Posted by: maboulette | October 25, 2016

Kellyanne Conway’s and Donald Trump’s Bizarre Relationship


It’s almost as if Donald Trump’s campaign manager isn’t even talking to her candidate these days. Almost.

On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway took to NBC’s “Meet the Press” and gamely and forthrightly acknowledged reality. “We are behind,” she said, adding that they were down one to four points in key states. (Which is actually a little rosy.)

On Monday morning, Trump appeared to agree with her, telling a local news reporter that he was “somewhat behind in the polls.” Conway was apparently happy with this comment. She tweeted the following at about 3:30 p.m.

The problem? Her own candidate completely disagrees with her assessment that he’s actually behind, and he had already said so multiple times on Monday.

In a fiery and angry speech Monday afternoon in which he ripped into the media, the pollsters and all manner of alleged rigging of the election against him, Trump confidently declared, “We’re winning” multiple times. Remarkably, he said this just minutes before Conway’s tweet.

He added later: “Folks, we’re winning. We’re winning. We’re winning.”

And not only that; Trump had also said he was “winning” in a tweet Monday morning.

After all of this, Conway sends the tweet she did about Trump acknowledging his deficit? What? Did she not see what her own candidate was saying in his speech or what he tweeted?

This is hardly, of course, the only strange way in which Conway and Trump have appeared to be on separate pages in recent weeks.

There was the whole thing about her playing down the threat of voter fraud, even as he was doubling down. There was also her playing down the idea that Trump actually did mean it when he said he would put Hillary Clinton in jail, before Trump doubled down again. There was that time during Wednesday night’s debate when Conway appeared to disown Trump’s “bad hombres” comment and suggest that it wasn’t something she would want him to say. And then she denied rumors that she would leave the campaign, but also added a dangling “unless . . .”

Trump is certainly the chaos candidate in this race, but I like to think that the things he and his campaign do at least have somewhat of a strategic aim. In this case, I’m at a loss. What practical purpose is served by having you and your campaign manager publicly disagree about whether you are actually behind in the race — something that inevitably leads to stories like this one about how maybe your campaign is off the rails and has no direction.

One credible theory I’ve heard before is that Trump responds to the things he sees on the news, and one of the ways for Conway to keep him in line is to appear on the news shows herself and kind of steer Trump in the right direction that way. 

But regardless of whether that’s the case, what we’re seeing from Conway and Trump these days is edging on bizarre. They are either deliberately creating the appearance of chaos for no discernible reason, or the chaos is real, and they simply can’t hide all of it.

Conway’s comments, as I’ve said before, are of a campaign manager defending a candidate who doesn’t exist. She’s not even defending Trump anymore; she’s defending the candidate she wishes he was.


Posted by: maboulette | October 25, 2016

Trump vs. Condoleezza Rice


In November 2006, the New York Daily News reported that Donald Trump referred to then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as a bitch:

DONALD TRUMP sounded like he would fire Secretary of State Rice if he got the chance – calling her a “b—-” last night during a speech in front of 8,000 people at the Javits Center. Trump, star of “The Apprentice” and a frequent critic of the Bush administration, unleashed his anger at Rice and outgoing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld during a keynote address at the Learning Annex Real Estate & Wealth Expo. “Condoleezza Rice, she’s a lovely woman, but I think she’s a b—-,” Trump said to wild applause. “She goes around to other countries and other nations, comes back and nothing ever happens.

CNN’s KFILE dug through the network’s archives and found a portion of that speech, although a slightly different version:

“I wish she was a bitch. I don’t care if she’s a lovely woman. I want somebody that can go and make deals. She goes to countries, nothing ever happens. Except sound bytes.” The archived video only shows a small part of Trump’s speech.

When reached for comment, she basically mic-dropped on Donald Trump:

When asked if she had any response to the New York Daily News report of Trump’s remarks, Rice simply wrote back, “Exactly. Can’t wait until November 9!”

Boom! And while she didn’t exactly say she’s #WithHer, she made it clear in a Facebook post on October 8th that she would not vote for Donald Trump:

Enough! Donald Trump should not be President. He should withdraw.
Republicans had hoped to support someone who has the dignity and stature to run for the highest office in the greatest democracy on earth.

Congrats to Republicans for nominating a person who has done the unthinkable—united the George W. Bush administration and liberals to defeat Donald Trump!


Posted by: maboulette | October 25, 2016

Trump’s Newest Conspiracy Theory


Donald Trump’s newest conspiracy theory is that pollsters are over-sampling Democrats to make it seem like he’s down in the polls.

“When the polls are even, when they leave them alone and do them properly, I’m leading,” he said at a rally in St. Augustine, Florida, Monday afternoon. “But you see these polls where they’re polling Democrats, ‘How’s Trump doing?’ ‘Oh, he’s down.’ They’re polling Democrats!”

Trump signaled his new theory in a tweet Monday morning, writing, “Major story that the Dems are making up phony polls in order to suppress the Vote. We are going to WIN!”

As evidence, Trump said in St. Augustine that “Wikileaks also shows how John Podesta rigged the polls by oversampling Democrats, a voter suppression technique.” He was apparently referencing a 2008 email revealed in the email hack of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. The email, by Democratic activist Tom Matzzie, reads, “I also want to get your Atlas folks to recommend oversamples for our polling before we start in February. By market, regions, etc. I want to get this all compiled into one set of recommendations so we can maximize what we get out of our media polling.”

But as the Washington Post explains, Trump’s comment fundamentally misrepresents what this email is talking about. This campaign email would be referring to an internal poll, not a public one. And polls often need to over sample certain subgroups to get statistically accurate data.

“Normal polling in a state will usually have no problem getting enough white people in the mix to evaluate where they stand, but you may need to specifically target more black or Hispanic voters to get a statistically relevant sample size,” the Post explains. It’s also worth noting that more Americans identify as Democrats than Republicans: 30% to 24%, according to Pew Research.

Trump himself even admitted that he is “somewhat behind in the polls” in a North Carolina radio interview on Monday, Politico reports.

Still, in St. Augustine, Trump chalked up his campaign’s current state to the Clintons, the media and elites conspiring against his candidacy.

“When the people who control the political power in our society can rig investigations, can rig polls, you see these phony polls, and rig the media, they can wield absolute power over your life, your economy and your country, and benefit big time by it,” Trump told his audience.


Posted by: maboulette | October 24, 2016

Republicans Have Fallen Out Of Love with Fox News


Hurricane Trump has been battering the Republican Party for more than a year now. The devastation it leaves behind is all too apparent as GOP candidates evacuate the low lands in a desperate attempt to avoid getting blown away. There is no precedent for the rush to safety that is taking place. Sixteen Republican senators refuse to endorse their party’s nominee for president. And pundits from across the conservative political spectrum – from the right to the far right – are renouncing Donald Trump and his inept campaign.

Not satisfied with destroying the Republican Party, Trump can also take pride in demolishing the party’s PR division, Fox News. The Brand Index survey regularly assesses major American commercial enterprises and ranks them according to their popularity with the public. It also breaks the findings out by political affiliation.

The most recent listing shows a precipitous decline by a former top performer. Fox News has fallen to a negative fifty amongst Republicans. As AdAge reports“In 2014, Fox News was the brand 10th best-perceived by Republicans […] In 2015, Fox News slipped to No. 15.” For 2016, Fox News fell off a cliff dropping another thirty-five points to 50 below.

The most likely explanation for this involves the same destructive force that is roiling the GOP. Donald Trump was created by Fox and promoted throughout the election season. He received far more airtime and positive coverage than any other candidate. However, at the same time he was merciless in his criticism on those rare occasions when someone on Fox was less than adoring.

No one can forget the bitter feud that developed between Trump and Megyn Kelly after she had the audacity to ask him about some things he actually said. Trump later accused her of being overly harsh with him because of PMS (“Blood coming out of … wherever”). He then backed out of Fox’s broadcast of a GOP primary debate in order to avoid Kelly.

And that was just the beginning. Trump has spewed a steady stream of invective at the network that brought him to life. He said of Kelly that she “is the worst” and has a “terrible show.” He called Karl Rove a “total fool” and “a biased dope.” He said that George Will is a “broken down political pundit” and “boring.” Chris Stirewalt was deemed “one of the dumbest political pundits on television.” Trump laughed off Charles Krauthammer as “a totally overrated clown,” “a loser,” and “a dummy.” And wrapping up the whole network for his disapproval, he tweeted that he was “having a really hard time watching Fox News.” Then he called on his followers to boycott the network.

Funny, but I can’t disagree with much of that. However, now that Trump is getting his ass handed to him by Hillary Clinton, his vitriol is accelerating. His protests that the election is rigged are neatly dovetailed with complaints that the media is rigged. And he doesn’t exclude Fox. Not surprisingly, his legions of glassy-eyed disciples are all too happy to obediently shun Fox News. They now consider the right-wing propagandists to be in cahoots with the liberal establishment. It’s all a big conspiracy.

The result is that the Fox News brand is becoming toxic to a certain segment of those who were once its core audience. The only question is whether they will come back to Fox after Clinton is inaugurated and begins confiscating their guns, forcing them to get gay-married, and have abortions under the new Sharia law.



20160913_193133-2I rarely write a post for my blog to support a business but in this case the service was so good that I want everyone is Austin to know – especially those with pets.

There is a new vet in town and if you need a vet and don’t have one that you prefer, you should give this vet a try.  The name is Zippivet with a website at  Don’t laugh at the name.

My new kitten needed to get her final round of shots and my son is only available on Sunday’s to provide transportation.  So I got on the internet and found that if you want a vet on Sunday there just wasn’t one – until I found Zippivet.  Open 7 days a week and are also an emergency center.

So I filled out the information on their website and made an appointment for Sunday.  They followed up with me on Friday – never had a vet following up on an appointment.  So, good customer service.

My Little Girl has had a problem with one eye since we got her.  She had a scratch and it wasn’t getting any better so I also wanted her eye checked out.  Well, she did have about 1/3 of her eye covered with an ulcer so they cleaned out that part and gave us prescription drops, she got her final shots and a good check-up – the price for all of this didn’t break the bank.  Fair pricing.

On to the staff – they spent so much time with us – explaining about her eye and what they were going to do to be able to see what the problem was and answered all questions – and I was again impressed.

This morning they called to see how she was – sorry folks how many vets do that – again great customer service.  

So, if you have pets and don’t have a regular vet or if you have been looking for a new vet – I highly recommend Zippivet.  They are located at:

10721 Research Blvd Suite A110

Phone number – (512) 904-0218

And I think you will be greatly surprised at the customer service as well as the staff.  You won’t be sorry that you have made them your vet – I’m not.



Posted by: maboulette | October 24, 2016

The Evidence against A Nasty Man

Ruth Marcus Columnist October 21


Even as the country recoils, justifiably, from the prospect of Donald Trump threatening not to respect the election results, let us not lose sight of the mounting evidence of Trump’s mistreatment of women — and his offensive debate dismissal of their claims.

At the second debate, Trump claimed that his taped boasting about grabbing women without consent was just that — all talk, no action. In the 10 days before the third debate, nine women came forward to dispute that assertion.

So moderator Chris Wallace posed the key question: “Why would so many different women from so many different circumstances over so many different years . . . all make up these stories?”

Trump’s response was a characteristically repulsive stew of dishonesty, outright lies, conspiracy theorizing and blame-shifting. 

Dishonesty: “Those stories have been largely debunked,” he said. Wrong. Actually, additional corroboration has emerged.

Trump mocks sexual assault accusers; calls Lies: “I did not say that,” Trump insisted, three times, after Hillary Clinton noted that part of Trump’s argument for his innocence was that the women weren’t attractive enough to merit his unwanted attention. Just go to the videotape.

Conspiracy theorizing: “I think they want either fame or her campaign did it. And I think it’s her campaign,” Trump said of his accusers. There is no evidence on either score. Indeed, a number of the accusers had to be coaxed to come forward. Some are Clinton backers; others are clear that they do not support her.

Blame-shifting: According to Trump, what we should actually be talking about is the violence at his rallies — instigated by Clinton. Or else, “her emails, where she destroyed 33,000 emails criminally, after getting a subpoena from the United States Congress.”  This is not actually the truth and if the debate hall were a courtroom, Trump’s answer would have been struck as nonresponsive.

So let’s examine the actual evidence. One of the most upsetting stories — because Trump’s alleged behavior interfered with a woman’s ability to do her job — is also one of those with the strongest contemporaneous corroboration. 

People magazine reporter Natasha Stoynoff, at Mar-a-Lago in 2005 to report a first-anniversary piece on Donald and Melania Trump, described how Trump pushed her against a wall and tried to kiss her, sticking his tongue down her throat.

Six of Stoynoff’s friends and co-workers have corroborated parts of her story. Upset, she called a former journalism professor in tears the night of the incident; he advised her to stay quiet for fear of retaliation. Upset, she called a close friend, Marina Grasic, the next day, to recount the incident. Upset, she told three People colleagues after returning to New York. 

Oh, and also, that moment when she bumped into Melania Trump outside Trump Tower, which Melania Trump says didn’t happen? Another Stoynoff friend recalls the encounter.

In other words: To discount Stoynoff’s story, you would have to believe that she was prescient enough to describe to five friends and colleagues an encounter with Trump  that mirrored his own taped account that would emerge 11 years later

To buy that this story was engineered by the Clinton campaign, well, you would have to believe that in 2005, when the notion of Trump running for president was a punch line at best, Clinton and her minions brilliantly recruited Stoynoff to concoct this story and plant the seeds of corroboration to spring on Trump years later, after the “Access Hollywood” tape leaked. Or that the campaign enlisted six witnesses in a current conspiracy to lie on their behalf.

The evidence in Trump’s favor?  The butler says he didn’t do it. That is, nothing seemed amiss when he walked in on Trump and Stoynoff. This would be the butler who posted on Facebook that President Obama “should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent” and said it was astonishing that “a common murder[er] is even allowed to run (killery clinton).” 

Mr. Trump, your witness.

Imagining this evidence assessed in court isn’t just instructive — it’s tempting. Because while the time has long passed for filing charges over the underlying behavior, Trump’s description of Stoynoff as “a liar” and “the dishonest writer from People magazine” opens the door to a defamation suit.

And the prospect of discovery, includes Trump being forced to submit to a deposition. Imagine the man who threatens to sue everyone in sight having to answer questions about his conduct toward women, under oath. What a fitting coda for such an ugly campaign, and for such a, pardon the phrase, nasty man.

Read more from Ruth Marcus’s archivefollow her on Twitter or subscribe to her updates on Facebook.


Posted by: maboulette | October 24, 2016

Endorsement of the New Yorker


As endorsements go, this one is hardly unexpected. The New Yorker has provided some of the most insightful coverage of this election, including the single most important piece of analysis written thus far (IMO). That said, their endorsement of Hillary Clinton today is particularly discerning:

On November 8th, barring some astonishment, the people of the United States will, after two hundred and forty years, send a woman to the White House. The election of Hillary Clinton is an event that we will welcome for its immense historical importance, and greet with indescribable relief. It will be especially gratifying to have a woman as commander-in-chief after such a sickeningly sexist and racist campaign, one that exposed so starkly how far our society has to go. The vileness of her opponent’s rhetoric and his record has been so widely aired that we can only hope she will be able to use her office and her impressive resolve to battle prejudice wherever it may be found. 

The New Yorker observes that had the Republicans chosen to nominate a Rubio or a Bush, the country may have had the benefit of a more thorough debate on the issues Clinton stands for. As it turned out, however, Clinton was reduced to a near-secondary role in what the magazine describes as a “squalid American epic,” one which will doubtlessly have aftereffects and indirect consequences for years to come. 

The endorsement examines and reiterates the litany of loathsome and anti-American characteristics that disqualify the Republican nominee, most of which will be familiar to those here and don’t need repeating.  But there is room for placing Donald Trump in a historical context, which tends to be forgotten in our present-obsessed media:

[M]uch is clear from his statements about targeting press freedoms, infringing on an independent judiciary, banning Muslim immigration, deporting undocumented immigrants without a fair hearing, reviving the practice of torture, and, in the third and final debate, his refusal to say that he will accept the outcome of the election. Trump has even threatened to prosecute and imprison his opponent. The American demagogues from the past century who most closely resemble him—Father Coughlin and Senator Joseph McCarthy among them—were dangers to the republic, but they never captured the Presidential nomination of a major political party. Father Coughlin commanded a radio show and its audience. President Trump would command the armed forces of the United States, control its nuclear codes, appoint judges, propose legislation, and conduct foreign policy. It is a convention of our quadrennial pieties to insist that this election is singularly important. But Trump really does represent something singular. The prospect of such a President—erratic, empty, cruel, intolerant, and corrupt—represents a form of national emergency. 

Explaining Trump’s appeal among his supporters would require a longer article, but the magazine doesn’t forget the fact that for someone as demagogic as Trump to have taken hold of a susceptible population, there must still be a glaring disconnect in the country’s priorities and the facts that actually exist on the ground, in their homes, schools, and workplaces of those who chose to support him:

We are in the midst of a people’s revolt, a great debate concerning income inequality, the “hollowing” of the middle, globalization’s winners and losers. If the tribune whom the voters of the Republican Party have chosen is a false one, we cannot dismiss the message because we deplore the messenger. The white working-class voters who form the core of Trump’s support—and who were once a Democratic constituency—should not have their anxieties and suffering written off. Their struggle with economic abandonment and an incomplete health-care system demands airing, understanding, and political solutions. 

Of course, their endorsement contains an extensive assessment of Hillary Clinton as well; whom they concede deserved more than to run against someone like Trump:

Hillary Clinton’s vision and temperament are the opposite of her opponent’s. She has been a pioneer throughout her life, and yet her career cannot be easily reduced to one transcendent myth: she has been an idealist and a liberal incrementalist, a glass-ceiling-smashing lawyer and a cautious establishmentarian, a wife and mother, a First Lady, a rough-and-tumble political operator, a senator, a Secretary of State. Her story is about walking through flames and emerging changed, warier and more determined. 

She offers no soaring rhetoric on the order of “Morning in America,” “A Bridge to the 21st Century,” or “Yes We Can.” What she does offer is a series of thoughtful and energetic proposals that present precisely the kind of remedies that could improve the lives of many working-class and poor Americans of all races. 

These proposals include expanding access to Medicaid, permitting eligibility for Medicare at age 55, increasing federal support for child care, helping students with college debt, increased development of infrastructure, tightening regulations on the financial industry, as well as a wide range of tax proposals designed to level the playing field and reduce income inequality. In other words, they are all the issues (and the article lists many more) that might have been discussed by a competent media over the last six months if her opponent was not Donald Trump. 

Most importantly, President Clinton would build on the Obama Administration’s successful effort to refashion the Federal judiciary into a body of government that actually works in the people’s interests instead of trying to fulfill the wish lists of large corporations. Assuming Democrats control the Senate and have the courage to eliminate the deliberately obstructive filibuster of Supreme Court nominees, she may make 2-3 appointments to that Court, which would impact tremendously on issues from voting rights, to reproductive rights, and protection of the environment.  

Finally, there is little doubt that Clinton is a progressive. In part, the bizarre nature of this sideshow campaign has permitted her to embrace progressive issues with little or no fanfare and the notable absence of pushback from the Democratic Party’s centrist wing.  On climate change, immigration, LGBTQ rights, and gun violence, all issues important to progressives’ young and old, she has adopted positions impossible to distinguish from those of her primary opponent, Bernie Sanders.

And finally, the New Yorker does not forget the most profound aspect of Clinton’s candidacy:

The election of a woman to the Presidency will have myriad reverberations in the life and the institutions of this country. President Obama’s election certainly did not end the saga of racial conflict and prejudice in the United States, but as a distinct step forward it opened up the world to countless young people. Similarly, electing a female President means imagining new possibilities: that a woman might survive that gantlet of derision to hold power with confidence, without apology, to enlarge our notions of authority and hasten an age when a female President will no longer be exceptional. Just as President Obama was able at certain moments of glaring injustice and crisis to focus the country on matters of race in a potentially lasting way, Hillary Clinton, who has emphasized in her campaign and throughout her political life such issues as early-childhood education, paid family leave, and equal pay, could also change the nation in deeply consequential ways. That’s a thrilling possibility for all Americans.


Posted by: maboulette | October 24, 2016

On The Campaign Trail with Hillary Clinton


When you think of Hillary Clinton on the campaign trail, chances are you think of her at a scene like the one above.

  • In a diner or a café;
  • In someone’s living room or kitchen;
  • In a small group or on a small stage;
  • Around a table;
  • Taking people’s questions;
  • Listening to people’s concerns.

Listening is a skill that most women have had to master, because too many men have a habit of interrupting, seldom giving women a chance to put in their two cents. Not everyone is a good listener. Hillary Clinton, however, is very good at listening to people.

Some candidates have large rallies with wildly cheering supporters. Hillary Clinton certainly has had her share of rallies and speeches. But Clinton has always preferred:

  • Smaller venue;
  • The town hall meeting;
  • The sitting-around-the-table talk.

Instead of just telling people what she wants to do, she asks people:

  • What issues affect them;
  • What topics she should tackle;
  • What actions they want her to take.

Then she uses those answers to broaden her policies. As a story in The Atlantic put it, the strategy is to “build the candidate’s credentials as one that connects with voters, knows the issues they care about, and makes it clear she isn’t taking anything for granted.”

When Clinton was considering a 2000 Senate run, she famously went on a “listening tour” to all parts of New York State. She started in July 1999, traveling from New York City and its suburbs to upstate New York and all points in between. She visited all 62 of the state’s counties and talked to all kinds of residents on farms, in diners, in venues small and large. She always carried a notebook so she could take notes on what people were saying.

Clinton and her constituents-to-be discussed issues ranging from taxes to jobs to health care to education to college tuition to dairy price supports. At the time, the approach was derided by many in the media, but it worked. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani abandoned the race, and Clinton beat GOP Rep. Rick Lazio by 12 percentage points.

Clinton used the same approach in her presidential campaigns for 2008 and 2016. Her 2008 campaign was launched with a video in which she looked straight at the camera and said, “Let’s talk. Let’s chat. Let’s start a dialogue about your ideas and mine. … Let the conversation begin.” In the more sophisticated video launch for the 2016 race, the message was, “I’m doing something new, too. I’m running for president … So I’m hitting the road, and I hope you’ll join me on this journey.”

In this election, how many photos, videos, and ads have we seen from the Clinton campaign that started with a question from her audience, often from a young girl or teenager? Sometimes the questions were about bullying. Sometimes a girl asked if Clinton would be paid the same as a male president. Sometimes a teen asked about body image. Clinton’s answer was often followed with a quick hug.

When Clinton was secretary of state, she visited 112 countries, spending 401 days on the road. It was her own State Department listening tour, learning about the concerns of America’s allies and not-so-allied nations. It was aimed at repairing the damage done to America’s reputation and relationships during the years of the George W. Bush administration. According to a separate story in The Atlantic:

The secretary, despite all the telecommuting options available to her, reinforced the power of being there — in a place, in a context, in a moment.

A July story on Vox by Ezra Klein explored what he called “the Gap” between the negative public image some hold of Clinton and the real human being known by her friends, staffers, and colleagues. Klein interviewed many who know Clinton well and here’s his conclusion:

Every single person brought up, in some way or another, the exact same quality they feel leads Clinton to excel in governance and struggle in campaigns. …

Hillary Clinton, they said over and over again, listens. …

The first few times I heard someone praise Clinton’s listening, I discounted it. After hearing it five, six, seven times, I got annoyed by it. What a gendered compliment: “She listens.” It sounds like a caricature of what we would say about a female politician.

But after hearing it 11, 12, 15 times, I began to take it seriously, ask more questions about it. And as I did, the Gap began to make more sense. …

Hillary Clinton won the Democratic nomination by forming a coalition. And part of how she forms coalitions is by listening to her potential partners — both to figure out what they need and to build her relationships with them. This is not a skill all politicians possess.

A 2005 academic paper (published version gives only the abstract; this is a pdf) from the International Journal of Listening by University of Maryland communications professor Andrew D. Wolvin described the benefits and effectiveness of Clinton’s listening approach as it applies to different styles of leadership. As Wolvin said in the abstract:

“Public leadership has been conceptualized as the leader who has the ability to shape a vision and to articulate that vision. Before the leader can shape a vision, however, he/she needs to listen to constituents to know how that vision should be best framed and best implemented.”

The listening leader communicates with his/her followers in order to understand their needs, motivations, and issues. These understandings serve as the foundation for solid decision-making to further the relationship/organization to its goals. “Good leaders are good listeners.” …

Leaders who are good listeners “do not fake attention, pretend to comprehend, or ignore members. Instead, they work as hard as they can to better understand what members are saying and how those comments affect the group and its goals.”

Sounds like Hillary Clinton, doesn’t it?

When Hillary Clinton is sworn in as president, she’s not going to have time to go on a new listening tour of the country. She won’t have time to do one as a transition project, either. But as a start, according to a Politico story, she’s planning on reaching out to listen to allies that have been “rattled by Trump’s candidacy.”

In a way, Trump’s outlandish comments — demanding Mexico pay for a border wall, questioning U.S. support for NATO allies, and so much more — gives Clinton cover to be unusually direct about her desire to shore up global faith in U.S. leadership in the post-Obama era.

Hopefully, the new President Clinton will continue President Obama’s practice of reading 10 letters each day that were sent to him via email or snail mail. The letters, chosen by staff in the Office of Presidential Correspondence, aren’t necessarily positive or negative. They just represent issues that the country is thinking and talking about. They might be from:

  • Children;
  • Veterans; people out of a job
  • People who need health care;
  • People with problems;
  • People with ideas.

Just everyday Americans who want to get something off their chest or share something with the leader of the free world. Reading those 10 letters each day can be Clinton’s way of listening to the American people.

I like the idea that our president will be a listener in chief, as well as a commander in chief.

After all, when has Donald Trump ever listened to anybody?


Posted by: maboulette | October 23, 2016

The Final Phase of the Clinton Campaign


Hillary Clinton moved to press her advantage in the presidential race on Sunday, urging black voters in North Carolina to vote early as Republicans increasingly conceded that Donald J. Trump is unlikely to recover in the polls.

With a strong lead in national polls, Mrs. Clinton has been pleading with core Democratic voters to get out and vote in states where balloting has already begun. By running up a lead well in advance of the Nov. 8 election in states like North Carolina and Florida, she could make it extremely difficult for Mr. Trump to mount a late comeback.

On Sunday, Mrs. Clinton appeared at a church in Raleigh, N.C., with mothers who have lost children to gun violence or clashes with the police. Addressing the congregation, she sounded like a candidate looking past the election to a presidency in which she would have to address a deeply divided nation.

“There are many people in our country willing to reach across the divide, regardless of what you’ve heard in this campaign,” Mrs. Clinton said. “There are people — millions and millions of people — who are asking themselves these hard questions, who want to find a way to work together to solve these problems that we face.”

Geneva Reed-Veal, whose daughter, Sandra Bland, died in a Texas jail after a traffic stop last summer, called on the congregation to make its voice heard at the polls. “If you decide not to vote, shut your mouth,” Ms. Reed-Veal said.

Both Mrs. Clinton and key Republican groups have effectively pushed aside Mr. Trump since the final presidential debate on Wednesday, treating him as a defeated candidate and turning their attention to voter turnout and battling for control of Congress.

An ABC News tracking poll published on Sunday showed Mr. Trump trailing Mrs. Clinton by 12 percentage points nationally and drawing just 38 percent of the vote.

Mrs. Clinton, who drew support from 50 percent of voters in the poll, was openly dismissive of Mr. Trump over the weekend, telling reporters on Saturday that she no longer worried about answering his attacks. “I debated him for four and a half hours,” she said. “I don’t even think about responding to him anymore.”

Hillary Clinton’s campaign is increasingly preparing for the possibility that Donald Trump may never concede the presidential election should she win, a development that could extremely complicate the crucial early weeks of her ground-work to take office.

Aiming to undermine any argument the Republican nominee may make about a “rigged” election, she hopes to roll up a large electoral vote margin in next month’s election. That could reject the New York billionaire’s message and project a governing mandate after the bitter, divisive presidential race.

Clinton’s team is also keeping a close eye on statements by national Republican leaders, predicting they could play an important role in how Trump’s accusations of electoral fraud might be perceived. That’s according to several Clinton campaign aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss internal strategy.

Campaign officials stress they are not taking the outcome of the election for granted. But Clinton and her team have begun thinking about how to position their candidate during the post-election period. Long one of the country’s most diverging political figures, Clinton has begun telling audiences she’ll need their help in healing the country.

“I’ve got to figure out how we heal these divides,” she said in a Friday interview with a Tampa radio station WBTP. “We’ve got to get together. Maybe that’s a role that is meant to be for my presidency if I’m so fortunate to be there.”

A refusal by Trump to accept the election results would not only upend a basic tenet of American democracy, but also force Clinton to create a new playbook for handling the transfer of power. And a narrow victory would make it more difficult for her to claim substantial political capital at the start of her administration.

“Donald is still going to whine if he loses. But if the mandate is clear, I don’t think many people will follow him,” said Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, Clinton’s running mate, in an interview Thursday with CNN’s “New Day.”

While Clinton’s campaign has long focused on maintaining pathways to cross the threshold of 270 electoral votes, it’s now looking to capture an expanded number of states that could also help determine control of the Senate — including Republican-leaning Arizona.

Polls show that Clinton has extended her advantage in several toss-up states during the three fall debates, giving her campaign more confidence. She has maintained stable leads in states such as Pennsylvania, Virginia and Colorado, as well as a narrow edge in Florida and North Carolina.

“They’re looking at it like this: We’ve got these doors of opportunity open, let’s make sure we go down all of them,'” said Jeremy Bird, the national field director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign who is helping Clinton’s team.

If Clinton wins the White House, she will enter as one of the least popular first-term presidents in generations. While Trump has suffered from high unfavorable ratings, particularly among women, Clinton has been hampered by polls showing more than half of the public considers her to be untrustworthy.

Some Republicans are already preparing for Trump’s defeat, downplaying the significance of a Clinton triumph.

Karl Rove, the chief strategist of George W. Bush’s successful presidential campaigns, said Sunday on Fox News that he did not expect that Mr. Trump could pull off a comeback in the final two weeks of campaigning.

“I don’t see it happening,” Mr. Rove said.

Two outside groups aligned with Republicans, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Senate Leadership Fund, have begun running television commercials in Senate races implying that Mr. Trump’s defeat is likely and asking voters to send Republican lawmakers to Washington as a check on Mrs. Clinton.

And the Congressional Leadership Fund, a powerful “super PAC” that supports Republicans in the House of Representatives, will begin running ads in the coming days that attack Democratic candidates as “rubber stamps” for Mrs. Clinton, and urge voters in swing districts to support a Republican instead.

 “There are many districts where we are going to be running ads that talk about the Democrat being a rubber stamp for Hillary Clinton,” Mr. Shields said. “In many districts, it is a very, very potent weapon to use against a Democratic candidate for Congress.”

Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, acknowledged on “Meet the Press” on NBC that Mr. Trump was behind in the race. She said the campaign had “a shot” at winning over undecided voters who do not currently support Mr. Trump but who dislike Mrs. Clinton.

But Mr. Trump has made little effort in recent days to deliver a sharply honed campaign message or to address the flaws at the core of his candidacy. He scheduled no public campaign events on Sunday before an evening rally in Naples, Fla., though early voting begins this week across most of the state.

In a Saturday speech that was intended to outline his closing message in the race, Mr. Trump instead began by issuing a broad threat to sue all the women who have come forward to say that he sexually assaulted them.

Ms. Conway said on Sunday that the threat was “a small piece of a 42-minute speech.

But just because everything looks good for Hillary doesn’t mean we can relax.  If you want to help call your locate Democratic Headquarter to volunteer to make call or go knocking on doors to remind people to vote.  If you have elderly neighbors see if they need a ride to the polls on Election Day.  Hillary needs a landslide victory so that Donald Trump has nothing to say on election night but “Congratulations Madam President Elect.”  We need to have a clear victory that Trump can’t find anything to say “the election was rigged”.


Posted by: maboulette | October 23, 2016

Glaring Differences Between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump


Billionaire philanthropist, Virgin founder, and entrepreneur Richard Branson has used much of his wealth to help others—but one person he would never help is Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Branson published a piece on his blog about one of his encounters with Trump. 

“Some years ago, Mr Trump invited me to lunch for a one-to-one meeting at his apartment in Manhattan. We had not met before and I accepted. Even before the starters arrived he began telling me about how he had asked a number of people for help after his latest bankruptcy and how five of them were unwilling to help. He told me he was going to spend the rest of his life destroying these five people.” 

Branson says Trump spoke only of this revenge and Branson found that “very bizarre.”

He was baffled as to why Trump invited him to lunch to tell him this.  Branson wondered if Trump was going to ask Brannon for money—and if so, Brannon said he would become the sixth person on Trump’s revenge list because that was not going to happen. 

After leaving the lunch, Branson said he was disturbed, and saw a lot of frightening things about this election. What concerned him the most was Trump’s dangerous “vindictive streak” and self-obsession that could negatively affect global issues should Trump make it to the White House. 

Branson said he also met with Hillary Clinton for a one-on-one lunch, and the contrast was stunning. Here is what Branson said about Clinton.

“Here we talked about education reform, the war on drugs, women’s rights, conflicts around the globe and the death penalty. She was a good listener as well as an eloquent speaker. As she understands well, the President of the United States needs to understand and be engaged with wider world issues, rather than be consumed by petty personal quarrels.”  

Again and again we see the glaring differences between the Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and the Republican nominee Donald Trump, and how important it will be for Americans to vote with good conscience for not only the betterment our country, but also our world.  


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