Saturday, October 29, 2016

Trump Voter Caught Voting Twice

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 site 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.
“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 investigative report just 11 days before election day.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Robert Weller AP Journalism Career

I joined AP in Spokane, Wash., in 1973 after a stint with AP in Helena, Mont., where I had covered the nation's first two skyjackings, including the infamous D.B. Cooper.
The Seattle bureau quickly brought me over. Not to exaggerate, they needed an overnight editor.
After a year or so in Seattle, which included trips to cover the start-up of the trans-Alaska Pipeline, I was transferred to the General Desk in New York.
I learned a considerable amount from the veterans there, and supervised with the assistance of the foreign desk the fall of Saigon.
I went back to Anchorage as bureau chief in 1976, once again covering the pipeline and the panorama of Alaska. That included a Korean Airliner shot down by the Russians during the Cold War and a trip with Eskimos in a whale boat.
The late Foreign Editor Nate Polowetsky needed to expand coverage of apartheid in South Africa and moved me to Johannesburg. That began a 14-year tour of African countries as well as coverage of the assassination of Indira Gandhi.
While in South Africa I covered the civil war in nearby Rhodesia.
It also enabled me to cover wildlife, civil wars and coups,  the environment, Bushmen, entertainment and much more across the continent.
I was transferred to Nairobi in East Africa and Abidjan in West Africa.
AIDS was a story that was getting more and more coverage. It took African nations longer to recognize its danger than the developed world.
At one I was sent a primate center in Gabon studying the disease. Due to a mistake by a gorilla handler, a 400-pound lowland gorilla was released right in front of me and knocked me down. There were no serious injuries.
I met many leaders, including Moammar Gadaffi, and later covered the sabotage of a French airliner by one of his agents in the Sahara Desert. I chartered a plane with other reports to see the wreckage of the DC-10 and bodies of 170 victims.
In 1993, I was transferred to then-Grand Junction bureau covering western Colorado and four years later to Denver, where I worked until 2008.
There was a wide variety of stories to cover, including skiing, tourism and characters like John Denver and Hunter S. Thompson. The fear that the turn of the century created a fear that nuclear weapons might be launched by accident. All the superpowers made sure Y2K passed without notice. I also covered rapes at the Air Force Academy, wildfires, JonBenet Ramsey and the Columbine Massacre. I followed the latter for a decade and was close to survivors and families of victims.
Anyone with an interest in these stories and other stories can look at my website,

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trump May Elect More Women But Not for Him

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


Friday, October 21, 2016

Thank God for Donald Trump

The media, both television and online newspapers, have focused almost entirely on Donald Trump having a base of support among people who have suffered during the recession that came at the end of the second term of President George W. Bush.
Many of those who support Trump may be people unhappy with Supreme Court decisions making same sex marriage legal, giving gay people equal rights, guaranteeing that women retain the right to abortions and even legalizing marijuana.
These decisions are strongly supported by evangelical and other conservative churches. The problem is people are leaving these churches in droves, according to “The End of White Christian America” by Robert P. Jones.
Changing demographics, lowering the white majority, also is contributing to churches losing members.
“After a long life spanning nearly two hundred and forty years, White Christian America— a prominent cultural force in the nation’s history— has died. WCA first began to exhibit troubling symptoms in the 1960s when white mainline Protestant denominations began to shrink, but showed signs of rallying with the rise of the Christian Right in the 1980s. Following the 2004 presidential election, however, it became clear that WCA’s powers were failing. Although examiners have not been able to pinpoint the exact time of death, the best evidence suggests that WCA finally succumbed in the latter part of the first decade of the twenty-first century. The cause of death was determined to be a combination of environmental and internal factors— complications stemming from major demographic changes in the country, along with religious disaffiliation as many of its younger members began to doubt WCA’s continued relevance in a shifting cultural environment,” the book says.
It adds, “The American religious landscape is being remade, most notably by the decline of the white Protestant majority and the rise of the religiously unaffiliated. These religious transformations have been swift and dramatic, occurring largely within the last four decades. Many white Americans have sensed these changes taking place all around them, and there has been some media coverage of the demographic piece of the puzzle. But while the country’s shifting racial dynamics alone are certainly a source of apprehension for many white Americans, it is the disappearance of White Christian America that is driving their strong, sometimes apocalyptic reactions. Falling numbers and the marginalization of a once dominant racial and religious identity— one that has been central not just to white Christians themselves but to the national mythos— threatens white Christians’ understanding of America itself.”
The appearance of Trump has given conservative Christian Americans a way to express their displeasure, other than shouting at the televisions.
This year Gallup Polls for the first time found 50 percent of Americans approve of abortion rights. For four years same-sex marriage has been approved by a majority.
Homosexual rights were first approved by a majority in 1999.
Although a majority has approved of medical marijuana for a decade, this year a majority approve of legalizing recreational marijuana.
This election is likely the last chance of conservatives to stop the country moving to make these rights part of our culture.
And it will be remarkable, based on current polls, if Trump is not defeated, possibly in a landslide.
The anti-marijuana laws are in an even tougher spot because state after state has legalized it. The Supreme Court cannot be blamed.
There is growing support for dealing with climate change, as well.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

American Election Faces Biggest Threat Since Civil War

Not since the Civil War has a major party refused to accept the results of a presidential election.
Donald Trump did just that in the final debate, and Thursday he added ammunition to that threat. He claimed the debate was rigged.
And like the Confederate states he made clear he was opposed to the election of Hillary Clinton and would never accept it. The Confederate states did at least wait until after the vote, though they announced their plan before Abraham Lincoln took office.
About this time the Republican party must be wondering if it could do an episode of the new show Timeless in which the characters would go back in time and eliminate Trump, which would theoretically violate the time machine’s charter but also seems to happen.
Many Republicans rejected Trump, mostly the usual suspects.
“The biggest loser tonight was not Trump, the presidential race is over,” said Robert Blizzard, a GOP pollster who is working on a number of congressional races. “Instead, down-ticket Republicans lost tonight — they needed some help and got absolutely none.”
And as in the Civil War, Trump had his foreign supporters. Hillary Clinton accused him of being a tool of Russia’s Putin.
Lenin once referred to politicians of foreign countries who supported the Russian Revolution as “useful idiots.”
Trump had his supporters Thursday morning, proving he was right, to a certain extent, that he could shoot someone on 5th Ave. and get way with it.
The New York Times, in an editorial, said, Mr. “Trump’s meltdown in the closing weeks could be dismissed as a sore loser’s bizarre attempt at rationalizing his likely defeat. But his trashing of the democratic process, in service of his own ego, risks lasting damage to the country, and politicians of both parties should recoil from him and his cynical example.”
The insults and false statements that preceded his potential treason meant that once again polls show Trump lost.
His rollout of Trump TV on Facebook raises the question of whether the nation needs two Fox networks. Ironically, a Fox employee, served as the moderator, the night Trump imploded.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Branding Takes Over Polling

This weekend we saw several examples of how news and polling groups focus on their own polls and ignore the work of others.
Nate Silver of the 538 website can explain all the insider information on how polls work.
But a far simpler question is why would a an ABC News-Washington Post would report a poll that shows Clinton’s lead is only four percent. And in that same story the writers lead with Clinton’s 47-43 lead in a four-person race. It only mentioned later that in a two-person race she had 50 percent support.
Real Clear Politics, which averages polls it considers legitimate, had Clinton leading at 5.5.  But the Post-ABC poll ignored this.
Journalists are notorious for wanting attention focused on their work and not the stories of others but this undercuts their reliability.
The Huffington Post, whose own poll showed Clinton leading by 7.5, published the polls of others.
The other polls are readily available on the web. Readers should be aware that just because one site says it has a new poll doesn’t mean there are not other polls out there.
Nate Silver of 538 reports: “Hillary Clinton has a significant lead, although there’s some question about the margin. For instance, one major national poll released on Sunday morning, from ABC News and the Washington Post, had Clinton ahead by 4 percentage points. Another, from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, had Clinton up 11 points instead. Our forecast model falls in the middle and shows Clinton with a 6- or 7-point lead. That translates to an 86 percent chance for her to win the election according to our polls-only model, and an83 percent chance per our polls-plus model.”
Whatever is going to happen, Trump has pivoted to a campaign that claims the voting is rigged. He and his vice presidential candidate, Mike Pence, do not agree to be on the same page. There is wild talk of a revolution and sending monitors to polling places.
The liberal Daily Kos wrote: “Thank you, Donald Trump. For what? For a number of things. First and foremost, for finally and completely exposing today’s Republican Party—its highest-ranking leaders, its elected officials all over our country, and, yes, the broad mass of its voters. For all the vile things Republicans have said and done for years now,you broke the dam. You made exactly clear what Republicanism really stands for. Hell, these past 10 days you smashed through the dam like the very animal your party has chosen as its symbol.”