The Voters (Delegates) Have Spoken: Hillary is the (Democratic) Nominee

It’s time to Break It Down!

As we greet this new day on planet Earth, there are a number of great truths; few more apparent than that there is a gulf separating the two major political Parties, a space that spans poles (no pun intended). The philosophies and ideologies that frame the views and the accompanying talking points of the Republican Party, which convened last week in Cleveland, are frequently pitted in diametrical opposition to those of the Democratic Party, now underway in Philadelphia.

More often than not, it seems the media, intent upon the devolution of all civil discourse, fans the flames of discord. It may be to garner ratings, or to gain clicks, or to sell newspapers or magazines. Regardless of the intended purpose, far too regularly, a media outlet is front and center in the midst of the resultant turmoil.

Last week, the GOP gave us four days flush with varying degrees of drama. Let me say up front, the early analysis suggests that, at least in the short term, the drama was a plus for Candidate Trump. He started this week with a 6-point bounce, and a lead of then Democratic presumptive nominee Clinton. According to CNN, Trump leads Clinton 44% to 39% in a four-way matchup between the Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and the Green Party. In a head-to-head match-up with Clinton, he leads 48% to 45%.

If anything I suppose those results give credence to the maxim, “There is no such thing as bad publicity…also framed as “All publicity is good publicity.” At least it seems that way when you consider the chaotic nature of the GOP’s four idyllic days in “Believe-land.” To summarize that amazing moment in time, the highlight of which was formally elevating Donald Trump to the status of Party Nominee, here are my personal highlights:

  • Monday – Melania bites Michelle. No, not in a man bites dog kind of way. Rather that is hipster patois for copying one’s style, copping one’s moves, or in this case plagiarizing one’s speech. That may actually have been the low moment of the Convention. It was certainly the negative event that consumed the most media time and energy. It totally “trumped” the day’s earlier events, when a small group of Delegates attempted briefly to oust Trump as the Nominee-in-waiting, and Ohio Governor, John Kasich opted to follow through on his pre-announced plans to skip the Convention (held in Cleveland).
  • Tuesday – Dr. Ben Carson uses Alinsky, Lucifer, and Hillary in the expression of a singular circular thought. It was the kind of classic Carson logic with which we have become all too familiar. You know, the sort that assails Obamacare, asserting it is the worst thing for America since slavery. I suppose I should give him credit for ascribing to slavery a negative light. OK, thumbs up, Doc.
  • Wednesday – Ted Cruz addresses the GOP Convention, and, after having advised Mr. Trump of his intentions days in advance, and providing a copy of his remarks earlier in the day, to absolutely no one’s surprise, he refused to endorse Donald Trump. Suddenly what had been reported by CNN for two days was treated as a shocking development…by the media. There was gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands, and a general post-mortem consensus that Mr. Trump should have deleted Senator Cruz from the program, given what he knew, and/or Senator Cruz should have, knowing what he knew, just stayed home. But where would the drama have been in that?
  • Thursday – Donald Trump talks for 75 minutes in his acceptance speech, a modern day record, before finally “humbly and gratefully” accepting his Party’s nomination. In his uniquely “humble” way, he declared himself the only person capable of resolving the litany of problems he enumerated that require fixing, in order to make America safe, work, first, one, and of course, great…again. If I didn’t know better I’d think a master Reality TV producer engineered their convention. But that’s just me.

This week, it is the Democrat’s turn to step up and show their wares. At the outset, it looked at though the media and the Convention were jointly committed to create just as much excitement, or drama, if you will, as the Republicans brought us last week. Even before the Monday opening, Wiki-Leaks released a series of emails Sunday that showed high ranking officials of the DNC conspiring to devise schemes to denigrate Senator Sanders. The resulting fallout led to the resignation of the DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Shultz. Initially, DWS planned to gavel the Convention into Session, and to gavel it closed, even though she had resigned. This…was an incredibly bad idea. Yes, the optics were less than desirable, but more importantly the concept itself was profoundly flawed.

Fortunately, sanity prevailed, and some Democrat, or perhaps several, figured out that the most effective strategy to pursue if you dig yourself into a hole…is to stop digging. To that end, the erstwhile Chair relinquished the remainder of her duties and responsibilities, and stepped to the sideline. The result was, after looking and sounding like a hair-on-fire story throughout Sunday night, and Monday morning, the Democrats reinvented the opening day by the time the Convention was gaveled into Session at 4:00 p.m. Monday afternoon.

The actual Convention session went off largely without a hitch. In fact, the proceedings were so understated from a drama point of view, that CNN’s resident GOP counter-programming critics were either mostly silent, or altogether AWOL. That means, unlike the Trumpster Fire that lasted all four days of last week’s Convention, Day 1 of the Democrat’s Convention was a critical success.

Even after losing DWS, there was still a level of anticipation that Bernie’s supporters would bow up and crash Mrs. Clinton’s party. The media kept trying to keep viewers on the edge of their seats with what ifs, and queries of what might happen next. By the time the evening was over, Senator Sanders, who wrapped up the evening, had given a clear and passionate endorsement of Secretary Clinton, Senator Cory Booker, NJ, gave a stem-winding speech, Senator Elizabeth Warren gave a strong speech touting the candidate that drew high praise, and the cherry on top, though it was not the final speech, was a masterpiece by First Lady Michelle Obama.

By now, we have like last week, traversed half of the Convention. Last night’s highlight, naturally, was a speech by former President Bill Clinton who wove a series of anecdotes and short stories into a compelling tapestry about Mrs. Clinton. There was a considerable amount of discussion about whether Bill would be able to effectively humanize his wife. In all fairness, he has frequently had a blind spot when it comes to Mrs. Clinton. Last night, that did not appear to be the case.

Clinton’s speech on Clinton was substantial in every conceivable dimension. However, it was Bernie Sanders, in fact, who delivered Tuesday’s highlight. The Clinton and Sanders teams negotiated an agreement that led to the Senator formally making a motion that led to the Party nominating Hillary Clinton by acclamation. While I am sure there will be strains of the Never Hillary Movement in the future, that single act moved mountains in diffusing the most substantive elements of any remaining resistance. In effect, Sanders demonstrated he would continue to do his part to unify the Party.

With that said, when Mrs. Clinton, who appeared via satellite Tuesday night, formally accepts the Nomination tomorrow, it will mark the moment when the gloves come off…for all parties. The sparring between the two sides has grown in frequency and tenor in recent weeks. However, methinks, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Years from now, when we look back on it, the crossfire between Clinton and Trump is likely to be deemed legendary. In just under 15 weeks, this whole thing will be a wrap, kit and caboodle. Today we can reflect on Mrs. Clinton having become America’s first female major Party Nominee for President. Indeed, The Voters (Delegates) Have Spoken: Hillary Is the (Democratic) Nominee!”

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Trump Towers Over the Never Trump Movement: Drops the Title “Presumptive!”

It’s time to Break It Down!

Last night was the culmination of 13 months of what can only be appropriately deemed a Trump tour de force. We can now say Trump has been marching inexorably toward the nomination as the Republican’s 2016 candidate for President since June 2015. Last night, Donald J. Trump, Jr. exulted in the dual honor of reading the results of the New York Delegate distribution, and simultaneously putting his father over the requisite 1,237 (of 2,472) Delegates that Party rules require in order for a candidate to clinch the GOP Nomination. There was more business to be handled, for sure, such as Convention Chair Paul Ryan announcing the official tabulated results, but for all practical purposes, it was over when Don, Jr. read the State of New York’s Delegate designation.

The reality, of course, is it ended long before that. It ended when Trump cobbled together sufficient momentum to force his final two GOP Primary competitors, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, to yield and shut down their respective campaigns. A few diehards refused to abandon the notion of Never Trump. This is a concept, by the way, that I repeatedly suggested, quickly after it emerged, had no shot at succeeding.

The Republican National Convention Kicked off Monday. During the afternoon session a few rogue Delegates attempted to launch an insurgency, mainly to disrupt the proceedings, but with no real hope of actually executing any kind of bloodless coup, politically speaking. Trump delegates, Convention Chair Ryan, and Convention Whips made sure noting came of that wild hair.

Having dispensed with the untoward impulses relatively early, the GOP seemed on the road to zeroing in on how best and most fervently to bash Mr. Trump’s opponent in the November Election, Hillary Clinton. However, the highlight of Monday evening festivities was to be a featured appearance by Melania Trump, who was tasked with the unenviable assignment of humanizing the candidate, her husband. By most accounts, her speech was successful, if not in providing any special anecdotes or insights about her husband or his psyche, in casting her as and individual who could proficiently calm her nerves long enough to read from a teleprompter (Donald must be really proud) and convey how she transitioned from having been an immigrant to becoming a citizen…the right way.

While the early feedback noted that she did not accomplish Job 1, framing Donald in a softer light, she did, as a non-politician, hold her own in front of God, a teleprompter, a packed arena, and a television audience of tens of millions. Granted, her husband is the politician, not her, so she should get points for completing the assignment without committing any discernible faux pas. But wait, before the Quicken Loans Arena could be cleared (Monday evening’s proceedings did run long), a counter-theme emerged. It appeared, in weaving her story of the evening, Mrs. Trump may have appropriated substantial parts of several passages from a speech that Mrs. Obama delivered during the 2008 Democratic Convention. There is much more that could be said about this matter, but I suspect you’ve already seen or heard it. In the unlikely event you missed it see the last link below.

Back to the subject at hand, the title makes clear this post focuses on Donald Trump’s biggest victory to date in his quest to become President of the United States. You may recall, the magic number GOP candidates were aiming for and needed to become the Party’s nominee was 1,237. Here is a breakdown of the total Delegates won by candidate:

  1. Donald Trump – 1,725 (1,237 Required)
  2. Ted Cruz – 475
  3. John Kasich – 120
  4. Marco Rubio – 114
  5. Ben Carson – 7
  6. Jeb Bush – 3
  7. Rand Paul – 2

When one thinks back and recalls that at one point the Republican field of candidates consisted of 17 candidates, it is certainly appropriate to appreciate that Donald Trump not only survived the crucible of a rigorous campaign, he fundamentally restructured the Republican Party. It may not have a revolution, in Bernie Sanders parlance, but it certainly was a revolt. That may sound extreme at first glance, but think about it in big picture terms. In June of 2015, when he announced his candidacy, Trump’s odds of winning the GOP Nomination were slim, possibly slim and none. While it is conceivable that Ben Carson, and or, Carly Fiorina had longer odds, being a Black Republican or a woman (and like Trump, having no previous political experience) and all, virtually every other candidate was high on the scale of political hierarchy that includes Governors, former Governors, and Senators.

For a little perspective, here is a list of Mr. Trump’s 16 vanquished rivals:

  1. Jeb Bush (Former Governor of Florida)
  2. Ben Carson (Retired Neurosurgeon)
  3. Chris Christie (New Jersey Governor)
  4. Ted Cruz (U.S. Senator, Texas)
  5. Carly Fiorina (Former Business Executive)
  6. Jim Gilmore (Former Virginia Governor)
  7. Lindsey Graham (U.S. Senator, South Carolina)
  8. Mike Huckabee (Former Governor of Arkansas)
  9. Bobby Jindal (Former Governor of Louisiana)
  10. John Kasich (Governor of Ohio)
  11. George Pataki (Former Governor of New York)
  12. Rand Paul (United States Senator, Kentucky)
  13. Rick Perry (Former Governor, Texas)
  14. Marco Rubio (U.S. Senator, Florida)
  15. Rick Santorum (Former U.S. Senator, Pennsylvania)
  16. Scott Walker (Governor of Wisconsin)

To go even further back down memory lane, there were times in the early going when many, if not most folks, thought Trump would never actually enter the race, and then a prevailing sentiment was he never release a Financial Statement, and I’m sure almost everyone knows he still has not released his taxes. This last point should not be downplayed. Every candidate since Richard Nixon has done so. By flouting convention and refusing to do so, Mr. Trump is almost certainly setting a precedent that others will surely follow in the future.

The Convention is halfway over. Last night, Tiffany and Donald Trump, Jr., (two of Trump’s children) along with Chris Christie and Ben Carson spoke. From my vantage point, Tiffany gave the speech folks anticipated Melania might have, and Don, Jr. spoke, both about his father and about the political dynamics of the country. He may have been the star of the evening. Christie assiduously prosecuted Hillary Clinton for the vast array of Republican grievances, while Carson ridiculed her links to Saul Alinsky…and his links to Lucifer, and therefore, her links to Lucifer. You had to see it to appreciate it, or to not appreciate it sufficiently.

Just for kicks, last night’s speakers mentioned Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton a lot. However, it is worth noting that, according to CNN, they mentioned Clinton more – Trump 61, Clinton 79. Nothing will unify the GOP like voicing opposition to the Clintons. While we’re at it, it is also interesting to note that 80 (3%) of the 2,472 Delegates to the Convention are African American. That’s more than at Romney’s Convention in 2012, so I suppose the GOP can feel pretty good about itself on that score. It will be interesting to see if the Democrats can match the GOP’s enthusiasm. I’m confident they will exceed the level of diversity.

Tonight’s speakers will include Newt Gingrich, his wife Callista, and Trump’s son Eric. The Party’s Vice Presidential Nominee Mike Pence will also appear. Then of course, Thursday will mark the piece de resistance, when Trump and Pence will officially accept their Nominations. Each day of the Convention has bee thematically labeled. The themes and days were paired, as follows:

  • Monday – Make America Safe Again
  • Tuesday – Make America Work Again
  • Wednesday – Make America First Again
  • Thursday – Make America One Again

Don’t worry about the themes though. If last night was any indication, adherence to it may be hit or miss. I will certainly not suggest the Convention has been compelling TV.

The Party and Mr. Trump will likely feel much better about last night’s session than the one Monday night. It is unlikely Tuesday’s speakers will have anything approaching the SNAFU emanating from Melania’s “borrowed” comments,” which Trump and the Party denied, deflected, and/or took an opportunity to dissemble when discussing (as is the Trump-world fact-free way).

Don Jr., however, did not escape scrutiny.  As it turns out, Huffington Post reported he did use words from a passage in the May issue of a conservative periodical called “The American Conservative.” According to HuffPo, the author of the article, F.H. Buckley assisted Trump with his speech, and granted him permission to use the passage in question.  The bottom line is, this is not deemed to be as serious as Melania’s case. I can look ahead and see that this will be an issue moving froward. Look out Philly! See the next-to-the-last link for a more detailed discussion of this instance. This brings me full circle back to the main point…”Trump Towers Over the Never Trump Movement: Drops the Title ‘Presumptive!”‘

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Black Lives Matter: Of That I Am Certain!

It’s time to Break It Down!

Fact. There are many Americans who simply refuse, under any circumstances, at any time, in any place, to consider the prospect their country in general, and especially themselves in particular, ever tolerate even the hint of a suggestion that they harbor the most remote scintilla of racist thought, deed, or action in exercising their life’s functions. In fact, if you happen to suggest that one of these people is racist, that person will deny it, quickly and robustly, and then just as speedily and fervently, insist that by the mere introduction of such an idea, you, in fact, are the racist.

While I firmly believe this to be true of Americans as a whole, it is in my opinion super-turbo-fied for white Americans. Take a moment to breathe deeply before opting to just go directly to your neutral corner and employ searing eyes and an angry heart to throw shade at such a bodacious premise, or at me for displaying the temerity to author it.

The thing is, there is well-documented, widely accepted American history that explains, at least in part, why so many otherwise intelligent and reasonable Americans think that way, even in the 21st Century. There are, in some people’s mind, perfectly logical events that underpin the fundamental structure of this premise. Like it or not, this is a thing, a very inconvenient American truth. Let’s take a walk back in the historical annals of time and space.

Meet Dred Scott! Dred Scott sued for his freedom, on the grounds that he and his wife had for years lived in a free state. His case eventually went to the Supreme Court. In his March 6, 1857 ruling, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court Roger Taney declared that Scott had no right to sue because as a black man he was never intended to be an American.

Speaking of the clause in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” Taney wrote:

“It is too clear for dispute, that the enslaved African race were not intended to be included, and formed no part of the people who framed and adopted this declaration.”

Taney went on to say the following:

“The negro has no rights which the white man is bound to respect”

“It is difficult, at this day, to realize the state of public opinion in relation to that unfortunate race which prevailed in the civilized and enlightened portions of the world at the time of the Declaration of Independence, and when the constitution was framed and adopted. But the public history of every European nation displays it in a manner too plain to be mistaken. They had for more than a century before been regarded as beings of an inferior race, and altogether unfit to associate with the white races, either in social or political relations; and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect, and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.

Chief Justice Taney wrote the majority opinion. The court held that Scott was not free based on his residence in either Illinois or Wisconsin because he was not considered a person under the U.S. Constitution–in the opinion of the justices; black people were not considered citizens when the Constitution was drafted in 1787. According to Taney, Dred Scott was the property of his owner, and property could not be taken from a person without due process of law.

In fact, there were free black citizens of the United States in 1787, but Taney and the other justices were attempting to halt further debate on the issue of slavery in the territories. The decision inflamed regional tensions, which burned for another four years before exploding into the Civil War.

Now most people would read the aforementioned and undoubtedly be prone to say, that was a 159 years ago. The United States fought a war (the Civil War) that exorcised the stench of the demons of that ludicrously inhumane ruling. Without a doubt America and black Americans, yes we are Americans, were freed from the heinous circumstances that made such a reckoning by the foremost jurist in the highest court in the land even possible. And you would be right…as it relates to most people.

But most is not all, and in this instance, it is particularly important in the case of one among those numbered in the some, not in the most. Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas, former Fox News Host, & 2016 GOP Presidential Candidate articulated a belief last summer, while he was pursuing the 2016 Republican nomination for President, that the Dred Scott Decision, rendered by the Taney Supreme Court…is still the law!

Interestingly enough, he made this argument while defending an individual’s right to ignore a Supreme Court ruling. While defending Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis’s refusal to issue marriage licenses out of her religious opposition to same-sex marriage, Mike Huckabee said:

“The Supreme Court’s 1857 ruling in Dred Scott v. Sandford – which held that all blacks, free or enslaved, could not be American citizens – is still the law of the land even though no one follows it.” 

“I’ve been just drilled by TV hosts over the past week, ‘How dare you say that, uh, it’s not the law of the land? Because that’s their phrase, ‘it’s the law of the land.’ Michael, the Dred Scott decision of 1857 still remains to this day the law of the land, which says that black people aren’t fully human. Does anybody still follow the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision?’”

And lest you feel compelled to dismiss this Troglodytic comment as a mere aberration by this pillar of contemporary Republicanism, the former Governor, former Fox News host, and former Presidential candidate has somehow convinced himself that federal “enabling legislation” is necessary in response to court rulings, or they don’t count. Further, he’s also endorsed pre-Civil War nullification schemes and suggested he might deploy federal troops on U.S. soil to prevent women from exercising their reproductive rights. But I digress.

This, all of this, from Robert Taney’s legalistic machinations, to Mike Huckabee’s political ramblings explains, in no uncertain terms why Black Lives Matter (BLM). Almost anyone who follows the Movement, either as a an activist/member, or from an intellectual and/or academic perspective, can tell you that neither the Movement nor the acronym BLM is intended to convey the sentiment that Black Live Matter and others do not, or that Black Lives Matter more than others, or that Black Lives Matter because they are more important than White Lives, Asian Lives, Latino Lives, Native American Lives, or any other lives.

Patrisse Cullors, Opal Tometi, and Alicia Garza founded #BlackLivesMatter in 2013. The movement began with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media, after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin. Black Lives Matter became nationally recognized for its street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans: Michael Brown, resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, and Eric Garner in New York City.

#BlackLivesMatter is an online forum intended to build connections between Black people and their allies to fight anti-Black racism, to spark dialog among Black people, and to facilitate the types of connections necessary to encourage social action and engagement. All in all, I think that is a noble endeavor.

BLM’s Home Page footer includes the following defining language:

#BlackLivesMatter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.  It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.

BLM, in an effort to help familiarize interested parties with their operational objects shares a list of Guiding Principals on its Home Page. Those ideals include:

  • Diversity
  • Restorative Justice
  • Unapologetically Black
  • Globalism
  • Collective Value
  • Transgender Affirming
  • Black Women
  • Black Villages
  • Empathy
  • Black Families
  • Loving Engagement
  • Queer Affirming
  • Intergenerational

I’m not a #BLM activist. However, as a black man in America, born and raised in this country, I absolutely understand why the Movement is not only justified it is essential. I unequivocally reject the notion that #BLM is racist. In fact, the Movement is a direct response to disparate treatment on its face. In addition, just in case anyone actually needs to be reminded, it is necessary because of a daunting history of minimizing and denigrating responses to Black Life.

That history, in and of itself would justify such a Movement. However, as I noted above, there is also a contemporary mindset that embraces the notion that Black Lives are not equal, and have no rights that need not be respected (by White men). In an America in which an individual counted among our nation’s thought leaders (Pease do not suggest a man who has served as Governor of a sovereign State of the United States of America is not a significant molder and shaper of public opinion) can openly hold, project, and promote those views…“Black Lives Matter: Of That I Am Certain!”

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Biggest Day of Election 2016…So Far!

It’s time to Break It Down!

In a Presidential Election year, there is one day bigger than all other days. Election Day. As days go, it is the ultimate arbiter in determining who won, who lost, and by how much. Countless micro-statistics will emerge from tens of thousands of tabulators across the country.

Yesterday was not that day. It was, however, huge. A number of the day’s key events fundamentally shaped, altered or completely re-defined the tone and tenor of how the next 125 days, or until the votes are counted on Tuesday evening, November 8, 2016, will unfold.

To summarize briefly, the day included:

  1. A statement in an unannounced news conference from FBI Director James Comey, regarding the Clinton e-mail scandal
  2. The kickoff of the joint appearance phase of the Democratic Campaign, featuring Hillary Clinton and President Obama at a Clinton rally in Charlotte, NC
  3. In a turnabout from the 2014-midterm elections, Democrats from across the state, including the Gubernatorial Candidate, the Lt. Governor candidate, the U.S. Senate candidate, the U.S. House of Representatives candidate, and the State Secretary of Labor candidate, were all in the building. In 2014, Democrats from across the spectrum, nationwide, fled the President like the plague. While he was polling anemically at the time, it is worth noting, he had already won two national elections. Most of the folks who fled President Obama lost anyway. Who knows? Perhaps he could have helped them.
  4. A trump Rally in Raleigh, NC, undoubtedly designed to offset the planned Clinton rally in Charlotte, and serendipitously timed to enable The Donald to slam the decision by the FBI not to recommend pressing charges against Clinton.
  5. In light of item number 3, above, it is worth noting that Republican Senator Richard Burr and GOP Governor Pat McCrory both found reasons to be out-of-State during Mr. Trump’s rally in the State Capital. It also warrants mentioning that Senator Burr, as I have noted in another blog post, is currently planning to skip the Convention in Cleveland.
  6. The much less publicized, but no less critical reaction that one CNN news story entitled “Sanders supporters meltdown over FBI’s Clinton decision”

Last weekend, Secretary Clinton spent 3 and half hours of a holiday (4th of July) weekend cloistered with the FBI, answering questions about her e-mail server(s). This “voluntary” interview, and it was voluntary; Clinton had actually been requesting it for at least a year, followed by several days an unscheduled, and by most accounts, faux pas of an encounter between Attorney General Loretta Lynch and former President Bill Clinton, potential first, First Dude, on The AG’s plane. Reportedly, Mr. Clinton’s plane was located near Ms. Lynch’s plane on the Tarmac.

Said meeting was purported to have lasted about half hour or so. Not surprisingly, the Republican Party in general, and the Trump Campaign in particular, raised holy heck about the two meeting. It was perceived as highly suspect by virtually all of Mrs. Clinton’s opponents, and certainly regrettable by many of her supporters. The furor that arose following the “chance” encounter prompted AG Lynch to hold a press conference during which she pledged to follow the recommendations of the FBI and federal prosecutors. At that time she indicated she’d made the decision months ago to take this action. That is altogether possible, but the timing, following so closely her meeting with Mr. Clinton, gave Trump and the GOP solid fodder for several news cycles.

After Clinton’s FBI interview Saturday morning, it was generally expected that the Bureau would tale a week or two to mull over the interview before responding. To that end, Tuesday’s response was a surprisingly quick turnaround. And regardless of which side you were on, Director Comey’s announcement had something for you.

First and foremost, the BFD (see Joe Biden on Obamacare); Comey declined to recommend charges against Secretary Clinton. This really was the total obliteration of the elephant in the room. With one fowl swoop, Mr. Comey said, ”No charges are appropriate in this case,” and simultaneously cleared the deck for the Clinton campaign to complete the process of wrapping up the Democratic nomination in Philadelphia, and took the last breath of oxygen from the Sanders campaign. The acronym BFD is apt here, and by no means hype or overstatement.

Alternately, the Director, whom hard core Democrats know is not only a registered Republican (W Bush’s AG), but also active to the extent that he contributed to the McCain and Romney campaigns in ’08, ’12, respectively, disputed many of the assertions previously made by the secretary. In broad strokes, during his 14-minute report, he said:

  • The Clinton State Department was extremely careless in handling emails
  • Mrs. Clinton did share at least 115 emails deemed classified/8 deemed top secret
  • Security culture at the State Department was lacking
  • Hostile actors gained access to the email of others with whom Clinton communicated
  • Evidence of violations was found
  • He found no evidence of intent to share classified or top secret information
  • He found no evidence of intent of disloyalty to the U.S.

At least 5 of those bullets points will serve to ensure that this conversation lives throughout the election process. Trump/GOP talking points are in the bank.  Nevertheless, the record must reflect that the FBI Director did say also the FBI found no evidence of a cover-up, and no evidence that Clinton’s personal email domain was hacked.  Comey put a fine point on the matter by saying “Although there is evidence of potential violations regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

In yesterday afternoon’s Clinton rally, which I had the opportunity to attend, the President, turned campaigner-in-chief, and candidate Clinton, worked a raucous crowd at the Charlotte Convention Center. The pair formed a 1-2 punch that excoriated Trump’s ideas, more than the candidate himself. The wall, belittling other races and ethnic groups, banning Muslims, etc., are all ideas that drive a wedge between people rather than bring them together. But beyond the absence of substance from Mr. Trump, the President noted that Mrs. Clinton’s experience is the preeminent super qualifier. In fact, he said, she is the most qualified man or woman to ever seek the office of President of the United States.

For her part, Hillary praised the President for rescuing the nation from a second Great Depression. She asserted that her job, as his successor, would be to secure the change that he facilitated and to take us further in areas of clean energy, continuing to de-nuclearize the world, raise the minimum wage, implement debt-free college, and free community college, and provide a plan to pay for it all, among other things.

Anyone who has ever attended a venue in which the President is featured knows that going to see the President requires a commitment. Folks lined up in advance, stood in the heat waiting for the doors to open, waited for hours once inside, all to see and hear the two candidates whom they so greatly respect and admire. It was not at all surprising that many replied in classic black church call-and-response style, “Preach,” when President Obama said he knew he was preaching to the choir.

In current polling, President Obama has a 50% approval rating on average, which is near historic for a President approaching the end of his second term. The obvious offshoot of that turn of events is that the chickens, in this case scared Democrats; came home to roost. As noted in the third enumerated item above, a plethora of democrats showed up for Mrs. Clinton’s rally. And make no mistake about it, although it was Clinton’s rally, and she paid for the Air Force One flight to Charlotte, the PA Announcer introduced Barack Obama, President of the United States, when the pair came out of the tunnel, they stood behind the Seal of the President of the United States, and he was the keynote speaker, the last to take the podium. It had to be special to return to the City in which he was bestowed the nomination in 2012, in the state he turned blue in 2008, and boost the candidacy of the last person he vanquished in his initial run, also in 2008. It was a good day and a great event for her; it was an outstanding day for him.

Last night the scene shifted to Raleigh, the State’s (North Carolina) Capital. Trump was Trump. He spoke for over an hour (66 minutes) and his bombast was aimed at crooked Hillary, clueless Obama, and a host of rigged systems, including the economic system (people have dropped out of the search for employment and are not counted in determining unemployment rates), the political system (Louisiana was stolen from him, even though he got the most votes, and the system is rigged, even though he won…go figure), and the justice system (how could Hillary not be indicted). He emphasized that Clinton put the safety of the entire country at risk; he noted in particular that her judgment is horrible.

In perhaps his biggest stretch, he accused the Clintons of bribing Attorney General Lynch, who may be considered to serve as AG in a Clinton Administration. This alleged bribe somehow resulted in Clinton not being charged.  Her reward?  Continued employment in Mrs. Clinton’s administration, if she wins. A boon she would, of course be deprived of, should Mrs. Clinton be forced to withdraw from the race. Never mind that as a former AG, Lynch would almost certainly command a much higher salary in the private open marketplace.

Mr. Trump has had a fairly uneven ride on his way to nailing down the nomination. Despite having amassed the number of delegates necessary to secure the nomination, a many Republicans have been reticent to endorse him, more than a few have said they will not vote for him, some even saying they will vote for the Democrat, one is suing to be released from voting for him at the Convention, and at least one, George Will, left the Party, because of Trump. Given that well-documented unevenness, it is no surprise there were prominent no-shows last night in Raleigh. Senator Richard Burr said he needed to be in Washington. Campaign spokesperson Jesse Hunt framed it thusly:

  • “After multiple terror attacks associated with the Islamic State this week, Senator Burr is attending to his duties in Washington as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman.”

In a fluke of nature, Governor McCrory was also unavailable. His spokesman, Ricky Diaz said:

  • “The governor’s office said yesterday that he will be heading out-of-state today for a long-scheduled trip with the First Lady, so he’s unable to attend tonight’s event with Mr. Trump.”

If anybody can relate to that cold shoulder Mr. Trump was feeling on a warm summer evening in North Carolina, I’m sure it’s President Obama. Of course, I don’t imagine Mr. Trump will be reaching out to the guy he doesn’t even believe is an American (but does think is a Muslim), anyway.

And then there is Bernie Sanders; perhaps more aptly, there are his supporters. Director Comey’s announcement seemed to have made for one last twist of the dagger for some of the Senator’s most loyal supporters. Among them, there is a vocal minority who hoped, even advocated for a Clinton indictment, which in turn could catapult Senator Sanders back into the nomination conversation. This eternal spring of human breast hope exists, despite a strong indication that if Hillary had been thwarted, Vice President Biden would quite possibly have been inserted as the nominee.  But I digress.

The so-called bitter-enders, folks aligned in both the Sanders and Trump camps, pointed to yesterday’s pending decision as the “FBI Convention.” Oh well, it’s fair to say, in retrospect, that dog didn’t hunt. When Comey made the announcement, there was a social media eruption. The tart responses included the following tweets:

Rosario Dawson


The ‪#SystemIsRigged indeed. So disgusted. ‪#Demexit ‪#Dexit ‪#BernieOrBust ‪#OurRevolution ‪#NotMeUs ‪#UpToUs ‪#TimeIsNow



1:29 PM – 5 Jul 2016

581 581 Retweets
776 776 likes

Mark Ruffalo


We’re in trouble.

11:38 AM – 5 Jul 2016

1,534 1,534 Retweets
2,907 2,907 likes

Bill Cimbrelo ‪@Bill_Cimbrelo

Today marks a turning point. We now have unequivocal proof of how bad things are. It can only serve to strengthen our resolve ‪#NeverHillary

1:48 PM – 5 Jul 2016

324 324 Retweets
378 378 likes

Teachers For Bernie ‪@BernieTeachers

Just fire them all and get rid of the ‪@FBI. They don’t uphold laws and have proven to waste taxpayer funds.



12:31 PM – 5 Jul 2016

79 79 Retweets
87 87 likes

Arabs For Bernie ‪@ArabsForBernie

We keep asking how many mistakes can one candidate for ‪#POTUS claim before it’s too many. ‪#ClintonEmails ‪#Comey ‪#MadamMistakes

1:01 PM – 5 Jul 2016

97 97 Retweets
109 109 likes

User Actions


Shaun King

Verified account


Where FBI Director Comey openly said if it was anybody other than Hillary, they’d have serious consequences.

  • RETWEETS 1,972
  • LIKES 1,799
  • 12:49 PM – 5 Jul 2016








 #BERNIEFACTS ‪@Bernie_Facts

Retweet if the Democratic Party is dead to you

1:38 PM – 5 Jul 2016

587 587 Retweets
356 356 likes

Nate Summers ‪@Cable90

I guess if you are rich and have political power like ‪@HillaryClinton not even the FBI can touch you ‪#BernieOrBust ‪#StillSanders

2:18 PM – 5 Jul 2016

147 147 Retweets
169 169 likes


Star Stuff


If you’re an uber rich old white lady -u can break the law, help rig a primary, trade gvmnt favors for $ & never face consequences.Yay Comey

There has been a fair amount of discourse regarding whether Sanders’ supporters as a collective, will join Team Hillary for the closing thrust of the campaign, as Hillary’s supporters did with Team Obama in 2008.  Senator Sanders has said he is going to the Convention and endeavor to alter the platform.  He has also said he will do everything in his power to defeat Donald Trump.  However, he has said, and many of his supporters parrot, that it is up to Hillary to make the changes (essentially adopting his positions) to persuade his supporters to join her.  In a quirk of contemporary politics, the system is deemed rigged by some Sanders supporters because the Campaign with the most votes has not fallen on its sword and conceded to the Campaign that competed admirably…but finished with fewer votes.  It’s a bit of a head scratcher, but we’ll soon see how that works.  The Convention kicks off July 25th.

There have been a lot of hugely important days in the 2016 Campaign. There are sure to be more. But when all things are considered, few have been or are likely to be more important that yesterday; at least not until November 8th. So I stand by my initial premise; yesterday was theBiggest Day of Election 2016…So Far!”

I’m done; holla back!

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