President Barack Obama had plenty of obstacles when he took over from the Bush administration. The country faced a recession not seen since the Great Depression and the U.S. was embroiled in the Iraq war which left hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis along with thousands of American soldiers in what has turned out to be one of the most catastrophic American foreign policy blunders in history. One would think that the Republicans would help the young president fix what they had broken. Unfortunately, since Obama took office, the Republicans have done nothing but try to stifle him, even at the cost of shutting down the government.
Fast forward more than seven years and we still see an unbroken theme with the Republicans — continued obstructionism that has prevented the government from functioning properly and has kept vital decisions from being made. In the latest round, the Republicans in the United States Senate refused to give Chief Judge Merrick Garland a fair hearing and a vote despite the fact that it’s been 45 days since the president nominated him for the United States Supreme Court. In his address,the president made it clear that the U.S. Supreme Court must remain above partisan politics and the senate must do its job.
Unfortunately, as they’ve done in the previous seven years, the Republicans are unlikely to heed the president’s advice and suggestions. In the end, it’s the American system and ultimately the American people who suffer from the partisan politics which have become so dysfunctional.
DeMint is not the first conservative to admit voter ID laws hurt Democrats, Republicans claim they will “make the difference” against Clinton.
* The following is an opinion column by R Muse *Americans like to think their country is exceptional and in many ways it certainly is exceptional among democracies in not allowing all its citizens to vote in free and fair elections. Obviously elections are not free with the flood of outside and secret campaign donations, and one might argue successfully that if all Americans can’t vote elections can hardly be considered fair. There is an inordinate amount of attention given to the influence of “secret” money in tilting elections for Republicans, but very little about vote suppression.
No matter what anyone says, money does not determine the outcome of any election, period. Because at the end of an election day election officials or voting machines do not count money; they count and tally votes. There is no evidence that Republicans are paying anyone to vote thus far. However, they are working tirelessly to restrict votes that may be cast for Democratic candidates by enacting harsh voter ID and suppression laws to help elect conservatives and Republicans. That was what former senator and current teabag president of the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation admitted during a radio interview yesterday.
Jim DeMint, the former South Carolina senator, acknowledged that the rash of Republican voter ID laws rampant in red states definitely helps elect “more conservative candidates.” DeMint then asserted, strongly by the way, that the only reason Democrats oppose harsh voter suppression and ID laws is because they help Republicans. DeMint is as deceitful as he is a liar as he is opposed to the democratic process. Research, studies, and empirical data reveal there is virtually no voter fraud going on anywhere; a fact DeMint knows is indisputable. More on that later.
The reason Democrats or anyone on the Left opposes “stringent voter ID requirements” is because they are created specifically to target the poor, students, the elderly, and people of color to prohibit them from exercising a basic American right to vote. If those groups believe Democrats are working for their best interest and not solely for the religious and the rich, of course they are going to vote for Democrats; they are disenfranchised, not stupid like conservative voters.
“The left fights voter ID or any kind of picture ID to know that it is actually a registered voter who’s voting. And so it’s something we’re working on all over the country, because in the states where they do have voter ID laws you’ve seen, actually, elections begin to change towards more conservative candidates.”
The Heritage president is implying the only honest voters in America are conservatives and perpetuated the bovine excrement argument that rampant voter fraud on the left is the only reason a Democrat can win an election. In fact, when he was queried about Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s recent executive order restoring voting rights to over 200,000 Virginia residents, DeMint said exactly what one expects from Republicans entrenched in the voter suppression movement. “Governor McAuliffe is inviting more voter fraud” to help Democrats. DeMint may no longer be an officially active Republican politician, but the teabagger gave a typically Republican line about allowing Americans to vote; he said,
“It’s awfully suspicious coming into a big election in a state where it’s actually pretty close. I mean, states can decide who votes, but the governor seems over the top to me. I haven’t seen a complete analysis here, but the left is trying to draw votes from illegals, from voter fraud, a lot of different things, so this kind of fits right in to trying to find another group that they can basically count on to vote their way.”
It is awfully nice for DeMint to approve of states deciding who gets to vote, but he made a hypocritically atrocious claim about a Democratic state being “awfully suspicious” in restoring voting rights. This is particularly true when he just said Republicans enact harsh voter ID and suppression laws in order to disenfranchise Americans inclined to vote for Democrats and to help conservatives and Republicans win elections; a fact that no small number of Republicans haveopenlyadmitted to little outrage across Republican states.
DeMint is not the first conservative to admit voter ID laws benefit Republican candidates. A Wisconsin Republican, Glenn Grothman recently boasted that enacting harsh “photo ID laws is going to make the difference” in defeating Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election.
In another study published a couple of months ago by researchers at the University of California-San Diego, the results confirmed what anyone with a functioning brain already knows; Republicans’ harsh voter ID laws adversely affect the turnout of minorities and Democrats.
Now, Republicans began claiming, after first losing control of Congress in 2006 and again when Barack Obama won in 2008 that out-of-control voter fraud incited their crusade to abolish the Voting Rights Act and implement the most severe vote suppression tactics since the Jim Crow era. It is noteworthy that several Republicans across the country have admitted, openly, that the voter ID and suppression tactics are to restrict tens-of-millions of Americans right to vote to help elect Republicans. And yet conservatives like DeMint continue claiming their anti-democracy efforts are simply to prevent voter fraud; something that hardly exists.
Less than two years ago a comprehensive investigation of over a billion votes cast since 2000 in every primary, general, special, recall and municipal election in the entire nation revealed that there were only 31 documented cases of voter fraud over the course of thirteen years and dog knows how many state, federal, and regional elections. If the number thirty-one seems awfully small for over a billion votes cast, look at it as a percentage of over a billion votes; a stunningly small 0.000000031% over the past thirteen years. And, according to the researchers compiling those figures, it is more likely than not “that any fraud was more as a result of errors than deliberate cheating.”
Republicans are well aware they can hardly win if there are fair elections that allow all Americans to vote or they would not enact vote suppression and absurd voter ID laws. The sad fact is that their efforts have been successful with the valuable assistance of the Koch acolytes on the Supreme Court, and their crusade is ramping up across the nation, just as DeMint promised.
The message to anyone on the Left concerned about keeping America a semi-democratic nation is stop the pleading for money, stop signing and starting worthless petitions, and for dog’s sake stop the childish bickering about who is the most ideologically pure and start working to get people registered and informed to vote. Otherwise, you’ll be home pissing and moaning when Donald Trump is elected president and Republicans increase their majorities in Congress. Because evangelical fanatics, gun-toting “patriots,” anti-women misogynists, and racist pigs always turn out to vote en masse. And, they faithfully vote for the Republican candidate whether or not they are ideologically pure enough and regardless if their champion du jour is on the ballot; something the Left is incapable of doing regularly if at all.
Demonstrations against Donald Trump continued for a second day in California when dozens of protesters gathered Friday outside the Republican convention in Burlingame. Trump had to walk along a concrete median to slip into the back of the building without harassment. At one point, about two dozen protesters rushed the barriers of the Hyatt Regency, where the convention was taking place, and were pushed back by police using batons. The clashes are the latest in a string of Trump protests.
A friend of alleged Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof pleaded guilty Friday to lying to federal officials and withholding information about the attack. Joey Meek faces up to eight years in prison and $500,000 in fines. He agreed to testify against Roof, who is accused of fatally shooting nine black people in a Bible study at a Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June. The race-related shooting renewed debate that led South Carolina to remove its Confederate flag from statehouse grounds.
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R) endorsed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in the Republican presidential race during a Friday appearance on a conservative talk radio show. “I’m not against anyone, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz,” Pence said. His endorsement comes days ahead of Indiana’s Tuesday primary, which is critical for Cruz, who is trying to prevent frontrunner Donald Trump from locking up the 1,237 delegates he needs to secure the nomination.
San Francisco Police Chief Gregory Suhr released nine pages of racist and homophobic text messages sent between officers Friday and ordered all offers to undergo anti-bias training. “We have nothing to hide,” Suhr said of his 2,000-member force. “These are the actions of a few.” The department is already under federal investigation for the 2015 fatal shooting of Mario Woods, a black man.
The Pentagon announced Friday that it has punished 16 American military personnel, including a two-star general, for the deadly strike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Afghanistan last year that killed 42. Because the Pentagon determined the attack was not intentional, but rather the fault of human error, fatigue, and technical errors, those punished will not face criminal charges. They face “administrative actions” only, including suspension, removal from command, and letters of reprimand.
Syria called local truces Friday, but put no end to the violence in Aleppo deemed “monstrous” by the United Nations. The death toll from a Wednesday airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital has risen to at least 50 people. On Friday, rebel forces reportedly fired mortar rounds into a mosque, killing at least 15 people. More than 200 people have been killed in Aleppo in the last week by pro-government and rebel forces. Peace talks aimed at establishing a cease-fire recently collapsed.
Actor Will Ferrell has reportedly nixed plans to play Ronald Reagan in a comedy about the late president’s dementia, just days after it was announced he had signed on. Ferrell’s spokesperson said he was never officially attached to the project. Shortly after news of the film broke, Reagan’s daughter Patti Davis penned an open letter expressing her disappointment. “Perhaps if you knew more,” Davis wrote, “you would not find the subject humorous.”
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest let his fictional counterpart handle his daily briefing Friday. Allison Janney, who played the whip-smart C.J. Cregg on The West Wing, took over the podium while Earnest was supposedly out of commission for a root canal. “Let’s be honest,” Janney said, “I’m better at this anyway.” Eventually, Earnest showed up and engaged Janney in some light-hearted banter.
The struggling Los Angeles Lakers signed former forward Luke Walton to a multi-year deal as head coach, the team announced Friday. “I have always dreamed of being a head coach, and the chance to do that for an organization like the Lakers doesn’t come around very often,” Walton said. Walton, who has served as an assistant coach for the Golden State Warriors, played nine seasons with Los Angeles, winning two championship rings.
Comedian Larry Wilmore will take the stage Saturday at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, President Obama’s last. “I like Obama a lot,” Wilmore said recently. “But remember, I only supported him because he’s black, so I can attack his positions all I want.” The dinner starts at 7:30 p.m. ET. Expect Wilmore to come on around 9:45, followed by Obama himself. Watch the jokes go down on C-SPAN.
Did we need further evidence that the Republican Party is on its way to a pathetic loss?
Indiana Governor Mike Pence, whose Republican Primary is next Tuesday, has been avoiding all GOP candidates visiting his state. It was unclear until today whether he would make any endorsement whatsoever.
I guess the statewide whispers that he was being a flabby douche for not making an endorsement forced him to make this lukewarm announcement. CNN:
“I’m not against anybody, but I will be voting for Ted Cruz in the Republican primary,” Pence said in an interview with WIBC’s Greg Garrison. He praised Cruz’s “knowledge of the Constitution” and his willingness to “take on the leadership” of his own party.
Still, Pence is far from joining other Cruz endorsers like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the stop-Trump movement.
“Let me be very clear on this race: Whoever wins the Republican nation for president of the United States, I’m going to work my heart out to get elected this fall,” Pence said.
Shorter Mike Pence: My gay-obsessed Christianist base won’t let me endorse you, but please don’t hit me, Mr. Trump.
Simmons, who claimed he “spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA),” pleaded guilty “to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.”
Fox News commentator and “Benghazi expert” Wayne Simmons was and indicted by a federal grand jury last October after it was revealed he had been impersonating a CIA officer, claiming, as CNN reported at the time, that he was an “outside paramilitary special operations officer” for the CIA from 1973 to 2000. On Fox, this was often shortened to “former CIA operative.”
The Department of Justice issued a statement Friday announcing that Former Fox News Commentator Pleads Guilty to Fraud: “Wayne Shelby Simmons, 62, of Annapolis, Maryland, a former Fox News commentator who has falsely claimed he spent 27 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), pleaded guilty today to major fraud against the government, wire fraud, and a firearms offense.” Originally, it will be remembered, he had entered a plea of not guilty in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Virginia.
But the worm has turned for Simmons. As the Justice Department’s statement tells us,
“Wayne Simmons is a convicted felon with no military or intelligence experience,” said Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Simmons admitted he attempted to con his way into a position where he would have been called on to give real intelligence advice in a war zone. His fraud cost the government money, could have put American lives at risk, and was an insult to the real men and women of the intelligence community who provide tireless service to this country. This case is a prime example of this office’s ongoing commitment to vigorously prosecute government fraud and threats to national security.”
“Mr. Simmons lied about his criminal history and CIA employment in order to fraudulently obtain government contracts, and separately, defrauded a victim through a phony real estate investment deal,” said Paul M. Abbate, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “With these criminal actions, Mr. Simmons abused the trust of others, both in and outside of government, for his own personal financial gain. I commend the work of the talented FBI personnel and prosecutors who vigorously pursued this case and brought about today’s guilty plea.”
The Justice Department statement details the charges against him:
Simmons admitted he defrauded the government in 2008 when he obtained work as a team leader in the U.S. Army’s Human Terrain Systems program, and again in 2010 when he was deployed to Afghanistan as a senior intelligence advisor on the International Security Assistance Force’s Counterinsurgency Advisory and Assistance Team.
Simmons admitted to defrauding an individual victim, identified as E.L., out of $125,000 in connection with a bogus real estate investment. Simmons admitted to sending E.L. promised monthly disbursements to make it appear as if her funds had been invested as promised, and to repeatedly lying to her about the whereabouts of her money in order to perpetuate the fraud. As Simmons admitted, he simply spent the funds on personal purposes and there was never any actual real estate investment project.
As to the firearms charge, Simmons admitted that at the time he was arrested in this case, he was unlawfully in possession of two firearms, which he was prohibited from possessing on account of his prior felony convictions, including a prior Maryland felony conviction and two prior federal felony firearms convictions.
Simmons is in a lot of trouble and liberals and progressives will no doubt cheer the news that he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison on the fraud charges, a maximum of 20 years on the wire fraud count, and a maximum of 10 years for being a felon in possession of a firearm. He will be sentenced on July 15 and as the press release reminds us, “The maximum statutory sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”
Here is the thing though, and it must not be overlooked: Simmons doesn’t actually admit he lied, only that prosecutors will prove that he lied, and there is a distinction, because he maintains that while there is no evidence that he worked for the CIA, he did work for the CIA. In other words, asThe Washington Postput it Friday, he “stands by his story.”
As Media Matters for America observes, “Simmons was a frequent guest on Fox News, appearing on the network dozens of times purporting to be a former CIA operative.” Of course, when he was arrested, Fox News immediately pretended that while he had appeared on the network as a “national security and terrorism expert,” he “was never employed by the channel and was never paid by Fox.”
Simmons, Fox News’ go-to “Benghazi expert,” was the perfect “expert” for the right wing propaganda machine, a guy who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about but was willing to tell people what they wanted to hear, a fault he shares with just about every Republican who opens his mouth these days, from the unholy trinity at the top of Trump, Cruz, and Kasich, all the way down to governors, lawmakers, and pundits.
There is a certain symmetry here in the denouement of the story of Wayne Simmons, fake expert for a fake news channel, for as the Justice Department relates, Simmons now admits “making false statements about his financial and criminal history, and admitted that there are no records or any other evidence that he was ever employed by or worked with the CIA, or ever applied for or was granted a security clearance by that agency.”
We could say Fox News is fooling nobody, but Fox News fools many people, and Simmons is hardly the only pundit employed by the network to spread disinformation. In many way, Simmons is a poster boy for the fraud being perpetuated on the American people not only by Fox News, but by the Republican Party it was established to serve.
Is Donald Trump really going to be the Republican presidential nominee?
After his victories this week, this once-unthinkable outcome looks more likely than ever, and Republican elites are increasingly resigning themselves to it. But he hasn’t clinched it yet.
Trump has built up such a lead in the delegate count at this point that he’s all but assured to finish with more delegates than any of his rivals. By our count, he has around 990 delegates, which places him very far ahead of Ted Cruz and John Kasich:
Indeed, both Cruz and Kasich have been mathematically eliminated from getting enough delegates to win on the convention’s first ballot, under the party’s current rules.
So the main drama now is not over whether Trump will get the most delegates, it’s about whether he’ll win an outright majority of delegates — 1,237, the magic number he needs to clinch the GOP nomination on the first ballot.
Right now, Trump has about 990 delegates. So he’s 247 or so away from the magic number, with 581 delegates still uncommitted or at stake in future primaries.
The upshot is that Trump needs to win just 43 percent of the remaining delegates to clinch his majority.
But even if he falls a bit short of that majority, he now seems clearly on track to get very close to it. And the closer he gets, the more difficult it will be for the party to justify denying him the nomination.
California and Indiana are the most important remaining states to watch
The delegates that are still up for grabs fall into two main groups. There are about 500 delegates in the 10 states that haven’t voted yet, and then there are about 80 delegates who are uncommitted and free to support whomever they choose.
The next state to vote is Indiana on this coming Tuesday, May 3, with 57 delegates at stake. In my view, this is the second most important state remaining, because it’s winner-take-all (partly statewide, partly by congressional district) and has still seemed like it could tip to either Trump or Cruz. Most media commentators and politicos are interpreting Indiana as a must-win for Cruz at this point — if he loses it, his campaign will be deemed entirely dead rather than just mostly dead.
Four more states then vote in the remaining weeks of May. Of them, Nebraska is expected to give all its delegates to Cruz, West Virginia is expected to go strongly for Trump (though it has odd delegate allocation rules that could depress his total somewhat), and the candidates will split Oregon and Washington‘s delegates due to proportional allocation.
All this leads up to the final day of GOP primary voting: June 7, when five states will vote.
New Jersey is a winner-take-all state that Trump is expected to win easily.
South Dakota and Montana are also winner-take-all states, and are expected to go to Cruz.
New Mexico is another proportional state where the delegates will be split.
But the day’s biggest prize, and the state that will likely determine whether Trump clinches his majority, is California. There are 172 delegates at stake there, and 159 of them will be allotted winner-take-all on the congressional district level (three delegates in each of the state’s 53 districts) — which means that broad strength across the state will be necessary to pick up most of its delegates.
If Trump doesn’t manage to hit his magic number by June 7, however, he’ll still have some time before the mid-July convention. And in the interim, he’ll work to win over those uncommitted delegates to try to get him over the top. (They’re from various states and territories due to quirks in local rules, including North Dakota, Pennsylvania, American Samoa, and Guam.)
Trump could also try to peel some unbound delegates who have endorsed Cruz away from him, perhaps arguing that the party should avert a divisive and damaging contested convention. According to a tally by PhD student Daniel Nichanian, Cruz has 24 of these delegates. (Trump has been endorsed by 30 or so unbound delegates that could in theory defect from him, too.)
Convention shenanigans to block Trump are possible theoretically but a tough sell practically
So, you may be wondering, is the Republican Party really stuck with Donald Trump as its nominee? Can they really do nothing to stop him?
In fact, the 2,472 delegates who go to the convention have a great deal of power — so much so that they probably could prevent Trump’s nomination if they really, really wanted to.
The problem is that this would badly flout the modern norm that a party’s voters determine the party’s presidential nominee, and would cause a tremendous backlash — a backlash for which the party doesn’t appear to have an appetite.
First of all, if Trump doesn’t lock down that majority of delegates on the first ballot, then he doesn’t become the nominee just yet. Multiple rounds of balloting will ensue, and more and more delegates will become freed up to vote for whomever they want.
But what would happen after that isn’t clear. Many have argued that since Trump has done a bad job of ensuring his supporters are installed as his delegates, party support would surely swing elsewhere as a second ballot. Yet polling shows that Republican voters think the candidate with the most delegates from primary voting should get the nomination. So it’s possible that the delegates would be hesitant to defy what they perceive to be the public will to nominate the candidate who came in second or someone who didn’t run at all.
Second, even if Trump does get an apparent delegate majority before the convention, there are various ways the delegates could, theoretically, change that. Most of these would involve changing the convention’s rules to tip the balance against Trump, which the delegates are perfectly free to do should they so desire — they have a lot of power!
Yet the delegates will know full well that the more they actually use these powers to sway the outcome, the greater the backlash they’ll provoke. If current trends continue, Trump will have won the most delegates in primaries, the most votes, the most states. If GOP delegates change the rules at the last minute to block his nomination, it will (accurately) appear that they were trying to “steal” the election from Trump, and infuriate his many supporters.
Recent evidence has pointed toward the party starting to resign itself to the inevitability of a Trump nomination, rather than gearing up for an intensely controversial effort to block him:
So that’s where we appear to be — Trump is doing well enough, and his rivals have been doing poorly enough, that while it’s still unclear whether he’ll get his delegate majority, it’s tougher than ever to imagine the Republican Party stopping him.
A racist Donald Trump fan has been arrested by the FBI after he made threats to kill President Obama. The authorities also found that he had a cache of pipe bombs on his property when they raided his home in Oregon.
John Martin Roos, a 61-year-old from Oregon, has been charged with communication of a threat in interstate commerce, and additional charges are likely forthcoming. Roos first came onto the federal government’s radar after a “concerned citizen” brought Roos’ Facebook and Twitter postings to the FBI’s attention in February, according to an affidavit from Special Agent Jeffrey Gray.
Roos also had a series of Facebook and Twitter posts with racist rants targeting the President.
“Obama you goat fffing fudgepacker, the refugees are men of fighting age. Black lives matter! Sure we need someone to pick cotton and wash cars. Paris, burn diseased muslim neighborhoods to the ground and start over with human beings. Obama you are on a hit list,” he wrote in a post that appears to have been removed.
He is just the latest in a line of people, ranging from the truly dangerous to just out and out cranks, that have been apprehended since Obama’s inauguration in 2009 for threats towards the first black president.
His postings online definitely took cues from the targets of Donald Trump’s ire. The Huffington Post reported that Roos used his online postings to attack “Attorney General Loretta Lynch, singer Beyonce, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and reporter Michelle Fields.” Roos also had praise for those who have supported Trump or been praised by the reality TV star:
He praised Ann Coulter and Stacey Dash, and posted several links to posts on Breitbart.com.
Coulter has identified herself as a Trump supporter, while on Fox News, Dash has defended and promoted Trump.
Breitbart.com has been the most pro-Trump of the conservative media outlets, and an insider has actually alleged that Trump has been paying the site for favorable coverage.
Hillary Clinton is winning with women in nearly every state and their support may win her the presidency.
Take it from Donald Trump, who is “very smart,” “really, really rich” and has had “a life of victory,” as the high self-esteem candidate has characterized himself: women don’t like Hillary Clinton, and they aren’t going to vote for her, even if it means missing a chance to elect the first woman to the Oval Office.
“The only card she has is the women’s card. She’s got nothing else to offer,” Trump said, bursting with bravado after sweeping five states April 26. “And frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote. The only thing she’s got going for her is the woman’s card, and the beautiful thing is, women don’t like her.”
That’s a reliable applause line in certain Republican circles, where the “unlikable” moniker is thrown around to explain why Clinton will never make it to the Oval Office. And indeed, Clinton has high negatives in opinion polls. But when it comes to female voters, the polling shows that it’s the Trump card, and not the so-called woman’s card, that is influencing the female vote. And it’s not helping the man who appears well-poised to win the GOP nomination.
“Demographically, it has all the potential in the world to be the driving factor this fall. We’ve had a gender gap forever in American politics, but the possibility right now of having a hyper divide is quite real,” says Christopher Borick, director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion in Allentown, Pennsylvania, predicting that the gap would affect down-ticket races as well.
“I don’t think you’re going to see a gender gap this fall” if indeed Clinton and Trump go on to become their party’s respective nominees, adds Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia. “You’re going to see a gender chasm.” And it’s not going to be in Trump’s favor, analysts say – a prediction that is backed up by early polling.
Nationally, the numbers don’t look good for Trump. A Gallup tracking poll shows that Trump has a 70 percent disapproval rating among women — who, notably, have turned out in higher numbers than men in every election since 1980. A Washington Post/ABC poll puts the no-to-Trump number even higher, at 75 percent. Clinton has trouble winning women’s approval as well, but it’s nowhere near as bad. While Gallup has Trump 47 points underwater with female voters (the gap between approval and disapproval of the candidate), Clinton is just three points behind.
Demonstrators jumped on a Costa Mesa police car, breaking out the windows and attempting to turn it over, as tensions escalated after a Donald Trump rally on Thursday night.
Orange County Sheriff’s deputies were threatening to arrest hundreds of people who filled an intersection chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets!” as a large crowd poured out of the Pacific Amphitheatre. The crowd eventually dispersed by 11 p.m.
Earlier, authorities said the crowd was declared an “unlawful assembly” and ordered people to disperse. Police, some in full riot gear, were pushing the crowd east on Fair Drive toward the 55 freeway. But CHP officers were there to keep the freeway clear.
There were no major injuries and Costa Mesa Police made about 20 arrests, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department said.
Several streets were temporarily blocked.
Protesters at one point moved toward deputies at Fairview Road and Fair Drive, who were wearing riot gear and displaying weapons loaded with “nonlethal ammunition.”
Officers including from Westminster, Laguna Beach, Irvine and Brea joined O.C. deputies and Costa Mesa police at the scene. A reporter saw five helicopters circling the commotion.
O.C. Sheriff’s Department Lt. Mark Stichter said 200 officers were on the scene.
The disturbance followed a buoyant Trump rally inside the venue that drew more than 8,000 people, most of them enthusiastic supporters. And there were no reports of clashes inside the open-air theater, which had the feel of a summer rock concert. The crowd stood and chanted its approval of the GOP front-runner’s message.
But Ian Smith, 24, who was inside the Trump rally, said it was filled with hate. He came out and saw hundreds in the street.
“There is so much passion,” said Smith of Chino Hills. “We’re the new guard. This is our country now.”
Some in the crowd also broke out portable speakers, blasting music and starting a mosh pit in the middle of the street. Others shouted profanities about Trump. Many waved Mexican flags.
“I’m willing to be arrested,” said Blanca Melchor, 18, of Anaheim. “I’m proud. We have a voice. This is because of Trump and what he says.”
Several protesters urged peace. Others seemed to want confrontation. Led by a woman with a megaphone, many protesters shouted, “Police and the Klan go hand in hand!”
One protester climbed the traffic light on the northeast corner of Fairview Road and Fair Drive, and wrote, “(Expletive) Trump.” The protesters cheered.
“This is the beginning of a movement,” said Chris Luna, 24, of Tustin. “Trump can’t take away our country.”
By CHRIS HAIRE, SCOTT SCHWEBKE AND MARTIN WISCKOL / STAFF WRITERS