This week the American news media has been going all hog wild over fired FBI director James Comey and his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearings regarding President Donald Trump.
Personally, I have not been paying too much attention. I am tired of all things Trump and am more excited about British election coverage happening later this evening. I get the impression Comey is handing partisan ammunition to both sides with what he has been saying this week.
Moreover, I want to take some time over the next few days to figure out my summer vacation plans, since it is that time of year again. And I plan to spend the coming few days goofing off. Really, the last thing on my mind today is the news, but I will be Tweeting British election night as it happens.
Welcome to News from Nowhere during what has been a tumultuous week in politics in the USA, as the goofy Republicans wilted under the political pressure and withdrew their health care bill to replace Obamacare. So, Obamacare gets to stay, for now.
This is being seen as a big defeat for Pres. Donald Trump and for Capitol Hill Republicans. Their big majority in the House and Senate has amounted to absolutely nothing in coming up with a suitable replacement health care plan that could get passed, and the finger pointing for who is to blame is now on! What a joke. Still, some Republicans are smiling, with Sen. Rand Paul declaring victory in defeating “Obamacare-lite”.
Other news from the week: legendary TV game show producer Chuck Barris who brought you The Dating Game and The Newlywed Game but is best known as host of the Gong Show, has, according to Salon, been “gonged at last”. He’s dead, age 87.
It was a scary situation Saturday on the Las Vegas strip as a shooter killed one person on a bus and injured another – for no apparent reason, says police.
In other news concerning Las Vegas, it looks like the NFL will approve the Raiders’ move to their city on Monday.
Finally, the Writers Guild of America could soon walk out on strike.
As for me, I think I’ve written about enough for now.
Needless to say, Mexico president Enrique Pena Nieto is not happy with this latest “wall” nonsense, he has cancelled his planned visit with President Trump. And he should, because this is insulting treatment towards his country from the United States.
If I were an American I wouldn’t be too happy either, because it’s US consumers who will ultimately be paying through the nose for Trump’s “Great Wall of America” with this proposal. The price of all goods coming in from Mexico will automatically be hiked 20 percent!!
Tomorrow marks one full week in office for Pres. Trump. Somehow it feels like it’s been longer.
Wow, what a gong show that was today, folks, over at Trump Tower.
Among other things, President-elect Donald J. Trump went after BuzzFeed at his news conference today over publishing unsubstantiated documents over Trump’s ties to Russia, and then later he got into a verbal sparring match with CNN’s Jim Acosta, saying “you are fake news!”
These are going to be four very long and interesting years in the White House, folks. Too interesting for words, I’m afraid.
There have been more stories about what a cesspool Twitter is, with all the trolling and negativity going on. The result: people are quitting Twitter. One of those to go this week: Lindy West, who wrote a big screed in the Guardian about how Twitter has become “unusuable for anyone but trolls, robots and dictators.” In particular, her piece takes aim at the Alt-Right for trolling Twitter, spreading their agenda, and harassing various people. In particular, she noted the “global implications of failing to stop them.”
No doubt, the notorious Alt-Right crowd is a big problem for Twitter, for social media, and for the free world in general. But let’s be honest here: the radical left are as guilty of making Twitter a lousy place. In particular, these folks have been very quick to go on Twitter to call out people for any posts they deem objectionable, always going after people for being “racist” or “sexist”, and “shaming” people and always trying to get people fired from their jobs.
Twitter really has been “political correctness run amuck” for years, and a lot of conservative-type people have been denouncing Twitter for that reason. Also, some of the more controversial people (ie. Milo) have actually been banned from Twitter for various things, so people are accusing Twitter of censorship, now, too.
The bottom line is the left is only now finding out what right-leaning folks have said for a long time – that Twitter is turning into a hate-filled bottomless pit. For everyone.
The real reason you are only seeing all these Twitter-angst stories popping up all of sudden, though, is because of the impact of one particular Twitter user: Donald Trump.
I think the left-leaning folks still cannot believe Trump won the election and are casting around looking for yet another target to blame for their colossal defeat. That’s why Twitter is coming under fire — them, and the Russians.
The reason people are holding Twitter responsible for Trump’s rise is because the Trump-haters think Twitter was used as a platform by Trump supporters to spread their lies, uh, I mean messages during the campaign. Of course, it was! And, of course, Trump loves Twitter and his Tweets always seem guaranteed to tick people off and therefore make headlines.
Among those ticked off: China. A commentary piece ran over there this week which blasted Trump for his “Twitter diplomacy“. This was right after Trump had taken to Twitter yet again, this time to deliver a broadside at China for not helping with North Korea.
Stories like these have focused attention on Twitter at a time when it is facing a lot of questions about its future viability. I think all social media in general, not just Twitter, has no end of problems to clean up. Facebook of course has lots of issues with “fake news” cluttering up its news feeds. Just this week, some lowlives in Chicago livestreamed torture on the Facebook Live platform. Good grief! How low can you go.
In short, social media has a ton of problems and it’s easy to figure out who’s to blame: human beings.
Well, despite the shameful, pathetic, last-ditch effort of opponents of Donald Trump to try and harass Trump electors into switching sides today, it all ended in colossal failure. Just as Jill Stein’s expensive recount effort was a failure. Just as, heck, their entire election was a failure.
Trump has secured 304 electoral votes in the official balloting of the Electoral College today. There were a few “faithless elector” votes but, surprisingly, quite a number of them were from electors who were supposedly pledged to Hillary Clinton. Despite not even bothering to campaign for the office of President, Gen. Colin Powell received as many electoral votes — three, from blue-state Washington — as the whole state of North Dakota has in its delegation! (I wonder how the Clinton voters in Washington feel about that.)
Anyway, this whole election is over, at long last. As for the “sore losers”, to heck with them, finally.
Aaargh, I want to go back to Mexico! It is bitterly cold here at this edition of News from Nowhere — not just here, but across North America! To blame is the polar vortex which is hovering over much of Canada and bringing Arctic air down to the south. It makes it an early winter for everyone (winter has technically not started yet, believe it or not).
How bad is it? So bad that BC is now meant to get colder than normal weather well into January. Folks in the lower mainland are having a difficult time dealing with all the cold and snow.
To folks in Vancouver, I simply say: welcome to life in Canada.
On to other news. I notice President-elect Donald Trump has been busy doing his victory tour of places across America. I get the impression he likes doing these rallies — for the heck of it! Also, the other day he was at the Army-Navy game, won by Army for the first time after 15 years. The final score was 21-17.
In between, Trump has been putting together his cabinet and the rumors are Rex Tillerson may be named Secretary of State.
Also, I notice Trump had something to say about the CIA’s claims that Russia was involved in influencing the election. He’s calling these claims ridiculous. The Democrats are all up in arms and want an investigation, but honestly I think this is yet more evidence that these folks on the left are still in total denial about the election results and how people really feel about the state of the country.
In other “yet more evidence” news, Green Party candidate Jill Stein’s effort to recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania has been an embarrassing flop so far.
Finally, everyone is up in arms about Trump retaining executive producer credit on The Apprentice and claiming this is a conflict of interest. Folks, Trump isn’t going to be doing a darn thing for this show, he is simply retaining credit as co-creator of the production and earning royalties! This is just plain business, as Arnold Schwarzenegger says. And Trump was defending himself on that point on the talk shows today. Anyway, enough about President-elect Trump.
Speaking of Trump, his style of political rally has made its way up to Canada. The big political story up here was about a anti-carbon tax rally in Alberta where the crowd started yelling “lock her up!” in regards to Premier Rachel Notley.
And people across Canada vented outrage at this behaviour, but one politician who actually thought these chants were okay was Conservative leadership candidate Brad Trost. He was saying these people were not being listened to, and was saying you should take them seriously but don’t take them literally.
Anyway, bottom line is that Trump-style politics is here. Be ready for it, Great White North.
French presidential election news: an independent candidate has entered the race. He is Emmanuel Macron, former French economy minister, but the thinking is that all his candidacy will do is bleed votes from Manuel Valls (likely Socialist nominee) and split the left, and produce the Conservative-Nationalist runoff that everyone is predicting will happen anyway.
In other opinions, the Guardian is raising the alarm that France is somehow about to elect Marine Le Pen as President. This won’t happen, folks. It’s gonna be Francois Fillon, folks, trust me. The French electorate isn’t as crazy as people think they are.
On to Sports from Nowhere, and “nowhere” is right when it comes to Toronto and their sports title hopes for 2016.
It was a dismal night at the MLS Cup final in Toronto, where Toronto FC dominated the play all game, incredibly holding the Seattle Sounders to no shots on goal, but they just couldn’t beat goaltender Stefan Frei.
So the predictable happened: after it ended 0-0, Toronto FC lost on penalty kicks 5-4. It figures.
All in all, a game like that won’t win converts to the sport of soccer across Canada, with all the choppy play and injuries, the no-scoring, and of course the way it ended. That was no classic. The UEFA Champions League this is not.
And in other sports news from Toronto on Saturday night, UFC 206 at Air Canada Centre ended with Max Holloway winning the interim featherweight title in the third round beating Anthony Pettis. In all, it was surely a far more enjoyable evening for Toronto’s fight fans than for soccer fans at BMO Field. The results are here.
I’ve run out of things to say, so that is all for now.
And I still can’t believe it. Honestly, after witnessing Donald Trump’s campaign from the beginning, I have to come back to the question — how on earth could anyone run such an cringeworthy, divisive, unending gong show of a race and still win the White House?!
There is only one answer I can come up with: the Trump campaign wanted it more. That’s it, in a nutshell.
That, and the fact that voters really were mad as hell at Washington D.C., and they expressed their outrage the only way they could: by voting for the guy who wasn’t from D.C. and had no political experience. They sure as hell weren’t going to change things by voting in Hillary Clinton, that was for sure. They were ready to boot the Establishment, and Trump connected with that mood and caught fire in a major way. It was a sight to behold.
His campaign simply outworked and outhustled Clinton. No doubt about it, Trump’s criss-crossing of the country, staging rallies in so many of these battlegrounds, paid off. He even paid visits this year to places like Montana and North Dakota, and my buddy Brian Zinchuk even went down to North Dakota and hurled questions at Trump at a news conference there — the highlight of his career.
Trump went everywhere, and it paid off. I think it was telling that Trump made a last-minute decision to stage one last rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan the night before the election — after hearing that Hillary was staging a rally there. Trump left nothing to chance. No wonder he won the election, in spite of himself.
During this campaign, Donald Trump was crude, lewd, and oftentimes rude. He insulted opponents, had no end of verbal gaffes and embarrassments, and was embroiled in controversy right from the beginning. Members of his own party disowned him, his own convention was chaotic, and the debates were a circus act. The media absolutely hated him, with editorial boards all over the United States rejecting his bid for President.
And yet Trump won the campaign. For better or worse, everyone was talking about him, all campaign long.
He won by setting the agenda from day one. His issues — on immigration, trade, terrorism and law and order — were exactly in tune with the hot issues going on in America. The Democrats kept on trashing him for promoting this dark vision of America, but the reality is Trump was in tune with what was happening, and proposing to address the problems. I still think he was offering dead-wrong solutions, building walls and all that, but at least he was proposing something.
As for Hillary Clinton, all the baggage associated with her 33,000 deleted emails and all the other failures and controversies that she and the Democrats had been associated with over the past eight years finally caught up with her. What finished her off was when James Comey reopened the FBI investigation into her emails, and that simply reminded voters about all the reasons why they hated the Clintons.
But I think what really ticked people off was her campaign’s overall disrespect for the electorate. It really was one of the most arrogant, above-the-fray campaigns I have ever seen anywhere. When Hillary went on stage to label Trump voters as “deplorables,” it really was an insult to the voters. You can’t do that in an election — you can’t slam the supporters of the other candidate. It’s as if you’re ignoring their legitimate concerns. I think that statement made people even more mad, particularly these suffering blue-collar workers who felt their concerns weren’t being taken seriously, and it made them even more determined to get rid of the Democrats.
That was probably the biggest gaffe of the campaign — bigger than all of Trump’s gaffes, and that says a lot.
And Hillary was totally out-hustled on the stump, holding fewer rallies and blowing off entire states like Wisconsin because her campaign assumed that state was in the bag. Meanwhile, Trump had gone to Milwaukee and made his big speech there imploring African-Americans to abandon the do-nothing Democrats. (“What have you got to lose?”) As I said, the Trump campaign was everywhere.
For me, the surprise of the election was what happened in Wisconsin. I simply couldn’t believe Wisconsin had gone for Trump. I was watching the Fox News coverage online on election night and when they called Wisconsin for Trump, I was going “OMG, Trump is going to win.”
And then they called Pennsylvania for Trump, where Trump was trailing almost all night, and I couldn’t believe that, either. This was the political equivalent of the Cubs winning the World Series.
The flip of the whole rust belt from blue to red — Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania — was the deciding factor of the election, just as director Michael Moore had predicted when he wrote about it over the summer. The same voters who put President Barack Obama back into office because of his bailout of the auto industry were the same ones who were mad as hell this time about NAFTA and TPP and their jobs being shipped overseas.
No doubt about it — the voters of the rustbelt are the kingmakers of American politics. They elected Ronald Reagan (the famed “Reagan Democrats”), they put in Bill Clinton and then Obama, and now they’ve put in Trump. And I’m surprised, because Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have notorious reputations for letting down Republican presidential candidates on election night. They couldn’t even carry Wisconsin with Paul Ryan on the Romney ticket in 2012. The last GOP candidate to carry Wisconsin was, in fact, Reagan. The last one to carry Pennsylvania was Bush, in 1988.
Every election since then, the GOP would think they would have a chance to win these states, and every time, they’d lose. Until last Tuesday. Holy cow.
You could tell that all the Clinton supporters at the Javits Center in New York were shellshocked on election night by what transpired. It seemed like they really took it hard, everyone was crying.
It’s bad enough to lose an election even when you expect it, but it’s far worse when you think you’re about to make history (first female President) and when almost all the polls had your side winning the election. Instead, you are sitting there in the hall watching the big screen and witnessing shock defeats in absolute locks like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania and Michigan, three states you thought for sure were going to put you in the White House. No wonder the Clinton supporters were crying or throwing up.
We should have seen this upset coming, though. Everyone saw the big crowds and excitement Trump was getting in these states, everyone saw the outrage being expressed in the primary results of both parties, no less, and yet right to the end of the campaign no one wanted to believe it.
Well, believe it. The craziness we have come to expect in American politics over the last year, ever since that famous Trump escalator ride to announce his candidacy, gets to continue on for four long years.
And then we’ll have another election. You know what we’re in for in 2020: the same clown show we got in 2016. Trump II: The Sequel. God help us all.
So, that is about all I have to say about the US election. Now, it’s time to decompress and look forward to the next big election campaign of significance.
That’s right, folks: the French presidency! “France 2017.” But honestly, the French will have an impossible task topping what we just witnessed from the USA.
On Wednesday night after I was covering the Conservative leadership debate in Saskatoon, I stopped in at Wendy’s for a bite to eat before the long drive home.
There I watched, mouth wide open, all the coverage on TV of people protesting the election win of Donald Trump in the streets of Chicago.
And it has not stopped, it has kept going all week. Every night, it’s a new Trump protest somewhere: Dallas. Miami. Los Angeles. New York. You name it. But it sounds like the worst of the rioting was in Portland, where someone was shot and several people were arrested.
These protests have included some clashes with police and roads and highways blocked off, and all the usual nonsense we have come to expect down there when people are aggrieved. It looks as if there are even more of these protests planned for tonight. There will probably be more tomorrow. And Monday. And Tuesday…
The news organizations are referring to these as “anti-Donald Trump” protests, but that’s being charitable. I much prefer another term being used by people to describe these marches in the streets: “sore loser protests.”
You know what this reminds me of? It reminds me of the Vancouver hockey riots back in 2011 when the Vancouver Canucks lost the seventh game of the Stanley Cup finals to the Bruins. It’s the exact same thing. People took that defeat as their cue to go out and cause mayhem in the streets. They broke windows, they set things on fire, you name it. Honestly, it was embarrassing to watch. “Sore losers” is right.
And what’s going on now in the USA is embarrassing. These people are going around and refusing to accept Trump as the president, and refusing to accept his legitimacy to be Commander in Chief. “Not my President!” they are saying.
I know, it stinks to be on the losing side of an election. I’ve been there. But you don’t usually go so far as to disavow the President or riot in the streets.
Normally, for most people on the losing side, you curse the results or throw a few things, or write angry editorials or letters to the editor, or go and vent on social media about how terrible a result this is and what a terrible choice the voters made.
And that ought to be about it. Once you’ve calmed down, you finally say “the people are always right” in a democracy, and you accept the will of the voters and then get to work to try and reverse the result next time. In the meantime, you are free to express your opposition to the regime’s policies in a civilized manner. That is how a free and civilized democracy usually should function.
But these people in the streets — they don’t want to accept the results of the election. They’re not waiting four long years for another election, they want Trump out now. So they’re staging these protests, every freaking night this week.
It’s not as if they don’t have legitimate things to be mad about with Trump, after all the terrible things he’s had to say about Mexicans and Muslims and all that. The problem is now is not the time for this.
The country is trying to unify itself after the election. This has been a very divisive campaign and people on both sides, Trump included, are now trying to smooth things over and say all the right things. Trump on election night couldn’t have been more gracious, and the same for his meeting with President Barack Obama.
The folks in D.C. are at least attempting to heal the wounds of the election, but these protesters in the streets clearly aren’t interested.
Message to the protesters: a big reason why Trump won is because voters are fed up with all the protests and riots in the streets in these major cities! They sent a message on Election Day, a big one, that what’s going on in the USA has got to stop. By staging these “sore loser” protests, these professional agitators aren’t changing anyone’s views about Trump. Likely, quite the opposite: folks are seeing this and looking forward even more to Jan. 20, when Trump takes over and finally imposes law and order on the country.
Isn’t that supposed to be the point of protesting? To sway people? To influence people to see things your way? Well, it sure ain’t working here. In fact, these marches and rallies are turning people right off.
It’s time to go home, folks. Marching in the streets about Trump is not doing a thing to change people’s minds.
Apparently, the calls came in en masse for Wisconsin from the news organizations to put Donald Trump over the top.
And now Fox News has called it, and apparently Hillary Clinton has called Trump to concede.
It has been a bad last several days for “Crooked Hillary” Clinton, as Donald Trump loves to call her. All this business of these emails showing up on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, followed by FBI director James Comey reopening the investigation of the Clinton emails, has opened the hornets’ nest against Clinton in the past several days.
It has been nonstop coverage for days of Clinton scandals: deleted emails, the Clinton Foundation, everything to do with Weiner, you name it. Plus, you have all these WikiLeaks happening. It has been dismal.
All the Clinton critics, who say this is all a preview of what a Hillary Clinton administration would be like, are absolutely right! It’s going to be four long years of scandal and investigations of Hillary, assuming she isn’t impeached first. This woman truly is looking like the female Nixon.
Then you look at the opposition and you go “what a choice!” Still, it seems like some people are beginning to forget how big a P.T. Barnum act the Trump campaign has been up to this point.
He’s been on a roll lately going to rally after rally, attracting big crowds and bashing “Crooked Hillary”, and assuring them “we’ll build the wall,” and urging voters to “drain the swamp!”.
Clearly, the race is getting tight again. Supposedly, there are states in play that have no business being in play at this point in the election: New Hampshire is too close to call, and Michigan is too close to call, and both campaigns are fighting in Pennsylvania, and the Trump campaign even plans a trip to Minnesota of all places!
Last night, though, was scary down in Reno, Nevada, as Trump was rushed off the stage by security. I’m thinking that incident may have slowed down some of Trump’s most recent momentum, simply because it reminded people of all his other out-of-control rallies he has had.
One thing Trump’s campaign keeps pointing out is that Hillary can’t draw a crowd on her own, and he’s right. She has to rely on the celebrities all the time. The other night she had a rally featuring Beyoncé and rapper Jay-Z, and was it ever expletive laden, with Jay-Z dropping the F bomb and using the N word, and so on. And Trump called them out for it and criticized it.
Last night, Hillary had a rally in Philadelphia where Katy Perry showed up, and there is going to be another big Hillary rally in Philadelphia on Election Eve in which they roll out Jon Bon Jovi. All in all, Trump isn’t impressed, he’s saying he doesn’t need any big celebrities at his rallies to draw people in. (Of course, Trump himself is a big celebrity but he glosses over that fact.)
Anyway, it seems to me Trump has the momentum right now, but whether it can carry him over the top is another question. It could be simply a case of the Republican base coming home to him, now that they all realize that Hillary has to be stopped at all cost. What’s going on reminds me of the end of Mitt Romney’s campaign four years ago, when he also supposedly had all this momentum and these big rallies with lots of people showing up. And he still lost.
There are now conflicting polls as to who’s actually ahead in this race. Quite honestly, I don’t think I believe any polls anymore after so many of them were wrong about Brexit, the British election, the Israel election, and even the Iceland election just last week. Remember these polls predicting an anti-establishment “Pirate” victory? What nonsense that turned out to be.
As for these latest US polls — while ABC News/Washington Post and most others gives the lead to Clinton, others such as Investors Business Daily and the USC/LA Times tracking poll have Trump in front!
Folks, somebody’s going to be wrong on Election Day. Whichever polling firms are wrong surely deserve to be put out of business.
Update: Now Comey has made his announcement that the review into these new emails is completed and the decision not to prosecute Clinton stands.
I don’t know what to make of this latest development. I’m sure the Clinton supporters will say “see, she isn’t crooked after all,” but Trump’s supporters will surely say Hillary’s getting away with something. So this latest news could just as easily hurt Hillary instead of help her, if the voters feel the same way.
Someone tried to storm the stage at Donald Trump’s rally tonight in Reno, Nevada and Trump was rushed off the stage by the Secret Service. Scary business, but it appears order was restored quickly. Story here.
So, anyway, after spending the last several days sounding the alarm about potential voter fraud and how the election is “rigged”, the latest Donald Trump controversy that emerged from Wednesday’s big debate is how he wouldn’t commit to accepting the results of the election.
So that set up his big announcement today, in which Trump went before a rally full of people and announced that he will absolutely accept the results of the presidential election… “if I win!”
I think Trump played the media here. The freak-out media-cycle reaction to all of Trump’s “rigged” election talk, plus all this coverage today, has simply meant more free publicity for the Donald on the nightly news and on cable TV. It’s more domination of the news cycle by Trump. For better or for worse, this has been going on all campaign long.
Moreover, as Mika Brzezinski pointed out on Morning Joe, it’s the Democrats who look hypocritical in their freak-out reaction to this issue because, frankly, if anyone has had trouble accepting election results, it’s THEM.
2000: Al Gore challenges the Florida results in court, and the presidential election isn’t settled for weeks;
2004: John Kerry campaign takes several hours to accept the results in Ohio before finally conceding; lots of talk from Democrats afterwards about how the voting machines were rigged for Bush.
It’s not only Trump who has trouble accepting results, then.
Well, why the heck should Trump want to accept defeat in advance of the election, anyway? Isn’t he about “winning”, and doesn’t he want to “Make America Great Again”?
We are at the weekend, a time when we all ought to take time out from following politics to tune into baseball or football, or hockey, or soccer from England like I’m doing now. Whatever will get you away from the nonstop, unedifying politics on CNN and Fox News.
This whole week has been a gong show, with the New York Times and others interviewing all these women hurling sexual accusations at Donald Trump, followed by Trump’s vicious pushback and threats to sue the Times, and his other rantings and ravings. He’s also been fighting fellow Republicans and trashing the “Establishment”. This Trump campaign is back to being what it was during the primaries: a maniacal, anti-everyone campaign.
All the bad campaign habits that the Trump effort needed to get out of its system before Labor Day are back and as bad as ever — undisciplinedness, going off-message, nonstop attacks on everyone in sight, you name it. Worse yet, his controversies managed to upstage this week’s latest WikiLeaks dump. This week ought to have been a thoroughly embarrassing one for Hillary Clinton, but this news is all being lost in the shuffle.
The “air of death” is rapidly taking over the Trump sinking ship. Americans are sick of Trump’s craziness and scandals, not to mention the general combativeness and hyper-partisanship of his biggest supporters who appear on TV. Even the attacks on Hillary Clinton and her hilarious husband Bill are getting tiresome, it just makes his whole campaign look negative. He’s clearly losing, and everyone knows it except Trump’s die-hard supporters who still are convinced he is winning.
Why do we know he is losing? According to this week’s polls, apparently even Utah is in play now, thanks in large part to Evan McMullin’s spoiler role there on the ballot. If it is even a race in Utah, a state that is traditionally one of the reddest Red States in the whole Union, Trump can forget the White House. Period. End of statement.
That was yet another crazy extra-inning win last night, capped off by Josh Donaldson running home from second after a double-play attempt was messed up at first base. The 7-6 win puts the Blue Jays into the American League Championship Series, again.
Anyway, I am delighted with the play of the Blue Jays during this post-season; they are finally playing like the team everyone expected them to be. As for whether they win the World Series, who knows? I am just trying to enjoy the ride as long as it goes.
Last night, I ended up tuning in both this game and the presidential debate at the same time — which was easy to do. I would either watch the debate and listen to the big game on the radio, or I would have the radio on the debate and watch the game.
I’m sorry, but that debate last night was a circus, even before it started. In fact, its biggest moment came before the debate when Donald Trump held a surprise press conference in which he paraded out Bill Clinton’s accusers. That set the tone for the whole evening, as the debate was vicious in tone. Trump and Clinton were hurling accusations at one another and the moderators kept on interrupting. They may have called it a “presidential debate” but the tone sure didn’t come across as “presidential.”
A few are suggesting Trump saved his campaign with his performance. The NY Daily News isn’t convinced: their front page showed a picture of Trump holding the back of his chair with the headline “Grab a seat, loser!” I don’t know what to think of this race anymore; Abraham Lincoln he is not.
Also, the fallout continues from that incendiary sexually-charged banter between Trump and Billy Bush caught on tape from 2005. Now word is Bush has been suspended from the Today Show, pending further review of the matter.
Personally, I think Bush is probably finished at that show, all because of this one tape from 11 years ago that people are freaking out over now. Quite honestly, I kind of think he is getting a raw deal here, because it seems to me that what transpired in that situation was mainly Trump’s doing (his big mouth again, etc.). I think Bush has simply gotten caught up in the toxic, uptight atmosphere of 2016, that’s what I think. I notice his ex-Access Hollywood colleague Kit Hoover was in tears over this, talking about it on Access Hollywood Live, saying this wasn’t the Billy Bush she knew and how great a guy Bush really was.
In other news, I notice one of Trump’s former casinos in Atlantic City, the Taj Mahal, has closed today. This is the fifth major casino to close there in recent years, and all in all these really are sad times for Atlantic City.
Anyway, enough of that. I plan to spend my day today goofing off. Now that the Blue Jays have some days off, that frees me up to watch old James Bond movies or do something constructive with my time.
Update: I agree with Rush Limbaugh, these “October surprise” smears are exactly what turns people off of politics!
But I also agree with Bob Schieffer! That debate last night really was disgraceful.
Oh, what the heck, I might as well talk about Donald Trump. Heck, everyone else is. In fact, I find it fascinating that Trump’s legendarily oversized mouth managed to upstage an entire massive fearsome hurricane in the news cycle yesterday.
What is worse, this was Trump’s big mouth from 2005 coming back to haunt him, with lewd “hot mic” remarks to Billy Bush, then of Access Hollywood, about trying to “f—” a married woman, and of grabbing women by the “p—y”, and so on. And it was all caught on tape!
Now, it’s been reported the married woman Trump was referring to was none other than Nancy O’Dell. Yikes.
Anyway, Trump has issued an apology — rare for him, I know. This is the latest embarrassment forcing Republicans to run for cover this election cycle. Many GOPers are distancing themselves and some are either revoking their endorsements or even calling on Trump to step down as the candidate.
All this is nothing new, this sort of thing has gone on all campaign long. What’s new is that it hasn’t stopped yet! In fact, it shows no sign of stopping, ever! The fact that these big “bozo eruptions” just keep on happening on a consistent basis — every couple of weeks or so, by my estimate — is surely Trump’s downfall. All this does is remind people on the fence about what a gong show the Presidency would become if Trump got in.
I guess there’s another Presidential debate tomorrow, but I’m rapidly losing interest in this race now — I’m simply fed up with all the mudslinging. I don’t know if I’m in the mood to see Hillary Clinton run laps around the hopeless Trump yet again in a debate.
In fact, I think the big debate is up against the Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers Game 3 of the playoffs. Well, that settles that. I’m definitely watching the Blue Jays, and hopefully they will beat up on the Rangers again and advance to the ALCS.
As for Hurricane Matthew, I tuned in the coverage yesterday as the storm skirted the north coasts of Florida. Today, it made landfall in South Carolina, and it sounds as if the place is in store for lots of flooding.
I think I now know why the weather and media folks in the USA were freaking out about people not taking hurricane warnings seriously. It’s because of the likes of Matt Drudge, who sent out tweets claiming government officials were exaggerating the storm’s impact!! And of course, this talk simply encourages people to disbelieve all the officials and weather forecasters, when the fact is they need to pay attention to them, for once.
Folks, this storm is terrible, and if you don’t believe me, believe the reports out of Haiti where the death toll could be over 800 people.
That’s enough from me for today.
Based on what I saw of it — and this particular exchange (courtesy CNBC) struck me as a good example of what happened tonight — I don’t see the dynamics of the race changing much based on this debate.
Hillary Clinton seemed smug and condescending, that’s the best way to describe it. And Trump was Trump, same as usual. In short, it was exactly what I expected: politicians fighting below the belt.
The folks at NRO’s “The Corner” weren’t impressed with Donald Trump, obviously, and seem convinced that he lost the debate. But they don’t seem too sure that Hillary picked up any ground. Jim Geraghty says it all with the headline of If This Night Doesn’t Save Hillary’s Campaign, Nothing Will.
Meanwhile, Bob Schieffer of CBS News was of the view this debate didn’t sway many voters, which I agree with. But what interested me more was the CBS post debate poll on the same page, one that showed 69 percent thought Trump won the debate. And the poll over at Drudge was even more lopsided for Trump.
I don’t know what the heck these folks at home were watching to give them that opinion (Football? The WWE?), but it’s been that kind of election.
It’s on! Hillary Clinton takes on Donald Trump tonight in the first presidential debate, which many expect will be a bloodbath, with no end of mudslinging and low blows by both candidates. Stuck moderating tonight is Lester Holt.
Here is my take on what will happen. They will have their debate, and once it is over everyone will trip over themselves talking about how Hillary won the debate, and how energetic and healthy she looked on stage, and how excellent her command of the issues was compared to Trump, and so on.
And then everyone will be surprised days from now when polls move in Trump’s direction! Why is this going to happen? Because this is exactly how it has played out before, debate after debate, during this entire campaign. It never mattered how good his opponents did in these debates; it never mattered what insults Trump hurled or what outrageous statements he made, or whether the audience booed him, or even whether he showed up for these debates at all. Trump still won in the end, because no matter how good his opponents looked, it was Trump’s message that was always in tune with what people “out there” are thinking in America.
Keep this backdrop in mind when you listen to all the post-debate analysis tonight — I’m certain the pundits will end up looking silly in the end. Unfortunately, I can’t tune in this whole spectacle tonight, I have to be at a city council meeting.
Welcome to News from Nowhere, and we all wake up on this NFL Sunday to the story about the explosion in the Chelsea area of New York City last night that injured 29 people. The officials are calling this an intentional act.
So the United States is back to being in chaos. As I have said before, every time these mayhem stories hit the news I’m convinced it means more votes for Donald Trump, because this sure as heck doesn’t look good for Hillary Clinton or her buddy Barack Obama, or anyone else in power now. Mr. Trump, a.k.a. “Mr. Law-and-Order”, doesn’t even need to lift a finger or to say something. Whenever something terrible happens in the USA, it hits the news, and the news cycle ends up talking about Trump’s main issues whether the “liberal media” wants to or not.
As for the rest of this week in politics: everyone was still going on and on talking about Hillary’s health after her very public collapse on 9/11. Also, Trump took time to release his medical records on the Dr. Oz show, and the usual people who are too into politics are complaining this wasn’t enough, either — that he’s hiding something. I’m sorry, but Trump wasn’t the one who collapsed in public and had pneumonia this week.
Beyond that, though, I think this is getting to be a big sideshow. It’s time for everyone to chill out about the health of the candidates and get on with talking about some real issues again, but nobody seems to want to do that. I notice another controversy that people are mad about is that Trump had finally conceded Obama was born in the USA, after years of publicly questioning his citizenship and his eligibility to be President. It’s this focus on the non-issues, the sideshows and the other distractions that are the real reason people are sick of this race and sick of these two candidates. You just want to turn these cable news channels right off.
With that rant done, I should say Trump has finally shown some discipline and has had another relatively good week of staying out of trouble (mostly). Now the polls have this race neck and neck which nobody thought was possible a few weeks ago. Indeed, the Democrats have reason to be nervous.
On to the third parties now, and there are table scraps of good news to report about the Libertarian campaign of the Gary Johnson-William Weld ticket. Some newspapers have finally noticed that someone else other than Trump and Clinton is running for President, and they like what they see. In fact the New Hampshire Union Leader did something they hadn’t done in something like 100 years — they refused to endorse the top of the Republican ticket and endorsed Johnson-Weld instead.
The bad news for Johnson is that the polls still have him way, way under 15 percent, and because he doesn’t meet that completely arbitrary polling threshold, he is being refused a chance to be on the stage in the presidential debates.
Which, of course, is an affront to democracy, but it’s not the first time this sort of thing has happened this election year in the Undemocratic, I mean United States of America. Maybe it’s Johnson who should be the one going around saying this election is rigged, instead of Trump.
That’s all for the moment.
It has taken a while, but you have to admit the Donald Trump presidential campaign is starting to do some smart things.
His surprise trip to Mexico, meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto sure made the evening newscasts tonight, didn’t it?
It sort of reminded me of the Ronald Reagan meetings with Mikhail Gorbachev in the Eighties. There was Reagan, this big Cold Warrior who talked tough about the Soviets and about Communism, but he nevertheless got down to business with the Soviet leadership on arms control. Trump gave off the same vibe today. Maybe that’s exactly what Trump and his people had in mind: make it look like he was the next Reagan. Anyway, it was a smart move, overall, what he did today with this visit to Mexico. I’m guessing this impressed a lot of people.
Tonight, Trump returns to the USA for his big immigration address in Arizona. That should be interesting, and also a good opportunity for Trump to completely reverse any and all of his momentum yet again. As for Hillary Clinton, she was pretty dismissive about Donald’s whole visit to Mexico, saying “that is not how it works.”
Here is another of my updates on the US presidential election, as we are now a week ahead of Labor Day. But the candidates haven’t waited for Labor Day to start campaigning. The campaign has been on for a while.
In general, this past week has been a bad one for “Crooked Hillary” Clinton. All this business about her leaked emails and the revelations about the Clinton Foundation and how it operated — with accusations about it being a pay-for-play scheme while she was running the State Department — have really damaged her as of late. What’s more, there is the spectre that Julian Assange and WikiLeaks might have an “October surprise” dump of emails to be released later this fall to embarrass Hillary, just in time for the election.
So Hillary has been trying to “change the channel”, as they say, this week. She had her big speech in Reno, Nevada, which she launched a blistering attack on the “Alt Right” crowd said to be infiltrating Donald Trump’s campaign, and basically accused Trump of being a racist. That didn’t seem to go over too well. A lot of people seem to think Hillary went off-message with this attack.
While this was going on, Trump was spending all week looking like he wasn’t a racist, for a change. In particular, he has been making a major play for the African-American vote. He’s been busy bashing the Democrats, and particularly Democratic-run city councils all over America, for running their inner cities into the ground.
Trump was pointing out how bad African-Americans had it in these inner-cities — no jobs, getting shot, etc. — and was saying the Democrats were taking their vote for granted, so why not vote for him? “What have you got to lose?” Trump is saying.
It wasn’t a perfect week for Trump. He also was in the news for flip-flopping on his formerly hardline stance to deport all the illegal immigrants, but this doesn’t seem to have hurt him with his own supporters. In fact, it may even help him with voters still on the fence, who may now think Trump is finally grabbing some sense on the issue. Still, it’s funny because Trump spent the entire primary season bashing his opponents for being soft on illegal immigration, and now here he is softening-up himself.
Of course, Trump also got in trouble again for yet another of his crazy tweets, this time over the shooting death of a cousin of Dwyane Wade, but this is nothing new. People are used to this by now.
Despite this latest hiccup, this was still a better week for Trump than it was for “Crooked Hillary”. The polls are getting closer. Plus, Trump’s crowds are still big, including at that rally with his new buddy Nigel Farage of Brexit fame.
This week was also a good preview of what we can all expect over the next two months until Election Day: a total bloodbath. Nothing less.
The news of the day is that the Donald Trump 2016 presidential run has taken on Steve Bannon to head their campaign.
Steve Bannon is the same guy who is executive chairman of Breitbart, the man who turned that organization away from being a mainstream conservative website to being a full-on vehicle for Trump and for the “Alt Right.” For those who don’t know what that means, as best as I have figured it out the Alt Right describes the nationalist, protectionist, isolationist, white-supremacist, anti-everyone crowd.
Needless to say, mainstream conservatives like Ben Shapiro, who worked for Bannon at Breitbart before quitting over the Michelle Fields fiasco, are appalled. In general, they see the Bannon hire as evidence Trump is going all-in with the Alt Right crowd instead of trying to expand his base – a sure-fire way to lose an election.
Also hired as campaign manager is Kellyanne Conway, which is fine, but she’s not really a professional campaign organizer as far as I can tell — she’s more an established professional pollster, which is different. I guess my main issue is that Trump really needs people who know how to run and organize on the ground and who can mobilize people to get out the vote, James Carville or Ed Rollins types of people. Bannon and Conway know about media and about messaging, which is great, but elections are ultimately won or lost on the ground.
And that’s the problem — Trump’s ground organization looks like a mess. I’m reading reports that Trump doesn’t even have many field offices set up in states he needs to win. Trump needs organization and he needs to start being presidential, but this Bannon hire is an especially bad sign. Pundits see it as a sign that Trump is determined to run a rock-em, sock-em campaign whether Republicans, or voters, like it or not.
Update: Kellyanne Conway went on PBS NewsHour and categorically told Judy Woodruff ‘no’, Trump is not embracing the Alt Right philosophy.
I don’t have a lot to say in News from Nowhere. Just two items:
First, Donald Trump gave a very tough foreign policy speech today in Youngstown in which he proposed turning all of the USA’s attention towards defeating Radical Islamic Terrorism. And for once, Trump didn’t look or sound half-crazy like he usually does.
The other news is the violence that erupted on the weekend in Milwaukee after another police shooting of an African-American, and the rioting that erupted afterwards sounded really bad — so scary, in fact, that reporters felt particular unsafe and even pulled out of there. Milwaukee sure ain’t the land of Happy Days or Laverne and Shirley any more, is it?
That is all for tonight.
I continue to watch with horror the wretched presidential campaign of Donald Trump. It’s getting to be just one new low after another.
In particular, Trump’s unique brand of confrontation-style campaigning is catching up with him — at least, I think it is — with this latest stupid pointless fight he has picked with the Khans.
This is the Muslim-American family whose son was killed in Iraq, and both parents took to the podium at the Democratic convention in Philadelphia to denounce Trump. Khizr Khan stood up and trashed Trump and said Trump “sacrificed nothing” for his country. In response, Trump has reacted in his usual take-no-prisoners sort of way, trashing Khan in an interview and then trashing his wife for staying silent during that whole convention speech — suggesting she maybe wasn’t being allowed to speak because of her religion.
That brought out the usual condemnation we have come to expect, not only from Democrats but also from the likes of Republicans such as Jeb Bush and John McCain.
“While our Party has bestowed upon him the nomination, it is not accompanied by unfettered license to defame those who are the best among us,” McCain stated. Jeb tweeted out that Trump’s comments were “so incredibly disrespectful.” But, honestly, what Trump did was nothing new. This is what Trump has done all along — he’s gone after people who go after him.
In other news, Trump continues to take on all comers by going around claiming this election is rigged. He has been publicly trashing debate organizers for scheduling the debates up against NFL football, and he’s also going after the media and trashing CNN, calling them the Clinton News Network. On that last point, he’s right! But still, Trump needs to do a better job of picking his fights. Right now, Trump looks like he is bashing everyone in sight. He looks unhinged, and really is hurting his own cause with all his pointless feuds and fights.
Of course, Trump’s past feuds with McCain and Jeb have now come back to haunt him, with both of them trashing him in print over this Khan nonsense. This is what happens when you run a confrontation-style campaign bashing other people: you tick those people off.
And if you tick off enough of them, they come back for revenge later on. Why? Because it’s fun to do.
Trump needs to dial it back. Immediately.
May I also point out that the New York Post did their own hatchet job on Mr. Trump in recent days by running ages-old naked photos of the “future First Lady”, Melania Trump, on their front page for two days in a row.
But honestly, I don’t give a care about that. First of all, she’s not going to be First Lady at this rate anyway, the way her husband is going. Second of all, she’s not the one running for office. As I said before, Melania Trump isn’t a politician, likely has never aspired to be First Lady to begin with, and probably doesn’t give a damn about politics! Period. She’s a professional supermodel from Slovenia, and a really successful one at that.
And what do successful supermodels sometimes do to make a good living? They pose nude for photo shoots. The coolest supermodels have all done it: Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen, Cindy Crawford, Elle Macpherson, Heidi Klum etc. etc.
Honestly, I don’t see what the NY Post is trying to prove by shaming Melania over her racy photo-shoot past. Most people think they should give up already.
Update (Wednesday): Well, apparently GOP people are now freaking out about all the fights Trump has gotten into lately — apparently he is in a senseless feud with Paul Ryan now, too — and there is increasing talk of party officials and supporters staging an intervention to try and get him back on track. Good luck with that!! The Trump campaign is a gong show.
Another update (Thursday): the latest poll numbers for Trump are terrible.
So here we go, the final night of the GOP convention, and Donald Trump will be giving his acceptance speech tonight on what sounds like a “law and order” theme. Thank God, I was getting tired of listening to all this Hillary-bashing. Right now, the RNC chair Reince Priebus is up there bashing Clinton. It’s basically the same stuff we’ve heard all week.
Hopefully, Trump will be more reserved in the Hillary-bashing and will look “presidential” tonight, for a change. His daughter Ivanka speaks tonight, too.
As for Ted Cruz, he explained today there was no way he was going to endorse someone who had insulted his wife and insulted his father like Trump had. So you can basically blame last night’s Cruz speech debacle on Trump, too, because he went too far during the campaign in bashing Cruz. What goes around, comes around.
As for my further thoughts on Trump’s nomination, here is my newspaper column which ran this week, in which I try to make sense of his rise to the top of the Republican Party. The key word is “try”. Obviously, I don’t think I’ll ever make any sense of him.
I guess the other big news on this day was of Roger Ailes resigning from Fox News, so if Fox News anchors look a little distracted in today’s coverage, that is why.
That is all the news for now, time to watch the rest of the convention.
Based on what you would hear from most of these networks and reporters, you would think this convention is a total disaster. They were still on about the Melania Trump speech plagiarism and today, a speechwriter finally confessed to being responsible for this debacle.
Also, there is this behind-the-scenes snarling by the Trump people because Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn’t show up at the convention in his own state.
Other than that, this convention has gone pretty smoothly. There’s been far less violence in the streets than I expected.
And for all the talk about “establishment” figures not showing up, it sure seems like a lot of big Republican names are there speaking — Rudy Giuliani, Joni Ernst, Newt Gingrich etc. And you look at the lineup for tonight, and it’s not an insignificant group of people. So really, all this talk about big names not showing up is a little overblown.
As for the speeches in general, it continues to be a big Hillary Clinton bash-fest every night. Last night the most memorable speech was from Gov. Chris Christie who rattled off a long list of Hillary messes on the international stage, Benghazi included, and asked the audience repeatedly if she was “guilty or not guilty”? Of course, the delegates were bloodthirsty as usual with their cries of “lock her up!”
As well, there was a speech by Dana White praising Trump, which makes you think Trump must not be such a bad guy after all. Hey, if Trump likes the UFC, he must be a good guy. ( Republicans didn’t used to be in the UFC’s corner; I recall that former nominee John McCain was one of the people who really went after the UFC back in the day.)
Anyway, today I’m finding these proceedings in Cleveland are getting to be boring. We are getting one speech after another praising Donald Trump and bashing Hillary, and it really has gotten to the point where this is sounding like a big campaign infomercial. Next week’s Democratic convention in Philadelphia promises to be even more of the same, in reverse.
Tonight’s lineup includes a speech from Ted Cruz, and earlier today CNN’s Dana Bash was breaking the big news that there was no mention of an endorsement of Trump in his speech. So that is what the reporters have been reduced to — reporting big breaking news on whether the party is unified. Also, Gov. Mike Pence speaks tonight as well to accept the VP nod.
That is what is happening at the convention. Now, here is the rest of the news of the day:
I guess the other big political news of the day was that Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos has been banned for life on Twitter for getting into a vicious Twitter fight with Leslie Jones of Ghostbusters. People are really up in arms about this on social media, claiming free speech is being attacked.
Which reminds me… Box office news from the weekend: The Secret Life of Pets edged out Ghostbusters, $50.5 million to $46 million.
In other entertainment news producer Garry Marshall of Happy Days fame has died.
And the field is set for the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event, to be held in November.
That is it for now.
Update: and in big breaking news, the GOP convention is a gong show again. Ted Cruz was booed off the stage after he failed to endorse Trump in his speech. He actually told the delegates to “vote your conscience“. Wow.
Sen. Jeff Sessions has just put Donald Trump’s name into nomination, and now the roll call is about to begin. CNN is reporting there could be issues on the floor with some of these holdout pro-Ted Cruz states causing problems and forcing individual polling of the states. Anyway, it’s starting.
Update: it’s done, Trump is officially the GOP nominee, but with several opposition votes cast for Ted Cruz and other people. Most opposition votes against any GOP nominee since 1976.
From this point on, and for the next two weeks, The John Cairns Blog will be updating as much as possible with live US political convention coverage, starting with the Republicans in Cleveland with their National Convention, followed by the Democrats in Philadelphia the following week. I’m also planning be active on Twitter, as much as possible. I guess I’m going to be “sort of active” on Facebook, but that will just be the usual re-posts of my blog links for the Facebook audience.
It ought to be interesting, both inside and outside the QuickenLoans Arena. If you believe the media, though, this is sure to be a terrible convention, with lots of party infighting and plenty of big party names not showing up because Donald Trump is the nominee.
Also, I notice people are already blasting the party platform and saying how right wing it is. Anyway, we’ll see what the convention will be like. Trump’s speech, surely, is not to be missed.
I’m going to try and muster some enthusiasm for covering this convention, but honestly, I think I am burned out on political coverage. Sort of like… Luke Russert. (See previous post.)
Seriously, I’ve had my fill of political coverage in my own job for months. Besides, I am supposed to be on vacation. Now that I finally have my freedom back, I want to be free to enjoy the fun things in life again (summer, travel, watching sports events, etc.), instead of focusing on all this political nonsense as I have been doing. So expect my latest coverage to be a little more haphazard for that reason as well.
On to the latest news. Today was meant to be the big announcement by Trump that Indiana governor Mike Pence would be his running mate. However the terror situation over in France, with so many people killed in Nice, has cast an obvious pall over all things today.
So that official live announcement will now go tomorrow at 11 am in New York, but Trump has already spilled the beans on Twitter. This is probably the biggest political news we are going to get out of the Republicans — next week promises to be all about putting on a show.
That is all for the moment.
Today, I am going to link to the flood of stories stemming from Donald Trump’s unhinged, inflammatory post-Orlando mess of a speech in Manchester, New Hampshire the other day. The speech has basically drawn negative reviews from just about everyone I’ve seen.
I tuned in Trump’s speech myself the other day and honestly, it was quite jaw-dropping. About half the time I was going “right on, Donald, you give ’em hell!” while the other half was “Trump is completely nuts!!”
His effort Monday really reminded me of speeches WWE wrestlers would give at Wrestlemania or somewhere like that. It really was down to that level, this speech.
As I said before many times, Trump is really good at IDing the real problems facing America — like terrorism and ISIS. He’s excellent at that. What he is consistently no good at is articulating coherent, sensible, sober solutions on how to deal with these issues. And it’s been getting worse. In this New Hampshire speech, Trump takes the Islamophobic rhetoric to a new level as he slammed Muslim immigration, Syrian refugees, you name it. Now, the rest of the GOP are running for cover.
Anyway, here are some of the stories I’ve seen about Trump’s latest speech:
Donald Trump Has Lost the Plot – New Republic.
And in other news, Trump’s campaign has revoked the press credentials of the Washington Post. Typical.
And here’s an amusing piece, simply titled Sad!, on three campaign managers whose candidates all were hammered in the primaries by Donald Trump. All I will say is “sad!” aptly describes the state of the GOP and the entire presidential race at the moment.
It is the last primary night of the season, and I had to spend most of it on assignment. Anyway, there was little at stake, as Hillary Clinton has clinched the number of delegates needed for the Democratic nomination as of a day earlier. Victory in New Jersey simply was the icing on the cake tonight to remove all doubt. There is nothing more Bernie Sanders can do now to stop her. He may, or may not, finally quit — it would not surprise me if he stands on principle and fights on to the bitter end at the convention.
As for the Republicans, folks in that party probably wish there was some way to stop Donald Trump or shut his mouth — which, as you know, he has been opening again with incendiary remarks about a Mexican-American judge. Terrible. People have been hoping this guy would show some sign of turning the corner and becoming more presidential, but it isn’t happening. It just never stops with him.
Anyway, I’m going to now tune in to the California and Montana results to see if there is any drama left this night. I’m going to miss primary season — a lot.
Donald Trump may have wrapped up the GOP primaries but now the real work begins: winning the general election. It’s going to be a tough task, made tougher by the “hit pieces” that are already on full blast from the USA’s infamous “liberal” media.
It is not surprising to me; it is clear news organizations are out to get him. Already, we are hearing stories that the Washington Post has decided to assemble a team of 20 journalists devoted solely to digging dirt on Trump. Right, that sounds like an objective media organization to me. Just this weekend the New York Times, another liberal bastion, did its own piece attacking Trump for his attitudes to and alleged mistreatment of women.
Except — one of the women interviewed in that piece told Fox News that the NY Times totally twisted her words to make it sound like she had a bad experience with Trump! In fact, she likes Trump and says she is even going to vote for him!
Reporters are also going after Trump’s taxes, and other things that could supposedly damage him against Hillary Clinton. I expect even more attempts at “hit pieces” by the mainstream media against Trump, and frankly, more failures.
This, my friends, is why Trump is winning: people in the USA are fed up completely with politics as usual. They are fed up with the entire establishment and what they’ve done to the country. And that includes not only the political establishment but the media establishment, and their usual negative tactics of twisting people’s words and creating scandals. They are especially fed up with their usual bashing of Republicans. People are seeing these negative stories for what they are and figure this is all biased reporting, as usual, designed to help Hillary win. Moreover, Trump, unlike most previous GOP candidates, is completely unafraid about firing back on Twitter and calling out the news organizations for their B.S. reporting. (Newt Gingrich was another Republican unafraid to take on the press, as I recall. Most, however, are way too polite for their own good.)
Trump has already survived one media scandal after another: attacking Mexicans, attacking Muslims, attacking Megyn Kelly, attacking Pope Francis — the list is endless. And every time, after every media frenzy of his, he has come back bigger than ever with the voters.
The press has to watch its step, because I’m convinced every time an anti-Trump hit piece goes to print, it ends up turning into more votes for Trump. What worked in the old days for the mainstream media won’t anymore – not against the Donald.
This business about Trump acting as his own press person, though… strange.
Well, the final KO to this Republican presidential race was delivered Tuesday night in Indiana. Donald Trump won so handily that he has driven both Ted Cruz and John Kasich out of the race. Both are done, while Bernie Sanders, fresh off an Indiana victory, still trudges on in his hopeless Democratic race against Hillary Clinton. So the GOP race has ended, even before the Democratic race has. Those professional prognosticators who’ve bet against Trump and said he would never win look foolish today. This Republican presidential race is in the refrigerator.
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to miss all these Tuesday nights and Saturday nights tuning in to GOP primary and caucus results, and I’m going to miss all these wild Republican debates that have taken place. But there is a silver lining to all of this. We can now all look forward to this wild man Trump going out there on the stump and wreaking havoc on the American political establishment for several more months yet. And maybe for four years after that, too, in the White House.
It’s been fun, but trust me, more fun is ahead. We’re just getting started.
The big news today is that Sen. Ted Cruz, candidate for President of the United States, announced that his pick for the Vice-President spot on his ticket is Carly Fiorina. The problem for Cruz, though, is he’s got no ticket. The Cruz campaign just got completely walloped in the Northeast on Tuesday. His “ticket” got punched, all right, right in the face, yet Cruz is acting today as if things are all fine. They’re not! Not for him, anyway.
I’d be more interested in an announcement by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton about who they’d pick for Veep, because that is more likely to actually happen. All Cruz is doing is delaying the inevitable with this announcement, which looks to me like an attempt to get votes in California. At this stage Carly Fiorina has about as much chance of being elected Vice-President in 2016 as Kim Kardashian.
In other news, Trump gave a big policy speech today and I’m rather surprised because he actually sort of made sense, for a change. Story here.
It has been a big day and night of news. As you know, earlier I was waiting and watching for these dangerous tornadoes to hit Kansas and Oklahoma today. After a while, I got tired of waiting and tuned in the primary night coverage from the Northeast instead, where Donald Trump swept Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island on the GOP side, while Hillary Clinton has taken three states and Bernie Sanders one (Rhode Island) on the Democratic side. (Connecticut is still not decided as of this writing.)
To me, it still looks like Sanders is wasting his time remaining in the Democratic race. Trump actually just said in his speech tonight that he thinks Sanders ought to run as an independent! I’m guessing maybe he could, because that is the only shot he has now at the White House. If that indeed happens, wow, would that ever pose problems for Hillary.
As for the GOP side, it really looks now like John Kasich and Ted Cruz are wasting their time. I don’t see how anyone can make any kind of case of denying Trump the nomination, even though lots of Republicans still hate him. The cold hard truth is that Trump is winning too many states. I know Cruz and Kasich have this sort of “alliance” going now to try and stop Trump in the primaries, and I know Cruz is going through the motions interviewing vice-presidential candidates (including Carly Fiorina).
But efforts to deny Trump the nomination, after this latest string of wins, really do threaten to be a debacle for the party. If this happens at the convention it really will reek of the “establishment” trying to block the will of the people, and it would surely lead to Trump quitting the party and running as an independent. But I don’t think that will happen, because Trump looks like he will clean up the remaining states anyway. He is certainly going to take California, in my opinion. Honestly, this looks like it is all over but the shouting.
So that is my thought about that. The other thing I was following tonight was that crazy Toronto Raptors comeback against the Indiana Pacers to win 102-99 — a game decided right at the end when it was ruled Indiana failed to get off a three point bucket in time for the buzzer. So the Raptors are up in their series 3-2, and we’ll see if they can advance in game six.
And speaking of Indiana — that state is next up on the hit list for Trump and crew on the road to Cleveland.
This US primary season has lasted quite a bit longer than a lot of people thought it would, but it sure looks as if it is finally winding down for both the Democrats and Republicans.
In particular, the victories in New York of both Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side and Donald Trump on the Republican side has sobered both parties. Moreover, Ted Cruz was badly clobbered in New York, finishing in third place, behind even John Kasich. So the Cruz campaign has now just lost a ton of credibility and momentum. Cruz looks doomed, no matter what he does now.
Regarding Trump, I think this complete rout of his in New York has calmed down all the talk of a “brokered convention.” Even if he falls short of getting the magic number of delegates from the primaries, I think Trump may still end up rounding up enough delegates to come over to him so he can win on the first ballot anyway. The main thing is that Trump is back to winning primaries again, and the realization is slowly but surely setting in for the big shots in the GOP party that ignoring the will of the people, expressed in the primaries, is a big disaster waiting to happen for the GOP. So because the people want Trump, they have to accept him as the nominee, even if they can’t stand him.
Still, Trump does need to mend fences (which he seems to be doing now) and start being more presidential and less crazy; otherwise, he will have zero hope past the convention in Cleveland. Unfortunately, he shot off his big mouth again in opposing putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill, so I don’t know. It is exactly this type of thing that has been preventing Trump from completely putting this thing on ice. This race won’t be over until the Donald learns to shut up occasionally.
As for the Democrats, reality is setting in for everyone that Hillary has it pretty much locked up. New York was the last real hope for Bernie Sanders, and if he can’t make it there he can’t make it anywhere (twisting the words of Sinatra). Sanders had been on a big winning streak as of late, but was still well behind in the delegate count in spite of it all. In particular, he had made no progress at all in attracting super-delegates. Now, after Tuesday, it really looks like it is over.
I read this piece about the Sanders campaign and their supporters, and how they are dealing with all this. It is clear the Sanders supporters finally realize they cannot win and are having a hard time accepting it. I think the central campaign is having an even harder time accepting their fate. It looks as if this campaign might fight to the bitter end, no matter what. In fact, I read they’ve opened a campaign office in California. Not exactly a move a campaign would make if it was about to throw in the towel.
So the primary season may still go on a little while yet, but it looks to me like the end is in sight. Enjoy watching the primary night coverage on CNN on Tuesdays, while they last.
Actually, I don’t have much today, but I think Donald Trump’s abortion remarks this week, saying women should be punished for having an abortion, then recanting his statement –once again show his epic capacity to open his mouth before thinking. He’s done this sort of thing a lot; like, for the entire campaign.
The Guardian calls this latest gaffe the biggest crisis of his campaign, but people have said that about him over and over again, every time he has opened his mouth like this. Every time, it’s a crisis, they say, yet he keeps on winning. The crazier Trump is, the higher those poll numbers seem to get.
But this latest foot-in-mouth episode is going to haunt him in the general election, assuming Trump gets that far. Seriously, I’m still convinced all his nonsense will catch up with him. What the GOP establishment desperately hopes is that it catches up with him before he is handed the party nomination in Cleveland.
Brief update on the presidential race in the wake of “Western Tuesday,” which produced the split verdict a lot of people expected it would.
But yet again, the story is Donald Trump, who is now embroiled in, you guessed it, another fight. It looked for a moment this week as if he was turning the corner, becoming more presidential. But that was before he went and trashed the looks of Ted Cruz‘s wife Heidi, this after the Make America Awesome Super-PAC trashed Donald’s wife Melania over her racy GQ spread from years ago.
These people obviously didn’t get the memo that candidates’ wives are supposed to be off-limits during a campaign. This is another new low for a race that is full of them.
How many more months until the election? Not until November, you say?
I have been watching yet another Donald Trump livestream, this time of his big rally in Phoenix today. He was going on and on bashing China and Mexico and bashing his opponents, and calling Mitt Romney a loser again, and so on.
I’ve come to the conclusion Trump is just out of control. This week, the latest controversy was about whether or not Trump could be blocked from the Republican nomination at the national convention in Cleveland this summer. There is all this talk this week of a brokered convention, and Trump was going around saying that there would be riots at the convention if he was blocked from the nomination. People were up in arms and saying this talk disqualified Trump from the Presidency. This is on top of all the other outrageous things Trump has said or done to disqualify himself from the Presidency.
I don’t think Trump really wants to encourage people to riot at the convention — but he is giving the impression he couldn’t care less if violence happens or not. That is disturbing, because the one thing you need in the White House is someone who will at least stand up for maintaining order in the country. Heck, even when the polarizing Nixon got in, his theme was “bring us together.” But we aren’t getting any lip service to bridge-building from this Trump campaign, that is for sure. Trump ought to be telling his supporters to take the high road and cool off a little, but I don’t think he cares. That’s my take on it.
Increasingly, it looks like the voters don’t care, either. We shall see if the usually sane, upright GOP voters in Utah and Arizona, who are voting soon, will decide to reject all this Trump nonsense — or join the rest of the country in supporting it.
Update: I understand there were protesters blocking the highway to Trump’s rally today.