Montana candidate Greg Gianforte assaults and body slams reporter

A Fox News reporter provided a vivid eyewitness account late Wednesday of an attack on a reporter by Montana Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte that led to him being cited for assault by the county sheriff and to lose his endorsements from two Montana newspapers ahead of the special election set for Thursday.

Both papers, the Missoulian and the Billings Gazette, issued scathing denunciations of Gianforte.

The alleged assault took place at Gianforte’s headquarters in Bozeman, where Fox’s Alicia Acuna and her crew were preparing a story to air on “Special Report with Bret Baier.”

As the crew was setting up, Gianforte was approached by the Guardian’s Ben Jacobs, who put a voice recorder “to Gianforte’s face and began asking if he had a response to the newly released Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act,” the Republican replacement for the Affordable Care Act, she wrote.

“Gianforte,” Acuna wrote, “told him he would get back to him later. Jacobs persisted with his question. Gianforte told him to talk to his press guy, Shane Scanlon.

“At that point,” she wrote, “Gianforte grabbed Jacobs by the neck with both hands and slammed him into the ground behind him.”

Acuna and her crew “watched in disbelief as Gianforte then began punching the reporter. As Gianforte moved on top of Jacobs, he began yelling something to the effect of, ‘I’m sick and tired of this!’”

Read More

Do not call for my tolerance….

“I listened as they called my President a Muslim.
I listened as they called him and his family a pack of monkeys.
I listened as they said he wasn’t born here.
I watched as they blocked every single path to progress that they could.
I saw the pictures of him as Hitler.
I watched them shut down the government and hurt the entire nation twice.
I watched them turn their backs on every opportunity to open worthwhile dialog.
I watched them say that they would not even listen to any choice for Supreme Court no matter who the nominee was.
I listened as they openly said that they will oppose him at every turn.
I watched as they did just that.
I listened.
I watched.
I paid attention.

Now, I’m being called on to be tolerant.
To move forward.
To denounce protesters.
To “Get over it.”
To accept this…
I will not.
Read More

Voting early, Voting absentee, Voting by mail


First lady Dorothy McAuliffe cast an absentee ballot on Tuesday morning at the voter registrar’s office in Richmond, highlighting the opportunity to cast a vote in Virginia ahead of Election Day.

But her vote also demonstrated that Virginia is in the minority of states when it comes to early voting because it requires voters to offer an acceptable excuse as to why they can’t vote in person on Election Day.

In 37 states and the District of Columbia, some period of early voting is allowed and “no excuse or justification is required,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

As of January, Virginia was one of 13 states that required an excuse for absentee voting before Election Day, along with Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Kentucky, Missouri, South Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi.

In order to cast an early ballot in Virginia, a voter must cite one of 19 excuses deemed acceptable under state law, such as military service, illness, being away from home, pregnancy, and a long commute tacked on to a long workday.

The first lady of Virginia’s excuse was that she would be out of town on personal business.  Why is it necessary for any of us to provide an excuse?  Is this our paternalistic General Assembly once again deciding what is best for us or is this law more nefarious?  Is our Republican-controlled General Assembly attempting to suppress our votes?

If you vote early, vote absentee or vote by mail, Virginians must provide a reason.  There are 19.  Technically, Virginia does not have early voting which is sort of “no fault” voting.  In Virginia a citizen must always provide a reason if they don’t go to the official polling place on the official day.

I want a window of opportunity where I can vote early, vote by mail, or walk into a satellite office and cast my ballot.  I don’t want to stretch the truth or out and out lie in order to exercise my right to vote.

Virginians need to demand that the General Assembly change the laws to making voting easier.  Do not accept no for an answer.  There really is no acceptable reason not to open up this window of opportunity.

Lee High School administration: What were they thinking?



Principal Mark Rowicki greeted his students at Robert E. Lee High School in Staunton, Va., on Monday dressed as Donald Trump, a get-up that included a Trump campaign button pinned to his lapel and a “Make America Great Again” hat.

The school secretary also got in the spirit that day, donning a short blond wig, a chain belt and an orange jumpsuit — not unlike one worn by prisoners — with a “Hillary R. Clinton” name tag.

Their Halloween costumes have spurred criticism from some parents and school leaders. Some have accused the pair of pushing a political agenda on impressionable teenagers and bringing the ugliness generated by the presidential campaign into the school building.

Neither Rowicki nor the secretary, Stephanie Corbett, could be reached for comment Wednesday. Pictures of the pair in their costumes had appeared in a photo gallery on the school’s home page but were later taken down at the superintendent’s direction. The News Leader newspaper in Staunton first reported the story.

It is the latest example of the deeply polarizing presidential campaign cycle pushing its way into schools. Some teachers have avoided talking about the election altogether because it rouses too much anxiety and conflict among their students. Across the country, some students have repurposed campaign rhetoric to bully their classmates, targeting minority and immigrant students in particular.

Totally unacceptable.  Schools should be as free as possible from electioneering.  I question the wisdom of even having both candidates represented, given the contentiousness of this election cycle.  However, to have a school official as Hillary in jail garb?  I can’t stress the bad taste and poor judgement enough.  The mistake was Hillary in orange.

Both secretary and principal should be fired.  This lapse in judgement goes beyond the pale.   Unless the secretary was forced under duress to dress as “jail bird Hillary”, she needs to go also.  The principal must assume full responsibility.

I expect the community will call for both heads on a platter.

Apparently, I am not the only one.

Further reading

Trump’s hot mic: Is this the final straw?


Donald Trump bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation caught on a hot microphone — saying that “when you’re a star, they let you do it” — according to a video obtained by The Washington Post.

The video captures Trump talking with Billy Bush of “Access Hollywood” on a bus with Access Hollywood written across the side. They were arriving on the set of “Days of Our Lives” to tape a segment about Trump’s upcoming cameo on the soap opera.

The tape obtained by The Post includes audio of Bush and Trump’s conversation inside the bus, as well as audio and video once they emerge from it to begin shooting the segment.

In that audio, Trump discusses a failed attempt to seduce a woman, whose full name is not given in the video.

“I moved on her, and I failed. I’ll admit it,” Trump is heard saying. It was unclear when the events he was describing took place. The tape was recorded several months after he married his third wife, Melania.

Read More

Do these dudes belong in the “basket of deplorables?”

ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Donald Trump stood up for his supporters Monday against Hillary Clinton’s remark that half of his supporters belonged in “a basket of deplorables,” denouncing the comment as “an explicit attack on the American voter” and suggesting that it makes her unfit for the presidency.

But even as Trump defended his backers, one lashed out at protesters in the hall by appearing to punch and slap them. Trump talked through the scuffle.

“While my opponent calls you deplorable and irredeemable,” he said in Asheville, North Carolina, “I call you hard-working American patriots who love their country and want a better future for all our people.”

But his rally was interrupted several times by demonstrators and, at one moment, brief violence.


Talk about a big deal from nothing. I hope she planned it. It gives everyone a chance to start enumerating some of the deplorable people who have gone on record supporting Trump.

Should Hillary apologize? Nope. Did Trump apologize for calling Mexicans “racists?”

The thuggery continues.


Trump supporters: Fence post psychology or the real thing?

CALL him whatever names you like. A clown. A Know Nothing. A political greenhorn who can barely complete a sentence. A nativist, a racist and — worse — a New York liberal with a comb-over

You can call him a blowhard if you want, but — to the consternation of the conservative elite and to the surprise of just about everybody else inside the Beltway — Donald Trump won’t blow off.

The press mocked his rambling, hour-long speech at the launch of his campaign, in which he disparaged Mexican immigrants as “rapists.” Few thought he could remain popular after saying that Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), imprisoned for more than five years in Vietnam after his plane was shot down, was “not a war hero.” Political scientists forecast that Trump would fade.

But as the summer of Trump lingers into autumn, the real estate magnate remains the front-runner in the Republican presidential primary. The political establishment is flummoxed, and at least one of its members has concluded that Trump’s supporters are just insane.

“What he did was, he fired up the crazies,” McCain said after Trump held a rally in Phoenix.

Read More

Trump: Pinocchios, burning pants and bad judgement

WILMINGTON, N.C. — Donald Trump was ticking through a list of reasons to support him over Hillary Clinton on Tuesday when he decided to linger on one.

“If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks,” Trump said with a shrug at a rally here after accusing Clinton of wanting to strip Americans of their gun rights. He paused, then softly offered a postscript: “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is, I don’t know.”

The denouncements came swiftly from Clinton’s campaign and her allies — and from outside politics. The insinuation, critics said, was that Trump was inciting his followers to bear arms against a sitting president. And Trump’s response was just as swift: He’d said nothing of the sort but was merely encouraging gun rights advocates to be politically involved.

The pattern has repeated itself again and again. First come Trump’s attention-getting expressions. Then come the outraged reactions. The headlines follow. Finally, Trump, his aides and his supporters lash out at the media, accusing journalists of twisting his words or missing the joke. It happened last week, when Trump appeared to kick a baby out of a rally, then later insisted that he was kidding. It happened the week before, when he encouraged Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, then claimed he was just being sarcastic.

And with each new example, Trump’s rhetorical asides grow more alarming to many who hear them — and prompt condemnations from an ever-wider universe of critics. On Tuesday, for instance, even Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), one of Trump’s most ardent defenders, struggled to fully embrace his comments. Sessions insisted in an interview on CNN that Trump did not mean to encourage violence, but he acknowledged that Trump’s words were “awkwardly phrased.”

Do I think Trump really threatened violence against Clinton? No. What he did was innuendo. The danger of such statements is that some not-too-stable person might take his innuendo literally and attempt to cause bodily harm.

That’s why saying “bomb” at an airport or on a plane is a really stupid thing to do. Homeland security doesn’t know you aren’t some nut-job.

Once again, poor judgement on Trump’s part.  With Trump, there is just a sea of stupid remarks to deal with that reinforce his incredibly poor judgement.  Additionally, Hillary does not want to abolish the 2nd amendment.  That is a pure lie.  4 Pinocchios.  7 pairs of pants on fire!

Read More

Top Republicans denounce Trump

Top Republicans joined with President Obama and other Democrats Tuesday in sharply condemning Donald Trump’s reaction to the nightclub massacre in Orlando, decrying his anti-Muslim rhetoric and his questioning of Obama’s allegiances as divisive and out of step with America’s values.

Trump — who just a week ago signaled an intent to snap his campaign into a more measured tone for the general election — showed no sign of backing down from his suggestions that Obama was somehow connected to or sympathetic with terrorists, telling the Associated Press that the president “continues to prioritize our enemy” over Americans.

In separate appearances, both Obama and his potential successor, likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, blasted Trump’s proposal to ban foreign Muslims from the United States as dangerous and contrary to the nation’s traditions.

A visibly angry Obama also dismissed Trump’s repeated demands for him to use the term “radical Islam” when speaking about the Orlando shootings and other attacks. “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away,” Obama said. “This is a political distraction.”

Clinton described Trump’s response to Orlando as rife with “conspiracy theories” and “pathological self-congratulations.”

Read More

History in the making: Hillary can now claim the Democratic presidential nomination

Hillary Clinton now has the necessary delegates to claim the Democratic presidential nomination. The Associated Press said so Monday, based on weekend primaries in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and on superdelegates who had decided to back her since the last time they were canvassed.

But there is more here than the AP’s tally and Clinton’s support among the party establishment. With Tuesday’s primaries in California, New Jersey and four other states, Clinton finally amassed a majority of pledged delegates — the ones awarded based on the actual outcome of elections. What’s more, when all of the votes are counted, her popular vote advantage over Bernie Sanders (3 million votes going into Tuesday) will likely give her a double-digit victory.

I have been very quiet about the Democrats during the primary process.  I saw no point in beating up one over the other.  I knew that is where I was going to vote, once Trump established his dominance.  Why have to eat your words. Now it’s time for Bernie to just go away.

The historical significance of yesterday is not lost on me.  My grandmother was 31 years old before she could vote.  When I graduated from high school and college, I don’t think I even thought it was possible for a woman to secure the nomination of either party.  I remember when Geraldine Ferraro was selected as a running mate for Walter Mondale.  Her claim to fame was “Tits and Fritz.”  That’s pretty much where the country stood at its knuckle dragging state in the 80’s.

Good for Hillary.   She has done what no other woman has been able to do.  She secured the nomination of her party.  The rest is up to her.

In the words of Neil Young:  Long May You Run!


Time for the GOP to tell Trump to straighten up and fly right or else

It’s time for Republicans to stop equivocating.  They need to call Trump out for his racist remarks and tell him to stop or they will retract their endorsements.  They need to stop hiding behind Hillary.  Right now many of them have put themselves in the untenable position of a self-avowed racist or Hillary.  Those really aren’t their only choices.

Republicans have a choice.  They can pour their efforts into the Senate and House races as well as the various gubernatorial races around the country.  If they do not, they will lose it all.   If they lose it all, they risk losing the party of Lincoln now and forever.

Lucifer in the flesh

Washington (CNN)Former House Speaker John Boehner called Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz “Lucifer in the flesh,” in a withering interview at Stanford University published Thursday.

In it, he repeated many of the same attacks he used last month while calling on his successor, Paul Ryan, to seek the Republican nomination.
“Lucifer in the flesh,” Boehner told Stanford’s David Kennedy, a history professor emeritus, according to the Stanford Daily. “I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.”
Boehner also said he was “texting buddies” with GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and friends with former House colleague and fellow Ohioan, John Kasich.
Cruz was a thorn in Boehner’s side when Boehner was Speaker of the House. Between Cruz and  Tea Party Republicans, Boehner threw in the towel.  He is rumored to have called them all jackasses and probably a lot of other things.
How many mainstream Republicans feel like John Boehner does?  What exactly is a mainstream Republican?
I am of the mindset that those who feel betrayed really don’t understand the meaning of compromise.  No one party usually gets it own way on everything.

A sniveling coward? Sounds like the locker room

While courting voters in Wisconsin Thursday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) used strong words for rival Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. He said Trump is “a sniveling coward” who has a problem with women.

DANE, Wis. — Donald Trump’s ability to roil the presidential race with a few swipes of a smartphone was revealed again in Wisconsin. Before a visit to a factory, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) — the only Republican currently stumping here — had to field questions about the week’s second late-night Trump tweet that mocked the senator’s wife, Heidi.

“Our spouses and our children are off bounds,” Cruz said. “It is not acceptable for a big, loud New York bully to attack my wife. It is not acceptable for him to make insults, to send nasty tweets — and I don’t know what he does late at night, but he tends to do these at about 11:30 at night, I assume when his fear is at the highest point.”

The source of Cruz’s ire seemed, as has become Trump’s habit, petty and puerile. Trump, who has no public appearances scheduled until a March 29 rally in nearby Janesville, was angered by a Web ad from the tiny Make America Awesome PAC, allegedly targeted at Mormon voters, that displayed a salacious photo of the mogul’s wife, Melania, from a magazine shoot and warned that she could become first lady unless Utahans caucused for Cruz.

The PAC has no relationship to Cruz, but on Tuesday night, Trump warned that he would “spill the beans” about Heidi Cruz; on Wednesday night he retweeted someone who compared an unflattering photo of Mrs. Cruz to a glamorous one of Mrs. Trump.

It just sounds like locker room talk to me.  How unseemly.  How ungentlemanly.  How rude.  How unpresidential.

A PAC seemed to have started off the firestorm of insults.  These PACS are really out of control and have been for several decades.  If we want to start with campaign reform, then there is one of the places to start.  PACs seem to answer to no one.  They can do what they want to do with little, if any, accountability.

Congress needs to get off its do-nothing rear and draft some legislation to hold PACs accountable.

Theory: Where did Trump come from?

The Republican establishment began losing its party to Donald Trump on May 24, 2000, at 5:41 p.m., on the floor of the House of Representatives.

Urged on by their presidential standard-bearer, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, and by nearly all of the business lobbyists who represented the core of the party’s donor class, three-quarters of House Republicans voted to extend the status of permanent normal trade relations to China. They were more than enough, when added to a minority of Democrats, to secure passage of a bill that would sail through the Senate and be signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

The legislation, a top Republican priority, held the promise of greater economic prosperity for Americans. But few could predict that it would cause a series of economic and political earthquakes that has helped put the GOP in the difficult spot it is in today: with the most anti-trade Republican candidate in modern history, Trump, moving closer to clinching the party’s nomination.

Read More

Protestors block main road to Trump event

FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ – Protesters lined the streets of Fountain Hills on Saturday morning to block traffic to the Donald Trump rally.

Air15 video showed protesters blocking Shea Boulevard with a couple Maricopa County Sheriff Deputies on scene.

A tow truck was able to move two vehicles but the protestors remained. At one point, a jeep plowed into the protesters. No one appeared to injured.

No arrests were made.

So far no arrests have been made.  I expect all that has changed.  Sheriff Joe is on the prowl, supporting Trump in Tucson.

I am drawn on this one.  I do not believe in blocking egress.  I don’t believe in blocking roads.  That behavior is the behavior of Operation Rescue.

On the other hand, I sympathize with the protestors.  Sometimes people have to do extreme things to stop unacceptable behavior.

I wonder how much of this protest is about immigration and how much is about Trump’s overall nastiness and inappropriateness.  Stay tuned.

I hope no one is hurt.