On the day (March 2, 2015) The New York Times revealed that Hillary Clinton used an unauthorized and unsecure email server to conduct all of her State Department business at State Department, which left our national security vulnerable—Center for American Progress Neera Tanden was emailing Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.
Podesta wrote,” Speaking of transparency, our friends [David] Kendall, Cheryl and Philippe [Reines] sure weren't forthcoming on the facts here.” Kendall is one of Clinton’s lawyers and Reines was the former first lady’s top adviser and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.
“This is a Cheryl [Mills] special. Know you love her, but this stuff is like her Achilles heal. Or kryptonite. She just can't say no to this shit. Why didn't they get this stuff out like 18 months ago? So crazy,” replied Tanden.
Podesta seemed equally shocked, replying “unbelievable.”
“I guess I know the answer … they wanted to get away with it,” wrote Tanden.
Alas, even some of Clinton’s top allies know this about the former first lady that every American has known for a long time: Lady Macbeth thinks she lives by a different set of rules.
And this latest batch of Wikileaks emails also shows Clinton aides scrambling to provide a buffer for the Obama White House. As Guy wrote, Cheryl Mills, Clinton’s former chief of staff at State, shot off an email five days after the Times article as published saying, “we need to clean this up – he [Obama] has emails from her – they do not say state.gov.”
Clinton has been caught in endless lies regarding this email fiasco, with a series of debunked talking points, namely that the server was authorized, that it was signed off by the State Department, that no classified information was on her server, and that she didn’t receive or sent emails with classified material. The latter point is also a center of controversy since the FBI found three emails that were classified at the time they were sent, but were marked improperly, despite Clinton being an original classification authority. But the fact remains: those emails had sensitive material on them.
The lies also reach the Obama White House, as the president was emailing Clinton on her private server using a pseudonym, which means that he didn’t find out about it in the papers. Katie wrote in February, that Obama knew about Clinton’s server, but was “unaware” about it. Now, we know that the Obama administration knew full well about Clinton’s unusual email arrangement.
A permanent U.S. resident who has been imprisoned in Iran for more than a year has told his representing attorney that the Iranian government is demanding a ransom in exchange for his release, according to the Washington Examiner.
Nizar Zakka, a Lebanese citizen and permanent resident of the United States, said Iranian officials told him in April it would take as much as $2 billion for his release from prison. In September, Iranian officials lowered that amount to $4 million, but he would remain in prison until the payment was made.
"This is a grave breach of, among [other international laws and treaties], the Geneva Conventions against hostage-taking," his lawyer, Jason Poblete, said on Tuesday. "Iran is using Nizar, other Americans and dual nationals, as political chattel to exact concessions from the U.S. and other powers."
Since Zakka was captured last fall, Poblete says his client has been psychologically tortured and subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment.
"On behalf of Nizar, we request that all be done by the U.S. and other governments to secure his unconditional release from captivity on humanitarian grounds," Poblete said. "Nizar is extremely weak and getting sicker."
Last week, President Obama tore into GOP governors and legislatures who have opposed his new health care law. President Obama made these remarks during his visit to Miami Dade College, but also hit on an issue that is more of the root of the problem, as well as something that was entirely predictable. Concerning opposition to the law in the states, Obama explained:
What that means is the insurance pool is smaller and gets a higher percentage of older and sicker people who are signing up because if you’re sick or you’re old, you’re more likely to say ‘well I’m going sign up no matter what because I know I’m going to need it.’ If you’re young and healthy like you guys, you say, ‘eh, I’m fine. Life’s good. So you’ve got more older and sicker people signing up. Fewer younger and healthy people signing up, and that drives rates up.”
Yet, while the opposition has mostly been concentrated with Republicans, Minnesota Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton admitted earlier this month that Obamacare is unaffordable. Guy wrote about the 2017 sticker shock that’s about to hit us next year, with Cortney noting that one of the most popular plans offered is projected to see their premiums rise by 25 percent. So, in June, the administration launched an effort to get more young people to sign up for health insurance.
Here’s the problem. We’ve known for a long time that young, healthy kids don’t think they need health insurance—and for good reason: they don’t nearly go to the doctor or hospital for ailments as frequently as the elderly. It also doesn’t incentivize those already under their parents’ health care plan to sign up since Obamacare expanded the age limit for dependent coverage. Young Americans can remain on their parents’ plan until they turn 26. Then again, these kids are already insured, so that’s a good thing, right?
Maybe if there was a better job climate where these kids can move out of mom and dad’s house, get a job, and get off their families insurance, then the economic health of the country and possibly Obamacare’s future would be brighter (I would rather scrap the latter). Instead, no one has really felt this economic recovery, most young people are opting to remain in school, accruing insane amounts of debt to the point where they do get a job—they have a home mortgage chained around their ankles. Do you think these folks can afford Obamacare premiums?
In all, the law is such a failure that even those who need to buy health insurance to avoid paying a tax for being uninsured are opting to pay it because it’s more economical for them. The co-op network that was established in 23 states to encourage competition with insurers have all but collapsed; only six remain, though all of them could fold up shop by the end of the year.
Don’t blame young people that Obamacare is failing. It’s a big government program that failed to curb costs (shocker) and now that it has failed in accomplishing that goal, the Left is touting the number of those insured, which wasn’t really the point of the lance in the sales pitch to the public. This country never had an insured problem, 85 percent of Americans already has health insurance, mostly through their employers. Oh, and the numbers for those projected to be insured by this point was off by 24 million.
Maybe it’s the federal government, Barry. Maybe they just can’t get it done because they have a track record to prove that much.
Rep. Mike McCaul will not close the door on a possible challenge to Senator Ted Cruz in 2018. Given an opportunity to do so several times from Texas Tribune’s CEO at the state’s capital on Tuesday, the six-term congressman would not rule it out.
"I think any elected official, you don't close off your options," McCaul replied. "I have several options potentially in front of me, and I'm not going to say no to any of them, whether it be serving an administration in a national security post, whether it be, possibly when I am term-limited on Homeland, going to chair the Foreign Relations committee or going home. I have five kids."
There has been lots of speculation regarding a potential Cruz challenge and most eyes are turning to McCaul.
While being popular with grassroots conservatives, Cruz’s renegade behavior in the Senate has made him the ire of many Republican lawmakers. John Boehner famously referred to Cruz as "Lucifer in the flesh." After his refusal to endorse Trump at the Republican National Convention, there were a lot of Trump supporters upset with the junior senator. Cruz critics now see an opening for a challenge – uniting Trump Republicans and establishment GOP voters who never liked Cruz to begin with.
During his presidential bid, Ted Cruz struggled earning endorsements from Republican members in his own chamber. Only in the eleventh hour during the primary did Republican senators begin to throw weight behind him amid the frightening prospect of a Trump nomination.
When Cruz refused to endorse Trump during the RNC convention, a livid Trump said he wouldn’t accept Cruz’s endorsement were he to change his mind.
Ironically, these Trump and anti-Trump forces may unite in 2018 to unseat Cruz.
When the New York Times revealed that Hillary Clinton conducted official government business over an unsecure, improper, national security-endangering email server last March, President Obama told Americans that he discovered this fact on the news, just like everyone else. When top Hillary aide (and recipient of a highly unusual immunity arrangement from the FBI) Cheryl Mills learned of Obama's answer, she sprang into action. Via hacked Wikileaks emails:
Here's how top Clinton aide Cheryl Mills reacted to news that Obama claimed he didn't know about Clinton's private server. pic.twitter.com/Q7B4Nwd2yq— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) October 25, 2016
"We need to clean this up," she said. Sure enough, a few days later, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest conceded that why yes, of course Obama and Clinton had emailed each other, but the president wasn't aware of the extent of her set-up. This was an admission that Obama's knowledge of her use of private email was "deeper than he initially acknowledged," according to The Hill. Obama's defenders are now claiming that there's no lie here thanks to Earnest's disclosure, but in the original transcript, the president denied knowledge that Clinton was "using an email system outside of the US government for official business." That's what raised a red flag for Mills, who fired off this line to John Podesta: "He has emails from her -- they do not say state.gov." Mills knew this was a problem. Obama may not have realized she was running a bootleg server out of her basement, but he must have known she was using an outside email system because he was personally emailing her on it, under a pseudonym. Are we to believe that Obama simply didn't notice that he was typing in '@clintonemail.com' as opposed to '@state.gov"? The recipient field of the email didn't magically auto-populate from the get-go. Another good point by Phil Kerpen:
"What if he just saw 'Hillary Clinton'?" ignores that her from line didn't look like that.— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) October 25, 2016
Was the President of the United States unconcerned about exchanging official emails with his Secretary of State over an unofficial, under-secure system? Apparently so -- unless, of course, they were exclusively swapping yoga stories and kitten memes. That's not just unlikely on its face; recall that when Huma Abedin was shown an Obama/Hillary email during an FBI interview, she exclaimed, "how is this not classified?" If they weren't discussing government business in these emails, then let's see them. Any redactions would be very minimal, right? Thousands of classified emails, including top-secret-and-above messages, passed through Clinton's email server, including more than 100 that she herself sent. She has lied about virtually every element of this story for more than a year.
On Monday, it was announced that premiums for plans sold on HealthCare.gov, the government website for Affordable Care Act plans, will see a nearly 25 percent increase for next year. This, of course, shouldn't come as too big of a shock, considering that premiums have risen by nearly $5,000 since the "Affordable" Care Act was passed.
In 2008, the average health insurance premium cost a family about $12,680 every year. Now, after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the average premium cost for a family has ballooned to $17,500.
As a reminder, one of the selling points of the law was that it was going to significantly lower premiums.
Fact checkers: No, health insurance premiums will not rise under Obamacare. http://t.co/kkbAnlk9— OFA TruthTeam (@OFATruthTeam) October 17, 2012
To which Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had an impressively snarky take on:
Pennsylvania’s two-year ordeal with its Attorney General Kathleen Kane has come to an end. The first female Democrat elected to the office (it became an elected position in 1980) was handcuffed and led out in total disgrace after being found guilty of politically-motivated disclosures of a grand jury investigation that went nowhere and for perjury. Kane was sentenced to a 10-23-month jail sentence yesterday, closing a rather toxic chapter in public life for the Keystone State (via The Morning Call):
"This case is about ego, ego of a politician consumed with her image from Day One," Judge Wendy Demchick-Alloy said during Kane's sentencing Monday in Montgomery County Court. "And instead of focusing solely on the business of fighting crime, her focus was on defeating these perceived enemies."
Demchick-Alloy noted Kane, once a rising Democratic Party star, ascended quickly to become the state's top law enforcement officer, arriving as a political novice and neophyte. Kane, however, failed to make the transition from politician to public servant once she took office, the judge said.
"Ego must be set aside after the election with the sole purpose to serve the public in order to ensure the public's confidence in you and the system," Demchick-Alloy said.
Demchick-Alloy noted Kane's crimes, orchestrating the release of secret information about an abandoned fraud probe targeting a Philadelphia civil rights leader and lying about it under oath, damaged the backbone of Pennsylvania's justice system
So, how did Kathleen Kane go from a rising Democratic star, rumored to be a name floated to challenge Sen. Pat Toomey, to a disgraced former attorney general whose bloated ego poisoned her office, demoralized her staff, and rendered her incapable of transitioning from campaigner to law enforcer? Well, it goes back to Porngate and the Jerry Sandusky case involving child abuse at Penn State. Amber Phillips of The Washington Post has a great rundown of where her fall from grace began, the rivalries involved, and the inevitable grand jury that brought her down.
After winning the 2012 election, Kane promised to look into then-Republican Gov. Tom Corbett’s investigation into Jerry Sandusky, who is serving a 30-60-year prison sentence for the sexual abuse of young boys over a 15-year period, which drew the ire of state prosecutor Frank Fina, who used to work for Corbett. No wrongdoing was found on Corbett’s part, but thousands of sexually explicit emails between top members of PA’s political class were discovered and released. Fina was involved in what we now know as “Porngate,” as were two state Supreme Court justices who resigned due to the fallout. Phillips noted this was the first salvo fired between Fina and Kane that eventually engulfed the whole state:
Shortly after Kane took office in 2013, she decided to shut down an undercover corruption investigation against four Democratic Philadelphia-area state lawmakers and a traffic court judge who were caught accepting cash and gifts from a lobbyist.
The prosecutor running that investigation for the past three years was none other than Fina, who ran the attorney general's public corruption unit under Corbett.
This was all playing out behind the scenes until news leaked that Kane wasn't going to pursue corruption charges against some in her own party. The leak came from Kane's office. She blamed Fina for the breach and told the public by way of explanation that she thought the corruption case targeted African Americans and was poorly managed.
Then, in 2014, there was another leak on what seemed like a totally unrelated case. The Philadelphia Daily News got hold of a memo from a 2009 secret grand jury investigation into a former NAACP leader [Jerry Mondesire] that never went anywhere.
This time, the leak was potentially damning for Fina, who had decided not to prosecute the local official despite questions about the Philadelphia chapter's use of funds.
Kane's defense lawyer would later say she wanted those documents to be public to show Fina's decision not to prosecute but that she didn't release them herself.
But leaking grand jury information is worthy of its own grand jury investigation.
But let’s go back even further to what Phillips mentioned about the corruption probe into Philly politicians that was shut down and reported in The Philly Inquirer on March 16, 2014. What’s missing from The Post article is that Kane thought this piece made her look soft on crime and it certainly didn’t help that she thought Fina was behind the article. Hence, the need for immediate retaliation using The Philadelphia Daily News story against Fina. To carry out the counteroffensive, she solicited the help of her top aide Adrian King and political consultant Joshua Morrow (via Steve Esack/The Morning Call 2/25/16):
The county's affidavit claims Kane targeted Fina because she blamed him, without proof, of being a source in a March 16, 2014, Philadelphia Inquirer story that she thought made her look soft on crime.
Kane sought to damage Fina's reputation, the affidavit states, by providing the Philadelphia Daily News with information from a closed 2009 grand jury investigation Fina supervised. The 2009 grand jury dealt with government grants bestowed on organizations run by J. Whyatt Mondesire, ex-chief of the Philadelphia branch of the NAACP, the affidavit states. Mondesire, who has since died, was not charged.
That Esack article was based on FBI recordings between Morrow and King, who Kane’s legal team would later try to blame for the whole leaked document fiasco.
Wilkes-Barre’s Citizen’s Voice noted in their timeline that on November 17, 2014, Kane said that she spoke to King about the Mondesire probe, but added that she didn’t authorize those sealed documents to be disclosed. The problem is that King said Kane called him on April 22, 2014 to deliver a package to a reporter, who he then gave to Morrow, who in turn delivered to reporter Chris Brennan. That package contained the Mondesire documents.
On May 8, 2014, Brennan calls Fina about the probe, in which Fina suspects that a leak has occurred and calls Montgomery County Judge William Carpenter.
On May 29, special prosecutor, Thomas Carluccio, is appointed by Judge Carpenter to look into The Philadelphia Daily News leak, which was challenged by Kane. Kane’s arguments are rejected and the story on the Mondesire probe is published on June 6, 2014.
The November 2014 testimony is where Kane lands in hot water for perjury. On December 19, 2014, The Voice adds that the grand jury recommends to Montgomery Country District Attorney Risa Ferman that the charges of perjury, false swearing, official suppression, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy should be filed against Kane. On August 6, 2015, Ferman charges Kane (via NYT):
That grand jury concluded that Ms. Kane had orchestrated the leaks as a campaign of retaliation against Mr. Fina, and lied about her actions in her testimony. Its report, delivered to Ms. Ferman in December and made public in April, recommended criminal charges, but left the matter up to Ms. Ferman.
In addition to charging Ms. Kane, the district attorney charged a member of her security detail, Patrick R. Reese, with indirect criminal contempt, claiming that he gained illegal access to information about last year’s grand jury inquiry while it was underway.
At the start of this year, Ferman is elected as a county judge. New DA Kevin Steele takes over the case; Kane files a motion to dismiss the charges on May 26, 2016, which is rejected by Judge Demchick-Alloy. The State Superior Court upholds the decision, according to the Voice. On August 7, the Kane trial begins. Phillips added that the court proceedings devolved into a nasty affair, with Morrow testifying (after being given immunity) that Kane was out for blood, “unhinged” in her pursuit to strike back at Frank Fina. Kane decides not to testify in her own defense and no defense witnesses were called. It was all about broadsiding the prosecution’s witnesses, trying to cast doubt in their testimonies. It doesn’t work. On August 15, Kane is found guilty on all counts after the jury deliberated for less than five hours.
The Morning Call’s Peter Hall wrote that Kane asked for leniency in sentencing so as not to separate her from her family, apologized to the people of Pennsylvania for disgracing the office of Attorney General, and regretted how the now-late Jerry Mondesire’s final days “were anything less than peaceful and happy.” Mondesire’s reputation suffered as a result of this investigation.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Kane is free on $75,000 bail and will probably remain free until the appeals process is done; Kane’s team vowed to do this upon her conviction. It’s quite the fiasco, one that involved every avenue of the state’s legal authority. It was all-out war, but in the end, Kane lost. The publication added that Kane tried to say that she was a victim of the political “Good Ol’Boy’s club” in Pennsylvania due to Porngate, though any mention of that event was barred from her trial. Yet, what her colleagues have said about her, and the damage she has done to the office, point to only one thing in the wake of this hyper-partisan trial: the lady was bad news, whose "Nixonian espionage, she created a terror zone" in the PA Attorney General's office.
Erik Olsen, a top prosecutor, said he was thrilled when Kane won election, thinking her victory would bring a much-needed fresh perspective to an office he said had at times been "misogynistic and mean-spirited."
Instead, he testified, "through a pattern of systematic firings and Nixonian espionage, she created a terror zone in this office."
A former state prosecutor, Clarke Madden, testified that Kane's wrongdoing caused the State Police and the FBI to refuse to cooperate with their office, discouraged victims and witnesses from being helpful to their cases and led judges and defense lawyers to subject prosecutors to sarcastic and sniggering remarks.
Madden, who left the attorney general's office last year, said the atmosphere under Kane became one of "abject demoralization that settled like a poison cloud over the office."
It’s a rather embarrassing, irrational, and somewhat puzzling episode of PA politics. It makes you wonder how the office would have operated under Republican David Freed, Kane’s 2012 opponent.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a close friend of the Clintons, donated about $500,000 to the wife of an FBI agent named Andrew McCabe who was involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails. McAuliffe's financial contribution was made in order to boost Jill McCabe's State Senate campaign. On Fox News Tuesday morning, Clinton supporter Joyce Beatty claims this donation was well within the campaign ethics rules. Yet, others (many others) argue it is a shameful conflict of interest, raising serious questions as to whether McAuliffe's campaign contribution influenced McCabe's having a larger role in the FBI investigation that ultimately exonerated Clinton.
Donald Trump seems to know the answer. Speaking with Fox News on Tuesday, he said it was a "disgrace" Clinton did not get indicted in the FBI scandal and suggested her ally's close connection with the agents explains why.
They gave money at "a huge clip" to the agent's wife, he said. "That's a criminal act."
Trump said this scandal proves Clinton is held to a higher standard than other Americans. "Look what they did to Gen. James Cartwright," Trump argued. Cartwright, a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general, was found guilty of providing classified information to reporters and may face up to five years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.
A Washington Post reporter said the whole thing "reeks of political considerations."
The country’s most famous sheriff, Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, has served in his position for 23 years. He’s been elected six consecutive times by his constituents. However, a new poll by the Arizona Republic may have Sheriff Arpaio sweating.
A poll conducted by Arizona Republic/Morrison/Cronkite has Arpaio trailing his democratic challenger, Paul Penzone, by almost 15 points: 45.9 percent to 31.1 percent.
The shock poll was conducted amid federal prosecutors’ announcement that they would be filing a criminal contempt charge against Arpaio for racial profiling. While always being a controversial figure, analysts believe the recent negative press is damaging Arpaio’s reelection hopes.
The incumbent sheriff’s team has countered that the poll is flawed and their own internal polling shows him beating Penzone by eight points. They claim Arizona Republic’s method included respondents who are not as likely to vote.
When looking at Arpaio’s past election results, the status of this campaign may not be completely surprising. While winning fairly easily, Arpaio has steadily lost ground every four years. In 2000 he won by a spread of 40 points. In 2004 he won by 26 points. In 2008 he won by 13. And in his latest in 2012, he only won reelection by six points.
This trend should be daunting for Team Arpaio.
There is still good news for the famous sheriff. He touts name recognition even some national candidates wish they could have. Arpaio has raised $1.2 million this election cycle. That’s a jaw dropping amount for just a county sheriff and it’s four times more than his challenger, Penzone.
Sheriff Joe needs to start spending. Quickly.
The news broke last evening, but it didn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been paying attention. We've known all along that Obamacare's rate hikes were due just before the election, and independent analysts have been tracking the law's 2017 premium spikes for months. Now the Obama administration has been forced to reckon with reality: The president's signature domestic "accomplishment" is failing. These aren't right-wing lies, or whatever. This is official HHS data:
Premiums for a crucial category of Obamacare plans on HealthCare.gov will rise by 25 percent on average next year, more than three times larger than this year's price increases, the Obama administration said Monday. By comparison, average prices for the second cheapest silver-level plan — which is used as the benchmark to determine premium subsidy levels — had increased by just 7.5 percent on average in 2016 and 2 percent in 2015...Federal health officials also confirmed that roughly one in five people in the states that use HealthCare.gov must shop from only one insurer following decisions by several major national and regional insurers to pull back from the Obamacare marketplaces in 2017. On average, exchange customers will have 30 plan options to choose from for 2017, down from 47 this year...HHS says 15 new insurers will enter the exchanges in 2017, while 83 insurers are dropping off the marketplaces. About 80 percent of customers will have at least two companies to choose from; just more than half will have at least three. The Obama administration expects 13.8 million people nationwide to pick a plan during the upcoming open enrollment season, about 1 million more than signed up this year.
Compared to this year's disaster, consecutive average increases of "just" 7.5 percent may seem "affordable," but a combined 15 percent rise in rates over a two year period is a clear failure unto itself. Americans were promised substantially reduced premiums for all consumers. And now they're going through the roof. I discussed the four big takeaways from the administration's announcement with Brit Hume last evening, via Right Sightings:
(1) Average benchmark premiums increasing an average of 25 percent.
(3) Approximately one out of five Obamacare consumers will have to "choose" from among one or zero plans in their area.
(4) The total marketplace enrollment anticipated by the administration for 2017 is 13.8 million people. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office initially projected that enrollment would be north of 21 million by this year.
This finalized official data -- which doesn't take into account skyrocketing rates on non-baseline plans that are hammering millions of people across the country -- serves as a timely reminder that the reason we have this unpopular, harmful law is because Democrats were handed full control of the elected branches of government in 2008. As the liberals who are responsible for this mess demand "fixes" that entail even more spending and more government intrusion (and harsher tax penalties to punish people who can't afford the unaffordable coverage), it is essential to keep Congress out of Democratic hands. Every single Republican running for federal office should pound relentlessly at this theme and on this issue for the next two weeks. Who's up for some flashbacks? Whoops:
The stakes are enormous—if we don't get this done, your premiums are guaranteed to go up. http://bit.ly/5z9oXL— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) December 16, 2009
Fact checkers: No, health insurance premiums will not rise under Obamacare. http://t.co/kkbAnlk9— OFA TruthTeam (@OFATruthTeam) October 17, 2012
Congressional Democrats marched right along and saluted, repeating the lies ad nauseam. Just a few months ago, Kathleen Sebelius' successor at HHS penned an op/ed assuring Americans that premiums weren't increasing as much as they might have without the law, and begging voters to disregard predictions of "doom." That spin looks especially foolish now; plus, "your rising costs could be worse, maybe" wasn't the promise on which the law was sold:
Take a bow, Democrats:
Speaking with Trump National Doral Miami resort employees at a rally in Florida, the Republican nominee Donald Trump once again promised to “repeal and replace” Obamacare after it was announced yesterday that premiums were skyrocketing.
"I can say all of my employees are having a tremendous problem with Obamacare. You folks, this is another group. Is that a correct statement?” he said, pointing to the crowd of employees. “You look at what they're going through with their health care is horrible because of Obamacare. So we'll repeal it and replace it. But this is about jobs. And we have thousands of employees in Florida."
Before bringing up nearly a dozen employees to speak on stage, Trump made it clear that most of his properties are operated by minorities.
“The most important thing are the employees, and we have many, many employees. We have over a thousand employees, well over a thousand employees at Doral. Eighty percent of them are Hispanic, right?” he said, turning around to the crowd behind him as it cheered the statistic. “We have 80 percent Hispanic. People don't know these things. And they are. They have done a fantastic job.”
This election cycle has been one full of mud-slinging and nastiness, so this oddly charming and amusing ad out of Texas is a breath of fresh air. Travis County Commissioner Gerald Daugherty, a Republican, is running for re-election, and for the sake of Gerald's wife, Charlyn, let's hope he wins.
Watch the clever ad here:
While the ad debuted in early October, it was recently discovered and has gone viral over the past few days. The ad is being praised for its humor, as well as for being "unusually pleasant" during this rough campaign season.
Daugherty has served as Travis County Commissioner from 2002-2008, and was elected again in 2012.
President Barack Obama appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday night, where he again partook in the "Mean Tweets" series, reading a series of unkind tweets about himself on camera.
The tweets were sent from a variety of people, including a mother who was angry that her daughter shared a birthday with the president, as well as Republican nominee Donald Trump.
This was the second time Obama has appeared on Kimmel's "mean tweets" series. In March of 2015, the president's video on the show became the most-viewed video in the history of the show.
Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) had a light bulb moment during the final Pennsylvania Senate debate with his Democratic challenger Katie McGinty.
Toomey brought up an embarrassing moment on the campaign trail when McGinty claimed she was the first member in her family to go to college. It was soon discovered her brother had graduated from college years ago.
"Maybe it's Katie McGinty's problem with the truth that allows her to overlook Hillary Clinton's chronic lies," Toomey concluded.
In other words, they're two peas in a pod.
Yet, Toomey didn't exactly properly defend the Republican nominee, either. When asked if he was going to vote for Donald Trump, Toomey deferred.
"I don't think my constituents care that much how one person is going to vote."
Toomey and McGinty also sparred over the Iran Deal, gun control, health care, abortion, and negative campaign ads. They failed to find common ground on anything.
RealClearPolitics has Toomey with just a 2-point advantage.
When Fox News’ Megyn Kelly confronted Donna Brazile over a Wikileaks email that shows the interim DNC chair giving Hillary Clinton the exact wording to a question before a town hall event, Brazile claimed the emails were doctored. But now, one tech blogger says it’s quite easy to prove they weren’t.
Tech blog Errata Security took up the challenge, finding the email Brazile sent to campaign adviser Jennifer Palmieri and ran it through a verification program.
DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM) is a system employed by many email servers, including HillaryClinton.com, to verify emails to recipients and avoid spam filters. The system sends a DKIM "key" to the receiver to verify the sender and confirm the email hasn’t been tampered with.
Consequently, bloggers ran the DKIM keys included in this and other emails through verification software, which in turn validated the Palmieri email as both real and undoctored.
Cybersecurity expert Robert Graham detailed the process in his post for Errata Security and told Fox News the validation “took less than five minutes.”
Graham is so confident the verification program is accurate that he’s offering a $600 BitCoin challenge to anyone who can doctor an email and still have it show as verified after running through DKIM software.
In the third undercover video released by James O’Keefe and Project Veritas on Monday, Democratic operative Robert Creamer revealed a plan to troll Donald Trump that could put Hillary Clinton in hot water.
According to Creamer, Clinton personally approved a plan to have a nonprofit group use Donald Duck mascots to troll Trump at his rallies over his refusal to release his tax returns.
“In the end, it was the candidate, Hillary Clinton, the future president of the United States, who wanted ducks on the ground, so by God we would get ducks on the ground,” Democracy Partners’ Creamer says in the video. “Don’t repeat that to anybody.”
In the video Creamer said the group originally planned to use mascots of Uncle Sam, but it was Clinton who wanted Donald Duck—a messaged relayed to him by Hillary For America Deputy Communications Director Christina Reynolds.
“Christina Reynolds calls,” he says, “saying, ‘I have good news and bad news. The good news is the candidate would like to have a mascot following around ... Trump. But the bad news is she wants it to be Donald Duck.’ “My answer is, ‘Christine, if the future president wants ducks, we will put ducks on the ground,” he says boastfully.
If Clinton and the DNC did coordinate with the group Americans United for Change, it constitutes ‘illegally coordinated campaign expenditures,’ according to Project Veritas.
AUFC is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code, allowing it to conduct limited amounts of electioneering as long as it doesn't directly advocate voting for or against candidates.
It also doesn't have to publicly identify its donors, distinguishing it from super PACs which must disclose their income sources but can electioneer more aggressively.
The Federal Election Commission prohibits campaigns from working with outside groups where a tangible dollar amount is tied to back-and-forth communications.
Money spent to buy the duck costume, pay staff to wear it, and publicize each campaign stunt would be considered an illegal campaign contribution to Hillary For America.
“The connection between Creamer, President Obama and Hillary Clinton is undeniable as are the campaign law violations,” O’Keefe said. “If it looks like a duck, if it talks like a duck, and if it walks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck. They broke the law.”
Bernie Sanders said he has no right to criticize Hillary Clinton's campaign for mocking him in newly released WikiLeaks emails. Why? Because his staff's emails are probably just as bad.
“Trust me, if they went into our emails — I suppose which may happen, who knows — I’m sure there would be statements that would be less than flattering about, you know, the Clinton staff,” Sanders told The Washington Post in an interview published Monday.
In WikiLeaks' newest email dump, the media discovered that Clinton staffers called Sanders a "doofus" in the midst of their Democratic primary fight. Clinton campaign chair John Podesta also dismissed Sanders' health care plan, arguing it was authored in a "leftie alternative universe."
Oh, and that it "sucks."
Clinton herself has been caught writing off Sanders followers as basement dwellers who were easily brainwashed by Sanders' lofty proposals.
The Vermont senator is turning his cheek to these revelations, simply noting, "that's what happens in campaigns." Yet, the months long fight against Clinton in the Democratic primary proves the animosity between the two camps goes beyond the campaign trail. The election has exposed Sanders and Clinton's major differences, for instance, on war and Wall Street. The Vermont senator hammered Clinton repeatedly for her vote for the war in Iraq, often using it to question her judgment. He also, as we've highlighted several times on Monday after she received praise from Goldman Sachs, criticized her for her cozy connection with Wall Street. You can see why his eventual endorsement of Clinton confused his progressive followers.
One thing's for sure: WikiLeaks has made those joint Clinton-Sanders bus rides a whole lot more awkward.
Republican nominee Donald Trump has gained the support of yet another legendary college sports figure.
Bobby Bowden, coach of the Florida State Seminoles football team from the 1976 to 2009, is a two-time national champion and 12-time ACC champion.
"I love his slogan ... I love what he said about making America great again," said Bowden, who rallied supporters in Tampa, Florida. Bowden said his wife had already voted for Trump and that his daughters will, too.
Bowden is not the only legend in college sports to have endorsed Trump. Coach Bobby Knight of the Indiana Hoosiers basketball program endorsed the candidate just days before the Indiana primary, a move in which many said influenced the election results. Two weeks before hand, Ted Cruz led Donald Trump by 16 points in the state.
The campaign will air the program at 6:30 p.m. from Trump Tower in New York City. The half-hour coverage will go live right before Trump’s 7 p.m. rallies, Trump’s advisers Boris Epshteyn and Cliff Sims told Politico. The show will also include conservative pundit from The Blaze Tomi Lahren.
“This is a HISTORIC movement. Together, we will once again make a government by, for, and of the people! Help us close out the final weeks of this campaign strong and WIN,” Trump wrote in a Facebook post that also include a link to a fundraising page.
His campaign has denied this new Facebook telecast is a preview of the rumored "Trump TV" should he lose the election.
The first Facebook video follows Trump during his campaign rally in Tampa, Florida and features interviews with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and the RNC's Sean Spicer. Watch below.
A Virginia cab driver has pled guilty to helping his friend join ISIS back in January.
Mahmoud Elhassan, 26, drove Joseph Farrokh, 29, to a rest stop prior to his flight to Syria, before driving back to northern Virginia. Elhassan was arrested at a mall after Farrokh was arrested at the airport, and he was charged with attempting to help a terrorist group as well as giving false statements to the FBI. The pair was arrested after an FBI informant alerted authorities about Farrokh's plans to join ISIS.
Elhassan insists that he himself was not planning on traveling abroad and joining ISIS.
From the Washington Post:
Elhassan, 26, pleaded guilty Monday morning to attempting to help a terrorist group and giving false statements to the FBI. He admitted that he introduced Farrokh to the informant at Farrokh’s wedding last fall and spoke numerous times about ways to get to Syria. He also lied to investigators, claiming that his friend had flown out of Dulles International Airport to attend a funeral in California.
He may yet go to trial on a charge of conspiracy to provide material support. He says that he himself never tried to go abroad.
Farrokh was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison earlier this year. He was reportedly obsessed with the idea of being a martyr in Syria, and turned to Islam while recovering from an opioid addiction.
Five other people in Northern Virginia have been charged with attempting to aid or join ISIS.
The bonuses, which were supposed to be for soldiers in high-demand assignments, were given during the height of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than 10,000 servicemen in order to meet recruitment goals.
But lawmakers say the Pentagon’s move to recover roughly $20 million is “disgraceful” and “insulting.”
In a letter written to Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), a former Marine and member of the House Armed Services Committee, said “even the simple request of asking soldiers to repay money contingent on reenlistment is disgraceful and insulting."
"In fact, I find it difficult to believe that either you or your leadership team was aware that such a boneheaded decision was made to demand repayment — and I ask that you utilize your authority to influence a solution, including a possible legislative fix if determined necessary, that's in the best interest of the individuals and families impacted," he added.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) echoed his remarks, saying the effort to make soldiers pay back the bonuses is both “immoral” and “extremely troubling.”
"The Department of Defense should immediately halt the retrieval of these debts, and when Congress returns in November, I will insist this issue be permanently resolved with language in the National Defense Authorization Act awaiting final passage in both Chambers," Issa wrote in a letter to Carter on Monday.
"It is unconscionable that the burden of bureaucratic malfeasance and corruption over a decade ago is being borne by heroes who stepped forward, put themselves in harm’s way and fought to keep our nation safe. Please immediately inform our offices, in addition to the appropriate Congressional committees of jurisdiction, of the steps you will be taking to promptly fix this problem -- and in a way that makes whole every one of these veterans," he wrote.
Issa also asked the chairmen of the Armed Services Committees to include a provision in the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act to put a stop to the effort to recoup the money.
Over the weekend, the hashtag #DescribeTheElectionInAGif trended as people sought to condense the 20-month campaign into a short animated image.
Here are some of the best, funniest, and most accurate examples:
And, of course: