait until I win a primary or a caucus,” he said this morning in Nevada, which holds the next contest for Republicans. Rubio says he doesn’t expect to win in Nevada, which, if true, means he’ll have won none of the four states that vote before Super Tuesday. “But “I will win something, someday, and when I do, there will be no doubt that I can win against Hillary Clinton in November,” he says. More.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said his energy level was so low by the time voting began in South Carolina that he couldn’t even bother to find his glasses after he had lost them. “What’s the point, you know?” says Bush, who dropped out of the race after the polls closed. “Why do I need to see when it’s clear no one wants to vote for me? Glasses on or off? Who the hell cares?” Bush was seen without his glasses for the last two weeks of campaigning in the state. Some analysts said he replaced his glasses with contacts to look more masculine, less bookish, but Bush says he just didn’t have the juice to look for his glasses. “They’re usually on the nightstand next to the bed.” he says. “About two weeks ago I must have left them in the bathroom, and I just didn’t have the energy to go look for them. More.
As a boy growing up in Alabama, Georgia, and then Kentucky, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would occasionally go a week or two without getting beat up by other kids, a book released this week claims. “Not every week was ‘beat up Mitch McConnell week,’ Rex Doane says in Mitch McConnell: Little Snively Punching Bag (Knobe: 2016), “but most weeks were. McConnell usually had a cut lip, bent glasses, or bandaged nose, and on a typical weekend he could be found cowering under his kitchen table when one of his classmates walked by his front yard.” McConnell has come a long way since then, and Doane, in his detailed account, paints a portrait of a man’s journey from punching bag to the lawmaker who uses his position as leader of the United States Senate to block as much of the legislative agenda of President Barack Obama as he can.” More.
The American Association of Game Animals released a statement today calling Antonin Scalia a “titan” of American jurisprudence, but because the Supreme Court justice, who died earlier this week, was an avid hunter, the group does not mourn his death. “Had Justice Scalia engaged in a hobby that did not involve the hunting and shooting of birds and anaimals, we would be as saddened by his death as anyone,” the group said in its statement. “But because his hobby involved the hunting and shooting of birds and animals, we instead breathe a sigh of relief that there is one less person in this country who will be coming after us with rifle in hand with the sole purpose of felling us to the ground.” More.
After months of taking hits for not disclosing the identity of the foreign policy expert advising him, Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders said today his go-to person is former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. “Secretary Clinton has been an invaluable member of my team,” says Sanders, senator of Vermont who’s been surging in the polls since winning the New Hampshire primary. “She has shared her experience to help me understand the nuances of Middle East politics, South Asia power struggles, and the challenges of keeping Russian aggression in check.” More.
Just when they thought it was safe to go to presidential campaign events without having to listen to the Canadian band Rush, voters have learned that Rand Paul, the libertarian candidate who recently dropped out of the race, isn’t the only fan of the band. Ohio Gov. John Kasich is also a fan, which means the piercing screech of Geddy Lee and the tin-can thumping of Neil Peart once again threaten to send property values down around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington. “Please, tell me this isn’t true,” says Jim Robinson, 40, an attorney in Carson City, Nev., who was interested in voting for Rand Paul but decided he could never vote for anyone who quoted Rush lyrics at campaign events. More.
Bill Norton of Charleston, S.C., says he’d like to vote for Hillary Clinton because his anti-semitism keeps him from voting for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is Jewish, but he can’t vote for Hillary because he’s a misogynist. “The Democrats have really left me with no choice but to vote Republican or not vote at all,” says the 59-year-old machine shop supervisor. “Of course, my racism makes it impossible for me to support Ben Carson, although I like his godliness. And my dislike of other minorities keeps me from supporting Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.” Ben Carson is the retired neurosurgeon who led polls earlier in the race but has attracted little support since voting began. More.
Ted Barnes, a misogynist who can’t bring himself to vote for former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, says he’d like to vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders but he’s also an anti-semitie. “I’m really in a tough place this election,” says Barnes, 42, of Las Vegas, Nev. “The Democrats have got me so boxed in that I’m actually looking over at the Republican side to see what they offer.” Barnes, a big union guy, says he’s a lifelong Democrat. “Who is better for the unions, Clinton or Sanders? I’m not sure,” he says. “But it doesn’t matter, because I don’t want a woman in the White House and I don’t want a Jew in the White House. I don’t know what the hell I’m going to do.” More.
John Kasich finally broke through the crowd in the Republican presidential race earlier this week with his second-place finish in New Hampshire, but a detailed look at exit polls shows that it’s his wife, Kathy, that voters want in the White House. “John Kasich is okay, I think, especially given the rest of the GOP crowd, but his wife, now she’s a person that would make a great president,” says Jane Reynolds, a school teacher in Portsmouth, N.H. “Smart, articulate, and knows the business world—yep, she has it all. And she’s better looking than that woman who just dropped out. Carla Farina? Cari Ferraro? I can never remember her name.” “Can I look at Kathy Kasich for the next four years on nightly television as our First Lady?” asks Bill Jones, a retired engineer. More.
Hillary Clinton said she remains the overwhelming favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee despite suffering a big loss to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire and coming in a virtual tie with him in Iowa. “Iowa and New Hampshire are very different states, and the fact that Sanders almost beat me in one and did beat me in the other means I remain well on the road to leading the Democrats in the general election against the Republicans,” Clinton said as she flew to South Carolina, which holds the next primary in about a week and a half. Barack Obama won the state when he ran against Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the 2008 election. More.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—In what is sure to be remembered as an iconic moment of the 2016 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and secretary of state, stood on the steps of the Rockingham County courthouse before several dozen people and said, “I have a pipe dream.” Despite the cold and a fussy baby who kept throwing an object out of her carriage, Clinton challenged the nation to set aside its differences and let her enact her five-point plan to “take the United States to the next level” as the country’s president. “Point one, we need to lower the cost of college,” she said. “Point two, hard-working families need affordable day care. Point three, we must protect and build on Obamacare, not dismantle it and start from scratch. More.
Stung by remarks that he had over-used his sound bites criticizing President Obama during last week’s Republican nomination debate in New Hampshire, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says his team is developing a whole new set of lines he can use in the next phase of the nomination process. “I will have fresh things to say shortly, I can promise you that,” says Rubio, who had surged to second in the polls after his strong Iowa showing but has since dropped to fourth after New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie attacked him for his repeated use of the same sound bites during their last debate. More.
A trove of pictures showing a shirtless Bernie Sanders on the beach are making the rounds online, giving the 75-year-old Democratic nomination contender a big lift in the polls, especially in the key battleground state of Florida. And the Hillary Clinton campaign is crying foul. “We didn’t think Sanders would stoop so low to pull away older women voters who’ve always been among Hillary Clinton’s core supporters, but he did, and we’re calling him out on it,” says Meg Smith, the Clinton campaign’s Florida coordinator. “Bernie, put your shirt back on!” More.
Two leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination were childhood “pals” with Fidel Castro in Cuba and even attended the communist revolutionary’s twenty-sixth birthday party at his home in Havana, a report about to be released discloses. The two candidates are Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, both of whom are of Cuban descent and who’ve criticized the communist government in Cuba and warned President Barack Obama about moving too quickly in opening diplomatic and commercial relations with the struggling country off the southern coast of Florida. More.
PORTSMOUTH, N.H.—One-time Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump says his second-place finish in Iowa doesn’t mean his bluster machine is unable to deliver votes, and in fact he expects to be in full bluster mode in the days leading up to New Hampshire, which votes next week. “Yes, the constitutionally ineligible Ted Cruz got more caucus votes than I did in the farm state, but we all know the real votes are in primaries and New Hampshire is primary state number one, just like I’m presidential candidate number one,” Trump said here yesterday. More.
AMES, Iowa—Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says his 0.6 percent showing in the Iowa caucuses yesterday puts him “where we want to be” and leaves him “poised to win this thing” when Democrats hold their national convention in Philadelphia this summer. “This is the result we we’re looking for!” an exuberant O’Malley said at his state campaign headquarters here. “The pollsters and the pundits have had months to tell the story they wanted to tell, but now we have actual concrete results and the voters have said, ‘We are the just-over-half-a-percent that want Martin O’Malley for president!'” More.
Three out of four Americans say they couldn’t have imagined Donald Trump as president of the United States, but now that he’s been the front-runner for so long, they can “kinda, sorta” see him in the Oval Office now. “Trump is on the phone with Putin and he tells him it’s a BIG mistake for Russia to still be in Crimea, and Putin goes, ‘OK, Donald, help me find a face-saving way to get out.’ Yeah, I can see that conversation happening.” That’s one of the comments from the poll, which was conducted across the United States on the eve of the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses. As the poll was conducted, Trump was leading all other Republican contenders in both Iowa and New Hampshire, which will hold the first primary election one week after Iowa. More.
Donald Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, released his plan today for remaking the White House and its operations into his image should he be elected president. “I didn’t get to where I am today by thinking small,” said Trump, a real estate mogul who is estimated to be worth $1 billion. “When I’m elected, I will think big. A new White House sign. A new White House brand. The White House seal has not been updated since 1968. Think about that. Vietnam. Woodstock. The country has moved on from that period, people. So should the presidency.” Under the plan, the name “Trump” would be incorporated into both the presidential seal and the White House logo. And the same signage on the Trump Tower in New York City would be added to the White House facade. More.
IOWA CITY, Iowa—Former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush, facing likely defeat in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, said he was pulling out of the race for the Republican nomination and asked his one supporter in the state, Ted Smith, to back Ohio Gov. John Kasich for president. “It’s with a heavy heart that I’m withdrawing from the race for president of the United States, but it’s the right thing to do for my family, my party, and my country,” Bush said to a mostly empty room at a Hyatt Hotel here. “I’ve tried to articulate a sensible plan for making America great while staying true to the country’s values, but voters are telling me it is not my time.” More.
AMES, Iowa—Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump said he will host his own, competing caucuses because the organizers of next week’s Iowa caucuses refuse to make changes he demanded. “Let’s see how many voters they get on Monday when I’m not one of their candidates,” he said ths morning. Trump said he demanded that they take Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) off the ballot, and that three other candidates be made part of an “undercard” caucus, since they don’t have much support in the polls. The three candidates are former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.), and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum. “No one’s going to vote for people who can’t even muster 3 percent in the polls,” he said. “People want to vote for winners.” More.
It’s all there. The insane general, the panicked president, the mad dash to stop the destruction, only the insane general is Sarah Palin, the Tea Party favorite who paved the way for the candidacy of Donald Trump on an unsuspecting nation, and the president is Reince Priebus, the chair of the Republican National Committee, who has been unable to stop the detonation of the Trump candidacy. A confidential memo drafted by RNC operatives and anonymously leaked to news outlets today reveals the stunning finding that the candidacy of Donald Trump was never supposed to happen. But Palin, by making political insanity the new normal for the GOP, showed The Donald the way. The result has been chaos. More.
Without its first-in-the nation caucuses every four years to kick start the presidential nomination process in the United States, Iowa would be about 40 percent poorer and would rely principally on federal transfer grants to sustain its agriculture-based economy, a report by the American Association of State Budget Officers (AASBO) finds. “The Iowa caucuses get a lot of attention for the disproportionate role they play in our national presidential election process, but what people don’t realize is that the caucuses play a disproportionate role in the state’s budget health,” says James Stewart, director of audits at AASBO. More.
DAVENPORT, Iowa—Following on the heels of the endorsement by dead American icon John Wayne, the late great actor and gun-rights activist Charlton Heston today endorsed the Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump. As with the Wayne endorsement, the announcement was made by the actor’s daughter on behalf of her dead father. “I’m sorry my dad couldn’t be here in person, but I know in my heart that he would want to endorse Donald Trump for president,” said Janet Smith-Heston at a news conference here. More.
Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin said it’s President Barack Obama’s fault that Republicans are not the party of personal responsibility, as they used to be. “It would be nice if we, as Republicans, could once again be the party of personal responsibility, but unfortunately our current president makes that impossible,” Palin said in remarks she made yesterday in Ames, Iowa. “Taking responsibility for yourself, not pointing the finger at other people, is always what the Republican Party has been about. But, goodbye to that—thanks to Barack Hussein Obama.” More.
LONDON—After a raucous parliamentary debate, members of the House of Commons voted to allow the combover of Donald Trump into Great Britain, should he be elected president of the United States, but Trump himself was not welcome. “We do not want to hold Donald Trump’s bigotry and nativism against his hair,” said Gavin Blair, an MP from the southwest district of London. Nigel Robinson, an MP from Birmingham, argued that the hair should be banned as well, but his argument left many unconvinced. “I made my case and I lost, and I accept that,” he said. “But I do believe his hair should not be allowed to get off scot free in this debate. My apologies to the Scots, who I hope won’t try to secede again.” More.
AMES, Iowa—Former Alaska governor and vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin endorsed real estate mogul Donald Trump for president yesterday, saying he is the one candidate who lives and breathes for the spotlight, a quality the United States needs in its leader. “Our country does not need another politician to debate the finer points of policy,” said Palin in her endorsement speech here. “Our country needs someone who hungers to be on TV, to be treated like a celebrity, to be famous. That is the quality we need in our president, and that is the quality we get with Donald Trump.” More.
U.S. President Barack Obama said today in an interview with the foreign press that it’s been a tough seven years and he still has one more to go, but he takes comfort knowing it will soon be over and and he can go back to Kenya. “That’s what keeps me going,” he said. The first black president of the United States said adjusting to life in America has not been easy, even though he’s lived here most of his life. But he thinks he did a good job as president and would like to run for the presidency of Kenya in a few years, if the people of his native country will have him. “Winning election in Kenya is not quite as straight-forward as it is here,” he said. “Here, you give a few speeches and, if people like your style, you become well-known and then you just compete in primaries and caucuses held by the states. More.
Carmakers in Detroit, Japan, Germany, and elsewhere are competing fiercely to offer cars and trucks that have the most irritating, annoying, and distracting lights possible. “Thanks to new LED technology, we’re able to annoy and distract people in a way that we never could before, and that’s really a game-changer for this industry,” says Rolf Anthonssen, chairman of Volvo Personvagnar AB, the Swedish car making giant based in Gothenburg. Since about 2010, carmakers have been turning to LED technology for headlights and tail lights because of the technology’s versatility and efficiency. LED technology uses light emitting diodes that require little energy to power on and off. Because of that efficiency, automakers can make lights twice as bright as traditional incandescent bulbs, and at less cost. More.
Political analysts are giving former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who has less than 1 percent support in most national polls, virtually no chance at winning the Republican presidential nomination contest, let alone the presidency of the United States. But several political insiders say all the pieces are in place for the second-time presidential hopeful to surge into the lead and win the general election in November. “What people don’t understand is that Santorum has a plan,” says Bill Davis, a Republican political strategist who is familiar with Santorum’s campaign operation but is not aligned with it. “His team has put together a 3-step plan that will in fact take him all the way to the White House.” More.
For some reason, Republican presidential nominaton contestant Carly Fiorina thinks everyone in the United States wants to see her debate Hillary Clinton when the presidential race moves into the general election. Apparently, Fiorina thinks because she’s a woman and Clinton is a woman, people want to see the debate. But, actually, no one wants to see them debate and in fact most people don’t even care that Fiorina is runninge”As far as I can tell, the only person who wants to see Hillary and Fiorina debate is Fiorina,” says John Stewart, a Republican political consultant who is not aligned with any candidate. More.
Poll numbers have been slipping for U.S. Republican presidential aspirant Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) since he announced he candidacy in April and one of his top advisors is pointing the finger at Rush, the Canadian progressive rock trio whose libertarian-themed lyrics have made them a long-time favorite of Paul’s. “As an individual, Rand Paul can listen to any music he wants,” says Chip Englander, the candidate’s campaign manager and one of his top strategists. “It’s not for me to weigh in on someone’s taste in music, no matter how horrible. But as a candidate trying to build a base of support, Rand Paul is doing himself no favors playing music that causes his base of support to run away, screaming ‘Make it stop!’ We’re telling him he can’t go on listening to this music.” More.
Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump said last night in the latest national primary debate that he is the biggest asshole among contenders to lead the United States. But Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who has been closing in on Trump in many national polls, said that he’s the biggest asshole. “You’re the loudest, Donald, but when it comes to promoting policies that marginalize the most people and give the greatest advantage to wealthy white people, I think I can say I have a record of accomplishment on that,” Cruz said last night in one of the largest applaud lines of the night. More.
Ammond Bundy, the leader of self-described militiamen men who have taken over the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Oregon to protest the jailing of ranchers who set nearby land on fire, says what he and the others are doing represents America because they wear cowboy hats. “What we’re doing is right and proper because real Americans wear cowboy hats, and that’s what we’re wearing,” says Bundy, 45. Bundy says he and his men also “dress like cowboys and ride horses,” so there should be no concern among Americans that what they’re doing is wrong. More.
Marla Maples, the former wife of Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump, says her former husband is endowed with wealth and a go-getter personality, but he is not well-endowed in the one aspect of his life he would like to be, and she thinks that this inadequacy is driving his presidential run. “Do I think he feels small in that respect?” asked the one-time actress who was Trump’s wife from 1993 to 1997 and was known as the “other woman” when Trump was married to Ivana Trump. They had one daughter between them, Tiffany Trump, who today is known for her enthusiastic use of Instagram. More.
WASHINGTON—The Republican National Committee is sending shockwaves through the United States by releasing clearly undoctored photos of President Barack Obama romping with young, scantily clad women in the Oval Office. “It is with a heavy heart that we release these genuine and authentic photos depicting our president acting in a way that can only be described as unpresidential,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said at a hastily called press conference today. More.
Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump said the United States will never return to its glory days until it has a president who alienates large swathes of the population. “You have to have many people in the United States and around the world feel anger and hostility toward the president of the United States, otherwise we’ll remain a loser country,” Trump said at a campaign rally in Portsmouth, N.H. today. “By bringing out the worst in people, you make it possible to get the hard things done. You can’t get anything done if you make people feel good about working with you; it has to be about confrontation and contempt, otherwise you can forget about accomplishing anything.” More.
PHILADELPHIA—GridValve, Inc., CEO Jeff Barker says it’s imperative in today’s global economy for his company to cut costs and operate on a leaner margin if the industrial parts supplier is going to thrive in the years ahead. “Costs of materials are rising, the Federal Reserve has said more interest-rate hikes are coming, and mandatory healthcare insurance have combined to create a perfect storm that can cripple a globally competitive company like ours,” Barker said in a conference call with analysts today. The CEO, who owns three houses and a 30-foot yacht, said sacrifices must be made across the board. “As much as we try not to cut jobs, we’ll have to reduce our global staff footprint by 500 employees to keep our costs in line with revenue projections for 2016,” he said. A 500-person cut would represent about 6 percent of the company’s worldwide employee base. More.
After a lifetime of making the lives of his three sons miserable, Ralph Murton got in one more dig by living to 100 while still showing no signs of slowing down. “I know my sons would like nothing more than to finally be rid of me, but if they think I’m going to let them off the hook, they’ve got another thing coming,” says Murton, an engineer who retired from Midwest Pacific Railroad in 1983. Murton says he knows perfectly well his sons think he’s a bastard, a harsh disciplinarian who seemed to enjoy punishing them for the slightest infractions when they were younger, like when Dan, his oldest son, accidentally tore his new jeans when he was in eighth grade. “They used to cringe when I came home from work, wondering if I was going to find something they did wrong,” says Murton. “Usually I did find something, because it’s not hard to find things when you have three sons.” More.
Saying the United States has too many mass shootings to bother ever raising the flag again, President Barack Obama today ordered all flags in the country to stay permanently lowered to half mast. “This is not an order I enjoy giving, but as long as we as a country are unable to rein in gun violence, there’s no reason not to leave our flags lowered each and every day.” Obama says he doesn’t want a situation in which people are raising their flags then lowering them, then raising them again and then lowering them again. “Up, down up, down–what the heck? We’ll all have arthritis by the time we hit 400 million guns in this country,” he says. More.
President Barack Obama said the latest mass shooting, at the Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., is another reminder the United States must take action on guns, but because the National Rifle Association is so scary, he knows nothing will happen. “Would we like something to happen?” he said in his remarks in the James Brady White House Press Office today. “Of course. Who wouldn’t? But when you have an organization that’s as scary as the NRA defending gun rights, there’s no way you’re gong to get any action taken.” Obama says he favors tighter and more expanded background checks and limits on the sale of automatic weapons. He also favors allowing states and municipalities to curb gun sales in their jurisdictions. More.
SIMI VALLEY, Calif.—Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump said last night he would name New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady his pick for vice president once he wins the nomination. “It’s going to take winners to turn this country around and Tom Brady is a winner, like me,” said Trump, who spoke shortly after the second Republican presidential nomination debate, hosted by CNN in this southern California suburban community. “Tom Brady wins on the football field and he wins in the court of law. I win in business and I win in politics. Together, we are a couple of winners and we’re going to make America a winner again.” Brady, a four-time Super Bowl champion as the quarterback of the Patriots, said he was humbled by the confidence Trump has placed in him but he also believes he can bring “a couple of tricks to the game” that will help him and Trump win in November and also help the United States win in the four years they’re in office. More.
The National Football League is accusing New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady of deflating the ego of NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in yet another charge against the four-time Super Bowl championship team. “We have very strong reasons to be believe New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady conspired with Richard Berman, the presiding judge of the U.S. District Court of the Southern District of New York, to do irreparable harm to the reputation of National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, and on the basis of evidence we have, we are launching an investigation into this potential violation of League rules,” says NFL Spokesperson Marisa Miller. More.
Defying the Republican party establishment and even the person on whose head it sits, the combover of Republican presidential nomination frontrunner emphatically refused to give a blanket endorsement to whomever the party nominee turns out to be. “Unless the Republican presidential nominee in 2016 is someone I respect and trust with the awesome duties of the office of the president of the United States, I cannot sit here today on this head and say I will back the person who is ultimately nominated,” the combover said in a statement issued by a spokesperson. That position goes against the position of Donald Trump, the man on whose head the combover has sat for decades and who earlier this week promised to back the eventual Republican nominee. More.
The closely watched combover of Donald Trump has been sending sexually suggestive tweets and photos to several of its Twitter followers, federal investigators allege. If true, that could imperil the Republican presidential nomination frontrunner’s candidacy, analysts say. Jerome Casing, chief of social media security at the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch, says his team has been tracking the combover since April, when it received a tip from one of the hair’s followers that it has been embedding unwanted photos in innuendo-laden tweets. “All I can say is, we’re talking to the combover of Mr. Trump at this time about matters concerning communications on the Internet,” says Casing. “Beyond that we have no comment.” More.
Why does Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump maintain an elaborate combover rather than embrace his receding hairline? Investigators have provided a possible answer to that question by conducting an x-ray analysis of his forehead and revealing a tattooed image of long-time Trump nemesis Rosie O’Donnell, the TV personality and liberal political activist whom Trump has called “fat” and a “pig.” “This is truly an unexpected finding,” says Albert Sherzberg, professor of macro x-ray fluorescence spectroscopy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who led the research effort. “I think I speak for many when I say I did not expect to find a tattoo of Rosie O’Donnell under Trump’s combover.” More.
An explosive photo leaked by the Associated Press today shows a poster of Fox News reporter Megyn Kelly in the bedroom of the iconic combover of Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump. The poster depicts Kelly, the veteran TV journalist who sparred with Trump during the first Republican nomination debate last month in Cleveland over the real estate mogul’s treatment of women, framed in images of butterflies and love hearts. She is fully clothed. Since the debate, Kelly and Trump have been locked in a contentious public relations battle over their testy exchange, during which Trump had admitted calling TV host and political activist Rosie McDonnell “fat” and a “pig.” More.
LAS VEGAS—It’s not a question of if but when the next senseless shooting will occur in the United States, so casinos here in the country’s gambling capital are making a book on the question and letting gamblers around the world take their best shot at making —or losing—some money on the country’s runaway gun violence. “Senseless shootings are perfect for making a book because no one knows when or where the next disturbed loner will appear with his constitutionally protected assault rifle,” says Edward (“Eddie”) LaRue, bookmaker for the Desperado Hotel & Casino on the famous strip. “It’s sick to bet on this, but it’s criminal not to, given how much money is to be made.” So far, it looks like a lot of gambers are game to play the odds. More.
Republican presidential nomination frontrunner Donald Trump says having a dad who starts a successful real estate business and then hands the business over to you is a great way to become rich like him. “That’s really the best way to amass wealth,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News today. “You gotta start rich and go to a good school, which being rich helps you get into.” In the interview, with Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump said that having your dad get rich first enables you to focus your attention on sexier but riskier types of businesses like beauty pageants, reality shows, casinos, and airlines. And it provides a cushion in case some of the businesses fail and you have to file for bankruptcy protection. “All in all, having a dad who paves the way is a really great way to become rich,” says Trump, 69. More.
Listen, Internet. I know you’re doing a lot of good in the world. Thanks to you, repressed people around the globe are able to find each other and draw strength from their shared struggle. And using Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, they can communicate with one another and launch revolutions—revolutions that could either never had happened or would have taken decades longer to come together. And thanks to you, a light has been shined on generations of abuse—to African Americans at the hands of police and to women at the hands of men—that might never have come fully to light. So, yes, you’ve done a lot of good. And we thank you for that. But the fact is, you’re making life impossible. Keeping secrets, hiding things from public view—that’s the grease that turns the gears of our world. People have to be able to say nasty things about other people behind their backs. They have to be able to make deals in private to get things done. It’s always been that way. More.
WASHINGTON—The National Rifle Association today staged a protest outside the U.S. Department of Transportation here against that agency’s ban on privately owned military assult-styled vehicles on federally funded highways. “It looks like Barack Hussein Obama wants to make sure only the government has the right to bear arms when those arms are attached to motorized vehicles,” NRA President Wayne LaPierre said at the protest, which involved blocking Constitution Ave. with dozens of privately owned vehicles adapted to accommodate military-styled automatic weapons, including several with grenade launchers. “Well, the U.S. Constitution makes clear that guns don’t have to be carried on one’s person for us to enjoy the freedom to have them. Just because they’re mounted on vehicles doesn’t make us any less free to carry our guns.” More.
Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology released a paper yesterday cracking the physics behind the combover of Republican presidential nominee frontrunner Donald Trump and say the famous hairstyle stands as one of the most complex creations of mankind. “An amazing piece of work, a testament to the beauty of complex systems and of the world around us,” says Reynolds Aimsworth, professor of physics and mathematics at MIT and the lead author of the paper. Aimsworth says the combover is based on an inversion of a positive tangent-secant radian, something scientists didn’t believe was possible.” More.
Cross-dressing Society Sues Garment Industry for Not Making Women’s Clothes That Fit Men, and Vice Versa
Calling it “unconscionable” that no women’s clothes are made to fit men, and vice versa, the North American Cross-Dressing Society filed lawsuits in the United States and Canada today against the garment industry in the hopes of forcing manufacturers to end size discrimination. “These lawsuits are for cross-dressers everywhere who are tired of the slim pickings they find at clothing racks across the United States and Canada,” says John Sebers, president of the cross-dressers group and a cross-dresser who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “In a day and age when heroes like Caitlin Jenner are breaking down barriers for transgender people, we cross-dressers continue to find our favorite coordinates and our essential mix-and-match outfits completely mis-sized for us.” More.
The famous combover of Republican presidential nomination front-runner Donald Trump has been having an affair with lesbian comedian and activist Rosie O’Donnell and continues to meet with the TV personality on a weekly basis, investigators say. “We can confirm that regular meetings between the comb-over and the comedian are occurring and have been occurring for several years,” says David Rosten, an attorney who has been retained by Fox News to look into allegations of the affair. Donald Trump is married, although his combover is not. Roger Stone, a long-time associate of Trump who is now working independently of the candidate, says he’s also looked into the affair and is seeking media outlets to discuss his findings because American voters have a right to know about this important allegation. More.
Leading Republican presidential contender Donald Trump says he has the experience losing stockholders’ money to help the United States navigate the difficult world it faces as it transitions from being the world’s largest and most important economy to one that’s unable to fund basic services, repair its infrastructure, or educate its children beyond bible teachings. “What do you need when you enter bankruptcy?” Trump asked an audience of several thousand at a campaign stop in Ames, Iowa. “You need someone who knows how to get the best deal out of it, and no one knows how to get a better deal out of bankruptcy than me.” Trump told the crowd that he’s filed bankruptcy “more than anyone else in the world” and always comes out of the deal “with millions of dollars—millions!” while his creditors come out with “property that no one wants.” More.
The combover of 2016 Republican presidential nominee contender Donald Trump is being hailed as a war hero for saving an injured soldier during the Iraq war. “There’s a very real chance that Private Benjamin Carter, a gunnery specialist with the 1st Battalion 7th Marines that helped librate Baghdad in 2003, would not be here today if it weren’t for the combover of Donald Trump,” says Major Bill Nelson of the U.S. Marine Corps. “People today throw around the word ‘hero’ loosely. But I can say without qualification that Trump’s comb-over is indeed a true Amercan hero.” The combover, which has been part of Trump’s head since he started losing his hair in the late 1990s, was on tour in Iraq with the 1st Battalion 7th Marines as a private contractor. More.
The iconic combover of real estate billionaire and 2016 presidential aspirant Donald Trump is under investigation by U.S. immigration authorities on suspicion of being in the United States illegally. “We can only confirm that the combover of Donald Trump is a thing of interest to the United States concerning its immigration status and beyond that we have no comment,” John Goodman, director of fraud detection and national security for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), says in statement released by the agency today. April Sayers, a spokesperson for Trump, calls the allegation ridiculous. “Mr. Trump eagerly awaits the agency’s report and certainly expects his hair to be exonerated,” she says. More.
A Mexican who crossed into the United States 18 months ago and is working here illegally said it’s true that people from his country are mostly rapists and criminals. “I don’t know how Mr. Trump knew it, but he totally knows what we’re all about,” says the man, who asked not to be identified so he could speak freely to the media.The Mexican immigrant says he and millions of others like him are losers who are too lazy and stupid to make their own country work, so they come here to leach off the success of the United States. “Everything we touch reeks of refried beans and chiles,” he says. “Our hair is oily and we treat our women like dirt. We drive broken-down trucks and we take jobs from good Americans who could really use the work. I can’t say I disagree with Mr Trump when he says we should all be deported and a big wall erected to keep filth like us out.” More.
Calling clowns creepy and not funny, lawmkers in both houses of Congress today passed legislation outlawing entertainers who wear makeup, big red noses, and floppy shoes in a belief that people find them funny. “I know there’s a tradition, dating back to the days of court jesters, of entertaining audiences by wearing costumes and makeup in goofy ways while engaging in antics, often with balls or bicycles,” says Rep. Snowden Baxter (R-Texas), principal sponsor the legislation. “But not all traditions are destined to survive in perpetuity, and clowns are one of those traditions whose time should come to an end.” Baxter pointed to overwhelming support from members of both parties for his bill and cited it as an example of the kinds of things Congress can get done when the need is clear and compelling. More.
Starting in 2020, when U.S. currency is expected to be worthless, a woman will appear on the $10 bill, marking the first time a woman will be depicted on the country’s paper money. “This is an historic milestone for women and for the country,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said at an announcement yesterday. “It’s long past the time when a woman should be honored to be on what was once considered the world’s reserve currency.” Lew said it was simply a trick of fate that a woman would finally appear on U.S. currency at a time when it would be worth a fraction of what it once was. “We were not hoping a woman would appear on our currency when it was worthless,” he said. “It was not our intention.” More.
LOS ANGELES—A man is charging one of the top modeling agencies here with discrimination for basing its hiring decisions on applicants’ looks and not taking other factors, such as academic achievements or community service, into account. “In this day and age, for any modeling company to base its hiring decisions soley on whether a person is ‘good looking’ or not is indefrensible and, frankly, reprehensible,’ says aspiring actor Bradley Connors. “Everyone should be entitled to a fair shot at employment opportunities, particularly in these tough economic times, without having to depend on qualifications that not everyone can be expected to have.” The Image Agency, named in the lawsuit as the defendant, called the charges “completely and utterly without merit” in a statement and said it will “vigorously challenge and prevail in this ill-conceived and regrettable action.” More.
The world’s worst investor says he’s going all-in on California swimming pools, because with the state’s new water meters and water-use restrictions, swimming pools will become the “forbidden fruit” of the moneyed set. “Where does the 1 percent live? In California. What does the 1 percent want? Swimming pools,” says the world’s worst investor. The world’s worst investor says he “took a bath” on his last big investment idea, Texas gun locks. But he thinks he’s backing a winner this time. “You want to go where people are going, only go there sooner,” he says. “Right now, where are people going? They’re going to California to swim.” More.
AKRON, Ohio—Touring a wire coat hanger factory in what was once a blighted industrial area here, President Barack Obama said the United States is returning to its roots as a manufacturing giant and he took a stab at critics who say the country risks losing more manufacturing jobs if a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal is passed. “Like this wire coat hanger I have in my hand, the United States is strong,” Obama said, speaking before the 75 employees of the Ace Wire Company. “Anyone who needs evidence that the United States can compete with anyone in the world just needs to look at the factory floor that surrounds me. Every day, more than 10,000 coat hangers are made here and distributed to dry cleaners and hotels throughout the United States and throughout the world. America is back!” More.
Manufacturers and technology companies have failed to blanket the living environment with blinking lights and bleeping noises even though they’ve had the capability to do so for many years, the world says. Until enough blinking lights and bleeping noises fill all living spaces at all times, there will be operations and processes that won’t be sufficiently signaled for people the world over to be sufficiently signaled about every process and operation. “As hard as it is to believe, it’s possible today to go from your home to your car without being signaled by a blinking light or a bleeping noise alerting you to an operation or process that has occurred and that could affect you,” says the world. “Has the newspaper arrived at your doorstep? Have your sprinklers been turned on to water your grass? These are the kinds of processes and operations today that remain un-signaled with a blinking light or bleeping noise. More.
When John and Lucy Wong had Angie three months ago, nothing was too good for her. Now their daughter is the first on her block to have a carriage with a built-in TV, so she can watch educational and other programming even when she’s out enjoying a stroll with mom or dad. “Why just have her watch TV when she’s in her crib?” says Lucy, 24, a marketing assistant with a financial services company in Atlanta. “Going outside for walks is the perfect time to have her watch TV, too.” Although pediatricians generally discourage screen time for children before they reach two years old, parents like the Wongs say such advice doesn’t apply to them. “That’s for people who just throw their child in front of the TV for babysitting,” says Wong. “We don’t do that. We’re always educating our daughter. More.
Trent Sanders says he had no idea the world was filled with other people like him until someone pointed it out after he had been driving around town with music blasting out of his car. “It was like a light went off in my head,” says Sanders, 25. “I was just driving around like I always do and while I was sitting at a stop light this guy pulled up next to me, rolled down his window, and yelled, ‘Other people live in this world, asshole! Not everyone wants to listen to your f**ing music!’ Then the light turned green and he peeled off. And I just sat there, stunned.” Sanders says he just automatically assumed he was the only person in the world, which is why he thought it was perfectly okay for him to blast his music while he drives around. “Did I know other people were driving around, too, some trying to listen to their own music? I confess, I did not.” More.
Religious people the world over are sick and tired of people who don’t believe in God picking on the all-knowing, all-powerful Creator of the Universe. “What did He ever do to you?” says Sandra Borden, 54, an administrative assistant at Safe-T One Auto Insurance in Lexington, Ky. “Can’t you pick on someone else? Leave God alone!” Like many other religious people, Borden says that God, as the Creator of the World, can smite anyone He wants to and cause all kinds of duress for people, like he did to Job in the Bible. For that reason, atheists and other non-believers should just watch it. “He can rain down on you all the pestilence He wants,” she says. More.
Saying it shouldn’t just be straight couples who lead lives of bonded servitude and imprisonment, Dave Turner of Indianapolis has come out in support of the right of gays to marry. “Taking out the garbage, withholding sex for some petty reason—sure, if gays want to institutionalize their misery, let them go for it,” says Turner, 42, manager at an auto parts distribution center. Turner says he recognizes that gay couples already have good relationships or bad relationships, just as married straight couples do, but the difference is that married straight coupes have institutionalized their misery, while gay couples are still free, at least in the eyes of the community, or the law, to split whenever they want. “So, if they want to tie their hands in the same way my hands are tied to my wife, they should be free to do that,” he says. More.
NASA today released a stunning image of the famous “Martian face” rock formation in which the “mouth” appears to be turned upward, as if smiling. The image was taken about 12 hours after a previous image of the mouth-like crevice is shown expressing no particular emotion in a way that’s similar to thousands of previous pictures of the formation that have been taken. “It’s really a remarkable image sequence,” says Kristin Rogers, NASA chief of geological imaging. “We are starting with the assumption that the change in appearance is simply a change in the angle of light on the surface features. But we’re not prepared to say that with certainty, because it’s a shift we haven’t seen before.” More.
If all the resources that go into supporting religion in the United States were channeled into productive enterprises, the domestic economy would expand by an estimated $465 billion a year, a study by the Federal Reserve finds. “Religion is a big part of the identity of many Americans, and certainly is embedded in our heritage as a country, but from a purely economic standpoint, it’s a disaster,” says Alfred Smith, a senior Fed economist. The study by Smith and a team of researchers is the most detailed yet of the economic toll religion takes on the U.S economy. It has sought to factor in virtually every way religion intersects with the economy, from lost tax revenue to states and localities, lost investment into goods and services that grow the economy, lost productivity by having people employed in religious institutions instead of companies and organizations that produce goods and services, and the cost of violence perpetrated in the name of religious belief. More.
NEW YORK CITY—One of the top art critics in the United States today said abstract art, from Jackson Pollock to Pablo Picasso to Willem de Kooning, is “just plain dumb” and people are “morons for buying into this crap.” Richard Bartley, the Richard Colby Distinguished Professor of Art and Art History at Harvard University, whose books are widely considered the gold standard among critics, is raising an outcry with his remarks, which he gave at a gallery opening here. Bartley called today’s art industry a “total con game” in which people are suckered into buying “meaningless brush strokes of paint” on canvas and other media that have no worth outside of the market that artists, dealers, curators, and investors have created. More.
The pot’s legal in Colorado but they’re smoking crack in Kansas. Embarrassed by its state’s awkward turn to the right in recent years, beloved 1970s rock band Kansas changed its name to Colorado and announced the release of its newest studio album, Thematterwithkansas, and the opening of its 2015 tour. “As much as we love our state and have always been proud to bear its name,” the band said in a statement, “we had to ask ourselves, ‘What’s the matter with Kansas?’ and our answer was, ‘Who the hell knows?!” So we moved to Colorado and now we’re a bit to the left of our old state, geographically and politically, but we think our fans will understand.” In its mid-1970s heyday, Kansas was on the top of the charts with its mix of progressive rock and virtuosic violin playing. More.
Texas Governor Rick Perry has endured a considerable amount of ribbing in the media for trying to give himself an intellectual look with his new glasses. But pundits and policy analysts say the glasses are more than just a cosmetic change; they say Perry’s IQ has actually increased, making him a formidable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016 if he decides to run. “I asked Rick Perry what three federal agencies he wants to eliminate should he be elected president and he rattled them off like nothing,” says Charles Boyer, an analyst with the Hudson Institute in Washington. “Commerce, Education, and Energy. Boom. He nailed them.” Perry was considered the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012 race but a series of nationally televised gaffes, including his flubbed answer on the federal agencies he wanted to eliminate, quickly deflated his standing and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney went on to win the nomination. More.
OTTOWA—An international task force has released a report showing Canada is a lot like the United States only with thinner people and fewer minorities. “Far more than the United States, the people in Canada have kept their waistlines at a reasonable size and, although they’re welcoming to minorities, they haven’t had a sizable influx of blacks and Hispanics, probably because of the cold weather,” says the report, released today. Canada: More America Than America was commissioned by the United Nations Task Force on North America to provide a detailed assessment of the country. It’s findings: More.
Allan Harper just did some stretching, a sit-up, a couple of push-ups, and jogged around the block in his first workout in almost a decade, but unfortunately there’s not the slightest improvement in his body—as far as he can see. “It’s not that I expected to look like Charles Atlas or anything, but I thought I’d look a little tighter or something,” says Harper a 39-year-old policy analyst in Washington. Harper’s been meaning to get back into workout mode for years, especially since several of his friends have taken up running and his girlfriend is starting to make snide remarks about his weight. But it’s hard to get started. “I don’t want to just start doing some sit-ups, you know? I want to build it into my lifestyle.” More.
Google has launched a service to step in and write your emails for you since it knows what you’re writing about anyway and can do a better job at it. “Having us write your emails is just another way for you to spend more time doing what you like to do and are good at and leaving to us the drudgery of spelling out words and connecting them in sentences in ways that make sense,” says Janna Learner, head of the new service, called Google Ghost Writer, or Google Ghost for short. The service uses the same algorithm the company uses to match ads to the subject matter in your emails. “We’re already tailoring ads to what you’re writing about, so this is just the next logical evolution in that mutually beneficial relationship,” says Learner. “If you’re writing an email about, say, a job you’d like to apply for, imagine how much help our service can be in making sure you say the right things.” More.
ATLANTA—Several drunks at McCabe’s in the Grant Park district here shot each other yesterday after one of the men bought a round of drinks to celebrate the new state law allowing guns in bars. “It’s unfortunate three otherwise good, healthy Americans are dead, but the more important thing is that we have a law in this state that preserves Americans’ liberty to kill themselves and others when they’re drunk,” says Jim Fleming, an electrician in Cabbagetown who was at the bar at the time of the shooting. “No one likes to see people killed, but neither do people like to see government try to take away our right to have guns where people gather to become intoxicated,” says Elliot Harper, a long-time patron of McCabe’s. “The U.S. Declaration of Independence makes clear that the right to own guns hinges on our need for a well-regulated militia, and you clearly can’t have a well-regulated militia unless people can shoot one another in bars when they’re drunk.” More.
GOTHAM CITY—Several of America’s greatest superheroes, including Superman and Spider-Man, say they “feel dumb” wearing tights and other “design affectations” like capes and masks and have agreed among themselves to stop doing it. “I’ve never been comfortable flying in my tights,” says Superman, also known as the man of steel. “I started wearing the costume in the late 1930s because I needed to protect my identity. But I also needed to convey a sense of separateness, otherwise people would constantly come to me and say they want to stop trains and out-run bullets. But the world has changed. Today, we have smartphones and tablets. People have moved on. What’s important today is authenticity.” More.
The Republican party has set up a clash of biblical proportions by nominating God to be its presidential candidate in the 2016 U.S. elections. The nomination, which comes unusually early in the election cycle, puts religion at the front of debate by opening up a host of Constitutional questions should God become president. “Does God’s law supersede Constitutional law? Does His commandments automatically trump Supreme Court rulings? Would the bible replace the Constitution? There are just a lot of unanswered questions this unprecedented moves raises, so we’re really going into unchartered territory,” says Gary Turner, a Constitutional scholar at the University of Chicago. More.
The race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is up for grabs, with several serious candidates already declared or about to declare their candidacies. But is it really as wide open as many believe? In fact, behind closed doors, analysts say Florida Senator Marco Rubio has already locked up the nomination—for four unbeatable reasons. More.
OTTAWA—Tired of always playing second fiddle to its bigger southern neighbor, the government of Canada has laid out a set of 10 areas in which it wants to overtake the United States within five years:
1. Violent crime
2. Illegal drug use
3. Prescription drug abuse
4. Teenage pregnancies
6. Preventable diseases
7. Obsolete infrastructure
8. Declining academic performance
9. Short-term corporate thinking
10. Religious fundamentalism
“We’re not just about hockey and maple syrup,” says Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. More.
After seven years of investigation, a United Nations team of researchers has concluded that Iran does not have homosexuals, as former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad asserted at Columbia University in 2007. In his statement seven years ago, while he was speaking in New York City, Ahmadinejad told his audience of mostly students and faculty that “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country. We do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it.” At the time, the comment elicited laughter and some boos among the 700 people in the audience. But according to the U.N. team that has just delivered its comprehensive report to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Iran in fact has no homosexuals. More.
WASHINGTON—Buoyed by the success of its effort to get “Stand Your Ground” laws passed in states throughout the country, the National Rifle Association today launched a nationwide campaign to get “Not Liking Your Looks” laws passed. “Every day people are terrorized by people who look at them in ways that are menacing or intimidating,” NRA CEO and Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said at a press conference here. “Americans shouldn’t have to stand for that, not when we have a Constitutional right to own and use guns, because every confrontation starts with a look. Under our reasonable and sensible ‘Not LIking Your Looks” laws, law-abiding Americans can head off dangerous confrontations by firing the first shot and stopping a confrontation before it starts.” More.
Despite being the governor of Louisiana, the vice chair of the Republican Governors Association, and a politician harboring national ambitions, Bobby Jindal will never be president of the United States. “Gov. Jindel has been running for president since 1971, but if he carries even three states in the 2016 primaries, it’ll be a miracle,” says Norman Mills, a Republican political consultant who most recently worked on former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney’s unsuccessful 2012 presidential bid. “No one knows anything about Bobby Jidnel except that he’s Indian, is governor of some state or other, and that he pretends to be conservative.” “Gov. Jendal? Jindle? Jundel?” That’s a typical reaction of a potential voter here in Des Moines, Iowa, where any potential 2016 presidential candidate has to pass muster to become a serious presidential contender. More.
A tribe of nomadic goat herders from a remote desert region say their jealous, spiteful, and misogynist God is the one true God for all the universe and for all time even though He might seem an odd fit for today’s world. “I know it is hard for you in the technologically advanced West to believe that you should be ruled by our God, who had nothing to say to anyone in the world until He chose to speak to our ancestors 2,000 years ago. But that is the fact of the matter,” says Lazarus Ben-ammi, leader of a tribe of desert goat herders who claim a direct line with God. The tribe is in New York City on the first stop of a world tour in which they explain why theirs is the one true God of all the universe. More.
Saying “it just makes sense,” delegates from around the world overwhelmingly passed a resolution blaming all of the world’s woes on the United States. “Whereas the United States continues to have, albeit barely, the largest economy in the world, and
“Whereas the United States makes a lot of mistakes that everyone in the world knows about, and
“Whereas the United States has been involved in some capacity in all regions of the world for several decades, and
“Whereas the United States is in a state of decline and is clearly failing in all respects,
“We hereby resolve to levy blame for everything that is wrong in the world today on the United States of America. Happy New Year.” The vote was devastatingly lopsided, with delegates from 156 countries voting in favor and only one, the United Kingdom, voting against. Two countries, Canada and Israel, abstained. More.
WASHINGTON—The Chinese government has reached out to the Obama administration with a proposal to buy the country’s debt of more than $17 trillion if the government would take about $5 trillion for it. “We are offering the U.S. government an opportunity to get our from under its heavy debt load, restructure its finances, and move on to a new period of prosperity,” said China’s Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei. “We say at the outset that we cannot offer less than this discount of 70 percent, because the American government has threatened to default several times in the last three years.” Lou said the Chinese government would also require that all American companies doing business in China work in partnership with Chinese companies, which would include the sharing of proprietary trade and technological intelligence. “Of course, the prohibition on Chinese companies sharing trade and technological intelligence with American partners would remain in place, as it must,” said Lou. More.
FAIRFAX, Va.—A gathering of top scholars among gun rights advocates meeting at the headquarters of the National Rifle Association yesterday remained divided and perplexed by the words “well regulated” in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. “It’s a term that has always been a mystery to gun rights advocates, but I think we made considerable progress in nailing down what the Founding Fathers of the United States meant by it,” says Leonard Clounts, a constitutional scholar at Sam Houston University in Texas and chair of an NRA task force that’s been asked to forge a policy statement on the meaning of the term. The text of the Second Amendment, as adopted and made part of the Constitution in 1791, reads as follows: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” More.
A man preaching God’s Word last night on a street corner in Los Angeles isn’t a true preacher, a group of religious leaders has charged, because the preacher has not been certified. “Only preachers who’ve been certified, for obvious reasons, have the right to preach God’s Word,” says a statement by the International Association of Religious Preachers, based in Houston. “Absent certification, anyone can pose as a preacher and claim to represent the Word of God. For that reason, it’s important that persons impersonating professional, certified preachers be enjoined from engaging in acts of uncertified religious preaching.” The accused preacher, Lemont Davis, was apprehended by Los Angeles police at 5:30 p.m. on the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Beverly Blvd. According to the charge filed with the Los Angeles Municipal Court, Davis was claiming to “spread God’s Mercy,” with the aim of spurring a miracle on behalf of a homeless woman, Roberta Jackson, whose health is in decline. More.
Special to The Guardian. In a find that stunned the world of religion, archaeologists digging in a remote region of the Sinai desert discovered what is believed to be the original Holy Bible from more than 2,000 years ago with its International Standard Book Publishing (ISBN) code still intact. “This is an almost unbelievable discovery,” says Alfred Pottersmith, lead curator of Middle East artifacts at the British Museum in London. “To think we could be holding in our hands the original bible from God’s disciples is humbling beyond words.” What gives archaeologists confidence the bible is the original Word of God, first edition, is the presence of the internationally recognized 9-digit numeric commercial book identifier code known as the ISBN code. More.
TORONTO—Not everyone at Orione Corp. knows what the guy with three monitors does, but there’s little doubt he’s a man of mystery. “I’ve got a five-year-old Dell computer and that’s it,” says Jeff Norton, one of the company’s purchasing associates. “No one walks by my cubicle and wonders what I do, but I can tell you people wonder what he does.” Based on the kinds of programs he uses, the guy with three monitors appears to do something requiring complex multimedia functionality because he’s always working with a high-res graphic interface, motion graphics and video, and audio. To add to the mystery, he keeps the lights out around his workstation to reduce glare on his screens. “It’s almost like a spaceship control module,” says one colleague, a hint of awe in his voice. More.
Jews, Muslims, and peoples of other faiths in the United States will have to scramble to find ways to talk about the omnipotent, omnipresent deity referred to as God®, because American Christians have successfully trademarked the term “God®” along with “Savior®” and “Holy Father®.” “It’s a great day for American Christians of all types,” says Edward Reynolds, head pastor of the Ecumenical Christian Church, U.S.A., based in Foxborough, Mass. “For more than 200 years, peoples of Abrahamic faiths in the United States have peacefully shared among themselves the use of the term “God®” and other important religious words, but today the terms have been provided a permanent home with American Christians, which, as we’ve been arguing for years, is the rightful place for them.” More.
Thousands of families in cities across the United States today thanked the National Rifle Association for instilling a culture of fear throughout America with its demonization of anyone who talks about regulations to keep automatic weapons out of the hands of criminals and people with a history of mental illness. “It’s with our deepest gratitude that we, families of America, extend our thanks to the National Rifle Association for everything it has done to create ‘communities of fear’ across our great country,” the families said in a statement released today. “Thanks to its resolute stand that families like ours should take our security in our own hands, whether by hiring private security guards or keeping guns under our pillow at night, we live in a growing state of fear and distrust. And that’s something the NRA deserves credit for.” More.
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder cause a diplomatic row when he tried to slip Detroit over the border and leave the bankrupt and crisis-ridden American city with Canada, U.S. and Canadian authorities have confirmed. Officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency apprehended the governor late last night when he was caught trying to redirect the Detroit River two miles to the south, which would have left Detroit on the Canadian side of the border while leaving the more affluent suburbs on the American side. “I will only confirm that officers of the Canadian Border Services Agency, approaching by watercraft, apprehended an American government official at 3 a.m., Eastern Time, approximately three feet into Canadian territory,” said James Haprer, head of the Canadian Border Services Agency. More.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin implemented sweeping guardianship laws yesterday that prohibit men from doing many of the things they’ve been accustomed to doing, like marrying without their mother’s permission, leaving the house without a female escort, and signing contracts without a female co-signature. “Men have been responsible for most of the disasters in the world throughout history, including wars, environmental destruction, and domestic violence,” says Fallin, who was elected Oklahoma’s first woman governor in 2011. “It’s time to stop the madness, so as of yesterday, thanks to the law passed by our state legislature, men can only marry with their mother’s permission and can leave the house only when accompanied by a woman, among other provisions that serve to protect men, women, and in fact our communities.” More.
Ultra hard-righter Ayn Rand, one of the most influential voices in American politics in the last 50 years, was a nobody until a cabal of Canadian expatriates made her a star in a quest to destablize the United States so that Canada could gain a geo-political edge over its southern neighbor, according to a blockbuster book released yesterday. “People think of Canada as this quiet, do-gooder country that goes the extra mile to get along with its much bigger neighbor,” says Samuel Harper, a political science professor at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Harper is author of Ayn Rand Conspiracy: How Canada Unleashed the World’s Kookiest Political Philosopher on an Unsuspecting United States (Basic Books: 2014), which landed on the New York Times bestseller list upon its debut. More.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the Canadian born firebrand of conservative politics, is a favorite of many Republicans, thanks to his strong social and fiscal conservatism, but, as a very scary man, he will never be elected president of the United States. “I like Sen. Cruz in the same way that I like movies about self-hating megalomaniacs, but I could never vote for him as president,” says Dave Laver, a Republican in Ohio, a key swing state. Cruz was very much a liberal in his youth, say people who knew him, and he was scary back then, too, but he applied his scariness in a liberal rather than conservative direction. More.
Among the earth-shattering revelations coming out of the recently discovered “Addendum of the Pentateuch,” also known as the “Moses Addendum” or “New Book of Moses,” is the discovery of rocky relations between Adam and Eve. Eve, the mysterious book makes clear, “had it up to here” with Adam’s constant whining about sex and his insistence on being “experimental” rather than just plain-vanilla when it comes to their connubial relations. “You are worse than the serpent who had me, by false testimony, eat of the tree to the anger of the Lord,” Eve is quoted as saying in the book. “The Lord has given me the headache, but you are giving me the pain.” “We’re all familiar with this story, eh?” said Boris Neuberger, a theologian with the Oxford Seminary in London, where the book, discovered buried in an ancient ravine on Mount Sinai in Egypt, is being analyzed. More.
WASHINGTON—The National Rifle Association yesterday filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking a cease-and-desist order against the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence on the grounds that the group’s activities are unconstitutional since gun ownership in the United States is protected by the U.S. Constitution. “Given that the protection of gun ownership is explicit in the U.S. Constitution, any activities to stem gun ownership, and by extension, any groups whose mission is to stem gun ownership, is de facto unconstitutional in the United States,” the NRA says in its lawsuit. The gun-right’s group, based in Fairfax, Va., is seeking class action status of its lawsuit, which, if granted, will outlaw all organizations in the United States whose mission is the regulation of gun ownership. More.
An explosive book by former Ayn Rand intimate Barbara Branden says the founder of the ultra-free market philosophy of objectivism was actually a heavy user of federal assistance and regularly sought meetings with federal officials to squelch competition to her free-market manifestos Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. “No one was more enthralled with the brilliance and charisma of Ayn Rand than I and my husband, Nathaniel Branden, were, but in the end, the great seer of free-market economics was no different than anyone else, taking government handouts whenever she could and using the coercive power of the federal government to make life miserable for true free-marketers whose work posed a threat to her bestselling books,” writes Branden in her book, Ayn Rand: Welfare Queen, just released from Pythagoras Publications. More.
An unsuccessful applicant for an account executive opening at an Macro Surety Analysts, an insurance risk management firm, says the company’s failure to hire him constitutes discrimination against his headphones, which he refused to remove during his interview. “I wear headphones when I work, everyone I know wears headphones when they work, and I’ve been told that Macro Surety employees often wear headphones at work, so to be discriminated against in the hiring process because I wore headphones to the interview is a clear violation of federal equal opportunity rules and the national goal of equal opportunity in the workplace, says Joseph Bernard, 24, who’s put the issue of headphone discrimination on the front burner with his claim filed yesterday with the Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. More.
“OMG!” A Silicon Valley web start-up is shifting the micro-blogging movement into hyper gear with its launch this week of hhrmp.com, a “hyper-micro” blogging site that limits posts to just 5 characters. “At this point in the evolution of social media, the 140-character limit of Twitter is just too big,” says Jeremy Gliner, whose title is chief hhrmp’er at hhrmp! Media. “Today’s teenagers have grown up on Twitter, Snapchat, and other micro-blogging platforms and they want their own thing. And they don’t want to compose anything that resembles a sentence. Given the success of our beta site with this critical demographic, we feel we’re giving this up-and-coming generation of word-economizers what they want.” A quick check with a group of 19- and 20-year-olds outside Hillsdale College in College Park, Md., appears to bear out Gliner’s assessment. More.
Back in the good ol’ days you could get away with things like makin’ up stories from a war zone,” Brian Williams says. The well-known NBC Nightly News anchor is on leave from his job following revelations he misled the public about his experience in Iraq while reporting on the U.S.-led invasion there 12 years ago. “It’s social media that’s ruining everything. Facebook, Twitter—how’s a guy supposed to buff his image when he can’t even tell a little tale without the whole frickin’ world knowin’ about it?” We caught up with Williams at a bar in New York City to find out how he’s doing since stepping down from his duties at NBC. We were joined by other prominent figures who’ve been ground up in the social media maw. More.
Thanks to the push to gut gun laws and make it harder to prosecute shooters, maladjusted men who would otherwise be content to stay in their rooms playing violent video games increasingly have the chance to pack heat and show people they don’t like who’s in charge. “I don’t have the guts to actually talk to people, but I don’t need to even try anymore because I can just get me a gun or two and deal with my problems that way,” says Jeremy Flynn, 24, a maladjusted man who nurses a lot of grudges against the world. “I grew up playing video games in which the winners maim or kill more people than others maim or kill, and that was fine for my youth. Now that I’m an adult, I want to take my hatred to the next level. I’m just glad the National Rifle Association has my back, because now I can get all the guns I want and really do my carnage right.” More.
Saying their favorite band has become too commercial since it was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last April, fans of Canadian power trio Rush say it’s time to make a push for their removal. “We were instrumental in getting the band inducted into the Hall of Fame in the first place, thanks to our years of persistence, but now we see we made a mistake,” says Randy Powers, a fan from Pittsburgh who has launched a petition drive calling for Rush’s removal from the Cleveland institution. “Bobbleheads, T-shirts, refrigerators—it’s just all too much. We don’t mind the band trying to make a buck. It’s hard to do that now with people so easily downloading or streaming music on the Internet. But enough is enough.” More.
Cowed by the recent success and outpouring of affection for the Canadian rock trio Rush, music critics have largely refrained from laying a glove on the band, which first hit the music scene in 1974 and today is enjoying something of a renaissance as it basks in the success of its most recent album Clockwork Angels. But several music critics, including most prominently Adam Carter of Rolling Stone, are bucking the trend and slamming the band for its pretentious lyrics, over-wrought drumming, and, most of all, the screeching vocals of bass player and lead singer Geddy Lee. “I know it’s fashionable for one to pay one’s respects to ‘legendary’ progressive rockers Rush, but I just can’t hop onto this bandwagon,” Carter says in his blog, Rock in/Site. “No one can tell me Geddy Lee has somehow learned how to sing. In fact, I would venture to say More.
Gun enthusiasts say the millions of guns that flow across the border illegally for use by drug cartels in their war against the Mexican government must stop if mass killers in the U.S. are to reach the success level they’re capable of. “Right now, can an unstable young man in the United States be all that he can be when he’s ready to start spraying random people with bullets? I don’t think so,” says Grit Thorniker, president of the American Alliance for Personal Weapons Rights. “Our gun manufacturers are already operating at maximum capacity. Once more deranged loners come out of the woodwork, will we be able to meet their needs?” More.
Officer Jeff Barnes of the Emes, Iowa, police force has big plans for when he retires in three years: start his own consulting business for criminals who are prepared to pay good money for ideas on how not to get caught. “After 25 years in police work, I have an expertise that will command a pretty penny for those who are worried about committing a crime that they’re not sure they can get away with,” says Barnes, a lieutenant. Prior to coming to Emes in 2008, he was with the Columbus, Ohio, police force for 19 years. Barnes said he was something of a petty criminal himself before he enrolled in the Columbus police academy and became an officer one year later. “I stole a car once,” he says, “but mostly it was small stuff: candy, cigarettes, and beer from 7-Eleven, a wallet from Sears—you know, nothing to write home about, although I’m proud to say I went about a four-year stretch without paying a cent for beer.” More.
Acknowledging some of his tattoos are a bit rough and edgy, Greg Stent of Hell’s Vapors says he’s increasingly concerned he’ll have trouble getting a job once his music career winds down and he’s ready to get on with the work-a-day world. “I always thought I would play my music and nothing else, but that never stopped me from getting my B.A. in accounting in case things fell through in the music scene,” says Stent, who launched Hell’s Vapors with his Canton, Ohio, neighborhood buddy Alex Greel six years ago. Today, their band has a strong following in much of northwest Ohio, Iowa, and has even played shows in Michigan and Wisconsin. The band last year self-produced a CD, When Death Awaits You, which it makes available at its shows. More.
Jason Creel of Deth Knell says he had an epiphany three years ago in a Little Rock motel and since then his relationship with Satan, the embodiment of all evil in the world, has never been the same. “Let me put it this way,” he said while sitting down for a coffee outside the Orbit Room in Toronto, where his band will be shaking the rafters tonight. “Whereas before Satan was just kind of an idea to me, an abstraction, maybe a bit of a marketing ploy, now he’s quite real and, frankly, gunning for me. I’m in His sights.” Creel says his awakening to the torments of Hell that await him after this life came after he and some fans trashed his motel room. Police were called, but luckily one of the two officers that showed up was familiar with the band and the other was a big Metallica fan, although he hadn’t heard of Creel’s band. But, in any case, they told the motel manager to work it out among themselves. More.
You might have thought nothing but a trip down memory lane awaits legendary pop-rock band Journey, whose radio staples like “Lights” and “Wheel in the Sky” provided the soundtrack to today’s forty- and fifty-somethings’ early adult years. But if you thought that you would be wrong. Because WBIG in Cleveland has just released the results of its listener poll and found that Journey is the “It” band for 2015, proving that time isn’t a factor for bands that are forever cool. “It was a ‘rock-us’ competition, but our listeners left little doubt who rocks their world,” says WBIG Program Director Rex Bartlett. “Our winner got quite a bit of heat from ABBA, Styx, and Kansas, but when the dust settled, it was Journey all the way!” The band released its 14th studio album, in 2011, which rocketed to 13th on the Billboard charts. More.
WASHINGTON, D.C.–A gun rights activist who thinks anyone who favors gun control of any type is a “socialist elitist who hates America” accidentally shot off his nose yesterday while at a rally here celebrating the second part of the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. “Nobe ub dis chages my biew dat weal Americans strap guns around der legs,” says John (“J.D.”) Ray, the activist, from his room at George Washington University Hospital in Washington. Doctors treating the activist say they are attempting to reconstruct his nose using tissue from other parts of his body because the accidental point-blank shot left nothing of Ray’s original nose to work with. More.
For all his popularity with tea party conservatives and libertarians, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky will never be able to establish enough trust with American voters to win the presidency, should he run, because of his tousled hair, psychologists and campaign strategists say. “Rand Paul’s tousled hair is not presidential, it’s not masculine,” says Ronald Friedman, a psychologist at Columbia University who has looked extensively at what people’s hair styles say about them. “Even worse, Paul uses a styling gel to get his tousled look, so he faces a double hit with voters. Not only do voters see tousled hair as a lack of strength, but his use of gel makes him seem vain. So, it’s not a good combination.” More.
Zack Morton doesn’t pretend he’s collecting his federal unemployment compensation, rental subsidy, and food stamps as a stopgap measure while he looks for work. No, he just doesn’t like to work and as long as the free money holds out, he has no intention of getting a job. “I hate working,” he says. “Getting up in the morning, brushing your teeth, going out in the cold, or the heat, and working all day in an office or outside or in a restaurant or something—I hate it.” Morton says he worked for a while when he was in high school, and in fact dropped out of school so he could work full time. But he didn’t like the work—it was as a clerk in a department store—and he ended up getting fired. “I think I came in late or something or didn’t come in at all. I just can’t remember,” he says. More.
Ralph Hudson says he knows he’s not doing the country any favors by exploiting wedge issues between people but the money he earns in exchange for making the country a more violent and less tolerant place is too good to refuse. “In a perfect world would I want to make our country a crappy place to live? Probably not,” says the radio veteran, whose conservative talk show is syndicated nationwide and attracts a daily audience of some 15 million listeners. “But my first responsibility is to myself, because even though I’m probably going to die in another 2o years or so, and won’t be around to enjoy it, I want to amass as much wealth as I can, and doing what I’m doing enables me to do that.” More.
The long-brewing debate over the accuracy of the psychiatry profession’s bible, called the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders, came to a head this week as the American Psychiatric Association released the sixth edition of the 900-page book, and realized that 100 percent of Americans are now classified as having a mental disorder. “We feared this was going to happen,” says Jim Dulaney, professor emeritus at Columbia University and chair of the American Psychiatric Association. “Every time we update the DSM, more Americans fall under one of its disorders. Now we’re at the point where all Americans fall under one of its disorders, so we either have to reevaluate how we define mental illness in this country or we’re all really sick.” More.
Don’t expect quick processing of your Social Security check today. Agencies throughout the federal government have closed in response to heavy cloud cover over the city, preventing the sun from shining and threatening rain. “All federal empoyees, with the exception of essential employees and national security personnel, are instructed to stay home during today’s extreme weather event.” Kevin Longley, director of personnel management for the Office of Management and Budget, said in a statement today. “We expect federal agencies to resume normal operations tomorrow, although if current conditions persist, we expect to issue a revised update calling for a second day of closure.” More.
WASHINGTON—Disrespect shown to America’s favorite dessert from the heartland, apple pie, by liberal foodies is the next step in the Left’s war on everything America stands for, a coalition of conservative organizations said at a press conference here yesterday. “We know apple pie isn’t fashionable in some quarters of America, and we know in some quarters of America there are fancier or trendier desserts for people of so-called sophisticated palates, but we humbly say that an attack on apple pie is an attack on the values that have made America the greatest nation on earth,” the coalition says in a statement. More.
Saying he should have gone along with the state legislature last year and signed the bill decriminalizing personal possession of marijuana, West Dakota Governor Cody Stevens pardoned himself after he was arrested last night for possession of the illegal substance. “I realize it was a mistake that I didn’t sign the bill that both houses of our legislature passed,” Stevens said as he signed an official Governor’s pardon, which lets him go free and clear from his drug arrest. “I still believe pot is a gateway drug that ensnares our children and ruins families, but deep inside I also believe that some people can use it responsibly, and had I signed last year’s “Responsible Possession of Marijuana Act,” I wouldn’t have gotten arrested and set a bad example for our kids.” More.
Fresh off its controversy for allegedly using under-inflated footballs to win its AFC championship game two weeks ago, the New England Patriots are again under an ethical spotlight for allegedly using over-inflated footballs to beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in last weekend’s Super Bowl XLIX matchup. “We have very clear visual evidence that the New England Patriots used footballs that were inflated far above the regulation level of 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch (psi) in their game last Sunday, so we are officially investigating this potential violation of National Football League rules,” says NFL Executive Vice President Jay Pesh. Over-inflated balls are considered easier to see, a potential advantage for a team like the Patriots, which relies heavily on its passing game. More.
The widely reported “deflate-gate” scandal in which the New England Patriots allegedly used under-inflated footballs to gain an edge in their AFC championship game against the Indianapolis Colts last week was conceived and executed by scientists as a way to “make physics sexy” and “get the country talking about physics,” according to a memo that’s surfaced during the NFL’s investigation of the Patriots’ ball-handling practices. “We’re still looking into this, but if it’s true, it’s shocking news to say the least,” says NFL Executive Vice President Jay Pesh. “I want to caution that we are still in the middle of our investigation, which we promise will be thorough and fair. What we’re doing now is looking at the source of this memo, talking with people who are familiar with this memo, so that we can determine what the appropriate next steps will be.” More.
Now that the U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) has stripped the Redskins football team of trademark protection because the term is considered a racial slur, scores of businesses have grabbed the famous name. “I know it’s a terrible word and I myself don’t harbor a racist bone in my body, but because I own a business that turns your skin orange, I knew I needed the Redskins name as soon as it became available,” says Graham Little, owner of Redskins Tanning Salon in Dallas. “Get your orange skin at Redskins. As you can see, the marketing potential is enormous, especially here in Dallas, where orange skin is the mark of a wealthy woman.” Redskins Radiation Partners is the new name of Culver Radiation Partners in Orlando, a switch managing partner Jeff Reed made after hearing the trademark news. More.
Smokers were in an uproar as CVS Caremark, the second largest drugstore chain in the United States, announced plans to stop carrying cigarettes and other tobacco products at all of its 7,600 locations by October 1. “We understand that CVS is a private company and it’s within its control to sell or not sell cigarettes,” John Beenes, president of Americans for Smokers Rights, says. “But smokers also have a right to kill themselves and CVS, in its decision to stop selling cigarettes, is infringing on that right. We will certainly fight this all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court if we have to.” CVS, based in Woonsocket, R.I., announced in February that its decision is intended in part to get other drugstores to stop selling cigarettes. “I think it will put pressure on other retailers who want to be in healthcare,” said CVS Caremark Chief Medical Officer Dr. Troyen Brennan. More.
Elegant British super spy and womanizer James Bond is ditching his iconic Saville Row suits and other formal wear to sport a more casual look, an MI6 spokesperson says. “Agent 007 isn’t immune to the times,” the spokesperson says. “He understands business is conducted in an increasingly casual atmosphere and that spy craft is similarly changing. I’m not saying Bond will be stepping out of his Aston Martin in anything less than a nice shirt and maybe some khakis, but when he’s just puttering around London, Paris, or New York, you might just see him in a T-shirt and jeans. I’m not saying it will happen, but you might see that. He’s a secret agent, after all.” More.
Robert Plant, the golden haired and golden voiced singer for the legendary hard rock band Led Zeppelin, says in an interview on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” that he should have listened to his dad and become an accountant rather than leave home when he was 16 to live the rock-and-roll lifestyle. “If I were to live my life again, would I have that nasty break with my family and sing for various bands before finally joining Pagey and the others to form Led Zeppelin? I think on balance what I did was a mistake and, in retrospect, I should have listened to my dad.” More.
Alarmed at a rash of high-profile data breaches at big U.S. retailers like Home Depot, a task force of scientists and engineers looking at computer safety and privacy have called on lawmakers to add 16 letters to the English alphabet. They’ve also called for the addition of three numbers to the number scale, but that recommendation was not included in the final report as task force members look at how that could be done, since the number scale is universally understood to be based on the 10-digit system and any change would be difficult to administer. More.
OTTOWA—Tired of living in the shadow of its much larger southern neighbor, Canada yesterday officially changed its name to Not USA and unveiled a new flag that government officials say is designed to tell the world that Canada is its own country and not simply a northern outpost of the United States. “Not USA has a long and proud history,” says Stephen Harper, prime minister of Not USA, formerly known as Canada. “With our new name and flag, we’re celebrating our unique place in the community of nations. People forget that Not USA defeated the United States in several key battles in the War of 1812 and beat the U.S. in the 2010 winter olympics hockey championship. What’s more, Not USA is the largest country on earth by land mass, has more ice than any other country, and is the world’s largest producer of maple syrup and moose souvenirs.” More.
The English Language Institute removed “utilize” and “cleanse” from the English language today as part of the organization’s long-term plan to trim the language of unnecessary words. The words were recommended for removal by the organization’s Word Removal Committee last month and approved for elimination by the board of directors today. “We grow attached to words, so it’s never easy to say goodbye to them, even when they’re unnecessary,” says Nigel Porter, president of the English Language Institute. “But for the long-term good of our language, today’s actions were necessary and long-overdue.” According to the Institute, “utilize” has long been used as a complex variant of “use,” but it was found to have no meaning beyond “use.” More.
Saying it’s tired of sitting on the sidelines for the majority of compositions in the English language, the letter Q announced today its secession from the English alphabet and a ban on all uses of the letter Q in subsequent English compositions. The letter Q also says it’s reviewing its ties with French, German, Spanish, and other Indo-European languages, but for now, it’s willing to stay in those Latin-based languages until further notice. “For thousands of years the joke has been on the letter Q,” says the letter Q in its Declaration of Secession, delivered simultaneously to the American Library Association, the British Library, the National Library of Canada, the Oxford English Dictionary, the Webster English Dictionary, the Associated Press, and the Chicago Manual of Style. “But no more. As of today, the letter Q is not available for your use.” More.
SmartCarry™ Luggage Carts are the go-to brand of carts for most homeless people, a survey released today by Brand Trust, a business-to-business trade magazine. The magazine asked 250 homeless people in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Toronto about their brand preferences when it came to luggage, grocery, or other types of carts for carrying their possessions and just under 200 said SmartCarry™ is their cart of choice. “They last a real long time,” says Arnold Sween, a homeless person in New York City. “I’ve had mine for 10 years and it still rolls good. Holds a lot, too.” More.
BEIJING—China this week released its plan to dominate the world by 2020 and also host a summit on the overfishing of red herring in the South Sea. “This is China’s century and we are determined to assert our interests globally in accordance with our stature as the one true superpower,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a news conference here yesterday. China is the world’s largest country by population, with 1.36 million people, not counting ethnic Uighurs, and the world’s second largest economy, with a gross domestic product of $16.1 trillion. That is about $1 trillion less than the United States, although that gap is expected to close within the next 18 months because of America’s declining productivity and “black president,” the plan says. More.
I know part of being a fireman is washing the fire truck when you have down time, but I have to tell you honestly that I don’t really like doing it. The truck is big and it’s got a lot of accessories on it, hoses and knobs and ladders, which makes it hard to wash, but even if it were as slick as a sports car, I still wouldn’t much like doing it. In fact, it’s one of my least favorite parts of my job. More.
For the longest time I enjoyed going on walks with my master. He would give me a call, “Buster!” and when I came rollicking up, excited about what awaited us outside the walls of our house and outside the confines of our yard, he would attach my leash and off we would go. Sometimes we would go right, which I call the “Annie Poodle Route,” because Annie the Poodle lives down that way, and I always leave my calling card by the corner of her fence (along with a million other dogs!). And sometimes we would go left, which I call the “Fred the Mean Dog Route,” because Fred the Mean Dog lives down there, and you can be sure I don’t leave my calling card by his house! More.
House budget negotiators averted yet another showdown by meeting much of the federal government’s projected fiscal year 2015 spending gap with proceeds from the sale of phone data on U.S. citizens that the National Security Agency has been collecting since 2001 under the USA PATRIOT ACT. “We know NSA’s data collection has been controversial, but at least we were able to solve a very real problem with it, and that’s to get our fiscal house in order without resorting to showdown tactics and last-minute deals,” says House Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). More.
Researchers at Oxford University have bestowed upon Canada the dubious distinction of being the most boring of the six countries that comprise what’s known as the Anglosphere: Australia, Canada, England, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United States. “We think it’s important that this matter be settled once and for all,” says lead researcher Nigel Clappe, lecturer in political science and demographics at Oxford University. “Up until this point, people have been identifying the most boring country based on nothing more than their own gut feeling. And that wasn’t helping anybody.” More.
Saying it’s impossible to be mad when you skip, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for leaders around the world to take up skipping, the “hippity-hoppity” gait that comes so naturally to children. “If you remember the last time you skipped, you will no doubt remember feeling frisky and carefree,” Ban said in a statement released today. The U.N. last week passed a referendum declaring the week of Dec. 18-25 World Skipping Week, which the international organization hopes will inspire people everywhere to skip rather than fight. More.
WASHINGTON—America’s super-secret National Security Agency (NSA) is responsible for the dreaded “Heartbleed” virus that has infected servers worldwide, according to documents leaked by former U.S. security contractor Edwin Snowden. The documents show that NSA developed Heartbleed as part of its massive MYSTIC anti-terrorism surveillance operation. The virus “enables security personnel to monitor Internet traffic flowing through half a million U.S. and European-based servers,” according to a highly classified briefing NSA officials made last summer to security experts at European intelligence agencies. The briefing was part of the large trove of classified documents on NSA surveillance passed along to news outlets last year by Snowden, who is living under asylum in Russia. More.