Politics May 7, 2018: First Lady Melania Trump’s poll numbers surge as she unveils Be Best initiative

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First Lady Melania Trump’s poll numbers surge as she unveils Be Best initiative

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

White House Twitter

While her husband’s poll numbers stagnate, First Lady Melania Trump’s polls numbers are surging to heights only in President Donald Trump’s dreams. According to a CNN / SSRS poll released on Monday, May 7, 2018, Mrs.Trump now has a 57 percent favorability rating, up 10 percent from January. Mrs. Trump’s numbers are better than her husband has ever experienced. The good news in the polls comes as the first lady unveiled her “Be Best” child welfare program in a Rose Garden ceremony.

The first lady’s rise in popularity coincides with President Trump’s scandals, particularly the revelation he had an affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2006 just after the birth of first couple’s son, Barron. First Lady Melania is benefitting from the same surge in public approval from members of all political parties as former First Lady Hillary Clinton did 20-years ago when President Bill Clinton was embroiled in a scandal involving an affair with former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

According to the new CNN poll, the first lady has a 57 percent approval rating, while only 27 of respondents have a negative view of her. The numbers have risen because of Democrat approval of the first lady, with 15 percent having a more favorable view of her since January. The numbers have only increased by five percent among Republicans. Despite the increase, still, a majority of Democrats have an unfavorable opinion of Mrs. Trump, 40 to 38 percent.

Melania’s number has risen because of increased support from the nation’s women with an addition of 13 percent, to just seven percent of men. In total, 54 percent of women view the first lady favorably, with only 30 percent not. Melania’s last best polling was in March 2017, when she had a 52 percent favorable rating versus 32 unfavorable. Although first ladies usually have higher favorability than the presidents, the difference between President and Mrs. Trump’s poll rating is more glaring. Trump only has a 41 percent approval rating with a 53 percent disapproval in the same CNN poll.

CNN cites the “sympathy” factor as the main reason Melania’s numbers have increased. Unlike her predecessor, when news emerged of each affair the president had during their marriage, the first lady did not show a united front and did do not stand by her man as Hillary Clinton famously quipped in a 60 Minutes interview during the 1992 presidential campaign. Instead, Melania asserted her independence from her husband. In January, after news of the affair with Stormy Daniels become public, the first First Lady did not join the president on his trip to the economic forum in Davos, Switzerland and she traveled herself to the capital for Trump’s first State of the Union address.

In February, when news broke that the president had another affair with Playboy model Karen McDougal in 2006, the first First Lady chose to travel to Andrews Air Force base to travel with the president. Melania Trump did not want to walk across the White House lawn to Marine One with the president, a photo-op so common in the Clinton era, during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. In between, especially during the recent state visit from France, Mrs. Trump avoided taking her husband’s hand. Through it all, she has not commented or defended her husband as Hillary famously did so in early 1998. Her stoic silence had garnered her sympathy from the American public.

Despite, the bump in favorability, her husband’s image still tarnished Melania and her numbers are not yet reaching her predecessors at this point in their first term. According to a CNN poll from September 2010 poll, Democrat Michelle Obama had a 62 percent favorable rating and only 25 percent unfavorable. Republican Laura Bush fared even better when a May 2002 CNN / Time poll had her with as 67 percent favorable rating, only 8 percent unfavorable, with 25 percent undecided.

Her poll bumps most resembles Hillary Clinton, whose husband President Bill Clinton faced his whole presidency with scandals and accusations. According to the Pew Research Center, Hillary had a 57 percent favorable rating in July 1994, the same point in her husband’s first term, and after her foray into healthcare policy. However, after the Lewinsky scandal broke and impeachment ensued Hillary’s numbers hit a record high. In March 1998, her favorable rating was 65 percent, in October it fell to 58 percent to rebound to 66 percent in December; a term high as impeachment hearing was going on in Congress. At the same time, President Clinton’s numbers fell to 51 percent.

First Lady Melania Trump’s high poll numbers come as she is coming into her own as the first lady. Two weeks ago she planned every aspect of her first state dinner welcoming France’s President Emmanuel Macron and first lady Brigette. Today, she unveiled her initiative “Be Best” in a Rose Garden speech. According to the White House, “BE BEST will concentrate on three main pillars: well-being, social media use, and opioid abuse.” The child welfare program emphasizes the problems children face with their physical and emotional health, drugs particularly the opioid crisis and cyberbullying on social media. Althotheirhere first lady is announcing her initiative 18-months into her tenure, she has spent her time on events concerning children. She announced in one of her rare presidential campaign speeches in 2016 that she would be focusing on cyberbullying as First Lady.

In her 10-minute speech, with her husband present Melania unveiled her program. Mrs. Trump expressed, “As a mother and as the first lady, it concerns me that in today’s fast-paced and ever-connected world, children can be less prepared to express or manage their emotions and oftentimes turn to forms of destructive or addictive behavior such as bullying, drug addiction or even suicide.” The first lady also explained where the initiative’s name originates, “I feel strongly that as adults we can and should be best at educating our children about the importance of a healthy and balanced life.”

The most controversial part of the first lady’s program is cyberbullying. Here again, Melania is showing her independence from her husband. The president is well known for his insults on the campaign trail and especially on Twitter and he is considered the nation’s bully-in-chief. The first lady almost seemed to be schooling her husband discussing the initiative, saying, “As we all know, social media can both positively and negatively affect our children. But too often, it is used in negative ways. When children learn positive online behaviors early on, social media can be used in productive ways and can affect positive change.” That independence from her husband, his scandals, vices, and policies, are why Melania Trump is setting herself apart and gaining the public’s trust.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion, and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

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Politics December 27, 2017: Obama beats Trump as Gallup’s most admired man in 2017, Hillary Clinton still top woman

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Obama beats Trump as Gallup’s most admired man in 2017, Hillary Clinton still top woman

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Wikipedia Commons

Although the sitting president is usually the Gallup poll’s most admired for the year, this year is it is not the case. Former President Barack Obama beat out President Donald Trump as the most admired man in the 2017 edition, while 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton remains the country’s most admired woman. Gallup Poll released on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017, their annual list of most admired men and women for the year with almost predictable results. For the tenth straight year, former President Obama has topped the list of most admired men, with Hillary Clinton topping the list of most admired women for a record-breaking time. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump came in a close second but missed the honor most sitting presidents experience.

President Obama won the distinction of most admired with 17 percent of the vote, down from 22 percent last year, and his “narrowest” margin to date. He has appeared on the top 10, 13 times since 2006 and has been in the top spot for the last ten years. President Obama has the second overall most admired titles besting former Presidents Bill Clinton (1993–2001) and Ronald Reagan (1981–1989) but behind Dwight Eisenhower (1953–1961). Obama becomes the only the second former president besides Eisenhower in 1967 and 1968 to win the year’s most admired. President Trump came in a rather close second with 14 percent; the third time Trump has ranked second in the poll. This year is the president’s seventh appearance in the top 10, in 1988 to 1990 and then again in 2011. Vice President Mike Pence sees his second appearance on the list coming in again at the bottom of the list.

Even as a sitting president Trump cannot eclipse Obama as the most admired man in the country an honor most sitting presidents have enjoyed. It is a tradition for the sitting president always to be named the most admired and has been the case for 70 years since the poll originated in 1946. Now only 13 times did a sitting president lose out on the most-admired honor and usually only happens if the president has a low approval rating. President Trump has the lowest approval rating of any president in his first year of office with only a 37 percent approval rating on his 338th day in office. The last time a sitting president missed the honor was in 2008 when then President-elect Obama edged out President George W. Bush who was seeing extremely low approval ratings at the end of his tenure.

In Gallup’s 71 years issuing the most admired list, sitting presidents have topped it 58 times. Gallup indicates, “Previous incumbent presidents who did not finish first include Harry Truman in 1946–1947 and 1950–1952, Lyndon Johnson in 1967–1968, Richard Nixon in 1973, Gerald Ford in 1974–1975, Jimmy Carter in 1980, and George W. Bush in 2008. All but Truman in 1947 and Ford in 1974 had job approval ratings well below 50%, like Trump.”

Gallup Polls Most Admired Men 2017 Top 10:

1. Barack Obama 17
2. Donald Trump 14
3. Pope Francis 3
4. Rev. Billy Graham 2
5. John McCain 2
6. Elon Musk 2
7. Bernie Sanders 1
8. Bill Gates 1
9. Benjamin Netanyahu 1
10. The Dalai Lama 1
11. Mike Pence 1

Despite losing the election Trump last year, former first lady, New York Senator, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, former Secretary of state and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tops the list of the most admired women for the 22nd time and 16th year in a row more than anyone ever on the list. Clinton has her lowest showing; however, winning only 9 percent of the vote, last year she had 12 percent for the top spot. Clinton only lost the number one spot in 1995 and 1996 to Mother Theresa and 2001 when First Lady Laura Bush took the position. Clinton has appeared on the list 26 times. Former First Lady Michelle Obama is in second place, but with 7 percent. Current First Lady Melania Trump sees her first showing on the list coming in at number 8 but with only one percent of the vote.

Gallup Polls Most Admired Women 2017 Top 10:

1. Hillary Clinton 9
2. Michelle Obama 7
3. Oprah Winfrey 4
4. Elizabeth Warren 3
5. Angela Merkel 2
6. Queen Elizabeth 2
7. Condoleezza Rice 1
8. Melania Trump 1
9. Nikki Haley 1
10. Duchess Kate Middleton 1
11. Beyonce Knowles 1

This year’s list is seeing some record number of appearances for both the most admired men and women. For the men, Rev. Billy Graham has his 60th top 10 finish having been in the top 10 every year since 1955, except for 1962 and 1976. This is the first year former Bill Clinton has dropped out of the top 10; he appeared on the top 10 for 25 years and remained on top of the list throughout his entire presidency from 1993 to 2001. On the women’s side, Hillary Clinton has the most top honors on the list with former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt second with 13 top honors. Queen Elizabeth has the most top 10 appearances of all women with 49, while Oprah Winfrey moved up to the second most of all time with her 30 showings. Gallup does not believe however, Obama and Clinton will hold on to the top spot in future years and believe Trump could attain the position next year.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Politics January 10, 2017: 2016 election is over as Congress certifies Trump’s Electoral College win

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2016 election is over as Congress certifies Trump’s Electoral College win

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Finally, what seemed like the longest and nastiest presidential election in American history is over. On Friday, January 6, 2017, Congress in a joint session certified the Electoral College votes the elected Republican Donald Trump president. Like the campaign, the certification process did not complete without Democrats trying to mount a last minute effort to prevent Trump from becoming president, actions, that Vice President Joe Biden, who presided over the count shutdown.

In a process that took an hour, Trump was certified with 304 Electoral Votes rather than 306 with two Texas faithless electors voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and the other for former Sen. Ron Paul. Democrat Hillary Clinton ended up with 227 Electoral votes as opposed to the 232 she was supposed to receive after the election returns were counted surprisingly five electors defected from Clinton. According to ABC News Online the “FINAL CERTIFIED TALLY: Donald Trump — 304, Hillary Clinton — 227, Colin Powell — 3, John Kasich — 1, Ron Paul — 1, Bernie Sanders — 1, Faith Spotted Eagle — 1.”

The certification did not go off smoothly as some Democratic representatives from “various states” protested during the process, but they needed a Democratic senator to join their cause in writing, and none wanted to make a “formal complaint.” According to The Hill, the representatives that objected to the Electoral Votes include “Freshman Democratic Reps. Jamie Raskin (Md.) and Pramila Jayapal (Wash.)” and “Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) and Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.).”

Instead, the representatives just interrupted and annoyed Biden who had to chastise them repeatedly, and according to CNN, they interrupted the Vice President 11 times. Biden scolded them a few times, “There is no debate. There is no debate.” Biden told Rep. Jayapal, “There is no debate, and if it’s not signed by a senator the objection cannot be entertained.”ABC News recounted that he banged the gavel several times to stop one representative from speaking.

The Vice President also gave them a reality check telling the representatives “It is over.” According to the Hill, Biden’s declaration prompted “cheers” from the Republicans who mostly occupied the chamber and even made Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) “laugh.” Thankfully, it is all over after the rollercoaster ride that was the 2016 presidential election.

Bonnie K. Goodman BA, MLIS (McGill University), is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor. She is a former Features Editor at the History News Network & reporter at Examiner.com where she covered politics, universities, religion and news. She has a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

 

Politics December 28, 2016: Obama, Hillary Clinton still top Gallup’s most admired men and women in 2016

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Obama, Hillary Clinton still top Gallup’s most admired men and women in 2016

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: CNN

President Barack Obama and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton remain the country’s most admired in 2016. Gallup Poll released on Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2016, their annual list of most admired men and women for the year with predictable results. For the ninth straight year, President Obama has topped the list of most admired men, with Hillary Clinton topping the list of most admired women for as record-breaking time. Meanwhile, President-elect Donald Trump came in a close second to the outgoing president.

President Obama won the distinction of most admired with 22 percent of the vote, up from 17 percent last year, but his “narrowest” margin to date. He has appeared on the top 10, 12 times since 2006 and has been in the top spot for the last nine years. Trump came in a rather close second with 15 percent, while Trump’s Vice President Mike Pence sees his first appearance on the list coming in at number 10. Last year Trump tied for second with Pope Francis but with only 5 percent of the vote. This year is the president-elect’s sixth appearance in the top 10, in 1988 to 1990 and then again in 2011. Trump is looking to gain the most admired title next year an honor most sitting presidents have enjoyed.

President Obama has the second overall most admired titles besting former Presidents Bill Clinton (1993–2001) and Ronald Reagan (1981–1989) but behind Dwight Eisenhower (1953–1961). It is no surprise Obama won most admired, it is a tradition for the sitting president always to be named the most admired, and has been the case for 70 years since the poll originated in 1946. Only 12 times did a sitting president lose out on the most-admired honor and usually only happens if the president has a low approval rating. Most recently in 2008 when then President-elect Obama edged out President George W. Bush who was seeing extremely low approval ratings at the end of his tenure.

Gallup Polls Most Admired Men 2016 Top 10:

1. Barack Obama 22
2. Donald Trump 15
3. Pope Francis 4
4. Bernie Sanders 2
5. Rev. Billy Graham 1
6t. Benjamin Netanyahu 1
6t. The Dalai Lama 1
6t. Bill Clinton 1
6t. Bill Gates 1
10. Mike Pence 1

Despite losing the presidential election to Trump Former first lady, New York Senator, 2008 Democratic presidential candidate, and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tops the list of the most admired women for the 21st time and 15th year in a row. Clinton’s popularity coincides with her winning the popular vote in the election by nearly 3 million ballots although she lost in the Electoral College.

Clinton only lost the number one spot in 1995 and 1996 to Mother Theresa, and 2001 when First Lady Laura Bush took the position. Clinton only received 12 percent of the vote to reach the top of the list, last year she had 13 percent. Clinton has appeared on the list 25 times. First Lady Michelle Obama is in second place, but with 8 percent her best showing on the list since her husband was re-elected in 2012 and her best support since 2009 when she had 7 percent of the vote.

Gallup Polls Most Admired Women 2016 Top 10:

1. Hillary Clinton 12
2. Michelle Obama 8
3. Angela Merkel 3
4. Oprah Winfrey 3
5. Ellen DeGeneres 2
6. Queen Elizabeth 2
7. Malala Yousafzai 2
8. Condoleezza Rice 2
9. Elizabeth Warren 1
10. Sarah Palin 1

This year’s list is seeing some record number of appearances for both the most admired men and women. For the men, Rev. Billy Graham has his 60th top 10 finish having been in the top 10 every year since 1955, except for 1962 and 1976, while former President Bill Clinton has his 25th appearance on the top 10. On the women’s side, Hillary Clinton has the most top honors on the list with former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt second with 13 top honors. Queen Elizabeth has the most top 10 appearances of all women with 48, while Oprah Winfrey moved up to the second most of all time with her 29 showings.

Gallup believes there is a possibility that the poll’s most admired might have a shake up next year “as both move into the post-political phase of their careers.” They believe Trump will assume the top spot among the men, with Obama still ranking high in the top 10. Gallup also thinks Clinton still has a possibility of reigning among the women since former first ladies have won 35 out of 67 times, and assuming a non-political role will only help her popularity.

Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS, is a journalist, librarian, historian & editor with a dozen years experience in education & political journalism.

Politics November 28, 2016: Election 2016 redux Trump calls Clinton a hypocrite for recount support

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Election 2016 redux Trump calls Clinton a hypocrite for recount support

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The harsh 2016 campaign is never ending. President-elect Donald Trump has a good reason to call his former opponent and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a hypocrite. On Saturday evening, Nov. 26, 2016, and Sunday morning, Nov. 27, Trump went after Clinton supporting Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s filing for a recount in three battleground states. The president-elect criticized Clinton on Twitter for not wanting to accept the election results when she spent nearly two months attacking him that he would not concede and accept the election results.

On Saturday evening, Trump criticized just the Democratic Party, writing, “The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore! Then Trump went after Clinton specifically, writing, “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change.”

Clinton heavily criticized Trump for refusing to agree that he would accept the election results in a response to one of the questions during the third presidential debate. Trump repeatedly said the elections were rigged against him, because of the now proved bias against him and for Clinton by both the media and the polls.

On Sunday, Trump reminded Clinton of her response attacking him for his position on election concession. On Twitter, the president-elect posted Clinton’s comments from the campaign, “That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a — during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.”

In another post, Trump wrote Clinton called his position, “a direct threat to our democracy.” Trump also reposted a quote from Clinton’s concession speech, where she declared, “We must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

This was the first time Trump specifically blamed Clinton for the recount effort. On Saturday, Trump disparaged just Stein and the Green Party for their “scam,” before the Clinton campaign announced they supported Stein’s efforts. President-elect said in an official Trump Transition statement, “This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount.”

Continuing, Trump condemned the recount, “This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.” On Saturday, Trump praised Clinton for her classy concession of the election, “The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘We must accept this result and then look to the future.’” Later when Trump found out about the Democratic support, he tweeted, “The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems.”

On Friday afternoon, Nov. 25, just before the 5 p.m. deadline Grenn Party nominee Stein raised $4 million, enough money to file in Wisconsin for a recount of the votes. In Wisconsin, she requested a “reconciliation of paper records.” Stein promised to the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, three battleground states that Trump turned red but usually voted Democrat. Stein claimed the voting systems in those states were hacked.

Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias announced on Medium that the Clinton campaign would support the recount. Elias said they were doing this because of the “the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton” And the “hundreds of messages, emails and calls” from supporters requesting an investigation. Elias admitted, the Clinton campaign “quietly taken a number of steps” to investigate the results. In contradiction, New York Magazine reported this weekend, that cyber security experts convinced the Clinton campaign they had “persuasive evidence” that the votes had “manipulated or hacked.”

Elias continued, “Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides.” Still, the Clinton campaign intends to support all the recounts, “If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.”

Stein maintains, she was not doing the recount to benefit, Clinton and even criticized her as a hypocrite as well on Twitter, “Why would Hillary Clinton-who conceded the election to Donald Trump-want #Recount2016? You cannot be on-again, off-again about democracy.”

The Obama White House does not believe any hacking occurred and dismissed the recount. A senior administration official told the press, “We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people. The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day. We believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.”

The recount needs to be completed by Dec. 13, while the deadlines to apply for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania is this upcoming week. Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump beat her in the Electoral College, she would need all three states to flip back to beat him, and that is not going to happen. The margin of victory was close but in the double digit thousands. In total Trump won 107,000 more votes in those three states than Clinton, winning by a margin of 22,000 in Wisconsin alone, “Trump won 1.404 million votes to Clinton’s 1.382 million.”

Clinton has a lead of 2.2 million votes, “64,637,140 votes nationally, compared to Trump’s 62,408,908, according to a count curated by Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.” Elias touted those numbers in his post, writing, “And most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses… During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.”

Clinton is not the first candidate to lose the election but win the popular vote. Again, there are calls to change the system from Electoral votes to a popular vote, and some electors are even trying to defect from voting for Trump. Looking at the electoral map, it hard not to notice that Trump won the most regions and states, and the map is red compared to Clinton’s blue in just some major cities.

Clinton is acting like a hypocrite; she could criticize Trump all she liked when she was positive she would win, Clinton never imagined how it would feel to lose and how much of a sore loser she would be. The American public should not be surprised, Clinton did not want to concede in the 2008 Democratic primary against now President Barack Obama, and even this year, she balked at conceding election night although Obama asked her to, Clintons just hate losing.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 9, 2016: Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

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Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: ABC News

As the Republican nominee Donald Trump always said that the election was about his supporters the voters and making America great again, not celebrity surrogates or even party establishment support and he was right. On Tuesday evening election night, Nov. 8, 2016, Trump shocked the nation and world by winning the election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and becoming the nation’s 45th president. Trump started off the night with a bang; he led and never looked back by the 2:30 a.m. the Associated Press called the election for Trump shocking pundits and pollsters and shaking the financial markets in what is being called the biggest upset in American history.

Trump began his improbable campaign on June 16, 2015, with many jeers but he soon took off in the polls as the Republican candidate to beat, but none in a field of 16 could surpass him. The Clinton campaign wanted Trump as their opponent, the Clinton machine saw the freewheeling businessman as the perfect contrast to the controlled former Secretary of State, while the polls kept repeating Clinton would win if Trump were the nominee. Clinton underestimated, she was dealing not just a man or another opponent but a force of nature larger than life to be reckoned with as the campaign descended into one of the nastiness and uncivilized in American history or at least modern history.

The polls who were Trump’s friend in the primary became his enemy in the general election as every move, word or missteps gained points for as he called it the media’s “angel” Clinton. Throughout the intense fall campaign period, Clinton was pundits, pollsters and predictors favorite to win the presidency. When Trump fell, with the discovery of a 2005, lewd “lockerroom” talk tape, Clinton soared, her numbers skyrocketed to the double digits the question became how big her margin of victory would be. Even an October Surprise in the form a resurrected FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server could not stop Clinton, as she could do no wrong and Trump no right.

Trump defied the odds and changed the whole presidential campaign game, he propelled himself to the Republican nomination, with his own funding and used the news media as his personal ad campaign ad, while the public flocked to his populist message and simple philosophy of making America great again. In the general election, the media turned on him, as did the polls, but he blended 19th-century campaign methods with 21st-century technology to create a winning formula, mixing raucous mass rallies and stump speeches with social media and Twitter outreach.

Trump was the consummate political outsider, whose campaign resembled 1896 Democrat William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold, mixed with the public fear of his temperament like 1900 vice presidential candidate turned President Republican Theodore Roosevelt that madman with only one life between White House and again as renegade Bull Moose of 1912. In the end, however, Trump was Harry Truman in 1948, the enemy of the establishment and press set to lose so much so that newspapers printed, “Dewey Defeats Truman” when Truman in the end was the victor, not his Republican opponent Thomas E. Dewey.

Trump was a one-man band that did alone and never relented when the Republican Party insiders abandoned ship refusing or going back on their endorsement just because he was not one of them. The GOP nominee fought back and remained unfazed as he words were twisted, overanalyzed, and he was portrayed as a sexist, racist and the end of the country as we know it. Republicans, Democrats, his opponent and the news media demonized him as he shocked them with resoluteness proclaiming that in the end he and his campaign’s movement of supporters Clinton called “deplorable” would be triumphant on Election Day.

On Tuesday evening, Trump proved them all wrong he not only reinvented the campaigning game, but the electoral map is flipping key battleground state after state red from blue. Before the Republicans had the Sunbelt and then the bible belt, now they have the rust belt. Trump won Democratic bastions of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, even turning Michigan red. The blue-collar working class revolted from the Democrats who abandoned them in droves for their savior the populist Republican promising to make right the wounded economy that never actually recovered.

Trump broke through Clinton’s firewall, proving there was a hidden Trump vote and he became almost the one correctly predicting, he would become the next president. Trump shocked almost every pollsters, pundit, reporter, analyst and academic that predicted and analyzed the campaign and election. They all wanted a Clinton victory so much their judgment clouded, and almost everyone was left with embarrassing egg on their faces from the excessive praise and confidence in Clinton, proving the adage one should never presume.

Trump showed the world presumption is a folly and in a democracy, the will of the people matters the most and the vote is the most powerful force. The candidate they most feared spent his first moments in the spotlight as president-elect with gracious words for his opponent, and overtures that he wants to be the nation’s uniter-in-chief rather the divider his opponents feared he would be.

President-elect Trump declared in his victory speech, “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” The president-elect is doing his part now the country has to come forward to meet him halfway. Instead of being, poor losers American citizens have to heal their partisan wounds and come together as the divided nation has done before in history to truly restore, reach its potential and make the country great again.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 8, 2016: Clinton and Trump make closing arguments at last rallies of 2016 campaign

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Clinton and Trump make closing arguments at last rallies of 2016 campaign

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Chicago Tribune

After more two years, the 2016 presidential campaign is ending. Late Monday evening, Nov. 7, 2016, into the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 8, Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton made their final cases to the American voters at their last rallies of the campaign cycle. The candidates held a marathon number of rallies during the last days of the campaign hoping to persuade voters in battleground states that they should be the next president. Clinton ended on a positive note, Trump a more negative tone as both candidates remained close in polls that showed conflicting results entering Election Day.

Clinton made her final rally in the ever more critical battleground state of North Carolina. Clinton spoke to 6,000 supporters at the rally held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where she had a little help from some famous friends, singers Jon Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga, who also performed. Clinton hoped to appeal to millennials to help put her over the edge.

Clinton alluded to Bon Jovi’s performance and biggest hit in her remarks. Clinton expressed,
“Well, I got to tell you this is sure worth staying you up for. And you know between now and the time that the poll closes tomorrow, we’re going to be living on a prayer.” Clinton, who ran a campaign made of attacks mostly on her opponent wanted to strike a more positive tone at the end of her historic campaign. The Democratic nominee wanted to contrast herself from Trump’s “dark and divisive vision for America.”

Clinton called on voters, “Tomorrow, we face the test of our time. So if you believe America thrives when the middle class thrives, then you have to vote… If you believe we should make the biggest investment in new jobs since WWII … you have to vote. For the last words of her campaign, Clinton concluded, “If you believe we need more fairness in our economy… If you believe in science … If you believe we need to reform our criminal justice system … If you believe we need to do more to support working families … Let’s go vote North Carolina!”

Earlier in the evening, Clinton “held her biggest rally of the cycle in Pennsylvania” accompanied by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, her husband former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Clinton hosted 20,000 supporters at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi performed. Clinton is keeping up with her positive message ending, apologized for the campaign’s nastiness, saying, “I regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” The Democratic nominee pointed out the negative words coming from her opponent’s campaign. Clinton then asked supporters, “Let’s show tomorrow there will be no question about the outcome of this election!”

Obama gave a resounding endorsement passing the torch to his former Secretary of State. The President expressed, “We now have the chance to elect a 45th president who will build on our progress who will finish the job … who is smart, who is steady and who is tested. She will work, she will deliver. She won’t just tweet.” Obama asked voters “America, I am betting on you one more time.” The president a notorious and energetic campaigner, who loves the game, has been a top surrogate for Clinton making arguments in Florida and Michigan. While the First Lady who has been Clinton’s campaign secret weapon told the crowd, “We are one day away from once again from making history… This election is on us. It is in our hands. If we get out and vote tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will win.”

Meanwhile, Trump held his last of a marathon of rallies in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Midwest state has not voted Republican since 1988, but Trump’s popularity with blue-collar workers has put the state in play. Trump’s simple but full rally contrasted with the caravan of celebrities that have performed concerts and campaigned for Clinton in the final for Trump it has always been the been the supporters who have stuffed his rallies in record number that have been the most important, as the nominee himself is a one-man band. Trump had “enthusiastic crowds in his final swing state rallies in “Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Michigan.”

Trump told his supporters, “We don’t need, we don’t need Jay Z or Beyonce. We don’t need Jon Bon Jovi. We don’t need Lady Gaga. All we need is great ideas to make America great again. That’s all that we need.” Despite a close race with Clinton slightly ahead in some polls, Trump remained optimistic telling his audience at a earlier rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, “I think we’re going to blow them out tomorrow in a lot of different ways, blow them out. No way.” In Michigan he told his supporters, “This is not the sound of a second place finisher, that I can tell you.”

Trump had what was supposed to be his campaign finale rally also earlier in the evening. Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire with his family, his three eldest children, who were his biggest campaign surrogates and his running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his wife Karen as well friend and most loyal and “ardent” surrogate former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. There were no celebrities present other than the candidate, but there were laser beams and a fog machine show and 12,000 loyal supporters from the battleground state. There Trump thanked his children, “I heard about the surrogates going all over for Hillary Clinton but I had my family I had the best surrogates of all.”

Trump’s final last minute rally in Michigan, started with a large crowd but as the early morning wore on the crowds dispersed. Trump remained negative to the end, as he needed to be to fight his opponent who has been acting as the incumbent backed a president with a renewed popularity. The GOP nominee declared, “Hillary is the face of failure. She’s the face of failed foreign policy.” Trump’s running mate, Pence gave the same warning earlier in the day at a stop in Minnesota, arguing, “In one day the American people can put an end to decades of Clinton corruption. You here in Minnesota can close the history books on the Clintons once and for all.”

As the outsider, Trump concluded with that message going to the core of what his campaign has always been about those on the outside of the political establishment. The nominee expressed, “The corrupt politicians and their special interests have ruled over this country for a very long time. Today is our Independence day. Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 7, 2016: WikiLeaks CNN embroiled in Clinton bias over favors for Democratic National Committee

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WikiLeaks CNN embroiled in Clinton bias over favors for Democratic National Committee

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Republican nominee Donald Trump likes to call CNN the Clinton News Network and he might be right. WikLeaks released over 8,000 more emails from the Democratic National Committee on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, and among the most damaging is an email where the Clinton campaign coordinated with CNN to sabotage interviews in April with Republican candidates Donald Trump who became the nominee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

In April the DNC “colluded” with CNN to create questions to trip Trump during a CNN interview including having the DNC choosing the CNN anchor who would interview Trump. The email dated April 25, was from a DNC staffer named Lauren Dillon who served as the DNC Research Director, her email address was DillonL@dnc.org.

The DNC staffer requested that Wolf Blitzer conduct the interview. Dillon wrote CNN, “Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. … Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.” Dillon sent another email after CNN notified her that the interview had been canceled “as of now.”

In the second email, Dillon provided CNN suggested questions the anchor should ask Trump when the interview was rescheduled. Dillon wrote some of the questions down, suggesting CNN ask Trump “Who helped you write the foreign policy speech you’re giving tomorrow? Which advisors specifically did you talk to? What advice did they give you? Did they give you any advice that you chose not to take?”

Additionally, as the Washington Examiner noted Dillon suggested questions regarding “Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a pre-preemptive strike against North Korea and court martials for members of the military who didn’t follow orders.”

Dillon did the same when it came to interviews with Cruz and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina who Cruz at that point was choosing as running mate in unprecedented move since he was not the presumptive nominee. Dillon wrote in that third email “CNN is looking for questions” on Cruz and “maybe a couple on” Fiorina.

CNN dismissed the emails with a spokeswoman commenting, “This is completely unremarkable. We have similar communications with Republicans. When preparing for interviews we are regularly sent suggestions from rival campaigns and political parties, both solicited and unsolicited. Casting a wide net to ensure a tough and fair interview isn’t just common media practice, it’s smart.”

WikLeaks released a damaging batch of DNC emails back in July just before the Democratic National Convention revealing how much the party wanted to sabotage and work against the party’s other primary candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Then DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s damaging emails forced her to resign as the party’s head.

This is not the first time WikiLeaks unearthed CNN helping the Clinton campaign during the primaries. This first time was with interim DNC Chair woman Donna Brazile. Brazile acquired two CNN primary debate questions and handed them over to the Clinton campaign. The revelation prompted CNN to cut ties with Brazile.

WikLeaks released 50,000 hacked emails since the beginning of October in an attempt to sway the election. The majority of the emails have been from the Gmail account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The emails not released in any order include both emails and internal memos and documents showing the Clintons’ used their political connections to gain favors.

The emails have shown a calculated Clinton campaign that has used the Democratic National Committee and the news media to get an advantage for Clinton in the primary and general election. The news media has downplayed the revelation but they are still damaging to the Clinton campaign and the DNC showing a manipulatively run campaign.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 7, 2016: WikiLeaks Chelsea Clinton’s husband used Clinton Foundation for hedge fund

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WikiLeaks Chelsea Clinton’s husband used Clinton Foundation for hedge fund

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Another day another Clinton scandal exposed. The FBI might not be charging Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over her private email server, but does not mean the Clintons’ are not without scandal and general abuse of power privilege. On Sunday evening, Nov. 6, 2016, WikiLeaks released another batch of 8,000 emails relating to Hillary and former President Bill Clinton. Among those emails was two indicating that daughter Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky used his connections with the Clinton Foundation to secure money for his hedge fund.

Wikileaks released two specific emails between ex-Bill Clinton aide Doug Band to Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and long-time aide Cheryl Mills who at the time was serving as Clinton’s Chief of Staff at the State Department. There was a memo from 2011 and an email from 2012 outlining how Mezvinky used the foundation’s donors to invest his hedge fund.

Mezvinsky invited prospective donors to a Clinton Foundation poker event to “court” his potential investors and was introduced to a “billionaire foundation donor” who contributed to his fund. Chelsea was also actively involved she phoned foundation donors inquiring if they would invest in her husband’s hedge fund.

Mezvinsky was working as an investment for Goldman Sachs, and he and two others were trying to gain enough capital and investments for a hedge fund. The three called their enterprise Eaglevale Partners. As Politico pointed out in their report, “The word among rich Clinton backers on Wall Street was that the family would look favorably on investments in Eaglevale.”

The emails are a part of the 50,000 hacked Podesta emails WikiLeaks has released since the beginning of October in an attempt to sway the election. The emails have shown a calculated Clinton campaign that has used the Democratic National Committee and the news media to get an advantage for Clinton in the primary and general election. The emails not released in any order include both emails and internal memos and documents showing the Clintons’ used their political connections to gain favors.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 6, 2016: November surprise FBI’s Comey announces Clinton will still not face charges over server

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November surprise FBI’s Comey announces Clinton will still not face charges over server

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

In an election cycle with never ending surprise, FBI Director James B. Comey whipped up a November surprise with barely two days left to Election Day. On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2016, Comey sent another letter to the chairman of Congressional committee announcing that they have reviewed the newly discovered emails and that the FBI is standing by their July decision not to recommend any criminal charges against the former Secretary of State over her usage of a private email server. The announcement is just as interfering in the election as Comey’s first letter on Oct. 28, and it has been met with criticism from Republicans as a close campaign enters its final two days.

In Comey’s second letter, he informed Congressional leaders that the second investigation had been completed, “Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.”

The FBI Director concluded, “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch disagreed with Comey’s first letter, but on Sunday, the Justice Department issued a brief statement, saying, “The Department of Justice and the FBI dedicated all necessary resources to conduct this review expeditiously.”

The Clinton campaign was relieved after hearing the news but defiant. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted, “We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed it.” While Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director told reporters, “We have seen Director Comey’s latest letter to the Hill. We are glad to see that he has found, as we were confident that he would, that he had confirmed the conclusions he reached in July and we are glad that this matter is resolved.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was equally pleased with the results of the investigation and its timing. Schiff in a statement expressed,
“While the original letter should never have been sent so close to an election, the expeditious review of these emails should put to rest — once and for all — the irresponsible speculation indulged in by the Trump campaign and others. Voters can now make their decision based on the merits, and that decision should be simple: it is the choice between a woman superbly qualified to be commander in chief, and a man patently unfit for office.”

Not all Democrats were as content one told CNN “It opened a wound that cannot be quickly healed.” Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is still angry at Comey. In a statement, Feinstein said, “Today’s letter makes Director Comey’s actions nine days ago even more troubling. There’s no doubt that it created a false impression about the nature of the agency’s inquiry. The Justice Department needs to take a look at its procedures to prevent similar actions that could influence future elections.”

The Republicans, however, were less than impressed by the November Surprise that might ruin their argument to vote Republican so close to the election. The letter seemed like another election spoiler. Trump spokesman Jason Miller commented on CNN, “We thought that Director Comey and the FBI were wrong when they made their initial recommendation in July, and we think that they’re wrong now.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan dismissed the letter, saying, “Regardless of this decision, the undisputed finding of the FBI’s investigation is that Secretary Clinton put our nation’s secrets at risk and in doing so compromised our national security,” Ryan said in a statement. “Fortunately, the American people have the opportunity to ensure Secretary Clinton never gets her hands on classified information again.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus agreed with Ryan, stating, “None of this changes the fact that the FBI continues to investigate the Clinton Foundation for corruption involving her tenure as secretary of state. Hillary Clinton should never be president.”

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence hammered Clinton at “a rally in an airport hanger in Hickory, North Carolina,” saying, “Mishandling classified information is a crime. Hillary Clinton said that she never sent or received any classified information and the director of the FBI told the Congress classified information was sent.”

Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump spoke very little about the letter at his rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which began minutes after the news broke. The GOP nominee, however, renewed his call of a rigged system, claiming, “Well, you have to understand it’s a rigged system and she’s protected.” Top Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich concurred on Twitter, accusing, “Comey must be under enormous political pressure to cave like this.”

In July, Comey announced his decision not to prosecute Clinton after a lengthy FBI investigation. Comey said on July 5, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Although Comey expressed, the FBI could not “find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he called Clinton’s handling of her emails “extremely careless.” Clinton has always dismissed the issue as merely a “mistake” of judgment.

Then on Friday, Oct. 28, Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee Chairman informing them that the FBI uncovered new “pertinent” emails relating to the Clinton investigation in an unrelated case, and advised that the FBI would be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. Abedin denied knowing the emails were ever on her husband’s laptop; she had been cooperating with authorities on the matter.

Initially sources claimed the emails were not duplicates of those the FBI already reviewed, but it turns out they were all copies. FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Bureau was granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct. 30. The probe was supposed not to be complete before the election, but pressure from the White House forced the FBI to complete the investigation before. The FBI used computers programs to scan and the emails and compared with those they already they had in the possession.

Initially, Comey faced praise from Trump’s campaign but was attacked and criticized by Clinton her campaign, Congressional supporters, most Democrats and President Barack Obama for the timing of the letter. Democrats in Congress even threatened to investigate Comey and the FBI for the timing of the letter, which interfered in the election a long known taboo.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder who formally instituted a policy in 2012 preventing investigations from interfering with elections wrote an editorial in the Washington Post criticizing Comey. Holder joined 100 Justice Department writing an open letter telling Comey his “letter to Congress was inconsistent with prevailing department policy, that it broke with longstanding practices followed during past elections and that they were astonished and perplexed.”

Now the Republicans and still some Democrats are criticizing Comey with good reason. Comey has played with the voters’ emotions and the election. Clinton may have received her all clear before the election, but Clinton lost her lead the contest is now close between Trump and Clinton, with Trump eclipsing Clinton is some crucial battleground states. The first letter united Republicans and saw them rallying around the nominee. The electoral map shifted in Trump’s favor after the first letter, will the second letter flip it back to Clinton or will voters remain wary of a scandal and investigation prone Clinton. Only on election night will anyone know how much Comey’s October and then November Surprises affected the 2016 election.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 6, 2016: New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet leads in polls

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New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet leads in polls

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is taking laziness and risking national security to a new level. On Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, the New York Post dropped a bombshell; Clinton asked her maid in her house in Washington, DC to print for her emails and documents including classified docs during her tenure as Secretary of State. The NY Post is claiming their story comes from emails and FBI memos. The news comes just two days before the election as the race is close between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump and just a week after the FBI’s Director James Comey announced they were reopening their investigation. Ironically, polls are still positive for Clinton with her lead growing in the campaign’s final days.

According to the report, Marina Santos is the maid at the center of the new controversy. Santos is a Filipino immigrant who works at Clinton’s home, Whitehaven and does not have or had a security clearance. According to the NY Post, Clinton had Santos print for her “drafts of her speeches, confidential memos and “call sheets” — background information and talking points prepared for the secretary of state in advance of a phone call with a foreign head of state.”

Emails show that Clinton routinely asked her staff and aides to forward documents to Santos so she could print them for her. Some of the examples include an unclassified email from 2011 where Clinton asked her longtime Huma Abedin, “Pls ask Marina to print for me in am.” Abedin is the center of the FBI’s renewed investigation where all of her State Department communications that were also on Clinton’s private server were uncovered on her estranged husband’s former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

There are also three other emails that are labeled as classified under the level of confidential in which Santos is referred to print items all come from aide, Monica Hanley. One from 2012 had to do with the new president Malawi, the other from the same year had to do with Iran both times Hanley mentioned Santos printing them, first writing, “We can ask Marina to print this,” and the other time “Marina is trying to print for you.” Hanely also mentioned a State Department fax in a 2012 email, “to see before your Netanyahu mtg. Marina will grab for you.”

The FBI’s investigation notes always pointed out that Santos had access to these documents by accessing the SCIF room (sensitive compartmented information facility) set up in Clinton’s Whitehaven home. The FBI wrote from their interview with Abedin, Santos “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton.” Some of the documents besides emails were “the Presidential Daily Brief” on national security issues.

Despite the revelation and Santos involvement, she has not been interviewed neither has her devices been subpoenaed by the FBI for review. The FBI never asked Santos to hand over the iMac she received the emails on or the printer she used. Santos also was responsible for downloading all of Clinton’s State Department emails onto the Secretary’s Apple MacBook laptop, and USB flash drive that has become conveniently missing throughout the investigation.

The FBI noted in the case summary, “The two copies of the Clinton e-mail archive (one on the archive laptop and one on the thumb drive) were intended to be stored in Clinton’s Chappaqua and Whitehaven residences,” and that it “does not have either item in its possession.” Hanley told the FBI the devices were lost, a sadly unbelievable excuse.

What is believable that Clinton may have had her maid print out documents. The latest batch of emails released by the State Department and uncovered by the FBI during their investigation were near duplicates that usually had a “please print” added to it. Clinton said she used the private server mostly as a convenience to use one phone for both her professional and personal emails, essentially admitting laziness. If Clinton was that lazy, she had to have her information stored on the State Department server, and have an assistant with security clearance print and fetch her documents, not her maid.

Despite these reports, and the renewed FBI investigation American voters still say they are voting for Clinton. Two new polls released Sunday give Clinton comfortable leads. The ABC News-Washington Post Tracking gave Clinton a 5-point advantage 48 percent support to Trump’s 43, while the NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll has Clinton with a four-point lead, 44 percent to Trump’s 40.

In the opposite spectrum the LA Times/USC Tracking which has had an essential tie between the candidate opens up to a five-point lead for Trump, with 48 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent. The most reliable poll in 2012, the IBD/TIPP Tracking has the race at a tie, one up for Trump in a four-way race with while Clinton has the one-point advantage in a two-way race. However, the election is a four-way race with voters inevitably casting their ballots for third-party candidates.

Why would anyone want to elect a president who is extremely careless with FBI investigations over their head and a Congress that is threatening impeachment? In a recent exchange on Twitter with former Politico reporter and author of “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” Jonathan Allen, he claims it is a “prioritization” about voters believing “Clinton is competent to run the country and that Trump is not.”

Being politically corrupt, however, is worse than any lack of readiness for the presidency. The two last presidents Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama were criticized for not being ready enough for the presidency. Bush resolved the issue by surrounding himself with experience advisors and very hands on Vice President in the form of Dick Cheney, while Obama learned the lessons himself with the help of a Democratic Congress.

Trump too can surround himself with experienced advisors, and he has an accomplished running mate in Indian Governor Mike Pence, a veteran of Congress as well. Trump will also have a Republican Congress backing him up. As leaks from the Trump campaign’s final days prove, he can learn to listen and restrain himself. Maybe the outsider needs a learning curve, but at least he has never risked national security and classified documents as Clinton did as Secretary of State, indictment or not she was irresponsible, and that never makes anyone “competent to run the country.”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 5, 2016: State Department releases the last batch of Clinton emails before the election

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State Department releases the last batch of Clinton emails before the election

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The State Department released the final two batches of emails from former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure before the election. On Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, the State Department released 357 emails or 1,250 pages while on Friday, Nov. 4 they released 74 emails or 280 pages. The emails are part of the 15,000 the FBI discovered over the course of their first investigation into Clinton potentially endangering national security by using a private server for her email communications.

The majorities of the emails released are near duplicates of the emails the State Department previously released but include another mostly insignificant chain. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner explained the emails in a statement, writing, “For instance, a ‘near duplicate’ would be substantively identical to previously released emails, but for a top email in the chain stating ‘Please print.’”

The emails are being released as part of Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Conservative group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch was responsible for the lawsuit that forced the State Department to release the approximately 30,000 work related emails Clinton handed over to the State Department in December 2014. Clinton deleted the same amount of emails. The FBI recovered these 15,000 emails while examining the server.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered the State Department to review 1,000 documents before the election. The State Department previouslyreleased “75 emails, or around 270 pages, on Oct. 7, about 112 emails or 240 pages on Oct. 21, and 357 on Thursday.” Of the 15,000 emails, 60 percent were personal emails, 37 percent, 5,600 were from her work, but many were duplicates. The State Department will review 500 pages each month after the election and then release those that are appropriate.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 5, 2016: Clinton has less than 270 Electoral College votes in latest CNN projection

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Clinton has less than 270 Electoral College votes in latest CNN projection

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Proving just how close this election has become CNN latest Electoral College projection has Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton dipping below the magic number of 270 in her column. CNN released their “Road to 270” map projection on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, giving Clinton 268 Electoral College votes while Republican nominee Donald Trump moved to 204 votes as more states move into the battleground column with just four days before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

According to the latest edition of CNN’s electoral map Clinton has 268 votes from solidly Democrat or leaning Democrat states, while Trump has 204 votes from solidly Republican or leaning Republican.

In the solidly Democrat column are the following states:
“California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), DC (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (3), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (12), Minnesota (10), New Mexico (5) (200 total)”

In the leaning Democrat column are the following states:
“Colorado (9), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), (68 total)”

In the solidly Republican column are the following states:
“Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (4), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3) (157 total)”

In the leaning Republican column are the following states:
“Georgia (16), Iowa (6), Maine 2nd Congressional District (1), Ohio (18), Utah (6) (47 total)”

There are six battleground states; “Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and the 2nd congressional district in and around Omaha, Neb.” While three states moved into the leaning Republican column; “Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Ohio and Utah.” Before New Hampshire was in the leaning Democrat column and has now moved into battleground territory.

This shift in the map represents changing polls nationally Clinton and Trump either tie or Clinton has a narrow lead within the margin of error, but the state polling has shown a more dramatic and concrete shift. The states’ Electoral College votes matter more than national polls on Election night, and they determine who win and become the next president. Although the change shows momentum for Trump, many predictions are still claiming Clinton will win despite the October Surprise, the renewed FBI probe over her email server as Secretary of State.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 5, 2016: Clinton related emails discovered on Weiner’s computer, not duplicates

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Clinton related emails discovered on Weiner’s computer, not duplicates

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

The emails the FBI discovered on former Congressman Anthony Weiner’s computer relate to former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure and are not duplicates. CBS News spoke to an official involved in the investigation and reported on Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, that the emails James B. Comey referred to his letter renewing the investigation are from Clinton’s tenure and the FBI has never seen them before.

The source told CBS generally about the emails but did provide details on the number of emails discovered that are specifically related to Clinton and if they are “significant” to their probe into whether she mishandled classified information by using a private server. According to a report conducted by CBS News’ Andres Triay, “At this point, however, it remains to be seen whether these emails are significant to the FBI’s investigation into Clinton. It is also not known how many relevant emails there are.”

On Friday, Oct. 28, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee Chairman informing them that the FBI uncovered new “pertinent” emails relating to the Clinton investigation in an unrelated case, and advised that the FBI would be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. Abedin denied knowing the emails were ever on her husband’s laptop; she has been cooperating with authorities on the matter.

FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Bureau was granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct. 30. Comey has faced praised from Trump’s campaign but criticism and attacks from Clinton her campaign and Congressional supporters and now President Barack Obama for the timing of the letter.

The investigation is not going to be complete before the election. An official spoke to USA Today and indicated that neither would the FBI provide updates throughout the investigation or give the results of their preliminary probe despite repeated calls from Democrats and Clinton’s campaign to do so. Another source told Reuters, Comey was motivated to send the letter to Congress to have control over the investigation and prevent leaks from the Bureau.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics November 2, 2016: Voters not too bothered by renewed Clinton email investigation, but why?

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Voters not too bothered by renewed Clinton email investigation, but why?

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Three new polls show that American voters do not seem to care very much about the FBI Director James B. Comey’s renewed investigation into Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email server, which is troubling. On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 66 percent of voters say the new probe is not going to change how they vote. Meanwhile, in the first national Politico/Morning Consult poll released after the news from FBI on Monday, Oct. 31, Clinton still maintains her same three-point lead over Republican nominee Donald Trump. Even worse, in the latest the Reuters/Ipsos survey released on Monday, Clinton has 5-point lead over Trump. Although this good news for Clinton it does not say much about the judgment of the American voters where an FBI investigation does not matter when the person in question wants to be president.

With a week left before the election, Clinton still holds on to her lead in the latest national Politico/Morning Consult poll. Clinton has the support of 42 percent of voters to Trump’s 39 percent support in a four-way race. Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson has 7 percent support, while Green Party nominee Jill Stein has 5 percent. Clinton still maintains her lead in a two-way race with 46 percent to Trump’s 43 percent.

The poll also asked voters how they felt about Clinton’s renewed email scandal. Fortunately at least a minority find it troubling, and it will now to affect how the vote on Nov. 8. According to the poll, 33 percent say they are “less likely” to vote for Clinton after the news broke, while 39 percent of Americans say it will not sway their vote. However, 45 percent “agreed with Trump” Clinton’s email scandal is worse than Watergate. The ABC News/Washington Post poll seems to concur; determining that 34 percent of voters are less likely to vote for Clinton after newly discovered emails forced the FBI to renew their investigation into Clinton.

Even more troubling is a third poll released Monday, the Reuters/Ipsos survey gave Clinton a five-point lead. In the survey, Clinton has 44 percent support to Trump’s 39 percent in a two-way race. The polls give Clinton a six percent lead in a four-way race, Clinton has 43 percent support to Trump’s 37 percent, while Johnson has six percent with Stein at just one percent.

On Friday morning, Oct. 28, FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee leaders informing them of a new development the discovery of news and that the FBI will be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The bureau was just granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct. 30. Comey has faced praised from Trump’s campaign but criticism and attacks from Clinton her campaign and Congressional supporters for the timing of the letter.

Voters’ attitude toward the renewed investigation is surprising. We live in a society that still despite advances for many demographic groups views criminal activity, whether suspected, questionable or convicted with abhorrence. The mantra might be innocent until proven guilty, but in the public opinion, any question, nevermind an arrest is enough to convict in the court of public opinion. In the United States criminals even lose their voting right when convicted.

This same opinion is not just reserved for the average person, or demographic groups that the public feel are more prone to get involved in criminal activity sometimes based just on social circumstance but usually for our politicians. Americans put leaders to a higher standard and claim they want them to have with impeccable morals. Former President Richard Nixon’s involvement in the Watergate cover-up is forever seared as the standard-bearer. Although he worked hard to rehabilitate his image as the elder statesman, he was still considered by many a “crook.” The sex scandals that are discovered are enough to usually get a politician banished for life, never mind any hint or whiff of political corruption.

Republican nominee Donald Trump has felt the burn enough this campaign cycle much to the hypocrisy. His comments calling some Mexicans immigrants criminals calling for a wall on the border with Mexico were derided as racist, but privately many who do not consider themselves racist feel the same, or rationalize it as a class issue rather one of race. The same about Muslim immigrants, many want to consider themselves open-minded, but secretly are afraid maybe some do have terrorist leanings, possibly avoiding interactions with Muslims because of their fears. The same people were outraged at Trump’s position.

Then there was Trump’s 2005 tape bragging about groping women because of celebrity status, and his failed attempt at an affair with a married woman. The tape and the 12 women accusing Trump of sexually inappropriate behavior mostly unwanted kisses and hugs nearly destroyed his campaign. The public was already writing his campaign obituary, and arguing when he refused to say whether he would concede the election. The public and news media were being presumptuous arguing and insulting over a hypothetical situation three weeks before the election when Trump did not lose yet.

The Clintons however, seem to defy every common convention, the logic goes out the door when it comes to former President Bill Clinton and former First Lady, New York Senator, Secretary of State and now Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. The Clintons have had had scandal after scandal since they entered the political sphere in the 1970 s and it has exacerbated since their entrance onto the national stage in 1992.

There have been strings of “allegations of legal or ethical wrongdoings” that have plagued the Clintons since Bill’s administration (1993–2000). The most notable being Whitewater, Paula Jones sexual harassment case, the Monica Lewinsky scandal and subsequent impeachment never mind the countless smaller ones. Through it, all Clinton maintained his high approval ratings, fiercely defended by Democratic colleagues even remaining in office after becoming only the second president ever impeached. Bill Clinton has been the exception rather than rule with politicians involved in sex scandals.

Hillary Clinton has always appeared as a Lady Macbeth, her scandals after her husband’s presidency only confirm that reputation of ruthless ambition above all. Clinton might have called her private email server as Secretary of State a convenient mistake; it was a shrewd way to manipulate her actions and political future but risking national security and giving a disgraced congressman access to it all unintentionally. Equally troubling is the blurring lines between her post at the State Department and her husbands’ Clinton Foundation. The WikiLeaks released emails from her campaign chairman John Podesta, the Democratic National Committee and others in the Clinton circle give an unappealing backstage view at the shrewd Clinton machine; that should not be ignored or dismissed.

One after the other the Clintons blamed someone else, with their favorite being the Republicans, they played the misunderstood victim, the innocents being preyed on, never truly taking responsibility for their actions. The Clintons played the American public, and in turn, they bought continuing their devotion and love affair. It either proves American voters are truly stupid or have stone age brains as historian Richard Shenkman argues, or the Clintons’ are master manipulators whose put on charm is truly inescapable.

Academics and pundits are defending Clinton’s actions, blaming sexism, Republicans or anything else. These academics and pundits would never tolerate Clinton’s behavior in their personal situations if they even suspected someone they knew behaved a similar manner they would throw stones, cut ties and blacklist making sure they are banished forever. Still, they continue to compromise their principals for an op-ed, a quote, radio or TV appearance book sales some professional attention. Too many academics and pundits see the Clintons’ scandals as fueling their careers, and they are milking it if she becomes president staying on the right side will gain them a favor. Keeping up with the popular position whether ethically sound or not shows they are morally not too far from the Clintons themselves.

There is no way to defend a criminal repeat offender, and there is no excuse for the Clintons’ repeated scandals, nothing justifies it after all this time. Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom has come out to deride the Clintons’ repeated scandals in a recent radio interview calling the Democratic nominee a “pathological liar.” Kallstrom agrees with Comey’s decision to send the letter to Congress notifying them of the renewed investigation, saying, “The Clintons, that’s a crime family, basically. It’s like organized crime.”

It is not hatred, antipathy or anything else, upright and moral Americans, for the most part, want justice, they believe that politicians and leaders should be treated the same way they would in similar situations, the problem is the Clintons always escape that justice and that is the only reason for the animosity. They appear, act and behave like a ruling class when we live in a democracy.

Is it not because Clinton is a woman, her scandals and how far she has come, proves she plays the game better than any man does, and maybe even better than her husband. Clinton’s main advantage is as Trump accuses overusing the woman card, while she and her defenders cry out sexism; they use that as the top excuse to get away with anything. Neither is about her being a Democrat; there are many fine Democrats whose morality is without reproach including our current President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Obama tolerates Clinton for the ambition of securing his legacy, while Biden commended FBI Director Comey and reminded the public he would have won the primary and been the nominee.

The poll results are disheartening it shows American voters particularly Democrats are cutting themselves short and have been doing so since the primaries. They want justice and morality for everyone but their future president if the name is Clinton. So many scandals, an FBI investigation over Clinton’s head, how can even the staunchest Democrat accept that after all, this time it is not a witch-hunt there has to be some truth to the accusations. I had a professor who once claimed in a seminar that it is fine to be a hypocrite as long as one knows they are. He was wrong, it is never right to be a hypocrite, it is wrong if one knows they are, and it only worse when they do not realize it, and that is this election’s greatest problem.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics October 30, 2016: FBI Director Comey’s courageous decision to rise above politics in reopening Clinton case

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FBI Director Comey’s courageous decision to rise above politics in reopening Clinton case

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

FBI Director James B. Comey put his conscience before politics when he sent a letter to Congressional leaders informing them that the FBI found new “pertinent” emails relating to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s email case. Comey faces threats and opposition to revealing the news a little over a week before Election Day. According to news reports on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016, the Justice Department and Attorney General Loretta Lynch was against Comey’s letter and warned him against it. Now the Clinton campaign is struggling to survive the devastating blow so close the election with the only way they know to attack the FBI director and dismiss it all yet again.

An anonymous government source revealed that Lynch was against Comey interfering in the presidential race. The source explained, “The AG’s position is consistent with the department’s position not to take investigative steps that would influence an election so close to an election and to not comment on ongoing investigations. Director Comey decided to operate independently of that guidance by sending that letter to the Hill.”

Lynch did not speak directly to Comey on the issue but staying out of the election, has long been the silent policy for federal officials. The source said, “The position of the department was made clear to the FBI.” In 2012, former Attorney General Eric Holder issued a memo on the practice, writing, “Law enforcement officers and prosecutors may never select the timing of investigative steps or criminal charges for the purpose of affecting any election, or for the purpose of giving an advantage or disadvantage to any candidate or political party. Such a purpose is inconsistent with the Department’s mission and with the Principles of Federal Prosecution.” Such a memo reeks of politics and a desire of ambition above the good of the nation.

Comey knew his letter, and the developments would be unpopular and misunderstood, but he believed it was necessary to make them public. The FBI director wrote a note to his staffers before sending the letter to Congress, explaining his motives, “Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record.” The FBI is supposed to a politically independent agency. Comey only discovered news of the emails on Thursday, Oct. 27, while FBI agents knew about them since early October keeping them from their director and possibly influencing the presidential campaign.

Comey’s sending the letter of Congressional Committee Chairmen has rocked the 2016 presidential campaign and has become “the October Surprise” in what was already a rollercoaster of a campaign ride. Republican nominee Donald Trump has praised Comey profusely and Democrats mostly nominee Clinton’s campaign staff have criticized the FBI director. Both sides have been demanding that Comey provides more details about the investigation and the possible content of the emails. Comey keeps his hand close and will probably not reveal more details publicly until he is certain of the probe’s direction.

On Friday, Oct. 26, hours after the news broke; Clinton spoke to reportersduring her campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa. Clinton demanded, “We are 11 days out from perhaps the most important election of our lifetimes…. So the American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately.” Clinton was also insistent selling the line; the new emails “will not change the conclusion.” On Saturday, Clinton continued her criticismduring a campaign rally in Daytona Beach, Fla. Clinton accused, “It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election. In fact, it’s not just strange, it’s unprecedented and it is deeply troubling.”

Clinton’s running mate Virginia Senator Tim Kaine also slammed Comey’s letter saying interview on Friday with Vice News. Kaine echoed his running mate, saying, “When you do this 11 days before a presidential election and you don’t provide many details, but details are apparently being given by the FBI to the press, this is very, very troubling, and we hope that the director- and we really think that he should give a clearer accounting of exactly whats going on right now.”

Meanwhile, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), “the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee” was furious at Comey sending the letter so late in the campaign. Feinstein issued a statement on Friday, attacking the director, “The FBI has a history of extreme caution near election day so as not to influence the results. Today’s break from that tradition is appalling.”

The news initially paralyzed Clinton’s campaign on Friday. On Saturday, the Clinton campaign seemed set to be at war and attack the FBI director for his decision. According to CNN, campaign officials were critical calling Comey’s letter “light on facts” and “heavy on innuendo.” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta “accused” Comey of not being “forthcoming with the facts,” and “providing selective information.” Writing on Medium on Saturday, Podesta also expressed that the FBI Director’s decision was “bewildering” and “unfair to voters.”

Campaign manager Robby Mook had harsher words for the FBI director, saying “The Justice Department’s longstanding practice is: Don’t do anything seen as trying to influence an election. It’s completely unfair to Secretary Clinton and it’s really unfair to the voters.” The Clinton camp intends to attack Comey for being a Republican, praise the FBI’s professionalism and tout the director’s decision in July not to recommend criminal charges against Clinton and his subsequent testimony to Congress in September in an attempt to downplay the disastrous news.

What is uncertain is how the news will affect long-time Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s role in the campaign. After all, her and her husband’s disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner’s devices that had the emails in question. The federal investigation into her husband sending sexually explicit text messages to a 15-year-old girl prompted the investigation and led to the discovery.

Trump has long said Abedin’s marriage to Weiner was a liability to Clinton, even now, as they are separated. Trump commented at a campaign stop on Saturday in Golden, Colorado questioning, “Huma’s been a problem. I wonder if Huma’s going to stay there. I hope they haven’t given Huma immunity because it seemed that everybody that walked down the sidewalk got immunity. She knows the real story. She knows what’s going on.” Abedin was noticeably absent on Saturday as Clinton campaign in the battleground state of Florida.

The information the FBI discovered must have been damaging or Comey would not have broken ranks. No matter the content the fact that former disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner had access on his computer to any State Department emails, documents or work product is in itself troubling and demonstrates a risk to national security, something Trump has long warned the public concerning.

An anonymous official told the Los Angeles Times, the emails were not to or from Clinton and some might be repetitive, while Fox News reported that the FBI found tens of thousands State Department emails on Weiner’s computer. Comey felt the public needed to know all the facts before voting; it would have irresponsible to hide the facts. Should the information be damaging, the nation cannot face the divisiveness of another Watergate scandal, when terrorism threatens the country and the world, Comey did not want to be responsible for that.

The Clintons repeated scandals and the changing stories around her email server and handling of classified information made the new development all the more necessary to share to the electorate for them to make the most informed decision as possible, even if the Democrats, Clinton campaign, and Obama Administration do not like it. Throughout their national public life, the Clintons have a had a steady stream of scandals, blaming them on their opponents, repeatedly calling them unfair attacks, dismissing them as reasons why they should continue to go on without lasting consequences. Their entitlement has gone too far and too long as the nation and voters continually give them a free pass. National security in a dangerous era is on the line now, it is the FBI’s duty to above all else to “protect and defend” the country and “uphold criminal laws,” the nation needs to know if a potential president is deserving and abiding by the rules.

Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom has come out to deride the Clintons’ repeated scandals in a recent radio interview calling the Democratic nominee a “pathological liar.” Kallstrom agrees with Comey’s decision to send the letter, saying, “The Clintons, that’s a crime family, basically. It’s like organized crime. I mean the Clinton Foundation is a cesspool.” Kallstrom says FBI officials were angry at the original investigation, which was essentially stifled by the White House. Kallstrom fervently believes Clinton’s action should prevent her from the presidency, expressing, “God forbid we put someone like that in the White House.”

As the nation’s highest law enforcement agent, Comey felt that his duty to his country superseded politics or the desire of President Barack Obama to secure his legacy. The Clinton’s campaign attacks on Comey show a lack of respect to law enforcement, proving that for the Clintons’ no matter what they say public service is not about the public but what is best for their ambitions. No matter who wins the election, the public should applaud and revere Comey’s decision to place the country’s safety before politics; his decision to rise above it all is the ideal of what law enforcement is all about.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics October 28, 2016: FBI is reopening Clinton email investigation is it the October Surprise of 2016?

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FBI is reopening Clinton email investigation is it the October Surprise of 2016?

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: CBS News

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is the gift the keeps on giving. Just over a week before the election on Friday, Oct. 28, 2016, the FBI reopened their investigation into Clinton’s private server after finding new relevant emails. Chairman of the Oversight & Government Reform Committee Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to announce the reopening of the investigation after receiving a letter from FBI Director James B. Comey. NBC News became the first news source to report on the investigation. The news media is hailing the turn of the events the October Surprise of 2016.

On Friday morning, Oct. 28 Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) tweeted: “FBI Dir just informed me, ‘The FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.’ Case reopened.” Chaffetz announced the news after FBI Director Comey sent a letter to eight Congressional chairmen including Chaffetz informing them of their decision to reopen the case.

In the letter, Comey writes, “In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.”

According to the Associated Press, the new emails were not sent or received from the private email server Clinton used during her tenure as Secretary of State. According to the New York Times, the emails came from the electronic devices from Clinton’s most trusted aide, Huma Abedin owned by her and soon to be ex-husband Anthony Weiner. The emails were found during an investigation into Weiner, a former Congressman over allegations that he had a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl by sending “sexually explicit text messages.”

The FBI quickly seized the devices and after being briefed Comey decided to reopen his investigation into Clinton’s emails as Secretary of State. However, Comey would not indicate how long the renewed investigation would last as he reported to the Congressional chairmen. Comey concluded in the letter, “Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.”

Republican nominee Donald Trump was quick to seize on the news what could be his best opportunity to capture the White House. Trump commented on the new development during his rally in Manchester, N.H. announcing the news to his supporters. Trump expressed, “This is bigger than Watergate” and admitted the system “might not be as rigged as I thought.”

The GOP nominee declared, “Hillary Clinton’s corruption is on a scale we have never seen before. We must not let her take her criminal scheme into office. I have great respect for the FBI and Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake they made.” As Trump was speaking his supporters went wild chanting “lock her up.” Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was equally enthused about the development, writing on Twitter, “A great day in our campaign just got even better.”

Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus also issued a statement praising the decision. Priebus said, “The F.B.I.’s decision to reopen their criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s secret email server just 11 days before the election shows how serious this discovery must be. This stunning development raises serious questions about what records may not have been turned over and why, and whether they show intent to violate the law.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) called for the Director of Intelligence to cease allowing Clinton receive the national security briefing nominees receive. In his statement, Ryan said, “Yet again, Hillary Clinton has nobody but herself to blame. She was entrusted with some of our nation’s most important secrets, and she betrayed that trust by carelessly mishandling highly classified information.” Continuing the Speaker demanded, “This decision, long overdue, is the result of her reckless use of a private email server, and her refusal to be forthcoming with federal investigators. I renew my call for the Director of National Intelligence to suspend all classified briefings for Secretary Clinton until this matter is fully resolved.”

Meanwhile, Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta respondeddemanding that the FBI to release details of the investigation. “The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining. We are confident this will not produce any conclusions different from the one the FBI reached in July.”

Both Trump and the Republicans have longed criticized the FBI and Comey for deciding not to prosecute Clinton for endangering national security by using a private email server as Secretary of State. In July, Comey announced his decision not to prosecute Clinton after a lengthy FBI investigation. Comey said on July 5, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Although Comey expressed, the FBI could not “find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he called Clinton’s handling of her emails “extremely careless.” Clinton has always dismissed the issue as merely a “mistake” of judgment.

The news could not come at a better time for Trump’s campaign. After being on the defensive for nearly a month after the release of a 2005 tape where the GOP nominee bragged about being able to grope women as he liked because of his celebrity status, and then 12 accusations from women that he made inappropriate sexual advances, Trump now can go on the offensive. The GOP nominee has longed railed about “crooked Hillary” now he might have some basis.

Clinton’s poll numbers surged with Trump’s scandals, but as WikiLeaks released her campaign chairman John Podesta emails depicting the unflattering inner workings of her campaign and news that her husband Bill Clinton explicitly blurred the lines with his Clinton Foundation, Clinton’s poll numbers have fallen. The poll numbers already showed Trump still had a possible path to the White House, now the FBI may have tipped the campaign in his favor.

The public and news media went into a frenzy on social media over the new development, as everyone believed Clinton had the election locked up and the only issue was her margin of victory. Clinton’s campaign worried of complacency; they were right. In an election so unpredictable there was bound to be a game-changing October Surprise, there was none until now. The reopened investigation might just change the whole outcome of the nastiest election in American history.

The full text of FBI Director James Comey’s letter:

In previous congressional testimony, I referred to the fact that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) had completed its investigation of former Secretary Clinton’s personal email server. I am writing to supplement my previous testimony.

In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agree that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether the contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation.

Although the FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete the additional work, I believe it is important to update your Committees about our efforts in light of my previous testimony.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics October 22, 2016: Third Clinton-Trump debate filled with policy and attacks

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Third Clinton-Trump debate filled with policy and attacks

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

Source: Politico

With only three weeks to Election Day, the third presidential debate was the most placid of the confrontations between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. The debate on Wednesday evening, Oct. 19, 2016, was held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas and moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace. Except a few zingers on either side, attacks were to a minimal as policy took center stage. As The Hill noted “gun rights, abortion, entitlements, immigration and foreign policy” were discussed in a campaign where policy has taken a back burner to insults and scandals.

Clinton changed her game aiming to finish off Trump in the eyes of the voters by attacking his weaknesses, rather than play it safe as she did in the previous debates. The Democratic nominee hammered Trump on being a choke artist, his relationship with Russia, past and present positions and especially his recent scandals with women attempting to show him up as both racist and sexist. Clinton wanted to make sure that the voters know she is the only candidate prepared for the presidency.

Clinton is leading in the polls by wide margins and is looking to expand the electoral map in her favor and win big. Clinton has been campaigning in Georgia, Alaska and Utah, who traditionally vote Republican. The Democratic nominee is looking for a legitimate mandate for her agenda to counter the Republicans. She is also seeking to help the Democrats recapture the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Pundits agree Trump has his best performance of all the debates, but trailing in the polls both nationally and in battleground states Trump needed a game changer and memorably strong performance he did not accomplish that. The nominee stayed on the campaign and Republican message on the issues but also in his attacks on Clinton’s weaknesses; the private email server she used as Secretary of State, Clinton Foundation’s foreign donations and WikiLeaks release of John Podesta campaign emails.

After the first 30 minutes, Trump reverted to some of his old tricks, interrupting Clinton and the moderator and making some side remarks. Trump needed to act presidential because voters are most concerned about his temperament; instead, he fell into Clinton’s traps. Trump made one huge mistake, and that was all anyone remembered from the debate in answering a question about his remarks accusing a rigged election he refused to agree that he would concede the election if he loses. His comments countered his campaigns and angered Republicans. The debate was nasty, with the shaking hand’s protocol omitted before or after the debate, but was not nearly as bad as the two previous debates.

Here are some of the best lines of the third and final debate night of the 2016 campaign:

Trump’s third response about whether he wants Roe v. Wade, abortion overturned by the Supreme Court:

“Well, if we put another two or perhaps three justices on, that’s really what’s going to be — that will happen. And that’ll happen automatically, in my opinion, because I am putting pro-life justices on the court. I will say this: It will go back to the states, and the states will then make a determination.”

Trump on late term abortion:

“I think it’s terrible, if you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

Trump on criminals and illegal immigration:

“Once the border is secured, at a later date, we’ll make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here, and we’re going to get them out.”

Clinton on Trump not bringing up his infamous border wall when he met with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto in August:

“When it comes to the wall that Donald talks about building, he went to Mexico. He had a meeting with the Mexican president. Didn’t even raise it. He choked,and then got into a Twitter war because the Mexican president said, ‘we’re not paying for that wall.’”

Clinton on WikiLeaks releasing campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails:

“You are very clearly quoting from WikiLeaks and what’s really important about WikiLeaks is that the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans.”

Trump responding about Clinton claiming in her paid Wall Street speeches released by WikiLeaks that she supported “a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders”:

“That was a great pivot off the fact that she wants open borders, OK?”

Clinton about Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin; Russia is believed to have hacked Podesta’s email account for WikiLeaks:

“[Russian President Vladimir Putin would] rather have a puppet as president of the United States.”

Trump’s response to Russia and Putin:

“No puppet, no puppet… You’re the puppet…. I never met Putin. This is not my best friend. But if the United States got along with Russia, wouldn’t be so bad.”

Trump on the nearly ten allegations by women that he behaved sexually inappropriate with them:

“I didn’t even apologize to my wife who is sitting right here because I didn’t do anything. I didn’t know any of these women. I didn’t see these women. These women, the woman on the plane, I think they want either fame or her campaign did it and I think it’s her campaign.”

Trump’s response to Clinton as she discussed raising taxes on the wealthy. Clinton also took a jab at the GOP nominee for using a loophole that let him out of paying federal taxes for 18 years:

“Such a nasty woman.”

Clinton responding to Trump about lacking respect for women and sexist rhetoric:

“Donald thinks belittling women makes him bigger. He goes after their dignity, their self-worth, and I don’t think there is a woman anywhere who doesn’t know what that feels like.”

Trump counter responding to his treatment of women:

“Nobody has more respect for women than I do.”

Clinton after Trump attacked the Clinton Foundation f or accepting foreign donations from countries that restrict human rights:

“I’d be happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation which took money from other people and bought a six-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that?”

Trump’s response of moderator Chris Wallace question about his comments on a rigged election:

Wallace: “I want to ask you here on this stage tonight do, you make the same commitment that you will absolutely, sir, that you will absolutely accept the result of this election?”

Trump: “I will look at it at the time. I’m not looking at anything now…. What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense, OK?”

Clinton commenting on Trump’s response about accepting the election results referring to his Emmy nominations for his reality TV show “The Apprentice”:

Clinton: “Well, Chris, let me respond to that because that’s horrifying…. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged. This is a mind-set. This is how Donald thinks. And it’s funny, but it’s also really troubling.”

Trump: “Should have gotten it.”

Clinton on Trump’s plan to vet Syrian refugees because they could be terrorists:

“The killer of the dozens of people at the nightclub in Orlando, the Pulse nightclub, was born in Queens, the same place Donald was born.”

Trump on Obama Administration’s foreign policy and the civil war in Syria:

“It’s a catastrophe. Have you seen it? Have you seen it? Have you seen what’s happened to Aleppo?”

Trump on trade deals that increased the national debt:

“We’ve had people that are political hacks making the biggest deals in the world.”

Trump telling Clinton she is all talk and no action:

“The problem is, you talk, but you don’t get anything done, Hillary. You don’t.”

Clinton responding by contrasting her and Trump’s preparedness and accomplishments to become president:

“You know, back in the 1970s, I worked for the Children’s Defense Fund, and I was taking on discrimination against African-American kids in schools. He was getting sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination in his apartment buildings. In the 1980s, I was working to reform the schools in Arkansas. He was borrowing $14 million from his father to start his businesses. In the 1990s, I went to Beijing and I said women’s rights are human rights. He insulted a former Miss Universe, Alicia Machado, called her an eating machine. And on the day when I was in the Situation Room, monitoring the raid that brought Osama bin Laden to justice, he was hosting the ‘Celebrity Apprentice.’”

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert in presidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics October 22, 2016: Bombshells: Clinton’s WikiLeaks problem over release of controversial Podesta emails

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Bombshells: Clinton’s WikiLeaks problem over release of controversial Podesta emails

By Bonnie K. Goodman, BA, MLIS

With the news media focusing on Republican nominee Donald Trump’s allegations of groping women, there is little focus on a more political related scandal, WikiLeaks of controversial emails from Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. On Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, WikiLeaks began their release of emails from Podesta’s hacked account. The organization plans to release up to 50,000 emails throughout October, on an almost daily basis.

Julian Assange, the founder WikiLeaks wants their release of a treasure trove of emails from Podesta and the Democratic National Committee to be this election’s October Surprise. The emails give insights into Clinton’s privilege, and a strategic campaign full of hypocrisy and duplicity when it comes to demographic, religious groups and policy positions. The emails show Clinton only cares about one thing winning the presidency, and her public message is only a means to an end.

Amidst his scandal of sex impropriety, pundits are criticizing Trump for not taking advantage of the email leaks. The Hill writes, “The emails, from hacks of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton confidante John Podesta’s email account, may be the best chance Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has of knocking off Clinton, the Democratic nominee and heavy favorite to win the White House.”

Throughout the week, the Clinton campaign would not entirely confirm the emails authenticity. They have proceeded to blame the Russians for the hacking and breaching national security in an attempt to sway the election and elect a Republican president. Clinton’s campaign is angry at the news media for covering the details of the emails rather than the national security breach. Clinton is also blaming Trump for being sympathetic to Russia and comparing the leaks to Watergate.

Some of the most controversial releases made public the following bombshells:

Wall Street speeches transcripts:

The first batch of emails WikiLeaks released Friday, Oct. 7, included excerpts of Clinton’s highly guarded paid speeches to Wall Street financial institutions. Throughout the primary campaign, opponent Bernie Sanders demanded she releases those transcripts, but Clinton refused, putting their content more into question. There has long been speculation that Clinton had a close relationship and pro-Wall Street approach that differed from her later campaign rhetoric.

In speeches to Goldman Sachs and BlackRock delivered in 2014, Clinton stated that to play the political game one has to be “deceptive.” Clinton said she is that “kind of far removed” from the issues most Americans face and “you need both a public and a private position.” Clinton said, “We had a solid middle class upbringing… And now, obviously, I’m kind of far removed because the life I’ve lived and the economic, you know, fortunes that my husband and I now enjoy, but I haven’t forgotten it.”

Clarifying in another speech from 2013 to the National Multi-Housing Council, Clinton explained, “Politics is like sausage being made. It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be. But if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least.”

Clinton expressed support for “a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” Clinton gave a speech to Banco Itau in 2013, declaring, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders … I think we have to have a concerted plan to increase trade already under the current circumstances.” Continuing Clinton said, “There is so much more we can do, there is a lot of low-hanging fruit, but businesses on both sides have to make it a priority, and it’s not for governments to do but governments can either make it easy or make it hard and we have to resist protectionism, other kinds of barriers to market access, and to trade, and I would like to see this get much more attention.”

Clinton also dismissed terrorism as a danger for Americans in the country in a speech to the Global Business Travelers Association in August 2013. Then Clinton said, terrorism is “not a threat to us as a nation,” but in general is “a real threat.” Clinton told an audience that terrorism “is not going to endanger our economy or our society, but it is a real threat,” she said. “It is a danger to our citizens here at home, and as we tragically saw in Boston, and to those living, working, and traveling abroad.”

Planning to spin the Wall Street speeches:

If ever Clinton’s paid Wall Street speeches had to be released Clinton’s campaign was ready with contingency plans to spin them in a positive light. In November 2015, Clinton aides Brian Fallon, Jake Sullivan and Dan Schwerin, and advisor Mandy Grunwald considered leaking excerpts of Clinton’s speech to Deutsche Bank from October 2014 to counter a Politico reports about her speeches especially those from Goldman Sachs. Sanders’ campaign was applying a lot of pressure over the speeches.

In an email from Nov. 20, Schwerin, who serves as Clinton’s speechwriter wrote an email, saying, “I wanted to float one idea. HRC did a paid speech in NYC for Deutsche Bank. I wrote her a long riff about economic fairness and how the financial industry has lost its way precisely for the purpose of having something we could show people if ever asked what she was saying behind closed doors for two years to all those fat cats.”

Schwerin suggested that speech because although it was “definitely not as tough or pointed as we would write it now, but it’s much more than most people would assume she was saying in paid speeches.” He thought maybe it should be leaked to the press because “perhaps at some point there will be value in sharing this with a reporter and getting a story written. Upside would be that when people say she’s too close to Wall Street and has taken too much money from bankers, we can point to evidence that she wasn’t afraid to speak truth to power.”

Schwerin, however, was concerned that releasing an excerpt would force the campaign to release all the emails, writing, “Downside would be that we could then be pushed to release transcripts from all her paid speeches, which would be less helpful (although probably not disastrous). In the end, I’m not sure this is worth doing, but wanted to flag it so you know it’s out there.”

Clinton’s spokesman Brian Fallon thought of spinning the speeches, which Clinton was only telling Wall Street what they wanted to hear. In an email from Nov. 23, Fallon wrote, “I think we could come up with a vanilla characterization that challenges the idea that she sucked up to these folks in her appearances. But then use AP’s raising of this to our advantage to pitch someone to do an exclusive by providing at least the key excerpts from this Deutsche Bank speech. In doing so, we could have the reporting be sourced to a ‘transcript obtained by [news outlet]’ so it is not confirmed as us selectively providing one transcript while refusing to share others.”

In the end, Clinton’s camp decided against releasing the excerpt seeing more damage than good, and raising the possibility; they would have to release more including the rest of the Deutsche Bank speech where Clinton seemed to sympathize with the financial industry.

Clinton received primary town hall debate question from CNN:

During the primaries against Bernie Sanders, Clinton had preferential treatment going as far as obtaining a question to CNN town hall held in March 2016 in advance. Present Chair of the Democratic National Committee Donna Brazile, who then commented for CNN emailed Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri. Brazile told Palmeri “From time to time I get the questions in advance. Here’s one that worries me about HRC.”

Then the email included six sentences that compromised the question: “DEATH PENALTY 19 states and the District of Columbia have banned the death penalty. 31 states, including Ohio, still have the death penalty. According to the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, since 1973, 156 people have been on death row and later set free. Since 1976, 1,414 people have been executed in the U.S. That’s 11% of Americans who were sentenced to die, but later exonerated and freed. Should Ohio and the 30 other states join the current list and abolish the death penalty?”

Palmieri responded, “Yes, it is one she gets asked about. Not everyone likes her answer but can share it.” At the town hall moderator TV One’s Roland Martin used the same data included the email and an audience member asked an almost identical question. Martin said, “Secretary Clinton, since 1976, we have executed 1,414 people in this country. Since 1973, 156 who were convicted have been exonerated from the death row. This gentleman here is one of them. This is Ricky Jackson, wrongfully convicted of murder in 1975, he spent 39 years in prison. He is undecided. Ricky, what is your question?” Martin moderated the town hall with CNN anchor Jake Tapper. All parties involved have since denied sharing or passing along the question.

Clinton campaign coordinated with DOJ over emails release:

Clinton’s preferential treatment extended beyond the campaign to the Obama Administration, who defended her long after leaving her post as Secretary of State. The Department of Justice (DOJ) discussed the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits the emails from her private server with the Clinton campaign just as recently as May 2015. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon wrote in an email “DOJ folks inform me there is a status hearing in this case this morning, so we could have a window into the judge’s thinking about this proposed production schedule as quickly as today.” Fallon was a former spokesman for the State Department during Clinton’s tenure.

Clinton camp insults Catholics and Evangelical Christians:

The leaked emails show the Clinton campaign’s animosity towards Catholics and Evangelical leaders. A 2011 email thread with Podesta, and communications director Jennifer Palmieri and John Halpin, who is a senior fellow at the Podesta founded liberal think tank Center for American Progress” proceeds to mock those two religious groups.

Halpin wrote that Catholic media titans 21st Century Fox Chairman Rupert Murdoch and NewsCorp Chairman Robert Thomson belong their religion because of “systemic thought and severely backward gender relations.” Palmieri, who is Catholic responded by mocking Catholics and Evangelicals, “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable, politically conservative religion — their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelical.”

Clinton used harsher rhetoric in her Benghazi testimony:

In an earlier draft of her opening statement to House Benghazi committee as part, her testimony in October 2015 Clinton used harsher rhetoric to attack the Republicans leading the committee. The tone in the earlier draft released by WikiLeaks differed considerably in the opening lines, where Clinton wrote, she “will not be a part of a partisan slugfest on the backs of dead Americans.”

Clinton’s director of speechwriting Dan Schwerin emailed a draft of the earlier version of the speech to Clinton campaign staff for their opinion. Schwerin tells them about the tone, saying he “aimed for high minded but it’s possible this will come off as fairly pugilistic. Maybe that’s just fine, but see what you think.” Clinton’s final draft did not include that line, but instead focused on the life of Ambassador Chris Stevens, who died in the attack on Sept. 11, 2011. Clinton discussed her relationship with the ambassador and a personal anecdote from his mother.

Clinton’s strategically chose policy positions based on politics:

Clinton’s game plans have nothing to with passion for policy positions or issues but is guided entirely by winning. One case point from the leaked emails is Clinton’s changing position on the Keystone XL Pipeline. During her, speeches to Wall Street Clinton said she supported the Keystone Pipeline from Canada. Clinton waited a long time to give her public position. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon emailed her aides, “[D]o we worry that publishing an oped that leans this aggressively into our newfound position on Keystone will be greeted cynically and perhaps as part of some manufactured attempt to project sincerity?”

Democratic consultant Joel Benenson thought coming out of nowhere with a position looked politically motivated, which what it was. Benenson wrote, the lack of a “single big idea that encapsulates her vision on this and link it to our country’s future…. I’m worried that if we don’t have something like that we are light on her core values and beliefs on this issue and we are missing those, she risks looking very political, especially on this.”

Clinton’s entire campaign is calculated:

The Hill noted the sharp contrast in the way Clinton runs her campaign versus Trump. Clinton’s campaign considers every word published and said, everything is carefully planned. If Clinton appears stiff, it is because her campaign is just as stiff with a strict script and no room for improvisation. WikiLeaks released emails that show Podesta coordinating with campaign aides on the exact wording of tweets.

Two instances stood out where the campaign was in panic and considered their responses. One was responding to new reports about Clinton’s private email server in March 2015. The second instance was the release of Peter Schweitzer’s book in 2015, “Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich.”

Clinton has an army of reporters that serve her:

Trump may be right that the media is biased against him in the election. According to the WikiLeaks release of Podesta emails Clinton has reporters all over the new media that are willing to write favorable stories about Clinton and her campaign and soften any negative news at her behest. Among the reporters in Clinton’s corner are ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Maggie Haberman of the New York Times, Mark Leibovich of the New York Times, CNBC’s John Harwood, CNBC’s Becky Quick, and Univision owner Haim Saban who is also a Clinton donor and advisor.

These are not the only reporters, in Gawker.com obtained emailed from Clinton’s State Department PR aide Phillippe Reines listing more Clinton camp reporters. Among the other journalists, include, Mike Allen at Politico, Ken Vogel at Politico, Juliet Eilperin, White House correspondent for The Washington Post, and Mark Ambinder at The Atlantic.

Bonnie K. Goodman has a BA and MLIS from McGill University and has done graduate work in religion at Concordia University. Ms Goodman is an expert inpresidential campaigns and election history and she has been covering American elections as a journalist since 2004.

Politics September 2, 2016: Presidential debate moderators announced

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Presidential debate moderators announced

By Bonnie K. Goodman

MIAMI, FLORIDA - MARCH 10, 2016: The four remaining Republican primary candidates Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich take part in a debate at the University of Miami on March 10, 2016, hosted by CNN and the Washington Times. (Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

MIAMI, FLORIDA – MARCH 10, 2016: The four remaining Republican primary candidates Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich take part in a debate at the University of Miami on March 10, 2016, hosted by CNN and the Washington Times. (Photo by Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The upcoming presidential debates now have moderators. The Commission on Presidential Debates released the names of the journalists moderating the four debates on Friday, Sept. 1, 2016. The journalists represent the major news outlets NBC, CBS, ABC News, CNN and FOX News, and include Lester Holt, Elaine Quijano, Martha Raddatz, Anderson Cooper and Chris Wallace.

The first presidential debate on Monday, Sept. 26 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, will be moderated by NBC’s “Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt. Holt is the only moderator that received Republican nominee Donald Trump’s stamp of approval. In August, Trump told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, “Lester Holt is a good guy.”

The second presidential debate on Sunday, Oct. 9, at Washington University in St. Louis will be conducted as a town hall-style event and will be co-hosted by ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz and CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

The third and final presidential debate on Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas will be moderated by Fox News anchor Chris Wallace.

Meanwhile, the one and only vice presidential debate will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia and will be moderated by CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano.

The co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr. and Michael D. McCurry issued a statement. Fahrenkopf and McCurry commended the choice of moderators, “These journalists bring extensive experience to the job of moderating, and understand the importance of using expanded time periods effectively.”

The co-chairs then discussed the themes for the debates, “The formats chosen for this year’s debates are designed to build on the formats introduced in 2012, which focused big blocks of time on major domestic and foreign topics. We are grateful for their willingness to moderate, and confident that the public will learn more about the candidates and the issues as a result.” The specific themes for each debate will be announced at a later date.

Raddatz is the only moderator to have done so in a previous presidential election; she moderated the vice presidential debate in 2012. Cooper and Wallace have taken on moderating duties numerous times during the primaries, for the Democratic and GOP debates respectively, while, Holt and Quijano are both moderating for the first time.

Politics August 31, 2016: Report Clinton emailed classified info after leaving State Dept

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Report Clinton emailed classified info after leaving State Dept

 
By Bonnie K. Goodman

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, speaks at a campaign event during The American Legion National Convention at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Clinton told a veterans group that U.S. leadership is vital to the world and, drawing a contrast with Republican Donald Trump, said that means the White House is no place for a leader who insults allies or threatens to shrink from that role. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, speaks at a campaign event during The American Legion National Convention at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Clinton told a veterans group that U.S. leadership is vital to the world and, drawing a contrast with Republican Donald Trump, said that means the White House is no place for a leader who insults allies or threatens to shrink from that role. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton not only sent classified information on her private email server during her tenure but also after she left the State Department. The New York Post reported on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016, that Clinton sent a classified email over four months after leaving her post. The Republican National Committee acquired the email through a Freedom of Information Act request.

According to the Post, the Democratic nominee sent the email on May 28, 2013, and it was about the “123 Deal.” The deal signed in 2009 was between the United Arab Emirates and the U.S. and dealt with nuclear energy production.

Clinton sent the email from the same email account and private server she used while Secretary of State. Clinton sent the email to “Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, diplomat Jeffrey Feltman, policy aide Jake Sullivan, diplomat Kurt Campbell, State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills and top aide Huma Abedin.”

The Post said the email is heavily redacted because it contains classified “information regarding foreign governors” and “foreign relations or foreign activities of the United States, including confidential sources.” The email is set to be declassified on May 28, 2033.

Politics August 30, 2016: FBI discovers 30 additional Clinton emails on Benghazi attacks

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FBI discovers 30 additional Clinton emails on Benghazi attacks

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, gestures while speaking at a campaign event during The American Legion National Convention at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Clinton told a veterans group that U.S. leadership is vital to the world and, drawing a contrast with Republican Donald Trump, said that means the White House is no place for a leader who insults allies or threatens to shrink from that role. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Hillary Clinton, 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, gestures while speaking at a campaign event during The American Legion National Convention at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S., on Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2016. Clinton told a veterans group that U.S. leadership is vital to the world and, drawing a contrast with Republican Donald Trump, said that means the White House is no place for a leader who insults allies or threatens to shrink from that role. Photographer: Ty Wright/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton erased about 30 emails regarding the 2012 Benghazi terror attacks. Among the nearly 15,000 emails the FBI recovered from her deleted private email server, there are 30 emails relating to the terror attacks. During a hearing State Department lawyers informed U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta of the emails on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016.

The 14,900 emails the FBI discovered during their investigation into Clinton’s handling of classified information were not included in the 30,000 emails Clinton handed over to the State Department in December 2014. The Benghazi emails are at the center of one of several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits against the department filed by conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

The State Department in their usual defense of Clinton said the email have to be evaluated to determine if they are personal as Clinton claimed or are duplicates of emails they have already. The State Dept lawyers told Judge Mehta they need until the end of September to review the emails. Mehta was upset that the department is dragging their feet, and he ordered them to update him in a week.

State Department spokesman John Kirby issued a statement about the newly discovered emails, “Using broad search terms; we have identified approximately 30 documents potentially responsive to a Benghazi-related request. At this time, we have not confirmed that the documents are, in fact, responsive, or whether they are duplicates of materials already provided to the Department by former Secretary Clinton in December 2014.”

Judicial Watch wants all the emails released before the election in November. The State Department, however, is protecting Clinton, hoping to delay the release, so that the content does not hinder Clinton chances of winning the election. Two other judges agree with Judicial Watch and want the emails released promptly. A judge in Florida is ordering the Benghazi emails to be made public on Sept. 13, while another Judge in DC wants the State Department to provide a schedule for the emails’ release at a Sept. 23 hearing.

Republican nominee Donald Trump was quick to attack Clinton on the new emails. Trump’s Senior communications adviser Jason Miller released a statement, which read, “Clinton swore before a federal court and told the American people she handed over all of her work-related emails. If Clinton did not consider emails about something as important as Benghazi to be work-related, one has to wonder what is contained in the other emails she attempted to wipe from her server.”

Politics August 30, 2016: FBI to release Clinton interview notes and final report

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FBI to release Clinton interview notes and final report

By Bonnie K. Goodman

RENO, NV - AUGUST 25: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves Hub Coffee Roasters on August 25, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. Hillary Clinton delivered a speech about republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's policies. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

RENO, NV – AUGUST 25: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves Hub Coffee Roasters on August 25, 2016 in Reno, Nevada. Hillary Clinton delivered a speech about republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s policies. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

After much requests from Congressional Republicans, the FBI plans to release their report not recommending criminal charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. CNN was the first to report on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, that the FBI is releasing their report to the Justice Department and their notes from their July interview with Clinton from their investigation into her usage of a private email server.

The FBI intends to release the documents as early as Wednesday, Aug. 31 as a response to Freedom of Information Act requests. The documents include the bureau’s 30-page report to the DOJ, and the interview notes known as FD-302 covering the FBI’s three-hour interview with Clinton.

Earlier this month the FBI handed the same documents to the House Oversight Committee in addition to the interview notes with Clinton’s aides. The committee’s chairman Jason Chaffetz then called on the FBI to release an unclassified version of those documents to the public. Chaffetz described the documents as “over-classified.” Clinton’s campaign also wanted the documents released, believing it would be best for them to be released in their entirety, then have the GOP release just certain excerpts that might be more damaging.

FBI Director James Comey announced in July that the FBI would not recommend pressing charges and instead suggested an administrative punishment. Comey called Clinton’s handling of classified information “extremely careless,” but argued, “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” The Justice Department and Attorney General Loretta Lynch “unanimously” agreed and declined to charge Clinton. Despite no criminal case pending, Clinton has not been able to escape her scandals from her tenure at the State Department, and recent revelations have dented her lead in the presidential race.

Politics August 26, 2016: Judge orders State Department to begin releasing newly discovered Clinton emails

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Judge orders State Department to begin releasing newly discovered Clinton emails

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event in Reno, Nevada on August 25, 2016. He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party, she said at the event about her opponent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign event in Reno, Nevada on August 25, 2016.
He is taking hate groups mainstream and helping a radical fringe take over the Republican Party, she said at the event about her opponent Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. / AFP / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)

A Federal Judge is not letting Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s campaign plans interfere with justice. On Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, a judge in Florida is ordering the State Department to begin releasing the 14,900 emails the FBI discovered during their investigation into the private email server Clinton used as Secretary of State by Sept. 13. The judge made the decision as part of Conservative Watchdog group Judicial Watch’s ongoing lawsuit against the State Department.

U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitriouleas’ decision will do a lot to ensure that the emails the FBI uncovered during their investigation will be made public before the election in November. The decision ensures that a federal judge in Washington presiding over a separate Judicial Watch lawsuit will make certain that emails release schedule is just as prompt. In that case, the next hearing is Sept. 23.

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton issued a statement commending the decision, saying, “no wonder federal courts in Florida and DC are ordering the State Department to stop stalling and begin releasing the 14,900 new Clinton emails.”

Meanwhile, State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau was elusive about the emails and their contents. Trudeau said in a statement, “As we have said, the Department agreed to search the materials we received from the FBI in response to several pending FOIA requests and, to the extent responsive records are identified, produce them.”

Continuing, Trudeau tried to indicate few of the emails have to with the lawsuit, “Using broad search terms, we have identified a number of documents potentially responsive to a Benghazi-related request. At this time, we have not confirmed that the documents are, in fact, responsive.  We also have not determined if they involve Secretary Clinton.”

Politics August 25, 2016: New polls show conflicted view of 2016 race still Clinton leads Trump

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New polls show conflicted view of 2016 race still Clinton leads Trump

By Bonnie K. Goodman

(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between former US Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump.  ***LEFT IMAGE***   PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 28:  Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party's nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25.  (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)  ***RIGHT IMAGE***  LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 15:  Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(FILE PHOTO) In this composite image a comparison has been made between former US Presidential Candidates Hillary Clinton (L) and Donald Trump. ***LEFT IMAGE*** PHILADELPHIA, PA – JULY 28: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton delivers remarks during the fourth day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, July 28, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received the number of votes needed to secure the party’s nomination. An estimated 50,000 people are expected in Philadelphia, including hundreds of protesters and members of the media. The four-day Democratic National Convention kicked off July 25. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** LAS VEGAS, NV – DECEMBER 15: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during the CNN Republican presidential debate on December 15, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. This is the last GOP debate of the year, with U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) gaining in the polls in Iowa and other early voting states and Donald Trump rising in national polls. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Despite all the scandals surrounding Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State she still is leading Republican nominee Donald Trump in national polls. Two new national polls show a conflicted view of the 2016 presidential race, suggesting the race might be closer than some poll indicate. According to a new national Quinnipiac University poll released on Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, Clinton leads Trump by 10 points. However, an Economist/YouGov online poll published on Wednesday, Aug. 24 Clinton leads by only 3 points within the margin of error.

The new Quinnipiac University poll, Clinton leads Trump 51 to 41 percent in a two-way race. Factoring third party candidates, Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson and Green Party nominee Jill Stein, Clinton’s lead shrinks to 7 points over Trump, 45 to 35 percent.

The numbers contrast with the latest Economist/YouGov online poll, where Clinton has the narrowest lead of all recent national polls, only three points. In the survey, Clinton has 47 percent to Trump’s 44 percent. The best national performance for Trump post-conventions. In a four-way race, Clinton’s lead expands to a point to a four percent margin, giving Clinton 42 percent to Trump’s 38 percent voter support.

Meanwhile, Clinton had her one of her largest poll margin leads of the campaign in the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Tuesday, Aug. 23, with 12 points over Trump. In the survey, Clinton has 45 percent support to Trump’s 33 percent. In a four-way race, Clinton’s lead shrinks to 8 percent over Trump with 41 percent to 33 percent for the GOP nominee.

Although Reuters/Ipsos poll nearly makes the record, Clinton had her largest margin of 15 percent over Trump in the McClatchy-Marist survey released on Aug. 4, a post-Democratic convention poll, where Clinton led 48 percent to 33 percent.

In most recent polls, Clinton leads Trump by 8 to 10 percent, however, earlier this week, two other polls had Clinton leading Trump by 8 percent. In the NBC News/SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Online Tracking Poll released on Tuesday, Aug. 23, Clinton had the support of 50 percent of voters to Trump’s 42 percent. In a four-way race, Clinton only led Trump by 5 percent, 43 to 38 percent. In last week’s Reuters/Ipsos poll, Clinton had 42 percent to Trump’s 34 percent. In a four-way race, Clinton lead shrunk by one, 41 to 34 percent.

Besides the recent Economist/YouGov online poll, the only other poll where the margin the two candidates was close was the Pew Research Center poll published on Aug. 18. In that Pew poll, Clinton led Trump by only four points, 41 percent to 39 percent. This survey looked solely at a four-way race. Clinton, however, is leading in many battleground states as well.