10 things you need to know today: October 27, 2016

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images


1. Hacked emails show Clinton aides fretted over foundation donors
Hacked emails released by WikiLeaks indicate that Hillary Clinton’s top aides exchanged concerns in the years before she announced her 2016 presidential bid that foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton’s own money-making ventures could create problems for her. One top aide to Mr. Clinton, Douglas Band, said in an email released Wednesday that the former president had received personal income and “many expensive gifts” from some foundation donors. Chelsea Clinton hired an auditor to look at the foundation and accused some of her father’s aides of “hustling” to win clients for their own businesses during foundation events. The emails have contained no evidence supporting Republicans’ claim that Hillary Clinton did favors for foundation donors.

Source: The New York Times

2. Series of earthquakes rattle central Italy
Two earthquakes struck central Italy on Wednesday, sparking panic near parts of the mountains of the Umbria and Marche regions where a stronger quake killed nearly 300 people in August. “It was a very strong earthquake, apocalyptic,” Marco Rinaldi, mayor of the small town of Ussita, told the ANSA news agency. “People are screaming on the street and now we are without lights.” Numerous houses and other buildings collapsed, and at least two people were injured in the first temblor. The first earthquake was magnitude 5.4, the second was 6.1. There also were at least two weaker aftershocks.

Source: USA Today, The Associated Press

3. Pentagon stops effort to make California veterans repay bonuses
Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Wednesday that he had ordered the Pentagon to “suspend all efforts” to get California National Guard members and veterans to pay back bonuses they were mistakenly given a decade ago. Thousands of soldiers who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were informed recently that they would have to give back the money, in some cases more than $15,000, after an audit revealed recruiters had improperly offered the money to people who didn’t fall into categories eligible for the bonuses. Lawmakers from across the political spectrum had called for a halt to efforts to make the soldiers and veterans pay. Carter said no more money would be collected until a better system was established to help soldiers seek relief.

Source: The Associated Press

4. Chaffetz says he still won’t endorse Trump, but will vote for him
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), who publicly rescinded his endorsement of Donald Trump over a 2005 Access Hollywood tape in which Trump bragged about groping women, said Wednesday that he would vote for the Republican presidential nominee after all. Chaffetz had said that the comments in the hot-mic tape were “some of the most abhorrent and offensive comments” imaginable, but Wednesday he tweeted that he would not “support” Trump but would cast his ballot for him because his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, is “that bad.” Statistics expert Nate Silver said Trump has been picking up support as some Republicans are “returning home after a disastrous series of weeks for Trump,” although Clinton also is gaining votes as undecided voters make their decision with Election Day approaching.

Source: The Washington Post, FiveThirtyEight

5. Democrats accuse GOP of violating anti-voter-intimidation agreement
The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday asked a federal judge in New Jersey to stop the Republican Party from supporting Donald Trump’s call to recruit poll-watchers due to Trump’s claim that the presidential election is being “rigged” against him. Democrats say the GOP poll-watchers will intimidate voters in violation of a long-standing consent decree restricting the GOP from questioning voters at polls and discouraging them from voting. A GOP spokesman, Lindsay Walters, said the party abides by the consent decree and does not collaborate on efforts to “prevent or remedy vote fraud” with the Trump campaign or anybody else. “The filing is completely meritless,” Walters said.

Source: Bloomberg

6. U.S. abstains in U.N. vote on embargo against Cuba
The United States on Wednesday abstained for the first time in an annual General Assembly vote condemning the American trade embargo against Cuba. The U.S. previously always voted “no” in the symbolic votes against the half-century-old embargo. The change marked the latest step in the Obama administration’s efforts to restore relations with the communist-run Caribbean island, a former Cold War-era foe. The rapprochement began two years ago. The U.S. and Cuba reopened embassies in each other’s capitals last year.

Source: The New York Times

7. University of Wisconsin student charged in series of sexual assaults
A University of Wisconsin-Madison student, Alec Cook, is being charged in a string of sexual assaults, the Dane County District Attorney’s office said Wednesday. After Cook, 20, was accused of sexually assaulting three women, numerous other alleged victims came forward with new allegations. Cook was arrested after a fellow student accused him of strangling and assaulting her at his apartment on Oct. 12. Madison police said they knew of at least four women who have come forward to report assaults. All are students at the university.

Source: NBC News

8. Twitter confirms layoffs, says it’s cutting workforce by 9 percent
Twitter announced Thursday that it was cutting 9 percent of its global workforce as its revenue growth slows. The microblogging service reported that it gained sligtly more users than expected, with its average monthly active users rising from 313 million in the second quarter to 317 million in the third, as Twitter battled competition from rivals such as Instagram and Snapchat. Analysts had expected 316.3 million users, according to market research firm FactSet StreetAccount. Twitter’s revenue increased by 8 percent to $616 million, beating its forecast of $590 million to $610 million.

Source: Reuters, MarketWatch

9. New study shows HIV epidemic started years before ‘Patient Zero’
A new genetic study published in the journal Nature on Wednesdayconfirmed that the global AIDS epidemic started in New York around 1970, definitively clearing the name of a gay French Canadian flight attendant named Gaétan Dugas who was long vilified as “Patient Zero.” Dugas, who died in 1984, was first named in a study by Centers for Disease Control researchers who investigated the mysterious outbreak in 1982. They spoke to Dugas after three men from three different counties said they had had sex with him. His cooperation helped the scientists link HIV with sex, but a misunderstanding with journalists and the public fueled the belief that he was the one who brought HIV to the U.S.

Source: Nature, NBC News

10. Cubs beat Indians 5-1, tying World Series at 1-1
The Chicago Cubs beat the Cleveland Indians 5-1 on Wednesday night to even the best-of-seven World Series at 1-1. Cubs pitcher Jake Arrieta, a 2015 Cy Young Award winner who pitched a no-hitter earlier this season, held the Indians hitless into the sixth inning before giving up two hits and a run. Anthony Rizzo kicked things off for the Cubs at the top of the first inning with an RBI double, and Kyle Schwarber got the first of his two RBIs hitting Rizzo home in the third. After two games in Cleveland, the Series now moves to the Cubs’ home turf, Wrigley Field, for Game 3 on Friday night.

Source: Fox Sports, Sporting News

Setting the record straight: Clinton’s 1975 Rape Case


(ks): Lately I’ve seen so many Trump supporters post (mis)information about a rape case from 1975 in which Hillary Clinton volunteered to defend the rapist..  Here are the facts:


Q: Did Hillary Clinton volunteer in 1975 to defend a rapist, who was found not guilty, and laugh about it in an interview in 1980?

A: Clinton defended an accused rapist, but she did not volunteer. He pleaded guilty to a lesser offense. She laughed when recalling unusual aspects of the case.


Did Hillary Clinton volunteer to defend a child rapist in 1975, accuse the 12-year-old victim of fantasizing about older men, later state that she knew he was guilty but got the charges dropped and laugh?


In 1975, Hillary Clinton — then known as Hillary Rodham — taught at the University of Arkansas School of Law, where she founded the University of Arkansas School Legal Aid Clinic. It was during this time that she defended Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old man accused of raping a 12-year-old girl.

In her book “Living History,” Clinton recalls that Mahlon Gibson, a Washington County prosecutor, told her that the accused rapist “wanted a woman lawyer” to defend him, and that Gibson had recommended Clinton to Judge Maupin Cummings. “I told Mahlon I really didn’t feel comfortable taking on such a client, but Mahlon gently reminded me that I couldn’t very well refuse the judge’s request.”

Gibson corroborated Clinton’s story in a 2014 interview with CNN.

CNN, June 25, 2014: Gibson said Clinton called him shortly after the judge assigned her to the case and said, “I don’t want to represent this guy. I just can’t stand this. I don’t want to get involved. Can you get me off?”

“I told her, ‘Well contact the judge and see what he says about it,’ but I also said don’t jump on him and make him mad,” Gibson said. “She contacted the judge and the judge didn’t remove her and she stayed on the case.”

In a separate 2014 interview, Clinton said she had an “obligation” to represent Taylor. “I had a professional duty to represent my client to the best of my ability, which I did,” she said.

In her book, Clinton writes that she visited Taylor in the county jail and he “denied the charges against him and insisted that the girl, a distant relative, had made up her story.” Clinton filed a motion to order the 12-year-old girl to get a psychiatric examination. “I have been informed that the complainant is emotionally unstable with a tendency to seek out older men and engage in fantasizing … [and] that she has in the past made false accusations about persons, claiming they had attacked her body,” according to an affidavit filed by Clinton in support of her motion.

Clinton also cited an expert in child psychology who said that “children in early adolescence tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences and that adolescents with disorganized families, such as the complainant’s, are even more prone to such behavior,” Clinton wrote in her affidavit.

Update, Oct. 19: Clinton’s motion was denied, according to court documents obtained in September by a Pennsylvania lawyer who took an interest in the case.

Ultimately, expert testimony from a scientist “cast doubt on the evidentiary value of the blood and semen the prosecutor claimed proved the defendant’s guilt in the rape,” Clinton writes in her book. Clinton negotiated a plea deal and Taylor was charged with “Unlawful Fondling of a Child Under the Age of Fourteen” and was sentenced to one year in a county jail and four years of probation, according to a final judgment signed by Cummings.

In 2014, the Washington Free Beacon published the audio of an interview that Arkansas reporter Roy Reed conducted with Clinton in the 1980s. In the interview, Clinton recalls some unusual details of the rape case, and she can be heard laughing in three instances, beginning with a joke she makes about the accuracy of polygraphs.

Clinton: Of course he claimed he didn’t. All this stuff. He took a lie detector test. I had him take a polygraph, which he passed, which forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs. [laughs]

At another point, Clinton said the prosecutor balked at turning over evidence, forcing her to go to the judge to obtain it.

Clinton: So I got an order to see the evidence and the prosecutor didn’t want me to see the evidence. I had to go to Maupin Cummings and convince Maupin that yes indeed I had a right to see the evidence [laughs] before it was presented.

Clinton then said that the evidence she obtained was a pair of the accused’s underwear with a hole in it. Clinton told Reed that investigators had cut out a piece of the underwear and sent the sample to a crime lab to be tested, and the only evidence that remained was the underwear with a hole in it.

Clinton took the remaining evidence to a forensic expert in Brooklyn, New York, and the expert told her that the material on the underwear wasn’t enough to test. “He said, you know, ‘You can’t prove anything,’” Clinton recalled the expert telling her.

Clinton: I wrote all that stuff and I handed it to Mahlon Gibson, and I said, “Well this guy’s ready to come up from New York to prevent this miscarriage of justice.” [laughs]

The emails we have received about this case contain some misinformation. Some have claimed, for example, that Clinton volunteered for the case and the accused rapist was found not guilty. That’s not accurate, as we just explained. But Clinton did laugh in the retelling of some unusual aspects of the rape case, and we leave it to others to decide whether her laughter was appropriate or not.


10 things you need to know today: October 26, 2016

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images


1. Indians beat Cubs in World Series Game 1 blowout
The Cleveland Indians clobbered the Chicago Cubs to win the first game of the World Series 6-0 on Tuesday night in Cleveland. Pitcher Corey Kluber, the Indians’ 30-year-old 2014 Cy Young Award winner, pitched six shutout innings and set a World Series record by striking out eight batters in the first three innings. “Just pretty much dominant as one could be,” Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo said. Indians catcher Roberto Perez contributed two home runs. Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Wednesday night, also in Cleveland.

Source: Chicago Tribune, ESPN

2. Colin Powell endorses Hillary Clinton
Colin Powell, a Republican former secretary of state, said Tuesday that he would be voting for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for president. Powell told members of the Long Island Association, a trade group, that Clinton, a Democratic former secretary of state and ex-senator, had served the country with “distinction” and demonstrated her “experience and stamina” on the job, according to people who attended the event. Powell also said Clinton’s Republican rival, billionaire businessman Donald Trump, was inexperienced politically, and had insulted a “huge swath of people.” Paule Pachter, a Long Island Association board member, said Powell talked about Trump’s message, “which really paints our country in a negative light across the globe with all our allies.”

Source: Newsday, The New York Times

3. Ryan urges Pentagon to stop taking back enlistment bonuses
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday called for the Pentagon to stop taking back enlistment bonuses from California veterans and active service members who received them 10 years ago even though they were not eligible. “When those Californians answered the call to duty” to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan, “they earned more from us than bureaucratic bungling and false promises,” Ryan said. The Pentagon said Tuesday that the number of people affected was about 6,500, not 10,000 as initially reported. Defense Secretary Ash Carter promised to resolve the issue, which has left some veterans burdened with debt as they tried to repay about $15,000.

Source: The Associated Press

4. Trump ends big-money fundraising events
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has stopped holding big-money fundraising events with the Trump Victory fund, a joint effort with the Republican National Committee. The surprise move could hurt his party’s efforts to finance its push to get out the vote in theNov. 8 election. “We’ve kind of wound down,” said Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s national finance chairman, in an interview with The Washington Post. Mnuchin said, however, that Trump Victory is continuing to raise money from big donors by phone and online. Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, held her last big fundraiserTuesday night in Miami, but high-profile surrogates — including her husband, former President Bill Clinton — plan to hold another 41 events through Nov. 3.

Source: The Washington Post

5. Apple reports first annual sales drop in 15 years
Apple reported its first annual revenue decline in 15 years after the market closed on Tuesday. Apple, the most valuable company in the world, said income in the just-completed quarter fell by 19 percent to $9 billion, or $1.67 a share. That’s down from $11.1 billion or $1.96 a share in the same quarter last year, but just above analysts’ expectations of $1.65 per share. The company’s drop in revenue came mostly before the launch of the latest version of its dominant smartphone, the iPhone 7, which hit stores just before the quarter ended. Apple shares dropped by 2.8 percent in after-hours trading.

Source: MarketWatch

6. Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio charged with criminal contempt
Maricopa County, Arizona, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, known for his hardline stance against illegal immigration, was officially charged with criminal contempt of court on Tuesday. He is accused of ignoring a judge’s 2011 order in a racial profiling case to stop his immigration patrols, in which his deputies stopped people based on the suspicion they were undocumented immigrants without cause to believe they committed a crime. Arpaio, 84, is up for reelection in two weeks. He is seeking a seventh term. The Justice Department had warned two weeks ago that it would be filing the misdemeanor charge, which could carry a six-month sentence but would not bar Arpaio from serving as sheriff.

Source: Los Angeles Times

7. Iraqi forces move residents from villages around Mosul
Iraqi special forces have evacuated more than 1,000 people from villages near Mosul as a massive coalition closes in, in a bid to retake the city from the Islamic State, officials said Wednesday. ISIS fighters have been accused of atrocities in recent days, including returning to one recently abandoned town and executing residents who were celebrating their departure. Special forces Maj. Gen. Haider Fadhil said the displaced residents of Tob Zawa and other villages were taken to a camp in the nearby Khazer region. The International Organization for Migration says at least 8,940 people have been displaced so far since the offensive began on Oct. 17.

Source: The Associated Press

8. Judge approves VW settlement in diesel emissions cheating scandal
A U.S. judge on Tuesday approved Volkswagen AG’s $14.7 billion deal to settle its diesel emissions cheating scandal. The settlement with federal and California regulators — and the owners of 475,000 affected diesel cars — would be one of the largest corporate settlements in history. VW admitted last year that it installed software in diesel cars to help them beat exhaust emissions tests by appearing clean, even though they really emitted up to 40 times as much pollution as allowed. The German automaker — the world’s second largest — said it would start buying back the cars in mid-November.

Source: Reuters

9. New poll gives Trump a narrow lead in must-win Florida
Donald Trump, who has lost ground in many recent polls, got a bit of good news on Wednesday when a new Bloomberg Politics poll showed him leading his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, by 2 percentage points in Florida, a must-win state for Trump. In a four-way race, Trump has 45 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent, with Libertarian Gary Johnson at 4 percent and the Green Party’s Jill Stein at 2 percent. Pollster J. Ann Selzer said Trump’s edge appeared to stem from his 2-point lead with independent voters in a head-to-head matchup. “This race may come down to the independent vote,” she said. “Right now, they tilt for Trump.” The RealClearPolitics average of polls has Clinton up 3.1 points in the state.

Source: Bloomberg, RealClearPolitics

10. Paul Beatty wins Man Booker Prize
Paul Beatty won the Man Booker Prize in London on Tuesday for his novel The Sellout, a satire about race in America. Beatty was the first American writer to win the award. Amanda Foreman, chair of the five unanimous Booker judges, called Beatty’s book “a novel for our times… Its humor disguises a radical seriousness. Paul Beatty slays sacred cows with abandon and takes aim at racial and political taboos with wit, verve, and a snarl.” Winning the $60,000 prize is expected to assure Beatty of a significant sales boost worldwide.

Source: The Washington Post

Frank Luntz: ‘There’s Going To Be A Lot Of Recrimination After Election Day’


On Sunday’s Face the Nation, pollster Frank Luntz had some really bad news for down-ticket Republicans. The party is badly split between “never Trump” and “Trump or die”:

I think it’s going to be very challenging for the GOP, because you have got some Trump voters who are unwilling to vote for a Republican for Senate or Congress as a way to send a message to the establishment, and you have got some independents who want to vote Republican for the Senate and the House, but won’t because they’re too connected to Donald Trump.

With only 17 days to go, I have not seen an election like this, where there is so much intraparty battles going on at a time when the Republicans should be focused on the Democrats and prosecuting the case against their leadership.

He called the Trump campaign the most undisciplined he has ever seen, and suggested that if Trump had made the election about the voter rather than about himself, it would be a very different race and Trump’s to win.

Frances Langum

To work as intended, Obamacare needs a bigger, more unpopular mandate

VOX Topics

The rapid increase in premiums for Affordable Care Act plans that the Department of Health and Human Services now says it expects for 2017 is a reminder of a very simple — but politically extremely challenging — problem with the way the final version of the law came together. The issue was that the tyrannical and unpopular individual mandate to purchase health insurance was so tyrannical and so unpopular that Congress wound up watering it down considerably. The executive branch then further watered it down with very generous special exemptions to the mandate.

The result is that while the mandate stands as a legal fact, noncompliance is actually extremely widespread. There are few consequences for healthy people not buying insurance.

As Caroline Pearson of Avalon Health told Vox, “The mandate penalties are not working to compel people into the market.” Her company’s research suggests the penalty would have to be several hundred dollars higher to make buying insurance a more compelling option for young and healthy people than simply paying the fine.

That’s an enormous long-term challenge for the vision of health care embedded in the law. After all, mandatory health insurance was never a popular idea — the reason Obamacare’s architects put it in there is that they thought it was necessary to make the system work.

Obamacare is a three-legged stool

The essence of an insurance system is that some people need to be getting more in benefits than they pay in, while others are paying in more than they are taking out.

  • The key goal of the Affordable Care Act was to redress the situation in which people with substantial health care needs either could not buy insurance (denial of coverage due to preexisting condition) or else wound up losing it as soon as they really needed to claim benefits (recession). So one major leg of the stool is a set of consumer-focused regulations that require insurers in the marketplaces to accept all customers and offer a certain minimum set of benefits.
  • The trouble is that plans that meet that regulatory standard could be very expensive to operate, meaning premiums would have to be very high. Consequently, the second leg is the individual mandate: All those who don’t get insurance through their job or a government program have to go buy a plan. That means the average cost will be relatively low.
  • The third leg, then, is the provision of generous subsidies so that lower-income people will be able to afford the premiums they have to pay.

This is broadly how universal insurance coverage works in Switzerland and the Netherlands, and it struck many American wonks as an appealing pathway to universal coverage for the United States. One big advantage of it is that it doesn’t require people with existing job-based plans to give them up. It simply creates a new parallel system for those who aren’t well-served by the job-based system.

The mandate is a weak leg

One big problem with the stool is that as legislators were putting together the law, they got nervous about slapping people with draconian penalties for not buying health insurance. One way that expressed itself was through “hardship waivers” for people whose post-subsidy premiums would cost more than 8 percent of household income.

That makes a lot of sense as a basic exemption, since in practice it shouldn’t impact very many people.

But the other thing they did was make the fee for not abiding by the mandate pathetically small. If you decline to buy health insurance, you must pay a fine of $695 per adult and $347.50 per child up to a household maximum of $2,085. The downside is, obviously, you don’t get health insurance. But insurance plans come with deductibles anyway, and if you doget sick, thanks to the first leg of the stool you can now go get insurance at the next open enrollment period.

Consequently, remaining uninsured is a reasonably good financial option for many younger and healthier Americans. Of course, subsidies change this picture. If your income is low enough to qualify for generous government subsidies, then buying insurance is a no-brainer. But the original vision of the Affordable Care Act was for exchange plans to be mainstream middle-class health insurance that subsidies would let lower-income families access. What’s emerging instead is more like a strict subsidization program for needier households.

The Medicaid-ization of Obamacare

The kind of program that results from this lopsided stool isn’t necessarily unworkable. It just looks a lot like America’s existing program to provide health insurance to low-income families.As Sarah Kliff has written:

Medicaid has, since the 1960s, served low-income populations that lack health insurance, largely women with children and the disabled. The program usually pays low reimbursement rates to hospitals and providers, so it doesn’t get big brand-name facilities into its networks. In 2011, one-third of doctors nationwide said they didn’t accept Medicaid patients.

At the same time, surveys generally find that Medicaid enrollees tend to be especially happy with their coverage. One recent Gallup poll found that Medicaid enrollees are just as satisfied with their plans as people who receive health insurance at work.

The population that has flocked to the marketplaces looks pretty similar to the Medicaid population. The vast majority of Obamacare’s enrollees are low-income: 81 percent earn less than 250 percent of the poverty line ($29,000 for an individual or about $60,000 for a family of four).

There’s nothing wrong with this outcome per se. Indeed, one of the Affordable Care Act’s main provisions is a large expansion of Medicaid eligibility. The law’s authors could, in theory, have scrapped the whole exchange framework and just made the Medicaid expansion even bigger.

They didn’t do that, though, because their original aspiration was bigger than a social assistance program for low-income families. They wanted to truly lick the problem of uninsurance for Americans of all economic classes, and potentially even create a model so appealing that over time workers and employers would gradually transition out of the current job-based insurance market and over to the new exchanges.

But to do that job properly, the stool needs its third leg.

Dreaming of a grand bargain

The system simply can’t work as intended without a strong mandate that pushes the overwhelming majority of the eligible population onto the exchanges. Some of that will happen naturally over time, as old non-exchange plans expire and their customers drift onto the exchanges. Some of that can be done by HHS unilaterally moving to tighten the screws on various special exceptions to the normal rules. But fundamentally, for the Affordable Care Act to work as a mainstream insurance option, Congress is going to need to implement stiffer penalties.

The prospects for that obviously look bleak in the short run. But the prospects for the conservative alternative of full repeal and the progressive alternative of single-payer also look bleak.

As is usually the case in American politics, the best bet is probably that we’ll simply muddle through. But in the unlikely event that a magical spirit of compromise washes over Congress, you could imagine a three-way bargain that gives multiple stakeholders things they care about. To bring the left around to vote for a stiffer mandate, you’d almost certainly need to go back to the old idea of including a public option on the exchanges to ensure consumers have choice. Then since both a stiffer mandate and a public option would tend to reduce the average premiums, you could offer conservatives mildly stingier subsidies.

It would be a political three-legged stool to bolster the substantive three-legged stool of the policy. But to get it done, members of Congress would need to actually want to make incremental progress toward their core policy objectives, at a time when many prefer to bolster their talking points and dream of the day when more radical change will be possible.

Trump Finally Pissed Off the Wrong Women. All of Them.



Female voters couldn’t care less if men like Trump approve of them—and their votes count just as much as a man’s.

Love him or hate him, Donald Trump has always been a master of the zeitgeist. His quip that Hillary Clinton was “such a nasty woman,” made in the waning minutes of the final presidential debate of the 2016 campaign, was another stellar application of The Donald’s legendary branding skills. Unfortunately for him, his snide remark pinpointed something that is ultimately his biggest weakness. He named the power that had no name: that female voters don’t need men like Donald Trump to approve of them. In fact, there’s very little that matters less.

Reaction to the “nasty woman” line was ebullient on the left, trending on Twitter thanks to women appropriating the designation for themselves. Cable news was a garden of “nasty” chyrons for days afterwards. NastyGal clothing rebranded itself NastyWoman clothing in honor of the errant insult. Streams of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty” ballooned on Spotify. And on Monday in New Hampshire, Hillary Clinton surrogate Senator Elizabeth Warren fully embraced the nasty. “Get this Donald,” she said. “Nasty women are tough. Nasty women are smart. And nasty women vote. And, on November 8, we nasty women are going to march our nasty feet to cast our nasty votes to get you out of our lives forever.” The crowd of 4,000 nasties whooped.

Elizabeth Warren swirling the word “nasty” around in her mouth like a sommelier enjoying a fine wine only served as the latest reminder to a certain Trumpy flavor of man that, at this point in the 2016 campaign, women don’t need their approval to exist, or even to succeed. In Tina Fey’s 2011 memoirBossypants, the comedy maven recounted an exchange between former SNL castmates Jimmy Fallon and Amy Poehler. The story goes that Amy told a dirty joke, and Jimmy fired back that he didn’t like it. Amy responded, “I don’t fucking care if you like it.” Fey advises all women in the workplace to conduct themselves similarly: do what you want, fuck ‘em if they disagree.

Two years ago, in 2014, Rebecca Traister used Fey’s words to headline a pieceshe wrote for The New Republic. In it, she laments an Esquire piece that declared 42-year-old women hot. She noted, with dismay, that while it’s fun to imagine flouting male approval at every turn, the reality is that women still must seek the approval of men—in the court system, at work, in their social circles—because for better or for worse, men are the ones in positions to hire, to prosecute, to evaluate.

But that’s not true when it comes to voting.

The post-debate explosion of nasty proves that Trump still doesn’t understand that this election isn’t a golf outing with a group of guffawing yes-men, and that women are finally facing the full extent of their electoral power.

Voting is one of the few arenas where the approval of men like Donald Trump doesn’t matter a lick. A voting machine cannot tell the gender of the voter and count it for only 77 percent as much as the vote of a man. A voting machine can’t pass over a female vote in favor of a younger male vote that reminds it of itself at that age. A voting machine can’t throw out the vote of a woman if she refuses its sexual advances. It won’t tell a female voter that she’s a New York City 6 but a Chicago 8. A voting machine doesn’t grope.

Women make up over 50 percent of the voting population in the U.S., and on November 8, any of them can imagine canceling out the vote of any man they’d like as they fill out their ballots. Donald Trump can’t insult them into submission.

Nor can Trump insult Hillary Clinton into submission. The world has coddled Donald Trump into believing that women who have somehow failed to meet his antiquated standards of femininity should feel chastened. Men like Trump expect women to feel like failures when a man calls them anything less than pretty, sexy, pleasant, nice. But the world outside of Trump Tower has been moving at a much faster pace than the creaky machinery between Trump’s ears. In the voting booth, compliance is optional. Deference to the whims of men is unnecessary, if not undesirable.

Women voting for Hillary Clinton don’t fucking care if you like it. They don’t care if men like Trump think they’re such nasty women. In the booth, removed from what shards of sexism remain in the modern world, women are allowed to be indifferent to Trump’s standards as they please.

On November 8, there’s nothing men like Donald Trump can do about the fact that women don’t care what men think nearly as much as men think they should. To women who are just realizing this, the feeling must be intoxicating. To men like Trump, it must be terrifying.



Megyn Kelly said Trump might be a ‘sexual predator.’ Then things got very intense.

Fox News Screen capture


‘You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy’

There are two weeks to go until Election Day and tensions are flaring on Fox News.

In an interview with Newt Gingrich, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly suggested that Donald Trump might be a “sexual predator.” She based this on things he’s said (“We saw on that tape Trump himself saying he likes to grab women by the genitals and kiss them against their will”) and the many women who have came forward alleging Trump has sexually assaulted them.

Gingrich, one of Trump’s most prominent supporters, become livid.

“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” Gingrich, who has been married three times, told Kelly.

“I’m not fascinated by sex,” Kelly replied, “but I am fascinated by the protection of women and what we are getting in the oval office.”

Things went downhill from there.

Gingrich tried to change the topic to allegations against Bill Clinton, daring Kelly to call the former president a “sexual predator.”

Kelly noted that she’s hosted Kathleen Willey, who claims Bill Clinton sexually assaulted her in 1993, on her show.

But, Kelly added, Bill Clinton is “not on the ticket.”

With that the segment was over.

“You can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them,” Kelly told Gingrich before going to a commercial break.

Judd Legum

Trump Does Obama Impression: I Know ‘Rigged’ ‘Cuz I’m From Chicago!

Evan Vucci

Once anyone looks at the video in question, they would be hard pressed to see and hear the same thing that Trump and company said they heard.  (ks)


Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that President Barack Obama was being hypocritical in saying the GOP nominee’s claims of a “rigged” election were harmful because, Trump claimed, the President made such a comment himself eight years ago.

Trump zeroed in on a clip Sean Hannity played on his Fox News show Monday night.

“Last night I’m watching Obama from eight years ago, and he’s basically saying the whole thing is fixed,” Trump said. “Before he won his first race, he was talking about voting, and he said, ‘Remember I come from Chicago, you know, they did—”

The crowd in Sanford, Florida lapped up Trump’s Obama impression.

The clip Hannity played appeared to be from a September 2008 event at Kent State University, where a voter asked Obama to reassure her that the election wouldn’t be “rigged or stolen.”

“Listen, I come from Chicago, so I want to be honest, it’s not as if it’s just Republicans who have monkeyed around with elections in the past, sometimes Democrats have, too,” Obama responded. “You know, whenever people are in power, they have this tendency to try to, you know, tilt things in their direction.”

“Give me a break, this guy is such a phony guy. What a phony,” Trump said at the Sanford rally. “Basically he said it’s rigged, and he said ‘I know because I’m from Chicago.’ Give me a break, what a phony guy.”

Earlier in the day on Tuesday, Trump told the press gaggle following him to “ask Obama” if the election would be rigged, according to the Los Angeles Times, and to “tell him to look at his tape when he was running eight years ago.”


AUDIO: Hannity Has RACIST Meltdown, Wants To Send President Obama And His Family Back To Africa

Image via Fox News screen capture

Fox News Screenshot

The ignorance, hatred and vitriol wielded against the Obamas over the last eight-plus years has been repulsive and vile.  Fox News personnel have always led the way with such vitriol toward the Obamas.  History will not be kind to those obstructors, critics and haters of the 44th President of the United States and his family. ~ ks


Nobody would have ever said this about any of our previous presidents. Nobody.

But because President Obama and his family are black, Fox News host Sean Hannity is trying to get in as much hateful racist talk as possible before the Obamas leave the White House in January.

And when President Obama leaves office, Hannity is offering to arrange for a one-way trip to Kenya for him and his family in response to a non-response the White House had to a satirical article claiming that Obama wants to move to Canada if Donald Trump wins the election on November 8th.

“Remember how Democrats insisted last week that we all need to be united behind whoever wins the election?” Hannity began. “Well, I guess that only applies if Donald Trump loses because apparently the president cannot bring himself to say that he’ll unite behind the Trump presidency.”

Hannity talked about how “a White House aide failed to deny rumors that President Barack Obama was planning to leave the United States if Trump wins the election,” and then offered to send President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their two daughters to Africa as long as they don’t come back.

“I’ll pay — hang on a second, I’m offering — I’ll even rent a plane as big as Air Force One. […] I have an offer for the president. I will charter a plane for you and your family. I will make sure it’s as big a plane as Air Force One, what you have grown accustomed to, in other words. Taxpayer-funded plane. I don’t know where I’m going to get— Maybe I’ll just — Maybe I’ll ask Trump if I can charter his plane for Obama. That’s what — I will charter Donald Trump’s plane if he’ll let me, and I will charter it to the country of your choice. You want to go to Canada? I’ll pay for you to go to Canada. You want to go to Kenya? I’ll pay for you to go to Kenya. Jakarta, where you went to school back in the day, you can go back there. Anywhere you want to go. I’m gonna — I’ll put the finest food, caviar, champagne, you name it. I have one stipulation: you can’t come back. That’s fair.”

Here’s the audio via YouTube.


First of all, President Obama has already stated that he will peacefully transfer the presidency to Donald Trump in January should he actually win on Election Day. In fact, President Obama will even attend the inauguration.

Second, every president in the modern era has had full use of Air Force One no matter where they go during their presidency. And it has always been taxpayer funded. Even when George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan took those 880 days of vacation during their presidencies combined while President Obama has only taken 217 days of vacation. So if Hannity wants to pretend that President Obama is somehow freeloading off of the taxpayers by using Air Force One, he should probably get all of the facts first.

Furthermore, President Obama was NOT born in Kenya. His father was, but President Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and is a natural-born American citizen. His wife Michelle and their daughters were also born in the United States.

Hannity’s offer is disrespectful and hearkens back to a time when racists wanted to send blacks back to Africa just to keep America white.

Fox News should be embarrassed that this jackass is still on their payroll, much less on their airwaves.

Stephen D Foster Jr

10 things you need to know today: October 25, 2016

Joe Raedle/Getty Images


1. Trump dismisses ‘phony’ polls, insists he’s winning
Donald Trump shrugged off polls showing his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, expanding her lead with just two weeks until Election Day, telling supporters in Florida that most of the surveys are “phony.” Trump said “phony, disgusting, dishonest” newspapers are touting biased polls to undermine his campaign. An ABC News tracking poll released Sunday showed Clinton up by 12 percentage points, while a CNN/ORC poll released on Monday gave Clinton just a 5-point lead. “I believe we’re actually winning,” the Republican nominee said. Trump campaigned in the battleground state of Florida as his campaign conceded that another key potential swing state, Pennsylvania, was slipping away.

Source: The Associated Press, CNN

2. Elizabeth Warren criticizes Trump at Clinton rally
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a leader of progressive Democrats, campaigned with Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire on Monday, hammering Clinton’s Republican rival, Donald Trump, but also focusing on the state’s Republican incumbent senator, Kelly Ayotte. Ayotte is in a tight race for reelection against Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat. Warren said Ayotte put up with offensive statements by Trump about immigrants, women, and others, then started running from him only when his poll numbers dropped. “Donald Trump is right. Kelly is weak,” Warren said. Her remarks came as Clinton and her allies step up efforts to turn Trump’s troubles against vulnerable down-ballot Republicans to help Democrats regain control of the Senate.

Source: NBC News

3. Trump campaign launches Facebook Live program
Donald Trump’s campaign launched a nightly Facebook Live programcalled Trump Tower Live on Monday night, fueling speculation that Trump is gearing up to launch a media channel if he loses the November presidential election. In an email to supporters, the Republican nominee’s campaign said the show would provide “nightly campaign coverage from Trump Tower.” The inaugural program featured Trump campaign advisers Boris Epshteyn and Cliff Sims, conservative commentator Tomi Lahren, and Republican National Committee communications director Sean Spicer. Epshteyn said that the program “has nothing to do with Trump TV. It has everything to do with making sure our supporters get out to vote.”

Source: Bloomberg

4. ISIS resistance increases as Iraqi forces close in on Mosul
After advancing quickly toward Mosul, U.S.-backed Iraqi and Kurdish forces have hit “heavy resistance” from Islamic State fighters outside the Iraqi city, Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said Monday. “It’s going to get heavier” as anti-ISIS forces enter the city, he said. ISIS, badly outnumbered, continued launching assaults on towns elsewhere in northern Iraq to divert the coalition’s resources. On Monday, ISISseized control of Rutba, a town of 20,000 people hundreds of miles away from Mosul in Iraq’s western province of Al Anbar, near Iraq’s Jordanian and Syrian borders.

Source: Fox News, Al Jazeera

5. Former Pennsylvania attorney general sentenced to prison for perjury
A judge on Monday sentenced former Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen G. Kane, once a rising Democratic star in the state, to 10 to 23 months in prison for perjury and abuse of her office. Kane, 50, was elected less than four years ago. An outsider and political newcomer, she vowed to shake up a male-dominated and corruption-scarred political establishment she called “the Harrisburg old boys.” In August, however, a jury found her guilty of leaking grand jury records to discredit a critic, and lying about it to another grand jury.

Source: The New York Times

6. 59 dead in attack on Pakistan police training college
At least 59 people were killed when several gunmen wearing explosive suicide vests stormed a dormitory at a police training college near Quetta, Pakistan, on Monday. “They just barged in and started firing point blank,” a cadet said. Security forces exchanged gunfire with the attackers, killing one. Two others blew themselves up, according to the chief minister of the Balochistan Province, of which Quetta is the capital city. The so-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, although intercepted calls involving the attackers suggested they belonged to the sectarian Sunni militant group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.

Source: BBC News, The New York Times

7. ObamaCare premiums to rise by double digits in 2017
The Obama administration announced Monday that ObamaCare premiums would rise by double digits in 2017. A report from the Department of Health and Human Services forecast an average 25 percent rise for midlevel benchmark plans across the 39 states served by the federally run insurance marketplace. Major national insurance carriers have also scaled back their participation in the ObamaCare exchange, which could leave about 20 percent of consumers with only one option of insurer. The Obama administration is emphasizing that taxpayer-provided subsidies should offset the increases for most consumers, but “headline rates are generally rising faster than in previous years,” a DHHS spokesman acknowledged.

Source: The Associated Press

8. Politicians slam Pentagon for making veterans repay bonuses
Several California lawmakers harshly criticized the Pentagon on Monday over reports that it had forced nearly 10,000 California National Guard members and veterans to pay back enlistment bonuses they received in error. The Pentagon used the hefty bonuses, many around $15,000, to get soldiers to reenlist about a decade ago. “We were in the Iraq and Afghanistan war at the time,” said one of the veterans, Christopher Van Meter, who had served in the Army 15 years and planned to retire until he heard about the bonuses. “And they wanted to keep soldiers in the military.” Bonuses were intended for soldiers in certain roles, but investigators found that many ineligible service members got them from California Guard officials trying to meet enlistment targets.

Source: Military.com, CNN

9. Buick becomes first U.S. brand in Consumer Reports top 3 in decades
Buick on Monday became the first U.S. auto brand in three decades to place in the top three of Consumer Reports’ annual ranking of the most reliable automobiles. Lexus, Toyota’s luxury brand, placed first, followed by Toyota at No. 2, and Buick, General Motors’ upscale line, at No. 3, based on a survey of more than a half-million car owners. Audi came in fourth, followed by Kia, Mazda, Hyundai, Infiniti, BMW, and Honda. Fiat Chrysler brands Dodge, Chrysler, Fiat, and Ram took the bottom four positions among the 29 brands included in the survey.

Source: USA Today

10. 4 killed in Australia theme park ride accident
Four people were killed at an Australian theme park when a ride malfunctioned on Tuesday. Two of the victims were ejected from the Thunder River Rapids Ride at the Dreamworld theme park in Queensland, Australia, and two were pinned underneath a seating compartment on a conveyor belt. The victims included two women aged 32 and 42, and two men aged 35 and 38. A park visitor said the same ride had broken down earlier in the day. Dreamworld administrators said the park was being closed as authorities investigated the incident.

Source: CNN, Brisbane Times