Op-ed: While the media was chasing its tail on a British-tabloid inspired Clinton email story the regular police were at work. They caught a Trump supporter voting twice in Des Moines, Iowa.
Overnight Friday many media sites backed off the new Hillary Clinton email story, but any harm may have already been done.
“This is the sentence, published in September by the Daily Mail, that led to Hillary Clinton's new FBI woes: "Anthony Weiner carried on a months-long online sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl during which she claims he asked her to dress up in 'school-girl' outfits for him on a video messaging application and pressed her to engage in 'rape fantasies.'"
“By the time of that report, Weiner's sexting relapse had been exposed weeks earlier by the New York Post, which published messages that the former New York congressman exchanged with a "40-something divorcee." The New York Post story prompted Weiner's wife, top Clinton aide Huma Abedin, to announce she was leaving her husband, but it did not suggest criminal behavior.”
… “Thus we have Friday's news that the FBI is renewing its inquiry into Clinton's use of a private email server. All because of story in a British tabloid,” the Washington Post reported.
Meanwhile, egged on by Donald Trump’s claims of vote rigging, a woman was caught voting twice in Des Moines. The FBI was nowhere in sight but the local police arrested her.
Peacock Panache reported: “According to law enforcement, 55-year old Terri Lynn Rote is being charged with first-degree election misconduct charge (a felony) for casting two votes at different Poke County early voting locations.
“Rote is a professed Trump supporter and told reporters during the primaries she planned to support Donald Trump. Moreover, her Facebook page not only shows support for the Trump-Pence ticket but also features a host of easily debunked anti-Clinton conspiracy theories.
“The Des Moines Register offered details on the arrest:
“Rote, a registered Republican, reportedly cast an early voting ballot at the Polk County Election Office, 120 Second Ave., and another ballot at a county satellite voting location in Des Moines, according to a Des Moines police report.
“It’s the first time in 12 years that Polk County Auditor Jamie Fitzgerald can remember ever having to report potential voter fraud, he said Thursday morning.
“I think it shows that our voting system works in Iowa, that we’re able to catch it,” Fitzgerald told press.
The 538 election statistics web site predicted the sketchy October surprise could cost Clinton one point in the polls. Many people have already made up their minds, and many have actually voted early.
The FBI was under intense pressure from both parties to explain why it released an incomplete investigtaive report.
Op-ed: Not only is Donald Trump behind in polls with about two weeks to go, pundits believe his remarks about nasty women will elect more of them than ever before.
“The irony is that Donald Trump may result in Democratic women having their best year ever.
In the final two weeks of the 2016 contest, Democrats are casting the GOP nominee’s insult-driven, misogynistic campaign as the embodiment of everything they say the Republican Party gets wrong on women. And their effort looks poised to deliver record-setting results,” Politico reports.
“It’s not just Hillary Clinton, who would of course be the first female president if she defeats him, or Nancy Pelosi, who has a slim chance of reclaiming the speaker’s gavel if enough Republican seats get sunk by Trump. In many of their most competitive races, Democrats are poised to win House and Senate seats that could easily bring the number of women to new levels in both chambers, along with potentially two female governors winning their first elections.”
For three weekends in a row, after he bragged about being such a big star he could grab any woman’s private parts, Trump has been the target of hilarious skits on Saturday Night Live that have gotten some record ratings.
The election website 538 predicts Trump’s foul tongue will depress the turnout of Republicans.
“The nightmare scenario for the GOP is that high-information Republican voters, seeing Trump imploding and not necessarily having been happy with him as their nominee in the first place, feel free to cast a protest vote at the top of the ticket. Meanwhile, lower information Repubican voters don’t turn out at all, given that Trump’s rigging rhetoric could suppress their vote and that Republicans don’t have the field operation to pull them back in,” said 538.
The New York Times has published a list of Trump insults.
Last weekend a Saturday Night Live skit, hosted by the popular Tom Hanks, drew laughs by saying Trump had won the national election insult “Bingo.”
The latest polls have Hillary Clinton with a lead of at least five percent, some put her in double digits.
To win she needs 270 votes in the electoral collect.
Many believe she will top 330 votes.
New York Times
Op-ed: When Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton the devil and threatened to jail her it was not the first time I had heard such talk, though not in recent years and in America.
It reminded me of political contests in the Third World, and often the incumbent made good threats to jail opponents.
Sometimes they were never seen again.
This was over the top even for a potty mouth. We don’t threaten opponents on debate stages.
"If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your (missing email) situation," Trump said, "because there has never been so many lies, so much deception."
Trump's threat -- which he has made before on the campaign trail -- is extraordinary even by the standard of the vitriolic 2016 campaign.
Clinton responded first by calling Trump's comments about her emails false, then said, "It's just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country."
Trump, as if continuing her sentence, added: "Because you'd be in jail."
It was very Nixonian, said former Attorney General Eric Holder, a Democrat. He recalled Nixon’s attorney general quit when ordered to fire the Watergate special prosecutor.
But Republicans were shocked as well.
“Former White House said, "Winning candidates don't threaten to put opponents in jail," he tweeted. "Presidents don't threaten prosecution of individuals. Trump is wrong on this."
There was a certain irony as Trump stalked Hillary on the stage, to use the verb chosen by several pundits, to talk about jailing her.
He is the one facing trial three weeks after the election for running a phoney university. And he will face trial in more than one state for ripping off students. Trump’s Foundation has been ordered to cease and desist taking donations because it is not registered.
In our living room, and many others from what I heard on several stations, people wondered why the taller Trump kept creeping up behind Clinton when it was her turn to speak. It seemed like something from a Frankenstein movie.
In the past such bizarre behavior has worked for Trump. Appparently not Sunday night.
Nearly as scary as the jail threat was his total lack of knowledge of Russia’s role in Syria. It reminded some viewers of Libertarian Gary Johnson’s comment “What is Aleppo.”
The two polls taken right after the event showed Hillary the winner.
Before the debate many Republicans had abandoned him, others said they would look for a strong performance to get him back in the race as his poll numbers tumble.
Op-ed: Donald Trump has shown that he is an apprentice human being.
He has a lot to learn, and not enough time. Voting is a month away, and unless the Russians really have some cyber way of disrupting them Trump will be history.
Friday night was full of vicious attacks on him by senior leaders of his own party. He was disinvited from a meeting with major Republicans in Wisconsin.
“Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus, who has emerged as a trusted Trump ally and adviser, scolded in scorching terms: "No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Politico said.
For those who watched Trump attack everyone from women, to Mexicans, to vets, and victims of PTSD while praising Russian leader Vladimir Putin it was hard to imagine what he could have done that would surprise his critics.
To keep it brief, he said stars like him could sexually assault women any time they wanted.
Unlike previous insults, or the Bill Cosby case, this time there was an audio tape. Hearing the words come from Trump’s mouth was almost incendiary.
Trump didn’t deny it but said it was just “locker room talk.”
That kind of talk may have been acceptable 30 years ago but not now.
Even before Friday’s news Trump was going down in the polls because of leaks about him not paying taxes and a wide variety of earlier insults.
As usual Trump sought to paint his non-payment of taxes as genius, when in fact it was one of his accountants who did the work and he understood none of it.
Although there was talk in Republican circles of dumping there was no indication it would go farther than other such efforts had.
Trump is to debate Hillary Clinton on Sunday night, and most pundits thought he would have to issue some kind of formal apology for his anti-women statements. It would be an understatement to say he has been reluctant to apologize for any behavior.
Turns out his idea of sincere apology was to say: “This is nothing more than a distraction from the important issues we're facing today.”
Most political experts said Trump’s only chance of rising in the polls would be to score a big victory. Clinton, who has far more debate experience, was judged to have scored a major victory in the first debate.
OpEd: In early August the web site 538 predicted Hillary Clinton might be able to build a 7 percent lead over Donald Trump. She is near that now, and has the lead in six of six swing states.
She moved slightly ahead in Ohio this week for the first time, and Trump even lost his lead in Iowa, according to 538.
She already had claimed leads in Florida, Nevada and North Carolina and Pennsylvania.
Barring an upset in the final debate on Sunday, it may not be possible for Trump to catch up.
Meanwhile, alleged lies keep hurting Trump.
When the New York Times reported that he had lost nearly a billion dollars and used a loophole to avoid taxes, Trump tried to promote himself as a “genius.”
Just as occurred with his claim that he wrote “The Art of the Deal,” it was widely reported that Trump had nothing to do with the preparation of his taxes.
Trump had said: “As a businessman and real estate developer, I have legally used the tax laws to my benefit and to the benefit of my company, my investors and my employees,” he said. “I mean, honestly, I have brilliantly — I have brilliantly used those laws. I have often said on the campaign trail that I have a fiduciary responsibility to pay no more tax than is legally required, like anybody else, or put another way: to pay as little tax as legally possible,” Politico reported.
Trump’s accountant virtually called him a liar.
“I did all the tax preparation. He never saw the product until it was presented to him for signature,” Jack Mitnick, a former Trump family accountant, told Inside Edition’s Steven Fabian in an interview broadcast Tuesday.
Tony Schwartz, who says he was the real author of “The Deal,” said this week that he would give away $55,000 in royalties he had made on the book because he was so ashamed it helped Trump’s candidacy.
“I feel a deep sense of remorse that I contributed to presenting Trump in a way that brought him wider attention and made him more appealing than he is.” In particular, Schwartz has said he fears Trump would be mercurial and easily distracted as president and that he believes Trump has demonized Hispanic immigrants and Muslims for political gain,” the Washington Post reported.
Op-ed: Donald Trump, who never saw a shot fired in anger, now thinks he knows more about PTSD than generals.
He scorned its victims in a speech in Herndon, Va., on Monday.
Trump said: "When you talk about the mental health problems — when people come back from war and combat, and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over, and you're strong and you can handle it. But a lot of people can't handle it," he said.
Many hoped Trump had been misunderstood or taken out of context, such as David Maulsby, the executive director of the Texas-based PTSD Foundation of America. He told Associated Press first news accounts were largely correct.
"At the very least, it's a very poor choice of words. PTSD is basically a rewiring of the brain as the result of trauma or prolonged trauma. That is not a reflection of a person's strength, character, stamina — any of that," Maulsby said.
"Our veterans who are struggling with post-traumatic stress as a result of their combat need to be encouraged to seek help, and not be told they are weak or deficient in character in any way, shape or form," he said.
But the criticism Trump has received doesn’t even come close to what he deserves.
As someone who suffered PTSD and had to go on Social Security Disability I can tell you it hits reporters, like me, police officers, firefighters and other first responders. And of course the victims of massacres and other violent incidents like Columbine High School, which I covered.
It was not my first such story.
Using Trump’s standards I guess I am one of the strong because I did not commit suicide. I became a walking test tube for anti-depressants and other drugs and my family’s finances were destroyed.
The irony was I was covering PTSD for Associated Press, among the first reporters to study its effect, in this century, though it had been studied before. The U.S. Army knew of the effects of repeatedly exposing troops to violence during World War 2 and knew it could lead to soldiers becoming psychotic.
Officers were told to watch for soldiers near “their breaking points.”
And yet in this century, more than 60 years later, reports of PTSD initially were greeted by officers calling victims “malingerers.” I saw this first hand at Fort Carson in Colorado and heard about its in dozens of interviews.
Trump is the last person to judge these people. Even flying in a helicopter frequently could cause PTSD, without ever deploying in a combat zone.
The late British war historian, Sir John Keegan, wrote in “The Face of Battle” that war was making itself useless because humans had evolved beyond it.
British historian John Keegan, in “The Face of Battle,” writes that evolution has made “the fitness of modern man to sustain the stress of battle increasingly doubtful.”
There is no doubt some warriors can handle the stress, Keegan wrote.
But doctors now know that “psychiatric casualties at every stage of the war formed a significant percentage of all battle casualties...”
Op-ed: As is often the case, answers about Donald Trump’s conduct raise more questions than they answer.
Virtually everyone knows Trump didn’t pay any taxes for 18 years because of nearly $1 billion investment losses. Some think this is genius. Some think he is robbing the country by not paying his share.
But did he even suffer these losses?
An accountant, Allan Sloan, who wrote a column for the Washington Post is accusing Trump of exaggerating his loses.
Sloan wrote the claim loss “vastly exceeds any cash losses that Trump would have suffered in the collapse of his casino-hotel-airline empire, which fell apart in the early 1990s and resulted in four bankruptcies.”
He wrote these losses were not real money, but paper, a mirage. There have been many reports in creditable news companies that Trump did not pay many of his bills. He has even admitted it, saying the people involved didn’t do a good job. It is hard to imagine how the vendor that sold him $100,000 in pianos did a bad job.
“They’re almost certainly paper losses rather than out-of-pocket losses. It’s possible that those losses somehow vanished into the ether from which they came — we have no way to tell,” Sloan wrote.
In other words, he avoided taxes claiming he had lost money he never spent.
Sloan wrote: “The major takeaway from the three pages of Trump’s 1995 returns that the Times made public is that Trump is right when he says the system is rigged. What he doesn’t say is that it’s rigged in his favor and in the favor of people like him — and against regular people, those of us who earn money, pay income tax on it, and financially support the country in which we live.”
“There’s a real question … as to whether these losses are economic -- through spectacular failures of Mr. Trump’s business, tax avoidance, perhaps lawful, or maybe something much worse,” said Steven Rosenthal, senior fellow at the Tax Policy Center.
“It’s possible some of the money Trump lost wasn’t even his."
“If he borrowed from a bank, it’s their money that disappeared… It’s almost inconceivable that he’s actually out of pocket $900 million dollars,” Howard Abrams, a professor at the University of San Diego Law School. “In essence, he’s deducting their losses.”
Many analysts said Trump broke his obligations to investors by using the tax laws to benefit himself personally at their expense.
A week of attacks on women, the tax reports, close ties with the Russian government, illegal visits to Cuba and other events have stopped his surge in the polls and Hillary Clinton is moving up.
Monday morning the state of New York suspended the certification of Trump’s foundation, which means it cannot collect donations, according to MSNBC. Meanwhile, the media has spent months focusing on the Clinton Foundation without finding a single misstep.
Trump already is facing trials on alleged fraud at Trump University.
2016 US election news and other news from the USA
Worked in journalism, including on the Internet, for more than 40 years. Started as a news editor at the Colorado Daily at the University of Colorado, joined a small Montana newspaper, the Helena Independent-Record, and then United Press International.
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