Welcome to the weekly compilation of the ins and outs, the ups and downs, the comings and goings from the alternate world of reality – politics!
THIS JUST IN!: Major news outlooks are reporting that Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus has been selected to become President Elect Donald Trump’s Chief of Staff beating out Breitbart Exec and Campaign CEO Steve Bannon.
Tomorrow voters will fan out across the nation. At issue is who will lead the country for the next four years.
Will the race end or will there be ongoing battles contesting the will of the people?
Will there be mandatory recounts or challenges raised to specific precincts or state vote counts?
One Elector from Washington DC is already on record as saying he will vote on December 19, his conscience even if goes against how the people vote for their presidential choice.
Will any of the third party candidates deprive either of the two major party candidates from an Electoral College majority?
Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey released another letter to congress in which he confirmed that his department had reviewed the emails pertaining to Hillary Clinton found on a laptop used by disgraced former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner, estranged husband of Hillary confidante Huma Abedin.
Comey stated that he stands by the conclusion he came to in July that there was no criminal wrongdoing by Clinton in the use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.
Comey wrote that investigators had worked “around the clock” to review all the emails. “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions expressed in July.”
The campaign of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is staying mum on the news.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is imploring voters to “deliver justice at the ballot box” for Clinton’s alleged criminal activity.
Trump supporters see this as more proof that there is one standard of justice for Clinton and another for ordinary Americans.
The emails found on Weiner’s laptop were determined to be mostly duplicates of other email already reviewed and personal correspondence.
Question is: Are voters paying attention?
US House of Representatives Speaker Paul Ryan’s response to Comey’s announcement:
Early voting shows that Hispanic turnout is at an all-time high.
Could this portend bad news for Trump?
The largest voting bloc this election cycle – Millennials – could be the deciders in tomorrow’s election.
Question is: Will Millennials use their power at the polls or stay home in disgust?
The markets are loving the news from the FBI as the Dow jumps more than 250 points and the S&P 500 gains after a 9-day losing streak. Investors prefer a Clinton presidency to a Trump administration.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals set aside a federal judge in Ohio’s injunction against Republican activity at polls, when the judge barred the GOP from “scaring” voters. Democrats have now appealed to the US Supreme Court.
The US Justice Department says it will monitor the polls in 28 states, five more than 2012.
The FBI has questioned Muslims in eight states over concerns about election threats.
Will African-Americans turn out for Clinton on Tuesday?
To-date, African-American votes are lower than those of 2012.
If you are a fan of The Voice, like I am, expect to see your entertainment interrupted by two-minute commercials from Clinton and Trump tonight.
There is more than just who will sit in the Oval Office on the ballot tomorrow.
There is the fate of who leads the Senate and the House.
There are governor’s offices up for grabs in a number of states, including Indiana.
There are state legislatures along with a host of local races to be determined.
For a rundown of key races in each state: https://icitizen.com/news/35ec2fb7-5057-46a4-8aff-e3d95f5f1cf2/from-coast-to-coast-a-look-at-key-races-in-every-state
The first female US Attorney General, a key figure in the President Bill Clinton Administration, Janet Reno has died at age 78.
Reno was a figure of controversy with the Waco assault on the Branch Davidian compound and the Elian Gonzalez deportation.
Her decades long fight with Parkinson Disease is now ended. For the warrior her battles are over. She moves to her seat in the hallowed halls of Valhalla.
Rest in peace.
The finish line is sight as the candidates sprint toward a win or a loss.
Barring some unforeseen major screw-up, disputed ballots or multiple machine malfunctions, we may know later tonight or in the wee hours of the morning who will be the 45th President of the United States – Democrat Hillary Clinton or Republican Donald Trump.
That is unless neither gets the requisite 270 Electoral College votes. In that case it goes to the US House of Representatives to decide our next leader.
There have been a few hiccups today, but nothing of consequence as of this time.
The Trump campaign filed suit to set aside some early voting precinct ballots in Nevada, but the judge said it ain’t happening.
The weather has not been beneficial to my respiratory system today, but I made my way across the street to the Ruritan building to make my voice heard in the Cornfield.
On the northern border of Sullivan County, Indiana where I live is Vigo County and county seat Terre Haute. Since the late 1890s, Vigo County in all but two elections has chosen correctly the candidate who becomes President.
Will Vigo County do it again?
The election of the Cornfield’s new US Senator filling the vacancy with the retirement of Dan Coats will be a real squeaker between Republican Todd Young and former Democratic Senator Evan Bayh.
The governor’s office is being vacated since Mike Pence may or may not be the nation’s next Vice President. Another squeaker between Democrat John Gregg, former Speaker of the Indiana General Assembly, and Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb.
The all-important State of Florida is still voting, but has already exceeded the total votes cast in 2012. Some 400,000+ more Latinos registered and voted in early voting.
The super early voting in northern New Hampshire gave Trump the win 32-25 in the three communities. Clinton did claim the first in the nation vote from Dixville Notch taking four of the eight votes. Trump received two and Libertarian Gary Johnson, one. The final vote was a write-in for Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
In Hart’s Location, Clinton captured 17, but only 4 in Millsfield. Trump garnered 14 and 16, respectively.
The next crucial vote will be on December 19, when Electors from every state gather to officially elect the person who will be the next POTUS.
It is over!
Last night I could not get Carol King out of my mind singing:
“I feel the earth move under my feet. I feel the clouds coming tumbling down…“
Even today the song won’t quit.
Around 2:30 a.m. Hillary Clinton called Trump and conceded the election.
Shortly before 3 a.m., Trump addressed the nation for the first time as the nation’s soon-to-be 45th President.
In his acceptance speech, Trump said, “Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division. It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”
Trump also congratulated and held out an olive branch to his rival, Hillary Clinton.
Trump won 289 electoral votes with four states still out.
He knocked big holes in the Blue Wall of Democrats as he claimed Pennsylvania and Wisconsin to put him over the top.
Michigan will likely be added to his win as well.
The plan had been to run through the Rust Belt and turn blue to red.
It looks at this time that Clinton won the popular vote by a little less than 200,000 votes, but Trump took the Electoral College by blasting through Clinton’s firewall.
Both the US House of Representatives and the US Senate stayed firmly in GOP hands, handing Trump an added bonus come next January when he takes office.
As noted yesterday, the Cornfield’s Vigo County has in all, but two elections, correctly picked the next President in every election since the late 1890s. Vigo County, Indiana did it again on Tuesday as the normally Democratic country went for Trump.
Indiana Republican Congressman Todd Young stomped on favored former Governor and Senator Evan Bayh in the Cornfield.
In the Cornfield’s gubernatorial race, Lieutenant Governor Eric Holcomb bested Democrat John Gregg, who was in a second run for the governor’s mansion.
Holcomb will succeed Mike Pence, who was elected to become our next Vice President.
In Illinois, as expected, Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk.
Democrats held onto retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s seat in Nevada, where Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto bested GOP Congressman Joe Heck.
California, Massachusetts and Nevada voters approved recreational marijuana use.
Maine may be added to the list as votes are tallied. In Arizona the measure is failing.
Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas gave thumbs up to medical marijuana initiatives.
Colorado voters approved assisted suicide.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona will be no more. He tumbled and failed in his re-election bid for a seventh term.
“The people Arpaio targeted decided to target him,” said Carlos Garcia, executive director of the advocacy group Puente. “He lost his power when undocumented people lost their fear.”
The pundits, the pollsters, the national press are still in shock.
Results reveal Trump – the equal opportunity offender – received more Hispanic and African-American votes than 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
President Barack Obama will meet with Trump Thursday to plan for the peaceful transition of power, the hallmark of US democracy.
No glass ceiling.
No floor painted with the map of the US for her stand in the center.
Rather a more demure setting with a tinge of sadness was the scene as Clinton today said farewell to the political world and her disappointed supporters.
Clinton, dressed in purple, – the convergence of red and blue – conceded the election to Trump.
She noted that Trump would now be her President and President of all Americans.
“We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead,” Clinton said.
To the dismay of her supporters, last night Clinton Campaign Chair John Podesta came out to speak to supporters at the Javitz Center, where Clinton’s celebration was to take place, told the crowd to go home.
Clinton would not be speaking last night.
President Barack Obama, flanked by Vice President Joe Biden, stood in the Rose Garden today to promise a smooth and efficient transfer of power. The President also pointed out that we are all Americans and “on the same team.”
Both Presidents Bush and their wives called Trump to wish him well and to offer their support.
House Speaker Paul Ryan said, “We are eager to work hand-in-hand with the new Administration.”
While congratulations came in from leaders around the world, many also expressed concern about Trump’s election.
For the uninformed, this looks like the end of the “Un“Affordable Care Act, President Obama’s signature domestic legislation.
Expect one of Trump’s first acts as President is naming a jurist to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.
Remember when Obama was elected Texans talked of seceding?
This time around we have Californians talking “Calexit.”
With the White House and both chambers of Congress being in Republican control come January, will the GOP do any better than the Democrats in 2009?
Melania Trump, born in Slovenia, will be only the second First Lady not born in the US of A.
The other was Louisa Adams, wife of John Quincy Adams.
Today, what I wrote several months ago seems to be worth reading again: Person Versus Persona.
I wonder as one last act, could President Obama, Pardon Me?
We are in the last seven weeks of the tenure of President Barack Obama with the first 100 days of a President Donald Trump in the wings.
Hillary Clinton offered a visibly painful and conciliatory concession speech to the nation on her loss to Trump. She had these words for the millions of little girls listening:
“Never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and to achieve your own dreams.”
Today, President Elect Trump met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office in a significant gesture of the peaceful transfer of power.
Later Trump met with Speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to lay out his agenda for the first 100 days.
Top priority: Immigration and healthcare.
Vice President Joe Biden met with Vice President Elect Mike Pence.
Incoming First Lady Melania Trump had a sit down with First Lady Michelle Obama as well.
The meeting between Trump and Obama was to last for 10 minutes. That conversation went on for around 90 minutes.
While Clinton won the popular vote around 200,000 votes, it should be pointed out that the vote revealed that the nation is fairly evenly split into two camps right now.
What does this portend as Trump takes office along with Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress and begins the task of governing?
Not backing down, GOP Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz vowed to continue investigating Clinton.
This comes even though Trump said on Wednesday the nation owed a debt of gratitude to Clinton for her years of service to the country.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said he and others prepared to support Trump on progressive issues such as trade and infrastructure building, but would oppose any conservative pushes.
Sanders on CNN today warned the President Elect that if he “goes after the poor, people of color and Muslims, we will be his worst nightmare.”
Is Sanders now the face and the voice of the Democratic Party or in European terms, the Loyal Opposition?
Scuttlebutt has it that Trump wants Breitbart’s Steve Bannon will be tapped to be his Chief of Staff. Even Republicans are voicing concerns.
Also rumored is that JP Morgan Chase honcho Jamie Dimon may be tapped for Treasury Secretary.
I wonder as one last act, could President Obama, Pardon Me?
It has been a topic among the talking heads today.
The divides between how Democrats and Republicans could not be more clear as seen through a new survey from Pew Research.
The perspective, depending on political affiliation, can plainly be borne out in this chart:
While last night, in 25 cities across the US of A, people marched in protest to the election result which catapulted Trump to the presidency. Many of those protesting were young people. High school students, some too young to vote, stomped out of their classrooms in protest.
Many expressed fear of the future under a Trump Administration.
I wonder how many of these young people know our history or understand our political system?
Much of the protests seem reminiscent to the fear and protest of many in 2008 when Obama was elected.
As the President said yesterday, “The sun still rose.”
Protesters across the nation found themselves behind bars as well.
Young protesters, many undocumented, were concerned they or friends and family would be rounded up and shipped out of the US of A.
More on the outcry: http://in.reuters.com/article/usa-election-protests-idINKBN135243
Former Illinois Congressman Aaron Schock indicted on 24 corruption charges.
Turns out Russia was in contact with the campaign of Donald Trump – but – also the campaign of Hillary Clinton.
Howard Dean is wanting his old job back as head of the Democratic National Committee.
The President Elect took back to Twitter in the middle of the nigh and this morning.
At first, Trump blamed the “media” for the protests which have broke out across the nation in response to his election.
Then this morning, Trump praised the “passion” of the protesters and vowed to bring the country together.
The first tweet had the markets taken aback. The second brought ease.
The Prez Elect is quickly learning his words matter.
It may not be so easy to get rid of the Affordable Care Act as Republicans may wish.
Here are five obstacles to the dismantling of outgoing President Barack Obama’s signature domestic legislation:
a. People don’t want to lose coverage
b. Some companies don’t want it gone
c. Trump himself
d. The hit to the economy
e. The political opposition
The Trump Transition Team is fighting over whether to consider #NeverTrump people for vital posts.
Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid sounded like he was back in the boxing ring as he slammed voters electing a “sexual predator” as President.
Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison being touted to become Democratic National Committee Chair.
Former Maryland Governor and presidential wannabe Martin O’Malley expresses interest in DNC Chair.
The Mayors of Los Angeles and New York vow their cities will remain sanctuaries for illegal immigrants.
The marches in the street, some peaceful, some not, continue even though the election was five days ago.
Fear is a common reason given for people taking to the streets in protest.
Portland, Oregon continues to be the center for violence rather than peaceful dissent.
The safety pin has become the symbol for the movement. As it signifies keeping those maligned by President Elect Donald Trump during the election cycle – Muslims, the gay community, minorities and handicapped individuals.
The campaign of losing presidential candidate Hillary Clinton as well as the candidate herself are blaming the loss of the presidency to Donald Trump to Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey sending letters to Congress in the waning days of the campaign about opening then reclosing the issue of criminality with use of a private email server while Clinton was Secretary of State.
What Clinton refuses to do is take blame for the loss in her own actions or message.
About one-third of Clinton supporters are saying the election is not legitimate.
Vice President Elect Mike Pence has taken over the Transition Team.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was demoted to vice chair of the team.
A choice of who will be Chief of Staff is imminent, according to the only woman to ever successfully run a presidential campaign, Kellyanne Conway.
Trump told CBS 60 Minutes he will continue to use Twitter, but be “very restrained” in what he tweets.
House Speaker Paul Ryan has said that the President Elect has no plans to form a “deportation force.”
Trump said that sections of “The Wall” may be fencing instead of an actual wall.
As most supporters already knew, President Elect Donald Trump signaled he would keep provisions that allow for people with pre-existing conditions to have healthcare insurance as well as allow children up to age 26 remain on their parents’ insurance policies.
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