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

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.”


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 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, 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.”


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.”


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.”



Oh, Lord, stay with us! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Fox News is the cable channel liberals love to hate. While portraying itself as “fair and balanced” in its reporting, flamboyant commentators like Bill O’Reilly, Megyn Kelly and Sean Hannity organize Fox’s ideological base of Republicans and conservatives with their attacks on various villains, especially Hillary Clinton. So, it was with some glee that the left greeted with delight news that Fox founder Bill Ailes was forced to resign under a cloud of controversy due to allegations of sexual harassment.

Now it turns out that two Fox network stars, Bret Baier and Hannity, ended up retracting false statements about Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign.

“Continue to an indictment”

In a special report, Baier on November 2, 2016, broadcast the following, per a transcript on the “Real Clear Politics website:

“Here’s the deal,” said Baier. “We talked to two separate sources with intimate knowledge of the FBI investigations. • “One: The Clinton Foundation investigation is far more expansive than anybody has reported so far. Several offices separately have been doing their own investigations.

• “Two: The immunity deal that Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, two top aides to Hillary Clinton, got from the Justice Department in which it was believed that the laptops they had, after a narrow review for classified materials, were going to be destroyed. We have been told that those have not been destroyed — they are at the FBI field office here on Washington and are being exploited.

• “Three: The Clinton Foundation investigation is so expansive, they have interviewed and re-interviewed many people. They described the evidence they have as ‘a lot of it’ and said there is an ‘avalanche coming in every day.’ WikiLeaks and the new emails. They are “actively and aggressively pursuing this case.” Remember the Foundation case is about accusations of pay-for-play… They are taking the new information and some of them are going back to interview people for the third time. As opposed to what has been written about the Clinton Foundation investigation, it is expansive.

• “The classified e-mail investigation is being run by the National Security division of the FBI. They are currently combing through Anthony Weiner’s laptop. They are having some success — finding what they believe to be new emails, not duplicates, that have been transported through Hillary Clinton’s server.

“Finally, we learned there is a confidence from these sources that her server had been hacked. And that it was a 99% accuracy that it had been hacked by at least five foreign intelligence agencies, and that things had been taken from that…

• “There has been some angst about Attorney General Loretta Lynch — what she has done or not done,” continued Baier. “She obviously did not impanel, or go to a grand jury at the beginning. They also have a problem, these sources do, with what President Obama said today and back in October of 2015. I pressed again and again on this very issue… The investigations will continue, there is a lot of evidence. And barring some obstruction in some way, they believe they will continue to likely an indictment.”

A meal of his own words

Baier soon found himself having to eat a huge meal consisting of his own words. On Friday November 4, 2016, Baier during a Fox news alert admitted many of the “facts” quoted above were completely and totally false.

“Baier said he relied on a single anonymous source within the FBI for his report about an alleged hack of the server,” the Washington Post reported on November 4, 2016. “’I was quoting from one source about his certainty that the server had been hacked by five foreign intelligence agencies. As of today, there still are no digital fingerprints of a breach, no matter what the working assumption is within the bureau.”

“I explained the phrasing of one my answers to Brit Hume on Wednesday night, saying it was inartful the way I answered the last question about whether the investigations would continue after the election,” the Post further quoted Baier. “And I answered that yes, our sources said it would, they would continue to, likely, an indictment.

“That just wasn’t inartful. It was a mistake and for that I’m sorry. I should have said they will continue to build their case. ‘Indictment,’ obviously, is a very loaded word, Jon, especially in this atmosphere, and no one knows if there would or would not be an indictment, no matter how strong investigators feel their evidence is. It’s obviously a prosecutor who has to agree to take the case and make that case to the grand jury.”

Baier’s false allegations quickly made their way to the Internet and conservative columnists. Pat Buchanan devoted a whole column to what Baier said, stating that the Justice Department should make known before the election if Baier’s story was true, so the American people wouldn’t elect Clinton.

Sean Hannity apologizes

One person who was slow to take down from his website Baier’s retracted falsehoods was Fox commentator Sean Hannity. A few days earlier Hannity apologized after he made false remarks on his radio show that President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren had deleted tweets favoring Hillary Clinton.

“Fact is they didn’t,” Hannity later tweeted. “I humbly apologize. Live radio.”

State of the Race: CHEW ON THIS, WORCESTER – the polls

Jett and Lilac…

…Downtown Worcester: On a cold afternoon this mom puts a plastic covering over the baby carriage to help keep her little one warm and out of the wind. pics:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

Four days until the Presidential election, the polls continue to trend to Donald J. Trump.

States like Colorado, which were recently considered solidly blue, now are almost dead even.

For Democrats and Hillary Clinton, these are times that try men’s (and women’s) souls. Recently I was talking to a fellow political junkie about the election and he suggested watching Lawrence O’Donnell’s “Last Word” on MSNBC at 10 PM. On Wednesday, November 2, 2016, I took his advice and watched the show, and quickly grabbed the remote to record it. There was an excellent report on a poll of early voters which indicates that there may be an undercurrent of support for Clinton among “Never Trump” Republicans. A poll by “Targetsmart” and William & Mary of early voters show Clinton may be doing much better in the race than mainstream polls indicate.

• Targetsmart’s polling shows that Clinton is capturing 28% of Florida Republican early voters. Thus, when the early voters are merged with potential voters, the actual Clinton vote is 46% versus 40% for Trump. Mainstream polls have shown Trump dead even with Clinton in Florida. Targetsmart is “the only tracking survey with early voting returns in Florida,” said O’Donnell.

• The poll showed Trump leading Clinton in Arizona by 49% to 44%. The same poll shows incumbent Republican Senator John McCain ahead of challenger Ann Kirkpatrick by a 54% to 41% margin.

O’Donnell believes that 5% of the McCain voters voted for Clinton. Clinton has 33 Arizona field offices set up to organize voting by identified Clinton supporters. Arizona Republic reporter Dan Nowicki told O’Donnell that Trump had little organization on the ground in Arizona, and is relying on his campaign rallies and free media to get his voters to the polls. Despite the hit from the FBI probe, Clinton doubled her Arizona media buy to $1 million.

• In Wisconsin, the Marquette University poll – which is considered the gold standard for that state – had Clinton leading Trump by 46% to 40%. Democratic Senatorial candidate Russ Feingold is leading Republican Ron Johnson by a margin of 45% to 44%. The 4% difference between Trump’s standing in the poll and Johnson’s are, according to O’Donnell, Republicans favoring Clinton.

• In swing state Ohio, Republican Senatorial candidate Ron Portman is openly approaching Clinton supporters at campaign events for campaign sign locations. Most polls have Ohio dead even.

It may be too early to count Clinton out. She has invested millions of dollars into setting up field offices in the swing states to get out the vote. As the campaign dwindles down to the last few days and the polls continue to tighten, historians may credit Clinton’s election to her long ago decision to invest in her “get out the vote” organization.

Oh, girl

By Rosalie Tirella

Will Trump win Tuesday, Nov. 8?

Will the electorate go rogue and annoint the crazy one?

Is our hatred for Hillary and all the Clinton baggage so acute and absolute that we’re willing to surrender nuclear codes to Donald Trump? Allow him to nominate Supreme Court Justices? Start a pissing contest with ISIS? Deny global warming as he revives the  coal industry?

Who slipped the tabs of acid into our orange Koolaid?

Why are we so freaked out?

Don’t kid yourselves! The nominees are a reflection of our American psychosis! Years of $7/$8 minimum wage, unpaid family leave, hungry American kids (20%), and the fact that Black Lives don’t Matter in America can do that to a country. The jobs have changed, disappeared … workers have lost their homes. We cried out in anguish, but the political elite went right on nibbling their arugula salads. So now we’re having a meltdown and Trump is the symptom of our malady!

“I don’t care,” the OIF said to me, “I’m voting for him.” He  – once a tree hugger who voted – twice! – for Jerry Brown is voting for The Donald next Tues. Even though he knows better. He said, with a shake of his hoary head, that Trump was “imploding” what with all his gaffes and gropings, but he was still voting for him. FOR A BIG CHANGE. Something that Hillary/the Clintons can not deliver.

The OIF, like many white, older, blue collar guys  loathes Hillary, but he also believes America needs to be shaken to her core. The OIF is no dummy – he was one class short of getting his BA in English Lit,  was offered a job on the copy desk of the main daily in Syracuse, and uses words like “impoding.” He can TIG weld, build a house even! AND write beautifully. A true Renaissance Man!

But I digress! The OIF (sorta) represents the group that can make Trump the next POTUS. He has experienced what Trump first talked of, quite movingly, early on in the campaign: job loss, a changing American and global economy. The racism is there too. The OIF has competed for and lost jobs in roofing, painting etc to newer Americans who often used undocumented workers from their homelands to do the labor. They could undercut the OIF’s job bids because they were paying their guys shit wages under the table. Often they were offering their services to customers for 2/3 the price the OIF would charge. The OIF is fully licensed, takes all the required classes$$$ and spends mucho $$$$ following the laws/working within the system.  He’s got to charge customers more money to cover his expenses and still make a profit. But he often loses jobs to the cheaters. And this  is happening to working guys all over the country. It’s changed their businesses, trashed their standard of living…affected their lives – and made them prejudiced. In the beginning of the election cycle the OIF would say to me – laughing because he thought Trump was funny and entertaining when he watched him on the boob tube – “You know, he’s right about a lot of things.”

How could the rich, cheating, playboy Trump reach into the OIF’s very soul and pluck out his pain? How did narcissist Trump become empathic and feel the OIF’s pain? He’s never been a friend to the working man!

This is the confusing/sad part: America wanting to hang her dreams on Donald Trump – Trump unable to rise to the occasion. Trump imploding.

Yet his supporters still support him. They excuse his bad, his God awful, even criminal behavior, because they  love him – and loathe Hillary and the Clinton political dynasty.

Sometimes I wanna go rogue too and color the oval next to Donald Trump on my ballot… I know a president Hillary Clinton will be slightly to the right of President Obama, even though today it seems like she’ll govern from the left.  Under a President Clinton things will chug along in America pretty much as they have during these past eight years. Watching her on TV give uninspiring speeches and interact with the press and the people in a robotic way has left me uninspired. Much of America will still be in pain if Hillary Clinton becomes our next president. But choosing Donald Trump isn’t the answer: there will just be more pain.



By Steven R. Maher

It seems the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is going all out to elect Donald Trump the next President of the United States. By accident or design, the bureau has done four things in the last week to discredit Hillary Clinton and shift what may be an unstoppable momentum to Trump. The FBI has jumped into this campaign with both feet.

• On Friday October 28, 2016 FBI Director James Comey sent a three-paragraph letter to the Chairmen of Congressional oversight committees updating his sworn testimony on the original investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email servers. Comey said the FBI came across emails “pertinent” to the Clinton email scandal after seizing Anthony Weiner’s computer during an investigation of Weiner’s alleged texting to a fifteen-year-old girl. Weiner is married but separated from Clinton’s former chief of staff Huma Abedin. Comey said the FBI would investigate the newly discovered emails to determine if they contained classified data.

• On October 31, 2016 MSNBC reported that Comey had blocked the FBI from signing off on a report by U.S. Intelligence agencies that the Russians were behind the WikiLeaks dumps of Clinton Campaign Manager Joh Podesta’s email. Comey reportedly blocked the release because it was too close to the election. As MSNBC reported, their source stated “some government insiders are perplexed as to why Comey would have election timing concerns with the Russian disclosure but not with the Huma Abedin email discovery disclosure he made Friday.”

• On Tuesday November 1, 2016 the FBI posted on its website 129 pages of files on Bill Clinton’s controversial 2001 last minute pardon of financier Marc Rich. The FBI claims this was a mechanical functioning of the Freedom of Information Act response mechanism, and the documents were not posted to harm Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

• The FBI has been leaking like a sieve with highly critical leaks of Clinton. According to published reports, Comey reopened the Clinton email investigation out of fear that they would be leaked anyway, and to stave off a mass resignation of FBI agents.
Comey flouted two Justice Department policies: commenting on an ongoing investigation, and doing so in a manner that could affect an election. “We now have real-time, raw-take transparency taken to its illogical limit, a kind of reality TV of federal criminal investigation,” wrote Republican Jamie Gorelick, a former Justice Department official, in the Washington Post. “Perhaps worst of all, it is happening on the eve of a presidential election. It is antithetical to the interests of justice, putting a thumb on the scale of this election and damaging our democracy.”

Trump seized on

Not unexpectedly, Trump seized upon Comey’s reopening of the investigation to lambast Clinton as guilty of all sorts of sins. The campaign, which had been heavily trending towards Clinton, immediately began to trend towards Trump. States such as New Hampshire and Nevada, once considered solidly blue, are trending to Trump.

Clinton’s campaign has been putting a brave front on recent developments, saying they expected the polls to tighten during the past week, that early voting trends favor the Democratic nominee, and that the electoral map demographics are in favor of Clinton. But unless something dramatic happens during the next six days, the FBI will bear the responsibility for electing Donald Trump President of the United States.


Vote! pic:R.T.

By Steven R. Maher

While the debate performance of Donald J. Trump had clearly improved since the first two debates, Trump manifestly failed to change the trajectory of the presidential race, and reverse the historical tide flowing in favor of Hillary Clinton during the third Presidential debate. Trump needed a big win at the October 19, 2016, debate to expand his voter base. Trump didn’t get one.

The biggest winner of the night was Fox News’ Chris Wallace. Unlike the moderators overseeing the previous debates, Wallace didn’t abet Clinton. Rather than be drawn into disputing what either candidate said, Wallace went silent when he saw Trump or Clinton were determined to have their say. He adroitly pivoted to questions on new subjects without being either overbearing or unsubtle. It was a bravura performance by Wallace, one both Wallace and Fox News could take pride in.

Unanimous agreement

Both liberal and conservative pundits were in unanimous agreement on one point: Trump did enormous damage to himself by stating that he would decide after the election, whether or not to accept the legitimacy of the election results.

“I will look at it at the time,” said Trump. “I’ll keep you in suspense.”

On this, Andrew Breitbart, Brit Hume, Megyn Kelly, and Laura Ingraham of Fox News concurred with Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, and James Carville of MSNBC that this was an egregious gaffe that undermined Trump’s entire debate performance.

This showed extremely poor preparation on the part of either Trump or his handlers. Whether Trump would accept the legitimacy of the electorate’s decision had been the subject of widespread speculation before the debate. Indeed, InCity Times published prior to the debate an online article disputing Trump’s assertion that widespread voter identification fraud would result in a “rigged” election. A question on the subject was inevitable.

One pundit pointed that Trump could have avoided this controversy by stating that he, like Al Gore in 2000, would feel free to call for a recount if the margin of defeat in a swing state like Florida was infinitesimal. No one could have objected to such a response. Instead, Trump gave the response Clinton was probably praying for.

Shoring up base

Trump, as happened in the first two debates, started out strong, and made his major blunders in the last half of the debate. His objection to the horrendous procedure known as “partial birth abortion” and 2nd Amendment rights likely shored up Trump’s dissipating base of Republican religious voters and gun advocates. Clinton did the same among pro-choice voters, stressing the torment felt by women who made the extraordinarily difficult decision to have an abortion. Clinton reiterated that she was not against the 2nd Amendment, but wanted to work to stop guns from getting into the hands of mass murderers who commit atrocities, like the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando Florida.

Clinton baited Trump, calling him Vladimir Putin’s “puppet,” and making other comments clearly intended to provoke Trump into making one of his thought-purging diatribes. In this Clinton was wildly successful, as Trump repeatedly spoke angrily, evoking the image of man lacking the necessary temperament to be President. Watching the debate, this writer half expected Trump to pull off one of his shoes and begin banging the podium in a fury, a la Nikita Khrushchev at the United Nations.

Trump spoke several times without thinking, as he demonstrated once again his ingrained prejudices towards women and Hispanics. Trump’s response to a question about immigration included this aside: “We have some bad hombres here and we will have to get them out.” When Clinton criticized Trump, the Donald snarled, “Such a nasty woman.”

The optics favored Clinton. She was more assertive than at the previous debate, smiling like Ronald Reagan when Trump verbally attacked her. Someone apparently forgot to tell Trump that the broadcast would show his face while Clinton spoke. He looked like the Saturday Night Live caricature by Alex Baldwin, grumpily grimacing as Clinton spoke, repeatedly blurting out the word “Wrong.”

In recent weeks Trump in his stump speeches criticized Clinton for spending so much time preparing for this debate. Clinton spent the time well, and was much better prepared for this debate than Trump.

Clinton’s to lose

This election is now Hillary Clinton’s to lose. As it stands now, Clinton – unless there is a massive hidden Brexit-like vote for Trump – will win with long coattails, likely carrying with her into office a Democratic Senate and possibly a Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. Unless she makes a stupendous gaffe, or a WikiLeaks download reveals something enormously destructive about her, Hillary Clinton will be elected President of the United States in less than three weeks.

Hoffman on FIRST presidential debate

Vote! Our future depends on it! (Downtown Worcester mural) pic: R.T.

Hillary ran away with it!

By Jack Hoffman

Just about every pundit had some metaphor or analogous characterization of the (presidential) race to the finish line. Mine is very simple: If you have ever seen a horse race, the flower garland prize for the race in this case goes to Hill … . A five-furlong horse
usually starts in the starting gate and barely goes from the starting gate to the finish.

But a horse that has the “stamina” can go the distance, usually a mile or more and can wipe out that five furlong sprinter. That’s exactly what happened at the first Hillary-Trump presidential debate.

I remember in my Worcester Academy debating class 101 – we participated in several debates. We were usually graded on several things. Most important – our preparation. Donald flunked the course!
I got very nervous in the first 20 or more minutes of this race to the finish line. As we got going Donald seemed not to adhere to his advisors’ advice to lay off the name calling and act presidential. But it some how leaked out that he was absent from the set ups, where with one of his advisors pretending to act out Hillary and what she might say to him during the debate.

At the 1/2 mile post Hillary pounced on Trump. First, it was one of his many lies. Too numerous to mention here, but she wanted to start getting under that thin skin of his. So she hit him in the gut about his inheritance lie.

He did, in fact, get more than $14 million from his father. He never talks about the loan his father gave him for his casinos in New Jersey. That was before Donald actually stiffed his own father on the loan package when it went belly up. Donald’s father was already dead – “a stiff “! – when Donald stiffed so many. That’s not counting the $3.5 million buy his father made in chips to help the failing casino. Undoubtedly daddy Trump Fred was just trying to recoup some of his original loan money.

I wonder if some of Trump’s advisors told him it would be a split screen tv debate and he should keep his arrogant smiles, belying looks and more to himself? But most of all his constant interruptions. Now that was class?

Then came his taxes that he has lied about, and when Hillary raised the issue that he probably paid zero in taxes, just as he did in the latter 1970s, he responded,  “That was just being smart.”

Followed by his woman comments about fat, ugly and more.

He said: That was directed at Rosie O’Donnel.

Rosie called him “an orange asshole.”

Imagine Donny at a conference table discussing NATO with all its members?!!
Donny breaks away from the substantive issues that he doesn’t  understand and looks at Angie Merkel (Prime Minister of Germany) and comments on her weight.

Lisa Machado, who was a Miss Universe contestant at one of Donald’s beauty pageants, commented on what the Don said at the end of the event. He said to Lisa: “You looked like a fat pig” “and you better get a job as a hotel housekeeper.”

She is a native Mexican and a naturalized citizen of the U.S.

Maybe Donald couldn’t screw
her like he did so many…

I spent most of the day asking all kinds of people what they thought of the debate.

One volunteer said she doesn’t know how any self respecting woman could ever vote for him. I responded there are plenty of women out there who are truly subordinate to their husbands and their opinions, especially re: voting.

In this day and age that’s sad. I remember election days past in Worcester when I was growing up: My mother was handed a piece of paper with the names of all the Republican candidates on it that she was supposed to vote for. Ma couldn’t wait to get into her car and rip up that slip of paper on the way to the voting booth! She was a true woman – liberated long before it was fashionable.

Now I didn’t watch Fox, but I heard they were not that positiveabout the Donald. Probably Roger Ailes’ departure has changed Fox around the edges.

Interestingly, Ailes couldn’t get laid either!

He is now an aide to Donald.

I guess the birds all fly together…

I’m begging to hear from you Trump supporters! I dare you!

Trump represents 4 million dead voters as evidence of voter fraud: Pew Trust said voter fraud wasn’t involved

By Steven R. Maher

Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump is misrepresenting a study by the Pew Charitable Trust that there were 4 million voters on American voting lists as proof that the electoral process is rigged.

Trump made the statement on October 17, 2016. “Of course there is large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day,” tweeted Trump. “Why do Republican leaders deny what is going on? So naïve!”

In 2012 the Pew Trust said that there were four million dead voters on the polling lists. The Associated Press investigated the allegation and published facts that Trump’s linking the study to voter fraud was false.

“The 2012 study found that approximately 24 million – or one of every eight – voter registrations were no longer valid or significantly inaccurate,” reported the AP. “It also found that more than 1.8 million dead people were listed as voters and that approximately 2.75 million people were registered in more than one state. But the report cited no evidence that those errors had contributed to any significant voter fraud. Instead, it pointed to estimates that at least 51 million U.S. citizens are eligible but not registered to vote.”

The AP also reported that Trump misrepresented another report.

“Trump also cited a controversial 2014 op-ed in The Washington Post by a group of professors at Old Dominion University promoting their research concluding that “enough” non-citizens have voted in recent elections that their participation could plausibly change the outcome of close elections,” continued the AP report. “Among their claims: Because non-citizens tend to favor Democrats, their votes could have been responsible for President Barack Obama’s There is no evidence the latter is the case – and the article spawned so much backlash over its methods and conclusions that the authors were prompted to issue a follow-up defense.

“Most experts say voter fraud is extremely rare in the U.S., with one study by a Loyola Law School professor finding just 31 known cases of impersonation fraud out of 1 billion votes cast in U.S. elections between 2000 and 2014.”

The dick problem

Rose, a few days ago…

By Rosalie Tirella

I’ve hesitated to write about all the politicians up for election (locally and nationally) who’ve been accused of sexually assaulting women. Groping them, coming out of nowhere and touching their vaginas, attempts at strangulation, posting photos of genitalia on State House computer screens.

Has there ever been a sicker crop of political candidates? Yes! Of course there has been! But today we’ve got the Internet, social media, smart phone cameras that also video- and audio-record …these technological marvels can catch, record for posterity and disseminate every punch, every push, every cry…every sick pic.

This behavior is sick – but it happens ALL THE TIME. By angry powerless men AND happy, powerful, rich, connected, politically ambitious men. Many love their wives. Bill Clinton, Donald Trump; and closer to home with allegations of assault, sexual creepiness: State rep candidates Moses Dixon, John Fresolo…Democrats, Republicans, and every political party in between, the pervs are everywhere. Make no mistake: their behavior IS criminal.

I can also write about this issue, like all women, from a personal perspective: having bad experiences with men who thought nothing of hurting me – they felt they were just being “guys.” Taking advantage of their God-given right – after all, I’m just a girl. Like all the girls. Like all the girls that all the creeps treat like shit because they feel ENTITLED. Because they are desensitized.

Former  U.S. Prez Bill Clinton, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary’s hubby, was a big pig – probably as big a pig, if not bigger! – than the guy vying to be prez today – Donald Trump. The women, all disgusted and feeling violated, have spoken. We know all the Bill trauma, let’s focus on this presidential election!: Trump has gone up to female strangers and kissed them, touched their vaginas, pressed for sex, pressed for affairs – private parts, private feelings, a woman’s body/soul – her personal space, physical special stuff!

Years ago, when I lived in the ol’ hippie commune I mentioned a few columns ago (a very good experience over all!) I had a guy at the farm-commune come up from behind me and touch my pussy just like Donald Trump did to his victim! It’s 30 years later and I still remember and think about the incident – it still UPSETS AND ANGERS ME. I was in our big walk-in refrigerator in the farm house putting eggs in cartons, I think. I was all alone, bending over – maybe the refrigerator door was ajar. Well, from out of nowhere Randy comes from behind and just tickles my pussy, from behind – through my blue jeans. I jerked up, startled. Creeped out. He just smiled and left the refrigerator. I never told anyone at the farm. Randy was a respected farm hand, a nice guy according to everyone, well liked by all. Where was I, a 19 year old girl, to go with this? My feelings? I kept the encounter to myself – and kept away from Randy the entire time I lived on the commune.

Trump thinks casual pussy touching is ok: he says it is mere LOCKER ROOM shenanigans – joking around! A boy bein’ a boy! Like towel snappin’! Being free.

Wrong, Donald! Listen to all the women who have been creeped out by your behavior over the decades! LISTEN to them.

Yet tons and tons of men DO shit like this all the time and don’t get that it’s wrong, criminal.  They pooh pooh the behavior. Parents/families, school, sports teams, churches, society have all validated this behavior; it’s the guys’ privilege, their prerogative – just funnin’. Even flirtin’.  After all, they’re so cute, handsome, funny, smart, rich …

Or … they’re so sad, lonely, needy … You fill in your own adjective. Excuses for hurting and shaming women must not be tolerated. Men must be re-educated!

FOR HIS LOCKER ROOM STATEMENT ALONE DONALD TRUMP SHOULD NOT BE VOTED PRESIDENT IN 2016. America needs to be in 2016: AWARE. SENSITIVE. EQUALITY LOVING. These times do not call for Trump. They never did.

Now to state rep candidate Moses Dixon: We were gonna endorse Dixon, but I tend to believe what his girlfriend at the time said about him: He hit her and tried to choke her; she feared him; she feared for her safety; she got herself a lawyer. We women do not do all this stuff – painful, so painful going public with such intimate chaos/hurt – to make things up, to play games with guys.

I think Moses’s Republican opponent is pointless, that Dixon would serve the district in better and smarter fashion than she has, a lightweight of an incumbent if ever there was one. The district NEEDS a strong progressive Democrat! But I CANNOT AND WILL NOT ENDORSE AN ABUSER. Even a politically progressive one. And what does “progressive” mean, if your personal life is so “regressive”?

Once again state rep candidate John Fresolo: an excellent, effective former state rep who really got and advocated for my district: the Kelley Square grime, crime and shootings scene. The Union Hill drug houses, inner-city poverty, job losses, kids struggling to find their futures, old people afraid to live in their houses with all the crime swirling around their homes, their old haunts. And Fresolo delivered the bacon, the goods for the district! For years! He was well liked, considered to be hard working, a true and loyal friend. Heck! His mom lived on Jefferson Street – 7 minutes away from me. Fresolo came up the real Worcester blue collar nitty gritty way, and he represented a district that reflected his roots!

But then out came his genitalia!!!…photos of which were posted, I am praying, accidentally, on every computer in every nook and cranny of our beloved, gold domed, stately State House. Always the claims about Fresolo’s treatment of women dogging Fresolo. Not good. Then finally this, on a personal note, which makes me not wanna endorse him: About a year ago he and I were gonna go out for coffee, maybe a mini-date breakfast kinda thing. I was lookin’, maybe he was, too. Well, within a few hours of making the breakfast date, John was asking me to text him naked pictures of myself!!!! God! It was all so fast – and weird …and gross. I declined – and then canceled our breakfast.

Clearly, Fresolo has issues with women – issues that can – and have –  imploded his political career.  Too bad – I still think, if elected, he’d do better for the district than incumbent Dan Donahue, a pleasant guy who may just be too sweet and entitled to really get passionate about our issues. And we have all the big city ones right here, folks! A true challenge – that Fresolo would have been up to.

When does the personal become the political?

For me, it’s when the dicks abuse dick power.