Unindicted, Clinton accepts Democratic nomination

 PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — The Democratic Party comes out of this convention deeply divided, with a nominee who, 56 percent of Americans believe, should have been indicted.

Tonight, Clinton was heckled repeatedly. Her supporters responded to the hecklers, outchanting them with “Hill-a-ree.” At times, some of us in the press area in the convention hall had difficulty hearing Clinton. Other major speakers were heckled this week, including Elizabeth Warren with chants of “We trusted you,” Leon Panetta and General John Allen with chants of “No more war,” and Bernie Sanders (at a pep rally outside the convention hall) with boos and jeers when he called on supporters to back the winning ticket.

This week, some of the protesters in Philadelphia took up the chant heard at last week’s Republican convention: “Lock her up!”

The anger of the Sanders people is entirely understandable, given that, as e-mails revealed this week, Democratic Party leaders cheated in order to deny their candidate the nomination, and discussed using religious bigotry to defeat him. Sanders, who got 46 percent of the delegates chosen in the primaries and caucuses, has reportedly decided to remain an independent rather than join the party.

Only a four-mile-long wall of eight-foot-high “no-scale” fence, keeping protesters far from delegates and most of the news media, created an illusion of peace in Philadelphia. (For some of the reality, see https://twitter.com/mikedogli/status/758578450760204288/video/1 .)  Armed guards enforced the rules, to make sure people went only where they were welcome. Photo ID was required, of course. Because, unlike security at the border or at the polls, security at a Democratic convention is something Democrats actually want.

Quoting the inaugural address of Franklin Roosevelt, Clinton in her pedestrian acceptance speech declared, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” People in Orlando, Dallas, and Baton Rouge—not to mention Istanbul, Nice, and Munich—might differ with that sentiment, as might the law enforcement personnel who have kept convention-goers safe.

The tense convention came as polls show Donald Trump pulling even with, or ahead of, Hillary Clinton.

So panicked have the Democrats become that, Wednesday, they and their media allies stooped to bizarre Continue reading →

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Trump, traitor (and the truth comes limping after)

Falsehood flies, and truth comes limping after it, so that when men come to be undeceived, it is too late; the jest is over, and the tale hath had its effect . . .  
– Jonathan Swift

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — How has Hillary Clinton survived in politics, and risen to her current position of trust, despite the fact that most people have an accurate impression of her character? Because the Clintons have an army of sycophants, ready to lie for their cause at a moment’s notice, and to smear anyone who dares criticize or otherwise challenge them.

Today, they started calling Donald Trump unpatriotic, disloyal to his country, practically a traitor.

To justify their characterization, they twisted his words from a press conference that he held today in Doral, Florida.

As is known to most people who follow the news, intelligence analysts believe that the Russians probably hacked into the server to which Hillary Clinton, when she was secretary of state, diverted stolen e-mails. That means the Russians probably have copies of at least some of the e-mails that Clinton destroyed.

Clinton has admitted to diverting some 66,000 e-mails, of which she returned roughly half. She claimed that the other half related to private matters such as yoga classes and plans for her daughter’s wedding. She claimed that her lawyers—who, importantly, lacked the proper security clearances to handle such material—reviewed the e-mails to determine which ones were personal and which were work-related.

Clinton claimed that the supposedly personal e-mails were deleted. It is those e-mails to which Trump referred at the press conference today.

Trump, half-jokingly, called on the Russians to turn over those copies. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said. He added sarcastically: “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

Trump said that he hoped Continue reading →

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Honors at Dem convention for attempted cop killer, attempted gay basher

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — Last night, the Democratic National Convention paid tribute to a would-be cop killer and a would-be gay basher.

Lezley (Leslie) McSpadden, mother of would-be cop killer Michael Brown, appeared on the stage of the convention, along with other women whose children were shot to death, died during encounters with law enforcement, or both.

She was honored as a surrogate for Brown and as someone who, because of her son’s death, became a leader in the “Mothers of the Movement” group. That group promotes the false narrative that there is an epidemic of police officers shooting and killing African-Americans based on racism. This effort is informally a part of the “Black Lives Matter” anti-police campaign, which has inspired at least three sets of assassinations in New York City, Dallas, and Baton Rouge, killing a total of 10 officers. (Yesterday in Philadelphia, BLM protesters, preparing for an event, were directed via loudspeaker, “black people to the front, white people to the back.”)

When McSpadden and other “Mothers of the Movement” were introduced, chants of “Black lives matter!” rose from the crowd.

Also honored as a surrogate for her son and appearing on stage: Sybrina Fulton, mother of Continue reading →

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Philadelphia freak-out

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA —They’re freaking out.

There is an air of panic in Philadelphia, as Donald Trump, in national polls, has pulled even with, or ahead of, Hillary Clinton. You could see utter dismay on the faces of Democratic Party operatives yesterday when Bernie Sanders, rallying the troops, called for his people to support the ticket of Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine, and they booed and jeered, and many of them gave the idea a literal thumbs-down. You could hear it in the tone of Elizabeth Warren’s speech, full of smears, in which Warren, who got rich and famous by pretending to be an American Indian, called Trump a racist.

The major news media spent last week attacking Trump’s claims of competence by painting the Republican convention as a mess. (Interestingly, as the WikiLeaks e-mails reveal, the “campaign is a mess” trope is one that the Democratic National Committee wanted to spread about Bernie Sanders.) Melania Trump’s “plagiarism,” roughly 23 words, apparently lifted accidentally from a Michelle Obama speech, dominated coverage of her speech. The fact that the Trump campaign allowed Ted Cruz to speak in primetime without an assurance of a Trump endorsement was presented as a historic blunder, rather than as a sign of political smarts—of magnanimity, or of allowing the NeverTrumpers to blow off steam, or of handing Cruz the rope with which he would hang himself.

Trump’s acceptance speech, we were told by the media, was dystopian, like the Mad Continue reading →

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The media get the treatment they deserve

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA — It’s hot in Philly—95 degrees yesterday but it felt like 107, per my Dark Skies weather app, and it’s supposed to be 93 or higher today. (Yesterday, on the asphalt outside the Wells Fargo Center, I got woozy from the heat. And I grew up on a chicken farm in Alabama.)

The AP reported at 8:15 p.m. Monday that, according to city officials, 41 people had been treated for heat-related problems or other injuries during protests related to the Democratic convention. They say 17 of those treated have been taken to hospitals to be evaluated. One security measure made it tougher for protesters: Officials blocked anyone without a credential for the Democratic convention from traveling to the subway stop next to the arena.

Thousands of protesters were scattered when the area was hit by a thunderstorm and flash flood. (An estimated 5,500 people protested Continue reading →

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The Democratic nomination was rigged. Aren’t you surprised?

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA —They cheated.

Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mails, acknowledged as genuine, show that the Democratic Party itself worked to defeat Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and to win the party’s presidential nomination for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Last week, in his speech accepting the Republican nomination, Donald Trump said, “I have seen firsthand how the system is rigged against our citizens, just like it was rigged against Bernie Sanders–he never had a chance. Never had a chance.” At least with regard to Bernie Sanders, Trump has been proven correct.

The Democratic National Committee, which is the formal governing body of the Democratic Party, is obliged to remain neutral between serious candidates, and Sanders was certainly a serious candidate. Despite the best efforts of party operatives, Sanders ended up with roughly 12 million votes for the nomination. Clinton received 15 million, so Sanders got almost 45% of the vote between the two.

The DNC’s thumb-on-the-scale affected the contest in a number of ways. DNC communications resources were used to ridicule Sanders and downplay his chances of victory. DNC-sponsored debates were scheduled around holidays and on weekends in order to prevent Sanders from having a breakthrough performance.  From the tone of these e-mails, it is reasonable to presume that the DNC provided inside information to the Clinton campaign. (Still to be investigated: whether federal election laws were violated in the coordination between the Clinton campaign and the DNC.)

The narrative of the campaign, set by the DNC as part of the Clinton machine, Continue reading →

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Trump rips Clinton, pledges to fight for working Americans

CLEVELAND, OHIO —In every country, Thomas Jefferson wrote Henry Lee, there exist two parties: “Those who fear and distrust the people, and wish to draw all powers from them into the hands of the higher classes,” and “Those who identify themselves with the people, have confidence in them, cherish and consider them as the most honest and safe, although not the most wise, depositary of the public interests.”

Tonight, Donald J. Trump laid claim to leadership of the second group—the one that represents and speaks for regular people. It’s an extraordinary claim, coming from a billionaire. Then again, he’s running against Hillary Clinton, who epitomizes the first group.

Introducing her father, Ivanka Trump declared: “Other politicians see the unfairness of it all and say, ‘I feel for you.’ Only my father will say, ‘I’ll fight for you.’” Another speaker, earlier in the evening, called Trump “America’s blue-collar billionaire.”

Trump’s acceptance speech painted a picture of “Big Business, elite media, and major donors” who are “lining up behind the campaign of my opponent,” Hillary Clinton, “throwing money at her” because “she’s their puppet, and they pull the strings” He’s running for president, he said, “so that the powerful can no longer beat up on people who cannot defend themselves.”

The system is corrupt, he said, and “Nobody knows the system better than me. Which is why I alone can fix it.”

Highlighting the Republican Party’s abrupt turn toward populism Continue reading →

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I’m Ted Cruz. Vote for me in 2020! … uh, I mean 2024.

CLEVELAND, OHIO — After Ted Cruz’s self-immolation, the pundits were astonished: Given that Trump and his managers knew what Ted Cruz was going to say in his convention speech, how could they let him go on? How could Trump & Co. have been so incompetent?

Incompetent like a fox? Well, maybe.

Time and time again in this campaign, Donald Trump has done something that seemed, in the eyes of pundits, to be incredibly stupid. Time and time again, Trump’s seeming stupidity has paid off brilliantly. Which raises the question: Did Trump plan this, allowing Cruz to disrespect him in prime time, as a way to show that he’s not a bully and that he accepts disagreement within his team? (That’s how some focus group members took it.) Or did he simply hand Cruz the rope with which the Senator from Texas could hang himself?

After the speech, Trump tweeted: “Wow, Ted Cruz got booed off the stage, didn’t honor the pledge!”—that is, the pledge all GOP presidential candidates took last year to support the eventual nominee. “I saw his speech two hours early but let him speak anyway. No big deal!”

Incredibly, the top Cruz people seem to be in shock Continue reading →

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#FreeMilo: Gay activist banned from Twitter, apparently for pro-Trump, anti-fascist views

Twitter, the social networking platform that once styled itself “the free speech wing of the free speech party,” yesterday issued a lifetime ban on gay anti-Islamofascism activist Milo Yiannopoulos. The ban was handed down 20 minutes before an event, held near the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, at which Milo, as he is known, was set to call for members of the LGBT community to support Donald Trump.

Although various media accounts suggested that Milo was banned for urging the harassment of comic actress Leslie Jones, those accounts did not offer any examples of such activity by Milo. Breitbart News, where Milo is technology editor, reported that “Milo was suspended [later, banned] despite the fact that he sent no abusive tweets to the actress.”

Jones recently quit Twitter, fed up with negative, often offensive comments she had received, including racist comments. Monday, Jones tweeted to approximately 254,000 followers: “Twitter I understand you got free speech I get it. But there has to be some guidelines when let spread like that.” [sic]

Milo’s supposedly offensive comments directed at Jones included his panning her new Ghostbusters movie as crude, sexist, and authoritarian; his joking reference to Jones as a “dude;” and his criticism of the grammatical skills (“barely literate”) that she displayed in her remarks on Twitter. In addition, he suggested that, as a celebrity, she should not be overly sensitive to negative comments. Jones, it should be noted, retweeted (reposted on Twitter) another person’s bigoted comment about Milo, calling him “the Uncle Tom of gays.”

After he was notified of the ban, Milo told the Los Angeles Times: “There’s a systemic bias against conservatives and libertarians [on Twitter]. The Progressive press is going to take their side, dishonestly suggesting that I was making life difficult for a black woman. . . . This is a political decision. With this they are sending a message to conservatives that they’re not welcome on Twitter.”

Twitter is known for its support of extremist causes. Notably, Twitter has promoted the racist group Black Lives Matter, which has demanded prosecution of innocent police officers in high-profile cases involving criminals who were shot by police or who died in police custody.

Breitbart’s Ben Kew reported Tuesday night (July 19):

. . . [T]he platform has demonstrated an unashamed bias towards Progressive causes like Black Lives Matter, ignoring open calls for violence against police officers that emerged following both the Dallas and Baton Rouge shootings.

In further indication of its political biases, Twitter also let death threats against Republican Senators remain on the platform for months without taking action. . . .

Supporters of Milo, who had more than 338,000 followers on Twitter prior to his suspension, have created the #FreeMilo and #FreeNero hashtags on the platform in protest at Twitter’s latest attack on the conservative commentator. It is currently accumulating approximately 20-30 tweets a minute. Unless Twitter artificially suppresses the hashtag, it’s likely to stay trending throughout the night.

#FreeMilo is currently trending in the United States, at number 6 and rising rapidly.

The event last night featuring Milo was held without incident, with a heavy police presence, at the Wolstein Center on the campus of Cleveland State University. In addition to Milo, the “Wake Up” event, a cross between a party and a political rally, featured Pamela Geller, Geert Wilders, and Chris Barron. Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, is best known as the sponsor of the “Draw the Prophet” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas in May 2015, which was targeted by two terrorists in the first ISIS attack on U.S. soil. Wilders is a Dutch politician, a leading contender for prime minister and his country’s leading opponent of Islamofascist assaults on women and gays. Barron, who was a co-founder of the LGBT conservative/libertarian group GOProud, now heads the organization LGBTrump.

Groups representing the Gay Establishment, such as the left-wing Human Rights Campaign, are supporting Hillary Clinton in lockstep. However, because of Donald Trump’s mostly libertarian attitude on social issues and his record of acceptance of LGBT people in his business organization, his candidacy is attractive to many in the LGBT community. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s record has earned her much derision—a record that includes promoting Islamofascism, actively or through incompetence, in Egypt, Libya, and the Islamic State territory; supporting the deal that ended sanctions on Iran and that will eventually give that LGBT-hating government the atomic bomb; soliciting and accepting money for the Clinton Foundation from leaders of countries that execute gays; and the decision to honor, at next week’s Democratic convention, the mother of Trayvon Martin, who was killed when he attempted a gay-bashing.

At last night’s “Wake Up” event, when it was his time to speak, Milo came to the lectern wearing what appeared to be a bulletproof vest. He soon removed the vest, revealing a T-shirt with the slogan “We shoot back.” That’s a reference to the Orlando terrorist attack, in which an ISIS terrorist killed 49 people at a gay nightclub. Leftists responded by seeking to divert attention away from Islamofascist terrorism to the unrelated issue of “gun control” laws. (The shooter in Orlando, who had travelled twice to Saudi Arabia, used a standard handgun and a standard rifle, and had been cleared of terrorist ties by the FBI. In the aftermath of Orlando, proponents of “gun control” offered no proposals that would have deterred the terrorist.)

In a message about Orlando directed to the LGBT community, Attorney General Loretta Lynch declared that “our most effective response to terror is compassion, it’s unity, and it’s love.” Her comment sparked outrage among those who believe that compassion, unity, and love may represent an inadequate response. The Obama administration’s willful blindness on this issue was spotlighted last week when the Washington Post reported that the FBI had found “no evidence” of anti-gay sentiment in the Orlando attack. That’s right—“no evidence” that the deadly assault on patrons of a gay nightclub, by a member of a group that supports the extermination of gays, was connected to anti-gay sentiment.

Milo announced during the “Wake Up” event that he would be leading a gay rights march through a Muslim enclave in Stockholm, Sweden. A 2014 study based on 2012 data showed that Sweden and Denmark had the highest rates of sexual assault in the European Union, fueled by mass immigration of men from Muslim countries where women are subjugated.

The Left has long claimed the simultaneous loyalty of most LGBT voters and of the supporters and enablers of Islamofascism. For the first time, the legitimacy of that claim is being challenged.

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Trumpers in name only: How the GOP Establishment created the revolt

CLEVELAND, OHIO — The revolt of the NeverTrumpers was entirely the fault of the Republican Establishment. They wrote the rules that could have blown up the GOP Convention on Monday.

As I reported months ago (https://capitalresearch.org/2016/03/convention-rules-splained/ ), the delegates always had the power to pick anyone they wanted. They always had the ability to overturn Trump’s primary victory and give the nomination to someone else, because there was no mechanism to enforce binding unless the delegates voted to bind themselves.

Of the delegates gathered for this convention, fewer than half would have picked Trump if they had had the power to select anyone they wanted. Hundreds of Trump-bound delegates are—or, at least, were—for Cruz, Bush, Kasich, or another one of the also-rans. Trump’s hardcore support here is probably less than 1,000 delegates, out of the 1,237 needed to win.

What kept them from tossing Trump? Fear of the consequences of rejecting the people’s choice. The fact that he seems to have a chance to win. And the fact that the people running the convention could declare any seemingly close voice vote—or even one that wasn’t close—to be a vote for the Trump side. That’s why, at a convention like this, you always want to control the chair.

There’s a lesson in this: The real power at political conventions is expressed on procedural votes and in the procedural bodies such as the Rules Committee. (Personal note: At the 1980 GOP convention, I was disappointed to be named to the Rules Committee rather than the Platform Committee. Over the years, as I learned more about politics, I realized that I had been lucky not to get my first choice.) Also critical is the body that deals with credentials, that decides whether a delegate seat belongs fairly to one would-be delegate or another. (There are 56 states, with D.C., Puerto Rico, American Samoa, et al. counted as states.)

At the Republican convention, each state gets two members on the major committees, and those people can vote any way they want, regardless of who won their state. The same is true on procedural votes when they get to the floor; there is not and cannot be binding. Thus, Trump-but-really-Cruz delegates could have provided the votes to unseat Nevada’s Trump delegates due to irregularities in that state (any reason, real or imagined, would suffice).

Don’t think this kind of thing can’t happen. In the days before binding, at a time of few primaries, Dwight Eisenhower snatched the 1952 nomination from Senator Robert Taft (Ohio) by challenging delegations in Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana.

Most explosively, Trump-but-not-really-Trump delegates could have voted against binding the delegates at all, and thrown the convention open.

Why is there a disconnect between winning the primary and picking the delegates, so that, for example, Trump could win a state and the delegates would be supposedly bound to vote for him but, in their hearts, they’re for Cruz and can cast procedural votes that throw the nomination to Cruz?

Because, in many states, Republicans use a two-tier system for selecting delegates. There was the state’s primary or caucus, which determined the number of delegates from each state bound to each candidate. And there was the delegate selection process, in which supporters of Cruz or Kasich or whomever could run for seats as “Trump delegates.” In addition, the GOP version of superdelegates, which are the three persons from each state who serve on the Republican National Committee, are “bound” to the state’s winner. (Democrat superdelegates include elected officials and big contributors, and are unbound, which is a much worse situation that in the GOP. Largely because of this, a Trump-style grassroots rebellion is not possible in the Democratic Party, as Bernie Sanders learned to his regret.)

There’s no reason for have this two-tier delegate selection process, except to make sure that party bigwigs get to be delegates regardless of the results in the presidential balloting. (To be fair, some of those bigwigs earned bigwig status through years of mostly thankless toil for the party.) A simple reform would prevent this situation from arising again: Make sure that delegates for Candidate A are actually for Candidate A, by requiring them to run as delegates for Candidate A, with would-be delegates’ names on the ballot next to their preferred presidential candidate. Or allow Candidate A’s campaign to select or veto his/her delegates.

Yes, that means that some arguably deserving people won’t get to be delegates, if they back the wrong presidential candidate. But no political party should ever be tempted, as this one was, to overturn the clearly expressed will of the voters. Removing a candidate at that point should be reserved for the most extreme circumstance such as medical disability or a disqualifying scandal. (Hint, hint, Democrats!)

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