Tag Archives: election

Is it Christmas yet?!

Text and photos by Rosalie Tirella

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Today, Rosalie, after donning her Santa cap to watch the WFD fire trucks snake up her Ward Street and Richland Street …

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… shouted from her 4th floor – yes, FOURTH! floor! – apartment: Another sad footnote to our lives here! … THERE REALLY ARE TWO AMERICAS! My America cannot make enough money to buy the crap houses we rent for exorbitant amounts of $$$ here, in our inner cities. The heroin, the guns! The garbage! Our people are suffering! … These neighborhoods weren’t like this a generation ago – these houses, these streets, were spring-boards to the middle class! I remember!

Rose looked to great minds for answers:
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The minds were mute.

American workers need a living wage! Rose cried. FIGHT FOR $15! she shouted, fists clenched. AMERICANS NEED FREE COMMUNITY COLLEGE SO WORKERS CAN LEARN NEW SKILLS TO GET GOOD-PAYING JOBS! she said.

But just look at the local politician who is running for Worcester mayor next election cycle, arguably the city’s most up and coming political up-and-comer: caustic, racist, race-baiting, hate-spewing, Turtle-Boy blog-promoting and all around asshole Michael Gaffney. Mike Gaffney! God help my city!

And on a much bigger canvas … The new president of the United States is Donald Trump!  DONALD TRUMP!!! MADNESS! MADNESS!!!! Trump, like Gaffney, is an insult to the working class. A death knell for all Worcesterites/Americans. But Trump and Gaffney get people on their side, get working class folks’ votes because they exploit their fears, their anxieties around a multicultural Worcester/America that is different and beyond their comfort zone. These two politician-creeps work that vein … demonize immigrants, women of color, the disenfranchised. They whip up discord and hatred to garner votes. All an act …

– from Stephen Colbert

Because it is all about power – or better yet, feeling good about themselves, boosting their, believe it or not, LOW SELF ESTEEM!!!!

That’s right.

Donald Trump is lying when he said he had a “great” childhood/youth. He had a shitty one, thanks to Daddy Fred Trump.

From Colbert:

Closer to home, Mike Gaffney also had a shitty childhood – we hear it was God awful deprived. Now this Man-Boy, who deep down loathes himself, wants us Worcesterites TO LOVE HIM BY VOTING FOR HIM, a la Trump. So he can love himself! Finally!!!!

Do not do this, Worcester!

Or America.

First step: IMPEACH TRUMP, or find some Contitutional-loophole to get rid of him!.

Step 2: VOTE ANYONE BUT GAFFNEY FOR MAYOR OF WORCESTER. LIKE THE MAINSTREAM MEDIA and lots of Americans did with president-elect (!!!!) Trump, we cannot make the mistake and dismiss Gaffney as a cynical nut job who could never be mayor of the second-largest city in New England.

He could do it…win … and make Worcester a mean, racist place where children hide in corners – just as he did.

Do you want to see Turtle Boy blogger Aidan Kearey, Gaffney’s mouth piece, in Worcester City Hall, in OUR mayor’s office, as Gaffney’s Chief of Staff?!!!😖😖😖🚒🚔♨♨🎃🎃

We’ve got Breitbart in the Oval Office.

It’s no big jump to Turtle Boy in the Worcester Mayor’s Office.

Worcester, do not discount these two devils: Michael Gaffney and Turtle Boy Aidan Kearney could do it.

Worcester news you can use …

THE INFORMED IMMIGRANT

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“Informed Immigrant” is a continuously updated resource website for immigrants and allies across the United States.

Please share!

As the Informed Immigrant website states,

Current resources include:

A compilation of frequently asked questions on topics that include legal support, employment, DACA, deportation defense and more

A National Immigration Law Center (NILC) fact sheet on the rights of everyone living in the United States, regardless of status

A list of search tools and hotlines to help identify appropriate legal services

A running list of immigrant rights & services organizations across the United States

Informed Immigrant was put together by Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC, Center for Community Change, FWD.us, National Immigration Law Center, SEIU, and United We Dream, among other organizations.

The site is also offered in Spanish (Korean coming soon).

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS & ANSWERS FOR IMMIGRANTS IN THE U.S.:

These FAQs provide information and recommendations that may help you prepare once President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20, 2017.

The information is on what we know today. We will continue to update it with more information once we have it.

Please note that the information is not legal advice.

Every person’s situation is different, and you should talk to a qualified immigration lawyer or a Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA)–accredited representative so that you can make the most informed decision for yourself.

The Questions:

1. I do not have DACA. Should I apply for it now?

2. I already have DACA. Should I apply to renew my DACA?

3. What will happen to DACA under the next administration?

4. What will happen to the information on DACA applications?

5. If my DACA is terminated, will I be able to work?

6. I have DACA and want to travel outside the United States. Is it safe to travel?

7. If I am undocumented and think I may be eligible for an immigration benefit, should I apply now?

8. I am undocumented and I have a U.S. citizen child. Is there anything I can do to protect myself?

9. What are my rights if ICE stops me in the street or my house?

10. Where am I safe from ICE enforcement actions?

11. How can the community report any ICE activities in violation of these policies?

12. Is it safe for me to protest and march in rallies?

13. What are sanctuary cities?

14. What will happen to sanctuary policies under the next administration?

* To learn the answers to these questions CLICK HERE!!!

www.informedimmigrant.com

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WORCESTER PUBLIC LIBRARY WAIVES YOUR LIBRARY FINES FOR HOLIDAY FOOD DONATIONS!

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The Worcester Public Library Trades Food for Fines During the Entire Month of December

At Main Branch, 3 Salem Square, Worcester

As part of the program, the library will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items.

For patrons with overdue library fines, every food item will equal $1 removed from their account.

Collected food will be donated to the Worcester County Food Bank.

“Unfortunately, there are still people right here in Worcester who don’t have enough to eat, and it’s up to all of us to help change that,” said City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. “Whether or not you have any overdue books, I hope you’ll join me in helping the Worcester County Food Bank help the needy in our community.”

The items will be collected at the Main Library, 3 Salem Square, Worcester.

For every food item donated, $1 will be removed from the overdue fines on the patron’s account.

“This program is a win-win,” said Head Librarian Geoffrey Dickinson. “Holding a Food for Fines program at the Worcester Public Library allows us to offer those patrons who may have lost access to library services (from excessive overdue fees) an opportunity to regain their privileges by “paying” with food rather than cash. It also helps the community by collecting much needed food for the Worcester County Food Bank.”

The Worcester Food Bank’s list of recommended items includes cereal, rice, beans, soup, stew, chili, dry and canned pasta, macaroni and cheese, canned fruits and vegetables, canned tuna and chicken, and peanut butter and jelly. The library will not be able to accept food items in glass containers, home-canned items, opened foods, or foods past their expiration dates.

For more information on the Worcester Public Library and a complete list of events and programs visit mywpl.org.

Surviving in Trumpland … Congressman Jim McGovern: Trump Financial Transparency Vital to National Security

From the LATE SHOW w/ Stephen Colbert:

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McGovern Backs Bill Requiring Presidential Candidates to Release Tax Returns

Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), the second-highest ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, joined today House Democrats in calling for passage of legislation to require presidential candidates to disclose three years of their tax returns.

This year, President-elect Donald Trump became the first presidential nominee in more than 30 years to not release his tax returns.

Speaking on S. 2943, the FY 2017 National Defense Authorization Act Conference Report, Congressman McGovern emphasized the need for the American people to know where a presidential candidate has financial dealings because of the direct impact that could have on national security.

McGovern pointed to the example of President-elect Donald Trump and his glowing praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin, raising questions about Trump’s potential financial dealings in Russia and whether he would stand up to Putin to protect U.S. interests and defend human rights.

“Tax returns provide the public with vital information about our presidential candidates. Have they paid taxes at all? Do they keep money offshore? Or have they taken advantage of tax loopholes? This is important information that voters have a right to know.

“The American people should expect candidates running for president to be open and transparent about their tax returns. And this legislation would ensure that transparency. It is hard for me to believe that giving people the right to know about presidential candidates’ financial dealings is controversial. I hope that this isn’t.

“I think where a presidential candidate and soon-to-be-President has financial dealings is directly related to our national defense. Does he have investments in Russia? Does he have investments in countries that have been hostile to human rights or to U.S. interests in various parts of the world? That is very relevant.”

McGovern also highlighted the Global Magnitsky Act which aims to builds on the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, legislation that McGovern authored. That legislation focused on Russia and was approved by Congress and signed into law in 2012. The law targets individual Russian officials accountable for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, as well as other Russian officials engaged in corruption, human rights abuses or who seek to undermine the rule of law. It denies them visas to the United States, and freezes their assets in the United States. The Global Magnitsky Act would extend the use of those same targeted sanctions to all countries, not just Russia, and ensure that visiting the United States and having access to our financial system, including U.S. dollars, are privileges not granted to those who violate human rights and the rule of law.

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Full Text of Congressman McGovern’s Speech:

“Tax returns provide the public with vital information about our presidential candidates. Have they paid taxes at all? Do they keep money offshore? Or have they taken advantage of tax loopholes? This is important information that voters have a right to know.

“The American people should expect candidates running for president to be open and transparent about their tax returns. And this legislation would ensure that transparency. It is hard for me to believe that giving people the right to know about presidential candidates’ financial dealings is controversial. I hope that this isn’t.

“I think where a presidential candidate and soon-to-be-President has financial dealings is directly related to our national defense. Does he have investments in Russia? Does he have investments in countries that have been hostile to human rights or to U.S. interests in various parts of the world? That is very relevant.

“I don’t know where the head of our next president is going to be when it comes to standing up to abuses by people like Vladimir Putin against opposition leaders and journalists and anybody he disagrees with.

“This bill is named after a guy named Sergei Magnitsky, who, by the way, was an accountant in Russia who uncovered the largest corruption scandal in Russia’s history. And what was his reward for doing that? Putin had him put in jail. He was tortured. And he was beaten to death. That’s what happens in places that are run by strong men like Vladimir Putin.

“So yes, I’d like to know whether or not our next president has investments in Russia. I think that would be very relevant to know. And quite frankly, the reason this Magnitsky legislation is so important is it gives us a tool to pressure the next administration on the issue of human rights. And it is a signal to Putin and other dictators and strong men around the world that Congress is not going to be silent in the face of human rights abuses.

“Let the American people know what the financial dealings of their presidential candidates and soon-to-be-presidents are.”

Steve parked in Rose’s space … WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET ANXIOUS IN TRUMPLAND

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Stay active! pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Several websites recommend alternatives to simply freaking out over president-elect Donald Trump. My favorite of these can be found at http://www.calmclinic.com/donald-trump-anxiety.

These suggestions may help you cope …

• “Be Active. The single best way to reduce your anxiety is to start becoming a visible, physical force in politics and the community – not just on Facebook and Twitter, but in person as well.

Examples include joining local neighborhood associations, volunteering, calling congressmen to demand what you want, organizing rallies, protesting – whatever you need to do.”

• “Moderate Social Media. Social media has become a great way to spread a message. But it has also become a great way to become stressed out about the effects of a Trump presidency beyond what you can control, especially if you use social media for news. As such, limit your social media use. You do not need to avoid it completely, but try to avoid letting yourself fall into the trap of being overwhelmed with it – especially if it is frequently political.”

• “Spend Time Outdoors. You sit in front of your computer, inside, on the couch or at a desk, and read about as much as you can. That means a lot of time indoors, and while it sounds cliché, there are proven benefits to spending time outside and away from electronics. Indeed, studies have shown that even eye strain caused by looking at words on a screen can contribute to further anxiety, while fresh air, movement (such as walking), and natural lighting all are known to reduce anxiety. If you’re struggling with anxiety as it comes closer to inauguration date, make sure that you’re spending ample time outdoors, even if all you do is go for a walk.”

• “Stay educated. Anxiety can be controlled through education. We see this with panic attacks. Panic attacks are often triggered by physical sensations – for example, you may feel some mild chest pain. This causes the body to rush with adrenaline worried that the chest pain is something more serious, like a heart attack. Then, when you learn how and why anxiety causes chest pain, it can have a calming effect on your anxiety in the future. Understanding the process, then, can help you know what you should worry about and what you should not. It tells you more about what you can do to create change. It tells you what hope you have and what the process is.”

Holiday party/dinner talking tip: Inevitably, many of our readers will face a crazy uncle or aunt who wants to boast proudly at a Holiday dinner of how big a victory Trump had. The best way to silence such individuals, or make them apoplectic, is to say more Americans voted for Clinton than for Trump, and its high time to abolish the electoral college.

Beware that this will be rhetorically equivalent to dropping the atom bomb. Trump voters have difficulties at times accepting reality, and this is the fact they hate to hear most. Then remember what Senator Abraham Ribicoff said to the 1968 Democratic convention, when Mayor Richard Daley shouted obscenities after Ribicoff told the convention, “If we had McGovern, we wouldn’t have Gestapo tactics on the streets of Chicago.” Daley and his stooges were on their feet, shouting obscenities and anti-Semitic remarks at Ribicoff.

“How hard it is to accept the truth, how hard it is,” replied Ribicoff.

From the Worcester NAACP …

“We’ve Got Your Back”: Moving Forward in Uncertain Times

Wednesday, November 30 at 5:30 pm

Harrington Learning Center #HLC 109-A/B (first floor)

The recent election cycle has brought about a level of hostility and anger that many of us have not seen in our lifetime.

Sentiments of racial hatred, misogyny, anti-Semitism and xenophobia have risen to new heights in our country, and those who prescribe to these sentiments have been emboldened since the election of our new president.

Increased stories of harassment and intimidation against minority groups and immigrants are being reported on social media, shared with friends, fellow students at schools, colleagues at work, and at the dinner table at home.

The Worcester NAACP and the Diversity Caucus of Quinsigamond Community College has invited the staff from the Attorney General’s Office, along with representatives from Congressman Jim McGovern’s Office, City of Worcester, Worcester Police Department, Worcester Public Schools, Coalition Against Bias and Hate, Worcester Interfaith, Worcester Black Clergy Alliance, Jewish Federation of Central Massachusetts, Latino Education Institute and Center for Nonviolent Solutions to share their commitment to preserve the rights of all residents in our community and to ensure that Worcester remains a city that is welcoming to all.

The staff from the Attorney General’s office will present information on your rights as residents and how the state is prepared to protect these rights and ensure your safety.

Mayor Joseph Petty recently responded to the anxiety and fear of those most vulnerable in Worcester by responding “I’ve got your back.”

In these uncertain times, our Mayor stated that he is “certain that we will fight for all of our city’s residents and we will move our city forward, together.”

The Worcester NAACP stands with our Mayor, Attorney General, organizations that are represented at this event and all others who dedicate themselves to ensuring justice and equality for all – “We’ve Got Your Back.”

Please join us this Wednesday, November 30th @ 5:30 pm at the Harrington Learning Center #HLC 109-A/B (first floor). Please share this information – everyone is welcome to attend.

Thank You

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TODAY! – Monday, November 28 – is “Election Day” for the Worcester, NAACP.

All active members are eligible to cast their vote between 4 pm until 8 pm upstairs in the Boardroom at the YWCA, Salem Square.

We’ve been through the nomination process and I’m please to announce the following candidates are eligible to be on the ballot for officer positions within the Worcester NAACP:

Pat Yancey, President, Dr. George Yancey, 1st Vice President, Dagne Yesihak, Esq., 2nd Vice President, Leonard Cooper, 3rd Vice President, Nigel Belgrave, Treasurer, Yvonne Brown, Secretary, Rev. Doreen Oughton, Asst. Secretary, Rev. Raymond Austin, Member at Large, Edward Robinson, Member at Large, Fred Taylor, Member at Large, Thomas Doughton, PhD, Member at Large.

Please show your support for these candidates and come out to vote!

In addition to the elections, our regular monthly meeting will start at 6:30 pm, upstairs in the YWCA Board Room.

Our featured speaker will be the folks from SMOC Financial Services. SMOC will focus on presenting information on their small business programming and loan fund, what services they provide in Worcester, and other projects like the Greater Worcester Housing Connection.

We’ve shared information recently regarding the Attorney General’s new hotline for residents to report bias-based harassment and acts of violence (800)-994-3228.

As members of both the AG’s Advisory Council on Racial Justice and Equity and the City Manager’s Coalition Against Bias and Hate, the Worcester NAACP is working with our partners and the community at large in planning an informational session to help us all better understand the realities of the recent election and how we can push back and protect those who are most vulnerable to bias-based harassment and acts of violence.

Please add the AG Hotline, and social media information to your phone’s contact:

Hotline: (800) 994-3228

Link to AG’s civil rights complaint form: http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/your-rights/civil-rights/civil-rights-complaint.html

Thank you all for your support of the Worcester NAACP. Our volunteers work hard to stand for social justice and equity in Worcester, and we are proud to stand with all of the other organizations that make Worcester a better place to live for all.

Steve parked in fashion … LIVING IN TRUMPLAND

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Donald Trump as POTUS – be afraid. Be very afraid.        pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Donald Trump’s surprise election as President of the United States has created deep-seated anxiety among American voters who favored Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Some fear Trump will destroy the environment, bring terrorist attacks to American soil with his inflammatory, hate-filled rhetoric, cause a nuclear war; others fear he will cut off their social security benefits, Medicaid, health insurance. Still others are afraid that Trump will turn America into a quasi-fascist state. These fears are particularly pronounced among women who fear Trump’s misogyny, immigrants who fear being singled out for hate and harassment, the LGBTQ community who fear vice president-elect Mike Pence’s history on gay rights … the list goes on. And on.

I Googled the phrase “Trump anxiety.” Up popped help-line telephone numbers, suicide emergency websites and “Trump anxiety hotlines.” Well, I too have concerns about a Trump Presidency, but they haven’t reached the level of suicide. These are some factors liberal Democrats should keep in mind:

Oldest constitutional democracy

The United States of America is the greatest country in the world. Starting out as a conglomerate of feuding states with competing interests, it managed to defeat the greatest empire since Rome, evolved after a fierce civil over African-Americans to the point where we twice elected an African American President, and flowered into a nuclear monopoly that sent men to the moon. Betwixt these events, America rescued the planet from the twin evils of fascism and communism.

We are the world’s oldest constitutional democracy. Amid a ferocious civil war, Abraham Lincoln went forward with an election for a second term that no one believed he would win. But he did. The 1930s depression would have sparked a class war in any other country. We got instead the calming words of Franklin Roosevelt: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”

Democrats should keep Roosevelt’s words in mind as Trump raises his right hand in January 2017 to swear fealty to the constitution.

We have survived the challenges of the past 240 years because our government was created by the founders with someone like Donald Trump in mind! They didn’t expect every President to be like George Washington. They expected voters to occasionally elect a Richard Nixon or a Donald Trump.

To mitigate the damages such individuals could cause, they set up a government of checks and balances. Power to create laws, raise revenue, and declare war was restricted to the Congress. Power to command the armed forces (greatly restricted after Lyndon Johnson’s Vietnam war and Nixon’s Watergate scandal) and run the executive branch were given the President. Power to interpret the laws to the constitutional provisions is left to an independent judiciary. To safeguard the rights and property of the citizenry, the first Congress passed a “Bill of Rights,” the first 10 amendments to the constitution.

In short, Donald Trump will not be walking into a dictatorship or monarchy.

He won’t be able to push a button and eliminate freedom of the press.

Nor will he able to fulfill some of the more bizarre promises he has made to his supporters.

Members of the military have warned Trump they will not torture prisoners; nor will they kill innocent noncombatants because their family members are terrorists.

There will be 200 years of constitutional precedent in defense of our rights and masses of lawyers both ready and eager to take Trump on.

Election fever! Watch “Michael Moore in TrumpLand”!

From filmmaker Michael Moore:

Watch my movie “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” tonight! (It’s our secret weapon and sure-fire pick-me-up!)

Friends,

On Tuesday we are either facing a new future that will have equal pay for women, paid maternity leaves, and a debt-free college education — or we face utter madness. A dark, authoritarian era run by a thin-skinned sociopath and admitted sexual predator. How can this election even be close? MADNESS!

There’s probably no time left to try and convince Trump voters of the error of their ways.

But there IS a job we all must do this weekend: get the nonvoters to vote! Give our young people a reason to vote!

And I’ve made a film that will help you to do just that. Critics are calling it “a game changer,” “an unexpected, empathetic appeal to those not inclined to vote for Hillary Clinton,” and “if the liberal choir needs a song to sing, this is the one that will inspire them.”

It’s called “Michael Moore in TrumpLand” and it’s #1 in the country online and streaming!

You can get it right now on iTunes:
www.itunes.com/trumpland.

Or you can get it right now on Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01M4OX2AY.

“TrumpLand” has been referred to by one commentator as “already historic in its impact.” The New Yorker magazine simply says it’s “majestic.” And, even though I don’t have a distributor, a budget or a single ad placed anywhere, through word-of-mouth my movie has become an unexpected hit.

It has been #1 for the past two weeks on iTunes! It’s also been playing in cinemas in 61 cities because 61 theaters asked if they could download it and put it up on their screens — and I said yes, and thanks!

I urgently made “TrumpLand” in just 12 days and yet it’s considered every bit as powerful as the rest of my work. How is that? Because as this presidential race tightened, pure passion – and fear – took over and I just went for it.

I called up and brought back together my top producers and crews from “Fahrenheit 9/11”, “Roger & Me” and “Sicko”, plus the people from my TV series “TV Nation” and “The Awful Truth” — and we set out traveling to battleground Ohio to film me perform a one-man show in the most unlikely of places — a majority-Republican town where only 8% of its citizens are registered Democrats!

The result is a raucous, funny, fresh look at how we can win in these final four days — a 73-minute pick-me-up and fire-you-up! Watch “Michael Moore In TrumpLand” tonight, show it to your friends tomorrow. And send it as an online gift to your conservative brother-in-law or your cousin who’s down in the dumps about the polls she’s reading about.

If you’ve got someone in the house who’s thinking of not voting and in need of a different sort of appeal, one that’s convinced tens of thousands across the country to show up on Tuesday, then watch and share “TrumpLand.”

Let’s do this!

Michael Moore

Steve parked in Rose’s space … State of the Race: CLINTON DEPENDING ON “GROUND GAME” FOR VICTORY

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Rah, rah, rah, Worcester! Get out and VOTE, THIS TUESDAY, NOV. 8! …(Go, Steve M., go!!!) pic: R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

In the see-saw battle for the American presidency that has raged since the summer of 2016, Hillary Clinton is putting her faith in a well-organized effort to get out the vote, generically dubbed the “ground game” by observers. Clinton has set up a well-oiled machine to knock on doors, make phone calls, and use the Internet to the full extent possible, to turn out another 1% to 2% more voters in the so-called “battleground states.”

Politico.com (we’ve linked to it on this website! check out POLITICO.COM) has posted an excellent story on this subject. The website sent out questionnaires to a sizable group of functionaries from both parties. All the respondents answered anonymously.

“Democratic insiders are most confident in Colorado, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin,” reported Politico. “They express more uncertainty in Florida and Iowa. Republicans, meanwhile, were split across these early voting states.” Republican insiders said 40% thought the GOP was doing the better job, 31% of the GOP said the Democrats had a better ground game, and 29% of the GOP said neither party’s ground game was superior to the other’s.

55,000 volunteer shifts

The Washington Post reported that Clinton had 55,000 volunteer shifts across the nation this weekend to get 3 million people to register or commit to vote before Election Day. “The Democratic nominee’s campaign is holding more than 1,000 events this weekend in Pennsylvania, 900 in Virginia, 500 in North Carolina, 250 in Ohio and 200 in Wisconsin,” said the Post.

Trump’s failure to set up a strong organization to register and get out to vote his key core constituency – noncollegiate white males – may rank, after his failure to prepare for the debates, as the second worst decision of his campaign. Dave Wasserman, an expert at the Cook Political Report, told the New York Post that 47 million noncollegiate whites, “more than half of them men”, didn’t vote in 2012. Wasserman noted: “There are no indications they are registering for Trump in any real numbers.”

Let’s look at the trends on a state-by-state basis:

North Carolina

During his November 4, 2016, broadcast of the “O’Reilly Factor”, Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly conceded to a political panel that if Clinton takes North Carolina, Clinton wins the election.

“Democrats have a plan and are executing it,” one North Carolina Democrat told Politico. “Republicans have no plan and frankly, no clue.”

Not exactly. Trump did start late in organizing his North Carolina infrastructure, but local Republicans have 24 offices across the state, 170 paid staffers, and an additional 700 trained organizers leading thousands of volunteers” the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. “She [Clinton] has 34 offices across the state and has hired hundreds of staffers,” the Journal article reported.

“Polls have long shown a tight race in North Carolina,” continued the Journal. “But a new Elon University survey of likely North Carolina voters shows Mrs. Clinton opening up a lead of 6 percentage points in the state.”

Florida

The sunshine state is the mother lode with 29 electoral votes. Trump must win Florida to have a pathway to 270 electoral votes. If Clinton wins Florida, it’s all over.

“Florida insiders in both parties say that, generally, Democrats and Republicans have fought to a draw thus far in early voting,” reports Politico. “One Florida Democrat conceded that Republicans have been stronger than expected. ‘My side did underestimate the GOP’s operation,’ the Democrat said. Among Republicans, the verdict was mixed.”

“’I think the [Clinton] effort is just slightly ahead of the built-in party apparatus Trump has working for him,’ said a Florida Republican to Politico. ‘However, Trump did begin hiring today for field — a little too late, of course — but at least he realizes what he is lacking.’”

Ohio

Ohio is another “must win” state for Trump. The buckeye state is demographically ripe for Trump: a large noncollegiate white male voting segment, with comparatively fewer minorities than other battleground states, and wracked by the loss of manufacturing jobs during the great recession.

“But Clinton is counting on chipping away at Trump’s lead with a campaign organization that dwarfs the Republican’s operation,” reported Bloomberg Politics in October 2016. “She started building a political infrastructure in the state months earlier than Trump and now counts 64 offices with campaign staff across the state compared, with 31 offices that Trump has jointly with the Republican National Committee and local county party organizations.”

Trump spent less money than Clinton in Ohio on the all-important television buys. “Trump is focusing on building volunteers through rallies and maximizing enthusiasm from television coverage and social media,” said Bloomberg.

During a panel discussion Saturday on MSNBC, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean disputed that Democrats turning out in a largely Democratic county may be good for Clinton, as that county’s working class demographics favored Trump.

More Democrats have participated in early voting than Republicans in Ohio.

“Democrats have technically turned out more, but not to the level they’ll need,” one GOP organizer told Politico. “They’ll lose.”

Colorado

Colorado, which voted for Obama in the last two elections, is another battle zone.

“The Clinton campaign has been very engaged in building a ground game and turnout operation and have a great deal of existing liberal infrastructure in the state to rely upon,” a Colorado Republican told Politico. “The Trump campaign, in contrast, has almost no ground game, has engaged in very little traditional campaign organizing, has done little direct mail or canvassing efforts, and seems to think a handful of rallies and last-minute television commercials can take the place of the hard work of actually asking individual voters to vote for him, and the state party has done very little to fill the void.”

Nevada

Another campaign theater Trump needs to hit 270 electoral votes is Nevada.

“Democrats are slightly ahead of Republicans as a percentage of registered voters, but that is very typical for Nevada elections,” commented one Republican to Politico. “More Dems than Republicans vote early, while Republicans tend to prefer voting on Election Day. Also, in Nevada, we have a large percentage of independents and nonpartisan voters, which makes the raw number of Democrats and Republicans voting less predictive of the final results.”

Georgia

Although this political chaos is enough to leave the head reeling, there is one more state which merits a look: Georgia, the home state of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

“Five days before the election, it’s probably not a good sign that the Republican nominee has to worry about Georgia,” writes Sean Colarossi on the politicususa.com website. “[T]he NBC News/WSJ/Marist poll conducted totally after the FBI fiasco, the two major candidates are in a virtual dead heat in the state. Trump gets 45 percent of the vote against 44 percent who prefer Clinton.

“With Trump’s operation far worse than Romney’s was four years ago and certainly inferior to Clinton’s, it’s conceivable that the Democratic nominee could outperform the polling by even more,” continued Colarossi. “If the latest poll of the Peach State is accurate, her GOTV [Get out the Vote] operation could be all she needs to steal the deep red state from Trump and put the election away early next Tuesday.”

Trump, with the self-assuredness that has characterized his persona during the entire campaign, scornfully noted the reports he might be in trouble in Georgia, and said at a campaign rally that of course Trump would take Georgia.

The impact

The impact a get out the vote organization can have been noted by Sasha Issenberg, author of “The Victory Lab: the Secret Science of Winning Campaigns,” and a consultant to Bloomberg Politics, in comments to the New York Post.

“The evidence we have is there is a big gap on resources and planning between the two sides, favoring Clinton,” said Issenberg. In states where the polls showed the two candidates deadlocked at 45%, asserted Issenberg: “Clinton is best positioned to turn that into 47 percent, while Donald Trump would end up at 44 percent.”

Political Analysis: How Hillary won the debates

By Steven R. Maher

Hillary Clinton’s decisive wins in the three Presidential debates was no accident. If she’s elected President on November 8, 2016, Clinton will owe her victory to a well planned and ruthlessly executed undertaking to provoke Donald J. Trump into destroying himself in front of American voters, by manipulating Trump’s own psychological insecurities against him. Clinton’s plans to do so were published by the New York Times on August 29, 2016, one month before the first debate on September 26, 2016.

“Rarely are debate preparations as illuminating about the candidates as a debate itself, but Mrs. Clinton’s and Mr. Trump’s strikingly different approaches to the Sept. 26 face-off are more revealing about their egos and battlefield instincts than most other moments in the campaign,” said the newspaper in the August 2016 article. “Mrs. Clinton, a deeply competitive debater, wants to crush Mr. Trump on live television, but not with an avalanche of policy details; she is searching for ways to bait him into making blunders. Mr. Trump, a supremely confident communicator, wants viewers to see him as a truth-telling political outsider and trusts that he can box in Mrs. Clinton on her ethics and honesty.”
Primary contests differed

Both candidates were shaped by their completely different primary experiences. Clinton, apparently expecting a coronation, found herself barely able to fend off a challenge by Bernie Sanders, a self-avowed socialist and comparatively unknown Vermont Senator. Clinton emerged from the primaries victorious, but shell shocked by her own negative ratings and performance. She understood her own shortcomings as a debater, and was open to new ideas. Clinton knew she needed a new game plan to win.

Trump’s road to the Republican nomination reinforced his inherent self-confidence, a cocksureness than often trespassed into arrogance, and sometimes into megalomania. Trump’s insurgency in the GOP began with a bellicose denunciation of Mexican immigrants as rapists and criminals, and to the amazement of both the political classes and pundits, continued as he won primary after primary. Trump systematically devastated his Republican opponents with slash and burn comments, tagging them with pejorative nicknames like “Little Marco”, “Lying Ted”, or “Low Energy”. Pundits repeatedly wrote Trump’s political obituaries, only to retract them after Trump won the next primary.

Trump understandably developed a belief in his own omnipotence. His rhetorical excesses and personal insults had given him the Republican nomination. Trump had no reason to believe the same tactics wouldn’t bring him victory in the general election.

“I can handle Hillary,” Trump told the New York Times. “I believe you can prep too much for those things [debates]. It can be dangerous. You can sound scripted or phony – like you’re trying to be someone you’re not. I know who I am and how I got here.”

Clinton’s plan

Clinton set up a debate committee within her campaign. They conducted “a forensic-style analysis” of Trump’s debate performances. Unlike a Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, Hillary Clinton refused to be silenced when Trump repeatedly interrupted her. Most of the time, she kept on speaking as Trump tried to talk over her. There were a few occasions where Clinton wisely said nothing and let Trump continue talking, recognizing that Trump’s line of argument was self-defeating.

Clinton seemed acutely aware that there would be a split screen during the debate, perhaps because during the primaries there was a split screen during her debates with Sanders. Trump, who usually had anywhere from three to sixteen Republican on the debate stage with him, seemed totally unaware that voters were watching him as he grimaced and grunted, assessing Trump partly on that basis. Clinton had a Reaganesque smile on her face as Trump spoke, while Trump looked like the Grinch who stole Christmas as Clinton talked. Clinton’s self-discipline was enormous.

Clinton’s campaign debriefed Trump’s ghostwriter of “The Art of the Deal”, Tony Schwartz, who lived with Trump for eighteen months while co-authoring the book. They consulted with psychologists about Trump, who advised Clinton how she could take advantage of Trump’s male chauvinism by identifying “trigger points” where Clinton could goad Trump with needling remarks; that Clinton was a woman was woven into the fabric of these trigger points.

“Trump has severe attention problems and simply cannot take in complex information — he will be unable to practice for these debates,” said Schwartz. “He’ll use sixth-grade language, he will repeat himself many times, he won’t complete sentences, and he won’t say anything of substance.”

Schwartz’s prediction was clairvoyant. Trump refused an offer from conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham to play Clinton in a mock debate. While Clinton spent precious, dwindling campaign days in mock debates with Democratic operative Ron Klain playing Trump, Trump stuck to his campaign rallies. And Trump did indeed act like a six grader during the third debate after Clinton called him Vladimir Putin’s puppet: “No puppet. No puppet,” Trump said. “You’re the puppet.”

Machado trigger

The first debate was a disaster for Trump. The last trigger point was the straw that broke Trump’s psyche – Clinton’s retelling of the Alicia Machado story, a Venezuelan beauty contestant Trump allegedly called “Miss Piggy” after she gained weight. Trump couldn’t let go of the Machado tale. He tweeted about Machado at 3:00 AM a few days later, an episode which raised questions about Trump’s mental stability and lack of self-discipline.

Each debate “followed the same pattern” wrote Ezra Klein on the Vox website. “Trump begins calm, but as Clinton needles him, he falls apart, gets angrier, launches bizarre personal attacks, offers rambling justifications for his own behavior, and loses the thread of whatever question was actually asked of him.”

Trump didn’t change his attitude toward debate prep. He refused to participate in mock debates. It was as if Trump had been overcome by inertia. During the third debate Trump admitted he did not prepare for the debate that day, but instead watched Clinton’s commercials attacking Trump all day long.

“We aren’t used to candidates winning not so much because of how they performed but because of how they pushed their opponent into performing,” concluded Klein. “But the fact that we aren’t used to this kind of victory doesn’t make it any less impressive. Hillary Clinton has humbled Donald Trump, and she did it her way.”

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