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Trump's Doctor Has An Amazing Explanation For That Bizarre Medical Report

Huffington Post News - 50 min 10 sec ago

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Donald Trump’s personal physician told NBC News that he wrote a now-infamous medical report about the candidate in just five minutes.

Dr. Harold Bornstein, a gastroenterologist who has been Trump’s doctor for more than three decades, released a brief note last December declaring the reality TV star would be “the healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency.” The four-paragraph letter, which billed Trump’s health as “astonishingly excellent,” was far less detailed than medical reports traditionally released by presidential candidates. 

In an interview with NBC airing Friday, Bornstein said he spent “five minutes” on the letter while a car sent by Trump waited for him outside his office in Manhattan. 

“I get rushed and I get anxious when I get rushed, so I try to get four or five lines done as fast as possible,” Bornstein explained. “In a rush, I think some of those words didn’t come out exactly the way they were meant.”

The doctor stood by his assessment of the reality TV star’s wellness.

“His health is excellent, particularly his mental health,” he said. 

He also defended the claim that Trump would be the healthiest president in history.

“I like that sentence to be quite honest with you, and all the rest of them are either sick or dead,” he said. 

Watch the interview above.

Bornstein and his bizarre note have come under scrutiny again as Trump and his campaign surrogates have floated conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton’s health. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow pressed Trump campaign manager Kellyane Conway on the issue during an interview Thursday. 

“If he was elected, Donald Trump would be the oldest person to ever be sworn in as president,” Maddow said. “Whether or not he’s going to try to make Hillary Clinton’s health the issue, doesn’t he owe it to the American people to release an actual medical report, a more credible, more complete statement?”

Conway said “perhaps” he should release more information.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Weekend Roundup: Anti-Global Backlash Is Realigning Politics Across the West

Huffington Post News - 1 hour 34 min ago

The great sociologist Max Weber postulated that the birth act of modern capitalism was the secession of business from the household and thus the web of moral and ethical obligations that intimate form of human organization entailed. Zygmunt Bauman has called globalization the "'second secession'" in which unleashed capitalism has "'flown away'" from the constraints of the nation-state, in effect the larger household. Now, national households are clawing back their claims, reasserting sovereignty in an anti-globalization backlash that is profoundly realigning politics.

"Across the West," Nouriel Roubini writes, "establishment parties of the right and the left are being disrupted -- if not destroyed from the inside. Within such parties, the losers from globalization are finding champions of anti-globalization that are challenging the formal mainstream orthodoxy. Thus, the traditional distinction between center-right and center-left is breaking down." In the U.S. and Britain, he notes, working class voters traditionally aligned with the left, are joining the ranks of Trump and Brexit. In continental Europe, discontent with immigration and austerity has given rise to new parties on both the far right and the far left. "A new political alignment,' Roubini concludes, "erases the old left and right paradigms of labor versus capital, workers versus business, taxes and regulation versus free enterprise. Instead, the new alignment will be organized around pro and anti-global integration forces." As Roubini points out, support for globalization these days comes mainly from the emerging economies, which have largely benefited from foreign investment and access to global markets. While inequality has grown within the West, he notes, it has diminished on a global scale.

To the extent global integration has touched Brazil, pride rises with greater prosperity. As the Olympics wound down, Adriana Caitano vents her anger in an open letter from Brazil "to people who love to come here to enjoy the beaches and stare at women in bikinis, but disrespect the country that hosts them." She imagines what the "American swimmers [involved in the faux robbery scandal] must have thought: Of course it would be very possible for four foreign, white, tall, Olympians to be assaulted in Rio de Janeiro. Who would not believe it? This underdeveloped country can't even clean a pool the right way. They would never be able to find the truth. So we'll just go back to the American dream with our medals."

One can't speak these days of bikinis in Brazil without bringing to mind the controversy over banning the burkini in France, where local police this week forced a woman on a Nice beach to show more skin in her bathing wardrobe. Willa Frej reports on a man in France who has been paying the fines for women ticketed under the burkini ban. Nick Robins-Early examines what many regard as the weak reasoning behind the ban. And, indeed, by week's end, France's highest administrative court, the Council of State, suspended the ban in an initial ruling in a case brought by a human rights group. At the same time, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is running for office again, pledged he would implement a nationwide ban on the burkini if elected.

During a visit to the beach in Izmir Province, Turkey, Ilgin Yorulmaz surveys opinion in that Muslim-majority country with a modern secular history. "With historical ties to France," she reports, "Turks are divided over their opinions of the burkini both in France and in their own country." Despite Canada's historic links to France, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has made clear his country doesn't share France's secular fundamentalism. "We should be past tolerance," he says, and move toward embracing diversity. In a post from HuffPost Maghreb, Akram Belkaïd calls for, "open debate about this implicit requirement of total assimilation" behind the burkini ban. Writing from Germany where a debate is underway about banning the burqa, Christian Democratic Union politician Ruprecht Polenz similarly argues that, "underlying the burqa debate is the fear that we can never eliminate the differences in our society."

The repercussions of the Turkish coup continue to roil the geopolitical landscape. As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden visited Turkey this week in an effort to temper rising anti-Americanism fueled by a belated and tepid response by U.S. authorities to the failed coup, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan doubled down on the demand to hand over Fethullah Gülen, who lives in the U.S. and whom he sees as the culprit behind the attempted overthrow of the government. Reviewing these developments, David Hearst asks, "Is America losing Turkey?" Doug Bandow thinks that it would be a good idea if America did lose Turkey. "The growth of Putinism in Ankara today is a terrible embarrassment, with no corresponding security benefit for America as compensation," he writes. "The U.S. should change its approach to reflect changing circumstances. Turkey's membership in NATO no longer serves America's and Europe's interests." Farah Mohamed examines the impact of the coup attempt on the long-festering conflict between Greeks and Turks in Cyprus. Resolution of that conflict is seen by many as a key stepping stone in Turkey's bid to join the European Union, a relationship now even more fraught as Europe is deeply wary of Erdoğan's even sharper post-coup turn toward authoritarianism. As one Cypriot told Mohamed, some islanders, "feel caught up in a fight that does not belong to them."

In an essay titled "Why China Fears a 'Color Revolution' Incited by the West," I argue that the U.S. should appreciate the resonances of China's history as a unitary state present in today's one-party system. By recognizing that system's legitimacy, the U.S. would allay the suspicion of China's leaders that it is seeking to foment regime change through the promotion and support of human rights activists. I further argue that, for the first time in the long history of China's "institutional civilization," an autonomous civil society is emerging because everyone now has the same information as those who rule them. "Whether China ends up on the wrong side of history or not depends on its ability to find a balance between rule from the top and an emergent civil society from below," I conclude. "We in the West should encourage China's effort to forge a new equilibrium out of its own experience, not seek to project our legacy onto their future."

Writing from Beijing, Peiran Wei asks, "Why are Chinese companies, which have long been playing catch-up with their U.S. counterparts, now leading the way?"

Finally, our Singularity series this week looks at how Harvard scientists have "radically rewritten" the E. coli genome, heralding a major step forward in synthetic biology.


EDITORS: Nathan Gardels, Co-Founder and Executive Advisor to the Berggruen Institute, is the Editor-in-Chief of The WorldPost. Kathleen Miles is the Executive Editor of The WorldPost. Farah Mohamed is the Managing Editor of The WorldPost. Alex Gardels and Peter Mellgard are the Associate Editors of The WorldPost. Suzanne Gaber is the Editorial Assistant of The WorldPost. Katie Nelson is News Director at The Huffington Post, overseeing The WorldPost and HuffPost's news coverage. Nick Robins-Early is a World Reporter. Rowaida Abdelaziz is World Social Media Editor.

CORRESPONDENTS: Sophia Jones in Istanbul.

EDITORIAL BOARD: Nicolas Berggruen, Nathan Gardels, Arianna Huffington, Eric Schmidt (Google Inc.), Pierre Omidyar (First Look Media), Juan Luis Cebrian (El Pais/PRISA), Walter Isaacson (Aspen Institute/TIME-CNN), John Elkann (Corriere della Sera, La Stampa), Wadah Khanfar (Al Jazeera), Dileep Padgaonkar (Times of India) and Yoichi Funabashi (Asahi Shimbun).


CONTRIBUTING EDITORS: Moises Naim (former editor of Foreign Policy), Nayan Chanda (Yale/Global; Far Eastern Economic Review) and Katherine Keating (One-On-One). Sergio Munoz Bata and Parag Khanna are Contributing Editors-At-Large.

The Asia Society and its ChinaFile, edited by Orville Schell, is our primary partner on Asia coverage. Eric X. Li and the Chunqiu Institute/Fudan University in Shanghai and also provide first person voices from China. We also draw on the content of China Digital Times. Seung-yoon Lee is The WorldPost link in South Korea.

Jared Cohen of Google Ideas provides regular commentary from young thinkers, leaders and activists around the globe. Bruce Mau provides regular columns from on the "whole mind" way of thinking. Patrick Soon-Shiong is Contributing Editor for Health and Medicine.

ADVISORY COUNCIL: Members of the Berggruen Institute's 21st Century Council and Council for the Future of Europe serve as the Advisory Council -- as well as regular contributors -- to the site. These include, Jacques Attali, Shaukat Aziz, Gordon Brown, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Juan Luis Cebrian, Jack Dorsey, Mohamed El-Erian, Francis Fukuyama, Felipe Gonzalez, John Gray, Reid Hoffman, Fred Hu, Mo Ibrahim, Alexei Kudrin, Pascal Lamy, Kishore Mahbubani, Alain Minc, Dambisa Moyo, Laura Tyson, Elon Musk, Pierre Omidyar, Raghuram Rajan, Nouriel Roubini, Nicolas Sarkozy, Eric Schmidt, Gerhard Schroeder, Peter Schwartz, Amartya Sen, Jeff Skoll, Michael Spence, Joe Stiglitz, Larry Summers, Wu Jianmin, George Yeo, Fareed Zakaria, Ernesto Zedillo, Ahmed Zewail and Zheng Bijian.

From the Europe group, these include: Marek Belka, Tony Blair, Jacques Delors, Niall Ferguson, Anthony Giddens, Otmar Issing, Mario Monti, Robert Mundell, Peter Sutherland and Guy Verhofstadt.


The WorldPost is a global media bridge that seeks to connect the world and connect the dots. Gathering together top editors and first person contributors from all corners of the planet, we aspire to be the one publication where the whole world meets.

We not only deliver breaking news from the best sources with original reportage on the ground and user-generated content; we bring the best minds and most authoritative as well as fresh and new voices together to make sense of events from a global perspective looking around, not a national perspective looking out.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump And Racism

Huffington Post News - 1 hour 59 min ago

WOLF. I see in the paper today that you have once again changed your position on African-Americans and minorities.

TRUMP. I didn't change anything. Donald Trump is consistent in every word he says, okay?

WOLF. But didn't you originally say you approved of David Duke and the KKK.

TRUMP. Nooooo!! Where did I ever say that?

WOLF. Actually in your last interview with me.

TRUMP. You misunderstood me again. I never mentioned David Dukes. What I said was, Put up your Dukes, cause you're annoying me.

WOLF. And the KKK?

TRUMP. Oh, that. All I did was start to sing K-K-K-Katie. (Starts to sing it)

WOLF. I didn't know you liked to sing.

TRUMP. Yes, and I'd love to put all those super predators in Sing-Sing, too.

WOLF. Now that's a phrase that's getting attention these days. But it won't endear you to minority groups, especially when you are working so hard now to win their votes. It backfired on Hillary when she first used it.

TRUMP. Black people love me. They all love Donald Trump, right?

WOLF. They love Hillary even more.
But inventing such a phrase has gotten her in a lot of trouble.

TRUMP. You misheard me. What I referred to was not super predators but super editors. You know, on newspapers.

WOLF. Are you also changing your mind about the press? I thought you hated newspapers.

TRUMP. How can I hate them when they put me on the front page every day? I love them.

WOLF. Well, they certainly can't stop publishing your picture.

TRUMP. That's because of my hair-do. Nobody has a hair-do like I do. When I'm President, everyone will be imitating it.

WOLF. You know the polls are not being very optimistic about your chances so far.

TRUMP. Because Hillary is paying them off. This is a rigged election, you know.

WOLF. Because you're behind in the polls?

TRUMP. No, because Hillary is ahead in the polls.

WOLF: So you expect to win, despite the numbers?

TRUMP: Everybody loves me, okay? I'll win by a landslide.

WOLF: Even the African-American vote?

TRUMP: Even the Super Predator vote.

WOLF: Thank you [big breath] very much, and a Good Night from Broken news.

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Facebook's Trending News Topics Will Now Be Automated

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 29 min ago

Facebook has decided to rely on computer algorithms instead of human editors to select news stories for its “trending topics” section. 

Trending topics, which appear on the right side of Facebook users’ newsfeeds, highlight articles that visitors are discussing most at any particular moment. Previously, curators selected which topics to feature from an algorithmically generated list of what people on Facebook were talking about, and wrote a brief description of each topic. 

Following allegations that editors running the trending news section were biased against conservative news sources and viewpoints, the social media behemoth announced Friday it has moved toward an automated system relying almost exclusively on algorithms. Editors still oversee the section to ensure quality.

“Our goal is to enable Trending for as many people as possible, which would be hard to do if we relied solely on summarizing topics by hand,” the company said in a blog post on Friday. “A more algorithmically driven process allows us to scale Trending to cover more topics and make it available to more people globally over time.”  

The company also eliminated written descriptions that appear below each topic ― a tweak Facebook quietly tested earlier this summer. 

As for the curators themselves, a Facebook spokesperson said the company is “shifting” to a new team. 

“In this new version of Trending we no longer need to draft topic descriptions or summaries, and as a result we are shifting to a team with an emphasis on operations and technical skill sets, which helps us better support the new direction of the product,” the Facebook spokesperson told HuffPost. 

A person who had worked on Facebook’s trending news team spoke to The Huffington Post on condition of anonymity so as not to face repercussions from the company, and confirmed that the team had been laid off.

In May, Gizmodo published a report, based on conversations with a former Facebook contractor, that alleged the site had routinely stopped news stories of particular interest to conservative audiences from appearing in the trending section. The report drew intense outrage from conservatives, and Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) penned a letter to the company, requesting information on the process for selecting stories for the module. Shortly after, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with right-wing media personalities, including Glenn Beck, to discuss concerns. 

An internal investigation found no evidence of political bias. Still, Zuckerberg decided to change the system the trending team used to source news, and added additional oversight processes. The latest change removes human input from the system almost entirely. 

“Making these changes to the product allows our team to make fewer individual decisions about topics,” reads the blog post. “Facebook is a platform for all ideas, and we’re committed to maintaining Trending as a way for people to access a breadth of ideas and commentary about a variety of topics.”

Previously on HuffPost: The Facebook News Scandal Explained

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Neighbor's nasty yard fuelding feud in Madison Heights - WXYZ

Berkley Information from Google News - 2 hours 30 min ago


Neighbor's nasty yard fuelding feud in Madison Heights
Ronnie Dahl talks to residents in Madison Heights who are complaining about the smell coming from one neighbor's yard. WXYZ. Ronnie Dahl talks to residents in Madison Heights who are complaining about the smell coming from one neighbor's yard. WXYZ.

Categories: Berkley Area News

University Of North Carolina Is Barred From Enforcing So-Called 'Bathroom Law'

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 46 min ago

A federal court on Friday barred the University of North Carolina from enforcing the “bathroom bill” portion of H.B. 2 against two transgender students and an employee who sued over its implementation.

The law, which has made waves in North Carolina since the legislature passed it in March, has been the subject of a flurry of litigation by and against the Department of Justice, civil rights groups, Gov. Pat McCrory (R) and family-values groups that support the legislation.

In his ruling, which recognized all this “piecemeal” court activity, U.S. District Judge Thomas Shroeder said he had “no reason to believe that an injunction returning to the state of affairs as it existed before March 2016 would pose a privacy or safety risk for North Carolinians, transgender or otherwise.”

Schroeder’s order is preliminary until he holds a full trial, or else an appeals court reviews it further. It also only applies to the North Carolina law’s bathroom provision, which mandates that public facilities be used only in accordance with the person’s “biological sex.”

As with related disputes bubbling in lower courts, a key issue in the case is whether this part of H.B. 2 violates Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, a law that requires educational programs receiving federal funding to abide by its prohibition against sex discrimination.

Courts are grappling with whether the “sex” provision of Title IX and other federal civil rights laws cover transgender individuals. But Schroeder recognized that North Carolina is bound by an April ruling that found that the Department of Education’s own reading of Title IX in favor of trans students is owed deference.

That ruling “requires Title IX institutions in this circuit to generally treat transgender students consistent with their gender identity, including in showers and changing rooms,” Schroeder wrote, even as he acknowledged that its future “is uncertain.”

Relying on submissions from North Carolina that more or less confirmed that the state already accommodated transgender individuals and that its “decades-old” laws against invasion of privacy were working as intended, the judge seemed to suggest that H.B. 2 was a solution in search of a problem.

“Rather, on the current record, it appears that some transgender individuals have been quietly using facilities corresponding with their gender identity and that, in recent years, State educational institutions have been accommodating such students where possible,” Schroeder wrote.

“In short,” he added, “UNC may not apply HB2’s one-size-fits-all approach to what must be a case-by-case inquiry.”

Friday’s ruling appears to be on a collision course with a Texas ruling earlier this week forbidding the federal government from enforcing trans-inclusive guidelines in public schools nationwide. Sooner rather than later, one or more of these cases are likely to be resolved by the Supreme Court.

This was a developing story and has been updated throughout. 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Ferguson’s 'Debtors Prison’ Racket Has Been Reined In. Now Its Police Force May Be Falling Apart.

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 48 min ago

ST. LOUIS ― The head of Ferguson’s police dispatch tendered her resignation in a turbulent city council meeting this week, telling city officials that budgeting and staffing constraints have made it impossible to do her job.

Shannon Dandridge, who worked for dispatch for 13 years, cried as she read from a letter she had submitted at the time of her Aug. 10 departure. She said that her office is understaffed and undertrained.  Dispatchers aren’t getting breaks, which is leading to fatigue and creating a potentially dangerous situation, she added.

“Mistakes are going to happen, someone is going to get hurt, whether a citizen or officer,” she said. “I don’t feel at this point we can properly staff the dispatch center to keep the community and officers safe. Something needs to be done immediately. After over 26 years working in law enforcement I’ve never seen such a disconnect between a city and its police department.”

Dandridge said budget cuts have decimated staff, reducing her office from seven full-time dispatchers and 10 part-time dispatchers to five full-time dispatchers and an “unlimited” amount of part-timers ― who need training and don’t have the benefits of a full position.

Ferguson employees say what’s happening in the dispatch office is indicative of budget and hiring problems across the police force. Shortly after the August 2014 police shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer, the U.S. Department of Justice began an investigation into the Ferguson police that exposed numerous faults, including that it targeted residents ― mostly black ― with tickets and other municipal fines to increase revenue for the city. “Ferguson’s law enforcement practices,” the report said, “are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.”

Several officials resigned in the wake of the report, including the police chief, city manager, city prosecutor, city clerks, municipal judge and police officers. In a step toward reform, city officials reached an agreement with the Justice Department that, among other things, requires the city to reform its municipal enforcement practices. But the police force has been decimated in the meantime, due to the resignation of numerous staff and budget cuts resulting from an inability to fill the gap in revenue the city used to bring in from all those municipal fines.

When the DOJ investigation began, there were 54 officers on the force. By May 2015, that number was down to 43, police spokesman Jeff Small told The St. Louis American. They were down to 41 officers as of mid-July, Small told The Huffington Post this week, which was the most recent tally of officers the city could provide. Former city workers said they think the number is actually more like 36 officers at this point.

HuffPost asked a Ferguson spokesperson for updated figures on how many officers are currently on staff, and about why they have lost so many officers. The spokesman pointed to an op-ed from the police chief that was addressed to the community. “Although we are working with laser focus on the future, the responsibilities of the [Ferguson Police Department] to keep the public safe have greatly expanded,” wrote Moss. “The heavy workload comes amid budgetary constraints and high levels of attrition leaving fewer police officers on our streets. The situation is a top priority being addressed between the city manager and council members.

Moss wrote that the police department “is aggressively seeking grants and other funding opportunities to ease the budget shortages,” and is “working hard to recruit a diverse group of police officers.”

That doesn’t seem to be happening fast enough for some city workers. Dandridge and other former employees told council members that they stayed with the force through the months of protest and unrest following Brown’s death. But they have grown increasingly frustrated with slow hiring and a lack of communication from city officials. “We hung in there. My husband went through everything that everyone else has gone through the past few years. It was very challenging,” the wife of one former Ferguson police officer told the council. “I can’t give you a whole list of reasons why he left. I think some of them should be obvious, but I will share with you that the lack of communication was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Ferguson was already dealing with a $2.9 million deficit. And now it can no longer rely on collecting municipal fees from its citizens ― which brought in $2.5 million in revenue for the city in 2013 ― under the agreement with the DOJ. The city is also on the hook for a monitor, to make sure officials are implementing changes to the police department consistent with the DOJ agreement, which is going to cost up to $350,000 per year. The city will also likely face significant legal costs in connections with several ongoing lawsuits (though it is possible that those costs will be covered by insurance). Meanwhile, the city has spent tens of thousands of dollars on prosecuting protesters.

City officials have tried to fill the gap with tax increases. Voters approved a sales tax increase in April, which is expected to bring in $800,000 per year - but they rejected a property tax increase. Voters also approved an increase in business taxes earlier this month, though that is only expected to bring in another $700,000 annually.  

Others present at Tuesday’s meeting backed up Dandridge’s assertion that the budget cuts are having a negative impact on the police force. David Sussman, who worked for two years as a Ferguson dispatcher, said at the meeting that he was forced out of his position in June. “I was removed from full-time staff with benefits and offered part-time status with no benefits and very few hours,” said Sussman, who was paid $15.32 an hour. “I had to refuse it.”

Sussman said that though technically he left his job voluntarily, in reality he was given no choice. “I did not resign. You terminated my employment,” Sussman said. “To lose as many personnel that we did is a shame.”

Dandridge told council members that she had requested additional hires almost a year ago, but the city manager and financial director told her multiple times that there was a hiring freeze for dispatchers. She also said that her requests to meet with city manager Carl Seawood about the situation had been denied. And she said she had met with Ferguson’s financial director, Jeffrey Blume, last December, but her concerns were ignored.

Dandridge recalled a recent incident where someone called 911 about an overturned van but gave the wrong address; because there was only one dispatcher on duty, several other calls came in but were not answered. Officers, ambulance and fire were sent to the wrong location as a result.

Seawood admitted at the council meeting that communication between the city and its employees has been strained and is in need of improvement. He said that hiring additional staff has been an issue. “We want to make sure we are hiring the right people. So our process is more tedious,” Seawood said. “We’re making sure that the people who are hired are bringing not just the skillset, but the right personality for our community.”

Police Chief Delrish Moss, who was hired in May, echoed Seawood. “I understand the need to hire police officers, we are short. I understand the need to hire dispatchers, we are short,” Moss said. “But what keeps police chiefs up at night is the fact that you hired the wrong person.”

Moss comes to Ferguson from the Miami police department, which also experienced civil unrest in the 1980s and ‘90s, as well as the loss of much of its police force at the time. Moss said he is working on hiring new officers, but the job market is competitive with neighboring departments, which are also recruiting new hires.

Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, who once worked alongside Dandridge as a police dispatcher, worried that her negative depiction of the city’s situation would “freak everybody out and make them want to leave.”  

Dandridge and some of her supporters have accused Knowles of lying to the media about having 44 officers on the police force, saying there are in fact only 36. Dandridge and others at the meeting accused city officials of using the city’s need for police and fire department personnel as a way to get voters to back the tax increases, but have not actually followed through with funding and hiring those officers.

Prior to the election, Knowles told HuffPost during a sit-down interview it was important for the tax increases to pass in order to comply with the consent decree costs so that there wouldn’t be too many cuts to the police department.

“Rumor has it the city used the shortage of the officers and closing fire house 2 as the sympathy getter to get the votes needed to pass the tax.” Dandridge wrote in her exit interview.

“If you’re worried about how many people we have, you should be worried about how many people are here, instead of getting everybody scared and running off,” Knowles said at the meeting. Knowles did not deny that he gave an inaccurate number of officers, but he also did not explain why he gave the wrong number, instead he told people at the meeting that there needs to be more officers. He told meeting attendees that although the city is authorized to have 44 officers, they didn’t have 44 at the time he announced it.  

“We need to be authorized to hire more than that,” Knowles said.

The city hired a consultant to complete a staffing study on the department and make the necessary recommendations on how many people should work in each department. The consultant recommended that the city have 52 officers on the force, including a minimum of 11 full-time and four part-time dispatchers, to comply with the consent decree, according to Dandridge who said she spent approximately 120 hours working with the consultant.

Dandridge said the city can’t continue operating in its current state: “They’re getting to the point where they’re not going to be able to sustain themselves if they don’t get some employees hired.”

-- This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Categories: Political News and Opinion

Air Force Injustice-Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 54 min ago

Assume you are single, and are accused of committing sexual assault during a weekend celebrating with a group of friends in New York City. You return to work, and your employer, a government contractor, tells you, that as a result of the accusation, your work-essential security clearance has been pulled. You must report to your job every day, but since you have no clearance, you will receive no meaningful assignments, and must just sit at your desk. You were slated for a promotion, but it is held up by your employer pending results of the grand jury investigation and possible trial. They also hold up any pay increase. Because your employer paid for your specialized undergraduate education, and you are contractually obligated to work for them for 6 years, you cannot quit and move on.

Some months later, a grand jury is convened and hears evidence. Your lawyer asks the District Attorney to provide immunity to a witness who can provide testimony that will exculpate you. The District Attorney denies the request. Even without that evidence, the grand jury concludes there is not enough evidence to warrant a trial. This is reported to the District Attorney. He rejects this grand jury recommendation. Your lawyer goes to court making a motion that the witness be given immunity. This motion is granted. After another significant delay, the same grand jury holds another hearing, considering this new important evidence, and for second time recommends the case not go to trial. The District Attorney, with no explanation, again disregards their recommendation and orders his prosecutors to proceed with a criminal trial against you.

This District attorney gets to select your jury. In order for you to be found guilty, only 3 of the 5 jurors must agree on the verdict. If you are convicted, you could go to prison for 10 years.

You now face a trial that will be ugly and embarrassing, a public display of highly intimate sexual details about the night in question. Your trial does not start until over 4 years after you are accused. Are you getting a fair shake? Is this justice?

United States Air Force 1st Lt. Josh Seefried

Tragically, this is not a theoretical scenario. It is the reality faced by Air Force 1st Lt Josh Seefried, a 2009 Air Force Academy graduate. He is a cost analyst for the Air Force, stationed at a military base in the Washington, D.C area. This assignment requires a security clearance.

Seefried is also gay. He was the co-founder of an organization known as OutServe. This group of LGBT actively serving military members was critical in providing highly essential information and data used to accomplish repeal of the law previously known as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" ("DADT"). Due to his leadership role at OutServe, and the publicity he and the organization received after repeal was implemented, he is arguably a public person. Because of the important role he played in the repeal of DADT, Seefried likely has enemies within the military and without.

Another gay officer, a Marine 1st Lt, accused Seefried of sexual assault during the annual Fleet Week in New York City in 2012. The Marine claimed Seefried committed this assault after a day of drinking and partying with a group of gay officers. He contends that same evening, Seefried, without his consent, touched him, performed oral sex on him, and also may have penetrated his anus. Seefried denies these allegations.

Because of where Seefried is stationed, he falls under the legal jurisdiction of the Air Force District of Washington ("AFDW"). The Commander of AFDA is Major General Darryl W. Burke. As such, in the military justice system, Burke has immense legal power as the Convening Authority. An analogy could be drawn between Burke's authority and that of a civilian district attorney.

Burke was the one who ordered an Article 32 Hearing. An Air Force officer, a member of the Judge Advocate Corps("JAG") who is an experienced lawyer, usually conducts this hearing. He is mandated to conduct a comprehensive evaluation, considering all the evidence and taking testimony. This is much like a grand jury proceeding. Under the military system, a written report is prepared making a recommendation to the Convening Authority, stating whether there is sufficient probable cause to prosecute the accused. In Seefried's case, a highly respected JAG Air Force Colonel conducted the Article 32 Hearing. During this hearing, Seefried's attorney requested the Convening Authority grant immunity to a co-accused to allow him to provide exculpatory testimony. General Burke declined. After the first report was submitted recommending no court martial, General Burke rejected the conclusion. Seefried's lawyer, made a motion before the military judge to grant his co-accused immunity. The motion was granted, and a second Article 32 was ordered. The same Colonel conducted the second hearing. Considering new evidence from the now immunized co-accused, that arguably exculpated Seefried, the second report was submitted even more strongly recommending no trial. Why did General Burke again overrule this recommendation of this highly experienced lawyer and order 1st Lt Seefried to proceed to General Court Martial?

Shortly after he was charged, Seefried's Secret clearance was pulled. Because of the nature of his assignment, dealing with highly sensitive information, he could no longer carry out his duties. Rather than find him a position not requiring a clearance, his commander ordered him to report to work every day and sit at his desk. Because he could not function, his annual Officer Performance Report suffered tremendously.

Seefried had been selected for promoted from 1st Lt to Captain. Inexplicably, the Air Force held up his promotion and withheld the pay that accompanies this elevation in rank.

Until his General Court Martial began on August 22, 2016, this was the professional "life" of Lt Seefried. Regardless of the outcome of that trial, Lt Seefried's promising military career has been destroyed. As a result of mere allegations, he has lost 4 years of his professional life, not to mention the respect of both superiors and subordinates and the psychological trauma he has suffered by this ordeal

All of these consequences stem from General Burke's decision to proceed against Seefried after recommendations by the Article Hearing officer not to go to trial, not once, but twice. Is this right? Is this justice?

Sexual assault in the military is endemic. It is a very serious offense that must be unequivocally addressed and dealt with. The way Lt. Seefried's case has been handled by the Convening Authority, does not accomplish this end. General Burke is not alone. The history of the past several years shows that in sexual assault cases, Air Force Convening Authorities typically reject any recommendation not to go to trial. Rather than exercising their prosecutorial discretion, these Generals take the easy road, trying all cases alleging sexual assault. Is this not an assumption of guilty until proven innocent and punishment before trial? Does that not fly in the face of the core principal of our criminal justice system?

By effectively ruining the career of the accused, even before he has had his day in court, the course of action pursued against Seefried has been completely counterproductive. It detracts from confidence all service members must have in the military justice system. This saga is not just a personal tragedy for Lt. Seefried, but diminishes the reputation of the United States Air Force and is an insult to every American's sense of justice and fair play.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump Embraces Anti-Immigration Establishment

Huffington Post News - 2 hours 55 min ago

The political universe is abuzz with news that Donald Trump supposedly flip-flopped on immigration. Trump used to say that undocumented immigrants "have to go." He talked of a deportation force and lauded President Eisenhower's deportation plan called "Operation Wetback." Now, in an interview with Sean Hannity, Trump appears to support a softer policy allowing some of them to stay. This is both a smaller and a bigger change than it appears to be.

First, this is not the major flip-flop many are describing. Trump has spoken before about a "touchback" policy whereby some undocumented immigrants will be allowed back in after they leave. He even picked Governor Mick Pencewho was an early supporter of touchback legalization.

Second, the "deportation force" idea was always popular with Trump's supporters but less so than "build the wall" - which is now a running chant at his rallies. He hasn't repudiated his support for this wasteful, extravagant, and largely symbolic give away to the immigration enforcement industrial complex. Trump is currently running a campaign ad in four swing states that doubles down on border security.

Third, Trump's actual immigration plan, described by Ann Coulter as the "greatest political document since the Magna Carta," never called for the deportation of all undocumented immigrants. It supports cutting legal immigration and increasing deportations by tripling the size of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ending sanctuary city policies, targeting criminals, and other policies but never mentions a total removal.

The evidence of Trump's flip-flop is slim so far and, like many of his other statements, difficult to believe. But if he continues to alter his position to the point where he supports legalizing undocumented immigrants then this would actually mark a small change.

If Trump's new seeming support for a partial legalization is an actual change of position then, ironically, he's followed the advice of some of his loudest critics - the editors at National Review. Just this week they wrote that Trump should stop talking about deporting all undocumented immigrants and instead focus on immigration enforcement, slashing legal immigration, and then eventually offering some kind of amnesty for those left - a plan credited to Mark Krikorian of the nativist Center for Immigration Studies. That is exactly what Trump's position appears to be.

If Trump's flip is real, it's because his anti-immigration position was hurting him in the nationwide polls. His campaign was built on an anti-immigration appeal and it probably won him the primaries. In the general election, he's behind in every swing state and in the nationwide polls. Americans are much more supportive of legal immigration than just a few years ago and they generally support legalization, even Republicans. His signature issue, among other things, is driving him down.

The anti-immigration establishment praised Trump's rise in the GOP primary as evidence that their position was popular, but now they are terrified that Trump will drag their cause down with him. His impending electoral debacle would once and for all show that Know-Nothingism is not a viable strategy to national electoral success. Furthermore, Trump's ugly tone and position on immigration have gutted the intellectual respectability of restrictionism.

Overreacting to the supposed flip-flop, Mark Krikorian gleefully wrote a piece titled "If Trump Loses Now, It's Not Because He Was Too Tough on Immigration," in response to Trump adopting Krikorian's and National Review's position on immigration. Trump is continuing to call for a surge of enforcement and slashed legal immigration through his published immigration plan, campaign ads, and public statements. The remaining differences between Trump's plan and the Krikorian-National Review plan lack any meaningful distinctions.

Trump has apparently gone from embracing the fringes of the nativist movement as expressed in Breitbart to accepting the position of the anti-immigration establishment represented by Krikorian-National Review. The irony here is that Trump dumps Breitbart's position on deportations and adopts the editorial position of the critical National Review so soon after hiring the obsequious Breitbart head Steve Bannon as his campaign chief.

Trump might have altered his position on deportations but if he did he's just adopted the immigration plan of the anti-immigration establishment. That's hardly a shift to a pro-immigration position. Regardless of the spin, Trump is still the anti-immigration dream candidate.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

After-Hours Movers: Benzinga Exclusives Shake Stocks - Benzinga

Berkley Information from Google News - 2 hours 57 min ago


After-Hours Movers: Benzinga Exclusives Shake Stocks
U.S. stocks were mixed on Friday trading, with the S&P 500 and Dow indexes closing down, and the Nasdaq slightly up, as speculation around the timing of an interest rate hike mounted following comments from key Federal Reserve officials. Shares of ...

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Trump And Clinton Supporters Find Common Ground On Background Checks For Guns

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 2 min ago

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When it comes to gun control and the Second Amendment, Democrats and Republicans are deeply divided except for a few safety measures such as background checks on gun sales. 

An overwhelming majority of voters — 83 percent — favor mandatory background checks on private sales and at gun shows, according to data released Friday by the Pew Research Center. Among Clinton supporters, 90 percent support background checks, and 75 percent of Trump supporters told pollsters they agree.

That’s not exactly a surprise to researchers. Expanding background checks has consistently registered wide support for several years, Pew said in a statement. 

There was also broad consensus that people with mental illness or who are on federal no-fly or other watch lists should be prevented from purchasing guns. 

Pew reported that 82 percent of Trump supporters and 83 percent of Clinton supporters who took the survey earlier this month approved of prohibiting gun sales to people who are mentally ill. People on the no-fly list or possible terrorist lists shouldn’t be able to buy guns either, according to 80 percent of Clinton supporters and 72 percent of Trump supporters. Libertarians, however, have opposed outright banning sales to people on the no-fly and terror watch lists because those databases are too broad, they say. 

But apart from these possible reforms to gun regulations, the gulf between Democrats and Republicans keeps widening.

Pew started the survey the day after Trump uttered the controversial remark that if Clinton were to win the election, maybe “Second Amendment people” could stop her from appointing a Supreme Court judge. He’s returned to the inflamed issue by claiming that Clinton “wants to essentially abolish the Second Amendment.”

Proposals to ban assault weapons or high-capacity ammunition clips are popular with Clinton backers but opposed by most would-be Trump voters. Among Clinton supporters, 74 percent support banning assault weapons and 75 percent support banning the high-capacity magazines. Only 34 percent of Trump supporters back each of those proposals, Pew’s report said. 

On a question about overall priorities, voters exhibited the widest difference of opinion since the 2000 election. 

Pew asked whether it’s more important to control gun ownership or protect gun rights. Nine out of 10 Trump supporters said it’s more important to protect gun rights than to control ownership. Only 9 percent favored controlling ownership over protecting rights. Among Clinton supporters, 79 percent said the controlling ownership is more important while 19 percent wanted to protect gun rights.  

When Democrat Al Gore ran against Republican George Bush in 2000, the difference was much smaller, according to Pew. Then, only 66 percent of Democrats said that controlling gun ownership was their top priority while 46 percent of GOP voters said gun control was more important. 

Overall, gun ownership was seen as a public benefit. A majority of responders — 58 percent — told Pew gun ownership does more to protect people from crime than it does to put them in danger. Only 37 percent said that owning firearms was more of a risk to public safety.  

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

India Should Seize The Opportunity

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 4 min ago

Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen

Myanmar President Htin Kyaw begins a four-day trip to India beginning August 27. This is the president's first State visit to India and will be accompanied by his wife, Daw Su Su Lwin, several key ministers and senior officials.

President Kyaw comes to India at the invitation of the Indian President, Pranab Mukherjee, who will be hosting a banquet in honor of the visiting leader and his delegation.

During his visit, President Kyaw will have official engagements in New Delhi and also visit places of historical and cultural importance. The visit is expected to strengthen and expand ties between the two countries.

The visit comes four days after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj paid a one-day visit to the Southeast Asian nation on August 22. It was India's first high-level visit to the neighboring country since the National League for Democracy (NLD) came to power.

During the visit, leaders of the Myanmar government told Swaraj that they would not allow any insurgent group to use Myanmar's territory against India. In return, Swaraj offered all possible help to the new Myanmar government.

Swaraj's visit happened just days after the Indian Army had an encounter with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang (NSCN-K) militants along the India-Myanmar border. There were reports that the Indian army crossed over to Myanmar territory to pursue the militants but it was denied by New Delhi.

President Kyaw's visit is important for the Indian leadership to engage in substantive talks on cross-border security issue and others.

The timing of the visit is good for both New Delhi and Nay Pyi Taw as the NLD government currently engages in holding talks with several ethnic armed groups of the country.

One major goal of President Kyaw's government is to end decades of armed conflicts in Myanmar, which is considered the longest in the world, by holding the 21st Panglong Conference starting August 31.

Though the NSCN-K is currently not engaged in talks with the Myanmar government, the Modi government could use this visit to talk about the group.

President Kyaw's visit also comes five days after Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's state counselor and de-facto leader, paid a four-day visit to China, a traditional rival of India.

During the visit, the two countries signed agreements on economic and technological cooperation, among others, that will result in the building of two new hospitals and a strategic bridge in Kunlong, 32 kilometers from the Chinese border in northeastern Myanmar.

Another important issue of bilateral talk was on trade and investment. China is Myanmar's largest trading partner with total two-way trade amounting to $15.6 billion in 2015. In an effort to improve bilateral ties, Myanmar has agreed to review the several dam projects invested by China, including the $3.6 billion Myitsone dam, and find a mutually agreeable solution.

The Chinese leadership assured the state counselor that Beijing would continue to play a constructive role in promoting a peaceful settlement to the decades-old armed conflicts in Myanmar.

In light of these developments, India, which is the world's largest democracy, should seize the opportunity of President Kyaw's visit to strengthen and enhance bilateral relations.

Besides the cross-border security issue, the three areas where India needs to focus are the education sector, institution-building and people-to-people relations.

First, the Indian government has taken initiatives such as the establishment of Language Laboratories and Resource Centre, the Myanmar Institute of Information Technology, and the Agricultural Research and Educational Centre, and the enhancement of the India-Myanmar Centre for Enhancement of IT Skills.

But few students from Myanmar, if any, attend Indian universities. The Indian government and educational institutions across India should do more to attract students from Myanmar, perhaps by offering scholarships or through exchange programs. Additionally, civil society organizations and the private sector should offer vocational trainings for short-term results.

Second is institution building which can be done in a number of ways. For example, the Indian government should invite Myanmar politicians who are new to democracy to give them first-hand experience as to how democracy works in a diverse and pluralistic society.

Myanmar politicians should be allowed to observe parliamentary proceedings, or attend courses offered by Indian universities and think-tanks on the theory and practice of democracy and federalism.

Third is improving people-to-people relations. Not only do India and Myanmar have a shared border but the two countries are also home to millions of people from the same ethnic community, separated during the creation of India and Myanmar in 1947 and 1948 respectively. Examples are the Kachin, the Kuki, the Naga and the Shan, who live side by side along the India-Myanmar border.

Moreover, the two countries share about 1624-kilometre boundary in four Northeast Indian states - Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland. But despite this geographical proximity, cross-border contacts among the ordinary people are relatively insignificant. During Prime Minister Modi's visit to Myanmar in 2014, India agreed to build 71 bridges along the roads used by Indian buses.

Bus service between Imphal and Mandalay, a distance of about 580 kilometers, was originally planned to start in 2012-2013 but Manipur Chief Minister Okram Ibobi Singh launched it only on December 9, 2015 as a trial run, which has not been resumed since then.

Similarly, the first flight service between Myanmar and Manipur was introduced in November 2013, but the service was not continued because of immigration and other issues. Though weekly direct Air India flights on the Delhi-Gaya-Yangon route and Golden Myanma charter flights to India were launched in November 2014, the connectivity between the two countries still remain very poor.

Reliable road links, bus and train services, the introduction of visa-on-arrival facilities at the border, regular flights and the improvement of people-to-people relations are some key areas the Indian government should prioritize for the success of its Act East Policy.

Dr. Nehginpao Kipgen is Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University. His writings (books and articles) have been widely published in over 30 countries in five continents - Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and North America.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Trump Is Closer Than You Think

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 6 min ago

The Real Clear Politics average of election polls shows Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton leading Republican Donald J. Trump by 6.0 percentage points nationally as of August 25. While popular votes do not equate with electoral victory, Mrs. Clinton's 4.5 point lead in even a four-way race suggests that, should the election be held today, she would be the easy winner.

Per RCP, polls in critical swing states such as Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, New Hampshire, and Colorado - states in which Mrs. Clinton holds at least a 9% advantage and often higher - also point to a comfortable victory for her come November.

Moreover, Mr. Trump's repeated failure to nimbly capitalize on Mrs. Clinton's sundry scandals (including Server Gate and the pay-to-play shenanigans at the Clinton Foundation) suggest that Mrs. Clinton is right to take a long vacation from the campaign trail (wild conjectures about the true state of her health, notwithstanding).

She should be able to coast to victory by playing it safe - running on a de facto mantra of "I'm Not Trump!" - much like Republican Thomas Dewey played it safe back in 1948 against Democratic incumbent Harry Truman (who, like Trump, also suffered from major defections within his party's ranks).

Only one problem: Truman won. He won precisely because his opponent played it safe right to the end.

To be fair, Mrs. Clinton does not appear to be playing it safe, as her righteous supporters will exclaim. After all, when she is out campaigning (albeit rarely this month) and giving press conferences (okay, she hasn't done a real one in 266 days), she routinely goes for the ad hominem jugular, which her mainstream media echo chamber pals - many of whom are former paid employees or consultants of Clinton campaigns and/or foundations - repeat ad nauseam. Her most recent ad - which essentially calls Trump, his supporters, and his new campaign CEO white supremacists - really goes out on the race-baiting limb.

On the surface, one would not think such ribald caricatures classify as "playing it safe." However, when it comes to the rogue candidacy of Donald J. Trump, they do. You see, Mrs. Clinton is using the same strategy deployed by Mr. Trump's top opponents in the GOP primary. Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a Harvard-educated lawyer previously excoriated in this space, who's actually presented cases before the Supreme Court, descended to desperately calling Mr. Trump "a narcissist" and "pathological liar."

Marco Rubio, a normally emotionally intelligent Senator from Florida, resorted to insulting Trump's hair, face, hands, and, by extension if you will, his sexual prowess.

After short bumps in the polls, the Cruz and Rubio campaigns imploded, in part, by trying to play on Mr. Trump's vicious, reality TV turf. There is only room for one boorish cad in this election cycle. And Trump owns that lane.

By trying to out-Trump Trump, Mrs. Clinton risks turning off voters who have grown tired of the lowbrow nastiness of this election season. Lower voter turnout, in an electorate where 43% of voters identify as Independent, is bad for any Democrat (whose turnout numbers can vary widely), but especially for Mrs. Clinton, whose negatives are higher than any Democratic candidate in modern U.S. political history.

In basketball, we call this kind of contest "playing ugly." And the uglier this campaign gets, the more it discourages Independents and Democrats from voting. Thus, the more Trump benefits.

After all, his supporters are inured to any sort of ugliness. They stuck with him through his attacks on Vietnam POW John McCain, a physically handicapped New York Times reporter, a Mexican-American judge, and his sundry attacks on Fox News' Megyn Kelly, which I chastised him for in this space. Trump is right. He could shoot someone on 5th Avenue, and his core supporters would not desert him.

These supporters were of such sufficient numbers in the GOP primary that he could win states with only 40% of the vote. But, in the general election their numbers are not sufficient. Nevertheless, in a low turnout election, with third party candidates Jill Stein (Green Party) and Gary Johnson (Libertarian) quietly and collectively siphoning away at least 15% of the vote, they could prove critical.

However, there are two other things going on that should have the Clinton camp reaching for the Xanax. First, history is on Mr. Trump's side, and not only because it is historically difficult for the party occupying the Oval Office for two straight terms to win a third term. As you learn from a string of Trump surrogates - from Rudy Giuliani to Newt Gingrich - almost every night, and as Gallup data confirm, August polling results mean almost nothing.

In August 1980, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan were tied. Reagan eventually won by 19 percentage points. In August of 1988, Michael Dukakis led George Bush, Sr. by 17 points. Bush the Elder won by 8 points. In August 2000, George W. Bush was 16 points ahead of Al Gore. Dubya actually finished a half-point behind Gore in the popular vote, though he ended up winning the Presidency in the Electoral College.

Secondly, Trump voters are possibly under-counted in telephone polls, as former Clinton advisor Dick Morris notes in his new book Armageddon: How Trump Can Beat Hillary. The argument behind this theory is that media bias against Trump, as persuasively verfied by Michael Goodwin in the New York Post, has contributed to public shaming of Trump voters. Moreover, the violence perpetrated by the left at Trump rallies, the widespread stealing and vandalizing of Trump signs all over the country, and the intimidation of students who dare to wear Trump attire is so great that many of these supporters have gone into hiding. If people think that they will be maliciously shamed or physically beaten for expressing their true feelings about a candidate, do you honestly think that they are going to be free and easy with their sentiments should a pollster ask their opinion by phone?

Morris quotes research showing that Donald Trump's actual vote totals in GOP primaries were often 5% higher than what the last poll in a given primary indicated. This, he claims, showed not only that late-breaking voters went for Trump, but also social desirability bias might be going on as well, especially when Trump's massively funded opponent can - without any mainstream media push-back - run ads everywhere demonizing anyone who dares to support Trump as a KKK-supporting racist.

We saw this pattern previously with polls around Brexit. Those in favor of Brexit were routinely under-reported. Contrary to what Democratic pollster Anna Greenberg mistakenly claimed on this platform, the same pattern might be happening with Trump voters, who might - like studies of Brexit polling proved - be harder to reach, harder to classify, and harder to read.

The confirmation of this bias might be found in Trump's statistical dead heat with Clinton in two online polls (USC/LA Times, and Zogby).

If this online polling proves to be the correct barometer of Trump's anti-Establishment support, then, as with the Brexit polling (which had Remain leading by 10 percentage points, per Brexit leader Nigel Farage, only a few months out), the true state of the U.S. Presidential race might be much closer than the RCP polling average currently indicates.

-- Crotty

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Main St. Closed In Royal Oak Due To Massive Sinkhole [PHOTOS] - CBS Local

Berkley Information from Google News - 3 hours 25 min ago

CBS Local

Main St. Closed In Royal Oak Due To Massive Sinkhole [PHOTOS]
CBS Local
ROYAL OAK (WWJ) — Motorists are being told to avoid the area of 12 Mile Rd. and Main St. in Royal Oak after a sizable sinkhole opened up in the middle of the road. The sinkhole opened up on northbound Main on Friday afternoon. (photo: Sandra ...
Northbound Main St. closed at 12 Mile in Royal OakWXYZ

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Justin Trudeau Says 'Poverty Is Sexist,’ Remains Top Woke Bae

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 26 min ago

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is reminding the world yet again what a feminist leader looks like.

Trudeau wrote a letter to anti-poverty organization ONE on Thursday stating, “I wholeheartedly agree: Poverty is sexist.”

He acknowledged the interconnected challenge of gender equality and global poverty in his letter, and made a commitment to tackle them.

“Women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished, and face greater risk of disease and poor health."

“Women and girls are less likely to get an education, more likely to be impoverished, and face greater risk of disease and poor health,” Trudeau wrote. “I accept your challenge to lead. As a feminist, I know that women must be treated equally everywhere.”

I hear you, and I agree – yes, #PovertyIsSexist. Here’s my answer to the letter from the @ONEcampaign:

— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) August 25, 2016

Women and girls worldwide are victims of inequalities that leave them at risk for poverty. Women are often denied access to basic education and health care, according to U.N. Women. In Asia and South America, for instance, women are more likely to go hungry than men, because they often have unequal access to resources, education and income, according to the World Food Programme. 

Poverty can both be a driving force and a result of gender inequality. For example, women in developing countries might be forced into child marriage because their family can’t afford another mouth to feed. And more women than men in developing countries are forced to gather clean water, meaning they spend less time going to school.

“We need other leaders around the world to step up, too.”

Trudeau issued his note in response to a letter from ONE on International Women’s Day, March 8, urging world leaders to fight for gender equality in order to tackle extreme poverty. Celebrities from Melinda Gates to Aziz Ansari signed the letter.

“Nowhere on earth do women have as many opportunities as men. Nowhere,” the letter from ONE read. “Girls and women living in extreme poverty – those often hit hardest by the injustice of gender inequality – have been left out.”

In his letter, Trudeau reminded everyone of the importance of his Cabinet being gender-balanced, before proceeding to commit 785 million Canadian dollars to the global fight against HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.

The prime minister urged his fellow world leaders to get on board.

“No one leader can make this happen alone,” Trudeau wrote. “We need other leaders around the world to step up, too.”

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Hillary Clinton Is Winning The Ad War -- And Americans Have Noticed

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 41 min ago

Hillary Clinton’s massive lead over Donald Trump on ad spending hasn’t gone unnoticed by the American public.

Forty-seven percent of Americans polled in a new HuffPost/YouGov survey say that they’ve seen more ads from Clinton during the last month than they have from Trump. Just 7 percent say they’ve seen more Trump ads. Another 24 percent say they’ve seen an equal number for each candidate, while 15 percent haven’t seen any commercials and 7 percent are unsure.

People’s self-reported recollections aren’t exactly perfect, and some will mistakenly report having seen ads that they couldn’t possibly have watched. In one study, 17 percent of people told pollsters that they remembered seeing a commercial that had never actually been played for them.

But lending credence to the results is the lack of partisan split you’d expect to see if people on either side were trying to prop up their own party with their responses. Fifty percent of Republicans, and a nearly identical 53 percent of Democrats, say they’ve seen more ads from Clinton.

And, more importantly, the public’s impression that Clinton is outgunning Trump on the airwaves matches up with the numbers. Clinton’s campaign has outspent Trump’s campaign by a 17-to-1 margin, NBC News reported earlier this week, and even with outside groups supporting both candidates factored in, the Democrats retain a 6-to-1 advantage.

“We haven’t seen a modern presidential campaign that is so lopsided in terms of advertising,” wrote Erika Franklin Fowler, the co-director of the Wesleyan Media Project. 

Recent history offers little precedent for exactly how much that imbalance is likely to affect Trump, whose campaign voters increasingly perceive as being poorly run.

“The evidence suggests that campaign ads have small effects that decay rapidly — very rapidly — but just enough of the impact accumulates to make running more advertising than your opponent seem a necessity,” political scientist Lynn Vavreck wrote in June. “It sets off an arms race of ads as candidates try to neutralize or displace their opponents. But will the 2016 general election be different? Mr. Trump has used unconventional campaign tactics and has relied on free media to get his messages out. All of this may render advertising less relevant.”

Although Trump is losing on ad spending, he’s still getting plenty of airtime and ink. By a 27-point margin, 40 percent to 13 percent, Americans say they’ve seen more news stories about Trump than Clinton in the past month, with 38 percent reporting hearing equally about both.

“I have a little TV in my office. If I put it on right now, I have a 75 percent chance of seeing him,” Jordan Cohen, the chief marketing officer for the digital marketing firm Fluent, told The Wall Street Journal.

Perhaps as a result, Trump also comes up more in Americans’ conversations: Twenty-nine percent say they spend more time talking about him, while 13 percent spend more time talking about Clinton. A 53 percent majority spend equal time talking about both candidates, or try to eschew mentioning either candidate.

The poll finds less clear of a disparity in other forms of messaging. While Trump has an 8-point edge over Clinton on the number of posts Americans have seen from him on Twitter and Facebook during the last month, 52 percent of respondents say they’ve seen equal postings from both candidates or none at all.

Roughly equal percentages of Americans also reported being contacted by each campaign. Ten percent said they’d heard from Clinton’s campaign, 11 percent said they’d heard from Trump’s, 4 percent said they’d heard from both, and 69 percent said they hadn’t heard from either.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll consisted of 1,000 completed interviews conducted Aug. 23-25 among U.S. adults, using a sample selected from YouGov’s opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls.You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov’s nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here. More details on the polls’ methodology are available here.

Most surveys report a margin of error that represents some, but not all, potential survey errors. YouGov’s reports include a model-based margin of error, which rests on a specific set of statistical assumptions about the selected sample, rather than the standard methodology for random probability sampling. If these assumptions are wrong, the model-based margin of error may also be inaccurate. Click here for a more detailed explanation of the model-based margin of error.

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

What Portraying Michelle Obama Taught Tika Sumpter About Empowerment

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 44 min ago

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In the new film titled “Southside With You,”actors Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers star as Michelle and Barack Obama before they became first lady and president. The film, which is set in 1989, intimately follows the couple’s first date and tells the backstory of the two most powerful black people in America and how their love came to be. 

It’s the ultimate love story and one that powerfully explores the experiences, struggles and romance the Obamas share. In an interview with HuffPost Live on Thursday, Sumpter spoke about what it was like portraying Michelle Obama onscreen and what she found empowering about the experience. 

“When [Michelle Obama] walked out the door she had a voice and she had this confidence and charisma and she knew who she was,” Sumpter said. “I guess I left with more confidence from her and not dimming my light and not being afraid of coming to the table and telling my truth and saying what I feel about things.” 

“I took so much strength from her,” Sumpter added. “She can dance with Beyonce one minute but then give this badass speech at the DNC that inspires us all.” 

Sumpter is spot on: Michelle Obama’s dynamic personality is highly praised. However, it’s the experiences FLOTUS faced that make her relatable to so many including women of color in particular. In one stirring scene, Sumpter portrays a young Michelle who was Barack’s advisor at the time. In the scene, Michelle scolds Barack for acknowledging the potential for romance between them. 

The brilliant young lawyer powerfully breaks down the barriers she constantly has to battle as a black woman working at a law firm led predominantly by white men, and why pursuing a relationship could potentially ruin her career. 

“Even though it’s a love story, there’s depth of these characters,” Sumpter said before expanding on the scene’s message. “Just think in 1989 she was surrounded by men and mostly white men and she had to prove herself constantly. And this hotshot coming in from Harvard she wanted him to understand why she couldn’t date him. She was so focused on her career. I think anybody can relate to this situation even to this day in feeling like they have to prove themselves. I think it’s a very relevant conversation even till this day.” 

To Sumpter, seeing the Obamas in the White House and enamored in love makes them the epitome of “#RelationshipGoals.” 

“For me...seeing a black woman in the White House for the first time is very empowering,” she said. “I think they’re a powerful image in general and their authenticity reaches across the pond everywhere.” 

Sawyers agreed and shared the same admiration for the first couple, their family and the leadership they have exemplified over the last eight years. 

“What a time to be alive,” Sawyers said. 

What a time, indeed. “Southside With You” releases in theaters everywhere on Friday, Aug. 26. 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

What Cops Need To Know To Better Understand Transgender People

Huffington Post News - 3 hours 46 min ago

A new Department of Justice video aims to give police officers a working knowledge of transgender issues and terminology in an effort to quash potentially tense situations before they arise. 

The 12-minute video, “Law Enforcement and the Transgender Community,” examines three “non-emergency, non-crisis” routine situations in which cops may interact with trans people: a traffic stop, an alleged assault and a public restroom. Produced by the Justice Department’s Community Relations Service (CRS), the clip, which was released Thursday, features re-enactments that offer tips and suggestions on how officers can do their job professionally and with respect for the person’s gender identity.  

“In order to be safe and effective, officers must be able to distinguish between a threat and a stereotype,” Sgt. Brett Parson, who has been a longtime liaison between the LGBT community and the Washington, D.C. police department, says in the video. “Just being transgender isn’t a reason to suspect a crime. So, as you can see, there’s an enormous need to repair this trust.” 

The video’s release couldn’t come at a more appropriate time. A 2011 survey conducted by the National Center for Transgender Equality and National LGBTQ Task Force found that 46 percent of trans people said they felt uncomfortable seeking police assistance because of their gender identity. The video itself presents harrowing statistics, too. Parsons points out that one in four trans people claim to have been the victim of an assault because of who they are. 

Meanwhile, the ongoing debate over so-called “bathroom bills,” which effectively bar trans people from using public restrooms THAT align with their gender identity, have brought these issues to the national stage. That’s all the more reason that trans people “deserve to be treated with courtesy and respect” by law enforcement, CRS’s Acting Director Paul Monteiro said in a statement on the Department of Justice’s official website. 

No doubt it will take some time for these practices to catch on at the national level, but this video is a great step in the right direction. Well done, DOJ. 

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Categories: Political News and Opinion

Northbound Main St. closed at 12 Mile in Royal Oak - WXYZ

Berkley Information from Google News - 3 hours 59 min ago


Northbound Main St. closed at 12 Mile in Royal Oak
ROYAL OAK, Mich. (WXYZ) - Northbound Main St. is closed at 12 Mile in Royal Oak due to a gas main break and pavement collapse, according to the city. Drivers are urged to avoid the area, as it is surrounded with caution tape. Southbound Main St. is open.

and more »

Categories: Berkley Area News

Indefinite Detention At Guantánamo Is More Than A Numbers Game

Huffington Post News - 4 hours 3 min ago

Recently, the Obama administration transferred 15 men who were held without charge for over a decade from the Guantánamo prison to the United Arab Emirates. Last week's transfer is the largest single transfer of detainees under President Obama, bringing the detainee population to 61 - the lowest point since he took office. Of the remaining men, only 10 have been charged with crimes in the military commissions system, 20 have been unanimously cleared for transfer by all U.S. national security and intelligence agencies, and 31 are awaiting clearance. While it may be important to keep tally of the detainees in each category in order to tailor solutions to a politically entrenched problem (of our own making), we should not lose sight of the lives behind the numbers and the consequences of detaining individuals without charge or trial for over a decade.

Infamously labeled by the Bush administration as the "worst of the worst," most of the men and boys imprisoned at Guantánamo were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were not picked up on a battlefield, but rather turned over to U.S. forces for substantial bounties. Others were -- or continue to be -- held based on unreliable evidence obtained by torture, coercion or unsubstantiated accusations by other detainees who were rewarded for doing so. Although there are some detainees who have been charged with serious crimes, including those alleged to have committed the September 11th attacks, others were at most low-level al Qaeda figures -- drivers, cooks and bookkeepers.

Even when an inter-agency team of U.S. government national security experts determines that a detainee does not pose a threat to U.S. national security interests, some detainees continue to be held simply because of their nationality, not dangerousness. Lee Wolosky, U.S. State Department envoy to close Guantánamo, recently stated that prisoners at Guantánamo are not more dangerous than other detainees, just "more Yemeni." Indeed, 60% of Guantánamo detainees who have been cleared for transfer are Yemeni but because Congress banned transfers to Yemen due to the country's instability, the U.S. must find third countries to receive these men, since Congress has also blocked any detainee from being transferred to the United States for any purpose.

Since President Obama took office, Congress has placed onerous restrictions on transferring detainees from Guantánamo. As a result, the vast majority of those who continue to be imprisoned at Guantánamo are being held without charge or trial, most for over a decade. There are serious U.S. national security and economic costs of doing so, but there are also serious physical and psychological costs for the individuals imprisoned there without charge.

The severe, prolonged and harmful health and mental health problems that results from indefinite detention can constitute cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. The harmful psychological effects of indefinite detention include severe and chronic anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and enduring personality changes. These severe disorders arise because the indefinitely detained prisoner realizes that nothing he does matters and that there is no way to end, foreshorten or even know the duration of his incarceration.

These effects are exacerbated in detainees who have been traumatized or tortured prior to commencement of indefinite detention. It's now common knowledge that the United States, as President Obama phrased it, "tortured some folks." Whether in Iraq, Afghanistan, black sites, or Guantánamo, individuals in U.S. custody were subjected to torture and ill-treatment.

Congress should work with the President - rather than try to obstruct his efforts to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay and end indefinite detention. The President must continue to direct his administration to transfer the 20 already cleared detainees and provide the remaining 31 detainees administrative reviews to determine if they can be transferred.

While the focus of reducing the detainee population at Guantánamo is critical to ending indefinite detention there, we should not forget that behind those numbers are men who have been imprisoned without charge or trial for over a decade. The cost to U.S. interests is significant, but just as great is the physical and psychological toll to the individuals languishing there. This is more than just a numbers game.

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Categories: Political News and Opinion